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Inside the Numbers - Eagles @ Redskins
by Chris Russell
Dec 20, 2014 -- 12:07am
ESPN 980

The Washington Redskins play their second to last game on Saturday at 4:30 against the Philadelphia Eagles who are fighting for a playoff spot. 

You can listen to all day coverage starting at 12:30 on ESPN 980 AM, 94.3/92.7 FM,  and from any phone (832) 999-1980, plus the entire Washington Redskins Radio Network. 
Let's go Inside the Numbers for this re-match of a thriller in Week 3, a 37-34 win for the Eagles in South Philadelphia. 
I. Kerrigan Keeps Serving up "Aces":
Ryan Kerrigan's new 'friendship' with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki created a lot of headlines a few weeks ago, but it is Kerrigan's play on the field that has been ace level stuff. 
With one sack on Saturday, Kerrigan will reach 13.5 on the year and have at least a full sack in five straight games. No Redskins player has done that since Fred Stokes in 1991. 
Kerrigan will draw RT Lane Johnson on Saturday, a top five pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and the first of the Chip Kelly era. Johnson was suspended by the NFL earlier this year, so he did not play against Washington. 
In that game, the Eagles lost a very good anchor on their offensive line (Jason Kelce) who is also back, and were already without their terrific left guard, Evan Mathis. 
The Redskins were able to generate plenty of pressure grading out with over a dozen knockdowns, but they had no sacks after one was taken away due to penalty. 
Kerrigan might be outdone Saturday by Connor Barwin at LOLB who leads the NFC in sacks at 14.5 quarterback takedowns. He'll draw Tom Compton most of the day, who has done an adequate job in pass protection on the right side. 
Barwin won't have ROLB Trent Cole on the other side, but ILB Michael Kendricks will play against the Redskins after missing Philadelphia's week three win.
II. Special Teams Could be the  "King of Kings" on Saturday
That's a small little tribute to WWE's HHH, who they refer to as the "King of Kings" and as we work our way down from Kerrigan's ace. 
The Eagles have two punt returns for touchdowns by Darren Sproles this year, and also have the 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Chris Polk against the Redskins, which was an absolute momentum killer on September 21. 
If you want more dangerous news, the Eagles also have Josh Huff who has a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown this year and has basically split the return duties with Polk  in terms of opportunities this season. 
Either way, this spells disaster. The Eagles not only have four kick and punt return touchdowns from their special teams, they also have Chris Maragos and Fletcher Cox who have  blocked punts and returned them for touchdowns. 
The Eagles have six total special teams touchdowns this year, while the Redskins haven't had once since 2010.
III. Will the Redskins show that they have a "Queen" of/and Heart(s)?:
I have no doubt the Redskins will play hard, but the last two home games haven't exactly been kind. They were blanked 24-0 two weeks ago by the St. Louis Rams in a game that was completely rock bottom, considering all the symbolism involved in that day. 
In the game before that, it was a 27-7 beat down by the previously one-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 
In both of those games, the defense was mostly terrific in the first half before caving in or even collapsing to some degree. 
The key Saturday will be first half offense. The Redskins had ten points in the first half last Sunday against the Giants.  They allowed seven. 
Against St. Louis, they trailed 6-0 at the half. In Indianapolis, they trailed 21-10 at the half. Against San Francisco, they trailed 10-7 and were down 13-7 to Tampa with a last minute first half touchdown. 
This is just since the bye being that they have not won a game since last October in Dallas. In that span, the Redskins have allowed 57 first half points and have scored 34 points in this give game span. 
If you consider that the offense has contributed at least seven points to the "against" total of 57, you see the uphill climb that the Redskins face every week. 
Five games and the defense is basically averaging allowing ten points in the first half. Five games and the offense is scoring less than seven. 
That doesn't sound horrific, but the problem is that in a lot of cases the offense gets worse from there. They scored three points against the Giants, none against the Rams, 17 against the Colts, six against the 49ers and none against Tampa. 
That's a total of 26 second half points scored in their last five games. 26 points in five second halves of football. That's slightly over five points per second half since the bye. YUK. 
IV. The Jack (ILB)  of All Trades 
To complete our theme, the Redskins "Jack" inside linebacker Perry Riley Jr. will be a huge key Saturday. Keenan Robinson will very likely miss his third consecutive game, so Riley will be paired next to Will Compton. 
Riley has 95 tackles and two sacks, with nine quarterback hits this year.
The Eagles have two terrific tight ends in Zach Ertz (39-531-3) and Brent Celek (30-324-0) but also have rookie Jordan Matthews who caught two touchdown passes over and past Riley in the earlier matchup. 
A huge plus for Riley and the Redskins in the last matchup was stuffing the Eagles running attack holding LeSean McCoy (19 attempts - 22 yards) and Darren Sproles (2-20). 
They need to do that and more on Saturday for the Redskins to have a chance to win.
Chris Russell- -

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Happy Fifth Anniversary Bruce!
by Chris Russell
Dec 17, 2014 -- 5:00pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins are (3-11) and playing out the string on another season of misery and woe. They don't lose, they implode. 

