Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Pass Protection Is Mason's Big Deficiency

Many of you have emailed me about players you hope will make the opening 53-man roster, and it seems running back Marcus Mason's fan club has continued to grow daily.

The former Georgetown Prep standout should be a keeper, according to blog readers, and cutting him would be a travesty. Some media members would agree, but not me.

I gave Mason some love in my most recent "Here's What Happened/Here's What I Think" post because he works hard and does some things nicely in the running game. But as I've often pointed out, Mason struggles too much in pass protection to keep him on the roster as a change-of-pace back.


Mason's deficiencies in pass protection were among the main factors in his failure to make the roster out of the preseason in 2008. On Friday against the Patriots, Mason twice failed in blitz pick-ups. Game over.

Special team's coach Danny Smith echoed the sentiments of other coaches when he was asked another question about Mason after practice Sunday. "This is just my opinion, you guys use this as you see fit, and I love Marcus Mason," Smith said. "But Marcus Mason has never played in an NFL football game. And he's been on three teams. Let's not name him the MVP today. He's never played in an NFL football game. He's been on three teams. Okay?"

And that's that.

Chat Today

Cindy Boren will join you for chat jibba and jabba at noon.

By Jason Reid  |  August 31, 2009; 6:05 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Offensive Coordinator Evaluates His Group
Next: 5 Locks to Make the 53-Man Roster

Comments

FIRST to say I'm the minority on this one...love ya Marcus, but buh-bye.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

Danny Smith chanelling in his inner Beantown Greg?

I mean, it's like he plagerized his words to a T....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 6:28 AM | Report abuse

LOL 4th...when you've got a point, you've got a point. The funny thing is if RI Nation got its way and kept Mason over Betts, the first time JC got blown up for a sack/fumble that goes the other way for a TD, Mason would get dragged over hot coals for missing his block.

Then again, the crazies like "Sports_Guru" would come out and blame JC...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Twisi, You have no clue what you are talking about...... Have you ever played football before on any level including little league? How do you know that Mason missed two blocks in pass protection? are you in the meeting room with the coaches? Did you know the plays that were called or the protections? Just to throw out that he missed two blocks is funny. Are you a relative of Rock?

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 30, 2009 4:09 PM

Oh no he didn't!!! In your face!! Ha.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Danny Smith chanelling in his inner Beantown Greg?

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 6:28 AM

This isn't a mere coinkydink. This is a tell. Danny Smith's screen name is Beantowngreg. I see him a lot out here at the Park, posting when he should be working. Coach Z is not gonna be happy about this.

I can't tell you who the rest of us are, but I will disclose that FIRE_JIM_ZORN is Mike Shanahan's agent.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

When a student gets a failing grade, the teacher is responsible?

Posted by: RedCherokee | August 31, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I feel a little crazy for saying it after just one good performance, but I'd rather have Aldridge over Mason. He's the fastest man on the field, he showed ability to play with toughness against New England (something Dorsey hasn't done), and he has the personal endorsement of Mike Shanahan, which has to go a long way with the owner. I think the final lineup in the backfield is Portis, Betts, Aldridge. Sorry, Rock, but even teams was better last week when you weren't in.

Posted by: crashinghero | August 31, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

When a student gets a failing grade, the teacher is responsible?

Posted by: RedCherokee | August 31, 2009 7:05 AM

No. That's the student's fault. When the student makes an A, the teacher gets credit. At least, that's how it works at my kids' old school.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that all the Mason love up here is really about Mason. I think it's more Rock-hate and/or Betts-anger.

Mason's toast. The lynch mob needs to look for a new never-played-a-down guy.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Rock, but even teams was better last week when you weren't in.

Posted by: crashinghero | August 31, 2009 7:14 AM

Crazy talk...I've said it before and it bears repeating: if you cut Rock, one guy doesn't replace him. He's not just your 3rd RB, he's your kick returner and he also covers kicks and punts. With every spot of a 53 man roster being precious, you have to get as many guys as possible to do as many jobs as possible. And as much as I would love to get a guy with elite speed in the backfield, I wouldn't do it at the expense of your special teams.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I think the only way Mason makes this team is if the coaching staff views him as a replacement for Betts. And since the talk has been about Betts taking over 3rd down duties and having more of a role in the offense, that says to me he's not going anywhere. Rock does too many jobs to be moved for a one-trick pony like Mason. Good kid, might end up being a pretty good player, but he's just not what the Skins need right now. The bed is made at RB.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

He may not have been a local kid but i liked Aldridge.

Posted by: BarackObama | August 31, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Mason's toast. The lynch mob needs to look for a new never-played-a-down guy.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse


LETS GO CHASE!

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Here you go scampbell1975

3 QB (JC, TC, CB)
4 RB (CP, LB, MM, AA)
1 FB (MS)
9 OL (CS,DD,CR,RT,SH,JB,MW,WM, OL pick up)
3 TE (CC, FD, TY)
5 WR (SM,DT,ARE, MK, MM)

8 DL (AC,CG,AH,RD,KG,AM, JJ, LA)
7 LB (RC, LF, BO, HBB, RT, CW, CG)
5 CB (DH, CR, FS, JT, KB)
4 S (LL, CH, RD, KM)

4 ST (DR, HS, RC)

Posted by: TWISI | August 30, 2009 7:32 PM

3 QB (JC, TC, CB)
3 RB (CP, LB, AA)
1 FB (MS)
9 OL (CS,DD,CRa,RT,SH,JB,CRi,MW,WM)
3 TE (CC, FD, TY)
5 WR (SM,DT,ARE, MK, MM)

9 DL (AC,CG,AH,PD,KG,AM,JJ,LA,RW)
7 LB (RC, LF, BO, HBB, RT, CW, CG)
5 CB (DH, CR, FS, JT, KB)
4 S (LL, CH, RD, KM)

4 ST (SS, HS, EA, RC)

Posted by: RedCherokee | August 31, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

To tell you the truth, I posted on Saturday, that perhaps I was wrong about Mason, that given his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, perhaps he had a shot on this team. I mean who am I, dannysmit...beantown greg to judge this guy....

Seriously, I was impressed by his ability to catch the ball, and I thought he ran with more violence than I had previously seen. On the JC scramble, I thought he had a good chip on #93 for the pats.

On a side note, while meaning less, the game Friday was particularly meaningful for me, given where I reside.

1. Everyone up here has their collective draws in a bunch over the right shoulder of one Tom B.
2. Cooley essentially retired Bruschi with that 73 yard play. Bruschi is expected to announce his retirement today....3-4 years too late in my book....

Retribution, not exactly, but I'll take it for now.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

No chance Zorn keeps 4 RBs. With the depth issues on the OL and LB units, to keep a 4th guy that'll never get used would be a waste of a roster spot. Portis is pretty much always in there, they're trying to get more out of Betts and the 3rd guy (Rock) plays almost exclusively on special teams. To keep Mason (who can only play RB and nothing else) would be to keep a guy to carry the ball once or twice at best. Cut the guy and hope he's still at home waiting for your call if one of your regular RBs gets hurt.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

For my money this week, with the endless speculation over the 53 man roster, is the second worst of the year on RI.

The worst is next week with all the "I told you so..." "I was the first to say..." "Snyderato is trying to kill JC..." "wasted draft pick..." etc.

Much ado about nothing.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Brown, Mason needs to learn how to return kicks. Rock is EXTREMELY one dimensional apart from returning kicks.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Wait a second. So Mason won't make this team because he can't pass protect? Okay. Betts stinks at pass protection too, is injury prone, older AND more expensive.

So why is HE making the team?

Rock Cartwright is a one trick pony. He is awesome on Special Teams but that is about it. He is also more expensive and older.

So why is HE making the team?

Posted by: rat_boy | August 31, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Rock, but even teams was better last week when you weren't in.

