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5 Reasons why the Patriots are practicing with the Redskins

Hog Heaven thought it odd that Bill Belichick wanted to practice with the Redskins in the lead-up to their Thursday Night Football game. Don’t get us wrong. We think this is a good idea. But, what’s in it for the Patriots?

Here are five reasons why the Pats are messin’ with the ‘Skins:

No. 5: He is scouting Brian Orakpo and Kirk Cousins.

Salary cap issues will force the Redskins’ hands over the next two seasons. The possibility that neither Orakpo nor Cousins will be with the team in 2016 is all too real. Unless ‘Rak delivers 15+ sacks and as many QB hurries, he will get that chance to test the free agent market and sign for less than the Redskins, or any other team, are willing to pay. In the next year or two, it will be smart for the Redskins to trade Cousins no matter how much they like him in his back-up role. The big bucks contracts will go to his 2012 classmates Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris.

Trust me. Belichick is getting up front and personal scouting reports on everyone on the Redskins’ roster, especially those two.

No. 4: Geno Smith is on the schedule and Rex Ryan isn’t taking Belichick’s calls.

By now, you are saying Smith is no RGIII. That’s not how this works. You don’t improve your golf game by playing duffers like me. You improve when you play scratch golfers. Smith ran with the ball 72 times last year. He averaged five yards per attempt and he scored six rushing touchdowns. Fantasy football loves rushing quarterbacks. Coaches fear them because defenses break down when quarterbacks run. Belichick is here because Griffin or some other Redskins player simulates a difficult match-up of someone on his schedule.

No. 3: New CBA, New practice ideas

The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement limits work conditions at football practice. The idea is to preserve player health and increase player safety in a dangerous game. Teams must make the most of every opportunity to scrimmage. It just “feels” like you get more from scrimmaging other teams than against your own players. When you play yourself, you only become an expert on you. Play other teams and you become more prepared for the league.

The ‘Skins should do this  every year with the near-by Ravens, or Falcons, or whoever wins the Super Bowl.

No. 2: Belichick really wants to win Thursday night.

Up close and personal practice against your next opponents? I would love to see the Redskins practice with the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants the week before we play them. When the Patriots leave Richmond, they are going to Philly to practice with the Eagles, their opponent in next week’s preseason game. As Lombardi said, “Winning is a habit.” Winning small things, like preseason games, helps winning the big things.

(Blah blah blah didn’t help the 2013 preseason undefeated Redskins blah blah blah.) 

No. 1: Bill Belichick is smarter than you and me.

The idea that Belichick is practicing with the Redskins is laughable on so many levels. Genius does not think that way. Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” This was one of Steve Jobs’ favorite quotes. Belichick is a believer.

We think the Redskins are doing better at front office thinking than in the first 10 years of the Dan Snyder era. Washington has a well-deserved reputation for top down dysfunction. Hog Heaven, a frequent critic of Redskins’ executive leadership, believes the team has done better in that department since the arrival of Mike Shanahan (yes, Shanahan) and continuing with Bruce Allen.

The Bears thought enough of Morroco Brown to hire him away from the Redskins. That’s an endorsement of front office talent. So when Belichick says, “Our goal is to pick up something this week, because there are a lot of outstanding coaches on (the Redskins), whether it’s a coaching pointer or a drill or something they do,” we should stifle the laughter. Belichick has gotten into trouble doing this in one infamous incident, but he is on point.

It should be the goal of Snyder, Allen and Jay Gruden to pick up something everything from the best-managed team in football. HAIL to the yes on that.

Image credit: Patriots.com