Monday, January 31, 2011

Poll: At #10 What Position Should the Redskins Focus on Selecting?

It's the million dollar question that most draftniks think about before working on their mock drafts and figuring out who goes where. This is a really big question for the Skins as we inch closer to the Combine (less than a month away) and eventually the draft (about 3 months away) is who the Skins should take at #10. Now you have a chance to give your opinion on our poll.

I still haven't had enough time to start looking at all players at each position but I think there are some clear areas that must be addressed via the draft or free agency.
But before I go into the positions that I think the Skins may consider, lets look at a few positions that they shouldn't or won't be considering:

- Running Back. With the performance of Ryan Torain and the emergence of Keiland Williams I doubt the Skins will address the RB position early in the draft. If anything, expect the Skins to look at day three prospects if they go after a RB in the draft at all. Remember many of Shanahan's running backs were late round guys.

- Full Back. Darrell Young did enough for me to get the nod if the Skins don't keep Mike Sellers. Plus, nobody drafts a FB in the 1st round anymore, not even a team like the Raiders.

- Tight End. Cooley, Davis and Paulsen may be the best unit on the roster in terms of skill and depth.

- Safety. Nobody really worth 1st round consideration this year, especially at #10. The Skins do need to look for a FS.

Punter/Kicker/ Long Snapper. You don't draft these guys in the 1st round (unless you're the Raiders). Skins could use all three positions really but I expect to see this addressed either at the end of the draft or via Free Agency (whenever that happens).

So let's get to the positions that the Skins need to consider:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pro Bowl 2011 Did You Watch It?

The NFL doesn't fail at many things, but the Pro Bowl is one of them. It's not really the NFL's fault. It's just a game that many people don't care that much about. It kind of reminds me of one of those Dean Martin celebrity roasts that Time Life Video is trying to sell you at 3AM. Players are goofing around and nobody lays a legitimate hit (unless you're named Sean Taylor).

If you didn't watch it, don't feel bad. Many people didn't. Heck, I'm a football junkie who just watched almost every Senior Bowl practice, the Senior Bowl, the East/West Shrine game and in a few weeks every bit of the incredibly boring Combine and I only got through the first five minutes of the 1st quarter and the final 8 minutes of the 4th quarter of this game. We wound up watching the SAG awards.........there is nothing on TV tonight.

Since three Redskins did play in the Pro Bowl (DeAngelo Hall, Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher). I figured I would recap their performances. Let's just say that all three of them had good days.
Orakpo finished with 7 tackles (6 solo). Because the Pro Bowl teams have to play in a 4-3 and there's no blitzing, Orakpo didn't get to do what he does best (sack the QB) but played OLB well.

London Fletcher had an INT on Phillip Rivers and finished with 6 tackles (4 solo).
DeAngelo Hall had the big game with six tackles an INT off Phillip Rivers and a FF off Wes Welker. Hall returned the fumble for a TD similar to what he did in week 1 vs. Dallas. Hall was named as the Pro Bowl MVP for his performance.

So again congratulations to D. Hall (1st Pro Bowl as a Skin), Brian Orakpo (2nd) and London Fletcher (2nd) and we'll see you guys in a few months (hopefully!!!!).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Initial Thoughts: 2011 Senior Bowl

First and Foremost, I don't know what it is with Marvin Lewis coached teams in the Senior Bowl, but they never seem to play very well. This was a weird game in a sense because all week I've heard from the experts how much talent was on the North roster compared to the South (Mike Mayock said he saw 8 1st rounders on the North with 1 1st rounder) yet the South dominated the first half and played well enough in the 2nd half to win the game rather easily 24-10.

But you don't care that much about the final score as much as who stood out and did well.
I'll have a game recap eventually, but here's some initial thoughts on the game.

- Senior Bowl MVP Christian Ponder did look the best of the 6 QBs in the game. Had some good pocket presence and threw the ball in spots where the WRs could catch the ball and make a play (see Hankerson's TD catch and run). Ponder looks like he may have pushed himself back into the 1st round with so many question marks on the other 1st round caliber QBs (Gabbert, Locker, Newton and Mallett). My only concern based on this game would be arm strength. Mayock said he would be a good West Coast style QB and that makes sense.

- Jake Locker Watch. Everybody was there to see Jake Locker and sadly he struggled at times. While he did make some nice throws, the questions of accuracy and ball location aren't going away. There was a pass early in the 1st quarter to TE Lance Kendricks that just missed the open receiver. He also threw two passes that were high and did/would've put the WR in a position to be clocked by the defender. Locker himself said that he needs more repetition and snaps under center to get a better feel in the pocket. Mike Mayock also noted that Locker needs to fix his footwork and that the high balls may be because of his short stride that leads to a wider separation. The problem with Locker is that he's still inconsistent and won't be a starter at the beginning of the season like a Matt Stafford or a Sam Bradford. Locker also fumbled twice and was sacked. He's got time, but right now let's just say I don't know who the Skins should take at #10.

- Colin Kaepernick looks like an intriguing prospect. He has some great foot speed and would be excellent in a system that uses bootlegs and requires mobility. His arm looks strong and he can hit well open players with no problem. The main problem is that he's incredibly raw and needs time in a pro style offense to make better reads and work under center. I wonder if he'll be like a Drew Brees and really be a star on his 2nd team (or his 2nd contract with the team that drafted him). He's a long term project, but if you could draft him in the late 2nd or third round that project could pay dividends in his 2nd or 3rd year.