They are (27-54) under Bruce Allen since he was hired on December 17, 2009, which is now- five-plus years ago. 
He was originally hired as the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations and currently he is the President and General Manager. 
If you would have said to me that the Redskins organization would be in worse shape five years after Allen arrived and that Mike Shanahan would be hired three weeks into his tenure and fired within four years of that appointment, I would have said you were completely insane. 
There was no way that I could have thought that - yet a extremely legitimate argument more than exists to say exactly that. 
It's hard to prove, but here are the top ten reasons why it might be (is?) true. 
1.  In the five years preceding Allen's arrival,  the Redskins were (38-42) from late December 2004 until the game before he was hired in Washington, the last win Jim Zorn ever had as a head coach ( at Oakland). 
Again, in the five years since that announcement, the Redskins are (27-54). That  says all you need to know, in most fans eyes.
2. The Redskins are not in great (by any means) salary cap shape moving forward. In 2014, for a current (3-11) team the Redskins had an adjusted cap number of $132,165,268 compared to other teams like Buffalo (151 million), Cleveland (157 million), Philadelphia (150 million) just to name a few. All three of those teams are in current battles for playoff spots with two weeks to go. 
Because the Redskins are spending so much of their current payroll on dead money charges from player contracts no longer with the team (London Fletcher, Josh Morgan, etc), they have a much lower adjusted cap figure and because of that, Washington is less than $200,000 under the cap maximum value. One source has it at 181,493.00 under. 
That's  important  because bad teams usually have huge rollover figures from one cap year to the next cap year. That's how some bad teams get in excess of forty million dollars to spend. 
The Redskins have no such thing. Different sources have slightly different numbers but as of right now the team will have in the neighborhood of 15-20 million dollars of cap room. 
That's based on this chart of 2015 contracts from  and the projected NFL salary cap, which will be somewhere between 138 million and 142 million depending on calculations from the NFL management council and the NFLPA. has the Redskins projected space for 2015 at  16.269 million based on a dead even 140 million dollar projected cap. That's not a lot of money to improve a roster that is in desperate need of significant repairs. That number can also increase quite significantly once the Redskins cut some veteran contracts (Barry Cofield? Stephen Bowen?)
3. Bruce Allen's expertise was universally thought to be salary cap management, so continuing along that trend - we need to examine a few issues. 
Yes, the Redskins were completely screwed by the NFL and NFLPA for the re-structuring of Albert Haynesworth & DeAngelo Hall's contracts in 2010. I understand why they did it. It made all the sense in the world.
However, if they did not have a legal mechanism to justify their decision to absorb the enormous roster bonuses in an uncapped 2010 season, they should have left it alone until they were assured that their contract shuffling would not result in a penalty down the line. 
Allen's impatience with bad contracts he inherited cost the Redskins enormous assets in building a sustainable roster in 2012 and beyond. As many warned, including myself, the cap penalties levied in 2012 would affect many years after. It has.
To be fair, they also dumped some ridiculous contracts that they also inherited and saved a lot of money on the 2011 and beyond cap (Antwaan Randle El, Fred Smoot, etc) and the re-structuring of Hall's contract actually allowed him to be released in early 2013 and re-signed at a very affordable rate for last season. It's complicated, but there were many benefits to the so called "I-4 off-ramp" contract maneuvers that the Redskins did. 
It probably was still the right thing to do, but because of the penalties and the long-lasting effects, it would have been better to 'suffer' more in 2011 and even 2012 while getting out of the horrendous deals that Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder made, rather than risk punishment
4. What was/is directly in Allen's control was a lousy contract the Redskins  gave to Josh Morgan that worked great for 2012, miserably for 2013 and caused a dead money hit for 2014. The same can be said for London Fletcher's last deal, and that problem was even further driven home by Fletcher's childish antics before the St. Louis game. 
Moving to this current year, the Redskins decided to do what the Redskins often do, and it has completely backfired. 
There was absolutely no NEED to sign DeSean Jackson while there were MANY other needs on the roster, which everyone knew at the time and has been proved throughout the year. 
The Redskins already had Pierre Garcon under a loaded contract and coming off of a 113-catch season, while costing 9.7 million dollars under the 2014 cap.  They signed Andre Roberts to a free agent deal to be their # 2 wide receiver and that plan lasted about two weeks, with Roberts costing 2.25 million dollars under the 2014 cap. 
When you factor in that Santana Moss had been brought back to a dirt cheap veteran contract, and you had Leonard Hankerson coming back at some point, along with Aldrick Robinson and the draft (they selected Ryan Grant) - there was no need to try and up the ante on a position of depth and heavy investment before Jackson arrived. 
When they added Jackson for a relatively modest 2014 cap figure, the structure of the deal made some sense. Jackson cost 4.25 million this year under the cap, but when you combine the top three receivers cap charges, you get 16.2 million dollars under a 132 million dollar adjusted cap figure. 
Overall, in 2014, the Redskins allocated 15.0 % of their adjusted cap figure to the wide receiver position or 19,811,960 for the entire group, according to figures obtained by ESPN 980.
It should be pointed out that only the Miami Dolphins (who have never been accused of making smart free agent signings) have a higher percentage of their cap allocation to the wide receiver position at 19.1%, or an obscene 28,850,534 figure. 
