Tag:Washington Redskins
Posted on: September 2, 2011 3:43 pm

Haynesworth is extremely happy to be with Pats

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's hard to believe, especially if you don't have any, but apparently money doesn't guarantee happiness. The latest evidence comes courtesy of Albert Haynesworth, the man the Redskins saw fit to sign to a seven-year, $100 million contract (including $41 million in guarantees) prior the 2009 season, only to bench him for most of 2010 before trading him to the Patriots this offseason for a 2013 fifth-round pick.

On Thursday, Haynesworth took the field as a Patriot for the first time all preseason and showed glimpses of what makes him one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in football. After the game he was unusually ebullient, no doubt happy about his great fortune, both financially (thanks, Dan Snyder!) and personally (thanks, Bill Belichick!). 

"To me, it's a career-saving place for me to come," Haynesworth said, according to NESN.com. "I had no idea it would be like this, but it's unbelievable, and I wish I took two years ago and came here."

When asked about the differences between Washington and New England, Haynesworth didn't hesitate.

"You name it." He continued: "You don't have to watch your back or anything like that," he said about playing for the Patriots. "You know everybody is here for you, and I really enjoy that. I know my head coach is for me. I know my owner is for me. I know my players are for me. I feel relaxed. I'm having fun again. I'm having fun playing football again."

You often hear the cliche that "a change of scenery" can be good for a player's career and Haynesworth is living, breathing proof. And it would make for a heartwarming story if not for all the Redskins' fans still bitter about Haynesworth quitting on the team.

Take the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, for example. He has trouble reconciling the new Big Al with the guy who spent two years in DC collecting a paycheck and not much else. He found this quote from Haynesworth particularly irksome.

“Well, you know what, all said and done, hell, I’d give that money back and then come here," he said Thursday night, when talking about signing with the Redskins.

Cue Steinberg:
Sure he would. The man who accepted that 2010 option bonus even when he knew he would subsequently refuse to play the position the Redskins wanted him to play while throwing away a year of his prime would just give back that money to go elsewhere.
If there's a lesson here it's this: Skins owner Dan Snyder must be stopped. Haynesworth is clearly at fault for his no-show performance in DC, but he never should've been signed in the first place. But building the roster like you're playing Madden has been a hallmark of the Snyder era, and predictably, it's been a disaster. Hopefully that changes permanently under general manager Bruce Allen. Either way, the fans have every right to be angry.

There is a silver lining of sorts. Whatever happens, Big Al ain't coming back to Washington. "If God forbid I got cut from this team, yeah, I know I can go out there and play for another team, but I feel like this is going to be my last place that I'm going," he said.

So there's that.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2011 12:17 pm

JaMarcus Russell pays off $200K in property taxes

Posted by Will Brinson

JaMarcus Russell is still currently out of football, having successfully submarined his career with enough purple drank that he's behind guys like Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper on the desperation tryout list.

But here's some happy news about the former Raiders quarterback: he's paying off his debts!

So says TMZ, who reports that Russell recently paid back a $223,180.05 property tax lien from the State of California.

Unfortunately, he still owes debt and penalties on a $2.4 million mansion in Oakland that's scheduled to be auctioned off in foreclosure next month.

So he's not paying off all his debts, per se, but he is working through the stack of papers that's sitting on his desk enough to kick back more than two hundred grand in property taxes.

Although considering that he made $60 million guaranteed from the Raiders, you'd think he might have enough hanging around/left over in order to keep himself from completely falling into debt and losing all the nice things he's got.

But you'd also think he'd still be in the league less than five years after being the No. 1 overall pick. And you'd be wrong.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 12:31 pm

Skins' Jenkins lost for season with torn ACL

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was something of a surprise when Jarvis Jenkins was drafted ahead of his Clemson teammate Da'Quan Bowers, but the Redskins' second-round pick has been a pleasant surprise at defensive end, and unlike Bowers, there were no concerns about an injured knee. That changed Thursday night when he hobbled off the field against the Ravens. According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Keim, Jenkins tore the ACL in his right knee and will be lost for the season.

It's awful news for a Redskins defense that had played well in the preseason, both against the run and the pass. Jenkins has had an impressive training camp, and appeared to pass veteran Adam Carriker on the depth chart when he started Washington's second preseason game against the Colts.

“He’s a powerful guy and he just needs more time on the grass,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said of Jenkins lat week, according to the Washington Post

Jenkins was injured on the Ravens' second offensive possession as he tried to make a play on ball carrier Ray Rice.

“I was doing a stunt on that side, and I seen the running back cutting back,” Jenkins told the Post. “So when he cut it back, I kind of reacted to him. I had my hands on the lineman trying to throw him. I threw him, and I tried to plant at the same time and redirect, and something just popped.”

