Posted on: February 27, 2009 10:37 am
Edited on: February 27, 2009 10:41 am

Hail the Redskins: Offseason Champs again!

I awoke to, "breaking news here on SporsCenter , the Redskins have signed Albert Haynesworth," around 6 a.m. this morning.

Dan Snyder Francis Buxton got his guy for a cool $100 million .

Hold on, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins have signed Albert Haynesworth" (7:14 a.m.). The deal's has $41 million guaranteed in it.

The Redskins done did it again. Offseason Champs 2009. The banner sure will look perrrty in the rafters next to Offseason Champs  2000, Offseason Champs 2003, Offseason Champs 2004 and Offseason Champs 2006.

Championship! Well, only if they sign free-agent wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

When's the parade?

Hold on, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth."  (8:21 a.m.)

Here we go again, on our own...

Dan Snyder's Redskins got their red bicycle. All 320 pounds of him. The question most are asking is: will the bike go on cruise control?

I don't care.

Wait, this just in, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth." (8:59 a.m.)

I don't care because it's moot. It's always moot when a franchise continues to build through free agency. Of course he'll be on cruise control. That's what happens to veterans who don't have young guys nipping at their heels. That's what happens when a clubhouse is full of the highest paid players at their positions. That's what happens when you sign people off career years. That's what happens when you operate like the Redskins.

Slow down, Eric, this just in, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth." (9:07 a.m.)

When a franchise decides to use free agency as the means to an ends, simply, it's failing. Not just that, it's lazy. It takes more effort to scout the right college guys. It takes more skill to coach a player into his prime. It takes more, well, character. It takes a philosophy. Type in "Redskins" into your browser and it should redirect you to failblog.org .

Whoa, whoa, Eric, this just in, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth." (9:22 a.m.)

Thanks, Hanna.

As Pete Prisco likes to say, "Eric, he of luscious hair and dainty breath, football is a young man's game." Free agency is an old man's club. The Redskins continue to refuse to play the game the right way. Going against the grain makes sense if you're say, oven toasting your subs. But there are only so many ways to run a football franchise, and there are no shortcuts. Last year's Falcons and Dolphins? They didn't take shortcuts. They got lean, and mean. They got young, and hence cohesive. The Redskins routinely get older, and fatter. The only saving grace for the franchise is that the Cowboys do it to. But the Giants don't, and the Eagles for the most part, don't either. 

Rant pause: Eric, this just in, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth." (10:13 a.m.)

Rant play: We're going to hear victorious quotes from team blundermind Vinny Cerrato like the one he told our Clark Judge :

"It's not natural for a guy of this high caliber to hit the market," Cerrato said, "and when you have someone this talented he will make everyone around him better. He was the most dominant defensive lineman. We had trouble getting to the quarterback last year and getting a push up the middle. He'll make us better where we had trouble, which was sacks and turnovers."
We're going to hear about how Francis Buxton just wants his team to be the best. How he'll do anything year in and out. How he reinvests in the franchise. But like the adulterous husband who comes home with flowers and jewelry, he's buying off Redskins nation to look the other way.

It's ironic that inside the D.C. beltway founding fathers were smart enough to enact term limits on elected officials. It's too bad right outside the beltway in Landover, Md., we can't impeach and elect new owners. Because the policy guiding the Redskins is broken and ...

... oops, gotta take a break because, "breaking news here on SportsCenter , the Redskins sign Albert Haynesworth." (10:30 a.m.)



Category: NFL
Posted on: December 18, 2008 1:47 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2008 12:51 pm

Does London Fletcher actually have a point?

"I don't know if it was because I wasn't a first-round draft pick, I don't do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don't go out and get arrested." -- Redskins MLB London Fletcher on why he wasn't select to the Pro Bowl.

London Fletcher said a lot of things Wednesday. At least more things than the modest linebacker is accustomed to. He also talked about London Fletcherhis "body of work," his goal to "play the game the way it's supposed to be played," and went so far as to compare himself to soap star Susan Lucci.