- The other QBs didn't look bad, they just didn't really stand out. I'm not sure where they will fall but right now it would be hard to separate them. There just wasn't a big "wow" factor to me.

- Von Miller looks like the real deal to me. Think Brian Orakpo but I think he may be a better run stopping and covering 3-4 OLB than 'Rak. I wouldn't be surprised if Buffalo takes him #3 overall since they had a whole week to coach him.

- There was a great deal of talk about the OT prospects on the North team. That said, I didn't see much initially. Gabe Carimi missed the game b/c of an ankle injury. During the week of practice, Carimi looked like he was the most versatile OT prospects as he was kicked inside to play guard. He also seemed to be the most nasty in his blocking. Nate Solder had a decent game, but was beat easily on one play by the South's Sam Acho that led to a sack and fumble on Jake Locker. At this point, I seriously doubt that there will be a OT taken in the top five and there may not be one taken in the top 10.

-  WR Leonard Hankerson should have been the Senior Bowl MVP in my opinion. On the opening play, Christian Ponder underthrows a deep pass to Hankerson. Hankerson then pulls a Santana Moss caliber adjustment and makes a nice 49 yard catch. I'm not a big fan of drafting wide receivers early (especially after the 2008 draft) but if the Redskins are going that way, I hope they consider him. The Skins have had some success with players from The U.

- Baylor's Phil Taylor looks like a prototypical NT to me. At 337 he's amazingly fast and can move both up field and laterally very well. He requires two blockers to really be stopped. I was impressed and I think he'll be an excellent NT in a 3-4 scheme. He could be a very good DT in a 4-3 as well.

- DEs Sam Acho, Cameron Jordan and Christian Ballard all made many plays and I think bumped their draft rankings higher.

- I was glad to see RB Da'rel Scott get some snaps in the Senior Bowl. He did not disappoint. Nobody is really saying much about him but I think he can be an excellent change of pace back and pass catcher out of the backfield. I'd love to see him in Shanahan's scheme splitting time with Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.

- It's hard to determine how good interior lineman are playing when watching live plays and based on the camera angles. That said, I thought TCU C Jake Kirkpatrick looked good. I also kept an eye on G/C Rodney Hudson and I think he could be a very good interior lineman in the Shanahan scheme.

There were a few other standouts but I think I'll leave that for the recap after I watch the game a second time and get a good feel for what players did.

Playing Catch Up......Friday Night Videos

I've been without internet for about a day and a half thanks to something breaking in the neighborhood.
Plus, I've been sick (yay!! *sarcasm*).

These cold viruses always are interesting in how they work. To me, normally it starts with a sneeze. Then sinus congestion which leads to a typical head cold (or even worse a sinus infection) . Sometimes that leads to a sore throat (caused by the post nasal drip) and may spread to the chest (I'll leave out the details- but think Mucinex commercial).

This nasty bug did kind of the opposite. Cough/chest congestion first, then hitting the head and sinuses and now I have the sore throat. Again, rather interesting to me it how they work.......but that's me.
Either way I haven't felt much like writing the last few days and didn't have any internet available if I had.

So, I'm a bit behind.

Senior Bowl is tomorrow afternoon, so I plan on watching the remaining Senior Bowl practices and re-watch the East/West Shrine game. Hopefully I have some more stuff up tomorrow.

Here's some Iron Maiden to fire you up and motivate me to get some articles written........

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Redskins Target Players at Senior Bowl pt.2

Scott Wright at NFL Draft Countdown has been busy with his coverage of the Senior Bowl and has provided a few more tidbits of information pertaining to the Skins down in Mobile.

In his Wednesday Player/Team Observations report, Wright mentions the Skins were talking to WR Titus Young and CB Rashad Carmichael.

Also, worth a read is an article on by Gary Fitzgerald that looks at 10 players worth watching at the Senior Bowl. Worth noting is that Carmichael, Locker, Jones and Matthews are on the list. All appear to have spoken with the Redskins in the past three days based on Wright's reports.

I'm currently watching the Senior Bowl practices that are being aired on NFL Network and am running about a day behind. I'll also be watching the Senior Bowl on Saturday.

The goal is to have the East/West Shrine game recap up this weekend with some initial thoughts and possibly a Senior Bowl recap later next week.

I still have 4 2010 Redskin season reviews to write up as well, but I'll get those out as soon as I can get together some research and how I want to write up each article.

The Dark Knight Rises: Hardy is Bane, Hathaway is Catwoman

Well, the rumors of  The Riddler, The Penguin, Hugo Strange and Talia can finally be put to rest as Warner Bros. announced the signing of Anne Hathaway to be playing Selina Kyle (known by most as the alter ego of Catwoman) and Tom Hardy to be playing Bane in Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Catwoman doesn't surprise me too much. There have been rumors floating for awhile that Catwoman would receive the Nolan-verse treatment. Also, since Bruce Wayne's last love interest (Rachel Dawes) was blown up in The Dark Knight by The Joker and the mob, it only makes sense to introduce a new lady friend/foe to the Caped Crusader in the form of the femme fatale Selina Kyle.

