Saturday, February 28, 2009

Literal Videos


I always loved watching music videos from the 80's. It was a newer form of media back then and not only did it give people a chance to hear new music, it gave the bands a chance to be creative in some of the craziest and campy ways (and I do love the camp and the B horror flicks).

But then somebody decided to make them even more funny by changing the lyrics to fit with what's going on in the video. Classic.



What I've Learned From Free Agency 2009 Day 1



(Your New Washington Redskins: Albert Haynesworth #92, DeAngelo Hall #23, Derrick Dockery #66)

1. When Vinny Cerrato addresses a need he doesn't just address it, he kicks the hell out of it Bruce Lee style. The Redskins not only addressed two glaring needs at OG and DT but they brought in the top tackle in the league and brought back a former Skin who is in his prime.

2. When it comes to the cap, never say the Redskins can't afford it. 2009 was the first year I doubted the Redskins could make two of the following three moves (namely Dockery and Haynesworth)....and I was wrong. I will never doubt it again.

3. Eric Schaffer (the Redskins cap genius) is the Front Office MVP. How the Redskins, a team that according to NFL.com's Adam Schefter was only $8.1 million under the cap at the beginning of free agency compete and sign Haynesworth against other teams with large cap room (like Tampa ($61 mill.), KC ($57 mill.) and Philly ($48 mill.) and then signing Dockery late today is amazing to say the least.

4. The Shawn Springs cut was no real surprise but IIWII wishes him well. With exception to the injuries, Springs played exceptional during his tenure a real shutdown corner in my opinion.

5. I know I'm critical of Vinny and Mr. Snyder (of course I've also been accused of being a blind homer) but I still respect the fact that Snyder is willing to pull the trigger and make the moves (ie. spend the money) to bring in top talent to DC. If you really want to be cynical, I guess you can argue that it helps sell premium seats and merchandise. It does (expect Hall jerseys to sell and a ton of Skins fans wearing #92 this season). But I really do believe that Dan Snyder is trying to field a winning team and he may be closer to that goal than we think. A little more patience and a draft to bring in more talented starting quality O and D linemen and the Skins could be right there.

6. By signing Haynesworth and tendering Golston and Montgomery, the Redskins may have turned one of the weaker areas (DT) into a well depth laden position. Now the Skins have: Haynesworth, Griffin, Golston, Montgomery and Alexander. 5 solid DTs. Now to address the future of the DE position......do the Skins look at a DE in the draft at some point?

7. Similar argument could be said about the Dockery signing. With Dockery, Randy Thomas (who may be demoted at some point b/c of age and injury) and Rinehart (who will need to prove he can be a starter- he should since both he and Dockery are former third round picks) the Skins have some depth at the Guard position. But center and (right)tackle positions could still use an upgrade.

8. I've warmed to the Haynesworth move over the day. Like you know by now, I wasn't for the move and I also felt that it was too much (even if the Skins were paying market value) for a team that has cap issues and an aging O-line. But, IF (BIG IF HERE) Haynesworth plays to the level he has for the past few seasons with the Titans.....he will radically make an already good defense even better. If he can help generate pressure and sacks (either by himself or by freeing up Griffin, Carter and Taylor) then it will help generate potential turnovers (Hall, Landry and Horton have good hands). Turnovers shortens the field and the Skins score more (hopefully).

Here's some footage of Big Al in action:


What really impressed me however was his introduction presser. Haynesworth addressed the "head stomping" issue and how he's grown from it. He addressed how he should be expected to be an impact player and cause disruption. Haynesworth did mention that if his numbers did drop then the numbers for other teammates should be much better (he's taking double and triple teams to give them opportunities to make plays) and he wants to be the best player on the field and eventually be looked at in the upper echelon of defensive linemen like Bruce Smith or Reggie White. So I'm sold by the move.

9. If I had to give a grade for free agency so far, it would be an A. The Skins re-signed Hall who the team considered to be the top priority before looking at UFAs. They then addressed both the D and O lines by adding young and proven veterans......of course if the Skins aren't successful on the field it won't matter. But right now, I think they were the right moves.

10. The Redskins are pretty much done in free agency (at least with notable players) for now. Time to start focusing on the draft and figuring if we stay at #13 and try to land Andre Smith or Michael Oher or Orakpo; or trade back and look at guys like Loadholt, Jackson, Robinson or one of the centers.

11. Good Job Vinny!!!!! I'll be critical when I don't get moves that the team makes but I will also give credit where credit is due. And this was a stellar job in getting these three under contract and with the Redskins for years to come and in the process making the team younger and deeper in talent.

(Vinny Cerrato: Hero of the Day- Most Redskins fans surprisingly happy for a change)

Friday, February 27, 2009

and now I present..........


SNYDERNOMICS

(In honor of Free Agency and the Haynesworth deal I dug this up from the vault)
That phrase has been used a few times on numerous other blogs, opinion pieces and message boards but rarely has anybody defined Snydernomics and how it affects you, your team, the universe etc. I double checked Wikipedia just to make sure nobody had a definition and since I couldn't find one well let me try to define the term. I mean isn't that what IIWII is about anyway.....overused catch phrases?


Snydernomics (Sni-Der'Nom-Iks): A combination of the businessman/owner of the Washington Redskins (Daniel Snyder) and economics. A controversial method of making revenue through spending and then raising prices for consumers. Usually used as a derogatory phrase for owners of professional team sports that is attempting to win via "buying a team" or selling tickets/merchandise for high prices/high profit. Similar terms: Yankeenomics, Cowboynomics.

Definitions:
1. To find ways to create revenue for a franchise that already is highly profitable and has a great deal of fans/consumers willing to buy said product.
Examples: Expanding stadium with more seats, creating obstructed view seats, the infamous $8-$9 dollar beer.
(I will touch on this aspect more later, I'm more interested in point #2 for this post)

2. To acquire the most sought after talent or talent that has been considered "superstar" quality but is past their prime. Usually, this involves over spending (via salary/bonus and draft picks or both) and at times bidding against oneself and raising the price even more for a player that nobody else wants (or is willing to spend that much).
Examples (oh boy, are there plenty):

The Super Powers (aka The Waaay too Over the Hill Gang, The All- Madden Team Fail): To better a successful 1999 NFCE winning team, the Redskins try to buy a championship by bringing in expensive free agents like Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Mark Carrier and Jeff George (left). The Skins finish 8-8 (3rd in the NFCE) and with the exception of Smith, none of these players make an impact and are gone within two seasons. Smith stays long enough to break the all time sack record and looking generally average in the process. I guess the only good thing that came out of it was the firing of Norv Turner, but then we eventually hire this guy instead.....


