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Some questions about Mike Shanahan's handling of Devin Thomas

They say that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. The key word in that phrase would be "always," in my humble estimation. When a person tries to plant seeds on a non-fertile surface, the results will be the same -- wasted seeds and no grass. It's time for Devin Thomas to find better soil somewhere else.

Football is a game that has been taught and played for many years. Some guys are products of family traditions and legacy. Others are products of their talent. But in the grand scheme of things, you are and always will be a product of your coach. There are only a few people that truly know what went wrong between Devin Thomas and Mike Shanahan, but the bigger question would have to be: Is Shanahan making the best decisions for this team?

Why am I perplexed over the release of Thomas? Because at the conclusion of last season he was the Redskins' lone bright spot on offense. He stepped up and made some big plays during a time where most guys had given up on the season. So we all knew that coming into this year that he could be a big-time playmaker with the addition of Donovan McNabb.

Again, I have no problem with a coach trying to build his team the way he wants to. However, I do have a problem with the manner in which Shanahan is doing it.

Here are the receivers' stats leaders for the first five games:

Santana Moss 29 receptions 408 yards
Chris Cooley 23 receptions 303 yards

Then there's:

Anthony Armstrong 7 receptions 188 yards
Joey Galloway 7 receptions 121 yards
Fred Davis 3 receptions 73 yards
Roydell Williams 2 receptions 44 yards
Brandon Banks 1 reception minus 5 yards

Outside of Moss and Cooley, I'm suppose to be convinced that Thomas would not have been more productive than these last five receivers?

It's been said Thomas couldn't learn the playbook, that he's not enough of a professional, or that he can't run routes. Here would be my response to to each of these statements.

Can't learn the playbook? Then simplify it to his level of understanding. He's not enough of a professional? He made it to the NFL, he was a college standout and a second round draft pick; not every kid is going to have it all figured out when he comes to the league, so teach him, show him how a professional is to conduct himself. Please don't say you tried. He can't run pass routes? You haven't even been here as the coach long enough to say it was a failed effort. There is no substitute for talent and physical attributes. You bring me a kid that is built like Thomas, that can run like Thomas and has the will to win like Thomas, I will find passing routes that fit his body and his skill set. That's what I saw great coaches do in the past with certain receivers, Plaxico Burress, Terrel Owens, and Willie Gault just to name a few.

Again I say, what am I missing here? Why did the Redskins release Thomas again? Oh yes, that's right. Much like the league-leading Brandon Llyod, he doesn't fit on this team. In this case the grass most certainly will be greener on the other side for Thomas.

By LaVar Arrington  | October 11, 2010; 10:51 AM ET
 
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Comments

Lavar,

I say this even though I am in a 9-5 field, and you having played this wonderful (which my son plays on Little League level now)....Devin Thomas has been in this league three years. He has had TWO pro coaches. He has had enough time to learn....as adults there has to be a committment level to our profession, and obviously two coaching staffs did not see this in this gentleman (and let's be blunt the last coach, Jim Zorn, had his authority STRIPPED the moment he became coach here). Also, in a 9-5 world one must adjust to the pace of the company or work environment that he/she is in unless they own the company....You having owned a business should know this....You do not adjust to employees, they adjust to you (since you are writing the paycheck), or they get out....now again I could be wrong because you have been in the League, and I never stepped on a football field in my life....but that is just basic things in adult life, and if Devin Thomas is not doing it, then the apologies have to stop and it is time to become a man....just my two cents.

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | October 11, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh look, we won and just like I said, Loser juiced up Lavar finds a way to bash the skins mngmt once again. Didnt just apologize for his words/actions and that he was growing up last week?
What a pathetic punk!

Lavar, please move some where else, you are a complete whiney little kid and your act is old. You where terrible as a player, terrible as a man, and terrible as a reporter. I think Dallas could use another uneducated, ebonics speaking, overpaid, underperformer...sounds like a perfect fit for you, sorry but it sounds like his mom failed at raising him to be a man.

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Here are my posts, from Lavars other whining, an hour or so before he puts up this blog...gee you arent too predictable LOSER!!!! GO Skins!!!

I wonder what Whiney and Fatboy, opps Lavar and Dukes are going to complain about tonight? Which one of his Homies got Dis'd? Which caller is an idiot for disagreeing with him? How he was so great and the skins Mngmnt are idiots? I think I will pass on Lavars studdering ebonics and enjoy another station, again :)

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Btw, 3-2 without DT11 and basically without FatAL, I think I will go ahead and trust the coaches/GM over Lavar and the haters for a bit longer.

Go Skins!!!!!!!!! Been a long time since its been fun to watch, even if they do like to make it close.

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas cleared waivers. 31 other teams could have claimed him, and he would be theirs...none of them did.

The Rams lost Mark Clayton for the year with a knee injury yesterday. They need WR help desperately. They've said they have no interest in even bringing DT11 in for a workout.

What am I missing here? What's the story "behind the scenes"? What's he doing "off the field" that's "unprofessional" and is keeping teams from having any interest in him?

Posted by: 4-12 | October 11, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Do you really not know why Devin Thomas was released? He was cut by Shanahan because he chose the media to call out his coach and wonder why he wasn't playing more instead of biding his time and working harder to earn it. This is Shanahan sending a message that he is the boss and don't take your problems to the media. Kind of just like you Lavar. You didn't last long after you called Mr. Snyder a liar and a cheat.

Posted by: PJB4 | October 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Wish I knew what DT is sort of being accused of... I hope that it is football related and not something personal; as for the 'clown' that belittles the speaking patterns of other people; I wonder if it's being alleged that there's some known integrity implied in those who speak 'properly'... leave it to football as Lavar's article has, because as we know some very fine language has come from the mouths of despots and dogs.

Posted by: aypub | October 11, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

So, Mike Shanahan is responsible for what happened with Brandon Lloyd 3 years ago?

Wasn't Shanahan still coach of the Broncos then?

And wasn't Brandon Lloyd also a guy that San Francisco and Chicago let go of?

So, let's not pretend that the Redskins are arbitrarily releasing players that everyone else can turn into stars.

When the team decides at MANY positions that the 2008 draft class is deficient, I look at the GM and front office that made the selections rather than a new coach that inherits the mess.

Chad Rinehart couldn't play in the NFL.

Justin Tryon couldn't beat out 30 year old journeyman Phillip Buchanon for the nickel corner job after 3 years of working here.

It's not just Thomas. It's a METHOD of selecting players that is flawed.

You select players you think can physically play the game obviously, but there are intangibles that need to go with that to make a guy a star or impact player in the NFL.

How come Napoleon Harris didn't become Ray Lewis? He was a high #1 pick with natural talent.

How come Gaines Adams didn't become a dominant DE in the NFL despite speed and athletic ability?

How come Charles Rogers and Roy Williams have failed to live up to their status as top 10 picks at WR?

All of these players were missing an essential ingredient. Whether it was raw intelligence, football IQ, durability and the ability to play through some pain, or poor work ethic, etc.

They failed.

So, the question is how long do you hold onto a guy you as the coach think you made a mistake on or who you inherit from another staff that you think doesn't suit your scheme?

IMO you should look to trade the player and if there are no takers he should be released for everyone's benefit.

LaVar wrote this article before he watched the first game the Redskins played without Thomas on the roster, when Anthony Armstrong caught a long TD and had 84 yards receiving.

What he also seemed to miss was that Armstrong is coming on and his stats were skewed by the fact he had the groin injury that kept him out of one game and limited him in another.

Now, back to health he looks like a different player, doesn't he?

Rather than taking the Redskins down for releasing Devin Thomas, perhaps LaVar should be looking at what the coaching staff wants to achieve here and whether they are getting the results they want to from certain other players that are emerging.

Shanahan cut two #1 picks when he came to Denver in Anthony Miller and Mike Pritchard in order to keep a #6 pick in Rod Smith and a waiver wire pickup in Ed McCaffrey.

It may have looked strange at the time, but in hindsight he was right as Smith and McCaffrey helped win Super Bowls.

Meanwhile, Miller and Pritchard. What did they accomplish in the NFL after leaving Denver?

