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Final Thoughts On Free Agency

Had some free-agency related ideas/ramblings I wanted to put out there, to kind of show the mental side of the game from all perspective.

Andre Carter's second free agent trip was to Denver, after Washington. It is a town he loves, an area he grew up in a certain degree while his dad was a star D-lineman there. He's a West Coast guy, was very comfortable in California and, according to a few people who know him well, has struggled to adjust to this area and a new franchise after going from Cal to the 49ers. He hasn't looked like a fit, playing largely on third downs lately.

Carter felt he could not leave Redskin Park without at least talking to the Broncos, and he said as much to D-line coach Greg Blache as he walked to the limo to leave Redskins Park after his March visit here. Maybe his heart was telling him that would best fit there, joining the reincarnation of the Orange Crush defense he dad once made fearsome? Who knows. But clearly there were some non-football reasons for going to Denver.

Adam Archuleta's second free agent trip was planned for Chicago, after Washington. He wanted to play for his old coach in St. Louis, Lovie Smith, badly. It was a system he had thrived in, a coach he knew intimately and a franchise on the clear upswing, where defense carried the day. It seemed like a natural fit, but Archuleta never made it to the Windy City.

The Redskins were just as dedicated to winning and defense, but Gregg Williams's system was more complex and required much more out of the safeties. Archuleta spent literally an entire day, and well into the night, holed up with Williams, going over film, drawing plays, studying every nuance of the defense. He has not appeared comfortable in this system and struggled in coverage and the blitz, while trying to get a handle on the coaching staff and teammates.

That Carter and Archuleta had emotional and sentimental ties to other organizations that were pursuing them in free agency was no secret. It was in fact obvious. And to their credit, the Redskins are incredibly proactive in free agency. They do whatever possible to convince agents to make Ashburn their client's first free agent stop. Dan Snyder, a master saleseman and driven individual, is an exceptional closer, willing to spend well beyond what others would to get the players his people believe will put the team over the top. That's often what it takes.

That assertiveness, ingenuity and guile all should be commended. The Redskins get their man like no one else.

But if you step back and look at some of the ancillary things going on with the players as human beings, that, to me, is what makes free agency such a gamble and why it's so ripe for second guessing, At home sometimes do you think maybe Carter wonders what life would be like, for less salary no doubt, with the 6-2 Broncos? Could Archuleta wonder about what it might be like on the undefeated Bears, where he would be another player on a team full of other stars, and not someone bearing the burden of a potential free-agent bust as the highest-paid safety ever?

I'm not using any of this as an excuse or explanation. I just think that with pro sports being such a business nowadays, sometimes the other aspects at play in any decision besides money - location, geography, comfort, family, emotional ties - are widely overlooked. I could very, very easily see myself being lured by the big money, too (hello ESPN! Just kidding, Cindy, honestly) - it's only natural and I'm just being honest - but that's part of the bargain you make in the process. The opportunity for buyer, or seller's, remorse is rampant, and free agency is not always the cure for either side.


By Jason La Canfora  |  October 31, 2006; 12:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

Interesting perspective J-La. So, what team did Fudge-Ums really want to play for? Would he have been more comfortable in a different system too? Maybe it was all the pressure that led him/her/it to the mistakes he/she/it made w/ respect to performance enhancers...

Posted by: BooferSux | October 31, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Very good points JLC. I do believe Carter and Arch I just got burn again is here for the money. That their hearts are really not into it and that is what we see on the field. We all know when our hearts not into something we don't give 100% and that's just being honest. (except JLC Cindy lol) B Lloyd and Randel El I believe hearts are here and it shows on the field. (whenever Brunell looks to them)

JLC now man up and ask Coach Joe the real question we all want to know. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

A very interesting perspective. I have taken one job in my lifetime strictly for the money and it was probably the worst job I ever had. I left a year later for less money and don't have a single regret for it.

A friend of mine who just retired from the Navy showed me some things they hand out to people retiring. A lot of it was in how to find a civilian job. One of the first things in it was do NOT take a job just because it is offering the most money. Make sure it's the right fit. Sounds like a lot of players would be wise to look at that.

