Skip to content

Need to Know: Who is the face of the Redskins franchise?

Feb 17, 2015, 4:05 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 17, one day before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

With the NFL Combine starting tomorrow, this is a good question to ponder as the Redskins start the process of adding new players to the roster. The hope that someone they draft can get to be good enough to be considered to be the face of the franchise.

And since we’re talking about the draft I think you have to eliminate DeSean Jackson from the list of face of the Redskins contenders. Perhaps you don’t need to be drafted by the team but you at least have to have spent your prime seasons in Washington. Jackson is arguably the team’s best player but he can’t be the face.

I think that a lot of fans identify with Alfred Morris, a sixth-round draft pick who helped the Redskins to the division title as a rookie. He might be the most popular player on the team. But he has minimal contact with fans through the media (Morris does do more than his fair share of work in the community). That’s his option but I think that a critical part of being the face of a franchise is to be a team leader, to be out talking to the media in good times and bad. If not, you have to be very, very good, Hall of Fame good (think Barry Sanders) to be the face of a franchise. Again, there’s nothing wrong with preferring to keep to yourself, but that’s not what a face of the franchise does.

On the other hand, Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan are front and center in the locker room during the week and after a game, win or lose. Although they are only in their sixth and fifth years with the team, respectively, they are senior members of the team. Most hard-core Redskins fans would recognize them if saw one of them walking around the street.

But Robert Griffin III would be recognized by causal fans, even non-fans, if he was walking down the street. Ditto with fans of other teams. Would, say, a Packers fan recognize Williams in a grocery store? Would a Seahawks fan ask Kerrigan for his autograph in a restaurant?

Is being recognized by most NFL fans and by many casual fans and non fans a requirement for being the face of a franchise? I suppose not, especially if you think that every team has to have a player who is the face. But the reality of life for the Redskins is that they have a famous guy who isn’t playing well and some who play well but aren’t well known.

My opinion is that the Redskins don’t have a face of the franchise right now, no player who is recognizable on the field (i.e. you could tell who it is even if he wasn’t wearing a jersey number) and off the field. If forced to name one I’d say Kerrigan only because he plays the more glamorous position. But if you have to name a face of the franchise by default, you really don’t have one.


—It’s been 51 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 208 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 21; Redskins offseason workouts start 62; 2015 NFL Draft 72

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Follow Real Redskins on Instagram @RichTandler

In case you missed it

  1. Jeff - Feb 17, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Hey Rich. Unfortunately, the face of the Redskins’ franchise is the same position as the face of the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise. I’ll give you a hint…. this position does not suit up as one of the game day on-the-field players. The Raiders had a similar problem for many years. When your franchise has this position as its’ franchise player, you know you have a problem. Guess who it is????

    • Andrew Mercaldo - Feb 17, 2015 at 7:53 AM

      Love it

    • tonywhitehead67 - Feb 17, 2015 at 1:00 PM

      Needs to be Kerrigan. Sorry Trent, your past (drug suspension and bar fight at the Pro Bowl a few years ago) still haunts you.

  2. goback2rfk - Feb 17, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    RG3 Is The Face of the Franchise. Who gets all the commercials, who gets all the press coverage, who gets put back in even after being benched.. Its RG3.. Most people can not even name a Redskins player, but a majority of people know who Robert is…

    Well done Rob

    • Stephfan - Feb 17, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      It’s not Roberts fault that he as named the face of the franchise. How quickly manny of you fans forget how we the fans and media bumped him up that. I remember on draft day many if the commentors called him that. But more importantly we as fans excepted that

  3. mr.moneylover - Feb 17, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Alfred Morris numbers went down right along with rg3 so he cant be the face of the redskins…the face of the redskins should be hands down ryan kerrigan or trent Williams both of these guys are passionate about the game and get better each year alfred morris didnt improve that much he struggle in blocking and struggle to catch balls in the open field…ryan kerrigan improve every year and trent williams throws his body around even when injured

  4. bowlregard - Feb 17, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    To me it will always be Sonny.

