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Need to Know: Five moments that led to the Redskins’ NFC East title

Dec 29, 2015, 5:31 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 29, five days before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys.

Five moments that led to the Redskins’ 2015 NFC East title

The Redskins clinched the 2015 division title on Saturday when DeAngelo Hall scooped up Demarco Murray’s fumble and ran 17 yards to the end zone. It was at that point where the Eagles’ win probability plummeted to just about zero. But other moments led up to that. Here is a look at a few of them.

The 2015 NFL draft—There wasn’t one moment there but rather a series of moments when the Redskins turned in cards for some players who proved to be very productive. It’s hard to see the Redskins being as successful as they were this year without the steady play of Brandon Scherff at guard, Preston Smith’s pass rush in the latter stages of the season, some big plays by Matt Jones, some spectacular catches by Jamison Crowder, and the versatility of safety/nickel corner Kyshoen Jarrett.

“It’s Kirk’s team”—On August 31, Jay Gruden announced that Kirk Cousins would be the starting quarterback for the season. Many predicted that controversy and turmoil would still be standard operating procedure at Redskins Park. After a somewhat shaky start for Cousins, with the Redskins going 2-4, things started to click and they haven’t looked back.

Onside kick vs. the Bucs—The Redskins were on the comeback trail after falling behind Tampa Bay 24-0 in the first half. But they needed a boost and after Cousins threw to Ryan Grant for a touchdown to make it 24-14 in the third quarter they created one. Dustin Hopkins perfectly executed a surprise onside kick and Trenton Robinson recovered for the Redskins. Seven plays later Cousins threw to Jordan Reed for three yards to make it a three-point game and the Redskins eventually came out with a 31-30 win.

Matt Jones’ catch against the Bears—The Redskins had led 14-0 and 21-7 in Chicago but they were very much in danger of having their first road win of the season slip from their grasp. Up 24-21, the Redskins were trying to burn the clock out with about four minutes to play. On third and five, Cousins scrambled to the right, stopped, and fired a pass across the field to Jordan Reed. The ball went off of Reed’s hands But Matt Jones was there to grab the ball before it hit the ground, giving the Redskins a key first down at the Bears 45. Although the Redskins had to punt, the play gave them enough time off the clock and enough field position to hold off the Bears for the win.

DeSean Jackson’s 77-yard TD catch against the Bills—The Redskins led 21-3 in the third quarter and the Bills were starting to move the ball. On first down from the 23, Jackson went down the left sideline. He had to slow down around midfield to gather in Cousins’ pass. He evaded two defenders, ran through an attempted ankle tackle, and outran the defense to the end zone. That gave the Redskins the working margin they needed to survive a Bills push on offense and get out of FedEx Field with a 35-25 win.

I’m sure you have some additions to the list; feel free to chime in with them in the comments. 


Today’s schedule: Player meetings at Redskins Park, no availability

Days until: Redskins @Cowboys 5; start of NFL playoffs 11; start of divisional round 18

In case you missed it

  1. kkahuna - Dec 29, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    Nice work as always, Rich. In seasons where everyone expects a dumpster fire and gets a divisional championship and home playoff game instead, it’s difficult to pinpoint 5 moments that brought about the unexpected results. However, I would say that the date that the Scot McCloughan deal to make him GN was finalized, January 7, 2015 should rank pretty high up there.

    • kkahuna - Dec 29, 2015 at 7:17 AM

      *GM, not GN.

  2. dcfaninecuador - Dec 29, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    All good points, to be sure, but the biggest moment, in my mind, was whenever Gruden convinced the powers that be that Griffin was not the answer and Cousins should be the QB. It was this move that proved Gruden was not just another patsy coach hired to fulfill the wishes of Snyder, Allen, etc. (Shanahan included). It also solidified Gruden’s standing with the players and proved he is his own man dedicated to doing everything he could to put the team in a position to win, not just kowtow to the whims of the owner. This is where he earned the respect of the players. All coaches make mistakes (Belichek’s coin toss brain fart?), but the objective of any job is to grow, learn and improve, which Gruden is doing. As for the critics who say Gruden never wanted Griffin to succeed, and is a failure for his inability (or unwillingness) to work with Griffin, I say that is patently stupid. Seriously, who takes a new job determined to NOT do what you are hired to do. For whatever reason, he learned Griffin was not the answer for this team with the limited skill set (see 49ers). I wish Griffin success elsewhere (just not NFC East). BTW, he is quiet this year because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his chances with another team by getting the label of a malcontent.