Posted by: Rich from Salisbury | October 31, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

i love our scape goat free agents... they help keep the heat off what's really the matter with the Redskins: expensive parking and long bathroom lines! No, but seriously, the problem is not the FAs we get, but the ideology of "win now." that might work in the NBA, but 11 guys working together on both sides of the ball to create wins takes time. Familiarity. Locker room commrodary. They don't have to be best friends, but they have to be on the same page. I've only seen that once (last year's playoff push) in the past 6 years and what do we do in the offseason??? Shake it up. Marty Shot was about to turn his 8-8 team into a contender and we got the ol' ball coach to shake it up. That was a bad move. Joe Gibbs came in to bring consistancy and after two years, we bring in a new offense and shook up what good things we had. Good grief. I'm out.

Posted by: Dorf | October 31, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

J La,

Interesting stuff. Wouldn't it be on the organization to take those things into account, while they bid? I guess this is part of the problem we have with no real GM. Of course having a GM isn't always the answer - look at Detroit, Houston, and some of the others.

I also think its on the coaches to give these "investments" every opportunity to excel. Not saying they haven't, but this staff surely seems to be stubborn in many aspects.

What do you guys think?

Posted by: bringbacktheposse89854726 | October 31, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I think those of us who have been in business for any length of time all know that sometimes taking the money and the big title are, in fact, steps backwards.

There are lots of factors that go into the all-elusive "happiness". With maturity comes the knowledge that money and stature are among the lowest ranking items on that list.

The most interesting statement I've ever heard on the topic is when Gregg Williams stated that he always asks something like, "Where are you now? Where are you going? Who are you doing it with?"

Quite profound, when it comes right down to it.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Great thoughts, Jason.
Its a shame the Skins couldn't think on the same lines you do. If Gibbs was so worried about the people he brought in, maybe he should have been a little more hesitant about signing guys who had emotional bonds elsewhere. Fitting into a system doesn't just means x's and o's and the Skins need to realize that.
Also, bravo on your piece in the Post on Sunday. It took a lot of guts on your part to take on the organization and address issues that some writers might be bullied into not addressing. Its pretty heroic that you were able to break down the flaws in the Skins off-season pursuits and then go into Redskins Park and face all the people you discussed in the article.
It took guts and thats what make you a great journalist.

Posted by: Scott (DC) | October 31, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

this team has the stupidest fans around,they continue to line dannyboys pocket with fat money,when in most other stadiums they would have stopped going.gibbs is not going to save this franchise and as long as he is here fans will pay(dannyboy knows that)gibbs is a coach not mgr.when he passed coaching duties on he admited his failure!and soon he will admit his mgr failures.and then youll be with new people again.recipe for losing.

Posted by: RedskinsSuck | October 31, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Random prediction. Carter has a huge day on Sunday.

Posted by: The Governor | October 31, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Hear that, J-La? The grass isn't greener in Bristol. Well, it might be, but that's chemicals, bud, and not the kind you're used to. :)
The Diddster is correct when he sez that isn't always about the benjamins. Diddster is a regular philosphiser.
You have to remember that these athletes are just like us when it comes to chasing happiness...only they're better paid and chemically enhanced!

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Carter has a huge day on Sunday.

The Governor whatever you and 4th floor are on. Get off it ASAP!!!

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope SallyMae posts again. Maybe an epic tome in tribute to the late, great Nipsey Russell.

Speaking of game shows, I was just doing a little research and I think Bill Cullen ("Hot Potato") and Jim Perry ("Sale of the Century") would be awesome additions to our game show host coaching staff. Maybe Perry can be an Offensive Quality Control Assistant. The 'Skins only have two of them, but with an owner like JLaC, I'm pretty sure we can get away with a 60 member coaching staff. One for every player!

And before I forget, is anyone else troubled that our country is so creatively bankrupt that we have to import game shows from England, of all places? I remember a time when this country was great and we made up our own retarded game shows.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

If Carter played for the Broncos and Archbingus played for Chicago, maybe those teams wouldn't be that good as of now, too.....

Did you think about that J-LaC? Huh? It's all about chemistry and whose to say they would mesh in with those other players?

I'll admit, we should have never got Archabingus. Carter, I think will be ok, once the coaches take a lesson from San Fran and start using hin as an LB more often......

