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Mistakes were made and Destino got his hands on a press pass!  I am reporting from within the wonderfully climate controlled, and entirely dry, press box.  Who says the fan experience at FedEx field isn’t great?  Not me (not today).  I am joined by Spaceman Spiff, who has managed to wrap himself and all his treasured equipment in plastic and is currently out on the field rolling around in the muck.   


Stop me if you’ve heard this before: There are reasons to feel good about the defense, the passing game has started slow, and the running game is unreliable.  There are differences, but in general we find ourselves entering week three on familiar ground, asking a familiar question.  Is this team any good?  (and maybe adding a quick “please please let them be good” under our breath.)   


Are the Redskins as good as the team that beat the Cardinals or as bad as the team that got shut down by that stunning Colts defense?  Have the wide receivers introduced themselves to Alex Smith?  Has Peterson informed Jay that running towards the sideline isn’t his style?  Can we beat an injured Aaron Rodgers in the rain?   


We’ll find out together.  (Time for some more free food!)          


The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:   

No. 17 WR Michael Floyd  

No. 30 S Troy Apke 

No. 32 RB Samaje Perine  

No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander  

No. 74 T Geron Christian  

No. 77 G Shawn Lauvao  

No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley  


The Packers declared the following players as inactive:  

No. 8 QB Tim Boyle 

No. 19 WR Equanimeous St. Brown  

No. 20 CB Kevin King 

No. 22 RB Darius Jackson 

No. 27 S Josh Jones  

No. 70 T/G Alex Light  

No. 82 WR J’Mon Moore


Diet Pepsi fueled update #1

A quarter into this one and FedEx field is magical place where dreams can come true.  Alex Smith and his stable of receivers have been dominant.  The Packers, having failed to stop them within the rules turned to pass interference, but the results were the same.  Touchdowns.  Sweet sweet touchdowns.


Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense took the quarter off.   Good for them, they deserve a break. 


Personal notes:  B Mitch is now sitting in front of me.  Close enough that I could bop him on the head if I were so inclined.  Probably a bad idea.


Watching the game in the press box feels a little like watching a football game while at work.  We’re all watching a game, but without any of the noise you'd normally associate with that.  Professionals.  Every single one of us.


A lot of ugly cheese hats behind the end zone. 


Free chocolate cake powered update #2    

Those of you hoping for a shut out are disappointed, and some fans in the forums are no doubt finding reasons to frown with a mouth full of ice cream.  Reasonable fans should be thrilled.


The Redskins defense managed to keep the the Packers quiet but the Pack were able to stretch their legs a bit.  Against Rodgers one blown coverage is all it takes for him to make a 64-yard touchdown pass look like pitch and catch.  I get the impression that they’ll look much more capable in the second half. 


Alex Smith gave up an interception but the Redskins offense continued to produce big plays and finish drives.  Peterson broke off a 41-yard run and Davis caught a 50 yard pass.  Most importantly the drives continued to end with touchdowns and not the field goals that doomed the Redskins in the home opener.  They'll need to continue to play well in the second half.  Rodgers will not go gently into the night. 


Personal Notes:  I chose the Vikings in survivor league.   


Coffee coffee coffee!  Update #3

Alex Smith and the offense took the 3rd quarter off, completing one pass for zero yards, scoring no points, and managing just a single first down.  Momentum has definitely swung towards the Packers who held the ball 10 minutes and scored the quarter's only points (7).  That said, the damage on the scoreboard wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.   


I worry that the Redskins may have taken their foot off the gas a bit too early in this one.  Wouldn’t be the first time Gruden went conservative too early in the second half when his team held a lead. 


Time to find out just how good this defense can be.


Personal Note:  That familiar dread is slowly creeping its way in.  If you've been a Washington Sports fan for long enough, you know what I'm talking about. 


T-shirt toss has no place in a world with t-shirt cannons.  


End of game.

“It feels good man, especially after a rough week” - Josh Norman. 


Final thoughts on today's game have to start with the defense.  They deserve the lions share of the credit considering how the second half played out.  The unit surrendered 17 points to Aaron Rodgers (and the Packers) and through three games have allowed just 14.7ppg. That’s a significant improvement over the 24.3ppg they averaged by the end of last season.  They’re healthy again and it shows.   


The Packers also dropped some passes.  It had to be said.  I said it.  We can move on.   


Peterson and the rushing offense had a bounce back performance.  This fills me with happiness for some reason.  There is just something about the Redskins featuring a power running game that feels right.   


