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This list of Redskins safeties since Sean Taylor is absurdly long and very unfortunate

This list of Redskins safeties since Sean Taylor is absurdly long and very unfortunate

The Landon Collins to the Redskins movement is getting stronger as the team will look to yet again address the safety position this offseason, a spot that has been a major problem since the death of Sean Taylor.

Now, the purpose of this particular blog isn't to delve into which defensive back will be the one to end the never-ending cycle or explain why that cycle exists.

Instead, it's simply to show you just how many guys Washington has given significant action to on the back end of their defense and the various ways the team has found those guys.

Ready to see some names that you haven't thought about in years but will immediately remember for likely not-so-fond reasons? Cool. Let's do it.

Safeties drafted with 1st, 2nd or 3rd-round picks

LaRon Landry - The sixth overall pick in the 2007 Draft paired well with Taylor early on in D.C., but a combination of missing Taylor and Achilles injuries completely altered the course of a promising career.

Su'a Cravens - Cravens was slated to become a starter at safety heading into his second year — until he informed the organization he was retiring, which kick-started an eventful back-and-forth between player and franchise. Eventually, he was traded to the Broncos, meaning the 2016 second-rounder appeared in just 11 games for the 'Skins.

Safeties drafted with 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th-round picks

Montae Nicholson - A flashy rookie campaign prompted Jay Gruden to call Nicholson the Jordan Reed of the defense, but he wasn't able to build off it in 2018 and a December arrest capped off a disappointing few months for the 23-year-old. There's still plenty of football left in him, though, and lots of talent, too. 

Troy Apke - He injured his hamstring as a first-year pro and contributed next to nothing. You definitely can't label him a failure yet, but it was a very inauspicious beginning to life in the NFL for the Penn State product. 

Bacarri Rambo - He was a 2013 draftee who never recorded an interception in the Burgundy and Gold.

Phillip Thomas - He was a 2013 draftee who never recorded an interception in the Burgundy and Gold.

Kyshoen Jarrett - Few names on this list will stand out more than Jarrett, who was awesome and versatile in 2015 as a sixth-round rookie until a Week 17 nerve injury forced him off the field. He's now a coach on the Redskins staff and sorely missed in the secondary.

Chris Horton - This 2008 seventh-rounder had three picks in a three-game stretch early in his career and then never really did anything of note again. At least he intercepted Tony Romo once.

Kareem Moore - Words aren't needed to sum up Moore in Washington. This video is all you need:

If that wasn't so depressing, it'd be really impressive.

Reed Doughty - Doughty received a lot of criticism from fans during his extended time on the roster, but getting eight years out of a sixth-round DB is pretty useful.

DeJon Gomes - He played 30 games across two years for the 'Skins, was medicore and then left.  

Undrafted players

Deshazor Everett - Everett has performed capably when given the chance to start, but those chances haven't come by that often. Still, he's a useful member of the defense and special teams units, but likely won't ever ascend beyond that.

Signed veterans

DJ Swearinger - At times, Swearinger was the Redskins' best defender in his two seasons in D.C. During others, he was inconsistent. Almost always, however, he was vocal, and that was what ultimately brought his tenure to an end. Whether you agree with that decision is totally up to you.

Donte Whitner - Bet you forgot about this one.

Duke Ihenacho - Two injured reserve stints and one uneven, healthy campaign is what adds up to Ihenacho's nondescript time in the nation's capital.

David Bruton - He signed a three-year contract in March 2016, appeared in four contests, landed on IR and then retired. So... yeah. 

Dashon Goldson - Here's another vet whose player card includes one random stop with Washington. He racked up a ton of tackles, but they were more of the 11 yards downfield variety than the impactful stop variety.

Jeron Johnson - Here was someone who was supposed to bloom with the Redskins. What really ended up happening? He couldn't even claim the job in training camp and was let go after 14 games. 

Trent Robinson - Robinson recorded a couple of INTs in a couple of seasons with the 'Skins. And that's about all there is to say.

Are you still reading this blog? If so, 1) Wow 2) Why? 3) Thank you.

Ryan Clark - Washington let Clark go just before he peaked and then re-signed him right after he bottomed out. That's generally not how you want things to go.

Brandon Meriweather - Of all the safeties on this list, Meriweather was one of the more frustrating. He was either hurt or getting suspended for ridiculous helmet-to-helmet hits. He was with the organization for three years but it felt like 10.

OJ Atogwe - Did you remember that Atogwe was given a FIVE-year deal back in 2011? And that he only played out ONE of them? That's ROUGH. And so is this LIST.

Madieu Williams - The lasting memory from Williams' stint here was Victor Cruz burning him late in a 2012 regular season matchup at MetLife Stadium for a crushing touchdown. If you're still not over that sequence, that's perfectly fine. 

Trade acquisitions 

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - The Swearinger-Clinton-Dix duo was supposed to catapult the Redskins into the 2018 playoffs and make their rising defense even better. Those two never meshed, however, and Clinton-Dix had an overall lackluster handful of appearances on Greg Manusky's unit. He'll likely be gone this offseason.

Converted corners 

DeAngelo Hall - Hall switched to safety after Achilles injuries robbed him of his classic speed, yet the project never fully took off thanks to a torn ACL and age.

