Washington Redskins

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Posted by bender 03/29/2009 @ 19:10

Tags : washington redskins, national football conference, nfl, football, sports

News headlines
NFL Whirlwind Previews: Washington Redskins - Bleacher Report
by John McCurdy (Scribe) It's at times like this that Washington Redskins fans wish the nation's capital could just be transplanted. Not that there's anything wrong with the physical location of DC; more like it forces them to be a part of one of the...
Report: NFL investigating charge - ESPN
The NFL is investigating whether the Washington Redskins committed tampering in their pursuit of Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, according to a Yahoo! Sports report. The Titans, who registered charges with the league in late March...
My REAL Interview with Edwin Williams of the Washington Redskins - Bleacher Report
by 3rdStone FromTheSun (Scribe) Edwin Williams is an undrafted rookie attempting to make the roster of the 2009 Washington Redskins. Williams was eyed by the Redskins since before the draft, so he has an excellent chance on helping the Redskins for...
Redskins become 2nd NFL team to make lottery deal - The Associated Press
(AP) — The Washington Redskins are the second NFL team to make a deal with a state lottery. The Redskins and the Virginia Lottery on Friday announced plans for a team-themed scratch-off ticket that will be launched in time for the 2009 season....
The Redskins May Need a Ladder To Escape the NFC East Cellar - Bleacher Report
Three teams, the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants, have each won multiple Super Bowls since then. A fourth, the Philadelphia Eagles, has played in two Super Bowls as well. The NFC East also used to include the Saint Louis...
Court rules Washington Redskins can keep trademarks on name - Bizjournals.com
The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has ruled in favor of the Washington Redskins in a 17-year battle against a group of American Indians who claim the football team's trademark is racially offensive. The court upheld a judge's decision that...
Game of Inches: The Washington Redskins' Major Issues Coming Into 2009 - Bleacher Report
The coaching staff continues to rave about him, and Heyer might end up being the Redskins' best option on the right side. Mike Williams was signed before the draft to compete for the RT position, but he must first get his weight under control....
Taylor back with Dolphins after one year with Redskins - Reuters
MIAMI (Reuters) - Pro Bowl linebacker Jason Taylor signed with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday, returning to South Florida after one injury-hit season with the Washington Redskins. Taylor, who spent his first 11 NFL seasons in Miami before being traded...
Washington Redskins Should Resist Temptation and Not Sign Michael Vick - Bleacher Report
Yes, not too long after Vick walked out of federal prison and stepped into a limousine that drove him 1100 miles back to his home in Hampton, Virginia, Snyder and the Redskins were mentioned as players in the Michael Vick sweepstakes....
Haynesworth: Trouble Is Thy Middle Name - Bleacher Report
One need look no further than the Washington Redskins' pursuit of star defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, lately of the Tennessee Titans and now wearing burgundy and gold as off-season training inches toward the start of training camp and the 2009...

Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins helmet

The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in the Washington, D.C. area. The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, which is in Prince George's County, Maryland. The team’s headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn, Virginia, a community in Loudoun County, Virginia, near Dulles International Airport. They are members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).

According to Forbes Magazine, the Redskins are the second most valuable franchise in the NFL, valued at approximately $1.538 billion, having been surpassed by their rivals the Dallas Cowboys in 2007. Despite being the second most valuable franchise, the Redskins remain the highest grossing team in the NFL with $327 million in revenue during the 2007 season. They have also broken the NFL's mark for single-season attendance eight years in a row.

Overall, the Redskins have played for eleven NFL Championships and have won five, including three of the five Super Bowls in which they have played. Four of the five Super Bowl appearances were under the leadership of Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.

The Boston “Football” Braves, owned by George Preston Marshall, entered the National Football League in 1932 after the Newark Tornadoes franchise folded and played at Braves Field, home of Boston "baseball" Braves. They had tried to base the team in New York, but were blocked by the NFL’s territorial rule. The Braves were coached by Lud Wray and were led by Hall of Famers Cliff Battles (Running Back) and Turk Edwards (Offensive Tackle). Their first game was held on October 2, 1932 in which they lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The next week, the Braves would gain their first franchise victory, with a 14-6 win over the New York Giants. The Braves would complete their first season with a 4–4–2 record.