Sure, Jackson has been the only exciting offensive weapon for the Redskins this year, but overall he has not helped enough. Yes, it is a quarterback issue first and foremost, but that's the point, the Redskins thought they were good enough at quarterback if they added an extra explosive weapon. They thought wrong. 
The real problem, as if this year isn't bad enough, is 2015. Jackson's cap charge more than doubles that of 2014 to a whopping 9.25 million. Garcon's cap charge remains the same as it was this year,  another 9.7 million. Andre Roberts jumps up to 3.75 million which totals 22.7 million dollars of cap charges. 
22.7 million on a roughly 140 million dollar cap. That's before you consider the football application of that one move, which was that Garcon has been effectively reduced to a nice player instead of the # 1 receiver you brought him here to be and paid him to be. He was a number one, but he isn't anymore. Andre Roberts went from a # 2 (very important to him) to a # 3 and return specialist. He's made some plays, but he hasn't made anywhere near enough, for a lot of reasons. 
5. Not to beat a dead horse (but I will), the Redskins in an offense-driven league, decided to join the fray instead of trying to counter the trend. You know like the Seahawks did. 
The Redskins are currently at 8.3% of their cap allocation in 2014 for their defensive backs. Earlier this year, they were at 8.8% but because of injuries and roster changes, they have lowered that figure. 
Again, 15% on wide receivers and 8.3% on all defensive backs. Just a friendly reminder, that includes safeties and cornerbacks and a group of at least nine players and usually ten. 
Washington is currently spending 8.3% of their cap on their entire secondary, which is the same figure that the league (32 teams) on average is spending just on cornerbacks. You can't win in a heavy passing league like that, especially when you lose DeAngelo Hall and Tracy Porter for most of the season. Washington also lost Brandon Meriweather and others for smaller portions of the year. 
When you have young players that aren't making a lot of money, you have to live with some of the huge growing pains (coverage busts, personal fouls, communication) that comes with it. Wait, I know ...It's all Jim Haslett's fault. 
6. Bruce Allen and the Redskins chose to pay Brian Orakpo 11.45 million as their franchise player, which obviously was a high risk decision. Ideally, the Redskins did not want to go there and there was much internal debate. 
Orakpo was never healthy all year, dislocating a finger on one hand in Houston and another finger (different hand) in Philadelphia, before spraining his ankle and finally tearing his pectoral tendon in the Tennessee game.  A complete death blow for a power rusher. 
I can't criticize the Redskins for this, because I advocated for it and still believe it was the right decision for many reasons. Redskins fans will argue that they would have been better off without Orakpo and that they should have kept Rob Jackson. No offense, (I like Rob as a person) but that's complete hogwash. Jackson is still out of the league since the Redskins cut him. 
7. Allen and the Redskins also chose to invest in Jason Hatcher who at 31 years old (when they made the decision) has not been healthy all year. Multiple injuries have limited his effectiveness and it is fair to be very concerned about Hatcher's future moving forward. 
8. The Robert Griffin III deal: If you believe many members of the organization and  former coaches, the Griffin III was forced on Team Shanahan by Bruce Allen and/or Dan Snyder. 
It doesn't matter if it was Allen or Snyder or even both, because it is beyond reasonable to think that Allen directly carries out many of Snyder's wishes and desires. 
The Redskins paid an enormous bounty for a player who was going to take years to fully develop as a pocket passing quarterback. Clearly, he was an exciting talent, but anybody who actually watched tape, knew that Griffin had a long way to go from the pocket and a huge risk for injury based on the amount of heavy shots he was taking inside the pocket. Never mind, when running around and scrambling. 
Here was a tip: You didn't even have to watch tape. Watch one game. I tried to point this out many times, much to the chagrin of everyone, and nobody wanted to hear it. 
I don't close any books ever on a player at the age of 24 but  the deal was a bad risk then and it is an enormous albatross still. 
Because of the trade for Griffin III and Donovan McNabb/Jamaal Brown deals, the Redskins have only made 42 selections in the draft since 2010 while most teams are at either 47 or 48. If you don't think that makes a difference, you should stop reading now.  They have made or lost seven selections on quarterbacks in that period and for right now, have very little to show for it. 
9. The structure of the front office is not a good one. Allen, who has never been a General Manager with full personnel control, decided to anoint himself as the grand puba of the organization. 
A.J. Smith is a Senior Executive and certainly has a crucial role but he is not at Redskins Park 365 days a year, which is a problem in my eyes, because talent evaluators always want to see in person what they can then verify or chart back on tape. 
Doug Williams, was brought home and chosen to be a Personnel Executive. He certainly has a voice, but how much of one is the question. Nobody knows for sure. 
Eric Schaffer is an incredibly hard working, smart executive who has done a masterful job over the years of making terrible free agent signings and decisions all fit nicely under a hard cap. Yes, he has some input in personnel but his strength is the cap side. While I can't agree with every decision, he has done yeomen's work considering the nonsense he's had to deal with. 
Scott Campbell, the Redskins Director of Player Personnel and a good football man, is on the road for four months out of the year (during most of  the NFL season) evaluating in person the top 150 players in the upcoming draft. There's no way humanly possible that Campbell can supervise or oversee Alex Santos in his role as a first year Pro Personnel Director. 
