Saturday, June 27, 2009

Updates....Again

Making a few changes to the blog that might be more fan friendly. There is a change in the blog roll (which I'm working on) and I've made a few other changes. Hope you like the more Burgundy and Gold look to the site (or Maroon, Yellow and Black if you count the background) and I've emphasized the Redskins more.......I mean, that what I write mostly about anyway.

Hope you like it.

Let's Look At........

Let's Look At..... is a regular off-season feature that will focus on each position of the Redskins. It's a simple primer to get you ready for training camp and frankly help fill the void of the off-season.

The Quarterback

2008 Summary: Things started well for Jason Campbell, despite having a new head coach (Jim Zorn) and having to learn his third offensive scheme in four years. He lead the Redskins back with a bomb to Santana Moss to beat the Saints in week two. Then, he helped the team win back to back road games against Dallas and Philadelphia. There was a point in the season where Campbell was incredibly efficient and was getting some articles from the press about being an MVP candidate.

However, as the season went along the offense and Campbell struggled. An injury to RB Clinton Portis led to a lack of a run game. Also, age and injury on the offensive line led to Campbell getting hit/sacked more often and this led to more interceptions. There was criticism from both the media and the fans that Campbell (and/or Zorn's schemes) were to conservative and predictable. Some argued that Campbell was playing too safe, but was also having difficulties in getting the ball off quickly (a must in a West Coast System). There was also concerns that Campbell wasn't a vocal leader. The season ended with Jason Campbell being under heavy scrutiny with modest statistics (13TDs, 6INTs, 3,245 yds, 84.3 QB rtg.) and a mediocre 8-8 record.

2009 Off-Season: Was rough for Jason Campbell. First, the Redskins tried to trade with the Denver Broncos for disgruntled QB Jay Cutler (aka. The Mope). The Skins failed in the attempt, nor do we know what the Skins really offered to get Cutler, but one must guess it was enough for the Bears to give up a boatload of picks (1st rounders in 2009 and 2010, a 3rd rounder and Kyle Orton) to get Cutler and a 5th rounder. There were various rumors of the Skins attempting to trade Jason Campbell, but it never happened. Then, there was the interest in Mark Sanchez. Enough interest that Peter King went out to say Dan Snyder was "smitten" (Ed. Note: You should click on that link it has some opinion piece on Brennan and more Campbell stuff) with him. Of course, the Jets jumped ahead of everybody and took Sanchez with the 5th overall pick and the Skins took Brian Orakpo at #13 (which almost everybody is happy with the selection).

Campbell has taken the pressure and has been incredibly classy and professional during the off-season. Instead of demanding a trade like Cutler, Campbell has just continued to work harder to master this WCO system. The public opinion has leaned in Campbell's favor ever since. Also, multiple sources from PFT to the WaPo and Comcast has indicated that Campbell has taken command of his offense and has become more of field general.

Current Roster: Colt Brennan, Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Chase Daniel

Biggest Position Battle:

Colt Brennan vs. Todd Collins
(for #2/back-up QB position)
Brennan was the highlight of the 2008 pre-season. Collins led the 2007 team on an amazing run to the playoffs after Campbell was knocked out for the season. It's pretty much a lock that Jason Campbell will be the starter (barring injury or complete failure), but who will be the guy behind Campbell? The 2nd year guy with his own cult or the aging veteran who led the Skins to the playoffs. It will be an interesting battle. I actually think Brennan has the early edge.

Player to Watch: Chase Daniel. Campbell is a no brainer. Brennan will be another highlight of the pre-season, but I figured that Daniel would be a player to keep an eye on. Why you ask? Well, Todd Collins isn't getting any younger and Daniel is another one of those highly rated NCAA QB's that fell in the draft (Daniel was signed to the Skins as a UDFA). The Skins in a few years could have some very talented young QBs if both Brennan and Daniel pans out. I'll be curious to see what he can do in the pre-season.