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | October 11, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

I loved watching you play, I still consider you one of the greatest Redskins of the last 15 years. But please quit it with the questioning and bashing of Shanahan on Albert, Devin, and other topics. We get it, you will always side with the player, and always question the coach/management. Perhaps that attitude had something to do with Gibbs and Williams sitting you at the end of your tenure here? Devin Thomas had ample time and opportunity to develop here, he couldn't get it done. 31 teams in the league just had a shot to claim him off waivers and not a single one did. The Rams, lost Mark Clayton for the season, are desperate for receivers and openly say they have no interest in Thomas. The Panthers are starting 5th and 6th round rookies, claimed David Clowney of waivers from the Jets, and still they didn't have any desire to bring in Thomas. Perhaps there is more to this than just Mike Shanahan doesn't like him and couldn't coach him. You're talking about a coach who took receivers off the street and made them some of the most productive guys in history in Denver, yet he can't coach this one guy? Or perhaps there is some vast conspiracy among the entire league against Devin Thomas, the shining bright talent he is that nobody wants to admit and the man just wants to keep him down? Come on Lavar, perhaps we can all just admit what every team in the league said prior to the draft and that Vinny ignored, Thomas is a talented athlete that has maturity and discipline issues who may never get how to be a NFL receiver.....seems like its come true....

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 11, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

I loved watching you play, I still consider you one of the greatest Redskins of the last 15 years. But please quit it with the questioning and bashing of Shanahan on Albert, Devin, and other topics. We get it, you will always side with the player, and always question the coach/management. Perhaps that attitude had something to do with Gibbs and Williams sitting you at the end of your tenure here? Devin Thomas had ample time and opportunity to develop here, he couldn't get it done. 31 teams in the league just had a shot to claim him off waivers and not a single one did. The Rams, lost Mark Clayton for the season, are desperate for receivers and openly say they have no interest in Thomas. The Panthers are starting 5th and 6th round rookies, claimed David Clowney of waivers from the Jets, and still they didn't have any desire to bring in Thomas. Perhaps there is more to this than just Mike Shanahan doesn't like him and couldn't coach him. You're talking about a coach who took receivers off the street and made them some of the most productive guys in history in Denver, yet he can't coach this one guy? Or perhaps there is some vast conspiracy among the entire league against Devin Thomas, the shining bright talent he is that nobody wants to admit and the man just wants to keep him down? Come on Lavar, perhaps we can all just admit what every team in the league said prior to the draft and that Vinny ignored, Thomas is a talented athlete that has maturity and discipline issues who may never get how to be a NFL receiver.....seems like its come true....

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 11, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, ehem... I think I'll dial up a canned response. Here it goes.........

Most successful teams in the NFL do things in one of two ways. Either they bring in a staff that has a system that's good and predictably successful. They stay with that staff long enough to bring in the guys that fit with that system. They build over years - usually a few - until they develop a winning track record with their guys in their system. Or.......

They bring in a coach that is good adjusting his system to match the talent that already exists on the team so they can win now.

Shanahan is a system guy. He has and will continue to modify the roster to bring in the guys that fit his system.

And so goes the short career of Devin Thomas with the Skins. Plain and simple, HE'S NOT A SHANAHAN TYPE OF PLAYER! PERIOD. POINT BLANK! All speculation about his tenure here is a moot point and old news. The team is finding a way to win by being either lucky or good enough to beat their opponents. As bad as the luck as been around here lately, I'll take the friggin' win and celebrate it! Devin who?

Posted by: BenThere | October 11, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

yeah; so many of these players would clear waivers... but i won't argue with 3-2

Posted by: aypub | October 11, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

As Tom Hagen said to Sonny in one of my favorite movies: "This is business not personal. "

Posted by: BenThere | October 11, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Lone bright spot? I'd say Fred Davis caught a few passes as well.

Posted by: Furious_Frank | October 11, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, I see your comments on Twitter about the comments here on the blog. I'm not being unreasonable, or hating. I'm trying to have an intelligent discussion.

You presented your facts about Thomas, about what he showed last year...about how ineffective the other WR are this year...and what the team should have done to involve DT in the offense. All very good facts/arguments.

My response was not crazy. I stated the fact that he cleared waivers. 31 teams could've had him for what's left on his rookie contract, and chose not to. I stated the fact that the Rams lost Clayton for the year, and have stated they won't even bring DT in for a workout.

Your facts and my facts lead to the same question...."What am I missing here?"

Posted by: 4-12 | October 11, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll are bashing LaVar and I'm not really sure why.

Shanahan had a personal problem with Thomas. Period. The team said Thomas could have helped. Period. LaVar's main question is this, "Is Shanahan making decisions that are best for the team?"

I would have liked to see his production on the field, before making a decision to release him. If Thomas underperformed, fine, so long.

WR is a need. Galloway is not the guy of the future, sorry. Armstrong showed up yesterday. Banks, okay, but likely only to see kick returns. Thomas could have filled a need at WR, but was never given the opportunity to do so.

Posted by: arjefferson | October 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There is always an excuse. The coaches had it in for him..... ya thats it, it must be.... Thats what happened to you right? Joe Gibbs had it in for you so he forced you to hire an agent too stupid to read your contract. And you signed it, only later finding that money was "missing"? . I wanted Devin Thomas to make it REAL bad, loved his game against N.O. last year. But he didn't wish him all the luck in the world.

Oh ya Brandon Lloyd? Really? Couple good games in a row and he was a huge mistake to let go? Why don't we wait just a little bit on that one..

Don't take yourself so seriously no one else does.

Posted by: skinztattoo89 | October 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

LaVar saying a playbook should be simplified so that the player can understand it? Shocking. Thomas had one great game last season and you think that means the Skins should have kept him. Want to know why they didn't? Consistency. They have said that from Day 1 about Thomas. He's great 1minute....and sucks the next. And your response to that is that he had a great game last year? That's why Shanahan is a Super Bowl winning coach and you're out of football LaVar.

Posted by: rpetersen | October 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, He did not make any plays. Period.
And you bringing up Brandon Lloyd is pretty funny. Brandon Lloyd who has been really silent until this year. So we should have waited 4 more years so see if Devin would have a turnaround? I like Shanahan's thought process better than yours by a longshot. Anthony Armstrong is making plays that Devin never made. You reference last year. Devin had ONE good game. One game does not make a player.

Posted by: sruppert | October 11, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Get a life Lavar

Posted by: suliman215 | October 11, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, I agree with you 100%.

I know you don't read these comments but I felt I should leave one. To go along with your point, both B Lloyd and D Thomas were not utilized like they could have been. Also, Lloyd didn't have McNabb throwing to him.

Keep the Hard Hits coming, my man. HAIL!

Posted by: ToddSchreck | October 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,
Thanks for the memories first of all. You provided many great moment in you time as a player with the skins. It is a shame that things happened the way they did with your contract. Im wont pretend to know the whole truth, but that's personal business between you and Dan Snyder. I like having you as a reporter for the Post, and I hope you enjoy reporting for the post on Redskins topics in particular. I hope this works out for you! As an objective fan that would like to hear your insights, I would recommend being careful about reporting on controversial players in this manner. I would caution being critical of past moves because we are not living in that era any longer. Skins fans want and need their favorite news outlet to be as positive as possible. This isn't the most positive article, and in fact it's quite critical from a fan perspective. On the heels of a great win, this is not the most appropriate way to approach this article. It's possible to make a point that DT11 may turn out to be a better player with another team, without making it sound like the Redskins are not handling this the right way. Please stay away from these articles for your own sake and let someone like negative Sally handle this stuff. Shanny knows that cutting Thomas is the best thing for him and the team. I believe he cares about his players, but he's not going to care more than they do and that's what he means by DT11 not being acting like a professional. If you don't learn the playbook brotha, then you didn't care enough to study that thing day and night. When he was sleeping in the meetings, he could have been studying his playbook. If DT11 doesn't realize his full potential in this league, then it's because he never really learned anything from all of this. If he took care of business and learned the whole playbook, then he could have his little side career of Acting and Modeling with no problem. DT11 spread himself too thin and thus he labeled himself as being unprofessional by not taking care of the basics. Cutting DT11 was justified and had to be done. I believe Shanahan spent time trying to train, rather than blame Thomas. When Thomas started blaming the coaches for his lack of playing time, that's when Shanahan realized that Thomas was not coachable at this time. End of story and best of luck Lavar! Cheers! ;)

Posted by: go88car | October 11, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Listen I'm a die hard Skins fan living in LA. I remember the glory days of the 80s and early 90's. I'm deeply vested in the success of the franchise from a personal level. They are my #1 team before the Terps, Caps, and Wizards. Living in LA I'm don't have access to all the talk radio you guys living in DC get. But I will say this I am not at all happy with Coach Mike. First of 3-2 is not a great record we should be 5-0 considering we had a 17 pt. lead at home against Houston and we lost to St. Louis who was just blown out by Detroit. With that being sad I'm no big fan of Shannahan. And just like he's accusing DT of under performing I think Coach Mike to this point should avoid throwing stones from his glass house.