[Note: I never did understand why every Batman film has to have a love interest for Batman. This has happened from Burton through Nolan and it really doesn't make much sense really. Batman is trying to keep his identity secret, he usually uses supermodels and famous celebrities to help feed his fake playboy persona of Bruce Wayne.....and possibly relieve some stress. Batman is obsessed with protecting his city and ending crime. Of course he has had relationships in the comic, but does Batman have to have one in every movie and reveal his identity in each and every one? Yeah, I know it's Hollywood and a leading man needs a leading lady but that was a subplot that has had me scratching my head from time to time especially when executed poorly.]

The interesting announcement is Tom Hardy playing Bane. Many people on the internet have opined that this is a stupid move. That Bane is a gimmick villain from the 90's (a time of big events and villains created or used just to kill off or maim characters to sell books). That Bane was more of a plot device than a character worthy enough to shop up in the Nolan-verse. Many think that Bane is just a muscle bound wrestler on steroids wearing a luchador mask. The problem isn't that people are wrong in thinking that. The problem is that many have seen Bane portrayed at his worst.

Bane has already been on the big screen once as the  growling, brain-dead lackey of Poison Ivy in the awfully horrendous Joel Schumacher turd known as Batman and Robin. And even on the brilliant Batman: The Animated Series he comes off as not much more than a hitman more ready to face the like of Rey Mysterio or La Parka than Batman. Matter of fact, many comic writers don't seem to know how to write the character. Only Chuck Dixon (Detective Comics, Vengeance of Bane and co-creator of the character) and Gail Simone (Secret Six) seem to write the character in a way that makes him more layered than the average villain or anti-hero.

Bane is a smart character who has both the wits and the strength to match Batman. Where The Joker provides the chaotic balance to Batman's order, Bane is a mirror image although darker and more twisted. I can't wait to see an actor of Tom Hardy's (Inception, Rocknrolla, Star Trek: Nemesis) caliber trade scenes with another talented actor in Christian Bale.

i09 has a great breakdown on who Bane is as a character and why you'll want to see him in The Dark Knight Rises. Or checkout the storyline that made him famous in Knightfall.

I know many have bashed this move by Nolan and company and think it's a lame move, but remember many thought the casting of Heath Ledger as The Joker was a horrible move. I myself also had doubts on the Nolan-verse and went to see Batman Begins with very low expectations, but walked out of the theater very impressed (big deal for a guy that has read Batman and Detective Comics for 20+ years). So I have faith that this one will be pretty good as well.

Since I've been posting Dark Knight Rises rumors in the past, I figured I needed to follow up on some actual news and I haven't done much but Redskins/football articles lately.

More Skins news coming........

Monday, January 24, 2011

Redskins Target Players at Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl practices started today and already the Redskins are taking a look at some of the players involved on Saturday's game. While I watch skimming through NFL Draft Countdown's coverage of the week's events, I discovered a few tidbits:

1. After today's practice a scout for the Skins went directly to Jake Locker to set up a meeting.
(From Scott Wright's blog at NFLDC). It appears that the Skins still may have some interest in looking at Locker as a potential pick at #10 (or maybe the 2nd round?). I'm still rather high on Locker and would like to see more to see if he fits the Skins system.

2. Locker wasn't the only player whom the Skins showed interest today. According to Wright, the Skins were seen talking to various players today including the aforementioned Jake Locker (QB), Shane Schilling*, Casey Matthews (ILB and brother of Packers OLB Clay), Lance Kendricks (TE), Greg Jones (ILB) and James Brewer (OT).
* I believe this is OG, Stephen Schilling- I couldn't find a Shane Schilling.

The Senior Bowl scouting is a little different this year than last year. Last year, many of the Redskin coaches attended. This year, none of them will be there according to The Post. Apparently just Bruce Allen, Scott Campbell and some of the scouting department will be there.

Last year the Redskins did draft a player who played in the Senior Bowl. OT, Selvish Capers was drafted by the Skins in the 7th round. Capers was projected by many to be a 2nd to 3rd round talent, but fell to the 7th. A poor performance during the Senior Bowl game may have contributed to the fall.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Initial Thoughts: 2011 East/West Shrine Game

The East/West Shrine game generally isn't about Day 1 talent. In most cases, it isn't about Day 2 talent either (although there are a few guys that might go as high as the 2nd round in this game). More or less, it's about some lesser named draft eligible players who are getting a shot to show off their skills to scouts during the week before the game (at the team practices) and to a national audience on television.

The biggest benefit of all of this is that it helps kids as the game features commercials to support the Shriners hospitals that provide medical care to children whether they can or can not afford it.

I'll have a play by play breakdown and analysis of the entire game at some point, but here's some initial thoughts with players who stood out and some things during the game.

- Alex Green (RB, Hawaii) has a nice burst and some ability to cut well and find open holes. That said, he fumbled on the 1st play of the game and fumbled again later. That can cost you an NFL job.

- After the opening fumble, the East scored easily on a run by RB Delone Carter (Syracuse) but the play was set up by an incredible block by TE Kyle Adams (Perdue) that sealed off the edge.

- The West team struggled with their blocking all game long.

- Keep an eye on these following players: Bruce Miller (OLB/DE, UCF), Gregory Lyoyd 2 (ILB, Connecticut), Josh McNary (OLB, Army) and Shiloh Keo (SS, Iowa) I heard these guys names called a few times yesterday and they made a bunch of tackles.

