Redskins

Chiefs' Crennel swaps signs in motivational ploy

Chiefs' Crennel swaps signs in motivational ploy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The last few weeks, there was a sign outside the Chiefs' locker room that read, ``Eliminate Bad Football.'' It was taken down this week and a new sign went up Thursday.

This one reads, ``Play Good Football.''

``You noticed that one?'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said blithely, when asked about the old sign. Then when told about the new placard, he replied, ``OK! I'm all for that.''

Crennel was behind both of them, of course. They are motivational tools not unlike those he's used at other stops during his coaching career - sometimes quotes or inspirational sayings, sometimes photographs or other depictions designed to stir emotion in his teams.

The problem was the first sign didn't work. It was posted after a season-opening loss to the Falcons, and the Chiefs still have won only once through their first six games.

Evidently, the message got lost in translation. Perhaps the Chiefs were hung up on seeing the words ``bad'' and ``football'' next to each other.

``Any time you see something, a sign or whatever it is, it causes a thought in your mind,'' Crennel said, ``and the initial thought process was if you eliminate bad football - you get them to think about eliminating bad football - you would eliminate it.

``If it doesn't eliminate,'' he said, ``you have to try something different. So let's put up, `Let's play some good football,' so now that's in their mind. Hopefully that will carry over.''

It certainly doesn't hurt to try.

The Chiefs have lost three straight since an overtime victory at New Orleans, blowout defeats to San Diego and Tampa Bay and a maddeningly narrow loss to Baltimore.

Now, they're heading into Sunday's game against Oakland having made a change at quarterback.

Matt Cassel has become one of the NFL's highest-paid backups after a lousy first five games, and former first-round draft pick Brady Quinn will be taking snaps for the second straight game.

``Right now, we're in a 10-game season,'' Quinn said. ``We need to focus on one day at a time, one game at a time. This is a big one for us.''

Hence, the swap of signage.

The signs that Crennel has been posting are hung on a wall just inside the doors leading to the Chiefs' practice fields. Players have little choice but to walk by them on their way to the locker room, or anytime they leave the locker room for somewhere else in the building.

With every loss that piled up, though, the initial motivational ploy turned into a running joke. And when word spread Thursday the signs had changed, the ``(hashtag)ChiefsLockerRoomSigns'' meme on Twitter turned into an unedited, uncensored forum for cynical fans.

``After we put that `bad football' sign up, we didn't eliminate bad football,'' Crennel said. ``So I thought maybe if we changed it and put up a sign that said, `Play Good Football,' we'd play some good football, put that at the forefront of their minds.''

Crennel said the idea is to give players ``a buzz point to get them thinking about things.''

In the past, Crennel said he's used photographs, such as one of all 11 players on defense flocking to the ball, to inspire his teams. Those kinds of images can often leave a more profound impact on a team than when the message is spelled out in words.

``That sends a statement,'' Crennel said. ``You can put that picture up and when guys walk by there, they see 11 guys on the ball, and you have guys getting to the football. Instead of a sign that says, `Get to the ball,' you have a picture showing it. Things like that.''

It all comes down to basic psychology.

Crennel said he's trying to find ways to instill in his team a fresh attitude after its bye week by changing the status quo. If it's something as complex as changing the starting quarterback or as simple as a sign, the veteran coach is willing to give it a shot.

``We're coming back with a different attitude,'' Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali said. ``We just have to execute in the game and stay positive. Things are not (always) going to go well. The things that go well, we've got to build on them, and that's part of it.''

What about a sign saying, ``Let's Win the Super Bowl''?

``We're not ready for that yet,'' Crennel said.

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

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Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

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USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

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