    Second biggest moment was the hiring of Scot McCloughan.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 29, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      Yes. Gruden risked a ton making that call, and caught endless carp for it.

      But he was right.

      • ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:27 PM

        “Endless carp”—love it!

        • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:15 PM

          Yeah, Gru hadda deal with all that “carp” — and it “smelt” bad … for a little while at least!!

    • ericstylezz - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      Everyday. Every article. No one actually cares who the QB is we just want wins.

      0 wins against winning teams. Can we not at least wait to see what happens against real competition before we think we have Aaron Rogers?

      Has anyone ever tried talking smack to ppl who ARENT also redskins fans? It’s very hard to do when we have no signature wins…I think we need to pump the brakes and stop repeating that annoying phrase when all we’re dong is beating equal or lesser competition

      • ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:37 PM

        Who cares?

        This is a team picked by “experts” to finish in the cellar. NO ONE HERE thinks this is a great team, just a hard-working team in the midst of a rebuild. After a meager 7 wins in the previous two seasons, we don’t care whether you think the Skins have beaten any good teams. We’ll take every win, whether it’s against a buncha mopes or a Good Team™.

      • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:19 PM

        So right Eric! Winning is all that matters.

        The Skins could be playing Steven Hawking at QB (or is he more of a soccer guy?) and we wouldn’t care … as long as they were WINNING! ;^}

        • squawonthewarpath - Dec 29, 2015 at 5:42 PM

          The past 2 seasons when this team only won a combined 7 games total everyone was crying for more wins. Now that the team has FINALLY achieved 8 wins there are some people who are now complaining how they haven’t won against a good team. Who gives a crap??? A win is a win and counts the same regardless of the opponent. A few weeks ago the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots and this past Sunday Atlanta beat the unbeaten Panthers. Even good teams get beat at some point. I am so sick of all this negative bs. NO ONE can deny that this team has made great strides forward this season and complaining about who the team hasn’t beaten is just an attempt to “save face” by those “fans” who criticized and complained about the decision to start Cousins instead of simply accepting it and moving on. This team has clearly MOVED ON and MOVED FORWARD as a result. HTTR!!!!

  3. Tyler McCray - Dec 29, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    How about all the defensive goal line stands we had this year. From getting several 4th downs to a missed field goal to a almost certain touchdown and intercepted in the end zone. We have given up some plays I wish we had back but I am really proud of #capitalpunishment. #Httr

  4. colmac69 - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    Hiring real GM was a starting point in getting franchise pointed in right direction///owner finally realising that the GM hired could actually do the job his way (as he had track record with sea and San fran)//////virtually all off season with no dramas,,,no stories…..just football related for change

    Change of QB…….took lot balls but obviously the gm and coach thought it was best….you read media guys at time and since… they all say players agreed it was right decision and let players see that best player for positions got the nod

    As for season think tampa bay game was huge….2-4 staring at 2-5 at ht….patriots up nxt….comeback to win imo when team started to believe cousins could b man to lead us (perhaps rich could clarify at what point he thinks was turn around regarding season)

    5 wins out 8 that followed (2 defeats at patriots/panthers)……wins breed confidance…guys believing they got something going…..cousins on fire last few wks….rubs off on everyone…guys willing to put it all on line and more for the nxt guy…..all things add up and those extra efforts can lead to bigger things……..

    Obviously winning division I would assume was slightly unexpected to say least but a title is a title……playoffs are gravy but u look at the teams left and way redskins are playing offensively and quite frankly would have gd chance home to greenbay…seattle or vikings…..

