Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This week on IIWII......

I have a very long (possibly longer than the normally long posts) Redskins News and Notes which will cover the analysis of the draft, the quarterback controversy, some signings and the upcoming mini-camp this week (I believe its Friday through Sunday).

While I'm running some ideas and topics through my head, I'm thinking that this year will be an even more difficult year to determine the final 53. I'm guessing that there will be a few notable veterans (or at least familiar) not making the final cut.......but that's a few months away and things change, but there is some tough competition ahead.

Also this week X-Men Origins: Wolverine (aka the Wolverine movie) premiers on Friday and I hope to catch it this weekend. Will do a review if I have time.

Hoping to post about some TV/Movie and comics stuff a bit more as the NFL excitement starts to die down until training camp.

Got to run (two days of hellish work ahead for me :( )

Monday, April 27, 2009

NFL Draft News and Notes

What is the Enemy Doing?

Here is a list of the draft moves by the other NFCE teams Dallas, NY and Philly:
Cowboys picks from NFL.com
Giants picks from NFL.com
Eagles picks from NFL.com

I think the Eagles did the best of the three and I got to say they have added pieces that they have been sorely missing on their team for awhile. It looks like it will be another tough year in the NFCE. Clearly, the NFCE is the toughest division in the NFL. Although I will say this, after watching Dallas in the draft I wonder just what the hell is going on. Wade Phillips just stood/sat there looking uncomfortable while the Jones family sat there looking at papers and trying to figure out what to do. Wonder why Dallas is a mess, just look at what happened during the draft- it says alot about the franchise.

Is Al Davis Crazy?

(I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too!)

As soon as the combine ended, I knew that Al Davis would draft Darrius Heyward-Bey. Why? Well, first he's got a fast 40 yd dash. 2nd, I knew Davis would go for the trifecta with a WR (after drafting a QB and RB with 1st rounders the last two years). Then after drafting a WR way too early he drafts a safety that many had going as a late 2nd day pick. Is it wrong to feel sorry for Raider fans? Yes, although watching this Raider Nation video (NSFW) will make sure you know why you should laugh a little. And KSK's take on it makes it more funny.


Also a great thing to watch is Heyward-Bey's expression when he's drafted by Oakland:

(Oh, S*** not the F****** Raiders!!!)

Also, if you watched it on NFL Network, they flip over to Michael Crabtree and he gives the look of relief as the Raiders passed on him. We already knew how he felt about going to the Raiders anyway. "No Comment".

Are The Lions still Hapless?

(New Lions logo via KSK)
Ok, I get the Stafford move. But what stuns me a bit is the fact that the Lions skipped out on taking an offensive tackle to protect Stafford. Especially when you're paying a guy 41.7 million, you'd like to have somebody not letting him get beaten up. Michael Oher was there and you let him slip by. Bad move. Yes, Pettigrew is a talent (I saw him going to the Ravens at #26) but when you get a top tackle fall to you, you have to take him. I will note I listened to Jim Schwartz (Lions new HC) and he specifically noted he drafted Pettigrew based on his blocking skills, especially against Brian Orakpo who he believes will be a star in the NFL.

There's more like the Cowboys being inept, The Pats and Eagles making great moves and other stuff, but I'm tired and need to finish this post.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Redskins Draft Coverage 2009 (The Picks)

(The Man of the Hour and it's not Mark Sanchez)


Well, I hope you enjoyed it. After months of studying, predicting and preparing the 2009 NFL draft is over. This draft went out with more of a whimper than a bang as many considered this to be a weak draft. This also was how the Redskins draft went according to many Redskins fans out there.

The draft started off well as the New York Jets moved up to pick #5 (from #17) in order to jump the Redskins and the Bucs to get Mark Sanchez. This caused a general ripple effect as the following things happened:

1. The Cleveland Browns moved to #17. The Brows were generally a wild card spot as they were rumored to take BJ Raji, Michael Crabtree and Brian Orakpo. With them out of the mix it kept all three players on the board.

2. The Green Bay Packers now had the opportunity to take the NT they wanted in Raji (really the only elite one in the draft) thus, Orakpo and Aaron Maybin are still on the board.

3. With Crabtree on the board, the 49ers addressed the need at WR instead of the possible need at OLB/DE.

4. With Maybin on the board, the Bills took him. I like Orakpo better for the Skins scheme anyway.

This led to Orakpo dropping to #13 in what many Skins fans would say it was the pick they (the Skins) wanted all along. Now Michael Oher was on the board as well at #13 and later fell to the Ravens at #23. IIWII's consensus pick was for Oher and I think he would have done well here but I also didn't think Orakpo would be available. When the Skins signed free agent (and former first round bust of the Bills) Mike Williams on Friday, I pretty much figured that the Skins weren't taking Oher at #13 had he made it there.

The Next Vernon Gholston?