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 31, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Who goes on recruiting trips to sign free agent stiffs who love to take his money and then don't run anywhere except to the bank?" From Sapario article.

And this is what I think about when we talk about Carter and Archuleta. Man Sapario came strong.

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 1:23 PM | Report abuse

JLC --

Good points. As Gibbs always likes to say, "human nature never changes." Just because these players are getting paid more money than ever before, doesn't mean they are not all striving for respect and happiness.

For those who want to blame the Skins for (I guess) overlooking this, to me, the responsibility to forget about what might have been lays squarely on the players' shoulders -- not the team's. If you accept a job because the money outweighs the intangible opportunities you are giving up, it is up to you to not look back.

What the team IS responsible for, however, is understanding how free agent signings disrupt team chemistry. Do you think PP was pissed that Arch got all that money when he's a one-dimensional safety? Do you think Wynn was happy that Carter got a boatload of cash when the Wynn/Daniels combo was starting to work well in late 05? And the disruption is magnified a thousand times over when the signings do not pay immediate dividends. I am sure there are more than a handful of players on this team who curse Arch out under their breath every time he gets beat deep. And not because he sucks, but because he's getting paid A LOT more than them AND he sucks.

The constant addition of high-priced free agents is annually stunting the growth of the team's chemistry; in a sport where chemistry is so vitally important, that is a travesty.

Posted by: CMoney | October 31, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Nipsey Russell would have made a great coach; Paul Lynde, not so much. I once met Peter Marshall, whose real name was Peter LaCock and is the father of former KC Royal Pete LaCock. He was exactly what you would expect of a game-show host, only he didn't know everything.
On another note and apropos of nothing, just got off the phone with Caps scribe Tarik El-Bashir, who is in Calgary and sez it is so cold his pants froze. I opted not to say any of the things I was thinking....

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Peter Marshall's real name is Ralph Pierre LaCock.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyone see how Tatum Bell is doing in Denver? Thats who they got with Redskins 2nd rd coice in Bailey Portis trade.Anyone who says Redskins got a good deal is a complete IDIOT.Shutdown corners are harder to come by then 1000 yd rushers!losing portis didnt hurt Denver,losing Bailey has hurt Redskins.One of many bad deals is why this team SUCKS.

Posted by: RedskinsSuck | October 31, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I opted not to say any of the things I was thinking....

Good call Cindy. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The organization is no longer concerned about the "people"; it's concerned about skill sets and acquiring players in much the same way you would go out and buy something like, say an iPod, with all the fancy gizmos attached to it. They don't care if people really want to play here or not; they don't care that Clark was a stabilizing factor for Sean Taylor; they don't care that Pierce was the linchpin in the defense. This is the exact opposite to what we had in the first Gibbs era--we didn't always have the best players, but we always had the "right" players.

It's always about the people, dammit.

Posted by: Megskin | October 31, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Great post. Anything, anything at all that devles deeper than your typical ESPN analysis that "the guy looks lost out there" is illuminating.

How would you characterize Grilliams success rate at "coaching up" the following 2 categories:

1)average or below-average player
2)above-average player

Has he been more successful at category (1) then (2)?

Posted by: Rain Man | October 31, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

What I still can't get over is that we brought in a DE that's really a LB. A safety that's really a LB and yet Warrick Holdman starts for us.

Why not get rid of Can't get a Holdman, put Archabingus in his spot on running plays and Carter in on passing downs?

Posted by: Skinz | October 31, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I once got so drunk in New Orleans that I lost my pants in the Mississippi River. It was a dare from the cast of Baywatch and I had to spend the rest of the time wandering round Bourbon Street in my boxers. No one seemed to notice (which, depending on your point of view, could be good or bad).

Thankfully, I had enough wits about me to remove my wallet first. If I didn't have enough money to buy hand grenades or Hurricanes, I probably would remember a lot more about the incident than I care to.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, now I have to ask. How did you lose your pants in the Mississippi River? I'm pretty sure it didn't just reach up and grab 'em.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

JLC/Cindy

If we go down on Sunday (just made myself and and black out) do Coach Joe go with Campbell?

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Jason
You got me thinking about this ... the dynamics of personalities. Don't the Skins have a PERSONALITY test they give players?

