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Putting The Baby To Bed (A.K.A - Can't We All Just Get Along?)

Alright, going to try to put a few things out there as the Archuleta discussion pours over, and hopefully address some stuff for the last time.

First of all, I think one of the great thing about blogs in general is the back-and-forth, conversational and hopefully, entertaining tone. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, I don't want everyone to agree with me and I think it's great that people feel passionately enough to respond to the entries, whatever their position may be. My analysis of the situation is not any more important than anyone else's, I am not pretending that I am always right and in no way was anything I wrote attacking the fans.

If you read it that way, fine, we'll agree to disagree and I learned long ago in this business that not everyone is going to get everything you do. But if I didn't care what you guys think and didn't think your opinions matter I wouldn't put nearly as much time and effort into this blog as I do, and certainly wouldn't spend a good portion of the day responding to emails as well. I spend most days speaking to people who work in that building and around the league, then I process, sort and ponder various pieces of information and, in this case, after gathering lots of stuff I presented my take on the situation.

That's it.

I strive to make it as informed as possible from all the reporting I do, and then let you guys have at me.

Just like no one is going to agree with everything Wilbon writes in an actual column in the newspaper or whatever, not all will agree with me. But I want everyone to feel welcome to chime in and I hope everyone else enjoys the exchange of varied ideas (now, if you post a silly comment simply saying that I am an idiot, I will surely offer a pointed retort, but again, I consider that to be in good fun as well, and promise to never insult anyone's mamma unless you explicitly ask me to). If the Archuleta post seemed particularly heated to some, I apologize, but I was taking my own critical eye to the overall situation and again, assessing this move and how they got this point at this safety position in the first place.

It was not meant to be directed at fans, other than to ask you to consider what your standards of "progress" are for this front office, and if you would apply those same standards to other NFL franchises, or even other teams you might root for in other sports. So I present my thoughts, which clearly ran contrary to public sentiment at the time, and then sit back and see what kind of dialogue it produced.

I don't know, but to me that's basically a good thing. And as I wrote, a lot of the comments and emails I received made great points and I am not taking away from that. I just felt like in my first Archuleta post I didn't truly present my thesis as I would have liked do - I was really pressed for time - and after reading what you guys wrote I stepped back and took another crack at it as a means of trying to frame what I was saying more concretely. And then, just like before, we move on to the next thing ... although in this case judging from the comments there was a still a demand for more discussion on this.

So, as your humble servant, I posted this to try to wrap it up.

Now, on to the other lingering point about coaching involvement in personnel decisions. I am not going to discuss stories that anyone else wrote at my paper or otherwise. If you want to ask them questions about their work, shoot 'em an email. As for me, again, I point you to the first story in the end-of-the-season series. And, to further clarify, I will make this analogy:

Okay, let's equate the Redskins search for a player via free agency or trade to going food shopping.

The entire staff has meetings after the season to decide what they need to go shopping for to make the team better. So, like in 2005, there is much talk about WRs (let's call 'em apples) and DEs (how about bananas?). So Vinny and his crew have done the recon; they scope out the market for available fruits and veggies, and report back. His scouting department will prepare reports on available fruits and veggies and they all have weeks of post-season personnel meetings to try to rate which positions need addressing. The scouts and coaches have a chance to voice what they think of the existing produce in the team's fridge, and who out there might be a more savory alternative.

So they create a grocery list of sorts, only none of those dudes gets to go shopping.

As an example, Vinny might report back, yeah, I hear they have a rotten apple in San Francisco that the coaches have soured on there and he might be available for trade (I hope we can still have a little fun on here without everyone flipping out). This bad apple will be talked about in personnel meetings, and he'll be on the grocery list along with other apples and in 2006 he ended up in DC to the tune of two quality draft picks even thought his old employers in San Fran. weren't going to restock in their panty, regardless.

Now, once all the fruits and veggies on the grocery list have been picked apart, it's turned over to upper management. They're the shoppers. Just as Coach Joe said in our end-of-the-year series, once it gets time to pulling the trigger on actual decisions - contracts, how much to pay people, who to attack most aggressively, how much to offer up in trade, ultimately, "It comes down to Dan and me."

So, with the meetings complete, the owner and the team president, with some assistance from Vinny and cap guy Eric Schaffer, go forth. They devise contracts and play with the cap. They deal with agents and GMs from other teams. They decide that it makes as much sense to pay the third-string apple the same thing as the top banana and the safety (lemon?) from St. Louis they want to sign.