Posted by: zekefilms | October 11, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Larvar,
I agree with you 110%. To win you must coach the talet that you have, not look for non existence talent to execute your game plans. The first way is the path to the super bowel, the second is just that, coming in second, first loser.
I watched Green Bays defense come though the our Offensive line like "children of the corn" going though a row of stalks, chasing Donavan out the other side as he ran for his life. Can't resign McNabb if he can't survive the year. So why was Dockery inactive? Makes me long for the days of the "hogs" when they told the opposition where they were going, then went there.
And what's with our sputtering defense? A secondary that plays so far off the receivers that they need bus schedules to catch the opposition! A line that needs DOT inspections for all the opposition players that they drag with them to the QB rather than just slip past them!
I used to think that a win was a win but now I realize that sometimes it is just someone else's lost.
We are learning tough love with our Redskins.

Posted by: BAFROG | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

This is a blog so the author is entitled to his opinion but a couple of statements you make are off:
1) "Can't learn the playbook? Then simplify it to his level of understanding." - Is this dude Mike Vick coming out of college or someone of similar talent? If he isn't then i don't see why the playbook has to be altered. I think you were a player that railed against previous regimes making accommodations for star players but this statement implies that you want management to make a concession for a player.
2) "... has the will to win like Thomas" - What is this statement based on? DT has talent, speed and size which are quantifiable traits. When you say he has the will to win you are implying that his performance in games on a regular basis was the reason why his high school, college and pro teams were able to win. If you have examples please share.
3) If you are going to reference Brandon Lloyd's performance this season as proof to Skin's management being wrong in assessing talent then you have to look at his performance since he left the Redskins, he was a Bear his first season after he left the skins and this is his second season with the Broncos. Take a look at his numbers and tell me if we weren't wrong to cut out losses. To be frank though the jury is still out on B. Lloyd because we are 5 weeks into a 16 week season.

Posted by: skinsfaninphilly | October 11, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Lavar has made a second career now as a 'Skins Hater. He has a vested interest in them not winning.

DT needed to keep his mouth shut and earn his playing time. Anthony Armstrong looks like he's figured it out.

Posted by: PS7900 | October 11, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Can't learn he playbook? Sound familiar Lavar?

Posted by: chopin224 | October 11, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Lavar bro...

Plz focus on the D

Posted by: robzombie | October 11, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

good post Lavar and a very relevant topic. Do not listen to the "tough guys" who sling insults and type things that they don't have to stare a person in the face and say. Old azz "yes sir men"

Don't even have proof that it was DT's negligence, just siding with the coach automatically.

This team gives away draft picks, and get coaches that know the roster is depleted but still can't manage to coach what they have until they can get guys that fit "there scheme" . It is a very valid question if this was what was best for team vs. proving a point.

Posted by: gmac78 | October 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Super Bowls won by LaVar and all other Devin Thomas' boyfriends on here = 0

Super Bowls won by Shannahan = 2

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 11, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Thomas did what any WR would do, catch the long ball....BUT, a true WR can catch the short one, the medium one and definitely the one across the middle....I am not saying Thomas couldn't do all of those, BUT he has had 3 yrs of Pro Practice and you would think on the practice field he would have shined....maybe the last part of last season was the other team NOT thinking much of Thomas and JC found him in those moments....but there is plenty of tape on Thomas now, so everyone knows what he is and what his skill set is.....but, in the end, "one person's trash is another person's treasure" to say it honestly....IF he what you say he is (and he hasn't shown it on the field in 3yrs, practice and slight glimpse end of last season) will he ever show it? That Lavar is the only question!

Posted by: talbottj | October 11, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thomas clearly wasn't in the Redskins' plans since training camp and he didn't get much PT in preseason. It was obvious to anyone who watched or read about the Redskins that Thomas did not fit in with either of the Shanahans regardless of the fact that there is a glaring hole at WR. Unfortunately, Shanny didn't cut him at the end of preseason so he would have a better chance to catch on with another team. Being traded or picked up in preseason would have been better for both DT11 and the Redskins long-term.

On the other hand, did the Redskins given DT11 second and third chances to learn the playbook and become more of a professional? It sounds like from Shanny's brief comments that DT11's lack of commitment to being a pro was why he was releases, not lack of talent. The fact that retreads like Galloway and Roydell Williams are on the roster says something about how little confidence the Redskins had in Thomas. Hope he gets a fresh start elsewhere and takes it more seriously this time.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 11, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Thomas did what any WR would do, catch the long ball....BUT, a true WR can catch the short one, the medium one and definitely the one across the middle....I am not saying Thomas couldn't do all of those, BUT he has had 3 yrs of Pro Practice and you would think on the practice field he would have shined....maybe the last part of last season was the other team NOT thinking much of Thomas and JC found him in those moments....but there is plenty of tape on Thomas now, so everyone knows what he is and what his skill set is.....but, in the end, "one person's trash is another person's treasure" to say it honestly....IF he what you say he is (and he hasn't shown it on the field in 3yrs, practice and slight glimpse end of last season) will he ever show it? That Lavar is the only question!

Posted by: talbottj | October 11, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

LaVar - be grateful that our Constitution grants our citizens freedom of the press. That's why youand DT11 are not playing football today. Perhaps DT11 can go back to performing in dance videos w/ Fantasia.

Posted by: mbridgette1 | October 11, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, now I have read Lavar's column 2 times today, for the first time and the last time.

Posted by: chopin224 | October 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

What a horrible post Lavar, I'm disappointed. I actually think you had a hand in Devin Thomas being let go because part of being a pro that the Shanahans wanted Thomas to be was not complaining about things like playing time and coming to work everyday focused on the opponent/getting better. I think Thomas coming on your show and basically complaining about playing time was again a sign of his immaturity which Shanahan clearly could not tolerate any longer. You speak of Devin Thomas being the bright spot of a 4-12 football team well the redskins this year only need one more win to match the wins they had ALL of last year. Bottom line is the team is winning and for as long as they continue to do so, they must do everything Shanahans way or the highway.

Posted by: ife80 | October 11, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather have Shanahan and Allen make personnel moves rather than Lavar. Lavar was on the radio last year acting like Jason Campbell was a good quarterback, and he had just been subjected to too much change, well.....he lasted about a game before he was benched. We are a better team with a new coach and quarterback. Lavar butchers the english language every day on the radio and tries to point out all of the things the Skins are doing wrong, I would guess in an effort to stir up interest and ratings. He shows a strong bias toward friends and former teammates, and is clearly clueless in judging talent.

Lavar is an example of a guy who had a ton of talent, never had the impact that he should have, and who I actually liked as a player, but has nothing to offer in terms of intelligent, unbiased opinion. Doc Walker is miles ahead of him as analyst, and has great insight as a former player. Lavar could learn alot from him, and would be nice if he could stop hating on the Skins. We are 3-2 with a much tougher schedule than last year. We are clearly a much better team and any argument about this makes no sense.

The "hard hit" appears to be on Lavar's head!

Posted by: markh1362 | October 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, DT's future is not going to get any greener anytime soon, as no one chose to pluck him off the waiver wire to "give him the chance that Shannahan wouldn't". Puts a bit of a dent in your theories, doesn't it. Is it just possible that while he is a real speedy big guy DT does not have what it takes to be an NFL receiver?

Posted by: northvajim2 | October 11, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised by all the lemmings here. Because Shananhan has 2 SB rings, nobody is allowed to ask questions? Those 2 SB victories didn't stop him from getting canned in Denver now did it?

skinztattoo89, if you can't think critically about the remark you just made, maybe you should stop posting. It didn't have to be Joe Gibbs, but somebody on that coaching staff had in it for Lavar. Can you honestly tell all of us that Warrick Holdman was a better player than Arrington? The dude was out of position constantly, and lacked Arrington's athletic ability. And when he was in position, he was getting abused, blocked out of the play or just plain missing tackles.

A lot of you here are acting like we're in some kind of gang. Lavar has the audacity to question almighty king Shanahan, and now the insults are flying. Some of you need to take your own advice and get a life.

Thomas could have helped this team. Before he was cut, he was 6th in the NFL in KR yards. He was chomping at the bit to get in and contribute. I don't buy the rationale about Thomas' lack of professionalism. I don't. If the other receivers were tearing it up on the field, then you can talk about his lack of preparation, or what ever excuse is being used to keep him off the field. But outside of Moss, and Cooley. Who's doing anything? Armstrong stepped up yesterday, but before that we've had minimal contributions from other members of the receiving corp. And you can't tell me that a man with Thomas' ability couldn't get in to contribute as a WR. He's blocking like a beast and there are certainly ways that they could have gotten him the ball and given him a chance to be successful.

