Saturday, October 16, 2010

Redskins News and Notes 10/16/10

(Marty Schottenheimer was right all along to fire Vinny in 2001.)
 More proof of Vinny Cerrato failure- 2008 was the first year that Vinny Cerrato was officially in charge when it came to personnel decisions. Gone were the days of the experienced coach/team president who supposedly made the orders and Vinny got the deal done. Also (supposedly) the days of owner Daniel Snyder's interference was to be reduced minimized. The 2008 draft was a draft that the Redskin fans initially thought would be a good one. The Skins had many of their draft picks and would have an opportunity to start to add youth to their roster. Fans became even more happy when the Redskins traded out of the 1st round with Atlanta to get two additional 2nd round picks. By the end of the draft, the Redskins had selected 10 players. Although the WR position was addressed (in an almost Matt Millen-esque nature), the Redskins had minimal emphasis in addressing both the depleted offensive and defensive lines.

Flash forward less than three seasons later and with the recent cut of WR Devin Thomas (the highest chosen player of the 2008 Redskin draft), there's very few of those players still with the Redskins. Even more so, there's very few of these players still in the league. Let's take a quick look shall we?

#34 (2nd) Devin Thomas- cut by Redskins in 2010, now a Panther (40 catches, 445yds 3TD). Lost job to Anthony Armstrong, Roydell Williams and Joey Galloway. Considered inconsistent and struggled to get open.
#48 (2nd) Fred Davis- still a Skin (54 catches, 609yds 6TD). Had a great 2009. 2010, just hasn't been as good especially with Chris Cooley back in the lineup. #2 TE
#51 (2nd) Malcolm Kelly- on IR again. (28 catches, 365yds). Even is Kelly is talented as some think he is, he can't get on the field to prove it.
#96 (3rd) Chad Rinehart- cut 2010. Not currently in the league.
#124 (4th) Justin Tryon- traded to Colts in 2010 for undisclosed draft pick.
#168 (6th) Durant Brooks- cut 2008 by Skins. Not currently in the league.
#180 (6th) Kareem Moore- struggled early with injures, now starting FS.
#186 (6th) Colt Brennan- cut 2010 by Skins. Not currently in the league.
#242 (7th) Rob Jackson- currently on Skins practice squad.
#249 (7th) Chris Horton- started on and off in 2008/2009, currently a backup SS on Skins.

Ok, so here's the bad news. Of the 4 players drafted in the top 100 that year, only one is actively on the Skins and he's technically a backup. Only 50% of that draft class is still with the Skins, with 30% of the draft class currently active on game days. Only 1 player is a starter (Moore) while three players aren't even in the NFL. That's pretty sad and while Jim Zorn was by no means a great head coach, he doesn't look like he was given much by the front office to help his cause. I really have come to the conclusion that Vinny Cerrato may have been as bad if not worse that Matt Millen during their tenures as GMs.

Kudos to Mike Shanahan- for getting rid of guys who don't fit the Redskins needs. This is his team and Shanahan has pretty much made it clear that if guys don't fit the scheme or perform at the level he expects, they'll either lose their job or be cut outright. I expect some major overhaul in the off-season as the Skins evolve to be the team that Mike Shanahan truly wants.
(Devin Thomas- looking for an opportunity)
Despite being cut, I still think Thomas could succeed in the NFL- Devin Thomas was cut by the Skins for three main reasons in my opinion. First, he struggled to get open. Despite his size and decent speed, Thomas often had little separation with corners. Second, he was inconsistent in catching passes. There were times Thomas would make a really nice catch and then on the next attempt would drop an easy ball. Some were starting to float the 50/50 moniker towards him and that's never good (see Rod Gardner). Third was the lack of maturity/focus. Many insiders/beat reporters were saying that this had drastically improved but when you get caught falling asleep during a meeting (and a photo of it gets posted on Twitter by a teammate) that doesn't bode well.
What's going well for Thomas is that he has become a very capable kick returner. If he can be given a clean slate with Carolina and improve upon his focus, he might get an opportunity to become a good WR in the league. Too bad he's gone to a team that has a lame duck coach in John Fox and a rookie QB at the helm. It's clear that Thomas does have some talent and hopefully somebody can find a way for Thomas to develop it and use it in the NFL.

Portis does his best Schwarzenegger- There were thoughts being presented that Clinton Portis played his last game as a Washington Redskin two weeks ago. Portis has said that he'll be back and if you look at the timeline it makes total sense to see him back after the bye week. Portis hurt his groin during the Eagles game. The Redskins then said he'd likely be out 4-6 weeks. Going into the bye week, Portis will have had 4 weeks of rehab and recovery. After the bye week it will be more than 5 weeks. Unlike 2009, Portis likes Mike Shanahan as a coach, the Skins are winning and Portis can be a productive member of the team even if he's only blocking. At worst after the bye the Skins are 3-5, which I just don't see happening. Portis wants to be back to help this team win and to break John Riggins record as the all time Redskins rusher. I expect him to be back for the game against the Eagles either as the starter or splitting time with Ryan Torain.

Skins add another "Small" wide receiver to the roster- With the last minute addition of Keiland Williams to the active roster last week, the Redskins needed to fill a spot on the practice squad. They signed rookie WR Ray Small who played at Ohio St. Small is 5'11" and another short WR to join the team. Currently Roydell Williams is the tallest WR on the active roster (6'0"; Ed. note I'm taller than every WR on the roster except Malcolm Kelly).
Profile of Ray Small (
Ray Small game winning punt return (via You Tube)

Laron Landry is your NFC Defensive Player of the Week
(and he should be)
 Last week Landry led the team in tackles (13 total according to and had 1FF and 1 INT. The INT led to the game winning Graham Gano FG. It's just amazing how much Landry has improved from previous years. That says a great deal about D-coordinator Jim Haslett and his ability to turn what many were considering a possible 1st round bust, to what could be a pro-bowl caliber player. That's right, at this point I would say Landry should be going to the Pro Bowl and one would say he is in line for All Pro honors as well. Landry is currently second in tackles and it's clear that players are afraid of him hitting them.

Colts Game Notes

- Another big fan friendly game at FedEx. Gates are opening early (2PM) and the Redskins are having alumni host a parade at 5PM.The Skins will also be bringing back the Jumbotrons to the FedEx parking lots.

- Russ Grimm will receive his HOF ring during halftime with Coach Joe Bugel and the rest of The Hogs.

- The last time the Skins played the Colts  at FedEx (2002)  it was also during a night game and the Redskins also had a great deal of fan fare as they celebrated the 70 Greatest Redskins. I was at that game.

- Peyton Manning is an all time 0-1 at FedEx. This may be the last time he plays here in the regular season.

- The Colts have Redskin draft picks from two of our last three drafts on the roster: Justin Tryon (2008) and Cody Glenn (2009).

- Donald Brown and Anthony Gonzalez are out for tomorrow's game.

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