Redskins in the playoffs
With the completion of the Divisional Round, the NFL playoffs are halfway over. Even though the Redskins haven’t had a legitimate shot at the playoffs since week 12, there are still some former Redskins lurking around the playoffs on other teams' rosters. Much like an ex-girlfriend, some ex-Redskins you’ll want to still be friends with, the others you’ll love to hate.
The Steelers boast the most ex-Redskins. Ryan Clark, Pittsburgh’s starting free safety since 2006, was paired with Sean Taylor in Washington before Troy Polamalu in Pittsburgh -- not bad company. Clark’s release received various scrutiny from players and fans alike. In the end it was the right move. Washington drafted LaRon Landry to play strong safety and moved Taylor to free safety, and for the little we saw of the Landry and Taylor tandem it was clear they could be the best the game had ever seen.
Another ex-Redskin turned Steeler is punt returner/gadget play-maker Antwaan Randle-El, although El is more of a returning returner than an ex. El was a much better locker room personality than wide receiver and probably should have never left Pittsburgh. He was the third receiver on the Steelers behind Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress, but Gibbs brought him in as a receiver and punt returner. Fortunately, Shanahan released El and found a solution to the non-existent return game with Brandon Banks. Now to find an answer to the non-existent receiving corps...
Shaun Suisham, the final ex-Redskin turned Steeler, should be Graham Gano’s inspiration and mentor, after all Suisham is what Gano should be: an ex-Redskin kicker. I’ve been very harsh on Gano this season, and I’d like to clarify that half of it is because Gano is legitimately the worst kicker in the league. The other half is Mark Moseley and even Chip Lohmiller set standards for Redskins kickers, and Gano and Suisham didn’t and don’t meet those standards.
The Jets have two ex-Redskins on their roster. The more significant Redskin was Mark Brunell, brought in by Gibbs part deux as a saavy veteran quarterback to mentor first-round draft pick Jason Campbell. I can’t dislike Brunell because he did what he was supposed to, and he also gave me that wonderful Monday Night Miracle memory playing in Dallas. Anyone else think that Mark Brunell was the creative inspiration behind man-Shrek in Shrek 2?
The other Jet is Jason Taylor. Philip Daniels tore his something-or-other the first day of practice in 2008, so Vinny Cerrato went out and got Jason Taylor. The Redskins were playing in a 4-3 defense at the time, Jason Taylor didn’t fit in nor play well so he was gone the next year. Now that the Skins play a 3-4 defense, more befitting his build and skill-set, I still wouldn’t want Jason Taylor in burgundy and gold, and I’m never watching one of his Snyder-Cruise produced movies, unless ScarJo is the leading lady.
Da Bears have two ex-Redskins on their roster. Todd Collins, oddly enough the last quarterback to take the Redskins to the playoffs, and Edwin Williams, who was one of the only offensive lineman let go by Shanahan. Collins' NFL tenure is impressive in its failure to impress, a career back-up that actually plays pretty well when he gets the chance. Williams was a low-budget version of Stephon Heyer, an undrafted lineman from Maryland, and one Heyer on a roster is enough.
The Packers are the only team left standing without a former Redskin on the roster, which is why they’ll win the Super Bowl this year -- that and because it would push Brett Favre further into his depressive abyss. Sorry, but he deserves it for retiring three times and inappropriate cell phone use.
Congratulations to all the ex-Redskins in the playoffs, some of them contributing, others waiting for someone to get hurt, but all of them extending their season. I personally am looking forward to enjoying the playoffs again, hopefully next year.
| January 17, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
Categories: Evan Bliss, Redskins | Tags: Evan Bliss, Redskins
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