This has been the biggest concern with Orakpo by many and some of their qualities are similar. They are both "workout warriors". They both have similar skill sets and frames. But I think the Skins will be fine with Orakpo. The Skins have said that they plan to use him primarily as just a DE and not as a SOLB. Thus, Orakpo can do what he does best- RUSH THE QB. Now Orakpo will need to improve upon his pass rush skills and learn to be a run stuffer. But one has to think with a D line consisting of Carter, Haynesworth, Griffin and Orakpo this will be a scary front four. Add blitzes from McIntosh, Horton and Wilson (I really hope he can become a pass rushing SOLB) and this Redskins D should be much better in creating turnovers and sacks in 2009.

Round 1, #13 Overall: Brian Orakpo, DE Texas

Highlights:




Profiles:
NFL Draft Countdown
NFL.com
CBS Sports
Scout.com

Round 3, #80 Overall: Kevin Barnes, CB Maryland

Notes: At this point, I thought the Skins would be gunning for either a SOLB or a offensive lineman. Of course, I forgot that the Redskins covet corners and safeties. Barnes has good height which is important in dealing with those taller Plaxico Burress type of receivers. And it appears that Barnes can be a physical corner (which is important in the Redskins scheme). I wasn't that familiar with him but CBS Sports actually considers him the 59th ranked prospect (he went 80 to the Skins. So he could be a very nice value pick up. Expect Barnes to compete with Smoot and Tryon for the nickle spot.

Highlights:




Profiles:
NFL Draft Countdown
NFL.com
CBS Sports
Scouts.com

Round 5, #158 Overall: Cody Glenn, LB Nebraska

Notes: Yes, that is Cody Glenn. He was originally a RB that converted to OLB last year. Expect him to be a depth LB as he develops and you'll see him on a regular basis as a special teams player.

Highlights:

(check around the 1:00 mark for an interview)


(as a RB)

Profiles:
NFL Draft Countdown
NFL.com
CBS Sports

Round 6, #186 Overall: Robert Henson, LB TCU

Notes: It was very hard to find much info. on Henson from the draft sites. Henson played MLB and should excel as a special teamer. I watched some of the highlight reels on You Tube and this guy looks amazing. He could be a real diamond or at least a solid depth player/special teamer. He also participated in Deion Sanders' Prime U program.

Highlights:



(interview)

Profile:
NFL.com

Round 7, #221 Overall: Eddie Williams, TE/FB Idaho
Notes: A TE/H-Back who can do just about everything. Sounds like he'll be a project/special teamer and possibly the heir apparent to Mike Sellers (more on this later).

Highlight:


Profiles:
NFL Draft Countdown
NFL.com
CBS Sports

Round 7, #243 Overall: Marko Mitchell, WR Nevada


Notes: Wasn't the biggest fan of this pick because I was hoping for an O Lineman, but the guy has a nice height and decent speed. I wonder if he's a project on the practice squad or if he'll be competing with Thrash/Kelly/Thomas for a roster spot.

Highlight:


Profiles:
NFL Draft Countdown
NFL.com
CBS Sports

UDFAs Signed
Here are the players and a profile of each player.

QB Chase Daniel, Missouri
OT Scott Burley, Maryland
C Edwin Williams, Maryland
DE Derek Walker, Illinois
WR Jaison Williams (Oregon)
CB Doug Dutch, Michigan
WR John Halman, Concordia
TE Robert Agnone, Delaware
TE Devin Frischkecht, Washington St.
DT Antonio Dixon, The U
DT Brigham Harwell, UCLA
LB Ronnie Palmer, Arizona
S Lendy Holmes, Oklahoma

This is the official list via The Redskins Blog (Matt Terl)

Dear Vinny......

You have three drafts picks left, please draft some O-linemen.

Thanks,

-WD

Quick comment on 5th round pick

There are a great deal of good linemen still available.

I think the Skins should aim for Robinson, Johnson or Merredith if one of them is still there at #150.

Heck, I was real high on Robinson at one point.

Very Early Thoughts on Day 1.......

Day two draft coverage is about to begin here's some early thoughts on Day 1:

1. I was surprised on how many picks I actually got right in the early 10-20 picks (after that it was flip a coin). I guess studying these players and reading a million mock drafts and listening to Kiper and Mayock paid off.

2. I was really, really happy when the Jets took over #5 and snagged Mark Sanchez. Yes, the Jets got a good player and the Browns were happy to get out of #5 with more picks but I was ecstatic that the Skins weren't the team trading up.

3. I'll have more on Brian Orakpo later today......but I'm very happy he's a Redskin.

4. I was stunned that Michael Oher fell to #23, had the Skins had some ammo in this draft I would have suggested that they try to get back into round one for him. Ravens get a helluva good player in my opinion. But my friend Dan, a ravens fan, was not happy with the move as the Ravens need WRs badly. He also wasn't that happy about Kruger in the second as well. Ironically, I was high on both players and had the Skins taken Oher I was hoping Kruger might have been there in round three (he went in round 2).

on to day 2........

