Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Training Camp is Just a Few Hours Away

Yay!
Football season is finally here and I have to apologize that I haven't been on the blog lately b/c of work reasons. I'm finishing up my current jobs and have been in the process of finding/getting a new one.....add the fact that multiple household items of necessity have broken down and have done nothing but given me multiple headaches the past week plus.

Anyway, Let's Look At will be finished by this weekend, I hope the 1-2 people who read the blog have enjoyed it. I also hope to still attend training camp but it will probably now be the 4th. I'm trying to figure if it's worth driving down that day or going the night before and coming in the next day.......it's about a 3.5 hour trip each way after mapping it out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Worst Move Made By Roger Goodell (so far)....

(The NFL has decided to ban the Draft Day Party)

One of the best things about the off season is the annual NFL draft. For months, the obsessed football fan goes through each and every draft available player from the most prestigious to the most unknown college. Hours and hours of tedious and radically boring Combine footage is watched. Pro days are followed. Throughout this, they try to figure out which player should go where and who needs whom. Mock drafts, are made, scrapped and re-made with better choices for each pick. Hell, Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and Mike Mayock are just a few people who's career has been made because of the draft.

And it could be slowly coming to an end.

You see, all the predicting, all the mock drafts all the rumor chasing and interviews and workouts culminate into one amazingly weekend long kick-ass draft day party. Maybe you hang out at your local bar with your buddies and gripe over the picks over wings. Maybe, you go to the draft day party held by your team (The Redskins for example usually has one annually if they have a 1st round pick), tailgate, maybe meet a player or coach and watch the draft on the Jumbotron (or at FedEx The Not So Jumbotron next to the Lite-Brite). If you're like me, you load up on some beer and sodas, grill some Brats and Ribs (although this year I went the Famous Dave's take out route) have some of your friends over. It's a great time and a perfect excuse to throw on a jersey and enjoy a weekend without any chores.

Of course, that won't happen next year.

The NFL has decided to go after prime time ratings by breaking up the draft into three days (was two in the past few years) and airing day one and two in the evening and day three starting at 10AM. It's a huge mistake. Does the NFL really think that they'll pull even close to the same ratings that they get on a Saturday? Is the draft more intriguing to the casual fan or a new episode of The Office or CSI? No matter what, the hard core football geeks (like me) will be watching anyway but the NFL wants to bring in the casual fan. The fan there for the occasional game that enjoys football but isn't obsessed with the game. The fan that might be more interested in watching rounds 1-3 instead of a baseball, hockey or basketball game. I'm not convinced that fan will be interested after a long day of work and that they'll have to be in bed at a reasonable time to get through the final work day of the week.

It cuts out draft day parties for most of us. It cuts out hanging with friends, talking about football and life all while making fun of Mel Kiper's hair. It kills a fan created holiday.....something that should have made the NFL proud.

I think the ratings will be disappointing at best and I hope the NFL learns a valuable lesson from this; something that they should take into account when working with the NFLPA over a new CBA (and preventing a lock out): If it's not broke don't fix it, or you may just happen to break it in the process.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick Movie Comment: Bruno

I saw Bruno on Sunday and I don't plan on giving a detailed review or a grade on the film. But let's just say it wasn't my cup of tea so to speak. I get the social commentary about homophobia, about the obsession with fame, about the fakeness of hollywood and charities that the stars have no clue but do it in order for good PR. There were also a few scenes that I felt were extremely funny if not absurd that made me laugh. But overall, Bruno goes beyond the edginess that one saw in Borat (which I liked) and enters the realm of crass and obscene (which maybe was the point, but it just didn't work for me). Plus, Bruno felt much more scripted than the Borat film or the Ali G episodes, which takes away from the real-life element that the character is experiencing in the "real world".

All NFL Fans Share One Thing in Common Right Now.....

As we are mere days away from the start of training camp, it came to me that there is no other time in the entire year (with exception to draft day) where fans of all 32 teams can be completely excited. This is the only time where all 32 fan bases can feel anticipation for the start of the year. This is the time of the year where all fans can have one thing that will dwindle as the season starts and will be completely gone for most as we get to February. That my dear reader is Hope.

