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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Redskins’

I’ll Never Say Anything Bad about Dan Snyder Again- If He Does This:

Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III- Get Them Both!

If Redskins owner, Dan Snyder wants to finally win the respect of fans- and turn the team into a true contender- it all starts with an audacious strategy that’s finally beginning to leak out as a possibility. It’s not an either/or. Get ‘em both. Sign Peyton Manning and trade up in the NFL draft and get Baylor’s Heisman award-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Then with Manning under their belt, they can more easily sign at least two of the best wide receivers available in a free agent market that’s packed with them- including guys Manning has been throwing to for years like Reggie Wayne.

With what’s left of your draft picks, you take offensive linemen to protect the quarterbacks and defensive backs which are really the only remaining weakness in what is currently a great nucleus of a strong defense.

I actually don’t think the Redskins are as far off from playoff contention as many think. When they were healthy last year, they got off to a 3-1 start. They then lost 9 starters to injuries and it revealed the team’s really obvious weakness- lack of depth at almost all positions. That’s what you address in the draft and with some additional forays into the free agent market.

The Manning/RGIII tandem is fascinating on a number of levels. Griffin, who has the speed of a wide receiver and ran a jaw-dropping 4.3 second 40 yard-dash at a recent scouting combine- also has brains and a strong arm. And with Peyton Manning, a hall-of-fame quarterback for a mentor. Concerns about Peyton’s four neck operations and overall physical condition is alleviated by knowing RGIII is available, even as a rookie, to take Manning’s place in case of injury.

But wait—there’s more! The Redskins would have to rebuild their offense to accommodate Manning and along the way, they could draw up a few plays where Manning and RGIII are on the field at the same time- a kind of Wild Cat option that would blow people away. If he’s got wide receiver speed- well, by golly- use him as one every now and then.

But beyond the x’s and o’s…think of the public hysteria that would be unleashed by such a move. Acquiring one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and a Heisman-trophy winning, charismatic kid who runs like the wind and throws a football like it was launched out of a cannon.

This is not akin to signing a lazy egotist like Albert Haynesworth or a bunch of marquis has-beens like Deion Sanders and Jeff George This would take gobs of money- but for once- well-spent. You can never go wrong loading your team up with star quarterbacks.

And as they negotiate with Peyton Manning over the next few days, Mike Shanahan, whom Manning likes and respects for his proven history of managing great quarterbacks, should promise Peyton the moon. Better pass protection? You bet, Peyton—we’ll get two in the draft another two in the free agent market. Wide receivers? We’ll get whoever you want- write up the list and we’ll go buy ‘em. Guaranteed contract? Yes, sir- anything you want, Peyton, sir.

Then give up whatever it takes to get RGIII, make up for some the lost draft picks you’ll have to give up with free agents and then sit back and watch something amazing happen. Winning football and a previously snake-bitten franchise that will once again own Washington, D.C.

Danny- this is it. This is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to take us back to the Promised Land.

Albert Haynesworth: Closure

November 9, 2011 1 comment


The New England Patriots released Albert Haynesworth today and thus ends the saga documented in a number of posts, here, here, here and here. I’m not obsessed with the man, it’s just that the story has reached its fitting conclusion and I’m dutifully wrapping things up.

He had three tackles for New England this year. He suffered numerous injuries. He seemed to be out of shape. He was tossed around like a rag doll by a Giants guard last Sunday and it led directly to a New York touchdown and then a verbal altercation on the sidelines between Haynesworth and New England’s defensive coordinator.

It would appear that at the ripe old age of 30, his career has ended. Hubris, ego and a highly questionable work ethic have finally done him in, though I suspect more than anything else, it was really all that money Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder gave him that doomed the one-time all-pro. It’s just possible that when someone signs you to a $100 million dollar plus contract, you might develop an exaggerated view of yourself.

The whole situation was, at one time during his Redskins tenure, maddening, funny, ridiculous and outrageous. But there’s nothing really amusing about Albert anymore. It’s actually kind of sad and I hope he finds some humility and some inner peace and gets his life together outside of the NFL.