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'd be cool with the following players........

1. Michael Oher
2. Robert Ayers (Mayock has him #3 overall and frankly I trust Mayock's evaluation of talent)
3. Brian Orakpo
4. Andre Smith
5. Everette Brown
6. Rey Maualuga
7. Clay Matthews

Players I wouldn't be that happy about......

1. Aaron Maybin
2. Any WR
3. Brian Cushing
4. Mark Sanchez (If the Skins made this pick, it wouldn't royally piss me off but I think it's a wrong move and if the Skins trade up to make the move, then I will be pissed)
5. A DB (save it for day 2)
6. A RB (no way in hell should the Skins blow #13 for Moreno or Wells)

Meaningless Mock Draft 3.0 (rushed edition)

Well here it is.....rushed and with no explanation, but what the hell it got done.

1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford (it's official, he's signed)
2. St. Louis Rams- Jason Smith
3. KC Chiefs- Tyson Jackson
4. Seattle Seahawks- Eugene Monroe
5. Cleveland Browns- BJ Raji
6. Cincy Bengals- Andre Smith
7. Oakland Raiders- Darrius Heyward-Bey
8. NY Jets (trade)- Mark Sanchez
9. Green Bay Packers- Malcolm Jenkins
10. SF 49ers- Michael Crabtree
11. Buffalo Bills- Michael Oher
12. Denver Broncos- Rey Maualuga
13. Washington Redskins- Brian Orakpo

Ok, rushing for time here's some notables:
Ravens- Hakeem Nicks
Eagles- Brandon Pattigrew
Giants- Trade for Braylon Edawards

Friday, April 24, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Quick thought occurred to me.......I think the Skins will be drafting somebody we're not expecting.

I don't see Sanchez being the target of a trade down. I doubt there will be a OT there at #13 at this moment (sorry, Michael Oher good luck) and I doubt Orakpo will be there.

There has been very little talk or Robert Ayers or Everette Brown....I think Maybin will fall a bit.
But I wonder if Larry English or another player may be the guy.

I know Larry Michael likes Maualuga, but I wonder if Clay Matthews might be the USC linebacker the Skins go after.

I have no clue (so I'm at least as good as most of the media experts who think they know what's going on).

Keep an eye on Matthews, Tyson Jackson and Everette Brown. I have a feeling the Skins are going D with #13 and then maybe a C/G or a OLB with the 3rd. After that look at special teamers and depth linemen.

Meaningless Mock 3.0 will be done tomorrow morning......even though I'll be running for time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pre-Draft Presser w/ The Big Three

Not much to say really. Nothing was leaked or slipped out to give the fans or media any idea what the Skins are doing. Matt Terl (Redskins blogger) covered and wrote up the press conference. If you want to read the whole thing you can here.

Anyway here are some excerpts:

Vinny: "So, there is a possibility we will do three things on Saturday: trade up, trade back or stay the same. I hope that helps."
Sure does. At least we won't be trading the rest of our picks for a Ham Sandwich or another aging veteran that won't be here in a year like Jason Taylor.

Coach Zorn: (on Mark Sanchez) "I would rather wait to talk about any player evaluations that I might have on a guy that is not even on our roster. That just has to wait until after the draft."

To me this said many things:
1. There are no guarantees that the Skins will get Sanchez, so no need to show your hand and start talking about him.
2. By not talking about him, you don't say anything that starts an uproar in the media about Sanchez and Campbell.
3. It shuts down multiple follow-up questions by the press and any questions about other 1st round candidates.
4. Zorn is changed. He's learned the PR aspect of the game. Last year, I think Zorn would have talked about Sanchez.

And now it's Time for.......

Notable Vinny Quotes of the Week
"It is always the goal to hang on to draft picks."
- Vinny at Draft Day Presser 4/22/2009
after being asked how important it was to keep next year's draft picks

and a Bonus one:
"It is what it is. We made a trade last year with our second-round pick. We wish Jason [Taylor] would have stayed healthy, but it is what it is."
-Vinny at Draft Day Presser 4/22/2009 (from the Post)
after being asked about only having one pick in the first 79 spots (ie. trading for Jason Taylor)

I had to throw that one in there since Vinny uses the famous catchphrase that inspired this site not once...but twice.

Redskins News and Notes 4/22/2009

Where to begin? So many things going on that one way or the other has some effect on the Skins. I guess we'll start with Mark Sanchez.

Snyder is "Smitten"
(Mark Sanchez....How I love him so!!!!)

