Saturday, March 31, 2012

Getting Ready for Opening Day and the Draft (with Pictures)

(Nationals baseball is just a few days away)
This is a rare post where I didn't feel like adding much content. Just a reminder that baseball is just a few days away with the Nationals playing the Cubs on April 5th. The Nats play their home opener a week later on the 12th.

Sweet hat, eh? I wish New Era would make more of them with the Nats "W" logo in Burgundy and Gold. Maybe with New Era under contract with the NFL and MLB, we'll see it sooner than later.

Meanwhile, Redskin fans are getting geared up for Robert Griffin III coming to DC. Griffin was at a card show at the Dulles Expo taking pictures with fans and signing autographs. For more on the event including video and pictures check the Redskins Blog, Hogs Haven, Redskins Confidential and Redskins Journal.

Also, I forgot in the Redskins: News and Notes a nice piece by John Keim of the Examiner where he interviews Terry Shea- the man who's been working with Griffin during the off-season. You can read that article HERE.

In celebration of the draft and RG3 likely coming to DC I decided to make up a shirt for me and a few of my friends for our Draft Day Party on the 26th. If you haven't seen it on my Twitter feed (@IIWIISkinsBlog) I'd figure I'd show it here.

(front)

(back)
 The Spear logo, I did get from SpreadShirt but did some tweaking with the color scheme and added the text. It's a nice alternative to buying the Nike version of his jersey and guessing whether RG3 will be #10 with the 'Skins.

Redskins News and Notes 3/31/12

Free Agency/Cap Update:
- After a quick jump in the free agency pool, the Redskins quickly got out and have been working on other things including attending the owners meetings, going to Luck/RG3 pro days and trying to re-sign their FAs. I could be wrong but I really don't see the 'Skins signing another big free agent until after the draft unless he played in DC in 2011.

- PFT has the cap numbers for all 32 teams as of March 30th. The Redskins are in the middle of the pack with $7.6 million in cap room. Just imagine had they not been screwed by the NFL out of $18 million. The Redskins would have more cap room than the Bengals ($20.5 million), who lead the top of the cap room list (as usual, they never spend anything) with around $25 million in cap room.

-I don't believe that the Redskins have hosted another FA in Ashburn since Josh Johnson on March 21st (22nd?) and it seems that the Redskins are focusing on the draft more since they have already hosted/worked out three players (more on that later).

- Some people may scoff at the notion that the Redskins weren't as serious about Vincent Jackson compared to Pierre Garcon/ Josh Morgan/ Eddie Royal but I think that actually is the case. The reason, is that the Redskins have a plan with the WR corp. and Garcon and Morgan have a trait that is similar to what RG3's WRs had at Baylor. I plan on doing a nice write up about that soon. Trust me, these WR moves aren't the moves of Vinny Cerrato.

Redskins Injury Front:

- Sounds like Jammal Brown will be the top choice at RT as we head into OTAs and training camp. The good news is that Brown seems to be in better condition that he's been in the last two years.....all thanks to Yoga.

- Mike Shanahan indicates that Leonard Hankerson could be back by June 1st

- Also it appears that Chris Cooley and Kory Lichtensteiger should be ready for either OTAs or at worst training camp.

Other Redskins News and Notes:

-The Redskins will hold the 2012 training camp in Ashburn. However, they are continuing to try and find a place to hold training camp. Mike Shanahan has wanted to take the team away from Redskins Park for training camp.

Speaking of Redskins Park, here's a look inside their new practice bubble......

The Draft:

- The Redskins have brought in/worked out three prospects LSU DT Michael Brockers, Arkansas St. SS Kelcie McCray and Syracuse FS Phillip Thomas. Brockers looks like a early to mid 1st round pick, so it's very doubtful that he'll be in Washington. McCray and Thomas both look like late day 3 to UDFA prospects.

- ESPN's Todd McShay discusses what RT options are available to the Redskins in the 3rd round.