In 1933, the team moved into Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, and changed their name to the Redskins. They also changed their head coach. The team was now led by Lone Star Dietz, as Lud Wray moved to Philadelphia to head up its new franchise, the Eagles. The Redskins finished the 1933 season with a 5-5-2 record. In 1934, the Redskins finished in second place with a 6–6 record. In 1935, under head coach Eddie Casey, the Redskins had a dismal season, scoring only 65 points and finishing with a 2–8–1 record. In 1936, under their fourth head coach, Ray Flaherty, the Redskins won their final three games, outscoring their opponents 74–6, and captured the Eastern Division Championship with a 7–5 record. However because of extremely poor attendance, highlighted by only 4,813 fans coming out to Fenway Park to see the Redskins trounce the Pittsburgh Pirates, 30–0, George Preston Marshall elected to give up home field advantage and played the NFL Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at the Polo Grounds. Battles was injured on the tenth play of the game and the Packers won the championship with a 21–6 victory. The Redskins moved to Washington the following season due to lack of fan support in Boston.

In their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team. In 1937, they signed an innovative rookie quarterback from Texas Christian University, Sammy Baugh. In an era where the forward pass was relatively rare, the Redskins used it as their primary method of gaining yards. "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh also played numerous other positions, including cornerback and punter.

With Sammy Baugh at the helm, the Redskins won the Eastern Division title and went back to the NFL Championship game in their first year in the Nation's Capital. The 1937 NFL Championship game pitted them against the Chicago Bears. Sammy Baugh threw three touchdown passes and the Redskins prevailed, 28–21. The two teams would meet again in the 1940 Championship, and the Bears handed the Redskins the most lopsided defeat in NFL history, 73–0. The Redskins struck back in 1942, as George Preston Marshall used the 1940 humiliation as a rallying point and the Redskins upset the Bears to spoil their try for a perfect season, 14–6. The teams clashed again the following season and the Bears would even the series at 2-2, capturing the 1943 NFL title, 41-21. The Redskins challenged for the NFL title again in 1945, but fell a point short to the Cleveland Rams, 15-14.

The team's early success endeared it to the fans of Washington, D.C. However, after 1945, the Redskins began a slow decline. This was in part because of Marshall's tendency to micromanage the team. From 1946 to 1968, the Redskins had only three winning seasons.

Marshall refused to integrate the team, despite pressure from the Washington Post and the Federal Government (a typical comment by Post writer Shirley Povich was "Cleveland Browns runner Jim Brown integrated the Redskins' end zone three times").

Finally, in 1962, Interior Secretary Stewart Udall gave the Redskins an ultimatum--unless they signed a black player, the government would evict them from the year-old District of Columbia Stadium. As a result, the Redskins became the final pro football franchise to integrate, in 1962, its second season in the stadium. First, the team drafted Ernie Davis, the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy. Then, before signing Davis, they traded his rights to the Browns for wide receiver Bobby Mitchell. It turned out that Davis had leukemia and died without ever playing a down in professional football. Mitchell, however, was still in the first half of a career that would land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Mitchell would be joined by black stars such as receiver Charley Taylor, running back Larry Brown (who had a hearing aid installed in his helmet due to near-total deafness), and defensive back Brig Owens. They would also pull off two of the best trades of the 1960s, gaining colorful quarterback Sonny Jurgensen from the Philadelphia Eagles and linebacker Sam Huff from the New York Giants. But even with these additions, the Redskins were still not performing up to expectations. Although the team became more popular than ever, particularly with the addition of Mitchell, they struggled through the 1960s.

In the front office, Marshall had been forced to reduce his duties due to a mental decline in 1962, and the team's other stockholders found it difficult to make decisions without their boss. Marshall died in 1969, and the remaining stockholders sold the team to Edward Bennett Williams, a Washington resident and one of America's most esteemed attorneys.

Also in 1969, D.C. Stadium was renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, and the Redskins hired Vince Lombardi — who gained fame coaching with the Green Bay Packers — to be their new head coach. Lombardi led the team to a 7–5–2 record, their best since 1955, but died of cancer on the eve of the 1970 season.

Two years later, Williams signed former Los Angeles Rams head coach George Allen as head coach. Partial to seasoned veterans instead of highly touted young players, Allen's teams became known as the Over-the-Hill Gang. "The future is now" was his slogan, and his players soon proved him right.

Allen helped to foster the team's rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, which has turned into one of the NFL's most heated matchups. The Redskins reached the NFC Conference Championship in the 1972 season, defeating Dallas 26–3, only to lose to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 14–7 in Super Bowl VII. In his seven years as head coach, Allen's teams made the playoffs five times.

In 1981, new Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke signed the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers, Joe Gibbs, as their 20th head coach. He coached the team to four Super Bowls, winning three of them.

