Sunday, February 28, 2010

Take A Break From The Combine and Watch Some Hockey

 

US vs. Canada for the gold medal at 3PM EST in HD. Plus, the combine is in repeat mode right now, so you're not missing anything.

Redskins News and Notes, Combine Aftermath Day 1

There have been some Redskins news stories coming out of The Combine but first let's look at some of the results from the combine.

Combine Day 1 (Saturday):
- I won't go in detail on who did what (ie. drills) because NFL.com has a section where all of that info. is available. Go here to read the full results.

- Russel Okung and Mitch Petrus (the top 2 guys in the bench press for the OL by the way) both suffered injuries and could not finish. Okung had a minor groin pull and Petrus pulled his hamstring.
-Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland) has impressed scouts and the panel of announcers at the combine. Many said he looked liked the best tackle in the draft, until you watch the game tape. He does look good in the Under Armour like a bigger, faster version of Jason Smith from last year and had the fastest 40 time and was 3rd in the bench press. The problem is that none of this really matters on what Campbell will do on game days. Can he hit? Can he drive guys off the ball? Campbell is a pretty young guy (21) and has limited experience but I think he could easily be developed into a great tackle if he has the right coaching and can start as a RT (like Michael Oher is doing in Baltimore) to get the snaps under his belt. My concern is that a team will fall in love with the intangibles here at The Combine and draft him too high and have too high expectations for a kid that still needs to be developed. Something tells me that the Raiders will again be calling for a very fast Terp. If that's the case, expect Raider Nation to be thoroughly disappointed for the second year in a row with the top pick from Maryland. I see Campbell as a late 1st early 2nd round pick, which means that he could be a target for the Skins depending on what they do at #4 overall.

- Could this be the deepest draft class ever for O-linemen? Gil Brant at NFL.com thinks so. That's great news for the Redskins who could arguably need 3-5 new starting O-linemen and another 2-3 players as depth/developing roles. What is also good is that even with the top talent picked clean by the end, there will be a few UDFAs that will fall through the cracks even though they might be considered late round talent. If the Redskins are smart, they will hopefully get 3-4 kids coming out of this draft class either as draft picks or UDFAs.

- Keep an eye on Roger Saffold and Tony Washington. Washington was considered to be a late round pick and Saffold also was a later round pick (depending on what position draft sites have him playing and what they think of him). Both stood out well in O-line drills (not 40's and bench presses but the actual drills) and both should be rising on some boards.

-I'll be honest, I really didn't pay much attention to the TEs participating at The Combine. C'mon, there is no way in hell that the Skins should spend any draft picks on a TE (even though Todd Yoder could be gone and the Skins would have a need for a blocking TE) when they already have Cooley and Davis and have only needs at a bunch of other positions.
That said, Dennis Pitta of BYU reminds me of a slightly bigger version of Chris Cooley. I also expect maybe 1-2 TEs this year to go in the late 1st/early 2nd rounds.

-I'm already bored out of my mind watching the combine and have started to DVR it. You get about 15 minutes of pertinent information for every 2 hours of combine. I don't know how the announcers stand it.

Redskins News and Notes
-Mike Shanahan had a pretty lengthy press conference with the media at the combine and said that Jason Campbell will be tendered. This is no real surprise as the Redskins have no one currently on the roster who should be starting. Does this mean anything about what the Skins will do at #4? Nope. All it means is that Jason Campbell will most likely be the starter in 2010. Even if the Skins draft Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen at #4, I doubt they will take the field barring injury b/c our O-line will still be a bit of a mess. Shanahan also mentioned how he admired how Campbell has handled himself with the Redskins. This is a no brainer, Shanahan expects a strong work ethic from his players and it's pretty well known around the league that you'll get that from Campbell. Also, Shanahan is doing the exact opposite of what Cerrato did with him last year. Shanahan is building up his quarterback which is a smart move, especially when that QB has been nothing but been beaten up both physically and mentally by the moves that the Redskins have made over the past few years.