    Just great to have team involved in playoffs

    • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:34 PM

      Just a few quick comments on your thoughts, colmac;

      I agree that hiring Scot McC was huge; he set a tone for how the team was going to be built & the type of player they were gonna build with … and then went out and got some.

      Gotta totally agree with the importance of that Bucs comeback! I commented at the time that I hoped that win was gonna turn out to be the “turning point” of the season, not just the “highlight” of the season. Overjoyed that is was the former, and that there were MANY more of the latter.

      Finally, to me there were many treacherous stepstones across the raging river that was this NFL season that the Skins had to navigate. Slip on too many of those and your hopes get swept away! Winning on the road; winning two in a row; winning a prime time game and winning a title-clinching game were all huge steps that they managed to conquer.

      But imho getting out from under the NY Giants’ thrall was the biggest step up of them all! Taking that big lead against their personal bête noire, then holding off Big Blue’s furious comeback attempt seemed to set the tone for the confidence & determination the Redskins displayed throughout the rest of the season.

      Lotsa great moments … with hopefully more to come!

      (One minor caveat tho, mac ; I disagree that it’s “obvious” that BOTH the GM & the HC thought the QB change was best. [Surprise! LOL!!] I actually haven’t heard ANY reports verifying that scenario … just a lotta speculation. Due to the lack of those facts, I’ll continue to “speculate” that the change was primarily Gru’s call, and that Mac went along with it as being a HC’s prerogative, and defended the move to Danny as such. But I will be glad to consider any REAL evidence that anyone can present to the contrary. Anyone?)

      • ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 4:17 PM

        Agree, taking down the Giants was huge. The Skins have always been competitive against Dallas and Philly, even in dark times. But Eli & Co. have managed to beat up on our team for many years. Hopefully that particular curse is behind us.

  5. timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    1. The day the NFL. schedule came out. (Weak schedule)
    2. The day Hasselt got fired.
    3. The day they hired the new GM.
    4. The NFL. Draft
    5. When Moses stepped up to solidify the Right side of the Oline.

    These moves st the plate for a Division run.

    in season moves I would add would be Jackson’s return and Roberts being benched for Crowder

    • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      Just like 2012, they played a 4th place schedule. Did you toss out that year too? All teams play under same rules and get scheduled under the same rules.

      • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:03 AM

        Why does that one point seem to upset you? It is a weak schedule and we haven’t beaten anyone with a winning record. Or do you ignore that too? I don’t even know why you are bringing up 2012

        • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:18 AM

          What makes you think I’m upset by your opinions? I’m merely pointing out that the team didn’t pick who to play, the league does with its formula. You know exactly why I brought up 2012.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:32 AM

          Why what does 2012 have to do with this division title and what helped us win it? So no I don’t know why you are bringing2012 up. Now if you want compare them we can start a thread on Comparing our last 2 division titles

        • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:23 AM

          It’s because you harp on every single “fault” of cousins and gruden because of your preference for Rob. You hold cousins to a far higher standard than Rob and consequently he’ll never be the guy for you. All cousins has to do is lose in the first round of the playoffs and he will have accomplished just as much as Rob.

        • Skulb - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:41 AM

          Neither have Seattle. The lengths you are willing to go to in order to not give Gruden and Cousins any credit is unbelievable. Were you second guessing 2012 like this? I don’t think so. And that’s why it’s a relevant point and why most of us do not take anything you say seriously. You’re a hypocrite.

        • rtcwon - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:50 AM

          2012 was also a last place schedule. That is the point, along with any point about schedule strength only applies to college.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:13 PM

          First off I’ve given Cousins and Gruden props when they have done well.

          Second I hold every player to the same standard. I do not harp or critizie a player that ishurt and hold them to the same standards as if they are healthy wich is stupid.

          3rd I don’t try to compare a player playing against second and 3rd stringers and proclaim he is better.

          4th I don’t dismiss when a player is playing under different circumstances ie an improved Oline, healthy and in the second year in an offense.