Hope comes in different forms for different people.

For the Lions fan, hope is an 5-8 win season (although I would guess many would be happy with 4 wins) and the hope that the worst franchise in the league that has been stewing in mediocrity since the 2000 season is finally starting to turn the franchise around.

For the Texans fan, hope is finally making the playoffs and possibly toppling the Titans and Colts in the AFC South (this year may be their best chance to do it).

For the Vikings fan, hope is that Brett Favre quits jerking the team around and makes his decision to come back and play for Minnesota.

For the Packers fan, hope is that the Packers make Favre regret that probable decision.

For myself, being a Redskins fan, hope is a tricky proposition. Especially after the end of the 2008 season, I was convinced that 2009 would be a mediocre season. But then the offseason comes and the burnout and frustration goes away. Haynesworth, Dockery, Orakpo and the re-signing of Hall helps.

Then came the whole Cutler/Sanchez/Campbell saga. And while it was frustrating to see this whole debacle, I actually think the figurative hot seat for Jason Campbell may push him to the level he needs to be to succeed as a starting QB. Sometimes, the "I'll show you!!" attitude makes people do things that they couldn't have done with pampering and support. Trust me, it works. It got me through college.

Of course, some fans have hope that players like Mike Williams (a former 1st round bust, out of football and now fighting for a roster spot) will be the next Pro Bowl tackle. He's a great story and I hope he does well, but I think you're drinking way too much Kool-Aid if you think Williams will be the best right tackle in the league and dominate after years of struggling and being out of the NFL.

Redskin fans are stereotyped by other fans that we think every year is a Super Bowl year even if Danny Wuerffel and Trung Candidate are heading a Steve Spurrier offense. For some people, that may be the case, but some Redskin fans don't see it and I'm one of them. I don't see it right now for this team.....but guys please prove me wrong. I'll be proud to have a nice big bowl of crow stew if the Skins could do something like win the NFCE or go deep into the playoffs (I'm talking NFC Championship game).

Anyway, here what I hope for with the Skins in the 2009 season.
1. I hope the O-line can stay healthy (this will be a huge storyline throughout the year).
2. I hope Jason Campbell has figured out what he needs to do to get points on the board and not make mistakes.
3. I hope that Thomas, Kelly and Davis have gotten healthy and figured out what it takes to be a productive NFL player.
4. I hope that Albert Haynesworth is worth every penny in his contract (remember, I wasn't initially that happy about the move).
5. I hope that the Redskins know what they're doing with Brian Orakpo.
6. I hope Jim Zorn figures out what he needs to improve upon as a signal caller and head coach and can get the job done.
7. I hope that the fans can come to FedEx and see the Skins at least win at home.
8. I hope that I'll be seeing my first playoff game at FedEx this year.

Hey, one can hope right?

Dexter Manley Profile (From BGO)


"Dexter Manley has always been a force of nature. And, like all forces of nature, he was at times simultaneously awe-inspiring and beautiful, dangerous and destructive—a human pendulum moving back and forth between glory and disaster. On the football field and in life, we’ve never quite been able to turn away from the show. During nine dominating seasons, he was both the best of what it meant to be a Washington Redskin, and the worst."



Excerpt from BGO Exclusive: Dexter Manley click here to read the entire article. This is a great profile on my favorite Redskin written by John "Boone' Jeffries that I thought any Redskin or Dexter Manley fan would appreciate.

If you haven't checked out BGO yet, now you have reason to do so.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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 Tight Ends

2008 Summary: For Chris Cooley, it was a real good year in one aspect and a dissapointing one in another. Cooley set a career high in catches with 83 but had an all time low in TD catches with only one. That one TD wasn't even thrown by Jason Campbell, but by Antwaan Randle-El on a option pass. Todd Yoder also had a TD catch (see picture above) but is used more for his blocking skills than pass catching ability. Fred Davis had a hard time getting on the field and only caught three passes.

