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DeSean Jackson revealed a major Redskins problem, and it wasn't on defense

DeSean Jackson revealed a major Redskins problem, and it wasn't on defense

PHILADELPHIA -- The Redskins offense moved at a crisp rate in the first half against the Eagles on Sunday. Washington controlled the line of scrimmage against Fletcher Cox and the Philadelphia front as well. 

For 30 minutes, the Redskins looked like one of the more impressive teams in the NFL, sure to change their national perception as a downtrodden team in the middle of a roster transition. After halftime though, things flipped upside down, and Washington got dragged all over the field, including giving up 25 straight points. 

Redskins players and coaches could not explain the second half collapse, especially after blowing a 17-0 first half lead.

"When we get out like that you have to put guys away. You have to shut the door," Josh Norman said after the game. 

"This is a win-league business. It’s about winning, so we are disappointed with that," quarterback Case Keenum said. "There are some positives and stuff that we are going to learn from the film, but we have to win. Up 17-0 – we have to win, especially division games."

"It’s eerie. The second half was eerie of our performance late in the game defensively and offensively," head coach Jay Gruden said. "I have to count on the coaches doing a better job and the players doing a better job, period."

Well, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson believes he knows what happened to Washington, and his prognosis is scary. 

"We came out and started off slow and struggled, but not one moment in that game I didn’t think we were going to come out and win that game. I kept stressing to the boys when we came in the locker room that I have been over there before in that locker room and I know how they are," Jackson said of the Redskins. "I just stressed to my teammates that I felt that at halftime, they probably thought they had the game sealed and won."

Jackson, remember, played with the Redskins for three seasons from 2014 to 2016 and Jay Gruden was the head coach. Jackson really does know the Redskins locker room because he was a big part of it. And the speedster explained he wasn't trying to take a shot at his old coach or teammates, but was just explaining the reality of a big halftime lead in Washington. 

"We just knew that coming into the locker room that it is just a mentality thing. My past five-six years being gone is what I miss, that being part of a team and organization that is just known for winning," Jackson said.

"Regardless of the score and how many points you are down, there is always a chance you can win the game. Being in that locker room, I just know how they are, not saying anything bad about them, that is just how they are.”

As damaging as Jackson's play Sunday was to the Redskins, and he torched the Redskins with eight catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns, his postgame comments might be more dire. 

Jackson played for the Redskins a few seasons ago, and it's clear he doesn't think that the organization was known for winning. And as hard as it is to hear for many, he's right. Washington hasn't made the playoffs in the last three seasons, and only has two playoff games in the last decade. The Redskins haven't won a playoff game since 2005. As much as the Redskins have a proud history, with shiny Super Bowl trophies and Hall of Fame players, consistent success hasn't been the case in Washington for more than two decades. 

So when Jackson says "I just know how they are, not saying anything bad about them, that is just how they are," he's not trying to take a shot. He's just telling the truth. 

For the players, coaches and front office, that should be more alarming than the second-half collapse. Jackson's comments are endemic to a team that loses leads and chokes away opportunities. 

The Redskins might not be able to explain what changed at halftime, but DeSean might have it figured out. 


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'Still unbelievable': Ex-Redskins Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller reflect on Super Bowl journey

'Still unbelievable': Ex-Redskins Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller reflect on Super Bowl journey

Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller spent a combined six seasons with the Redskins, yet neither corner won a playoff game during their tenures there.

Therefore, you can excuse them if they're having a hard time expressing what it's like now being in the Super Bowl together with the Chiefs.

"It's still unbelievable," Breeland told JP Finlay at SB LIV's Media Night on Monday. "I can't even find the words to fathom how I feel about this opportunity."

In fact, the last time Breeland and Finlay chatted, the former was literally asking the latter where to purchase tickets for the NFL's biggest spectacle. He shouldn't have much trouble getting inside of the stadium this time around, though.