- Tyrod Taylor (QB, Virginia Tech) is trying to show that he's more than a running QB. He only threw 5 passes but showed that he has poise in the pocket and is willing to throw first and not run. It wasn't much to break down, but I think he could make an NFL roster as a QB in the late rounds.

- Pat Devlin (QB, Delaware) had some good moments and some bad moments (threw an INT). I can see why initially some had him going in the late 2nd round but his draft stock has cooled a bit and now he's projected as a 3rd-4th rounder. He's a project and doesn't look like he'll be the next Joe Flacco coming out of Delaware.

- Ricky Dobbs (QB, Navy). I like him as a leader, is very mobile and has a strong arm. That said, I don't think he makes the NFL as a QB. Dobbs seemed to have problems finding his targets over his linemen. His best plays were when he ran QB draws and made plays with his feet.

- Marvin Austin could be a steal for a team if he falls past the 2nd round. He was dominating and notes from ESPN about practice had him listed as out of shape. Moves incredible well laterally. I think he could be either a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 DE.

- I wish I could have seen more of Da'Rel Scott (RB, Maryland). Only had 1 carry for 5 yards. He was one of the highlights on the Terps and I really think he'll be one of those players that one day you'll say " Who is this kid? I've never heard of him before." as he runs all over the place in a game.

- Other Notes: Mike Mayock has started to release his top prospects. At QB here's the top 4 (only players that he gave a 1st round grade): Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett.

-And a "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan Shriners commercial!!!!! Sadly, nobody has it up on You Tube. But here's an old WWF match between Hacksaw and the Honky Tonk Man. HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Anticipation 2011

I know the 2010 playoffs are still going on. I know we still haven't seen DeAngelo Hall (or Brian Orakpo) represent the Redskins in those god awful jerseys in the Pro Bowl. I know the four old guys obsessed with going to every Super Bowl (why? In my case, why would I want to go to every live Super Bowl and watch the Cowboys, Eagles or Giants play? If I really wanted to see their respective fan bases or teams -I don't- I'll just go to a Skins game at FedEx for a lot less money.) have yet to get their 45th Super Bowl in a row (how Favreian!!!).
(Why does this picture make me think of Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp?)
We haven't even seen a new NFL champion crowned. The Saints are still the champs even though they were knocked out of the playoffs two weeks ago.

So why am I already missing football?

The 2010 season seemed to end so quickly. One minute the Skins are pulling an upset on the "Super Bowl bound" Cowboys, the next they're losing to Detroit. Before I know it, the Skins have been eliminated from playoff contention and now I'm only watching games to look at the roster for next year and hope we get a decent pick in the draft. I have a feeling that this off-season is going to be a long one and not just because of a potential lockout between the NFL and the NFLPA (player's union) [Note: to all parties involved: GET THE NEW CBA DONE NOW!!!!! Don't ruin the good thing that is in place that is professional football]. I'm already looking forward to the 2011 season.

And you say to me: "why? The Skins lost 7 of their final 9 games". True. But sometimes in the long term scheme of things you take more out of what you see in the game than what you see in the record. I know the Skins are a "win now" team. They made the move for McNabb b/c they thought they could be a playoff contender as soon as this year. I know the fanbase (despite hating the owner for doing the same thing) wants to win now. It just sucks to be a perennial loser or just generally mediocre with a season or two of promise mixed in for the past two decades. That said, I think that the franchise is on the right track for the first time in years (decades?). While I'm not sure that the Redskins are heading to the playoffs in 2011, I think they'll be closer than they were this year and if they continue on this path could be a player in 2012 playoffs.

Here's why:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Season Ticket Invoices Are Here

Football season isn't even over yet. I haven't even gotten around to writing up all of my evaluations of the 2010 season and how I'm anticipating 2011, when I received a letter from the Redskins yesterday.
(More blurry photos from my cell)

That's right, the 2010 season hasn't even ended and it's time to pay for next season.......

..........that is if there is a next season.

Of course the Redskins, like many NFL teams, have adopted a policy to refund ticket holders for any games that are canceled due towards a potential lockout or strike.

The Skins still have the automatic ticket upgrade program this year. The program seemed to be successful last year. The Redskins have added more options this year for the upper bowl ticket holders (move down rows or move closer to midfield).

They also had an offer to give tickets on a first come first serve basis for those STHers who paid in full by February 18th to a choice of the Kenny Chesney concert, Barcelona vs. Man.U or Maryland vs. Notre Dame.

Payments are due March 1st unless you opt for the payment plan (you pay in three installments on 3/1, 4/1 and 5/1). Although from various message board discussion over the years, its pretty clear that the Skins can and have extended the due dates before in some cases.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Funny. Redskins Have Beaten 3 of the Final 4 Teams This Season.

And the Skins never played Pittsburgh........

Skins beat the Jets in week 3 of the preseason. I know it's a stretch because it was preseason, but remember that week 3 is considered the "dress rehearsal" game. This is the preseason game where you see the starting players out on the field for a large portion of the game. In the Jets case, the starters were out there for almost three quarters and in their offenses' case the beginning of the 4th quarter.

Skins also beat the Bears and the Packers during the regular season.