Here's the deal. Every year potential draft prospects are brought in, shown the facility, meet the coaches, meet the owner are wined and dined and are grilled with questions. It's pretty common for most NFL teams and the Redskins are very good at it as well. So, bringing in many players including Sanchez is pretty common. It would also be easy to say that the players that come in for a visit have a better chance of being drafted by said team than those who haven't come in for a visit. So recently the Skins brought in Mark Sanchez and of course now Dan Snyder is deeply in love for the former USC quarterback. Don't believe me? Just ask Peter King:

"but I'm told Snyder is beyond smitten with Sanchez and will likely pursue him this week."

Ok, Peter that's great (F***, F***, F***, cue Samuel L. Jackson's censored cursing):

Of course in order for Snyder and Co. to get a shot at Sanchez, the Redskins would have to move up (possibly as high as #3 overall). So Peter, since you know everything (including good coffee) is Snyder about to blow the Skins 2010 1st rounder or other picks to do so?
"I spoke to someone close to Snyder over the weekend, and this person said Snyder is not going to allow next year's first-rounder to be put in a trade. Maybe. Maybe not. This person also said he thought it was highly unlikely the Redskins could muster up the ammo to go get Sanchez."

So, your source says no and yet, you don't don't believe him or her? Why are you wasting our time? But of course, that's not all. Watch as King starts speculating again as Snyder took Sanchez to dinner. It's got to mean something right? (hopefully you can note my sarcasm here)
"Last Friday, the last night teams could host, wine and dine players from out of town in their home market, Snyder and vice president Vinny Cerrato took Sanchez out to dinner at an Italian place in downtown D.C. after Sanchez had spent the day with Washington coaches and personnel people. Big deal? Maybe. Maybe not."

So you don't know. Why am I not surprised? Nobody knows what the Redskins are going to do at the moment. Even Jason LaCanfora of the Post went ape**** over the Skins taking Sanchez to dinner for some veal chops. But of course that was last week. This week the Post is talking about Brian Orakpo being the hot commodity and the choice if he falls to #13. Of course, it seems that the Redskin readers/fans would rather just trade back in the end. Don't get me wrong, I like Sanchez and I think in a WCO system he will excel in the NFL. I just think the Skins have bigger needs to address, especially with a limited amount of picks. More on Sanchez later in this post.......

But there's no need to freak out about this until Saturday, because we have no clue what the Skins will do until they pick. So until then, go over to KSK and read their humorous take on Snyder's fascination with Sanchez and I also highly recommend Drew Magary's take on Peter King's MMQB column.

A Mock Draft I'd Like To See Happen And Not Happen.........
Yesterday, CBS Sports had their Live Football Mock Draft. It was a nice precursor to the actual thing and I hope some of it could happen on Saturday. First, the Skins got the player I want in Michael Oher. But the surprise was the Redskins were able to trade back in order to do so. The Skins traded their #13 and #80 picks to Denver for #18 and #48 (2nd rounder). I love the move, but I didn't like the pick at #48 as they selected Michael Johnson. Johnson has many of the measurables that teams look for, but on game film he has had moments where he's a real non-factor.

Speaking of Mock Drafts......
Yes, I am working on Meaningless Mock Draft 3.0 and yes, I believe that the Skins can and should select Michael Oher at #13. This is a hard draft because there are so many teams that are looking at various players. I'm hoping to have it sometime tonight or Saturday morning at the latest.

Last Minute Trades By Our Rivals
The Giants I believe are still going to make the move for Braylon Edwards. My guess is a 1st a 5th and a conditional pick in 2010 (maybe another 4th or 5th that could go as high as a 2nd or a 3rd based on performance). Don't be surprised to see this trade happen as late as when the Browns pick at #5.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Dallas attempt to trade up in the 2nd round but I highly doubt they do much in draft day moves. This means more emphasis on Roy Williams to step up this year. I got a feeling that this will be a bad year for the 'Boys/

The Eagles have already made the move for Jason Peters for three picks. Pete Prisco thinks it makes the Eagles one of the better lines in the league. However, ProFootballTalk mentions that Peters was unofficially credited (blamed in a better word) for 11.5 sacks last year. Good move or Bad move? Guess we'll find out in a few months.........

Also, keep an eye on Anquan Boldin........As both the Eagles and the Giants are looking for a WR.

Why Not Colt Brennan?

Jason Campbell aside, the big question one would have to ask if Mark Sanchez is drafted is "What happens to Colt Brennan?" Sure, one could say that Brennan was a late 2nd day pick and may lack the cannon arm and possibly height to be a legitimate NFL starter. But he did play well in preseason. I mean better than Campbell and Collins. This may mean nothing, but maybe Brennan is the next Tom Brady or Tony Romo. This was the topic of debate between me and the Mrs. the other night as I rambled on about how the Skins need to address either the D or the O lines with #13 and not Sanchez (who again I do like). I really believe that there will be a massive revolt by Redskins fans if Mark Sanchez is drafted. You have three groups of fans that will be part of the revolt. One is the pro-Jason Campbell group. This group has increased greatly during the Cutler-saga and those who weren't fully sold have joined on just because of the character shown by Campbell. Second, is fans that also believe that the trenches need to be rebuilt or improved upon. Third is the "Cult of Colt" fanatics that are convinced that Brennan is the next Joe Montana.

