Washington Post (paywall)
The prospect of something novel, something different, might dominate the thoughts of the fan base and probably those of owner Josh Harris. But the move for new should also provoke fresh sympathy for mainstays such as defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, wide receiver Terry McLaurin and, yes, even the punter, Tress Way. (Punters can suffer, too.)
If and when Harris wants a do-over and fires Coach Ron Rivera, the clock will reset for the franchise. That’s great news for a fan base starving for a winner at FedEx Field. And yet the hands keep moving for three longtime players. Allen, McLaurin and Way have spent the entirety of their careers stuck in this turbulence, and they don’t get a do-over.
A month before Allen, who won a national championship with the Crimson Tide, was drafted into this franchise in 2017, the overlord in charge at the time fired the general manager, who was treated to a smear campaign on his way out of town. Uhhh, you’re not in Alabama anymore, Jon.
Usually, when a star wideout signs an extension, the news conference is all rainbows and unicorns, just pomp and fluff abounding as the player and coach dream about a rosy future and then wear big smiles for the cameras. But in the summer of 2022, when McLaurin had his moment to trumpet a three-year extension worth more than $70 million, the announcement arrived with a congressional investigation still looming over the team. Really, who wouldn’t want to re-sign with the House Oversight Committee’s favorite football franchise?
And Way, at 33 the resident lifer in the locker room, has experienced just one nine-win season in his 10 years in Washington. That’s a lot of time spent flipping the field and doing his job well enough to be considered among the best in the NFL, only for his efforts to aid his team to a .411 regular season winning percentage.
On Tuesday, the Commanders surprisingly announced an outside hire. Washington hired Jim Salgago for the remainder of the season to help Garcia with the defensive backs. Salgado spent the 2023 season as the cornerbacks coach for Michigan State but had spent the previous six years with the Buffalo Bills.
Rivera spoke about Salgado’s addition on Wednesday.
“Jimmy’s a guy that did internships with us before in the past,” Rivera said. “He’s a coach I’ve known for quite some time, and a couple of times, I’ve tried to hire him. He ended up in Buffalo. He was with [Buffalo Bills Head Coach] Sean [McDermott] and [Former Buffalo Bills Coach] Leslie [Frazier] and that system, which is similar to some of the things that we do. And so, when he was at Michigan State most recently, and when the season was over, the word was they were going to change their head coach, so I reached out to him after the season was over to find out what his status was. He was available, so we got him [and] brought him in. He’s going to come in, he’s going to work with the defensive backs, and he’s just going to finish the year out for us, and then we’ll go from there.”
Another report of unrest between Eric Bieniemy and his players emerged...
The latest speculation came from Grant Paulsen from 106.7 The Fan, who stated via USA Today Sports that the recommendations wouldn’t be glowing for Bieniemy to become head coach if Josh Harris’ ownership group asked for player input.
“I continue to hear that if this is up to the players, if they are counseled in any way by this ownership group, there will not be glowing endorsements by and large for Eric Bieniemy, from the guys on offense. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Bieniemy has done a pretty good job. I do. It doesn’t mean I don’t think Bieniemy has done an outstanding job developing Sam Howell. I do. I’m not sure his style works in today’s NFL as we think it might. I just continue to hear from people in and around the building that the players that are working under Bieniemy aren’t necessarily advocating for or standing on the table for him to become the guy.”
- Grant Paulsen via USA Today Sports
There will be multiple head coaching jobs available around the league for Bieniemy if the Commanders go in a different direction. Considering he’s been unsuccessful in countless interviews previously, it remains to be seen whether someone will take the plunge this time around.
Podcasts & videos
Episode 709 - Guest: @BenStandig. High-level #Commanders intel.— Al Galdi (@AlGaldi) November 29, 2023
- who truly ordered Code Red on JDR - Ron or Josh?
- what's next for football ops?