The 'Ol (goof) Ball Coach: Spurrier at the time was the hot college coach (like Pete Caroll of USC is now) that alot of people thought would be a great NFL coach brining his Fun and Gun system to a NFL that wants to score a million points a game. The problem: Spurrier was more dedicated to his golf game than he was winning with the Redskins. Can't really blame him I suppose, as the Redskins drove a truckload of money to his house ($5 million a year) to test a scheme. Who need adjustments? Patrick Ramsey becomes a punching bag......oh well Danny Wuerffel will save the day. And practice, if it's raining we'll just skip it I mean we don't want to get our hair wet or anything. 12-20 in two years with Spurrier.

Clinton Portis: In Denver, CP had back to back 1,500 yard seasons and was averaging 5.5 yds/carry and he wanted a new contract. Enter the Redskins. We had a disgruntled Champ Bailey who wanted a new contract (and a new team) and so we trade. But not so fast, we give up a former 1st rounder and the "best" shutdown corner in the league (I'm sorry but if Amani Toomer owns you you're not a shutdown corner in my opinion) for a former 2nd rounder that at the time was being credited for being a system back (he's not by the way and here is CP's take on being a "system back" [go to the question from goskins]- BTW goskins was my original handle at ExtremeSkins) and a additional 2nd round draft pick for CP. Plus, we give Portis a new contract and make him one of the highest paid players on the team. Now unlike the other examples, Portis has been incredibly productive during his tenure as a Redskin. He is also one of my current favorite Redskins but again does fall under the principles of Snydernomics.


Brandon Lloyd and Adam Archuleta (aka Super Fail Bros., Just when you thought we learned enter 2006): The Redskins needed somebody to be opposite of Santana Moss so they looked into Lloyd who was known for making amazing one-handed catches and was fast. Luckily the Skins had already used their 1st rounder of 2006 (traded in 2005 to get Jason Campbell) but traded a 3rd in 2006 and a 4th in 2007 to acquire Lloyd. Then they tore up his contract and paid him top dollar (6 years- $30 million with $12 guaranteed) to only catch 25 balls in two years with no TDs. Sadly, he actually caught one more pass in his year with the Bears in 2008 and will cost the Redskins $5.3 million in 2009 in Dead-Cap money. Archuleta, replaced Ryan Clark (who the Skins decided they didn't need or were willing to pay a reasonable and affordable salary) and gained at the time the highest salary ever paid to a safety (about 6 years/$30+ million). By mid-season he was the highest paid Special Teamer in NFL history as he was demoted to teams. Basically, Archuelta had become a guy who couldn't cover anybody (just like Roy Williams in Dallas) and he could occasionally make a hit.

So, Have the Redskins Learned Anything?

I'm not really sure. I thought in 2005 they had learned the lesson that Snydernomics isn't really prudent. That year the Skins stuck to the draft (even going after Jason Campbell by making a trade with Denver) and spent little on the Free Agent market (Casey Rabach). But then came 2006 and the radical spending of money for three players (Lloyd, Archuleta and Randle-El) that really have been disappointing. 2007 we added London Fletcher but much like Portis is still putting up quality numbers and is providing leadership.
I was hoping that in 2008 when we finally promoted Vinny as our officially unofficial GM in charge things would change since it was now his neck on the line.

(I drafted 10 players in 2008 Deadman. What more do you want?)

This is true, but of course we made some trades again. Now, I personally don't have an issue with the Erasmus James trade. We didn't give him a new contract and it only cost us a 7th rounder for a player that at one time was a 1st round talent. The Jason Taylor trade was a desperation move and if we just needed a pass rushing DE to make us a serious contender, then you can't fault a team for making the move. However, for the Skins to make such a move with a struggling offense an old O and D line and a rookie head coach makes it a bad move- especially based on the salary and performance by Taylor.
Also, the rumored/supposed "trade" of 2 1st rounders for Chad Johnson/Ocho-Cinco is a scary, scary thought and I hope it was more BS and/or a favor to Drew Rosenhaus (to get his client more media attention and make the Bengals look stupid) than a serious offer.

What Scares Me The Most?

I've read a few comments/posts/blogs by other Skins fans wanting Zorn's head on a pike and that we should go at all cost after Bill Cowher. Same with backing up the money truck to Albert Haynesworth's house and signing him b/c one DT will make us a champion. I'm sorry, but I think some of you are buying into Snydernomics. You like the big name, the splashy move, the media headlines. And yes, it is nice to hear about the Skins on a regular basis, especially when we're in the off-season and we're desperate for a Redskins fix.
Cowher won't work b/c he'll want full control of a team, that doesn't want to give full control to a head coach. So in the end we'll have another repeat of the 8-8 Marty year and Cowher will collect a nice $10 million paycheck.....and the Redskins will still be mediocre.

Haynesworth (or Suggs for that matter) would be nice additions but again will be the top FA prospect out there looking to score major dollars (note: even if the Skins aren't interested, expect our name to be thrown in the mix to raise the price- this is now a common agent tactic with the media). If we sign him, where's the depth? Montgomery, Golston will be free agents and I think Griffin will be a cap-casualty. So that leaves Haynesworth and Alexander and little money to sign depth at the position. Plus, how does that help our struggling offense?

So that's Snydernomics.....watch out for it and don't buy into it. Maybe one day the front office will learn and Snydernomics won't even exist.

I haven't learned anything, neither have the Redskins.

If you haven't heard yet, the Redskins have signed Albert Haynesworth. Which, shows I clearly have no clue what the Redskins are doing. The Skins re-signed DeAngelo Hall as well (which I did predict). Did the Skins overpay (again)? You bet.

If you thought we had learned anything by drafting and developing players or going off of real character guys (like I had thought we had, D'Oh!!!!! smacks head) you thought wrong!!!!!!