Go figure. Maybe the Skins really are headed in the right direction

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Night Videos: Radiohead Bumper Music and the Flaming C

It's been a long week and I thought with no Redskins to keep us company, here's some Friday Night Videos.

The first is Radiohead's Meeting in the aisle. I've been in a Radiohead mood this week and tried out the playlist of Radiohead's Zero's and Ones, which is basically a combination of their albums OK Computer and In Rainbows. Both are quite excellent albums in their own right but together they are pretty impressive. Also, the playlist contains three of my favorite Radiohead songs (Karma Police, All I Need and Reckoner).

By the way if I ever get the IIWII podcast going, a clip of this song would be the opening bumper music. At this point it's doubtful that you'll hear a podcast anytime soon. Don't have a co-host and I seriously doubt you'd want to hear me ramble about the Skins for an hour on your ipod or favorite mp3 player.

Next is a clip from Conan O'Brien's show. I don't get to watch much Conan thanks to the hours I keep at the real job, but I love how Conan keeps interacting with WB's animation department (ie. DC Comics animation). This has been great. This clip has Conan introduce the Flaming C, a character based off of Conan's likeness and some of his ideas (art by Bruce Timm of Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited fame).

More Redskins and football articles coming up this weekend. I've just been kind of busy to write much this week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Redskins/Draft News and Notes 1/10/11

- Skins sign 7 players to futures contracts. That's right, there have been 7 players. Most outlets have been reporting six but a few days ago the Skins also signed LB Edgar Jones to the roster. Jones has been with the Ravens most of his career (since 2007). Not sure what LB position he plays (whether he's an OLB or a ILB) but based on my PFW/Yahoo! 2010 Preview guide, he looks  like he's a OLB/DE. Also worth noting, Jones looks like he converted from being a TE in 2009 to LB this past year. Who knows, it worked for Darrell Young so maybe Jones could be a viable OLB prospect. At least he knows the 3-4 (or a variation of it Baltimore's scheme varies and is slightly different from the Skins version....the Skins run their 3-4 more like NE, GB and Pittsburgh) from his Baltimore days.

As for the other six: Selvish Capers (OT), Xavier Fulton (OT), Shawnbrey McNeal (RB), Rashaad Duncan (DL), Taurus Johnson (WR) and Maurice Price (WR). You can read about them on the Redskins site here.
I'm rather high on Capers and was surprised he fell to the 7th round, especially when at one point some considered him to be a day 2 or early day three draft pick (projected  between 2nd and 4th rounds). Fulton also seems to be intriguing if he has recovered from his injuries. I like that both Johnson and Price has some height to match our smaller WRs. Both are 6' 1" and the Skins could use more size in the WR corp. to go with the speed. McNeal will have an opportunity to fight for a roster spot with James Davis, Andre Brown, Chad Simpson and Clinton Portis for the last HB/RB roster spot. Duncan is another fresh face to look at on the line.

- The current roster. Now that the off-season is here, the Skins have merged their roster to just one list. You can see the full roster here. It's weird to see names like Josh Bidwell and Mike Williams on the list since we haven't seen them on the field for months.

- Shanahan to meet with McNabb's agent soon. No real surprise. The agent will ask for McNabb's release and Shanahan will give McNabb and Fletcher Smith an opportunity to find a trade partner. I agree with Jason Reid that the Skins will probably make a move similar to what they did with Jason Campbell. Expect the Skins to get somewhere in the range of a 5th or 6th for McNabb....although I really wish we could get a 4th for him to replenish the 4th we lost to Philly this year in the trade.

- On the Haynesworth Front..... Nothing on any possible trades for Albert Haynesworth, but while some have speculated that the Skins will just out right release him, I kind of doubt it. I believe it was The Post's Rick Maese that said that there are teams interested in Haynesworth and a trade may be possible. Haynesworth is due around 5.4 million next season, which really isn't that much. What is interesting to note is that next year will basically be a contract year for Haynesworth. While a team may take the deal next year, future years of Haynesworth's deal increases (6.7 million base salary in 2012, 8.5 million base salary in 2013 etc.....). So, Haynesworth may again be playing for a new deal and we know that he plays well when he's trying to get paid. I think the Skins will be able to get something for him as well.

- Redskin fans and the Redskins would like to see the new CBA done sooner than later. It is very important for the NFL and the Players Union to get the CBA done ASAP. To have a 2011 season is one reason, but the Redskins actually have a lot of money to spend in a pretty deep FA class and none of it will be done until the new CBA is in place. Same goes with compensatory picks that the Skins could get if they don't resign Rocky McIntosh, Carlos Rogers and Reed Doughty. Finally, all the trades for both Haynesworth and McNabb will not happen until a new CBA is in place. Their trades can't happen until the 2011 season starts and there won't be an official 2011 season until a CBA is in place.

- Thanks to Colts and Saints losses, Redskins draft order is set. With the Saints and Colts losing on Saturday we now know exactly where we will be picking during the draft; well, sort of. We don't know about compensatory picks and that won't be determined for a few months (if at all b/c of the lack of a CBA). But if everything stands pat today, here is where the Redskins will be drafting in 2011*.
1st Round (10) #10 overall
2nd Round (9) #41 overall
5th Round (13) #141 overall
5th Round (24) #152 overall (from Saints in Jammal Brown trade)
6th Round (12) #172 overall
7th Round (10) #202 overall
7th Round (24) #215 overall (from Colts for Justin Tryon?)