Posted by: Rahwaj | October 11, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

For whatever reason, they just didn't like him.

Now he'll either get another shot in the NFL and prove them wrong or not.

I was a fan of Marko getting more playing time to see what he could do; Don't know if Marko is even in the league this year.

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

2 peas in a pod Lavar; birds of a feather flock together, etc etc.......you give a guy the forum to question the coach, probalby cheer him on for doing so and then question why a boss would put up with it?? As any true redskin fan, we all wanted DT to perform...ya think if we was blowing past DBs in practice and catching everythign he wouldnt have made it to the field? Not sure, but IMO looks like someone who wasted the talent God gave him but not improving each and everyday. At this point, good luck DT, hope this waiver is a life altering moment for you to the better...just not in our conference.

Posted by: kirkoman | October 11, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Whens Lavar going to learn, we dont hate him, just the nonsense the comes out of his mouth, when you can understand it. Its ok to have an opinion, but if we dont agree or it makes no sense, then you are going to get told so, but then you blast us, so take it if you dish it out little boy. And sorry, but I would have no problem saying it to his face. He only likes to sucker punch people or hit them if he has pads on. Now you can go back to whining on twitter or on your show.

Skins fans love the skins and not has been ex players that never loved the team, just themselves.

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Geez enough of the LaVar bashing already. I remember way back when, when Randy Moss came into the league, they said the same things about him that are being said of DT 11. Not a true professional, couldn't run more than three routes. Didn't give 100% at practice. The difference was the Vikings were smart enough to put him on the field and let him play. LaVar has it right people. In case you haven't noticed football is for the physically gifted, which DT 11 is. It's up to the coaches to best utilize his ability. Why do you think for all of the receptions Wes Welker has every year he never or rarely lines up outside the numbers? Answer: There are only a handful of routes that he can win against a DB so that is what he runs. He's not going to run by most DB's with his straight line speed so he doesn't run those routes. If DT11 can only run a handful of routes well, then you call plays for him that utilize those routes and let his physical superiority win the match up. You know like the Pats do for Welker. That's called coaching and best utilizing your personnel. No, but your right, Shanny has it all figured out and we will keep beating teams with Joey Galloway getting one or two catches a game. I'm glad we are 3-2 like most fans. But let's not kid ourselves people. If the ref keeps the flag in his pocket like they do for 95% of holding penalties, we lose to the Cowgirls. If Jason Avant could actually catch a ball when it hits him in both hands we lose to the Beagles. If the kick yesterday is six inches to the right we lose that one too. We are not much better than 1-4 or 0-5. So please stop drinking the Shanny kool-aid and believing he and his kid smarter than everybody else.

Posted by: renhoekk2 | October 11, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

For the most part, I like LaVar and his pull-no-punches approach to his column. Like most former pro athletes, LaVar (I doubt) didn't go to journalism school in college; he's an ANALYST, based upon his qualifications and experiences as a player.

I am a non-NFL playing, average "9 to 5" working guy. I am the biggest of Redskins fans, but that doesn't mean that I agree with all of the moves of its front office, OR, its coach. From the outside looking in, some of the moves Shanahan makes SEEM to be petty, vindictive, or short-sighted. That doesn't mean that that's an accurate assessment, but it's MY assessment, based upon the commentary/statements he releases about a particular matter.

I'm not into name-calling, and it KILLS me how "familiar" some posters seem to get w/LaVar, as a MAN first, as a BLOG COLUMNIST, second. Who says LaVar doesn't have "the right" to question any of Shanahan's moves. Oh, and just because you've won 2 Super Bowls doesn't mean that every coaching move that you make is the CORRECT AND APPROPRIATE one.

I honestly think that the 'Skins will regret this roster decision; from my observation, Devin Thomas has what it takes to play in the NFL, just maybe not for Mike Shanahan.

Let's get a grip, folks.

Posted by: ntlekt | October 11, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a less athletic, less "talented", harder working, selfless, team guy over an athletic player who is more interested in being a star and personal accolades.

Example: I would take London Fletcher over Lavar Arrington any day of the week and twice on Sunday (who wouldn't?)

Posted by: BertGertleson | October 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

renheokk2...IF the refs call the 2 pass interference plays against GB, we still win...if our field goal against Houston doesnt get blocked we win..if game goes long way. We lost 8 games last year by a few points, but now we are winning some of those. Goes to coaching, time mngmt, players being held accountable, etc. Agree with you on DT11, but the reason we bash on Lavar, besides he is an idiot, is because of his continuous whining like a little girl. Look at all the other headlines on the Washingtonpost.com,,,almost everyone is positive about the team, Success from bottom up...Character building Victory...Armstrong Arrives...Landry makes his presence felt,,Orakpo Disrupts...Oline holds up

Now you go to LAVAR....still whining about something that happened last week to one of his boyz, that didnt listen to the coaches, fell asleep in meetings, etc. Lavar has nothing positive to say and never has about the skins...we just want him to leave town if he is unhappy!

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

LaVar

I agree with this post. The question I always had the whole time was "Can't he atleast get on the field as a receiver?" Roydell Williams has done next to nothing, and lining Brandon Banks out there at wr is a waste of time.

He deserved a shot, and Shanahan was determined for whatever reason to never even give him a chance to show his worth as a wide receiver.

Posted by: perrym78 | October 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"However, I do have a problem with the manner in which Shanahan is doing it."

Lavar.

You'd be first out the door under this regime.

"Again I say, what am I missing here?"

That you're a terrible talent evaluator and all you want to do is bash the Skins with your crappy blog?

I used to be a fan of yours, but not anymore. Good luck Mr.Sour Grapes!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | October 11, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I think LaVar has a man crush on DT. Either that, or they both are the same type of j*ck*ss in the locker room and field:

- self-absorbed
- bad attitude
- lazy
- underachieving
- limited aptitude
- grossly overpaid

BTW, remember LaVar's contract dispute where his lawyers and he claim they didn't read the multi-million dolloar contract they signed: M-O-R-O-N-S and D-I-R-T-B-A-L-L-S. He should not be permitted to have anything to do with the Redskins after that.

How the h*ll does LaVar get a job as a journalist when he doesn't know how to read?

WP is just using him to create controversy - clearly, not based on journalistic talent, insight, or integrity.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | October 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

You where terrible as a player, terrible as a man, and terrible as a reporter. I think Dallas could use another uneducated, ebonics speaking, overpaid, underperformer...sounds like a perfect fit for you, sorry but it sounds like his mom failed at raising him to be a man.

Posted by: cm88 | October 11, 2010 11:57 AM |

From the way you've just expressed yourself in writing, I think you could stand a little education yourself!

Posted by: buster_c | October 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this slightly off topic but....

Lavar, I hate to do this,Champ, but you are the last one to EVER comment on someone's diction, brother. I have been listening to your show and this is not a personal attack but some PROFESSIONAL polishing with respect to your new chosen profession - the following words are pronounced with a "TH" sound: the, that, etc. - not a "D"sound. Like defending a player's professionalism (or lack thereof) with respect to dealing with Redskin management, you are making a mockery of yourself when you write comments like this one. You are the same guy that disputed your $66.6 contract b/c it had too many 6's. You destroyed a promising NFL career b/c you were superstitious. Makes a lot sense for a grown ass man and a professional.

More importantly, from one brother to another, ebonics is not a language. Please see a speech therapist so that your football expertise and insightful perspectives are better articulated. The whole "dumb black athlete" who thinks he is so smart either b/c he makes a lot of money, wears a eight cloth button clown suit, or he is on T.V. has become such a tired cliche. The Charles Barkley's, Michael Irving's, Deion Sanders', T.O.'s, Ochocinco's, and Shannon Sharpe's of the Sport's World are doing a serious disservice to dispelling such old negative stereotypes. You are a grown man with kids so please stop spreading the ignorant madness. You have always been positive role model to the DC community but please don't let the media continue to exploit you to the detriment of our youth by allowing you to destroy the English language b/c you are doing more harm than good. Now everyone can attack and call me a Hata'...but there is nothing more that the media loves than a ignorant black man trying to sound intelligent... Practice what you preach and step your game up, brother.

Posted by: returntoglory | October 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The only point to consider is this.....31 teams passed on him also. When one person calls you a jerk, ignore it. When 31 people call you a jerk, you'd better take a look at yourself......end of story.

Posted by: Riggo2 | October 11, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

It's apparent that you see this roster move through the lens of your own resentments toward the organization. There are many reasons why players are released or traded. (e.g. Randy Moss)
Trust that Shanahan felt that it was best for the team. He wouldn't shoot himself in the foot out of spite. If he felt that the team would be better with him you better belief he would have played this year. Recognizing and cutting dead weight is a key element in rebuilding a franchise.