- McShay also believes that RG3 and Ryan Tannehill aren't that much different talent-wise. Trust me as somebody who watched probably 5 of Tannehill's games this year and 2-3 of RG3's games I can tell you that RG3 is much better right now than Tannehill. Tannehill is a bit mechanical.....reminds me of Jason Campbell to be honest.

- I am currently working on a prospect list of targets for rounds 3-7 for the Redskins. Hopefully I will have it out in a week or so for all of the IIWII readers.

- Don't be surprised if the Redskins make a pick that might catch you off guard. Like say they draft a QB or a RB in later rounds. There is a TJ Yates type prospect in GJ Kinnie or even BJ Coleman at QB. At RB there's about 4 RBs that might fit what the Redskins would be looking for (mostly depth).


Mandatory RG3 Stuff:

In case you missed it, here is RG3's full pro day at Baylor. Luckily I got to see it on ESPNU, of course the NFL Network was too busy with Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning coverage to show it until midnight.

And a preview of RG3 at Grudens QB camp

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Correction on Jon Gruden's QB Camp Dates

(QB Camp is the only time we get to see this guy and not Happy Gruden on MNF)
 Need to add a correction about Jon Gruden's QB camp. ESPN has changed Andrew Luck's appearance on the show. Luck will appear on Friday,  March 30 at 7PM EST not March 31st.

I blame ESPN on this one. This link has the new date on it. But it links you to all the dates which includes Luck's episode on March, 31st.

The most important episode however will still be on ESPN April 2nd at 9PM EST. That will feature RG3.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mike Polk Jr. Is At It Again!!!!

I've posted some of the works of Cleveland comedian and Browns fan Mike Polk Jr. before on IIWII. He's the guy behind The Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video, his Steelers Rant and of course The Factory of Sadness.

Well, he's back and he decided to send the Browns a note while paying for his season tickets. I swear at times this reminds me of the Redskins and my season tickets.

If you like this here's a link to his website (which he says is terrible)

Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breaking Down the RG3 Trade via Trade Chart

(What does the math say about the RG3 trade? Image via)
There is still a great deal of debate in many NFL circles if the Washington Redskins gave up too much to move up to the #2 spot and draft Robert Griffin IIII (possibly Andrew Luck but highly doubtful). While many draftniks, some NFL fans and some experts will tell you that no price is too high for a franchise QB (if you don't have one- most teams don't) but some do believe that the Redskins mortgaged their future for 1 player. Hopefully by doing some math (gah! Math, it's too early for math!!!!) we can determine if the Redskins got a reasonable deal for moving up or were they raked over the coals by the Rams.

What I'm doing today is to explain the Trade Value Chart and by using this unofficial but valuable NFL guide to determine how much was the move from #2 to #6 worth and whether the 'Skins made a reasonable offer to move up to that spot. We'll also look at what the Browns may or may not have offered in order to move up and see how their offer looks compared to the Redskins.In future blog posts, for comparison, we'll look at some of the trades that went down for franchise QBs over the past few years and also compare those trades to the TVC.

Remember, the TVC isn't the end all/be all when it comes to trades. It's an unofficial guide that serves as a baseline for a trade. Some teams have variations of the TVC to compensate for salary (like the old CBA where high draft picks could get as much as $50 million guaranteed before taking a single NFL snap) and some teams have higher values for picks in certain spots (for example the 2nd round is a very valuable round to some teams because you're getting some 1st caliber talent for less than you have to pay in the 1st round). So more or less, when you do a trade you hope to have traded your picks for an item of equal value- thus you want to have about a 0 when you subtract the point value you are receiving by the points giving up using the equation below.

Equation:
Draft Pick(s) received (total TVC points) - Draft Pick(s) Given (total TVC Points) = x (0, + or -  TVC pts)

Here's a link to what a current (standardized) TVC should look like. This is what I'll be using for today's discussion. What you also need to know is how picks are valued (or de-valued) for future years. This is important to understanding what the Redskins did with future picks. When a trade is made, the picks for that year's draft are applied to the TVC. But future picks are valued one round lower per year after that year's draft. So a 2013 1st round pick is given similar value to a 2012 2nd round pick etc.


