It seemed to be a matter of when, not if, the college-style offense took over the professional game, with four youngsters seemingly representing the new breed. Now, not even two years later, those four have encountered a series of obstacles that have dimmed their once-bright futures.
Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson's Instagram post Monday was among the reasons coach Jay Gruden addressed social media issues with his players. But Jackson said his post wasn't directed at anyone in particular.
But in a phone interview Thursday, Young, a Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN analyst, said he wants to call Griffin so he can "understand the purpose of the comments," and added, "I want the guy to move around." "I have no insight. I have no sense of what he does game to game, week to week," Young said. "It's not putting time in week to week to play football. It's, and I've said this many times, it takes as much memorization and classroom work as it did for me in law school. "It was Sid Gilman and Bill Walsh and Mike Shanahan -- they relentlessly forced me to do this work and that's what I was talking about. It's not, 'Does he take his backpack home on Thursday and does he study?' It's not about his work ethic. It's working on things that make you different in the long run. It's not something you can do in November. It's focusing more broadly on what will get me to do the job."
Washington Redskins notes: Safety Phillip Thomas could get work soon - ESPN
Phillip Thomas: The Redskins have made it clear they’re not just going to play young guys just to "see what they have." Typically, they have a good feel after practice and meetings. But safety is one position where it’s harder to gauge where they’re at just from practice, because there’s no live hitting.
The Washington Redskins practice at 11:10 a.m. ET, Friday followed by an open locker-room session.
The 49ers and Redskins meet for the second time in Week 12 in as many years. Like last season, both teams appear to be heading in opposite directions.
Morgan Moses is a big man and, when that’s used to his advantage, he can be a good player. The trick is using that size every down; for now, there are times he’ll lapse into habits (bending at the waist; being occasionally too upright) that could -- and will -- get him in trouble.
ESPN Video: The NFL Live crew make their picks for Washington at San Francisco.
Last year's receptions leader has not been targeted more than six times in a game since Week 3. What seemed like a lock for 70 catches is now one of the NFL's bigger mysteries.
It's understandable for a quick reaction to think that expecting much from Washington this week is as sane as going sunbathing in Buffalo right now, but dig in a bit, and the results are interesting. The last time the NFL universe expected nothing from the Redskins came about a month ago, when the team went to Dallas for Monday Night Football. Here's a reminder what the experts expected that night:
The Washington Redskins say that sound technique and disciplined football will stop San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"We have some guys who might get some time," Gruden said after Thursday’s practice. "[But] they’ve got to earn it. For us to take a starter out and put a young guy in, the young guy has to earn the spot."
I think the Redskins’ best bet to beat that defense is to spread them out. Linebacker Chris Borland, a rookie out of Wisconsin, is a terror against the run but in college he struggled against spread formations in general and in coverage specifically. It will the tough to run if the front seven is kept in tight quarters with two-tight end sets or with a fullback in the game.
"I think there’s a point in time where we want to get Phillip some work because we’ve got to find out if he can play," said Haslett. "He’s changed his body . . . from training camp. He’s worked hard, I think at some point in the season he deserves an opportunity to play. I don’t know when it will be. Is it during a game, is it a whole game?"
Lost in the poor play of Robert Griffin and all the surrounding controversy with the press conferences, is how once again the defense was really bad in this game. While this is not to say that the defense "cost us" this football game as the Redskins offense committed 3 turnovers and managed just 7 total points, the defense didn't do them any favors. Most troubling about the defensive performance is just how many mental mistakes continue to happen to this unit.