          All I’ve ever said was Cousins had an interception problem which he has improved by making better decisions and his pooor accuracy down field. Throwing behind and 5 to 10 yards away from the receivers. Most of the time this still happens WRs have tostop or reach behind for the ball.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:22 PM

          I don’t hold Cousins to a higher standard I just don’t make every excuse in the book for off throws from a Healthy QB. Cousins has beaten only bad teams and some of them barely. Up untilthe last 2 or 3 games he hasn’t thrown down field. Once he can do that without throwing behind the WR. Which I have also said before could be timing but None of you fools bother to acknowledge that I’ve mentioned this or the ttimes Ihave given Gruden and Cousins props

          Your total hate of RG3 blinds you from any good comments I have made and makes you overly sympathetic to any other I remember not to long ago you all were for McCoy Anyone but RG3

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:28 PM

          This is also the most impatient group of fans I’ve ever seen. And why the he’ll do you people get so worked up over a simple evaluation of a situation or QB? Everyone has their own opinions. I don’t get mad at you all for bashing a guy who is hurt or was playing behind a far worse online. Bunch of bawlbabies. It’s just an opinion get over it.

        • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:11 PM

          You called cousins” the great white hype”. Insinuating racism can certainly be considered bashing people’s opinions.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:34 PM

          Another case of not reading or correctly repeating what people write. I wrote Hope because of at the time all the praise for mediocre play AT THE TIME

        • fwhalstead1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:45 PM

          Man you need to mature a bit and see things for what they are/were. At the beginning of the season I and a lot of others stated that a GREAT season while REBUILDING would be 6 wins. That is all I thought the roster would support and truthfully that is all it would support BUT….Kirk Cousins started playing out of his freaking mind. He’s setting new records WEEKLY.He has the new 300 yard passing mark by a QB in a single season. No QB, throwing and rushing combined, has as many 300 yard games as Cousins. I’ll also remind you that he set the ROOKIE single season record for passing yardage in a single game. You see all the negatives and there is some truth to what you are saying. i just don’t believe it is tempered in, on grounded in, reality. You have this thing that they haven’t beaten anyone with a winning record as if this ROSTER was going to DOMINATE and run away with the NFC East. Truth is they are no worse or no better than 2/3rd’s of the NFL. You also asked what 2012 had to do with it and when folks gave you valid comparisons you blew them off. These 2 seasons are very similar with just as much unexpected excitement in both for me! I suspect you’re very young and want the Skins to be great again. I would suggest that you are starting to see the very beginnings of what is going to be a really good team in 2 or 3 years. I would further suggest that you look past their current flaws and enjoy them for what they are as opposed to what the aren’t just yet. Hang in there young buck and enjoy the view because win or lose a playoff game they have far and away exceeded any fans true expectations and are building something that only a few more drafts can cure towards being DOMINANT! 48 years a Skins fan! HTTR!

    • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:47 AM

      And FYI, while we are ranked 25th currently in strength of schedule, I don’t see anyone bemoaning New England’s (26), Carolina’s(29) or the Jets(32).

      • ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:50 PM

        Everything Tom Brady and Cam Newton have accomplished this year is invalidated by their weak-ass schedules. They might as well have been playing USFL teams. I for one am sick of all the Brady and Newton apologists!

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:55 PM

          Nobody said that the weakestschedule was the main reason. BTW what are their records with far less talent?

        • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:13 PM

          You honestly think those teams are less talented than the skins? Both have a far better defense and while we appreciate cousins, no one is confusing him for Brady or Newton.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:25 PM

          We have pot roast breeland Jarrett Hall Kerrigan on D plus our linebackers and line aren’t that bad. We have a top 5 Oline Reed Jackson Garcon Crowder . We are stacked on the offense compared to those 2 besides the QB position
          And the way most act on here we got them beat there also….I’m not one of them

        • hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:22 PM

          Id take Hightower, Collins,jones, Davis and kuechly(sp) over our lbs any day. Love breeland but is he better than butler or Newman? Morris may have been better than Stewart or Blount but not this year. Lerib isn’t better than any C in the league. Our top 5 line owes plenty to the quick pass scheme and cousins, because they surely are not a top 5 run blocking line. We have differing opinions which makes for good back and forth. I’m not faulting your opinion so I apologize if I came off that way. Im merely enjoying watching this team come together and the success we’ve had to date has just been icing on the cake.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:28 PM

          Let me correct myself top 5 Pass Blocking Oline. Cousins has had more time to throw this year than in previous years.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:52 AM

      Tim, they’ve had next to no running game throughout their division-clinching stretch run.