"I ended up not even going to that game," he said. "I told myself I wasn't going to the Super Bowl until I got a chance to play in it. Couple of years later, it came true."

Breeland's path to the Chiefs was quite bumpy. After playing for the Redskins for four years and departing after 2017, he inked a well-earned three-year deal with the Panthers. However, he cut his foot during a trip to the Dominican Republic, causing him to fail his physical with Carolina and voiding his contract.

Breeland eventually joined the Packers halfway through 2018, and then he signed with the Chiefs this past offseason. His compensation with Kansas City doesn't come close to what he could've had with Carolina, but a Super Bowl appearance plus his two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 2019 could help him cash in when free agency begins in a few months.

Fuller, meanwhile, took a much more direct route to the now-AFC champions. The Burgundy and Gold's 2016 draft selection was a part of the shocking Alex Smith trade and he's now concluding his second campaign with his second pro team.

The fact that the pair is reunited again and one win away from reaching the top of the sport isn't lost on Fuller, especially after some of the struggles they experienced with the Redskins. 

"It's been fun," he said. "After we won the AFC Championship game, me and [Breeland] were just kind of sitting on the bench looking at each other, knowing how far we came."

The key to K.C.'s rise, according to Breeland, has been their unity. The almost 28-year-old didn't directly call out Washington for lacking a similar closeness, but his comments don't exactly require much parsing to realize the comparison he's making.

So, while he and Fuller are obviously looking ahead to the 49ers, the following comment from Breeland's brief reflection on his past is telling about what the Redskins need to fix on their end.

"Throughout crunch time, everybody pulls together," Breeland explained. "I've been on different sidelines when things go bad, a lot of people start bickering and pull apart from each other. Those were the times that [this team] got closer and pulled together the most."


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The case for - and against - the Redskins trading the No. 2 overall pick

The case for - and against - the Redskins trading the No. 2 overall pick

MIAMI - Redskins fans need to prepare themselves for three months of speculation about if the team should trade the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft.

Chase Young or more picks? That's the question. 

Fuel got added to the fire on Tuesday when NBC Sports' Peter King explained a league source told him that the Redskins could "remake their franchise" by trading out of the second slot in the draft. The Bengals are going to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first, but after that, things could be wide open. 

A team could get desperate for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon QB Justin Herbert, and when that happens, the floodgates could open for Washington. The Dolphins hold three picks in the first round (5,18, 26) and have publicly talked about their desire for a star young passer. The Chargers need a new quarterback, and plenty of other teams might need a new signal-caller, including Tampa and Las Vegas. 

There are never enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and the allure of the new young star is often too much for NFL general managers to resist at draft time. 

Considering all of that, the Redskins hold a very valuable card with the second pick. Very valuable. 

Still, however, that doesn't mean the team needs to trade it. 

Plenty of scouts consider Ohio State defensive end Chase Young the best prospect on the board, and that includes Tagovailoa and Burrow. Young had 16.5 sacks this season for the Buckeyes in 12 games and is an obvious game-wrecking talent rushing the passer. 

Washington could take Young at two and sit confidently, knowing the new braintrust of Ron Rivera, Kyle Smith and Rob Rogers took the best player on their draft board. 

There is no concrete answer. The Redskins problem is a good one to have. 

Other names will rise up draft boards - Utah State QB Jordan Love and Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah among them. If Washington does trade back, they can still get good players. 

The Dolphins are the obvious candidate to move up, and with their fifth pick, the Redskins could still land a star. Some will say Miami can hold tight at five to get their QB, and while maybe that could work, that assumes no other team trades in front of them for another passer. Or that Detroit, with 32-year-old Matt Stafford coming off a season where he dealt with back fractures, doesn't think quarterback with the third pick. 

There are few knowns in the leadup to the NFL Draft, and in January, there are none. 

The Redskins would be wise to look at all options. In fact, they'd be foolish not to, even if in the end Washington decides to take Young. 

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