The Redskins' first Super Bowl win, their first NFL Championship in 40 years, was in Super Bowl XVII, where the Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins 27-17 on January 30, 1983, in Pasadena, California. John Riggins provided the game's signature play when, on 4th and inches, with the Redskins down 17–13, the coaches called "70 Chip" a play designed for short yardage. Riggins instead gained 43 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. The image of Riggins running through would-be tackler Don McNeal has become one of the all-time Super Bowl highlights. One touchdown later, the Redskins won their first Super Bowl title by a 27–17 score.

The Redskins' 1983 season began with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys 31–30 on the Monday Night Football season opener, but they lost only one more game in the regular season (also a Monday Night game, vs. Green Bay, by a score of 48–47), as they dominated the National Football League with a 14-win season that included scoring a then NFL record of 541 points, many of which came as a result of John Riggins' 24 touchdowns. In the postseason, the Redskins defeated the Los Angeles Rams 51–7. The next week, they cruised to a 21–0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers after 3 quarters in the NFC Champonship Game, but the Redskins' weakness that season was their defense (they allowed 332 points that season). The 49ers fired off 3 touchdowns to tie the game. But Mark Moseley, who had missed 4 field goals, made the one that counted as the 'Skins beat the 49ers 24–21. It would be Washington's last win of the season because two weeks later, the Raiders beat the Redskins 38–9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

The 1987 season began with a 24-day players' strike, reducing the 16-game season to 15. The games for weeks 4-6 were won with all replacement players. The Redskins have the distinction of being the only team with no players crossing the picket line. Those three victories are often credited with getting the team into the playoffs and the basis for the 2000 movie The Replacements. The Redskins won their second championship in Super Bowl XXII on January 31, 1988, in San Diego, California. The Redskins routed the Denver Broncos 42-10 after falling behind 10–0 early in the first quarter. This was the largest come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl history. This game is more famous for the stellar performance by quarterback Doug Williams, who passed for four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to becoming the first black quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. Rookie running back Timmy Smith had a great performance as well, running for a Super Bowl record 204 yards.

The Redskins won their most recent Super Bowl on January 26, 1992, in Super Bowl XXVI in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Redskins, the most dominant team in the NFL in the 1991 season, defeated the Buffalo Bills 37–24. Quarterback Mark Rypien was named the MVP. On March 5, 1993, Joe Gibbs retired after 12 years of coaching with the Redskins. In what would prove to be a temporary retirement, Gibbs pursued an interest in NASCAR by founding Joe Gibbs Racing.

In 1997, Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke died on the eve of the opening of the new stadium in suburban Landover, Maryland, that was to be named in his honor. In his will, Cooke left the Redskins to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, with instructions that the foundation sell the team. His son, John Kent Cooke, was unable to raise sufficient funds to purchase the business, and the team was later sold to Daniel Snyder, a businessman.

In 1999, the Redskins made the playoffs for the first time since Joe Gibbs's retirement by winning the NFC East. They beat the Detroit Lions 27-13 in a home wild card game, but subsequently dropped their divisional playoff game in a 14-13 loss on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Snyder, who grew up as a Redskins fan and who made his fortune in marketing, has made many controversial moves since owning the team, including offering the name of the stadium up to corporate bidders. FedEx had the highest bid, and the stadium is now named FedEx Field. The most controversial habit Snyder has practiced is the continuous hiring and firing of head coaches, first firing incumbent coach Norv Turner, firing replacement Marty Schottenheimer after only one season, and in 2002, hiring University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier to replace Schottenheimer. Spurrier resigned after the 2003 season with three years left on his contract.

For the 2004 season, Snyder successfully lured former coach Joe Gibbs away from NASCAR to return as head coach and team president. His employment came with a promise of decreased intervention in football operations from Snyder. Snyder also expanded FedEx Field to a league-high capacity of 91,665 seats. Gibbs's return to the franchise did not pay instant dividends as the Redskins finished the 2004 season with a record of 6 wins and 10 losses.

Despite an impressive defense, the team struggled offensively. Quarterback Mark Brunell—an off-season acquisition from the Jacksonville Jaguars—struggled in his first season, and was replaced midway through the season by backup Patrick Ramsey. On the other hand, some of Gibbs's other new signings, such as cornerback Shawn Springs and linebacker Marcus Washington, did very well. The Redskins also picked Sean Taylor from University of Miami during the draft in Gibbs's first season.

Partly because owner Dan Snyder has turned the Redskins into the greatest revenue producer in pro football, he has spent a lot of money on free agents. These moves did not work out well in the beginning (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders), but the quality of free agents signed under Coach Gibbs has improved by signing or trading for stars such as Cornelius Griffin, Santana Moss, and Clinton Portis.