Projected Starter: Jason Campbell. This is the do or die year for Jason Campbell and for Jim Zorn for that matter as both of their careers will depend on how the Skins perform and how well the offense plays. Campbell is in the final year of his contract and will not be extended, so either Jason Campbell will be getting a big money contract from the Skins or another team in 2010 or he will be looking for a new job as a back up for another team next year. Campbell will need to improve upon his delivery and getting the ball downfield (at minimum getting 1st downs). If he can, with a healthy Clinton Portis and a even stronger defense, the Redskins could be a huge surprise and go far this year. Fail and the Redskins remain mediocre. Zorn will be fired and the Redskins will probably draft a QB in the 1st round of the 2010 draft.

Lots of things to write about......stay tuned

There actually have been some interesting things going on in the world and I'll be writing about them coming up this weekend.

Including Redskins stuff. Me getting sore from a video game. The return of Lord Favre. Tony Romo, NFL news and any other stuff I can think of.

Oh, and I am still working on some Redskins articles that is taking me forever to finish.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not. Happy.

By now you probably know that I'm a Redskins season ticket holder. This will be my sixth year as one. And it could be my last.

While the Redskins have done a better job in the off-season paying for free agents who are actually talented and not past their primes and drafting a beast in Orakpo, there has been some serious changes in the status of tickets and parking over at FedEx.

First, many veteran season ticket holders have become highly irritated based on new season ticket holders being moved to better sections and rows than those who are already there. Many have emailed the ticket office about the upgrade issues and the only reply has been that none of this is true. Yet, people keep coming on sites like ExtremeSkins and saying that the stories are correct. Here's the thread over on ExtremeSkins that discusses the topic. I have yet, to hear back from the ticket office about this.

Now comes the parking issue.......
I've already stated that the Blue lots are gone and that many of the Red and Blue lot people were moved up to the Green lots.

Here's the problem: The Redskins sent out to suite holders a new map of the parking and the Green lots have been drastically reduced to make way for the platinum parking lots (premium passes and passes for suite holders).
Here's the new map (thanks to Mark the Homer's post about this on ES)

Here's the old map (2008):



If you also note, all of the cash lot parking is gone on the new map. Will the Green lots be able to hold all of the new permit holders when it's size has been reduced. I also, don't fully understand the expansion of the platinum lots. Last year, when I walked from the Blue lot up Arena Dr. I always noticed that the Green lots were packed as were the Orange and Purple lots.......not so for the Platinum lots. Maybe it was just because they were at the front of the stadium, but they were always empty and this was usually an hour or so before the games that I noticed this.

Also, with the new map came some new rules:
  • Tailgating is permitted only in the last few rows of each lot. Tailgating is not permitted in the Platinum Lots.

  • All vehicles will be directed to specific spaces in each lot.

  • For the safety of all fans, please follow the direction of parking personnel and public safety officers.
So basically, tailgating has been drastically reduced and for those that do tailgate, they might not get to park close to their tailgate based on the whims of the parking personnel. Let me say this, there are some major, well coordinated tailgates that take place at FedEx, many of them are in the Green lots. It's not just a van full of people that want to grill some hot dogs and drink a few beers. Oh sure, there's plenty of that as well. And isn't that the whole point of the game day experience?

I don't tailgate for every game. It really depends on whose coming with me to the games and if they want to tailgate or if they just want to see the game. But if I want to tailgate it should be possible without having to get to FedEx at 5:30Am to grab the few spots available. Plus, I believe that 20-30% of people are there JUST FOR THE TAILGATES!! Dave McKenna of the City Paper even admits he goes to FedEx for the tailgates and then watches the game at home.

Oh and I didn't even mention that the Skins will be cutting off some driving lanes to be used for platinum pass holders only.......so they can get out of FedEx easier and quicker. So expect to be stuck in traffic longer when the game ends.

There has been no official comment from the Skins as of now (1:00PM) but if anyone from the ticket office or the Redskins organization would like to comment here or be interviewed feel free to drop me an email at the IIWII email.

Also, here's come coverage:
Anger over new parking (ES)
Mr. I's take
Sports Bog's take (WaPo)
Platinum Parking lanes (ES)
Fan petition to save tailgating (ES)
On-line fan petition (savetailgating.com)


Update: Redskins Blog has an official statement from the team here.
At least there was an update about the cash lots, as the team expects private lots to be able to cover the cash lots parkers.
And that tailgating is permitted in the stadium, but unless you're in the back you can only use your one parking space (thus it will be hard to do anything but drink a soda in the car.
Thank You for some clarification Redskins.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Contact info.