Now, again, will the coaches and scouts have made their case for said apple or banana or lemon? Sure. Will they have any further say in the outcome on which fruits and veggies actually end up in the cart, and how much is paid for them? No. They might really like a lemon, but when it comes to check-out time at the store, and actually paying that lemon twice what any other lemon on the market is getting, and guaranteeing a bunch of stuff, and playing with his cap number, it's entirely out of their hands.

Lots of times they don't even know which teams or agents (farms, for these purposes, perhaps?) Gibbs/Snyder are dealing with and which veggies they will purchase. But when Gibbs/Snyder decide to bring that lemon into the Redskins' pantry, and put it alongside all the other produce in the locker room, well, now it's everyone's problem. And when year after year the salad that all these fruits and veggies are ultimately added to comes out stale and smelly, well, now you're going to start to hear about it from your patrons who keep coming back year after year and spending a lot of money to dine at your tables, only to leave feeling a little bit sick in the tummy.

I am not saying that in other organizations the coaches/scouts have any more say in who ends up there, and, yes, in other places they are kept in the dark about a lot of things until the very end as well. But the difference in most places is that there is at least someone near the top at the executive chef level, with final authority, who has some sort of proven track record at putting these salads together and has done it successfully at various other restaurants before. (I want my Bobby Flay!!!)

And, with the teams that generally make the most delicious salads, the coaches and scouts, etc., generally have a feeling that the chefs above them are making sound decisions - here those results just haven't been produced, folks.

Which brings us back to the overall point of the end-of-the-year story. Until that flaw in this recipe is rectified, a lot of people around this league think the Skins will struggle to find that kind of consistency and success lacking in their kitchen for so long. Call him whatever you want - GM, Personnel Guru, Lord Of All Things Football - but until he is here it could continue to be a malnourishing dining experience

I spoke to people around the league again throughout this week, and continued to hear the same thing. "The Redskins are a sleeping giant." "They are just really missing one piece (in the personnel department)." Other execs equated it to the Eagles before Joe Banner and the owner there had the light bulb go on. "Trust me, teams in the NFC fear what the Redskins could become if they ever get it together." I heard similar stuff time and again. "Their biggest flaw has been in their ability to self-scout their own players, and who they (the front office) give money to and who they let walk away."

Now, like I have said throughout this offseason, perhaps they are starting to clean up their kitchen. They showed some restraint in free agency. That's a good thing. We'll see if they trade down and stockpile some picks and try to address multiple deficiencies in the draft, because every player I have spoken to this offseason (and trust me, it's a long list) will say privately that they need to add life to that D Line. Then again, we'll see if they end up packaging a whole bunch of future draft picks to move up and take a certain wide receiver (who is a huge apple and potential stud, but man, just look at how many resources thay are already devoting to that pile of fijis over there.

Just like you guys, I'll have to sit back and see how the whole thing plays out.

I still can't herald the Archuleta deal for reasons we have all spent too much time dissecting, and I await the day where this organization makes some moves from the position of strength, because to me that's when you start dishing out the kudos. Maybe they are getting to that point, but for the three years I have been on this beat they have won 21 games, and their kitchen has long been in need of a serious spring cleaning.

By Jason La Canfora  |  March 22, 2007; 1:07 PM ET
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Next: Man I Hope This Is My Second-To-Last Arch Post



Posted by: fernando | March 22, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line with Arch is what you said. Very very bad deal. And mgmt should be excoriated for it. But ... it is even worse to let a failure stay around. So they get some credit for not perpetuating this terrible situation. Lloyd is still here and he is also a disaster. The Skins need to get rid of disasters and not let them haunt the future.

Posted by: AL | March 22, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

For old times sake...


Posted by: John From Herndon | March 22, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Everyone who follows the Redskins enough to be reading a blog in the offseason knows the Redskins are a mess, we're not the ones that need to be preached to.

The Redskins have just become a way station for players (and coaches) to get paid. Everyone just keeps their mouth shut and collects their paychecks, and as long as Snyder keeps raking in the cash by advertising over every available space at FedEx field, this charade is just going to continue.

But I think people are starting to get a whiff of what's going on, we were already kind of on to Snyder and his methods after the Spurrier era, but the hiring of Gibbs gave Snyder a temporary reprieve. But going into year 4 of Gibbs, we realize it's the same old BS all over again.