Player

Rec Yds
Yds/Rec Long TD

Chris Cooley 83 849 10.2 28 1

Todd Yoder 8 50 6.3 14 1
Fred Davis 3 27 9.0 15 0

Current Roster: Robert Agnone, Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Todd Yoder

Biggest Position Battle: In this case I wouldn't really call this a position battle but more of a situational battle between Fred Davis and Todd Yoder. Yoder is more of a blocking TE while Davis is the pass catching threat. It really depends on how the team uses these two to determine who's going to get more time, but I do expect the Skins to try to get Davis on the field to give Jason Campbell another target.

Player to Watch: Fred Davis

This needs to be a breakout year for the former USC TE and 2008 2nd round pick. Last year, Davis hardly saw the field and became more known for oversleeping and missing a practice. In 2008 he only caught 3 passes, but he appears to be putting the effort to have a much better 2009. The coaches have taken notice and hopefully Davis can step up and be a great complement and possibly even spell Chris Cooley.

Projected Starter: Chris Cooley. It's pretty much a no brainer to expect Captain Chaos out on the field as much as possible since Cooley has pretty good hands and has an amazing knack at finding a way to get open no matter who's covering him. Then, once he makes the catch is incredibly tough to bring down. The Redskins need to find ways to get the ball to the TEs inside the Red Zone. Only 2 TD catches in 2008 is way too few for one of the stronger units on the offensive side of the ball.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

technical difficulties

For some reason the last post has screwed up some of the link colors and what not.

I'm trying to fix it, so if you see some color changes in the next day or two that's why.

Update: in the link for the BGO feed it's coming up B&G like it should......I have no clue what's going on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So, I Found Another Redskins Site......

BGO.

Which is short for Burgundy and Gold Obsession. The site has been created by some very excellent former members/moderators/owners of ExtremeSkins and the Redskins Historian Mike Richman and I highly suggest you should check it out if you want some smart conversation about the Redskins and to meet some really nice people.

Here's the link: http://www.bgobsession.com/

and I will be adding BGO to the links portion of IIWII.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yay! Bram's Back!!!

Well, technically he's been back awhile based on his new blog. But former Sportstalk 980 personality, Redskins Beat Reporter, host of the Bram Weinstein show and co-host of Redskins Radio/Redskins Nation (Ed Note: Oh yeah, he's with some 4-letter sports network currently) Bram Weinstein is back with new blog entries on Me Talk Athlete. I always enjoyed Bram's work on Redskins Radio where he was a good foil for Larry Michael.

So, if you like Bram's work on Covering the Redskins, you'll probably enjoy Me Talk Athlete as well.

(Special thanks to TK of ExtremeSkins for the head's up).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chris Cooley MMQB

For those who read Peter King's MMQB (or if you're like me and enjoys KSK's MMQB commentary) and are Redskins fans you should be happy this week as Captain Chaos himself fills in for the master of coffee flavored water.

It's a pretty good read and Cooley's argument for Smart Football isn't a new one but it's one I whole heartily agree with especially in a world that has perfected GPS and has Google Earth.

Plus, there's some controvery.

You can read the article here.

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 Running Backs

( Photo from Redskins.com taken by Ned Dishman)
2008 Summary: The running game was a perfect example of the 2008 Redskin's season. It started slow in the first few weeks and then it boomed. In weeks 4-8 Clinton Portis alone was averaging 139 yds./game. Portis appeared to be on pace for a 2,000 yard season and much like Jason Campbell, was getting MVP consideration by some of the media. Then, Portis suffered some injuries during the Pittsburgh game and was hindered throughout the remainder of the season (only to have only 1 more 100+ yard game). Portis did make his 2nd career Pro Bowl.

Ladell Betts also struggled with injuries and was ineffective in the few carries he was given. The Redskins brought in former MVP Shaun Alexander to carry the load for the injured Portis and Betts, but he was also unable to do much. Alexander was cut only after playing a few games. Rock Cartwright was used very sparingly as a RB and excelled as a kick returner and special teams specialist. Mike Sellers had a great season and made his first ever Pro Bowl but had a key fumble in a game and showed that he's more of a threat as a blocker and pass catcher than pure runner.

