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Tag:Washington Redskins
Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Redskins waive Tashard Choice

T. Choice was waived by Washington (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

From 2008-10, Tashard Choice was a dependable backup running back for the Cowboys, but showing how far his stock has fallen this season, he’s now been waived twice in less than a month.

After the Cowboys got rid of him at the end of October, the Redskins signed him. But after only making six carries for seven yards vs. his old team Sunday (after sitting out two games with a hamstring injury), Washington officially waived him Tuesday.

Washington did give him a chance to make a big impact Sunday. With the Cowboys leading by seven points and the Redskins on Dallas’ 2-yard line, Rex Grossman handed off to Choice on first down. Choice promptly lost two yards. The Redskins eventually scored on the drive, but the failure of Choice on his opportunity was noticeable.

“I just wish I could’ve got it in right there,” Choice said after the game, via the Washington Post.

And at this point, Choice has to be wondering if that cost him his job.

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Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:39 pm
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Posted on: November 22, 2011 10:00 am
 

Coach Killers, Week 11: Johnson returns to form

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Mark Sanchez, Jets

It's been five days since Tim Tebow led the Broncos on a 95-yard game-winning drive against the Jets. The other, perhaps more important storylines to come out of that game: Von Miller is scary, Denver's defense is improving, and Mark Sanchez was the worst quarterback on the field last Thursday.

That's not hyperbole. Sanchez looks the part and has the pedigree but nearly three years into his NFL career and he's a replacement-level quarterback. That would be one thing if he were, say, a former seventh-round pick like Ryan Fitzpatrick (pre-shiny new deal, obviously). It's a different story altogether given that the Jets traded up from No. 17 to No. 5 to take Sanchez in the 2009 NFL Draft.

When New York's defense is one of the best in the league and the running game is working, Sanchez has been good. But that's sort of the point: you don't draft a franchise quarterback to man the controls when everything is going well. You draft a franchise quarterback to win those games that you were previously losing. The Jets are 5-5 and a big part of that is because of Sanchez.

Late in the third quarter of the Broncos game, with the Jets leading 10-3 and facing a third and short, Sanchez threw a pick-six. It wasn't a tipped pass, or a 50-yard bomb that was effectively a third-down punt. It was a jerk route to Plaxico Burress. Typically, the joke is that the defender in coverage ends up looking like a jerk on such plays.

Not this time. Sanchez's throw was off target, Burress didn't come back to the ball, and cornerback Andre Goodman jumped the route. Twenty-six yards later, the score was 10-10. And then Tebow happened.


Mark Sanchez has thrown three pick-sixes this season.

Head coach Rex Ryan defended Sanchez (Because, really, what's he going to say? "I'm happy to announce that Mark Brunell, 52 years young, will now lead us to the playoffs!")

"This is our quarterback," Ryan said at his Friday press conference. "He’s going to be our quarterback for as long as I’m here, which I hope is a long, long time. He can make all the throws. He’s a competitive guy. Has it been perfect? No, absolutely. But it hasn’t been perfect for our entire team."

But Rex, what about the children!?

Graham Gano, DeAngelo Hall - Redskins

It may seem unfair to blame Gano for the Redskins' latest loss, but let's be honest: he's the team's best offensive player. (And, hell, he might even be the team's best quarterback. We haven't seen him throw but we have seen the Rex and Becks show. It can't be worse than that.) If Washington is going to win, Gano will have to make everything, including the out-of-zip-code attempts. Instead, he missed two field goals Sunday against the Cowboys, the first from 49 yards, the last from 52. And it was that last miss in overtime that allowed Dallas to march down the field for a game-winning kick of their own.

Now, for your unintentional comedy interlude, courtesy of Redskins' Radio Network (featuring Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff and by way of DC Sports Bog)…
The missed Gano field goal

Larry: We are ready, this is it, from 52 yards out. The kick is on the way, he’s got the distance, and heeeeeeeee…
Sam: He’s got it!
Larry: He missed it! He missed it wide right!
Sam: He missed it?
Larry: He missed it wide right, so the Cowboys will take over.
Sam: I thought it went through?
Larry: Wide right.
We've been saying for several weeks that there's a decent chance the Redskins lose out. They're now 3-7 and six weeks closer to that reality. Silver lining: players are taking responsibility. In fact, cornerback DeAngelo Hall thinks he should be cut. We won't disagree with him.

“It’s frustrating, but I can’t point a finger at anybody but myself,” Hall said, via the Washington Times. “The way I’m playing right now, they need to go cut me because I’m definitely not worth what I’m getting. It’s frustrating. Hopefully they see something in me and they bring me back next year, but the way things are going right now, I’m definitely not playing up to par.”

Could the Redskins really lose out?