Posted by: crashinghero | August 31, 2009 7:14 AM

Crazy talk...I've said it before and it bears repeating: if you cut Rock, one guy doesn't replace him. He's not just your 3rd RB, he's your kick returner and he also covers kicks and punts. With every spot of a 53 man roster being precious, you have to get as many guys as possible to do as many jobs as possible. And as much as I would love to get a guy with elite speed in the backfield, I wouldn't do it at the expense of your special teams.


Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse
You are correct, one guy would not replace him. But DThomas can do a good job, with younger legs and more speed, on returning kickoffs. TwoLB's were drafted who can replace him ib KO and punt coverage. And Aldridge or Dorsey can add speed out of backfield ala Sproles, and on punt returns. And by having multiple replacements, Teams is not hurt so much if you are depending on Rock and he tweeks his groin.

Posted by: frediefritz | August 31, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

For my money this week, with the endless speculation over the 53 man roster, is the second worst of the year on RI.

The worst is next week with all the "I told you so..." "I was the first to say..." "Snyderato is trying to kill JC..." "wasted draft pick..." etc.

Much ado about nothing.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 8:13 AM

Too many knee-jerk reactions. Typical.

Posted by: RedCherokee | August 31, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Lets evaluate this right now.

Rock contibutes zero to the Offense as a back. Without a wedge to run behind he looks completely lost. Devin Thomas showed far more potential as a return man against the Pats. That leaves coverage for Rock which he is great at.

As for Ladell, please lets not hold him up as a great blitz pick up guy because he sucks at it. Also have you seen any spark in him since he resigned. He shows none of the hard running ability he flashed in his 1000 yard season. Judging by the concrete boots he was wearing Friday night he will be a change of pace for Portis, just slower.

We have nothing in Betts/Cartwirght yet we will pass up on players who can catch the ball and hit the edges/goaline with speed.If we had coaches worth there salt we might actually be able to make a blocker out of Mason. However why is it most change of pace of backs in the league have the ball put in their hands to do something with, yet we simply want ours to block.

Until the culture of the Skins changes we will always be stuck with players like Betts and Rock who flatter to deceive. Is it wrong to wan't 3 backs who can contribute in their primary function which is running and catching the ball.

Posted by: flave1969 | August 31, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Well as much as I hate to admit it, this article makes sense. We have a lo-o-o-o-ng term contract with BETTS that would hit the cap hard, and he can catch passes. Therefore, third down back. CARTWRIGHT does a nice job of returning kick-offs and should continue to provide excellent play in this area unless the new wedge rules get in his way - ahem.

But I also agree with most of the posters here who point out the known deficiencies of the two. I thought MASON would make the team b/c I believed the injury to CARTWRIGHT more serious that it actually has proven to be. Not a good reason to do so from the club's standpoint.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 31, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

For my money this week, with the endless speculation over the 53 man roster, is the second worst of the year on RI.

The worst is next week with all the "I told you so..." "I was the first to say..." "Snyderato is trying to kill JC..." "wasted draft pick..." etc.

Much ado about nothing.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Unlike all the other weeks when our jibba-jabba actually matters?

I think "Much Ado About Nothing" just about sums us up every day, all day.

And that's a good thing.

Posted by: farstriker | August 31, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

If we had coaches worth there salt we might actually be able to make a blocker out of Mason.

Posted by: flave1969 | August 31, 2009 8:25 AM |

Coaches, from three different teams, have been trying three years to teach this guy to block. Maybe it's not the coaches?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I'/ve been on the Mason bandwagon this year (wasn't last year) so this is what I've got. First, for all you guys saying Betts sucks at blitz pickup you're hallucinating, he's not Portis but he is pretty good. BUT, he has a lack of vision that Mason does not suffer from. Betts is 30, Mason is not and if I'm not mistaken it's a coaches job to teach Mason to block. His failure to do so is partially their failure. It's time for a new wrinkle in the running game and either Mason or Aldridge is it. Betts and the Rock, although I love them both, just aren't a threat.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Is it wrong to wan't 3 backs who can contribute in their primary function which is running and catching the ball.

Posted by: flave1969 | August 31, 2009 8:25 AM

It is if the 3rd back won't see the field in an offensive formation.

Let's be honest here: Portis is gonna be the primary back. He doesn't leave the field unless and until he's gassed. The coaches talk a good game about getting Betts more involved, but I seem to remember hearing that last year and the year before. I'll believe that when I see it.

So you have a primary guy doing all the heavy lifting, a backup guy to spell him the 5-10 times a game he won't go in, and a 3rd guy to...exactly. The 3rd RB is essentially a special teamer. And regardless of what some of you say, Rock is clearly a better special teamer than any of the other slappies they've got in camp right now.

I can't even believe the "Rock is a one trick pony" garbage...dude covers AND returns kicks plus plays emergency RB. I hear what your saying about the young backers, but until I hear those guys can do as good or better a job at it than Rock, I'll stick with the proven commodity.

And I didn't hear anyone hear say Betts is on par with Portis as a blocker. But he's at least serviceable, which apparently Mason is not if it's enough of a concern to keep him off the roster.

This speed stuff has to stop too. Yes, speed is a factor in the NFL but it's not everything. I seem to remember B-Mitch carving out a pretty nice career as a return man and I don't remember him ever being the fastest man on any field he was on.

I'll repeat: I'm all for a young movement, but I need the young guys to EARN it, not just have it handed to them.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Let's be honest here: Portis is gonna be the primary back. He doesn't leave the field unless and until he's gassed. The coaches talk a good game about getting Betts more involved, but I seem to remember hearing that last year and the year before. I'll believe that when I see it.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 8:44 AM |

Yea, I remember that too. Problem is the coaches know he's got no vision, so he goes in to catch passes and ocassionally fumb...er run for short yardage.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Portis is the guy and Betts isn't going anywhere. If the Redsksins want a change of pace back, Rock has to go.

I love Rock and the team needs guys like him, but he has hit his ceiling as a player and at this point in his career you can't expect him to give you anything in the running game. I grow more and more tired of seeing him get caught from behind on long kickoff returns as well.

Devin Thomas looked more explosive in kick returns than Rock has for a long time. Also, I think that kick returns could be Devin's best chance at contributing this year as he's been passed on offense by Kelly and Marko Mitchell is gaining fast.


Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

oe, agreed on the DT returns, I thought he was gonna break one during that game.....

Anyone catch the Bronco's/Bears game last night, Orlando Pace is D-O-N-E. He was getting eaten up....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Betts isn't great in pass protection, and he looked bad on Friday night. That's also the reason why I don't like Betts being a third-down back. Portis is obviously a much better blocker.

Posted by: CDon | August 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

That said, I don't think Rock goes this year. He may be replaced as a returner but he's a valuable cover guy on kicks and losing him, Thrash and Khary Cambell in the same year would be devastating to the Skins' special teams.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I don't like the concept of the 3rd down back unless he's a straight scat back. And even then only used sparingly.

I don't have a problem w/ swapping guys out, though, depending on how the D is reacting.

As far as Rock goes, 'roid him up. He'll be fine.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone catch the Bronco's/Bears game last night, Orlando Pace is D-O-N-E. He was getting eaten up....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse


No lie. That was just sad to watch. It reminded me of Ali vs. Larry Holmes. Pace should be fishing with Jonathan Ogden right now.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Funny, because it was Betts who missed a block that got JC blown up, while it was Mason who picked up a blitz and sprung JC for the TD.

Betts has to go. Keep Mason.

Posted by: keino83 | August 31, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Hey, i like Mason too, but the other big issue with him and this particular team is that he isn't a "change of pace" back. He's a similar runner to the 3 guys ahead of him on the depth chart. Alridge and Dorsey bring something different. Alridge looks like something special in that capacity too, but only if he can stay healthy and hold on to the ball.

Posted by: bigfoot1 | August 31, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Funny, because it was Betts who missed a block that got JC blown up, while it was Mason who picked up a blitz and sprung JC for the TD.