During the 2005 offseason, the Redskins traded back WR Laveranues Coles to the New York Jets and acquired WR Santana Moss in return.

The Redskins used their first pick of the 2005 NFL Draft on Auburn University cornerback Carlos Rogers. The Redskins used their next first round draft pick (acquired from the Denver Broncos) on Auburn Quarterback Jason Campbell. The rest of their picks included UCLA fullback Manuel White, Jr., Louisville linebacker Robert McCune, Stanford linebacker Jared Newberry, and Citadel College fullback Nehemiah Broughton.

Hoping to improve on the previous season's dismal passing attack, Coach Gibbs added former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave as his quarterbacks coach. For the first time under Gibbs, the Redskins offense utilized the shotgun formation.

The team won its first three games, including a Monday Night Football victory over Dallas, but then fell into a slump, including three straight losses in November, which lessened the chances of the team making the playoffs. However, five consecutive victories at the end of the season allowed Washington to finish the season at 10-6, qualifying for the playoffs as a wild card team. They opened the playoffs on the road against the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, January 7, 2006. They won the rematch by a final score of 17-10, after taking an early 14-0 lead, which they later seemed to have squandered until replay evidence showed that an apparent touchdown that would have tied the game was in fact an incomplete pass. In that game, the Redskins broke the record for fewest offensive yards (120) gained in a playoff victory, with one of their two touchdowns being from a defensive run after a fumble recovery. The following weekend, they played the Seattle Seahawks, who had received a first round bye. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 20-10, ending the Redskins' hopes of reaching their first NFC Championship Game since 1991.

Three team records were broken during the 2005 season. Clinton Portis set the Redskins record for rushing yards in a season with 1,516 yards, breaking Stephen Davis's 2001 mark of 1,432 yards and Santana Moss's 1,483 receiving yards broke Bobby Mitchell's 1963 record of 1,436 yards. Chris Cooley's 71 receptions broke Jerry Smith's season record for a Redskins tight end.

The inconsistency of the offense during the 2005 season resulted in Gibbs hiring offensive coordinator Al Saunders as the Associate Head Coach - Offense. Saunders came from a similar background as Gibbs through being mentored under Don Coryell and was thought to be able to make the offense become more efficient. Saunders would serve as the primary playcaller. Because of this, it was believed that Gibbs would have the role of Head Coach/CEO with the Redskins in 2006 and would largely deal with personnel matters, as well as having more time to focus on special teams and defense, while Saunders would supplement Gibbs with the offense. Gibbs also added former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray to his staff as Secondary/Cornerbacks Coach. Gibbs did lose quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to the Atlanta Falcons over the summer of 2006.

After winning only three of the first nine games of the Washington Redskin's 2006 season Gibbs, in an effort to save some portion of their season, benched starting quarterback Mark Brunell in favor of former first round draft pick Jason Campbell. After losing his first game as a starter to Tampa Bay, Campbell got his first NFL victory against the Carolina Panthers, bringing the Redskins out of a three-game losing streak. The Redskins finished 5-11 after a home loss to the New York Giants, 34-28. Washington finished last in the NFC East division, the only team in their division to fail to make the playoffs. This marked the second losing season in Joe Gibbs' second term as head coach of the franchise.

Analysts differ on exactly why the 2006 season was such a failure. Some point to free agent signings such as strong safety Adam Archuleta and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Others point to the disconnect between the offensive philosophies of Gibbs and Saunders: Gibbs preferring a power-running scheme while Saunders desired an aggressive pass-oriented style. Many looked to the breakdowns in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams's system, while some point to specific player breakdowns in the porous secondary such as the struggles of defensive backs, allowing a league high 30 TD passes, and accumulating an NFL low 6 interceptions. The defense went from 7th overall in 2005 to 29th in 2006.

The 2007 Washington Redskins season was the team's 75th season, and saw the team achieve a record of 9-7 and a playoff appearance. This was an improvement over the 2006 season in which they went 5-11 and finished last in the NFC East. Over the course of the season, Washington went 5-3 in home games at FedExField, and 4-4 on the road. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the wild card round, Coach Joe Gibbs announced his retirement, thus ending his second stint as head coach of the Redskins. Near half way through the season, Washington's superstar player Sean Taylor had died in his Miami home. At the time of his death, Washington was 5-6 and had just lost their starting quarterback Jason Campbell to an injury. Back-up quarterback Todd Collins stepped up and lead Washington to a 9-7 season. They also returned to the top 10 ranked defenses at 9th.