    • kenlinkins - Feb 17, 2015 at 11:11 AM

      While I do love Sonny J, I think they had a hard time keeping him awake in the booth this year.

      • bowlregard - Feb 17, 2015 at 12:27 PM

        I’ve lived in the Philly area for some decades now, and haven’t been able to listen to him. Maybe if the team improves it will wake him up.

  5. kenlinkins - Feb 17, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    Rich: First, have a great time in Indy at the combine here in the heartland. I am looking forward to reading what you find out. As for the face of the Redskins, I think that T. Williams still has to much “street” player in him to be a leader. While I am happy that T. Williams seems to has learned not to smoking pot while in the NFL, he still has not learned how to be a smart leader. I recall seeing him involved in fights and that is just dumb for someone who could be a true leader. While Kerrigan seems the most solid person to lead, I just have not seen other Redskins players follow him! (but i guess Face of team & Leadership are not the same thing)There still seems to be a fracture inside the Redskins locker room, I just do not know where the fault lines are. Are they Black and White, Worker / Lazy, Shanahan / Gruden, Older / Younger, Clubbers / Tea drinkers, Company /non Company, Pro RG3 / Con RG3, ? (All the above)? I have played on teams that were called “Special” due to the way the team acted as one working on a goal, I in no way would call the group of Redskins I have seen over the pass 7 years “Special” in any regard!

  6. goback2rfk - Feb 17, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Darrell Green Will Always Be The Best Redskins there ever was and the Real Face of the Skins.

  7. Tim Rogers - Feb 17, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    I do think if the Redskins play their cards right with getting rid some name players, such as Trent Williams, Hall, Merriweather, one of the quarterbacks, (really doesn’t make a difference which one) pick some good free agents, and trade up in the draft I think they would be a contender for the east. I hope we have the right people this time to pick and judge great talent. Go Skins!

    • greed - Feb 17, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      get rid of T.Williams that the most insane thing ive heard

      • Joe Greene - Feb 17, 2015 at 4:48 PM

        Why? He’s a top 12-15 LT but he’s paid like he’s top 5. He’s starting to have injury and penalty issues. He might already have peaked and be on a slow, but steady decline that sees him needing to be replaced in 3 years. Selling high on him is not that bad of an idea, but I doubt it actually happens.

        • bangkokben - Feb 18, 2015 at 11:05 AM

          Your assessment – per usual – is ridiculously off-based. Name 11 left tackles you think preform better than Williams – and they better have better injury histories as well. Left Tackle is the 2nd hardest position to account for and unlike quarterback must be a 1st round pick. If you don’t have a 1st rounder here, you have lucked into an adequate replacement and/or failed in your 1st round picks.

          The Redskins don’t need to create an unnecessary hole here when there are so many. By your logic we should sell high on Morris as well. We might as well draft his replacement in the 2nd round since his production has steadily declined, running backs take such a beating, and he’s not an every down back. NOT! Not on a team with so many holes.

        • Joe Greene - Feb 18, 2015 at 4:57 PM

          There’s 2 in the NFC East alone that I’d take ahead of him. Jason Peters and Tyronn Smith both outplayed him last season. Add in Joe Staley, Jared Veldheer, Riley Reiff, Duane Brown, Andrew Whitworth, Branden Albert, Joe Thomas. That puts Trent at 10th, and I feel like I’m being generous by not including guys like Terron Armstead ahead of him.

          Trent has had two straight years of getting banged up and committing a lot of penalties. Hopefully that trend reverses itself, but it’s not an encouraging one to think about.

  8. gurnblanstonreturns - Feb 17, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    This is sooo boring, but sooo necessary: The face of the franchise for the next couple of years needs to be Scot McCloughan.

  9. murphsman - Feb 17, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Deangelo Hall, or Moss. They’re the longest tenured. Though I think people would probably recognize Moss before Deangelo. Archives

Follow Us On Twitter