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    • By JimmiJo in ES Coverage
      Cowboys versus Redskins - now that just sounds correct.
      Hello friends, JimmiJo here along with THE Spaceman Spiff. Space is already on the sidelines, yucking it up with the important people. Me? I'm thinking how grateful I am for the 3-car accident on the beltway...
      If you cannot get up for this game, there isn't enough viagra made on earth for you. After all; the Redskins are hosting their eternal rival, the Cowboys. Winner will be sitting on top of the division, with a truckload of bragging rights.
      What's not to like?
      Well, for starters, everybody and their mom is inactive. Chris Thompson Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Quinton Dunbar; all inactive. What a time to have have your top two receivers out. The chatter here in the press box is Washington should do what they can to bring in receivers - to include making a trade with the Raiders for Amari Cooper.
      Then there's the question of which Redskins show up? They could come out and light Dallas up. Or, post an anemic effort to suffer another embarrassing lost. Neither would surprise me.
      One this is for sure, the distribution in fans is something like 55-45 Redskins. Already an embarrassment. Until you consider this team has done much to earn the lack of support.
      Still, you have offer the finger in the middle to those fans who sold their tickets to Dallas fans. What were you thinking?
      Back shortly...
      The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
      o   No. 10 WR Paul Richardson Jr.
      o   No. 23 CB Quinton Dunbar
      o   No. 25 RB Chris Thompson
      o   No. 30 S Troy Apke
      o   No. 55 C Casey Dunn
      o   No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.
      o   No. 80 WR Jamison Crowder
      The team held a touching tribute to my friend Rich Tandler, who passed this week.
      Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast
      Did you hear the one about the team that got chance after chance but couldn't score more than a touchdown?
      That's right; they are tied at 7 at the half and completely anemic in the second half.
      "Against the run of play" is a term you hear in soccer all the time. It is applicable here. It means the better team is either tied or trailing.
      Whoever said football was fair?
      Washington needs to find a way to get hot in the second half. The Dallas Cowboys are infinitely beatable today.
      How do you like them apples?
      The Washington Redskins sent them home happy today. Along the way my ulcer started bleeding, I threw up twice, and peed the chair I was sitting in.
      Up by 10 at the two-minute warning, I did not expect to be hoping for a missed field goal to avoid overtime. But there I was, crossing fingers and toes and noticibly relieved when the ball bounced off the upright to seal the win.
      A lot of things had to go right for the Dallas Cowboys to even have a shot at the end. A lot more things went right for Washington.
      The Redskins held Ezekiel Elliot to just 33-yards rushing. They forced two fumbles by Dak Prescott, one of which went for a Redskins' touchdown, and sacked him a total of four times. 
      Ryan Kerrigan had his best day of the season, sacking Prescott twice, one of which caused the fumble for the score. Preston Smith scored the touchdown off of the fumble. Jonathan Allen and and Ryan Anderson each logged a sack. DJ Swearinger hit Prescott square on the ball to cause the other fumble by Prescott.
      And then there was the offense.
      Adrian Peterson defies time and physics in what he can still do on the football field. His ability to change directions instantly, the speed he still posesses, and his ability to play through multiple injuries is astonishing. He ran for 99-yards on 24-carries with a 4.1 yard per carry average. 
      Kapri Bibbs, the other back; added just 13-yards rushing. But as a receiver he caught 4 passes for 43-yards and the first touchdown of the game.
      Josh Doctson reeled in 3-receptions for 43-yards. Jordan Reed added 43-yards on his two catches. Maurice Harris logged 2 for 22-yards.
      Alex Smith had a adequate outting. He went 14/25 for 178 yards and a touchdown for a quarterback rating of 98.1. He was sacked once.
      His obvious miss of Jeremy Sprinkle running free in the end zone is almost cause for termination. Connect on that throw and the game is much more comfortable at the end. 
      The real stars of this show were the fat guys in the trenches. The offensive line that opened highway lane-wide holes for Peterson to run through, and the defensive line that wreaked such havok all game. 
      But we have to thank Dallas as well for things like an illegal snap to back the field goal unit up at the end. The holding call that negated the big gain one play before the sack/fumble/score was huge. They seemed to find ways to beat themselves.
      Despite the above, Dallas was right there until last miss that struck the goalpost. The win was entirely too close for comfort.
      But now that's it's over, I sure am enjoying the win.
      The Redskins sit alone at the top of the division after 6-weeks. They travel to New York next week where they can continue to help themselves with a win.
      But just because New York currently resides in the toilet does not mean they intend to roll-over and play dead. Washington will have their hands full if they don't get more production out of the offense.
      That's next week though. For now, I am intent on  enjoying an excellent victory. Against the Dallas Cowboys.
      What's not to like?
      Talk soon!


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Chalk Talk: Discussion: Player Discipline (The Little Things)

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So, here I was sitting at the local watering hole last night after we wrapped up a ten team camp. All ten teams coaches were at said watering hole and we were all talking about the weeks events. I got in some conversations about discipline and how important it is and how winning teams have traditionally had it and the other teams, well, haven't.

It seemed like that opinion was almost unanimous amongst coaches. When I brought up the Miami Hurricanes of old, I was countered... Which is strange considering I'm a Canes guy... The counter was simple, and here it is, paraphrased:

Miami was allowed to do whatever they wanted on the field, or at least they appeared to... But the bottom line was they were a unified group. Jimmy Johnson had full control of those Hurricane teams, but he knew he was fighting a losing battle by trying to throw too much discipline at an entire team. So instead he disciplined around those things and created a monster. Those players respected Jimmy Johnson. His color didn't matter. He was a part of their team and they knew it and they believed in him.

Hmmm... Impressive anecdote... I bought it. It's not the way I run things, but it worked.

Conversations shifted to teams in our area and why some had been successful and some hadn't.

I brought up the point that every team that I had coached that had been successful was disciplined. From dress code to play on the field. If everyone didn't have long white socks on game day, none of us wore long white socks, we all went short.

If someone was wearing the wrong color undershirt on game day, they were benched for a quarter.

It was all laid out ahead of time and some parents gave us grief after the student/athlete was benched, but in the end most came to realize the importance of the little things on a football team. And it was the same policy for each and every one of the players on that football team. Best player or the worst. I've always said that you're only as good as your weakest link, and in the end if you win, that guy that no one thinks is any good had a huge part in your success. The team wins and he's a part of it. There is no one that is superior as far as a human being level on a team. Sure, you have better players, but all of them are the same in my book when it comes to expectations.

Act like a clown? Sit on the bench. Bad grades aren't acceptable. School is always first and foremost. And it pays off more times than not.

The bottom line from my stance is that if you have a policy, you stick to it, no matter what. If you waver in your stance, you've just sent a message that you aren't going to live up to your word. And nothing destroys a team faster.

If a policy is outlined from the jump, you cannot back down from it. It must be followed through or you risk losing your team. Sure, they'll probably still like you if they liked you to begin with, but that "fear" of upsetting Coach is now gone.

I think this is the same throughout all levels of the sport. From Pop Warner, to Modified, to JV, to Varsity to Collegiate Ball and to the Pros. Sure, there are different levels of discipline, but the most disciplined teams are always tough to beat.

And I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. People could probably still argue, effectively, that those Miami Hurricanes had no discipline, but the counter argument will always be there as well.

Its the teams that do all of these little things that know how to line up, are not highly penalized and are aware of what needs to be done on a week to week basis to win football games.

So what say you, ES? Am I full of crap or do you agree. Don't let me down here, I'm looking for some discussion :)

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