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What Redskins Fans Have to be Thankful For

What Redskins Fans Have to be Thankful For

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

Even in the midst of a disappointing season Redskins fans have plenty to be thankful for:

Jason Campbell—This isn’t in any particular order, but Campbell is on the top of the list when it comes to what Redskins fans should be thankful for. He has a ton of talent and a calm, unflappable demeanor. There will be worse games for Campbell than the one he had in his debut last Sunday, but there also will be many that are much, much better. The best part about it is that we will get a chance to watch as it all unfolds.

Marcus Washington—Here is a guy who dedicated himself to working harder than ever after striking it rich in the free agent market. His positive attitude and enthusiasm for the game are apparent and catching, both on the field and in the locker room.

Shawn Springs—This man stands out for being bright and articulate in a locker room that’s full of smart, well-spoken individuals. Springs is a good player to go to when you want to gauge the mood of the team; he’s loose and joking when there’s an air of confidence around Redskins Park and he is intense and determined when things aren’t going well and they’re all looking for answers.

Chris Samuels—He never has quite made it into the elite level of NFL left tackles, but he’s been solidly just behind that small group for seven years. While he has a bad game from time to time, it’s still noticeable when he gives up a sack because it’s an unusual occurrence.

Troy Vincent—Skins fans should be very thankful that the Eagles and Bills gave up on him. He’s one of those players who isn’t getting older, he’s getting smarter.

Santana Moss—There are a lot of fast receivers out there, but what sets Moss apart are his hands. Nobody can snatch a ball out of the air like him; he could catch a ping pong ball in a tornado. On top of that, he cares not a bit about his individual performance. If he catches one pass for seven yards and the team wins, he’s happy; catching a ton of passes for a lot of yards in a loss is meaningless to him.

Clinton Portis—Not many backs who are threats to break off a long gainer every time they get their hands on the ball implore their coaches to call for them to run up the gut. Portis is the exception to the rule, a fast back who can move the pile inside. His personality is refreshing in the midst of an NFL that has so many players who seem to be robots.

Sean Taylor—Yes, he seems lost out there at times this year and he occasionally goes for the big hit when he should just wrap up and make the tackle. But Taylor can deliver the kinds of hits that give opposing receivers a severe case of alligator arms and he’s breathtaking when he gets his hands on the ball.

The U—The University of Miami is in a down cycle and its thug reputation was revived with its recent on-field brawl. But the program produces winners, including the three Redskins listed immediately above. One shudders to think what the Redskins would be without them.

Themselves—Redskins fans do get crazy. When things are going well they are so high you have to peel them off of the ceiling. In tough times you have to keep the razor blades locked up. But it’s all a part of being passionate and that’s what makes it such a fun and interesting group.

Joe Gibbs—He may have lost his fastball and maybe he should leave the personnel decisions to someone else. But no other team has a Hall of Fame coach roaming its sidelines and no team has a coach who is more committed and dedicated it its success than Joe Gibbs is to the Redskins.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when they moved to Washington for the 1937 season through 2001. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the Redskins fans on your shopping list. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com

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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. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Redskins vs Eagles Preview: 5 things to know as Washington gets desperate

Losers of two straight games and for the first time in a month outside of the playoff picture, a desperate Redskins squad travels to Philadelphia for a 1 p.m. game on Sunday. All the action kicks off on CSN with Redskins Kickoff at noon, but to get ready for the action, here are five storylines to watch:

  1. Getting back to good, or at least decent - Two weeks ago the Redskins seemed like a dangerous playoff squad with a strong offense and an improving defense. After two straight losses where Joe Barry's defense has given up 62 total points, the questions are mounting for Washington. Can the defense get stops on 3rd down? Generate a turnover? The good news for the Redskins is that the Eagles are struggggggling. Their offense has not score more than 15 points in three straight weeks. 
  2. Feed the fat one - After giving Rob Kelley just 28 carries in the last two games, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay owned up to the Redskins lack of run game, "I definitely feel like I could’ve been more patient on some of those early down and distances where you get a little bit pass-heavy. And that’s something that as a decision-maker and as a coordinator, I have to do a better job." In a Week 6 win Kelley and Matt Jones piled up more than 200 rush yards against the Eagles. The 'Skins offense likely won't feature Jones, but expect McVay to feed Fat Rob plenty on Sunday.
  3. Playing in pain - The Redskins offense features a number of dynamic playmaking threats, but arguably the best is tight end Jordan Reed. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Reed separated his left shoulder, and though he finished that game he was forced out of action in Arizona. Expect Reed to be back Sunday, and expect Kirk Cousins to look for him early and often. On the season, Reed has more than 600 receiving yards and five TDs.
  4. If it ain't broke - Kirk Cousins has had more success against the Eagles than any other team in the NFC East. In four career games against Philly, COusins averages 336 yards per game passing to go with a 101.3 QB rating. He's thrown 10 touchdowns against the Eagles to just two interceptions. The biggest win of his career came last year when Cousins and the 'Skins clinched the NFC East title at Lincoln Financial Field. Cousins suceeds against the Eagles, and there's no reason it should stop Sunday. 
  5. Don't fly away - Rumors are starting to circulate that the Eagles would like to bring back DeSean Jackson next season. It's well known that Jackson will probably hit free agency after this season, and if Philly did pursuit their former playmaker, it would make sense. But between now and then, Jackson has another opportunity to torch his former team and help the Skins pursue a Wild Card bid at the same time. In his past two games, Jackson and COusins have connected on deep patterns, and there's little reason to tbink the same won't happen Sunday.

Numbers & Notes

  • If tight end Vernon Davis catches three passes he will become the 12th tight end in NFL history to record 500 career receptions.
  • With two more catches, wide receiver Jamison Crowder will set a single-season career high in receptions. He caught 59 passes in 2015.
  • If the Redskins win would mark five straight victories against the Eagles for the Redskins for the first time since a six-game winning streak in the series across the 1981-84 seasons.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!