Sunday, May 13, 2012

80th Anniversary and The 2012 Throwback Jerseys

(This is the 80th Anniversary Throwback and I want one! Photo by Ned Dishman/Redskins.com)
The big news coming out of Redskins park this week was the plans for the 80th anniversary celebration for the Redskins. This included the reveal of the 80th anniversary logo, the plans for the regular season, this current off-season and an alternate/throwback uniform that will be worn at least twice at home this year. The 'Skins also officially showed off the indoor practice facility (or what we all like to call the bubble or the dome).

Here's a picture of the 80th anniversary logo (from the Redskins facebook page):


More or less the Redskins are bringing back their "Greatest Redskins" theme that they used during the 70th anniversary (I was able to attend that game Colts/Redskins back in 2002 that halftime presentation was awesome and the 'Skins beat the Peyton Manning led Colts that night). This year 10 more Redskins will be added to the list and unlike the 70th Greatest players, fans will be the ones choosing the new members of this group at this website (redskins80th.com). Sean Taylor and Darryl Grant are two players in particular that I'm campaigning for. There's some more stuff, but we'll get to the most important thing that fans tend to care about.....the jersey.



As you can see in the top photo, the jersey is a throwback to the 1937 season when the Redskins came to DC. Fitting they pick a jersey for the year the Redskins drafted what is arguably the Redskins greatest player in QB Sammy Baugh. Hmmm...I wonder if they went this way because they drafted some guy named Griffin who much like Baugh may change they way we see the game played. Nah, just a coincidence. We've actually seen this uniform used before as a throwback by the Redskins. However, there is a unique difference in this uniform vs. the one used in the 90's and that would be the helmet. The 2012 helmet is a modernized homage to the old leather helmet used back in the classic eras of the NFL. It is an interesting look, that looks like real leather. But I'm not sure I'm digging it because I am a fan of shiny helmets. my favorite helmet I've seen recently was Oregon's chrome helmet from this past Rose Bowl.


But let's see how this looks when the games are played. So when will we get to see these uniforms? Well, the Redskins have mentioned that the uniforms will be seen in two home games. One will most likely be against the Panthers on November 4th. That is 2012's Homecoming game which will feature an alumni parade and probably the official ceremony for the 80th Greatest Redskins. The other game is unknown but my guess is that it will be against an NFCE opponent possibly the Giants on MNF. No word on if/when the Redskins will be releasing the throwback jersey for sale but if they have one for London Fletcher I may have to consider getting one. No one is more old school than #59.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 10th an Important Day for Redskins, Redskin Fans

(Could this be the uniform for the 80th anniversary throwbacks? Maybe in Burgundy?)

Mark your calendars for May 10th.

There are two very important things taking place on that day for the Redskins. One is fan related, the other is team related and critical for the Redskins for 2012 and 2013. Let's talk about the most important one first.


1.  Salary Cap Arbitration: The Redskins and the Cowboys will have a chance to be heard by law professor Stephen Burbank to address the issue of the Redskins being penalized $36 million dollars over two seasons (Dallas $10 million). This is because of a Roger Goodell backed penalty that during the uncapped year both teams violated the "spirit of the Salary Cap". A mythological entity that goes along with Leprechauns, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and a Lombardi trophy that has the name Philadelphia on it. More or less I have tried not to say much on the topic (at least on IIWII) because all I can think of writing to Commissioner Goodell and John Mara (owner of the Giants and head of the committee that made this ruling) is two words that starts with an F and ends with a U. Feel free to fill in the blanks for yourselves.

Based on what I have read and what I've heard from both sides, it's hard to say the NFL has much of a case here. The only way I can see them winning is that the arbitrator rules that either a) the Redskins can't call for arbitration because it's not a player issue but a NFL/NFL team issue and that doesn't fall in the realm for arbitration or b) the NFLPA signed off on the deal and thus the 'Skins can't argue for arbitration because it's a team penalty issue. Outside of that, the NFL has no case. They are penalizing two teams who did the same thing that many of the other NFL teams did during the uncapped year. While some teams spent under what was 2009's salary floor, the Redskins re-structured deals that made them spend above the 2009 salary cap. But who cares..... 
THERE WAS NO SALARY CAP OR SALARY FLOOR IN 2010!!!!!
Nor, were there rules in spending or not spending in the uncapped year. The NFL argues that they gave verbal warnings to teams multiple times to not overspend in 2010, yet nothing was ever written (at least we have not heard of any internal memos of such- and if they did, then they violate the previous CBA). Both contracts that were renegotiated and are the cause of the issue (DeAngelo Hall, Albert Haynesworth) but both contracts were approved by the NFL and the Commissioner. Also, this ruling comes into the new CBA and is what many call an Ex Post Facto agreement (or in my poor Latin- After The Fact). Most Ex Post Facto additions to contracts are not considered valid.
I just can't see how the Redskins don't win this unless the arbitrator believes that he can't make a ruling because this case doesn't fall in his purview.
Then, the Redskins could sue the hell out of the NFL which could get very nasty. Why? Well, the NFLPA will be watching and if any evidence comes out about collusion or anti-trust violations they can sue the NFL and possibly the federal government could get involved.

