- ? Former Redskins starting free safety Ryan Clark is now a key contributor for the Steelers on defense. (Photo: Associated Press)
We’re two days away from the NFC Championship and once again, Washington Redskins fans have to sit back and watch someone else’s teams contend for a trip to the Super Bowl.
As TBD’s Dan Daly points out, in the last 19 years, only two NFC teams have not reached the conference championship. And of course, the Redskins are one of them. The Lions are the other. Thanks for the painful reminder of how bad this franchise is, Dan.
Wait, at least there are some familiar faces still vying for playoff spots. But is that comforting, or more torturous. Are the Redskins a farm team for NFL contenders?
So what Redskins are still standing?
With each sure tackle or pass deflection, Pittsburgh free safety Ryan Clark reminds Redskins fans of yet another foolish move on the part of management it was to let him leave as a free agent in the offseason of 2006. The Redskins have been looking for a reliable free safety ever since.
And with Clark in Pittsburgh are fellow Redskins alumni members, kicker Shaun Suisham and receiver Antwaan Randle El. OK, maybe Suisham and Randle El aren’t missed nearly as bad as Clark, but Suisham was more accurate than Gano this past season. And Randle El's 22 catches for 253 yards more than doubled Roydell Williams’ numbers.
On the opposite sideline, you'll see Jason Taylor shuttling in and out at backup outside linebacker. Taylor was yet another big-name-acquisition-bust for the Redskins, but even as a backup this year he had five sacks -- more than any Redskin not named Brian Orakpo. Mark Brunell is a backup QB for the Jets and Todd Collins is holding a clipboard in Chicago. The Redskins aren’t missing much -- if anything -- by not having Brunell or Collins as a backup quarterback.
Elsewhere in the NFL, familiar names are in the news this week. Former Redskins’ offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (2003) was promoted from the Raiders’ offensive coordinator to Raiders head coach, which was welcome news to Oakland’s starting quarterback Jason Campbell -- yet another former Redskin. And today, it has been reported that Jackson will be hiring another ex-Redskins assistant Al Saunders, to be his offensive coordinator.
Running back Rock Cartwright, like Campbell, just completed his first season as a Redskin-turned-Raider and played under both Jackson and Saunders during his eight years in Washington. Just call them Redskins-West, only even they won more games than Washington, going 8-8 this past season.