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Need to Know: Redskins still cleaning up locker room issues

Sep 22, 2016, 5:50 AM EDT

mccloughan-pregame-usat

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 22, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Joe Barry press conference 12:40; Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference, player availability after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until: Browns @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Ravens 17; Eagles @ Redskins 24

A work in progress

So we heard from another former Redskin who had less than complimentary to say about his former employer. Among other things, current Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson said that there is a lot of “finger pointing” in the Redskins locker room when things go poorly, as they are now.

Once they get down, they start pointing fingers,” he said to the New York media. “And that is true. That is what happens. And for the Redskins — I’ve only been on one team before I came here, and that was them — and all I saw was not the right way to handle it. I feel like they didn’t handle it the right way when I was there.”

While this may sound like sour grapes to many Redskins fans, it does jibe with recent reports that players are complaining about the play of quarterback Kirk Cousins after his rough start to the season. There may or may not be fire to the smoke but it seems unlikely that all of this was made up out of whole cloth. Jay Gruden downplayed Robinson’s remarks but he didn’t flatly deny them.

Which brings us to the topic here yesterday which was Scot McCloughan’s strong preference for ignoring need in the draft and drafting his kind of football players. Here is what he said just before the draft last year:

“I want to draft well and identify the guys are Redskins, not just as players, but as people. …It’s all about the Redskins, it’s about passion, it’s about football and that’s when you start hitting on guys.”

No doubt the people that McCloughan is talking about being “Redskins” are not those who will point fingers in the locker room or complain to the media when things go poorly. I don’t know who is anonymously complaining publicly or privately but I would be willing to bet anything that they are not players drafted by McCloughan like Brandon Scherff, Jamison Crowder, or Preston Smith. I also would be in confident in speculating that the finger-pointers were not among the players who have signed long-term contract extensions like Jordan Reed, Ryan Kerrigan, or Trent Williams.

One player acquired by McCloughan who has voiced a complaint this season is Ricky Jean Francois, who talked about a lack of adjustments by the coaching staff. But what’s different there is that Francois did not complain anonymously. He put his name on it. If you feel the need to vent that’s the stand-up way to do it.

The locker room culture needed to be fixed when McCloughan got to Washington. There were plenty of issues before the arrival of Robert Griffin III but that whole saga magnified the problems and brought them to the national spotlight.

Just like McCloughan has been unable to acquire enough talented defensive linemen who fit his vision for the team at this point in time he has been unable to fill the locker room with players who will worry more about doing their own jobs than they are trying to assign blame to others.

This means two things. First, if McCloughan passes over your favorite prospect at a position you perceive to be a desperate need one reason might be that his research indicated that the player was one of “those guys” in the locker room. Also, expect to hear some more about grumbling and finger pointing for a few more seasons. It takes time to weed out those players.

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In case you missed it 

 

  1. redskins12thman - Sep 22, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    I think the players on any team that starts out 0 and 2 begins to ask “what can we do differently” in the hopes of winning the next game; when players think the answer has more to do with others than with their own game — that’s the venting. I would be more shocked and concerned if this searching / asking did not go on at all but it’s understandable that teams strive to keep this in house so it doesn’t get meshed with the world outside the locker room.

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    • redskins12thman - Sep 22, 2016 at 6:41 AM

      As a fan, It’s not just that the team is 0 and 2, it’s how unprepared the team appears to start the season that is disappointing: false starts, missed assignments, not ready for extra point, etc. If it were an isolated incident or two, you could pin the matter on a couple of players, but the issues are too widespread for the coaching staff not to share a good part of the blame. In watching the NFL games so far, the Bills, Browns and Redskins appear to be the teams least ready for the beginning of the season with a few other teams, like the Colts, not far behind.

      Despite this upsetting situation, I still feel the Redskins are headed in the right direction. I feel the organization cares passionately about Redskins football.

