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Just Shut Up

Just Shut Up

Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. Get details and order at

There was a time, not too long ago, when a comment such as this one made by Pete Prisco of CBS Sportsline in his mid-season evaluations would have really made me mad:

Worst coaching job: Joe Gibbs. It pains me to have to do this because Gibbs is a legend and a great coach, but has he done a good job with a team many predicted would be in the playoffs?

Allow the old me to rant so that you can see what I’m talking about:

Prisco, you pinhead! Why don’t you pull your head out of your rear long enough to watch this team play a few times before you go shooting off your stupid mouth about our coach? This team is better in almost every way than it has been since Gibbs packed it up in ’92. It’s an actual professional organization unlike the burgundy and gold circus it’s been. There is pride, there is discipline. The Skins are a couple of screwed-up officials’ calls away from being 5-3 and in the playoff driver’s seat.

And the worst gosh-darned coaching job? Puhleeeeze! Vermiel’s Chiefs were Super Bowl favorites and they’re the same 3-5. And, yeah, John Fox’s Panthers are pretty banged up but Gibbs’ Skins haven’t exactly been injury free and last year’s NFC champs are sitting at 1-7. Weren’t Marvin Lewis’ Bengals and Bill Parcells’ Cowboys supposed to take the next step? Don’t forget, Pete, the most consistently underachieving team in the NFL, perhaps in all of sports, Jim Haslett’s New Orleans Saints.

OK, that’s a cleaned-up version, but you get the idea.

Certainly the new me believes all of the arguments made above. It’s the attitude that’s different. I have empathy for the Pete Priscos of the world.

These “national” reporters, guys like Prisco, Clayton, Pasquarelli, and Mortensen have gotten to be sources of information that are a mile wide and an inch deep. There is so much going on with the 32 NFL teams that it’s simply unrealistic to expect them to be as intimately familiar with what’s going on with all of them. They can’t possibly watch more than a few games a week even if they have multiple Tivos and multiple NFL Sunday Ticket subscriptions at home. Even if they work 12 hours a day seven days a week, and they don’t, they can only spend about a couple of hours a week on each team. Most of us do that before lunch on Tuesday.

In short, it’s not realistic to expect Prisco to have as good a handle on how the Redskins’ season has gone and how it compares to past seasons as I do, or as most of you reading this blog do. He may get a little more “inside” scoop here and there, but we observe this team closely, watch and replay each game, and discuss and analyze every aspect of the team on a daily basis.

His editors at Sportsline, however, do not care. He’s expected to write a midseason report, shallowness of knowledge be damned. On top of that, if what he has to say makes some people mad and draws a flood of irate emails and raging discussions on message boards, so much the better. Busting on an icon like Gibbs is a sure-fire way to get a reaction.

Don’t get me wrong, I often find the national guys’ material to be informative. I always try to have ESPN Radio tuned in for a Mort Report. But I don’t listen for information on the Redskins. I’ve already gotten that from Demasio or Foldesy or from my own observations. It’s to get the scoop, however shallow, on what’s going on with other teams.

So, quite simply, comments like Prisco’s are what they are—only vaguely informed and designed not to add knowledge but to fill Web pages in need of content and, to some extent, to generate some heat. Nobody should get angry when such comments are negative nor should anyone find any particular pleasure in positive remarks from this group of writers either.

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban


Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Williams was ineffective before being placed on IR, as he mustered just two catches for 18 total yards over the Cowboys first two games. Dallas will also be without wide receiver Tavon Austin on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. Austin is suffering from a groin injury, and expected to be out multiple weeks.

NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux contributed to this story.


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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt


Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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