I'm not a Cult of Coltist (nor is the Mrs.) but I'm still of the opinion that Campbell should have the chance to succeed (or fail) in this system and if he fails, let's see what Colt can do. Zorn is a quarterback guy anyway let's see if he can make Colt the next Hasslebeck.

Final Notes
- Vinny/The Danny/Coach Zorn are currently hosting a draft briefing....I will have more on this after I listen to it.

- Matt Terl had a nice interview with Director of Player Personnel Scott Campbell about the upcoming draft. You can read that here.

- According to Mark Sanchez:
"[Dan Snyder]'s proud of the guys they have here, and he thinks the world of Jason Campbell, and that was obvious. He said that if I come in, it's a competition, and nothing will be given to me, and he makes no promises. And that's way I want it. I don't want there to be anything promised or for anyone to be talking bad about players, because then in a few years they might be doing that with me."

A rare time that Jason Campbell isn't under fire.

-John Madden Retired. Frankly, I could care less. Not much of a fan really. It comes down to the first time I heard him on TV. He was talking about Texas Stadium and how the hole in the middle was so God could watch his favorite team play. After that, I was done.

-We'll skip Notable Vinny Quote of the Week as I'll do this when I get to review the presser going on now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This Week on IIWII......

IT'S DRAFT WEEK!!!!!!!

After months of mock drafts, speculation, workouts and combine.......we're finally at the time where it counts. Player actually getting drafted and possibly making a team better....or worse.

I haven't posted that much the last week primarily b/c things at the job haven't been going well and frankly just haven't been in the mood to post.

Anyway.....this week will be much different as I will be trying to fill IIWII with as much pre-draft stuff as possible.
This includes Meaningless Mock 3.0 (note: I skipped part 2 of version 2.0)
and a Redskins position need/demand.

So keep it locked on IIWII this week......also note that I will NOT be doing any draft day coverage until the draft has ended at the end of day 1. I'm just kicking back and enjoying a non-football, football event.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Night Videos: The Kids in the Hall

One of my memories of years long ago was of watching Kids in the Hall late Friday night/early Saturday mornings.....so while you're up at 3AM taking a break from looking at porn and trying to find out who's going where in the draft, enjoy some Kids in the Hall.













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.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quick Pub for DCBS


Don't worry I haven't forgotten about the rest of the Meaningless Mock..... just wanted to give a quick shout out and pub for another company that I buy from (no, I am not getting paid for this ad- but I figured it would be nice to use the Internet for good......).

Discount Comic Book Services offers a pretty nice interactive order form that you can edit up until the cutoff for the month. Normally, they offer books about 35-40% off cover price. Shipping is a flat $5.95 (via UPS with tracking) and the customer service is outstanding. What actually prompted me was an email I sent them about the upcoming Free Comic Book Day. DC is coming out with Blackest Night #0



And of course I want a copy...... so I emailed DCBS and asked if they were shipping FCBD comics this year and not only could I get Blackest Night #0 but four other FCBD titles (of course all free!). While I'm all for supporting a local comic book shop, DCBS provides everything a collector would like in a comic provider.

edit: I guess it would be nice to have DCBS's website listed huh?
www.dcbservice.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meaningless Mock Madness 2.0, Part 1

Last time I did this, I only did up to #13 b/c frankly I didn't care what anybody was doing at this point past #13, but we're getting closer so I'll do all 32 teams in the 1st round. I originally suggested when I did 2.0 that the Broncos would trade with the Chiefs to get Sanchez, but in retrospect it doesn't make sense. Sure, Pioli and McDaniels have history but do you really make that trade with a division rival? Nope. I will also add trade scenarios but it won't alter the draft. Here.....we.....go.

1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford, QB
Why: Barring a contract issue, Stafford again has proven to be the guy for the Lions. He had a good Pro Day and he has said all of the right things. I don't think the Lions will go after Mark Sanchez b/c current QB Daunte Culpepper will be running the same system as Stafford (thus a system that requires deeper passing....etc.). Is Stafford the top player in the draft. I don't think so, but remember the Lions are trying to change their image and want a new "face of the franchise" and I don't think they can get that out of any other player worthy of #1.

2. St. Louis Rams- Eugene Monroe, OT
Why: This could be Jason Smith, but I think Spags will want a more smash-mouth OT to play in his schemes. Monroe also has a great pedigree and his stock has slightly risen above Smith in my opinion. Either way the Rams must pick a OT to replace Orlando Pace. This pick is a no-brainer at least position-wise.

3. KC Chiefs- Aaron Curry, LB
Why: Had Monroe been there, they may have taken him to pair up with Branden Albert. But instead they take what many consider the best player in the entire draft. Orakpo is also a possibility.