Got a Redskins scoop?

Want to share a guest blog?

Have a comment?

Well...now you can contact me at the official IIWII email:
deadmanblog@hotmail.com

I will have a link on the page also.

Happy Father's Day


Father's Day by *The-BlackCat on deviantART

Just sending a happy father's day for all you fathers out there including my dad........

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Draftee Signings......Who Will Hold Out?

Curious on who's being signed?

Got a bet with your buddy on who will hold out?

Well, here's a link for you courtesy of WalterFootball.com, it has every player from every round and the deals (if the info. is available).

The link is right here: 2009 Draft Signings

and

I will add the link to the reference list as well.

Redskins News and Notes 6/14/2009

Farewell, James Thrash

Long time veteran WR James Thrash was released from the Skins on Friday after he failed a physical. Thrash had missed OTAs because of a neck injury and the Skins were waiting to see if Thrash would have surgery to fix the damage or possibly retire. Thrash played for the Skins in two stints. One coming as UDFA and playing from 1997-2000. The second where Thrash was traded from the Eagles to the Skins from 2004-2008. He also played three seasons for the Eagles from 2001-2003.

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( Thrash catching a TD vs. Dallas, returning a punt vs. Detroit)

Thrash was one of Joe Gibbs' "core Redskins", a player that always worked hard and did whatever the team needed him to do to help the team succeed. He returned punts, played special teams, played a decoy and was a run blocker. Of course he also caught the occasional pass as well. With Thrash gone, the Skins currently have only four WRs that are guaranteed to make the roster (Moss, Randle-El, Thomas and Kelly) so this does open up 1-2 opportunities for the current roster of wide receivers to make the team. The Skins will also have to find a new team NFLPA representative as I believe Thrash was the current NFLPA representative.

Good luck in your future endeavors, James and much like Jon Jansen I hope that one day you will also officially retire as a Skin.

OTAs Are Over....
....and now begins the worst part of the year for the football fan as nothing is going on for the next month and a half. Basketball is pretty much over, same with Hockey and Baseball really doesn't have much until after the all-star break. But fear not loyal reader, IIWII has some articles planned to help tide you over until training camp starts. Entitled "Let's Look at the....." will look at each position for the Redskins. It will show the players, areas of competition and players to keep an eye on as training camp continues.

So What Have We Learned From the OTAs?
A little, but it's always hard to tell with OTA evaluations. I mean as fans, you don't get to see every drill or play. So you can't really tell if a player is better at running routes or if the team is having a better time grasping schemes. The coaches learn many things but they'll learn even more once the pads come on in training camp. Anyway, here are a few things that we have learned so far:
1. Malcolm Kelly has fully recovered and appears ready to go for training camp.
2. Jason Campbell has taken over his offense, something that has been mentioned if he is to succeed.
3. Mike Williams is getting closer to his goal of being around 350 lbs. come training camp.
4. Brian Orakpo is still practicing as a SOLB and looks like he will be playing the position at least come training camp.
5. Chris Horton has been named the starter at SS over Reed Doughty.
6. Fred Smoot is a good bowler.
7. Coach Zorn feels that the team has gotten a better grasp on the offense and are adding more to their schemes.
8. Laron Landry found and makes the last OTA day more interesting.

Draftee Signings (4 down, 2 to go)
The Redskins have announced the following draftees have been signed: Cody Glenn (5th), Robert Henson (6th), Eddie Williams (7th) and Marko Mitchell (7th).

The Skins also released Tyson Smith and Jeremy Cain to keep the roster maximum limit at 80.
Technically, the Skins have 82 players but only 80 players have signed contracts as Brian Orakpo and Kevin Barnes have yet to have deals in place. When they sign, two more players will be cut from the current squad.

FedEx Parking Update
I called the ticket office to find out about the parking and this is what I have heard.
1. The Blue lots (Jericho Church) are no more.
2. The Red lots may also be gone, but the Skins are currently in negotiations to maintain that lease.
3. The Redskins are building a new lot (gray lot) on their property.

It will be a very confusing and probably a frustrating time parking for the early games this season. My only advice is to get there early, but that will also be a problem for me as well.