Betts has to go. Keep Mason.

Posted by: keino83 | August 31, 2009 9:07 AM

That's funny...I was just reading how JC hasn't been sacked all preseason.

Try again.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

why does the 3rd rb on a team have to be a change of pace type guy?? I mean, if mason can move the chains, give Portis/Betts a breather, isn't that what he's supposed to do?

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Being blown up does not necessarily mean sacked. Tom Brady was blown up by Fat Al.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Greg, that's a moot point because the 3rd RB doesn't play on this team. That's why this whole argument is moot. I wonder if this is even a discussion if Mason is from Cleveland instead of D.C.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

keino83 I don't recall Betts missing a block. I do remember Mason giving pressure on a corner blitz because he took a bad angle. The bad part about it is that Sellers even turned around and told Mason that the corner was coming. On that play Devin was streaking past the safety on a deep post. IMO Mason makes the team. While he needs to work on pass pro, he's the second best pure runner on the team now.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This front office is ridiculous, First off what is the infactuation with Betts all about? Betts doesn't play special teams and when he did he was aaverage, Betts has no burst or explosion, Betts cannot pass block..

If you notice in the preseason game against New England Mason had a tremendous block to enable Campbell to score a touchdown.

Mason provides youth, speed, awareness it will be a mistake to let this kid go

Posted by: TheBeatDontStop | August 31, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Portis is obviously a much better blocker.
Posted by: CDon

Portis is arguably the best blocking RB in the league...perhaps this decade. To compare the blocking capabilities of RBs to him is perhaps not quite fair.

Posted by: amaranthpa | August 31, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'/ve been on the Mason bandwagon this year (wasn't last year) so this is what I've got. First, for all you guys saying Betts sucks at blitz pickup you're hallucinating, he's not Portis but he is pretty good. BUT, he has a lack of vision that Mason does not suffer from. Betts is 30, Mason is not and if I'm not mistaken it's a coaches job to teach Mason to block. His failure to do so is partially their failure. It's time for a new wrinkle in the running game and either Mason or Aldridge is it. Betts and the Rock, although I love them both, just aren't a threat.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes, scamp. I've come to the same point. Remember last year, the Gints had 3 productive runners. Right now we have 1. Betts just doesn't seem to have the power that he's had in the past. We need a speed guy tobring in in the 4th Q, when the D's are getting tired. And if that speed back can also field punts, we can dramatically improve 2 areas with on guy. I don't think we get rid of Betts until next year, due tocap hit. But I've sadly decided that Rock will have to be cut this year.

Posted by: frediefritz | August 31, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Reid your wrong this time bro! I watched the game, although in the 4rth quarter he missed on two blocks that lead to sacks it was in the first half he had a tremendous block that lead to campbell scoring a running TD and it was Mason who was able to punch it in with the first team something that Betts couldn't do. This staff has always had a problem since the Gibbs era with keeping personality favorites and not looking at the talent level. that needs to change.

Posted by: cgshelton | August 31, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

brown, I think that might be changing going forward. It seems to me like Zorn has realized that he needs to lessen the burden on Portis...less carries, etc. So that might increase the carries/touch's for betts/#3....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The thing that seems odd to me about this is that the knock on Mason is coming from the special teams coach, not from the OC. Shouldn't the special teams coach only be commenting on special teamsters (like Jimmy Hoffa)?

Maybe there's a big fight among the coaches about Mason, and Smith is trying to protect one of his special teams guys -- say Rock?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... folks complain that Betts isn't a change of pace from Portis, but neither is Mason. Similar runner, inferior receiver, not really a blocker at all. Aldridge and Cartwright are special teamers who could fill in at RB with moderate success on occasion.

Where's the place for Marcus? Maybe if one of the others had been hurt...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Chiming in late, but here are my thoughts...

Good bye Rock, let D. Thomas return kicks and punts, fast good hands and he goes right at it.

I thought Mason looked good, thought Heyer looked good too.

I think we are going to get killed on 3rd downs, because our LB's suck at pass coverage. Orakpo is new to it, Fletcher has lost a little step and it super short and I think R. McIntosh is atrocious at pass coverage...I hope we chop down the roster and find a treat at LB in FA or waivers, cuz we are going to need it.

I dont know who it was, but Fletcher did lay a nice hit on some fool.

Posted by: mhartz1 | August 31, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Mason has one more pre-season game to prove he'll be effective in special teams and pass blocking. He's very good at getting to the edge and rushing. However he has never pass blocked effectively; which is the primary reason why he's never made a NFL roster...

I'd prefer the #3 RB go to Alridge, since Devin Thomas can take over Rock's special team duties. He is the change-of-pace Sproiles-like RB that the Skins require -- plus he can return punts.

Posted by: siris | August 31, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Mason provides youth, speed, awareness it will be a mistake to let this kid go

Posted by: TheBeatDontStop | August 31, 2009 9:25 AM

And yet 3 teams have, not to mention the Skins TWICE...

And let's get off the block for JC...run blocking and pass blocking are quite different. It's easier to run up and shove a guy to the turf who's focused on something else than it is to square your shoulders and take the best shot of a guy that outweighs you by 20 or more pounds. I'll give him credit for doing a good job, but let's not make it sound like it's proof that he's a quality blocker.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I think we are going to get killed on 3rd downs, because our LB's suck at pass coverage. Orakpo is new to it

Posted by: mhartz1 | August 31, 2009 9:31 AM

Doesn't Orakpo play DE on third downs? I know that Brownwood wants him at SLB, but I think the coaches aren't listening to Brownie on third downs.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought Alridge was very impressive Friday night. Has he had a chance to show he can handle the blocking responsibilities? Any young back on the same team as Portis has the model of how to do it right in front of them. Does Alridge stand any chance of making the squad?

Posted by: MColeman51 | August 31, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

TE JZ mentioned in his post practice interview yesterday that Mason has to continue to work at pass pro to get more time at RB because Portis is the primary back and Betts is the 3rd down back. IMO Mason needs a goodnight on special teams and no pass pro hiccups this Thursday to make the team. I think he'll do it.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Without insulting anyone today for their lack of true football knowledge I will just add that Mason will make the roster and he will if not already be promoted to 3rd string over Rock.

Any bets on this? And I only bet on facts and not wishes........

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

yeah, I'm not so sure anyone is considering bets from Bankers as 'facts' lately...

...just sayin'...

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone saw this post on cooley's site http://chriscooley47.blogspot.com/2009/08/post-patriots.html

I am catching up on my blogging. But Zorn's quote: "We have to establish the reputation we want. It's up to us men, we need to be the hammer."

Gone from "Stay Medium to "Be the Hammer" I like that change. But maybe he wants us to see a medium hammer.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

thebanker21: "Without insulting anyone today for their lack of true football knowledge I will just add that Mason will make the roster and he will if not already be promoted to 3rd string over Rock."

LOL I probably lack 'true football knowledge' but if Mason makes the roster I for one will find it difficult to understand. We're talking about a back who (hopefully) won't take a snap in the regular season. Why wouldn't you prefer someone who can play teams?

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

This one fact is on the money... Trust me.. I am all in!!!!!!

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

bean, are you and Danny Smith homies or something? Do you all go back or something?

I swear, that is exactly what you've been saying... reading that I was LMAO...

So you're kinda sort of coming around to Marcus Mason, eh? I don't see how at 25 and pass protection being your only flaw can keep you off the roster. He's 25, he can be coached up to do that. Was Portis a good pass blocker in Denver?


brown26, keep bangin' homie. I see you're still on your job. It won't be no fun to rub it in anyway when I know I'm going to be right!

Posted by: RedDMV | August 31, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

mistamayor

"But Marcus Mason has never played in an NFL football game. And he's been on three teams."


Not knowing blitz as a reason not to consider Mason for the roster is weak.