Where ya been all these years, London?

Whether we think Fletcher merits a Pro Bowl spot is debatable. I consider him borderline, but being someone who follows the Redskins closely, I appreciate his style of play and understand he played much of the year injured, without his fellow starting linebackers and on a team with little to no pass rush.

But there's one part of his statement that stuck out more than the rest. His claim about first-round picks being invited instead of him.

The man has a point. Removing special teams players and offensive lineman, 18 of the 30 NFC players selected this week were picked on the first day (1st and 2nd rounds). On the AFC side, 21 of the 30 players were picked on the first day. If you really want to skew the facts add the fullback position with the offensive lineman to reduce the total number to 29 on each side.

Regardless, Fletcher's point has some merit. Players selected on the first day of the draft appear to have a higher chance of reaching the Pro Bowl. Of course, there's the obvious conclusion that these players were good in college, drafted early and expected to be playing at a high level. But there may be something more.

The fans' vote counts for a third of the vote pool. And fans like to reaffirm that players their teams invested heavily in are in fact, paying off. That may be why a player like Reggie Wayne is going instead of say seventh-round pick T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has 92 receptions and 904 yards despite catching balls from unheralded (that's putting it nicely) Ryan Fitzpatrick.

But what about linebackers, the position Fletcher plays? That's where things get difficult. Of the AFC's five linebackers, three were first-day picks. One (Joey Porter) was a third-round pick and one (James Harrison) went undrafted. Talk about a mountain to climb. On the NFC side, four of the five were first-day picks, including both middle linebackers. Lance Briggs was a third-round pick.

London Fletcher, as many know, was not drafted out of John Carroll in 1998. Since then, he has helped the Rams to a Super Bowl and led the 2000s in tackles. Call tackles a bogus stat if you will, but he also has 28 sacks from a position not known to record many, 14 interceptions, forced 11 fumbles and scored three times (not including the two safeties he's caused).

He'll never be Ray Lewis, despite having some similar stats. Lewis, since 1996, has 33 sacks, 28 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three touchdowns scored, not including his one safety. Fletcher doesn't star in Madden ads or do Sunday night SportsCenter interviews.

But back to the first-day draft issue. Do you think Fletcher has a point? Do you think fans, and even players and coaches like to reaffirm highly drafted players as being more worthy than similar players drafted later? Or is there nothing to this, and Fletcher should just be happy he's made millions of dollars in a league that's often unkind to undrafted, undersized linebackers from non-BCS colleges?

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around

In Love with the Game, Mom's View found the quickest way to grab my attention -- a lovely blog on the merits, and growth of Ben Roethlisberger. A Pro Bowl snub, I say.

The Downunder View looks at the Magic's season to date. Rave reviews are thrown Dwight Howard's view, but the mystery is still out on what Courtney Lee is doing on this roster.

The Mets have had a productive offseason so far, but McNotables wants more. Namely Pat Burrell, Brad Penny and Jon Garland. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Speaking of the Magic, they sit No. 4 on The Blog's (by CBSSports.com popular blogger Harst) Top Five NBA teams.

Klick of the Day 

Some find this hilarious, others consider it extremely stupid

Posted on: December 15, 2008 11:37 am
Edited on: December 15, 2008 11:39 am

Two words to fix the Redskins: Steve Spagnuolo

A team hovering around .500 can be a lot of things. It can be a team going in the right direction (Chicago). It can be a team that caught some bad breaks (Philadelphia). It can be a team stuck in mediocrity because of unfortunate circumstances (Houston). It can also be a team that's a lot worse than its record. A team like the Redskins.

Don't let the four-game win streak in the early part of the season that got everybody talking. This team was never built to seriously compete. From its lack of pass rush to its lack of pass protection to its incompetent management structure, the Redskins were, to quote Vice President Ted Matthews in My Fellow Americans, "all just a big facade" (mispronounced fah-kade).