Get behind the hometeam or get out of town.

Posted by: tomgill21 | October 11, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost i'm not a Shanahan fan after he underminded Dan Reeves in Denver to get his job i lost all respect for him and his know it all son. Devin Thomas didn't win many fans his first year in uniform, with this team desperate for wide reciever help to complement Santana Moss Thomas didn't learn the platbook and couldn't complete the physical conditioning requirements expected of all rookie players in the NFL. Lavar has a point instead of ruling with an iron fist why not give DT a chance by helping him, look there's no way you can tell me Joey Galloway is better than DT yes, five years ago he was but not now. Thirty one teams passed on DT so far but who knows what's been said about DT behind closed doors.The smart thing for Shanahan to do would have been to give Thomas enough rope to cut himself by giving him a start and Devin screwed up then you've got your ammo, instead of having people question your authority on a fan blog and one more thing stop with the personal attack's on Lavar not a one of you have ever played on a pro level.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 11, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only person who is tired of Lavar Arrington whining about every decision the Redskins make? He's never stopped whining since his playing days. I don't care what he thinks and I don't understand why he is given such a huge platform to criticize our home team. I was a huge fan of yours until you turned into such a baby. Go back to New York, Lavar. Isn't that where you ended up after you abandoned the Skins in your playing days?

Posted by: TerpsfanstuckinNC | October 11, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Update: Devin Thomas cleared waivers at 4pm today and has been picked up by the Carolina Panthers at 4:10pm today.

Posted by: arjefferson | October 11, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

32 teams and two coaching staffs cannot be wrong about this guy, at the moment. Thomas is 23, plenty of time to grow into a talented WR for someone. I suggest he go to one of the other options - play football somewhere professionally and grow. Take the impulse to whine and wonder, and turn it into a drive to be the best he can be. His college career was not stellar, but was short. He never should have been a 2nd round pick, but that is water under the bridge. Devin - grow, play, develop - you'll be back. Lavar - how long will you keep grinding that ax. You're doing fine on the radio, you're too old to play now, so just relax and quit hating on the Skins please. Lots of us who loved your play on the field are starting to rethink our opinion. Take a verbal shot at Troy Aikman maybe for his constant sing-song whiny Cowboys loving game calling. YOU could do his job much better.

Posted by: bfjam | October 11, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Clearly DT is a bum. He cleared waivers at 4 and was picked up by the Panthers at 4:10. If he were any good at all, he would have been picked up at 4:05...

Posted by: Rahwaj | October 11, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

cm88- my point was only that every game we've won came down to one play at the end and it wasn't a play where a skins player made a play to win it. More like an opposing player didn't make the play. So I don't see a great leap from last year. I think everyone can agree we are a little lucky to be 3-2. Did we win these type of games in the past few years? No. I like shanny and glad he is the coach but let's not grant him a free ride on everything he does.

Posted by: renhoekk2 | October 11, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Lavar YOU are a loser why dont you grow up and why in H does the POST put up with you

Posted by: wingmd | October 11, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course Lavar has a problem with this. It's just another desperate try to prove that it was the coaches that were at fault and not him.

Posted by: ouvan59 | October 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Thomas had more then enough time to prove his worth. His incompetence spanned two different coaching staffs and two different front offices with the Skins. Thomas couldn't get it done in the NFL and of course LaVar knows that feeling all too well.

Posted by: sjp879 | October 11, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, don't forget all the trouble DT had even getting on the field for Jim Zorn. Jim Zorn, for Pete's sake! Problems with one coach, could be a personal issue. Problems with two polar opposite coaches? Gotta be the player.

Posted by: clfrdj | October 11, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Lavar makes a good point from a player's perspective. Thomas had talent to burn, more than possibly anyone on our receiving corps, and Shanahan never seemed inclined to find ways to harness it. He may have not dedicated himself enough in practice... only the other players know for sure. But he had heart on special teams, both as a returner and tackler and surely an able coach could have harnessed his abaility and on-field enthusiasm to better effect.
From a coach's perspective, Shanahan's results have thus far been a success. The team is playing with more passion (even if it has growing pains on D) and is a great deal more competitive than it was under Zorn, suggesting that his top-down Ford Management style is working.
Both opinions have merit. What there is no mistaking, however, is that we just let a former 2nd rounder who has shown flashes of real promise go for nothing when, according to the WaPost, there were inquiries from several teams about him during the offseason. By putting Thomas in the dog house, then waiting five games in to release him, ShanahAllen effectively KILLED any trade value he had. They did the same with Haynesworth, until potential trading partners knew we were desperate to get rid of him and all trading leverage was lost. From a third GM perspective, the team's handling of Thomas was poorly executed. We have holes up and down the roster and are the oldest team in the league and even, say, a 4th or 5th round pick or a second-string O-lineman would have made a huge difference.

Posted by: SammyT1 | October 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Quote by PJB4: "Kind of just like you Lavar. You didn't last long after you called Mr. Snyder a liar and a cheat."

===> Uh, dude, Danny did lie and did cheat Lavar out of agreed to money. That's why DannyBoy settled with LaVar - otherwise, he wouldn't have. Danny just didn't like that LaVar didn't want to be "friends" with him like CP is ...

Posted by: terptek | October 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas did not clear waivers. He was picked up by Carolina. Lavar is 100% correct, and Riggo wrote an article a few days ago with the same sentiment. I trust two incredible former NFL players over the anonymous posters here claiming a 6'2" 218 pound receiver with a 4.4 40 couldn't have helped this team...............

Posted by: adjustments_Redskins | October 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised by the release but I've got to take issue with Lavar's "it's-the-physical-tools-not-the-work-smarts-and-dedication" line. Is Bill Belichick an idiot? Why did he just cut a blazingly, physically imposing touchdown machine in Randy Moss, while holding on to a slow, short, plodder who wasn't even drafted out of college ... by the name of Wes Welker?

Because Welker, as much as anyone, proves that you don't have to have blazing speed and imposing size if you're a tough, smart, hard working team player.

Of course Devin Thomas is no Randy Moss.

Posted by: nehemia2001 | October 11, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Some of these personal attacks on Lavar are downright laughable, what? you pissed off that an athlete and an african american at that has a job writing for a major newspaper? get over your closet bigotry and grow up, while DT was not completely faultless if Shanahan had a clue then he should have been able to work with this kid or at least give him enough rope to cut himself, the great Mike Shanahan never won jack after Elway left,Joe Gibbs won with three Super Bowl's with three different QB's now that my friends is coaching.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 11, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised by the release but I've got to take issue with Lavar's "it's-the-physical-tools-not-the-work-smarts-and-dedication" line. Is Bill Belichick an idiot? Why did he just cut a blazingly, physically imposing touchdown machine in Randy Moss, while holding on to a slow, short, plodder who wasn't even drafted out of college ... by the name of Wes Welker?

Because Welker, as much as anyone, proves that you don't have to have blazing speed and imposing size if you're a tough, smart, hard working team player.

Of course Devin Thomas is no Randy Moss.

Posted by: nehemia2001 | October 11, 2010 5:54 PM

Not really. He got rid of Moss because Moss had good market value. The patriots have 10 draft picks in the 2011 draft including 2 - first, second, third, and fourth round picks. Moss is 33 and fetched a 3rd when the patriots got Moss for a fourth. Moss helped the patriots to the super bowl; purpose served. The Patriots are a well run organization that is building for the future. One should refrain from speaking of the Patriots and the Redskins organizations in the same sentence. Question, how many 38 year old players start at WR for the patriots? This is not a comparison between Thomas and a potential hall of fame receiver Moss, but the existing WR core and his status within that core group......

Posted by: adjustments_Redskins | October 11, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Whats up Lavar, I am wondering the same as you are about the releasing of Devon Thomas.
Good players make plays when its crunch time and I think that DT is a good player. As I watch the skins this year I am wondering what has happen to the team I have cheered for all my life. There have been crazy moves made all season that have left me scratching my head, the choice D lineman to outside, the 3-4 defense, the DT releasing is insane to me.You have a inside track on these things on and off the field,so I listen to you.You also say whats on your mind, something that I think is turning into a lost art. I do think that the coachs maybe part of the problem. Yes we are 3-2 but our defense is horrible the run game is weak at best and the wide outs besides Santana Moss and captain chaos Cris Cooley are not getting it done.I looked forward to seeing Devon play this year and was and still disappointed at the moves that have been made. I can tell you what I am missing, the days were the Washington Redskins were a Serious team and not some pot hole in the season for teams to roll over. Keep doing your thing Brotha!!!!!!