Each redskin offensive player has an issue:

Moss--poor hammies
Portis--ego, gets beat up
Campbell--lack of ego, elongated delivery
Betts--slow to hole
Rock--not a dynamic running back
Randle El--no breakaway speed
Cooley--slow-footed
Sellars--not a great runner with the ball

Again: there is no such thing as a perfect player on this team so why is Mason not seen for the one value he has that some of the the running backs lack--speed.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 31, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

How do you know that Mason missed two blocks in pass protection? are you in the meeting room with the coaches? Did you know the plays that were called or the protections? Just to throw out that he missed two blocks is funny. Are you a relative of Rock?

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 30, 2009 4:09 PM

I only bet on facts and not wishes........

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 9:40 AM

You call yourself a banker? You can't even get your facts straight from one day to the next. You must have been the nut job banker that closed down Lehman Brothers, betting other people's money on your wishes.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It's very simple, and people saw it on Friday. Ladell Betts takes Rock's place on Special Teams, Mason becomes the primary backup, and Ladell fills in as a 3rd-down back, 3-man rotation. Betts has played that position before, and he played that position on Friday. Rock as a return-man is extremely replaceable. As a coverage man, he's good, but not spectacular. For the amount he contributes offensively, it's not worth it anymore.

Sorry Rock, but you're unfortunately stuck on a depth chart that needs youth, and you're by far the most expendable of that group. It's the nature of the business.

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Betts is old, Portis is old, and Cartwright hasn't played Running back since forever. Its time for some new strong legs in the backfield at least after Portis gets tired. Keep Mason and dump Betts. Betts has never lived up to the hype.

Posted by: funbot | August 31, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Two items related to the "Does Marcus Mason Stay or Go" debate:

Betts did catch a nice pass and scamper for a few good yards against the Patriots. The man certainly does have some redeemable qualities.

To label him a liability is a mischaracterization.

Secondly, Jason Campbell showed us all, once again, that he can absorb a punishing shot to the ribs, adjust his pads, and reload.

I think we can all agree, however, that we would like to see JC take as few of these hits as possible.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

The portion of this post when it relates to Danny Smith is insignificant. If Mason makes the team, his boy Rock will be cut. So smith has a reason to hate on MAson.

NOW. If this had been from Sherman Smith/JZ, I would give his substance more credit.....

Try again JReid...

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Let's be real, Portis is our only back who excels in pass pro. In fact, I cringe on 7-step drops, only to see Betts get run over, ruin the long pass attempt, and watch everyone berate Jason for not going downfield.
I saw a nice Mason block that sprung the JC touchdown, I also see a lot more explosiveness, tougher runner, and better vision than I see in Betts.
Betts, too comfortable being a backup, should go this year. Bring Mason in, definite upgrade. Stop using blocking as an excuse, Betts sucks at it too (ecspecially on 3rd down when we need it most)

Posted by: ATL_skin | August 31, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

To me a Running baks skill set breaks down into 3 simple categories, with subtlety in each of them that I wont go into and if a back is no good in 2 of these then they are not going to make a team.

Running
Blocking
Pass Catching

If a back goes in and all they can do is 1 thing then your basically going down a man on offense because D knows what he is gonna do.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Portis is 27. He's not old.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Portis is 27. He's not old.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 9:57 AM

You're thinking about it the wrong way. That's 189 in dog years.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

red, haha, yeah, Danny calls me for my input sometimes, asks what the word on the blog is...I tell him whats up........

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

We need some youth in the backfield. We kept Kelly and Thomas last year even though they couldn't run the routes... don't tell me that MM can't be coached up to pass protect... DT returns kicks instead of Rock.

Mason stays.

Posted by: oldnova | August 31, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

But Zen's quote, "We have to establish the reputation we want. It's up to us men, we need to be the hammer."

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 9:44 AM

----------

Amen.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Crazy talk...I've said it before and it bears repeating: if you cut Rock, one guy doesn't replace him. He's not just your 3rd RB, he's your kick returner and he also covers kicks and punts. With every spot of a 53 man roster being precious, you have to get as many guys as possible to do as many jobs as possible. And as much as I would love to get a guy with elite speed in the backfield, I wouldn't do it at the expense of your special teams.


Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 7:40 AM


Devin Thomas can return kicks.

Thomas/Glenn/Henson can replace can become Personal Punt Protector

And we can always and one of the youths as an additional head hunter on Kickoffs


The biggest mistake Rock made was getting hurt and letting DT play return man....

Bye Bye Rock

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

A RB's age is done in carries not years.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

To me a Running baks skill set breaks down into 3 simple categories, with subtlety in each of them that I wont go into and if a back is no good in 2 of these then they are not going to make a team.

Running
Blocking
Pass Catching

If a back goes in and all they can do is 1 thing then your basically going down a man on offense because D knows what he is gonna do.


Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 9:57 AM


Alex, Alex, Alex...dude, you broke it down too simply! And it actually makes sense!

Get ready for the "what has Betts ever done except run for 1,100+ yards 3 years ago" argument as they defend to the death a guy who has yet to earn a single yard in regular season play.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

My last point on MAson and how he will be used....

You use Mason to spell Portis on certain possesions. The whole possesion. Between once to three times a game before the 4th QTR. And still use Betts as a 3rd down back throughout. That way Portis is a little more healthier and stronger for the 4th QTR......

Thoughts?

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The biggest mistake Rock made was getting hurt and letting DT play return man....

Bye Bye Rock

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM

----------

Agreed.

Put Devin Thomas back there on kick returns, and we might just see more than one kick off returned for a TD every three seasons.

Furthermore, it will help Thomas find the groove in his game.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

1) Whatever Danny Smith thinks is shabingus.

His special teams unit sucks. His punt returner can't return punts. His kicker can't kick field goals. His coverage unit can't cover. Instead of throwing young players under the bus, he should be focusing on coaching up a half-way decent unit.

2) I just don't get it.

If you want someone so badly to blitz-block, just keep an extra-TE/H-back on the roster. If you want a backup running back who has displayed the capabilities to step in and actually do things like run the ball, move the chains, catches passes and make plays, well we have one in Marcus Mason.

Last season we went out and got Shaun Alexander - SHAUN ALEXANDER! - after Betts got injured. What does that tell you about Rock's ability to simply play RB in this offense?

And all the folks harping on his special teams contributions - I'm curious to know where he's been all preseason: nursing an injury or watching returners fly by him?

Posted by: p1funk | August 31, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The DEVIN THOMAS and ANTHONY ALRIDGE experiments at returner do lend credence to a keep MASON-dump CARTWRIGHT move especially if the lack of a wedge frustrates the REDSKINS efforts on special teams. I would not be surprised to see ROCK cut. BUT there is no way they can dump BETTS without severe financial damage. And there isn't much leeway in the cap numbers.

Posted by: glawrence007 | August 31, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

A RB's age is done in carries not years.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM

Well said. Which is why is cracks me up that people point out that Betts is 30. In carries, he's like 25. Meanwhile, Portis in carries is more like 32.

I know! Let's cut Portis for Mason! I mean, he's a pure runner and has such mind-boggling speed so he should be able to come in and run for 1500 yards easily, right?

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Brown,

Let me fix it, They also need to have a little of the following, moxy, chutzpah, cajones, and "it"

if they do not have 3 of the 4 then they are no good at the nfl level.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

LOL I probably lack 'true football knowledge' but if Mason makes the roster I for one will find it difficult to understand. We're talking about a back who (hopefully) won't take a snap in the regular season. Why wouldn't you prefer someone who can play teams?

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2009 9:44 AM

Samson, let me explain this to you..... At the running back position injuries will happen and you hope it will not hit your team and you hope that your number one can play all 16 games with very little serious injuries along the way. Over the past 4 years the running back position was injured twice and both times the team had to go out and find a runner in the middle of the season to replace the next best thing which is Rock because he is not a true runner. By doing so the staff had to release other players at other positions to accommodate their lack of trust in the running game( ROCK ). Those moves can set your team back in other areas because now depth becomes an issue at receiver, DB, OL, or LB. Yes Rock is valuable to the team IF injuries never hit the back field but do you know how hard things are to finish the entire season with one runner without and injury. Mason will provide them a solid back up at RB without compromise to other positions on the team.

