Monday, August 30, 2010

Walking Deadman Presents The Walking Dead Trailer and Some Redskins News

I wrote last Friday that I had some posts planned and if I had time would show a trailer for a new show coming to AMC. Well, I didn't have time to get all my posts out this weekend but I'm finally getting to this one. AMC is premiering The Walking Dead on Halloween and from the trailer it looks like it's going to be very close to the critically acclaimed graphic novel by Robert Kirkman.



I first started reading The Walking Dead a few years ago when I saw the first couple of trades in a book store. I've been hooked since and still continue to pick up the trades as each new one becomes available. This was the first comic series that I primarily read in only trade form. Currently, I've kind of dropped out of the comics scene but I still pick up The Walking Dead. Looks like it will be a interesting show (for those not familiar with this franchise, think George Romero's "Dead" film franchise but in series form with regular characters that can die in a moment's notice).

Coincidentally, my handle is not based off of being a fan of The Walking Dead or anything related to the zombie genre. In the mid/late 90's I was writing/drawing a series (never published or even attempted to publish)  of books/comics entitled Walking Deadman (think Dr. Who meets The Sandman meets Resurrection Man meets The Serpent and the Rainbow). I liked the title and eventually decided to use it as a handle over at ExtremeSkins.

When I briefly wrote some comic reviews for a column over at Bang! Cartoons, Bang! was nice enough to give me a column header/avatar for me and thus many of the IIWII readers in the last year plus saw this picture on my profile:

You've learned so much in just one post. How about some Redskins news?

(while I heard about this news from various sources, the link above has a great summary of today's practice and what's going on at Redskins Park. Great work by John Keim.)

- Dennis Morris no longer a Redskin, traded to the Rams for a conditional pick. Nobody, including the Redskins, planned on having Morris make the 53 man roster based on what they've seen. If you can get some value for him, great.

- Skins pick up Hall Davis from the Rams for conditional pick. I wonder if the coaches aren't that happy with their OLBs or is this a player (potential project) that caught somebody's eye and could be a good prospect?

- Malcolm Kelly is done. Re-injured the hamstring in practice today. I just can't see the Skins keeping him on the active roster and hoping that he might do something this year. Especially, when the depth at the position is questionable. I have to think that a WR currently on the roster just won a roster spot with Kelly going down. Either the Skins cut Kelly or he goes on IR in my opinion.

- Antonio Bryant anybody? Or maybe in a few weeks? Think he may be worth it? I guess it depends on the severity of the knee injury. Unlike Kelly, he is a proven WR in the NFL. He might be worth signing and deactivating for a few weeks until he's healthy........

- No McNabb, Portis, Sellers or Grossman this week. I'd add Cooley, Moss, Galloway, Orakpo, Fletcher, Rogers, Hall, Landry, McIntosh and most of the O-line as well if I'd have my choice.

I'll have my second 53 man roster predictions up after tomorrow and the final one probably Friday. There may or may not be a Game Recap this week. What's the point, really? Maybe a brief Good, Bad and Ugly but that will be it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Game Recap: Redskins vs. Jets (Pre-Season)

We're pretty much done with the pre-season as the Skins had their final dress rehearsal against the NY (NJ) Jets. Sure, there will be the final game against the Cardinals on Thursday. But it was week three where we saw most of the starters get snaps long into the third quarter. This was going to be a very challenging test for the Redskins as they were facing a potential Super Bowl candidate and doing so with out starting QB Donovan McNabb, FB Mike Sellers and FS Kareem Moore (also Clinton Portis was to have limited playing time to see what Willie Parker could do). Rex Ryan had said on Hard Knocks that the Jets at their best could beat any team playing at their best in the NFL.

.....One has to assume then, that the Jets didn't play their best then, not even close.

The Jets started out well. Despite a nice pass to Santana Moss by Rex Grossman, the Skins run game was non-existent and eventually they had to punt. On the ensuing drive, Sanchez made a few nice passes and both Shonn Green and Ladainian Tomlinson ran well. Despite a sack from Adam Carriker that helped kill the drive, the Jets took an early lead with a Nick Folk 45 yard FG. The Skins tied the Jets with a 27 yard Graham Gano FG on the next drive thanks to a nice catch and run by Santana Moss and a roughing penalty on Bart Scott.

Not much happened again until the middle of the second quarter. The Jets recovered a fumble by Brandon Banks and it looked liked at least the Jets were going to get another FG. But you have to remember that this is the Jim Haslett Redskins and no longer the Greg Blache Redskins. This team likes to generate pressure and turnovers. They did it again, thanks to a DeAngelo Hall interception of Mark Sanchez. This led to another Graham Gano FG. 6-3 Redskins.

Prior to the half, the Skins were backed up deep in their territory and on a snap in shotgun formation Rex Grossman bobbled the snap. To prevent the Jets getting a TD by recovering the fumble, Grossman kicked the ball out of the end zone. 6-5 Redskins at the half.

The Jets continued to keep in their starters for most of the third quarter (and the offense through the beginning of the 4th quarter) but the Redskins had seen enough and started to use their second and third string players. They did not disappoint against the Jets starters. John Beck entered the game and moved the ball down the field with passes to Austin and Williams. This led to another FG. 9-5 Redskins. The Jets scored their lone touchdown early in the 4th quarter. This against the Redskins 2nd and 3rd string defense (with Albert Haynesworth being the only exception). Late in the fourth, the Skins finally got into the endzone thanks to a screen pass from Richard Bartel to Larry Johnson. Final score Skins 16, Jets 11.

A lot of things to look at with this game (this is why it has taken me so long to finish this post) so let's start with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Skins win 16-11; brief thoughts

A much better performance than last week.....but problems still lurk around the corner.
It's clear that the Skins are going to have some issues with their run defense and same can be said about the run offense.
On the other hand the Skins have a good pass defense and a good pass offense.
I also love that the Skins have the mindset to generate turnovers. I really love that if an opposing team gets a turnover, the defense goes out of their way to get the ball back. It's happened in the past two games.

I've watched the game and have started to break down the game a 2nd time (already through the 1st quarter) and will have a much thorough write up tonight.

Are the Skins a better team than I'm thinking or are the Jets over rated? It's a good question, but I think it's a little of both.

Keep an eye on cuts (Tuesday) and don't be surprised if the Skins sign a player who's been cut to help with the depth. Especially if some good WR somehow gets cut by another team.

I'll be back in a few hours but yardwork calls on a nice Saturday.......

