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Antonio Pierce Should Shut Up

Antonio Pierce Should Shut Up

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

After three seasons in and out of the lineup, linebacker Antonio Pierce had a breakout season in 2004, nearly making the Pro Bowl with the Redskins. Pierce’s timing was excellent, as he became an unrestricted free agent after the season. After considering a competitive offer from the Redskins, the team he broke into the league with as an undrafted rookie in 2001, he decided to sign with the New York Giants.

The Redskins were sorry to lose him and said so at the time. "It's one of those things that you don't want to have happen," Joe Gibbs said when asked about Pierce leaving Washington. "Antonio played great for us last year. We would have loved to have gotten him re-signed. We went as far as we could go, but it just didn't work out. I hate [losing Pierce].”

The other coaches and many of the players expressed similar sentiments. And that was that—from the Redskins end of things. Pierce, however, has yet to put the whole thing behind him. At the time of his signing, he said that he was “shocked” that the Redskins didn’t step up their offer to match the one the Giants’ gave him. Apparently, the Giants thought that linebacker with on year of starting experience—a very good year, no doubt—was worth $6.5 million in guaranteed money and the Redskins, apparently to Pierce’s chagrin, did not.

Players often use such perceived slights as motivation and, certainly, there is nothing wrong with that. Pierce, however, has taken his grudge to another level. It’s one thing to take your issues with our old team out on that team as Pierce did in the Giants’ 36-0 rout of Washington last October. It’s another to take them to the press.

In comments in an article from the Star-Ledger in New Jersey, Pierce took the occasion of talking to reporters about his trumpeting of LaVar Arrington’s virtues to the Giants organization to take a few shots at the Redskins
"This organization's not the same as the Redskins," Pierce said. "It's not (about) the entertainment and the marketing side of it. It's all about football. It's about winning, and it's a family atmosphere around here. He's not going to wake up tomorrow and the whole staff and everybody in this organization is going to be gone. I think he felt good about that.
Let’s start from the ending first. Uh, Antonio, I hate to tell you this, but the Giants fire coaches, too. Many of the guys you now play with woke up one morning and found out that Jim Fassel had been fired. The fact that you went through that twice does not make you unique among NFL players. And, hate to tell you this too, but the odds are that before the remaining five years on your contract are done there is a pretty good chance that there will be another coaching change on the team you play for.

And is change always such a negative thing? A fair-minded person would have to say that the last coaching change in Washington was one for the better. Under Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams, Pierce got the opportunity to earn his $6.5 million payday a year ago. Perhaps Pierce would rather the Redskins had stuck with Steve Spurrier and George Edwards. Had that happened, the odds are that he would have hit the free agent market hoping for as much as a six-figure signing bonus.

And yes, the Redskins used to be more concerned about “the entertainment and marketing side of it.” Pierce used to be a player who nobody though enough of to draft. He used to be a rookie who had no clue where to line up or where you should drop to in zone coverage.

The key words, of course, are “used to be”. Daniel Snyder, in hiring Gibbs to run the organization, has demonstrated that he has the Redskins on track to be an NFL organization committed to winning. Pierce has now demonstrated that he is a very competent NFL player. Nobody mentions the mistakes in the early days and his inability to first crack the ranks of college players who were drafted and then his inability to hold down a starting job on a mediocre defensive team for three years. All’s well that ends well except, apparently, in Pierce’s view when it comes to the Redskins.

If Pierce would check the ledger, he’d find that the Redskins won just as many games as the Giants did last year, and went a round further in the playoffs. Guess it was all that marketing that did it, Antonio? Have to say, though, that it was pretty entertaining.

When Pierce was with the Redskins, he was noted for his chatter on the field. In those circumstances such talk was positive, directing the defense and encouraging his teammates. The chatter he’s spouting out now, however, directed at the team that gave him his chance in the NFL to begin with and was responsible for putting him in a position to burst onto the scene and command a big payday, is beneath someone who plays for a class organization and who wants to be considered among the elite players in the game.

If Pierce holds a grudge against the Redskins, that’s fine. But he needs to shut up and let his play twice a year do the talking.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book chronicles every game the Redskins played from when they arrived in Washington in 1937 through the 2001 season. To get more details, visit http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

NFL Draft 2017: Top 5 names you want to hear Roger Goodell call

More than 220 players will be drafted over the next three days in Philadelphia, but only five of them make the CSN All-Name team. There are plenty of candidates, but it takes a lot to make this list.

To be clear, this list does not represent the Top 5 players for the Redskins to target. It doesn't even represent players the Redskins might be interested in. These guys just have awesome names. 

Honorable Mention

  • Jake Butt - TE, Michigan - The jokes are too easy, but he did land a toilet paper sponsorship.
  • Corn Elder - CB, Miami - Not enough people named Corn in the world. 
  • Eddie Vanderdoes - DT, UCLA - Vanderdoesitall. 
  • Erik Magnuson - OT, Michigan - This has to be the name of an actual Viking. Has to. 

No. 5 - Forrest Lamp - OG/C Western Kentucky - Invoking a Best Picture winner and the name of a household appliance. Just tremendous. So good he's already landed an endorsement deal. I love lamp. 

No. 4 - Budda Baker - Safety, Washington - Whether you like it for the religion or just the alliteration, it's fantastic.  

No. 3 - Tyus Bowser - OLB, Houston - The bad guy in Mario? The photoshops will be tremendous.

No. 2 - Raekwon McMillan - LB, Ohio State - The Chef. Don't mess with the Chef. 

No. 1 - Taco Charlton - DT, Michigan - It takes a lot to beat Raekwon, but this is the best draft name in years. Everyone loves a Taco.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT TRACKER

 

5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.