Will Blackmon - Blackmon was also asked to move to safety, and showed more progress there than Hall. The transition was never going to be a long-term solution, though.


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Making a case for a DC-themed name for the Washington Football Team

Making a case for a DC-themed name for the Washington Football Team

It's been several weeks since the Washington Football Team announced it was retiring its former name and logo after more than 80 years. Ever since FedEx became the first known sponsor to formally ask Washington to change its name, fans have taken to social media to voice some of their favorites among potential replacements. I spoke with several marketing experts about a few of the fan-generated names, and will use their responses to make a case for some of the most popular suggestions. This is the case for a DC-themed name.

Case for: Washington, D.C.

If there was one sentiment most common amongst the marketing experts interviewed for this project, it was that the Washington Football Team’s best option for a new name is something related to the city the team plays in.

This opinion wasn’t specific to Washington, D.C., as the experts cited other sports teams with great brands related to the city they represent, but the experts did cite the unique opportunities D.C. provides for a brand.

“The general rule of thumb for sports franchise branding is to tap into the elements of a city, a geography, a people that is highly relevant, highly aligned with how people in that area identify themselves,” said Whitney Wagoner, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at University of Oregon. “The Pittsburgh Steelers are called the Pittsburgh Steelers for a reason. And that identity, that industry, working class, blue collar, hard hat kind’ve imagery really speaks emotionally to people in that city. And that is the strength of that connection, and that’s the strength of that brand. So, in general, you want to find things that really best represent the culture and the people and the uniqueness of that city, of that region.


“And so what are those things in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area about people from there? What is to be from there? And the more you can align and tap into those things, conventional wisdom says the stronger that connection, the better the fan base connection will be.”

If done correctly, the Washington Football Team should be able strengthen an already loyal fan base by picking a name based on its city. Tapping into the region is a way to not only pacify some of the fans upset about a name change, but also gain new fans in the people who were not so fond of the previous brand. Doing it correctly, however, will take time, which is why it was wise for the team to temporarily change its name to Washington Football Team for this upcoming season.

Fans have tossed around names like the Senators, Generals and Monuments, but the marketing experts don’t like any of those to win people over. The Washington Senators already existed as the city’s Major League Baseball team until the franchise relocated in 1961. The Washington Generals still exist, but as the frequent lovable losers to the Harlem Globetrotters. And the Monuments, according to RedPeg Marketing CEO Brad Nierenberg, don’t have much energy.


“They’re not gonna be a name that is gonna create energy,” Nierenberg said. “That passion, it doesn’t evoke the type of emotion that a fan base is gonna be rallying around.”

Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business, said a name like the Monuments would become a running joke. But according to his research, if the right name does exist for the team to connect its brand to the city, that is the direction the team should go.

“I did some analysis of that,” Derdenger said, “and what I’ve found is that teams that actually have a connection -- the team brand and name that has a connection to the local environment -- has actually stronger brand equity, higher brand equity.”


If Washington opts to go in this direction, it wouldn’t be the first professional sports team in the region to do so, and by all accounts, the others have built pretty successful brands. The Washington Capitals struggled for many years after their inception in the mid-1970’s but became a successful brand even before winning their first Stanley Cup title in 2018. Same can be said for the Washington Nationals, who broke through for their first World Series title a year later. Winning obviously helps strengthen a brand, but how that brand sustains through losing is a better judge of how good it is.

Thanks to its location, Washington can create that very type of brand by appealing to more than just people in DMV area. Playing in the capital of the United States also allows the team to build a brand around a name that represents the entire country.

“I think that would be one of their strongest brand elements for them to bring forward,” said Keith Scully, CEO of Strategic-Noise Group and a graduate adjunct professor at Georgetown and American universities. “I think it would be accepted better as well, both on those current customers that they have as well as a nation.

“Taking a look at the Americans, something like that. Something that’s wholesome, and it’s Washington, D.C. How do you go ahead and develop an emotion that goes along with the country. I think they’re in the only place in the United States that can do it. Why not try it?”

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Packers won't have fans for 1st two home games

Packers won't have fans for 1st two home games

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers say they won't have any fans for at least their first two home games this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Lambeau Field will not be the same without our fans' energetic support in the stands," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement. "Given the extraordinary circumstances this year and the additional protocols in place, though, we determined it was best to take incremental steps to start the regular season. These two games will allow us to focus our attention on safely conducting games inside the stadium with all necessary participants."

That means there won't be any spectators for their Sept. 20 game with the Detroit Lions and their Oct. 5 Monday night game with the Atlanta Falcons.

Green Bay's third home game is Nov. 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. Packers officials say any decision on whether to admit fans for that game would depend on the status of the pandemic, and that they'd consult with local health officials.

This announcement comes two weeks after Packers CEO Mark Murphy had said that any Packers home games this year would include no more than 10,000-12,000 spectators, if any fans were allowed at all.

All other public areas at Lambeau Field, including parking lots, the pro shop and the Packers Hall of Fame, will be closed during the home games that have no fans. The Titletown area surrounding Lambeau Field will remain open to the public, but no team-run, game-day activities will be planned.