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Dr. Evil

If you asked me to play mad scientist and pick one player to pluck out of Gregg Williams's defense as an evil ploy against all of Redskin Nation, I'm taking Cornelius Griffin every single time. The defense does not have the same bite without him there - regular season, pre season, spring practice, mini camp, whatever - the pass rush falls and suddenly opponents are able to slam the ball between the hash marks with abandon.

Griffin is a quiet warrior, who draws double teams and opens up terrain for the defensive ends. When the ends start getting into the backfield, suddenly life is easier for the linebackers to make plays, and, with Griff a stud run-stopper, too, you can see what makes everything tick around here. When he went down with that knee injury a few weeks ago, you should have seen how fast Williams was sprinting out to midfield to check on him. That don't happen for just anyone.

With Griffin out (he went down against New York with a knee sprain), the Jets and Patriots ran right up the gut. There was no pass rush, and quarterbacks had time to pick apart the secondary. If Griffin's injury lingers much longer, red flags should wave. He's practicing without pads this week, with a brace on the knee, and heaven knows he's a gamer. He'll be out there at far less than 100 percent if he has to be, and he'll still be effective. But you don't want your d-linemen having to worry about their knees, and with Phillip Daniels (back) and Renaldo Wynn (ankle) hurting, too, there is ample reason for concern.

Everyone seems confident these guys will be fine for the real games, but Griffin will need several more days work with the trainers before he is cleared for more work.

Randoms: Any Libertines fans out there? Our boy Pete Dougherty is in jail again (if anyone has access to any Babyshambles stuff on the net, please email me -. I haven't heard any and at this rate it might never get a proper release). I'm not blaming Pete's galpal Kate Moss for him being a junkie and, but she does seem to have a thing for the strung out rocker/actors. Not quite to the depth of Courtney Love, but gaining on her ... Who would anyone submit their relationship to an MTV reality show at this point? I think Ed Lover and Dr. Dre were the last two to get off the air with their partnership in tact. Speaking of which. What happened to Yo! MTV Raps? Anything better than getting home from school and flipping that on with EPMD or Slick Rick kicking it with Fab Five Freddy? ... This is me accommodating a request for a shout-out on the blog. Hey there Shelby Morrison, queen of Redskins PR. We'll see if she notices. Chances are it will slip by undetected ... Anyone looking for definitive statistical Redskins resources, check out some of Rich Tandler's stuff. His team histories and compilation of box scores are a must for me on this beat, and I'm not just saying that because he gave me one for free. Okay, maybe I kind of am, but he's a really good guy who has a vast knowledge of the history of the franchise ...

I'm thinking Al Davis has totally lost his mind now. Jeff "The Teammate" George? What the bleep! What coupling will last longer: Jeff George/Art Shell or The Danny/Tom Cruise. What are the odds that Redskins.comn get the first pictures of Suri? I can imagine our buddy Larry Michael leading off his nightly news with that tidbit, Suri tucked in her Redskins onesie, with a Six Flags pacifier in her mouth and Triple-X Radio diapers on her bottom. A marketing wonder-strike ... I think Mike Espy is on his last legs. Seemed like he had chances to do a little more with the kickoffs in New England. I don't see him beating out Jimmy Farris now, much less Patten. But that's just me guessing.

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 29, 2006; 9:00 AM ET
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Next: Punters Galore


Hey Jason,

So is it likely that Espy will end up on the practice squad? How does that work? Do they have to release the player to give them a chance to sign elsewhere and then resign them to the squad or can they just sign them to keep them off the market?

Any thoughts on who your top keepers for the squad would be? I'd love for them to keep Lumsden(sp?) around.

Thanks for the blog - they should give you a raise.

Posted by: JT | August 29, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

If Griffin is Dr. Evil than who is Mr. Bigglesworth? Austin Powers?

As for kickers, how bout any of these suggestions:

Ray Finkle - Just as long as the laces are out he/she, she/he should have no problem.

Air Bud - This dog can do it all. He's played baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and yes, football. A dog that dimensional has got to be able to convert his skills over to the kicking game. Shoot, he's even got practice as a soccer player and, having previously played football, understands the responsibilities, that go with being on a top notch football team.