(Stats from NFL.com)
Player Att Yds Yds/Att Long TD
Clinton Portis 342 1487 4.3 31 9
Ladell Betts 61 206 3.4 14 1






Shaun Alexander 11 24 2.2 8 0
Mike Sellers 6 24 4.0 10 0
Rock Cartwright 5 14 2.8 7 0

Current Roster: Anthony Alridge, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Dominique Dorsey, Jonathan Evans, Marcus Mason, Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Eddie Williams*
* 2009 draftee ( 7th round; 221 overall)

Biggest Position Battle:

Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright vs. The Field
(For #2 and #3 RB positions)
If this had been last season, I would have said it was practically impossible for anybody to beat out either Betts or Cartwright for a spot. But that was last year. Betts struggled last year. Rock was hardly used as a RB despite Portis and Betts having injuries and Alexander being ineffective. So it's easy to say that both players could be on the hot seat come training camp. In the offseason, the Redskins brought in Anthony Alridge and Dominique Dorsey. Both are speedier 3rd down/punt return/kick return type players in the mold of a Darren Sproles and will push both Rock Cartwright and Antwaan Randle-El for a chance at returning the ball on teams. Dorsey was named the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player for the CFL in 2007 and 2008. By adding a speedster, the Redskins hope that it will provide a little variation to the more power oriented styles of Betts and a older Portis.

Fan favorite and leading rusher of the 2008 pre-season Marcus Mason was brought back after serving brief stints with the Ravens and Jets. Last year Mason ran all over teams in the pre-season but was cut mostly because he struggled in his special teams performance (also it was very tough to crack the roster when the team carries just three RBs). It will be interesting to see if Mason has improved upon last year's performance. If he has, it may be up to the Redskins to determine who will have a better impact in 2009: Marcus Mason or Ladell Betts.

The Skins will probably only keep 4-5 running backs (3-4 Halfbacks and 1 Fullback) so it seems pretty likely that only 2-3 of the five players fight for a job will make the team. I'm not fully convinced both incumbent players will be back, although Rock Cartwright has been the heart of the Special Teams corp. for years and Betts has been getting positive reviews during OTAs and mini-camp.

Player to Watch: Marcus Mason. I am curious to see what Dorsey and Alridge can bring to the team. I also would like to see how Betts is doing. But, I chose Mason because I really thought I saw some talent in him last year and I think he has the potential to help reduce Portis' work load. If he can put up numbers like he did last year and play better on special teams, I have to think the Redskins have to find a roster spot for Mason this year. Yes, I know it was just pre-season and if Mason was such a phenom. that he would have stuck on the Ravens or Jets but what I did see impressed the hell out of me and I think he has a great chance to be at least a solid backup in the NFL........or better.


Projected Starters: Clinton Portis (HB), Mike Sellers (FB). It's really no surprise. Evans and draftee Eddie Williams will have a tough time beating out Sellers (who I have dubbed "Big Play Mike" after all the TDs he caught in '05) for the starting job or a roster spot. Portis has shown year after year that he has what it takes to be an elite running back in the NFL. The only thing I see is that the Redskins need to lessen his work load a bit. If anything, Portis has become more dedicated in his training regimen and has become a smarter running back relying on his wisdom and skill to get yards than just speed (much like a great pitcher relies less on his power but more on finesse as he gets older). Portis may not be as elusive as he was in past years but he always finds ways to make plays whether it be running or blocking. CP has said it himself "Portis Pockets Straight" and that pretty much sums it up. Expect another big season from both Portis and Sellers if the Redskins are to win.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Night Videos

just a few odds and ends for your weekend:

We'll start with a more interesting trailer for the movie 2012 (via Film Drunk).
If only real trailers were like this.