We know Hall wasn't responsible for a wide-open Jason Witten sprinting to the end zone on a 59-yard reception midway through the fourth quarter. But Hall didn't exactly track Witten down, either. For a former "NFL's Fastest Man" champion, he sure looked slow (but not quite as slow as the time Hines Ward, wearing one shoe, outran him to the end zone).

One last thing: former NFL quarterback turned handball aficionado Jake Plummer spoke recently about playing for Mike Shanahan. The two were together in Denver from 2003-2006 until Plummer retired after it became clear that Jay Cutler would be the starter.

“It just seemed like every game I could have completed these four more passes or these five more shots here and it would have been perfect," Plummer said, via Yahoo.com. "And that just wasn’t my personality....But Shanahan wanted perfection and he wore a lot of us down there.”

We're guessing Shanahan would do just about anything to have such problems now. To Plummer's credit, he didn't take pleasure in Shanahan's current predicament (at least not publicly).

“Yeah and you know what, I don’t like to see that,” he said. “I mean I don’t want to see anybody struggle. And I’m not sitting here gloating or feeling better about his lack of success down there. As time goes you learn more things. … Hey, I was lucky to get the opportunity to play for Shanahan. He helped turn my career around and gave me a chance to show that I was a winner, regardless of how things went down."

Chris Johnson, Titans

First, some background: the Lions selected running back Kevin Smith in the the third round of the 2008 draft. After suffering late-season injuries in '09 and '10, the team chose not to re-sign him. He was out of football until two weeks ago when Detroit, in dire need of warm bodies in the backfield, gave him a call. Against the Panthers Sunday, Smith ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 61 receiving yards and a score.

Recapping Week 11

We mention this because after Chris Johnson treaded the Panthers for 130 rushing yards last week, there were some rumblings of him "being back." Turns out, that performance was an aberration and unless the Titans are facing the Panthers every week from here on out, Johnson continues to be one of the worst backs in the league.

Back during training camp, when Johnson was parked on his couch waiting for a new deal, one of the reasons his supporters gave for paying him was that Johnson's presence in the backfield would take pressure off rookie quarterback Jake Locker. Well, Locker saw extensive action against the Falcons and he looked just fine. And he did it without anything resembling a running game.

Maybe the Titans should sign this Kevin Smith.

Which brings us back to CJ. He carried the ball 12 times in Atlanta for a grand total of 13 yards. That works out to a nifty 1.08 yards per carry. Put differently: Matt Hasselbeck, who left the game with an arm injury and probably travels 40 yards in closer to six seconds than five, was the Titans' leading rusher with 17 yards on the afternoon.

(Even more embarrassing, courtesy of colleague Will Brinson's Sorting the Sunday Pile: "There were nine -- NINE! -- quarterbacks with more rushing yards than Johnson in Week 11.")

“I know we didn’t execute some plays that we could have,” Johnson said, via the Tennessean. “They are a pretty good defense, and they made a lot of plays out there. I’m sure if we would have executed better, then we could have had a better day in the running game.”

Or, as we mentioned above, the Titans could just petition the league to face the Panthers every week.

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars

Let's be honest: Blaine Gabbert Bears very little responsibility for the Jags' 3-7 season. He's a rookie quarterback on one of the NFL's worst offensive teams, and Jack Del Rio is a lame-duck coach who'll likely ring in the new year looking for a new job.

Jacksonville's final drive against the Browns Sunday was a microcosm of their offense and their season. Trailing 14-10 and on the Browns' 2-yard-line with 13 seconds to go, the Jaguars ran the following three plays:

1st and goal: Maurice Jones-Drew 1-yard run (eight seconds remaining).
2nd and goal: Gabbert throws incomplete to Jason Hill (three seconds remaining).
3rd and goal: Gabbert throws incomplete to Mike Thomas (game over, thanks for coming).

So that happened. When Del Rio was asked after the game why he didn't get the ball to the Jags' best playmaker, MJD, this happened:

“Our offensive coordinator [Dirk Koetter] calls the plays. I can’t speak to his thinking. You’ll have to get with him,” he said via the Florida Times-Union.

Translation: "I checked out of this job in September and I'm just going through the motions until I'm officially canned. I almost forgot we had a game Sunday."

What makes Del Rio's comment even more bizarre: Jacksonville called timeout with eight seconds left. Presumably, he had some say in the final-play strategy.

“We certainly talked about those things through the course of the drive. We got down and took our crack. You can make a case for doing that. You can guess any number of plays when you don’t connect. [It’s] a missed opportunity,” Del Rio said.

As PFT.com's Gregg Rosenthal noted Monday: "Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick and Mike Smith would all be involved in a call like that. They are defensive coaches, but they make big decisions on offense. It’s their team."

You know what else those three coaches have in common? They ain't getting fired in two months.