Initially, there was optimism that Jenkins might be okay. “Hopefully it’s not too bad," he said after the game. "I’ve never really had a major injury, so I’ve just got to try to keep a positive attitude about it. And if it so happens that I’ll be out for a while, I’ve just got to stay motivated and get back as soon as I can. I’ve just got to stay positive about it.”

Unfortunately, it turns out that Jenkins will be out for a while, which complicates things for Haslett and the Redskins' defense. On the upside, it appears the Redskins could actually have a competent starting quarterback this season.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:29 am

QB job still up for grabs in Washington

Posted by Ryan Wilson

When head coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb last season for Rex Grossman, it seemed like the latest chapter in the unintentional comedy stylings of an organization that had been on the wrong side of seemingly every personnel decision in the Dan Snyder era. The faces change, yes, but the story remains the same.

Or so the thinking went.

And while it's way too early to make any grand proclamations about the 2011 season, we feel comfortable enough with what we've seen from Grossman and John Beck to say this: the Skins' quarterbacks aren't that bad. Soft bigotry of low expectations? Perhaps, but we are talking about the Redskins. Yes, that phrase was coined in Washington, and while it wasn't originally intended for the Skins it might as have been.

But as Shanahan begins his second season as the head coach (and his son, Kyle, as the offensive coordinator), the offense looks like something more than a hastily assembled pick-up squad. And we can't stress this enough: they're doing it with Grossman and Beck, one a former first-round pick destined for the life of a backup, and the other a guy who last started an NFL game in 2007 -- four of them, all losses.

So after Grossman made easy work of the Steelers in Week 1 of the preseason, Beck showed well against the Colts in Week 2, and both held their own against the Ravens Thursday night, the starting quarterback situation remains … up in the air. At least to hear Shanahan tell it.

“I’m going to evaluate them all the way through camp, all the way through the last preseason game, possibly up to the day before we play the Giants,” said Shanahan, according to CSNWashington.com, after the Redskins lost, 34-31, to the Ravens. “It all depends on if someone separates themselves.”

"If someone separates themselves" isn't always a positive. It could be the case that two prospective quarterbacks are playing so poorly that a coach is praying one can achieve mediocrity in time for the season. Grossman and Beck present the Redskins with a good problem: two guys playing well, moving the chains and, ultimately, scoring points. Of course, there's always the fear that Grossman reverts to the player we've come to know from his inconsistent days in Chicago. And Beck, despite a four-year NFL career, has next to no actual game experience.

Also not helping: the Skins play in the NFC East, the division the Eagles are predestined to win according to oracle and backup quarterback Vince Young.

But this is the preseason, where every team still has visions of the playoffs, and hopes haven't yet been crushed by the stark reality of the regular season. And for two Redskins' quarterbacks, that means trying to earn the starting nod.

“I do know both of us feel pretty good about what we’ve done,” Beck said. “I’ve tried to do everything I can. Is it enough? That’s hard to say, because I’m not making the decision.”

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 7:00 pm

Rex Grossman starting for Redskins Thursday

Posted by Will Brinson

Surprise, surprise! Looks like the quarterback competition in Washington isn't totally dead yet, as Rex Grossman was named the starter for Thursday night's preseason game against Baltimore.

It's seemed like John Beck would be Mike Shanahan's guy going forward, particularly when Beck got the nod for the Redskins first preseason game and subsequently looked quite sharp during their second week of action.

But GM Bruce Allen, speaking to Chris Russell of ESPN 980, Grossman's getting the nod Thursday.

Of course, no one actually believes that he could end up taking the starter's gig away from Beck. It would require a ridiculous performance from Grossman's against Baltimore's first-string defense and an absolute meltdown by Beck.

Both quarterbacks are expected to play with the first-string offenses, though, so there's certainly some room for comparison.

But making any, ahem, guarantees about Grossman stealing the gig would probably be as unwise as predicting a first-place finish in the NFC East for Shanny's crew.

In other more random Redskins news, the team just announced it's hosting a Madden party at FedEx Field on Monday, August 29. It'll feature giveaways and prizes and stuff and one lucky winner will get to play a game against DeAngelo Hall.

If that lucky winner reads this blog beforehand, and you use the Bears and torch Hall for several touchdowns with Jay Cutler, I'll give you an even more awesome prize.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 11:03 pm

John Beck shows why Shanahan likes him

J. Beck played well against Indianapolis in the preseason (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If John Beck is unofficially the official starting QB this year for Washington, he proved tonight that he might actually be ready, looking awfully competent against an uninterested Colts defense while completing 14 of 17 passes for 140 yards.

