Sunday, April 12, 2009

Redskins News and Notes 4/13/2009

Hopefully less news and more commentary this week......it's been more quiet on the Redskins front. Also, my post on Jason Campbell will be here in N&N instead of a separate article.

2009: The Year of Jason Campbell

In my opinion nothing really has changed that much post-Cutler saga than it was pre-Cutler saga. Campbell is in the final year of his contract (Ed Note: If there is no salary cap in 2010 Campbell will actually be a RFA b/c of being in the NFL less than 6 seasons) and he has something to prove. He's been an up and down quarterback who some would argue struggles to read coverages, can be slow on his release and has had to learn multiple systems in a matter of a couple of years ( a few that doesn't fit his skill set). Yet he has a cannon for an arm, is agile and can run away from defenders and make tough 1st downs with his feet. He also has shown that he can lead his team down the field and win games. So Campbell is at a crossroad. Is he the next franchise QB or is he the next Patrick Ramsey? I personally want him to succeed for the main reason of that I'm tired of seeing a QB carousel that has been going on for decades (Theisman is probably the Skins last franchise QB although you could argue Brad Johnson) and starting over means another year (more like years) of developing a guy and hoping he'll pan out. Also, I want to see Campbell succeed because I want Zorn to succeed. I like Zorn and what he's about and frankly I grow tired of Snyder's impatience with coaches. Seeing the Redskins rebuild every 2-3 years is incredibly annoying.

So what did we learn or is Campbell getting out of the Cutler saga?
1. Campbell now officially knows the front office and owner's opinion of him and where he stands with them right now.
He got to clear the air with them and now he can focus solely on football. Man, I wish I could have heard that conversation between Campbell, Zorn, Vinny and Snyder.

2. He knows where he stands with his coach.
Jim Zorn has never wavered in his support of Jason Campbell. Sure, that is somewhat expected but I think Zorn has made it clear that both of their jobs are on the line this season. They both need to succeed to be here in 2010 and that starts with Campbell's continued progress.

3. Campbell has earned the respect of some fans, the media and other NFL teams.
The way Jason Campbell has acted towards his situation just shows he's a high character guy. Many players (like Favre or Cutler) would have cried to the media about their bruised ego or demanded a trade. They would have sat out voluntary workouts as a protest. Campbell showed up and worked out and tried to improve himself.
Sure, Campbell's feelings were probably hurt; he also has mentioned that there's no loyalty in the NFL (very true but as a non-football player I say that about most companies in the modern world) and hinted (through a non comment basically) that he doesn't trust the front office (can't say I blame him).
I think he came off as the winner of all this and has gained some fan respect. The media may back off him early and other teams may keep an eye on him during the season as a potential free agent to study. However, it won't last long if he struggles like he did late last year.

4. More motivation to succeed.
Money and status and winning should be plenty of motivation but if the rumors are true, the reason the Redskins trade fell through was that Broncos coach Josh McDaniels didn't want Campbell on his team and went with Kyle Orton instead. Personally, I think McDaniels is way over his head and will be another head coach from the Darth Hoodie line that joins the failure club (Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weiss are already members). But, this may motivate Campbell. He might pull a "I'll show you for not wanting me" and light the Broncos up when the Skins play them later. Revenge is a great motivator.......it got me through college.

In the end it shouldn't all be on Campbell's shoulders. The O line needs to remain healthy (Draft Michael Oher or Andre Smith at #13 damn it!!!!) so does Portis. And the WRs need to step up.....but if the Redskins O remains anemic, people (especially the FO) will be focusing on Jason Campbell.
Speaking of WRs stepping up.....

Devin Thomas Has Chex Party Mix On His Shoulder

Thomas, the now 2nd year WR from Michigan St. has joined the realm of blogdom along with fellow players like Chris Cooley and Chris Horton (I plan on adding his blog to the blogroll as well when I have time). Of course, he starts out with a bang:
"I’ve got a party mix of chips on my shoulder."
Why you ask? Because he was drafted in the 2nd round by the Skins and not 11th overall by the Bills (as many had him projected):
"I wear number 11 on my jersey because I was 11 years old when I first knew that football was my thing, but also because 11th was where I thought I was going to go in the draft to Buffalo. There were very strong indications through the Bills and the media that I would go No. 11 to Buffalo and I had a real good feeling that was where I was going to go.

It didn’t happen and I stayed around into the 2nd round. Now I do what I’ve got to do to prove that I could have and should have been a 1st rounder."
You can read the whole blog for yourself but here is (hopefully) what we will expect to see this year:
"This season Redskins fans can expect a more reliable guy, more intense, a guy who’s going to be out there making plays because it’s my time to do that. This is the year I make the coaching staff have to use me."