Posted by: juandixonformvp | March 22, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me the Skins have played with being conservative and then going wild in free agency again, every other year. My take on it is that even though JG says the right things in public, this team would be run a different way if DS weren't in th picture. I'm sure he would still take a bath on the occasional deal/player that no longer wants to be part of the team, but hey, we all have aour flaws. But I still truly beleive he would keep the players that wanted to be here and I also think some of the players who they brought in would be of a different makeup. I feel he has to say yes to some of the players DS wants to appease him even if the guy isn't someone he would necessarily bring in without the influence of DS. I also firmly beleiveJG would have made Uncle Junior history if not for the relationship with DS.

Posted by: Cincy skins fan | March 22, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

JLC, take a deep breath dude! Even a blind squirrel get a nut occasionally. Things are not as bad as it seems. Many teams are lucky. N.O. Saints are a good case in point. What would they have been like if Miami signs Brees instead of opting for Culpepper? How much rocket science went into finding Colston in the late 7th round? Everybody says the Pats are brilliant but how much of that brilliance is just being lucky enough to pick Brady in the 6th round? A lot guys want to make it seem like it takes a certain amount of brilliance but really dude! So much of it is luck. Merriman doesn't just make us look stupid. He makes the 11 other teams that picked someone other than him look just as stupid if not more stupid b/c they are paying their pick even more money than him. Yes their is a level of professionalism lacking in their process but look at who their competition is. Houston didn't pick the Hometown hero and gave the QB 8 Million dollar option only to cut him and pay some "johnny come lately 2nd stringer" more than they would have paid the rookie last year. Give the skins a break man!

Posted by: DMAN | March 22, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Did Jason run this post through a spell-checker? I miss the typos.

Posted by: Mark (in 21132) | March 22, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Cincy, I think you are right on point in a lot of ways. Joe takes all the bullets, but ain't now way he is solely responsible for all of it. It's a noble position for him to take, and he's definitely a total stand up guy, but he ain't flying solo.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about you guys, but after reading that I'm in the mood for a really big fruit salad.

Posted by: ce1782 | March 22, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your analysis. Trading down would be an ideal way to reverse the trend. Overall I like the sucess of our drafts with the limited picks we have had. There seems to be a ton of speculation as to the Redskins trading down and that could weaken their bargaining position. If Washington appears desperate to pick up draft picks then they'll be taken advantage of again. If an excellent trade down doesn't present itself then they should draft D-line @ #6 and look over the released players for depth after June 1st. Save next years picks for next year.

Posted by: David Jackson | March 22, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Archulemon. Hmmmm.

If he was a veggie when he did play, would he be a "leek" or a "beet"

Posted by: 4-12 | March 22, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Big Jfrom Herndon great to see you back in the house my friend.

JLC this why I have so much respect for you. Way to come back and clear the air. Much respect. How is the wife doing?

Posted by: jm220 | March 22, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Great... thanks for the food analogy. I don't know about daveb55 or any of the rest of you snicker pickers, but now I could really go for a Waldorf salad right about now.

You can see Jason's frustration coming out in this analogy... he had to break it down to apples and lemons to get us to understand. Its a shame how passionate some people can be about sports and entertainment... I think Jason's just stirring the pot to keep things interesting. He was getting bored with everyone kissing up to him all the time. If we as fans can't handle some criticism of our team, we might as well start rooting for the Cowboys/Fighting Irish/Yankees/Lakers/Duke Basketball...

Jason, thanks for the clarification... its your blog, June 1 is right around the corner... keep it up

Posted by: Dorf | March 22, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey JLC.. the fact are the fact in regards to the FO decisions and FA.. some people out here can't handle the truth.. again, have them go thru all the acquisitions since gibbs II and see how much these players got paid (along w/valuable draft picks lost as part of the cost), compared to what they actually contributed in terms of more wins, games played, stats, pro bowl appearances, etc.. i'll give you they've had a few ave to decent pickups but most have been overpaid ave players, and many have been constantly injured, etc.. i mean look a david patton or duckett.. come on ! sorry gang JLC is just giving you the facts.. or you can look them up for yourselves..
And for all you who say give the coaches and FO a break "they are learning".. wow.. I would learn going into that job.. this is a hall of fame coach with a team of top guys who have had decades of experience, getting paid the most of any FO in the league (surprise).. and they're learning !!!!!!!? holly crap !!.. what the heck have they all been doing the past 30 years ???
I'll tell you things better be a whole hell of a lot better the next few years and all these great move better start living up to expectations.. we'll see ?