      You have to credit Cousins and Gruden, even if it pains you to do so.

      • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:07 AM

        Do we have no running game due to the RBs or how they are used? Jones was out last weak and Morris didn’t even get to 20 carries when we were leading or close the whole game. So what’s really wrong with the Run game?

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:15 AM

          What’s really wrong with it is we’ve been getting poor play at center since Lichtensteiger got hurt.

          Morris is a good fit in a pure Shanny-based ZBS, but that’s not what Callahan runs.* And Spencer Long is coming along, but he’s not yet up to the level of Shawn Lauvao (this year’s Shawn Lauvao, that is).

          Do you really think they should have run more times when they’re getting stoned each time? That’s what Chip was hoping we’d do!

          * My opinion, of course. Whatever the reason, Morris is not productive this year, and he doesn’t look comfortable out there like he used to.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:36 AM

          Morris was a lead back. He is being used differently that would explain the drop off. Some RBs have to get in rythem and Gruden has shown he mostly abandons the Run. I think we would have done a lot better if we just stuck with one RB as the lead back

        • firesnyder - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:37 AM

          timwillhide – I’ve watched half of this season’s games twice. Morris is definitely running different. The big thing I notice is that he’s stutter-stepping right before he reaches the point of contact at the line. He loses momentum. It happens A LOT. I’m not sure why he’s doing that. Maybe the holes aren’t there or he’s being indecisive or he’s been hurt and it unconsciously shy of contact. I don’t know but he’s DEFINITELY not the same RB of last year and the year before.

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:39 AM

          I will have to get on game pass and watch to see what you are seeing with him being indecisive

        • goback2rfk - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:48 AM

          Its the runners. Morris and Jones are the problem. It wont take long for Pierre Thomas to surpass them on the depth chart. You saw Pierre had no problems running the ball on the few snaps he got.
          I would try a Matt Jones / Pierre Thomas combo at the running back position. And drop Morris to 4th on the depth chart behind Chris Thompson.

        • fwhalstead1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:52 PM

          Tim I have direct access as a paid subscriber to the ALL22 film and I can tell you that Morris does indeed hesitate at the line. now i don’t know why but i suspect it has a lot to do with the style at which they want to run. It also has a lot to do with the horrendous play at LG and Center. Skins are a 1 directional running team (most of their runs are to the right side of the line) and they are trying to do it behing a ROOKIE RG and a 2nd year RT. This team is going to be really good soon. There are still lots of holes on this roster and we fell into a gold mine with these young guys on both sides of the line playing like 5 year vets!

    • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      I also noticed not a Damn one of you hada comment about anything but Cousins and RG3 Wich I didn’t mention anywhere. Pathetic

      • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:55 PM

        Tim when will you get yourself over Robert and enjoy your teams success? SERIOUSLY………..

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:36 PM

          I enjoy the teams success I just don’t sugar coat one and bash the other I call it like I see it.

          As of now we have 2 Division winning QBs on the roster.

        • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:05 PM

          So tim beings “YOU CALL IT LIKE YOU SEE IT” do you see Robert as a successful pocket passer in the NFL?

          Everyone knows now that he / they can’t rely on his legs any longer so he better figure out what he and his dad wished for and that is to be a pocket passer…..RIGHT?

        • timwillhide - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:24 PM

          I feel RG3 can still run. It takes a full year to com back from atorn ACL unless you are AP. RG3 wore a brace for 2013 and got a dial cated ankle in 2014 so nobody really knows that he can’t run. 2016 while healthy we will see.

          I feel he has the work ethic as reported him being the last off the field and out there pregame while inactive
          and the intelligence to be a pockect passer just needs to develop something most people don’t want to give himtime for. He has far supior arm talent than anyone on the team.