If there is a cloud in the silver lining, it’s the offenses disappearing act in the second half.  Alex Smith and the passing game followed up a brilliant first half of football with a second half stat line that is almost unbelievable:  2/5 passing for 6 yards.  Three first downs and three points for the offense in the second half.   


Only explanation for this is that Jay Gruden decided to turtle early.  Today, it worked.   


We won, and it feels good.  










Greetings my friends, it is JimmiJo and I am joined by the man with a tripod stuck up his...backpack; Spaceman Spiff.

I am so excited I am about to pee myself. Not just because I am sitting next to Spiff. But also because this team played one of the most solid football games last week in a long time. I will put last week up against any game I can remember over the past, what, 5-seasons? I haven't been this excited after a season-opener since probably 2012 and the big win against the Saints.


The run game was magnificent. The defense spectacular. And the level of competency at the quarterback position an obvious upgrade.


In fairness it was a game of two-halves. The offense cooled significantly following halftime. But their objectives were different. They had the Cardinals beaten and needed only to hold-on


What say you?


Here's the question; was that the real Washington Redskins? Or, was it a game where things came together? I think we begin to answer that questions today. In come a very beatable Indianapolis Colts. They have a quarterback and they have a running back. Not much else.


If last week was an example of the real Redskins; today should be another W. But if not, or if they come out anemic and struggle for the win, we might be having a different conversation next week.




The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:

o   No. 13 WR Maurice Harris

o   No. 30 S Troy Apke

o   No. 32 RB Samaje Perine

o   No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander

o   No. 55 C Casey Dunn

o   No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.

o   No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley


The Colts declared the following players as inactive:

o   No. 28 CB Chris Milton

o   No. 37 CB Lenzy Pipkins

o   No. 38 RB Christine Michael

o   No. 58 DE Tarell Basham

o   No. 71 T/G Denzelle Good

o   No. 74 T Anthony Castonzo

o   No. 96 DE/DT Denico Autry


Ok gang, we are ready to roll. Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast




This team is exactly who they have always been. Middle of the pack? If we are being generous.


I admit it, I got pretty excited last week when they played a really solid football game. Today, was like so many other games I’ve watched them play over my 13-seasons.


Muddling. No identity. Anemic offensively. A defense just as apt to collapse on third-and-long as to stop the opponent.

They were so poor Indianapolis took the entire 3rd quarter off and still made it look easy. The problem with that is they allowed the Redskins to pad the stats, making it seem like a much closer game.


In fact, the Redskins earned more first downs (20-17), total yards (334-281) and time of possession (33:20–26:40) than the Colts. They won the turnover battle (2-1). And ran 11-more plays (71-60).


Not only did I never believe they were going to win; I never even thought they were in it.


So what went wrong?


Offensively, Washington never got into a rhythm. The run game never got going. And the defensive-pressure cause problems all day for Alex Smith and the Redskins. I asked Smith if one area contributed more than the other (lack of run game versus defensive pressure) and he admitted that both played a significant role to their lack of production.


Smith finished the day 33/46 for 292-yards for a 88.3 passer rating. Not exactly Kirk Cousins’ type numbers (all he did was throw for 425-yards and 4 touchdowns with one pickin Minnesota’s tie with Green Bay).


Jamison Crowder was the leading rusher for Washington on the day. That’s right; a wide receiver was the leading rusher. Crowder ran for 29-yards on 2 carries (reverses). Second was Adrian Peterson for a scant 20-yards on 11-carries and a paltry 1.8 yards per carry (give me a second while I breath into this bag).


Given Crowder was the leading rusher, it is only right that Chris Thompson led all receivers with 92-yards on 13-catches. Those are wideout numbers. Next came Jordan Reed who logged 55-yards on 6-catches.


If your top two receivers are a running back and a tight end, you can suppose there were a lot of check downs in the game. As in;


All. Damn. Day.


Defensively, Mason Foster was all-world. Every time Washington made a play on defense, he was in it. Foster logged 11-tackles (8-solo). Then there was D.J. Swearinger. All he did was intercept Andrew Luck twice, at the most-needed times (when the game was getting threatening to get away).


But they were the exceptions. By and large this was a thorough butt-whooping by the Colts. Their pressure defensively created all kinds of problems for Washington’s offensive line. Offensively, they spent the day in third-and-short. And on those occasions where they had a long way to go on 3rd down, they seemed to convert more often than not.


