Redskins

McCarthy stresses positives after loss to Vikings

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McCarthy stresses positives after loss to Vikings

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) As disappointing as their loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday had been - especially since it cost them the NFC's No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye - the Green Bay Packers had no time to feel sorry for themselves.

With those same Vikings coming to Lambeau Field on Saturday night for an NFC wild card game, the work week is already underway. And coach Mike McCarthy as already stressing the positives.

``I mean, there's nothing but positives right now,'' McCarthy said at a 7:45 a.m. press conference, on a day when players were technically off but could come to the stadium if they wanted to.

``This is playoff football, and really, yes, we had every intention of winning the game in Minnesota (Sunday). OK, it didn't work. I'm not just fluffing it by, but you have to, because the door is open for the playoffs to begin.

``It's the playoffs. It doesn't matter who we play, where we play them. We feel confident that we're going to get it done and do whatever we need to get it done.''

While the onward-and-upward theme was predictable - ``We have no choice at this point,'' defensive tackle B.J. Raji correctly pointed out - it was also necessary with the shortened work week.

McCarthy said the team would practice Tuesday afternoon, then Wednesday and Thursday mornings, doing all of its normal installations. The players will have a mandatory weightlifting session Tuesday morning, and the team will gather at noon to officially kick off their week.

``We've been through some adversity this year, more so than probably in the past, and I felt like we dealt with it very well throughout the year,'' left guard T.J. Lang said. ``Knowing these guys, these players, these coaches, we're going to be ready to go - get this game out of our minds and get ready to prepare for them next week.''

It will help that the Packers will be prepping for the Vikings for the third time in a month. The Packers won at Lambeau Field, 23-14, on Dec. 2 before Sunday night's 37-34 loss.

``We know who our opponent is. The preparation for our opponent should be pretty clean,'' McCarthy said.

Whether or not the rematch is a good thing was a matter of opinion. In the visitors' locker room at the Metrodome, opinion had been mixed.

``We're in the playoffs now, so you play who you are seeded against. The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we've got a home game and that's why you win the division,'' quarterback Aaron Rodgers replied when asked if he wanted a rematch. ``You get to go back home and the game will be a different type of game. They won't have the home-crowd advantage and hopefully that will make a difference.''

Others were anxious to get another shot at the Vikings and running back Adrian Peterson, who followed up a 210-yard effort on Dec. 2 with a 199-yard effort Sunday, which left him eight yards short of Eric Dickerson's 1984 NFL single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards.

``As long as we're in the playoffs, it really don't matter who we play. Obviously, it's a team we play twice a year so it's going to be a lot of recognition out there,'' cornerback Tramon Williams said. ``We've got the Vikings next week, (so) bring them on. Bring them on. Obviously, they have to go to Lambeau and hopefully we can go out and put together a better performance that we did.''

This isn't the first time the Packers have faced their Week 17 opponent the following week in the opening round of the playoffs. At the end of the 2009 season, the Packers went to Arizona for the regular-season finale and knew before kickoff that there would be a postseason rematch the following week. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt pulled his starters while McCarthy played his, and the Packers won the game that didn't matter. The next week, the Cardinals won in dramatic fashion, advancing with a 51-45 overtime victory.

It's also not the first time the Packers have faced an NFC North opponent in the postseason. In 2004, the Packers swept the Vikings in regular-season play but lost in the wild card round at Lambeau. And in 2010, the Packers split their regular-season series with the Chicago Bears before beating them in the NFC Championship Game to advance to Super Bowl XLV.

In that instance, the Bears could have kept the Packers out of the playoffs by beating them in Week 17 at Lambeau Field. Instead, the Packers won, and the Bears lived to regret it. McCarthy's task is to make sure the Vikings don't return the favor.

``It's different because there's a familiarity. There's a lot more tape. You're watching it over and over and over again. You can call out the plays just as soon as they start,'' McCarthy said. ``Those are the things you have to be cautious of, but at the end of the day playoff football is about fundamentals.

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

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The case for - and against - the Redskins signing Colin Kaepernick

Don't look in this space for an argument that the Redskins - who are reportedly signing Mark Sanchez as Colt McCoy's backup - should, or should not, sign Colin Kaepernick.

This space will lay out reasons why the Redskins should, and should not, consider signing Colin Kaepernick. 

It's not a binary decision. In fact, it's just about the opposite. 

Any debate about Kaepernick often gets bogged down in differing political view points. This is not the place for that. Rather, here is an attempt to make the case for or against Kaepernick from a football perspective. 

The case to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • The Redskins need a quarterback. Alex Smith broke his leg and Colt McCoy needs a backup. Of the available free agents out there, Kaepernick has by far the best stats and resume. As Chris Thompson explained of Kaepernick, "He made it to a Super Bowl." When he last played in 2016, Kaepernick had 16 TDs against just four INTs in 12 starts. 
  • Kaepernick has familiarity in the West Coast offense, and once backed up Alex Smith and played with Vernon Davis. 
  • Redskins QB coach and passing game coordinator Kevin O'Connell worked on the 49ers staff with Kaepernick.
  • Multiple Redskins players, including Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, said that the Nike pitchman deserves another chance in the NFL. 

The case not to sign Colin Kaepernick

  • Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL for nearly two full seasons. He hasn't practiced in a professional setting for more than a year. The Redskins are competing for the NFC East title. If they have to go to a backup QB, they want somebody that is game ready. It's hard to think Kaepernick fits that bill today. 
  • Earlier this season, Redskins CB Josh Norman had some choice words for Kaepernick after Panthers safety Eric Reid spoke out against the NFL Player's Coalition. Norman is an active particpant and leader on the Player's Coalition, a social rights group that Kaepernick distanced himself from. Putting Norman and Kaepernick in the same locker room might create some friction for a first-place team. 
  • At 6-4, the Redskins are in first place in the NFC East and should still be able to win games with McCoy at quarterback. Regardless how one feels about Kaepernick's activism, it will create a side show for any organization that brings him in. Cable news outlets like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will descend on the Washington locker room should Kaepernick get signed. 

 

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    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Redskins will reportedly sign Mark Sanchez as backup QB

    Mark Sanchez is reportedly set to join the Washington Redskins in advance of the Week 12 Thanksgiving day game against the Cowboys, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    A devastating, season-ending injury to Alex Smith in Week 11 pushed Colt McCoy into the starting quarterback position, and without a third quarterback in-house, the Redskins had to sign a late replacement.

    Sanchez, who last played for the Bears during the 2017 season,  spent four seasons with the Jets after the team selected him out of Southern Cal with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

    Sanchez led the Jets to two AFC Championship games, but will ultimately be remembered for the "butt fumble" in a 2012 Thanksgiving day blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Sanchez's first game with the Redskins will take place exactly six years after the infamous moment.

    Sanchez has appeared in 77 games in seven seasons, starting 72. He's thrown for over 15,000 yards and has tossed 86 touchdown passes, while also throwing 86 interceptions.

    McCoy will start for the Redskins on Thursday in Dallas and is expected to be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, with Sanchez serving as his backup and safety net.

    MORE REDSKINS NEWS