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Few Things to Watch for Tonight Redskins/Jets Preview (Preseason)

(Rex Ryan is just saying the Jets are #1, what's the big deal?)
What to say about the Jets that hasn't already been said? They have become the darlings of the NFL. With a strong defense, a solid run game and a young QB who went from struggling in the regular season to pretty good in the post season the Jets have become a favorite to win the AFC Championship and make a early claim for a Lombardi. Of course the Jets are without ultra shutdown corner Darrelle Revis (holdout) but they are still an incredibly tough challenge. I mean you saw what happened to Eli Manning, right?
(courtesy photo)
Meanwhile, the Redskins are trying to move onto tonight's game and forget about last week's loss to the Ravens (of course, some Ravens' fans and John Harbaugh seem to be reveling in the pre-season victory but I digress....). Unlike last week, the team is actually game planning for the Jets. Hopefully, we'll get to see a better picture of what the Redskins will look like this season after tonight. However, the team will have to do all of this without a few key starters. Donovan McNabb, Mike Sellers and Kareem Moore are out with injuries from last week. Malcolm Kelly is also likely to not play because of the nagging injury to his hamstring that just won't seem to get better. I would also expect limited time from RT Jammal Brown, who has had only about a series or two in the entire pre-season.

Obviously the first and foremost things I'm hoping for is NO INJURIES.
There will be some significant adjustments and for a large chunk of the game, I'll be looking more at scheme and how the players fit the schemes more than individual performances. That said, there will be some players that you should be following throughout the game.

Players to Watch

Albert Haynesworth- Tonight will be a big game for the guy that's been nothing but a "headache" most of the off season.  While Haynesworth will not be a starter (again), there is a good chance that he'll get some significant playing time at RDE with some of the 1st unit.

Rex Grossman- With McNabb out, it will be up to Grossman to handle the bulk of the duties. Can he bounce back after last week?

John Beck vs. Richard Bartel-  They will get some action tonight and if either are going to have a chance to make the roster they need to have a decent performance.

O-line- What O-line shows up in the dress rehearsal? The line that hardly allowed McNabb/Grossman to be touched all night or the line that let McNabb get thrown around like a rag doll? Also, I'll be curious to see how the run blocking looks like after last week.

Devin Thomas- If he wants to be a starter, then he has to start playing like a starter. That means consistency in pass catching and the ability to get open downfield.

Andre Carter- Looked better last week on some of his contains. Looking for more improvement.

Ryan Torain vs. Keiland Williams pt.3- The battle for #3 continues.

Reed Doughty and the other safeties- Can anybody on the roster step up and fill in for the injured Kareem Moore? How will Doughty look in pass coverage? Big questions as we head towards week 1.

Darrel Young- Still is a long shot to make the roster, but another strong performance will make it harder for the Skins to let him go.

Willie Parker- Just hasn't looked that "fast" to me. This is his opportunity to finally show what he can do with the start tonight.

Larry Johnson- After a dismal performance last week, Johnson hopes to rebound and prove that he's got something left in the tank.

Game recap and thoughts should be up sometime late Friday night/early Saturday morning.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Quest For 53 Pt.1 (Predicting the Final 53 Man Roster)

So here is my first (albeit weak) attempt at predicting the 53 man roster. It's still early and I think some decisions are yet to be made, but here's my guess. You may or may not be surprised to see a few "empty spots" left in a few places. Simply put, I would not be surprised to see a few players currently not on the squad make the final 53 man roster.
Offense
QB (2)
Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman

Comment: So far we haven't seen anything from Richard Bartel. He's been either injured or not used in the pre-season games. Bartel looked decent at training camp but will have to show a lot to make the 53 man roster. John Beck struggled in his appearance against the Bills. He has some qualities Mike and Kyle Shanahan like in their QBs: quick release, decent arm and mobility. But with needs at other positions will the Redskins keep either QB to develop? Also worth noting, Bartel could be kept on the practice squad if the Skins decide to only keep two QBs on the active roster.

RB (5)
Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Larry Johnson, Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams

Comment: Portis and Sellers are locks. Johnson, despite looking weak against the Ravens, should make the roster. He has impressed in camp. Willie Parker will have to really impress this week against the Jets or I think he won't be there. Torain so far looks like the best pass catcher of the RB corp., can play special teams and might be a better pass blocker than Johnson, Parker or Williams. Williams wouldn't surprise me at all if he's back with Devin Thomas returning kicks this year. He also has looked good at times in goal line situations.

Keep an eye on Darrel Young. At worst, I think the Skins bring him back as a practice squad player. If Mike Sellers is still banged up or if he really wow's the coaches with his FB and special teams skills, he could make the roster.

TE (3)
Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Lee Vickers

Comment: Cooley and Davis need no explanation. My understanding is that Vickers has impressed as a blocker but also is a sneaky pass catcher (think of a younger version of Todd Yoder).

WR (6)
Santana Moss, Devin Thomas, Anthony Armstrong, Joey Galloway, Brandon Banks, Empty Spot

Comment: This unit has so much potential, but is scary because a few of the players are getting (have gotten) old and the rest are either inconsistent or unproven. Joey Galloway hasn't even caught a pass this pre-season. Brandon Banks, if he makes the roster, will primarily be the Skins punt returner. The empty spot could be a Redskin (looks like it's down to rookie Terrence Austin, oft injured Malcolm Kelly, Roydell Williams and Bobby Wade), but so far nobody has earned the spot like Anthony Armstrong has. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Skins skim the waiver wire as the first cuts come and even look for a WR in the final cuts. Also worth noting is that Austin and Banks could be put on the practice squad.

O-Line (9)
Trent Williams, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown, Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Edwin Williams, Empty Spot

Comment: I'm fine with the starters. Stephon Heyer has emerged as a decent backup and starting RT in a pinch. I've also been impressed at times by Lichtensteiger. After that the talent drops off. Edwin Williams has had ups and downs but has looked better than most of the other depth. Will the final spot go to William Robinson or Chad Rinehart? Or will the Skins look elsewhere for depth on the O-line.

Special Teams

Graham Gano (K), Josh Bidwell (P), Nick Sundberg (LS)
Comment: Gano and Bidwell have pretty much had their jobs since the start of camp. Sundberg I just made a guess and picked the incumbent. Unless you're a coach, if you're really evaluating and keeping a close eye on the long snapper competition between Nick Sundberg and James Dearth you deserve a gold star.

Defense

D-line (7)
Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Phillip Daniels, Anthony Bryant, Vonnie Holliday.

Comment: With injury histories for both Kemoeatu and Haynesworth I think they keep Bryant to provide extra insurance at NT. Darrion Scott and Jeremy Jarmon could be fighting for a roster spot against veterans Phillip Daniels and Vonnie Holliday. The Skins may go for the youth movement and take one of the younger guys over the veterans if the competition is close. Again, that's a big if. Also, don't be surprised to see the line be at six if the Skins need to keep an extra safety while Kareem Moore recovers from his knee injury.