It is just week 2 however. Likely no-one will think about this game in December. This assumes they begin playing better and winning some games.


Here’s hoping they do.


Tank Ain't Empty Yet

All offseason if you talked to Doug Williams all you heard was "We're gonna fix the run game".  And when the Draft came around, after passing on him in the First Round, all 5-11, 225 lbs of LSU stand out, Derrius Guice fell into their lap. The pick completely re-energized the team and the fans with thoughts of a legit NFL Running Back to give them the missing part of their Offense.  




Fast Forward to the first week of Pre Season in New England where Guice, six carries in, had just started to show what he could do when when he was tackled & was extremely slow to get up. His knee required season ending surgery. The fan base instantly fell into the Pit of Misery. They knew they were right back to where they started at with Rob Kelly appearing to be the lead back. But then, thanks in part to Trent Williams, the team worked out 33 year old Running Back Adrian Peterson. Many were sceptical that at 33 he had anything left in the tank. They signed him right away instead of waiting until after Week 1 where the money wouldn't be guaranteed. Then they fed him the ball for nearly an entire drive in a pre season game. On his first run, he showed everyone else to the bench behind him as he took the RB1 slot. 




Today, in the Arizona desert, Peterson took the field as the starting Running Back of the Redskins. AP would go on to be featured in the second series of the First Quarter. The future Hall Of Famer would score his 100th career touchdown in the Second Quarter, which tied him for 7th all time.




At the end of the First Half, AP had 53 yards on 14 rushes to go along with that career touchdown.


By the end of the Third Quarter, Peterson was closing in on a 100 yard day.  91 yards on 20 rushes with an average of 4.6 yards.




With two minutes left in the Fourth, 0n 3rd & 9 at their own 8 yard line, Alex Smith hit Peterson with a short pass to the right. Peterson would take it for 56 yards before being tackled & stripped of the ball, turning it over to the Cardinals.  


Peterson would end the game with 26 carries for 96 yards & 1 touchdown. He also caught 2 of 3 passes for 70 yards. That accounts for 164 yards of a total 466 yards of Offense.






Quick Update From The Desert

So this just happened.




Cardinals RB David Johnson just signed his extension & is calling for a Cards win to start their season. Now that he's got his pockets straight will he be playing with a purpose to prove he's worth it? And will the Redskins newly stacked D Line be prepared to show that the Cardinals just wasted their money? Tune in tomorrow, same Skins time, same Skins channel...


ES Coverage: Redskins @ Ravens




What's that? Meaningless preseason game? Starters won't play? Most who do will be bagging groceries next week?


I've got just the coverage-team to send...


Hello friends, JimmiJo here, joined by the inimitable one; Spaceman Spiff. Together we will bring you tonight's action.


After all, this IS a grudge match. Battle of the beltways and all. RGIII ready to enact some vengeance on his old squad. 


Meanwhile, I am not sure you can argue the roster is set in some key areas like receiver, nor the depth chart in others such as running back. A lot will depend on how many of each position the team keeps. It may also come down to a few who make a convincing case in this game 4. 


Chances are there is at least one player on this field that few people have heard of, but whom everyone fan will one day know about. I don't know who he is. But tonight is where many of us will remember seeing him for the first time. He will earn a spot based on what he does this night in Baltimore Maryland.


No inactives in the preseason. But there is definitely food in the press box. Talk soon... 




I have been more than entertained so far.


Rob Kelley has run like his job depended on it.  Kevin Hogan's sideline art to Simmie Cobbs was worth the drive. And I loved the big plays on both sides.


I hope the second half is even better.




The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Washington Redskins 30 to 14.

Boy have we seen this movie before.


The Ravens played with more intensity. More cohesion. Hey were more physicality.


Washington seem to come in going thru the motions. They did have some bright spots, especially at the end. But for me; this game stood out more for missed tackles, penalties, and reversed calls by Washington.


Kevin Hogan played the whole game at quarterback. He did some good things. He finished the night…


Hogan had to deal with a lot of pressure throughout. He was having to throw off of his back foot much of the night. Despite this we made some very nice throws. The sideline throw to Cobbs was magnificent.


Not all of his work was positive. Two of is throws resulted in interceptions.


The real subplot was at running back. The rushing cadre featured Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, and upstart De.Veon Smith.


All played well.


