Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SOW: Which Draft Prospects Have the Redskins Targeted So Far?

From Son of Washington.

Interviews and meetings are common practice for teams and prospects as we get closer to the draft. This is the first (and possibly last) time a team can meet with a player, learn about him and determine if he fits the scheme and the chemistry of the team. Teams try to meet with as many players as possible and will be allowed to bring in a certain number of candidates to the team facility during the process.
Even if a team won’t be able to draft a player, they still might meet with him to possibly lure him to the team when his rookie contract is up. We still have Pro Days and scheduled meetings/workouts to take place but the Redskins have already started to meet with players during The Combine, East/West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.
Does this mean anything? Well possibly yes.

Click Here to read entire article

Monday, February 25, 2013

Major Announcement and a Look at the Future

If you follow Twitter, possibly Facebook (honestly, I don't use Facebook much so I don't know if the announcement was made over there or not) and/or read Son Of Washington then you've probably seen that I have joined SOW as a writer for the site.

I Think it is a great opportunity for me as a blogger and as a writer. SOW has really become a big site covering the Redskins and they have some big plans upcoming in the future. I can't write about all of those plans (you'll have to wait but if these plans come to fruition, it will be very exciting) but I will say that SOW is extending itself beyond a podcast and website with articles/blogs. I hope to be a significant contributor with SOW and this move has motivated me to start writing more. I've already done 2 articles on the SOW website, some other material for the site and this blog entry on IIWII.

So what does this mean for IIWII? Well, many articles that I do on SOW will eventually be linked as a post on IIWII with a link to the original article on SOW. I plan on doing the majority of my Redskins coverage with SOW. That doesn't mean that I won't be writing original Redskins content here. There may be a time where I feel like bitching about my team, the ticket office or the front office or complaining about something that I don't want to involve SOW (primarily to keep them out of trouble) or just show some of my game picture galleries. They will be here.

IIWII isn't going anywhere. It's just changing a bit. I still think I will cover some NFL topics here and Meaningless Mock, fantasy football stuff and weekly picks (if I have the time to write them) will remain. I also hope to write about some non-football stuff including bringing back movie reviews, TV and what not. I would also like to bring back Friday Night Videos as I enjoyed posting crazy You Tube stuff on the site.

Anyway, thank you again for reading and please check out what we're doing over at sonofwashington.com


Friday, February 22, 2013

Ravens Should Beg to Lose to the 'Skins Each Year

If you live anywhere in Maryland (like I do) or in a surrounding state or district, then you'll probably be reminded on a daily basis about the recent Ravens Super Bowl victory over the 49ers. The Raven fans have come out of the woodwork or jumped on the bandwagon wearing their gear and talking about their team.... and that's fine.

That's what I would do if the Redskins won the Super Bowl (I do it anyway no matter how good or bad the Redskins are playing).

But if a Raven fan decides to crow a little too much about their year or wants to talk some smack about the Redskins all you have to do is remind them that the 'Skins beat the champs with the help of a back up rookie QB.

Matter of fact, the Redskins beat the Ravens in the regular season both times the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

The first came on 10/15/2000 when Stephen Davis stiff armed his way past Rod Woodson for the lone TD of the game. The Redskins won 10-3. The Ravens would later go on to beat the Giants for their first Lombardi.

The second win for the Redskins came this past December with a 31-28 overtime victory.
The Ravens have only faced the Redskins 5 times in the Ravens short history. Currently they lead the series 3-2.

Coincidence or some sort of weird trend? I'll let you decide.

But if it is some sort of trend, the Ravens won't be heading to another Super Bowl for another four years and that's only if they lose to the Redskins.
Hopefully, Washington will get there before the Redskins face the Ravens for their next match up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Labor of Love: A Redskins Fan Guide to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine

KerriganCombine

This weekend the NFL will host more than 300 players at the annual scouting Combine in Indianapolis. More or less this is a job fair where all 32 potential employers will get to meet and determine which candidates they may want to have on their team. Instead of resumes, players are poked, prodded, take tests and perform drills to impress.

Do we really learn anything at all from The Combine?

Yes and No. You can see a players speed, how well they can take direction and some of the tangibles that coaches look for in players they want to fit their scheme. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the really important elements of the combine: the medical evaluations and the interviews.

The interviews are key. Usually a team has a player breakdown plays on a whiteboard, or ask character questions or even try to catch a player off guard to see how they respond to stress. In most cases the fans and media never learn what goes on behind closed doors. What we do find out is usually spread by a team or an agent trying to raise or lower a player's draft stock.