I have a plan to fix the Redskins and it goes so contrary to typical Kay Logic that I'm actually excited about this. My plan starts with two words: Steve Spagnuolo.

Yes, I want to see Diva Dan fire Jim Zorn and replace him with Spagnuolo. Let me explain.

First off, it guts the Giants of a key coach. That's always good. In the same vein, Spagnuolo knows the NFC East. He knows how to stop Tony Romo. He knows how to stop the Eagles. And you sure as hell know he'll know how to stop the Giants.

He's a defensive guy. In a perfect world where I own a team, I don't even bother interviewing offensive coaches for the head job. It just doesn't make sense. An offensive coordinator's job is move the football down the field in the most efficient way possible. OK, a noble task. But a defensive coordinator's job is to stop an offense dead in its tracks. So to be an offensive coordinator you just have to think you have a good system. But to be a defensive coordinator you have to know the offensive system you're playing each week and tailor your defense to it. So a defensive coordinator, by trade, is forced to know the ins and outs of an offense for a defense is dependent on how the offense lines up. An offense exists in a vacuum world of its own. Hiring a defensive coach means you get somebody with expertise on both sides of the ball. Plus, they're usually more badass.

What I really like about Spagnuolo is this: he finds ways to make the talent he has work, which is the complete opposite of what the Redskins currently do on offense. Jim Zorn, the offensive genius he is, is unable to use the pieces in front of him in an effective manner. But Spagnuolo, down Usi Umenyiora found ways to still get to the quarterback. He understands his personnel, which is something the Redskins coaches fail at time and again.

But is it worth disrupting stability AGAIN in Ashburn. Yes, but only in this situation. Only if it's with Double-S. Only if you provide him the proper assistant coaches (say, a savvy vet o-coordinator on offense like Norv Turner. And only if somebody like Norv Turner is done trying to be an unsuccessful head coach) and only if you say to yourself, "Diva Dan this is the last hire I make for three years barring something completely crazy. I repeat, this is the last head job hire barring something completely crazy. And that includes Bill Cowher saying he wants to coach again. That includes Urban Meyer saying he wants a new challenge. And that includes Bill Parcells saying D.C. has nice homes."

The Redskins need a coach from the defensive side of the ball. They haven't had one since Marty Schottenheimer was unjustly fired and it's evident year in and out. Offensive coaches are egomaniacs who can't keep a team composed. It makes sense, too. Offensive coaches are driven by the need to be creative and different. But this sport is all about being on the same page from the top to the bottom. And that's how you make a good defense, by everybody being on the same page.

On top of this drastic move, it's important to continue a. building through the draft, and b. always reinforcing your trenches through the draft. The Redskins must get younger, quicker and stronger on both sides of the trench if they ever want to succeed. No more skill players. No new quarterback. I'm sorry Jason Campbell, but you'll have to suffer through a new coordinator once again (but I promise it will be one who understands how to use your mobility). That is, unless a Stafford or Bradford drops to the middle of the first round.

On top of all this, Diva Dan must empower a proper VP of player personnel. Vinny Cerrato has proven that his one strength, late round draft picks, is not enough to make up for his free agent and trade oversights. Look at what happens when you have a VP of player personnel with a vision, as is the case in Miami or Atlanta.

Washington is still a destination for coaches and players, but it won't be for long. There will come a point where the tradition of mediocrity will begin to outweigh the tradition of excellence forged by Jack Kent Cooke. Go for gold one more time, Diva Dan, but do it knowing that this move is it, and it must be backed with time-honored ways of running a football team. Not say, by conducting a coaching search only to end up with the guy you brought in to run the offense as head coach.

P.S. Ditch the West Coast offense and fine anybody at Redskins Park that uses the words "west," "coast" and "offense" in a sentence.

