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DE Blog, Finally

Despite what the Redskins might say out loud, there are plenty of people in the building with big concerns about the D Line. The idea that an improved secondary will greatly lift the front four, well, I couldn't find a personnel guy or exec around the league to buy it, or to expect guys like Smoot or Macklin to somehow make the DTs better, but I guess it'll all come out in the wash come the fall anyway.

Knowing how aggressive Gibbs and Snyder are, as I have said before, I don't think they're done. They need help on the line and they are kidding themselves to say otherwise. I hear the same thing from everyone I speak to around the league - the Skins don't have much beyond high motor guys on their line, Griffin is the only person who grades above average and he's been hurt for two years. To expects Daniels and Salave'a and Daniels to find a fountain of youth - and good health - as they near the end of their careers is folly. Big Joe worried much of last year he was being phased out, and how his body would hold up, Daniels and Wynn worried about being cap casualties, and those guys know their prime is in the rear window.

To expect Golston to go from strong showings as a rotation guy to a great every-down player at that most difficult of positions is asking a lot. I think he's a very good prospect and will be a good player in this league but to consider him a lock, well ... Montgomery couldn't crack the lineup most of last year, which is no great slight, and plenty of his teammates think he has an NFL future, but to expect him to give you what Golston gave them last year, again, we'll see. Carter doesn't have the size or acumen to demand double teams, particularly with Daniels on the other side, and this team flat out had problems stopping the run at the point of attack last year and stunk against the pass and generated no pressure on the QB.

Those are facts, as is the 31st rating. To expect some improvement is great, but to get beat week after week in the trenches and then make it out to be all the fault of the DBs, that doesn't fly here. To pretend that anyone who questions the soundness of going into the 2007 season with the same group of lineman is talking gibberish, well, I remember a year ago the Skins thinking they had plenty of depth in the secondary and tried to quash any suggestion that John Hall wasn't fit to kick anymore, and we see where that got them.

Also, to suggest that Smoot, Macklin and Landry automatically give the Skins everything they need is a unique way to think. A few years ago they deemed Smoot not good enough, I am told at one point in 2004, when there was a movement to make Smoot the No. 3, Walt Harris and Shawn Springs came to his defense and urged the coaches not to, to save Fred's confidence. The Skins were content to let him walk that offseason. He goes to Minnesota and struggles, on and off the field. Sure, he's an upgrade over what they had a year, but he lacks great size and has some warts. He's not savior.

Macklin, meantime, is not a great cover guy from every scout I've talked to, and is "a solid fourth corner." He only stared seven games for Arizona last year for goodness sake. Landry is a rookie safety, and to expect him to start right away and make a huge impact as he learns the league seems like a bit much to me. And Springs, the only proven cover guy they have, Snyder and Gibbs have been trying to unload all offseason, or force to take a pay cut. So figure that one out.

So, yeah, if you believe that the axis of toast - Kenny Wright/Mike Rumph - was the primary reason for the debacle of 2007, then I guess all is now right with the defense (and if you do believe that, put the blame on the front office and personnel guys, 'cuz that's who they came up with). Smoot/Macklin is a better depth corner tandem, but how much better remains to be seen.

Which brings us back to the issue of the line. Who's out there to be acquired you ask? Well, lets focus on DE, because that's where the biggest problems are. Carter still has to prove he can bring it for more than a few December Sundays, Daniels is playing for his NFL life and beyond that it's Demetric Evans, a quality sub, and not much else.

First, let's debunk some myths. All of you guys salivating over the idea of Will Smith (the butt-kicked end in N'Orleans, not Jada's husband), put your tongues back in place. Despite what you may have heard, he isn't remotely on the trading block. The Saints will take care of him and extend his deal at some point. He's a stud and they know it and they wouldn't have given Charles Grant his money without having some earmarked for Smith, too.

Now, the Bears are indeed shopping Alex Brown, who they have deemed expendable and not worth the contract he is demanding. A few teams had called Chicago as of the end of the business week, and the Redskins were not among them. I hear it'll take at least a second round pick to land him and the lack of initial interest from the Skins is probably telling.

The Chiefs may be willing to part with troubled - but crazy talented - Jared Allen, but his off-field issues make him pretty much a non-option here. Coach Joe took kids off the draft board who are choir boys compared to Allen, who's multiple DUIs will cost him four games this season and leave him one more police episode away from likely getting the Pacman Jones treatment from the new Commish.

At one point this offseason Snyder instructed the staff to compile some reports on Mike (Half The Man I Used To Be) Strahan, and clearly he fits the mold of the aging star the owner covets so dearly. The Skins internal reports were that he would likely not get released - and certainly not traded within the division - and that he is a situational pass rusher only at this point in his career. Now, would that logic be enough to keep Snyder from giving Strahan a massive contract should he ever have the chance. History would dictate, no. But I still don't see him going anywhere.

Similarly, Simeon Rice would be a guy chasing sacks and little else, a third-down guy who offered little to the team beyond personal records (anyone remember Bruce Smith around here?). The Skins badly need a multi-dimensional end with the ability to get to the quarterback who is still in his prime, not another end-of-the-line guy.

Cincy has the franchise tag on Justin Smith, but from everything I hear he's going to play for the tender without incident and expects to be there for a long time. He lacks the pedigree the Skins need, anyway.

That leaves us with two options at this point, according to NFL people I have spoken to about the current DE market:

Aaron Schobel and Derrick Burgess.

I wouldn't be stunned at all if the Skins eventually parted with a draft pick or two to get one of them. And I wouldn't blame them, either. Not one bit. Schobel in particular seems like a nobrainer. I hear word is around the league that he is getting upset over the lack of progress on a new contract, and I know he loved played for Gregg Williams in Buffalo. He has been a beast in this system, is young enough, is a great team guy and a leader for the Bills.

But, like with Burgess (who skipped an earlier camp but is attending Oakland's mandatory camp this weekend), his employers chose to spend their money elsewhere rather than re-do or extend this contract, and now neither player is very happy, It remains to be seen what either does to force the issue, if anything - holdout of minicamp, etc. - but I hear teams have already made calls on both of them. The Redskins haven't made a move yet, from what I gather, and the Bills have not been shopping Schobel, but in the end people I talk to think he will be dealt. And I know that this staff of coaches absolutely loved Schobel in Buffalo, but who knows how much weight that would carry 'cause they're not calling the shots.

What's not to like? Schobel is 29 (30 in September), he's never missed a game in his career, has at least eight sacks every season since his rookie year (2001), has topped 10 sacks three of the last four years. Believe it or not, over the last six years (the length of Schobel's career), only one active player, Rice, has more sacks in the entire NFL. Talk about flying below the radar in Buffalo.

Check this out, among active players the last six years:
G Sacks Tckls
Simeon Rice 95 62.5 262
Aaron Schobel 96 60.5 351
K Gbaja-Biamila 86 58.5 221
Jason Taylor 92 58 342
Dwight Freeney (5 yrs) 79 56.5 169
Jevon Kearse 80 55 221
John Abraham 73 53.5 278
Julius Peppers (5yrs) 76 53.5 250
Trevor Pryce 87 51.5 244

Burgess comes in with 35.5 sacks in 61 games (18th on the list) to go with 164 tackles, and he has been a monster the last two years, with 27 sacks in that span. Strahan has 47 sacks in this span, tied for 11th.

As for the current Skins, well Daniels has 29 sacks in 61 games the last six years - 12 in three seasons as a Redskin - and Carter has 38 sacks in 85 games the last six years, and a meager12.5 over the last three seasons. But there are no issues on the D Line. Nope. Everything is peachy. Smoot, Macklin and Landry save the day. Nothing to see here. Move along.

For those who do consider the line to still be the primary area of concern, however, wouldn't you think the owner would try to get something done for Schobel? I know he and Small Market Ralph Wilson aren't exactly best buds, but maybe there's a deal to be made anyway.

By Jason La Canfora  |  May 5, 2007; 10:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

First! Gotta fix that D line.

Posted by: go skins | May 5, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't mind the skins giving up picks for Schobel. It would be well worth it. He is the player we need. Good work JLC

Posted by: j | May 5, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

3rd??

Posted by: alexander | May 5, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Now this is a good blog JLaC - full of information and not much fillers. I'm even willing to overlook the spelling errors !!!

Posted by: GramPo | May 5, 2007 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure either are worth high draft picks. Maybe a 3rd for Schobel...

Will Smith would nice!

Posted by: Rob | May 5, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

hmmmmm...reading between the lines, it sounds like JLC and others close to the team KNOW that the D line is in poor shape, but I don't see anything indicating that JG and DS are as interested. How is it that this Schobel cat is flying so low below the radar? I almost wish JLC didn't post about him because now I'll be obsessed with us landing him. Sorry if any of you blog regulars mentioned him. I can't read every post.

As for this talk of Blaylock...sounds good to me. I remember him filling in for PH and LJ on a couple of occasions. I think he scored four touchdowns in one game. Maybe three. Anyway, I have absolutely no problem with giving Saunders all of the pieces he needs. I have a feeling we're going to be in top 5 offense territory. Just a feeling. It would be nice to get a couple more solid O lineman and Keyshawn Johnson. As bad as last year was. I think that we saw the beginning of one of the most prolific running games since the days of PH and LJ in KC - seriously.

And, just a question: what's up with all the hating? You guys riding JLC as he deals with a newborn and a sick child are REALLY sick. Please stop it. The guy puts Saturday out there because he probably wanted to motivate himself to get the stroy ready. Had he missed it, I'm sure some of you haters would have stuck around until 12 to call him on it because you're losers and it's very likely that you have nothing else to do. Now that he has written it, why aren't you discussing it?

Posted by: nyskinsfan | May 5, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

They should give a 2nd or third for shcobel And for WIll smith a 1st round pick

Posted by: Alexander | May 5, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Jason, you say Schobel is a no brainer, but in 3 years when Schobel is 33, you'll be saying that the Skins wasted a pick on an old grandpa.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Release Brunell. That frees cap space to pay for Schobel. He's a good man, but sorry, he's done. Collins knows Saunders' offense better anyway. Why all the talk of Springs being shown the door, when he's the best cover corner on the team?

Posted by: sieskani | May 5, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

10th!!!

Posted by: ME | May 5, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with nyskinsfan....i wont be able to relax till we get this guy. Or some guy to help us. But like that guest blog stated a few days ago, the D-line's production didn't decrease that much vs. the DB's and the LB's. And I think its a testament to Grilliams system to be able to pinpoint the exact causes of the drop offs.

Lets see, over that span we lost Smoot( who kicked ass in this system if i recall), Pierce, LaVar, Clark, Harris....and who else?....we try to replace Pierce with Lamar, Smoot with Rogers, Harris with...((shudders))....Kenny Wright. All because they thought that ANYone could be thrown into the system. Pompus asses.....oh well. I mean dont get me wrong, they definitely need help. Those guys are getting old. Id be ok with maybe a 2nd rounder or 2nd and 7th or something like that.

HAIL TO THE REDSKINS

Posted by: shadam242 | May 5, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

No luv for Streetsmart the Derby winner or Fight Night here soon?ha!

This blog is too complicated for a Saturday night reading-ha again!

Thanks...

Posted by: Pink C.C.- | May 5, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Schobel is sick!

Bring it! What do we need to drop? 2nd rounder? More?

(A big Will Smith fan)

Posted by: Big Murf | May 5, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

i heard clayton say on the hudddle we were very interested in alex brown. i guess thats false

Posted by: jesse | May 5, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

How about Alex Brown for next year's 2nd round pick? Duh.

Posted by: charlie | May 5, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I think we can trade a sack of footballs for Schoebel because if the contract is more than a couple of pages, Ralph Wilson won't be able to understand what he is signing. And Marv Levy can't read it without his spectacles.

We could seriously offer Springs for Schoebel if we thought we could live without him (I don't). The Bills never did back-fill Clements and the idea that a better pass rush would let us get away with lesser corners is one with a lot of adherents.

Personally, I wouldn't do anything until the June 1 cuts have been announced. You never know, with all the new head coaches, who will be deemed expendable next.

Posted by: Meatsnack | May 5, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

When our defense was ranked second, we did it w/ our d-line stopping the run. Thats what we need...not a pass rusher, a run stopper. Get a dt that will help stop the run. Any others available the redskins are looking at (i know redding and jenkins are available). Outside of those two. We can cause pressure using our safties/lbs/and corners if we need to generate a pass rush. GET A DEFENSIVE TACKLE!

Posted by: Meraj | May 5, 2007 11:46 PM | Report abuse

I would love Schobel, but I don't want to give up a 1 him, and I'd be wary of a 2. We'd be better off limping through this year and then spending the pick on a DE next draft, in the long run. Truth is, even if we get Schobel we may still have to use a remaining first day pick on a DL.

So my question is, can we get the inferior player (Burgess) for a smaller price? Again, I would HATE to give up a 1 or 2 for a player who will be over 30 soon. Burgess is a year younger than Schobel, so that's a plus, and he has less wear since he wasn't used much early. Obviously he's not worth a 1, but at least if they gave up a 2 they would be getting value for it, unlike the moves last offseason. The Skins don't have a 3, which is a real problem. I'm also afraid that Oakland will not deal him unless the Skins make a lopsided offer, so maybe it will be easier to get Schobel even though he's better than Burgess.

Posted by: Newbie | May 6, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

JLC,

I love your blog and enjoy your articles, but it's starting to appear that you have some strange emotional distaste for anything affiliated with the Burgundy and Gold. You obviously disdain Snyder and, while I don't blame you, I do wonder whether it has colored your view of the Redskins' roster and front office moves.

I agree that the Redskins have a lot left to be answered, particularly on defense and the defensive line. But, what team doesn't have holes? Name me one team that doesn't have major questions and I'll find them for you. The Colts let everyone in the world go on defense and the Bears still have yet to find their QB. As for the Almighty Pats, let me just say that if the Redskins paid as many people as much money as the Pats have (e.g., RANDY MOSS, trading a 2nd rounder for Wes "Who" Welker), you'd probably be ripping them a new one.

Before you accuse me of being an extremeskins dork, let me just say that I am not. I do not drink their coolaid, am quite aware that Art is a major toolbag with an inflated sense of self-importance, and do not otherwise tow the company line. But, I write to suggest that the tone of your articles suggests that you have some personal gripe with the team, its owner, and/or its coaches that may be unduly coloring your analysis.

Posted by: ??? | May 6, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Can't fix everything in one year. It's going to take time to rebuild the defense.

Posted by: jason | May 6, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

For any of you who have not read it yet, do yourselves a favor and read Howard Bryant's article on Double G adjusting his defensive scheme. Much debate has been made on here regarding the coverage ability of Reaper. Well, I guess this will be the year we finally know for sure. He shouldn't be biting on any play action. His main responsibility is going to be covering the deep part of the field which hopefully will translate into a bunch of picks.

I gotta take issue with a couple things JLC pointed out here. Yeah we all know we could use some help on the DL. But I don't believe the Skins ever deemed Smoot not good enough. They just were not willing to pay the money Minny was offering. And they admitted their mistake when they resigned him this offseason. "Macklin is a solid fourth corner." - Perfect, that is exactly what we signed him to be. Smoot and Macklin are hands down better than that stellar Rumph/Wright combo.

For a guy who follows Baltimore to dismiss the possibility a safety can make a contribution early on in their career is short sighted. See Ed Reed. And not even saying Landry is going to be as good as Ed Reed. But Donte Whitner has a very solid rookie year at S for Buffalo last year. Landry is at least as talented and should have plenty of opportunities to make plays near the line of scrimmage and on the blitz.