Lubchenko - Springfield University's star kicker. Now this guy is TOUGH. After Homer runs over his leg with his homecoming parade float Lubchenko makes the game winning kick to put SU over Springfield A& M. In doing so he also loses his leg to which Dr. Hibbert replies "The fans will whoop it up with that tonight -- you know, drink beer out of it and so on -- but, uh, it'll turn up in the morning, and I'll sew it back on." Sounds like a gamer to me.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | August 29, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Your kid wore a Ray Lewis onesie and she turned out okay.

Posted by: Your editor | August 29, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Chief, great movie references across the board (saw the Uneccessary Roughness post a few days ago). I think Mr. Bigglesworth would have to be Joe Salavea, or maybe Cedric Killings, and Austin would have to be his arch nemesis (who ultimately turns out to be his brother), Casey Rabach.

Jason, my roommate asked a great question last night: Why is there such a lack of good (not even mentioning elite) kickers and punters in the league? These are not easy tasks by any means, but how many universities are there in this country, and abroad, that have kickers and punters for four years or more? Can't any of them learn AND RETAIN proper technique and form for more than a fluke season or two?

Also, are you going to let your editor talk trash like that and get away with it? Let's see some mud fly.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | August 29, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It isn't trash talking if you have photographic proof of the adorable tot (totally her mother's child, thank God)in a purple No. 52 next to a printout of the No. 32 Vikings "Whizzinator" jersey you tried to order just as the NFL store shut that down....Anyway, you are onto something with the Salave'a/Bigglesworth pairing, so props there.

Posted by: Your editor | August 29, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

A Ravens onesie!?! Why would you torture a child like that, Jason? Senseless...

Random Lavar memory brought on by Ravens jersey talk: My favorite Lavar (off the field) moment was filmed on "While You Were Out," when he remodeled his brother's basement hang out room... or something like that. In the show he took the host, designer and carpenter to the practice field and let them run around with a football, in Skins jerseys to film a "fun" segment. In the middle of this, the host pulls off his Skins jersey to reveal a Ravens, no. 52 jersey underneath... apparently he is from Baltimore. Lavar grabbed him by the jersey, flung him around like a rag doll and ripped it off of his body. He then said something to the effect of, "You don't ever disrespect another man's house like that." Absolutely amazing...

I miss Lavar. He'll always be a Skin in my heart...

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | August 29, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

"He'll always be a Skin in my heart..."

... until he piledrives Brunell into the turf of the Meadowlands...

Posted by: Testudo | August 29, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Why is there such a lack of good (not even mentioning elite) kickers and punters in the league? These are not easy tasks by any means, but how many universities are there in this country, and abroad, that have kickers and punters for four years or more? Can't any of them learn AND RETAIN proper technique and form for more than a fluke season or two?"

Maybe if teams stop cutting kickers after every miss, they wouldn't feel so much pressure and have a chance to work on their kicking. Don't you think David Akers loves sticking it to Danny that he was let go?

Posted by: tallbear | August 29, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of how it ended, Lavar kept his chin up through some dark times, and always fully represented the franchise. For that, I am eternally greatful.

He was THE beacon of hope before Gibbs came back.

PS -- He'll have to be able to walk in order to see the field, which he'll have to do in order to pile drive anybody on our team...

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | August 29, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

jason lacanfora just moved up a notch in my book with that Yo! MTV Raps pull. That puts him at notch one. joke.

But I do wanna know whether or not he's talked to Ovechkin about him being on the cover of the new EA sports NHL game.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

... and I think they released the Babyshambles debut in the States. I've seen it on iTunes US.

Posted by: Pete Doherty is innocent! | August 29, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

This is a great blog, Jason. You're the new Larry King!

Posted by: Your editor | August 29, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey ya'll just getting caught up on the blog. Chief Wigam rocks. Dude deserves his own blog. Cindy, can we fire that up?

Yes, Chloe has a Ray Lewis onesie. She's a B-more girl. What can you do? I have family to answer to if she doesn't represent.

Babyshambles on itunes? Anyone heard it? Guess I'll buy it either way. That second Libertines album is an all-time classic.

How about the luv for Nick Novak on this blog. He's our mascot from here on out. We'll monitor him from week to week, no matter where he is.
In fact, I'll post a new entry on him now. What the heck.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | August 29, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure my friend Rich Tandler appreciates the props. BTW, you can find his stuff at

And, by the way, the mere thought of a Ravens onesie makes me want to puke!

Posted by: Nick | August 29, 2006 8:56 PM | Report abuse

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