I hope so. This is what I think of DT. The guy has the body shape similar to that of T.O. He has the speed and I think he has the skills. What set him back last season was that he wasn't in shape for camp, got injured and fell behind. Oh, and he's an extremely raw talent. I really didn't expect much from him last season but I think if the Redskins remain patient (something they are not good at doing) and get him to improve upon his route running he could be a star.
Welcome/Welcome Back...........
Kedric Golston, who signed his one year RFA tender. Golston will probably be more of a rotational player this season along with fellow DTs Anthony Montgomery and Lorenzo Alexander. However, Haynesworth tends to be a 12-14 games a season player and Griffin has suffered injuries the last few years usually missing a few games a season. Expect Golston to start a few games this year and used alot in rotation.

Robert Thomas, a former 1st rounder (2002, 31st overall) linebacker. He's been a journeyman for the most part and is mostly a special teamer but can play all three linebacker positions. The Skins expect him to possibly compete for the SOLB spot with HB Blades, Chris Wilson, Alfred Fincher and whomever else the Skins draft or bring in. Frankly, I see him as just a special teamer who is probably replacing Khary Campbell. So far I'm putting my money on either Fincher (who played well at SOLB in preseason) or Wilson. Unless the Skins draft a OLB, which is very possible.

Decisions, Decisions........
As the draft gets closer (just 12 days away) I still wonder what exactly are the Skins going to do at #13.
They really haven't brought in many players for personal workouts (I'm only aware of Mark Sanchez and Jarron Gilbert) and it's just hard to guess what the Skins will do. There have been a million different Mock Drafts going around and generally speaking it's widdled down to a few players: Michael Oher, Andre Smith, Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing, Tyson Jackson, Aaron Maybin and Robert Ayers.

Mel Kiper has the Skins taking Sanchez at #13 (although he admits Sanchez won't be there at #13) and even Pro Football Weekly has Brian Orakpo at #13 (if he's there it would be a great pick up, no way he'll be there in my opinion). The Skins have put together some mocks for who the Skins are taking at #13.

I'm still backing Michael Oher with Andre Smith and Robert Ayers as my choices at #13. I also wouldn't mind moving back either especially if Smith and Oher are gone. I am really starting to warm to Robert Ayers because with him, Carter, Haynesworth and Griffin the Skins defensive line would be pretty nice. However, I really believe that OT is the move because there will be many solid DEs available in the 3rd round (#80 overall) like a Sidbury, Kruger, Martin or Brown that could start or be rotational with Wynn and Daniels.

Either way, the Skins better address either the O line or D line at #13 (or whatever pick is their first if they trade back) or I will not be happy. The Skins need to address the trenches and haven't done so in a long while.

Are The Redskins Showing Their Hand (Larry Rant)?

Since I'm speaking of the draft I'm going to rant about Larry Michael. Nothing personal really but in this case I disagree with him on where the Skins should go at #13. He wants Rey Maualuga and obviously I want Michael Oher. What irritated me was when Larry was answering fan questions on Redskins Nation and said something about not taking a tackle at #13 b/c they wouldn't start and you want somebody to start immediately. Of course, Larry forgets that Maualuga is a ILB (matter of fact some had said he'd fit best as a 3-4 ILB) and would start as a SOLB if the Skins draft him. That's fine, Larry. I like Maualuga also but not at #13 and not with the Skins when we have problems on the O line. I'm also looking at the future of this team as well. If the Skins draft Oher.....he immediately starts at RT (I'm sorry, but he beats out Jansen and Heyer right now) and in a few years he becomes the Redskins LT. Either way the depth of this team is vastly improved.

Of course, this could be a smokescreen as Michael and Frank Hanrahan (ESPN 980's/Redskins Radio beat reporter) are both saying they think the Skins should take Maualuga at #13.
Who knows?
Knowing the Skins and the big splash Dan Snyder likes to make, they'll take Sanchez if he's there at #13.

Yay! The Schedule Comes Out Tomorrow
The Skins will know when and where they'll be playing after tomorrow night. NFL Network is releasing the schedule at 7PM EST in a two hour NFL Total Access special. It doesn't mean that much unless you plan on going to a game, I suppose. However, it's great for me as I can start trying to get days off so I can go to the home games (the earlier, the better).
Expect the Skins to open the new Cowboys stadium in week 2. Just a hunch.

Notable Vinny Quote of the Week:
"Chirp, Chirp" (The Sound of Crickets)
- No quotes this week, Vinny is locked away in the War Room getting ready for the draft.

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