When we last posted, the NFL was on the verge of releasing the regular season schedule. They did so last Wednesday evening, and this week we will give you our worthless pre-draft record prediction. Among other items we'll be discussing, Robert Griffin III played Grand Marshall in Richmond on Saturday and took a few selfies, Brian Orakpo ruffled a few feathers at a charity golf event, the Redskins began a voluntary minicamp, and a former Redskins player was charged with assault. There was a lot of Hullabaloo this week, but before we get into it, here's our player spotlight of the week:
Redskins Player Spotlight: Alfred Morris is a man who quickly endeared himself to Redskins fans upon entering the scene. His story is well known by now, but it is worth retelling, especially as we move into a new offensive coaching staff and wonder how his role will be changed. Mike Shanahan and the prior regime drafted him out of Florida Atlantic in the 6th round in 2012, and all he did was go on to rush for 2,888 yards and 20 touchdowns in his first two years. In his rookie year, he broke several records, including most yards by any Redskins back in a season. Not only that, he is an extremely likeable fellow who seems as down to Earth as he can be. I interviewed him last season after a tough loss in Minnesota and his personality really came through. Now, however, the Shanahan's are gone and Jay Gruden is the new head coach. While we at the Hump Day offices firmly believe Morris will continue his success on the field, no one knows for certain how his role will change and if he will continue to get the same number of carries per game. In four seasons with Cincinnati, Gruden threw the ball almost 60% of the time, so expect Morris to try to improve his effectiveness in the passing game in order to stay on the field. We believe he can and will improve in that area and continue to be one of the top backs in the NFL.
Redskins Hullabaloo of the Week:
- The Schedule! The NFL finally released the regular season schedule and, having gone through it with a fine toothed comb, our early prediction for the Redskins is a 10-6 record to go along with a division championship. In full disclosure, that was my prediction before I saw the schedule. Also, I have chosen this to be their record (plus or minus a game or two) for 20+ consecutive seasons, so it just feels right to do it again here.
- A few notable items: They open the season against two 2013 doormats in Houston and then at home versus the Jaguars. You can pretty much bank on them losing one of those games because no one expects them to. They will have a chance to avenge their 2012 home playoff loss to the Seahawks on October 6th on Monday Night Football. The bye week this year falls on Week 10, which I love because I feel it does a good job of dividing the season into two mostly equal parts. And finally, they end the season with three straight NFC East matchups, including the last two being back-to-back home games against the Eagles and Cowboys. The NFL has really loved to pair us against our most hated rival on the finale for the last two years to good results, so they are guessing this one will also not disappoint.
- An interesting tidbit came out later from ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported that Sunday night flex scheduling will begin in Week 5 instead of Week 11. I am a fan of this, as I would much rather see a competitive game than a dud. However, my feelings on the subject change when the Redskins are moved into the night game as it means I will be getting significantly less sleep that evening.
- After working out for and meeting with the Redskins, Anthony Spencer re-signed with the Cowboys on a one year deal. His injury is still a concern, and it is not clear when he will return from micro-fracture surgery on his knee. The defensive end hopes to be back by training camp but no one knows.
- Our pal Chris Russell from ESPN 980 tweeted the following from Ryan Kerrigan in regards to the possibility of the Skins picking up his fifth year option:
R. Kerrigan on 5th yr "I haven't really. As we've gotten later in April,I've kind of thought about it like 'oh crap' May 3rd is coming up."
— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) April 28, 2014
- Shortly after, Mike Jones from the Washington Post tweeted that Bruce Allen indicated the Redskins will make a decision soon:
Bruce Allen expects ‘announcement soon’ on Ryan Kerrigan’s future http://t.co/fq4VvxVtYg
— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) April 28, 2014
- Brian Orakpo hosted the Leukemia Golf Classic and posted this tremendous pic of him, Colt McCoy and huge Skins fan Matthew McConaughey:
- However, Orakpo also stated, "I don't have to prove nothing to nobody. That goes for the fans, goes for the media. Anybody. I'm well proven in this league."
- Hogs Haven's own Paul Conner wrote a great post on the matter, and I have to agree with him. Orakpo has quite a bit to prove this year, and I hope he knows that on a certain level.