The only thing I'm not sure about is whether or not we're getting anything for Justin Tryon. The Redskins traded Tryon to the Colts back in September for a conditional draft pick. The only problem is that the draft pick has been undisclosed and nobody knows what were the conditions of the trade (except for the Colts and the Skins and they're not talking). Tryon was a 4th rounder back in 2008 but that really doesn't mean much. He started for the last few weeks for the Colts and was one of the starting CBs in the Colts/Jets game. Tryon even had an INT during the game. My guess is that the Skins are getting the Colts 7th rounder and the condition was that the Skins would get the pick if Tryon was on the 53 man roster for so many games. Who knows, this is Shanahan and Allen we're talking about, maybe they snuck something in the deal that the Skins would get something higher based on playing time. At this point, I don't know so we'll assume it's just the Colts 7th for now.

By the way, here's what the Skins lost for the McNabb and Brown trades*:
3rd Round (8) #72 overall to Saints (Jammal Brown)
4th Round (7) #103 overall to Eagles (Donovan McNabb).
* All information found over at the huddle report.

-IIWII 2010 Redskin analysis. I'll have about 4-5 articles up this week and next week about the Skins in 2010. Here's the breakdown:
1. He did it his way. Looking at Mike Shanahan's 1st year as the Redskins head coach. Includes some analysis of the offensive and defensive philosophies, front office moves (w/Bruce Allen), change in culture (w/Bruce Allen), leadership, on field management and controversies.
2. FedEx 2010. Looking at the improvements both aesthetically and personnel wise to make FedEx a better place for the fans to enjoy their team. Will also look at the current problems and the lack of on field victories.
3. Offense Roster Analysis. Pretty much looks at the team during 2010. Who stays and who goes and what needs the Skins need to address for 2011.
4. Defense Roster Analysis. Same as #3 but looks at the defensive side of the ball.
5. Special Team Roster Analysis. Same as #3 and #4 but looking at special teams.

- Check out Staying Medium's roster analysis. Until I get around to doing my write ups on the Redskins,  Dave over at Staying Medium is working on his roster reviews. Looks like he's doing defense first and working his way to the offense. Here are his first reviews on the Linebacker Corp. and Defensive Line.

- Fred Davis in trouble? Per TMZ. I'm not going to really discuss it until we know more.

- Chris Hanburger is a finalist for the HOF. Per NFP.

Draft News and Notes
- College football ends tonight with the BCS Championship Auburn vs. Oregon. You may want to watch it if only to get a look at Cam Newton (Auburn QB). Many are convinced that the Skins will draft a QB in round 1 or 2 and Newton (if he enters the draft) may be an option that some are projecting the Skins taking at #10.

- Luck out, Gabbert in. Andrew Luck is staying for his senior year at Stanford. However, two QBs who still had college eligibility Ryan Mallett and Blaine Gabbert are joining the 2011 draft class. Luck staying isn't a loss to any NFL team looking for a QB except for the Panthers who would have taken him. Now they'll look to another position.

- Should the Skins really go after a QB at 10? Here's a list of names of decent QBs who may be considered day 1-2 potential picks: Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Pat Devin, Andy Dalton. I've been hearing mixed signals on many of theses QBs and that many of the experts think that all of the QBs are projects and will need time before they have a chance of starting. If the Skins stay at 10, I have to think that they're going after a 3-4 DE or a 3-4 OLB. There are some good prospects at those positions that are worthy of #10. Right now, my ideal hope is that the Skins trade back a few spots, pick up a 3rd or 4th and then either go after a QB, interior OL, DE or OLB there. Thus they get one more player in the draft and don't draft too high is fine by me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So Much for Re-Seeding the Playoffs.....

The Seahawks beating the Saints is just another perfect example of what the NFL is about and why it's the most popular sport in the U.S. Many people (myself included) thought that the chance of a mediocre 7-9 team beating a banged up but still pretty good Saints team was slim.

Some had even argued for the league to re-seed the brackets and games based on Seattle's record.Oh well, so much for that theory.

Same can be said about overtime rules. Many think that the NFL needs to abandon the "sudden death" format and go for a style more like what college football does. The funny thing is that evidence has shown that the majority of overtime games don't usually end on the 1st possession (like in last year's Vikings/Saints NFC Championship game). Perfect example, the Redskins this season. The Skins played in 4 overtime games this year. In that, they went 3-1 in overtime. In all four games, the Skins lost the coin toss and the opponent had possession of the ball first. Even in the one loss (vs. Houston), both teams had the ball at least once before the Texans kicked the game winning FG.

As for the J-E-T-S......
(Rex's thoughts on me picking the Colts. Now let's get a GD snack!!!!)

The Jets are a good team and while I thought the Colts would win at home, the Jets winning in Indy isn't as big of a stunner. Now, if they win in New England.......then we'll talk.

More playoff stuff coming and some Redskins 2010 reviews coming up this week.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Post-Season Picks: Wild Card Round

Before I get to the actual picks, here's some predictions and my power rankings for the playoffs.