Santos, has been with the organization for a long time and certainly is skilled and hard working, but there is a huge difference when you are in charge of every division and every team, as opposed to working on a more focused group. 
Richard Mann II, a pro scout, has been with the team since 2010 and would likely be next in line for a promotion. 
The Redskins lost Morocco Brown to the Cleveland Browns and another good young pro scout, Matt Holland, who went with him. Sure they replaced them body count wise, but not with experience and savvy. At least in any reasonable person's opinion.  People inside the building know this. I'm not sure why the Redskins have no answer in this area. 
The Redskins scouting staff and front office, according to many, has always been overlooked and underappreciated. They also have not been given enough resources and bodies to do this enormously critical job. 
It's not on them in my eyes. It's on the people that make the decisions on the structure. It has killed the organization. 
10. Bruce Allen has spent an enormous amount of time on doing what a President of the Washington Redskins should be doing. He's dealt with business and legal matters, such as the name controversy, the salary cap fiasco and has re-connected the fan base and organization with its glorious past.  He also has shielded Dan Snyder from a lot of things. 
Many people (including people inside the building) feel that you cannot (and I totally agree) be the General Manager of a football organization that needs a lot of help and structure, and do what Allen does best. 
There's nobody that I've ever talked with that felt or certainly now feels that this is a good thing for the Redskins. The results are the proof. 
Now let's look at the good things the Redskins have done under Bruce Allen's leadership. 
1.  The Redskins have upgraded their daily facility (Redskins Park) by leaps and bounds. They've expanded their weight room and built a high-end kitchen, along with a new hydro-therapy pool. 
Clearly, these were much needed upgrades to the existing building and while it is hard to determine if it was Mike Shanahan or Allen that was the driving force, either way, it got done and helps the Redskins lure potential free agents on the fence. 
2. Under Allen's leadership, the Redskins built a brand new indoor practice facility for probably ten percent of the cost that permanent indoor facilities would typically cost. 
No, it is not as good as what the Ravens or other teams have because it is not permanent, but trust me, it is more than suitable and perfectly fine. 
The only somewhat shocking thing was that the Redskins actually existed on a daily basis without this type of facility. How nobody realized this or fought for this before, is mind numbing. 
3.  FedExField has also been upgraded with massive video boards, ribbon boards, sections of the upper deck knocked out and general improvements under Allen's watch. 
Again, this was all needed but Allen was able to convince Snyder to do this  and execute the plan.  Senior Vice President Lon Rosenberg executed most of these plans and has done a masterful job upgrading the facilities. 
4. The Redskins managed to get those improvements completed on Redskins Park as part of an overall package to build a brand new training camp facility in Richmond, and doing what Mike Shanahan desired (camp away from Ashburn). 
The Redskins had leverage and the Commonwealth of Virginia was desperate to give the Redskins what they wanted.  The organization also has already begun to examine locations for a new state-of-the-art football stadium and perhaps daily complex. They have a unique advantage in that they will pin Virginia against Maryland and throw in the District for good measure. 
It should be pointed out that not everything about Richmond has been successful. Clearly, the team's record has been terrible but also the side business trucks and hospitality stands outside of the facility have had enormous issues. 
5. During Bruce Allen's tenure, and this might be his most significant contribution, the Redskins have absolutely stopped the perception (reality) that Washington D.C. was the place to get paid. It was well known throughout the league and in agents circles, that if you wanted leverage or to get fat and happy, you did business with the Redskins. No more. 
6. Under Allen's leadership, the Redskins have become younger almost everywhere on the roster. He inherited a veteran laden roster, and across the board, the depth chart is younger with the exception of defensive line where age is a concern overall. 
7. While the Redskins have had an alarming amount of suspensions for performance enhancing substances, Bruce Allen, Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden have managed to avoid any major criminal offenses with any of their players. You know like murder (Aaron Hernandez), child abuse (Adrian Peterson) or domestic violence (Ray Rice).
8. Since Allen has arrived, the Redskins have drafted a few cornerstone pieces of the puzzle like Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Williams and to a lesser degree, Alfred Morris, Bashaud Breeland, Keenan Robinson and others. 
9. Allen, realizing that the Redskins were in desperate need for more qualified personnel voices sold A.J. Smith on a reduced role as a "Senior Executive" and brought home Doug Williams to add to the personnel department.  I am all for adding more qualified eyes and cross checkers because something has been terribly wrong. 
10. By all accounts, the Washington Redskins are still very profitable and lucrative despite all of the on-field failure. 
According to Forbes, the Redskins have an "operating income" of 143.4 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and  amortization. They have a estimated and reported value of 2.4 billion. 
When Allen inherited the reigns to the Redskins, the "operating income" was 103.7 million, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Per Forbes, the Redskins estimated and reported value was 1.6 billion. 
So there you have it. Ten very good things for the Redskins that Bruce Allen has brought to the table and ten not so good things Allen has done under his leadership. 
Now it is up for you to decide. Are the Washington Redskins in better or worse condition than when Bruce Allen inherited the keys to the franchise? 
As always, your thoughts are very much welcome at
Chris Russell - - 