( Gotcha, Suckers!!!!!)

Sounds like classic Snydernomics to me. So the Redskins have again won one of the most meaningless awards in a NFL season.....the offseason.
Now it's on the onus for the Redskins to win and win big (ie. deep into the playoffs and win the NFCE). Lose and fail to make the playoffs and the Skins will keep the reputation of big spenders who don't have a clue for years to come.

I hope they can win. I hope that we can have the best defense in the league and this season won't be a cluster**** like it has been in past years when the Skins have brought in overpriced free agents and things can be a mess. Haynesworth has said he's out to prove the naysayers wrong and I hope he will so you Redskins fans can buy the Haynesworth jerseys and wear them with pride. Me, I'm sticking I'm staying oldschool and going with a guy who regularly dominated while he was a Skin (just picked up a white EQT jersey of Dexter's something I've wanted for a while now without paying Authentic style prices).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

What do you the viewers at home think?

Ray Lewis has a tough decision to make in the next few days: Re-sign with the Ravens or look elsewhere to another team (possibly the Jets or the Cowboys) for the bigger, better deal.
There are pros and cons on each possible choice and IIWII decided to look into what is Ray's best move.

If He Stays:
Ray Lewis is worshipped as a Baltimorian God. I was talking to a Ravens fan today and he and I both agreed that if there was a sports Mt. Rushmore for Baltimore it would probably have Cal Ripken Jr., Johnny Unitas, Ray Lewis and Brooks Robinson (we debated Brooks, or Michael Phelps etc.). Hell, Lewis could probably run for Mayor of Baltimore and probably win (he's had much less indictments than current Mayor Sheila Dixon). Lewis will have many years of being able to do endorsements for local car companies and anybody else (including Maryland based Under Armour) which will make up for the less up front monies that he wouldn't get if he stays. He'll have his tearful farewell (much like Ripken had) and will still be the locker room leader.


If He Goes:
He will make the big, big bucks. His jersey sales will probably jump (like Owens did in Dallas or Favre's did when he joined the Jets) and he will get a ton of media buzz and attention. But, will Lewis still be able to have his "entrance"? Will Lewis be allowed to run the locker room and will his new teammates respect his leadership or just ignore him. If he struggles he will be thrown under the bus by the same media that adored him earlier.

I think his best bet is to retire as a Raven........we'll know soon enough.

12:01: guess who's coming to DC?

Of course you know at 12:01 Free Agency will start and of course the Redskins are lined to each and every player out there.

Here's some of the bigger suggestions and my take on if we bring them in:

Albert Haynesworth- Adam Schefter is reporting that the Redskins are currently $8.1 million under the $127 million cap (I do not know if that includes Daniels' 2+ million cap number which will be voided at the start of free agency) so again, there is no way to pay for a player expecting around $15 million a year to come to DC(Tampa could afford him easily however).
My guess: Not happening.

DeAngelo Hall- The Redskins have less than two hours to get him re-signed before Free Agency. They still might......but I think he tests the market. We know Atlanta and Oakland aren't interested. Hall is very high risk for many teams and with exception to the Skins, he hasn't fared well with NFL teams. He will either sign a crazy deal with another team or after a few days/weeks will probably take the reasonable deal with Washington.
My guess: He'll be back in B&G eventually

Chris Canty- In theory seems to be a good idea. Bigger DE that fits the Redskins scheme of run control with some minimal pass rush skills. This would allow Jason Taylor (and possibly Andre Carter as well) to play the Strong LB position (vacated by Marcus Washington) and be more free to pass rush. Really depends on whether or not they re-sign Evans.
My guess: Maybe. Depends on the offer.

Jason Brown- Has what the Redskins need, can play Guard and has been a strong Center. But I don't see him as the guy primarily b/c he would be a Center a despite mixed reviews by fans about Casey Rabach (also a former Raven) he seems to be given pretty positive reviews by his coaches. Plus, Brown is expecting top dollar (something he's angry that the Raven's wouldn't give him) which another team can afford to give him. Washington shouldn't because the can't afford him.
My guess: Not Happening (although expect the Skins to make a call).

Derrick Dockery- Now this was a surprise move and potentially a great move for the Skins. Similar to Fred Smoot, Dockery took a big free agent deal with Buffalo (smart move by the big man BTW) which paid him about $18 million in two years before being cut. Much like Smoot, Dockery is still close to many Skins in DC and might be willing to come back to his old stomping grounds. The Skins would love to have him back for a reasonable price.
My guess: Get Redskins One ready, a former Skin is coming home.

Ray Willis- Redskins Insider is reporting that the Skins may opt to target Willis' who has played mostly as a backup in Seattle. He's young and affordable and Zorn and Mitchell were coaches there when he played.
My guess: If the Skins feel that he could start and fits the scheme he'll be here (this does make you wonder about the futures of Stephon Heyer and Jon Jansen however if the move is made).

Salary Cap now at $127 million, Is Haynesworth possible?

Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that the salary cap for 2009 is now $127 million. 4 million higher than the estimated $123 million. With the Redskins clearing out another 5 million by restructuring Griffin and Samuels, the Skins should have enough to go after some free agents and stay under the cap and keep Springs and Taylor.

Do they have enough to go after Haynesworth? I'm still convinced that the answer is no.
I think however the Skins will be active in free agency re-signing their players and still having enough room to go after a Chris Canty or a decent lineman or two.

Free agency starts in about 15 hours.........

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How They Draft: Rounds 4 and 5

Criteria: Player should be at least depth or a regular special teams player (thus usually on the active gameday roster, but not every game).

Round 4
1999- Nate Stimson (107)
Comment- Who?
Grade: Bust

2000- Michael Moore (129)
Comment- Started two games and played in 8 total in a three year career (rookie season only with Washington)
Grade: Bust

2001- Sage Rosenfels (109)
Comment- Didn't do much with the Redskins but has become a decent backup QB for the Dolphins and Texans. May become the starter for the Viking in 2009.
Grade: Boom

2005- Manuel White (120)
Comment- Injuries ended career.
Grade: Bust

2008- Justin Tryon (124)
Comment- Played some on STs last year.
Grade: Incomplete

So How Have They Done?

