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The Best Part. . .


The Best Part. . .

The best part about it was that there were so many best parts about it. It was Dallas, in Dallas, on a Monday night. All Redskins fans have had to put up with so much from the Dallas fans who always seemed to crawl out from everywhere after yet another loss to the Cowboys. It was the stunning, unexpected nature of it after such a listless offensive effort for 55 minutes. It all combined together to make for a day that provided more spontaneous smiling by Redskins fans than any since the few giddy days after Joe Gibbs came back as coach.

And that was one other great part about it--Gibbs’ reaction. The mild-mannered coach’s most demonstrative expression of emotion generally is to break into a broad smile and to look for others to congratulate as he did after each of the Redskins’ Super Bowl wins. Not this time; after this game ended, it was party time:

That’s Gibbs on the left, after the Gatorade bucket bath and after he jumped up into the air and brought his knees to his chest. He celebrated with everyone he could find to celebrate with and then went in and called the win one of his greatest moments in sports, this from a man who has lifted the aforementioned three Lombardi Trophies and a couple of Winston Cups.

Gibbs had stuck his neck out in making one of the quickest quarterback changes in history. Well before that, in March, he had stuck his neck out even more by trading away Laveranues Coles for Santana Moss, taking a huge salary cap hit in the process. After the game, John Madden revealed that Gibbs had said that he felt like the Cowboys were treating the Redskins like a homecoming opponent, what with the scheduling of the Ring of Whatever ceremonies for the night of the game. His offense, his specialty, was, at its better moments, sputtering.

You can agree or disagree about the QB move and the long-term effectiveness of the offense, but you have to agree that nobody in sports has earned a moment of sheer joy more than Joe Jackson Gibbs.

Predictions Recap

Not bad, not bad at all in the end. I did say that the team employing the running back between Julius Jones and Clinton Portis that had the better night would prevail. Jones did outgain Portis on the ground 81 yards to 52 but Portis picked up another 25 in receptions so their output was pretty even. As was the score and the bottom line here was:
Last year the policy in this space was that there would never again be a prediction that the Redskins would beat the Cowboys until such time that the Redskins actually did beat them. But, keeping with the theme here that what’s in the past is irrelevant, the final will be:
Washington 17, Dallas 16After I posted this prediction, I received a number of emails from some who evidently were Dallas fans who were questioning my football knowledge, my sanity and/or possible intake of banned substances. The following was typical:
In accordance to your final score prediction to monday nights game........don't count your chickens before they hatch bubba.In reply, I didn’t bother telling him that examining things that haven’t hatched yet is the very nature of a prediction. Some concepts are way to difficult for room-temperature IQ Dallas fans to grasp. As I did with the other emailers of his ilk, I just told him to enjoy the game and come back around and share his razor-sharp insights after the game. I have yet to hear from him or any of them.

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.