4. Seattle Seahawks- Malcolm Jenkins, CB/S
This is the biggest wildcard spot of the entire draft. The Seahawks could go in many ways.
They could try and draft a tackle and I think they would if Monroe is there. They could take Sanchez to groom to replace Hasslebeck. They could even draft Michael Crabtree here. Most importantly, they could trade with Denver and address two key spots at #12 and #18 (namely a DB and a OT). Jenkins fits two key needs for the Seahawks, but I have a feeling there could be a serious trade here.

Trade Scenario: Seattle would give #4 and #68 to Denver for #12 and #18.
Denver would get Mark Sanchez, Seattle would take Malcolm Jenkins and William Beatty.

5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB
Mangini probably doesn't like this move because of past drafts with Vernon Gholston, but different player/different team and Orakpo looks like he'll be a monster in the NFL. Can't blame the move here. Crabtree is an option with Stallworth in trouble, KW2 gone and Edwards possibly being traded.

6. Cincinnati Bengals- Jason Smith, OT
The Bengals are ecstatic that Smith falls this far to #6 although they may like Andre Smith better as a prospect. Smith should be protecting Carson Palmer's blindside for years to come.

7. Oakland Raiders- Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
It's a reach but Al Davis loves speed and he drafted a QB that has the arm to throw deep to speedsters. This move makes total sense at least to Al Davis. Maclin could be here as well and I won't count out them drafting a versatile O-lineman like Andre Smith.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michael Crabtree, WR
Jaguars also become ecstatic with Crabtree falling this far. But, I see this as a possible trade situation as the Broncos try to jump the 49ers, Jets or Bucs for Sanchez. They go back to #12 or even #18, rack up a few extra picks and still get either Crabtree or another talent like Maclin or Harvin.

9. Green Bay Packers- BJ Raji, NT
Packers are moving to the 3-4 and they need a solid NT to anchor the scheme. There aren't that many NTs available in the draft and the Packers get to take the best one here. They'll address CB in round two.

10. San Francisco 49ers- Mark Sanchez, QB
If Sanchez is here, I have to think that the 49ers take him here. Sure they could take Andre Smith here or go after an Everette Brown or Robert Ayers. This again would be a good trade spot for Denver, NY or TB.

11. Buffalo Bills- Everette Brown, DE
This could be a surprise pick if they go OL and draft either Andre Smith or Michael Oher (to supplant Jason Peters), but the Bills have struggled to get sacks and Brown should help provide that. The Bills are looking for sacks and this is why I think they take Brown over the better all-around Robert Ayers (who's sack production has been much lower than that of Brown).

12. Denver Broncos- Tyson Jackson, DE
If the Broncos haven't made a move for Sanchez by now, they probably won't and may try to focus on moving the #18 pick for Josh Freeman. Tyson Jackson is a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE and not only do the Broncos get a great player, but they trump the Chargers in getting him.

13. Washington Redskins- Michael Oher, OT
This is a great spot for the Redskins. Only a few weeks ago, I hated being here b/c I saw all four OTs of the board and the Skins taking a shot at Brown (who struggles with the run, bad for a DE in the Redskins D scheme) or Maybin (undersized and same issues as Brown). But now if this goes the way I think it might the Skins have Oher, Smith, Ayers and even Cushing to aim for. I already said Oher is my choice and I think of the players listed he probably is the best proven prospect. Although, I'm really warming to Ayers and Smith on film is a monster.

14. New Orleans Saints- Clay Matthews, OLB/DE
Matthews' bloodline and great combine/pro day and Brian Cushing's injury concerns bump Matthews ahead of Cushing.

15. Houston Texans- Vontae Davis, CB
If this goes the way I think it will.....Jacksonville will draft a WR, Indy has Peyton Manning and a great pass attack and Tennessee will probably draft a WR either in round one or two. This move makes sense to me based on who's on the board and what the team needs.

16. San Diego Chargers- Andre Smith, OT
Amazing. Just a few months ago Smith was the #1 OT on many boards and a possible top three pick. Shows what bad advice can get you. Chargers get a steal here even if Smith never becomes an elite LT. He'll be an elite Guard or RT and continue to improve the Chargers' offensive attack.

17. New York Jets- Knowshon Moreno, RB
First RB taken off the board. Rex Ryan is an old school coach that believes in a strong run game and a strong defense. They can live with Kellen Clemens as a game manager. I wouldn't be surprised if they took a WR here instead.

18. Denver Broncos- Rey Maualuga, LB
I think this pick fits for the Broncos 3-4 scheme. Although, I think the pick will be traded.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Freeman, QB
The Bucs get the QB that they wanted and didn't even have to trade up for him.

20. Detroit Lions- William Beatty, OT
I'm having the Lions take Beatty here over Eben Britton primarily because I think Beatty has more upside and potential at the LT position. Britton is going to be an awesome RT in the NFL (think Jon Jansen) but there are concerns about his arm length and skill set to be a LT. We all know LT is THE position.