I have taken more than 1 of these types of tests. Used to see if the results *fit* the defined skill set/attributes/whtvr.

Anyone with any experience/insider info with this?

Posted by: X.Hog | October 31, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

...He hasn't looked like a fit, playing largely on third downs lately...
good "nugget".

jason, i didn't know this fact.

but that is very very very good writing and perspective. something i completely ignored.

and meg, i sorta kinda disagree that skins are only looking at the skills a player posesses. after seeing what's going on with merriman and cincy and giants. skins players don't have those problems. the only thing that came close to something was sean taylor. but he's excused in my book. he's a kid. and women should know this better that it takes a lot longer for boys to become men (mature).

everyone who they've chosen in the draft or thru free agency is a good person and actually do have "good character" compared to the cincy, ballmore (where they harbor murderers)...of the nfl.

Posted by: dealer | October 31, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

There are all kinds of mysteries about that evening. It was several years ago.

I remember having an awesome dinner at Chez Paul's (the Jambalaya is to die for, and the Pecan Pie is the best Pecan Pie in the city). I remember sitting at a table next to the table with some of the extras from Baywatch (sadly, no Hoff). I remember being extraordinarily charming and sophisticated throughout dinner. And I remember saying, "Uh, yes", when they asked if we wanted to go drinking with them.

And I remember waking up in my hotel room with no pants and surrounded by several Krystal Burger wrappers and the vague recollection of standing on a pier in a shopping mall and flinging my pants into the River.

The only solace I could ever take in the tragedy that was Katrina is that maybe, somehow, my pants emerged from the depths of the River and provided shelter to some frightened squirrels.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

My life is so mundane Pdiddy. What a story that was. Forgot to give you props earlier Jason. This is the kind of insight I'm looking for. Behind the scenes with Jason La Canfora. Answers some "why" questions. On that note, I don't think I can post a comment without the obligatory "bunny ears". I love those guys.

Posted by: Dorf | October 31, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

If the team drops to 2-6, Gibbs would just have to make the change. Unless there's some sort of massive, indisputable sign that indicates they're about to rip off an 8-0 run....Imagine what that would have to be...
Frankly, I think Gibbs should load 'em into a bus and take 'em all to see "Borat" on Saturday night. It couldn't hurt.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Except for the part about the Krystal Burgers and, of course, the boxers, I want Diddy's life!

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking the sign St. Joe is looking for is a burning bush outside The Park, or perhaps a sudden parting of the Potomac. Maybe he's waiting for Jason to turn a bottle of San Peligrino into a bottle of Dom Perignon?

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think chicks in boxers are really hot.

Krystal Burgers? Not so much.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I think Gibbs should load 'em into a bus and take 'em all to see "Borat" on Saturday night. It couldn't hurt.

LOL

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 1:59 PM | Report abuse

To quiet all the Campbell People. Apparently, if the Skins don't win the next two games, Campbell is in. As in, if they lose to the Cowboys, he is the new starter.

whammy.

Posted by: The Governor | October 31, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Why is there such a focus on Carter and Archuleta? I don't get it.

The whole defense has played awful, not just them.

What has Daniels done?

Griffin?

Salave'a?

Taylor?

Wynn?

Marshall?

Rogers?

Holdman?

I mean, hello?

Not too many memorable moments from those guys this year, either, huh?

You could make the argument that Carter, with a couple sacks two other near sacks, has done way more than the holdovers.

He seems to be as active as anybody else with the exception of Marcus Washington and maybe Kedric Golston.

Yet all everyone talks about are the new guys and how bad they are and what a mistake it was to sign them.

All while 95% of the holdovers are maybe playing even worse.

The new guys shouldn't be scapegoats for the way everyone else is playing on defense.

Maybe they would be if those other guys were actually *doing something* on defense and it was always Carter and Archuleta blowing it, but the reality is they haven't done jack either, and, in most cases, have done less.

Posted by: Cliff Huxtable | October 31, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I know you've seen them. They're popping up everywhere. You know, those newfangled hubcaps that have the spinning gizmos on them that keep on spinning when the car has stopped? I hate them.

I am, uh, y'know, middle aged. Learned to drive back in the early 70's. I'm careful, courteous and I use my turn signal. Boring? Heck no! I've simply learned that "nice drivers" live longer. Until now.

