It was a somber day at Redskins Park when the players that worked through adversity for much of the year had to come to terms with the fact that their season was over. The close-knit group sat around playing cards to try and delay the inevitable exit interviews and cleaning out of lockers that would officially end their season. Mason Foster put it best on Twitter by posting the picture to the right with the caption “THEM BOYS ARE HAVIN THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES” from Varsity Blues to underscore the special bond the team has developed.
With regards to in-house free agency candidates click here, but here is everything you need to know from the official last day of the 2015-16 season (ordered based on earliest completion of exit interviews):
- Converted center, from guard, Josh LeRibeus loves it “here” and says that offensive line coach Bill Callahan is a big part of that. The third round pick in 2012 has been an overall disappointment and as a pending free agent he is going to “see what happens.”
- Left guard Spencer Long missed the majority of the second quarter against the Packers with an ankle injury, which he had an MRI on after cleaning out his locker on Monday.
- Third string quarterback Robert Griffin III said that he had nothing to say to the DC media and gracefully left the Redskins locker room for likely the last time in his career. This was the only thing Griffin left behind in his locker (please do not read too much into it). During a time of incredible adversity he has been nothing but class and an outstanding teammate, which is more than I think any other 25-year old would be able to say in his situation.
— Keenan Robinson (@KeenanRobinson1) January 11, 2016
— Neil Dalal (@NeilDalal96) January 11, 2016
- Rookie running back Matt Jones does not anticipate needing surgery on his hip pointer injury that has sidelined him for three weeks. He will see a specialist in Philadelphia but says that he was close, 80 percent, to playing against the Packers but his mobility was still limited.
- Tight end Niles Paul (ankle) expects to be ready to go for OTAs in March, making for a possible great combination with Jordan Reed.
- Veteran running back Pierre Thomas said he could feel he was with a good team as soon as he got here. Could sense the focus before playoff push.
- Cornerback Chris Culliver (ACL) is still sporting a leg brace but assures that he will be on the field to start the 2016 regular season.
- Defensive tackle Kedric Golston finished his 10th year with the Redskins and is not sure of his future as a pending free agent. The longest tenured Redskin on the roster would like to be back but did depart Redskins park with a few mementos and game balls.
- Strong safety and pending free agent Duke Ihenacho (wrist) said he has every intention of returning and will be ready to participate in OTAs.
- Backup quarterback Colt McCoy said QB coach Matt Cavanaugh was the MVP of this team. Kept emphasizing how he kept the room stable, which begs the question why the Redskins ever chose to get rid of the role in the organization even if for a short time.
- Starting quarterback and free agent Kirk Cousins, on an interview with 106.7, on if he would be okay with getting franchise tag: “For me, I’ll be happy either way.”
- Nose tackle Terrance Knighton says he’s been through uncertain future before, each time he thought he would be back somewhere but did not return. He has “a lot of football left” at a young 29 years of age.
- Pass rusher Junior Galette (Achilles) is back running now, doing short sprints. Will be full go in March for OTAs and plans on signing a long term deal with the Redskins. “I don’t care about money. I care about getting my name back so people say that’s a mature young man.” To show just how he committed to the franchise that took a risk on him following domestic violence allegations, Galette showed off a new tattoo of the Redskins logo on his right tricep.
Junior Galette is so excited to be with the Redskins he got the logo inked on his arm. pic.twitter.com/9wCmjzz9CT
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) January 11, 2016
- Fullback Darrel Young: “Hell yeah I wanna be back. We’re building something. There’s nothing more I want then to be a Washington Redskin.” Young elaborated that the team “had the city behind us. We finally had a positive thing. People were talking about positive things instead of what’s wrong with this team.” With Bill Callahan using many two tight end sets, Young would probably have to take a cut in fair market value and continue to excel on special teams.
- Running back Alfred Morris embraced with his lead blocker Young by exchanging jerseys today. Young said “just hope to be back. If not, it would suck” as both are free agents after so much success with one another starting in 2012.
- Original starting left guard Shawn Lauvao expects to be ready for training camp after having major right foot surgery (3-6 month recovery) on top of repairing his dislocated and fractured left ankle. Lauvao had five procedures in total between both legs and is currently sporting a walking boot and riding scooter.
- One-time starting linebacker Keenan Robinson had dealt with labrum, biceps and rotator cuff injuries all in his right shoulder that sidelined him during the year, but does not need surgery.
- Current starting inside linebacker Will Compton said that the differences this year was “not as much finger pointing … a lot of self-accountability” because of great leadership.
- On becoming a full-time starter, Compton said he is “always gonna go about my business with chip on shoulder. I can’t lose that edge.” Compton is an exclusive restricted free agent which means “I either sign my name to the paper or I can’t play next year … maybe they’ll be nice to me!” he kidded.
A lot will happen between now and OTAs in March, the draft in April, and training camp in July, but one thing is for sure: your Washington Redskins are far from the laughing stocks of the NFL that they were four short months ago.