The Combine is one of the most anticipated events in the off-season for fans suffering from football withdrawal. For a player, it can help make or break a player's draft stock. For a team it can help set up it franchise for years to come. But do you want to know the biggest secret of The Combine, something the NFL Network doesn't want you to know?

It Is Incredibly Boring.
The is no hitting. It is incredibly repetitive (especially the 40's and the long jump) and the television coverage tends to focus more on select top prospects more than the entire group.
So with the Redskins not picking until around #51, is it even worth watching The Combine? Sure it is! It's football related.....it has something to do with the game we can't watch for a few months. Plus, it's the prologue to The Draft- the true non-football football event of the year.
So here's some tips to help you avoid sitting on your coach for ten hours straight and yet get all the coverage that you're looking for to master your mock drafts and show how you know who the Redskins will be taking from the 2nd to the 7th round.

1. DVR/Tivo/Hopper/VCR any footage you plan on watching. If you can avoid watching this live- Do It! Fast forward is your friend. NFL Network is notorious for playing the same three commercials over and over again. For your sanity's sake, skip the live coverage.

2. Focus on what Mike Mayock is focusing on in each drill. Mayock knows what to look for in every drill so pay attention on what he looks for in each drill and then make you own judgements.

3. Don't believe a single word that a Coach or GM is saying in interviews.We're in the middle of lying season in the NFL. Where information is kept under lock and key and the only leaked truths are leaked specifically to be a major smokescreen. Mike Shanahan never reveals anything anyway.

4. Don't believe the players interviews either. Players have been trained to speak in "athlete speak" (everything is great, talked to a bunch of teams, I'd go anywhere and play for any team- backup FB for the Raiders? Sure why not!) their comments are just as reliable as the Coaches and GMs.

5. You may have to work hard to scout late round talents. The NFL Network does try to show you everything, but in the end it's all about ratings. So obviously there will be a great deal of focus on the 1st round talent and less on guys who might be drafted in the 6th round.

6. Don't believe the hype. Just because a guy is quick running in a straight line with no pads on means he'll be the next superstar in the NFL. The Combine has created many a workout warrior that is drafted way to high and becomes a bust at the NFL level. So, take The Combine with a huge grain of salt. Drafting a player is a process that requires teams to look at multiple elements.

7. Follow the Need. Don't want to waste your weekend watching players that the Redskins won't draft (like quarterbacks)? My suggestion- watch the wrap up shows just to make sure you didn't miss anything and focus on the positions that you think the Redskins will address in the draft.
Days to watch:

Tuesday, Feb. 26th- Defensive Backs: If the Redskins don't draft a safety and corner at some point in the draft I'll turn in my draftnik card.

Saturday, Feb 23rd- TE's and OL: Fred Davis might not be back and the Redskins don't have a starting right tackle.

Combine coverage officially starts on Saturday on NFL Network.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top Redskins Off-Season Position Needs

(Of course, Robert Griffin's knee and recovery is the top priority.)


























With the Combine only a week away and free agency not that far behind it, its time to look at the Redskins biggest off-season needs to address. In this case I'm just addressing top needs more than who to target, cap numbers etc. When we get slightly closer to free agency (post-combine) I'll have some more targets to look at as potential new Redskins.

1. Safety. Quick, name the starting safety tandem in 2012. If you said Madieu Williams and Reed Doughty then you are correct. That said, that wasn't the intended starting tandem. It was supposed to be Tanard Jackson and Brandon Meriweather. Jackson was suspended indefinitely prior to the start of the season and will not be eligible to be re-instated until the end of August 2013. Meriweather had a great half against the Eagles, but that was it as knee injuries kept him off of the field throughout most of 2013. The Redskins need a significant upgrade at the position heading into the 2013 season because neither Williams or Doughty should be starting on a regular basis. Most importantly the Redskins need to find a fast, agile, good tackling FS who can cover a WR and play single deep safety. The last legitimate FS on the team was Sean Taylor in 2007. Since then players have had to play out of position (LaRon Landry, Reed Doughty) to fill a hole in the roster.

