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McCloughan: Redskins 'have a long ways to go'

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McCloughan: Redskins 'have a long ways to go'

The Redskins won the NFC East in 2015. That’s a nice accomplishment but it’s something that they have done before, as recently as 2012.

But what they have not been able to do since the Bush administration—that’s the elder Bush, George H. W. Bush—is make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. They won the Super Bowl in 1991 and then they qualified as a wild card the next year. The Redskins were unable to post so much as a winning record after playoff appearances in 1999, 2005, 2007, and 2015.

The reasons for their inability to build on success are varied. In 2000 they famously went out and got free agents Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders, thinking they were the last pieces to the Super Bowl puzzle. It turned out that the puzzle pieces formed the numbers 8-8. After winning in 2012 they didn’t make any specific moves but Bruce Allen admitted that there was a feeling at Redskins Park that they were on the right track and that improvement was inevitable. That attitude got them a 3-13 record and spelled the end of the Mike Shanahan regime.

There is no guarantee that the Redskins will return to the playoffs in 2016. But if they don’t it won’t be because they went off on an ill-advised spending spree. General manager Scot McCloughan said yesterday that the Redskins “won’t be big players” in free agency.  

And they won’t fall short of the playoffs due to complacency, at least not on the part of the general manager.

"I’m never satisfied,” said McCloughan. “Not in this league; it can change in one play. Injuries, trade, anything could happen. I’m always striving forward.”

McCloughan, entering is second season at the helm, said that he sees owner Dan Snyder, team president Bruce Allen, and head coach Jay Gruden all of the same page.

“We’re all gonna keep fighting. We know we have to get better,” he said. “You know, going to the playoffs and winning the division is great, don't get me wrong, but we have a long ways to go, long ways."

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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.

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