Linebackers (9)
Brian Orakpo, Rocky McIntosh, London Fletcher, Andre Carter, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. Blades, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson, Robert Henson

Comment: I'm sold at 8 of the 9 spots especially after the Skins cut Chris Draft. Robert Henson will have to earn a roster spot by playing special teams. Again, don't be too surprised if the Skins go with eight linebackers to keep an extra safety until Kareem Moore is available.

Secondary (9)
DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Phillip Buchanon, Kevin Barnes, Justin Tryon.

Comment: There are three players that have been here since OTAs that are still in the hunt for a roster spot (Byron Westbrook, Ramzee Robinson and Lendy Holmes) and  one player (Tyrone Carter) who was just signed. While Tryon has stepped up in some of the pre-season games, I don't think there's any guarantee that he makes the final 53. The Redskins may keep an extra FS for a few weeks until Kareem Moore recovers from his knee injury or they may just rotate Reed Doughty and Chris Horton in until Moore is ready.

While I'd say about 45 roster spots have been filled, I think it's a fair statement to say that there are about 8 spots up for grabs as we head towards the third game of the pre-season. Keep an eye on RB, WR, O-Line, D-Line and CB in particular. I still believe that the Redskins are scouting the other teams and watching the waiver wire for some players that might become Redskins. Don't be too surprised to see 2-3 guys not currently on the squad to join the team. The Skins still have some issues with their depth and hopefully they can find some players to fill those needs (if some of the players currently on the roster can't).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Updates: It Should be a Fun Week(end) at IIWII

(No FedEx games this weekend, sorry folks- Photo WD)

Lot's of things planned for this weekend here at IIWII.

I'm hoping tomorrow I'll have my first Quest for 53 roster predictions. There may be a few surprise cuts and some open roster spaces (I'm convinced that there may be some O-linemen and WRs on the final 53 that currently aren't on the Redskins roster). Albert Haynesworth will be on my 53 as well.

This weekend should also have some good content for the IIWII readers. I'm going to put up a Redskins @ Jets preview and a game re-cap. The good news is that since I won't be covering the Skins live, the game re-cap will hopefully be up late Friday/early Saturday. I'm also hoping to have two articles up as well. One will finish up IIWII's look at the Redskins' schedule (click here for part 1). The second will look back on my day at training camp. Earlier, I posted a camp report which focused on the team. This will talk about my experience at camp with more pictures and a little more emphasis on the fan experience opposed to what the Redskins were doing.

Speaking of pictures......
I hope you've liked some of the pictures that we've been taking at IIWII. This will continue throughout the season as we continue to provide some shots for our articles. Also, I'm planning to create a separate page on the site with most of the photos taken from this year and previous years. Hope you enjoy them.

We Want FEEDBACK/QUESTIONS/COMMENTS and more FOLLOWERS!!!!!
(I WANT YOU to send comments and become a follower to IIWII)

Did you know that SHD is waiting for your fantasy football questions? That's right, he's been checking the IIWII email and.....nothing.
SHD is sad.

We keep finding out that we've won the UK lottery and that our hotmail account is about to be shut down if we don't send our personal information to a private email address, but very little comments from you. So post a comment or send us an email. We do care about what you want to read (see some of the Q&A I did for the training camp report) and we try to bring you the best content we can come up with.

As for followers......well, it's just bragging rights to show that people actually read IIWII. We know you're out there.

email us at: deadmanblog@hotmail.com

If I have time on Friday, maybe a Friday Night Video- featuring a new show coming to AMC.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Game Recap: Ravens vs. Skins (Pre-Season)

(It looked good early, but it didn't get any better. Photo:WD)
It's tough to really rate this game. There were some good things going for the Skins and clearly some things that were bad. You have to treat this game just like the Bills game. Learn from the mistakes and try to repeat the things that worked well. Coincidentally, "Staying Medium" works for the first two games. The Skins aren't winning a Super Bowl based on beating the Bills and they're not going 4-12 in 2010 based on this game against the Ravens. If anything it just confirms something that most Redskin fans should already know: we're better than the really bad Bills but not as good as the potential Super Bowl contending Ravens. So take the below advice:
(Words of wisdom provided by the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
The Skins 1st team hung with the Ravens and most of the 1st half was tied until the Ravens decided to run a fake punt that put the Ravens right on the goal line and led to the first TD given up by the 1st team defense. After that, it was really no contest. The Ravens are just a deeper team and it showed. What also showed was that the Ravens game planned for the Skins. From fake punts, to exotic blitzes, to multiple reverses and a Jim Zorn Gatorade shower it was clear that the Ravens were dead set on winning this game. The Skins on the other hand apparently played a very "vanilla" offense and defense. I personally think Shanahan was looking at individual performance over scheme in this one.

Ok, since this is a little late, let's put this game out of it's misery with a Good, Bad and Ugly.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Initial Thoughts on Ravens/Redskins

I'm going to re-watch the game tomorrow and see if I notice something different and I'll check some stats, but here are some quick thoughts:

-Good Performances from Chris Cooley, Santana Moss, London Fletcher, Carlos Rogers and Clinton Portis. Nice to know that some of the veteran Redskins stepped up tonight.

-Not so Good Performances from Larry Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, most of the O-line, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman. More on that in the game re-cap.

-Anthony Armstrong looks like he'll be on the final 53 man roster. Two weeks in a row where he has made plays and done well with the starters.

- Trent Williams Watch: a very so-so night. Had some good moments against Suggs but some real bad ones as well.

-Kareem Moore's injury is a concern. Especially if he's out 4-6 weeks.

-Let's call this game a serious learning experience. This is what happens when you aren't prepared for surprises, play sloppy, make mistakes and drop passes. The Ravens are a damn good team and the only way you have any chance of beating a team like that is to play mistake free and play hard. I hope the Redskins learned a bit about themselves tonight and where they have to go. I know I did.

-Jim Zorn gets a Gatorade shower. Good for him I suppose, I like the Z-Man and so does his current players. I guess we should celebrate, this is the first time a Jim Zorn team has won @ FedEx in awhile.

-Shut the F*** Up Albert Haynesworth. First you moan about your "headaches" holding you out of practice. You were dizzy and throwing up, so it was more than "headaches". Then you gripe about being with the 2nd team when you missed practice b/c you were sick. If anything, the Skins should have benched you tonight. No practice = no play. You were sick, fine, but you shouldn't be in the game then. Frankly, I'm tired of this drama and I'm tired of you. Nothing is more annoying than wasted talent and Albert Haynesworth is immensely talented in no matter what system he's in. The problem is that he's never motivated to use his talent and has to be coaxed to do anything, which leads to Haynesworth griping to the media about the scheme. He did it last year when the Skins ran a 4-3 with Greg Blache and he's done it this year with Jim Haslett's 3-4. It's not going to change or get better. Another Dan Snyder/Vinny Cerrato blunder that is currently haunting the men who are trying to turn the franchise around.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Few Things to Watch for Tonight Ravens/Redskins Preview (Preseason)


Ah, the return of the "Battle of the Beltway" series that we've seen in the last few years in both football and baseball. There is no rivalry really though (except in the minds of some marketing executives who have plenty of t-shirts to sell, some in the media who have an easy story to write and a few fans who are stuck with the notion that Jack Kent Cooke kept Baltimore from getting a football team for a few years or Peter Angelos kept baseball out of DC). If anything, by being so close to one another, both franchises have helped each other over the years. There's less travel when each team is playing in the pre-season and both teams have moved players between each other over the years.

