While perusing an NFL.com article on stadium construction I ran across a table that listed NFL stadiums by their age and I was mildly surprised to see that that FedEx Field, which opened in 1997, is moving into the group of the older stadiums in the NFL.As of right now 13 stadiums, ranging from Lambeau Field in Green Bay (opened in 1957) to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (1996) are older than FedEx Field. But that will change in a few years when the 49ers move out of Candlestick Park (1960) to their new digs in Santa Clara and the Vikings abandon the Metrodome (1982) for their new downtown stadium.And sometime in the next several years a team, perhaps the Chargers (Qualcomm Stadium 1967) or Bills (Ralph Wilson Stadium 1973), is likely to bolt for a sparkling new stadium in Los Angeles. There is a lot of buzz that Atlanta will replace the Georgia Dome (1992) well before the decade is out.If those moves are indeed made the place the Redskins have called home for just 15 seasons will fall into the group of the 10 oldest stadiums in the NFL.That brings up the question of if a new stadium is in the Redskins future. The answer is yes, but it is likely that a new home is more in the distant future than something that is right around the corner.Some have talked of a big stadium with a retractable roof, a facility that could attract big events like a college basketball Final Four, college conference championship games, and big-time concerts in addition to providing a home for the Redskins for 10 games per year. There has been talk that the team should move back to D. C. but there is no serious proposal for doing so on the table.But a new home for the Redskins may be a pipe dream. It will be a challenge to get any sort of modern stadium built at all. The price tags for the two newest NFL stadiums, MetLife in New Jersey and Jerry Jones palace in Dallas, were 1.6 billion and 1.15 billion, respectively. Cowboys Stadium has a roof while the stadium in the Meadowlands does not.In comparison, FedEx Field cost about 250 million to build. By the early 2000s, the cost of building an NFL stadium had gone up into the 300 million range. A decade later, there was the massive jump to the price tags we saw for the stadiums in Texas and New Jersey. The Santa Clara stadium is slated to run 1.2 billion and the Vikings building will cost something in that neighborhood.Given that rate of inflation in construction is not hard to see the cost of a new stadium approaching 2 billion towards the end of the decade, which is the earliest the Redskins could realistically expect to put a shovel into the ground for a new building. Coming up with that kind of money would be extremely challenging.The days of taxpayer-funded NFL stadiums are long gone. Team ownership is expected to provide at least half of the cost of a new stadium. With the Redskins among the most profitable teams in all of sports the expected owners contribution could go higher. It would be extremely difficult for Dan Snyder to economically justify stroking a check for a billion dollars or more for new digs, even if he could. It would take a very long time to make enough additional profit to cover that mount.Even if Snyder could kick in his share its hard to see any of the government entities making such a financial commitment. Virginia governor Bob McDonnells staff was grilled for the state giving the Redskins a grant of 4 million towards the renovation of Redskins Park. Unless the political distaste for being accused of subsidizing billionaires changes anytime soon it is hard to see anything approaching what the governments tab would be for a new Redskins stadium getting approval.FedEx Field has undergone various additions, improvements, and renovations since it opened. The latest, the installation of standing area where some of the less-desirable end zone seats used to be, is just being finished for the upcoming season. It is likely that the stadium will undergo several more rounds of repairs and upgrades before a new building is seriously considered.Chances are that FedEx Field will be much older than the 10th oldest stadium before it is replaced. If the current atmosphere persists, FedEx will be approaching its 30th birthday before a new stadium is in the offing.
RICHMOND—The Redskins are making one more key contributor to their glory years a member of the team’s Ring of Fame.
When the Redskins host the Vikings on November 13, a plaque with the name of Bobby Beathard will be unveiled during a halftime ceremony.
Beathard becomes the 49th member of the Ring of Fame.
“His resume is more than impressive,” said Redskins President Bruce Allen when making the announcement.
And indeed it is. Beathard served as the Redskins’ general manager from 1978-1989. Perhaps his single best move was hiring Joe Gibbs as the team’s head coach in 1981. Gibbs was an obscure offensive coordinator for the Chargers but Beathard saw something in him. In 12 seasons Gibbs took the Redskins to four Super Bowls, taking home three titles.
Beathard brought in talent to fit Gibbs’ philosophy. He brought in four of the offensive linemen who became the famed Hogs, drafting Mark May and Russ Grimm and signing Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic as free agents. Prior to Gibbs’ arrival Beathard drafted Hall of Fame wide receiver Art Monk and in 1983 he took another Canton enshrinee, cornerback Darrell Green.
In all, Beathard acquired 12 players who ended up in the Ring of Fame. It’s about time that he joined them.
Redskins rookie WR Josh Doctson sounds like his Achilles is feeling better and improving rapidly, but he's not so sure about GM Scot McCloughan's left hand. After opening training camp on the PUP list, Doctson said Friday evening that he expects to be back before training camp but must wait until he is 100 percent.
"I'm feeling good," Docston said.
Asked about the story that McCloughan hurt his hand punching a wall upon hearing the news that Doctson might be out as much as three months with the injury, Doctson laughed.
"I thought he was playing around but he was being for real," the rookie said.
Doctson said the three month report was just wrong.
"It was just speculation," he said. "It wasn’t anything to be scared about because I know my body. I know it's not that long [until I return]."
His actual return, however, remains a question. Doctson said he wished he could get back on the field immediately but he knows he needs to wait until his leg is 100 percent.
"That's the plan, try to come back as soon as I can. If I could come back tomorrow I would."
The good news for Doctson is that he is able to learn a lot being on the sidelines. It's also important to remember that with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Jameson Crowder, there is no urgent need for Doctson to play as a rookie. Not to suggest the team doesn't want his blend of size and athleticism on the field, but Washington is able to be patient with the rookie.
"I get to really sit back and watch Pierre, DeSean, Crowder, all those boys," Doctson said. "It's really a blessing in disguise."
Asked one more time about his GM's reaction to his injury, Doctson said he had never heard about something like that.
"That might be a first."
For the vast majority of his 12-year career, DeAngelo Hall lined up at cornerback. For many of those years, Hall was considered one of the best in the NFL. The former Virginia Tech Hokie made three Pro Bowls, his last in 2010, and has logged 43 interceptions in his career.
But now, like a lot of other players on the roster, Hall is working through training camp trying to learn his position. That position, of course, safety -- not the cornerback slot he played for a dozen years.
"I think he’s going through it," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on Friday. "I think it’s a totally different perspective at safety than it is at corner for him."
Last season was the first the Redskins saw Hall line up at safety, and the results were promising. The position change also allows the veteran to elongate his career, using his ballhawk skills from the back of the field. Not to mention, Hall showed a willingness to look from big hits from the safety spot in 2015.
More from Jay Gruden:
He’s just got to learn to see the quarterback and get in the right position, get his eyes right and then just trust what he sees and break. I think he’ll do that. It’s just going to take some time. Whether he’s a half-field player, middle player, covering the tight end, covering somebody out in the slot, whatever it is, he’s just got to get comfortable with his landmarks, his positioning and his eyes. And the more reps that he gets – he got 25 good reps in team period yesterday, not to mention the one-on-ones and the walkthrough – the more comfortable he’s going to be. We expect D-Hall to pick it up quickly because he’s that type of guy. He’s very competitive, very smart and he’ll do fine.
He’s just got to learn to see the quarterback and get in the right position, get his eyes right and then just trust what he sees and break. It’s just going to take some time.