The Washington Redskins' primary colors are burgundy and gold. The Redskins' current uniform design was introduced by coach Jack Pardee in 1979. From 1961 through 1978, the Redskins wore gold pants with both the burgundy and white jerseys, although details of the jerseys and pants changed a few times during this period. Gold face masks were introduced in 1978 and remain to this day; previous to that they were grey. They are one of four NFL teams that primarily wear their white jerseys at home (the others being the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers, and the Miami Dolphins, the last two teams playing in warm weather cities, do traditionally wear dark jerseys at night or late in the season). The tradition of wearing white jerseys over burgundy pants at home, which is considered the "classic" look, was started by Joe Gibbs when he took over as coach in 1981. Gibbs was an assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 1979 and 1980, and the Chargers wore white at home during the tenure of coach Don Coryell in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Their burgundy jersey is primarily used when the opposing team decides to wear white at home, which comes mostly against the Dallas Cowboys and occasionally the Philadelphia Eagles, and is normally worn over white pants. From 1981 through 2000, the Redskins wore their white jerseys over burgundy pants at home almost exclusively. In 1994, as part of a league-wide celebration of the NFL's 75th Anniversary, during certain games the Redskins wore special uniforms which emulated the uniforms worn by the team in its inaugural season as the Washington Redskins, 1937. Both worn over gold pants, the burgundey jerseys featured gold numbers bordered in white and the white jerseys featured burgundy numbers bordered in gold. The most distinctive feature of both colors of the jersey was the patches worn on both sleeves, which were a reproduction of the patches worn on the full-length sleeves of the 1937 jersey. Worn with these uniforms was a plain burgundy helmet with a gold facemask. In 2001, the Redskins wore burgundy for all home games in preseason and regular season per a decision by Marty Schottenheimer, their coach for that year. In 2002, the team celebrated the passing of 70 years since its creation as the Boston Braves in 1932, and wore a special home uniform of burgundy jersey over gold pants which roughly resembled the home uniforms used from 1969-1978. The helmets used with this special home uniform during that year were a reproduction of the helmets used by the team from 1965-1969. In 2004, Joe Gibbs became the coach of the Redskins once again. The team switched back to wearing white jerseys at home.

Their white jersey has provided three basic color combinations, two of which have been previously alluded to in this article. The last combination consists of both white jerseys and pants. That particular combination surfaced in the first game of the 2003 season, when the team was coached by Steve Spurrier, on a nationally televised game against the New York Jets, which led many sports fans and Redskin faithful alike to point out that they have never seen that particular combination. That year the Redskins wore it two more times. That look didn't appear again until midway through the 2005 season when the Redskins wore it in a road game against the St. Louis Rams. The Redskins won six games, including one in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wearing that combination and the local media jokingly pointed out that the reason the Redskins were winning was because of the white on white combination. In the NFC Divisional Game against the eventual 2005 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins wore the all-white jerseys, in hopes that they could keep their streak going; however, they lost 20-10. The Redskins continued to wear the white jerseys and white pants into the 2006 preseason. In the 2006 season, the Redskins started wearing black cleats, something that hasn't been done for quite a while. It was a surprise because they wore white cleats during the preseason. They would have to wear that color for the rest of the season, because the NFL usually asks teams to choose either black or white cleats to be worn throughout the season.

After the white-on-white period which lasted from the mid/late 2005 season into 2006, the classic uniform of white jerseys over burgundy pants reappeared on November 26, 2006, in a home game against the Carolina Panthers. The decision to return to the classic look may have symbolized a desire by the team to turn a new page on their 2006 season, which had been very lackluster previous to that game, the period of success with the white jerseys over white pants having come to an end the previous season. The move may have also been related to the fact that this home game was the second start and first home start of second-year quarterback Jason Campbell, and that the game and the previous week's game were, in the hopes and perceptions of many Redskins fans, the start of the "Jason Campbell era." The Redskins went on to win that game against Carolina, preserving slim hopes of the team's being able to make it to the 2006 playoffs, although they ultimately missed the playoffs.

In celebration of the franchise's 75th anniversary, the Redskins wore a special throwback uniform for the September 23, 2007 home game against the New York Giants. Players wore a white jersey with burgundy and gold stripes on the sleeves and the 75th anniversary logo on the left chest. The pants were gold, with white and burgundy stripes down the side. The helmet was yellow-colored with a maroon "R" logo. The helmet and uniform styles (besides the anniversary patch) were the same as the ones the franchise used during the 1970-71 seasons. While this throwback uniform was worn during a home game, it was actually the away uniform for 1970-71. The legendary Vince Lombardi, who coached the Redskins in 1969 before passing away during the 1970 pre-season, was the inspiration behind the helmet. Lombardi pushed for the logo, which sat inside a white circle enclosed within a red circle border, with Indian feathers hanging down from the side, because of its similarity to the "G" on the helmets worn by his Green Bay Packers for many years.