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

From the Windy City (aka 'Go), What K Thinks presents a wish list for '09, including a college football playoff and a Bears team featuring a certain Cardinals wide receiver.

A new blog enters the fray, "HART" OF THE PACK, and the blogger puts the Packers' disappointing '09 campaign in perspective and offers a few remedies for Green Bay.

The Bengals outplayed the Redskins Sunday, which is something Keepin' Score -- Bengals, Reds, Wings hasn't seen much of, including a pleasant goalline stand. However, the win has a downer -- a potentially happy Mike Brown.

The suits (well, not really since nobody here wears suits) at CBSSports.com think the "run a proper website," but What the [expletive] has a few pointers, including fixing the rating and warning systems and ushering in posting functionality that's say circa 2007 instead of 1997.

Klick of the Day

Greatest urinal cake protest EVER

Posted on: November 3, 2008 1:53 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2008 2:23 pm

Key to Steelers-Redskins: the Rock

Rock Cartwright

Know thee name: Rock Cartwright.

(Did he have a TV show in the early '90s, Eric?)

No that, was Charles S. Dutton, and the show was called Roc.

Rock Cartwright is the 5-foot nothing, 200-pound nothing from nothing-football-school Kansas State.

(So, uh, what the hell are you talking about, Eric?)

If there's one thing the Steelers have done well this season it's stop the north-south runner.

Clinton Portis, nation's capital man of mystery, averages 5 yards per carry not by running east-west.

Ask Fred Taylor, Jamal Lewis, Brandon Jacobs, Willis McGahee or Cedric Benson, all north-south runners how it is running into Casey Hampton (when applicable) and those linebackers.

That's where backup running back and special teams ace Rock Cartwright comes into the fold.

(Lest we forget Shaun Alexander, he of former MVP fame, Eric?)

Only if we're lucky.

While I don't expect Cartwright to get many, (please don't be an "if any" situation, I can't afford to look dumb again!), I do expect him to be a factor in the passing game. Because that's where the Steelers are vulnerable. Remember offensive lineman-turned-running back Le'Ron McClain catching those screens for 32 yards? Remember Correll Buckhalter catching six balls for 44 yards and a touchdown? Remember Maurice Jones-Drew hauling in six balls? Remember Derrick Ward hauling in five catches for 43 yards? Maybe you don't. But the only thing that's important to note is that in two of those four games the opponent won and in the other two it went down to the wire.

And now, if we may make a loose and non-scientific-based correlation -- success will be dependent on Jason Campbell unloading the ball quickly, and often times to a running back on a flare or screen (well, that won't be quickly). That's where Rock comes into the mix (BTW, he's always Rock. Not "Cartwright," "Rock Cartwright" or "Mr. Cartwright" [that's his father, so he says!]).

He's in on third downs, typically, but I'd expect to see him pop up on a second and long here and there. He's got soft hands and loves the YAC. Plus, he has a little bit of Hines Ward-ian junkyard dog in him.

Now, I say Rock is the key with the full understanding that Rock may not even record a meaningful offensive stat this game. If that's the case, it's likely because Chris Cooley also serves this role, just not out of the backfield. But whoever the player is, the Redskins will need to get the ball out of Campbell's hands quickly in order to succeed and ensure John McCain takes control of the White House.

On to the best blogs ... around

The Bengals are finally off the schnide, which makes Who-Dey United a happy blogger. I'm still amazed at the legs of Ryan Vick-patrick. He's averaging 7.2 yards per rush.

After another miserable Chiefs loss, and on the heels of a City of Brotherly Love victory parade Da Dude's Daily Diamond Dialogue examinesjust how bad residents of Kansas City have it.

Who is Derek Stanley? A UW-Whitewater, alum, obviously. But he's also the lone bright spot for St. Louis in Showtime's Week 9 Rams Report.