      Winning always helps us deal with poor play too, however, as we overlook the shortcomings when one is added to the W column; even when we wonder about how the team will improve its performance against better competition, in the moment, we rationalize: at least X or Y issue didn’t prevent us from getting a win.

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      • chimps000 - Sep 22, 2016 at 8:10 AM

        12th man, that’s a good point – I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many false start penalties in a two game span. That would be an interesting stat to know. The space given to opposing pass catchers has been a head scratcher, like these guys don’t know
        how to play the scheme joe Barry has them playing. This may sound “negative” but that’s sure what it looks like.

        Cooley mentioned a rules emphasis change regarding he center- the center can no longer adjust he ball in the slightest or it’s getting called now- but that only accounts for a few of the false starts.

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    • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 12:10 PM

      I don’t think the issues Keenan Robinson, or from the past, are about soul searching for an identity. He said there’s finger pointing. And more reports that players are blaming Cousins. All of which could be complete BS. But they could be true too. And if they’re true, it’s a problem. There’s a big difference between constructive criticism and toxic negativity.

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      • metalman5150 - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:46 PM

        As a fan of the Skins, I will be the first to wag my finger at Kirk.
        Get with the program, Kirk!!!

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        • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 3:23 PM

          Well yeah, Cousins needs to step up and play better. He’s not playing how he is supposed to. But his teammates need to support him and help him play better. Not just wag their finger. I’m not saying that they are waging their fingers at him, I don’t know what’s going on in that locker room. I’m saying that if they are, they’re wrong for doing it. That doesn’t help anyone.

          As 12th man just said, most on the team need to play better. It’s not just Cousins. There’s only a couple guys who are playing really well. Think Cousins could do better if penalties weren’t consistently handicapping him? Think he could play better if they had a better running game and more run plays were called? Think he could play better if the center didn’t get shoved into his lap on critical 3rd downs? If the defense held teams to less points? If the run D didn’t allow opposing offenses to have 8 min drives? And, although it hasn’t been a major issue, there have been some dropped passes. It’s not all on Cousins. I do believe if he played better we would be 1-1. But I also believe we would have lost to Pittsburgh even if we had Brady because Pittsburgh is just a better team top to bottom.

          I also think a lot of Cousins problems will get fixed as he settles in. Some of it seems to be timing and maybe nerves (maybe). Our offense will look so much better if that happens, but we will still lose games. Because it’s year two of a rebuild and this roster just isn’t ready yet. Can’t blame anyone but the last regime and time for that.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 22, 2016 at 3:11 PM

        Agree, If the recommended changes, to put the team in a better position to win, deal with teammates / game plan, it must be constructive or it will result in friction. It’s also important for each player to mainly focus on their jobs on the field; most players on the team need to improve the way they are playing.

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  2. Bryan - Sep 22, 2016 at 6:03 AM

    I agree rich, scot is building something and it can’t be done in two drafts. We have improvement in areas but not all just yet. Many fans are freaking out cuz we made playoffs last year. Yea the team came together and we made it last year but it was prolly little soon. We have talent to do it again , we just have to find our groove. Scot didn’t Blow money on chasing fa, so we are set up nicely on salary cap. As far as Robinson goes, I had so much hope for him. He was a physically gifted freak at lb but just couldn’t cut it, Compton took his job and ran with it so he prolly is butt hurt. I don’t doubt there has been finger pointing , but why air dirty laundry, that’s a burned bridge. Sure hope he latches on somewhere for good cuz I’m sure people took notice. Anyways let’s play sound ball and Kirk be basic not pressing Kirk and we’ll be fine. And for god sake let that 6ft 2 240 lb running back run.

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  3. chimps000 - Sep 22, 2016 at 7:00 AM

    The issue of locker room culture is overblown and for the media and fans. When a team is winning, the locker room culture is positive. When a team looks like ass, guess what the locker room culture turns sour.

    It has about as much intellectual power as the idea of a “players coach”.

    Some fans seem to love these ideas and others like “intangibles”. Bottom line, if you win the negativity goes away.