The good news out of all of this is that I know what the Ravens are bringing to the table when they come to FedEx. That's because I know a great deal about the team. For the most part, you can't live in the DC/Maryland/Delaware area without hearing something about the Ravens. They split time with the Skins on Training Camp Daily and with the Orioles (for now, but maybe not in the next few years) being perennial losers, the Ravens are the only thing going in Baltimore sports. Plus, SHD is a die hard Raven's fan, so I thought it would be only fair to know who's on his roster and what they're up to (since he follows the Skins). If anything, the Skins will have a good challenge on their hands on Saturday and that's welcome to see where the Skins stand against more elite teams.

The Ravens come to FedEx as potential Super Bowl contenders. It's true. The AFC has only a handful of teams that I would consider being in Dallas in February (the Colts, Jets, Bengals, Patriots and Chargers being the other teams) and the Ravens have to be right up there. I have told SHD a few times that if the Ravens make the playoffs and don't face the Colts, they have a great chance of being there and he pretty much agrees with me. This year, Baltimore has a very strong offense to go along with their notorious defense. The Ravens added more weapons at the WR and TE positions (notables include Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth and Ed Dickson) to already go with a top caliber RB in Ray Rice.

As you probably know by now, wins and losses mean little to nothing in pre-season. But for this game, what you want to look for is execution- especially by the 1st and 2nd string players. Mike Shanahan has said that the starters should be in approximately 30-35 plays and this should give everyone a good opportunity to see where many players stand as the Skins head to their dress rehearsal next week against the Jets.
 There are some very interesting matchups to watch and here are just a few worth noting:

Brian Orakpo vs. Michael Oher- two of last year's highly touted rookies face each other for the first time tonight. It will be an interesting battle to see if Oher can handle Orakpo's power and speed or if Orakpo will get shut down by Oher's nasty skill set.

Trent Williams vs. Terrell Suggs- Williams will get his first serious test at LT as he faces DE/OLB Terrell Suggs who is coming off a lackluster 2009.

Redskins Secondary vs. Ravens WR/TE corp- The secondary looks like it has gotten better from the 2009 unit but tonight they get a great challenge in facing the Ravens new receivers. Last week DeAngelo Hall and Lendy Holmes caught INTs and the Bills pass game struggled. It won't be nearly as easy this week.

Redskins WR/TE corp. vs. Ravens Secondary- The Ravens have a very, very weak secondary thanks to some major injuries from the 2009 season and 2010 training camp. Matter of fact, if the Ravens falter this year it may be this unit as a reason. Cooley and Davis should get some opportunities. I'm looking at the WR corp to step up and make some more plays tonight. Whoever can take this weakness to their advantage has a better chance of making the final 53 man roster.

Redskins interior O-line vs. Terrence Cody and Haloti Ngata- Fans and media have criticized Casey Rabach in previous years for getting blown off the line by the bigger DTs/NTs. Tonight, Rabach, Dockery and Hicks face two very big dominating players in rookie Terrence "Mt." Cody and Haloti Ngata. Keep an eye on if the can move the pile on their runs and if the pocket collapses in the middle on pass plays.


Players to Watch
Larry Johnson- Last week he didn't get to play against the Bills (coach's decision) and this week he wants to show what he can do against the Ravens. Johnson has had a complete 180 change since he has come to the Redskins (similar to what's been going on with DeAngelo Hall) and the word out of camp is that he has impressed many with his commitment to the team and his game.

Willie Parker- Also didn't play last week (coach's decision). Unlike Johnson, Parker has a great deal to prove as many (including me) are speculating that he won't be on the final 53 man roster. Parker knows the Ravens personally from his Steeler days and will need to use that to his advantage to excel.

Devin Thomas- Started slow but eventually showed why the Skins think he could be an elite WR in the NFL. He did well with the 2nd team and needs to prove he can do the same things with the starters.

Anthony Armstrong- Had two good catches and a TD with the starters last week. Also looked good as a blocker. Needs to improve upon the performance and work to earn that roster spot.

Brandon Banks- Had an amazing pre-season game against the Bills. That said, he'll have to continue to do this and show he can take the occasional hit if he's to make the roster. Also, needs to show that he won't drop punts.

Jammal Brown- Makes his debut as the Redskins RT. How he looks now and continues to improve as we get to the season opener will determine how far this team will go this year.

Ryan Torain vs. Keiland Williams pt.2-  Last week both impressed. They need to keep forcing the coaches to make a tough decision.

Byron Westbrook vs. Justin Tryon- Only a month ago, many though Westbrook would have to really step up to beat out somebody for a roster spot. Today, it looks like Tryon is going to have to really step up in order to hold off Westbrook as the #5 corner.

Backup O-linemen- Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chad Rinehart, William Robinson, Edwin Williams, Will Montgomery, Clint Oldenburg. The depth looks better than last year, but right now there is no guarantee that many of these guys will be here after cuts. The 2nd/3rd stringers looked rough at times last week.

Lendy Holmes- Led the team in tackles last week and had an INT. Could he he have a chance to make the roster?

Darrel Young- Had a nice game blocking. Not something the average fan notices unless you really knock a guy on his butt, but looked good. While I doubt the Skins will keep 2 FBs (Mike Sellers is a lock), Young could make the Skins PS or at least impress another team.

Richard Bartel- Missed last week (hamstring) but should be back this week and he has to show a great deal to make the final 53.

Quick Hits
- It's very doubtful that we'll see Malcolm Kelly this week. He will have to get healthy quick or his days in DC will be over.
- Mike Furrey heading to the IR (concussion). Skins roster goes back to 79.
- Albert Haynesworth is having headaches and missing practice. To Mike Shanahan, Haynesworth is a headache. He'll be playing tonight I believe, but I wouldn't be surprised it's with the 2nd team again.
- I also doubt we'll see Chris Horton (toe) tonight, but could be wrong about that.

Game thoughts and Recap either tonight or Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Work In Progress.....

Working on a few things, please excuse the mess.

By the way did you notice our new TBD  badge? Pretty sweet.