In fact, tonight was easily Kelley’s best night as a Redskin. He played with intensity I have not seen before. It was an urgency. I think he did everything possible to make a case for himself.


Kelley finished with 49-yards on 11 carries for 4.45 yards per carry. He logged 2-catches for 14-yards


Perine on the other hand was less convincing. He showed flashes of what he is capable of. He also turned the ball over being careless in the backfield in traffic.


Perine finished with 30-yards on 7 carries with a 4.3-yard per carry average and the fumble.


Smith got in the act, and made a case for himself, if not in Washington then at his next stop. Smith went 42-yards on 7 carries for an impressive 6-yards per carry average. He added a 28-yard reception.


Among the receivers, Simmie Cobbs led with 75-yards on 3 catches, to include the beautiful 38-yard sideline grab. Darvin Kidsy reeled in 5 receptions for 46-yards. Trey Quinn added 43-yards on 3-catches and Kapri Bibbs logged 3-completes for 43-yards.


There will be little time for the players to digest tonight’s effort. Final cuts are Saturday. It will be interesting to see who makes the roster.


I haven’t seen every snap of practice and the preseason. Based on this game, Perine is leaving this weekend and Kelley is staying.


We’ll know soon.


It has been a pleasure covering this preseason. But I am ready to cover a game that counts.

I will go and try to get some audio. Have a good night.




And we are back!


Hello boys and girls, welcome to another year of Washington Redskins football, home-team style.


My name is JimmiJo and I am joined by my shuttered compatriot, Spaceman Spiff. Together we bring you the sights and sounds of Redskins preseason football. Tonight represents the first home installment for Washington. I will be looking for fan enthusiasm, tho it is difficult to gauge interest-level from the preseason. These are the games that the season ticket holders give to their siblings and coworkers.


Tonight may be different as we expect Alex Smith to play. The pundits keep telling me he is Kirk Cousins only better. That will be awesome if so. 


We are quickly filling the list with season-ending injuries, with Washington losing three projected contributors in the first week of preseason. This wince-producing stat is made worse when we consider the projected contributions of Derrius Guice, now lost for the year.


All he was brought here to do was resurrect the Redskins' rushing game. 


This for me is the biggest area of concern for me. The running game has got to get better for this team to have any reason success this year.


Stand by for Inactives...


An hour later I remember they don't do inactives in the preseason. Hey, it's preseason for us too!


Not much to report. Very sparse crowd so far. But given it is a work-night and rush hour is just wrapping up on the beltway I am not surprised we are not overflowing with people yet.


The Redskins appear to be wearing burgundy tops and mustard bottoms, for those keeping score at home. The Jets meanwhile, are sporting white tops and green bottoms.


So far just the kickers and long snappers are warming up from both teams. 


The hot, sunny day is giving way to a warm, breezy evening. Should be fairly pleasant viewing conditions for those coming out.



It is about that time. Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast




Alex Smith looked sharp, going 4-6 for 48-yards and a 91 passer-rating. 


But that's not the story of this game.


The story is the injuries that continue to mount to running backs. Samaje Perine had an impressive 30-yard run. Then limped off to be evaluated for an ankle sprain. Next was Byron Marshall.  A lower leg injury they say.


The Redskins are suffering the worst run of injuries this early maybe ever. 




I am not sure how much we learned tonight. I take that back.


Kevin Hogan, whom I had taken to calling ‘Nogan,’ somehow produced a lovely comeback victory with no time to spare. Way to send them home happy.


Beyond the excitement at the end I am not sure we learned much.


Alex Smith is exactly who we thought he was. Smith went 4-for-6 for 48-yards and a passer rating of 91. There was some excitement on his first call from scrimmage, when Smith play actioned the handoff and kept the ball on a bootleg, he turned to setup to hit Paul Richardson and instead received a face-full of Jets’ linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Smith completed the pass to Richardson and Jenkins was handed a 15- roughing call.


The offense are exactly who we thought they are. Feckless in the redzone; unable to produce anything but field goals. Even when the stars did align, with Colt McCoy connecting Cam Sims, area spectacular touchdown catch; cruel fate intervened with a chickenscratch procedure call.


The injuries are exactly what we feared they could be. Why is it every running back who goes for 30-yards on a single play comes up limping? Samaje Perine ran for 30-yards on his one carry on the night.


The next time he was seen was on the way to the locker room to have an ankle looked at.


Then there was Byron Marshall. He barely got into the game before coming out with a leg injury.


After the first few drives Washington did very little offensively until they had to at the very end.