    If Kirk plays well and joe Barry stops playing bruton and Phillips and the secondary including d hall doesn’t look lost half the time out there, the negativity will die down.

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  4. sidepull - Sep 22, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    I actually have thought that the leaks have been minimal compared to how it used to be. At times, dead silence. Anyhow, If the players and organization stay mum, us fans can vent and speculate for them….. 24/7.

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    • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:48 AM

      The silence this offseason was amazing compared to last seasons. It’s a good point. As is that we all do enough complaining for the team.

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  5. skinsgame - Sep 22, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    We’ve all seen Garçon get animated with disgust at both Griffin and Cousins. I’d bet he’s one of the “anonymous”. He was visibly angry when Ciusins threw that INT on Sunday and he’s done it before. I don’t disagree with the idea of putting some blame where it belongs, just put your name on it.
    I recall the last two off seasons having the whole debate about Scot drafting BPA and all the nonsense folks try to spin into it like “Need is a factor in BPA”. There were endless debates here and elsewhere about it, no one wanting to believe Scot takes who he thinks is best and ignoring the supposed wizard-like scouting of the collective pundits. It gets comical.
    When your team is as weak as the Redskins, every position is one of need and Free Agency is where the club addresses “needs and desires”. There were no DL, for example, that Scot thought enough of to pursue with an open checkbook in hand, including all of the alleged difference making rookies people are so disgusted he didn’t use the 1st or 2nd pick on.
    The rebuild continues.

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    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 22, 2016 at 8:14 AM

      We have seen Garcon and Djax be very vocal and animated on the sidelines. But, it could be people that look up to them, at the bottom of the depth chart, that leak what they saw their “leaders” do on the sidelines. So hard to say. We do however know that this locker room was recently refurbished and it must have some spy portals piped into those new fuzeball tables, similar to the Whisper room tiles in the capital building that have been used in congress for over 150 years… LOL. Only in DC.

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  6. redskins12thman - Sep 22, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    The more significant leaks are those that touch on game plan. Those matters should always stay in house and the coaches will share what details they want to with reporters; captains need to be careful what they’re sharing. No one else should be discussing these matters.

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  7. colorofmyskinz - Sep 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

    Accountability is a biaaa-tchhh. I wish Kirk was not so mental about the game. He is his worst critic and when others challenge his accountability he turns very inward. He should rely on his training, and the team has to realize there are much bigger issues that stand in the way of their 2016 success at this point. Yes some INTs. Yes more passes than necessary. But man, if we are down by 14-21 points because our defense cannot stop the other team, we are going to see Hail Mary after Hail Mary. Or maybe we should give Jones some junk yards like we did Morris in our losing seasons? 3rd and 21 and running the ball 17 yards, those are 17 yards are junk stats. Everything is connected. There is no one person to blame. Defense impacts play calling on offense. Offense going 3 and out impacts the defense.

    It would not matter if Brady was at the helm of this team. Brady would look as desperate as Kirk when he is down by 14 on this team knowing even if he puts 7 on the board his defense is going to get on the field and allow 7 quickly.

    All you have to do is look at teams like the Jets, Eagles, Giants… Their front defensive 7 look completely different than ours. Our best on the Dline depth chart would barely make the bottom of those depth chart rotations. We aren’t just slightly off on talent in the front 7, we are way off.

    Then add our safeties, and we have major problems. I bet we see Nacho, and I would not doubt seeing either Blackmon or Everette replacing DHall soon. Heck throw Sua in for Bruton if we have to.

    No easy fixes on this Dline. Kerrigan, Foster, Compton, and Murphy need to step up and take the slack of the extremely under talented Dline or we will not see a change in our trend to .500.

    Hail…

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    • sidepull - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:05 AM

      Come on Color you wouldnt like to see Brady here? Natural leader, fierce competitor, would have not missed all those throws, commands respect, multiple championships, experience in working with nothing and making something out of it, hot wife…well I for one would have liked to see that. Wishful thinking.