Here's a great example: Redskins trade QB Jason Campbell, to Oakland for 4th round 2012 pick.
In 2012 this is a great move for the Redskins. We've got an additional 4th rounder. But going by the trade value chart when the trade back in 2010, that 4th rounder is de-valued to the equivalent of a 6th rounder. This is because the Redskins had to wait two years (two drafts) to be able to use that pick. People using the TVC chart take that waiting into consideration and that's why future picks are de-valued-  you have to wait to use them and that you can't use that pick now.

So, now we have that out of the way, let's get to what you want to read about.

The RG3 trade

 Redskins get: #2 2012 draft (2,600 points)

Rams get: #6 2012 draft (1,600 points)
                  #39 2012 draft (510 points)
                  Redskins 2013 1st round pick (~ 520 points estimated)*
                  Redskins 2014 1st round pick (~240 points estimated)*

* It's never easy to determine what future draft picks are worth since we don't know when that team is picking in 2013 or beyond. Since the Redskins are making this trade in 2012 we base those future picks off of where they are drafting this year. So, #6 de-valued one round (for one year of waiting) is equal to a pick at #38 thus, 520 points. #6 de-valued two rounds (2014 pick= 2 years) is worth 240 points.

When we do the math: 2600pts (Redskins receiving) - 2870 (Redskins giving) = -270 points.

For speculation sake, let's look at what the Browns offered**:
#4 2012 draft (1,800 points)
#22 2012 draft (780 points)
Browns 2013 1st round pick (~540 points estimated)
** To be honest, we never really found out what the Browns actually offered. The rumored amount is "three first round picks". The problem is that we don't know if those picks were the 2 1st round picks from 2012 draft or say 1st rounders in 2012 (#4 overall), 2013 and 2014

For the hell of it let's look at that scenario:
#4 2012 draft (1,800 points)
Browns 2013 1st round pick (~540 points estimated)
Browns 2014 1st round pick (~250 points estimated)

When we do the math (scenario 1): 2600pts (Browns receiving) - 3120 (Browns giving) = -520
So based on the TVC the Browns actually offered up much more short term value than what the Redskins offered even though the Redskins offered up more picks and what could be more valuable picks if the Redskins continue to struggle.

When we do the math (scenario 2): 2600pts (Browns receiving) -2590  (Browns giving) = +10
Hmmmmm......I'm starting to wonder if this was what the Browns actually offered up to the Rams. It's the closest of all three offers to zero. Remember, ideally you want to be at zero or have a positive value when you do a trade. A zero value based on the chart is considered a trade of equal value.

Analysis: The Redskins get their guy more or less and for the Redskins they gave up an additional 1st round pick in 2014 to win the RG3 sweepstakes. Remember, the Rams didn't offer a bidding war to contending teams. Rams GM Les Snead wanted each team to throw out their best offer and the winning team was the team that offered the most. The Redskins offered three high picks (along with swapping their 6th for the Rams 2nd) to get their guy (or at least get to the spot to get their guy). The Rams get three potential starters out of the deal so think the equivalent of Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins. That's a lot of potential talent, although the Rams will have to be patient through three drafts before they can collect all of those picks. For the Rams sake, it will hopefully be worth the wait or Jeff Fisher and Les Snead will be looking for new jobs.

The Redskins had to make this trade no matter how it pans out. Manning wasn't coming to DC. The Redskins didn't like what was on the free agent market (Flynn et al.) and Ryan Tannehill is a project. The Redskins had to give up a lot because Cleveland and Miami were serious about moving up as well and Cleveland had the most ammo to win a bidding war. Classic law of supply and demand. The more demand for an item (including draft picks) the higher the cost. The Redskins were willing to pay the higher cost (something Dan Snyder has never had a problem doing) and as a Redskins fan I thank them for doing it.

