Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thoughts On DeSean Jackson As A Redskin

(Fly, Eagle Fly on the road to D.C.! Image via.)
Back in 2010 I wrote an article about my thoughts on the Redskins trading for another Eagle (Donovan McNabb) and pretty much hit you with every emotion I was feeling at the time.

I'm going to do the same thing here about DeSean Jackson today. More or less, you're getting a why I like the move, why I don't like the move and some concerns I have for the future of the team with DJax on it.

This isn't a doom and gloom post, nor is it a "Redskins finally got the missing piece - Superbowl!!!!" article either. Just some thoughts from a guy who's seen the Redskins make plenty of these big moves over the years and (sadly) get burned by many of them.

Let me be frank and honest here about Jackson: as a football personality, I'm not a big fan. I don't like his attitude on the field and the personality traits shown by the media (contract demands, stories of being late to meetings, threats of holding out and rumored to be just a general pain in the ass at times in the locker room).

But that's me and that's okay. I never was a fan of the crap pulled by guys like Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, Deion Sanders and Michale Irvin (Ironically, I like T.O., Sanders and Irvin much more now that they aren't playing than I did when they were). But I respected their skills and I'm the same way about Jackson. Jackson has driven me nuts as a opposing fan for years and I'm hoping that now he can drive Eagle fans nuts for the next three seasons. I just won't be buying his jersey -- big deal.

The Pros of Jackson to DC

(Making it look too easy. Image via.)
It's pretty good. Eagle fans will tell you that he's not much and that it's Chip Kelly's scheme that made him so dangerous last year (and Andy Reid in previous years). They'll also tell you the same stuff I mentioned above and that's something that the Redskins will have to deal with.

That said, Jackson can just fly. But it's not straight lined speed. He can run amazingly crisp routes and seem to cut on a dime to either fool the DB as he goes underneath, gives a double move or avoids getting tackled.

Corners have to give him the patented "Carlos Rogers ten yard cushion" because he is such a deep threat, that they and their defensive coordinators don't want to look like fools on TV (see what he did against LaRon Landry and the Redskins secondary a few years back as an example).

Jackson is a #1 WR just like Santana Moss and Steve Smith were in their primes and defenses have to adjust their schemes accordingly to try and limit the damage he does. So what does that mean for a defense that is playing both Jackson and Pierre Garcon (another underrated but true #1 in my opinion, you don't have to be 6'3" and play like Calvin Johnson to be a #1 in the modern NFL.)?

It's going to be a long day.

Play a single deep safety and where do you shade him? Take away Jackson and you have Garcon.  Double both of them and you have Andre Roberts, Santana Moss (if he makes the team) or Jordan Reed burn you down the middle. And every once in a while Aldrick Robinson will go deep if you forgot about him and focus on everybody else.

So let's say teams get smart and stick in dime coverage. Well, then the Redskins run the ball down their throats with Alfred Morris, Roy Helu or RGIII all day.

On paper, the Redskins should be able to score points and Jay Gruden and Sean McVay are smart enough to find ways to get their playmakers the ball.

The Cons (and possibly missed opportunities)

Details on Jackson's contract is out and overall it's not bad. 3 years, 24 million with 16 million guaranteed. Jackson will get paid the 16 million as soon as he signs his contract. That's the only thing I don't like. I really don't like paying a player up front and "locking him in" so to speak. Update: per Mike Jones of The Washington Post, the breakdown of the contract is eight million per year with year one and two being fully guaranteed. This contract means that no matter what happens, it's a guarantee that Jackson will be a Redskin for the next three years.

If Jackson plays close to what he did in 2013, then the deal is fine. But there are major concerns about character. If he pulls an Albert Haynesworth, then the Redskins will be screwed through 2016. This type of deal brings back my mantra of "Same as it ever was" with the Redskins and that is also a concern of the Bruce Allen era. We haven't seen this really during his tenure and I know media will bring up the words "Snyder" and "involvement" (they already have).
(David Byrne you are truly a Zen master.)

So of course you're now going to see media articles claiming Snyder is back to running the show. While I can't confirm or deny this, it bothers me slightly.

What also bothers me is the Why. Why did the Eagles release Jackson? Why did Andy Reid and the Chiefs pass on him? Why didn't the Raiders, 49ers and other teams try to make a bigger play to get him?