Posted by: Da240driver | October 11, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"This is not a comparison between Thomas and a potential hall of fame receiver Moss, but the existing WR core and his status within that core group......


Posted by: adjustments_Redskins

Certainly, hence my statement that "Devin Thomas is no Randy Moss". Perhaps my point wasn't clear. I don't think it makes sense to rewrite the playbook to scheme around a receiver who can't remember the plays and/or can't run routes, no matter how physically gifted he may be.

I can understand Lavar's perspective, given that he was a physically gifted player who ultimately bombed out because he either couldn't learn the playbook or simply wouldn't follow the schemes.

I'd be more inclined to think that Shanahan was being too hard on Thomas, who he inherited, if the regime that spent a second round draft pick on him hadn't already come to the same conclusion.

No doubt the Redskins haven't been as well run as the Patriots for many years, but Shanahan has done it before I think he'll have the Skins back in the playoffs before too long.

Posted by: nehemia2001 | October 11, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Simplify the playbook so that the player can understand it? These are highly paid professionals that have months and years to learn the playbook. If you're not smart enough to learn the playbook, you shouldn't be in the league. It isn't nuclear physics.

Posted by: randysbailin | October 11, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I usually support Lavar but his constant ignorance on the cutting of Devin and being so dumbfounded as to why he was cut and pretty much leaving the only explanation being Shanahan having a vendetta against him makes me question his objectivity.

Lavar has owned a business, you mean to tell me he's never had to let someone go for reasons other people didn't understand as employees but made sense from a management stand point?

I just wonder if Devin was Lavar's other inside source because that was the only other time he's been out of line with his assessment.

Move on!

Posted by: Eman8 | October 11, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Man, I too had high hopes for DT and what he would bring to our offence. I have been concerned about Washington's growing reputation as a retirement home for old players/jersey-selling farm for the management. DT was young blood with potential, something we haven't seen here in a while, and in my opinion, never a bad thing.

But I'm concerned about my Redskins, too. And after 3 seasons, I feel like DT has not been productive.

We're winning now, and I chalk that up in part to Shannahan and what he is doing there. I have also come to admit that a lot of those old dogs I used to rail against have a lot to offer.

We're looking good, for the first time in a long time, and if one of the architects of that good look says DT doesnt' fit, then I'll be big enough to accept that.

Why can't you?

Posted by: drifting88 | October 11, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the Rams wouldn't even work him out after losing their top WR says volumes about Thomas. I don't know the specific of the volumes but it has to be damaging if 31 teams passed on him when they could have had him for free.

Posted by: tundey | October 11, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Man, lots o' haters on here who spout garbage and know nothing.

All LA is saying is this: There must be something we don't know. Maybe Shanahan knows, but will not say. Maybe his reasons are sound. Maybe they are not.

From what we've seen of Thomas and from what we're being told about him "not fitting" is incongruous. Meaning, somebody's lying or not telling the whole truth.

Lloyd was a bum here. I'm glad he's started to live up to his potential in Denver. He was a really nice guy and probably still is.

Thomas seems like a bit of an ego-maniac. I'm purely speculating. What else can I do? The team never really explained why they cut a talented wide receiver while we struggle to field NFL caliber pass catchers.

And about LaVar airing his grievances in the media as a player, you have it backwards. It was the coaches who said he was "a freelancer" and didn't know the playbook. Not exactly the type of thing you'd like to read about yourself in the paper, especially if it wasn't true.

Keep Hating, Haters. Maybe one day you can have your own column in the Post. You'll see just how valuable your opinions are.

PS - LaVar is rich, too.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 11, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

oh, by the way, DT is with the Panthers now, so FACE.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 11, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

All due respect to many responders here, Lavar has actually played in the NFL, unlike any of you, and probably knows a Pro when he sees it.

Moss was also surprised, as were other Skins players.

What Lavar is saying is probably the approach Gibbs would have taken, and is still doing in NASCAR (Kyle Busch is his reclamation project there and he is making Busch a Pro).

I like the assessment Lavar, and the insight, keep it coming.

Posted by: skindawgwillie | October 11, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Another player that will be picked up by a team in need and turn in to a huge star.

This is a league full of dummies, don't tell me the guy can't run a deep fly, an out or any other route.

Lavar your right

Posted by: dannyboyrules | October 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, dude you are really funny. You do understand that this is not college ball, right? You want them to dumb down the play book for a freaking WR that's done nothing in this league? Give me a freaking break. It's attitude like that that makes these guys prima donnas.

And it doesn't matter how long Shanahan has been here. There's tape on every single player. Am sure you know that so stop being disingenuous. DT was a bum. And if he hasn't learnt by now, after 2 years of pro-ball and time in college, when is he going to learn? And if the coach knows he can't help, why keep him around?

Posted by: tundey | October 11, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Skins fans were upset Marko Mitchell never got a shot. He had size, speed and hands something the skins have need for quite some time. T see him sent to Detroit gave many of us a bad taste but he never panned out. Kudos err argh Zorn.
Now DT. He played great against the Saints last year and his kick off returns this year were productive. I think Shanny may regret this one and DT will do fine in Carolina. Then again we fans think we know better and of course thats just not true. Its easy to Monday morning qb. Hope DT gets to start some games.

Posted by: mountainking | October 11, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

There is no "I" in TEAM . I have couple of quotes that fits this situation.

No one should quit their day job. DT had more emphasis on himself, everytime he beat someone he would show boat. Proof first then showboat.

Respect the Coach. If I was palying for this coach, i would listen and follow his every word. he is incharge and no one else. We do that in our 8-5 job.DT never learned that concept.

"For the needs of the many few must sacrifice". DT does not fit the attributes that other 50 plus players show for the redskins. hunger, desire, play with attitude.

Empty words and empty promises do not matter in NFL.

As someone said earlier, Coach will take a less athletic, less "talented", harder working, selfless, team guy over an athletic player who is more interested in being a star and personal accolades, you would not understand that LAVAR....you supposedly appologized earlier in the week. Our religion tells us to forgive and forget, but now you are back at it again..C'ommon Man...get a life.

Posted by: mazbar | October 11, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

There will always be haters on the internet Lavar. Like you said, only Shanahan really knows the truth. DT11 definitely had more talent and without question would have performed better than anyone outside of Moss/Cooley. It couldn't have had anything with knowing the playbook, because he was buried on the depth chart at the start of offseason workouts before anyone knew the offense. Everyone was confused about it then, but just said it was a motivating factor; now we see it was something deeper. I think Shanahan is doing some good things, but the mind games & ego trips I just dont understand. If a talented player doesn't "fit your system," then your system isn't advanced enough IMO. The best coaches learn to mold their system to the players around them, from both a talent & personality standpoint.

Oh, and if you listen to the radio show, you know Lavar is pumped about being 3-2, even if there are certain things that he disagrees with. HAIL

Posted by: wisdom80 | October 11, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

half of the radio show eveen today was filled with the negaqtives, including CC portion of the show,Lavar is now trying to get Chris in trouble....

Posted by: mazbar | October 11, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

arjefferson conclude in his post:

Thomas could have filled a need at WR, but was never given the opportunity to do so.

That is the crux of the matter. We are all professionals in one way or the other. You do not judge a guy whom you have not played. Shanahans never gave the young man an opportunity on the field. They never complained that he did not practice hard. You cannot just say a person is not a professional if he is not given the opportunity ON THE FIELD. The receiving corp is still deficient. Apart from Moss and Cooley, the other wideouts are just OK. I like Armstrong but the guy is not a big reciever and everybody struggles in one way or the other. Look at Roy Williams in Dallas, the guy has been in the League for a number of years and he is in his second year in the Cowboys' system. Last year he was more or less like a rookie again. Instability in the Redskins' system is a career killer.

DT was the only big WR on the Redskins roaster and you let him go. Dumb!! Shanahan can play all the toughie he wants to play, some of his decisions just did not make any sense. This Redskins' offense is still subpar. Offensive line, running and receiving areas are well below the League average. The three games won so far were won by the defense. Dumb play calls are still abound. If you saw how McNabb was beaten, hit and sacked yesterday; the memories of Jason Campbell's abuse last year came to mind. He did not begin to feel comfortable until Clay Matthews (Packers' defensive playmaker) was injured and out of the game. How long can you a winner like McNabb continue to be treated like that? The story is that they are still assessing him before they sign him long term...Stupid!!!

