Redskins would have rocked 'Hard Knocks'

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Redskins would have rocked 'Hard Knocks'

It's official. The Miami Dolphins, will star in the next installment of HBO's 'Hard Knocks,' a behind the scenes look at NFL training camps. The immensely popular series had taken a hiatus as a result of the NFL lockout and is now back with a splash, right?Wellwhile it will be hard to replicate Rex Ryan's infamous (and don't forget, inspirational) snack quote, it's safe to say HBO show producers know what they are doing. Couple that with the gravitational pull of the NFL? Chances are, fans will at least check out the first episode.There are teams, however, that would have made this season 'must-see TV.' Teams such as the Washington Redskins, a franchise shrouded with secrecy, who naturally, declined HBO's offer.People love lists, so without further adieu, here are 5 reasons why the Redskins, headlining 'Hard Knocks,' would have captivated audiences:
1) RGIIIThe future of the Redskins franchise has been placed on the shoulders of a rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Not just any QB, but a Heismann winner who brought Baylor University's program out of obscurity and into the national spotlight.In Mike Shanahan's own words, he is a 'natural' leader, just one of the reasons why the head coach is straying from his M.O. and building the offense around his coveted new signal caller. Heralded as the total package, Griffin is equally as dynamic off the field as he is on the grid iron. Griffin has some huge socks to fill, not only must he live up to the hype--he must surpass it.
2) Coach Mike Shanahan's new found 'swag'Coach Mike Shanahan has said he is 'excited' about the future of the Redskins and it shows. A smile across Shanny's face used to be something of a mythical occurrence, say a Bigfoot sighting or Albert Haynesworth dropping a few lbs, but Mike has something to smile about and he does so quite often. Why is the usually stoic coach all of a sudden so jovial? Just reference the first entry on this list.The stakes are high for Shanny. With two super bowl rings under his belt, he's going for a third and trying to solidify a spot in the Hall of Fame. The head coach is not only responsible for grooming a young man to be an elite QB, but his son, offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan is also under his tutelage. Young Shanahan is poised to be a head coach one day. Imagine cameras honed in on THAT dynamic under the pro-football pressure...Shanahan probably has some better soundbites than, 'Let's go eat a goddamn snack,' in his artillery, but we'll never know.
3) The validation of London FletcherLinebacker, London Fletcher is entering the fifteenth season of his NFL career.Marinate on that for a secondin fact, take a whole minute.In 2011, Fletcher started all 16 games for the Redskins. Fletcher recorded 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and led the league in tackles with 166 (NFL GSIS). And yet, Fletcher didn't make the initial 2012 Pro Bowl roster, he was an alternate.While RGIII will be the face of Washington's franchise, in terms of leading the team, the QB will be taking his queues from Fletcher. 'Hard Knocks' would have given 59 national exposure to all football fans, not just the burgundy and gold faithful.
4) The redemption of Fred Davis and Trent WilliamsBoth Davis and Williams appear to have learned a lesson after their off-field 'indiscretions' led to a four-game suspension at the end of last season.In the off-season Davis was still anointed with the franchise tag after a career year with 59 catches for 796 yards and three touchdowns prior to the penalty. Offensive co-captain, Williams as the Skins' left tackle, is bestowed with duty of protecting RGIII's blindside.As Mike Shanahan looks to rid his roster of problem players, Davis and Williams will be under a fine microscope. Ultimately, the two were judged harshly not by what was seen as a malicious decision, but rather an idiotic one. Actions speak louder than words, so Davis and Williams now have to walk the walk and it would be interesting to have a camera present for whether they prevail or fail.
5) The spectacle that is 'RGIII Mania'Had to sneak in Griffin on this list one more time, right? Imagine front row seats to the circus, led by the charismatic ringmaster, Robert Griffin III. For those not in the greater Washington area, it is hard to convey the magnitude of Griffin hysteria. That's where the 'Hard Knocks' cameras come in.Forget about what Griffin can do on the field, RGIII is a media savvy, beat boxing, mega-star that sponsors only dream about. He has his own line of socks, seriously who does that?And the fans love their burgundy and gold savior. Robert Griffin III currently has the NFLs top-selling jersey. He hasn't played a snap in the NFL, apologies on the repetitiveness, but seriously who does that?One of CSNWashington.com's most viewed videos in the past few weeks is of RGIII simply pumping a lil iron and to clarify little--there's only 8 secs of footage.Fans simply cannot get enough of RGIII. Imagine a film crew with RGIII as settles in to his first place out of college and gets to know the DMV, along with his finance. Or actual footage of RGIII sharing a burrito with Kirk Cousins?Or better yet, a moment when Griffin isn't so TV polishedwould fans get a different glimpse of Robert?
Disagree with any of these? Did I miss something? Let us know in the comments below!Better yet, the Redskins choose to pass on the show for a reason, what do you think is the number 1 reason why it's a good thing Washington opted out of 'Hard Knocks'?

Redskins teammates give Jordan Reed a hard time for new big-money contract

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Redskins teammates give Jordan Reed a hard time for new big-money contract

It all happened for Jordan Reed in 2015. He mostly stayed healthy - able to start 14 of 16 games - and played every game with the same quarterback in Kirk Cousins. The results broke Redskins records, as Reed hauled in 87 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Reed put up elite numbers for the tight end position, and in early May, the team paid Reed like an elite tight end. He signed a five-year, $46.5 million extension that will run through 2021, numbers that place Reed with the third-highest annual salary in the NFL.