Next is a song about United Airlines and bad customer service. Hilarious (via GPC)


I've been on both sides of the customer service world and while I believe the slogan "The customer is always right" is one of the worst terms ever created (it really gives people the ability to be complete and total a-holes), I also believe we see too many people/companies getting away with crap via the runaround and simply not caring.

And finally a new Star Trek edit from Jandrew edits:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Redskins News and Notes June/July


Polls closing*
I pretty much decided to drop the question about Jansen in the Redskins Ring of Fame. With 10 votes in 70% said no. I'm calling this one.

I'm also dropping the "Grade the Draft Poll" for 2009. Obviously, we won't know how well this class panned out until the end of 2010 or 2011. But here's the results:

A: 10% (5 votes)
B: 40% (19 votes)
C: 36% (17 votes)*
D: 4% (2 votes)
F: 6% (3 votes)
Incomplete: 2% (1 vote)
Total: 47 votes
* Note I voted C in this poll.

I'll bring back the poll at the end of the season and at the end of the 2010 and 2011 seasons (as long as IIWII is still around.....) and we'll keep comparing......

Ticket and Parking Updates
Not much to report that can help anyone, the Redskins were offering upgrades to the upper bowl ticket holders. Of course, I just got my notice today so everybody else had bought them up. If you are looking for single tickets, now is the time to get them. I would actually consider doing this, but as of now my availability to go to games is in question.

As for parking, it sounds like the Redskins are ready for the problems that may come up. There has been some talk about the tailgating making it easier for people to do so and that the attendant parking won't start until about 2 hours before the game. It does sound like the Redskins are trying to make things more efficient. I'll report about what I'm seeing on game day. I'm still thinking about giving up the tickets next year for a few reasons.

Really not much else going on worth writing about.....keep checking back here as I will continue the Let's Look at......series.

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's Been a Bad Week for the Deadman......

Normally, I don't like to write about my personal life here or when I post items on the message boards because anybody can read it and frankly who cares. You're looking to read somebody's opinion on the Redskins or a movie review or something.....not a sob story, or how somebody else's life is so great or so miserable.

But this has been a bad week for me so I figured I would share. At least this explains why I haven't been on IIWII in the past few days......

My job has gotten worse the last few months. I won't say who I work for or what it is I do but I'll say it's a much harder job than you think it is and than most people give the profession credit. And as much of a pain in the ass my job is, I actually like it (can tolerate it is the better word) and am pretty damn good at it (ironically at my job I am a perfectionist, outside of the job- not so much, but in this field you have to be perfect or people can be hurt). But lately it has gotten real bad. Our inventory has been cut dramatically. So bad that when we get an order for an item we distribute regularly, we're out. It doesn't make any sense. Also our staff has been reduced significantly (I know......welcome to the current recession, who's staff hasn't been reduced significantly?).

The supervisor of our department had quit about two months ago so not only am I doing my job but I've been doing most of the former supervisor's job (I passed on the position b/c I didn't want the workload of my job and the supervisor's responsibilities nor was I going to get any compensation- though I'm stuck with them now anyway) and the work of my staff (since my staff has been cut, I'm doing their work as well b/c we usually only have one staffer there to do the work of three people).
So now this week I get called into a meeting with my staff and my boss tells me that there are going to be pay cuts for me and the entire staff.....and that's the final straw.

It was a slap in the face, frankly. Bust your ass, stay and work extra hours- usually not getting paid (don't even mention overtime with me, I don't get overtime BTW) fixing the problems that everybody else screws up and this is the thanks I get. I should be getting a raise, not getting a cut. Plus, I know the board of directors just gave themselves nice big, fat raises (they make in 1 year what would take me 15-20 years to make) so that's enough for me.

The irony of it all is that if I had been asked to take a pay cut in order to hire another staffer, I probably would have done it with no problems.

So now I am unemployed. But I would rather take a lesser paying job for somebody else right now than to work for a place that expects you to be screwed over and then say "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?".

So the upcoming weeks at IIWII will be interesting. I'll be running around looking for a job.
Thanks for reading.