Posted by: midas20874 | October 11, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Well, DT went to Arizona with McNabb, didn't he? We might never know, but if McNabb didn't feel he could trust DT to run the correct route when critical yards were needed, then DT wouldn't get the ball. If the QB has no faith in his receiver, then what good is he?

Posted by: pberger1 | October 12, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

The guy obviously did some things to make the coaching staff feel he was more of a problem than a solution.

I respect all peoples right to post an opinion, but I'm gonna lean toward Shanahan knowing what he is doin and most of you not having a clue as to what you're talking about.

Posted by: skins91r | October 12, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Devin has the ability but he is also a "model and actor"? We don't have all the information but this seems like a character issue.

Posted by: adrian7 | October 12, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree with many of Lavar's assertions, including the assertion that the coaching staff did not adequately and properly make use of DT's talents. At the very least he should have been given a chance to show whether or not he was a capable WR by giving him a few plays on game day. How can a coach/employer/supervisor adequately evaluate a player/employee/worker without giving them the opportunity to demonstrate if the are able to meet the required demands of the job? IMHO, Devin Thomas was not given a sliver of opportunity in that respect, which leads me to believe it was a personal decision more than it was a personnel decision to release him.

I'm not so giddy about Mike Shanahan's regime as many here are. Yes 3-2 is good, but I find Mike Shanahan's demeanor to be stubborn and arrogant and believe that arrogance and stubborness will cost us a game or two this year. It could be argued that it has already cost us the Houston game. Time will tell...

Posted by: bazookajoe1 | October 12, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

LA,
With all do respect you and Chad Dukes have put Devin Thomas on this pedistal like he was a TO, Randy Moss, or Larry Fitzgerald. This guy has done nothing in his 3 yrs as a Redskin and it was a mistake drafting him and Malcom Kelly to begin with. All your analysis is based on speculation and no facts. Devin's presence not being on the team anymore is no different to when he was there. Unproductive player and you can atleast put some responsibility on his part to grow up and take his job seriously. If my boss at work told me I need to work harder on something and be more professional I would expect if I wasn't doing that I would be let go too. Brand Illoyd point is a joke as well, he was let go by the Skins what 4yrs ago. He hasn't done anything from that point to now.

Posted by: kevioconnor | October 12, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Some of you people need to stop "catching feelings" for these players!

In one breathe LA says he dosent care what a coach does with his team, then in another he whines about DT getting cut and compairs him to the other WRs on the roster. Who knows why Shanny did what he did or does what he does?? One thing I am happy with is he wont let the media run his team!! I hear and read how all the media saying hes (shanny) not being honest with them....who cares? All the media will do is bash him one way or another anyway....win or lose! Personally, I do think he cut the wrong player though. Malcom Kelly should have been the one cut instead. DT did play hard when he was on the field and seemingly was a good guy.

But I'm not going to sit and whine or cry about an NFL player cutting cut by one team and getting picked up the next day by another. But yet again, the Skins BEAT ANOTHER team that ALL of the media national and local thought they would lose to and that has made a lot of people mad...Nationally and Locally.

Posted by: usc932000 | October 12, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I would let this one go LaVar. The more you argue and rail against the decisions of a coach who has not only won superbowls but is having success with a group or players that was 4-11 last year the more you make yourself look like a fool. Have you ever won anything that wasn't based on your own individual talent? What do you know about player personnel and coaching? From most of the player-centric comments you make it seems like not much more than most of your listening audience.

I've listened to your show off and on for the last few months and I have to say I wish they'd give your spot to Brian Mitchell. Most of what you seem to say on the radio and write on this new blog seems to be colored by your own petty resentments towards the Redskins organization and at times your alma mater (PSU). In fact, you seem to hate on every organization you ever played for save North Hills High School.

One final word - if you want to have lasting success in the entertainment business you shouldn't mock and demean your listening audience. Keep showing a contempt for the opinions of folks who call in with an opinion opposite of your own and they will show contempt in return.

Posted by: pjsharpe19 | October 12, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Hi LaVar - I agree that maybe Devin should have been given more of a chance, but they should have given him a chance when he first got drafted. I think we have to give Shanny a chance and stop with this hanging on to old stuff. Over the last few years, the Redskins fans have wanted to keep Colt Brennen.........a third string quarterback. We wanted to keep Marko Mitchell who would have been a fourth or fifth option. Let's move on. The Redskins didn't need Brandon Lloyd and paid him outrageous money. Now because he's caught a couple of passes don't make it seem like he's Jerry Rice. Let's move on and give Shanny a chance.

Posted by: tryumpfant | October 12, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

cm88, you should tone it down a notch. Your personal attack is WAY out of line.

Now, I must admit that LaVar's diatribe about Devin Thomas seems to carry a bit of disgruntlement.

LaVar, you mention Brandon Lloyd. He was picked up by Gibbs, and that was a terrible pick up. Lloyd is an average receiver at best. Will be nothing more than the semi-break out we witnessed when he was with the 49ers.

LaVar was let go by the Redskins because he was free-lancer that could never play disciplined football. The last chance LaVar had of being great was when Marty was here. Unfortunately for him, Snyder cut loose Schotty before he even had a chance to build anything.

Marcus Washington, and Antonio Pierce were much more effective than LaVar. Once again, LaVar must stop showing bitterness from his last days as a Redskin.

If Devin Thomas were effective enough as an NFL receiever, then he would be a starter. Last I heard, he's still out of a job. Usually a stand out receiver would be picked up less than 10 hours after being released with no strings attached.

Think about it LaVar.

Posted by: jmounadi | October 12, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post,

Please take lavar out to pasture and put him out of his misery. If I have to read one more of his crappy articles I'm going to attempt human flight off the roof of my building.
I'm convinced LaVar is a hoarder of crappy NFL players. He along with the other 15pt Wonderlick guys love to stick up for players that can't live up to their potential. Devin Thomas and Larry Johnson are classic examples. Thomas had one good year at Michigan St and sold vinny with a sub 4.5 40. Shanny has come in and walked on water. He's finally gotten rid of guys like LaVar and brought in players that buy into the system. The fact that periodicals like the post employ him to spew rhetoric is deplorable. I hope that one day they can get a real football guy in to provide some actual analysis.

Posted by: wynnebs | October 12, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas doesn't have to lead the Panthers to the super bowl or become all pro or the next Jerry Rice to make this a stupid move. All he has to do is catch more balls than Joey Galloway or Roydell Williams. Because they are the two useless pieces of trash that are still lingering around Redskins Park, that contribute nothing to us winning.

Posted by: renhoekk2 | October 12, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Thomas (and Lloyd, for that matter) came into town thinking they were God's gift to the Redskins. They had no concept of humility or professionalism, all bravado and no production, selections and imports of perhaps the worst GM the league has ever seen. Thank heaven they're gone. We need players to get back to playing the game, not talking about playing the game and not performing. Shut up and play football.

Posted by: timmdrumm | October 12, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas cleared waivers. 31 other teams could have claimed him, and he would be theirs...none of them did.

The Rams lost Mark Clayton for the year with a knee injury yesterday. They need WR help desperately. They've said they have no interest in even bringing DT11 in for a workout.

What am I missing here? What's the story "behind the scenes"? What's he doing "off the field" that's "unprofessional" and is keeping teams from having any interest in him?
__________________________________________

What you are missing is your facts, Devin Thomas was gobbled up by the Carolina Panthers quickly, he did not clear waivers. I don't often agree with Lavar, but I am seeing that this coach plays games with his roster decisions. Devin Thomas had our only long ball touchdown and caught more passes than any other receiver in the preseason, but Anthony Armstrong and he only played in three of the games. We are seein it with Derrick Dockery he is trying to make us believe that Corey Lichtensteiger has beaten him out, but we just saw Lichtensthieger give up more sacks in one game than Derrick Dockery did all year last year, and the backs rushed for 2.3 yards per rush. The people ahead of Haynesworth are supposed to be better, but we just saw Haynesworth make more plays in one game than Kemeatu has made all year. These are warning signs and they are the same reasons that he was let go by Denver.

Posted by: impartial1 | October 12, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Here's the bottom line. LaVar isnt in Ashburn anymore. So all he has to go on is what he hears from players and "beat" writers. None of whom tell the truth about the situation. No one wants to go to a radio host and say "he's not doing the work, the coaches dont like the way he practices..etc etc.." They dont want to jeopardize their jobs as either players or team writers. Because the minute they do that...it hits the radio airwaves. Thats the bottom line.

Posted by: wburn42167 | October 12, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

DT should have been traded to the Cowboys. That way, their apologists could have one more example of how "talented" the Cowboys are. I mean, how can you possibly lose 10 games when you have Thomas, Bryant, Roy Williams, and Miles Austin as recievers? Romo at QB? Barber/Jones? And, my favorite, DeMarcus Ware!!! How could it happen??!!!!!

