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What Redskins Fans Have to be Thankful For

Nov 22, 2006, 2:47 PM EDT

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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

  1. William - Nov 22, 2006 at 9:10 PM

    I’m not quite sure what you are smoking here (or maybe I’m just the fan you write about who is getting the razor blades out). I agree with you re Campbell and Santana Moss, but virtually everyone else on your list has been underperforming. Will Portis ever be right again? Will Gibbs? I don’t feel so thankful this year….

  2. Anonymous - Nov 23, 2006 at 3:47 AM

    Here are the things that made last year special:
    1. First time in the playoffs for a while and only 2 games from the Super Bowl
    2. We got to watch Moss brake the Redskins receiving record for yardage in one season.
    3. Same for Portis who brok the RB team record.
    4. The first and only time in history that the Skins swept the Eagles and Cowboys in the same year.
    5. The win in Dallas, spoiling their “Triplets” celebration in a brutally cruel way.
    6. The late season drive to the playoffs with very dominant and memorable wins against Giants and Dallas.

    This Year:
    1. 22 – the only team in history to score 22 points in 3 straight games. (who cares)
    2. 22 straight completions by Brunnel. (agains who cares)
    3. A nice (if lucky) win against Dallas at home. (will be the only nice thing from this season)
    4. That’s it.

    In the end, when the dust settles, what will be clear is that the offseason personnel moves were disastrous in unimaginable ways. Andre Carter cannot stop the run and hasn’t put much pressure on the QB. The loss of Ryan Clark has had a diastrous effect on Sean Taylor and his replacement (at several times the cost) Archuletta is now a 3rd stringer bust of historic proportions. The loss of Arrington turns out to be not such a good thing, given how horrible Holdman is playing. The loss of a 3rd round pick for Duckett who has been inactive for most of the season is hard to comprehend. The loss of Walt Harris who is a league leader in San Fran with 5 interceptions.

    In the end, I hate to say it, but arrogance (by Gregg Williams) lead him to believe that certain critical players (like Ryan Clark and Antonio Pierce, not to mention Walt Harris) were replaceable and that his “genius” scheme didn’t need these players. I think Gregg Williams will be a little less arrogant and careless. I’d like to see him repeat his statement that the second “g” was for “genius”. What a disaster. Things are so bad, I don’t know if it can be turned around without a major rebuilding plan. Unfortunately, we don’t have practically any draft choices with which to rebuild. I hate to see this happen to Gibbs.

  3. skin superfan - Nov 25, 2006 at 10:38 PM

    WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR OUR HALL OF FAME COACH, THE REDSKIN MESSIAH. HE GETS AND DESERVES A LIFETIME PASS BECAUSE WE ARE NOT INGRATES. HE WILL NOT ABANDON US AND LEAD US TO ANOTHER SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONSHIP. WE AREE NOT FAIR WEATHER FANS LIKE OUR ENEMIES; WE ARE REDSKIN FANATICS

  4. Anonymous - Nov 26, 2006 at 5:19 PM

    Dude, you sound like a fanatic – willing to overlook any extreme degree of ineptitude or incompetence. Blind faith in the ability of the Redskins organization to do a good job has lead to what? Dan Snyder must love the fact that no matter how many mistakes he makes, no matter how egregious his inability to learn from those mistakes, he will still make millions upon millions of dollars off of the blind-faith of Redskins fans. The 70′s and 80′s (basically the tenure of owner Jack Kent Cooke) are likely to be an anomaly. Prior to that the Redskins were one of the worst teams in the league and after that they have been one of the worst teams in the league. I would rather voice my displeasure at the incompetence in hopes of effecting a positive change so that we don’t have to suffer decades of brown-bag-on head teams that Snyder seems so adept at building, all the while making more and more money off the suffering fan base.

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