As you get later into the draft you expect a higher fail rate as the talent level begins to drop. So I'm not as surprised although I rather see a drop off in later rounds than the third or fourth.
Boom- 20%
Bust- 60%
Incomplete- 20%
Note: Of the rare O-line drafts, this is the first O-lineman of the first four rounds to get a bust grade. More argument for us drafting higher and more frequently for O-linemen.

Round 5

1999- Derek Smith (Tackle not the LB) (165)
Comment- Who?
Grade: Bust

2000- Quincy Sanders (155)
Comment- Who?
Grade: Bust

2001- Darnerien McCants (154)
Comment- Played in 41 games. Had 6 TDs in 2003. Decent Red Zone threat. Chose music career over football.
Grade: Boom

2002- Robert Royal (160)
Comment- Starter for most of his career (six seasons) with Washington and Buffalo.
Grade: Boom
2002- Andre Lott (159)
Comment- Played in 32 games as a backup corner and STer.
Grade: Boom

2004- Mark Wilson (151)
Comment- Played in two total games (started one) in only one season.
Grade: Bust

2005- Robert McCune (154)
Comment- Fan Mancrush never panned out (8 games in three seasons)
Grade: Bust

2006- Anthony Montgomery
Comment- Solid rotational player and occasional starter.
Grade: Boom

2007- Dallas Sartz
Comment- Cut
Grade: Bust

So How Have They Done?
Boom- 44.4%
Bust- 55.6%
Incomplete- 0%

Again, not too bad and two starters came out of this group. McCants is the first WR to actually get a Boom draft grade.

Where do the Skins Stand With The Cap?

By now, you've seen the report on PFT that there is a rumor that the Redskins will be signing Albert Haynesworth. Most Redskins fans by now know that every player that is a big name free agent (actually any free agent) is linked to the Redskins.

I don't like the move even if the Redskins could afford it, but I'm pretty sure that they can't. This would especially be true if the PFT rumor of $15-16 million/season is the case.

Let's crunch some numbers shall we:
I'm going by the unofficial numbers created by Warpath (see link on side of blog). So these numbers may not fully be accurate, but it should be close and it's more than I can get anywhere else.

I believe that they already adjusted for Randlel-El and Carter's restructures. This has the Skins just slightly above the $123 estimated cap number: $123,624,000.

Subtract Marcus Washington's savings ($4.5 million)= $119,124,000

Subtract Phillip Daniel's deal- now voided ($2.293 million)= $116,831,000

Chris Samuels has just restructured his deal per The Post so let's just hypothetically say the Skins shaved $3 million (I'm guessing it will be less) =$113, 831,000

Now granted the Skins could still cut some players like Springs, Taylor and Griffin.
However, the Skins won't (shouldn't IMO) cut Springs if Hall hasn't been resigned. It has been reported by The Post and Yahoo that Jason Taylor will be back in 2009. That leaves Griffin who would save about $3.5 million if cut.

So let's hypothetically take that off the cap = $110,331,000
So can the Skins afford a player with a $15 million/year salary (add) = $125,331,000.
Answer: NO
Plus, the Skins would still need money to re-sign DeAngelo Hall, other players like Pete Kendall any free agents that they might be targeting (like a DE or a OLB) and have room for their rookie draft pool.

So barring something crazy, I find it highly unlikely that this is going to happen. Why aren't other folks out there crunching numbers to make the same conclusion?

How They Draft: Rounds 2 and 3

Criteria: Player should be either a starter or a backup that has significant playing time (exception: #2 QB). If not a starter (rookie or vet at end of career) should be able to start and is developing into that role. More leeway will be given to round three players.

Round 2

1999- Jon Jansen (37)
Comment- Longest tenured Redskin solid career starting right tackle
Grade: Boom

2001- Fred Smoot (45)
Comment- Has been a #2 corner during most of his career. Is now the Redskins nickle corner. Still sees a large portion of playing time.
Grade: Boom

2002- Ladell Betts (56)
Comment- #2 RB to the Skins. Had 1,000yd. season in 2006. Injuries have slowed career. Some argue not used enough in current scheme and is ineffective with minimal carries.
Grade: Boom

2003- Taylor Jacobs (44)
Comment- Injures hindered his first season. Known to be excellent at practice. Never saw it in games.
Grade: Bust

2006- Roger "Rocky" McIntosh (35)
Comment- solid starter, came back after major injury in 2007 to be the #2 player in tackles for the Skins in 2008.
Grade: Boom

2008- Devin Thomas (34)
Comment- Raw player who struggled with penalties and scheme in 2008. Shined at times
Grade: Incomplete
2008- Fred Davis (48)
Comment- Rarely saw the field in 2008; hard to bench Cooley for a rookie.
Grade: Incomplete
2008- Malcolm Kelly (51)
Comment- Injuries kept him off the field
Grade: Incomplete

So How Have They Done?
Again not too bad:
Boom- 50%
Bust- 12.5%
Incomplete- 37.5%

Most of this will depend on how the 2008 draftees pan out but of the players you can give real grades to 4 out of 5 (80%) is what you can hope for when drafting.

Round Three

2000- Lloyd Harrison (64)
Comment- started only one game in his three year career. Played only rookie season with Skins.
Grade: Bust

2002- Cliff Russell (87)
Comment- primarily just a special teamer, limited WR career.
Grade: Bust
2002- Rashad Bauman (79)
Comment- backup corner and special teamer.
Grade: Bust

2003- Derrick Dockery (81)
Comment- developed into a good starting guard. Was one of the highest ranked (and paid) FAs a few years ago
Grade: Boom

2004- Chris Cooley (81)
Comment- Multiple Pro Bowler and led the Skins in receptions the past few years.
Grade: Boom

2008- Chad Rinehart (96)
Comment- Never saw the field in 2008.
Grade: Incomplete

So How Have They Done?

Not so good but not many picks either (6)
Boom- 33.3%
Bust- 50%
Incomplete- 16.7%

Now you may be able to argue that Russell (still in the league BTW) and maybe Bauman or Harrison could be considered Booms b/c they played a few years and Russell has been successful (at least somewhat) as a kick returner. But to me 2nd and 3rd rounders should eventually be starters/significant backups and not just special team players.