- The Redskins also started a voluntary minicamp on Tuesday that runs through May 1st. There was a lot of stretching and running in the bubble in Ashburn. Here, also, was the first pic of DeSean Jackson in a Redskins uniform:
- Jalen Saunders, a wide receiver prospect from Oklahoma, visited with the Redskins. He is considered to be a later round pick .
- Finally, former Redskin Josh Morgan got into a bit of trouble this week when NBC4 in Washington reported he was charged with assault outside of a DC nightclub. We still don't have all information on this, but it apparently involved a complaint in which a man stated Morgan punched him for looking at his girlfriend. Morgan, now with the Chicago Bears, has denied any wrong doing.
Team Having the Best Week: The Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks locked up all-pro safety Earl Thomas on a four year, $40 million extension. In four seasons, Thomas has made it to three Pro Bowls and has been twice named a first team all-pro. He has 15 career interception and has broken up 32 passes to go along with five forced fumbles. So congrats, Seahawks. You continue to be hated by me as much as any team in the NFC East.
Team Having the Worst Week: The NBA's Los Angeles Clippers - We are breaking our long standing(two week old) unwritten rule of only including NFL teams for this one, as we feel it is warranted. The Clippers are having, by far, the worst week of any franchise in any sport after their owner, Donald Sterling, was caught on tape saying some incredibly racist comments. They will not be restated here, but feel free check to the Deadspin story if you haven't already. In the meantime, the team was fighting their guts out in the opening round of the playoffs while simultaneously having to deal with the mess this guy created. On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Sterling is suspended for life and was being fined $2.5 million (the maximum). It's sad that people today may still have thoughts like the one's Sterling expressed, and it is time for him to go away. As far away as possible would be preferred. Kudos to league commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA for the action they took.
Huge Redskins Fan Dale Jr. Report (Aka Why Junior is Awesome):
Dale Earnhardt Jr, fresh off his exclusive interview with me and Ken Meringolo, raced in Richmond on Saturday night and finished seventh. He is now fifth in the point stands with 309 total points. Before the race, however, he famously helped arrange to have our own RG3 be the Grand Marshall, and while Super Bob was there, he took several selfies with him and the other drivers. Here is a sampling:
Junior also gifted RG3 with the gloves he's been wearing all season and they had a chance to catch up and talk Skins beforehand. Congrats to Dale for making it happen and for making the day really special for Redskins fans and racing fans. Earnhardt and the team will be heading to Talladega where they will be racing in the Aaron's 499 on Sunday afternoon at 1pm Eastern.
Random UnRedskins Item: Last week, several of you requested that I use this space in the Hullabaloo to sing the praises of our fellow DC sports team the Washington Wizards, and I am happy to oblige. The Wizards, led by their star point guard John Wall and a fantastic team mixed with up-and-coming stars and playoff experienced veterans, made short work of their first round opponent, the Chicago Bulls, and won the series 4-1. It was a complete performance and could have easily been a four game sweep. Congrats to them as they move on to the second round. To show our support for them going forward, I have ordered that no one in the Hump Day offices is allowed to shave while the Wizards are still alive. This order was received with mixed reviews, but I feel it best reflects our feelings as an organization.
We usually also have a video to go with this segment, and so as not to disappoint, I wanted to include a video I came across this week that was put out by the Washington Redskins cheerleaders and includes some players from the team like Griffin and Morris. Spoiler Alert: Watch carefully and you'll see that somehow Tom Selleck makes a cameo appearance as well.
Washington Redskins Cheerleaders #WRCSelfie Parody Video (Official) (via Washington Redskins)
Days until the Redskins First Pick in the 2014 draft: 9 oh-so close days
Our Top 5 Mock Draft: (sticking with last week's)
1) Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2) St. Louis Rams - Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
3) Minnesota Vikings - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
4) Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
5) Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Redskins First Pick (34th): (still liking this, too)
- Morgan Moses, OT, UVA
That is this week's Hullabaloo! As usual, feel free to let us know what we did wrong or if there is anything else you would like to see. Next week will be our expert non-Mel Kiper Jr. final draft preview.