1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Chicago Bears
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Seattle Seahawks

NFC Championship: Chicago at Atlanta

1. New England Patriota
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Kansas City Chiefs
6. NY Jets

AFC Championship: Baltimore at Pittsburgh

OK, time for the picks:
New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks (Push)
Let's see, the world champs facing a 7-9 team that is a division champion. This is beyond stupid. In many divisions, 7-9 would have you 3rd place. Saints should win this one as the Seahawks biggest thing going into this game is the crowd noise.
Pick: Saints

NY Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
If this game was being played in NY, I'd probably pick the Jets. But the Colts are a different team at home and I expect this to put up enough points that the anemic Jets can catch up.
Pick: Colts

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs (+ 2.5)
It's hard to trust a team that is so young and inexperienced when it comes to the playoffs.
Got to go with the Ravens here.
Pick: Ravens

Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
This may be the most interesting game of the week as the Packers D tries to stop Michael Vick. I like the Eagles to move onto the next round.
Pick: Eagles.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Redskin Player Awards

Time for the IIWII 3rd annual Redskin Player Awards. These awards are given out and are solely the opinion of me. Here's the winners from previous years:
2008 Redskin Player Awards
2009 Redskin Player Awards pt.1
2009 Redskin Player Awards pt.2

Let's get to the awards. I will say that for the most part, these awards have been pretty much locked in for awhile now. I just waited for the final stats to come out before making the post.

Offensive MVP

Santana Moss: 93 catches, 1,115yds; 6 TD
With another new coach and another new offensive scheme some on the team struggled with learning the new system. Moss thrived. Moss was moved into the slot which allowed him to be in motion more often, gave him various mismatches and kept him from being jammed at the line of scrimmage. Moss took advantage of that and was able to use his speed to turn a short pass into a big play for his team. Moss kept many of the Redskin drives alive and give his team the opportunity to score. Moss topped his former career best in catches (84) and had his 2nd best season in receiving yards (best season 2005 with 1,483yds). He finished 4th in the league with receptions and 10th in reception yardage.
(Honorable Mentions: Chris Cooley, Anthony Armstrong)

Defensive MVP

DeAngelo Hall: 95 tackles, 65 solo; 6 INTs, 2 FF, 2 TD
I have a feeling that I'll probably get some grief in the comments section about my choice of D. Hall as the defensive MVP, especially after some poor performances in the Tampa Bay, Dallas and NY Giant games recently. That said, the choice makes total sense. Pretty much single handily Hall won two games for the Redskins in 2010. Dallas (week 1) and Chicago, Hall made major plays that led to TDs when the Skins couldn't score TDs on offense. His forced fumble that he returned for a TD against the Cowboys was the score that kept the Skins on top. His 4 INT game against Jay Cutler and the Bears put points on the board for the Skins and kept points off the board for the Bears. Hall has also improved upon his tackling skills and was third on the team with total tackles. Hall tied a career best with 6 INTs and set a new career mark with 2 FF. Hall was tied for 5th in the league for INTs and was elected to his third Pro Bowl.
(Honorable Mentions: LaRon Landry, London Fletcher)

Special Teams MVP

Brandon Banks: KR- 46/1,155yds, Avg: 25.1, Lng: 96; 1 TD
PR- 38/431yds, Avg: 11.3, Lng: 53
Too small for the NFL? Not if you're Brandon Banks. Banks combines his size with his amazing speed and agility to run through the smallest of holes and give the Redskins great field position. Banks is a nightmare for defenders in the open field and once he takes off, it is very hard to catch up with him and bring him down. What the stats aren't telling you is that he had 2 punt returns for TDs called back because of holding and a few others called back for similar penalties.
(Honorable Mentions: Lorenzo Alexander, Darrell Young)

Redskins Rookie of the Year

Brandon Banks: (see stats above). Not bad for an undrafted rookie out of Kansas St. The Redskins want to use Banks more as a WR, as a QB in the Wildcat but a knee injury (and surgery) limited his participation in those roles. Banks has been one of the highlights of the 2010 season and has made the special teams game much more exciting. Hopefully, he'll have many more years to come with the Skins as a special teams ace and occasional offensive threat.
(Honorable Mentions: Trent Williams, Logan Paulsen, Perry Riley)

Most Improved Player Offense

Anthony Armstrong: 44 catches, 871 yds; 3 TD.
Armstrong should be considered a beacon of hope for any player that wants to be in the NFL and doesn't get there initially via the draft. After doing stints in the Intense Football League and Arena League, Armstrong joined the Dolphins practice squad and eventually joined the Redskins practice squad towards the end of 2009. In 2010 Armstrong beat out many WRs including veterans Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams and draft picks Devin Thomas and Terrence Austin to become the Skins #2 WR. Armstrong is currently 4th in the league with receptions over 40 yards and ended 2010 with a 19.8 average per catch. Armstrong is developing to be a major deep threat in 2011.
(Honorable Mentions: Ryan Torain, Will Montgomery)

Most Improved Player Defense

LaRon Landry: 85 tackles, 66 solo; 1.0 sack, 1 INT, 1 FF.
Landry only played in nine games this season as was already close to topping his career high in tackles (95), sacks (1.5), INTs (2) and FFs (2). Last year many were wondering if Landry was ever going to live up to being drafted #6 overall in the 2007 draft. Landry struggled at the free safety position getting burnt on double moves. He also was criticized for making highlight reel hits but not wrapping up, thus he'd bounce off of players instead of tackling. Landry was also notorious for getting flagged for late hits and taking bad angles. In 2010, Landry was moved back to the SS position in Jim Haslett's 3-4 and has thrived. He has become a disruptive force for the Redskins D and hopefully will continue to do so in 2011 after he recovers from his injuries that put him on IR.
(Honorable Mentions: Anthony Bryant, Adam Carriker, Phillip Buchanon)

The Sean Taylor Memorial Award

Kareem Moore and DeAngelo Hall hit on Michael Vick.