Ok, enough of me playing a lawyer on TV based on what I've read from the media and my weak knowledge of law (and order).


2. The Redskins 80th Anniversary Announcement: The Redskins will announce their plans to celebrate the franchise's 80th anniversary. This will include an unveiling of an alternative home jersey that the Redskins may wear twice this season. Rumor is that it's not a new look but a throwback look from a previous era. We've seen the return of the darker Burgundy and Gold jerseys and the spear helmets during the 70th anniversary. For the 75th anniversary, we saw a return of the R logo helmet. We've even seen the very classic 1937 look back in the 90's for the NFL's 75th anniversary. My guess is that we'll see the return of the feather helmet with a burgundy jerseys and the gold (mustard) colored pants.

1994 NFL's 75th Anniversary Throwback
(Yes, that's Heath Shuler. He did exist and actually play in a game.)






















Notes:
- Darker Burgundy jersey compared to the modern jersey (which I believe is called Cardinal Red)
- Burgundy helmet with no logo and gold/yellow facemask
- Numbers in Gold with white trim
- Wore Gold pants with Burgundy jersey
- Redskins Chief logo on arm sleeves of jersey

2002 Redskins 70th Anniversary Throwback
Notes:
- Burgundy jersey with Gold pants
- Helmet and arm sleeves with spear logo
- White and Gold stripes on arm sleeves
- Player name/numbers in white (no trim) on front, back and shoulders
- Helmet has a gray facemask

2007 Redskins 75th Throwback
(image via)






















Notes:
-Gold (really yellow) pants with white/red stripe
- White jersey with red numbers (no trim). Numbers on front, back and shoulders
- Gold (yellow) helmet with the R logo designed by Vince Lombardi
- Reminds me of Ronald McDonald for some reason
- Sadly, I own a LaRon Landry 75th ann. throwback.

2012(?????) Possible (??????) 80th Throwback (?????)
(image found on Extremeskins)
(image via)

Notes:
- Burgundy jersey probably will be at home with the gold pants
- Note the feather helmet, we have yet to see this as a throwback helmet
- Numbers would be white (no trim?) and on front, back and arm sleeves
- Would love to see the stripe at the shoulders maybe in  white or gold

Also, expect some plans by the Redskins for the games itself including pre-game or halftime events, maybe giveaways at the door or somebody going into the Ring of Fame. I'm only guessing right now but that all makes sense in one way or another. I have heard that the throwbacks will not be ugly like the throwbacks the Steelers are putting out this year.
(image via)

So You Want to See More RGIII in Burgundy and Gold?

(Photo Brian Tinsman via Redskins Blog)

Well, after visiting here for awhile, head on over to the Redskins Blog for plenty of Robert Griffin III photos and coverage of the Redskins Mini-Camp.

In particular check out this post with RGIII in a photostream passing and here for some more video of the mini-camp.

One of the nice things about the Redskins Blog going back to it's originator Matt Terl, is that the blog has more access to things that regular media or amateur fan blogs (like this one) don't. So, you can watch some really cool things from time to time because the Redskins owned blog is showing you some stuff but keeping the prying eyes away from the stuff that needs to be kept secret (player/rookie development, game plans, strategy and practice). Brian Tinsman seems to be following the same path.

Robert Griffin III Mini-Camp Video

Here's RGIII working with Kyle Shanahan at mini-camp. RGIII donning the "gold" practice jersey that the QBs tend to wear at Redskins Park. Also QB Johnathan Crompton (#3) working next to RG3 with another coach.

Enjoy!
Video embed courtesy of CSNWashington.com/Redskins Nation

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rookie Mini-Camp Starts Today and You Won't Get to Watch it

Today (May 4th) through the 6th the Redskins will host a mini-camp for their newly drafted and undrafted rookies. I forget if younger players (like a Jarvis Jenkins who missed most of 2011 with a knee injury) or newly signed free agents can attend (kind of doubt it).

The big news is that you'll probably get to see Robert Griffin III don his first official Redskins uniform. Granted, it'll be a practice jersey but expect Redskin fans to lose it on some of the message boards with the mere site of RG3 in a Redskins uni.

In other meaningless news (unless you're ESPN's Skip Bayless who likes to stir up controversy so people will get irate and watch ESPN's First Take), Kirk Cousins will be there as well.....let the QB controversy in DC begin. Nobody has anything to talk about so they start up this crap. ESPN even tried to make it a racial issue because Griffin is black and Cousins is white. Unbelievable. I know ESPN likes to pump things up. They like to be controversial and shocking but did they really have to go there? Well, I guess we know Donovan McNabb has a job waiting for him if he ever thinks he can't play football anymore (actually, that was about three years ago).

While it's good for the Redskins to get to work with their rookies, as fans we won't be seeing any of it. These are practices so we're going to have to rely on whatever Redskins Nation will show (expect at least a segment with Larry Michael on the field would be my guess) or any footage that the local media can shoot ( like the players coming onto the field or warming up). After the mini-camp there will be some OTAs in May (21st, 23rd-24th, 29th-31st*) and June (4th-7th*) and a team mini-camp (June 12th-14*) and then football will pretty much be on hiatus until training camps open (no official dates have been released yet, but it seems likely that mid to late July start will be the case).

