Hail to the Redskins, Hail Victory!
In 1932, the NFL awarded the city of Boston a franchise team in which they used to create the Boston Braves. Now, they are more commonly referred to as the Washington Redskins and they represent Washington, DC. They are members of the NFC East in the NFL and have been ever since 1970. While in Boston, the Braves, as they were known as, played in Braves field which was also the home of the Boston Braves baseball team. In 1933, they moved to Fenway Park which was home to the Boston Red Sox and in the same year, the owners changed their name from the Boston Braves to the Boston Redskins. The team only stayed in Boston for a few more years before moving to Washington, DC in 1937 and changing their name to become the Washington Redskins. While in DC, the Skins, as they were nicknamed, played their games at Griffith Stadium. In their first season of play in DC, they won their first league championship and NFL Championship game where they beat the Chicago Bears. They had another NFL Championship win in 1942, both before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. In both of their pre-merger championships, the Skins faced the Bears which started an early rivalry between the two teams. However, after 1945, the team's success slowly declined and they had a drought of almost 25 years until 1971 when they made another playoff appearance. During their drought, owner George Marshall never gave up on the team and tried to get the Skins as much publicity and support as he could.
In 1950, he announced that the American Oil Company would be televising all of their games, making the first team in the NFL to have an entire season broadcasted on national television. Marshall also brought change by hiring Earl Lambeau as head coach but he only lasted for two seasons and hired Joe Kuharich to replace him. Kuharich led the Redskins to their first winning season in ten years and this slowly brought their upward spiral into the 1970's. In 1961, they made their move from Griffith Stadium in to RFK Stadium where they played until 1997 when they moved into FedEx Field which has remained their home field ever since. Aside from on the field problems, the team was also facing issues between team members. Marshall refused to integrate his team, like the rest of the NFL already had, until the Secretary of the Interior at the time warned him to hire black players or he would be evicted from RFK Stadium. By 1962, he drafted multiple black players onto the team and by the early 1970's, the Skins had come out of their drought. It was in 1981 that Joe Gibbs was hired to be head coach as well as newly drafted players Mark May, Russ Grimm, and Dexter Manley which proved to key players for the upcoming years. In 1982, they had their first NFL championship along with two others in 1982 and 1991. in 1993, Gibbs retired as head coach and the team declined once again, only having two playoff victories in a seven year period. Gibbs returned to be head coach in 2004 as well as drafting safety Sean Taylor.
By 2010, the Redskins had three playoff appearances and gone through two head coaches before hiring Mike Shanahan. In the beginning, the team had difficulty but by 2012, they had an ending record of 10-6. Much of their success was due to rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Before RG3, the Redskins had multiple quarterbacks including Rex Grossman, Donovan McNabb, Jason Campbell, and Mark Brunell. Both the team members and fans have high hopes for the team to improve upon the previous years record and with such a young, strong quarterback, the Skins are a big competition for all other teams. In 2012, the team was also able to defeat the Dallas Cowboys, their biggest rivals, on Thanksgiving Day. They also defeated the “Cowgirls,” as many Skins fans refer to them as, when they played to decide the NFC East Division title, with the winner advancing to the playoffs. RG3 was able to take the team to the playoffs but lost to the Seahawks due to his previous injury he got when playing the Ravens.
Unable to improve upon their 2012 season, the Redskins ended their 2013 season 3-13, making it their worst record since 1994. At the end of the season, head coach Mike Shanahan along with most of the staff got fired and he was replaced with Jay Gruden. Heading into the new season, general manager Bruce Allen was able to pick up eight players during the draft. Not having a first round pick, in the second round they chose outside linebacker Trent Murphy from Stanford. Murphy could be a potential to work with Orakpo and take over when his glory days come to an end. With the third round, they chose offensive tackle Morgan Moses from Virginia and guard Spencer Long from Nebraska. They continued on their picks with cornerback Bashaud Breeland from Clemson, wide receiver Ryan Grant from Tulane, running back Lache Seastrunk from Baylor, tight end Ted Bolser from Indiana, and kicker Zach Hocker from Arkansas. Many were shocked that Allen would pick a kicker with the last and final round but his stats from Arkansas made a lasting impression for him and coach Gruden. He will be competing with current kicker, Kai Forbath, for a chance to get some playing time. During their workouts and camps, the Redskins are aiming to become a stronger and united team and improve upon last season's record. WIth the start of the preseason coming up, the Skins will take on the New England Patriots with head coach Gruden taking on his first season with them.
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