TBD Community Network Member - All Over Washington

I have a Redskins/Ravens preview to work on and some other stuff coming.


Let me know, I mean you are the ones who read IIWII, I'd like to have a page that looks good (again, bear with me-- my graphics design skills are limited).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fantasy Football Rankings: Defense/Special Teams

A secret that's not a secret, your fantasy defense/special teams is not gonna make or break you. But if your expecting a tight match, they could pleasantly surprise you. So its important to at least know your team defense. Here's a few suggestions...
SHD's Top 5 D/STs

1. Green Bay: Scored 4 defensive touchdowns off 30 interceptions last year with 37 sacks. Improved group.

2. Philadelphia: Two returns for touchdowns last year with 44 sacks and 4 defensive touchdowns off 25 interceptions. Not bad, I just like Green Bay's potential better.

3. Minnesota: If Percy Harvin is still handling the return duties this year and gets better, who cares what Jared Allen and the rest of the defense can do. Very Dangerous.

4. San Francisco: Top rated fantasy D last year. 3 defensive touchdowns off 18 interceptions. Gotta love Mike Singletary. I would keep them top 5 for now.

5. Baltimore: Yeah SHD is a homer sometimes. Even with a thin secondary, Baltimore usually finds a way to get it done in fantasy. 32 sacks and 3 defensive touchdowns last year off 22 interceptions.

SHD's Sleepers

1. Cleveland: Huh? Well the Browns had 4 returns for touchdowns last year and everyone knows what Josh Cribbs is capable of by now. Very dangerous group under new management could translate well into fantasy points.

2. San Diego: Still hungry group searching for the Holy Grail. Always good. Keep them in mind.

3. Houston: Mario Williams ain't no punk afta all yo! Lots sacks and turnovers can't keep 'em off my list. Always remember who the hungry teams are. Texans are one of them.

Don't Pick These Guys

New York Jets:
OMG? SHD, the Jets were the top rated defense last year! Don't you remember "Revis Island"?

Well congrats to the Jets for their success last year, but it didn't really do fantasy players too much good with points last year. Good defense in real life, terrible for your fantasy team. Just say no!

Be sure to email all your fantasy questions and inquires to deadmanblog@hotmail.com. During the season we post your questions and our answers weekly.

Peace,
SHD

Game Recap: Bills vs. Skins (Pre-season)

(Let the McNabb era officially begin. Photo by Walking Deadman)

It was a perfect night to be a Redskins fan. FedEx was surprisingly not packed despite a new era starting. The traffic was good getting to FedEx despite it being a Friday night and everybody heading out of town. Even the weather was perfect in a month that has had heat indexes over 100 degrees. Oh yeah, the Redskins routed the Bills 42-17 in their pre-season opener. The game itself didn't start out well. Devin Thomas muffed a kickoff (but recovered by Byron Westbrook) and the offense eventually punted after getting one first down. The defense didn't fare much better as the team gave up a few passes and runs that gave the Bills an opportunity to kick a FG.

After that, it was pretty much dominance by the Burgundy and Gold. Donovan McNabb led the team down the field with some nice passes and runs by Roydell Williams and Chris Cooley. The drive was capped off with a TD pass to Anthony Armstrong. The first team defense was not to be outdone. The next series for the Bills Trent Edwards is picked off by DeAngelo Hall. The offense (now mixed with starters and 2nd team players) take the short field to their advantage and score on a TD run by Keiland Williams. There wasn't much left of the Bills after this. Fred Davis made a nice play with his feet to score on a Rex Grossman pass. The Skins tended to beat the Bills on almost every level and with every unit. Special teams became much more interesting with the punt returns of Brandon Banks and Terrence Austin. Banks took off and ran for a 77 yard TD. Devin Thomas recovered from early struggles to smoke the Bills secondary for a 44 yard catch and run TD from Rex Grossman.

The Bills tried to rally late in the third thanks to some good runs by Chad Simpson and Joique Bell that led to two Buffalo touchdowns. But it was way too little, way too late and the Redskins finished the game with one more TD drive thanks to a nice run by Keiland Williams.
Ok, time for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Initial Thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills (Pre-Season)

(Click Picture for better resolution. Photo by Walking Deadman)

Hey everybody, I just got back from the game about 45 minutes ago (around 1 AM) and I want to re-watch the game before I make any real big comments about the team and players (I'm with coach Shanahan that I need to look at the game before I can make some judgments). That said, here are some brief and inital thoughts about the game.

- Thank you Dan Snyder for the HD boards.
I've been closely following the stories about the new "punter proof" HD boards that the Redskins were adding to FedEx and I have to say they are better than I thought they would be. Sure, Redskins Nation and Matt Terl have shown some videos of the boards and they looked promising but you really have to see them live to get a full understanding of what they can do. Here's some more pictures to try to show what they're like.
(the board closest to me in section 108 Photo:WD)

(this is from the board on the other side of the stadium Photo:WD)
(Photo: WD)
See the smaller screens above the Budweiser and Bank of America ads? Well, those screens provide the score, time clock, down and distance and remaining timeouts. The main screen (the big one) can also be split into a smaller screen that provides stats of the game or scores for the other games being played (and they're readable!!!!). The only problems seemed to be with some of the audio (garbled) and bringing up player pictures during the staring defense's introduction. There were lots of replays tonight. I love it. FedEx has become a legitimate football stadium and the gameday experience has been vastly improved. You really have to see it for yourself to see how cool these boards will be during the season.

-When was the last time the Redskins scored 42 points in a game?
The Skins broke 30 points twice in 2009 (Saints, Raiders) but never came close to 40 points since 2005. Yes, I know the Bills are a bad team and I also know that some of the scores came late in the game. That said, the 1st two TDs came from (or were set up by) the 1st team units. Also, Banks' punt return was with the starters on special teams. Look at it this way, the Redskins have scored 6 TDs in the pre-season. In two pre-season games, Dallas has yet to score a TD.

-Remember Osaka Redux?
(-Ed Note: "Remember Osaka" refers to the 2002 American Bowl in Osaka, Japan. In that pre-season game, the Steve Spurrier led Redskins walloped the 49ers 38-7. Many Skins fans thought that the Skins were headed back to NFL dominance but instead were given a 7-9 season and then a 5-11 season in 2003 full of misery. It basically is a warning to Skins fans about being overly optimistic on a season based on a new coach, player or scheme.)
I don't think so. Shanahan just runs things better than Spurrier and knows what it takes to win in the NFL. But, I will remain cautiously optimistic about this team at least for the next few weeks.

-This team is good but needs to get better.
They looked good tonight. Players stepped up and at times the Skins dominated. They still have a great deal of work ahead of them. The run defense struggled. The tackling was so-so with some serious whiffs. The good thing about all of this is that Mike Shanahan will find those mistakes and get them corrected.