- Shanahan also emphasized that he wants full participation in the off season program by his players.
"The first thing we have to do is make sure these players understand that we're gonna give them a chance to get better, relative to how we run the offseason program or strength and conditioning program [and] what they can do to better themselves. I think it's very important for them to understand that the team comes first, and to work together and do the little things the right way. It's a long process, the offseason program. It's not easy. A lot of hard work involved, and I think it's very important to show your teammates exactly how hard you work and how dedicated you are to the program."
From Mike Shanahan's press conference (via transcript) at the combine. Excellent transcript of the entire presser over at Matt Terl's Redskin's Blog, I highly suggest you read it.
What this means is that Shanahan is sending a message to all of his players that he expects them to train and to be at Redskins park to train and to work as a team. Sure, the message may be aimed at Clinton Portis but it also is going to other guys that don't regularly show (Laron Landry). This will be a hard off season for the players but hopefully a much better regular season.

-Skins are currently negotiating with Casey Rabach on a new contract per Redskins Insider.

-Ethan Albright also is hoping to be re-signed by the team before March 5th.

- Two nice articles by Rick Snider and John Keim of the Washington Examiner on why the Skins shouldn't trade out of the #4 spot and why they shouldn't go after Jimmy Clausen if they stay at #4.

- Of course, the Redskins are linked to every free agent on the market or soon to be on the market. Matt Mosley reports that Mike Shanahan is friends with LaDainian Tomlinson, so of course he'll be a Redskin. Brian Westbrook grew up as a Redskins fan and his brother (Byron) currently is a Skin, so obviously he'd also like to play here. The big name of discussion would be whether the Skins are interested in Karlos Dansby which has been floating around. It's a possibility especially if the Redskins do convert to a 3-4 scheme. That said, in a 3-4 what happens to Rocky McIntosh if the Skins sign Dansby? Tony Pashos of the 49ers is another name that has been floating around.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Weekend on IIWII.........No Combine For You (Saturday!!!)

Rejoice and let the weekend begin!!!!
The combine has started already and while I start to catch up on my DVRs of the Senior Bowl and other games, now it's time to watch The Combine.
It's funny, because I always get hyped up for The Combine. I think it's b/c for the football junkie (like me) it's the first time in a good month or two that you really get some football related news and/or action. By the end of The Combine, I'm always bored to tears. You can only watch guys in Under Armour gear running, jumping, doing drills and running some more. The guys on the NFL Network try to make it interesting, but they can only do so much. Rich Eisen is still the best moderator/host of any football show going, the sermons you get from Deion Sanders are great and I enjoy Mike Mayock's intensity as he breaks down the good and bad qualities of players.

But nonetheless, The Combine is boring as hell.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meaningless Mock Draft 1.0 (Redskins only)

'Tis the season for the return of the mock draft. Not like I know anything, but since it has been a major topic of interest/discussion for all of us, why not throw another mock draft into the only thousands of mocks currently in existence.

Version 1.0 is Redskins only and the full 7 rounds (which means only 6 picks if you count Jeremy Jarmon, five if you don't), obviously I haven't been following what other teams are looking for and since IIWII is a Redskins blog I do have a general idea of what the Redskins need or possibly want. However, it will be hard to determine where the Skins are exactly going until we see what they do (or what they don't do) during free agency.

I have a few rules when doing my mocks:
1. No trades, unless they are official. So for anybody who say the Skins should trade back (I'm not against that at all if they get a good deal and Shanahan and Allen can make those type of deals), this mock will not take a hypothetical trade in consideration unless I throw that wild card into the mix (which I normally don't).

2. No compensation picks. At this point, they haven't been awarded and until they are, it's hard to say that the Skins or any other team will have any extra picks.