Ok, I'm taking a break.....I'll start part 2 with the Eagles on the clock at #21.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Redskins News and Notes 4/5/09

It has been a long week for the Redskins fan and I'll be focusing more on the stuff here not dealing with Cutler than a full diatribe about the situation. There will be a post about Jason Campbell later this week. But since I'm talking Cutler/Campbell/FO.......

Jason Campbell has moved on, although he remained pretty "medium" during the whole Cutler-trade saga:
1. He actually spoke with his coach (Jim Zorn) before and during the saga and Zorn had his back the whole time.
2. Campbell came to work and participated in voluntary workouts on the day he was supposed to be traded:
"I still went and worked out," he said. "My teammates said, 'Jason, why are you here?' And I told them: 'I'm still the quarterback of this team until they get rid of me. You haven't seen the best of me. I'm not here for ownership. I won't miss days working out with you, and I won't miss time preparing for the season. Who knows? A trade may not work out.' "
3. Post-Trade, Campbell met with Jim Zorn, Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato and cleared the air. Things have been resolved and the parties involved are moving on:
"I would say it was a very successful meeting because everyone expressed themselves and made it clear what we want to try to accomplish," Campbell said. "We talked for a long time about everything that had happened and the thing I felt the best about was that I got a chance to talk about what I'm trying to do, which is just get ready for the season and try to help this team get to that higher level. Coach Zorn and [Snyder] all let me know how they feel about things and that's why I'd say it was real successful because now it's just about moving forward and trying to win. I'm going to be in this offense for my second year, Coach Zorn has learned a lot, different stuff that can help us be more successful, and I just think it was real positive today."
I think Campbell has gained a great deal of respect from the fan base on how he handled the situation and this could actually benefit Campbell this year.......more on this later.

Speaking of Quarterbacks.......

Byron Leftwich came in Friday for a workout according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. But before fans start to freak out, Leftwich is only here to try out for a backup role (probably to compete with Todd Collins and Colt Brennan for the No. 2 spot) and left without a contract offer (although that really doesn't mean anything). Leftwich is a DC native and grew up a Redskins fan and rumors have swirled in the past that he would like to play here. The Steelers are still interested in possibly re-signing the backup (who did well against the Skins last year).

Friday Was A Busy Day

Not only were the Skins trying to resolve the Cutler-saga and Byron Leftwich, but they were hosting local draft prospects at their annual pro-day. Unlike previous years where bigger named prospects (like Shawne Merriman) came in most of these players are either late round prospects, priority UDFAs (Undrafted Free Agents) or developmental players hoping to make a practice squad or a home in the CFL, AFL or UFL. Most notable I suppose might be DB Greg Toler from St Paul's College who can run a 4.37 40. The post ran a story about him (read it here). There were also a large group of Maryland players there........

And This Story Was Missed During The Cutler-Saga.........
What may have been the best thing to come out of the Cutler-Saga was that a story reported by Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean that the Titans are now claiming that the Redskins tampered for the services of Albert Haynesworth and are reporting it to the NFL was largely a non-covered story. There's really not that much to it especially when you read this portion of the article:
"The Titans did not file a formal grievance with the NFL. Instead, they turned in newspaper articles and audio from a Washington, D.C.-area radio station in which a Redskins official made what the Titans felt were incriminating comments."

And then add what Haynesworth has said:
"All I know is the Redskins called my agent at 11:04 p.m. Nashville time (Ed Note: I believe that would be 12:04 am EST, thus the start of Free Agency) and they started negotiating then,'' Haynesworth said last month. "They weren't anywhere close in the first couple of hours and then they got serious. Chad worked the deal then and it worked out.''

and finally:
[Greg]"Aiello estimated the league reviews a handful of potential tampering cases each year but said most of the inquiries don't lead to anything."

So, I really don't think the Titans or NFL for that matter has much of a case. Nor do I think that the Skins will lose any draft picks. It's all speculation for the most part.

Bye Bye.......Plaxico Burress

The entire NFCE breathed a slight sigh of relief as the Giants announced that Plaxico Burress had been cut by the team. Against the Redskins, Burress caught 34 passes for 431 yards (12.7 ypc average) and 2 TDs in seven games. His best game against the Skins was last year in Week One where he caught 10 passes for 133 yards and seemed to be practically unstoppable. As a Skins fan, I'm elated b/c it makes the Giants much weaker without him (same with the Cowboys cutting T.O.) and helps the Skins. But as a football fan it saddens me. The NFL loses a talented WR and Burress is out a job. It amazes me what stupid things some players have done over the years to ruin themselves. Give credit to the Steelers I guess who let Burress go knowing that they were losing some talent but a whole lot of headaches......guess the Giants eventually came to the same conclusion.

