WaPo – Jansen Is Dirtbag Number 1

Jon Jansen wore a white cut-off practice jersey, burgundy shorts and a stubble as the 6-foot-6, 306-pounder trudged off the field following yesterday’s practice at Redskins Park. The right tackle’s massive arms were dirtied from spending a few minutes in the 90-minute session fending off defenders pursuing quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey.

Jansen’s appearance was little different from the one he had in the Washington Redskins’ first minicamp in May: His grim exterior, soiled jersey and blue-collar approach spurred assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel to concoct a nickname for the offensive linemen: Dirtbags. “I think he definitely deserves more praise than what he gets,” Redskins’ Chris Samuels, a two-time Pro Bowler said of fellow tackle Jon Jansen, above, who has yet to make a Pro Bowl. “He’s just a dirtbag. He’s into every play, going hard, hustling. He’s just a leader on this team.”

“Take a look at Jon Jansen,” explained Bugel, who created the “Hogs” moniker for his famed line during the 1980s because of the unit’s girth. “Tell me what you see.”

Hmm. While “Hogs” wasn’t exactly flattering, “Dirtbags” seems much, much worse. Originally, it was a slang term for a condom. Dictionary.com gives its meaning as “A filthy or vile person.” Even in its more generic use, it connotes sloth, not a work ethic.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jeff says:

    It already has some a pseudo-Redskins connection.

    Dirtbags refer to the baseball team at Long Beach State (where former Washington coach George Allen coached football until his death.)

  2. Chip says:

    That’s like calling someone “a**hole” because they are absolutely essential.

  3. Indeed, I was quite puzzled/amused when I saw that headline as the term is quite common in the military where it has the same meaning that dictionary.com gives it.