Are we in a Comic Book Movie Renaissance?

About 23 years ago the comic world was altered through the release of two mini-series Moore and Gibbons' Watchmen and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Both books told darker stories where there was more gray in the world than the good vs. evil you normally see in comics. Plus, graphic scenes of sex and violence made sure that these books were not comic code (not used much anymore) friendly. Plus, they were well written and by many would be considered literature and not a funnybook with people in goofy costumes running around (still a stereotype to the non-comic fan, just ask my dad). It led the way to the creation of DC's Vertigo line (and Marvel's MAX line) and the creation of other books like Preacher and The Sandman and led the way for the rise of anti-heroes (heroes that walked a fine line between hero and villain, thus more realistic).

In just a few weeks Watchmen will be released on the big screen and along with 2008's The Dark Knight (no similarity to The Dark Knight Returns) could again radically change how comic book movies are viewed. Dark Knight has already won critical acclaim by many and just took the best supporting actor Oscar (Heath Ledger as the Joker). The movie has grossed over a billion dollars worldwide and fans are clamoring for a third film in the Chris Nolan Batman universe (with daily rumors on who will be in a third film that Nolan himself has yet to agree to film).

What made the film successful was not the big stars (although there were some) but the well written script by the Nolan brothers (Chris and Jon) and David Goyer that stayed true to the characters and were willing to make the Joker a scary character. Major characters (from the last film) die a hero becomes a villain and our two major characters fight for the soul of Gotham in a battle that involves thinking moreso than punching (a philosophical debate on humanity whether it is inherently good or evil). Add Nolan's directing style and talented acting and you have a masterpiece and not just a summer popcorn blockbuster.

Watchmen is going into theaters with a R rating. Director Zac Snyder wanted to be true to original material and didn't want to pull any punches with this film. If he can pull it off, not only will he have a great film on his hands but he'll do something that nobody though could be done with Watchmen. Making a great movie without losing the source material and it's premise. Oh, and no sequel (if Watchmen is done correctly there will be no sequels)

If Watchmen can pull this off along with the success of Dark Knight maybe Hollywood will take notice and execs. will stop trying to muck with the original concepts. Maybe us comic geeks can get the movies we want to see but also it will draw in the mainstream movie goer as well. Darker, smarter comic related films that doesn't use the same premise that we've seen in so many comic films (Hero has something happen to him, becomes hero, introduce villain usually from hero's past, hero messes up or gets beaten by villain, hero bounces back, fights villain again in big finale, set-up for sequel, cue credits). We may be in a comic book movie renaissance.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars: Who Cares?

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Do you really care? I sure don't. I haven't seen any of these movies up for the big award. Apparently neither have most of you. Hardly any of these films have made any real money (ie. people saw said film) and even The Curious Case on Benjamin Button hasn't made it's production budget back yet.

The only movie that made serious dough (ie. people actually saw said film and liked it) and was considered Oscar worthy The Dark Knight has been almost completely snubbed. I guess Warner Bros., Chris Nolan and DC Comics can take solace that the film has made $1 billion dollars worldwide (cue Dr. Evil!!!).

Oh and Heath Ledger will win Best Supporting Actor. Count on it. It's the only reason people will be watching......'cause it's the only movie that people have seen.
Right, Slumdog Millionare.....Please.

No Clint Eastwood, no The Wrestler and no The Dark Knight = really boring crappy Oscars if you ask me.

How They Draft: Round 1

There has been an general consensus by many Redskin fans that the Redskins need to keep their focus on the draft and pay much less attention to free agents (or at least the high priced variety of free agent). So obviously this begs the question: How good are the Redskins at actually drafting NFL players? and Is it really worth it to the Redskins to keep draft picks (or trade them for other players)?

So being that I'm bored with the combine I decided to look at the Snyder tenure of drafts from 1999 to 2008* and determine how well the Redskins draft NFL players.
* Note: 2001 was a Marty Schottenheimer led draft but it will also be counted in the mix.

Rules:
Each round will be broken down into three categories: Boom, Bust and Incomplete.
Boom- Player meets criteria in said round to be considered a successful draft pick.
Bust- Player fails to meet criteria in said round to be considered a successful draft pick.
Incomplete- Not enough data or years in league to determine if a Boom or Bust player.

Criteria to be successful in said round obviously varies (ie. you don't have the same expectations for a round 1 draftee vs. a round 7 draftee) and will be mentioned in each post before the breakdown.
Draft information found on http://www.pro-football-reference.com/

Round 1
Criteria: Players should be starters, play most of the snaps at their position and are significant impact players (team is not as good when player is not out on the field).

1999- Champ Bailey (7)
Comment- Considered one of the top corners in the league for almost the last decade.
Grade: Boom

2000- LaVar Arrington (2)
Comment- Rare highlight in many mediocre Redskin seasons. Made many ESPN highlight reels. Never lived up to the hype as being the next Lawrence Taylor (injury, coaching turnover and attitude played roles in this) but was a three time pro bowler and a impact player.
Grade: Boom
2000- Chris Samuels (3)
Comment- Has been the strength of the Redskins O-line ever since drafted. A six time pro bowler who has missed very few games.
Grade: Boom

2001- Rod Gardner (15)
Comment- Had a promising 2001 and 2002 that led to inconsistency and eventually an exit in the NFL. Had problems holding onto catches (easy and tough). Earned the nickname 50/50.
Grade: Bust

2002- Patrick Ramsey (32)
Comment- Powerful arm that struggled reading the entire field and held onto the ball too long. Has become a career backup journeyman.
Grade: Bust

2004- Sean Taylor (5)
Comment- Prototypical size and speed that hit like a Mack truck. Developed into a real ballhawk. Tragically died protecting his family from burglars. Two time pro bowler.
Grade: Boom

2005- Carlos Rogers (9)
Comment- Slowly developing into one of the better corners in the league. Only the lack of INTs has him not being mentioned with the more elite corners in the league.
Grade: Boom
2005- Jason Campbell (25)
Comment- Has shown moments of greatness and moments of inconsistency. 2009 will determine where Jason Campbell stands and whether or not he'll be with the Redskins in 2010 and beyond.
Grade: Incomplete

2007- LaRon Landry (6)
Comment- Started all 32 games in 2 seasons. Plays center field eliminating deep passes. Similar skill set to that of Sean Taylor.
Grade: Boom

So How Have the Redskins Done?
In the 1st round not bad.
In 10 seasons the Redskins have drafted nine 1st round picks.
Boom- 67%
Bust - 22%
Incomplete - 11%

And the numbers will change depending on what Campbell does this year. The success rate could be as high as 78%. The Redskins tend to do well with their first round picks. It will be interesting to see what they've done with the other rounds.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Combine Updates

I am still behind in watching the combine (about a day, I'm about to start watching Friday's coverage) but here is some early news.

