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Redskins Depth Chart: Reuben Foster the biggest of many questions at linebacker

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Redskins Depth Chart: Reuben Foster the biggest of many questions at linebacker

Since Mike Shanahan first coached the Redskins in 2010, the team has employed a 3-4 base defense. In that scheme, inside linebackers play a large and important role.


For the 2019 Washington defense, linebacker might be the most interesting position on the team. Why?

It all starts with Reuben Foster. 

An elite talent in college at the University of Alabama, Foster was a first-round pick in 2017. He had a well documented two year run in San Francisco, marred by two domestic violence arrests and his release from the Niners last fall. Beyond the domestic violence allegations, which were both dropped in court, Foster also had a gun charge and a marijuana charge in the time since he was drafted. 

All that said, if Foster can keep his act together, he could present a significant influx of talent to the Redskins linebacker group. It's a huge if though, because even in his rookie season in San Francisco, Foster did not consistently show the same talent as he did at 'Bama. 

Here's what could help Foster: Playing alongside his college teammate in Shaun Dion Hamilton. Those two paired well in college, and while the NFL is a different beast entirely, Hamilton is the heady type that can account for some of Foster's freelancing at linebacker. 

While the two Crimson Tide alums get the most attention, Mason Foster is easily the most accomplished linebacker on the Redskins roster. He's made more than 120 tackles in two of the last three seasons, with only an injury riddled 2017 withstanding. An eight-year NFL veteran, Foster will be the only linebacker on the roster with more than three years experience, which has real value. He had an ugly incident last year with fans on social media, but inside the Ashburn walls, Foster is well respected for his work ethic by both coaches and teammates. That's important for young players to see. 

After the two Fosters and Hamilton, the Redskins also have Josh Harvey-Clemons and rookie Cole Holcomb.

Harvey-Clemons has proved a useful player in the Redskins nickel package. He has some coverage ability, and began to replace Zach Brown in that role early last season. The Redskins will miss Brown's speed this fall after releasing him before free agency opened, particularly if he makes an immediate impact with the Eagles. 

Holcomb, however, fits a similar mold as Brown.

Both linebackers went to North Carolina, and both have elite speed for the position. Brown was very good in Washington in 2017, but not so much in 2018, which led to his release. The rookie Holcomb will not touch Brown's 2017 level this year, but might be able to provide some speed to the 'Skins linebacker group and on special teams, not to mention a cheap price tag. 

The Redskins linebacker group offers arguably the greatest variance in performance of any projected unit. And it hinges on Foster. 

If Reuben Foster can live up to his Alabama potential, he can be great. If he gets in more trouble, he's probably out of the NFL. The margin is razor thin. 


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From impossible to inevitable, Redskins name change seems imminent

From impossible to inevitable, Redskins name change seems imminent

A typhoon of momentum washed over the Washington football organization in the last week and all of a sudden one thing seems quite clear: The Redskins will never play another game.

There will still be football played at FedEx Field and that team seems very likely to still wear burgundy and gold, but after a series of public comments and private conversations with sources in and around the NFL, a Redskins name change is imminent.

Over and over and from different people, one phrase got repeated when asked if the Redskins were actually going to change the team name: "It's done."

The exact timeline remains murky, and there are difficult logistic, marketing and financial questions looming, but too much happened too fast for any other outcome than a name change.

Speaking with numerous sources one misconception emerged however.

While the Redskins publicly announced that the team is conducting a “thorough review” of the team name on July 3, multiple sources explained that internal conversations about changing the name have been going on for some time.

In fact, one source explained that after the murder of George Floyd in May and the massive public protests and demands for social justice that followed, the conversations about changing the Redskins moniker heated up the first week of June.

It’s unclear what the new name will be.


Redtails and Warriors seem to have the most momentum, but that doesn’t mean either will be the new name. The organization wants to consult with a wide variety of people and resources before finalizing a selection.

The team is proud of its history, understandably, and does not want to abandon all of the team’s success and tradition. What exactly that means will be revealed, likely in the next month or so.


Let’s be clear - public pressure from FedEx, Nike and Pepsi hastened the call for change.

When FedEx publicly requested on July 2 that Washington change its team name from Redskins, this process got sent into overdrive. The team announced its plan for an internal review of the name the next morning. But conversations, some extensive, had already begun inside the organization prior to FedEx’s announcement.

What once seemed unthinkable now seems inevitable - the Washington Redskins won’t take the field again. 

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Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Asante Samuel got hit Fourth of July fireworks started early Saturday morning with a negative tweet about NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green.

The former Pro Bowler with the Patriots and the Eagles had a fine 11-year NFL career. He is a Super Bowl champion himself. But his out-of-nowhere tweets about Green, one of the NFL’s all-time great corners, were just…weird. 

Green was a dominant player on two Super Bowl champions, a seven-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1991. He was one of the fastest players in the league, a fearsome punt returner when necessary in playoff games and an all-around great player. Even other players from Samuel’s era were confused, including former Redskins safety Will Blackmon.

That's a pretty accurate description of the differences between Samuel's era and the way the game was played when Green was at his peak. Maybe he stuck around too long and maybe he wasn't close to the player he'd once been by the late 90s and early 2000s.


But peak Darrell Green was an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame player. Teams didn't throw at him for a reason. When they did, they paid for it. Samuel got a little aggressive for a guy who might have cost the Pats an extra Super Bowl. 


Tony Dungy, himself a great player and a Super Bowl champion as a player AND a coach, clapped back at Samuel for his ignorance of NFL history. 

That about says it all. 

For his part, Samuel doubled down responding to some tweets but by the afternoon he was starting to see the light. Sort of. 


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