Somewhere along the line, my brain has taught my slowly degrading eyeballs to subtly monitor the other vehicles with which I am sharing the road. For example, almost subconsciously I sense brake lights several vehicles ahead and anticipate a slow down by removing my foot from the gas pedal. Sense flashing lights in the sideview mirror? The 18-wheeler next to me might be trying to change lanes, so I'll slow down a bit. No real concentration involved -- simply a set of conditioned reflexes related to evasive actions which I've developed over the years behind the wheel. I've always considered them assets. No more.

My reflexes have suddenly become deadly foes. All because of spinny hubcaps.

You see, my reflexes tell me that WHEN A CAR IS NOT MOVING, ITS WHEELS ARE ALSO NOT MOVING!!!! Conversely, IF THE WHEELS ARE GOING 90MPH, THE STUPID CAR IS NOT SITTING STILL!!!! WHEELS TURNING = MOVING CAR. Simple.

HA!

Last week, I was travelling on the service road, through a major DC-area intersection. To my left, a U-Turn lane allowed cars from the opposite side to merge with oncoming traffic in my lane. These cars normally yield to such oncoming traffic (i.e., ME). As I proceeded forward, I caught sight of a car to my left failing to yield, and about to barrel into my lane. Instinctively, I veered sharply to my right to avoid being hit (causing the car immediately to my right to veer sharply to ITS right, ad nauseum). Problem was, the offending car HAD yielded. Its hubcaps had not. (My abject apologies to those I almost killed by trying to avoid this near-collision with a stationary vehicle). I don't normally make sudden lane changes without signalling, and I completely understand your desire to curse and wave at me with your middle fingers).

Today was the final straw. WHile coming back from lunch, I was standing on the sidewalk bordering my office building's parking lot. Landscaping bushes behind me and parking spaces in front. Suddenly, and without warning, a vehicle turned sharply into the very parking space adjacent to where I was standing. In a moment of panic, I realized that the car WAS NOT GOING TO STOP. THE WHEELS WERE TURNING TOO FAST! I WOULD BE NAILED! I did what any normal, middle-aged, red-blooded American woman would do when the urges for survival and self-preservation kick in.

I jumped head-first into the bushes.

There were several people in the parking lot. All they saw was a normal-looking woman suddenly go nuts, scream, and dive into a ligustrum, and come out cursing about hubcaps.

So, please, young people with small foreign cars (or sparkly-painted pickups) -- do not buy spinny hubcaps. They are evil and they are scaring innocent old women and making them do stupid things. If you want to drive a "cool" car and get noticed, take a clue from my generation and do something truly revolutionary......

Get Glasspaks!!

Posted by: SallyMae | October 31, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

borat better than chapell(sp)?

me thinks so.

Posted by: dealer | October 31, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

What has Daniels done?

Griffin?

Salave'a?

Taylor?

Wynn?

Marshall?

Rogers?

Holdman?

they were all part of a defense that was ranked in the top 10 the last 2/3 years.

Posted by: dealer | October 31, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

dealer

That a joke right? The Rick James and R Kelly were classic. And the race draft with Tiger Woods.LMAO

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Governor,

Heard that same snippet thru the mill a couple days ago. It doesn't sound right though, why make that promise? What if we beat the 'Girls soundly by 36 and lose the Eagles by 3 on a last second kickoff return...bench Mark? Not like this organization to make that sort of promise.

P Diddy - Awesome story. I haven't heard (or read) the words hand grenade and associated them with liqour since Dewey Beach in '02. Ricky Bobby could probably tell you a pretty good pants story - one time he got into a cab in Bethesda fully dressed. He got out in just his boxers and sneeks. odd.

Posted by: Pub Golf | October 31, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ricky Bobby could probably tell you a pretty good pants story - one time he got into a cab in Bethesda fully dressed. He got out in just his boxers and sneeks. odd.

LMAO

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

jm, have you ever watched "Da Ali G Show"? he gets interviews with people like James Baker and boutros boutros...

i love chapell but he's not ali g. dave pretends where as ali g actually does what dave is pretending to do(offend people).