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      • colorofmyskinz - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:43 AM

        Ok you got me with the hot wife part… Lol. Sure he would perform better. And, you bet he would be busting some you know what if his defense gave back every TD he earned. One thing for sure, our running game would be better and our passing game would be better if our defensive line was not Swiss cheese.

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  8. dkat44 - Sep 22, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    A little finger pointing after a bad start to a season isn’t the worst thing but to do it publicly is not a positive thing. Losing hurts especially in a game that was clearly there for the taking. I’ll take a little finger pointing after a tough loss instead of a locker room full of players goofing off and joking around like a few years ago.

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  9. snyderisanidiot - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    I bet we can bring Rob back for next to nothing in the off-season. Statistically, Kirk plays better when Rg3 is on the team.

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  10. mauriceatwood - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    I’ve said it hundreds of times and will continue to say it until proven otherwise. the problem with the Redskins is coaching, coaching, coaching, or the lack thereof. This is quite simple..Jay Gruden is not a coach worthy of being a head coach in the NFL. He may be a great offensive coordinator and a better quarterback coach, but he is not the coaching leader and motivator that the Redskins need.

    We keep reading about rebuilding, and another couple drafts are needed, etc. in order to get this team corrected. That is a bunch of malarkey in my opinion. We need a coach who can communicate, motivate, and lead first and then connect the x’s and o’s together to make the team competitive. I hope Gruden can find that missing component before it’s too late this season, but is appears he has already lost the locker room. If the team loses this weekend in NY my bet is he will lose the locker room completely, and if Cousins doesn’t perform he may end up being a $20 million backup for the rest of the season. The responsibility for that is, once again, completely on Jay Gruden.

    With the upcoming schedule the Redskins have and their first two losses coming at home it’s going to take some serious improvement to make this team competitive. Gruden doesn’t strike me as being affable or interactive enough with the players to gain their trust. If he is then his play calling, lack of adjustments, and end result most of the time the team plays will continue to hinder his standing with the players.

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  11. metalman5150 - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Building championship rosters take a while, and I all for riding this Scotty M. train unto the end!

    It just sucks that our championship roster isn’t ready to shine, this year.

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  12. 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    There was too much talk from media and players about how good this team would be, There were major issues not addressed during the draft , free agency so I do’t know where the optimism came from.

    First if you look at Cousins college career at Michigan State nobody shouldn’t be surprised at his up and down at times erratic play. I got sick to my stomach all off season hearing the media banter about he is a franchise player, who else we gonna get , etc The guy we should have got and who was available is a freaking cowgirl, Dak Prescott instead we draft a stiff from Indiana.

    No drafting any defensive linemen and pass rushing linebackers will be this teams Achilles heal, Allowing Gruden to chose Joe Barr who has been unsuccessful and a failure everywhere he has been was ridiculous ,Perry Fewell should have been the defensive coordinator, this is all on the head coach

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    • sidepull - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:42 AM

      Life plays cruel jokes.. I thought finally…Hazmat is gone. We are now gonna get a real D coordinator. How could they possibly find somebody worse? Unreal.

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  13. smotion55 - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Were is your imaginary dollar for the % of importance in drafting players . I read your article and ask myself .With all those D-Linemen in the draft from power conferences and they feel that they all had a bad attitude. I think not. They went in a different direction on purpose. You talk of vision, What is the vision of this team anyway. Leave your homer perspective out of it. I have a homer perspective and hope always clouds my thinking until I type or write it and then read it. Care to shed some light on that .
    3 years was the minimum for changeover was most everybody’s opinion and year 4 and 5 to become a contender. Nothing has changed to think any differently, and they are exactly were they should be. It now looks like a 4 win season is in play and the most important and in need players might not be taken care of by next year. The QB of the future might not be on this roster. A complete changeover on the D-Line is possible, considering Baker is in last year.