What is up with Bears players? Alex Brown is apparently demanding at least 10M in guarantees in a new deal. Leave him alone the same as Briggs. If the Redskins were smart, they would pick up some depth along the DL from the June 1st cuts. They can not afford to go into next offseason with only 2 picks in the first 4 rounds of the draft again. I don't think winning the Super Bowl is going to rest on the trading for either Schoebel or Burgess.

Posted by: cdubb | May 6, 2007 12:37 AM | Report abuse

That was a great fight for boxing purists... not sure Oscar won, but it was a close fight. Congrats to the new champ

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

A force on the end is worth a second rounder. I'd have not problem giving up a second for Schobel OR Burgess OR Brown... Alex Brown would be a steal and eat up blockers. Best wait until the June 1 cuts, but... they need to do something... Lets not get overly sensitive about our draft picks. We have ALL of them right now. And why would you cut Brunell????? unless he's not healthy, you cut Collins...

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

I would have a serious problem with the Skins giving up a 2nd rounder for an AGING stud. The guy is going to be 30 this season. So basically we'd be giving up a HIGH pick for a guy who has about another season left in the tank before he starts heading downhill and has to retire within 4 or so seasons?

Posted by: ???? | May 6, 2007 12:56 AM | Report abuse

As opposed to the average 4 years you get out of a second round pick? Someone playing at a high level in the trenches makes all the difference. We take care of OL, lets do the same with the D

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 1:03 AM | Report abuse

2 Probowlers...
2003 second round:

33 Cincinnati Bengals Eric Steinbach Guard Iowa
34 Detroit Lions Boss Bailey Linebacker Georgia
35 Chicago Bears Charles Tillman Cornerback Louisiana-Lafayette
36 New England Patriots Eugene Wilson Safety Illinois
37 New Orleans Saints Jon Stinchcomb Offensive Tackle Georgia
38 Dallas Cowboys Al Johnson Center Wisconsin
39 Jacksonville Jaguars Rashean Mathis Cornerback Bethune-Cookman
40 Minnesota Vikings E.J. Henderson Linebacker Maryland
41 Houston Texans Bennie Joppru Tight End Michigan
42 Seattle Seahawks Ken Hamlin Safety Arkansas
43 St. Louis Rams Pisa Tinoisamoa Linebacker Hawaii
44 Washington Redskins Taylor Jacobs Wide Receiver Florida
45 New England Patriots Bethel Johnson Wide Receiver Texas A&M
46 San Diego Chargers Drayton Florence Cornerback Tuskegee
47 Kansas City Chiefs Kawika Mitchell Linebacker USF
48 Buffalo Bills Chris Kelsay Defensive End Nebraska
49 Miami Dolphins Eddie Moore Linebacker Tennessee
50 Carolina Panthers Bruce Nelson Center Iowa
51 Denver Broncos Terry Pierce Linebacker Kansas State
52 Cleveland Browns Chaun Thompson Linebacker West Texas A&M
53 New York Jets Victor Hobson Linebacker Michigan
54 Arizona Cardinals Anquan Boldin Wide Receiver Florida State
55 Atlanta Falcons Bryan Scott Safety Penn State
56 New York Giants Osi Umenyiora Defensive End Troy State
57 San Francisco 49ers Anthony Adams Defensive Tackle Penn State
58 Indianapolis Colts Mike Doss Safety Ohio State
59 Pittsburgh Steelers Alonzo Jackson Linebacker Florida State
60 Tennessee Titans Tyrone Calico Wide Receiver Middle Tennessee State
61 Philadelphia Eagles L.J. Smith Tight End Rutgers
62 San Diego Chargers Terrence Kiel Safety Texas A&M
63 Oakland Raiders Teyo Johnson Tight End Stanford
64 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dewayne White Defensive End Louisville

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 1:07 AM | Report abuse

GM,

Let me just say that I am glad that you are not our GM. You sound an awful lot like a guy who buys into the "kill our future to help our present" mentality. Ya know, the mentality that has gotten us to the point we are at now (i.e., we need to help the present by screwing our future, because in the past we screwed the present). You don't trade 2nd round picks for 30 year olds unless you play too much Madden.

I'd killl for OG Steinbach, WR Boldin, DE Umenyiora, S Wilson, CB TIllman, or CB Mathis. And guys like S Hamlin, CB Florence, TE Smith, and DE White are great guys. I'd also like to mention that several current recent members of our team were former 2nd rounders or worse (e.g., TE Cooley, RB Betts, RT Jansen, OG Dockery, etc).

Moreover, your notion that you only get 2nd rounders for 4 years is simply wrong. Many rookie contracts for 2nd rounders are for 5 or 6 years. And, on average, those 5-6 years are for some of the player's best years. Players aren't like fine wines and while there is a learning curve, players don't improve after the age of 30....in fact, they decline quite rapidly.


Posted by: ???? | May 6, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit it...I do want the DE from Buf cuz it would make the madden 08 skins' unstopable. The offense is stellar and the D just needs that solid pass rush of a good DE.....sigh......

I'd rather have a good player who can help us now cuz he knows the system than a "sure thing" 2nd rounder. The move makes sense now because we have the makings of a great season or three with the current team, including Schobel.

But I'd trade em all away if we could just get T. Jacobs back.....for even just one game!!!

Posted by: shadam242 | May 6, 2007 2:33 AM | Report abuse

last year we were a receiver and safety away from winning it all. now this year we are only a d end away. are vinny and danny writing up here under pen names? wtf.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 3:18 AM | Report abuse

"And, just a question: what's up with all the hating? You guys riding JLC as he deals with a newborn and a sick child are REALLY sick. Please stop it. The guy puts Saturday out there because he probably wanted to motivate himself to get the stroy ready. Had he missed it, I'm sure some of you haters would have stuck around until 12 to call him on it because you're losers and it's very likely that you have nothing else to do. Now that he has written it, why aren't you discussing it?"

JLC has a job just like the guys he puts down on his blog. His personal life has no bearing on this blog or his reports, except that he chooses to share it with us.

I just want JLC to discuss why the same defensive line that got us into the second round of the playoffs a season ago, isn't as good now? Did Carter make the D-Line worse? We have never had a top quality DE, but yet we've had awesome defenses. What gives? Is it age? Is it injury? Is it a lack of the front office making a big splash at those positions? Please explain, JLC.

Posted by: Cornelius | May 6, 2007 3:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand your point Jason. They weren't very good with their D-line play last year. That is true.

But, they also weren't good with their linebacker play or secondary play. I believe their defense rendered the most passing TDs last year and the most passes for more than 20 yards. In which case you could argue for the need to improve the secondary.

You can find plenty of statistics when you are the worst defense in the league (I know they were 31st in yards, but considering everything they were really by far the worst Defense last year) to justify riding any of the players from Taylor to Rogers to M. Washington to Griffth into a backup role if not off the team.

The fact is every single member of the defense regressed last year compared to 2005 and especially 2004 (save for the rookies, by definition). I don't think there was any real analysis in the article about what were the real problems with the defense. I think you have to say that the GW did a very poor job of coaching and that there were consistently poor tacklying, poor communication, and what looked like just bad play from just about every player on that side of the ball.

In 2004 when no one could run on the Redskins, the D-line was Daniels, Griffth, Salavea, and Wynn. The real question is: have these guys gotten so bad in two mere years that the defense went from 3rd in the league to 31st by yardage? Of course not, but when every player on your defense regress in a year then there is a problem beyond personnel.

I don't know how to solve the defense, but I do know that the secondary maybe the most talented in the league. The linebackers have some talent, too, with Fletcher, Washington, and McIntosh. Griffth and Carter are talented and Kedric has potential. All in all that is a very talented Defense. If all of these guys got on the same page and tackled the way the 2004 Redskins defense played, then they will be sucessful. If all of this talent plays and tackles like the 2006 Redskins defense, then they will probably be in the 31st in defense again.

GW has enough talent on defense and substantially more than he did in 2004. Let's see what he can do with it in 2007.