No Love for the Skins
Finally I'll end on a semi-humorous note as the annual football season preview magazines have come out and as usual the Redskins are predicted to be dead last in the NFCE. One magazine had them 4th place but with an 8-8 record. And the early Superbowl favorites: Chargers over Eagles in one magazine, Patriots over the Giants in another.

Of course last year Pro Football Weekly had the Skins going 6-10 and the Cowboys winning the Superbowl over the Patriots. Sporting News had the Skins going 4-12.

Oh well, just something else to complain about. My wife asked me why I buy these magazines since they never have much good things to say about my team (and I usually disagree with them)? I said, because it's a good way to keep up with what the other teams are doing. Of course, if I disagree about their rankings on the Skins, what does that say about the rankings of the other teams.........

Friday Night Videos- Leroy Smith

By now, you probably know who is Charlie Murphy. Most likely because you've either heard about or seen the Rick James or Prince skits from the Chappelle Show. Oh yeah and he's Eddie Murphy's brother.

Anyway Charlie has created a new character, Leroy Smith. Leroy is here to inspire you on how to play basketball and the website is real. Not sure if these viral videos are an attempt to sell anything (you can't buy anything on the site) or promote a TV show or movie, but they remind me of the classic season 2 of Chappelle Show.





Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Notable Vinny Quotes of the Week



Here's some Vinny quotes from the last three weeks on Redskins Nation. Enjoy!

"Everybody's off and running. Everybody's in year two."

"Pencil him in where? He's picked 13th.......he's starting."
-On Brian Orakpo

"He's always been a worker. He works tirelessly."
-On Jason Campbell

"You need to take a chill pill Larry."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Redskins News and Notes.......

Ok, let's get started...again.

No More Blue/Red Parking Passes?
Not a big deal if don't go to games but it could be a serious issue for those (like myself) attending games. One evening after a lousy day at work, my wife told me I had received a letter from the Skins. At first I thought it was a letter informing me of a ticket upgrade, but it was that my Blue parking passes had been upgraded to Green.

Now, when I heard this I was ecstatic for a few reasons:
1. It's a much closer walk to FedEx than from the Blue lot.
2. There are some great tailgates going on in the Green lots and I actually know some of the people involved, so it gives me more reason to get there earlier a be a part of some tailgates.

Of course, there are some nice things about the Blue lots as well that I would miss:
1. I know the lots and how easy to get into them (ie. I know where I'm going).
2. More room. There are a great deal of median areas in both Blue lots, which is nice for tailgating without getting in other peoples' way.

But then (via Extremeskins) I found out that I wasn't the only one getting parking upgrades from the Blue lot.
Now it hasn't been officially made clear whether the Blue lots are going away (they are leased to the Skins from the adjacent Church of Jericho buildings) or if the Red, Blue and Green lots are just becoming all Green lots. But it will be something to watch and see if you may need to come even earlier to get a good spot. I have about a 2-2.5 hour trip depending on traffic (especially if there is an issue with the Bay Bridge) so the way it's going, for a 1PM game I may have to leave for FedEx before dawn (or earlier)......I hope somebody makes coffee at the tailgates!

If anybody has any inside info. on this, please leave a comment (you can do it anonymously) or PM me over at ExtremeSkins.

Ticket Upgrades?
Just an FYI to season ticket holders, the ticket office is working on upgrades, but apparently won't be done with the upper bowl (where my seats are) until mid-July. Again, I'm hoping to move down a few rows and get closer to row one, but I can't complain......
Here's a picture from the Giants@Skins from 2007.

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Are You Going to Training Camp?
The Skins have announced the dates where fans can attend training camp and watch practice. Here are the dates:
7/30, 7/31, 8/1, 8/2, 8/4, 8/5, 8/6, and 8/8

Note: all the practices are at 8:30AM with exception of 8/8 which is Fan Appreciation Day.

I went to Fan App. day in 2004 and while extremely crowded and somewhat disorganized at times (notably when people were getting in lines to meet and get autographs from the players), I had a pretty good time. My friend got to meet Sean Taylor and I got to meet Joe Bugel, which was the highlight of the day for me.

