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20 things D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, playoff success or not


20 things D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, playoff success or not

If this blog post could hug you, it would reach out and hug you. It'd be the warmest, snuggest hug you've ever gotten, too.

You know the Nationals lost Game 5 vs. the Cubs, a showdown that lasted approximately three and a half days and brought pain with it that'll last much longer. Beyond that, you know that D.C. sports teams and playoff success doesn't compute. Often times, neither does being a D.C. sports fan and fun, or satisfaction, or smiling.

You've read enough stories reminding you of those sentiments, though. This one, on the other hand, is here to prop you up and remind you of 20 things that should make you proud to support the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals and Nationals, happy to support them, regardless of their postseason records.

So open up your arms for this over-the-Internet embrace. Maybe it'll help you just a little bit.

20 things that D.C. sports fans should be really happy about, despite their teams' lack of playoff success

1) John Wall is under contract with the Wizards until the 2022-23 season.

2) Alex Ovechkin is on pace for a decent 164-goal season.

3) While the Tweet may no longer be true the following sentence is: The Redskins have more wins than the Giants.

😂 Factually accurate. . . . . #redskins #nfl #giants

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And that's something to be happy about too.

4) The Nationals are hosting the All Star Game next season.

Bryce Harper said he's going to do the Home Run Derby, by the way, so plan on parking really far away from the stadium.

5) Speaking of the Nats and Nationals Park, it has a Shake Shack inside of it, and Shake Shack is really delicious.

6) Sometimes Braden Holtby gets confused and thinks his crease expands all the way out to the blue line, and that results in highlights like this one:

7) The Redskins play on Thanksgiving this year.

And it's the night game, too, so you can eat, pass out from eating too much, wake up, eat some more and then watch the 'Skins take on the Giants. 

8) Bradley Beal's jumper.

It's so pretty.

9) Anthony Rendon's swing.

It's so pretty.

10) Brandon Scherff's weekly annihilation of an opposing player.

It's so pretty, in its own, scary way.

11) Kirk Cousins has "dad swag," and he's damn proud of it, too:

12) Trent Williams calls Kirk Cousins' shoes in the above photo "mall-walkers," which is the best half-joke, half-insult ever.

13) Kelly Oubre Jr. is only 21 years old, has already carved out a nice role with the Wizards, and he should only get better.

Plus, he's a "pretty dude" and knows it.

14) Craig Laughlin and his love of exclamation points:

15) Jim Tomsula. 

He's a superb coach really helping the Redskins' D-line. He's also a superb human really helping out people who like funny videos, like this one:

16) One of Tomsula's pupils, rookie Jonathan Allen, is looking every bit like the steal everyone thought he'd be when they drafted him in April.

17) The Nationals will soon use a lineup that features Trea Turner and Victor Robles.

All of the bases will be stolen.

18) The Wizards are a nicely-assembled NBA team, and the core of their roster is like your mom's cookies.


19) Capital One Arena is the only place in the world you can get free Chick-fil-A because DeAndre Jordan's free-throw percentage looks like Tim Tebow's completion percentage.

20) D.J Swearinger may be the answer at safety for the Redskins. 

Instagram posts like these should earn him a Pro Bowl nod on their own, on top of the fact that he's playing quite well.

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?


10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 



Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best receivers the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 17, nine days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best pass catchers the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the pass catchers are up. They are roughly ranked 2017 receiving yards, although I did some juggling based on offseason moves and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teams and quarterbacks

Julio Jones, Falcons—Somehow the perception is that he had an off year in 2017 even though he still had 1,444 yards receiving. His touchdowns were down; his total of three TDs was a career worst for a full season. Still, he’s a beast to try to cover and even if you have him perfectly covered he can still make the catch on you. 

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans—Despite working with some shaky quarterbacks, Hopkins has managed to gain over 1,100 receiving yards in three of the last four seasons. He is a highlight show regular and his 13 touchdowns led the league in 2017. 

Michael Thomas, Saints—The third-year player doesn’t have high name recognition outside of New Orleans and maybe fans of the other NFC South teams. Defensive coordinators certainly don’t sleep on him. Thomas is as consistent as they come, posting nine games with 80 or more receiving yards last season. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals—I keep wondering when he will show signs of his age (he’ll be 35 before the season starts). He didn’t last year, posting 109 receptions despite the fact that his quarterbacks were an aging Carson Palmer plus journeymen Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton. 

Mike Evans, Buccaneers—At 6-5, he is able to physically beat most cornerbacks. Evans will turn 25 just before the season starts and he got a five-year, $82.5 million contract extension. He is worth every bit of it. If Jameis Winston gets a big contract (something that is up in the air right now), he owes a good chunk of it to Evans. 

Best of the rest: T.Y. Hilton, Colts; Davante Adams, Packers; Alvin Kamara (RB), Saints; Zach Ertz (TE), Eagles

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

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Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 9
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 23
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 46

The Redskins last played a game 198 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 54 days. 

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