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Three-and-OUT - Redskins Drop Another
by Chris Russell
Dec 15, 2014 -- 12:09pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins dropped to (3-11) yesterday with a 24-13 loss to the New York Giants at the home of last year's Super Bowl this past February. 

With very little time to waste, let's play some "Three-and-OUT" after the carnage has had some time to settle. 
ESPN 9801. Robert Griffin III returned to the Redskins offense in a meaningful way Sunday, replacing Colt McCoy after the Redskins first offensive series. Sure, he played a little mop-up last week against the Rams, but Griffin was on high alert and played all but one series. 
The first half was pretty darn good and provided some hope.  The second half was more of the same that we've become accustomed to. It was brutal. Or nowhere near good enough. 
Overall, when you put it all together - I thought it was a better than I was expecting performance for Griffin III, which should tell you about what I was thought would happen. 
That's the problem. I thought Griffin III would play significant time on Sunday and so did the Redskins (kind of). 
I am still trying to figure out why Kirk Cousins was inactive again. The Redskins gave both Griffin and Cousins 'live reps' as opposed to working scout teams off of cards as we reported last week. That must have meant that they were very concerned about McCoy being able to start, or as I tried to hammer home, being able to play the whole game. Yet, they chose to go into this game without three quarterbacks active for the first time this year. 
I don't get it. I really don't. This was not the same as "every other game this year" as I was told by one Redskins official prior to the game. 
These are the kind of decisions that always backfire on  Washington. Robert Griffin III did get tossed around and beat up over the course of the game, and the Redskins would have had to resort to either Andre Roberts or Darrel Young to clean up the rest of the game. 
I don't know who they should have sat down instead of Cousins, because special teams is a major reason why they did it, but I'm guessing a guy who just got here on Tuesday (Justin Rogers) didn't HAVE to be active. Right? Maybe Gabe Miller? I don't have a great answer without charting exactly what they had or needed. It didn't. 
I guess I am making a huge deal out of something that did not actually happen, but Jay Gruden admitted that he kind of pulled up the reigns late in the game, because Griffin III was banged up. 
It also speaks (potentially) to another problem. Either Kirk Cousins is not showing anything in practice OR the deal that Jay Gruden had to make with Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder when benching Griffin was that he had to be the backup and next man up. 
I am fine if that's what Jay wanted, but I don't sense that at all.  Just second guessing, after first guessing all of last week. 
2.  DeSean Jackson did not play very hard and that was expected.
Sorry, that's the truth. I mentioned this on ESPN 980 late last week with the "Sports Fix" and wrote about it Saturday,  asking this question, "Will he (Jackson) be any sort of threat or will he not play hard?  In a season full of drama, I have this feeling..... Sorry, just saying. It never ends and this has been a question in the past about Jackson. "
One of the benefits to being at games live is that you can watch areas of interest that the television cameras do not show you. Because I was worried about this coming into the game and for that matter all year, I try and observe Jackson's body language more than others. I do this for Pierre Garcon as well. 
Jackson wasn't hustling back to the huddle, he looked frustrated and angry, the toll of a long season. I don't blame him in some ways, because everyone is completely frustrated. It's hard for me to care about all of this as well. 
The difference is Jackson makes a  fortune to care and play hard from start to finish. He didn't and that's his fault. 
There were several examples of this, and it was fairly apparent, but the most obvious example was after a long first down incompletion in the fourth quarter, Jackson slowly walked back up the Redskins sideline and was not on the field for the rest of the series. 
On second down, the Redskins ran a three cluster receiver set to the right side with Ryan Grant, Andre Roberts and Pierre Garcon.  On the play in question with Jackson, Garcon had ran a double move long route on the other side of the field. In other words, he found his way back on time.  On 3rd & 4 with the Redskins still only trailing 17-13  with plenty of time left, Jackson was nowhere to be found with Grant, Garcon and Roberts all on the field again. 
I don't know about you, but i highly doubt that Larry Fitzgerald has ever done that. Jordy Nelson? Calvin Johnson? Yeah. There you go. 
You wanted him. You thirsted for him. You NEEDED him and now you have him. Good luck. 
3. The Redskins defense wasn't good enough (obviously) in the late third quarter and fourth quarter. They finally yielded after stuffing the Giants for most of the game and holding  them to under one hundred net yards in the first half. 
This is with guys like Kenny Okoro and Justin Rogers playing. Rogers signed with the Redskins on Tuesday afternoon. Yeah. This is where it has come. 
Jim Haslett tried some man, zone and cloud coverage and it worked a good amount of time but clearly not the entire game. This is the problem. The Redskins do not have enough depth, talent and playmakers to hold up for a sixty minute game against well built offenses. 
It's hard to constantly have to bail the offense out and that's what they have to do pretty much week in and week out. 
It didn't help that Bashaud Breeland had some costly penalties and a lot of lost yardage (10-135) as ESPN & ESPN 980's John Keim detailed.
Normally I hate the kind of antics I saw from Breeland in some spots yesterday, but even though he drew four penalties for 70 total yards covering Odell Beckham Jr., I am totally fine with Breeland's competitive spirit and hustle. 
He has to tone it down, but that guy can play for me any day of the week. 
I also had a lot of silly tweets from the typical angry birds about Bacarri Rambo's two interceptions for the Bills in their win over the Packers. First, I say this - congratulations to Rambo. He deserves it. Because he had two picks on Sunday, does not mean he is great or that the Redskins did a bad job coaching him.  
They did everything they could to get him to improve and he responded in the preseason. Then, the bullets flew for real and he was awful in Washington's first two games. They had no choice, because of how thin they were and with Brandon Meriweather returning. 
You guys really need to examine how you watch football.
Robert Griffin III should start this Saturday for the Redskins against the Eagles at FedExField and this should not be in question at this point. 
Colt McCoy is not healthy and there is NOBODY that can argue that he is or think that it is a good idea to run that risk again. 
If you evaluate Griffin's game on Sunday, there was something to build on. Essentially, two smoothly operated scoring drives  and he avoided the extra dagger of throwing an interception. 
Now - let's see if he can build on it. Let's see if he can get better. Let's see if you can make it work. 
Knowing the Redskins - something other than what makes sense will probably happen.
Chris Russell -