Posted by: vpar | March 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

waldorf salad on my doo-dads one time. i suggest a chinese buffet.

Posted by: daveb55 | March 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

DMAN, this can definitely be the year of the 1-year wonder (2005 would appear to look that way at this point), but the teams that have experienced some sustained success - Philly, New England, etc - have a way of doing things that has become tried and true.

also, as to the saints, I think their GM, Mickey Loomis, is a very shrewd guy who engineered some fine trades, draft picks and acquisitions to get that team turned around, and they also had the faith to clean out a lot of bad apples and turn it over to a young, unproven coach.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

JLC said: Then again, we'll see if they end up packaging a whole bunch of future draft picks to move up and take a certain wide receiver (who is a huge apple and potential stud, but man, just look at how many resources thay are already devoting to that pile of fijis over there.

I couldn't agree more. There is no room in our locker room or budget for another star WR. I don't care if he's Jerry Rice Jr. Johnson is not what this team needs in order to be successful.

Posted by: Clinton Hill | March 22, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think archie was a vegetable when he played. That's the problem.

Posted by: etrod | March 22, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Wait, is that lemon in my salad?

Posted by: cload and daggar | March 22, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Great points JLC. It's nice to hear that we're just a step away, not player-wise, but front-office-wise.

And whoever writes #1 just because they got here first makes me want to blow my brains all over the blog. >:-(

Posted by: TheMalcolmConnection | March 22, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

JLC, loved the post.

I'm all for bringing Mario Batali on board.

Posted by: M.E.G. | March 22, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

After reading this post I need some Pepto-Bismol :(

Posted by: Ryan | March 22, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

It IS going to happen. It IS going to happen. Bobby De Paul ... Iron Chef. Will it and make it so. No more bending over to take the banana.

Frankly, for that matter, of the other GMs out there, that guy in Miami seems like it might be a good move. Randy Mueller. Wasn't allowed to be a real GM under Saban.

Post-draft also seems like the best time to bring in a guy-not-labeled-GM-but-still-does-GM-job.

Posted by: dcsween | March 22, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

love the blog. sorry you feel defensive. not sure why any reader would take personally what you wrote. makes no sense to me. i think it's great that you put any amount of pressure on the ownership to make a positive change. plus you back up your arguments with compelling facts. you're a positive agent for change. keep up the good work.

Posted by: beat cal | March 22, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

JLC you keep doing what u do. We could still have Maske doing this... thanks

Posted by: Luvsmesumme | March 22, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

JLC lays it out there for all those who are struggling to grasp what is going on at Redskins Park. The AD circustance is symptomatic of the disease. And Ol' Man Joe ain't fixin' nothing. He's part of the problem.

My pops ran into Gibbs at a Colorado ski resort. Struck up a conversation with the Ball Coach that lasted maybe 5 minutes. Upon parting ways, good ol' Joe said to my dad, "you're a good man. I want you to have this." Gibbs hands my dad a booklet entitled something like "The Seven Miracles I've Experienced." The Dude is proselytizing!!!

When I heard that I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.

Posted by: M.E.G. | March 22, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

beat cal- thanks a ton. you rock. not trying to be defensive as much as inviting, and the vibe from the vibe of the comments the last few days i may have missed the mark to some, so just trying to go the extra mile.

DCSween, my man, your guy Bobby would make all the sense in the world, but he's under contract and the bears would be silly not to extend him. Also, the onus is on the skins to take the first step to recovery and admit they have a problem and I am not sure they are ready to do that.

as Randy is a very astute guy and as you said will finally get the chance to do that job now that that automoatron Saban is back in podunk college towns where he belongs. Randy's not going anywhere.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

JLC - You're doing a fantastic job, don't change a thing.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I like to eat apples and bananas.

Posted by: NWO4LIFE | March 22, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

E leeke tee eet eepples and beeneenees

Posted by: NWO4LIFE | March 22, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse


How brilliant was it of Mickey Loomis dude to have the Reggie Bush cat just fall in his lap? Brilliant man really shrewd!
Seriously though JLC we all know that Uncle Vinny is a serious detriment to this organization but everybody has got problems man. That lady that owns the Rams screwed up her team with the help of some overly large egos in the front office. Uncle Al from Brooklyn who is runnin da Raders into the ground! Dude up in Buffalo who owns the Bills aint he a hoot. Look at all the teams in the league who had a gazillion dollars in cap space but won't spend it? Why cause they are satisfied with having a mediocre product. Give the SNYD some credit man! At least he's trying. We could be in a lot worse situation is all I'm saying dude. SNYD is a hell of a Fantasy team owner. The NFL would be great if he could like own 6-7 teams and be making all kinds of trades and stuff.

