- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Redskins’ Chris Cooley says team sensed a special season
Question of the Day
Chris Cooley hasn't been a part of much playoff football in Washington. He saw it with the Redskins in 2005 and 2007.
Cut before the start of the regular season and brought back in October, the veteran tight end had a feeling this team could do something special.
"I did see the potential for this team. I saw this potential when I left," Cooley said. "There's only so much you can say about potential, but it was there with this group. So I was very, very thrilled to be back and to be a part of it."
Cooley got to take part in the six-game winning streak that took the Redskins to Sunday night and the NFC East championship game against the Dallas Cowboys. The winner was division champion and the loser went home, by virtue of Chicago beating Detroit earlier in the day
But the Redskins' goal was always bigger than that, even after their 3-6 start.
"A division title is cool, great -- that's no one's goal," Cooley said Friday. "The goal is to win the Super Bowl. If we win the division title and lose in the first round, no one gives a damn. We don't care. I don't think this group of guys cares; 90 percent of this team hasn't been playing for the Redskins long enough to think we haven't won the division in 13 years.
"We're here to win. We're here to win it all. I'm here to win it all."
What this team accomplished in getting to the verge of the postseason is monumental. They found a franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III, who had a Rookie of the Year-caliber performance even if he doesn't beat out Seattle's Russell Wilson or Indianapolis' Andrew Luck for the award.
Meaningful football games were played at FedEx Field in December for the first time in five years. Sunday night was the pinnacle, with fans filling up lots more than four hours before kickoff, many chanting "RG3" well before the game even started.
The atmosphere rivaled and most likely surpassed anything the D.C. area had seen in recent history, such as Game 5 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in October, or any Capitals playoff game at Verizon Center.
It was evidence not just of the fervent fandom for the Redskins, but this team's clawing back from last place.
"I think it's really special for me because it's been a completely united effort as far as the group of guys," Cooley said. "You've been around long enough to realize this is the first year that there hasn't been distractions. There hasn't been [drama] going on. There hasn't been any outside influence. It has been a locker room and a staff that have kept working, kept believing in what they wanted to do and really played for each other and worked for each other."
That's all coach Mike Shanahan wants out of a team.
"The things I've always looked for is guys that, No. 1, were very consistent in the way they practiced, regardless of how much money they make, regardless of where they were drafted -- guys that came to work every day and want to get better," Shanahan said. "And if you've got a nucleus of a team like that then you have a chance to improve as a football team. And so you're always looking for the intangibles, guys that will do anything they can to get better every day. If you get a nucleus of those guys, then you've got a chance once you get to the playoffs to do something once you get there."
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- REDSKINS 2013: Breaking down the schedule, game by game
- NFL 2013: Ranking all 32 teams in terms of staying power
- REDSKINS 2013: Washington seeks staying power among NFL's elite
- With no blueprint, Redskin Hankerson seeks success as dad
- Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson learning to manage family life with football career
Latest Blog Entries
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- Outrage over Phil Robertson suspension, 'malignant' political correctness
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow