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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The year was 1979. Dr. Hook and Little River band, each had two of the top 100 songs and Nicole Richie’s dad was still a Commodore. Nothing was coming between Brooke Shields and her Calvins, and Americans were worried about exploding Pintos, Three Mile Island, and Iranian radicals (glad that’s worked itself out). For Redskins fans it also marks the last time the Redskins faced the Cowboys on the final week of the season, to decide the NFC East.
How great it is for anyone to actually give a damn about what the Redskins do, less than a week from the new year. Add to that they’ll face mortal enemies, the Dalls Cowboys. I am terrified and excited at the same time. The ending of this game will offer fans the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. But that’s what it’s all about. That’s why we are fans. It allows us the emotional release, that if we were fully human, we would get with our spouses and children. But a playoff run, and plenty of brown liquor, provide a close facsimile to the feelings of real relationships. Perhaps I’ve said too much.
The names a different now. Instead of Theisman and Riggins v Staubach and Drew Pearson, it’s RGIII and Alfred Morris v Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Who by the way is in full beast mode right now. But it’s what we’ve wanted for 20 years. To root for a relevant team again. With a loss, from a big picture standpoint I think many fans will be happy as we look to the future, but will hurt in the short term. But a win that sends the Cowboys home will be fantastic. Now if John Mara’s Giants stay home too, I may not wear pants for a week. Now pour something tall and strong, and shine up your K-Car. It’s 1979 all over again. (Yes, I know the ‘Boys won that one in ’79, but allow me some poetic liscence.)
I’ve tried to figure out why my motivation to post on this has been at absolute zero for the last six months, and I have finally come to a conclusion. Robert Griffin and the improvement this season, have wiped away my fan angst, and thus my desire to vent on a weekly basis. However as my childlike optimism approaches Christmas Eve level excitement, I once again feel compelled to write. Please forgive me if I start taking victory laps, and point out that maybe Bruce Allen and the Shanahans may actually know what they are doing.
So let’s begin the Worldwidebleater renaissance with a few predictions for Sunday’s tilt against the Eagles.
1- Robert Griffin will burn down the stadium. Figuratively of course. He is one of the most competitive guys in the league. And make no mistake, he is not without an ego. While it is not arrogance or boastfulness, he thinks the world of himself and his abilities. He has now spent the last seven days listening to various media outlets speculate about Kirk Cousins’ trade value. As well as the fact that Cousins’ 329 yards last week against the Browns was more than any of Griffin’s totals. He’s also heard what a genius Kyle Shanahan is, and how he can do it with anybody. My guess is that he has spent the last week in a Michael Jordan like fugue state. Imagining slights, disrespect, and enemies that don’t exist. We will see a quarterback prepared like no other. He will put on a clinic this week.
2- At some point Chris Cooley will have a breakout game. Nobody expects him to do anything other than block. He didn’t sudenly forget how to play football. I will concede that he has probably slowed down, but when your are ignored you can be lethal. Much in the way that Darrell Young reels off a 25 yarder form time to time. I predict that the next time he is targeted, he will score a touchdown.
3-This defense will be in the top ten next season. They have improved markedly since the bye week, and this is a very young team. I think Crawford will continue to improve, especially since he’s going to be active every week returning punts. Jarvis Jenkins in starting to show the promise we were, uh….promised. Add to that, I belive that if Chase Minnifield gets healthy for next season, he’ll be really good. That’s a gut feeling only. Kind of like the winning lottery ticket, on which I I have yet to check the numbers. Carricker will be back, and hopefully Orakpo will be able to fully recover. I underestimated his impact on the pass rush, and considered him to be a tad overrated by the fan base. Redskin fans have had a tendency over the last ten years or so to call guys who don’t suck, great.
Anyway, let’s enjoy the ride. As I emailed one sports radio guy last week: Allow yourself to love again. This is fun. Don’t worry about getting your heart broken. You’ll know when it’s “the one”. Robert Griffin is the one. HTTR!!
Well, it’s official. The Redskins selected Robert Griffin III yesterday, in round 1 of the NFL Draft. Call me a crazy optimist, but I feel a sense of hope that I haven’t in a long time. It’s like we can finally sit at the grown-up table. Without a solid starting quarterback fans can only hope to luck into 9-7 and maybe a wild-card slot. But nothing that can really count as a run at a title.
There is aways the chance that he could suck and add nothing to the team. But without a top-notch starter at quarterback, they were going to suck anyway. I have my fingers crossed, and my RGIII Underoos on.
Damn. Just Damn. More to come.
Among the Redskins faithful, there has been much gnashing of teeth since Robert Griffin III, performed at the NFL combine last week. The voices have been loud in the “Should they/ shouldn’t they” argument. The argument against is largley this: He will cost too much in the form of surrendered draft picks, and thus will cripple them going forward. That leaves me with two questions. What is a franchise quarterback worth? And is now the time to go all in on the guy, regardless of who he may be?
In regard to the first question. If there is somebody among the littany of QB choices this year, that the Shanahan/Allen regime believes is absolutely the guy, then they should pay whatever the price may be. It’s become a cliche’, but this is a quarteback league. Teams simply must have a top tier QB to succeed at the highest level. And by that, I mean play in a Super Bowl. The NFL has tweaked and twisted the rules to make quarterbacks ever more important.
People love to immediatley blurt out “TENT DILFER” when it is pointed out that a great QB is essential. But look at the facts. Since Dilfer won 11 years ago in 2001, there have been 22 starting QB slots in Super Bowls. Of those 22 slots only five were not filled by guys who, at some point in their career were in the Hall of Fame conversation. Rich Gannon, Brad Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhome, and wait for it…. Sexy Rexy. The other 17 have been top level guys. Before you scream, “McNabb is not top level!”, back it up Skippy. Yes, the last few years have been tough for McNabb. But prior to his decline, he was NFC Player of the year, NFC offensive player of the year, a 6 time Pro-Bowler, and went to 4 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.
More recently, you have to go back to ’07 with Rex to see anyone in the big game, who is not a stone cold asassin at the QB position. Simply put, no team is going to be great without a great quarterback. So keep all the draft picks you want. Without a sniper behind center, it’s all for naught.
Lately I keep hearing “why all the ugency now?”. Two reasons, really. First, they hit rock bottom in 2011 with Rex and Beck. Second, they have not, in the last 15 years, been in a better situation to make the move. They have tons of cap room if a free agent is the answer. But more importantly, draft-wise they are in the best position I can remember.
In order to draft in the top two or three positions, you generally have to have 3 or fewer wins. It is hard to be that bad. But at number six, with 8 picks this year they are as close as they may get for a while. RGII may cost as much three first rounders, but that really means two. They’re going to swap number ones this year and lose two of the next two. The leaders have shown me enough, to have faith that they can find talent in the later rounds. Plus, consider this. The addition of Leonard Hankerson and Jarvis Jenkins next year, is kind of like getting two high picks this year. The concensus in Ashburn is that these two will be good, and gave the team nearly nothing last year.
Mediocrity at QB would be a huge leap forward for the Redskins. But ulitimately that is an anchor on the team. Moving to 8-8 only keep them from getting the stud they really need. I don’t evaluate players for a living, so I’m not sure who that stud is. But there is a legion of people in Ashburn who do. So, at ther end end of the day, if they find the guy, do whatever it takes to make him your guy.
I’m all in on _______ as the new quarterback for the Redskins in 2012. Vague? Maybe. But focus not on the blank, but on the word “new”. New as in not Rex Grossan or John Beck. This year more than any I can remember, the QB options abound for teams picking near the top of the draft. All of which seem to be better than what they have had since Jason Campbell left town.
Some likely options:
Peyton Manning- The 800 lbs gorilla in the room is; will he get the strength back and be able to make all of the throws he could in the past? Let’s assume that he can. Save for the neck stuff, he has been an iron man. He’s otherwise healthy, takes care of himself and should be able to play for four or five more years. Mike Shanahan will trust him enough to hand over the control that Manning will need to be effective. With QB of his caliber at the helm, just sit back and watch how much better everyone else gets. The O line suddenly gets better because of quicker decision making and a faster release. The receivers somehow manage to get open more often and now get more yards after the catch. Accuracy makes a mediocre receiver look good. Witness the wideouts who looked good in New England , and could not produce anywhere else. With fewer men in the box, instantly your running backs seem to be more explosive and have better vision. When you play with a lead, watch how many sacks Kerrakpo can post. Manning’s health is a big IF, but even under a best case scenario, they must draft his replacement this year or next. The draft is deep with QB’s this year, so now is probably the time.
Matt Flynn- I know, I know three games is not a big enough sample to judge a quarterback. Kevin Kolb, Matt Cassel, and Scott Mitchell show that it is a big risk to take Matt Flynn. And if I had a dime for every back-up QB who threw 6 TD’s against a play-off team, I’d have….oh yeah. A dime. The big indicator will be if Dolphin’s new head coach, Joe Philbin goes after him hard in free agency. Philbin was Flynn’s offensive coordinator last year, and if the Dolphins are not interested, then nobody should be. I just know that in one game he threw three times as many TD passes as John Beck did in three. Maybe 20 years of mediocrity or worse has made me willing to accept anything new, with the promise of being better than the last. He likely won’t cost any draft picks, and his salary number is reported to be in the 3-4 million dollar range(I suspect it will go much higher). So in that regard the risk is fairly low.
Robert Griffin III- This guy just makes me salivate. I mean he could be the next Heath Shuler. Wait, wait. That’s not what I meant. He could be the highest pick the Redskins have ever used for a QB. Assuming they trade up to the second position to get him. He has everything that you would want. Big arm, fast, smart, accurate, and fast. Did I say fast? The great thing about him is, that despite blazing speed, he always looks to pass first. He moves in the pocket, shifts to avoid pressure, and keeps his eyes downfield the whole time. But when everything breaks down, he’ll bolt from the pocket and make defenders look silly trying to catch him. That is a skill that he’ll need on a team like the Redskins. The downside is it will cost a ton in draft picks to get him. Obviously they’ll swap the #6 pick with (the Rams?) plus next year’s first rounder and another pick. Possibly another first rounder. That’s a lot, BUT… Look at the last 6 or 7 Super Bowls. The odds of winning one without at top shelf QB are slim. So roll the dice. You can build a team safely and get to 9-7. Where’s the fun in that?
Kyle Orton and Ryan Tannehill/Brock Osweiler/Kirk Cousins/Brandon Weeden/etc- Kyle Orton looks like an NFL QB. I liked him at Purdue. He just looked like a pro. But results at the pro level tell a different story. He lost his job in Denver to Tim Tebow, who completes about 45% of his passes. He does not suck. He could improve the Redskins to 10-6, but that is not the goal. He would however serve as a bridge to the new guy. The same role that Grossman was supposed to play, except better. What evidence do I have? None. But could it be worse?
Life under the Snyder regime has lead many fans to a point at which we will take anything over the suckitude that we currently endure. But this year feels different. The landscape is lush with choices. More than half of which should be successful. I’ve been told that Shanahan is a great judge of QB talent. If so, he’ll make the right choice. If not, a fourth whiff in three years will earn him his walking papers. A new QB will buy him at least two more years, but make no mistake, this next choice of QB is his Rubicon. Get it right, and it’s wine and rose. Get it wrong, and it’s… Well we know what it is. We’ve seen it for 20 years.
As a Redskin fan, I simply cannot wrap my feeble brain around this. The Giants, who will face the Patriots in the Super Bowl on Sunday, lost twice to the 5-11 team from D.C.. It’s like Julia Roberts marrying Lyle Lovett, or the Alec Baldwin in Pearl Harbor. It strains credulity, and simply makes no sense at all.
The first game in week one was a road game for the G-men, and they came into Fed-Ex field beat up and unprepared for the onslaught of Rex Grossman. That’s fine. It happens. The Redskins still believed that Rex was an NFL caliber QB, and didn’t know they were supposed to lose. But the second loss to Washington defies all logic.
In that tilt, the 4-9 Redskins traveled to New York with 1/3 of their starting offense. In a game that the Giants needed to win the Skins managed to win by 13. The Giants had gotten their front four back and should have made Rex Grossman more uncomfortable than Paula Deen in a Pilates class.
I can’t explain why it happened, but I think it was that loss that eventually propelled the Giants to Super Bowl XLVI. In the parlance of 12 step programs, they had finally hit bottom. When they woke up on December 19th the Giants had to look in the mirror and admit that they had a problem. Losing twice to the Redskins was the NFL equivalent to blowing a hobo for beer money. “Hi My name is Osi and I lost to the Redskins twice.”
After the first loss, they saw themselves like a cocaine user who thinks they can do it occasionally. Antrelle Rolle saying “If we played them 100 times, they might win five.”, was the same as “Yeah I gave my dealer a handjob, but I can quit any time.” The second loss made them put down the crack pipe once and for all and turn their team around.
I’m not sure what, if anything it says about Washington, but to be the League’s rock bottom is shameful. And Devin Thomas is more likely to get a Super Bowl ring than anybody on the Redskins roster.
“Hi my name is Danny, and I’m addicted to overpriced free agents.”
I wrote a week ago that Matt Flynn was going to steal somebody’s money in free agency this year. Much like Scott Mitchell and Kevin Kolb before him. This was before he lit the Lions up for 480 yards and six touchdowns in week 17. I am starting to hope that the money he gets is from one Daniel Milhouse Snyder. Wow. I can see why Snyder likes to play GM. Because for the casual football fan who doesn’t know the difference between a 3 technique and a 5 technique, there are lots of shiny things out there to get you excited. RGIII, Flynn, Justin Blackmon, they all look so pretty through the store window.
But history has shown us again and again that all that glitters is not gold. As much as everyone, myself included, hates the way that Snyder has operated the Redskins, I would end up running my team the same way. How hard it must be to sit on the sideline and watch the grown ups buy the groceries. I, just like Snyder would be sitting in the cart screaming “No! Not the Broccoli, I want a Zagnut Bar!”
Just a week ago I was hoping for way to get RGIII. Now its Flynn in free agency, and Blackmon in the draft. 480 yards and six touchdowns! In one freakin’ game. It would take Rex Grossman four outings to produce numbers like that. And he’d have 7 picks and a fumble to add to it.
My point is to illustrate that this is hard. Tom Brady went in the sixth round. Half of the scouts thought Ryan Leaf was a better option that Peyton Manning. People were noting the lack of red-headed quarterbacks in conversations about Andy Dalton. Snyder is a fan just like the rest of us. I for one am glad we now have Shanahan and Allen running things. They are a strong tandem with enough NFL cred to keep Snyder quiet. You want to get rid of Shanahan? You’ll end up with a shopping cart full of Zagnuts and Dana Stubblefield’s.
In the tiny logical part of my brain, I still think Matt Flynn in poised to pull a major heist. But please, steal it in Ashburn, VA.
Would you rather have your genitals eaten by a honey badger, or have black rats gnaw their way out of your colon? Tough question, I grant you. But no tougher than the one Mike Shanahan has to answer regarding what to do at quarterback, if none of the young studs are available in the 2012 NFL Draft. USC’s Matt Barkley has already opted out, and there are rumblings that Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, may chose to do the same.
At that point NFL teams are left with the likes of Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, and Kellen Moore. As is generally the case teams will reach at QB, and take guys higher than they should. Witness Blaine Gabbert in 2011. That leaves Shanahan either reaching for a guy in the draft that he’s not in love with, or something else. I don’t believe he’ll reach for a mediocre QB, and so I’ll address that something else scenario.
Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors, as contemplating this has caused my keyboard to short out several times from my tears. Let me start with what is NOT an option. Allowing John Beck anywhere near Redskin Park. After Sunday’s game with the Eagles, Shanahan should go straight to the Ashburn Courthouse and file a restraining order against Beck. Aside from staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night, he has no NFL qualifications whatsoever.
To Rex or not to Rex. That is the question.
Arguments in Favor of Keeping Rex:
Argument Against Keeping Rex
As much as it makes me wretch to say it, we need to keep Rex around in 2012. A free agent will fool us into thinking we have the answer. This team is still not close. The answer folks is playing in college somewhere. The one thing that may cause Shanahan to reach in the draft, is if he knows the leash is gettting short. A rookie QB pretty much assures him of two more years. Either way… WELCOME BACK REX!! I just vomitted on the honey badger in my lap.
As the Washington Redskins again cruise through December on the way to yet another disappointing season, we as fans are faced with the question: Are things getting better or worse? As of late, there has been a groundswell of public opinion to fire the Shanahans and start over again. One of the smartest things I’ve heard on the topic was from ESPN 980 DC’s Steve Czaban in an interview with Kevin Sheehan , on his pre-game shows a couple of weeks ago. I paraphrase here: Shanahan may not be the answer, changing coaches after two years again is definitely not the answer. He has since changed his mind on this, and is now screaming for his head on a pike.
Most people seem to be of the mindset to judge this team on it’s record. Which admittedly has been bad. Shanahan has up to this point a worse record than his predecessor, Jim “Maroon and Black” Zorn. However, what has changed, is the philosophy. For years the idea was that the Redskins were just a couple of pieces away from being a good team again. This was held from ownership, to the GM, to the coaches, on down to the fans. But adding pieces in that manner has lead to a team that consistently clung to the lower end of mediocrity.
Now to the analogy portion of our lesson. Mike Shanahn has chosen to remove all of the rot from the structure and replace it with new fresh lumber. The Redskins are continuing to get younger at nearly every position, and those young guys will need some time to learn and grow in the system. Witness the offensive line, which has continued to improve despite being down to third string at some positions.
Judging a rebuilding team on its’s record can be mis-leading. We may have fewer wins, but I think we have bigger upside in the future. I’m tired of people citing the “one year turn-arounds” in the league every year. These are a myth. Take Detroit. This did not happen overnight. Stafford-3rd season, Pettigrew 3rd season, Kyle Vandenbosch 2nd season, Calvin Johnson 5th season. They have been putting pieces in place for a while. But it seems like it happened all at once, because they won only 8 games combined in the previous two years.
As fans we have been living in a lean-to for the last 20 years. It kept the rain off of us, but offered little else in terms of security. Shanahan has offered to build us a three bedroom house. The foundation is done, the walls are going up, but the roof is not on. We as fans are now crying because it doesn’t keep the rain out yet. Patience people, patience.
Oh boy! As a longtime Skins fan this is a real kick in the nards. Arguably Washington’s two best offensive players, Fred “Sleepy” Davis and Trent “Silverback” Williams, will sit out the rest of the season due to their unquenchable lust for the marijuana. They have each tested positive at least three times.
Mike Shanahan has spoken to the media regarding this matter, and in typical fashion, said next to nothing. As a fan, I want to hear from Sleepy and Dopey. Nothing to seems to motivate these two enough to stay away from the kind bud. Perhaps shame might be the ticket. If they were made to stand together at a podium and answer questions about their weed habits, maybe they could put the hooka down for good. However, the questions would not come from a local media, that must walk a fine line between hard-hitting journalism, and keeping a relationship with the player. The questions would come from fans, who are down enough on this team, without two jack-offs getting themselves suspended for four games.
Here are some questions I’d like to ask:
Anyway. December is now what it has been for 17 of the last 21 years. Time to start dreaming about the draft. With the fourth selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…… Robert Griffin III?