    I am already looking at next year and how they still need a QB, C, and a defense because after NY kicks there ASS all hell is going to break loose. And if Cleveland comes in here and even comes close to winning Turn out the lights the party is OVER. ///// Give us your opinion of what that is going to be like

    I noticed 1 guy says bring RG3 back because Kirk played better last year when he was on the team. What the Hell is that for thinking. Those guys are going to come out of the woodwork. We need to take our lumps for another year at least and hope Snyder stays out of this and the GM stays sober enough to keep his job.

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  14. bloodklot - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    I agree with this article. It seems that you think Scott drafted not just for talent but to weed out the poison in the locker room instead of need on the roster. Since his first pick was Josh Doctson WR, that makes me think that we are preparing for one of our starter WR’s to leave making me think that one of the people that may be talking is DJax or Garçon. Am I right in my assessment of what your article is suggesting?

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    • bloodklot - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:54 AM

      Also since both of their contracts are up, this could be entirely true.

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    • Rich Tandler - Sep 22, 2016 at 12:32 PM

      Well, I wasn’t suggesting any specific players but, yes. I do think that Garcon will be gone due to both contract and possible locker room issues. Perhaps the same for DeSean. There are others.

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      • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:10 PM

        Rich, to your knowledge has Garcon had a history of trouble in the locker room? We ass saw him after the INT on Sunday but I mean actually stirring things up in the locker room?

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  15. celeoinc - Sep 22, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    We all know there were rumors about the offensive line doing the same to RG3. Only two OL are left from RG3 era and I think TW is a great guy that would never do that. As far the receivers go it is pretty evident that a bad year from Cousins it will mean not so good paycheck for Garcon or DJackson.

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  16. mightyjester - Sep 22, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Blaming others for his lack of success is what Gruden does. Remember when he threw Robert under the bus? He’ll be blaming Kirk soon too. So it makes sense that the players resemble their coach. Gruden is not a strong leader that takes responsibility for his team. After a half season of losses Gruden will blame Kirk then say “This is Colt’s team”.

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  17. bangkokben - Sep 22, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    Ahh, I see the Gruden-must-go crowd has come out of the shadows.

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    • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 4:40 PM

      Amazing what a difference a couple weeks makes hu?

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      • bangkokben - Sep 22, 2016 at 4:45 PM

        Couple of weeks? Barely heard from them since Tampa Bay. Before that, they were an incessant throng. But, yes, two weeks is an adequate sample and justification for their feelings. It’s as if they stopped watching after Tampa Bay (you like that) and their narrative just picks right up. Hmm, let’s just erase those games from history, minimize them to some sample SMALLER THAN TWO and carry on our agenda. And these are Redskins fans??!! Pathetic.

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        • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 5:04 PM

          I’m with you buddy. We’re all unhappy with the team’s performance but let the season play out. It’s just two games. For years I’ve been saying that we don’t know who teams really are until after week 4, but closer to week 6. That’s for good and bad teams, and not just the teams I root for. Teams need to settle in, new players need to learn the system, rookies need to get more reps, there’s more film, all kinds of stuff. It sucks losing, but everyone needs to relax and let it play out before jumping to conclusions.

        • hail74 - Sep 22, 2016 at 6:44 PM

          Agreed. Ive said it before and ill say it again. Would dallas still be americas team if they had fired Landry after losing his first 5 seasons? Where would Cleveland be if they had held on to Belicheck just a little longer?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:48 PM

          Where is that magnificent passing offense you touted that needed no running game. Sorry but you are not in great position to critize others. You also screemed about not signing Cousins to a long term deal. Why after only a few weeks are you not suggesting the same now?

        • bangkokben - Sep 23, 2016 at 10:26 AM

          Thanks for proving my point!