On September 14, 2008, Week 2 and Game Two for the team of the 2008 season, the 'Skins again donned the white-on-white look, reminiscent of the successful stretch at the end of the 2005 season.

On November 3, 2008, the Redskins wore burgundy jerseys over their burgundy pants in a Monday night home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers the night before the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. The Redskins lost the game, 23-6. It was the first time the Redskins went with the dark "monochrome" look that many NFL teams have adopted in some form over the past few years, and was also a rare home game use of the burgundy jerseys. The Redskins again wore the burgundy jerseys at home against the Giants in Week 12 on November 30, 2008, and against the Eagles in Week 16 on December 21, 2008.

Some people consider the namesake and logo of the Washington Redskins insensitive towards Native Americans. There has been movements by certain groups to change the name, but the attempts have been unsuccessful. Others make the case in defense that the The Redskins name is intended to honor the bravery and dignity of Native Americans and that, regardless of past usage, the word "redskins" today refers to the football team. Yet those who object to the name argue that no matter what the intent is, the term was classicly a label rooted in racist belief. Notwithstanding the protests of activists, a 2002 poll commissioned by Sports Illustrated found that 75% of those Native Americans surveyed had no objection to the Redskins name. However, the results of the poll have been criticized due to Sport's Illustrated's refusal to provide polling information (i.e. how participants were recruited and contacted, if they were concentrated in one region, if one ethnic group is over represented and the exact wording and order of questions). But in 2004, a poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania essentially confirmed the prior poll's findings, concluding that 91% of the American Indians surveyed in the 48 states on the mainland USA found the name acceptable and setting out in detail the exact wording of the questions. In 1992, a group of Native Americans led by Suzan Harjo filed to have the United States trademarks associated with the Redskins name cancelled under statutes which prevent registration of disparaging terms. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 1999 ruled in favor of the petition and cancelled the trademarks. Following appeals, in 2005 the D.C. Court of Appeals in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo reversed the cancellation, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to support the finding of disparagement and holding that the majority of the petitioners were barred by laches from maintaining the suit. Had the cancellation of the trademark been successful, the team could have still used the name, and it still would have had enforceable trademark rights under state and local law. It would thus have been able to prevent others from using its marks on promotional goods, such jackets and caps. It would, however, have lost various benefits of federal trademark registration, such as the ability to enlist the aid of the U.S. Customs Service to seize infringing imports at the border.

The Redskins' policy since Baugh's retirement has been to not retire numbers. However, some numbers are unofficially retired and are usually withheld from being assigned to new players. The following numbers of past Redskin greats fall into that category.

The use of unofficial retired numbers drew controversy during Steve Spurrier's first year as head coach. Quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews first wore 7 and 9 respectively during training camp. The resulting sports talk furor led to them switching to 17 and 6. During the season, reserve tight end Leonard Stephens wore number 49 for the season. After his retirement as assistant GM, Bobby Mitchell blasted the team, accusing late owners Edward Bennett Williams and Jack Kent Cooke of racism for not being considered for GM and was upset that the team would let a player like Leonard Stephens wear his number.

Despite having been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Turk Edwards, Ray Flaherty, Joe Gibbs, and Paul Krause are not on the Hall of Stars banners. Edwards, Flaherty, and Gibbs had been honored on signs on the prior version of the Hall of Stars.

In honor of the Redskins' 70th anniversary, on June 13, 2002, a panel selected the 70 Greatest Redskins to honor the players and coaches who were significant on-field contributors to the Redskins five championships and rich history. They were honored in a weekend of festivities, including a special halftime ceremony during the Redskins' 26–21 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The panel that chose the 70 consisted of former news anchor Bernard Shaw; former player Bobby Mitchell; Senator George Allen (son of coach George Allen); broadcaster Ken Beatrice; Noel Epstein, editor for the Washington Post; former diplomat Joseph J. Sisco; Phil Hochberg, who retired in 2001 after 38 years as team stadium announcer; Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan; sportscaster George Michael; sports director Andy Pollin; NFL Films president Steven Sabol; and news anchor Jim Vance.

The list includes three head coaches and 67 players, of which 41 were offensive players, 23 defensive players and three special teams players.

