Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Training Camp Dates Announced- More Fan Accessible

Today, the Redskins announced the dates fans can attend the 2012 training camp. This year those practice times have been moved to 2:55 EST. This is much better for fans who plan on traveling from parts unknown (but not near Ashburn) to try an catch a practice. Last year, practices were early in the morning and in my case I would have had to leave my house around 4AM to make sure I could get there in time to watch John Beck throw passes.......

....obviously I decided against it (Ed. Note: If you notice, most of my training camp/Ashburn pics are from the 2010 training camp). Anyway, after the jump I'll have all of the dates provided by the Redskins.
Worth noting is that Fan Appreciation Day is on Saturday, August 4th. I've been to two of these (2004, 2010) and here's the deal with fan app. day:

If you want to see pageantry, catch the band playing a few songs they'll be using this year at FedEx, the cheerleaders, get some pics with the three SB trophies, Larry Michael, Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan addressing the fans and possibly get an autograph from a few players then it's worth braving the traffic and the crowds and going to fan appreciation day. It's chaotic and a bit crazy but can be a great deal of fun, especially if you haven't done it before. I got a few Sean Taylor autographs and got to talk (and my picture my picture taken) with the "Boss Hog" himself Joe Bugle at the 2004 camp. At the 2010 camp, I got to chat with some of the beat writers and get a couple of autographs from Anthony Armstrong and Kyle Shanahan (I did have opportunities to get autographs from Bruce Allen, Mike Shanahan and Chris Cooley but decided to let kids get them instead of myself- I hope their parents framed them and not put them up on ebay).

At this point I just want to watch practice (we're talking about practice) without the distractions. I want to see Robert Griffin III throw a live ball. I want to watch the battles in the secondary. I want to see if Jamal Brown really is flexible and if Jarvis Jenkins can play like the monster we thought he'd might be in 2011. I'm skipping this year's fan app. day in order to get a feel for the actual team during another practice session. Hopefully, there will be plenty of pictures and tweets.

And now for the open dates (from Redskins.com)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What the Redskins Need to Get Done Before Training Camp

(The practice fields at Redskins Park are empty but for only 5 weeks)
This past Thursday, the Redskins completed their final phase of the off-season with a mandatory mini-camp. Now they're taking a five week break before the start of training camp. While the team/coaches etc. are well deserving of a break, it's not all going to be relaxing pool side or playing 18 holes. The Redskins still have some work to be done. So let's look at what the Redskins need to do before late July.

1. Sign RGIII and Josh LeRibeus
The Redskins have gotten all of their 2012 draft picks signed except for their top two players. With the current CBA and rookie wage scale in place this shouldn't be as difficult as previous CBAs where you would have to pay a gigantic roster bonus. The current rookie wage scale is slotted, so there is little wiggle room when it comes to salary and bonus monies (also the rookie pool dollars limit spending). What will need to be determined is whether the entire contracts will be guaranteed, option bonuses etc. Also, the Redskins may have to be tricky with the wording and the pay outs because of the loss of 36 million (thanks to Roger Goodell and John Mara screwing the Redskins) over two years. I don't expect holdouts for either of these players, matter of fact I don't expect a holdout for any team this year.

2. Get Healthy
The Redskins ended the practice sessions of the mini-camp a day early (using Thursday as a weight room and film/study session rather than practice) because Mike Shanahan felt that the team had done well picking up this year's playbook and installing it on the field. What could be another reason (to a lesser extent) is that the team is still recovering from injuries from this past season. Many players have been held out so they wouldn't re-injure themselves prior to camp/regular season. They need to be ready to go from day one of camp. Keep an eye on Leonard Hankerson, Stephen Bowen, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brian Orakpo and Chris Cooley in particular.

3. Stay in Shape
Not really an issue for this team in my opinion. The Redskins really don't have Albert Haynesworth types on the team anymore, maybe a few guys who'll need to run a bit more when camp starts but that's about it.

4. Keep Studying that Playbook
It will be key for the new free agents and rookies to have this down. The veterans know the general concepts even if the playbook is adjusted 40% -50% each year (I'm not sure how many plays Shanahan and co. throws out, adds in or tweaks but usually many playbooks change about 40% each year unless a new scheme is being installed).

5. Enjoy the Silence, Prepare for the Madness
Now is the time to relax because in 5 weeks it's going to be crazy at Redskins Park. Fans will be out in droves and so will the media to see RGIII. Rookies and free agents are going to find out very quickly that DC/VA/MD is all about the Redskins. There is a feeling of enthusiasm and anticipation that I haven't seen since Gibbs came back in 2004. I think this is a higher level than even back then. It's going to be fun, but crazy and I can only imagine what Fan Appreciation Day will be like this year. Early prediction: FedEx will be packed for the Colts/Redskins pre-season game.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Football Preview Magazines Not Buying Redskins Resurgence

One good thing comes in these months where there's no football (at least padded football with hitting) or draft to obsess over..... FOOTBALL PREVIEW MAGAZINES!!!!!!

These are always fun to read because they give you a bit of a head's up on other team's rosters, fantasy football and other stuff you can debate about with your friends or people on facebook or Twitter. Of course, they generally aren't up to date on anything that happens much after the draft (for example Chad Ochocinco is still a proud member of the Patriots in these publications) but it's a decent reference if you don't know about a few teams, want to find out more about some 2nd or 3rd stringers in the pre-season and want a few guesses on what the football experts think about the upcoming season.