Just three or so months ago publication after publication projected the Falcons as 1-to-4 win team (ours included). Halfway through the season the Falcons have five wins. Eat that, media, says view from The Branch...

Klick of the Day 

The best part about a Texas Tech touchdown

Posted on: September 29, 2008 2:56 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2008 12:05 pm

Redskins' win over Dallas is biggest of decade

Sunday's win at Dallas is the biggest win for the Redskins this decade.

Bigger than anything accomplished last season with Todd Collins, and after Sean Taylor.

Bigger than anything accomplished in 2005, with that playoff trip. Clinton Portis

Bigger than Steve Spurrier's opening win? C'maaaaaaaan.

This is it. This is the win that re-defines the Redskins in the first decade of the third millennium.

Overreacting, Eric, are we again?

I say good day to you, calming-influence split personality.

This win cannot be understated. For the first time in the Dan Snyder era there is hope.

But Eric, Joe Gibbs brought hope, right?

Wrong. Joe Gibbs is the football equivalent of the Mustang. The car is a success for Ford, but the company's only car-platform success was tied to a throwback design. Going back in an attempt to move forward doesn't equate a healthy bottom line. That's all Joe Gibbs was, a Ford Mustang. Or a soon-to-be-re-issued Chevy Camaro.

This win Sunday, however, isn't a step in the right direction, it's a leap.

Winning at Dallas is one thing. Winning at Dallas without relying on a late heave to Santana Moss, but rather, a balanced offensive attack and stingy defense is something special. The Redskins dictated this game. Dictated a game on the road, at Dallas, vs. a team pundits were debating could rival last year's New England Patriots (at least offensively).

This is the biggest win in franchise history because for a moment, and maybe it's fleeting, there's a feeling this organization gets it.

Eric, you realize what you're saying? You remember who's atop the org chart?

I thought I told you to go away!

Yes, I do. And this is what happens when you win the right way. People who have screwed your fandom for years start to get a pass. You start to look at Dan Snyder as a man with passion, instead of a boy with toys. You start to see Vinny Cerrato as a shrewd late-round drafter, instead of a disastrous early round evaluator of talent. You start to see Jim Zorn as the right guy for the job, instead of a never-been coordinator overmatched for the league.

Winning does that. But to win, you have to have the right people, the right plan and the right discipline. All three were at work in Dallas as the Redskins won there for just the second time in 13 tries.

That's why this is the biggest victory since Snyder took over the franchise and employed his touch of death. It's amazing what a win in Dallas does. It can't be overstated enough, beating Dallas on the road is on par, if not bigger than beating Michigan at Ann Arbor for Buckeyes fans.

Antwaan Randle-ElI don't care to draw in this analogy either, but I deal with and witness that program's inferiority complex more than I'd care for, and it applies here.

Dallas is Big D. The Redskins are a lot of things -- the Hogs, the Posse, George Allen, Hurricanes North -- but they're not something as vain as "American's Team." They're not a national brand, like Dallas.

So winning at Dallas, with Jason Campbell, a mutt of a quarterback spawned from the mishandling of seven offensive coordinators in eight years, again, cannot be overstated. Winning at Dallas, without prized acquisition Jason Taylor vs. one of the league's best passing attacks, cannot be overstated.  Winning at Dallas, with a downtrodden and disgraced right tackle in Jon Jansen vs. one of the league's best pass rushes, cannot be understated. That's why winning at Dallas with a first-time head coach, a sniveling owner, and a pompous group of Miami alums is so important. We're not supposed to win at Dallas. That's how I began my Sunday.

My Sunday ended thinking there's no place we can't win. I became a fan, once again, of my hometown team, and that's why this was the biggest game of the decade, at least for me.

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

MVKrum's Eagles Blog examines the loss to the Bears. Omar Gaither impressed me more than it did this fine blogger.

J.T. O'Sullivan played 'awful,' Vernon Davis was once again 'invisible,'  and most of the offensive line is 'average at best,' vs. the Saints. That's not stopping Abaddon's Blog from picking his Niners to stop the Patriots this week.