-The fans needed this kind of win tonight.
Since the hiring of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, there has been a positive vibe coming off of Redskins fans. Sure, a proven coach and GM help but there is a deep feeling of relief that the past decade of failure is over and that the Skins are entering a new age of success. Had the Skins lost, I'm sure many fans would come up with an explanation of "it's only the pre-season" but I'm sure doubt would start to creep in. With this win it gives the fans more hope that the Skins are on the right track and are starting to turn this franchise around.

Game recap. hopefully will be up tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Few Things to Watch for Tonight (A Redskins/Bills Preview)


 (It just won't be as good as this game)

If you're not going to the game tonight, then you luck out in so many ways. Tonight's game is being covered by at least three networks (NBC 4 [WRC], Comcast and NFL Network) and all of them I believe will be showing them in HD.

Pre-Season as many of you know is almost a bigger let down than The Combine. You get all excited because you haven't seen actual football in months (no, team scrimmages and AFL/CFL don't officially count) and you just can't wait. After the first quarter however, it becomes rather slow and boring as you see the penalties rise and the performance level drops exponentially as the the talent level drops. Plus, pre-season entertainment really depends on the head coach. Some coaches want to win these games. Some are just looking to evaluate players based on certain situations. Some just want to get through these games showing as little as possible and having as few injuries as possible. I'm not sure what type of coach Mike Shanahan is in the pre-season but here are a few things I'm looking for:

1. No Injuries. No matter what happens in this game, if this happens we win.

2.  I want to see Donovan McNabb play like Donovan McNabb but in a Redskins jersey. Pretty simple. If he throws five passes and looks good in his first series. Pull him and let's start gearing up for week two.

3. Will a receiver (not named Moss or Galloway) please stand up? Devin Thomas, Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks and Shay Hodge here's your chance. Jobs are won and lost during training camp/pre-season. Now is the time to step up and start to separate yourself from the pack. Thomas in particular needs to impress tonight.

4. Ryan Torain vs. Keiland Williams. Who's backing up Portis and Johnson this year and playing teams? We start to find out tonight.

5. Turnovers. The Skins moved to the 3-4 in order to increase QB pressure, kill the inside run and generate turnovers. It would be nice to start seeing this team cause some turnovers as early as tonight.

6. Trent Williams and the O-line. It will be hard to fully judge what our starting O-line will look like after tonight, but it will be a good opportunity to watch Trent Williams and how he and everybody (except Jammal Brown- out/hip) gel as a unit. This game will be a big opportunity for Stephon Heyer at starting RT. Also, I'm curious to get a look at Selvish Capers and see if Chad Rinehart can do anything to save his roster spot.

7. Corner Depth. I'll be watching the competition between Kevin Barnes, Justin Tryon, Byron Westbrook and Ramzee Robinson. Not all of these guys will be on the final 53 man roster and I'll be curious to see if somebody gets an INT or makes a big play tonight.

8. John Beck. With Richard Bartel likely a scratch with an injury, I would expect that we'll see a lot of Rex Grossman and John Beck. I haven't seen that much of Beck (outside of training camp) so it will be interesting to see what he can do with little experience (and little time to review the playbook) in this system.

Bonus- for those going to the game:

1. The HD video boards. Will the boards be as good as we heard they will be? Can we get quick and more frequent replays? Will there be any glitches/bugs/growing pains that the team will have to work out?

2. The Loud Crowd. The "standing room only" area where fans can stomp the aluminum  seats/stairs and make tons of noise. I know pre-season doesn't have the normal football crowd but I'm curious if anybody takes advantage of this new location and if it ramps up the noise.

3. The Band. Any new songs this season? Where will they sit now? Just a curiosity.

4. The Parking. Anybody in the Copper and Gray lots? Let me know if the parking is any better.

More coverage later tonight and early tomorrow morning.......

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Redskins News and Notes; 8/12/10

- If you're going to the game Friday, you may want to keep an eye out on all of the changes the Skins have made to FedEx and the overall aesthetic. If not, you can read about them here and here. More or less Matt Terl is talking about the video boards and the grounds around FedEx. Skins have done a nice job from what I've seen/read and I can't wait to look at the new video boards (no more Lite Brite jokes).

-Haynesworth and McNabb to play in the pre-season opener. Malcolm Kelly, Jammal Brown and Chris Horton are out. I also believe Richard Bartel is out (hamstring) as well.

- Speaking of Malcolm Kelly, I can't do a link dump without mentioning something that has the Redskins community all a buzz. The Redskins released their official (as of week 1 preseason) depth chart.It's hard to tell if this actually means anything. In prior years, the depth chart meant exactly nothing with the team noting that they just put it out there (guess they were bored or something). Mike Shanahan's regime seems a little different. Maybe this is really how this team stands as of now, or maybe Shanahan is trying to light an even bigger fire under some of the younger players (Thomas, Kelly, Tryon).  Maybe it could be a little of both. Competition has been fierce this off season and I'm sure the players would like to know heading into their first exhibition game where they stand with the team. More on this after the game vs. the Bills as I'm going to focus on some of these guys in the 2nd -4th string.

-Justin Tryon a 4th stringer? Wow, and going into camp FO's Bill Barnwell had him as their 5th best prospect heading into the season. (More info. on DC Landing Strip).

- I think the SkinsCast guys have wrapped up their daily camp coverage, but you can still read about practice from Gary Fitzgerald over at Redskins.com. Here are the August 9th and August 11th recaps.

-Finally, I'll end with a "shouldn't Andy Reid have more things to worry about" story. A fan with VIP passes came to Eagles camp wearing a Redskins' Donovan McNabb jersey. He was asked by security to remove the jersey and that the request came directly from Andy Reid. You think that's a distraction, wait until McNabb throws a few TDs against you Andy, now that will be a distraction......especially in Philly when the batteries will start flying.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training Camp Report 8/7/10


-(Writer's Note) I'm going to do my day at Training Camp in two parts. Part 1 (Training Camp Report) will focus on the actual practice and my thoughts on the Skins based on what I saw. Part 2 (My Day at Training Camp) will focus on my day there and all the sights and sounds of Fan Appreciation Day.
Also, click on the pictures for a higher resolution. 
(All photos in this post taken by Walking Deadman)