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 24, 2016 at 6:06 PM

          You rarely prove your point anymore. You just rant how others don’t understand today’s game but miss on almost every call about this team

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:55 PM

        I’ll be patient about Gruden but honestly, he has only confirmed my worst fears about him. I’ve stated many times that last season’s success is a product of a very weak schedule and weaker division. This team has already had signs of being rusty, unprepared, and now locker room call outs. The coach has to be blamed for the lack of leadership and how unprepared the team looks. Fans have a right to call for his head even if I feel it is premature at this point like you.

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        • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:28 AM

          I’m very concerned too. The one thing I absolutely can’t tolerate is a lack of leadership and a toxic locker room. All the talent in the world will fail in those conditions. But we don’t know for sure what’s going on there. It could be some media over hype. I’ll be skeptical about those reports until someone I trust, like Rich, says it.

          I also recently heard Brady Quinn talking about how he blames the players when there’s a lack of leadership, and not the coaches. He said that he always felt it was the responsibility of the players who were supposed to be leaders to fix accountability issues and locker room issues in general. Kind of like a sergeant handling the troops instead of the General. That’s just Quinn’s opinion, but I relate to and understand it.

          My only really point is that it’s just two games. We don’t really know anything yet. We’re not in the locker room and we don’t know what’s going on. They could go on a 10 game win streak for all we know. I just want patience while this plays out. Gruden inherited a mess of a team and I never expected it to all get fixed this soon. Things aren’t working out in Jacksonville, but I respect the hell out of them for giving Gus Bradley enough time to prove he’s not the right guy. It didn’t work, but firing coaches every other year hasn’t worked for the Browns either.

          I personally don’t feel the fans have the right to call for Gruden’s head after just two games and also coming off a season where we saw tremendous growth. Forget the record and schedule, the team overall looked significantly better. I also felt like Gruden wasn’t ready for this job and would have to grow into it (2014). I suspect he’s still growing and learning a thing or two about offseason preparation. But we’ve already endured those growing pains. I’m personally not for jumping ship before he has a chance to apply his learned lessons.

          However, I understand the frustration and realize everyone isn’t so patient.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 24, 2016 at 6:16 PM

          You might be right about the reported locker room issues. However, it’s being reenforced by past players. First it was Robinson who was my favorite defensive player two years ago. Them Pololumbus calls out the front office for many leaks. No offens to Quinn but over the years the coaches responsibility has rend to whiter to jus a guy making the calls on the field. That’s not what I remember about good football coaches. They are the ones the create locker room leaders and insure those guys inspire the coaches philosophy.

          Gruden was never the coach I wanted here and I have made my share of criticism. However, I support the team so I’ll always hope he becomes a great coach so that we have a great team to place on the field. Let’s see how the team responds in the next 4 weeks. A valued coach will put a good product on the field win or lose. At least demonstrate there is potential.

  18. Skulb - Sep 22, 2016 at 5:38 PM

    It’s the annual NFC East circus media, stalking whichever team that gets off to a bad start. Last year these people were like mosquitos around the Redskins until it emerged that there was no drama and that the team was doing alright, before pulling up their tents and moving to Philly. And now they’re back because the Skins started 0-2. looking under every rock for the slightest thing to blow up into a “news” story.
    This is Pierre being frustrated after a game blown up into locker room dissension, nothing more. ANd the game plan stuff is obviously Norman who foolishly talked to someone he believed to be his friend on the Panthers team. The “reporter” who broke this “news” was in Carolina just last week, so that’s some coincidence right there.
    Media is the biggest problem here, not the players. Having said that, they should all just shut up, answer everything with “no comment” and go win some games. And if the media doesn’t like that they can blame themselves.

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  19. theismann7 - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:35 PM

    As they always say…winning cures everything! Let’s hope for a victory in the Meadowlands and put all of this negativity to rest for at least a week. HTTR!