Posted by: DMAN | March 22, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Oo looke to oot ooples and boonoonoos

Posted by: NWO4LIFE | March 22, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"...the onus is on the skins to take the first step to recovery and admit they have a problem..."

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 02:08 PM


"Hi, I'm danny, and I'm a meddlesome, napoleonic man-boy"

Posted by: 4-12 | March 22, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

You're an upstanding man, JLC. It's nice to have someone blogging so close to the team, and as you can see, it can elicit a lot of passion from the readers of your blog, both the regulars and the lurkers.

I may not agree 100% with what you decide to blog, but that's part of the fun, as you state. Keep up the good work. And now, please go take a break--you're about to have a baby and you'll need the energy! And we need our inside source ready to go when the Draft comes up!

Posted by: duck | March 22, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

DMAN, the breed trade, using a pick on the WR from Hofstra rather than trying to sign him as a UFA, hiring the coach, not too shabby my man.
Houston passing on Bush, yeah, that's still hard to fathom actually happening, regardless of the degree of difficulty in getting his signed, and was definitely lucky.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse


You do not have to apologize for your post yesterday, that was magic! What's scary is that you made many great points. Until The Danny and Coach God figure it out, we are in for more of the same.

How great would it be to see the Skins get a "Real Football" guy who understands how to aquire and trade players and picks? What would the roster look like today? Champ was not going to come back so the Baily for Portis deal is not all that bad.. Hall of Famer for potential Hall of Famer... Until you throw in that number two draft pick. How many picks did we give up for Jason Campbell? 3 or 4 quality picks. Letting Peirce and Smoot go, well we've seen the results of that move. How about giving up two number two's to get a linebacker who was a special teamer?

Wouldn't it be great to get a deal like the Falcon's got yesterday? That ain't gonna happen here until The Danny and Coach God figure it out! Joe always says, " I would hate to see where our team would be without free agancy".. Would I love to see what the team would be like without free agancy!! Oh, that would mean they would actually draft their own talent!@$% That would require a "Real GM".

You rock JLC!

Posted by: 229 | March 22, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Gee--basically saying that Redskins fans are idiots yesterday and then today feeling the need to break it down in terms of fruit, for Pete's sake. I can't imagine why fans would *ever* feel insulted by JLC.

I guess it's beyond reason to think that the team thought that keeping Archuleta would now be a liability on the field (whatever the circumstance last year), and that it would be better to get what we could for him. And that has everything to do with football as it's played on the field, for those of us who believe that old-fashioned concepts like chemistry have an impact.

No, no--we're just going to scream in ecstacy that our team has given us sixth-rounder, or maybe a fruit salad, because we don't know better.

Posted by: Olddominion | March 22, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how losing 3 NFC championships and 1 Super Bowl is success. Especially when the Eagles are to cheap to go out and spend some of that cap room they always get applauded for on a real RB, some defensive players that can stop the run and some first string WR's. And you have to go back 3-5 years for that "success". Over the last 2 years they are no better than the Skins if you look at the facts.

The Skins are doing better all the time and I give them credit for always being willing to make changes and adjust even if they still make mistakes - like all teams do.

Posted by: Greg in NC | March 22, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how losing 3 NFC championships and 1 Super Bowl is success. Especially when the Eagles are to cheap to go out and spend some of that cap room they always get applauded for on a real RB, some defensive players that can stop the run and some first string WR's. And you have to go back 3-5 years for that "success". Over the last 2 years they are no better than the Skins if you look at the facts.

The Skins are doing better all the time and I give them credit for always being willing to make changes and adjust even if they still make mistakes - like all teams do.

Posted by: Greg in NC | March 22, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

This blog stinks, did Uncle Junior fart?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I would like to dedicate this verse to the blog, the regulars, and JLC.

Tonight it's very clear.
As we're both lying here,
so many things I wanna say
I will always love you
I would never leave you alone

Sometimes I just forget
Say things I might regret
It breaks my heart to see you crying
I dont wanna lose you
I could never make it alone

I am a man who will fight for your honor
Ill be the hero youre dreaming of
Well live forever
Knowing together that we
Did it all for the glory of love

-Peter Cetera July '89 to a young ArtMonkToTheSticks talking about the Redskins.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | March 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

great analogy JaLa.

