Nov 22, 2006, 10:47 AM EDT
You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
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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