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Are Redskins Talking Too Big?

Are Redskins Talking Too Big?


A few days ago I complained because Mike Wise had an Alan Alda moment at the beginning of his column on Andre Carter. So today, he comes up with a whole Alda-like column.

His issue is that the players are talking too much about winning the Super Bowl. In his column entitled “Big Pronouncements in August Can Haunt You in December” Wise quotes Clinton Portis talking about his goals:

"Winning the NFC East. Win the NFC championship game. Winning the Super Bowl. Rushing yards don't matter to me as long as I get a ring."

And Chris Cooley on how many passes he wants to catch this year:

“We win the Super Bowl, it doesn't matter to me.”

He follows with what he thinks in the real zinger, the most outrageous statement of them all:

And who can forget Mark Brunell's proclamation on Day One of training camp? "Anything short of going all the way would be a disappointment."

This, Wise says, is unorthodox and downright dangerous:

But most players gunning for a championship don't publicly talk about it. At all. Especially in training camp.

That’s silly, and it’s not true. It’s the goal of every player to go to the Super Bowl and win it. There isn’t a team out there that doesn’t think it has a chance and most players, when asked about personal goals, will say that they have none and their only goal is to help their team win it all. The recent history of worst-to-first performances in the NFL over the past decade or so backs up their confidence.

And what are the supposed say? As Brunell said, quoted by Wise in his column:

"If I had said, 'Hopefully, we'll win six games,' they would ship me out of here," Brunell said yesterday. "Thirty-one other starting quarterbacks should be saying the same thing."

All Portis and Cooley were saying is that the stats don’t matter, it’s the W’s that count. The ring is the thing. These guys aren’t boldly predicting that they’ll be hoisting the Lombardi in February. They are saying that they will be disappointed if they don’t get there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Certainly, as Wise points out, the Redskins aren’t bullet proof. Countless things could go wrong that would derail their bid for a special season. But that doesn’t mean that the players should do nothing but sit around and wring their hands worrying about it. It seems to me that the Redskins are striking a good balance between caution and optimism. Apparently, Wise disagrees.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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