Posted by: AKB | May 6, 2007 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Daniels, Griffth, Salave'a, and Wynn

What do these guys have in common? They are too old, too slow, and too beat up to be effective in the NFL. After age 30, defensive lineman become great door stops, but they can no longer stop the run, and they can no longer get to the passer. Successful teams use the draft to counter this problem by drafting young, quality defensive linemen on a regular basis. Teams with no draft picks and salary cap problems (like the Redskins) grab whatever players they can afford to sign and play them until they are done. The defense gets worse each year because old linemen are less capable of doing the job each year. Maybe the linebackers and secondary will be better this year, and maybe they won't. The one thing for sure is that the defensive line will be worse as it stands now, and a good defense begins and ends with the defensive line. The Redskins' defense under Gibbs in the 80's and early 90's was consistently good because the defensive line was one of the best in the league. Daniels, Griffth, Salave'a, and Wynn would have been backups on that line, if they made the roster at all.

Posted by: Father Time | May 6, 2007 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys suggesting we play Schlobel oppisit Carter or in place of Carter?I love the idea of picking up Schlobel but doesnt this bring up what was the arguement against taking Adams in the draft?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised more isn't being made of the London-Fletcher acquisition, surely meant to "free up" the defensive line the same way the corners could. After all, isn't that why we cry rivers today over the loss of Antonio Pierce?

I agree; how can Shawn Springs stay now? What's up there, too?

By the way--at some point last season some team spokesman inserted the reminder that, when Saunders originally went to K.C., their team had the same sort of dismal first season from him. From then on, though, things improved, well, significantly. That should be factored in; someone on your staff should get on what made such a difference back then, or we'll all get suspicious this has been laid on in advance: Gibbs gets a five-year deal to come in, not the typical four; Year Three you get the new one; and then there's an upswing, somewhat inevitable, just in time...which just happens to be 2008, too!

Posted by: Heyday | May 6, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse


Good blog JLC. One thing though..as good as Schoebel is he will be 30 in September!!! It would be foolish to spend top dollar and give up draft picks for a DE that would at best give you TWO good years. You have to do a better sell job than that JLC. The Skins have enough old geezers on the team with huge contracts. As good as Shawn Springs is, when the Skins signed him I questioned it because he was 28 or 29 at the time...that's pretty darn old for a corner and look what's happening now...he has a huge contract. I like Springs but he has about 2 good years left at best at the CB position. Many of the other NFC teams have upgraded with young and/or fast WRs.

Skins need depth and YOUTH JLC, not geezers looking for a huge pay day. You didn't put Burgess' age on the blog I don't think.

Skins need to save their picks and only deal some of them if the players are really good and around the ages of 26 or 27.

Posted by: Baller4Life | May 6, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

As usual this blog sucks. Nothing new except for the ever increasing smugness and hate for the team from JLC, whose only "insider" might be ESPN Insider because I doubt anyone really talks to him. I honestly don't understand how a Skins fan can sit here and listen to this kind of crap from a ratbirds fan who obviously dislikes your favorite team. It is trash like this that made me stop buying the Post.

Posted by: Rob | May 6, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

All you JLC haters, If you don't like it...LEAVE, but quit whining about grammar mistakes etc. like little biatches. Leave this blog to the people that enjoy it.

I am NOT for giving away future draft pics for a 30 plus DLman. The skins upgraded the D as best they could, lets see if having the Reaper play mostly pass, and upgrading the secondary will allow a few more blitzing schemes. If they can effectively shut down the pass, than they can focus more on the run with putting Landry and some LB help up front. 2 or 3 more sacs a game is all you really need. They don't HAVE to come from a DLman.

Posted by: monkalicious | May 6, 2007 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Cornelius,

Lighten up, d*ck. It's a blog. I don't know what JLC's job requirements are, but I'm thinking that this blog is not the highest priority - or at least posting on it. All this research, phone calls, etc. takes time. I for one appreciate the "insider" slant. It was interesting to hear that people in the organization are concerned about the D Line, just as it was interesting to hear that others in the league think we are only a few moves away from being a real force. JLC gets information that I appreciate. Not long ago, in the spring/summer months, you could count on maybe one or two articles related to the skins. Now we've got something that is much better than that.

Posted by: nyskinsfan | May 6, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about had bad the defense was last year, how about how bad the offense was and how much pressure that put on the D. These old guys and rookies were on the field alot, if the O could move the ball we might have a fresher defense that can make some plays. With Soup this year maybe that will improve

Posted by: Tappahannock | May 6, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

JLA,

Great article. Way to bring it up here with the truth and facts. We've got a lot of hope filled fans on here that put on the blinders every year and throw logic out the window. I used to be one myself, but I am getting a little better at testing out what's spun up before I start buying into it.

The defensive line was awful and is filled with aging, injury prone players. Those are the facts and they are undisputed. The defintion of insanity; "doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result".

Hopefully what you say is true~ The Redskins will hold on to Springs, AND grab one impact player on the d-line. AND next year draft a couple of rush ends and a top shelf corner with whatever is left of their 08 picks.

To think we can jump up from 31st to top 15 this year based on 2 and a half quality players added, I don't see any reason to beleive that. Plus like other diehard fans that have thrown cash on this team, to include training camp, draft parties, regular season games, merchandise..and been sold a bill of goods each year..the hoping for the best plan has gotten pretty old. If FO delivers up even one home play-off game, then lets start mixing the Kool-Aid.

Speaking of the front office; knoweledge of a problem & unwillingness or inability to solve it with action = sterility.

Posted by: DTC | May 6, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Jason!

Posted by: Joe The Fan | May 6, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Tappahannock makes a good point about the correlation of O success to D success, the rising tide lifts all boats sort of argument... something I tried to convey up here a few days back: whoever we add or subtract from now 'til September, we have to see improvement on almost every unit on the team or it will be another tough year to be a fan.

Everybody has to do their jobs better than they did last year, from the coaches to the 45th man on the roster, every down of every game. That's the bottom line.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

(Is it still 45 men on the active roster? I should have checked before posting that.)

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jason for the DE news on this post, and for all of your efforts to make this a truly great and informative blog.

I usually don't comment, in fact this is my first time, but I feel compelled to say one thing:

I feel sorry for the people who criticize you and have the nerve to attack you personally. I will not dignify them with a name because they are unworthy of even the vilest of comments or labels.

I really appreciate your courage in reporting what you gather and your willingness to put yourself out here like that despite your knowing that fools are lurking in the shadows.

Keep on doing what you're doing - this is great!

Posted by: Undefeated | May 6, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

???? your ignorance is an extremest reaction to what the franchise has done in the past few years. The game is won in the trenches... none of those guys are 30 - Burgess is 28 - Smith is 26. Brown is 25. My point with posting the 2nd round from '03 - how many of those guys have you never heard much from in the NFL? The players mentioned above are all proven commodities. We've ssen them play vs NFL competition. But then again... I loved having Taylor Jacobs around as much as the next man....

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Schobel is 29 - both he and burgess were probowlers last year

Posted by: GM | May 6, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

QUOTE:
"Carter doesn't have the size or acumen to demand double teams"

Jason, you are DEAD WRONG! It is really not fair to the readers for you to say such a thing, when the game film from last season says otherwise.

Please go back and re-watch the game film before you post things that are not true. That is crappy journalism at best.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

GM - Yes Schobel is 29 but will be 30 by the start of the season. If we give him the long term deal he is seeking we will be in the same boat with him in 2 years that we currently are with the rest of the DL. Declining overpaid players. We can not continue to keep signing every big name player who is unhappy with their current team/contract. That is how we got into these salary cap problems to begin with.

Posted by: cdubb | May 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

We don't need to give up any of our draft picks.

"If they go over the middle, I'll bet on him. I'll give him a dollar if he take T.O. out," said Lou Valdin, Landry's coach at Hahnville High. "He'll shut him up because he can hit you and hurt your whole family.

LMGO!

Posted by: jm220 | May 6, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

hey jm220, that's a great quote from Valdin, where diyou find that?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Jason,

Thanks for this long, informative post.