I'll Mention This....But......
There is a big rumor/story going on the website NFLDraftBible.com involving possible draftee candidates testing positive for marijuana and steroids some players are potential first rounders and a few may be of interest to the Redskins (ie. they fit a potential need or have shown up on some Mocks as a Redskins' pick). The agents for said players have denied the claims and so has the NFL as they released the following statement (I found this on PFT):
“Neither the 32 clubs nor the league office know the results of drug or steroid tests taken at the 2009 Combine. The independent medical advisers who administer the tests have notified in writing those players and only those players who tested positive at the Combine.

“Unfortunately, rumors about draft eligible players, including rumors about test results, begin to circulate every year at this time. Many of these rumors are circulated for self-serving reasons and they are terribly unfair to the players and their families.”
I'm not going to speculate on this or even mention the players involved as these rumors could cost them millions of dollars if it affects their draft status and yours truly isn't interested in having NFL caliber players (and their lawyers and agents) pissed. But it's just an FYI if you haven't heard about it yet.

Speaking of the Draft.....
Quick free pub for Pro Football Weekly's Draft Preview guide ($19.95). Very nice quick breakdowns and analysis of hundreds of players (they say 600)and where they should wind up in the draft. Of course, this season I've been going overboard on the draft. If you want similar coverage in the free variety, check out NFL Draft Countdown (link is on the side of the blog).

Redskins and Comcast are hosting the annual Draft Day party at FedEx starting at noon (draft is at 4pm this year....guessing the Skins will be drafting sometime between 5:30 and 6:15pm). If I didn't live 2.5 hours away, I'd probably go for a couple hours and then go home and watch the draft in comfort.....oh well.
I'm having my own draft day party (The 2nd Annual Walking Deadman Invitational Draft Day Party) and it will be an interesting mix as my friends are Raider and Raven fans respectively but we're going to get some barbecue, throw the football around and scream at the TV for a few hours. Good fun had by all.

Also, I'm waiting to see who the Skins bring in for private workouts......so far the only 1st rounder that I am aware of is QB Mark Sanchez with only 20 days until the draft.

Is The Skins Starting SAM Linebacker Already On The Team?
The Skins have a hole at the strong-side outside (aka SAM) linebacker after the cutting of Marcus Washington. It at one time was thought that ex-Skin Jason Taylor was doing to fill that position (and then rush the passer on 3rd downs) but he of course was also cut. HB Blades is a potential candidate since he spot started and played the position last year (when Washington was injured) but he is built more to play middle linebacker. Obviously, the draft has many candidates to fill the spot (like a Brian Cushing for example) but I still think that OL and DL are bigger needs and should be addressed first. But now there's a new wildcard to add to the mix- enter Chris Wilson.
Wilson was on Redskins Nation this week chatting with Larry Michael about the offseason and mentioned that he's learning the SAM position. Much like Jason Taylor, Wilson would play strong-side linebacker on 1st and 2nd downs generally and then on 3rd down or long passing downs move to DE and rush the quarterback. Right now, Wilson is pretty much a pass-rush specialist (his size 6'4" 246 lbs. makes his run defense difficult with 300+ pound linemen to shed) and would be fighting for a roster spot at DE with Rob Jackson, Alex Buzbee and whomever the Redskins draft (one would assume that Carter, Wynn and Daniels are roster locks). But he could make the team as a LB (especially with only McIntosh, Fletcher, Blades and Fincher as probably roster locks and you'd think the Skins would keep 5-7 linebackers). From what I've seen, Wilson has decent speed, agility and can tackle in the open field (note: he plays special teams). The keys will be if he can cover TEs like Witten, Boss and whoever the Eagles have; be able to shed their blocks on run downs and not bite on play action passes. So don't freak out if the Skins don't draft a linebacker in the 1st or 3rd rounds (assuming no trade backs) and keep an eye on Wilson during the OTAs and training camp......he could be the Skins starting SAM LB.

Final Notes
If you really have a chance and have Comcast, I highly suggest watching Redskins Nation. You get a great deal of tidbits from the players, Zorn, Vinny Cerrato and even Larry Michael. I learned about Chris Wilson's move to SAM/DE on Redskin's Nation and there was a good interview with Portis this past week. Plus, I get many of my Vinny quotes from Redskins Nation.

Former 1st Rounder Patrick Ramsey is still in the NFL and is now a Titan.

If you are a Comcast subscriber you're going to be losing NFL Network as of May 1st. It sucks because I like NFL Network and actually have paid for the sports package to get it. The good news I suppose is that I won't be spending the extra 5-10 bucks a month for the sports package anymore.

Notable Vinny Quote of the Week:

"We met with Jason today [Friday] and had a candid discussion. We told Jason that when Jay Cutler became available we, like many other NFL teams, spoke with the Broncos.

"We are all on the same page and we are moving forward."
- On Jason Campbell from Redskins.com