A running back, a receiver, a lineman will always miss a block from time to time because it makes you wonder how Jared Allen can get 14 sacks if he was blocked so well every time the ball was snapped. Defense is paid to not be a block magnets as well as offense is paid to be a block magnet.

Marcus was bad last year in pass protection but much better this season which is why the Coaching staff trusted him on the field with their Multi- million dollar QB during the game with a potential Super Bowl team and defense. To make that call with their prized investment, Marcus had to establish some trust.

On the play that Jason Reid is referring to in the game on Friday, the corner did a corner cat blitz from the left side and had the clear advantage from a momentum standpoint and angle. The RB job is to put his point his azzhole at the QB, bend your knees and deliver a blow and block inside out because if you give up the inside path to the QB that will spell danger for the QB. Marcus blocked inside out and ran the fast DB out wide but just so happen JC was in a 7 step drop which cut it close but the DB did not make contact on the QB. That is not a miss but a good pass rush by the DB on a corner cat blitz. That was a starting DB that will make that play more times then he will fail.

Mason is on the team... Mark my words on this. Bank it because he pass the test....

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Devin Thomas can return kicks.

Thomas/Glenn/Henson can replace can become Personal Punt Protector

And we can always and one of the youths as an additional head hunter on Kickoffs

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:04 AM

OK, and now that you've replaced Rock, who fills the spots of the guys you just named? Those guys are already playing special teams. So who fills those spots?

If it were that easy, Rock would already be gone. As mentioned earlier, this team just lost Thrash and Khary Campbell. If you take away your best 3 special teams players in one year, it doesn't end well.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I disagree entirely. Mason has been better in pass protection than Betts! That's been a MAJOR weakness in Betts for years. Mason is an upgrade in every respect over Betts, who hasn't done squat since 2006.

Posted by: kirbyknight | August 31, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Whether in actual, dog or carry years, CP still has a few years left before he's 'done'.

I'll admit to wishing he'd play through some of the scrapes he's had, but don't base your opinion of his effectiveness on pre-season or even last season's second half.

Wait until game 4 or so before you start polishing his wheelchair.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The Marcus Mason has "yet to earn a single yard in regular season play" argument is a weak one.

Perry Mason, before he had represented his first defendant in front of jury, had yet to win a single case. The man goes on to be featured in more than 80 novels and short stories.


Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"OK, and now that you've replaced Rock, who fills the spots of the guys you just named?"

Ladell Betts.

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

OK, and now that you've replaced Rock, who fills the spots of the guys you just named? Those guys are already playing special teams. So who fills those spots?

If it were that easy, Rock would already be gone. As mentioned earlier, this team just lost Thrash and Khary Campbell. If you take away your best 3 special teams players in one year, it doesn't end well.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse


It's already not going well?

What would we really lose with getting rid of Rock and making Danny Smith earn a paycheck by coaching up younger guys?

It's not like Rock is a pro-Bowl return man - DT11 has already showed better burst on KRs. And it's not like Rock has been killing it on coverage.

Oh, and to cap it off, he's not really a very good RB either.

Posted by: p1funk | August 31, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

agree, 4th.

Portis, Mason, and Betts as the RBs in that order.

Since it takes a few carries to get Betts going, they could just use the dude for receptions out of the backfield.

Didn't understand the fascination with Cartwright last year and defintely don't this year.

For all those that are saying no to Mason, I'm sure at some point this season Portis will once again be nicked.. you'll be wishing that Mason was on the team then.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 31, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

If it were that easy, Rock would already be gone. As mentioned earlier, this team just lost Thrash and Khary Campbell. If you take away your best 3 special teams players in one year, it doesn't end well.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:16 AM

Khary was replaced by Glenn, who the coaches like, according to O'Halloran; and Henson. MArko will be a WIP for STs this year, but practice makes perfect, and he appears hungry.

We have enough youth, IMO, to replace those 3. I would have thought we would have replace our ST Coach atleat 2 years ago......

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

RI: "Cindy Boren will join you for chat jibba and jabba at noon."

And no_talent_evaluator is on tap for chat scat from 7-12. The opening act is always better than the main attraction, isn't it no_talent_at_all_evaluator? Heh, heh.

Posted by: ElDrano | August 31, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Mason will provide them a solid back up at RB without compromise to other positions on the team.


Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:12 AM

Sure. If you don't value special teams.

In case you're new to this, injuries happen on special teams too. Ask Pierson Prioleau whose season ended on the opening kickoff a few years back. Just like an injury to Portis changes the RB outlook, an injury on special teams could create a need to move your 3rd RB onto the coverage team. Just because the name isn't as big, doesn't mean the importance isn't.

I know special teams are an after-thought to most fans, but it is a pretty crucial element of the game. Especially for this team that relies so heavily on defense and field position. I'm not ready to give up our best all-around special teamer for a guy who has never played a regular season down of NFL football.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DT did a great job at returns last week. He has the speed to go the distance....

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

First, a question: who is Sellers' backup at FB? Is there one?

Second, why do I keep hearing that the team needs to choose experience over youth when it comes to their RBs? Why is it that most of the other teams in the NFL can manage to find 2 or even 3 capable RBs with different styles...but the Redskins can't even find one? How hard can it be?

It's often said that talented RBs are a dime a dozen compared to other positions. There are NFL teams that grab RBs off the street that have flashed more change-of-pace ability than Betts or Cartwright display. Just looking at the NFC East, it seems like every team except the Redskins has at least 2 RBs to worry about. If none of the younger backs in camp can provide a change of pace, pass-protect and catch the ball well enough, that's on the scouts and coaches.

Or maybe the 'Skins should do what other NFC East teams do and actually draft a back every couple of years, instead of worrying about threatening Portis.

Posted by: jcabana | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DT did a great job at returns last week. He has the speed to go the distance....

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM

----------

duh...

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

We can shelf this entire argument by cutting Rock, Marcus, Aldrige, Thomas and Betts and signing one Liegh Torrence.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 31, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

First, a question: who is Sellers' backup at FB? Is there one?

Posted by: jcabana | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM |
Cooley and Yoder play H-back. That other guy they as a TE was a FB in college. Eddie Williams is his name, he is listed on the roster as a FB. Don't know if he makes the active roster or not.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 31, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I would have thought we would have replace our ST Coach atleat 2 years ago......

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 10:25 AM

That's something we can agree on. Smith has been so underwhelming, I can't believe he still draws a check from here.

But he's not getting replaced this year. So if your coaching staff isn't up to snuff, you get the best and most experienced talent you can. Didn't Denver win 2 Super Bowls like that?

*rimshot*

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

First, a question: who is Sellers' backup at FB? Is there one?
Posted by: jcabana

Not sure but I think Yoder is the primary back up, but I know Cooley has taken snaps as H back.

Posted by: theFreshinAU | August 31, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I should add that most of those teams have backup RBs that can play special teams (Choice and Bradshaw being prime examples).

Posted by: jcabana | August 31, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I could see Davis doing some H back.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The Marcus Mason has "yet to earn a single yard in regular season play" argument is a weak one.

Perry Mason, before he had represented his first defendant in front of jury, had yet to win a single case. The man goes on to be featured in more than 80 novels and short stories.


Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:21 AM

Exactly! It's like a Boeing 747. When you see one flying you think, wow that thing can really fly. But, if someone showed you the pieces of the plane before it was assembled, you'd think, "that's just a bunch of metal, rubber, wires and stuff." But you would be wrong. Very wrong. Because that "metal, rubber, wires and stuff," as you so stupidly call it, is actually an airplane. In other words, what the hell are you talking about chia?

Posted by: mack1 | August 31, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

That's funny...I was just reading how JC hasn't been sacked all preseason.