Are you sure about that spin you're putting on Smoot? I thought that when he left the 'Skins for Minnesota, the 'Skins had offered him a contract that was within spitting distance of Minnesota's. Why would they have given him such a big offer -- and bring him back -- if "they deemed Smoot not good enough"?

Posted by: KK | May 6, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Could have done a much better job with my nickname, which I've been asked to explain about a dozen times, but that would feel like starting over now that I have all this 'brand equity' tied up in the current one.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 5, 2007 05:37 PM

Nate,

If you had it to do over, what nickname would you choose instead of this well-recognized brand?

Posted by: KK | May 6, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

still out here . . .

jeremy green of ESPN says that a safety duo of dub L and reap will keep many o-coordinators up at night . . .

would certainly like to see us improve along the D-line, however am pretty stoked to see what kind of guessing games dub g is going to force opposing defenses into. . .

guv and amtts: you guys need to layout a near-term dub L milestone the blog can celebrate (aka another excuse for a happy hour in the fall). . .

nate: good point, better offense (especially rushing) will certainly hide some our defensive deficiencies - main reason I don't think we should give up draft picks to address the d-line immediately. . .

as JlaC says, we'll just have to wait until the season is underway to see how this plays out. . .

well, they certainly have my attention for now . . .

Posted by: skinsfan@8KaboveMSL | May 6, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

meant offenses

Posted by: skinsfan@8KaboveMSL | May 6, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Landry a Power Hitter article.

Posted by: jm220 | May 6, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU J-LA!!!!! For all of you who have been giving me crap for a week b/c I refused to drink the kool-aid and believe our dline was fine I say HA! TOLD YA SO! I don't have the solution (and obviously the Skins don't either) but anyone could see the problem. A safety, undersized ML, and a couple of avegare corners don't change the fact we gave up 4.5 yds/carry last year. Until we fix the dline we are a mediocre team at best.

Posted by: Jack | May 6, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have heard from people with direct knowledge of the situation that back in 04 Harris was preferred to Smoot by many at the Park.

Also, the 2 line i 2004 was three years youngers people, and teams have made myriad adjustment to williams's system since then. Now he has to counter with his tactics as well, but to act like it's great to have a ho-hum D Line baffles me. You look at where a lot of teams invest their money, and it ain't at safety, people, not when you have this line.

I agree they need to make improvements at multiple positions, and Fletcher should be a big improvement in the run game, but to me that's probably not going to be enough to get them from 31st to where they need to be. And we'll about the secondary, particularly if they do eventually get rid of Springs.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | May 6, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

J La C,

Have you heard anything about what the draft-day trade-down possibilities were for the Redskins?

I still don't understand why Buffalo didn't offer them fair value -- possibly including Schobel -- so that they could pick the running back before Minnesota snagged him at 7.

Posted by: KK | May 6, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

One other things I forgot to mention - the idea that Gregg's system somehow doesn't need, want or have a purpose for end who can rush, or natural two-gap run stuffers, boggles the mind as well.

Look at his 2003 line in Buffalo. Schobel, and they had a rookie Chris Kelsay who who turn out pretty good. Sam Adams at tackle - with five sacks- and Ryan Denney putting in a strong season at tackle. Posey gave them 5.5 sacks off the edge.

They had depth and youth and guys in their prime and guys with some freakish ability in Schobel and Adams.

You can't compare that group to this one.

Yes, he loves fire zones and lots of crazy blitzes and getting everyone involved int he pass rush, but there is a definite love of guys who can do some special things and a front four that can play straight up and get things done when need be, too.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | May 6, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

If we were going to get a DE they should get the youngest player available like Will Smith The Redskins sould trade a 2nd and a 4th. thats it he is not worth no more than that

Posted by: Alexander | May 6, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I would like to see the Redskins pick up a DE after the June cuts. Whoever lands here should get a minimal one year contract to see how he does. We do need to start getting younger there.
That being said, I disagree very much with what JLC has been saying about our defense. he says that Smoot and Macklin won't improve the DLine. That is wrong. An improved secondary will allow for more time for the DLine to get to the QB and their sack totals will go up. JLC also leaves out the improvements to the linebacking corps. LeMar Marshall was worn down last year because he is not meant to play MLB, and Warrick Holdman was flatout terrible. Those two positions have been upgraded so there will be even more improvement in pass coverage and run defense.
The most important thing that JLC doesn't understand is the Gregg Williams defense itself. In Williams defense, the primary job of the DLine is to engage the opposing OLine and keep them in place. That frees up the back seven to make the plays. They want LBs and Safeties to have a free shot at the RB or QB without interference from the OLine. If a Dlineman makes the play, then it's a bonus. Last year's defensive problems were all about the back seven, not the DLine.
Proof? Does Dan Snyder spend like a madman in free agency? Why didn't he sign anybody except reserve Boschetti for the DLine? Why did he sign LFB and Smoot? Could it be that the team has determined that the DLine was not the problem? How about the draft? They skipped DT Okoye and DE Anderson to take S Landry.
Who breaks down the game film to decide what is best for the team? Gibbs and Williams, or is it Jason LaCanfora? I trust the opinion of our coaching staff more than a blog writer who claims to have inside info, yet won't name his sources.

Posted by: midniterc | May 6, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Trade 2 more picks in the 1st 4 rounds?? Then if we suck again next year we will have a top 10 pick and not pick again til the 5th. Not to mention the fat contract that will have to be paid out to Smith or whoever that will be prohibitive of new deals for Cooley, Taylor and any other younger player we want to extend.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

GM,

I love how you cite TJ for the proposition that 2nd rounders aren't valuable and trading high picks for "proven commodities" is an obvious strategy. If you want to cite TJ, you shouldn't ignore guys like Portis (a 2nd rounder) or Cooley (a 3rd rounder).

My reaction isn't "extremist" in the slightest. I value draft picks, as do most other REAL GMs, and until a team using the Redskins' approach to personnel acquisitions actually wins something, I have every right to laugh at teams that trade away picks like they are without value.

Again, I have no doubt that the Redskins need someone along the line. And, if they can get a guy like Burgess for a 2nd rounder, I'd be happy. But when you and others talk about trading away 2nd rounders for guys who will be 30+ by mid-season, I chuckle.

Posted by: ?????? | May 6, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Easy on JlaC folks . . .

I don't always agree w/ him either but the factual info he brings to the table helps me paint a picture in my head of what is really going on at the park. . .

you can take it for what it's worth and anyone is welcome to disagree, everyone is entitled to his own interpretation of the facts, so keep it coming JlaC and let's not make it personal . . .

Posted by: skinsfan@8KaboveMSL | May 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Jason

Above you did not mention Wynn at all. Is he chopped liver?

Posted by: skinfanman | May 6, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Man, the mood is getting bitter in here ... disagreements are welcome, personal attacks can be left at the door, please.

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | May 6, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

From Redskins.com:

The Redskins have not addressed the defensive line this offseason, although Williams indicated the team may explore options via trade or free agency.

Williams expressed confidence that 2006 draft picks Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston would continue to improve on the interior defensive line.

Williams also pointed to improvement from first-year players Joe Sykes, a defensive end, and Lorenzo Alexander, a defensive tackle, this offseason. Both Sykes and Alexander participated in the Rookie Camp.

"[Montgomery and Golston] have had a great offseason," Williams said. "I'm really anxious to see how they develop. We did a good job of bringing in some young guys at that position last year."

Posted by: skinfanman | May 6, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

It looks like we have been invaded by Art's Trolls this weekend.

Posted by: Otter | May 6, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

My votes for alternate names for Nate would be "ProNate" or "SoupyNate".

Posted by: Otter | May 6, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why, why do we have to keep repeating this?

Wynn just restructured his contract!

Posted by: Lisa | May 6, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, your so adorable when you get mad!

The Dline is obviously an issue, I think JLaC rightly states that the Skins are talking out both sides of their mouth on this.

Our Dline has been bad going on 20 years...I would trade 2nd rounder for a legit end, eben a 30 year old one.