Another Mets breakdown has Throwing Breaking Balls questioning the braintrust of the orginazation.

The Bengals get flushed by the Browns in the Ohio Toilet Bowl, which has Who-Dey United singing a little Bob Dylan.

L.T. vs. Michael Turner 

Name | 100-yard games | rushing yards | touchdowns

Michael Turner | 2 | 422 yards | 5
LaDainian Tomlinson | 1 | 296 | 4

When Turner's on the road, he's invisible. L.T. is starting to heat up, which doesn't bode well for my bottle of scotch. However, I'm still winning all three categories.

Klick of the Day 

Like the rest of the world, Michael Phelps thinks Dan Le Betard is an idiot

Posted on: September 25, 2008 2:28 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2008 7:10 pm

The great question: Why are owners so bad?

Not to hit you with hyperbole right off the bat, but this has to be one of the sports world's greatest questions.

Maybe "questions" isn't the right word. Maybe the right word is "illogical" or "I can't friggin' wrap my noggin' around this."

How can men (and the occasional woman) be so successful in the business world, but so lousy as the owner of a sports franchise?Peter Angelos

I see it in Washington with the Nationals and, at times, Redskins.

I see it in Baltimore with the Orioles.

I see it in Detroit with the Lions.

I see it in Los Angeles with the Clippers.

I see it in Minnesota with the Timberwolves.

I see it in almost every city, in every league. Owners who either don't get it, don't care or some combination of the both.

Take the Washington Nationals for example. New reports out of the Washington Times talk of how Ted Lerner refuses to incorporate "baseball people" into his inner circle, rather relying on family and friends from his business endeavors. Look at how William Clay Ford Sr. held Matt Millen as a family member, and not to the standards he should have held his most important employee. Look at how Peter Angelos held grudges with personnel people that crippled his franchise throughout the first half of this century.

How is it that some of the country's most successful human beings can be such bad owners? Is running a professional sports team that tough? It seems to require the same elements the business world does. Heck, we hear about how much of a business sports is seemingly every day.

But it takes seven-plus years of ineptitude to get the Ford family to waken up? (Not surprising given their inability to manufacture a good small car) And after featuring some of the best PR in baseball history when D.C. was re-awarded a baseball team, it's taken less than a season of Lerner ownership to create some of the worst in baseball history, notably, that the team's Nielsen Ratings fall well beneath those of My Two Dad re-runs and that ownership is withholding rent to D.C. Fun little fact: D.C. financed the stadium.

What gives? How are these plutocrats so bad at managing sports franchises, particularly when so many others -- Steve Bisciotti, John Henry, Dan Rooney, Jeffrey Lurie, Jerry Jones, Mark Cuban, Bud Adams, William Davidson and Carl Pohlad to an extent -- seem to, simply, get it. Well, these fellas believe in the four basic ideals of owning a team:

  1. Having a philosophy (e.g. building a team with players who fit the insert-team-name-here mold through the draft)
  2. Striving for continuity
  3. Empowering managers
  4. Ensuring fans are always at the forefront of any amenity or media-directed decision
  5. Sticking to the first four even in dire teams

I know computer critics like I tend to think running a team is as easy as a video game on rookie, but it really can't be harder than winning billion-dollar lawsuits (Angelos), building a real estate empire (Lerners) or constructing the world's most famous hair regrowth product and club (Don Sterling). Can it? Is running a franchise one of the digital age's most trying enterprises?
For the most part, these aren't family-run organizations anymore. We're past that part of the evolution. These are, in some cases, billion-dollar cash cows. Yes, it's not fair to expect the Twins to compete on the same level as the White Sox year in and out, but they do. Yes, it's not fair to expect the San Antonio Spurs to compete with the bigger-city Dallas Mavericks, but they do. Market size isn't an excuse, and for a city like Washington, with its wealthy, spirited fan base, it never can be.