          I don’t judge a player who has bin injured behind a bad Oline first year in a system against a guy who is Healthy behind a better online in his second year in a system

        • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:09 PM

          “Everyone knows now that he / they can’t rely on his legs any longer”

          LOL! Repeatedly making statements about “EVERYONE” knowing anything is why you’ll never get taken seriously around here, gassy!

          Blanket pronouncement that can’t be proven just aren’t too bright.

        • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:40 PM

          BRUCE if you can’t see or understand that he can’t in this league, then you are right your bulb isn’t too bright :)

        • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:42 PM

          bruce ** can’t rely on his legs**

        • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:43 PM

          fair enough tim, time will tell if he can do it???

        • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 6:24 PM

          Tim, I think you have the right of it when you talk about Griffin’s running.

          When he cameback from that ankle injury last season I heard him declare on a pregame show that he was ready, willing and able to run ALL the plays — including any read-option plays! Nothing was off the table or beyond his abilities. Now, how well all that turned out is fairly obvious — but how well it went for Cuz or Pierre or Alfred or Reed or Chester or Trent …yada…yada… is also obvious. Everybody pretty much reeked!

          As you say, Griff worked hard in the offseason to improve, just as Cuz did, unfortunately he never got a big chance to show it. Whether his shot was fair or not is open to debate; whether he coulda done the job is pure speculation — we’ll never know. But to say Griifin will NEVER be a running threat again (and thus never a QB threat!) is wild speculation. And I’m sure you’ll agree that saying EVERYONE knows it, on top of it all, is complete bullspit.

          Finally, more toward those bullspitters than to you Tim, if you pay attention, NO ONE ever said that they demanded that RG be a straight drop-back passer … just that they wanted him to be MORE of one. It seems their biggest concern was that they didn’t want him to be expected to carry the ball 100+ times a season, which was becoming the trend (despite assurances to the contrary maybe?). 100+ carries is Mike Vick territory and we know what happened to Vick in short order!! I don’t think anybody with an once of common sense advocates that for any QB anymore — even the “runners”. Not Wilson, not T. Taylor, not Kap.

          But it’s cheap & easy to twist that into something different in order to suits one’s agenda, so ya gotta expect it from some quarters. But smart people don’t hafta just buy it.

        • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 8:14 PM

          BRUCE how ironic you seem to want to FORGET or IGNORE the FACT Robert Jr and Rob wanted to be this drop back passer …come on spew your garbage elsewhere at least be HONEST with yourself !

          As far as you saying “someone taken me seriously” HA!
          I really couldn’t care less to be honest, I was one of the few if any that said from day one Shanny would ruin this kid and it would become his circus in DC …guess what SPOT ON:)) Also I called Kirk “Captain Kirk” Saying he was our next Franchise QB :)) DAY ONE!!

          I also was the first (ON THIS BLOG) to bring up the 16 million cap hit (start of camps) asking several times what Rich’s opinion (as well as others ) on the RISK VS REWARD playing Rob, to be ignored or laughed at by folks like you who said I didn’t know what I was talking about ….HA! So go back under that snow ball in NY !!!!

      • fwhalstead1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:54 PM

        Except me :) I addressed your points with valid counterpoints and come next year you won’t have to worry about the Cousins/RG3 comparisons any longer. There will only be 1 division winning QB on the roster – Mr. Kirk Cousins.M

  6. richmond20657 - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    1. McCloughan
    2. Fire Haslett bring in Barry
    3. Hire Callahan
    4. Start Cousins
    5. Build team depth and morale with veterans

    Turning point in season was most definitely the Tampa come back.

    • richmond20657 - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      6. Mcvay calling plays leaving Gruden to manage less during game.

  7. richmond20657 - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    Firesnyder is correct Morris is not running the same and I think it has to do with scheme . I tell you if the Eagles release Murray he would be dynamite in Washington with Callahan again .