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Inside the Numbers - Redskins @ Giants - A Game Only a Mother Could Love
by Chris Russell
Dec 12, 2014 -- 3:28pm
ESPN 980

The Redskins play their final road game of the year on Sunday and I am not quite sure if that is a good thing or not. 

It's good, because the travel on top of the very long week and the never ending circus that engulfs Redskins Park is a lot to deal with. 
It's bad because if/when the Redskins continue to play this poorly, they have two home games left. Wait check that. They have two games left period.  They could be in Hawaii and that would be a terrible thing. 
This is a brutal product to watch. It's not fun. It's not entertaining and it gets harder to have any optimism at any point. 
The Giants aren't very good either, but they hammered the Redskins earlier this year at FedEx 45-14 and 'improved'  to (4-9) with a 36-7 drubbing of the awful Tennessee Titans in Nashville. 
That's the same Titans team that the Redskins barely eked out a win against (at home) and only scored 19 points on. 
The same Titans team that has given up 27, 43, 45 and 36 points in their last four games and has given up an average of 28.7 points per contest. 
Again, the Giants scored 36 points on the Titans. The Redskins awesomeness on offense was lighting up the scoreboard that day for a cool 19 or almost half of what the Giants did  and ten points under the Titans average. 
Here's the worst news. The Redskins offense has actually become more AWFUL since that point. So yeah, good luck. 
With all of that, let's go further "Inside the Numbers" for this all-important battle for non-playoff positioning  and the right to see who could bore their fans more. 
I. These teams stink because they treat the football like poison.
The New York Giants have turned the ball over an astonishing 70 times since the start of the 2013 season. That's in 29 games and an average of 2.41 giveaways per game to easily lead the  NFL. 
Fans blame coaches for everything, so I asked Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin (via tele-conference with Redskins reporters) why he was so bad at programming his players computer chips to not turn the ball over (I'm being sarcastic).
“Obviously whatever I’m doing isn’t working very well either and you’ve pointed that out (Sorry Tom).  So, that’s the stat that we preach more than any. We run our series of drills that are ‘core drills’ – what I call them," Coughlin said. "One of them totally devoted to ball security and taking the ball away, that type of thing. It’s a very difficult thing."
Coughlin continued and pointed out the truth, "We’ve been a team here that’s set the record – for one or two years anyway – for the fewest turnovers. Then, we turn around the last couple years, and we’ve had a lot of them. Our record is not very good and our turnovers are high.”
The Redskins have had 58 turnovers since the start of last year or exactly 2.0 turnovers per game. The Giants and Redskins are one-two in this area in the entire NFL. 
Another area the Redskins have excelled at is giving up sacks. They've allowed 89 of them since the start of last year and 46 already this season.  That's three more than last year, with three games still to go.  
The Giants have allowed only 68 sacks since the start of last season, and 28 this year which is nothing compared to their buddies from DC. 
Negative plays. A term I've heard from Jay Gruden about 4, 378 times since last January. You can't have them in bunches and that's what the Redskins have become all about. The Giants might not have the same exact issues, but they are really bad too. 
As a result, their defenses suffer along with their records. The Redskins (as a team) have allowed 824 points or 28.4 points per game allowed.  New York has only allowed 709 points during that span for an average of 24.4 points per game. 
Of course, that's before you factor in anything else such as awful special teams and brutal 3rd down execution or work habits of players. 
II. Kerrigan Cruising towards a new contract
Ryan Kerrigan struggled initially after the Redskins lost Brian Orakpo for the year in the Titans win. He dealt with a hand and wrist issue, but has cranked it back up the last few weeks with four sacks in his last three games. 
He now has 11.5 sacks (a career-high) and 36 on his career in his first 61 NFL games.  Kerrigan is now up to 0.59 sacks per game. Brian Orakpo as a contrast has 40 sacks in 71 career games or 0.56 sacks per game after the two were exactly even when Orakpo went out for the year. 
Kerrigan will have one final year on his contract (2015)  and is unquestioned for his work ethic, professionalism and consistent performance. The only thing that you could criticize Kerrigan for is occasionally getting sucked in on a boot play-action and that you wouldn't ever call him dominating on a consistent basis.
He's one guy - perhaps the only guy - that is coming up as a free agent after 2015 (Trent Williams, Alfred Morris, Keenan Robinson, Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III) that I would consider giving a contract extension to right NOW. 
If you want something to hang your hat on in terms of stability and the right message - give Kerrigan a new contract. 
I would try and do it like right now and front-load some the new deal, because in 2015 - Trent Murphy will only count for 1.017 million, Perry Riley will count for and even 4.0 million, Keenan Robinson will be on the final year of his rookie deal at 765,000 and Kerrigan will be on the books for 7.038 million under year five of his rookie deal. 
That's a total of 12.82 million right now on the books for the four starters, before you entertain re-signing Brian Orakpo or factor in any backups/contributors like Adam Hayward, Will Compton and others. 
III. Numbers you need to know 
A. The Redskins have lost five straight games. With one win over the last three games, they can exceed their season win total from 2013, so I guess that would be a good thing. 
B.  Alfred Morris is only averaging 4.12 yards per rush attempt this year (218-899), which is way down from his overall career average of 4.57 per attempt. 
C. Last year, after 13 games, Alfred Morris had 218 rushing attempts. This year, the same exact number.  Just for contrast, Morris' average last year thru 13 games was 4.71 per attempt (218 - 1,027).
D. Colt McCoy, who is expected to start against the Giants has  gone from a 85.7% completion rate before his start against the Colts to 71.9% after three starts and a half of the Tennessee game. Obviously still a good percentage but he is beginning to regress towards where he should be. McCoy is a career 60.3 % passer. 
Chris Russell - - 

