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Flashback Friday—Moseley boots Giants

Flashback Friday—Moseley boots Giants

I'll be posting some Redskins-Giants classics over the next week leading up to the season opener on Thursday. This one from December 19, 1982 needs no introduction for the readers of this blog. From the pages of The Redskins From A to Z.

RFK Stadium—"It was like a Hollywood script," the Redskins Mark Murphy said, "you couldn't have written it any better." Except that even fiction couldn't have been as compelling or exciting as the truth about this one.

A win would give Washington a playoff spot; a loss would put them in the muddled middle of the playoff picture. Before Mark Moseley, who was this close (thumb and index finger an eighth of an inch apart) to losing his job during training camp had a chance to attempt a game-winning, playoff-clinching record-setting field goal, the Redskins had to scrap and come off the mat and give him a chance to try it.

Washington turned the ball over five times in the first half, four of those being interceptions thrown by Joe Theismann. The first and third picks by the Giants led to touchdowns. The Redskins could only hold on to the ball long enough to tally a Moseley field goal and trailed at halftime 14-3.

After intermission, Washington began to get some control. Their 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the second half was exactly what Joe Gibbs had asked for at halftime, even though the scoring play wasn't exactly as he had drawn it up in the playbook.

After passes to Don Warren and Charlie Brown led to a first down at the New York 22, Gibbs called for a halfback option. Joe Washington was to sweep right, pull up and throw to Art Monk. New York, though, sniffed it out and Monk was covered. Washington reversed his field and took off around left end. The Giants were caught flat-footed and the only obstacle between Washington and the end zone was cornerback Terry Jackson. Theismann dispatched Jackson with a textbook cross-body block and Washington scooted into the end zone.

It had been snowing off and on the entire day and the field was wet and muddy. The point after attempt slipped off Moseley's wet toe, and the Redskins trailed 14-9.

As the fourth quarter began, the snow began to fall harder. It was time for a Riggo Drill, Gibbs decided, calling John Riggins' number eight times in 10 plays. It was good enough to get in position for Moseley to kick a 31-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the game to bring Washington to within 14-12. It was Moseley's 20th straight successful attempt, tying Garo Yepremian's NFL record for consecutive field goals made. He was hoping for an opportunity to break the mark.

Deprived of Washington turnovers, the New York offense did nothing in the second half. They were given a golden opportunity to salt away the game after their defense stopped Riggins short on a fourth and one at the Washington 40, but Scott Brunner was sacked twice and they had to punt. The Redskins took possession at their own 29 with 3:38 left.

On second down, Theismann found tight end Rick Walker over the middle for 20 yards to get the drive started. A facemask call pushed it forward to the Giants 44. Gibbs wanted to get inside the 30 for a field goal attempt.

On third and five from the 39, Theismann squeezed the ball to Brown between two defenders for 14 yards to the 25. Riggins ran for six to the 19 and then six more. Walker, though was holding on the second run and the ball went back to the 29. After two more Riggins runs, the ball was at the 25 and the Redskins let the clock run down to 9 seconds before calling time out. It was snowing as hard as it had been all day.

With the record, playoff spot, and game all riding on the kick, Jeff Bostic's snap and Theismann's hold were perfect. Moseley tried to get a little extra foot into it, giving the Giant's Byron Hunt a chance to get a finger on the ball. The kick wobbled, but it could not have been more beautiful for the Redskins and their fans. It cleared the crossbar with plenty to spare.

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—offense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—offense

RICHMOND—The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to, starting with the offense.

Kiss Cousins goodbye?

As everyone reading this knows, the Redskins quarterback did not agree to a long-term contract by the deadline last week and he will play out the season on the franchise tag. The situation will have a major impact next spring as free agency approaches but that’s to be sorted out in 2018. The question here is whether Cousins’ contract status will affect what takes place here in Richmond and as the season unfolds starting in September.

Some believe that it will be a major storyline and that it will be a distraction with media asking lots of questions and the possibility that Cousins’ thoughts will drift towards next year and his potential free agency.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

However, Cousins was in a similar position last year, when he played on the franchise tag for the first time. There was a flurry of questions at the start of training camp, Cousins answered them, and then they moved on. The rule that prohibits contract negotiations with a tagged player during the season had its intended effect. There was no buzz about the situation until the season was over.