    • firesnyder - Dec 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      richmond20657 – Ha, I said the exact same thing to my son during the Philly game…. Murray would be one bad man behind our line. Then, we would have TWO players who have a chip on their shoulder against NFC East teams! Maybe Murray’s been humbled enough to get him for cheap in the off-season. Ha, doubt it, but maybe.

  8. kenlinkins - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I would add the day the new GM picked up the $16 million option on RG3. IMO, When the Redskins were 2-4 and getting ready to face Tampa Bay before the Bye, it was the $16 million option that gave Gruden the cover required not to dress RG3 and when the Redskins were down 24-0, how many fans think that if RG3 was dressed he would have entered the game. Without the $16 million option, would the QB YO YO have started up again? The option gave Cousins the time needed to grow, and even if the head coach was set on playing Cousins all year no matter what, without the $16 million option would he have been able to face down the Fans, Media, Owner, President and maybe even RG3 himself if he saw this as an opening to make his case. IMO I had this move (the option) as a BIG mistake and wanted someone in Redskins management to take the hit for it (how wrong was I?), but over the rest of the season the $16 million option turned into the reason no one who knew football could dare say “Play RG3” and risk the 2016 season. Cousins did in fact make the faith in him pay off and make the new GM look like the smartest guy in football (and me not so much). I do wonder if the new GM had any idea of the “back end” benefit the $16 million Option had when he signed it (i.e. thinks could work out this way), IMO no way, it just worked out to his benefit but what a benefit it turn out to be. Without the $16 million option the Redskins could have been something much less than a play off team this year.

    • ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      Great point about picking up the option, Ken. There has been a lot of speculation / angst / second guessing about Scot’s decision to pick up Robert’s option. Maybe Scot actually thought through all of the ramifications and made the right call?

    • gasngo14 - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:46 PM

      Was this move intentionally done to change Dan’s thought on this issue, NEVER KNOW?

  9. Skulb - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Preseason it’s hiring Scot, the FA/draft hits and finally putting the team’s best QB on the field in week 1. That should have been done in 2013 from a football perspective and certainly before 2014. But it finally happened and is the main reason we’re not 4-12 again.
    In the actual season itself it was clearly the comeback against the Bucs. They have lost three games since that day, two of them on the road to undefeated teams. It turned the team around and it started turning the fan base and the media around.

  10. firesnyder - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:02 PM

    I believe the many weeks within 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons where Kirk was NOT considered the starter were pivotal. Kirk was able to work on being a QB without media scrutiny and without risk of injury. His hunger grew and grew as well. So much so that he brought in an outside personal QB coach. He constantly looked at film…. he constantly reviewed his performances when he did see snaps. In this day and age, where the collective bargaining agreement does not allow QBs as much practice as in the old days, Kirk was able to sit behind RG3 for two and a half seasons and JUST LEARN. There were no huge expectations except those that he placed on himself. That’s what it takes to get up to speed in the NFL… time to learn. Team coaches, owners and fan-bases need to be more patient. These rookies nowadays just get thrown into the fire and that’s not really the ideal situation. Peyton Manning came into the league in 1998 and didn’t win his first playoff game until 2003.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:57 PM

      Very interesting perspective, fire! Haven’t heard that one before, but it is not at all far-fetched, imho.

      Kinda odd tho that being relegated to backing up a Heismann Trophy-winning, ROY-winning, record-setting Redskins superstar seemed to do little to alleviate Cuz’s feelings of being insulted, disrespected, and unjustly marginalized at that time. No?

      It’s obvious there’s a lot more pride, fire, and piss-n-vinegar in Cousin Kirk than his “aw-shucks”, down-home-modest demeanor belies! His biggest key may be that he’s done a better job of suppressing that publicly than his aforementioned predecessor did.

      (Until “YOU LIKE THAT!!”, at least. ;^} )

  11. hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    1) Hiring Scot
    2)the culture changed,media circus went away
    3)whenever/whatever happened to make Gruden feel comfortable enough to go with Cousins
    4)when Mcvay, who openly admitted he’s still learning, opened up the playbook, even if just a little.
    5a)the comeback against TB
    5b) the return of djax Archives

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