Outlook and Atmosphere
One of the questions I was asked about camp was about the overall energy and feel of the team. I would say the answer is clearly upbeat and motivated. According to the training camp schedule, practice was to start at noon and proceed for 90 minutes. I saw players out on the field as early as 11:35AM and the practice didn't end until 2PM. Maybe this was to get some extra snaps, maybe this was to give the fans (approx. 29,000 plus according to the Redskins) a little extra as thanks for coming. For all I know, the schedule was wrong. Either way, the players were on the field early and stayed late. All good signs of a team that has bought in to their coach's philosophy.
(Graham Gano was the 1st player on the field)
The team seemed to come out focused and motivated. There was a rhythm to how things went. Units split up and did individual drills (some on the field facing me, other on the field- I missed many of the defensive drills but saw a lot of special teams). There was a time clock and a play clock for certain 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 drills. Each drill ended with the blast of an air horn signaling the team to move to their next drill. While many will note the players jogging to their next spot on the field, what impressed me the most was the staff. No, not the coaching staff but the assistants and waterboys. When the airhorn blew, many of these guys ran full speed, grabbing coolers or pushing carts and moving them to their next destination coinciding with whatever drill the Skins planned next. It almost looked like a race. Mike Shanahan has everything choreographed down to where the coolers should be located. That is impressive. None of the players/coaches/staff seemed the least bit affected by the extra fans or the crowd noise. It was like there was nobody there except the players, coaches and the task at hand.

Mike Shanahan is Stoic
(Coach Shanahan watches Gano attempt a FG)
I had heard/read reports on Shanahan from various sources (Skinscast being one that comes to mind) as a coach that watches the practices more than interact and later addresses performance (both good and bad) during film sessions and meetings. That seemed to be the case today as he watched practice taking mental notes. Same could be said about D-coordinator Jim Haslett. Pretty much, they looked on from a distance and let the position coaches coach their players.
(Coach Haslett watching the drills)

It's interesting to note that coach Shanahan was intently watching the special teams drills today. Special teams played a major role in  at least three of our losses (Dallas, New Orleans, Carolina) last year and just didn't look that great overall. Hopefully, it will be much better this season.

Special Teams
Since I got to see the ST drills the most, I'll talk about them briefly. There's been a good deal mentioned about kicker Graham Gano and I can see why. He has a cannon for a leg. Every kick he made had plenty of distance. I expect a few touchbacks this season with Gano doing kickoffs. Many have said he's been almost perfect as well in his FG attempts. He missed 2 (or was it 3?) today in the drills (both wide left) but overall looked good. Josh Bidwell made some good punts (very nice hang time and decent distance) but some were line drives and shanks (nice hang but very, very short). Didn't see any work on kick offs, but I did get a chance to watch some punt returns. Looks like the group in contention consists of Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, Phillip Buchanon, DeAngelo Hall and Santana Moss (I think Anthony Armstrong may have been in the mix as well). Hall only took a few snaps. Buchanon made all of his catches. Moss muffed a few to the dismay of the crowd. Banks and Austin look like they have the most potential based on speed and agility but also dropped a few. Keep an eye on Banks in the preseason. Because of his height it's hard to see him in a crowd. If he can get into open space with a cut.....he will be very, very hard to catch.
(Phillip Buchanon awaits a punt, Brandon Banks gets ready to go again)


Defense
Like I said before, I didn't get to see as much of the D drills. But I can tell you that our D-line looks pretty impressive. They gave the O-line fits in some of the drills I saw and this was without Haynesworth. Expect to see teams have many problems running inside on us. I was asked to keep an eye on London Fletcher and see how he was handling the 3-4. He looks fine as far as I can tell and is still a tackling machine (this is a no tackling practice, but Fletcher had a guy wrapped up on a play anyway, but let him go). Plus, the Skins have a great deal of player movement. It really is hard to tell who's coming from where. Brian Orakpo coming off the edge standing up will be a nightmare for LTs and TEs. There was a great deal of pressure coming from the D during 7 on 7s and 11 on 11 drills.
(Be afraid...be very afraid)

It looks like Lorenzo Alexander was with the 1st unit during many of the plays I saw. Although I think that Alexander will probably switch off with Andre Carter on more passing downs. Here's what looks to be our starting front seven: Orakpo, Golston (eventually Haynesworth), Kemoeatu, Carriker, Alexander, McIntosh, Fletcher. That may change a bit but right now that looks like the team. As for the secondary, it looks like Haslett and his staff have done something to improve upon the interceptions. MikeSR619 of BGO was asking about how Landry was looking and to be honest I didn't notice him too much. But unless, he's making major INTs that should be a good thing to note. I didn't see him burned for any deep passes.
(Sorry Mike, but here's a picture of Landry instead)
Offense
It was hard to see many of the plays develop based on formation and because I was behind players during many of the drills, so I can't tell you that much about individual plays. I guess I should have gone up the hill at Redskins Park to watch and take notes, but I was busy taking pictures. I will say that if you're familiar with Mike Shanahan's schemes, then you won't be too surprised. I did see Davis and Cooley on the field at the same time (see above Landry photo). I can see why Joey Galloway is still at the top of the depth chart. The guy is still fast for his age and can beat corners. Can Galloway be the offensive version of Darrell Green? I'll be curious to see what he does on Friday against the Bills' corners. Again Austin and Banks made some nice moves. Terrence Austin might make this team as a WR and not just as a specialist. Of course, I'd like to see how they do when the ball isn't coming their way (ie. blocking). Devin Thomas just didn't look like he had a great day. He seemed to have trouble getting separation at times. I can see why people are saying nice things about Anthony Armstrong as well. He made a few nice catches on the field. Of the running backs, Larry Johnson seemed to stand out the most.

The biggest concern I would guess would be the accuracy of Donovan McNabb. He threw some classic McNabb passes and a few not-so-classic passes that led to interceptions (one being a major overthrow). But it's early and we'll see if this remains a problem throughout the season. I'm not that worried about it as of right now.

John Pappas mentioned that I should keep an eye on John Beck during the practice and from what I saw, I can see why the Skins made the trade for him. First, it seems like Beck has a strong arm. Maybe not Jason Campbell caliber, but he can throw hard accurate passes in close spaces. Beck has a quick release and is mobile (both important in a Mike/Kyle Shanahan system). He made some mistakes but I'll be curious to see how he looks by week four of the pre-season.





Who Stood Out?
1. Fred Davis- He caught practically everything and nobody could cover him. He could be the Redskins secret weapon this year. He just looked awesome and had amazing separation on guys trying to cover him.

2. Byron Westbrook- 2 INTs. He looked good. If he plays like this during the pre-season, he probably makes the team.

3. Trent Williams- Stood out and looks like he really is the real deal. Can't wait to see him in full contact.

Plays of the Day
1. Joey Galloway vs. DeAngelo Hall: Galloway got open on a deep bomb while being covered by Hall. I don't think he got the ball however.

2. Byron Westbrook- INT for a TD. Once he got it, he was gone.

Final thoughts
- The D still looks ahead of the O. Not a real surprise, it's still very early.

- I didn't even notice Willie Parker on the field.

