It was fun while it lasted. It just didn’t last that long. And the end comes with great excitement for what lies ahead and a twinge of sadness for what is left behind.
First, the news: I have accepted a job to become the Redskins insider for ESPN.com and will start Aug. 5. My responsibilities will be the same as they were with the Washington Examiner and were going to be with The Post this season: provide analysis and insight into the Redskins. Yes, that means observations and game reviews and more, but no newsletter. It’s an exciting move.
The tough part is leaving behind a fantastic group at The Post. But ESPN made an offer that The Post couldn’t match. I might add, if there were two places I’d love to cover the Redskins these would be the top two places on my list – last year, this year, next year and forever. Both presented opportunities that played to my strengths. Both would qualify as dream positions.
It might have only been a month at The Post, but I’d dealt with the editors for a couple months longer and you can get a real sense of a place in that time. Plus I’ve known the beat writers, Mike Jones and Mark Maske and Redskins columnist Jason Reid, for years and was happy to be part of their group. Just know that this move is not reflective on fears of the newspaper industry or any reflection on The Post. They dealt with me with great honesty and professionalism and I saw first hand why it remains a formidable newspaper. I think we all wish it could have lasted longer; I think we all understand this was a move I couldn’t pass up.
My last day with The Post will be July 31. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity they provided.
From the Editor:
If there’s a consolation to this news, it might be that this is a greater loss to The Post than it is to Redskins fans. You’ll still get to read him at ESPN.
While there are no hard feelings, I am disappointed that we spent more time on The Insider building up to John’s arrival than we did actually publishing his work. His role was something uniquely carved out for his skill set, and it stinks that we didn’t get to do it for at least a season. There’s a difference between telling readers that Robert Griffin III took a lot of hits last year and telling you he took exactly 152 — 49 on keepers, 18 on scrambles and 85 in the pocket. That’s what we’ll miss most.
Very few folks who cover football are able to attend every game as working press, afforded the time to meticulously review the game video, and then have the access to players and coaches to ask about what they saw. We’re happy for John and the opportunity he has, but we’re disappointed that Redskins fans aren’t going to have him in this role. He and I and others thought we had an opportunity to do something groundbreaking, and give The Post’s coverage a new level of depth.
As for The Post and The Insider, we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ll still throw more resources at the beat than anybody, and if the first few days of camp are any indication — 33 blog posts, a handful of news stories, features and columns, many linked below — our coverage is in good hands with Mike, Mark and the rest of the crew. Our coverage will still be very strong, but it won’t be what we thought it was going to be with John on board.
– Keith McMillan
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.
Practices on Monday are at 10 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. Here’s our guide to camp, if you’re going.
More from The Post: