American Football

Daily Slop – 21 July 23: A new era of Washington football begins

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A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

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Articles

Washington Post

Investigation finds Commanders hid revenue, Snyder harassed team employee

Mary Jo White, concluded that the team withheld revenue it should have shared with other franchises and that Snyder sexually harassed a former team employee.

White also found that the Commanders failed to cooperate with her investigation. Snyder agreed to be interviewed last month for the investigation but limited that interview to one hour, according to White’s findings.

The 17-month investigation led by White, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, sustained allegations made by two former team employees, Tiffani Johnston and Jason Friedman.

The investigation also sustained another allegation by Johnston that a former senior executive for the team improperly took and viewed an unedited cheerleader calendar photo. But the evidence was insufficient to show that Snyder was involved in that incident, White’s investigation concluded.

White neither found nor ruled out that Snyder directed or personally participated in the improper shielding of revenue, the investigation concluded. But White found that Snyder was aware of efforts to minimize revenue-sharing, and he set a tone at the top of the organization.

The investigation’s findings concluded that the Commanders failed to properly cooperate.


Washington Post

Daniel Snyder destroyed a D.C. institution. Maybe now it can heal.

Washington has lost that feeling for its pro football team, which once helped make a big place seem pretty small. I don’t know whether it can ever get it back. The city has changed. The suburbs have changed. The demographics have changed. Sports fandom has changed. Pro football has changed, too. But I know that feeling never had a prayer of returning without a change in ownership. And I know that over the past few weeks, I have wondered more than once what it might be like if Washington ever rallied around its football team again.

[T]here might not have been any better teachers than The Washington Post’s Sports section or the old SportsTalk 980. The Washington they described was obsessed, drowning, drunk on its football team. A team that was considered a model franchise, a pillar of the league. A team that was as much a part of the guts of this place as taxi zones and snow days without any snow.

“Last time we counted, there were approximately 14,376 hours of programming on local TV and radio each week devoted to the Washington Redskins,” Len Shapiro wrote in 1993, and it was sick and twisted and unhealthy and maybe a little bit awesome.

Bless the superfans, their costumes and gimmicks, but the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s weren’t about Chief Zee or the Hogettes. This was far more mundane. It was that innate feeling of a common cause, of something that made suburbs snuggle up a little closer to the city and farmland feel a little nearer to the ’burbs.

The football team vanished from the civic identity as much as any NFL team possibly can. Tickets could be had for a candy bar. Gear virtually disappeared from many neighborhoods. The new name was a bust. I would do a double take, a literal double take, if I saw a kid wearing burgundy and gold at our local elementary school. The franchise was more likely to start an argument than a friendly conversation. It was a ragged hole in the civic fabric, ugly and obvious.

Now the guy responsible is about to depart, and a new guy — who also grew up in D.C. during the glory years — is about to arrive. He will be building from a crater. The familiar warmth is gone. The asset is broken. Washington might be too cool, too urbane, too new to fling itself into a relationship like that again.

Maybe it can never be what it was. But, finally, at least there’s a chance.


Washington Post

New Commanders owners may start from scratch in stadium search

Josh Harris has yet to earnestly begin a thorough search for a stadium location — and may start the process anew.

“We’re aware [FedEx Field is] an older stadium, and … if someone’s coming to your house, you want it to be a beautiful place and all that,” Harris said in an interview with The Post this week. “We’re going to get to work. … There’s lots of opinions, lots of factions, lots of politics, and we’re going to basically try to dig in and focus on how we provide the best fan experience. But we don’t really have answers coming in right now.”

“We have no idea where we’re going to build the stadium,” Mitchell Rales, the co-founder of Danaher Corp. and top investor in Harris’s group, said.

Harris and Rales, along with limited partner Mark Ein, a D.C. philanthropist and venture capitalist, grew up in the area as fans of its NFL team, and regularly attended games at RFK Stadium and in Landover, Md.

“Listen, I love RFK. I grew up there. But is it the right place? I don’t know until we do the work,” Rales said. “We haven’t seen the work that the Commanders did during their process, but my guess is we’re going to have to get out a clean sheet of paper and start all over again.”


Riggo’s Rag

Commanders sale: Farewell Dan Snyder, you will not be missed

Nobody will be remembering Dan Snyder’s time as Commanders owner with any fondness.

So what if the Commanders don’t have a scapegoat anymore? Do you know what fans have instead?

Hope.

Not once over the decades has Snyder ever offered that. Everything he put his hand to somehow turned to rubble and those brave people who came forward about Washington’s culture behind the scenes were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Harris’ group taking over immediately piles the pressure on Ron Rivera and others within the franchise, which could go either way as pertains to their chances. Some fans addicted to misery will also find the transition to a potentially prosperous future difficult.

But under no circumstances will Snyder be missed.

Nobody will remember Snyder with any fondness or care much that he feels like a scapegoat. In turn, the outgoing owner can sit back on his yacht in the Mediterranean or some other stunning part of the world knowing a ton of money was made from doing very little indeed.

Farewell, Dan. Your legacy will be forgotten in a hurry.


Sports Illustrated

Why Commanders WR Dyami Brown Could Be Poised For Breakout Season

With Washington Commanders wide receiver Dyami Brown’s connection to Sam Howell from college, will he break out this season?

“At UNC, Brown has been a deep threat who primarily wins with his athleticism,” SI Draft Bible wrote. “A very dangerous route runner on a limited vertical tree, the Tar Heel complements his clean footwork off the line with very impressive linear burst and above-average long speed.”

Commanders’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy comes from the Kansas City Chiefs, who led the NFL with 73 passes completed for over 20 yards in 2022. Washington was 20th with 47.

The Chiefs were also tied for second with 13 passes completed for over 40 yards. The Commanders were tied for 10th with 10.

With more emphasis on pushing the ball down the field, Bieniemy’s offense could open up more opportunities for the former third-round pick. With the new scheme, receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson will likely draw more attention from opposing defenses, which could set up Brown for success.


Podcasts

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NFC East links

Philly Voice

C.J. Gardner-Johnson trashes Philly people, calls them ‘f*****g obnoxious’

On a video game live stream, former Eagle C.J. Gardner-Johnson was asked what his least favorite thing about Philadelphia was. He said the people.

On Wednesday night, while doing some video game live streaming, Gardner-Johnson was asked about his favorite and least favorite things from his time in Philly. His least favorite? Well, the people. Here’s the video of what Gardner-Johnson had to say with a NSFW warning:


NFL league links

Articles

ESPN

2023 NFL Future Power Rankings: Projections for all 32 teams

27. Washington Commanders

Overall score: 72.6

Reason for hope: New ownership, right? Whatever else happens with the Commanders this year, fans are breathing a huge sigh of relief over the impending departure of owner Dan Snyder. On the field, the hope is that second-year QB Sam Howell can thrive with his exciting group of young skill-position players on offense and that the stars in the defensive front can make enough plays to make Washington a surprise challenger in the NFC East. — Graziano

Reason for concern: The Commanders sure do seem to be high on Howell, including new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who told me at the combine that he is very much looking forward to working with him. If you look at the tape of his single 2022 start (vs. Dallas in Week 18), he was poised, played with good vision, showed solid movement traits inside and outside the pocket and spread the ball all over the field. But it was just one game. I want to see a lot more before I’d declare Washington has found its future at the position. — Riddick

Stat to know: It’s basically impossible to tell what the Commanders have in Howell statistically. But for whatever it’s worth, Howell recorded a QBR of 46 over his tiny sample of 29 action plays, which was better than the team’s average of 39. Whether it’s via Howell or Jacoby Brissett, Washington should get better play at quarterback. — Walder


NFL.com

NFL ‘Back Together’ weekend

Football is back! Celebrate by watching as all 32 teams take the field for Training Camp: Back Together Weekend presented by YouTube. With a full weekend of practices, player interviews, mic’d up moments, and fan fests across the league, it’s a can’t-miss NFL reunion on July 29 & July 30. Watch LIVE on NFL Network, NFL+, ABC, and ESPN.

On Saturday, July 29th, NFL Network and NFL+ have you covered with LIVE wall-to-wall coverage from 9am – 9pm ET. Additional coverage available on ESPN from 9am – 12pm ET and ABC from 1pm – 4pm ET.

On Sunday, July 30th, the Back Together Weekend coverage continues LIVE, exclusively on NFL+ from 9:00am – 2pm ET.


Riddick’s message for the Jets: “Win the Super Bowl or shut up”

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