Posted by: dealer | October 31, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

hey jlc

i read this thing every day, just never post. i had a question for you tho.
i know your life is pretty much skins and ashburn 24-7, but do you follow any other sports. DC United for instance? any chance you had them tuned in sunday? just curious.

Posted by: Big Kenny | October 31, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

You should get Boofer in here to talk about spinners. He and his ilk from the Cowgirl Nation would be the resident experts.

Unless P Diddy has some sweet spinners on the Maserati.

Posted by: Ali Haji Shank | October 31, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, spinners are probably not in my idiom.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

JLC, great stuff. I agree that it appears like Arch and Carter don't want to be here and are only here for the $$$$$. The Skins seriously need a GM. Offer the guy what he's worth, and if he wants to come here, great. If not, don't overpay him by a few hundred million to get him here... especially in a salary cap league.

And what about Lenny Shap ripping Danny Boy this afternoon in the WP. LOVE IT!

Pub Golf, just shoes.... just shoes.

Posted by: Ricky Bobby | October 31, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

JLC-
Well put. Any chance that Danny and Joe ever take a look at things that way? I would guess not.

Posted by: 229 | October 31, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

The early reviews on "Borat" say it's a classic. I think the true test will be how often and how quickly it is riffed on in this blog.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 31, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ricky Bobby

just shoes.... just shoes. LOL

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

you not play Jason Campbell, I be execute.....

Posted by: Ricky Bobby | October 31, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

OK - since the moth episode caused my roommate to move out, I'm looking for someone to move into my apartment so my voicemail and email have been inundated with prospective roommates. As a therapeutic exercise, I have compiled the following list.

Signs you are not my new roommate:

1) You have called me four times in an hour, each time with increasingly frantic anxiety. Contrary to your rambling theories, the reason I am not calling back is not that your message was "so cra-a-ackily" (Were you trying to replicate the crackle sound in some kind of onomatopoetic serenade?) or that my phone wasn't working or I lost your number. It's because I am scared of you. If I am frightened by your voice alone, that is a clear sign: You are not my new roommate.

2) You sign your e-mail "mmm." What is that about? Were you eating a delicious brownie while you typed? I am kind of skeeved out. Therefore: You are not my new roommate.

3) You respond to my statement of "Sorry, I'm allergic to cats" with: "My sweet calico will be coming with me. She sheds a lot, but she's cute!" Not only do you have a cat that is probably not cute at all (I have only ever met one cat I liked), but you are presumptuous and evidently read roommate ads the way I "read" the Wall Street Journal (aka distracted apathetic skimming.) You are not my new roommate.

4) Your accent is too strong for me to make out your phone number. This is nothing personal, but I literally can't return your call because I don't know which number(s) you meant when you said "argez glogbin." You are not my new roommate.

5) You preface your voicemail with: "I know you said you only wanted a female roommate, BUT..." What is hard about this? As tempted as I am by charming overtures like: "hey im a sweet guy from chicago im lookin to leave my building cuz the rent keeps going up maybe we can have fun together, i think we should meet and see how u like me"-- I will not be swayed. You are a boy. Thus... You are not my new roommate.

6) You are clearly female, but leave a voicemail that makes you sound intoxicated and/or romantically interested. "Um, I just, I liked what you had to say in your ad, and I just... want someone, like, really... cool to... be around, and spend time with... you know?" Your drunken, dulcet tones sound like a solicitation for something tawdry. As intriguing as the prospect may be to the male gender... You are not my new roommate.

7) You cite your "borderline obsessive" need for cleanliness in the home. This will not work. My friend Julie once asked to borrow some eyedrops out of my purse *gag*

No, she does not have magical levitation powers. She's holding the eyedrops up with a hair that was stuck to the bottle with gum. She is also dry heaving. Here's the thing: I was born a colossal slob and am only marginally rehabilitated. In conclusion, you will kill me in my sleep if we live together. You are not my new roommate.

8) You have a three-year-old. Listen, I can't even keep a mini cactus alive, let alone a toddler. I simply cannot have some sort of dependent human creature in my household. Do you want your kid's eyedrops to become encrusted with gum and hair? Didn't think so. You and Tommy are not my new roommates.

9) Your email says: "I want more information about you. So call me tonight after 9:30 pm or tomorrow after 3 pm." I am not taking time-stringent orders from complete strangers at this time. Please try again during my regular business hours. P.S. You are not my new roommate.