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Could Jay Really Be One-and-Done?
by Chris Russell
Dec 09, 2014 -- 11:24pm
ESPN 980

This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. The Redskins are a bad football team and completely submerged in chaos. 

Every day and every way. If it's not a fringe hall of fame linebacker who over-stayed his welcome pummelling Jim Haslett from out-of-nowhere, it's multiple stories about whether the Jay Gruden era will last beyond the NHL's Winter Classic at Nationals Park in the district. 
Something makes me wonder if the Redskins will do the unthinkable (until about a month ago) and purposely upstage the Capitals & to some degree Nationals during one of the best sporting events of the year. 
Ehh, I am sure they will do something. 
The bigger point is that - for the 2nd January in a row - there could be complete upheaval at Redskins Park. None of it will matter of course, because the franchise will never change until their philosophy and way of doing business changes.
Both football and marketing.  There all tied together for great franchises, but not here. 
Jay Gruden could be fired. He could be allowed to go to a high profile college football job (Michigan, Oregon State?, another program?) or he could stay here and try to clean up the carnage of at best a (6-10) team but possibly another (3-13) team. 
Let's look at the options. 
If Gruden is fired, Dan Snyder and the Redskins would have to pay the rest of Gruden's contracts plus those of his assistants, which would cost many millions of dollars for very little in return. 
Yes, most if not all of those coaches would then go and get different jobs somewhere (anywhere) and probably be better off long term. 
There was a report by Jason Cole of Bleacher Report on Tuesday that Gruden could not only be fired, but that the Redskins would only be on the hook for two million per year of his salary was reported to be in the 4.5-5.0 million dollar per year range. That money, because of a "split" as Cole referred to it, could then be "off-set" and pared down even more if Gruden took another job. 
Something didn't sound right immediately in my eyes. I did some checking around, and per one high ranking Redskins source, was told twice that Jay Gruden's contract is fully guaranteed. Other sources familiar with the situation also have expressed the same about Gruden's deal. 
I find it extremely hard to believe that Gruden and agent Bob LaMonte signed a deal that allowed the Redskins to carve it up like a holiday ham and spit it out. Not that agent. Not with this team and management style. Hell to the no. 
Not to mention, Gruden was in demand. He met with Tennessee and was heading to Minnesota before being wined and dined on a cold Wednesday night last January. 
Quite simply, it's preposterous to think that Gruden and his high powered agent would be naive. It would be stunning. 
The report from Cole sounds to me like another public power play by the Redskins executive level to put heat on their first-year head coach. 
Moving on to the next potential drama.
Multiple reports and rumors surfaced on Monday that Gruden could be in a preliminary interest period with the University of Michigan. Gruden flatly denied these rumors to John Keim of ESPN & ESPN 980 as you would expect.
That doesn't mean that Michigan did not reach out or express some level of interest in Gruden. His personality would seem perfect for college football, especially a program that has fallen on such hard times because of their almost stubborn belief in tradition. 
A source that has extensive connections at Michigan told me Monday night that Gruden is not on the radar screen for the Wolverines and they are focusing on a couple of other options. I'm not at liberty to publicly discuss those names, but they wouldn't surprise anybody. 
Oregon State is open, and perhaps if a big program coach jumps to Michigan - that could open up another program. 
This scenario might be the best option for both sides if they truly do want a divorce. I've heard enough about both sides that are disturbing in many ways and makes me think that a long-term marriage is virtually impossible. 
Which brings us to Gruden staying. He says that Bruce Allen, Dan Snyder and he are on the same page. There is enormous reason to believe that is simply not true. 
How bad is it? Nobody truly knows. However, it is not good and healthy. In this business, you hear a lot of speculation and bits of information. You don't know exactly what is true, but NONE of it is good. 
That says something. 
What does that mean for the future? As in January? It means either a complete upheaval or a non-stop flow of national reports on Gruden's relationship with Robert Griffin III and the fallout from that, which includes the slowly (quickly?) souring relationship with his bosses. 
Or it means the end, which would still be stunning and a coaching search. Which brings us back to the point of the organization having very little hope. 
Everyone knew that Mike Shanahan was coming in on his white horse during late 2009 and early 2010. Everyone thought that there was no way things could get any worse than they were in late 2012 and all of 2013. 
Anything can happen and anything will here.  The problem is that both sides seem to have drawn their line in the sand and if you have two very different philosophies on what to do, you don't even have a one percent chance of making it work. 
Chris Russell - - 