There are likely three big culprits to this:

  1. The same one that plagues me, and you, and you. We all think we can do it the right way, so why wouldn't somebody who's been successful in the business world think that the same way of operating that got he or she to this point won't work in professional sports?
  2. Being an owner is a unique position for a lot of people. You have total control, the ability to influence anything and everything. So, heck, why wouldn't you? Why empower the management tree if you don't really have to? Who cares if you undermine them day in and out? Who's going to fire you? There's no board, no stockholders, no SEC or whatever oversight organization you came from other than your peers, who by the way, have no interest whatsoever in fixing your dysfunctional situation.
  3. The purchasing process. Selecting team ownership has to be similar to a political campaign. In order to get the gig you probably have to tell the commish, local politicians and a bevy of others, "Sure, I'll bring your nephew on to run scouting, and yes, I'll charge the same for parking as other teams."

And it's this last part that makes being a fan so tough. You can't elect your owners, which, actually, may be a good thing since we all think we can answer sport's greatest question.

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around 

The bottom Line looks at the upcoming Kentucky Wildcats basketball season and says, bluntly: We will be better without Crawford and Bradley.

It promises to be entertaining, but can the Niners improve to 3-1 when they face CBSSports.com's Super Bowl pick the Saints? Abaddon's Blog previews the game in style.

How do you rate the performance of an offensive lineman? How do you rate when Terrell Owens chases down a safety 50 yards on an interception return? The Thoughts of a Gentledawg examines what a new metrics system could do for football, and the blogger's sanity.

Who's is In Love with the Game, Mom's View and what's the blog really about? That's the question the blogger ponders: Who are all of us community members?

Klick of the Day 

What we have here, is failure to not flatuate

Posted on: September 5, 2008 11:05 am
Edited on: September 5, 2008 11:55 am

An apology to Norv Turner

I didn't think I'd ever say these words.

Norv Turner, I'm sorry for every rude or negative thing I've ever said about you. It's safe to say, I never fully appreciated what I had in you.

Maybe it's Al Michaels' calling the trap Jim Zorn called on 3rd and 1 in Thursday night's opener that got stuffed "vanilla." Maybe it's that Norv Turnerthrough 18 minutes the Redskins still didn't have an offensive first down. Maybe it's that since your firing in 2000, we've had three offensive geniuses in our midst, yet the best we've finished was 11th in yards.

Norv, I can't spell it out any better: We can't move the g****** ball anymore. And if there's one thing that makes this game unbearable, it's teams that can't move the ball. Steve Spurrier couldn't put together an offense no matter how many wideouts and Florida alum you spotted him. Joe Gibbs couldn't crack the top 10 in points or yards despite having a bevy of overpriced weapons at his disposal. And now this Jim Zorn character, dios mios. We made a quarterbacks coach a head coach, just like that. It's like electing a state congressman to be president. He never oversaw an offense, let alone an entire coaching operation. Yet, here we are with this Zorn guy and the offense doesn't look like vanilla ice cream, it looks like sugar-free vanilla TCBY soft serve.

It took 28 minutes and 50 seconds to record a first down in the opener. Yes, the team ended up putting 7 points on the board, but Zorn left all three timeouts unused in the first half and failed to properly manage the 4-minute drill in the final frame. The team couldn't run all night, it couldn't pass, it couldn't function on the same level as the Giants.

Norv, I'm sorry. There was a time when your teams didn't know much about defense, but they sure could move the ball down the field. You re-juvenated the careers of Terry Allen and Henry Ellard. You turned Stephen Davis and Brad Johnson into stars. You milked Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell for 1,000-yard seasons and eeked out two decent seasons from Irving Fryar. You made Stephen Alexander and Gus Frerrote relevant. Most importantly, when it was third and long, there was a certain confidence it would be converted.

