Sunday, January 17, 2010

Redskins Player Awards pt.2

Most Improved Player Defense:

Andre Carter: 11 sacks, 62 tackles (48 solo), 3 FF
Many thought 2008 would be a great year for Carter with Jason Taylor on the other side of him, but 2008 was rather disappointing with only 4 sacks. This year was completely the opposite. With the addition of Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo, Carter was able to take full advantage of  single player match ups and tied the team with 11 sacks.
(Honorable Mentions: Reed Doughty, Justin Tryon)

Most Improved Player Offense

Fred Davis: 48 catches, 509 yards, 6TDs
Outside of earning the nickname of "Sleepy" for missing a meeting/practice and having many fans scratching their heads on why the Skins would draft another pass catching TE in the 2nd round when it was clear the Skins needed help on the O-line, Davis did little ( 3 catches, 27 yards). I don't blame Davis really. Try to justify taking out Chris Cooley to play a rookie and then Zorn didn't feel comfortable running a two TE set which was the excuse for drafting Davis (that and the claim of the Redskins draft the Best Player Available, right Vinny?). Sadly, Cooley was lost for the 2009 season with an injury. This gave Davis an opportunity to show what he could do and he showed a great deal.
(Honorable Mentions: Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly)

Time for a quick season review Good, Bad and Ugly style

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly 2009 Season in Review

The Good
- Bye, Bye Vinny: It took about 10 years of mediocrity and a rock bottom 4-12 record in 2009 to finally end the Vinny Cerrato era. Again, it's not just because of Vinny. It's mostly because of the meddling of owner Daniel Snyder, but Vinny deserves a great deal of the blame in failure. With the 4-12 season, Snyder finally decided to go with the traditional and successful way of running a franchise- Bringing in a GM to run the football operations and finding a head coach who can truly be a head coach.

- Bruce Allen: Bringing in a GM who has a great deal of experience and knows all about Redskins football and its traditions is amazing. Sure it's great PR, but if anything it may just work. Also, unlike Cerrato, Bruce Allen comes from a family of public speakers and has already developed a decent rapport with the media. This is something neither Cerrato or Snyder has ever been successful in developing.

-London Fletcher, Andre Carter, Brian Orakpo, Albert Haynesworth, Fred Davis, Hunter Smith, Lorenzo Alexander, Reed Doughty. Guys who had decent and consistent seasons.

- Hello #4 pick in the draft. Silver lining of everything is that we pick around #4 in every round of the draft. Hopefully we can find some good players with those picks.

- Jason Campbell's handling of the entire season. From the beginnings of the 2009 season, Jason Campbell had a target on his back. From a trade for Jay Cutler, to the rumored drafting of Mark Sanchez to the pummeling he has taken all year. Campbell has stayed strong and steady where many quarterbacks could have easily had a meltdown or tried to sit out or demand a trade.

-Best play of the season:

And let's remember, this play shouldn't of been run. The Skins had to call timeout b/c they only had 10 guys on the field. Yet, they still ran the play and it gave the Skins their best win of the year. Luck, or just a bad job by the Broncos? Doesn't matter, still the best play of the year.

The Bad
- This play sums up the 2009 season:

frankly, you can't say/write any better way to explain it.

-Jim Zorn. Just never got it together and never showed that he should have been the head coach for any team. I like Zorn, he seems to be a nice guy and I was deeply hoping he could be the next Joe Gibbs but he's not. There are many things I could say to criticize about Zorn, but I think most of you know them by now anyway. The team lacked discipline and more or less Zorn had to go.

- Greg Blache. Not all of this is on Blache, I think Jerry Gray and and Steve Jackson did a lousy job with the secondary, but I hated Blache's schemes. They were conservative and almost as bad as Mike Nolan's prevent D schemes of the Norv Turner days. Bend, don't break schemes just don't work for me.....although with this offense, I could understand why he did it.

- Front Office, thy name is stupid. This is aimed to our pal Vinny Cerrato mostly, but the entire franchise deserves blame on this from Snyder down. First, you and Snyder piss off our starting QB so instead of focusing on the season he's wondering if he'll be replaced or traded. Then you get into a pissing war with Zorn and take away his play calling responsibilities mid-season. While I agree that Zorn shouldn't be calling plays (he was horrible), this should have been done better and during the off season. Had the Skins brought in Sherm Lewis during the off season and had this situation set up with Zorn "asking" for a playcaller then there would have been no drama and maybe it could have been worked out in a better way.
Oh yes, Redskins Park was nothing but a weekly soap opera and that starts at the top.Then you start running gestapo type tactics at FedEx when fans wish to show their displeasure by bringing in signs and wearing t-shirts calling for Snyder and Cerrato to be fired and that they are "dumb and dumber".
Here's a Bang! cartoon that pretty much sums it up.

