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OPEN THREAD: Should McCoy really play all game vs Jacksonville?


OPEN THREAD: Should McCoy really play all game vs Jacksonville?

Look around the NFL tonight, and the players throwing passes in the second half will largely be guys with little chance of making the regular season roster. The logic is simple: the fourth preseason game is essential only to a few players fighting for a roster spot, special teams players and rookies, generally not quarterbacks.

Look to Washington, however, and that is not the case. While most starting quarterbacks don't even suit up for the fourth game, even the backups see light action. For the Redskins though, the unique QB situation means Colt McCoy will play the entire game Thursday night against Jacksonville.

Yes, the same McCoy that started four games for the 'Skins in 2014. Yes, the same McCoy that was the only QB not benched for poor play last season. Yes, the same McCoy that guided Washington to their best win of 214, a Monday night victory in Dallas.


Yes, that McCoy will be playing in the fourth quarter of the fourth preseason game, likely throwing to receivers with little chance of making the roster, and more importantly, playing behind offensive linemen likely to be cut.

Does it make sense? Hardly.

The suggestion here isn't that Kirk Cousins or Robert Griffin III should play. Cousins is now locked in to start Week 1, and keeping his health is paramount. Griffin is unlikely to be cleared from a concussion suffered in the second week of the preseason, so he is not an option either. The reality is the 'Skins don't really have a good option to play quarterback Thursday, perhaps highlighting the overall absurdity of the fourth preseason game.

McCoy is a five-year NFL veteran. Washington coach Jay Gruden knows what he has in McCoy, as does the rest of the league. He does not need these reps. McCoy deserves better than playing the second half of the fourth preseason game, but one downfall of the extended quarterback carousel circling in Washington is that there is no room for developing young or rookie QBs, the type that usually suit up in the fourth preseason game.

The good news for McCoy is he moves well in and out of the pocket. By the fourth quarter Thursday night, he may need to. 

Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman caused quite a stir with his comments Sunday about the atmosphere at FedEx Field, and the Redskins cornerback made it clear he plans to do his part in making sure the stadium is packed for Sunday's game against the Texans. 

Norman told reporters Thursday he's going to be giving away "40 or 50" free tickets for the Houston game, online and perhaps even in person.

"Yes, I will be giving out free tickets," he said. "I'll be doing it on my socials as well, I think I'll probably post tonight or something about it."

"Who knows, you may see me coming out and being an early Santa somewhere in the mall or something, just handing out tickets."

And if you are one of the lucky fans who gets a ticket from "Santa Norman," he has specific instructions on how you should behave at Sunday's game:

"Whoever get(s) them, we want them loud and just obnoxious. Just really obnoxious."

Norman joins several Redskins players who have promised to give away tickets to the Texans game.

It may be November, but the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Redskins Park. 


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A Madden ratings performance adjustor explains what goes into the job that everyone's jealous of

A Madden ratings performance adjustor explains what goes into the job that everyone's jealous of

Even on a field filled with NFL players, experienced coaches and a few celebrities, Clint Oldenburg stood out. 

It wasn’t because of his stature or that he used to play pro football, either.

It was due to his jacket.

A jacket, which led to a photo, which led to a tweet, which led to unexpected Internet fame, all thanks to the four words written on Oldenburg’s back: “Madden Ratings Performance Adjustor.”

Oldenburg was spending Week 9 at FedEx Field, sent by EA Sports to get more information on Adrian Peterson at that afternoon’s Redskins-Falcons game. The future Hall of Famer is in the middle of a comeback season, so Oldenburg was charged with checking in on him.

4.5 million Twitter impressions later, Oldenburg now knows that countless people are supremely jealous of his weekend vocation.

"I wasn’t really engaging on my cell phone during the game, and then when I was catching my cab to the airport after the game I looked at it and said, ‘Holy crap,’” he said in a recent phone interview.

"I was in shock as to what was happening.”

A fifth-round pick of the Patriots in 2007, Oldenburg also had brief stints with the Jets and a few others, including the Redskins. These days, he spends Monday-Friday working to make Madden’s gameplay better.

But he’s also a part of the Ratings Adjustor team, a small group of evaluators who travel to stadiums, observe players and submit their notes to a fellow employee. That primary analyst takes their notes into account and then has the final say on every player’s precious overall rating, which can fluctuate with each Madden update. 

Now, you may find the idea of sending someone to the site of a matchup to do this gig a bit preposterous. But according to Oldenburg, being there in-person does make a major difference.

"The benefits of the sideline really are for pregame,” he explained. “Just seeing how guys are working in pregame, getting a close-up view of their actual athletic skills, their footwork.”

Oldenburg also likes the “better perspective” he gets once the action kicks off. For example, while focusing on Peterson during the Burgundy and Gold’s loss to Atlanta, he felt like No. 26 missed some cutback lanes, something Oldenburg always finds himself paying attention to thanks to his days battling along the line.

Much like the thousands of social media users who shared various reactions about his job, players take an interest in him as well.

While in Landover, kicker Dustin Hopkins found Oldenburg on the sideline and passed along a request: That day, the team was planning on kicking off short as opposed to through the end zone, so Hopkins wanted to make sure his kick power wouldn't be decreased. 

"They wanna come talk about what we’re doing,” Oldenburg said about the athletes he’s tasked with grading. "Information like that is always valuable."

After his playing career wrapped up, Oldenburg jumped into an internship working on the video game that he loved growing up. “Everything took off” after that 10-week program, and he’s been enjoying it ever since.

"I always had to scratch and claw for everything I got,” he said near the end of the call. "I wanted to find a career that I knew I’d be happy doing.”

In the end, he landed in a career that makes him happy. And as one viral tweet showed, plenty of others would be happy in his role too.