- Watched brief interviews of Baylor's Jason Smith and Alabama's Andre Smith. Jason Smith seemed like he had no problem talking to the media and was very charismatic. Andre Smith on the other hand didn't seem ready for the questions. He tried to dodge the media questions of why he was suspended and missed the Sugar Bowl (his response was "bad decisions)........

......add to this, he skipped the combine!!! A. Smith is out of shape (per Pro Football Talk) and then he left early making combine officials search for the missing player. This may drop him out of the top ten and even further as character is a big issue when you're paying a draftee so much money when they haven't even taken a snap.

- Michael Crabtree has a stress fracture and will not be able to work out at the combine. I'm still guessing he'll either go #2 overall to the Rams or #4 overall to the Seahawks.

- Finished watching the OL/TE workouts (since I hope the Skins have no intention of drafting a TE, I skipped most of the TE workouts). After watching the combine drills it looks like there are two top OTs in Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. Michael Oher still looked good in certain drills but struggled in others. I still think Andre Smith will be drafted high IF he does well in his Pro Day workouts, but he may fall some. Nor do I think he'll be the first OT taken off the board (some Mocks had him going #2 overall).

- Brian Orakpo has met with the Redskins and discussed the possiblity of him playing SLB in at least 3rd down passing situations. Orakpo seems to be a real upbeat guy in his interviw and mentioned he'd love to rush the QB every down if he could. Also, he's real versatile and would play any position. Also, Rob Rang of NFLdraftscout.com considers him the best run stopper of the pass rushers coming out. Maybe I'm warming up to this pick after all (if he's there and if it happens).

Keep checking back as I'll continue updates as I watch more.

Farewell, Marcus

(Thanks for the Memories)

Today, the Redskins announced the release of outside linebacker Marcus Washington. While the move was not a surprise to many (myself included), it's still a sad move because Washington is popular amongst Redskin fans and his teammates. Washington joined the Redskins as a free agent in 2004 (along with many other talented free agents in Joe Gibbs' second stint at coaching the Redskins). In that year Washington made the pro bowl (his first and only appearance) and had a career high 107 tackles (87 solo). During his tenure the Redskins went to the playoffs twice (2005, 2007) and with the exception of 2006, the Redskins defense ranked in the top ten each season.




Sadly, injuries limited Washington after the 2005 season and he struggled while playing hurt. His numbers began to decline and Washington had to miss games. With Washington having an injury history and a large cap number, he became a cap casualty in 2009.

Washington is known for his high-energy and his famous jump whenever a big play is made. I personally think he'll be picked up by another team and be able to be either a 3rd down rusher or a quality depth player who can start occasionally (much like Randall Godfrey did in 2007 for the Skins as a backup). Either way, he'll be missed.

Here are some links from Torresa.com that are tribute videos for Marcus made by Redskins fans.
http://redskins.torresa.com/videos/washington1.html
http://redskins.torresa.com/videos/washington2.html

Friday, February 20, 2009

What's Coming Up This Weekend on IIWII

- A tribute to Marcus Washington

- Some analysis of the Redskins current free agents and the Skins current cap situation

- Combine, Combine, Combine!!!!!

I am currently two days behind on covering the combine. I have a bunch of NFL Total Access to watch and all of yesterday's and today's footage.

Maybe some comic news and other stuff.......

Since it's Friday Night, here a tribute to the old NBC program Friday Night Videos





Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vinny Speaks, Redskins Fans Are Bitter, Other Combine Stuff

(Antonelli!!!!)
Vinny made the tour of football related shows the last few days as he was featured on both Redskins Nation (Wednesday- taped the week prior) and made an appearance on NFL Total Access (Tuesday). Here's the highlights:

Redskins Nation
- Vinny discussed with Larry Michael about making tough decisions with veteran players and how it is difficult to let players go even though they are great guys and leaders. (Ed: I think this is a critical issue coming up now and next year for the Redskins as the Skins have good guys who are leaders on the field but are old and have lost steps; Wait and See how that works out.)
- Vinny then broke down parts of the combine and how it works:
1) Players are only there for about three total days with the workouts being on the final day.
2) Teams usually brings about 40+ staff members to the combine including trainers, team doctors, psychiatrists, coaches, scouts and GMs.
3) Position coaches are also there about three days (same time as their positional prospects are there).
4) The teams get a chance to interview the draft prospects in the evening back at the hotel.
- Vinny looks for "functional speed and power", which basically means that you're looking for players who are fast and strong on the field not just when they're in shorts or bench pressing weights (Cerrato mentioned how guys like Chris Horton and Jerry Rice aren't the fastest players when it comes to 40 yard dash time, but are very fast on the field).
- Vinny also looks for speed and power that fits the team's schemes and not just fastest/strongest guys. He mentions that b/c the Skins run more man coverage (vs. Tampa 2 zone or other schemes) that the Skins look for certain skill sets and speeds in their corners compared to the skill sets of another team (say Tampa for example).
- Vinny also noted that the combine results haven't led to the Skins drafting anybody (although noted Devin Thomas ran a good forty at last years combine).

Comment: Vinny is comfortable talking to Larry Michael. I've noticed that when Vinny is comfortable talking (whether on his Radio show or Redskins Nation or Redskins Pre-game segments on radio) he really seems to know how the GM game works and what a FO is supposed to do in evaluating talent and finding the right players for the team. I can see why he was hired as an analyst by ESPN in 2001 (when he was fired from the Skins). But when he's not comfortable you get what you get on the other show............