Among the 70 Greatest, there are 92 Super Bowl appearances, with 47 going once and 45 playing in more than one. Twenty-nine members possess one Super Bowl ring and 26 have more than one. Also, before the Super Bowl, members of the 70 made 18 World Championship appearances including six that participated in the Redskins' NFL Championship victories in 1937 and 1942.

As of 2008, the Redskins' flagship station is WTEM (ESPN 980), owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which in turn is owned by Snyder. Redskins games are also simulcast on the five other Red Zebra stations in the Washington, D.C. area.

Larry Michael, formerly of Westwood One, is the team's play-by-play announcer and director of broadcasting. Michael replaced longtime announcer Frank Herzog in 2004. Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff are the color analysts. Rick Walker is the sideline reporter.

Telecasts of preseason games not shown on national networks are aired on WRC in the Washington, D.C. area and on Comcast SportsNet in the overall Mid-Atlantic region. Comcast SportsNet also airs an extensive game recap after each Redskins regular season Sunday game.

For 17 of the past 18 United States Presidential elections, a win for the Redskins' last home game prior to Election Day coincided with the incumbent party winning re-election. The exception was in 2004, when the Republican Party incumbent George W. Bush won re-election despite the Green Bay Packers beating the Redskins. Other than this exception, this "Redskins Rule" has proven true since 1936 when they won and incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt won re-election, prior to the Redskins' move from Boston in 1937.

In 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Redskins on the eve of Election Day 23-6, and Barack Obama won the presidency the following evening.

The Redskins Rule was discovered by Steve Hirdt, executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau, while searching for discussion fodder in 2000 for a game between the Redskins and Titans.

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2005 Washington Redskins season

The 2005 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 6-10 record from 2004.The placed 2nd in the NFC East. Washington earned their first playoff berth since 1999.

The Redskins started the offseason by adding a new Quarterbacks Coach, Bill Musgrave. Musgrave was the former offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars and had worked with quarterback Mark Brunell before. Musgrave added the shotgun formation to Washington's playbook.

During the offseason, the Redskins lost cornerback Fred Smoot and starting linebacker Antonio Pierce to free agency.

The Redskins signed the following free agents: center Casey Rabach, wide receiver David Patten, and strong safety Pierson Prioleau.

The Redskins also traded wide receiver Laveranues Coles to the New York Jets for wide receiver Santana Moss. Most sports writers thought that this was a lopsided deal and that the Redskins were getting the worse end of the trade.

In the 2005 NFL Draft, the Redskins drafted Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers with the ninth pick. Later in the 1st round, they traded their third round pick in the 2005 draft and their first and fourth round picks in the 2006 draft to the Denver Broncos for the 25th overall pick. With the 25th overall pick, the Redskins selected Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell. The Redskins used their remaining picks to draft UCLA fullback Manuel White, Louisville linebacker Robert McCune, Stanford linebacker Jared Newberry, and Citadel fullback Nehemiah Broughton.

The Redskins finished the 2005 preseason with a record of 1-3, losing to the Carolina Panthers 28-10, losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-10, and losing to the Baltimore Ravens 26-20.

The game was close at the half with the Redskins leading 7-6. That would soon disappear as the Chiefs took a 14-7 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by Priest Holmes. After Mark Brunell was sacked for a 9-yard loss, Santana Moss tied the game on a quick pass to the left flat as he ran 78-yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs would retake a 21-14 lead on a Sammy Knight fumble recovery for an 80-yard touchdown along with a successful two-point conversion. In the final seconds of the third quarter, Brunell hit Chris Cooley with an 11-yard touchdown catch to tie the game once again at 21-21. Trent Green hit Holmes on a 60-yard touchdown catch to seal the deal for the Chiefs as Brunell and the Redskins would fail in a comeback in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. With the loss, the Redskins dropped to 3-2.

After two close, consecutive, and heartbreaking AFC losses in the last two weeks, the Redskins returned home to welcome the lowly 49ers to town and unleashed a scoring barrage, winning 52-17. After failing to score on their opening drive in each of their first five games, Washington scored first on a 6-play, 61-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mark Brunell to Mike Sellers. After forcing another San Francisco punt, the Redskins drove another 60 yards for another score, this time a 5-yard run from Clinton Portis. After two more touchdown passes by Brunell, one each to Sellers and Santana Moss, combined with two more 1-yard touchdown runs by Portis and a Nick Novak field goal, the Redskins led 45-7 after three quarters. Washington finished their blowout with a 4-yard touchdown run by Rock Cartwright to make it 52-7. San Francisco did score twice on a 72-yard run by Frank Gore and a 47-yard field goal by Joe Nedney. With the win, Washington improved to 4-2.

