Monday Morning H-Back
Monday Morning H-Back
The Monday Morning Quarterback is so played out. Everybody's seen it. Everybody's done it. But I'm here to revolutionize the entire industry by co-opting the exact same format - empty out the notebook, through everything at the wall, start the week off gingerly - but calling it something else. How 'bout the Monday Morning H-back? Has a certain ring to it, eh?
And since there's no more H-backs out here at The Park anymore - they've gone the way of Bill Musgrave under Al Saunders's new offensive system (more on the rise of the tight ends and fullbacks in the print edition of The Post this week) - I figured I'd take the title. Sure, I'm more fit to be the Monday Morning Waterboy, but I'm shooting for the moon. Can't blame a dude for trying.
Basically, I figured on Monday's I'd try to hit on any of the leftover stuff from the weekend, because, in case you haven't noticed, we're pretty much in for games every Saturday Sunday (or Monday) for the rest of the year. So, here goes with the first installment of Monday Morning H-Back:
1) First of all, the fact that 47,000-odd people who came to FedEx Field for what amounted to a practice is pretty amazing. There really wasn't too much to see, especially with the Skins resting essentially the entire first-string offense from contact drills, and it was gorgeous afternoon that would have been perfect for any sort of outdoor activity at all. Yet the mad dash of people running through the turnstiles around 10 am was stunning. I have to admit that the fanaticism of some can be a little scary at times, with everything else seemingly taking a back seat to the Redskins, but the sheer passion is undeniable.
2) Sean Taylor is a monster. Whether it's the first day of training camp, the first scrimmage or the playoffs, the kid only knows one way to play. He was only on the field for one series Saturday, and still managed to throw himself into any Raven within striking distance. My editor Cindy, bless her soul, went home from a day of editing our stories on the scrimmage, turned on the NFL Network and ended up sitting through the replay, floored by the licks Taylor - once dubbed "The Grim Reaper" by LaVar Arrington - was dishing out considering the setting. I reminded her that a few days before that he blew up Clinton Portis at practice. That's Sean being Sean. His blast through the chest of Baltimore running back Mike Anderson could not have been more clean, or effective. One gets the sense that with his legal problems finally behind him and coming off a full offseason at Redskins Park, Taylor is on a mission.
3) While some fans may have been pining for their first look at B.Lloyd or Antwaan Randle El in 11-on-11 drills, my many Raven-season-ticket-owning friends and family (hey, I'm born and raised in B-more, whatdya expect) wished Billick would have gone the route of Gibbs and Saunders. Baltimore's first-round pick picked up a knee strain and Anderson suffered a mild concussion. Considering how extensive the risk of major injury already is in the four preseason games, I can fully understand any coach being cautious with his personnel in a scrimmage.
4) Somebody should film a documentary on the FedEx parking lot after a big game. For starters, we're awful close to some hallowed big-screen land - the scene of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" (may the Cap Centre RIP) - and all of the telltale signs that football season has arrived were on display Saturday. The displaced grills and debris could be found all over. Saw one guy completely passed out in the driver's seat of his car with the engine running and the radio and air conditioning blasting. A group of shirtless Redskins and Ravens fans were jawing back and forth and engaged in that epic dance we've all seen a million times whether it be at a frat party, cheesy bar (think Jello shooters and foam machines), or on a basketball court. Dudes push back and forth, one guy keeps walking away only to run back at his foe, knowing full well his buddy will hold him back at the end. After about four rounds of this stuff the random girlfriend leaps from some vehicle to intervene, doing her part to keep the combatants apart. Then they exchange some more inane, drunken rhetoric, and finally get in their cars. Yet I sat there for a good 10 minutes, transfixed, waiting to see if anything went down. I am truly an idiot.
5) Nobody's ever going to mistake Vinny Cerrato for Michael Buffer after the de-facto GM was charged with explaining the format of the scrimmage to the fans before it all began Saturday.
Well, we've got an afternoon session today and the weather looks pretty good this week. Should be a lot more pleasant for the players, fans and coaches. Hope you all had a great weekend and look forward to hearing from you.
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