NFL Total Access
-On the overall use of the combine in drafting a player: it's a small piece of the overall puzzle, where game tape is much more a larger piece (compared Fred Davis' poor combine with his game tape that lead to his drafting).
- Importance of drills: they "look at every drill" evaluate live and then study the combine tapes which has better breakdowns at once.
-Players Skipping drills: doesn't bother Vinny much. He knows how important that one forty can be in the combine and understands why players would rather only run it if 100% or if they are comfortable.
-The Skins use the combine to watch players and see how they interact during drills with other players. Are they leaders? (Again the Redskins emphasizing character as a key component).
-End of interview:
Interviewer: "Thanks for sharing your views with us."
Vinny: "Alright Derrin, looking forward to it."

Comment: Not really much learned in this segment. Vinny shares little about what the Redskins are doing (I'm not surprised although I expect most wanted plans revealed- It's not happening BTW) and just talks in general what teams look at during the combine. Nice to know that the Skins are still following Gibbs' lead in focusing on character players. I'm not sure when or where the Vinny segment took place (Was it live? Not sure. I skipped most of Total Access to watch the interview) but it looked like it was at Redskins Park. Vinny looked like he just woke up or finished a workout or something (see above picture). Vinny also looks like he has a cold or sinus problems in this interview......you could hear a snorting sound everytime he took a breath. His final comment meant that he was looking forward to the combine, but many will jokingly take it as Vinny looking forward to his views (since the interview is over he must have none). Not the most glowing interview for Vinny.

Which brings me to the fans. It always amazes me how bitter Redskin fans have gotten over the years. The pure, unbridled hatred of Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato is really surprising even after making the playoffs twice during Gibbs' second tenure. It's almost like some Redskins fans want the team to lose just to rub it in everybody's face. "See I told you they don't know what they're doing. They suck." I watch football because I enjoy the game. I watch the Redskins because when they do actually win it's a great feeling. If you don't get any joy out of this maybe you should take a break from it. I actually did during a decent portion of Norv Turner's tenure.

More News:
Expect some news from the combine on whether the Skins re-sign DeAngelo Hall or Demetric Evans. The Skins plan on trying to re-sign these two players then (From Redskin Insider).

Meanwhile Evans wants to come back to the Redskins but he wants to be a starter (and paid so as well), which I'm not sure the Skins wnat to do this (From Washington Times)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Advice For Those Who Plan on Watching the Combine

This week (technically the 18th-24th) starts the NFL Combine. The annual job fair for college players looking to be drafted by any of the 32 teams. Instead of resumes, players participate in a bunch of drills, interviews, IQ tests and are measured, poked and prodded so teams can determine who's the best of the best and who are potential busts. Do you really learn a lot at the combine? Some people think so. Having a good or bad combine performance can radically elevate or drop your draft status (along with Senior Bowl performance, Pro Day workouts and of course actual game footage). However, the combine also has made really good "workout warriors" go high in the draft and become complete busts when they actually go on the field and have to take hits from 300 pounders. Remember, drafting NFL talent is an art and not a science. There is no master formula that says if Player A can run the 40 in X seconds, is this tall and this heavy he'll be the next Walter Payton or Joe Montana.
But this week is great for the football fan (especially those fans who's teams didn't make the playoffs) since something NFL related is actually happening and usually other things (like FA discussions and player re-signings) take place as well. But I would like to warn you if this is your first time watching the combine.......

It Is Incredibly Boring.

This will be my third year actively watching the combine and while I'll probably watch a large portion of it live when I'm home (to provide you 10-12 readers of IIWII with breaking news and commentary), normally after I watch a few hours I start to wonder why I'm wasting my time. The Combine lacks the drama that you get from the draft (which I find at times more interesting than where the players wind up) and obviously you don't get any football action. So, it's slightly less entertaining than watching the Pro Bowl or a pre-season game not featuring your team (I'd say it's really about as entertaining as watching a baseball game in mid-May or watching NBA basketball now).

Plus, it's hard to watch the player(s) that you really hope your team will draft in the first round. The last two years I tried to focus on Branden Albert and Amobi Okoye and the way the combine is run you only see that player for a few seconds and then a bunch of guys you aren't focusing on. So unless you know what every college player looks like without the helmet while they're running......it's hard to tell who's who.

But if you still plan on watching, here's some tips on maximizing your combine experience without being bored to tears and spending 10 hours on the couch:

1. DVR, TiVO, or set your VCR and record the combine- Unless you feel like you have to watch it live. DON'T. By doing this you cut out commercials (You'll thank me for this. NFL Network only shows about 2-3 commercials a day and after awhile they will drive you crazy. One year it was Snickers' Happy Peanut Song:


I like this commercial, but after seeing it 1,000 times in a day you'll be begging for a quick death.) and stuff you really could care less about ( I will probably skip the QB interviews and such because I could care less about where Stafford and Sanchez wind up- they won't be in Dallas, NY or Philly and the Redskins better not draft either WE NEED O and D LINEMEN!!!!).

2. Listen to Mike Mayock and ignore the other commentators (for the most part). I like Mayock because when it comes to player analysis he's thorough and he shows both positives and negatives on the player. He doesn't just show highlight reels.

3. Don't believe anything that GMs/Coaches/Owners say when interviewed. Nothing they say about prospects or players on the roster about to become free agents should be taken as truth. They all have their top, super-duper, triple dog dare, classified, ultra, secret plans in place and don't plan on sharing with the fans, media or any other teams. Remember, from now until UDFA rookies are signed (post-draft), everything is a bargaining chip.

4. Also, take everything the players say with a huge grain of salt. If the player has a good agent, they will speak in nothing but "Athlete Speak" (you know, being graceful praising everybody and talking about working hard) which is just as useless information as what the GMs/coaches are telling us. Again, they are trying to do everything to be drafted as high as possible (higher draft= bigger contract).

5. Don't expect much focus on day two draftees. Matter of fact don't expect a lot of focus on players that won't be first rounders. I'd expect to see a lot of coverage on Crabtree, Maclin, the four top OTs, Beanie Wells, Moreno, the top QB prospects and some of the top D prospects. Unless somebody really wows at the combine.

6. Watch the wrap-up shows or Total Access. You may be able to skip the combine coverage completely by watching the wrap-ups. But you might miss something that's important to you as well.

