Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Evolution of the Media and the DC Sports Fan Regarding Player Injury, and Some Perspective on RG3

By. Mike Baxter (@sportsyack)

Fall 2012
Three's a Crowd
Nats GM Mike Rizzo gets crucified for essentially following doctor's orders- looking out for the best interest of the player, and shutting down Stephen Strasburg in a continued rehab from Tommy John surgery. The Nats' heart breaking NLDS loss to the St. Louis Cardinals allows the criticism to hit a deafening pitch.

January 2013
Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III tears up knee in 4th quarter playoff loss to Seattle. The overwhelming opinion by fans and media alike, is that bad guy coach Mike Shanahan should've taken Griffin out of the game earlier-specifically in the first half. The idea, presumably- to protect their franchise quarterback, looking out for his best interest of the player.

Summer 2013
Media, fans, and Griffin- in a shit storm of controversy following Griffin's press conference on Monday, in what will undoubtedly be a 4 week conversation. Mike Shanahan trying to keep the vultures at bay, as he, along with Dr. James Andrews, GM Bruce Allen, and presumably RG3 himself, will determine if Griffin's knee will be ready enough to start against Philadelphia, in the Monday night season opener in early September.

Apparently the in the best interest of the player aspect of it all is case by case? I don't quite understand, folks. I do know that as the pressure to start Griffin by Griffin himself, the fans, and an always looking for spin cycle material media, will reach a boiling over the top level by the last week in August. And God help us if Griffin doesn't start come Week 1, but you can rest assured that Shanahan will be portrayed as the bad guy once again, if that ends up being the case.

Not to be lost on this, when Griffin's opinion of when he should play is factored into the equation, is what Griffin said to the media immediately after his injury back in January.

"I think I did put myself at more risk by being out there," Griffin said. "But every time you get on the field, you're putting yourself on the line."

So what is it, people? Are we looking out for the best interest of the player, or are we not? And who is Captaining the ship? The coaches and GMs, or the player whose head (per the ever incessant fans and media) has- in my opinion, swelled up beyond proportion?

Are we going to consider the twice blown out knee of our 23 year old superhero? A superhero who (also) seems to have gotten a little too buddy-buddy with our commingling owner, who by my educated guess- based on 14 years of "trends", is hell bent on Griffin starting that Week 1 game.  An owner, who by the way, in 14 years of ownership, has just four winning seasons, six seasons of double digit losses, has just two playoff wins, and is on on his 7th coach. Is that the winning combo we're putting our chips on?

Or are we going to consider the word of a coach who is a proven winner? A coach who took over an absolute disaster here in DC, and in just his 3rd season removed from taking on that disaster, led his team to a 10-6 record and an NFC East Division title. And will we consider the advice of this Dr. James Andrews guy? He might know a thing or two about injuries, specifically to knees. I'm pretty sure his opinion should trump our 23 year old superhero's opinion, who even though he was knocked out of 3 games in his rookie campaign, knows whats best for him relative to injuries, as we move forward towards the 2013 campaign.

Media, fans, Bevis...please just slow down to 55, stop the excess noise, allow those in authority to make decisions, and then wake me up on September 9th.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rich Turpin's 2013 Washington Redskins' Season Predictions:

By. Rich (in Centreville) Turpin
He's Baaack....

It’s that time of the year again, the time of the year where I go through the Redskins' schedule and predict wins and losses (mostly wins).  In 2012, I accurately projected the Redskins would win 10 games, win the NFC East, and make the playoffs.  Now, I’ve made that prediction for about 8 straight years…but I'll take credit for my accuracy predicting the successful 2012 campaign.

 Below are my thoughts on the 2013 season. I expect another flawless, prognosticating performance by yours truly. Enjoy. 

Week 1- Philadelphia- New Philly Head Coach Chip Kelly is in for a brutal welcome to the NFL as the Redskins host the Eagles on Monday Night Football.  Not sure who QBs the Eagles OR the Redskins for that matter, but none the less, the Eagles chances of winning are "N-word"; NONE. Redskins win this one in a landslide, 31-10.  (1-0)

Week 2- @Green Bay- The Packers lost LT Bryan Bulaga in training camp and don’t have a dependable backup, which means Aaron Rodgers' blind side is unprotected.  Redskins get to the All-Pro QB early and often, Redskins defense gets the credit in this victory.  Redskins 24, Packers 20. (2-0)

Week 3- Detroit- Lions' Coach Jim Schwartz is on the hot seat, and visiting Fed Ex Field in Week 3 is not going to help his cause.  Matthew Stafford throws a late game INT to safety Bacarri Rambo to seal the Redskins win, 27-23.  Redskins QB Robert Griffin III throws for 288 yards and 2 TD’s in the Redskins win. (3-0)

Week 4- @Oakland- Traveling across country and flying into the Bay Area is never easy- especially if you're Asiana Air, but beating the Oakland Raiders should be. The Raiders are still a mess, even as Matt Flynn seems to have solidified the QB position,  the rest of the team is in disarray.  Griffin turns in another great performance throwing for 305 yards with 2 TD’s in the 30-7 throttling of the Raiders.  (4-0)


