We have now entered the month of June, which means the pools are open, schools will be getting out and, most importantly, magazines that predict the NFL season will hit the shelves soon. Yes, despite the fact that magazines are a dying breed, there is still nothing like reading about how terrible the Redskins will be next season while sitting poolside and sipping on a frozen adult beverage. We will do our annual look at how the predictions have rolled in once we have a good sample size. Until then, we had a minicamp last week that gave us some Redskins news to chew on, another Redskins wide receiver made the Top 100 list and Robert Griffin III continued his excellent work in the community by helping a high school girl ask a special needs classmate to prom. But before we begin the Hullabaloo, here is this week's player spotlight:
Redskins Player Spotlight: Our spotlight this week shines on tight end Jordan Reed. Reed was a somewhat unexpected pick in the third round of the 2013 draft. The 6'2" 243lbs freak athlete out of Florida had initially played quarterback in college and then switched positions later in his Gator career. When Fred Davis began falling out of favor with the team (for the umpteenth time), Reed started opening some eyes with his athletic play and big hands. In his rookie season, when many figured he would mostly be a backup, he quickly became an integral part of the offense and someone that Robert Griffin III depended on. Despite suffering a season-ending concussion in mid-November, he managed 45 receptions for 499 yards and three scores in only nine games. One thing that came to light during the most recent minicamp was that Reed is now 100% healthy and looking to grow on his early success. When healthy, his speed and size creates a huge mismatch for any defender. There is little doubt that Reed's role in the offense will expand more and that head coach Jay Gruden will find new ways to get the ball in his hands. We here at the Hump Day offices predict a huge season for Reed in 2014, and one that hopefully leads to more victories.
Redskins Hullabaloo of the Week:
- The Redskins had their second player, and another wide receiver, make the NFL Network's top 100 list. This time it was newly acquired DeSean Jackson who made the list at 63. Following that selection, Jackson displayed the speed and quickness that attracted the Redskins to him in last week's mini-camp. Unfortunately, his day ended early on Thursday due to a hamstring issue, but before that occurred he managed to shine in the short time he was on the practice field. After that practice, the team and Jackson downplayed the hamstring problem and stated he would be fine. However on Tuesday, ESPN 980 reported he had been "limited" in practice the last two days in the camp that ran June 2nd through today.
- The Redskins had 100% participation in the aforementioned mini-camp and many players stood out, including linebacker Keenan Robinson, safety Phillip Thomas and defensive end Trent Murphy:
Gruden on LB Keenan Robinson, who was running with the first team: "He's one of the guys ...that stands out [like] 'Is that Keenan again?'"— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) May 29, 2014
Haslett running drills with Orakpo and Kerrigan on ends, Hatcher in middle, Murphy coming from outside. Lot of muscle there #RedskinsTalk— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayCSN) May 29, 2014
- Morgan Moses became the last draft pick to sign with the Redskins on Wednesday. He then went out and showed that he has a lot of work to do before he can be counted on as member of the offensive line.
Gruden reiterated that Morgan Moses is talented but has a ways to go before playing. No exact date on when he'll be ready.— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) May 29, 2014
- Tanard Jackson put on a Redskins jersey for the first time in a while and indicated he was just happy to be back. Jay Gruden confirmed this was his last chance to make good with the team, but also stated it looked like he had not been gone for two years. We cannot restate enough how great it would be if Jackson could contribute this year.
- I mentioned that Keenan Robinson was one of the players who stood out in practice. He has received praise from many of the coaches and seems to be completely healthy. One of the things he was doing that impressed the most was calling the defensive plays. Robinson has not done this in the past, but if he is able to provide that as a player and stay healthy, suddenly the teaming of him and Perry Riley in the middle looks more formidable and imposing.
- The Redskins finally replaced Morocco Brown in the front office when former scout Alex Santos was named the new director of Pro Personnel. The fans responded with a resounding "Who?", but also with the high hopes as usual that he can do the job. He has been with the team as a scout for six seasons and we wish him the best.
- On Friday, the Redskins released their full training camp schedule, which officially starts on Thursday, July 24th in Richmond, VA and runs through Monday August 11th. We mostly combed through it to decide days we will avoid, namely Fan Appreciation Day and Tom Brady Appreciation Day(s).
- Finally, Robert Griffin III did something really cool on Thursday night when he surprised a local special needs teen at Centreville High School in Virginia by helping a classmate ask him to the prom. There were some great pictures of the event and we wanted to share them again:
Best prom date ever thanks to the best athlete ever. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you SO much. God bless you!❤️ pic.twitter.com/qRtHXrHXfQ— Morgan Assel (@morganassel) May 30, 2014
Team Having the Best Week: The New England Patriots - According to an article that was penned by Pro Football Focus writer Sam Monson and posted on ESPN.com, Tom Brady is no longer a top five or elite quarterback. The rest of the NFL would like to thank the writer for providing more motivation to a quarterback who uses articles like this to fuel his fire. Brady did struggle last year, and he will be 37 when the regular season begins, but the Patriots must be very happy that this piece was written and it will most likely be hanging in his locker for most of the season. If it isn't, I'm sure head coach Bill Belichick will keep several hundred copies nearby.
Team Having the Worst Week: The Cleveland Browns - Well it didn't take long, but the Browns are already feeling the wrath of the media response to Johnny Football. His latest kerfuffle involved pictures of him partying in Las Vegas with some co-eds. Following the trip, Manziel, along with many in the team's front office, were charged with questions surrounding his off-the-field choices and responsibilities. The Browns had to have known what they were getting into when they drafted the talented lightening rod of a player in the first round as their next starting quarterback. Then again, maybe they didn't. Cleveland fans, this is only the beginning. Of course, if he comes on and wins, none of this will matter.
Huge Redskins Fan Dale Jr. Report (Aka Why Junior is Awesome):
Dale ran a solid race from the beginning in the Fed Ex 400 in Dover and finished in 9th place. The weirdest event of the day took place when a chunk of the cement track came loose and was struck by a surprised Jamie McMurray. He was able to recover and finish the race, but it was odd to see in real time as it kind of exploded all over his car. Here is the video:
This weekend, Junior will head to Pocono to race in the suitably named Pocono 400. He remains in fifth place overall with 429 points.
Random UnRedskins Item:
This week's item in random news comes from the world of Japanese baseball. There was an incident that occurred Monday night that stunned an umpire and the batter as well. That something was called an eephus (or junk) pitch, and it was truly something to behold. Check it out:
Also, just because we pretty much enjoy all forms of Three Stooges-style humor, we decided to include this video of an umpire in a wiffle ball game having a bad day. Watch and cringe (and try not to laugh when they play it in slow motion the second time):
Next on the Redskins' schedule: After breaking camp today, the Redskins will next meet up for practice sessions June 9 - June 12.
That's it for this week's Hullabaloo! Thanks for checking in and we'll see you next week.