- truth about Ron not going QB at 2 in 2020 Draft
- what Ben makes of continued talk of players not loving EBhttps://t.co/H7iRtiCtYQ
Sam Howell Special #Commanders Film Room | #HTTC
Command Center: Ron Rivera Takes Over the Defense, Game Recap, and Commander Court | Podcast | Washington Commanders
Sheehan: Brad Spielberger has some potential GM targets for the Commanders
Washington Commanders Sam Howell vs. Miami Dolphins Defense | Ron Rivera Defense Unveiled in Week 13
Check out the top photos of the Washington Commanders getting back to work to prepare for their Week 13 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)
The investigation led by the Virginia's Office of Attorney General into the Washington Commanders and former owner Dan Snyder — which has spanned about 20 months — remains ongoing, a spokesperson for the AG told @FOS.— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) November 29, 2023
This is what initiated the probe ⤵️ https://t.co/IPrnDG5D32
NFC East links
Washington Post (paywall)
The team announced Wednesday that Jackson will officially retire Friday — his 37th birthday — and serve as an honorary Eagles captain for Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jackson was stunningly released by Philadelphia in March 2014 amid reports of concerns over his work habits and off-field activities. He quickly latched on with Washington, where he spent three seasons before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two years. Jackson returned to the Eagles for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, spent 2021 with the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders and last played with the Baltimore Ravens in 2022.
Over 15 NFL seasons, Jackson caught 641 passes for 11,263 yards and 58 touchdowns. He led the league in yards per reception four times, and his career average of 17.6 ranks 39th all-time.
NFL league links
Less than three months after suffering a torn Achilles, Aaron Rodgers was back on the practice field Wednesday
Once the window is activated, teams have 21 days to either elevate players to the active roster or place them on season-ending IR (the players could also be traded or released). So Rodgers’ practice window being opened doesn’t necessarily mean he’s guaranteed to return this season.
“For Aaron, what he will be doing in practice is no different than what he’d be doing on the field, with regards to certain drills and individual (drills),” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “Instead of throwing with staff members, he’s throwing with teammates.
“A lot of guys coming off (injured reserve) are usually not ready to play football. There’s usually still a little bit of a health concern there. So you use these 21-day windows to see where they’re at.”
“I promise Aaron is not going to do anything that puts himself in harm’s way if he’s not healthy to play,” Saleh added. “Aaron is very, very smart. That’s not something he’s going to put himself at risk for. With that said, though, he is driven. He is achieving things that have never been achieved with regards to this injury and it’s the progression with regard to rehab he’s on.
“And I think it’s remarkable what he is doing, but he is also smart in regards to how fast it’s going.”
Rodgers’ practice window is set to expire on Dec. 20, just days before the Jets’ Week 16 matchup against the Washington Commanders on Christmas Eve. Rodgers has previously said his goal was to return by mid-December.
But whether Rodgers actually suits up again in the 2023 campaign will not only depend on his health, but also the Jets’ playoff chances.
We May Finally See the ‘Dead’ in Deadspin After They Attack a Young Chiefs Fan for Wearing Native American Gear. A Kid Who Happens to Be Native American.
[T]he whole hatchet piece on a grade schooler could’ve been avoided with a few seconds of research.
And because the article naturally included an airing of grievances about how the NFL is shameful for allowing a team called the Chiefs and how hateful this kid’s attire is, let’s pick up the flag on that offense as well. There is no party foul on the head dress:
UPDATE: During Sundays broadcast Holden Armenta from California a Native that belongs to the Chumash Tribe. His dad is on the Chumash Tribe board up in Santa Ynez. Everyone is making a massive deal out of this and only trying to show one side of his face to push their narrative. pic.twitter.com/W3hZXA3WEE— Real Kansas City Chiefs Fans (@RealKCChiefs) November 28, 2023
If you’re offended by someone decked out in the traditional symbols of his own people, that’s most definitely a You Problem. If you’re offended by any fan painting his face in their team colors, I’ll suggest that’s also a You Problem.
But when you attack a child for any reason, or demand that a sports league has some obligation to protect you from being hurt by a kid dressing up to go watch his team with his family, without taking the time to learn any of the facts, that is very much an All of Us Problem.
Deadspin has tried to keep its last, precarious, desperate grip on relevancy all these years by clinging to its righteous indignation. To hire professionally offended writers and tell them to keep the outrage coming. Which is a hell of a business model, when you think about it. And all it’s managed to do is drive the paying customers away. In droves. And now that they’ve decided to do pioneering work in the field of going after seemingly charming Native American families for the crime of inoffensively rooting for their favorite team and their culture, I don’t see how they survive.