As for Cleveland, they get to keep their draft picks and hope they can find talent to build around Colt McCoy. McCoy is actually a good fit for Holmgren's style of WCO. It was clear to me that McCoy had no play making WRs to target, no RB to back him up (Peyton Hillis was injured a big chunk of 2011) and no one to block for him with exception to their LT. So instead of crying to Browns' season ticket holders about how he was screwed, Holmgren needs to figure out what players the Browns need to help McCoy and learn how to follow directions.

Monday, March 26, 2012

NFL/Redskins/Fans Will have a Busy March/April

The off-season never gets old when it comes to Redskins fans and this off-season won't be any different. Currently, the owners are meeting to discuss changes in rules that may or may not benefit the game. This may be a more important meeting than ever with both the Redskins and the Cowboys filing a grievance against the NFL and NFLPA for the bogus cap hit for restructuring contracts in 2010 (my thoughts on that later). Anyway, here is a list of key dates through May for events taking place throughout the spring that NFL fans and especially Redskins fans might want to watch as we get closer to the 2012 NFL season.

March 26-28th (Palm Beach, Fl.): NFL Owner's Meeting- Rule changes primarily discussed. Compensatory draft picks are determined.

March 28 (?): Compensatory draft picks are awarded and announced. I think the 'Skins may get something for the loss of Carlos Rogers in 2011.

March 31st: Jon Gruden's QB camp begins with Andrew Luck (7 PM EST, ESPN)

April 2nd: NFL/Nike to release new Nike NFL jerseys, which may reveal new logos, color schemes and alternative jerseys. Don't expect too many drastic changes to the Redskins, but maybe a few subtle tweaks to the overall look.

April 2nd: Jon Gruden's QB camp with Robert Griffin III (9 PM EST, ESPN). Expect to be wowed again.

April 2nd: New NFL coaches can start their off-season workouts. No effect to the Redskins or the NFCE.

April 16th: Off-season workouts begin for the Redskins (Ashburn, Va)

April (TBD): 2012 Pre-season and 2012 regular season schedules will be released. Expect pre-season schedule to be released first, then about a week later the regular season schedule. This usually occurs the week before the draft but may be released during the week of the draft.

April 26th: NFL Draft Day 1 (Round 1) Coverage on ESPN and NFLN. RG32DC!!!!!

April 27th: NFL Draft Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) Coverage on ESPN and NFLN. Redskins to pick in 3rd round.

April 28th: NFL Draft Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) Coverage on ESPN and NFLN. Redskins with 5 picks as of this posting.

April 28th (?): Redskins Draft Day Party (FedEx Field). Good bet that RG3 will be there.

April 28th: Undrafted Rookie Free Agents can be signed once draft ends.

May 16th: 1st time 2012 draft picks and UDFA can participate in OTAs, off-season workouts etc. (except for an allowed 3 day mini-camp that must happen within 15 days after the draft).

May 21-23rd: NFL League Meetings.

Monday, March 19, 2012

All Apologies and Prolonging the Magic

Dear Readers of IIWII,
I just haven't been writing that much lately which has saddened me because one of the things that I have been most proud when doing this blog is providing a large amount of content for fellow fans of the Redskins and what ever else moves me to write about (although let's be honest.... it's been mostly Redskins for most of IIWII's tenure).

There are reasons....some of it is job related (I've been exhausted for the past few months). Although the major problem is that I've just haven't been in the mood to write. At times I get flashes of inspiration. Lately, I've been wanting to write about how much of a dip**** Roger Goodell has become as the NFL commissioner  and how the NFL is ruining the game that so many players and owners fought to make the greatest sport in the world (or at least the U.S.). But when I sit down at the computer......it goes away.