And as little as this preseason game meant, it was nice to see the valiant stop at the goal line. It was even nicer to see Mr. Hogan lead the team down the field and to victory.


Oh yea, we learned one more thing - Dustin Hopkins can kick field goals.











Q.  When does the 2018 free agency signing period begin?

A.  At 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 14.


 Q.  What are the categories of free agency? 

A.  Players are either “restricted free agents” or “unrestricted free agents.”  A restricted free agent may be subject to a “qualifying offer.”  A restricted or unrestricted free agent may be designated by his prior club as its franchise player or transition player. 


Q.  What is the time period for free agency signings this year? 

A.  For restricted free agents, from March 14 to April 20.  For unrestricted free agents who have received the May 8 tender from their prior club, from March 14 to July 23 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).  For franchise players, from March 14 until the Tuesday following Week 10 of the regular season, November 13.  For transition players, from March 14 until July 23.  After July 23 and until 4 p.m. ET on the Tuesday following Week 10 of the regular season, November 13, the prior club has exclusive negotiating rights to unrestricted free agents and transition players.  If the above-listed players do not sign by November 13, they must sit out the season.  


Q.  What is the difference between a restricted free agent and an unrestricted free agent? 

A.  In the 2018 league year, players with three accrued seasons who have received a qualifying offer become restricted free agents when their contracts expire at the conclusion of the 2017 league yearon March 14.  Unrestricted free agents have completed four or more accrued seasons.  Upon expiration of his 2017 contract, an unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club with no draft choice compensation owed to his old club. 


Q.  What constitutes an “accrued season”? 

A.  Six or more regular-season games on a club's active/inactive, reserved/injured or reserve/physically unable to perform lists. 


Q.  How do the free agency rules apply to restricted free agents 

A.  If a player with three accrued seasons has received a “qualifying offer” (a salary tender predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his old club.  He can negotiate with any club through April 20.  If the restricted free agent signs an offer sheet with a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because the qualifying offer entitles it to a “right of first refusal” on any offer sheet the player signs.  If the old club does not match the offer, it may receive draft choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer.  If an offer sheet is not executed on or before April 20, the player’s negotiating rights revert exclusively to his old club.  In addition, prior to the start of free agency a player who would otherwise be a restricted free agent may be designated by his old club as its franchise player or transition player. 


Q.  What determines an unrestricted free agent? 

A.  A player with four or more accrued seasons whose contract has expired.  He is free to sign with any club, with no draft choice compensation owed to his old club, through July 23 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).  At that point, his negotiating rights revert exclusively to his old club if by May 8 the old club tendered the player a one-year contract for 110 percent of his prior year’s salary.  His old club then has until the Tuesday following Week 10 of the regular season (November 13) to sign him.  If he does not sign by that date, he must sit out the season.  If no tender is offered by May 8, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.  


Q.  What determines a franchise player?

A.  The salary offer by a player’s club determines what type of franchise player he is: exclusive or non-exclusive.  

An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the current year as of the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 20; or (ii) the amount of the required tender for a non-exclusive franchise player, as explained below. 

Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the required tender for a non-exclusive franchise player: 

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .


If a club extends a required tender to a “non-exclusive” franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first-round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club. 


Q.  How many franchise players and transition players can a team designate each season? 

A.  A club can designate one franchise player or one transition player among its potential restricted or unrestricted free agents.   


Q.  Can a club decide to withdraw its franchise or transition designation on a player? 

A.  Yes.  A club can withdraw its franchise or transition designation, and the player then automatically becomes an unrestricted free agent, either immediately if the tender is withdrawn after the start of the 2018 league year, or when his 2017 contract expires if the tender is withdrawn before the start of the 2018 league year.


Q.  What is the salary cap for 2018? 

A.  The salary cap is $177,200,000 per club. 


Q.  When must teams be in compliance with the salary cap? 

A.  At the start of the 2018 league year, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on WednesdayMarch 14. 


Q.  If a team is under the salary cap at the end of a given season, can the team “carry over” room to the next season? 

A.  Yes.  A team may carry over room from one league year to the following league year by submitting notice to the NFL prior to 4:00 p.m. ET on the day following the team’s final regular-season game, indicating the amount of room that the club wishes to carry over.


Q.  What is the maximum amount of room that a club can carry over?

A.  A club can carry over 100 percent of its remaining 2017 room to its adjusted salary cap for 2018.


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