Update: Well, not so fast. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have picked up Albert and though he had said New England would be his last stop…he was just kidding! He gets $8 million over two years. Using my trusty calculator…let’s see…8 games with the Patriots, three tackles…Albert has collected $666,666 for each tackle he’s made this season.

When Your Favorite NFL Team Sucks

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment


We poor saps in the Nation’s Capital suffered over three decades before we could get a professional baseball team. After a decades-long wait, we now anxiously hope for a professional football team. Until then, though….we have the Redskins.

Many fans of the burgundy and gold could have been forgiven if they thought there might be a shot at an 8-8 season. After their 3-1 start, some foolishly dreamed about making the playoffs. After watching the 23-0 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, coupled with the two previous losses that preceded that debacle- it is time to reassess our goals for the season.

Many knowledgeable fans look at the schedule and can’t find more than maybe three additional victories, max. I, for one, have given up on the concept of wins and losses. In all seriousness, I am wondering if they will ever score again. If I took a shot of whiskey for every 1st down they get, I couldn’t even get tipsy.

After recording 4 QB sacks though the entire season, the Bills notched 9 against the Skins Sunday. At this point, I’m even feeling differently about interceptions. I find myself being grateful whenever a Redskin quarterback remains upright, period. And even if it’s to the other team, hey- a completion is a completion. You take your small victories where you can get them.

You do have to admire how the players are taking their team’s collapse though- with complete and utter selfishness. I like the way our newly fabulous tight end, Fred Davis, celebrates late-game, garbage touchdowns against prevent defenses; like he just made a game-winning catch in the Super Bowl. But then again, that was back when we used to score points. We don’t have to worry about that anymore.

And LaRon Landry celebrated after tackling a Buffalo Bills player who had just gotten a first down. Apparently he thoroughly impressed himself with the vicious hit he put on the opponent.

But what about the injuries? Oh, that’s right. I forgot for a moment that the Washington Redskins, curiously enough, are the only team in the NFL to have suffered injuries this season.

You know what? Winning is overrated. When you root for a team this bad, this shallow, this steeped in total incompetence from owner, to coaches to players, one must take a twisted, macabre joy in watching the weekly car accident that is the Washington Redskins. How bad can they get? Can they set a new franchise record for sacks allowed? Can they set new standards for fewest offensive yards? How many consecutive games can they run the ball ten times or less? What more wonders will we behold from the results of the “Shanahan System?”

So near term, what do the Skins work on this week ahead of the 6-1 San Francisco 49ers? I mean besides tackling, pass defense, blocking, running, throwing, attempting field goals without getting them blocked and kick returns that go beyond the 15 year-yard line?

I would work on their celebrations more. There should be complete unit-wide, choreographed strutting and kick-dancing like the Rockettes. After every single tackle, no matter how mundane, no matter how many yards have just been given up, all the Redskins should take LaRon Landry’s lead and put on a friggin’Christmas show after every play.

The offensive players should all work on the Santana Moss football-spin move. This is where after you make a catch, you spin the football on the turf like a top or a gyroscope. This should happen after every play, regardless of its outcome.

And as long as we’re paying that expensive NFL entertainment dollar, I want to see Mike and Kyle Shanahan dressed in pink, polka-dot dresses with bright red heels on to match their lipstick. And Dan Snyder should come out of the owner’s booth schmoozing with his high-fallutin’ celebrity guests and sit on the bench with the team instead- wearing a clown nose and gigantic Bozo the Clown shoes. At the start of every game, Snyder can drive a tiny burgundy and gold clown car to the 50-yard line as player after player emerges from the circus vehicle wearing bright orange wigs.

As long as you’re going to be a laughingstock, dear Redskins, at the very least, make us, you know- laugh.

Quarterback Roulette: The Case for Instability

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment


I’m in favor of a lack of stability at the Quarterback position. That’s right. Especially if you root for a very average football team that has no proven QB- forget this business about establishing consistency at the position. I say shuffle ‘em in and out like a revolving door.