What I don't want IIWII to become is a third hand site at breaking news. I don't want to report a signing or a trade that has already been reported on PFT via Jay Glazer or Adam Schefter. Nor, do I want to give you news that you can find everywhere else. Then why come here......know what I mean? And that's the problem. That's where I've felt I've gone down a few times and I don't like it.

IIWII has been here because I felt like throwing out some ideas and opinions of a die hard Redskins fan who likes other stuff...... I've been doing it for three years now and I think I'm in bit of a rut.

Listen, there are plenty of Redskins blogs out there. Some I like a lot, some not so much but you can find most of the news on those blogs just as mine. So, why do you want to read IIWII? Content. And I hope to take a deep breath come up with some ideas and throw them out there like I have before.

Thanks again for reading.......

Monday, March 12, 2012

Redskins are "All In" on Shanahan Era with RG3 Being it's Possible Ace

(Is RG3 the face of the Redskins for the next 10 years?)
The Mike Shanahan era is about to enter it's third year as the 2012 year officially begins on Tuesday March 13th at 4PM EST and the Washington Redskins have already put themselves in position to try and become a relevant franchise again or to set itself back for the next 10 years. To put it in poker terms, the Redskins have gone "All In". More or less the Redskins need to find a way to win sooner than later and the best way to do that was to either find a franchise quarterback in the draft or sign a franchise quarterback in free agency. With the lack of interest of the only free agent franchise QB on the market (Peyton Manning), the Redskins made a colossal move with the St. Louis Rams in order lock up one of the two top QBs in the 2012 draft. This move will determine a few things. First, can the Redskins ever be a winning franchise again--- or at least while Dan Snyder is the owner and Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan is running the show? Second, will Mike Shanahan have a bust for him one day in Canton? Success in this one move could say yes for both questions. Failure and we can look forward to another decade of misery in the DC version of the Factory of Sadness and Shanahan will only be visiting Canton if he buys a ticket like you and me.

All that said, I think the Redskins made the right move....... let me tell you why.

Let's look at who the Redskins could have targeted as the starting QB in 2012:

1. Peyton Manning- I have the utmost respect for Manning. I've always liked his cerebral play. I've rooted for him to win a Super Bowl and I know he'll be a first ballet Hall of Fame member. That said, I wanted no parts of him in Washington. Bringing in Manning would have been another stop-gap move that we've seen with the Redskins for at least a decade. Danny Wuerffel, Mark Brunell, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman are just examples of these quick fix moves. At least McNabb made some sense in the Shanahan scheme. Manning does not. When was the last time Peyton Manning ran a bootleg? Now I've had people on twitter tell me that Manning used to run bootlegs, but that was years ago. Not to mention four neck surgeries he had since then. Manning would need the Redskins to change their scheme and philosophy on how they choose players. Manning needs a good line to protect him in the pocket. The Redskins look more for athletic linemen who may not be the best anchors but can block well on the move. It was a bad fit and I'm glad that Manning was smart enough to say "thanks, but no thanks".

2. Andrew Luck- No way in hell are the Colts parting from #1 overall and Luck. Let's move on.


3. Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden etc.-  I still haven't watched enough of Weeden to give a fair assessment of what I think he'll do at the NFL level. What I did see of him I liked. He has better mobility than I thought he would. That said, I'm not sure whether or not he'll be a franchise guy or not. The problem with Weeden is that you don't have enough time to develop him if he's not a franchise guy from day one. Simple point, Griffin is 22; Weeden 28. Tannehill was my fall back plan. I think he could do well in the NFL but he needs time to develop. What scared me the most was watching him play against Missouri. The Aggies were up by halftime but gave up the lead late in the game. Tannehill tried to lead the Aggies back and struggled. It reminded me of watching Jason Campbell when he was a Redskin. Just brutal. I really don't want to watch that again.

4. John Beck/Rex Grossman- 2011 was plenty enough for me to determine that I never want to see either of them again at least as a starter.