Try again.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 9:11 AM

Those of us who watch the game understand that the QB doesn't need to get sacked to get hit. Or did you now see Campbell bending over clutching his ribs and with an ice-pack on after he was taken out of the game?

Guess who had Blitz pick-up on the play in question? I'll give you a hint: His name rhymes with "Let's" as in Let's get rid of this bum.

Posted by: keino83 | August 31, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood26, explain to me what makes Rock so great on ST that you put him in the HOF.... DT can return kicks, Marcus has been on the punt coverage team all preseason backing up Rock and Betts started Punt Coverage on Friday. Marcus was the other Deep man on KR's on Friday night. I am not saying that Rock is not valuable but what I am saying eventually you must replace people everyone who plays. We do not have a Super Bowl team but we can start reloading and start getting young and more athletic.

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Danny Smith I hear is a good guy, and I think he has sound fundamentals at Special Teams but he is seemingly unable to coach up our kickers to be better. Good X's and O's but not good at making players better.

He and Stan Hixon I think are probably our bottom rung coaches. If you see our young WR's not show up then look at Hixon.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

As long as i don't see Shaun Alexander as my running back this year...

Posted by: merajc86 | August 31, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe the 'Skins should do what other NFC East teams do and actually draft a back every couple of years, instead of worrying about threatening Portis.

Posted by: jcabana | August 31, 2009 10:27 AM

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

Wouldn't you rather draft a Brandon Jacobs in Round 4 or a Brian Westbrook in Round 3 and debate whether he should replace Portis altogether instead of arguing whether some undrafted slapdick is better than a 7th round special teamer?

The real problem here isn't that the team won't replace old for young, it's that they won't bring in any quality young that will beat out the old guys for a job.

Again: I'm for young guys coming in and playing. IF and only IF they can beat the incumbents.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Leigh Torrence?! We're talking Leigh Torrence??

One time I asked Leigh to dress up like Santa for a Christmas party I was throwing for the children. Well Torrence shows up as Santa, reaches into his bag and says, 'I've got goodies for you kids.' He proceeds to hand out scrap metal and cigarettes to them. Then he takes off his beard and says 'There is no Santa 'cause I cheap shot him and broke his neck.'

Y'know, he would shoot whiskey into his neck with a syringe!

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 31, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Mike Florio of PFT is reporting that both Rock Cartwright, and Marcus Mason could be out of work on cutdown day. Jim Zorn is said to have his eye on Shaun Alexander who is fully recovered, and finally healthy and back to his old form."

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

thebanker21 while I agree that Mason will make the team, I disagree with some of your arguments from earlier posts. Irregardless, Mason has to know he is being judge on his pass pro. If he wants to make the team's decision easier, he needs to stand strong in this last game. He cannot continue to get beat by corner blitzes from starting CBs. He cannot leak out in a pass route with a blitzing LB bearing down on your QB. BTW on that play Brennan got sacked. Mason is a talent at running the ball. Ultimately I think that's why he's on the team.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

OK, this argument about Rock Cartwright and how he's irreplaceable, invaluable, and incomparable has reached all-time highs here...

You know what's funny.. folks like to talk about how Mason was cut three times(the 'skins, the Ravens, and the Jets), but the Mason haters don't talk about how last year the 'skins let Cartwright test the market..

This is how valuable he is (To paraphrase beantwonG):

He got the same amount of offers from other teams as I did. None... So teams weren't all that impressed by Rock, hell at least Mason did get looks from other teams, meaning they saw something from the dude... Rock Cartwright? Not so much.

And also, Mason was probably signed, then cut from the Ravens and Jets due to injuries. And he had to learn a playbook in the middle of the season, so him being cut by those teams and the fact that "Pass protection is Mason's biggest deficiency doesn't mean a whole lot to me. As far as the pass protection, he can be coached up to do that. I don't remember Aikman waxing Portis' pass blocking when he was in Denver like he does now that he plays in D.C.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 31, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Count me in the crowd that thinks that Betts and Rock are extremely overrated in Washington and Rock would have a hard time making any roster in the league anywhere else. Betts is overpaid for what he is but he's on the team. Whether or not they keep Rock I pray they keep Aldridge, that guy had another gear on the field the other night that we haven't had in our backfield in a long time. To me that is what we are missing, Mason is not a "change of pace" back, he is a guy that has potential to be a backup in this league but he's not a burner so I say unfortunately....let him go, he's not an upgrade over Betts and LB is a vet that can be trusted. I hope they figure our a way to keep Aldridge though, a rotation this year of betts and CP splitting series in the first 3 quarters (10-15 carries each) and CP getting all the 4th quarter fresher than normal with Aldridge getting 5 touches in the game somewhere on screens and swings would make me happy. We can't lean on CP for 25 carries a game anymore, he just can't be effective for a full season with that workload.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 31, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Red, for the record, I'd sign you before I'd sign Rock...so there you go.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

STers - Sellers, Alexander, Doughty, Moore, Horton, Glenn, Henson, Wilson, Blades, Tryon, Barnes, Davis, RThomas, Yoder/Agnone, Jarmon, Albright

Other players I saw playing on special teams units - Betts, Landry, Hall, Mitchell, DThomas, Jackson

That's 22 players easily listed, not including the kicker/punter. Cartwright is expendable.

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

He and Stan Hixon I think are probably our bottom rung coaches. If you see our young WR's not show up then look at Hixon.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 31, 2009 10:38 AM |

You're being unduly harsh. Colely made the PB. And it wasn't his fault that one had a knee, one had an attitude and one had narcolepsy.

Posted by: ElDrano | August 31, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

All this discussion on Mason misses a point maybe? I liked the kid, Aldridge. He looked faster than Mason and sure as he** faster than Betts. Maybe CP, Aldridge and Dorsey? I'm firmly entrenched in the get younger at RB camp. Betts has been medicore his entire career IMO. Not worth it to keep him any longer. The block he missed causing JC to need an icepack sealed it to me. How come we hear nothing about JC's injuries btw?

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 31, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

thebanker21 while I agree that Mason will make the team, I disagree with some of your arguments from earlier posts. Irregardless, Mason has to know he is being judge on his pass pro. If he wants to make the team's decision easier, he needs to stand strong in this last game. He cannot continue to get beat by corner blitzes from starting CBs. He cannot leak out in a pass route with a blitzing LB bearing down on your QB. BTW on that play Brennan got sacked. Mason is a talent at running the ball. Ultimately I think that's why he's on the team.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 10:42 AM

TWISI, I agree and I know the play you are talking about when Marcus released to the left outside and the outside backer did a stunt from the outside and ran up the middle. I was not sure if that was on Marcus or Center protection so I did not comment on that play. I was not sure of the protection but the way Marcus reacted it was more Marcus fault but I am not sure

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Betts didn't miss a block. He purposefully leaked out on a route, gaining positive yards for what would have been an incompletion. JC got hit. It happens. The play was positive. (Where Betts did make the mistake, though, was in staying in-bounds).

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood26, explain to me what makes Rock so great on ST that you put him in the HOF.... DT can return kicks, Marcus has been on the punt coverage team all preseason backing up Rock and Betts started Punt Coverage on Friday. Marcus was the other Deep man on KR's on Friday night. I am not saying that Rock is not valuable but what I am saying eventually you must replace people everyone who plays. We do not have a Super Bowl team but we can start reloading and start getting young and more athletic.

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:37 AM


I never put him in the HoF. I'm just saying you have a guy who ranks in the top 5-10 in average return yards and folks up here act like the guy is chopped liver. He's had a couple 100 yard rushing games in spot duty, and all people say is that he can't run. Last year everyone went apesh*t over Mason and Rock ripped off a 77 yard run against the Jets. In just about every way, Mason fails to exceed what Rock does. All I'm saying is that if Mason makes the team in favor of Rock or Betts, HE NEEDS TO EARN IT. Being a bit faster or a bit younger is not a good reason BY ITSELF.