3. Assumptions: Every mock is predicated on some personal bias or some sort of opinion of why a team would select a player and what direction they are going, here are some of mine about the Skins. These assumptions will change as we get closer to the draft.
- I believe the O-line is in need of a major overhaul and I also believe that Mike Shanahan (unlike Vinny Cerrato) will make a major effort to start that process in 2010.
-I believe that Chris Samuels will retire and that Randy Thomas will be back to start the season.
-I believe that Jason Campbell will be the starting QB in 2010, but the Skins will be looking to develop a QB to be the future starter of this team.
- I believe that the Redskins have needs in the secondary and that Carlos Rogers is in the doghouse, Fred Smoot has lost a step and will convert to some FS/dime hybrid player, Justin Tryon is more of a nickle corner, Kevin Barnes is an unknown factor and that Byron Westbrook will have to really impress to keep a job. That said, this is a pretty deep draft for corners and I believe that the Skins will again for the third time in three years draft another corner unless they can find someone in free agency.
-I believe that there is a need for a new strong side linebacker, which would allow Brian Orakpo to move to DE (if they stick to a 4-3 base, if the Skins go 3-4 this is more moot) but I just have a feeling that the Skins will address this in free agency.

Ok, so here we go.....as a bonus, I will throw out an alternate mock where the 1st and second round picks have been changed.

1st round (#4) Russel Okung, OT- Right now many are going QB with this pick, but I just don't see it with Bradford. Especially when recent 1st round QBs have been day 1 starters. Sam Bradford seems to be more of a developing project according to some and that may not fit with where the Redskins are going at least with the 4th overall pick. Some have Anthony Davis as the best tackle in the draft (he could be I haven't seen a great deal of him on tape) but Okung looked like the ideal offensive linemen in the game I watched of him. Plus, he is considered an elite pass blocker which is critical in the NFC East.

2nd round (#37) Dan LeFevour, QB- I think it's really a stretch here but right now, this could be the pick if the Skins want to draft a young QB with the intent on possibly making him a starter down the line. This is a generally bad QB draft class, but I think LeFevour, Tony Pike or another QB could be an option here. Frankly, I think it would be more prudent drafting another OT or OG, CB, LB here. However since there seems to be a general desire to find Jason Campbell's heir apparent, this would be the most likely spot to address the need.

3rd round (used in 2009 Supplemental draft)- Jeremy Jarmon, DE- A good pick by Vinny Cerrato. Hopefully he will recover from the ACL injury and be a dominant run stuffing DE for years to come.

4th Round (#100) Amari Spievey, CB- this is unlikely that he'll be here. He'll probably be gone by then and again maybe 2nd round would be a good place to get a corner. Good height, skills, smarts and willing to play the run sounds like a good fit for a team that struggled in the secondary in 2009.

5th Round (#131) LeGarrette Blount, RB- this could be a huge steal for the Redskins with this pick, Blount has been a pretty good RB in his days at Oregon and has fresher legs b/c of his suspension. He looked good at the Senior Bowl and may have grown up after being suspended. Before anybody questions the character concerns here, remember Shanahan drafted Maurice Clarett in the 3rd round when he was with the Broncos. Blount could be battling for a starting spot if the Skins draft him.

7th round Sergio Render, OG (#195)- The Skins could go any route with their final pick but I think they'll target another lineman to develop. However, this could easily be a DT or a skill position/STs player.

Alternate Mock: I'll keep rounds 4-7 the same but at #4 it would be Sam Bradford, QB, which means at #37 I think the Skins would take Charles Brown, OT  because I think Brown fits Shanahan's scheme better than maybe Vladimir Ducasse (who I like) and would be a good prospect LT.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IIWII/Redskins News and Notes: 2/14/2010

Happy Valentine's Day for many of you love birds out there. If you're single and don't have a date, well today's a good time to leave the TV off pop in a DVD or catch up on some XBox or something else. Most of you have given your gifts or whatnot to your significant other. Me, I had flowers planned for the Mrs. but somehow UPS thought my wife lives in Doylestown, PA (she doesn't BTW) and delivered it there.