Everybody in Redskin nation is waiting for Wednesday to see if Washington Head Coach, Mike Shanahan, will appoint John Beck to succeed Rex Grossman, who, regrettably, is one of those people who thinks he’s much better than he really is.

After throwing four largely inexplicable interceptions against the Eagles Sunday, in his post-game comments, Grossman blamed his receivers for two of them. And then he said he has faith in himself even if the fans don’t- even if the coaches don’t. See, I would argue the fans and the coaches are key constituencies. Take them out of the equation and all you have left, really, are your wife and your dog. Lose the fans and the coaches and I would consider it a big red flag.

Rex has taken much criticism over the years because he has a tendency to give the ball to the other team, which goes against the basic principle that you try to score more points than your opponent. He pretty much averages two turnovers in every single game he’s ever played. If he’s not throwing passes directly into the hands of surprised but grateful defensive players, he’s coughing the ball up like my cats pass hairballs. Actually, statistically, Grossman is even worse this year than his pedestrian career average.

Here’s another analogy. In college football, coaches change quarterbacks like my girlfriend changes outfits prior to a night out on the town. A lot. The NFL should be no different, especially if, like the Redskins, you only have mediocre quarterback talent to choose from in the first place. And if truth be told, my girlfriend has better outfits than the Redskins have good quarterbacks.

So if your quarterback throws an interception that’s not his fault, a defensive player has made a great play or your receiver accidently tips the ball to the defender- he should get a mulligan. But the first time he appears to have mistaken the colors of the uniforms and hands the bad guys a gift- like Grossman did repeatedly Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles- take him out. In with the next guy. If he sucks, pull him out too and go to the third guy. If he sucks, and you don’t have a 4th guy, go back to the 1st guy. One of them is bound to get hot sometime.

I would not favor this strategy if we had a real quarterback. I do understand the virtues of stability. If you’re John Elway, you get to throw a few bone-headed interceptions- but only because you’ve thrown twice as many touchdowns. But Rex Grossman? John Beck? Jonathan Crompton? Completely replaceable and interchangeable. Hockey does it with goalies. Baseball does it with pitchers. And the Redskins ought to do it with their quarterbacks. Especially these quarterbacks.

Dan Snyder’s Law Suit: Never Mind

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder, has decided to drop his lawsuit against Washington City Paper officially ending his attack on the 1st amendment of the constitution.

If you need background on his actions that became a cause célèbre for lovers of free expression in America, you can find my finely honed criticisms over this matter here, here and here.

I don’t think this legal action was going to work out well for him. First, free speech rights regarding public figures are pretty sacrosanct in American courts (see Falwell vs Flynt). Plus, DC has a statute that allows for prosecution for law suits aimed to intimidate freedom of speech. The Snyder legal team’s approach to this was not to question the merits of such a case were it to have been enforced, but to claim the DC City Council had no right to pass such a law.

Of all the things Snyder complained about regarding City Paper’s scathing synopsis of all the goofy things the Redskins owner has done through the years- he had pretty much dropped his outrage for all elements of the article except one; the impression the piece gave that Snyder himself, was personally involved in “slamming,” the practice of changing people’s phone services without their knowledge, back when he ran Snyder Communications many, many years ago. An out-of-court settlement was reached at the time in which Snyder admitted no wrongdoing. City Paper conceded they may have left the impression Snyder himself was involved in slamming practices but insisted they did so without malice.

Wisely, a word not ordinarily associated with Dan Snyder, he backed down. The pre-season-opener announcement cleared the decks for a new era of good feelings as he seemed to sense the Redskins may actually be a decent team this season and further distractions on the frivolous law suit-front would be counter-productive.

Bravo, Snyder. This is almost as big a victory for free speech rights as the 28-14 Redskin win over the Giants was a statement about how good and how loved his team could be if he just stops meddling with the front office and causing self-inflicted public relations wounds.