To think that Shanahan could have gone to the Cowboys makes me laugh inside.

Posted by: jboogie1 | October 12, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas doesn't have to lead the Panthers to the super bowl or become all pro or the next Jerry Rice to make this a stupid move. All he has to do is catch more balls than Joey Galloway or Roydell Williams. Because they are the two useless pieces of trash that are still lingering around Redskins Park, that contribute nothing to us winning.

Posted by: renhoekk2 | October 12, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

That "useless piece of trash" Galloway caught a pass for a critical 3rd down conversion towards the end of the game on Sunday.

And Thomas isn't starting for Carolina.

Thanks, Lavar for blowing the dog-whistle, so all the ignorant DT apologists can have a forum to howl at the wind!

Posted by: jboogie1 | October 12, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

While other players are busting their hump to make the team, Devin Thomas is out making music videos and then falling asleep in position meetings.

If you are trying to change the character and performance of a team, why would you want that guy around poisoning everyone with the things he learned from the last administration?

We sure didn't miss him on kick returns this past weekend. Banks and Simpson did a fine job for way less money.

I never liked the idea of letting Brandon Lloyd go. I thought he had talent. I think Devin Thomas will benefit from a change in scenery if only because he should now realize that he is on his way out of the NFL if things don't pan out in Carolina.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Lavar and his little boy wunder Dukes--the two most annoying twits on radio. Redskins haters: Lavar because he wasnt smart enough to read his contract and thus forever salty about the Redskins (maybe Greg Williams WAS right about him) and boy wonder because he'll parrot anything Lavar says.

Posted by: zap123 | October 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

LAWLZZZ...Lavar is still fighting "THE MAN!!!"

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

3-2 and could be 4-1 and Lavar is questionning where we're going? Whata bout this: Get rid of DT to give Anthony A. the push and confidence he needed to perform rather than looking over his shoulder? Didn't he have a coming out party on Sunday? C'mon Lavar.

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 12, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Very good points LaVar. I just don't understand Shanahan's apparent need to have every player on the roster kiss his ass daily. It's weak leadership, and players will see through it. They are grown men. Treat them like it.

You have to be crazy to believe that Galloway and Williams are better at this stage than DT. Winning with a talent-poor team like the Skins depends on developing players. The most talented young receiver we have is cut because Shanahan has some vague problem with him. Do you Shanny-lovers really think DT is a worse Red Zone option than Galloway? Maybe the guy is not a playbook scholar, but how smart does he have to be to learn a couple of routes?

It's not like this is the first episode either. He would probably have cut or given away AH but for the huge bonus check he cashed.

Posted by: Iamhumongous | October 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

CTFU @ But in the grand scheme of things, you are and always will be a product of your coach. LOL Lavar what prime time player has ever been kept off the field during primetime by a coach. And what coach ever produced a great NFL player where that player did not already have the potential to be great?

Posted by: snake_taylor | October 12, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I like Shanahan overall, but everybody makes mistakes.

I agree with LaVar that this seems like a bad move:

1) He is a good kick returner (note Banks is too, but is small and could get hurt quite easily, or could develop problems with fumbling)
2) He has had some success at receiver last year even though the team was struggling, especially when given more opportunities in games.
3) There were inquiries about trades during the pre-season. At least it would have been better to get a draft choice in return.
4) There has never been a concrete explanation of why he was so low on the depth chart, or why he has now been waived. Seems arbitrary...

Posted by: supattapone | October 12, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Lavar,

I know you have to talk about something to write in your column but you know as well as anyone that you build a team by getting people who are all in to the philosophy you are trying to establish. Instead of waiting to see if something can FINALLY happen with D Thomas and live with medicrity for another year or two. Shanahan cut the Skins loses...The only reason Kelly is still hear is because he is on IR, next year he will be gone.
Some players show up for big NFL games, some do not. D Thomas and M Kelly do not. Its just a fact. You should understand this better than anyone. When you were healthy, you managed to make plays. What is D Thomas's excuse?

Posted by: dwdave67 | October 12, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,
Please, take the chip on your shoulder with you and go away. You have worn out your welcome here. Most Redskins fans have forgotten you and the ones that haven't wish they could but you won't let us.
Washington Post: You are supposed to be the Major Newspaper in the Nation's Capitol, develop some journalistic integrity and get rid of this clown, his articles are biased beyond belief from the bitterness of a previous wasted life.

Posted by: shamusliam | October 12, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Why cut Devin? - because he doesn't fit Shan's image of players that he wants on this team. Next question?

... oh, do I need to mention that we'll go into bye with no fewer victories than we had all of last season! Shan can set his own standards as far as I'm concerned!

Posted by: fr3dmars | October 12, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting twist I am not sure I have heard yet. There was a huge outcry for bringing in a coach who was all about discipline and doing things the right way, and understandably so. It was stressed so much that maybe the message was taken too much to heart. Discipline just for discipline's sake. Don't get me wrong, DT, by his own admittance, could have prepared better. He certainly is not blameless here. I thought it was very telling how complimentary MS was about DT's talent in his press conference. My thought is that although Shanny may have indeed doubted Thomas' work ethic or his readiness for games, he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he had played Devin, and he made some plays, then what could he do? He would have someone who showed he could help the offense, but one who he didn't think prepared properly. His discipline theory kind of goes out the window at that point. I think that is why the team ultimately released him instead of trading him for a 5th or 6th round pick. A washed up Deon Branch was acquired for a 4th rounder by the Pats. Shanny has made a point to remind everyone he has released high picks before, which tends to just rub the wrong way. It seems more about making a point than doing the right thing for the team. No doubt the team plays hard, and physical. Their off season program was a great success by all accounts in improving chemistry and work ethic. But, some of that credit goes to McNabb. When the team sees it's starting QB working his tail off, others tend to follow. Shanahan has brought some much needed aspects to this team, but he doesn't have all the answers. Remember, he was fired by an owner with whom he was very close to, only a few years after winning two Super Bowls. He may end up pointing this franchise in the right direction, but maybe his people skills need some work. Have you ever watched one of his press conferences? The team is 3-2 and that's great, but we could VERY easily be 0-5! All you fans who want to use the "with a couple breaks we could be a playoff team" need to be objective, and use the same logic when it goes the other way. We all begged for the atmosphere around Redskins Park to change, and now we have it.

Posted by: jwat2410 | October 12, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm no huge fan of DT, but I find it hard to believe he couldn't ride the pine, and come in on 3-receiver sets, instead of RW or JG, now that AA is #2. I think of the two consecutive fades to AA for touchdown that went incomplete a few weeks ago. What would DT have done in that situation? Even if only for specific plays, and special teams, his physical gifts could have helped the team. And maybe half a season as the #4 receiver would have motivated him to work harder to earn his way back into the starting lineup...

I just don't see the upside. And if there's something Shanny's not telling, I'd be curious to know what it is.

As far as simplifying the playbook for a freaking receiver, though? Come on. At most, use him on special teams and the plays he's proven he's comfortable with. Even though I agree on the DT issue, this is the most asinine thing I've ever heard. I can imagine the meetings.. "Well, guys, since we all know Devin's stupid and lazy, let's draw up some plays that even a stupid, lazy guy can learn. Because he's fast." Why not just thrown Usain Bolt out there and throw bombs all day? Oh, right. Because that WOULDN'T WORK. It's a complicated game. Skill players need to understand it if they want to be successful.

Posted by: mistergone | October 13, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Does the Washington Post ever hire Redskin fans to write for them?

Posted by: Brian429 | October 13, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

The writers let us know the ones they don't want to fit--way before camp starts. The only thing learned by us during that time is Shanahans statements was inline with their preferred direction. Longtime seen, you are not going to fit my ideal colored boy. I always think one thing, sorry young man for what you are forced to have to deal with thru no fault of your own. You just wanted to continue to progress and compete against all-comers. I just wanted you to keep growing, shut your mouth and hope to get out of my town and go to a real NFL town like we once were.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | October 17, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

The writers let us know the ones they don't want to fit--way before camp starts. The only thing learned by us during that time is Shanahans statements was inline with their preferred direction. Longtime seen, you are not going to fit my ideal colored boy. I always think one thing, sorry young man for what you are forced to have to deal with thru no fault of your own. You just wanted to continue to progress and compete against all-comers. I just wanted you to keep growing, shut your mouth and hope to get out of my town and go to a real NFL town like we once were.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | October 17, 2010 3:31 AM | Report abuse

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