A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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Behind Enemy Lines

Odds, Ends and a Last Hail

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Been a long time since this place got usedÖ Too long. I had a hell of a time cleaning the cobwebs out so I could move back in today. And donít even get me started about the dust. Iíll be sneezing for weeks.

But itís clean now and ready for use. Hopefully it will be regular use too.

I donít really have anything big for this first week, just a few quick hitters of varying importance.
So, Year 1 of the Gruden Era begins officially on Sunday. Good times. We hope.

Oddly, I donít think Jay is the man wearing Redskins colors under the most pressure though. That title goes to non-other than Robert Griffin III. The kid set the NFL on fire his first year and then fell apart last year, largely under the pressure of his own expectations I think.

While I donít think this is a ďmake or breakĒ year for Griffin, it is a watershed year. He needs to prove some things this season. For starters he needs to prove he is healthy again and that the knee is fine. He also needs to prove that he has learned from past mistakes and can avoid the big hit as much as possible (no QB can avoid them all). And lastly he needs to prove that he can take care of the ball like he did as a rookie.
Iím looking for Orakpo to earn that Franchise tag money. The man can be a beast but disappears too much for my taste, often in the games we need him most in. I am hoping part of that has been a scheme that was too much dictated from to Haz from above but I fear a lot of it is the player himselfÖ

I think we will see better out of him this year for two reasons:

First, he got franchised and so is playing for another contract. He is going to want to prove to the Skins, and failing that, to the rest of the NFL, that he is worth the big money he is looking for. That is going to require a career year.

Second, he has got to be hearing footsteps with the drafting of Trent Murphy. Murphy isnít flashy but he is a lot like Kerrigan and with a solid rookie campaign could make Rak expendable to the Skins after this season. Nobody wants to be replaced easily. They all want to leave a big hole when they go. Rak is too much of a competitor to be any different.
Special Teams last year was epically bad. I mean like bad on a Biblical scale that only Noah could really understand. Iíd like to think we just canít get much worse there but this is the Redskins we are talking about. Just sayiní.

I like what I saw in the few minutes of pre-season action I caught but it is hard to tell what will happen when the games start to count. The special teams unit is still looking for a leader after the departure of Zo Alexander for the desert last year. They need that spiritual dude with the big attitude and infectious motor. So far, they havenít replaced it and until they do Iím not sure if we will see the group perform as well as they have in years past.

Someone, anyone, please step up and fill Zoís shoes. Quick.
Finally, this will be a season for me like no other in my 40 odd years of being a fan of the Burgundy and Gold. A sad season. A hard season.

In June, we lost a huge fan of the team when my little brother left us in a car accident.

He never joined BGO officially although he lurked from time to time but he would have fit in well with some of our larger than life personalities. He was a regular reader of this blog and he was equal opportunity with his criticism of it, giving me shit about whatever I wrote and giving me shit when I didnít write anything. He was never without an opinion on anything the team was doing, or more recently, not doing but he also never failed to show up on game day to cheer his team on.

Growing up we spent many Sundays in front of the TV together watching our heroes play. As adults, living in different states, we spent many Mondays on the phone arguing and bitching about what the team could have done different.

We shared an apartment in Abilene back in 92 when the Skins beat the Bills for the last of Gibbs 3 titles. We spent weekís together living the high life in the middle of Cowboy country at the expense of all of our local friends who will be wearing a star this weekend.

And so I have avoided a lot of Skins talk this summer. Iíve watched almost none of the teamís pre-season games. Read none of the hipe, here or in the papers. But on Sunday I canít do that. I will have to face my first Skins game in 44 years without him. His jersey will stay in his closet, hung there with care back in January awaiting a new season of hope that for him will never come. His couch will be empty and his living room silent. On Monday my phone wonít ring with his call to talk about the game.

Jamie, I hope you have a front row seat wherever you are and I hope you like what you see from our team. Hereís to you, little brother. Hail!

Updated 09-05-14 at 11:40 AM by Neophyte



  1. Lovethebeer's Avatar
    Ditto brother! Jamie is sorely missed.
  2. McD5's Avatar
    Neo, I'm sorry about your brother. My bother and I have a very similar relationship. We used to share an apartment together, and we continue to have those Monday morning phone calls.

    What you just wrote is a great tribute to him, and hopefully the team can make him proud this year.

    Updated 09-04-14 at 08:32 PM by McD5
  3. fansince62's Avatar

  4. Chris's Avatar
    Hey, Neo- Have a copyright?

    Washington Redskins@Redskins 6m
    Get ready for tomorrow's game vs. the #Texans in this edition of "Behind Enemy Lines".
    READ | http://oak.ctx.ly/r/1nyv7
  5. Neophyte's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    Hey, Neo- Have a copyright?

    Washington Redskins@Redskins 6m
    Get ready for tomorrow's game vs. the #Texans in this edition of "Behind Enemy Lines".
    READ | http://oak.ctx.ly/r/1nyv7
    Yeah, I saw that. Thieving bastages.


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