Peyton Manning Era Over?

Indianapolis Colts’ GM/VP Bill Polian today said that”Peyton [Manning]’s at the age now where he recognizes and we recognize that his career is in the homestretch.” Wow. Several weeks ago, Peyton was doubtful for a preseason game. Then he was doubtful for the season-opener. About a week ago, we learned the four-time MVP winner would miss two to three months.  And now, Polian is talking about the “homestretch” of Manning’s career?

As a football fan, I’m worried about Peyton.  His laser-rocket arm helped to define what teams look for and even mean when they say “franchise quarterback”.  Now, if I were a Colts’ fan I’d be worried about this season, next season, and the next few seasons after that.

For Polian to come out and say that Peyton’s time in Indianapolis is coming to a close and even go so far as to set a date for it, that’s big news.  I don’t want to think about Peyton in another uniform (though I’m sure there are owners who are salivating just knowing that Peyton might hit the market.;  I hope that Dan Snyder isn’t one of them).  I’m surprised that the Colts would even want to think about the end of the Manning Era.  Peyton’s injury might be worse than anyone’s anticipated if Polian is willing to make statements like this.

P.S. Take the time to read the article, there are a lot of telling things from Polian.

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A Robskin Review: Is Cam the Man?

Since the NFLPA decertified today, there might not be much to talk about besides the draft.  Luckily, Wes Bunting of the National Football Post wrote an article about why the Redskins are the best fit for Cam Newton.  Bunting makes an intriguing case about why Mike Shanahan’s offense fits Cam Newton’s immediate skill set.  Let’s take a look at some of his reasoning:

Cam Newton as a Washington Redskin

Cam We Really?

The second major reason I really like Newton in Shanahan’s offense is the fact that he comes from a spread and has never really been asked to work his way through progressions quickly across the field and there’s going to be a major learning curve for him to develop as an NFL pocket passer. Therefore, working in the boot action game, he not only gets to be able to get outside the pocket and work on the move, but the field is cut in half, he’s asked to decipher typically only a high/low read, making his life much easier when trying to get the football down the field.

This paragraph struck me the most.  Could the Redskins system of play-action boot plays be the best option for Cam Newton?  All throughout last offseason, many analysts said that Donovan McNabb would benefit from the boot plays that Shanahan likes to run.  While he didn’t fair as well as we would have hoped, the talking heads were right about one thing.  Play action was an integral piece of what the Redskins did and several times, McNabb kept drives alive with boot runs and scrambles.

Maybe Bunting is on to something.  My roommate has been an Auburn fan for life, so I got to see a lot of Auburn’s games during the fall.  When a play broke down (often beforehand) Cam Newton could power his way through several defenders and gain tough yards.  I’m not sure how good he will be in the NFL with bigger and stronger defenders but he’s shown a play-making knack.

Also, I liked what Bunting said about cutting the field in half for Cam Newton.  Play action boots can limit the number of available receivers, but if it makes Cam Newton’s transition easier by limiting reads then it makes sense.  Auburn definitely played to Newton’s strengths and limited the number of reads he had to make.  On many plays, if the first throw wasn’t open, Newton would run the ball.  Maybe an offense with that kind of mentality is what Newton needs (at first) to be most successful.

Great article by Bunting.  He makes a compelling case for Washington when most people are saying Newton won’t get past Buffalo.  However, I don’t want the Redskins to draft Cam Newton with the 10th pick, even after reading Bunting’s argument.  We need to reinforce our defense, but that is another post for another day.

P.S. Read Wes Bunting’s article, its good for you.

Posted in 2011 NFL Draft, Review, Roster Moves, Washington Redskins | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why I Hope There is Football

Hey fans,

I’m back to the blog and ready to talk some football, but oddly enough, no one seems to want football to happen.  With all this talk of labor disputes and lockouts, you’d think it was the end of the world.

After a 24 hour extension, then a 7 day extension,  tomorrow at 5pm is the bewitching hour and as we sit at the precipice of a new deal (or lockout, who really knows at this point) I want to discuss why I hope there will be football next year.