Yes, yes. Cue the “it’s only the preseason” comments, and that’s most definitely true. But if you’re a Redskins fan, would you rather have Beck look bad? No, of course not. So, the fact he helped lead Washington to a 16-3 lead before exiting the game is only a positive (he also had plenty of help from RBs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu, who combined for 146 yards on 14 carries in the first half).

And if you root for Washington and you assume Beck WILL beat out Rex Grossman, you have to look at tonight’s game as a step forward, especially when you consider he’s only started four games in his career (and that was four years ago, and he lost all four games!), and his stats aren’t especially hot (as you can see here in the CBSSports.com player profile).

One question Rapid Reporter Tom James asked before the game started was how he would handle a pass rush. Beck -- who missed the first preseason game because of a groin injury -- has more mobility than Grossman, but he also hasn’t played well when the defense sends pressure his way.

Beck passed that test tonight, as James writes that Beck, “showed his athleticism in the first half, a stark contrast to Rex Grossman. Grossman gets rid of the ball faster, Beck holds onto it, knowing he can elude pressure and make plays with his legs.”

After the game, coach Mike Shanahan seemed relatively pleased with Beck's play, saying (via Chris Russell of ESPN 980) "John did a good job. Always room for improvement." Meanwhile, Beck said, "I feel pretty good about it, but I'm antsy to see the tape."

Some think Beck wrapped up his starting duties tonight, but remember, Grossman played pretty well in that first game (19 of 26, 207 yards and a TD) when he started. Still, if the Redskins end up choosing Beck, tonight’s performance should give you some insight into why it seems that coach Mike Shanahan likes him so much.

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Posted on: August 19, 2011 6:54 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Report: Clinton Portis tried out with Patriots

PortisPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering what happened to RB Clinton Portis -- aside from the fact Ryan Torain is still waving to him in his rearview mirror -- the Boston Herald has the news that the former Redskins star was in town Friday to work out with the Patriots.

Portis has had a number of good years for the Broncos and Redskins, gaining at least 1,200 yards in six of the seven seasons between 2002-08,and it’s a tad surprising his name hasn’t been brought up more as a viable free agent (I mean, when Tiki Barber is getting more pub than you, that’s not a great thing). But then again, Portis is 29 years old -- certainly middle age at his position -- and he’s been slowed down by injuries.

Last year, the loss of Portis for 11 games (he only carried the ball 54 times for 227 yards after suffering a torn abdominal muscle) led to the impressive play by Torain, hastening Portis’ departure out of town, especially since he was going to be paid $8.2 million for 2011.

It seems rather unlikely the Patriots are the team for Portis, though. They’ve already got young talent in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, as well as draft picks Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Portis land somewhere this season.

As the preseason continues, there are bound to be teams who wouldn’t mind having Portis around to help build depth. Wouldn’t you rather have him than Barber anyway?

First, he'll have to get in better shape. As the Boston Globe writes, Portis apparently wasn't at all fit during his tryout after having to lose 25 pounds in two weeks. Hmm, maybe teams would rather have an in-shape Barber rather than an eccentric overweight Portis.

UPDATED (8:56 p.m. ET): Player agent JR Rickert disputes the Globe claim. He tweeted that Poris weighed in at 222 pounds and there is "absolutely no truth to him being overweight."

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:35 pm

John Beck will start for Redskins Friday

Posted by Will Brinson

Because Mike Shanahan (and son Kyle) are genius offensive minds, and because the Redskins decided to move on without Donovan McNabb this year, the quarterback battle in Washington is one of the most interesting offseason storylines so far.

Anywhere else in the world where John Beck and Rex Grossman battled out for a starting gig would simply be called "Miami" -- but it's D.C., and we care. So you'll be excited -- although not as excited as he'll be! --  to hear that Beck is the starter for Friday's preseason game against the Colts.

That news comes courtesy of Shanny himself, via the Redskins official Twitter feed, and it's not all that surprising, really, even though the coach had vehemently denied naming a starter as recently as last week.

For whatever reason, the decision to make Beck the starter in Washington for the 2011 season feels like it's already made. Jason Reid of the Washington Post wrote in a column Tuesday that "the fix is in" when it comes to the competition and that the Shanahans are already set on using Beck as their starter "for better or for worse."

As my colleague Pete Prisco wrote, putting all the eggs in the Beck basket is most certainly a "baffling" decision. In fact, I keep trying to think of something else in life that it resembles but nothing's as accurate as the willingness of fantasy football and Madden players to start a season with a below-average quarterback.

The problem? Below-average quarterbacks work in those situations. Not in real life, when defenders aren't automated by the computer and piling up garbage-time statistics doesn't push you any closer to a win.

Plus, if they're all-in on Beck, it's a complete waste of all Grossman's ridiculous predictions. We can't hold him responsible for Washington not winning their division if he's not starting.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com