I'm not one of those fans that hope other players get hurt and I don't wish ill will on other players (it's bad karma) but the Michael Vick hit was just a memorable hit that took place in 2010.

Honorable Mention: Albert Haynesworth using a Bears linemen to sack Jay Cutler

Monday, January 3, 2011

Game Recap: Giants @ Redskins

(Another D'oh Gano! moment)
 And the 2010 season ends with a whimper and not with a bang as the Redskins tried to play spoiler to a desperate 9-7 Giant team who needed to win to have a shot at making the playoffs. The bad news was that the Redskins couldn't come back to win (despite a valiant effort) and the Giants finish 2010 with a 10-6 record. The good news was that the Green Bay Packers defeated the Bears, thus knocking the Giants out of playoff contention.

This game was much different than the previous meeting in New York as the Skins played a much better run defense and tackled.  At one point it looked like the Giants were going to run away with the game as the Giants had a 10-0 lead as the game was near halftime. The Skins had a very nice drive that led to a 1 yard TD pass from Grossman to Fred Davis. Early in the third quarter, the Giants regained the ten point advantage thanks to a mistimed jump/coverage by DeAngelo Hall that led to a 92 yard catch and run for a TD by the Giant's Mario Manningham. The Skins again rallied with a beautiful 64 yard bomb by Grossman hitting Anthony Armstrong in stride, cutting the Giants lead to three.

What seemed to kill the Redskins was the four turnovers on offense (3 fumbles, 1 INT) and another easy FG missed by Graham Gano. Three of those four turnovers happened inside the Giants 30 with two happening in the Red Zone. Had the Skins held onto the ball, it would have given them at least three opportunities for field goals. That said, Graham Gano missed a easy 30 yard FG in the 1st quarter, so it's hard to tell if they would have gotten anything if it came down to FG attempts.

Plenty of The Good, The Bad and The let's get started.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week 17 Picks

The final week of the season and the last for the Skins in 2010. I'm really going to start missing football after today. Anyway here are your winners:

Panthers @ Falcons
Pick: Falcons

Bengals @ Ravens
Pick: Ravens

Steelers @ Browns
Pick: Steelers

Vikings @ Lions
Pick: Vikings

Raiders @ Chiefs
Pick: Raiders

Dolphins @ Patriots
Pick: Patriots

Buccaneers @ Saints
Pick: Saints

Bills @ Jets
Pick: Bills

Chargers @ Broncos
Pick: Broncos

Bears @ Packers
Pick: Packers

Jaguars @ Texans
Pick: Jaguars

Titans @ Colts
Pick: Colts

Cowboys @ Eagles
Pick: Cowboys

Cardinals @ 49ers
Pick: Cardinals

Giants @ Redskins
Pick: Giants 17-14
Going with the Giants here, they're desperate and always seem to play their best against the Skins. The key will be whether the Skins D can stop the run. If they can, they've got a chance. If they can't, we'll be getting a better draft ranking.

Rams @ Seahawks
Pick: Rams

Last week: 11-3
Season: 146-92

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Redskins News and Notes 1/01/11

(With the 13th selection The Washington Redskins select QB Jake Locker, Washington)
Before I get to Redskins news, I'd like to say that I'm (as of right now) on the Jake Locker bandwagon for the Redskins 1st round pick. This is kind of a weird spot for me. Most of you know by now that pretty much since 2007 I've been asking for either O-linemen or D-linemen with the Skins picks. Now, I want a franchise QB. I think this would be the year if this guy falls to the Skins when they pick.

I watched the Holiday Bowl (Washington vs. Nebraska) and saw some really nice intangibles out of Locker despite having some not so great stats (Passing: 5/16; 56 yards/ Rushing: 13 carries, 83 yards; 1 TD). He has amazing touch on the ball and has a cannon for a arm with a pretty quick release. This guy is amazingly mobile and looks good running bootlegs. He also can get himself out of trouble by just tucking the ball and running. I also liked the fact that he threw the ball away instead of forcing it and that he took punishment and came back. If he goes to the Skins, I think he could cause teams a boatload of problems with his bootlegs in the Shanahan scheme.

Remember, the Skins traded for McNabb with the hopes of getting the guy that ran circles around teams with his mobility and made you pay when you tried to stop the running and didn't respect his arm. Locker reminds me of that but I think he's actually got a stronger arm and is much more accurate both in short and long range than McNabb in his prime.

Just something to think about......
Here's a You Tube video looking at some highlights. Also, here is a nice scouting report of Locker by Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown. It's very early in draft analysis so I wouldn't guarantee that Locker will be the IIWII 2011 Consensus Draft Pick as of yet, but this is the first 1st round caliber player to really wow me so far.

Onto actual Redskin players and the team....