5. Other FA Quarterbacks- Kyle Orton and David Garrard are names that come to mind. These guys have the most experience but have done little to show that they are long term answers. Again another stop-gap, quick fix. Matt Flynn hasn't done enough to prove to me that he's worth throwing franchise QB money to run your team. Also, the Redskins don't seem to be high of Flynn. Every report I've read has the Redskins liken him to Kevin Kolb.

So there wasn't much in that list that screams long term, day one starting franchise QB. Obviously Luck and Manning would have been the best of the two but Luck is likely unavailable and Manning is a poor fit.

What's the Cost?
Keep in Mind that the Redskins didn't give up 3 first round picks and a 2nd. They gave up two 1st round picks and the 2012 2nd round pick to switch picks in the 1st round of this year's draft. I know semantics right? But the 'Skins were going to use the pick at #6 for a player moving to #2 doesn't really change things. But over three seasons the Redskins will give the Rams what is equivalent to Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins to move up four spots. On first glance, that is a helluva lot to give for a player. I still think of three firsts and a second and cringe. But here's the thing, think about all of the 1st round talent the Redskins have drafted over the last decade. We've had some solid starters with the team and a few letdowns but have the Redskins really drafted an elite talent during that time? When I mean elite, I'm speaking as one of the top talents at that position in the league; a game changer that every OC or DC will game plan. Only one player comes to mind during that time: Sean Taylor. So if you can get what may be an elite player at the most valuable position in the league, it may just be worth giving up three potential starters.

What are the benefits of drafting RG3?
Well, short term it gives the Redskins franchise a shot in the arm that things are changing and things can get better. Now more than ever does the fan base need this. Since, 2007 the Redskins have been a dreadful bunch and the fans have grown sick of the stop gaps and quick fixes of the past. The Redskins found a face of the franchise, something they haven't had in a long time;something fans can root for and rally around. Mike Shanahan will get at least another year to re-build the franchise his way which I think most of us believe has been heading in the right direction since his hiring in 2010 despite the lack of wins to show for it. Finally, there is excitement in DC for the Redskins and the fans that wear B&G may come back to FedEx to see RG3. While this is good for Dan Snyder's pockets, this is good for fans like me who come to the games and are tired of seeing 40% of the fans in opposing team colors. If Griffin lives up to the projection, then the Redskins will be a much better team in the future. That's pretty clear, of course that is always the big if when you draft a player.

Will the trade be worth it?
Well, if you subscribe to the theory that many draftniks and experts believe that there is no cost too high for a franchise QB then the Redskins made the right move no matter what happens. I don't really believe that. I do believe that if you are convinced that this is the player that will make your team significantly better now and in the future and that there is no other player available that can project to do the same thing available then you have to find a way to get that player. It's an aggressive strategy but I would rather see the Redskins get their guy and fail than kicking themselves years later for not doing enough to get the player that would have changed the franchise (something the Browns have done and may do again if RG3 becomes a great player). Did the Rams get a good deal? You bet. Now they have to figure out how to use their picks to become a good franchise again. The Redskins don't have to do that. They have their guy in their sites and can now figure out how to get players around him to succeed in 2012 and beyond. We won't know if this trade worked out for a few years, but if the Redskins can start to win games, the NFCE, go deep into the playoffs and possibly a Lombardi on a regular basis then it was worth it to make the moves.

In a few years we'll either deeply remember what we gave up and how it set the Redskins back for ten years how it lead to another coaching/front office change and how FedEx became more empty and apathetic. Or we'll see how Mike Shanahan made the moves worthy of a hall of fame coach, FedEx filling up with Redskin fans at max capacity wearing RG3 jerseys and singing at the top of their lungs Hail to the Redskins. And people will have to remind each other what picks we gave up to get Robert Griffin. Nobody cares what the Giants gave up for Eli Manning. All they care about is that he hoisted two Lombardi's. The 'Skins are all in on RG3 and we'll know soon enough if we won big of have busted ourselves back into obscurity.