7. Don't believe the hype. I don't care how a draftee does at the combine if he doesn't look good on game tape or fits your team's scheme. Go and find some highlights. Figure if this player fits what your team needs. Don't base your mock off of how draftees perform at the combine.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Miss Dexter Manley



It's hard to find footage of Dexter but I found some on You Tube. If you didn't already know he's my favorite all-time Skin. Ironically, based on how I believe the game should be played you'd think Art Monk would be my favorite Skin (he's right up there however) but there was always something special when you watched a guy like Manley play. There was real passion and intensity when he was out there. The guy just loved to play the game and you just don't see enough of that from Pro athletes, which is why I really don't follow baseball anymore.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More video footage of Zac Atterberry

You probably have seen his 2nd NFL punt either here or on The Redskins Blog. Well, here is his 1st NFL punt (actually not bad IMO).


and some college video:



Not much info., but there you go.

Skins land a Snapper; Other Redskins news

Per Redskins.com
The Redskins have announced that Ethan Albright will be back with the Redskins as he signed another one year veteran minimum deal today. Good Long Snappers are hard to come by and the 2007 Pro Bowler and "worst ranked Madden player" is a player you usually can't miss and are always glad to have back in Burgundy and Gold.

Another Speedy Back Signed
The Skins also grabbed RB/KR Anthony Alridge off of waivers from Denver.
Alridge is a smaller speed back (5-9, 185lbs.) but may fill that "home run" speed back that the Skins have been looking for.
Alridge was signed as a undrafted rookie, IRed and then released. But it seems like the FO may have another diamond in the rough potential player here. Let's hope so.

The move isn't that suprising as the Skins add at least one RB to the team to allow Portis to keep the touches to a minimal in pre-season (and Betts to an extent as well). What is surprising is the type of backs being acquired. First the Skins signed Dorsey from the CFL (a speedster) and then Alridge (a speedster). This makes me think two things 1) the Skins want to bring in a few guys to be the 3rd down speed back and the best one gets the job. or 2) Maybe the Skins are changing the run scheme again. Moving away from the Gibbsian power run and slowly into a more zone scheme that would allow faster players (like Portis and these guys) an opportunity to cut back with less set up and pulling. Which also would be beneficial to the Skins if they drafted a OT like Jason Smith who many experts think would excel in a zone scheme.
Just throwing the theory out there.

My Take on Vinny's Hollywood Career

This has been discussed on message boards and other places for awhile now. Matter of fact some guy named Walking Deadman brought it up on ExtremeSkins almost two years ago on this thread, of course that thread didn't have pictures and scenes from a really bad (I mean MST3K or worse bad...."it's an insult to the word horrible, it stars no one.") movie. It's amazing how many people absolutely hate Vinny. I'm still giving him a chance (even though I wonder about some moves as well) since we're only in year two of Vinny Cerrato: Officially Unofficial GM.
Oh well, if the Skins continue to fail maybe Vinny can ask Mr. Snyder to get some acting lessons from Tom Cruise.
"Sure he can be in Valkyrie 2: Hitler Strikes Back"

Redskins Restructure Two: Cuts One

via Pro Football Talk, via The Washington Post

Here's the gist: The Skins restructured and extended the contracts of Antwaan Randle-El and Andre Carter. They're now signed through 2015 (which to me means they will probably end their careers in DC barring a release by the team). Basically, the Skins guaranteed money (via bonus) up front and lowered base salary thus lowering the cap hit now and spreading it out in future seasons.

This saved the Redskins about $4.4 million.
I'm not sure what I think about the move really. I'm not surprised by the restructuring because this is Redskins Front Office 101. Any Redskins fans surprised by this or that we're over and find ways to get back under hasn't been following the Skins the last few years.

As for the players, I think Carter is kind of an up and down player. In 2007 he had a great season sack-wise and did a better job containing the run (2006 he struggled in run coverage, although the Redskins in general looked horrid in most of '06). Last year his sack production dropped even with Jason Taylor on the other side (could it be b/c Carter wasn't on his normal side?) but the run coverage was fine. Still not sure if Andre Carter fits the DE profile that the Redskins scheme really calls for (see Phillip Daniels) but he has done it better than other smaller DE/LBs on the roster.
Randle-El gets a bad rap as a WR. He's essentially a #3 WR with some gadget ability and punt return skills. Problem is that he's become our #2 (and is being paid similar salary) because we failed miserably with Brandon Lloyd. His punt return skills have radically diminished (Dorsey, Tryon, Thomas or Hall ought to be our PR from now on when Moss isn't back there) and so the Redskins extend him? I don't want ARE gone, but I'd like to see him used correctly. Put him in the slot (hopefully Kelly and/or Thomas will make the jump to starter this year), give him opportunities to go one-on-one with a nickle DB or LB- he will make plays. Let's see some Wildcat formations. Hell, if the Ravens with Flacco as a WR can put in Troy Smith and run it why can't we do that with Randle-El (or Portis for that matter) and try to keep some teams on their toes?
Use him correctly that's all I ask.

Now for a segment called:

WHAT THE @$&! ARE YOU THINKING VINNY?
I don't get this move. The Redskins cut Ryan Plackemeier yesterday. Now, you can say the move makes sense based on stats. Overall, he had a lousy average (41.5) numerous touchbacks (10 with Washington) a very rough start (after we signed him and jettisoned rookie Durrant Brooks). But he came on strong at the end of the season and frankly had the best performance of most of the Skins in two of the last three weeks ( vs. the Bengals and the Eagles). He also earned special team player of the week honors.
So who do the Redskins acquire to replace him? One year player Zac Atterberry (a former Bear). And I know Atterberry is going to be so much better, just look at the stats. Oh, yeah HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY!!!!!!!! All we have to go on is this You Tube footage of one punt in the preseason (found by The Redskins Blog):

I'm really hoping this isn't the Durrant Brooks experiment all over again. Maybe this guy will be a huge steal.....god, I hope so.

I was hoping the Skins would have brought Plackemeier and Atterberry and maybe even one other guy in and have them battle it out in OTAs and training camp. Maybe the Skins still will do this.....you never can tell.

Update: Plackemeier has been signed by the Bengals.