Anyway, I bought two of these magazines the other day and while I don't want to reveal which ones they are or everything they had to say about the Redskins (because, I don't like being sued). Here's what they thought about the Redskins in 2012.


Last Place


Yeah, sorry. They both thought the Redskins would be last place. Although both mentioned that they would be better than previous years and that there was a chance that the Redskins could be one of the surprise teams neither considered the Redskins good enough to better the Eagles, Giants or Cowboys. They didn't think that the Colts would be much improved with Andrew Luck if that helps.

Other things worth noting:

- They both liked the Eagles to win the NFCE.

- Although neither had any team from the NFCE going deep into the playoffs.

-Both seem to think that Peyton Manning will be back to his true form but he won't be leading the Broncos to a Super Bowl.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Update: Why the Thank You Tour Isn't Coming to Maryland

A quick update on yesterday's post about the 'Skins Thank You tour not coming to Maryland.

Answer is simple. Redskin fans won't see this in Maryland:


Because of this:

Yep, most parts of Maryland is considered Ravens (Hon!) territory. Per league rules, the Thank You tour was not allowed to enter other teams TV market territories. That's why you will see the 'Skins in DC and Va but not MD and NC (another Redskin fan populated area but the Panthers territory).

Larry Michael confirmed this on Redskins Nation today.

I am bummed to hear this, but not that surprised. I have a hell of a time catching Redskins vs. AFC team games especially since I like to DVR and re-watch games for my game recaps.

Yes, You Can Order 80th Anniversary Throwback Jerseys Now

Or at least you can pre-order them........
I've been getting a few questions via twitter/email and some Redskin fans finding IIWII through Google searches looking for the 80th anniversary jerseys to buy. After a quick search on Redskins.com I found this in their Pro-Shop:
(Image from Redskins.com)
These aren't the official images, as Nike is still in production of making said jerseys. That said, if you're one of those people that have to be the first in your neighborhood to own the 80th anniversary throwback, you can pre-order a RGIII, Kerrigan or Orakpo jersey now. Here is the link to that page on Redskins.com.

Me, I'm waiting for a London Fletcher throwback. I'd buy one on the spot if somebody would actually make one without me having to get one custom made (I've had terrible luck with the NFL on custom made jerseys. So far I'm 0 for 2 in that category.). Because if I'm getting a throwback from old-school football, I want is to be #59. Nobody is more old-school than London Fletcher.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Wish the Thank You Tour Would Come to Maryland

(I would have loved to see this bus ride down Rt. 50 through Easton and Salisbury to Ocean City. image via)











The Redskins are currently doing their Thank You tour for the Redskin fans. It's a smart idea. Not only does it gives the 'Skins a chance to touch base with the fans, it also helps to promote the 80th anniversary celebration. You have to give GM Bruce Allen credit for his work since he's come to DC. Where Vinny Cerrato (and Dan Snyder) alienated many of the Redskins alumni and irritated the fans, Allen has worked hard to bring both back into the fold through inviting the alumni back to Redskins Park, improving FedEx Field and coming up with homecoming games.

I have only one complaint. Why isn't the tour coming to Maryland?

Despite what some people would like to tell you, Maryland is not all about the Ravens (Hon!). While the Eastern Shore has been converting towards Ravens (Hon!) territory, there are still a great deal of Redskin fans in this area. Heck, myself and Ray from The Son of Washington are in these parts.

I know, there's only so many places the Redskins could go in a few months but how cool would it have been to see that bus and somebody like "the man, the myth, the legend" Dexter Manley down in Ocean City?

Also, I'm convinced that if the Redskins can start winning again some of the "converted" Raven fans will be back on the Burgundy and Gold bandwagon. Yes, there are diehard Raven fans (IIWII's own Steeler Hater Dan is one of them) but there are some who just want to root for the winning home team whether they wear black and purple or Burgundy and Gold.

IIWII is Back!!!!

I don't try to talk about my personal life much here, because that's not why you come to IIWII. You want to read about the Redskins and maybe some of the other topics I occasionally write about on the site. But in this case I figured I would share some of the reasons why I haven't been writing the blog as frequently as I have in the past.

First, I've been really busy with the real job. It's been hectic and when I come home all I've really wanted to do is crash, catch up on what's been going on with the 'Skins/NFL and maybe watch the Nationals play and then go to bed. Second, is that I was assigned a project at the real job that could only be done during the off hours of the business. So that meant staying late at work, coming in early or coming in during weekends/holidays to get the task at hand done. Third, is that I've been really, really irritated with the NFL this off-season. Not the 'Skins but the NFL as a whole. From idiotic rules, to Bountygate, to the BS last minute notifications that the Redskins and Cowboys were doing to lose cap money, to the pandering to John Mara and the Giants and to the pompous attitude by Commissioner Roger Goodell its been hard not to come on IIWII and write some of my most derogatory thoughts about that. I've definitely said some things on Twitter (@IIWIISkinsBlog) and while a few posts would be considered ranting, I think they were justified. I've also been waiting for a final resolution before writing about Capgate. Now that it looks like the Redskins will be screwed out of 36 million in cap space, I can make some final thoughts on the topic.

The good news is that, I should be back (hopefully) to a regular schedule (at least until the end of June) and I plan on doing a bunch of articles that will be on the site throughout the month.

June starts that dead period of football, so stop on by IIWII. I'll keep coming up with some things to keep you occupied until training camp gets here.

Thanks for reading and spread the word.