I’m not going to bore you with financial statistics or legal precedents; other people have already crunched the numbers,written the case briefs, and chosen sides.  Some even think that we shouldn’t choose sides.  I’m not here to talk about that, because I don’t know much about it.  The only thing I know is that I love Washington Redskins football.

I went to two games this year: Colts and Buccaneers.  The Redskins lost both.  I waded like a refugee through thick crowds to get to my nosebleed seats.  I cheered so loud my voice dropped an octave for two weeks straight. I stood in the rain, clutching a burgundy blanket that was more like a sponge, and watched the Redskins drive for the game-tying touchdown against Tampa Bay and then miss the extra point.

I’m not bitter.  I’m waiting and hoping that my patience pays off.  Come September every team is 0-0.  Anything could happen.

Split the $9 billion.  Whatever.  Rookie wage scales? Sure.  Just get the deal done because I want the Redskins to have another chance.  I want to see them come out of this mire and rise victorious.  And when they do, I will have been there through the worst.

I hope there is football next year because I’m a Redskins fan.   Sometimes, hope is all we’ve got.

 

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A Robskin Review: Shanahanigans

There’s a nasty little rumor going around that the Redskins are a heartbeat away from the glorious appearance of Rex Grossman.  This story is as laughable as it is unfortunate.  This week we have a piece from the always unbiased ESPN reporter Matt Mosley:

From: thesportsstuff.com

Sexy Rexy captaining a game-winning drive

I don’t think there’s any way that Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan starts Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but he’s not completely dismissing the notion. After refusing to tell the Dallas-Fort Worth media who was starting for him against the Cowboys, Shanahan used the same trick with the Redskins press corps Wednesday afternoon.

“I like people getting prepared for a lot of different people,” said Shanahan. “Even though they say it’s a meaningless game, it’s not meaningless to us. We’ve got a big game, we’ll get a lot of preparation, and you guys will have to show up and you’ll get all the starters.”

Most teams wouldn’t sign a star quarterback to a long-term contract and then play games with the media about his status. But the Redskins have always done things a little differently, and that hasn’t changed with Shanahan at the helm. In fact, it often seems like things have gotten even nuttier.

We’ll keep you posted on McNabb’s status throughout the week on the Beast.

I’m supposed to believe that McNabb will be benched?    Mosley pokes fun at the notion, but he doesn’t rule it out.  The worst part is that this entire thing is cooked up by the media.  Chris Mortensen gets an “update” and suddenly it becomes a headline story in the 24 hour sports news cycle.  Trust me, when there is a quarterback controversy in Washington DC, everyone will know it.

PS: I renamed my weekly review post.  What do you think?

Plus, I went to the Tampa Bay game last Sunday.  There will be a post soon!

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Rapid Response: Haynesworth Suspension

I’ve read a few things about Haynesworth’s suspension. The Washington Post has been covering the developing story pretty well. I want to share my favorite part with you:

Here’s the full statement from Speck:

“I have reviewed the Notice of Suspension letter sent to Albert by Bruce Allen as well as the comments made by Coach Shanahan. Albert and I have discussed the claims made in the Notice of Suspension and we disagree with the Redskins’ decision.

 

The only thing I could think of when I read “Notice of Suspension” was an eviction posting and that made me laugh.  I want to know what Allen put in that letter.  Well, I really want to know what his HR guys made him keep out of it.

There are so many interviews with Redskins players that hint at different responses, but the message is clear.  Everyone is happy that these controversies are coming to a close.  The suspension means no more ESPN updates, pre-game injury reports, or post-game news conference questions related to Haynesworth.  It’s finally ending.  As a blogger and a fan, I’m so happy that we won’t have to waste bandwidth on this guy.  I don’t like reading so many articles about him and I’m not good at spelling his name repeatedly.  So, consider this post my flushing the topic out of my system.

P.S.  This is a new kind of post that I will try to do weekly.

What do you think? Comment.

Also, read the Washington Post article, its good for you.

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In The Hunt for Next Season

AP Photo: McNabb Sacked

Please...not again...

Caught in a Giant embrace, McNabb absorbs another sack.  His fist clenched perhaps in anger, or perhaps in anticipation.  He looks as though he will cry out for help.  This photo says it all.

