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Washington Redskins go back to work seeking consistency

Washington Redskins go back to work seeking consistency

The Redskins will get back to work today, getting back together at Redskins Park for an 11:00 practice. This will be a light session as they have a week to get ready for their next game against the Saints next Monday night. 

The main thing they will have to work on defensively is figuring out how to contain quarterback Drew Brees, Mike Thomas, and Alvin Kamara. 

As far as the quarterback and his favorite target go, they will be studying some film from the Saints’ game against the Giants yesterday. Brees came into the game with a completion percentage of over 80 and gaining 8.4 yards per pass attempt. The Giants cooled him down, holding him to 57 percent completions and a very mortal 6.8 yards per attempt. Thomas had at least 10 receptions in each of the Saints’ first three games. The Giants held him to four catches for 47 yards. 

When it comes to Kamara, they won’t learn much from yesterday. The second-year running back rolled for 134 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. The Saints also get back Mark Ingram, who ran for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, after his four-game suspension. Going into the game the Redskins are giving up an average of 4.5 yards per carry, 23rdin the NFL. Rushing defense will be a big priority in Ashburn this week. 

Just as important as preparing for their upcoming opponent is the need for the Redskins to work on some persistent issues that have popped up during their 2-1 start to the season. One is the aforementioned rushing defense. In the big picture, the defensive line usually gets the job done as designed but the linebackers, both inside and outside, are not always there to make the stop. They haven’t been burned by the rushing defense problems yet as the most rushing yards they have given up in a game is 104. But upcoming opponents will look at that 4.5 yards per carry average the Redskins are giving up and will test it. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins need to get their wide receivers more involved in the offense. None of the three starters has double-digit receptions. The long receptions for Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are 18 and 14 yards, respectively. Paul Richardson has receptions of 46 and 34 yards and the Redskins need to see more of that. 

The other area the Redskins need to improve is not a matter of X’s and O’s or getting the players to execute those plays better. It’s about consistency. Their last time out, the Redskins beat the Packers, who are likely to finish the season with a winning record. The Saints probably will finish above .500 as well. Since Jay Gruden has been the Redskins’ head coach they have not won back-to-back games against teams that finished the season with a winning record. The lack of consistency has been maddening and costly. The Redskins inability to get a winning streak going prevents them from getting into legitimate, consistent playoff contention.

The same inconsistency prevented them from being 3-0 with the early command of the NFC East. Strong efforts against the Cardinals and Packers led to comfortable wins, but a flat performance against the Colts resulted into their only loss. If they can avoid games like the one against Indy they could exceed the expectations of many. 

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Report: Redskins minority owners unsuccessfully tried to convince Dan Snyder to sell majority stake of franchise

Report: Redskins minority owners unsuccessfully tried to convince Dan Snyder to sell majority stake of franchise

Redskins minority owner and FedEx CEO Fred Smith, along with Washington's other two minority owners -- Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar -- want out of their stake in the franchise after unsuccessfully trying to convince majority owner Dan Snyder to sell his majority portion to them, according to Washington Times' columnist Thom Loverro.

This report comes just days after the Washington Post reported that Smith, Rothman, and Schar wanted out altogether, citing that the trio is "not happy being a partner" with Snyder. The three of them make up approximately 40 percent of the Redskins' ownership group.

This past Thursday, FedEx became one of the first major corporate sponsors of the Redskins to publicly place pressure on the franchise to change its name. Other companies such as Nike, which removed all Redskins' products from its website, along with Bank of America and PepsiCo followed shortly after.

FedEx's statement came after a report from AdWeek surfaced that a number of major investment firms told the company they would pull capital if the team's major sponsors didn't publicly pressure the franchise to change its name. 

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In response, the Redskins released a statement on Friday that the team is undergoing a "thorough review" of the team's name. Washington's new moniker will not have any Native American imagery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but the team will reportedly keep its beloved burgundy and gold color scheme.

Both NBC Sports Washington and multiple other outlets have reported that the team will likely not play another game with 'Redskins' as its name.

RELATED: GET TO KNOW REDSKINS' MINORITY OWNER FRED SMITH

However, it could take some time for the franchise to finalize the process of changing the name, meaning the club could play the 2020 season without a team name.

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Why Lorenzo Alexander didn't speak up on Redskins' name when he was playing

Why Lorenzo Alexander didn't speak up on Redskins' name when he was playing

For the first six seasons of his NFL career, Lorenzo Alexander sported the Burgundy and Gold every Sunday. Alexander was one of the Redskins' best special teamers during his tenure in Washington and even earned a Pro Bowl nod in his final season with the team.

However, throughout his six seasons with Washington, the defensive lineman-linebacker hybrid never raised concern about the Redskins' name. Now, that has changed.

In an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Wednesday, Alexander explained his current stance on the team's name, as well as why he never chose to speak up on the issue when he was a player for Washington.

"What I'm about to say, obviously the name should be changed," Alexander said. "But I can be seen as hypocritical because I played for the team and never really said much of it."

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Over the past week, the Redskins have been publicly pressured by some of its largest corporate sponsors to change the name. In response, the team announced on Friday it was undergoing a review of the name, and a change appears to be on the horizon. 

For Alexander, it took time to be away from the team to truly understand the meaning behind the name Redskins. Now, more than ever before, he understands why the name may need to be a thing of the past.

"I think once you kind of step away from it and kind of analyze what the word means and the progression of it – because it wasn't always a derogatory name, but at some point, it got attached to killing of Native Americans," Alexander said. "There's obviously a group in the Native American community that feels that it is derogatory, and they've always shown up and always protested, even while I was there, as far as getting the name changed."

With the social justice movement and fight for racial equality in America in full effect following the killing of George Floyd, Alexander believes that it would have been "hypocritical" for him not to advocate for a name change.

"I think we can no longer kind of stand behind ignorance or the fact that it doesn't really impact me," Alexander said. "So as a black man in the community, [it] would be very hypocritical for me to say, 'No, I love the name! It doesn't impact me!' when my community is kind of in an uproar right now speaking out on the same thing to the white community as far as some of the things that we see and how our lives are impacted."

RELATED: NEW REDSKINS NAME WILL NOT CONTAIN NATIVE AMERICAN IMAGERY, PER REPORT

During the interview, Alexander repeatedly emphasized how important it is for people with a powerful voice to speak up about societal issues, as that is one of the best ways to create a meaningful change.

Alexander commended FedEx being the first Redskins' sponsor to publicly call for a change, even with the company having such a lucrative partnership with the team. Additionally, Alexander mentioned that he doesn't think the movement to change the name would be so strong had the company not publicly raised concern about it.

"Some are bigger than others and that's why it takes all of us to create change because if FedEx didn't jump on board, this probably wouldn't have got done," Alexander said. "And so by them including themselves in the conversation and for change, it allowed for change to occur, and that's why I think everybody's responsible for the direction of our country as we move forward."

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