Week 6- @Dallas- Coming off the bye week, the Redskins will come into Dallas riding a four game winning streak, and with one of the hottest offenses in the NFL- averaging 28 points and 400 yards per game.  The Redskins make easy work of their division rival by beating Dallas 38-24. Redskins move to 2-0 in the division, and Griffin will top 300 yards for the 2nd time in 2013 with 344 yards passing.  (5-0)

Week 7- Chicago- Last time the Bears played the Redskins, Deangelo Hall picked off Bears QB Jay Cutler 4 times in a Redskins victory.  This year, no such stat lines for Hall, but the Redskins still prevail over the Bears in a close 23-17 OT win.  Both teams get nothing on their first possession, but a 67 yard TD toss to Aldrick Robinson on the Redskins second possession puts this one in the books.  (6-0)

Week 8- @Denver- I believe Denver is the best team in the AFC and they play like it in the 27-23 Broncos victory.  The Redskins offense never gets going and new Broncos CB Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie picks off Redskins QB Robert Griffin III 2 times in a Redskins loss.  Redskins 6 game winning streak is over. (6-1)

Week 9- San Diego- The Redskins get a welcome sight in the San Diego Chargers, as new coach Mike McCoy struggles in his first year in San Diego.  Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, who is no longer the QB he once was,  throws 3 INT’s in the Redskins 34-17 victory.  Redskins offense puts up 450 yards of offense in the easy victory, Griffin and RB Alfred Morris hit 300 yards and 100 yards respectively.  (7-1)

Week 10- Minnesota- The Vikings made the playoffs in 2012, but without a solid QB leading the way, I look for the Redskins to once again beat the Vikings. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is held in check by a re-energized Redskins defense, only rushing for 59 yards. Deangelo Hall and rookie David Amerson each get an interception off of QB Christian Ponder- Amerson takes his to the house for his first NFL touchdown. 30-13 Redskins win.  (8-1)

Week 11- @Philadelphia- Looking to exact revenge from their week 1 thrashing, the Eagles trot out rookie QB Matt Barkley.  Barkley takes over for the released Michael Vick and the benched Nick Foles.  The results are no different, the rookie QB from USC struggles in his debut as the Redskins bounce the Eagles, 27-3.  Griffin sits out most of the 4th quarter (for rest) and Kirk Cousins finishes the mop up duty with a 39 yard TD pass to WR Leonard Hankerson.  (9-1)

Week 12- San Francisco- The defending NFC Champions come cross country to play the Redskins under the lights for Monday Night Football.  This game is a slugfest between two of the best teams in the NFC, and 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Redskins QB Robert Griffin III give the fans a shootout for the ages.  Kaepernick throws for 340 yards, 2 TD’s while Griffin goes for 330 yards, 2 TD’s.  San Francisco gets a last minute TD from Frank Gore to seal this one, 31-27. (9-2)

Week 13- NY Giants- For the first time this season, the Redskins face off against the New York Giants.  The Giants have struggled all season behind a very poor running game as both David Wilson and Andre Brown can’t figure out how to get going.  The Redskins defense takes advantage of the one dimensional Giants by shutting down Eli Manning thanks to 6 sacks (2 Brian Orakpo, 2 Ryan Kerrigan). (10-2)

Week 14- Kansas City- New Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid comes back to a familiar place in Fed Ex Field, but is greeted with a smack in his fat face.  Chiefs QB Alex Smith struggles against the Redskins defense throwing 2 INT’s and losing a fumble.  Robert Griffin III does enough (240 yards) while Alfred Morris steals the show (130 yards rushing) in the easy win. Redskins 24, Chiefs 13 (11-2)

Week 15- @Atlanta- Toughest game on the schedule, the Falcons are my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and prove it with a pretty easy victory over the red hot Redskins.  The Falcons use the arm of Matt Ryan and the legs of Steven Jackson to power past the Redskins, 24-17.  Redskins might be in cruise control as they locked up the NFC East after Week 14.  (11-3)

Week 16- Dallas- Dallas comes to Washington with nothing to play for; this is usually the spot where Washington has nothing but hopes and dreams at stake.  The Redskins make it 4 straight over Dallas with a convincing 31-13 victory. Dallas QB Tony Romo throws 2 INTs while being sacked 4 times in another Dallas loss; the loss moves the Cowboys to 7-9 on the year. (12-3)

Week 17- @New York Giants- The finale, the game that means nothing.  The Redskins already locked up the division and first round playoff bye.  Kirk Cousins gets his first start of 2013 while Robert Griffin III takes it easy, the Redskins rest several starters and the Giants pull out a meaningless 17-9 victory.  Redskins get a week off and will host the winner of the Wild Card game in the NFC. (12-4)

The Redskins will win the divisional playoff game, but will lose in the NFC Championship to the Falcons.

Follow Rich Turpin on Twitter @therichturpin

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