Until I see Devin Thomas rip one off for a TD, he's not better than Rock. A few years back we had a guy run one back for a TD (Antonio something...wore #82 before ARE came to town) to help keep the win streak into the playoffs alive. He was gone the next year. Rock is still here and playing a prominent role for a reason, and it would dumb (in my opinion) to cut him for a guy who has yet to beat him out.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

In other words, what the hell are you talking about chia?

Posted by: mack1 | August 31, 2009 10:34 AM

----------

Reading your 747 post gave me a headache.

First, try making a coherent counter-point, or whatever that was, then, maybe, I'll explain what I'm talkin' bout.

Or not.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

psps,

Even if he did as you say, I think his body of work shows him to be oh so average. I'd like a bit better than average.

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 31, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

When Betts started in the league, he was also brutal in pass protection. Who remembers the Ed Reed sack/strip/recovery/TD from a few years ago? But Betts is still the backup, as best as one can say, so the coaches need to make a decision on which players complement each other the best, to hopefully put the best team out there.

Posted by: grounder | August 31, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't see something so far in all this discussion about which RB's make the team.

Who is the go to back in short yardage/goal line? Why on earth has it not been Sellers up until now? Should it be Sellers, or someone else?

Posted by: AFanof47 | August 31, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

to piggy back on RedDMV, Marcus was not cut from the Ravens, in fact the Ravens wanted to keep him but the Jets signed him off their Practice Squad for back up support in New York. New HC in New York, he wanted his guy and got him in the draft so Marcus never had a chance to play for the new HC in New York. He was released after the draft and the Skins grabbed him right away. They knew that what they had in Marcus and rolled the dice again and he is responding with a better camp.

Marcus could not compete during the regular season for a job because practice is light and more about preparing for the next game. Preseason is where jobs are won and lost......

Posted by: thebanker21 | August 31, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Thank you RedDMV.

We have been a mediocre team with the tried and true players on the roster. It's time to upgrade where we can and get more explosive where we can. We aren't winning Superbowls or even making playoffs consistently with Betts as our 2nd runner and Rock whom we clearly don't trust as the 3rd runner (as evidenced by Alexander signing).

Posted by: keino83 | August 31, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Rock would have a hard time making any roster in the league anywhere else.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 31, 2009 10:45 AM

Jack's onto something here. Rock was a free agent before last year. The 'Skins made him a low ball offer and he said he'd get something better from another team. Never happened, and he signed the 'Skins lowball offer.

Bottom line is if we cut Rock now, we can re-sign him whenever we want. He's not getting picked up.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Count me in the crowd that thinks that Betts and Rock are extremely overrated in Washington and Rock would have a hard time making any roster in the league anywhere else...

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 31, 2009 10:45 AM

Somewhere Mike Tomlin and Bill Belichick are hoping the Redskins brass agree. I could see Rock going to Pittsburgh or NE and doing just as well and probably better than what they have right now. See, in those cities they can afford to have a guy return kicks who doesn't have elite speed because they get guys who actually BLOCK for their return guys. It's not a coincidence that ARE fell off the face of the earth as a return man when he came here...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Rock's perceived value has to extend beyond his average return yards.

That's all well and good, but we need to evolve as a team.

If it's a choice between Rock and Mason:

Who is the more dynamic player?
Who has the higher ceiling?
Who has the greater up-side?

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I could see Rock going to Pittsburgh or NE

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 11:00 AM

Kind of makes you wonder why they didn't make him an offer when he was on the market last year, doesn't it?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Aldridge and Dorsey don't get a whiff? It's all Mason all the time here?

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | August 31, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washtimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/new-look-new-result/

No sacks allowed...

1st to say I told you say...re: OLine

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

See, in those cities they can afford to have a guy return kicks who doesn't have elite speed because they get guys who actually BLOCK for their return guys.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 11:00 AM

-----------

Then have Chris Cooley field kicks.

All other things being equal, the faster a return specialist is, the better...

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Betts certainly isn't spectacular, and he hasn't proven to be any type of threat as a #2 in a 1-2 punch, but what he is is insurance for Portis should Portis go down. He's not Darren Sproles, but a Chester Taylor.

What's interesting is how the coaches opted to use the RBs in rotation on Friday. Mason was Portis' primary backup with the first team, with Betts only playing in clear passing situations. Mason also got the goal line carry, and played another 2 snaps in the redzone on the other TD drive (including on the actual TD). I'm not sure if that was Zorn's ploy for resting both Betts and Portis, but I do know that Betts was the punt protector for Smith on Friday night. Seems to me that it's very possible Zorn is looking at a 3-back rotation, with Betts taking Rocks' primary roles, and Mason taking the 'rest Portis' carries on not-so-obvious passing situations.

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jack's onto something here. Rock was a free agent before last year. The 'Skins made him a low ball offer and he said he'd get something better from another team. Never happened, and he signed the 'Skins lowball offer.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 31, 2009 10:59 AM

OK, I'll buy that. I got carried away with the Pitt/NE comment because those teams (NE especially) tend to get more out of old guys who every one else thinks is done.

But I still maintain that Rock is a better option than anyone else on the roster (save for Moss or DHall...neither of whom would play more than sparingly on special teams). I'd love for Mason to beat him out, but only if HE EARNS IT.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I think we should get a new special teams coach!

Posted by: supattapone | August 31, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood said it earlier and I think there is some merit to it. It may be easier to win the #2 RB job than the #3 RB job -- since the #3 RB job is really a bunch of different jobs.

As for DT11 replacing Rock on kickoffs, maybe. Rock was a top 10 KR guy last year -- you don't replace that unless you're sure you've got a significant upgrade.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 31, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'd love for Mason to beat him out, but only if HE EARNS IT.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 31, 2009 11:05 AM

----------

Mason has earned it.

(2 training camps with the Redskins, grunt work on the practice squad, time spent with the Jets.)

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"Somewhere Mike Tomlin and Bill Belichick are hoping the Redskins brass agree. I could see Rock going to Pittsburgh or NE and doing just as well and probably better than what they have right now"

Brown, disagree, BB likes multi-dimensional players. LB's who can play TE, WR who can play CB, DL who can play FB, they have more than enough RB's, Maroney, Faulk, Taylor, Morris, so he's not going there.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Reading your 747 post gave me a headache.

First, try making a coherent counter-point, or whatever that was, then, maybe, I'll explain what I'm talkin' bout.

Or not.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 31, 2009 10:54 AM |

Sorry dummy. I guess I'm no Perry Mason.

Posted by: mack1 | August 31, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Derrick Brooks was cut by the PAck

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Durant Brooks was cut by the PAck

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 31, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Everyone talks about how great Rock is on teams, I didn't see many tackles last year, I saw a couple of blocked punts, I saw him make a bonehead play by diving full speed to down a ball that had already stopped and rolling on it into the end zone for a touchback and I certainly agree that he has had some nice kick returns the last few years and does it well but he's not explosive by any stretch of the imagination. What he give us can be replaced by younger guys with more upside.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 31, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 31, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

What's interesting is how the coaches opted to use the RBs in rotation on Friday. Mason was Portis' primary backup with the first team, with Betts only playing in clear passing situations. Mason also got the goal line carry, and played another 2 snaps in the redzone on the other TD drive (including on the actual TD). I'm not sure if that was Zorn's ploy for resting both Betts and Portis, but I do know that Betts was the punt protector for Smith on Friday night. Seems to me that it's very possible Zorn is looking at a 3-back rotation, with Betts taking Rocks' primary roles, and Mason taking the 'rest Portis' carries on not-so-obvious passing situations.

Posted by: psps23 | August 31, 2009 11:05 AM

Good observation. Now if they can Aldridge 5-10 snaps a game I'd be ecstatic.