- Bad moves: You keep Mike Williams for Jeremy Bridges......great move. Bridges becomes the starting LT for the Cardinals (after an injury), Williams goes on IR and has an ok 1-2 games.
You draft Cody Glenn, who only has 1 year of experience as a LB but then cut him and now he's an excellent STer for the Colts.
You keep an injured and disgruntled Anthony Montgomery and cut a impressive Antonio Dixon. Dixon goes on to joining the Eagles and has a decent rookie season.
Let's not even talk about the failure to use the 3rd rounder Kevin Barnes the entire season. Why in the hell did we draft him again?

-FedEx Field/Ticket Office: First the TO pissed me off when they talked of upgrades to those who renewed their tickets ("first come first serve, so renew early" the guy at the TO told me), yet few were upgraded unless they called to complain. It's one thing if the Skins didn't have any open seats a few rows below me to give out (that's all I really wanted), but that was not the case at all. What really made me mad was that I know fans who had given up their tickets 1-2 years ago in better spots than I and were offered (in some cases begged) by the Skins to come back and offered their seats back or an upgrade. I also know that some folks coming off the season ticket list got better seats than people who have been season ticket holders (like me) for years. There just doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to how the TO works and nobody wants to explain anything either.
Then we read the reports from The Washington Post about how the Skins TO sold GA and premium seats to scalpers (aka "ticket brokers") in 2008. In particular, this was partially responsible for the massive wave of Steeler fans that showed up on MNF in 2008. This and the deal with Stub Hub pretty much FedEx a place where there is no home field advantage.
I also have significant issue with the message the Skins are trying to send to fans at FedEx. They have warnings during and before the games about Redskin fans being mean/disruptive/unruly to opposing team fans, but nothing like this to THE OPPOSING TEAM FANS. So they can be total assholes, eh? Also, it seems like the staff has been told to treat the opposing fans better than the Redskin fans. I have no source to confirm this, but that's the feeling I get when I go to FedEx. You go to M&T and you know you're in the Raven's house. Not so at FedEx.
I have another post coming up about my complaints on FedEx, so I'll leave this topic for now.

-Clinton Portis, Laron Landry, Carlos Rogers, the O-line, Antwaan Randle-El, Shawn Suisham. Can you disagree with me on this? I didn't think so.

- Injuries. Bad year for injuries 5 week 1 starters were on IR. Then you lose another 4-6 by the end of the year. This isn't even counting the fact that Carter and Daniels were playing with torn biceps, Jarmon, Brennan, Eddie Williams all were IRed as well. I'm not convinced we would have had a winning season if some of these guys had remained healthy but we would have won more than 4 games. Although, 4-12 was a good thing in that it has forced Dan Snyder to change.

The Ugly
- Vinny Cerrato stated that they fielded a "playoff caliber" team and yet this team was 4-12. Take that as you will.
- The Skins finished 0-6 vs. The NFCE, which is just unacceptable especially for a team that it considered to be at least somewhat talented. The last time the Skins were 0-6 was in 1994 with an inept and rebuilding Norv Turner Redskins team.
- Looking at the entire NFC, the Skins were not much better. 2-10 vs. the NFC. That's right. 2-10. Both of those wins were against even worst teams: The Rams (1-15) and the Buccaneers (3-13) and one could argue that the Skins could have easily lost to the Bucs and almost lost to the Rams.
- The Skins fared better against a weak AFCW going 2-2 for the season. Surprisingly, the Skins beat a better than expected Broncos team but lost to an obviously bad Chiefs team. Let's not forget the Skins got beat by a Chargers team that played most of their 2nd and 3rd stringers by the end of the 1st quarter.
- At home, the Skins were a lousy 3-5 and an even worse 1-7 on the road. Ideally, if you want to make the playoffs you need  to have a 10-6 record or better (yeah, 9-7 and 8-8 has gotten teams in but 10-6 most likely will get you a playoff berth). In that 10-6 record, you should be at least 6-2 at home. No other sport seems to have a better home field advantage than football......and the Skins just don't seem to have one at FedEx.
- I'm going to make an early prediction about 2010: one of these RBs: Quinton Ganther, Marcus Mason or Anthony Alridge will have a 1,000 yard season.
- I think there will be more than a few veterans that will be gone before the regular season starts and I think that there may be a few surprises.
- I also think that the Skins will struggle in 2010, but will be a much better team than the 2009 team.

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