Philip Rivers, Chargers

There is very little to be excited about in San Diego but there is this: Philip Rivers has played much better the last two weeks. Moral victories are for losers, but … well, the Chargers are exactly that. Unfortunately, "Not Bad" Rivers in 2011 isn't a top-5 quarterback. In fact, he might crack the top-15. But unless he can play defense, special teams and coach, San Diego's five-game slide isn't entirely on him. That said, he leads the league in interceptions, and he threw two more Sunday -- both in the fourth quarter, both in critical situations.

The first pick was another miscommunication with Vincent Jackson in the end zone (it happened in Week 10 against the Raiders). The second was inexplicably bad. Rivers, flushed from the pocket, went to throw the ball away. Somehow instead of, you know, throwing the ball away, the pass sailed right into the arms of Bears defensive back Corey Graham.


The 2011 Chargers: where not even incompletions are routine

When you're incapable of throwing an incompletion, it portends bad things for the season.

After a 4-1 start, the Chargers are now 4-6. Next up: the 5-5 Tebows are coming to town and Rivers is reduced to saying things like this:

“We’ve got to find a way to think that we have a one-game season against Denver at our place,” he said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And let’s find a way to win that game.”

There are six games left in the 2011 season and barring a miraculous turnaround and a ton of luck, San Diego will miss the postseason. And that, according to the Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee, could mean curtains for Norv Turner.

"At this point, it is apparent only a drastic turnaround will save Turner, as the Chargers have lost five straight and are in last place in the AFC West, in grave danger of missing the playoffs for a second straight season. [Team owner Dean] Spanos also has wondered about repeated game management decisions, and after five years it is possible Turner has been given enough time to get done what no Chargers coach ever has – win a Super Bowl."

Maybe Rex Ryan was onto something.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 6:46 pm
 

NFL Week 11 podcast review + MNF preview

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Week 11 is almost wrapped up and so we take to the airwaves in order to break down the football action from the weekend.

We discuss whether or not the Bears can make the playoffs with Jay Cutler missing, whether the Giants are about to start their annual late-season collapse, if Adrian Peterson's injury matters in the big scheme of things, whether Norv Turner will be fired, if the Redskins are showing life, if the Lions found a running game, if the Dolphins are the hottest team in the NFL.

Then we dive into how bad the Bills are, why no one should pay running backs, if Baltimore is the class of the AFC, if the Eagles can make a playoff run and whether Oakland or Denver is the best in the AFC West.

All that and much, much more, below.

Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?

If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Jabar Gaffney curses at fan in Twitter exchange

J. Gaffney had an exchange with a fan on Twitter (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, Redskins receiver Jabar Gaffney didn’t learn the lesson taught by former Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian that it’s not a good idea to argue with Twitter followers and it’s an even worse idea to insult them.

After the Cowboys escaped from Washington with a 27-24 overtime victory, an apparent Dallas fan tweeted to Gaffney that he laughed out loud at the Redskins “3-9” record. According to the Washington Times, here was Gaffney’s response (the tweets on his page have been deleted).

"we 3-7 u dumb [expletive]" and then “3-7 ain't a record to be proud of I'm just proud I ain't you get a life or kill urself.” Later on his page, Gaffney explained, “I don't want the man to really kill himself it was just a way of saying [expletive] off or leave me alone to all you lames keep up or don't follow."

You’ll recall that Berrian, while he wasn’t so profane, tweeted at a Minnesota state legislator who also happens to be a war veteran without legs (facts Berrian didn’t know at the time), "Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"

Berrian later apologized, but a few weeks later, the Vikings released him (it wasn’t solely because of his Twitter mess, but that didn’t help his cause). Gaffney would do well to heed Berrian’s social media warning.

"Cowboys fans, that’s how they are," Gaffney said Monday. "I was just telling the dude: ‘Y’all won. All right, leave me alone. Don’t talk to me.’ That’s all it was."

But as Rex Ryan rediscovered today, cursing at fans isn’t a good way to go if you don’t want the NFL lifting anything out of your paycheck.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 8:53 am
Edited on: November 21, 2011 8:54 am
 

DeAngelo Hall: 'They need to go cut me'

Hall

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall doesn’t hesitate to be completely honest. He’ll blast the officials if he feels he’s been wronged -- even when he most certainly hasn’t. He’ll predict that he’ll try to hit an opposing injured quarterback where it’ll hurt the most, even though he sometimes disappears in games like that.

And when he feels like he sucks, that’s exactly what he’ll say.

“It’s frustrating, but I can’t point a finger at anybody but myself,” Hall said, via the Washington Times, after the Redskins overtime loss to the Cowboys. “The way I’m playing right now, they need to go cut me because I’m definitely not worth what I’m getting. It’s frustrating. Hopefully they see something in me and they bring me back next year, but the way things are going right now, I’m definitely not playing up to par.”