Update on Haynesworth- Mostly MIA

I’m not supposed to care about Albert Haynesworth anymore because he left the Redskins for the Patriots- but curiosity got the better of me so I checked in with the Boston Globe. He hasn’t practiced now for 19 days.

The New England media, at first convinced this was going to be another case in which miracle-worker Bill Belicheck was going to somehow reform yet another Diva-Athlete malcontent- is now not so sure.

Here’s a terrific and hilarious article by the dean of Boston sportswriters, Dan Shaughnessy.

And here are the highlights:

Best of all, they [the New England Patriots] have a secret – and we mean secret – weapon that is almost never seen, rarely practices, and is unlikely to be deployed in a preseason game. Don’t tell the Dolphins, but the Patriots plan to surprise them in the season opener Sept. 12 when they wheel out the great Albert Haynesworth….Other than a fan’s Twitter photo (which surfaced this week) of Albert eating Italian ice on Atlantic Avenue, there was no record of Albert’s whereabouts from Aug. 4 until yesterday, when he watched practice.

“Watched’’ is the key word. Haynesworth did not participate in anything. Not even light running. No one is saying whether he is hurt or out of shape. Bill Belichick says he is “day to day,’’ but won’t say whether he’s planning on Albert for the opener.

So there you have it. The Patriots have Haynesworth and they’re not going to be dopes and show him to the opposition. He doesn’t need to practice. It worked with Randy Moss in 2007 (9 catches, 183 yards in the opener after a no-show preseason) and it’ll work again.

Patriot’s coaches and ownership are saying Albert is just misunderstood and most of the terrible things that have been written about him in recent years are all bunk.

Meanwhile, the Patriots PR machine (including actual Patriot employees) prepares to nominate Albert for a Nobel Prize and Time’s Man of the Year. Never mind the rap sheet that’s longer than Ted Williams’ Hall of Fame plaque. So what if the Redskins gave Albert a $100 million contract, then sent him home for the last four games of 2010 rather than have him around to poison their team.

Even for a lousy high-round draft pick, the Redskins getting rid of Albert was the best move EVER.

So sorry, Patriot nation.

Bye Bye Albert (If he passes the physical)

Two seasons worth of Albert Haynesworth should be just about enough for anybody. His largeness is theoretically headed to the New England Patriots ridding the Washington Redskins of their most annoying player ever and writing the final chapter on Daniel Snyder’s high-spending ineptitude.

For $100 million, the Skins got maybe a half a season out of him. Along the way he pouted about the team’s defensive system, complained about the coaches, failed physicals, got arrested a couple of times, got suspended, got taken off the field in a cart once after getting winded in a game, fell to the ground uninjured but seemingly exhausted during a play and stayed on the turf like a gigantic beached whale while 21 other players continued running, blocking and tackling all around him.

There are some priceless quotes from a few newspapers about all this today that I’d like to share. From the New York Times:

Now, apparently Patriots Coach Bill Belichick believes his magic powers extend to extracting…talent from Haynesworth, which means he spent his lockout time building a wand strong enough to move nearly 400 pounds of self-absorbed entitlement.

And the Boston Globe puts it this way:

Well, this will certainly liven up camp.

Patriot’s fans seem to be optimistic. The Boston Globe asks them what they think of the trade. Here are the latest numbers:

1) Love it, if anyone can straighten him out, it’s Bill Belichick 55%
2) He’s going to be more trouble than he’s worth 12%
3) I’ll wait and see before deciding 32%

Belichick will have to see if he passes the physical on which this trade is contingent. Albert didn’t too well with physicals at last year’s training camp, failing them three times. Pats fans will also be hoping Albert avoids incarceration after his August 23rd trial for misdemeanor sexual assault. Presumably he can afford some pretty good lawyers.

Redskins fans will be circling Sunday, December 11th on their calendars; the day the Patriots are due at Fed Ex Field and our first opportunity in DC to see the New Albert, the Old Albert or No Albert.