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  20. theismann7 - Sep 22, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    From where I’m sitting, I see the following needs to get the Redskins back to winning like it’s 1986: Fix the running game and get back to 50/50 run/pass, which I think will go a long way to fixing this offense. Draft at least 2 defensive lineman in the first 4 rounds of next year’s draft or find a steal or two from another team’s castoffs (unlikely). And find 2 legitimate safeties and another linebacker. I know I know….tall task. Cousins will fix himself sooner rather than later (hopefully). That’s my two cents anyway. Thoughts?

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    • snyderisanidiot - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:12 PM

      What about the Center position? Which I feel is a very large need of the team. I am a big K.L. fan but could he be our backup Center next season, possibly?

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      • theismann7 - Sep 22, 2016 at 11:33 PM

        Ah yes….how could I forget about the center position….absolutely!

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    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 22, 2016 at 10:43 PM

      It’s very hard to draft two starting d-lineman. I think you have to search one out in FA and draft a sure bet but that’s normally only a safe bet drafting in the to 6. I think a better approach would be to land a edge rusher and then move Preston Smith to DE. Yes I expect this team to draft at least in top 10 in next season’s draft and an edge rusher should be the 1st priority if you are not replacing Cousins. The for God’s sake draft or sign a real NT to play in a 3-4. These gimmicks in trying to shift guts to play the role NEVER works and the fools here that thought it was possible prior to the season have gone into hibernation.

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      • Trey Gregory - Sep 23, 2016 at 2:43 AM

        I’m not in hybernation! :)

        But I also think some people may have misunderstood what I was saying before the season. My fault, I was being short with people.

        I would be beyond excited if we draft an edge rusher and a DT with our top two picks next year. I crave a good defensive line. So I don’t want anything to think I don’t appreciate those positions.

        But I also realize it can’t all get fixed at once. So we have to survive while we wait. And I do think these hybrid schemes can work because I see teams do them every week. Like Denver and New Endland. They both use hybrid defenses that are very similar to what we do and shift fronts all the time. A lot of teams are turning to it.

        When I said “we will be fine without a NT.” I meant we can get by without one relative to our talent level. Of course a guy like Dontari Poe or Damon Harris would make our team better. They would make any team better. But Calais Campbell and Aaron Donald would also make our team better and they’re not true NTs (yes I know Campbell is a DE). But put the two of them inside with Kerrigan and Smith on the outside of a 4 man front and they will terrorize offenses.

        We weren’t getting a stud NT without a high draft pick or spending a lot in free agency. Even then, not many are available. So just signing a mediocre giant for the sake of it, I don’t see the value in that. I would rather take a good traditional 4-3 DT and use him to pass rush. Nobody rallies to draft a DT like that more than me.

        I meant that we can scheme around having a NT. Not that I don’t want one or think we wouldn’t be better off with one. Two good 3-4 DEs can kick inside and act as “4-3 DTs” while OLBs act as “4-3 DEs” and it works. Teams do it all the time.

        I would prefer the option to run a 3-3-5 or a 4-2-5. Right now we would get killed in a 3-3-5 because we don’t have a true NT. But it is possible to get by without one while we wait. I suggested something like Murphy, Baker, Hood, and Kerrigan as a 4 man front but I never expected it to be great. Just the best we can currently do.

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    • mtskins - Sep 23, 2016 at 12:37 AM

      So let me get this straight. We need to draft Charles Mann and Dexter Manley ( who did nothing in his rookie year). Then just two sateties and a LB. I enjoy how just assume Jackson, Garcon, Crowder are equal to the Posse. Guessing you have Norman as our Darrel Green. In your defense I can see how Cousins could be compared to Jay Schroeder. Also am amused how you happen to overlook Center and Lg to “fix the run game” where Russ Grimm and Jon Bostic happened to play.

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      • theismann7 - Sep 23, 2016 at 10:17 AM

        Well, with the way the NFL is today with a salary cap, you need to pick your poison and you can’t have every position be a Pro Bowler. When the Redskins had all of those pieces, they could because they didn’t have the restraints that are there today. I overlooked the center position by mistake. lol. It was late and I had a brain fart.

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