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Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

We have created the news and it is us.

One can imagine the Redskins organization uttering that line, an alteration of a famous line in the old "Pogo" comic strip (for those not as old as I am, which is most of you, the line was "We have seen the news and it is us".)

From the Washington Post:
The Washington Redskins are being investigated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association for possible violations during offseason practices after video of some drills was made available on the club's Web site. Representatives from the NFL and NFLPA said they are looking into whether the Redskins conducted practices that were too physical and in which offensive and defensive linemen engaged one another in live contact, which is prohibited.Some will remember reading here last month about the Redskins' effort to present the news about the team "unfiltered". Part of this campaign was to webcast highlights of their offseason practices or OTA's as they are called. It was during one of these webcasts that someone in the player's union noticed the activity between the linemen.
"Do you know how we caught them?" NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw told the Associated Press. "We saw it on their Web site."Although it's unlikely that the Redskins will face anything but very minor sanctions for this, it's a safe bet to say that they wish that they had filtered that particular news.

Should the Redskins be penalized for violating OTA SOP's, they would be the second team to have that happen to them in the past month. The Philadelphia Eagles forfeited a week of OTA's or about a third of the total allowed. The issue involved improper reporting of dates of the workouts to the NFLPA, a sloppy mistake by the Eagles.

And this brings us to the Len Pasquarelli angle on this story. As one would expect, the ESPN.com NFL writer had a field day with this, calling the Redskins "The Capital Gang That Can't Shoot Straight," among other knee-slapper lines. Then, he goes too far. After saying that virtually every other team in the NFL has similar drills during their OTA's, Lenny P takes a cheap shot at Joe Gibbs:
As Gibbs noted, just about every team in the league uses a similar drill in mini-camps and so-called "organized team activities.". . . Hey, you can't make this stuff up, you know? But as long as the Redskins are around, we don't have to, because they keep providing more than enough fodder. Gibbs suggested that he didn't fully understand the rule banning the drill, further evidence that perhaps the Hall of Fame coach should have stayed in a NASCAR pit instead of relocating to an NFL sideline.So nobody else fully understands the rule and everyone violates it but Gibbs alone should quit his job.

And as if we need any proof that Pasquarelli just flat doesn't like the Redskins, let me share with you the results of a search for remarks that Lenny P made that were critical of Andy Reid. Surely Lenny must have had some pretty harsh words for Reid, whose team actually lost a good chunk of their allotted OTA's due to sloppy scheduling. The results of the search for Pasquarelli's comments on Reid follow between the quotation marks:
" "Of course, it's not surprising that Pasquarelli would bash Gibbs, who is suspected of the equivalent of a misdemeanor--even if the Skins are determined to have violated the rule, they are unlikely to lose any OTA sessions--and not do the same to Reid, whose record in this case is like a felony conviction.

In fact, the only shocker here is that Lenny didn't find a way to praise Reid for losing the OTA's, perhaps giving his players some badly-needed rest from the rigors of the offseason.

The Redskins deserve criticism as long as they continue their mediocre on the field performance. I guess it's too much to ask, though, that teams receive somewhat equal comments for somewhat equal issues. Certainly it is too much to ask when the subject is the Redskins and the critic is Len Pasquarelli.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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