2. Cornerback. Josh Wilson had an okay 2012. Yes, he got beat a few times and  missed a couple of tackles but generally he did what was expected of him. DeAngelo Hall had another up and down season but finished well with a shut down performance on Dez Bryant. There was some clear miscommunication between the corners and the safeties during the season and it led to blown coverages and easy TDs for the opponents. The Redskins clearly need to get better, faster and possibly younger at this position if the team is to have any success in a pass happy NFL. Hall may not even be with the Redskins unless he takes a significant pay cut or re-structure/extension as he is due $7.5 million and the Redskins are currently around 4 million over the salary cap number. Richard Crawford is still developing and could be a possible option in the future. Chase Minnifield is the real wild card in this mix. Considered by many to go as high as the 1st round last year, Minnifield went undrafted because of injury concerns with his knees. Minnifield tore his ACL during OTAs and is currently rehabbing. If he can stay healthy could the Redskins have a potential starting corner on the roster? I still expect them to look for talent at this position through the draft.

3. Tight End. Fred Davis, Chris Cooley and Logan Paulsen (RFA) are free agents. It's not likely that we'll see a return of Captain Chaos to the Redskins. Davis will only be welcomed back for the right price because he has been unable to finish the last two seasons (injury, suspension). I expect Paulsen to be tendered at a reasonable price that at worst will give the Redskins a draft pick if another team makes an offer they can't match. The Niles Paul experiment has hit some early bumps and while Paul has been a great blocker and kick returner, he's has yet to show that he'll be the next Shannon Sharpe. The Redskins could use at least 1-2 more TEs to enter the season with one of them being a significant pass catching threat.

4. Right Tackle/OT. Jammal Brown's contract was voided. Tyler Polumbus and Jordan Black are free agents. While I like Polumbus to come back and be an extremely good depth player with the capability to start at multiple positions in a pinch, the Redskins could use an upgrade at right tackle. They have a few options on the roster in Maurice Hurt and Tom Compton but neither may ready to be a starter if ever for the team. Hurt has had the majority of his snaps as a guard and Compton has limited experience. The good news is that there is a large FA market or tackles this year and the Redskins should be able to get a starting caliber RT at a reasonable price if they don't see a starter worth taking in the early rounds of the draft.

5. Wide Receiver. It's not that the Redskins don't have talent at the position, it's just that beyond Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss (who is more part time WR than starter at this point in his career) the talent needs to step up and be much more consistent. Josh Wilson was arguably a great run blocker and made some tough catches, but virtually disappeared at times on the field. He needs to be the consistent pass catcher to complement the other players. Leonard Hankerson is a huge question mark. He has the size and talent and has flashed it at times. That said, other times he has ran sloppy routes, dropped easy passes and gave up on plays. This has to be the year he steps up and shows what he can do, or he'll be the next Devin Thomas. Aldrick Robinson is another guy with blazing speed who has flashed at times and then disappears. I don't expect Brandon Banks to be back with the Redskins. The Redskins could look for another WR on the cheap in free agency or try to find the next Garcon in the later rounds of the draft.

6. Linebacker. I add this a little late because of the uncertainty of the position. Right now we don't know if London Fletcher is coming back or if he will retire. Nor do we know if Brian Orakpo will recover from his 2nd pectoral tear and be able to play without re-injuring it again. Nor do we know if Keenan Robinson will be 100% after his knee injury. Chris Wilson, Lorenzo Alexander and Rob Jackson (I believe is still considered a RFA) will be free agents. I expect Alexander to be a priority to re-sign for the 'Skins and the team will try to keep Jackson or at least try to get something for the former 7th round pick. It really depends on what happens in free agency and health that will determine the need for this position group.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

On the "Redskins" Name and What Will Be of the Washington Football Team

(Is this The End?)
I'm not going to write that the name "Redskins" isn't offensive. I don't think that's right for me to tell you that or even agree with that notion. There are some who consider it the N-word for Native Americans (including some Native Americans, not just members of the media stirring up an issue to sell papers or drive up internet traffic). The same group of Native Americans, the NCAI, who consulted with the Redskins decades ago and led to the creation of the current logo (see above helmet) have stated that they would like to see a name change. If that's the case, then I don't have a problem if the team does decide to change the name in the future. I will say as a fan of the team going on nearly 30 years I have had a great deal of pride for my football team and the name never meant anything to me but the highest respect to the people and culture the team was supposed to represent not that it will make anyone less offended. This team has always been "the good guys" to me and I know that beyond the game on the field the organization has done a great deal of good works for the communities surrounding DC/MD/VA. Deep down I believe that the franchise (at least post George Preston Marshall) never meant to offend anyone.

The current stance by the team is that nothing is going to change. Eventually, either by lawsuit, force by the league or just being tired of the controversy the name probably will be changed. I have a theory on what this team will be in the next decade or so but we'll get to that in a second. I want to first address some people who have discussed the topic as of late.