So, to the guy who got free flowers to give to his wife/girlfriend.......you're welcome and no, she's not cheating on you; just somebody out there can't read a road atlas, or scanned something wrong or didn't want to come out in the snow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The FedEx Field Conundrum: To Renew or To Not Renew Season Tickets?

(Ed. Note: More than likely I will I did be renewing my season tickets, but I thought I would share my thought process on the decision. Trust me, it's not an easy one. Season tickets aren't cheap but it's also not easy giving up on something that I've always wanted to be a part of/have since I was a kid. This post is not encouraging other season ticket holders to renew or give up their season tickets, just my thoughts on the process. Maybe you have had similar thoughts/opinions as well. -WD)

A few weeks ago I received a package from the Redskins discussing rumors that have been talked about by the fans/bloggers/message board folk (for the last few years) about a new HD jumbotron and some other upgrades made at the stadium and in the ticket office. There was also a note from Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan telling fans about the upcoming season and hoping that "you, the fan" will be there to support the team on their way to hopeful victory. Thus, I starting seriously thinking about whether I should renew or just stay home and watch the games on TV.

A few days ago......the invoice came.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Russ Grimm, Welcome to the HOF

Amazing that the Gibbs 1.0 era was based solely on the strength of the men known simply as The Hogs, yet not a single Hog had been inducted into the HOF until yesterday.

There are plenty of stories about Russ Grimm and his path and The Hogs to the HOF; for me I can sum it up in four words:

IT IS ABOUT TIME.

Aw Crap, It's Snowing Again!!!!

So for the second weekend in a row, we've been creamed by snowstorms. Let's just say add another foot of snow to the already semi-melted 10 + inches that we got last week.
Luckily,we didn't lose power.
Unluckily, I lost my TV signal and internet for most of the day.....so not much opportunity to write.

Add digging myself out and some other issues that has had me outside for a large portion of today, I haven't had much time to work on things for IIWII. I'm hoping things will be better tomorrow.

As for the Superbowl, well, we had a small get together with some family planned but that's more than likely canceled.

I've been asked all week "Who are you rooting for?" and "Who do you think will win?". Like I've said, don't place a bet on my predictions but here's what I'm thinking: Obviously, almost everybody is rooting for the Saints. Maybe it's b/c the Saints are underdogs and have never won a Super Bowl before. Maybe it's the "they deserve it" argument that some have said b/c of hurricane Katrina. Maybe people just don't like Peyton Manning and the Colts, not sure why but the masses are chanting "Who Dat!" even though many of them have never been to New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana.

Me, I'm not really rooting for anybody. If I had to pick a team to root for, I guess it would also be the Saints b/c I like Brees and would like to see Brunell and Gregg Williams get rings.

As for predictions, I like the Colts 31-27. I think if Peyton Manning is playing at his level, it will be very hard to stop him. Manning has seen Gregg Williams' defense  a few times the last few years, so there shouldn't be that many surprises. I also see the Saints defense having a hard time getting to do the damage (sacks/hits) they did to Favre to Manning.

Also, let's not forget how the Skins (yes, the 4-12 Redskins!) laid a general beat down on the Saints until the final minutes of their game . Remove a freak INT turned fumble recovery/TD and a missed 23 yard FG and the lousy Skins win.

Another great job Vinny/Zorn era: Anybody remember Kyle DeVan? You probably don't. He was a UDFA that the Skins signed in 2008 and later released. He never even made it to training camp based on his bio. on the Colts website. Now in early 2010 he's the Colts starting RG. Starting in the Super Bowl no less. Hmmm....remind me, didn't the Skins have some issues with the RG position the past few seasons? Yep. We only had about 5 different players start at that position in 2009 (Thomas, Rinehart, M. Williams, W. Montgomery, Edwin Williams). It would have been nice to have a guy to be able to play that position as a regular starter.

Edit: Oh yeah, our 5th rounder from 2009, Cody Glenn also on the active roster. Gaaaah!!!!