- Haynesworth is fine with his teammates. He was talking to both Phillip Daniels and Brian Orakpo on the sidelines. Haynesworth was even congratulating Orakpo on a nice play. If Haynesworth practices like expected everything will be perfectly fine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Brief Comments on Training Camp


Hey everybody.
I got home from Ashburn around 7PM, I've been up since 4:30AM. So let's just say it's been a long day with a large chunk of it in either the sun or in beltway/bay bridge traffic. I'm just a bit tired. I had a blast at camp and will start working on a recap of the day tonight. I may not get it all done however......

That said, there should be a recap up no later than sometime tomorrow with bonus pictures at BGO. I took 180 pictures and most of them will be over here on IIWII or BGO (some pics good, some not so good).

Anyway, I'll leave you all with a rare training camp picture. Albert Haynesworth practicing (sort of) with the team. He passed the conditioning test today. Finally, an end to this stupid story......let's start talking about actual football!!!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

IIWII is Going to Camp

(Photo by ME 2004 Training Camp)

That's right, IIWII will be making the trip to Ashburn to attend a day of practice and the dreaded "Fan Appreciation Day". I make it out to be bad and it's not. The Redskins usually do some really nice things for the fans (bring out the cheerleaders, the band, make the players available for autographs). It's just really, really (I mean really) crowed with fans. I expect 30,000 or more there. It was the only day I could make it down there but I'm expecting to have a real fun time watching the Skins and getting a look at Mike Shanahan's scheme and our new 3-4.

Anyway, we're hoping to have some good spots and plan to take plenty of pics. Here's where you the readers of IIWII come in: What do you want to read about? You want me to focus on the O-line or McNabb or the D? A certain player? Let me know. Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do while I'm there.

Your Training Camp Stories in a Few Sentences (Day 7)

(There will be limited links to actual articles since this is an amalgam of everything I saw and heard today)


1. Albert Haynesworth's knee still hurts. He's not running and not practicing-nothing new here.

2. Some of the vets got a day off including Santana Moss. Jammal Brown has a sore hip.

3. Roger Goodell visits Redskins Park, talks to the fans and talks about Albert Haynesworth.

4. Dan Snyder interviewed over at Hogs Haven. Bonus, Snyder may open FedEx for the SNF season opener (vs. Dallas) at noon. Yes, at noon!!  The Horror.....(the beer and puke)...the horror. This could be the coolest or the scariest thing I've heard about the Skins in awhile.

4. Homer McFanboy gives a player power ranking for week 1 of training camp.

5. Skinscast continues to dominate in TC coverage. Check out their new podcast as well.

Bonus: I know this was written yesterday by DC Sports Bog- But we have a Dexter article!!!!
(photo credit: unknown)
Dexter Manley interviews will ALWAYS be mentioned on IIWII for he is the Man, the Myth, the Legend.

Seriously, I'll get back to writing articles than just doing link dumps sooner than later........

Monday, August 2, 2010

Your Training Camp Stories in a Few Sentences (Days 3-5)

(There will be limited links to actual articles since this is an amalgam of everything I saw and heard over the weekend and today)
(The Beck-Skins?)

1. The (not so) big trade. The Baltimore Ravens trade 3rd string QB John Beck for CB Doug Dutch. It's not an earth shattering move by any stretch but still worth noting. Kyle Shanahan had some interest in Beck and the Ravens were going to cut either Beck or Troy Smith, so the Ravens get some value. On the other hand the Ravens have some serious injuries in their secondary and can use a corner to at least take some snaps in camp, Dutch would probably be the 6th or 7th best corner on the Skins roster. While, I liked what I saw from Dutch, there was little chance he would have made the 53 man roster. If Beck can show some promise, maybe Beck could be a long term solution as the Skins #1 or #2 QB (in 2-3 years). It's a win-win for everybody except for one person......

2. Farewell Colt/Cult of Colt. The Skins announced the release of extremely popular QB Colt Brennan. Brennan wowed many during his first appearance in the 2008 Hall of Fame Game against the Colts (Note: sadly, it was one of Jim Zorn's best games as the Redskin's coach as well). Since then, injury and mediocre performances have hindered his playing time and opportunities. Brennan spent all of 2009 on the IR. I still think Colt has something to show the NFL. He reminds me of Doug Flutie in that Flutie made some amazing plays, but also made some big mistakes. Brennan is always exciting to watch on the field. IIWII wishes him the best.

3. Graham Gano is a good kicker. Hitting practically all of his kicks so far in camp, Gan looks like he'll have a very nice 2010 season. Could Gano be to the Redskins what David Akers became for the Eagles?

4. Devin Thomas is making strides. Word out of camp is that Devin Thomas is having a few good days and trying to move his way up the depth chart. He's going to have to work hard; apparently Shanahan is impressed with Joey Galloway.

5. Albert Haynesworth can't run 300 yards. Big Al still hasn't passed the conditioning test (swelling/irritation in knee) but he appears to be learning the system and getting ready to play RDE in the Skins 3-4. Expect him to start practicing with the team once he has the system and his technique down.

Continue to follow camp over at Skinscast.

Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers

The great thing about Kickers is that you can usually count on them to get you some points every week. If you have a kicker who's team doesn't score touchdowns, he could very well become your main source of points, depending on who you draft at QB.

SHD's Top 5 Kickers

1. Nate Kaeding: This guy stays busy because of the Chargers high powered offense. He has the leg to kick the long ones, which usually translates to bonus points is some leagues.

2. Ryan Longwell: Had a very good '09 and should do well '10. Decent leg strength and he kicks in a dome at home. Can 't go wrong.

3. Mason Crosby: Gotta love the offense he's on and that will mean plenty of opportunities to make some field goals.

4. Stephen Gostkowski: Good kicker, good offense to get him his shots.

5. Rob Bironas: This guy made 5 of 6 field goal from 50+ yards last year. That automatically gets you into my top 5. That's just awesome.

SHD's Sleepers

1. Matt Prater: Big leg and had some issues with consistency, but finished strong last year.

2. Garrett Hartley: Pretty much unknown before he became the hero of the NFC Championship game last year. Again, decent kicker with a explosive offense.

3. David Akers: Akers would normally be 5-8 in rankings, but with a change in regime at QB, I'll say the potential is still there to be a pleasant surprise.

Don't Pick This Guy

Josh Scobee:
Once he was a promising young kicker on the rise but has had consecutive terrible seasons. He has also battled a quad injury in the past. Leave him on the waiver wire until he proves himself once again.

My final installment of these pre-season Fantasy Football Rankings is next, Defense/Special Teams

Peace,
SHD

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sorry.......

Got a bit of a work related emergency today. So the training camp summaries and any articles that I have planned might have to wait until tomorrow or later in the week.
-WD