I do think Carter will be improved this year, and better LB play should slighly help but JLaC's take is unfortunately more right than it is wrong....

Posted by: chris larry | May 6, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

skinfanman,

From Jason's post (above).

"To expects Daniels and Salave'a and Daniels to find a fountain of youth - and good health - as they near the end of their careers is folly. Big Joe worried much of last year he was being phased out, and how his body would hold up, Daniels and Wynn worried about being cap casualties, and those guys know their prime is in the rear window."

I think that first line was meant to read as, "Daniels and Salave'a and Wynn". All three are mentioned in the sentences that follow.

Posted by: Otter | May 6, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Lisa,

Good point about Wynn. That he restructured his contract sounds like his point of view is "I want to be a Redskin and will do whatever I can to help". That attitude goes a long way in this age of "me-ism". Although Wynn may no longer be an every-down player, his skills are probably sufficient to be a backup, role player, or part of a rotation to help keep everyone fresh. That the Redskins asked him to restructure rather than cut him leads me to believe the FO feels he has a role to play also.

Posted by: Otter | May 6, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Who breaks down the game film to decide what is best for the team? Gibbs and Williams, or is it Jason LaCanfora? I trust the opinion of our coaching staff more than a blog writer who claims to have inside info, yet won't name his sources.

Posted by: midniterc

Based on the Redskins results in 2006, it appears that NO ONE was breaking down the film, with respect to game planning. With rare exceptions, the Redskins' defense ranged from ineffective to awful. If short term planning is that difficult, then long-term planning is a ridiculous proposition.

As for naming sources, there is a long tradition in the newspaper business of protecting sources. When you don't protect sources, they don't stay sources for very long. (They either get fired or stop talking.) Reporters develop sources over time so they can get inside information when it's needed. However, the information from unnamed sources generally has to be corroborated by other sources before it is printed.

If you need further understanding of this, you may want to pick up a copy of "All the President's Men" and read it. You might actually learn something about how the process works.

As for trusting the coaching staff? Have some more KoolAid - it's wonderful!

Posted by: Otter | May 6, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

monkalicious,

Please do not tell people to talk trash about J-Lac's blogs, if he is going to put up garbage, then we can call out his garbage.

Him mentioning us going after Strahan as Snyder like aging superstar veterans is the most retarted thing Ive ever heard and more farther from the truth. Name one aging superstar we've gone after since Gibbs came back.

Ive never seen a beatwriter with such an ego before.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Otter, Wynn is such a stand up guy that I'm glad he is staying. I know this probably does not matter to most of you but it does to me (witness: I was the only person who gave Brunell any support last season - basically because he is a classy guy).

Wynn was a co-host on Comcast's Monday Night Live last season - along with Jon Jansen and I was so impressed with him on a personal level. I know you all are thinking "so what - can he still play?" but I do have a strong feminine side and I like that kind of thing.

Posted by: Lisa | May 6, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

O Danny boy, the pipers are a-calling.
They seem to say, "It's time to pay up now."
The draft is gone and all the vets are falling.
You've stumbled bad, and killed the sacred cow.


But come ye back when summer tempts the hopeful,
Or when FedEx is hushed and white with snow.
'Though I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
O Danny boy, O Danny boy, I hate you so.

Posted by: Redskinderry Air | May 6, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

You're right. He does mention Wynn. Boy is that a relief!

So how many do we carry? Eight? Four DTs and four DEs? And you rotate DLmen a lot more than you rotate OLmen. I thought about this watching Rome where during battle the one guy blows a whistle which signals those first in line go to the back and the next one steps up and engages in the fighting. Hmm. If they make us change the name from Redskins maybe it should be the Washington Centurians. After all, America is the new Roman Empire.

Posted by: skinfanman | May 6, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

JLC - First, using A.Carter's sack total from when he played as a OLB at SF is ignorant and completely irrelevent to his abilities to rush the passer as a DE.

Second, take some time and actually listen to what Gregg Williams says, he knows what he is talking about......you don't. Expect more 4-6 and cover-1 packages. He plan's to keep Taylor out of the box and back in coverage hunting WR and allow Landry to hunt the ball......and Williams has been very impressed with Landry so far.

Watch the game from last year.....watch how fast QBs were getting the ball away on us! There was no coverage down field. The secondary was riddled with injuries and L.Marshall struggled to keep the front seven lined-up right. Flecther will resolve this issue at MLB and Marshall should thrive going back to his natural OLB position and will probably be starting week1 and thats not a knock on Rocky who will see plenty of play time this year.

The D-line will be fine with or without any new additions and if the opportunity to bring in the right player for the right place is there, then they will do it......and yes, Smoot and Macklin will help dramatically. Macklin was highly underrated last year and posted some of the best coverage stats of any corner last year and Smoot comes in at a reduced role with starter experience.

People forget that this team lost 6 games by a TD or less and we all know how hard they were hit with injury. All we really need at this point is depth.

Finally, who are all of these nameless sources and scouts and execs and personnel people you get all your inside info from? Are they real or just in your head? Cuz none of them seem to have names or faces.

Posted by: Mike C | May 6, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

There must be a cash bounty for providing the names of inside sources to our unfavorite Redskins web site. The flying monkeys from ES come here hoping to pick up a clue or two in their quest for the treasure chest.

Methinks we may have discovered why there was so much talk about a big shake-up in the FO. Fire them all and instantly there will be no sources.

Posted by: Jack Sparrow | May 6, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

J LC,

I guess I still don't understand your logic. What if any effect does the middle linebacker have on stopping the run up the middle? Is that position all about stopping the pass? Why get London Fletcher? Why not stick with Marshall? You aren't painting a complete picture when you exclude the linebackers and
linebacker blitzes from run stopping? You can't stop the run with just the DTs in today's NFL. The OL's are just too big, too fast as are the fullbacks. Now factor in safety blitzes on run stopping.

That is why you hear the coaches talking about coverage corners and how critical they are. Think about the 'Skins defense under Schottenheimer, and Lewis. Who was there? Arrington and Bailey. Which of the DT's or DE's made all pro then? Can you think of any?

I think you need to talk to good coaches not front office types. They make far too many mistakes by placing players in certain "boxes". The best coaches adapt their systems to the players they have. Not vice-versa. That is why Gibbs is in the hall of fame. That is why Saunders had problems last year. That is why Williams had problems last year.

Can you compare apples and apples and not apples and oranges? Try looking at the middle of the defense with Landry, Taylor and Fletcher plus the DT's.

Posted by: periculum | May 6, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Why would you read something if you are going to question the journalistic integrity of its writer? While I don't agree with everything JLC writes I highly doubt he would just make stuff up and some of it is his opinion. If you read articles on ESPN or anywhere they always cite unnamed sources.

It would be nice in the coming weeks if we could get some info on guys that may be in danger of being cut June 1 around the league. Could give a better idea of if there will be anyone available that could help us along the DL without requiring player or draft pick compensation.

Posted by: cdubb | May 6, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Man, the mood is getting bitter in here ... disagreements are welcome, personal attacks can be left at the door, please.

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | May 6, 2007 01:02 PM

Doc Gonzo... You ever watch "The Deadliest Catch" about the Alaskan crabbers? Well lack of sleep and overwork and low numbers of crabs in their bucket makes them very very grumpy and bitter. But all it takes is to haul in a trap full to the brim and suddenly everyone is as happy as, um, clams.

When the 'skins start to win, the bitterness goes.

Of course there will still be some A-holes. There's never a shortage of A-holes.

Posted by: CORKCZAR | May 6, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

On the topic of sacks.

What defense works best? One where linebackers or safeties blitz on the run and pass and cause the sacks? Where the emphasis on the line is on stopping the run? How important are QB hurries?

Try looking at another statistic. How many of those sacks you list for those DE's came on 4 man rushes? How many of those lineman play in 4 - 3 defenses? How many in 3 - 4 defenses?

I don't see sacks as just a function of the defensive line. I think run stopping is their most important function. However, even then they can't do it alone. DT's are there to stop the offensive lineman. So that other players can get free to make tackles and sacks.