10) The 'from' line in your email says "Muffin" even though your name is Amanda and you have a "10-lb schnoodle". I don't know if that is a dog or a giant cookie, or, lord, some sort of bodily appendage, but regardless... You are not my new roommate.

Posted by: SallyMae | October 31, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Anybody here care what SallyMae says? Sally, GET YOUR OWN BLOG.

Echoing an unoriginal lament,

WHY

IS

FROST

STILL

HERE??????

Posted by: RMilot | October 31, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

You big dummie!

Posted by: Fred Sanford | October 31, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

RMilot I will you. (co sign) SallyMae needs to get his/her own blog. There is nothing in there about sports or Skins. Not sure what the post is all about.

Posted by: jm220 | October 31, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Good insight on things again, JLaC. Keep this up, and they'll ban you from Redskins Park for being a morale killer and a general no-goodnik!

Here's another thing that's got me scratching my head (well, besides the dry scalp, anyway....) We have all sorts of players that are confused by the defensive schemes and coverages, like Archubingus, Speedbumph, and Two-Wrongs. We have players that are young, capable, and likely to outplay the veterans that supposedly understand the system better, but yet are considered 'not ready' (i.e. Rockimac vs. Can't Getta).

At what point does it start to be clear that perhaps it isn't solely the players' faults, but rather an indication that your system is overcomplicated and impossible for anyone that didn't grajuditimakate from Princeton to comprehend? The Giants had their Keep It Simple Simon moment during their bye week, and it seems to have done some good. Perhaps we need to have a KISS moment for our defense, too?

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 31, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Who on the Skins is fudge-ums?

Posted by: Dominos | October 31, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Dealer,

Why haven't they showed up this year then?

They must never have been that good if two guys are added and all of a sudden they're one of the worst units in the league.

That seems like a pretty flimsy group to me.

Do you put Andre Carter and Adam Archuleta on other top 10 defenses and watch those units totally fall apart as well?

I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: Cliff Huxtable | October 31, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Cliff Huxtable

No one is saying that they are the only reason the D sucks this year. The other D players get more a hand slap then a beat down because they have proven themselves. Where as Carter and Arch I got beat again have not and take up a lot of cap room.

Posted by: jm200 | October 31, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

dr., it's what they added AND what they took out/let go together became the problem.
they messed up the team chemistry. and no, just like leadership it's not overrated.

they let go of ryan clark, pierce, smoot, mat bowen, that safety i forget his name, walt harris. people who had been playing well (maybe not in our eyes but according to the people who know a bit about fuball)...

lost my train of thought but yeah that's why we're harping on those two characters because they embody Gibbsnyderism

Posted by: dealer | October 31, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

SallyMae is just regurgitating Best of Craigslist entries, as far as I can tell.

>>> "Who on the Skins is fudge-ums?"

Very good question. Who on the 'Skins is a big ol' cube of poop? Judging by the folks on this blog, they'd all put Brunell in that category.

Me? I'm voting for the more abstract "foolish concept that money can buy you a Super Bowl", because that's what has destroyed this team over the past decade plus...

Posted by: P Diddy | October 31, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"foolish concept that money can buy you a Super Bowl",

Yes, Fudge'ems is the pooponification of the futility of overspending on FA and neglecting the draft.

Posted by: Skinz | October 31, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey there.
To Follow up, I will be probing the entire defense in the Wed. paper, with a post on it to come.

Soccer is my favorite sport, and I watch DCU as much as possible. Love goign to Terps soccer games too. Covering the World Cup this summer was a dream come true.

Borat is going to be the funiest movie any of us have ever seen and it will make our banter about Anchorman seem trite and trivial. It will change our lives, I just no it.

The point about Bell in Denver is excellent and one I have been making with people. Denver is still an elite rushing team, used that pick wisely and the defense has been outstanding with Champ, who made a huge play in that New England playoff game if I remember correctly.
Portis is a champ, but look at the overall state of Washington's secondary now, look at the running game in 2004 and the running game that is in flux now in 2005, and that's an awful tough trade to make if you ask me.
A lot of those 2004 moves are hardly slam dunks looking at them now.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 31, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Archuleta's heart may not be in it but I believe Andre Carter's is....he is trying and is upset about the way he has been playing.....I don't doubt his effort at all.