Was Chip Kelly's ego too much to deal with a malcontent? I don't believe the gang ties BS. It sounds like garbage to me based on a few people I have talked with on the subject. So why do you let a guy with this talent go so easily? That is a concern.

One last thing. This draft has a ton of WR talent. It looks like The Redskins could have got a starter at #34 with some serious upside and cheap. With two free agent WRs signed plus the re-signing of Moss makes you think that WR is not a priority and the Redskins may not look at one of the deepest areas of the draft to find talent.

Did The Redskins Make The Right Move?

On paper, the early indication is yes. Of course the Redskins tend to overspend in free agency so don't be surprised to hear every media report saying it's a bad deal on the Redskins side. That doesn't bother me anymore.

Of course the Redskins have won this award again, which I hate seeing.
(Great logo lovingly borrowed from Mr. Irrelevant.)
Either way I'm giving a thumbs up on this move. The Redskins were in need of somebody who could be alongside Pierre Garcon. They found that piece in Jackson, who now will put Andre Roberts back in his natural slot role. So the Redskins have shored up the starting WR. corp.

Let's face it, the 'Skins have problems on defense. At this point the offense is going to have to score to keep the team in the game. By adding DeSean Jackson they have made that scenario much easier than it would have been before he was signed.

And..... in the process they weaken the NFCE champion Eagles by grabbing one of their best offensive weapons without blowing draft picks or spending monies that will put them in cap hell.

I'm so glad that we won't have to see this twice a year and instead inflict this on other teams each and every week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meaningless Mock Draft v1.0

(Logo made specifically for St. Patrick's Day)
Free agency has been going on for almost a week and the Redskins have made their majority of big signings so its time to get back into looking at the upcoming draft and where the Redskins need to go in order to improve upon depth and find young, cheap players to become future starters in Washington.

Before we get started, here's a slight recap of what the Redskins have done in free agency, who they still may sign or re-sign, who they may cut and some team needs.

Friday, March 7, 2014

FNV: True Detective, Redskins Updates and Other Stuff

It's time for another episode of Friday Night Videos. I haven't done this in awhile and frankly it's long overdue. This is a Redskins blog but it's still my blog, so I think it's time for a break while I try to punch out some more articles before the start of free agency on Tuesday.

I've become a huge fan of HBO's True Detective. If you haven't watched this show yet, you should because it fill the void of high end drama that you just don't find with most TV shows.

Anyway, the opening theme by The Handsome Family Far From Any Road is haunting and sticks with you. I've been playing the song over and over in my head for the last seven weeks since the show started.

So I went to You Tube and started looking up some of their other songs. If you like this style of music (kind of old style alt-country meets bluegrass with a morbid/depressing touch) then you're in for a treat here's another of their songs called called Weightless Again.

Update: I got a very nice Tweet from Carrot Top Records (@CarrotTopRecord) which sent me a really nice and long You Tube playlist of their greatest hits. Here it is enjoy!

Site Updates

Right now I'm in the process of updating some links to the blog roll and to find some more Redskin player sites and remove a few in the process. I'm also working on a few articles including the return of the Meaningless Mock Draft and some other stuff I do annually.

I've also decided to do a collaboration thing with my work at Son of Washington. I don't have the time to write an article here and then write content for SOW, so I've decided to write an article here and then modify the article to fit the SOW style a bit. So check out my work on both sites to see if there is any significant difference.

Today's Quick Thought: Should The 'Skins Sign Champ Bailey?

(Wow! We could have D. Hall and Champ on the same team "Super Bowl"! Photo by the Redskins image via)
So, should the the Redskins bring in former 'Skins 1st rounder (1999) and future Hall of Fame player Champ Bailey?

Here's my quick thoughts on this possibility:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Stay or Go? Brian Orakpo

(Will Brian Orakpo be at the Redskins 2014 Training Camp? Photo: FedEx Al)
The Washington Post and other outlets are reporting that the Redskins front office are having a difficult time determining whether to keep 3-4 OLB Brian Orakpo. This is because the most likely way for the team to keep the former 2009 1st round draft pick is to franchise him with hopes of either working out a long term deal or negotiating with another team to trade away his rights (which doesn't seem likely).