You did all that, but we wanted more. Dan Snyder wanted more. He saw what you did and figured like most of us, "if Norv can do THAT, imagine what Marty Schottenheimer could do?"

Jim ZornThen it became, "remember what Norv did? Imagine what Steve Spurrier could do?"

Then it became, "remember what Norv did? Imagine what Joe Gibbs could do? Yes, Joe Gibbs!"

Then it became, "well, Joe did some nice things, Marty did some OK things and Steve did nothing right outside of the preseason, remember what Norv did? I bet Jim Zorn could be the next Norv, both have backgrounds in developing quarterbacks."

So we're now stuck with Jim Zorn, who is essentially Norv Turner circa 1995. Except that year, Norv's teams dropped 7 points or less three times. Zorn already has one 7-less game in the can.

Granted, it was against a first-class defense in the defending Super Bowl champs. And often times a good defense can make a decent offense look silly. But there's no excuse for the lack of game management -- including running the ball unsuccessfully, yet repeatedly on second down -- and the inability to work Chris Cooley into the gameplan. And there's never an excuse for failing to put your team in a position to win. Zorn did just that by refusing to play for the field goal first in that bastardized last possession. He acted like a quarterbacks coach, always believing one more play can seize the day. He needs to act like a coach, creating the best odds for his team to win.

The Redskins players didn't lose last night, upper management lost. Dan Snyder continues to bring in the wrong personnel to run a franchise. They've done that since they axed Norv Turner seven seasons ago, and I imagine they'll continue to do that, as evident by failing to hire Gregg Williams in the offseason and the flirtation with Jim Fassell.
From myself, and I'd imagine a few other one-time Redskins faithful, sorry, Norv. We didn't know how good we had it back in the late 1990s.

On to the best CBSSports.com blogs ... around!

All THE THRASHARD ZONE saw was "Jason Campbell doing the Curly Shuffle" last night. That's just part of the bloggger's "Memo to Jim Zorn..."

I'm not the only one feeling letdown, Twins Hotspot isn't too hot after watching his Twins get manhandled by the Blue Jays and "Jesse-freaking-Litsch." I feel ya, bud.

Semi-random thoughts when I feel like it has a message to Seattle SuperSonic fans: Stop talking trash about Oklahomans, no matter how silly OUR team's new nickname is.

In Love with the Game, Mom's View breaks down the divisions, but we'll focus on the NFC East, where she correctly pegs the Redskins as a fourth-place squad.

Klick of the Day 

The Redskins suck at Fantasy football, too

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 4, 2008 5:03 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2008 5:59 pm

Campbell picks Cooley over Moss in FantasyFFB

File this under situations I'll never be in.

Chris CooleyRedskins quarterback Jason Campbell, wideout Santana Moss and tight end Chris Cooley are part of Cooley's fantasy footbal league. An all-NFLers fantasy leagues (minus the co-owned team of Cooley's wife and Campbell's GF). That's like playing Clue with Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum and Miss Scarlett.

So they -- along with the rest of their clique: Colt Brennan, Fred Smoot, Mike Sellers, Shaun "Shizzam" Suisham and Fred Davis -- conducted their draft recently and Jason Campbell selected Chris Cooley before Santana Moss.

Step aside from the notion Cooley picked Campbell first. Step aside from the notion Cooley is likely a more valuable fantasy pick than Moss. Step aside from the notion Campbell only gets the basics of fantasy football.

Santana Moss, your quarterback, felt his tight end was more valuable than his wide receiver.

(Add insult to injury: Antwaan Randle-El was picked, Moss' name was never called in the video clip)

Considering Moss only hauled in five balls for 54 yards this preseason, could Campbell be solidifying some sort of message to the receiver?

Let's just leave it at -- Moss didn't seem too peppy in this video. Or at least not as peppy as Fred Smoot.

Smoot on the possible selection of Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan: He's nothing, he's a pair of shoes.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com