Posted by: TWISI | August 31, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

by the couple of blocked punts I mean our punts blocked while he was the personal protector.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 31, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"The Marcus Mason has "yet to earn a single yard in regular season play" argument is a weak one.Perry Mason, before he had represented his first defendant in front of jury, had yet to win a single case. The man goes on to be featured in more than 80 novels and short stories.Posted by: Chia_Pet"

ROFL and they have the same surname, even. If we can just revive Erle Stanley Gardner to script out out games...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Mason runs well, but that is all he does. If you can't block, you won't make it unless you are a truly sick runner.

He's a good runner, but Barry Sanders he ain't.

Sorry Marcus.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | August 31, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

psps: "What's interesting is how the coaches opted to use the RBs in rotation on Friday. Mason was Portis' primary backup with the first team, with Betts only playing in clear passing situations. Mason also got the goal line carry, and played another 2 snaps in the redzone on the other TD drive (including on the actual TD). I'm not sure if that was Zorn's ploy for resting both Betts and Portis, but I do know that Betts was the punt protector for Smith on Friday night"

I sure hope not. Any coach who indulged in such tortuous strategy is destined for failure. Couldn't it be that Zorn was simply giving Mason a shot to change the coaches' minds about cutting him?

Betts did miss 3 games last season. Maybe there's something we don't know. But replace him with Mason on their relative merits? I don't see that, unless Betts or Portis is worse off than we know.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 31, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

It may be important to stock up on RBs this season, because I think there is a good chance that Clinton Portis will either get injured or become ineffective. He has been a superb back, but there is no doubt he has taken a lot of pounding and is getting older. I don't wish anything but the best for Clinton, but I think a very sudden injury or decline in his performance is a possibility the team should consider seriously. Mason and Alridge might be good backup plans.

Posted by: supattapone | August 31, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I'd vote for Aldridge over Mason. His speed is the difference.

Posted by: ColumbiaUSkins | August 31, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If you are a running back and you can't pick up the blitz, why keep you?

Posted by: Grendel13 | August 31, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

If anyone watched the NE game mason blitz pickupnwas better than Betts when he played ole

Posted by: bgoluncfan | August 31, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Mason needs to make the team. If you never take a chance you will never know. I doubt Betts or Rock will do much better that is doesn't warrant trying a younger faster guy who may win a game with his breakaway speed.

Posted by: FedorEm | August 31, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Betts has never been good in pass pro either yet consistently makes the team, somehow he's described now as a good pass blocking back, seemingly overnight, but he whiffs as much as Mason does and is less effective as a RB than Mason. He's also older and hurt evry few weeks...Rock is not, was not and never will be a NFL caliber RB, he coughs it up too much, has no burst and is too small to block. Both Aldridge and Mason bring more to the table offenseviley than Betts and Rock. But just like Daniels, and MW,Jansen,Springles,Holdman and a slew of other "vets" who consistently under perform or couldnt stay healthy with the skins... this staff will ride Betts/Cartwright too long and ensure we have no one young and capable to replace them.

Posted by: ezdoesit74 | August 31, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

you folks are on drugs!!!!

1st our special teams could not survive without Rock. I'm not saying he is all that as a returner, but we need him for SepcTeams.

Mason is nice but he is slow. that's why he has not stuck. the guy has all the good intangibles for a RB, but he does not have SPEED. He does have good vision and pure RB skills on hitting wholes. But for the NFL he is slow. To be quite FRANK, C Portis has lost a step and lacks speed too. I think as a team we need to start looking for a future #1 RB soon.

Posted by: whomp1 | August 31, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The key to winning football is blocking and tackling. It makes everything else work. Having a player who can't or won't block is a waste of a slot, even if they can be fun to watch, as Marcus Mason is.

Posted by: qball43 | August 31, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I've watched Marcus Mason in pre-season for the past couple of years, and he certainly looks like a quick breaking back with good acceleration and a willingness to put his body on the line. His inclusion on the team may hinge on whether he can play special teams, or on his receiving skills (or lack thereof), but depreciating him for not picking up the blitz doesn't make much sense to me: I've played enough football to know that picking up the blitz is not rocket science --it's a lot easier than complex moves and blocking schemes required of offensive linemen, or even fullbacks & tight ends. It requires little more than the ability, and willingness, to put your body solidly between the QB and a fast charging defense guy --not for the faint-hearted, to be sure, nor the physically fragile. For a squat, powerfully built RB, like Mason, built along the lines of an oversized version of Joe Morris (nobody complained about HIS pass blocking when he rushed the Giants to Superbowl XXI victory) picking up the blitz should not present an insuperable problem. When a RB remains a notably poor pass blocker, it's usually because he sees himself as a super star & thus too valuable to wear down his body with something as pedestrian as blocking (Jim Brown was a notable example) or because he doesn't have powerful physique such actions require (Joe Washington and Kelvin Bryant would be examples of the latter). Marcus Mason is neither a Jim Brown, nor a Kelvin Bryant, nor a Joe Washington, and he knows it. Spend some time training him to block, and he will do it willingly. He has clearly demonstrated his willingness to put his body on the line as a slashing, hard charging running back.

Posted by: elena4 | August 31, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Danny Smith needs to focus on the Skins Special Teams, which have been consistently bad during his tenure.

Posted by: migraine_boy98 | August 31, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

what is all the fuss about? at best, he would be the third running back and they never play besides on special teams...which is why they wont get rid of Rock. Mason is a good back but unless they cut Betts and make him #2, hes useless.

Posted by: mja712 | August 31, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse


Aldridge has my vote. Betts only makes the team because the financial hit is too great to get rid of him. Rock will be seriously hurt in his returns this year with the new wedge rule, he goes. DT should be the new kick returner. Mason can run, but so can Aldridge and he gives us a true speed back who should thrive in the west coast offense. I would like to see Aldridge in the third down role with his speed. Beantown, how is his blocking?

Posted by: CTSkins | August 31, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Rock has been around for several seasons and
1) no break away speed on kick returns
2) cannot score in the red zone

Betts seems to have peaked and stopped growing, but he is good to spell portis.

Mason explodes into the hole(what you need at the goal line) and can be taught to return kicks. Sorry rock, and betts next year, speed kills and the Redskinz need an explosive back with speed.

Posted by: cadlecreek1 | August 31, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Danny Smith has had the worst specials teams 3 years running in EVERY phase. Who cares what HE thinks. mason can't be any worse at his job than Smith is at his. Don't forget. The year betts had 1000 yards he also had 3 game-losing fumbles. I'll take a missed block over that anytime.

Posted by: larrypalma | August 31, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mason impressed me ten folds this pre-season. He runs with more explosion than Portis and Betts. You practice squad him and then you have more time to teach him the technique of pass blocking. He is one of those guys that is one injury away from being a Preist Holmes or Chester Taylor. An after thought that turns into a good back somewhere. More and more teams are going to the 2 back, sometimes 3 back system. It is proven that it saves your star and if Portis is our star (I dont know why... lil overrated in my book) we need him fresh.

Posted by: rvanags | August 31, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

We can't get rid of Rock. He's dispensable as a 3rd RB & kick returner, but as crazy as it might sound he's indispensable protecting the punter & defending kick returns. The problem to me is Betts in the equation. His position as RB2 should be the change of pace, but he's just Portis Beta version. If his contract wasn't what it is, I'd say trade him away, but backup running backs are a dime a dozen.

Posted by: wisdom80 | August 31, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Twisi, You have no clue what you are talking about...... Have you ever played football before on any level including little league? How do you know that Mason missed two blocks in pass protection? are you in the meeting room with the coaches? Did you know the plays that were called or the protections? Just to throw out that he missed two blocks is funny. Are you a relative of Rock?

Posted by: thebanker21
He had the same knock on him last year; he stinks at picking up blitzes. I feel sorry for RB's on the Skins on this issue, because Portis's excellence at this just makes the shortcoming stand out all the more.

Posted by: kenboy1 | September 1, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company