As to "Gibbs" making the decision to "coerce" the players here with $$$, blame that on Williams. I think Gibbs truly wants character guys that will be happy but he turns the defense over to Williams...please note that these players are on the defensive side.

Posted by: Lisa | October 31, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Jason, Bailey was not going to re-sign with the Redskins. He was fed up with the constant changes and wanted out. He said as much. The Redskins had 3 choices: trade him, franchise him, or watch him leave. I guess they thought the franchise number would have been too high so they traded him.

Yes, they got fleeced by the Broncos for that 2nd rounder. What's new? Denver apparently has the right of first refusal to all of our draft picks.

Essentially this boiled down to Portis for a #2. No one will ever see it that way, but it's the truth. Champ was never going to play for the Redskins again.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 31, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I think the Redskins have ADD when it comes to their free agents also. You are brought in a recruited highly, but then there is tremendous pressure to achieve. I think really only the top 5% of NFL players are up to that, and with the exception of ARE, I would not consider Archubingus and Carter in the top 5% in their positions - they were just the biggest names last year.

I would love it if the redskins simply went after quality depth. With that approach, your chance of finding a few late bloomers is so much better, and the psyche of your team of "no name" stars is much more sustainable.

How many Patriots defenders can you name? or O-linemen?

Posted by: Daddy-O | October 31, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

""A lot of those 2004 moves are hardly slam dunks looking at them now.""

Yeah but Jason, a lot of it is play calling with Portis. I mean 3rd and 1 and they call a pass play?

Down the stretch last year the O-line and Portis were killing people until Thomas got hurt.

Champ didn't want to be here anymore and he made that clear and for that he will always be a punk to me.

You can say it was a bad trade this year, but the last two people were saying the Skins got the better of the trade.

It's about the free agents they brought in. It's about evaluating talent. Archuleta and Carter would NEVER have gotten those contracts anywhere else...NEVER!

All of the guys the Skins let go were treated with no respect by the organization. Pierce, Smoot, Clark....all wanted to be HERE not in Denver or Chicago. But the Skins low balled them and look at them all now having success.

Gibbs should be just coaching and not GMing.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 31, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Joe and Ray, your take on the Bailey situation runs counter to what I have heard from at least 5 people with deep knoweldge of the situation. I can't say how different their information to what you guys are saying to be true. Skins had every chance to re-sign him for a long, long time.
Not saying it was a bad trade or that anyone got fleeced, but just saying those 2004 moves as a whole are not so glowing. Portis is a stud, but Denver did very well in that deal, too.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 31, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

JLC,

You've been on fire, dude! What is that? Like your 22nd in a row...? That's gotta be a record. Seriously, great insight. Keep 'em coming and maybe we'll see what the wizard looks like behind the big curtain out in Cashburn.

Posted by: Green Baby G. | October 31, 2006 9:42 PM | Report abuse

SallyMae-don't hate on the spinners. They were invented by Latrell Sprewell and since he's no longer in the NBA, he needs the money to feed his family:

"I told you I needed to feed my family," Sprewell said at a press conference yesterday. "They offered me 3 years at $21 million. That's not going to cut it. And I'm not going to sit here and continue to give my children food while this front office takes money out of my pocket. If [owner Glen] Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you're going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon."


(actually they were invented by Dävin Wheels, but Spree was the first to promote them).

Posted by: My Sprewell's Spinnin' | October 31, 2006 10:13 PM | Report abuse

JLC, don't know if you'll read this since it's not the current blog topic (blopic?), but here goes. What I remember from that time was a chat with Wilbon where he said that Champ was tired of all the coaching changes and didn't want to spend his career learning a new system every season. He had just completed seasons under Nolan, Rhodes, Shottenheimer, Lewis, and Edwards.

I recall after the trade, Bailey saying something about how he would have re-signed with the Redskins. But I find that what people say after the situation is never as honest as what they say in the heat of the moment, so I didn't lend that statement much credence.

That's interesting that you heard something different. I always assumed it was a done deal that he wasn't returning. Thanks for the info.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | November 1, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

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