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HH's Hump Day Redskins Hullabaloo (Thursday Edition)

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Guess what day it is??? Well, it's Thursday, but Mike Harar takes one last look at offseason news and notes of the Washington Redskins.

Larry French

Hello everybody and welcome to the offseason's final edition of the Hump Day Hullabaloo!!  It's been quite a while since the last Hullabaloo, and for that, we here at the Hump Day offices apologize.  You may be asking yourself what happened to this post over the bulk of the summer months.  On the other hand, you may not have even noticed it ever went missing, or was ever even around at all.  The bottom line is, due to an unexpected surgery followed by a series of strikes by nasty viruses (of the human and computer varieties) we were forced to go into hiatus for several weeks.

However, with the NFL's regular season now upon us and the exciting new season of the Hump Day Pick'em starting next week (with even more fabulous prizes!!!), I thought we should do one more shortened Hullaballoo to update some things and tie up some other loose ends.  As many of you know, the purpose of this post was to give you our take on the weekly Redskins news items that had occurred.  Well, since we last updated you, training camp has come and gone and all but one preseason game has been played.  The NFL will rev up the 2014 season exactly one week from today.

I had promised a while back to give our loyal readers a recap of the offseason magazine predictions, just as I had done last year, and that is what we will do!  And since we are doing it later than normal, it actually gives us the opportunity to include some publications that came out in late July and early August.  So with that said, he were go:

Lindy's Sports Pro Football:

NFC EAST Prediction:

1)      Eagles

2)      Cowboys

3)      Giants

4)      Redskins

Redskins qualify for the postseason? No

Key Quote: "Not far behind in competitive division, they can climb higher with more consistency from RGIII."

Athlon Sports Pro Football 2014 Preview:

NFC EAST Prediction:

1)      Eagles

2)      Giants

3)      Cowboys

4)      Redskins

Redskins qualify for the postseason? No

Key Quote: "Jay Gruden tasked with keeping RG3 happy and healthy"

On a fun side note, Athlon also ranks the Redskins as the worst team in the entire NFC.

Sporting New Pro Football 2014:

NFC EAST Prediction:

1)      Eagles

2)      Giants

3)      Cowboys

4)      Redskins

Redskins qualify for the postseason? No (getting depressed)

Key Quote: "The Redskins could easily shoot up and win this division, but let's curb the expectations in the first year under coach Jay Gruden.  The goal this year is to get Robert Griffin III right.  Plenty of holes remain in the defense."

Hub Arkush's Pro Football Preview 2014:

NFC EAST Prediction:

1)      Eagles

2)      Giants

3)      Cowboys

4)      Redskins

Redskins qualify for the postseason? What's the opposite of that?  How about they list the Redskins as one of nine "Clueless" franchises in the NFL, then double down by ranking them 32nd overall out of all 32 teams.

Key Quote: "RGIII has a ton to prove, and that still won't help the D."

ESPN The Magazine NFL Preview:

NFC EAST Prediction:

1)      Eagles

2)      Cowboys

3)      Giants

4)      Redskins

Redskins qualify for the postseason? No.  However, they seem a little more upbeat on Washington's chances, predicting a 7-win season.

Key Quote: "(Desean) Jackson, WR Pierre Garcon, and TE Jordan Reed - all of whom can win one-on-one - will help turn RG3's limitations into a thing of the past."

USA Today Sports NFL 2014:

Of the their eight experts polled, six had the Eagles winning the division, one chose the Cowboys (Jarrett Bell), and one chose the Giants (Tom Pelissero).

Redskins qualify for the postseason? No.  The USA Today experts had very little that they agreed on, but one issue that bound them all together was that the Redskins would not make the playoffs.  On the plus side, Jim Corbett predicted Robert Griffin III as the NFL's comeback player of the year.  So that's nice.

As you can see, many do not expect this to be a fun season for our beloved Washington Redskins.  At least none of them recommended the team bench Griffin and go with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins.  That is an issue that has recently reared its ugly head, spearheaded partially by national writers who came to Redskins training camp for two days and decided Cousins was better, partially by Cousins performing admirably against 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier players in the preseason, partially by Griffin's less-than stellar play against 1st tier players and partially by former Redskins player and current preseason commentator Joe Theismann's comments that if this were a quarterback competition, Cousins would be the winner.

The problem is, this was never a quarterback competition.  Griffin is the hands-down starter and, in my opinion, should be given ample opportunity in the regular season before we start looking to toss him overboard.  He should be afforded this entire season to show what he can do when healthy again, and if he then crashes and burns with the weapons he has on offense, then we can begin discussing if the Redskins made a(nother) mistake drafting the quarterback they hoped would be their franchise leader for years to come.

Huge Redskins Fan Dale Jr. Report (Aka why Junior is Awesome):

Hmmmm, well in the time since we last reported, all Junior did was win another race to give him a total of three big victories on the season.   He was temporarily in first place in the Chase standings, but currently sits in second place behind Jeff Gordon with 818 points.

This weekend, Junior and the crew will head to Atlanta for the Oral-B USA 500.  We'll continue to keep an eye on his season and continue to wish him the best!

Ryan Grant Update: This is a subject line we did not have in our Hullabaloo articles before, but wished to add it in the final Hullaballoo of the offseason.  The main reason we have done so is that in prior posts, we had stated clearly that we were not excited about his selection in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.  That was based on film I had watched and scouting reports I had read that indicated he was not particularly fast or tall.  This opinion was greeted with a lot of anger and vitriol by some of our readers, which somewhat surprised me so I promised to keep an open mind.

I have, and after watching this kid in training camp and three preseason games, he has clearly demonstrated that he belongs in this league and that I was an idiot(shocking).  As many pointed out to me earlier in the summer, his crisp route running often leaves defensive backs in the dust, and in the cases where they are able to stay with him, his hands are fantastic and the ball seems to stick to them.  I have done a complete 180 on Ryan Grant and am now one of his biggest fans.  He is a modest player with a great attitude who works hard and keeps outside static to a minimum.  His goal, which he has stated in past interviews, is to just play great each day and earn his spot on the team.

Nrggrant_medium

Thanks to NRG (a Redskins sponsor), I attended the Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon last Friday.  As per the setup of the luncheon, every table had a different Redskins player assigned to it.  It turned out that the NRG table had been assigned to Ryan Grant.  I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time talking with him throughout the luncheon, and he could not have been more down to earth.  He was happy to talk about college life, where he was from (Texas), that he initially had hoped to be drafted by the Saints (because they run a system similar to Tulane's), and that now he could not be more thrilled to be in the Burgundy and Gold.  Grant may not have a huge season in 2014 with the talent ahead of him at the receiver position right now, but I have a feeling he will be playing a large roll sooner rather than later.

So that's it for the final (shortened) Hullabaloo of the offseason!  Next week, we begin the second season of the Hump Day NFL Pick'em and couldn't be more ecstatic!!!  This year, we have some new and awesome prizes lined up and ready to give out.  That is, if you can beat our expert picks, of course.

It should be a lot of fun, and we hope you'll join us.  Until then......