The problem is simple, it's the final solution that is difficult. Do you spend around $10 million a year for a player that is talented but may not be as good as you'd expect for a top tier pass rusher? In the next few years, the Redskins will have to deal with contracts of some of their more valuable assets including Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris and there is concern that the team may have to lose at least one of those players. So do the Redskins risk the loss of one of those players or Orakpo?

(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
The Redskins have around 27-28 million (I have them at 28.2 million thanks to some details on Chris Baker's contract and  's cap calculator) in cap room at this point. While it seems like a no brainer to tag 'Rak with so much cap space, the team would like to sign at least a few free agents to bolster the roster including at least one safety, OL, DL, a ILB (at this point the Redskins need two since Perry Riley is about to become a free agent) and possibly a WR and a CB.

So it's a hard decision to drop around 11 plus million on one player based on the team needs alone. However by 4PM EST on Monday the 3rd, the Redskins will have to make a decision based on one of the following options: franchise him, let him test free agency or have a long term deal in place.

Today, we're going to take a look at Orakpo's career and look at the positives and negatives and try to determine if 'Rak is one of the better OLB/DEs in the league and a quick determination of what he's worth (compared to the rest of the NFL) and whether the Redskins should keep him or let him walk.

Experts, analysts and fans around the league have Orakpo valued very highly as one of the top free agents but in the DC area fans are skeptical of these assertions because 'Rak has missed significant time from injuries and not lived up to the fan expectations as a elite pass rusher compared to fellow 2009 draftee Clay Matthews.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I Learned This Week About The Redskins From Watching The Combine

(Because "Johnny Football's" shuttle and 40 time is why you'd draft him #1 overall. Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA Today)
If you read or have read my takes on The Combine from either here at IIWII or at Son of Washington, then you probably know that I don't think you get much from the television coverage of The Combine.

So this year, I took my own advice and didn't watch much of it. I kept track of some of the rumors and numbers that came out of the event and watched enough to see Jay Gruden in the stands, but overall I avoided the coverage.
(Hey Look...It's Coach Gruden at the Combine! Photo via Redskins).

That said, here's a few things I did learn from The Combine this week. The good news is that there are some tasty tidbits here dealing with draft position, draft needs and maybe where the Redskins are headed with the 34th pick in a few months.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How Much Is Kirk Cousins Really Worth?

(Will Redskin fans get the draft pick(s) they want for Cousins? Image Via.)

Ever since he was drafted at #102 overall (4th round) in 2012, there has been trade talk associated with Kirk Cousins. This has been obvious since many in the league think Cousins has starting potential (although that opinion varies between league insiders and even certain fans/bloggers like myself) Its been pretty clear that in Washington, Cousins is only the next man up to RGIII and that he'll never get the opportunity to lead the team barring injury/inactivation of Griffin.

So of course after a successful start in 2012 (to go along with three relief performances off the bench against Atlanta, Baltimore and Seattle), the "Trade Cousins" talk began during training camp and carried throughout 2013. It started hitting its peak during the final three games of the season when RGIII was de-activated and Cousins had his opportunity to start. Even Mike Shanahan threw out demands of wanting a first round pick for Cousins.

The off-season hasn't gotten any better. With the need for more depth and talent on the roster, fans have been dreaming of what the Redskins could get this year for Cousins. When Kyle Shanahan became the Browns' offensive coordinator, there were comments on Twitter from fans suggesting the Redskins getting the Browns late 1st round pick or players like Josh Gordon or Joe Haden (none of this likely to ever happen). That seemed to stop because GM Mike Lombardi is not a fan of Cousins and that the Browns are likely to draft a QB with the early 1st round pick.

However, with the firing of Lombardi, the chatter has started again about a possible trade with Cleveland or another team for Cousins. So the big question is what is Kirk Cousins worth after two seasons in the league? Today, we're going to look at Cousin's numbers and compare what he's done so far to that of other recent trades for backup QBs who would become starters in the league.

Is Cousins really that valuable or is this just fan/media driven hype?

Let's look at Cousins' stats before we look at some of the historical trades.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Who (Draft Prospects) Have The Redskins Been Talking To?

