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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'?

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Redskins vs Giants Preview: 5 things you need to know as 'Skins get desperate

Redskins vs Giants Preview: 5 things you need to know as 'Skins get desperate

The Redskins travel to take on the Giants, and despite recent history holding them down in New York, at 0-2 Washington is desperate for a win. Not only are the Redskins winless and the Giants undefeated at 2-0, New York already has a NFC East division win, pushing Jay Gruden's bunch further down the standings. Here are five things to know for Sunday's action, which kicks off at 1 p.m. from The Meadowlands. Weather looks good for the game, and all the coverage starts at noon on CSN.

  1. No more talky talky - All week, it seemed New York players were taking shots at the Redskins. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had choice words for DeSean Jackson, and former Washington linebacker Keenand Robinson sounded off about the 'Skins a few different times. That doesn't even bring into account the mountain of trash talk exchanged between Odell Beckham and Josh Norman since last year's heated matchup between the two. Finally, on Sunday, the talk will end and the gmae will start. 
  2. Got to get over the hump - The Redskins struggles this season can be attributed to multiple factors, but a big one is the offense's inability to score touchdowns. Kirk Cousins has passed for nearly 700 yards in just two games, the Washington offense has moved the ball well until they get in the Red Zone. "We’ve got to be ready to execute," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said of scoring TDs. "We did put a little extra emphasis specifically on some of those things."
  3. Giving up ground - Look at the box scores from Week 1 and 2 and it's clear the Redskins do not run the ball enough. Matt Jones has 20 carries in two games; ideally a running back would get close to 20 carries per game. Repeatedly Gruden and McVay have said they strive for a run/pass balance, but don't expect that to come this week. "We want to run the ball, we want to be balanced there’s no question about that, I think every team does. But, really at the end of the day, the best way we think to attack will be shown on Sunday," Gruden said. The Giants are giving up about 70 yards per game on the ground, and while the 'Skins absolutely need to commit to the run, this might not be the week it starts.
  4.  Man on Manning - For the second time in three weeks, the Redskins face a potential Hall of Fame quarterback in Eli Manning. Manning has had an impressive start to the season, completing nearly 74 percent of his passes with 3 TDs and just one interception. If Manning has a weakness, like any quarterback, it's when he gets rushed and hit consitently, and the Giants offensive line is not a strength. The Redskins pass rush has not been particulary effective yet this season, but team sources suggested some changes could be coming, particularly on third downs. Trent Murphy showed good burst last week against Dallas, and if he can maintain that pace and Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith play at their top level, the pressure could mount on Manning. 
  5. Playing slots - With Beckham, Cruz and Shepard, wide receiver is obviously a strength for the Giants. That said, cornerback should be a strength for the Redskins as well. Much has been made of the potential Norman-Beckham matchup, but look for the Redskins to show new looks in nickel coverage, perhaps even bringing Bashaud Breeland into the slot to combat Cruz and/or Shepard. 

Numbers & Notes:

  • The Redskins have not won in New York since 2011.
  • If Kirk Cousins throws one TD pass he will tie Gus Frerotte (48) for eighth-most career touchdown passes in Redskins history.
  • Pierre Garçon is nine catches away from 500 career receptions.
  • Ryan Kerrigan is one sack away from 50 career sacks.

Want more - listen to #RedskinsTalk Podcast below for Giants preview with Ralph Vacchiano.

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Redskins Gruden on rookie Kendall Fuller: He's just the odd man out, for now

Redskins Gruden on rookie Kendall Fuller: He's just the odd man out, for now

When the Redskins drafted Kendall Fuller out of Virginia Tech, many considered it a steal. Widely considered one of the top corners in the country going into the 2015 college football season, Fuller's draft stock fell after a knee injury, allowing the Redskins to poach the Hokie in the third round. 

The good news for Fuller and Washington is that his knee has not been an issue. Fuller played throughout training camp and the preseason, showing the rookie learning curve at times while making plays and strong tackles in other spots. Through two games, however, Fuller has not made the 'Skins active roster.

"Right now he’s just the odd man out, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be forever," coach Jay Gruden said of Fuller. 

In losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas, the Redskins pass defense has struggled in spots. Josh Norman has been stout, but the rest of the defense has looked confused in assignments and missed some coverages at times. A rookie like Fuller is unlikely to be the solution, but it is possible he could help, especially facing a Giants offense with Eli Manning throwing to Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard.

Gruden did not rule out Fuller playing this week, but it didn't sound like a ringing endorsement either.

"It could be just for this week, might be next week," Gruden said, "he’ll be up and ready to roll."

The coach explained that Fuller is getting good work on the scout team and working on his readiness.

"He’s mentally getting himself there. Physically, I think he’s starting to feel really, really good. I think it’s just a matter of time before he gets up.”

On game days, the 'Skins have dressed Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Dashaun Phillips, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler at corner and then DeAngelo Hall, David Bruton, Deshazor Everett and Will Blackmon at safety. Duke Ihenacho dressed for the second game but was inactive Week 1. What hurts Fuller is that some of the safeties can also play corner as needed, certainly Hall and Blackmon, and Everett is a special teams star while Blackmon works as kick returner.

Versatility is a key that for now is slowing down Fuller's progress. Coming off a knee injury, and with potential of being a top-tier corner, the Redskins are unlikely to ask much of Fuller on specials. 

Whether Fuller plays Week 3 in New York, or doesn't make the active roster until later in the season, the Redskins brass still views their rookie as a long-term asset. Impatient fans tired of watching the Washington defense give up pass completions may want to see Fuller sooner.