This year the situation is ratcheted up a bit because of the high cost of the tags available to the Redskins next year. But Cousins is very good at deflecting questions about his contract status and he should be able to handle the scrutiny.

Changes at wide receiver

No team had ever lost two 1,000-yard receivers in the same offseason until the Redskins saw both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson depart as free agents in March. It means that Josh Doctson steps into a featured role and Terrelle Pryor will be expected to produce as well as he did in Cleveland last year, if not better.

The changes also mean that Jamison Crowder is likely to see more targets and holdovers Maurice Harris and Ryan Grant could see increased roles. It all will be sorted out in training camp starting on Thursday.

Further down the depth chart, can sixth-round rookie Robert Davis get up to speed soon enough to justify a roster spot? And can veteran Brian Quick rebound from some shaky offseason practices to claim a slot on the 53?

Two-back attack?

Last year Rob Kelley worked his way up from being an overlooked, undrafted free agent rookie to being the starting running back. This year, Samaje Perine comes in as a fourth-round pick with an eye on taking the job away from Kelley.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

It is likely that Kelley, who is a favorite of Jay Gruden’s, will be the Week 1 starter. Still, it would not be surprising if Perine led the team in carries and rushing yards in several games as the season unfolds, perhaps more.

Meanwhile, Mack Brown and Keith Marshall (if he can stay healthy) will compete for the fourth running back job—if the team decides to keep that many. They only kept three coming out of camp last year.

O-line stability

The same five starters will line up for the second year in a row. There’s really nothing to see here unless Arie Kouandjio can make a big push and move into Shawn Lauvao’s spot at left guard.

There is some intrigue about the backup center spot. If rookie Chase Roullier can’t get up to speed they may have to look at the waiver wire.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

Redskins Playbook: 5 forgotten names to remember for training camp

When the Redskins open training camp in Richmond on Thursday, fans will line up to get autographs from Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman and Jordan Reed. Plenty of other players will excite the fans too as optimism rules the first few days of practice in July and August. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

There are other players that fans probably won't scream their names, but who could play a role or fight for a roster spot this fall. Winning in the NFL is almost nearly as dependent on the final 10 players on the roster as it is the first five. Depth is key, and here are a few players that fans might have forgotten about. 

  • RB Keith Marshall - The speedster out of Georgia has a wildly impressive resume - on paper - but just can't stay healthy. In college he started ahead of Todd Gurley for a time, now considered one of the best RBs in the NFL for the Rams. Marshall landed on the injured reserve last year as a rookie but looked healthy and capable at Redskins Park this offseason during OTAs and minicamp. The running back position looks quite full, but if Marshall can show his elite speed and make it through four preseason games, he just might push Mack Brown for a roster spot. 
  • LB Martrell Spaight - A tackling machine in college at Arkansas, Spaight missed most of his rookie season in 2015 before appearing in 14 games last season. Bad luck struck again, and he finished the year on the IR. With the addition of Zach Brown to the interior linebackers, Spaight might have a tough battle for a roster spot. Will Compton, Mason Foster and Brown all seem certain to make the team. Spaight could also start the year on the PUP list, which might be the surest way to stay on the Redskins.
  • LB Chris Carter - Signed as a free agent this year, the journeyman Carter has played for six teams in six years and looks poised to play the special teams role that Terence Garvin took on last year. If Carter makes the roster, that means trouble for Spaight. 
  • DL Anthony Lanier - An undrafted rookie in 2016 that didn't see much game action, Lanier has really impressed coaches with his work ethic this offseason. He has great size at 6-foot-6 and added about 20 pounds of muscle since the season ended, which should allow him the strength to handle the trenches. Lanier could be a sneaky important player this fall for Washington. 
  • S Will Blackmon - D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens look to be the starting safeties for the Redskins in 2017. Swearinger has a proven track record in the NFL secondary, Cravens does not, but showed the ability to do so in college at USC. After those two, and with DeAngelo Hall on the PUP list, the Redskins lack much depth or experience in the defensive backfield. That's where Blackmon should help. A versatile veteran, Blackmon has the speed to keep up with most wideouts and is one of the more cerebral players on the defense. 

Bonus: RB Matt Jones - He might want off the Redskins roster, but that hasn't happened yet. If the team sustains any injuries at the running back position, Jones' fortunes could change quickly. 

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