1. The more I’m around Robert Griffin III the more I’m impressed, just by the way he is with others. He’s not perfect so I’m not going that route. But there’s a savviness that comes through in many ways. Even in press conferences. I’ve seen athletes who come across as, uh, too rehearsed, in fact some may have played quarterback here recently. Their answers don’t always seem sincere. With Griffin, he gets asked many different questions – some from out of left field – and yet he usually comes up with a good answer. He handles his spot well as if he’s been in this situation for a dozen years. He’s unique.
  2. I like the Redskins chances against Atlanta. The Falcons have holes defensively. They had some issues with the Panthers’ zone read, which they say they’ll fix this week. That’s fine, but there were times in which they were in right spots but couldn’t make the play. I’ll be surprised if the Redskins don’t move the ball. In fact, I’ll say that most weeks. Shocking, I know.
  3. I also wonder how well the Falcons’ D can play if not forcing turnovers. That’s part of what they do well, but what happens when they don’t? Can they stop teams without causing turnovers?
  4. So I asked Josh Wilson about his past experience with receiver Roddy White and he points me to YouTube where you can see White get away with a major push-off. Because the language on the video isn’t exactly appropriate, here’s a story on the play.  “I had a great game until then,” Wilson said. “We had an all-out blitz and got an infamous push-off. Look it up.”
  5. Former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley was in the locker room, getting signatures on some memorabilia for a charity at his Leesburg gallery Saturday night. Turns out they’re raising money for FOHA (Friends of Homeless Animals) adoptable dogs and cats. I think it’ll take a really good offer to pull Cooley back to the NFL at this point (or one from the Redskins).
  6. The weather could be nasty Sunday – cold and rainy. Is that good or bad for the Redskins? I don’t know what sort of quarterback Matt Ryan is in bad weather (he did play at Boston College). Nor have I ever seen Griffin play in these elements. “He’s got big hands, though,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. “I’d be surprised if he can’t throw the ball well if it does rain because I’ve seen him throw in the rain and he throws pretty good.”
  7. I wonder what the field conditions will be like even without the rain after another college game was played at FedEx last week. More than the rain falling, the turf conditions could be pivotal. A slip here or there by a receiver and the game could change completely.
  8. Just like last week’s game was big in terms of not letting the season slip away, so too is this one for a different reason. These are the sort of games that can point your season in a different direction. With 11 games remaining, a 3-2 mark wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot obviously. But with the NFC East having three other flawed teams, the Redskins could announce themselves as potential factors. Yeah they could hang around for a while if they don’t win, but winning two in a row – one on the road after a blown lead and the other at home over a hot 4-0 squad – and things could get interesting.
  9. The Redskins’ defense causes me doubt in all this. It’s not so much what they’ve done it’s more that I’m not convinced it’s going to be any different in the final 12 games. They’ll have good games and bad games and continue to be middle of the road. These big plays allowed are not a recent issue and won’t change barring a major philosophical alteration. The players they have can get better, but how much? Tough one.
  10. Tight end Logan Paulsen continues to improve. Didn’t give him enough credit last week for his blocking, but he’s been consistent in the four games. He’s not a budding star, but he is becoming a good role player.
  11. The Falcons showed this a couple times vs. Carolina: Michael Turner at fullback with receiver Julio Jones at running back. They gave the ball to Turner out of this formation. Jones has one carry this season (for one yard).
  12. Have to give the Redskins’ secondary a lot of credit. They haven’t ducked any questions the past few weeks and have been available during the open locker room sessions. Very professional. Yeah, it’s part of their job but there are many who wouldn’t be available. Trust me.
  13.  The vibe in the locker room was loose Friday, as it is most times at the end of the week. Music blaring, a little dancing (by the players, not the media). I’d tell you what the musical selection was, but let’s just say it’s not something that I recognized or is on my iPod. But I did know the Michael Jackson songs.
  14. It’s amazing how much differently this week would have gone had Billy Cundiff missed that last field goal. One kick took us from questioning the direction of the Shanahan regime to wondering if they can win two in a row and perhaps make noise in the NFC East.
  15. Was checking out the records of first round quarterbacks since 1970 in their rookie season. There have been 71 who have started at least one game as a rookie. There have been 21 rookies who started at least 10 games whose team finished with a losing record while seven have ended with winning records Of those seven, five have happened since 2004. Now you know.
  16. Now I’m done.

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