His Redskins teammates noticed. It's common practice around the NFL for players to congratulate a new contract, and then promptly go into razz mode. It's part of the deal with getting a large contract extension, and Reed was no exception.

Asked if he had heard about his new contract during the Redskins OTA sessions this week, Reed smiled and confessed (full video above).

"I fell down yesterday and they were talking junk, ‘We ain't pay you 50 to fall down’ and things like that," Reed said on Wednesday. "They all over me man but it’s all fun."

The "50" in reference would be $50 million, so looks like the Redskins players are rounding up on Reed's deal. Plus, saying 50 is a lot easier than 46.5. More importantly, Reed knows the extra attention is meant in a fun way, and as other players have been asked about Reed's deal, all say the young tight end deserves it all.

"With Jordan Reed, you know he was so talented last year I mean how do you build on a season where you were as successful as he was?" Cousins said. "We would love to be able to develop sustained success where it is not just a one year flash in the pan and I think that is the challenge and message not just to Jordan but a lot of people."

Cousins' statement echoed the voices of many at Redskins Park. This team wants to prove that the success of 2015 was not a fluke, from GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden all the way down to the bottom of the roster.

And Reed is no different. On Wednesday Reed went deep on a wheel route, at least 30 or 40 yards downfield, and Cousins threw to him. The ball was slightly out of reach, yet Reed still fully extended and dove for the ball. In May. In OTAs.

"I can’t help it," Reed said when asked if the coaches and front office would want their new highly compensated tight end laying out for a ball in the offseason.

"I see the ball in the air and my instincts take over," he said. "I'm gonna go hard in practice."

Certainly Reed's size and skill were key to his new contract, but that attitude played a large role as well. 

 

 

Redskins' David Bruton excited to get 'first crack' at starting safety job

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Redskins' David Bruton excited to get 'first crack' at starting safety job

Safety David Bruton Jr. had options on the free agent market, but he ultimately chose Washington for one big reason: with the Redskins, he'd get the opportunity to compete for a starting job.

“We definitely have some competition back there, but I am blessed enough to have the first crack at it,” Bruton said this week. “Being in my eighth year, I was definitely looking to be more than just special teams ace and defensive role player. I felt like this was the best opportunity [to start], and I’m happy to be here.“

“I’m here to make this a new home,” he added, “and make my name known here.”

Well, so far, so good.

During Wednesday’s OTA practice, DeAngelo Hall occupied one safety position with the first-team defense and Bruton lined up at the other. The other player in the mix, Duke Ihenacho, worked with the second team.

Coach Jay Gruden hinted that Hall has been penciled in as one starter and that Bruton and Ihenacho are in competition at the other spot. Gruden, though, also made it clear that it’s awfully early in the offseason and that a lot can change.

“I always say that’s the beauty of a pencil—you got an eraser,” Gruden said. “We had to start somewhere.”

Listed at 6 foot 2, 225-pounds, Bruton, who spent the past seven seasons as a backup/special teams standout in Denver, is biggest defensive back on the roster. In 104 games with the Broncos, he made eight starts, including a career-high three last season. Ihenacho, meantime, won the starting job in Washington last offseason but suffered a season-ending wrist injury in the opener. Interestingly, Bruton and Ihenacho were teammates in Denver from 2012-13.   

“Bruton is doing a good job and Duke is in that mention,” Gruden added. “We [also] moved [cornerback] Will Blackmon back to safety; he’s learning, feeling his way through there. [Deshazor] Everett is doing a good job. Geno [Matias] Smith from Alabama, he’s learning it. So we’re going to have some people out there to compete. But right now, as a starting point, Bruton/Nacho are doing fine.”

For now, Bruton's got the first crack at it. But as Gruden said, there’s a lot of offseason left. This, indeed, could be a position to monitor throughout the spring and summer.

Months later, Redskins ILB Perry Riley still battling foot injury

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Months later, Redskins ILB Perry Riley still battling foot injury

One of the more surprising developments from the first week of Redskins OTAs was Perry Riley on the sidelines wearing a walking boot.

The inside linebacker was enjoying one of the best stretches of his career late last season when he hurt his foot. The injury, which occurred in practice, was expected to sideline him for 3-6 weeks following a procedure to insert a pin into the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

Nearly six months later, Riley is still experiencing soreness and discomfort.

He acknowledged this week that he overexerted himself in the lead-up to January’s playoff game and suffered a setback. In all, Riley missed the final five regular season games and the Wild Card loss to the Packers.

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday that Riley is scheduled to be reexamined by a specialist.

“He has some issues with his foot; a little soreness,” Gruden said. “We’re keeping him in a boot to protect it, and then we’ll consult a doctor and hopefully get him back soon.”

An exact timeframe for Riley has not been determined, but the seventh year veteran indicated to reporters that he intends to be ready for training camp in late July, if not sooner. The Redskins have two more weeks of OTAs and a mandatory veteran minicamp in mid-June.

In the meantime, Will Compton and Mason Foster are working as the first team inside linebackers. The duo finished the 2015 campaign as the starting ‘Mike’ and ‘Mo’ starters, respectively.