Its a team sport. You have two stellar all-pro safeties. They can blitz, they can stop the run. Make open field tackles. They can cover people. And you don't know where they are going to be.

Posted by: periculum | May 6, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

To Mike C,

Great post. I'm glad to see that at least one person understands the Gregg Williams defense. With the changes on defense this year, and the hope that there's no key injuries, we are set to get back into the top ten on defense.

Posted by: midniterc | May 6, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a lot of trust in Grilliams. I don't get where this comes from. This is a man that has run out his welcome everywhere he has been. He rolls players under the bus and believes all the hype about how much of a genius he is.

People, this is the man that brought in the Archu-bingus, Andre Carter, rumph, kenny chesney (wright) and others. They were his people. He had a wish list and that's who we got. He thinks it doesn't matter who runs his schemes because they are so great.

JLC points out that the D line is defficient. There isn't a D-line in the whole league that I wouldn't trade ours for. 2 'nice story' 6th round picks that wouldn't start for a single team besides ours, a pair of mid 30s DEs that couldn't sniff the QB for 16 weeks last year and an undersized 'physical player' that gets bludgeoned on the run and NEVER scares a LT while he gets blocked one on one. No idea how anyone can disagree with this, let alone start attacking the man that makes this whole discussion possible. Some simmer down is needed at this time.

Don't come in late to dinner then complain about the food being cold.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | May 6, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else get the feeling that Snyder demanded his entire front office to write in on this blog?

Posted by: mugamack | May 6, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, forgot to mention this. There really aren't that many super tight DEs around. I am talking about those 'other level' dudes that can get double digit sacks in any scheme. They just are not out there as there are really only a handful of them in existence. If you recall when we had that #2 D, it was all about stopping the run and finding ways to create pressure. Our DTs were nasty and the LBs were tight. That to me is the biggest need. We need DT upgrades. There are more serviceable-good DTs out there who can fit into a scheme and be successful.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | May 6, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I think we need d-linemen, but how did Williams manage to have such an effective D for two years without anyone of note on the D-line? Moreover, while Andre Carter isn't a stud, he's good enough to beat out Wynn/Daniels (who were our DEs in 2005/2006). Age and injuries are a factor, but history has shown that Williams CAN put together a good defense without a stud DE/DT. Whether he WILL do so this season is another question.

Posted by: ????? | May 6, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The nightmares, I'm still having the nightmares.

The ones where Steven Jackson and Tiki Barber take turns gliding effortlessly through an area known as 'the line of scrimmage', almost relieved to reach the defensive backfield where they can start deciding which direction will yield the most additional yards. Those nightmares.

Tiki Barber, 23 carries for 234 yards, on my freakin' birthday to boot.

Something was broken with our defense last year. It wasn't one guy, it wasn't one unit or one coach. You don't rank that low without a bunch of things being busted.

We got help at CB, LB and safety. If I recall correctly we also got a little help on the coaching staff -- addition by subtraction. We still need help at D line.

Oh yeah, and the movie playing up here on the blog, Attack of the Clowns, I've seen it before, and it sucked. If you hate Jason's writing and you hate this blog, for your own sake I implore you to stop reading it. There have to be better things for you to do with your time and energy. As for us, we lowly regulars, we'll keep wallowing in it, because we like it. Now begone with ye.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Nate!

You and AMTTS are saving this blog. Is it me, or does this seem like a coordinated effort to discredit JLac and pump up the Skins front office? It can't just be coincidence that 6 or 7 haters pop up at the same time.

We need to talk beer.

Posted by: mugamack | May 6, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I must say, the D-Line is by far the largest area of concern and JLC makes a good point of focusing on it in his blog. The DE from Buffalo would be a nice fit, we don't need another Carter who gets shoved out of the way on running plays and only gets his sacks when we're out of the playoff chase. If it takes a second or third round pick next year, so be it. We need D-Line help and we're not getting better with what we've got. Keep up the great work JLC, and to all the "haters" out there, get a life. Everyone acts big and strong hiding behind their keyboards.

Posted by: Rich in Tampa | May 6, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Art has managed to convince enough people to follow an idiot. Has anyone else read his site and seen how he tries to smash anyone who takes a realistic or pessimistic look at the team? If the guy is going for the "lets all tow the company line" approach, he's doing a great job. If the guy wants to have an open debate about things, he's doing a pathetic job. The sad thing is that people on that site are afraid to even question him. It's pathetic how many losers he's managed to convince to suck his ****.

Hating done....

Posted by: ?????? | May 6, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

mugamack, if I hadn't been so disheartened by all the 'don't send beer through the mails' stuff I read after I promised to send you some Caldera, you'd be able to crack one open right now.

The blog is fine. Same as it ever was. It's the best of blogs, it's the worst of blogs. People who don't get it are just not going to get it, and people who don't get it AND come up here trying to bait us into fights... fuhgeddaboudit.

Lisa, the new house is rocking, thanks for asking. My father-in-law, a longtime contractor, is visiting and basically knocking out a punch list. Better and better.

KK, Otter, the nickname I would have used up here if I had put any thought into it (had it dawned on me that the blog would become a sort of low-key obsession) would probably have been 'He Nate Me.'

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I totally forgot to mention making a visit to Turner Field last week for Braves-Phillies.

Yes, I staunchly believe that 'Redskins' is an objectionable nickname, perhaps the worst in sports and something I'd like to see changed in my lifetime, however unlikely that may be.

But I had to tip my Nats hat to the good people of Atlanta, whose Tomahawk Chop and accompanying "OOOOH-oh-OH-oh-OHHH' chant I had to witness myself to really appreciate. They even have a dude beating a giant kettle drum in the outfield -- I couldn't see if he had on war paint, but I could make a guess. If not worse, this display is at LEAST as abhorrent as the 'Redskin' nickname.

Epilogue: I left at the end of the eighth inning, game tied 2-2, wanting to savor the thought that I didn't see either of our NL East rivals win the game. And of course I missed a walk-off three-run homer by Andruw Jones. I am an idiot.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

What I love about this post -- and I do hope we can start the week with a new post, maybe a Monday Morning H-Back for old times' sake??? -- is right at the top. There it is, in the first sentence, "there are plenty of people in the building with big concerns about the D line."

So it's on their radar. Somebody is paying attention, somebody at the Park is thinking about how to improve the last unit on D which hasn't been touched so far this offseason. That's all I wanted to hear. Next question.

HAIL!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

what about signing Lavar to be a 3rd down pass rusher, maybe he'll return to the '02 form under Lewis where he got 10 sacks or sonething...dream

Posted by: lurker | May 6, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Some good info from JLC today. Its tough to say whether improving the secondary alone will improve the Dline performance. I think everyone at the Park would take a great DT/DE if they could find one - and as JLC notes, that might still happen. The offseason is young.

And hey, as for JLC call-outers, some people thrive on conflict - that's why they read this blog and complain. And honestly, at times in the past JLC has worn his disdain for the 'skins (or at least Snyder) on his blogging sleeve. If he wants to avoid getting negative reactions, he should just report and pose relevant questions, like he did today. Good show today, JLC.

Posted by: You take the good, you take the bad | May 6, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Some of you really need to take a deep breath. If you disagree with JLC just state that you don't agree with him. The attacks are a little over the top.

Posted by: jm220 | May 6, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone noticed how soft our schedule appears? We don't travel further west than Minnesota and I can't say the NFC East has gotten tougher with Philly and McNabb still up in the air. The G-Men less Tiki are not nearly as formidable with Droughns and the Cowgirls have talent, but Philips doesn't scare me as a head coach. Even with our subpar D-line, 10-6 or 11-5 is not out of the question if we can stay realtively healthy.

Posted by: Rich in Tampa | May 6, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Him mentioning us going after Strahan as Snyder like aging superstar veterans is the most retarted thing Ive ever heard and more farther from the truth. Name one aging superstar we've gone after since Gibbs came back.