This Sunday’s loss against the New York Giants all but eliminated the Redskins from the playoff race.  I dare you to contrive a Redskins playoff berth without advanced algorithms.

algorithms

If this scenario occurs, the Redskins are the first seed...

It was a happy coincidence to be labeled “in the hunt” for so long into the season.  However, they must now abdicate that prestigious title to more worthy teams such as Seattle, Tampa Bay, and St. Louis.

I had high hopes for the season, but I’ve always had high hopes.

Jason Campbell

Future franchise quarterback, anyone?

This loss truly stings, but no more than any of the others.  We can say that it threw the Redskins out of the playoffs, but they never belonged in the discussion.  I wrote about the Long Road Back a few weeks ago.  This isn’t a hiccup or a detour.  It’s a landmark.  The Redskins are going to lose to better teams.  Unfortunately, that list keeps getting longer.

Other fans can chant “Rebuild!” all they want.  They want to “blow it all up” and trade everyone whose name you can pronounce for draft picks.  The fact is that the Redskins are rebuilding.

Bruce Allen purged the roster a few months ago and many expect him to clean house again soon.  Then he brought in a veteran quarterback that could handle all of the controversy the Redskins are known for.  On top of that, the Redskins spent three out of their paltry six draft picks on offensive linemen.

I’m confident in Shanahan and his plan.  Besides, waiting is the only thing I’ll have to do come the playoffs.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I went to a pre-Thanksgiving party this weekend.  Shortly after the meal, we all took turns sharing what we were thankful for.  This little exercise, though a little cheesy and awkward, made me pause and think over how I have been blessed in many ways.  Most gluttonously, I get to have two Thanksgiving meals on Thursday.  More football-related though, it inspired me to compile a list of Redskins things that I am particularly grateful for this football season.

AP Photo: Santana Moss over the Titans

The Titans wish they had this Moss instead

The first thing I am thankful for is the victory over the Titans.  After being stuffed, basted, and cooked on national television last Monday, it was a relief to see the Redskins win.  The best takeaway from this game though, might be that the Redskins did it with leftover players.  Even one of the trainers was injured.

AP Photo: Donovan McNabb

Monday Bloody Monday

The next thing I am thankful for is the Monday Night Massacre. No, I really am.  At least, now I yam.  If that game did not happen, I don’t think we would have won at Tennessee.  Being cran-buried that badly gave the team something to rally around.  I would have preferred something less dramatic, but I guess that’s what it takes to get something through the head of a 4-12 organization.  Plus, McNabb got his second-helpings at Dan Snyder’s table that night and signed his contract.  Pending the minutia, McNabb should be with the Redskins for a few more years and that is a good sign.

 

T.O. as a Bengal

He looks good in orange... because orange is not burgundy

Randy Moss as a Titan

84. Is that the number of teams that have cut him?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Next, I am so thankful that neither Terrell Owens or Randy Moss is a Redskin. Early season mumblings suggested that the Redskins were looking into T.O. When Moss hit the waiver wire, the Redskins name came up.  While they could certainly use a wide receiver or two, this has to be one of the best unsung decisions of the Shanahan Era:  resisiting the temptation to gobble these players up.  I must admit, in my weaker moments, I coveted having a receiver with as big a name as either of these two.  However, this is why I am not a general manager for a football team.  If I thought rooting for McNabb would be awkward,  I wouldn’t be able to process having the man who was both an Eagle and a Cowboy at once in his career.  Or the man who was a part of the most evil team in league history, the 2007 Patriots (the team that blew the Redskins out worse than the Eagles last week).

AP Photo: Orakpo Hold

The hold heard round the Nation('s Capital)

Finally, I am thankful for Alex Barron’s ham-handed blunder.  As this was the catalyst for the Redskins, I guess I really mean I am thankful for the way this season is going.  Because of this late game holding penalty, the Redskins won their home debut against the Cowboys, as well as some self-respect.  Because of this loss, the Cowboys would start on the road toward being the biggest disappointment in NFL history.  I had a several heart-attacks that game but none as large as the one those 10 seconds caused.

This is what I am thankful for in regard to the Redskins.  What are you thankful for? (besides the fact that I’m done with the Thanksgiving puns)

number
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