Following their lopsided blowout win over the 49ers, the Redskins headed to the Meadowlands for an NFC East duel with the New York Giants. Looking to follow up with another impressive win, the afternoon turned out to be a miserable one for the Redskins, getting shut out 36-0. The Giants, playing with heavy hearts after the death of owner Wellington Mara, got off to a fast start with a 57-yard run on the game's first play, leading to a Jay Feely field goal. Barber finished with 206 rushing yards on 24 carries. The 36-0 shutout dropped the Redskins to 4-3.

Looking to rebound from a 36-0 shutout against the Giants, Washington returned home for a second consecutive NFC East matchup, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles. Earlier in the week, Eagles WR Terrell Owens was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. During the game, Philadelphia drew first blood with a 56-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Reggie Brown that put Philadelphia up 7-0 after the first quarter. Washington responded with a John Hall field goal and a Mike Sellers touchdown run to lead 10-7 at the half. In the third, the Eagles added a David Akers field goal, and the Redskins responded with a Clinton Portis touchdown run to make the score 17-10. In the fourth quarter, with time winding down, the Eagles driving, safety Ryan Clark intercepted a McNabb pass with 1:25 remaining, sealing the win and improving the Redskins to 5-3 at the halfway point in the season.

At the halfway point of the season, the Redskins' record stood at 5-3, tied for second in the NFC East with Dallas. On Week 10, the Redskins marched to Tampa Bay for a matchup against the |Buccaneers. Tampa Bay struck first with two touchdown runs by Mike Alstott. This made the score 14-3, with the only Washington points coming on a John Hall field goal. After Alstott's second touchdown, Ladell Betts returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to bring the score to 14-10. Tampa Bay would respond with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Chris Simms to Joey Galloway, making the score 21-10. Washington would get another John Hall field goal to make the score 21-13 at halftime.

After halftime, Washington took their first drive of the second half into the endzone on a 7-yard pass from Mark Brunell to Mike Sellers, followed by a converted 2-point conversion on a pass to Clinton Portis, tying the game. Washington also scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Ladell Betts, giving the Redskins a 28-21 lead. As the third quarter winded down, Simms completed a 4-yard pass to Ike Hilliard to tie the game at 28-28 entering the fourth quarter. Portis added a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Redskins a 35-28 lead. With the game on the line, Simms led Tampa Bay to a game-winning touchdown drive with a 30-yard pass to Edell Shepherd. The Redskins appeared to have blocked the extra point attempt, but were ruled offsides. As a result, Tampa Bay elected to go for two, and successfully converted on a controversial run by Alstott, handing the Redskins a 36-35 loss and dropping them to 5-4 on the season.

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1999 Washington Redskins season

The 1999 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 6-10 record from 1998.

The New Orleans Saints traded all of their draft picks to the Washington Redskins for running back Ricky Williams, the first time ever that an NFL team has had only one pick in a draft.

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1945 Washington Redskins season

The 1945 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 6-3-1 record from 1944. They would end the season by losing the NFL Championship game to the Cleveland Rams, 15-14.

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1961 Washington Redskins season

The 1961 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 1-9-2 record from 1960. This is the worst season record by the Redskins.

This season was also the first one in their new stadium, RFK Stadium.

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1973 Washington Redskins season

The 1973 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 11-3 record from 1972.

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1983 Washington Redskins season

The 1983 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to win consecutive Super Bowls, following their victory in Super Bowl XVII against the Miami Dolphins.

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1963 Washington Redskins season

The 1963 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 5-7-2 record from 1962.

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1958 Washington Redskins season

The 1958 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 5-6-1 record from 1957.

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1948 Washington Redskins season

The 1948 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 4-8 record from 1947.

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1996 Washington Redskins season

The 1996 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 6-10 record from 1995. This was the Redskins' last season playing at RFK Stadium, where they had played since 1961.

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1985 Washington Redskins season

The 1985 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 11-5 record from 1984.

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1986 Washington Redskins season

The 1986 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 10-6 record from 1985.

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1972 Washington Redskins season

The 1972 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 9-4-1 record from 1971.

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1992 Washington Redskins season

The 1992 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to win their second Super Bowl in a row, following Super Bowl XXVI last year.

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1998 Washington Redskins season

The 1998 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 8-7-1 record from 1997.

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1941 Washington Redskins season

The 1941 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 9-2 record from 1940.

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Source : Wikipedia