So enjoy what you can of this mini-camp now because in  less than two months football will be gone for at least a good month.

*OTA and Mini-Camp dates provided by Pro Football Talk

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thoughts on the Draft: Day 3

(Sadly, one of the least important picks is being one of the most discussed topics by the media.)





















4th Round
#102 Overall- Kirk Cousins, QB Michigan St.

 This was a surprising pick for me because it seemed that the Redskins had the backup QB already on the roster in Rex Grossman. But if the story by Adam Schefter of ESPN is true then it makes total sense that the Redskins took Cousins. According to Schefter, the Redskins had Cousins as their 3rd rated QB on the board and the highest player still on the board when they picked at #102. The 'Skins went BPA (Best Player Available) in this case. Ironically, the media including draft experts like Mel Kiper, are bashing the Redskins for going with BPA over need despite always saying that teams make the biggest mistakes when they reach to fill a need instead of sticking with their boards and going BPA.

My thoughts on Cousins.....one word really: Meh. It's not a bad move per se and if the Redskins had him that high, then they made the right move. I had Cousins as my 6th rated QB ( Luck, RGIII, Tannehill, Weeden, Wilson, Cousins) and figured he'd go to a team mid 2nd to early 3rd round. I see Cousins as a very good backup QB in the NFL. He reminds me of Todd Collins. Take that as either a positive or negative. He has an average arm. He is a team leader and a very smart player, a team guy based on what I've read. I think his niche will be to master a scheme and rely on good timing to complete passes. Where the media sees QB controversy, I'm laughing my ass off at that thought. I'm glad the Redskins have made it clear that RGIII is the man and Cousins is the back up but anybody who thought there is a real competition between the two QBs is either smoking something illegal, doesn't understand the situation or just trying to stir up trouble. Cousins will most likely be the 3rd string QB this year. Where is the controversy?


#119 Overall- Keenan Robinson, LB Texas
The Redskins traded back 10 spots with the Steelers and get an additional 6th round pick. Then they draft Robinson, who may be the future starting ILB next to Perry Riley. From everything that I saw it was a good move. Robinson can play both ILB and OLB. He worked out at the Senior Bowl with the Redskins. During that week, it was the 'Skins that moved him inside. They must have liked what they have saw. This was a major fill for the Redskins need, but also a solid pick. I like it.

5th Round
#141 Overall- Adam Gettis, OG Iowa
I have to be honest, I haven't seen that much of Gettis and most of the other players after this pick. Guess it's time to head to head to You Tube and watch some more highlights. That said, from the brief clips I've seen he looks like another nasty interior O-lineman that could compete for playing time. Forget the rankings of OL by draft experts when it comes to Mike Shanahan and his scheme. He likes somewhat undersized, athletic players who can create lanes not by bulldozing players but by creating angles through redistribution of the players (ie. sliding a player out of a hole). Gettis seems like a perfect fit for Shanahan's scheme.

6th Round
#173 Overall- Alfred Morris, RB Florida Atlantic
Never doubt a late round RB taken by Mike Shanahan. Morris looks like he'll be  a good short yard back who can play in a ZBS. Also seems to be another hard working, good character player. Fits another need and at worst will probably be on the practice squad if the team re-signs Tim Hightower. Maybe converts to fullback to back up D. Young?

#193 Overall- Tom Compton, OT South Dakota
The Redskins address a possible need at the RT position by drafting Compton. He appears to have the size and skill set that Mike Shanahan looks for in his OL. But it also seems that he's going to need to get stronger and improve upon his footwork. He has competition with Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus and James Lee to earn a roster spot. A very nice value pick from the trade with Pittsburgh.

7th Round
#213 Overall- Richard Crawford, CB SMU
 Depth CB who will fight for a spot on the team. I expect he'll be more of a ST player. Also a punt return specialist. Could he be competing with Brandon Banks as a PR/KR? Very fast. We need depth at the position so that's good. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if Crawford will be able to compete to be a nickle or #2 CB.

#217 Overall- Jordan Burnstine 
Athletic S who can play some CB, another depth player who will compete for a roster spot. Probably will make the team through special team play. Not sure he'll make the roster with the Redskins bringing in so many players at the S position.

UDFAs
This group is not exact since sometimes it's hard to determine what is a rumor created by an organization, an agent or fans. The Redskins haven't officially confirmed who they've picked up according to their current roster and no formal release has been issued.
NEPatriotsdraft.com is stating that the Redskins have signed 13 UDFAs (and one tryout player), while The Post is stating 12. You can click on the links to check out the players.
Most notable are Lennon Creer, Chase Minnifield and Vaughn Meatoga. Creer was the MVP of the East-West Shrine Game. Minnifield is considered to be a 2nd round talent with starting potential, he just needs to recover from a knee injury. Meatoga is considered a potential diamond in the rough who will be converting from DT to DE in the Redskins 3-4 scheme.