Posted by: | May 6, 2007 02:49 PM


Mark Brunell

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

LOL

Posted by: Rich in Tampa | May 6, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

JLC, Ignore those with the burgundy bliders on- we badly need at least one straight-shooting columnist and you are our man. Example: I truly respect Howard Bryant but doesn't anyone notice the habitual and wholesale "Everything will now be great for the Skinz because we have a hummer-driving thug in the defensive backfield next to our other thug" in his Landry article? I realize it's a violent sport, but how far did intimidation get us last season? And Boswell? Obviously a hero, but why does he wait until the team starts to stink it up before jumping from the positive bandwagon to the negative one each year. That's what we do as fans and it's fun to dream big, but we need reporters who get dirty in the trenches and give us an honest assessment of our team through good times and bad. Bottom line: we are the best fans in the world and our team makes more money than any other. Going from our success and the current reputation of our team in the league we have every right to be skeptical and I, for one, appreciate your honesty.

Posted by: CalDaddy | May 6, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Great post. Appreciate the refreshing honesty. I love the Skins as much as anyone but I think people are kidding themselves when they argue that the coaching staff knows everything, Joe can do no wrong, etc. The management of the team is dysfunctional. I am not saying the average reader or columnist can do as good or even a competent evaluation of players. But Jason talks to coaches and scouts who can. And some of us know a lot more about managing organizations or strategic planning than the front office does, so i have no problem criticizing those aspectss at all.

Posted by: beat cal | May 6, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Any hope for Kris Jenkins (formally of Carolina)?

Posted by: Mo in CLE | May 6, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I would be curious whether Jason has ever stated a desire to avoid getting negative reactions up here... it's people like me who rush to his defense when critics and trolls show up to the party. But that defense is of the blog itself as much as of our host, who I don't recall ever asking for our help. He can dish it out, and he can take it. But he probably knows at this point that we have his back.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | May 6, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

new post

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

You don't rebuild in one season. The fact is our defense was aweful. No one stood out. So you rebuild it. We got the best defensive player, according to almost every pre-draft report that came out. Of course because it was the Skins it became the "safest" pick. Our defensive line is old and it will only break down more but was there really any DE/DT that was full proof in this draft. If you're honest you know the answer is no. Pick up a couple of Jun 1 caualties and next year take DE/DT with both the 1 and 4 picks. Use the 2 on a corner. In 2 years we get younger and stronger and our O is still relativly young.

Posted by: jbishop36 | May 6, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Damn Cal Daddy...

Why does Landry have to be a "hummer driving thug"??? Do I detect some racial stereotyping???

Posted by: sicwidit | May 6, 2007 8:36 PM | Report abuse

CalDaddy, there was nothing at all wrong with Howard Bryant's article. It was an article on Laron Landry not on the "State of the Skins."

I enjoyed learning about Landry as I'm sure many fans did - and it was a nice break from the negativism that typically is written about the Skins.

Posted by: Lisa | May 6, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

any news on what the organization thinks about their defensive tackles and if they are working towards getting another one??

Posted by: hellers4 | May 6, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

When CONforya comes down to the park, nobody talks to that guy. He can ask all the questions he wants, but he's not getting anything real from us. We will give him a couple vanilla answers to send him chasing his tail. We only talk to a couple of the guys we like and really give them some answers and info. It's all about respect...this guy hasn't earned it.

Posted by: Miami Bound '08 | May 6, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

last...

Posted by: ironcain | May 6, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I love it when pimply-faced geeks from Extremeskins pretend to be Redskins insiders and talk trash.

Posted by: ?????? | May 6, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

it's really unprofessional when a guy who is supposed to be a journalist gives nicknames to players and attacks people on some message board. Part of the reason is JLC being a Raven's fan(and hating the skins) but this is ridiculous. He does from time to time provide some good info and thay is why i read the blog every now and then. BTW, Jason, you should really keep your personal life personal. This is REDSKINS Insider not "a day in the life of Jason La Canfora."

p.s. Before all you JLC groupies accuse me of anything, let it be known that I neither work for the skins and as for Art, well let me just say I'm not a fan of his.

Posted by: beatbox | May 7, 2007 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Schlobel would be a good pick-up. Although, you are knocking the defensive line, but the defensive line has been the one constant the last three years as the defense has gone from top 5 to 31st. The most turnover has been in the DB, linebacker positions. So to blame this debacle on the D-line seems very simplistic. Of course the age and injury factors play into the equation, and I can see your point there. But a gregg williams defense doesn't often produce 10+ sacks for any individual d-lineman. I agree we can upgrade, but I don't think our D-line is even close to worst in the league. They had a lot of pressure without significant linebacker support and downfield coverage last year. Believe it or not JLa, linebackers and d-backs can do wonders for a d-line.

Posted by: Max | May 7, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

beatbox, if you don't like it, go elsewhere. The people who spend time here and contribute regularly are very happy with the current format.

If you want an impersonal article, read the paper. It won't talk back to you and tell you about how it misses it's life in the forest...

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | May 7, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to offer something for Schobel, but just not overpay. Maybe a second rounder only, or a combination of 3rd and 5th rounders, and if they don't take it, then fine, we will limp through another season with a mad rotation at DT, Daniel holding down one side, while the ever-improving (and possibly surprising) Carter holds down the other side. Carter played at a near probowl level the last 6 games of the season last year, and that was without any coverage. I seem to remember the defense with Smoot being pretty good regardless of what the front office thought of him. A good defense really only needs one good pash rusher to get by anyway, and maybe Carter can be that guy this year. I say make a reasonable offer for Schobel, if we get him great, if not, we'll make it on the improved defense and the strength of our offense.

Posted by: J | May 7, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I still think the biggest area of concern is cover corner. They won't get far without them. Springs is the same age as Wynn and Daniels yet Jason seems content to rely on him for this critical position?

As far as tackles, sacks, hurries and turn-overs. I wonder what sort of defense a good coach could develop with Kenny Houston and Jack Tatum manning the safety positions? That is the position the current 'Skins team seems to find themselves in.

Posted by: periculum | May 7, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Jason,

I'm kinda confused by your point in this posting. At the end of season and before the draft, you critisized the front office and Joe G. for not valuing the draft. You also critisized Snyder for making too many high priced flashy free agent pick-ups.

Now this year, they don't make the flashy signing, don't trade their future picks to upgrade the DL but rather put their trust in players they drafted like Montgomery and Golston and you still critsize.

Is there anything Joe G. or the front office could do to please you? They don't sign someone and you complain, they sign someone and you complain, they trade their draft picks and you complain, they keep their draft picks and you complain. WOW, and they call the media in Philadelphia tough.

Posted by: CVille | May 7, 2007 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Let me reflect on some great Redskins D-linemen who, correct me if I'm wrong, all played on the same line at the same time:

Watching Dexter Manley crush Danny White was one of the greatest moments of pure joy I ever experienced as a 12 year old Skins fan.

Next to him on the inside we have Darrell Grant taking it ten yards into the enzone against Dallas for the NFC Championship. (different games), not to mention his massive presence taking the heat of Monte Coleman and Neil Olkewikz in the back.

Dave Butts?.......What can I say other than he was like a reinforced concrete wall! DC's basically had to write off the run on his side, and got great penetration inside.

Charles Mann was a dominate, intense, and utterly relentless DE. His level of "Professionalism" is legendary as an NFL player.

Has Gibbs forgotten how important having guys like that were to him the first time around?

It pains me.....

Posted by: Chippewa Skins Fan | May 7, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Is there a team out there that would deal a good DE for a slightly-used #1 CB? I like Shawn Springs, but we need D-line help more than secondary depth at the moment.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 8, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Look for Portis or Betts being traded in a big deal where we get a DE and then some. (Snyder can't help it) If not Schobel is the way 2 go.

Posted by: Ron Burgundy and Gold | May 13, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Using Mark Brunell to attract attention is pathetic. Please write about the Redskins and proof it before publishing! Talk about short attention span....

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