Here's some pics from that day:
(Laveranues Coles signs an autograph with a cameo by my thumb)

(watching practice)

I'm hoping to try and catch one of the practices this year so hopefully, I'll see you there.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Night Videos

Radiohead's Reckoner (From In Rainbows)


The Golden Girls for stoners


Spider-Man Cartoon parody (warning language)


and the Jet Jaguar theme song (from MST3K)

Weekend Redskins News and Notes 6/5/2009-6/7/2009 pt.1

Farewell, Jon Jansen



(Ed. Note: I know, I know this happened last week [last Friday to be exact]but IIWII hasn't had a Redskins News and Notes section in awhile and this is the first time I've had to mention it.)

Jansen was drafted by the Redskins in 1999 (2nd round - #37 overall) and had been a mainstay of the team ever since. However in 2004 Jansen started to suffer from injuries that slowed his career. In 2004 a ruptured achilles tendon ended his season. In 2005, Jansen broke both thumbs making him wear casts that made him look like The Fonz from Happy Days.
(Ayyyyyy!!! My thumbs have been broken all this time!!!!)
Then, in 2007 Jansen suffered another season ending injury in the opening game against the Dolphins and was replaced by Todd Wade and then rookie Stephon Heyer. In 2008, Heyer was named the starter at the beginning of the season; however, after an injury to Heyer, Jansen came in and remained the starter at right tackle. This season, it appeared for all intents that Jansen was not going to be the starter at right tackle even though the position has been considered by many to be an open one. Jansen was hoping to extend his career and tenure with the Skins by attempting a move to either guard or center (for the most part being a back up), but the Skins decided to move on and continue to develop some of their younger players.

To me, Jon Jansen will be remembered as a tough physical mauler that dominated in the run game. Yet, off the field on television he is a smart, well spoken and will easily be able to fit in with the ex-players that are currently in the broadcast booth or on the set doing analysis. It also needs to be noted that Jansen played during most of the Snyder era and the fact that he remained on the team for 10 seasons (without being replaced by a big named free agent) says many things about Jansen.

Jon Jansen has moved on and was signed by the Lions right after he was cut. I wish Jon the best in the remainder of his career........except when the Skins play the Lions in week 3. I also hope that once his playing days are over, he'll come back and retire as a 'Skin.

My question to the readers......Should Jon Jansen be put into the Redskins Ring of Fame?
That sounds like a good poll question.

Have You Seen Me?
If so, please call the Redskins at 555-Lost
(Announcing the Redskins new LaRon Landry Milk Carton now available at the Redskins store for $9.99, order yours today!)
With another round of OTAs finished almost all of the Redskins attended. James Thrash was one of the players who didn't but there's an explanation for that (next part of News and Notes will discuss it). The other, was LaRon Landry. And his coaches are not happy with his absence. Of course, unless he's reading the local papers or the internet, he might not know since his coaches haven't been able to get in contact with him.

Of course, this has sparked plenty of rumor (of course via PFT) that Landry may want out of DC or a new deal.
And fan debate/outrage here and here and here.......nothing new there.

Here's the deal.....OTAs are voluntary, same with off season workouts. Of course, he was at the mini-camp earlier this year. Now as a fan (not to mention a coach or the organization) you'd like to see all the players there. You'd like to read about team chemistry and how players are performing well in shorts and helmets. But sometimes some players try to stay away from work (it really is work for them, while for some of us fans it would be the ultimate dream job to play pro football, especially for the Skins) as much as possible. I know I don't go to work normally unless I have to be there.

Of course, it good to keep in touch with your coaches to make sure you know what's going on and they know what's going with you. The coaches are right about the chemistry and working on technique and scheme.

I've seen this before, with other players so frankly I'm not that bothered as others.

I think I'll stop here for tonight....more tomorrow including training camp, Mike Williams, FedEx field, James Thrash and Vinny quotes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Head's Up.....New Skinscast episode

Along with the OTAs, there's a new Skinscast episode to catch.

Here's the link (Skinscast)

Great listen for the Skins fan as they look at OTAs, the Jansen cut and everything else. Plus, it kills the off season boredom.

Note: I have Redskins News and Notes coming up, just being busy with my real job and doing the research and other crap that comes when I write.