(Will the Redskins add Shaq Richardson to their roster? Photo: by Ron Medvescek and Kori Rumore via)
We're about two weeks out from the NFL's yearly event where draft prospects run around in their underwear (AKA: The Combine) and it will be at this time that the Redskins and 31 other teams will be able to work with, interview and meet (possibly to work out or interview at a later time) many of the prospects on their draft boards. While most of the player (and agents, can't forget about them) meetings take place then, teams are allowed to meet and talk to players during the two all-star weekends of the East/West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.

During their coverage of both games, keeps track of the players' meetings with various teams. Now, this may mean nothing and can be just rumor or a team doing due dilligence but it may give you an idea what type of player or what positions the Redskins are targeting to fill with 2014 draft picks.

Here is the list so far:

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Redskins Re-sign Two

(Robinson will have to show that he's more than the occasional big play to stay in DC. Photo: Johnathan Newton/WP)
This past week, the Redskins began free agency by starting extension negotiations with five current players (DeAngelo Hall, Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley, Chris Baker and Santana Moss) who's contracts will expire/void prior to or at the start of free agency. They also re-signed two Exclusive Rights Free Agents in Aldrick Robinson and Doug Worthington. More or less, this was a done deal from the get-go. ERFAs can only negotiate with the team that holds their rights. So unless the Redskins released either player, its either re-sign with the team or be out of the NFL.

Both deals are for 1 year.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday NFL/Redskins Round Up

(Will Riley rejoin the Redskins in 2014? Photo: Gene Puskar -  AP)
Thoughts on the Super Bowl......

Well, I hope you didn't make any bets off my prediction. That said, I don't feel bad with my final score because very few got it right (and even fewer predicted a Seattle blowout). When beat writers and other experts have similar predictions, then I think we all got a bit surprised.

To be honest, I quit watching after the Percy Harvin TD. It was pretty much over by then and Sherlock was about to come on MPT.

What the Redskins Should Learn From This Game......
Two Things:

1.  The Redskins need to radically improve upon their defense and special teams.
You see what made the Super Bowl for the Seahawks? They won on special teams and defense. By dominating with both units, they ate up Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Thus, the Redskins have a lot of work ahead of them.

2. Granted, the Seahawks have a few big named players that they acquired through free agency or trades, but the majority of their starters have come from the draft. Most importantly, the Seahawks have been able to find some gems in later rounds over the years.
The Redskins have done a better job drafting, holding onto and getting more picks over the past few years. The key now will be for the 'Skins to develop players like Aldrick Robinson, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis, Maurice Hurt, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, Keenan Robinson, Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield (just to name a few) and have them start to develop into key depth and starting caliber talent.

Redskins in Process of Re-signing Four.....

According to CSNWashington and The Washington Post,  the Redskins have begun discussions with four players (DeAngelo Hall, Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley and Chris Baker) in order to re-sign them prior to the start or free agency. This is really no surprise as Jim Haslett mentioned these for players while at the Senior Bowl as being top priorities to have return for 2014.

Hall makes sense as he can be used as both a corner and safety. Riley and Baker have shown potential to be long term starters although they still have a ways to go. The big question is whether Brian Orakpo is worth the estimated 11 million/year it'll probably cost the Redskins to keep him.

Cousins Trade?

Kyle Shanahan was hired by the Cleveland Browns to become their offensive coordinator which had led to a great deal of speculation on whether or not Kirk Cousins will be heading to Cleveland via trade. While this makes a modicum of sense since Shanahan is high on Cousins and Cleveland really doesn't have a starting QB, wouldn't the Browns be better off drafting a Manziel and signing Rex Grossman (who is a free agent) to help install the offense than trading for Cousins who is 1-3 and has thrown a INT in every game he's started?

My guess is that no matter what Cousins will be traded in the off-season. With the draft being this deep with nearly 100 underclassmen entering along with Seniors and Red Shirt Juniors, I can see the Redskins taking a 3rd round pick for him to get some high end talent and then signing a veteran QB to backup RGIII.

CBS Thursday Night Football

CBS and the NFL Network has announced that CBS is bringing football to Thursday night for 8 games in 2014. The games will be on both channels. Also, The NFL is bringing back Saturday football during week 16 with a double header.

Not sure if I like this or not. It really screws with my TV viewing.