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Three-and-OUT - An All-Time Low?
by Chris Russell
Dec 08, 2014 -- 1:27am
ESPN 980

The Redskins lost 24-0 to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at a half empty FedExField in what should be the game that makes Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder fear for the future. 

Instead, they are probably thinking they have all the answers to solve the crisis. 
ESPN 980 GalleriesYeah, right. 
I don't have a whole lot to say and will expand on all of these issues and a lot more Monday night at 7 PM on ESPN 980. I'll also be on at 9:30 with Scott Jackson and 1 PM with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro. 
Now a little game of "Three-and-OUT." 
1. As hard as this is to say and out of all of the horrific losses the Redskins have suffered over the years, I believe this was the worst. This was beyond brutal because of the week that was that featured story after story, the Saturday nightmare list of bad publicity and then the disaster on Sunday. 
The real reason why this is probably the worst, is because you always felt there was hope. Last year's worst loss? A year ago today (December 9th) against Kansas City. The only reason why I say this was worse was because you knew that a coaching change would be coming and a different voice might be able to rescue Robert Griffin III. You thought wrong. 
Even I bought in a little and I was wrong. I am stunned that the organazation is in worse shape now than a year ago. A lot worse shape. 
2. Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher had a message for his buddy Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder today for the coin toss and I certainly wasn't paying attention because of all of the Redskins chaos. 
Fisher sent out six players that are on the Rams as a result of the Robert Griffin III trade. Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins, Zac Stacy, Steadman Bailey, Greg Robinson and Alec Ogletree all came out. 
Yeah. Not normal. I would almost say this was really low class, and perhaps it was but you have to remember the politics at play. 
Fisher's top assistant Gregg Williams was dumped by Dan Snyder after interviewing four times to be the Redskins head coach following the 2007 season and just for icing on the cake, Fisher and Allen have a strong dislike for each other that was quietly a part of the negotiation of the trade back in 2012. 
The other element at play? Mike Shanahan and Fisher are very good friends and make no mistake about it - Fisher was trying to do everything he could to flip the Redskins upper level management the bird. 
3. London Fletcher slammed Jim Haslett before the game on CBS Sports Network and then on his own twitter feed, before putting the final dig in against Haslett's son, Chase. 
I will just say this, because I have already talked at length about this on the Redskins postgame show on ESPN 980. I was simply stunned that it went down this way, but not about every part of it. 
NOBODY was shocked that London Fletcher would blindside somebody (anybody) if it was for personal gain. Everyone that dealt with Fletcher and understood people knew this day would happen, because we knew the individual. That's it. 
Where do the Redskins go from here? I have no idea exactly. It is beyond clear that nothing is working and will never work under the current climate. The coaches will probably be blamed for most problems and be let go, and somebody will take the pay day thinking they can deal with the political landscape. 
The only person I know that would perfectly fit the bill of what Redskins management is looking for is Art Briles. So just hire him if you fire Jay and hopefully you will catch lightning in a bottle. 
My guess is you have a better shot of being struck by lightning than that plan actually working, but hey, what do I know? 
Chris Russell - - 

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