Reporters then asked if Hall felt like he was struggling throughout Sunday’s game.

"I feel like I had a good game up until that point,” said Hall, referring to the pass Dez Bryant caught on a third-and-15 that allowed the Cowboys to continue their game-winning drive. “But when you’re paying a guy the kind of money I’m making, you expect him to make that play. I would cut myself if I was in the front office."

Also, he said this on the Bryant play that went for 26 yards in which Bryant cut to the outside to catch the pass: “I slipped. Can’t slip. I’m the reason we lost the game. It’s frustrating. It’s tough to swallow. Second time in a row to Dallas, so definitely real pissed off at myself.”

For the record, Hall is in the third season of a six-year, $55 million contract. He most likely will NOT be cut this week.




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Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:28 pm
 

Kyle Shanahan likes the way Grossman played

GrossmanPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Need further proof that the Redskins won’t turn to John Beck to start at quarterback any time soon? Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is saying he's happy with the way Rex Grossman has played since Beck turned his job back over to Grossman.

Wait, what’s that you say? Grossman threw two interceptions and led his team to three field goals in a loss to the one-win Dolphins while recording a quarterback rating of 58.3? Um, Shanahan looks past all that … I suppose.

“I thought he did a good job moving the ball. I know we’re disappointed we didn’t get into the end zone, but I thought he did a good job out there,” Shanahan said, via the Washington Post. “He did a good job getting completions. Made some good decisions.

“I know he had two picks, but both of the throws he had, it was the right throw. It’s unfortunate what happened, but I didn’t think the two picks were his fault. But he did a good job of getting rid of the ball and making the right reads.”

Grossman, at least, managed to complete 65.6 percent of his passes for a respectable 215 yards, but his stats weren’t actually much better than what Beck accomplished in his three starts with the team.

It seems pretty clear -- at least to Shanahan -- that the team responds better when Grossman is in the game, and even though Beck is more athletic than Grossman, Shanahan likes Grossman’s demeanor better.

“It wasn’t one reason in particular, but Rex has a lot more experience than [Beck]. He’s played in a lot of games,” Shanahan said. “John did a fairly good job in that Philly game, taking us down, and in that Carolina game. But then with injuries going, we felt like John out there, didn’t have the experience to get through those tough times. So we felt more comfortable with Rex and felt he gave us the best chance to win.”

Until next season when, presumably, somebody else will be starting at quarterback in Washington.



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Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:03 am
 

Jerry: Felix back but DeMarco is the 'workhorse'

Posted by Will Brinson

Dallas steamrolled Buffalo 44-7 on Sunday, and it looks like the Cowboys, whose schedule is absolute cake over the next three weeks, will get even healthier, with the addition of Felix Jones to the lineup.

Speaking on his local radio show, Jerry Jones acknowledged that Felix will likely be return against Washington on Sunday.

"That's our plan," Jones said on KRLD-FM, via the Dallas Star-Telegram. "It looks like he can. I don't know just exactly how on top of his game he'll be, but man am I anxious to have both of those options out there and [DeMarco] Murray, that will be exciting."

The bigger issue, though, is whether Felix will get his starting gig back, or whether Murray will continue to be given the majority of carries. According to Jones, the Cowboys are doing the smart thing by not trying to make Jones a "workhorse running back."

"One thing that comes to my mind that Murray looks like the more he carries the more effective he gets. If you think of that theoretically about a workhorse running back that they get better as the game goes along," Jones said. "Felix, and this is not negative in any way, Felix has always been a guy that he looks like the best way for him to be his best is to inject him in spots and so we may have a guy here in Murray who can carry a lot of carries and we may have a guy in Felix that can step in there and carry it 13 times a ballgame and really have a chance to break it."

Yes, "workhorse running back" is a fancy way of saying "starter" -- Murray's size didn't peg him for a guy that could dive in and get 20-plus carries, but he's obviously responded incredibly well to the workload that the Cowboys have given him, considering his lowest output since Week 7 is 74 yards on eight carries in the blowout loss to Philadelphia.

For his part, Jones says he's not sweating his role yet, and is more concerned about his health.

"Really, it’s just about me getting back on the field," Jones said. "That’s the first thing. Once that happens, we’ll start talking about what’s going on on the field. Right now I’m just worried about my health, getting out there on the field."

For some silly reason the Cowboys have hesitated to name Murray the starter at running back, and I suppose they haven't exactly done so yet. And they might continue not calling him the "official" starter.

But make no mistake: DeMarco is the guy getting the majority of carries. Dallas has won three of the four games he's started, and in all three wins, he's provided the Cowboys with a 100-plus yard rushing game. That's one more than Felix has in his career.

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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