I am with the other NFL execs who fear the skins putting it together.

Years and years of buying the groceries with out a list (leadership) and putting the desert menu (the 52 fruits and toppings) before the main course (QB) has gotten us where we are right now.

That is over. Coach and QB to build around are here. stability is here. Idenity is here. Snyder can create and negotiate (and He will)we need a real talent evaluator (draft and FA external). Gibbs strongest suit is team building he knows who to cut and who to keep, but it comes with internal observation (remember my pick up b_ball analogy)Get someone to tell Gibbs and snyder who the best fits are outside of whats already on the team.

The other teams are right the most feared combination is to the team that win' s and pays you the most. we are getting there.

Posted by: Old School | March 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg in NC, what are they putting in the water down in NC?

Posted by: Craig Hallston | March 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The problem with salesmen, speaking as one, is that they all love their own ideas. Make no mistake about it; Snyder and Gibbs are consumate salesmen. This team needs a skeptic at the top of the personnel pyramid, and salesmen are not skeptics. The product we're being sold is a team of men who do very brutal things on the field of play. BUT! They are men, people, human beings. Players may thrive on discipline, but people thrive on love. When the personnel dep't brings in a new "hero" every year, what does that say to last year's hero's? People do not fare well on a Ferris Wheel, where you're at the top one year and at the bottom the next year. To sum up this two pronged note: 1) we need a skeptic at the top of the personnel pyramid. 2) We need a team that shows a little genuine loyalty and concern for the men it has hired to work.
And yes, I did post as Mr. Chile (pronounced Chili) a couple of months ago.

Posted by: Neil in Durango | March 22, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

jason all i have to say is archy is gone and im glad he blows.good ridance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: xpac69 | March 22, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

AMTTS bringing it Karate Kid II style!

Posted by: etrod | March 22, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Off the subject, but related to DTs (a Redskins need) ... with the Sheagles signing Montae Reagor from the Colts, and picking Broderick Bunkley with their #1 last year, and thus the chatter of Darwin Walker as trade bait, should the Skins bite?

Posted by: dcsween | March 22, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The problem is the Redskins never go for the pre-ripe fruit, they always overpay for what looks good right now.

No patience, no draft pics, and until recently there was always change.

The Redskins need a GM to evaluate things long term, and if he doesn't do well then get rid of him.

Posted by: Broken Clipboard | March 22, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Best wishes dude! To you and your bride. Hope that this birth event will truly be everything you hope for.

Thanks for the banter on Uncle Vinny and the SNYD!!!

I bleed burgundy and gold man! It's a hard habit to a lot of people on the blog who are haters. This team is not perfect but how many are? Gibbs 2.0 isn't the problem. Ole Coach Joe is a righteous dude! Too many people didn't give the GM's that were here with him enuf credit. These same so called fans ran Charley Casserly out of town on a rail. So if Uncle Vinny is the anti-GM then we are really just getting what we deserve. Karma is a b-tch man!

Posted by: DMAN | March 22, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Etrod, it's just what I pictured.

JLC is in Okinowa fighting to the death against a dude with more training. The blog onlookers (blonlookers) are all standing there with their little drums turning side to side.

As JLC crosses the bridge to confront his enemy, Cindy, his mentor goes:

'La Confora San-this no tournament. This for real'

cue Cetera...

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | March 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

1. Thanks to Bucktown skins fan for posting the link for me. I did read it, thanks.

2. Thanks also to Nate in the PDX for encouraging me to keep the faith!

3. We love your work, Jason. Let me ask you this, if GW lost so much respect last year [ESPN article] then how much will the defenese "buy in" to GW's plans, ways, person this year?

4. I am fearful the Danny will want to jump up to #3 and take Calvin Johnson from Georgia Tech. Snyder simply can't refuse making the big splash on draft day. Calvin is 6-5, and weighs 239, and ran a 4.35. But folks don't you still think the wiser move is to trade down from about #6 to 10 and get two more picks?
or maybe from #6 down to 15 and get two additional selections?

Posted by: Redskin Ray | March 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

This post just proves there's no way you can please everyone. I loved JLC's first two Archulemon posts, but I find this fruity one patronizing.

I want to love The Danny. This is an owner who had a big shiny Redskins beltbuckle when he was a kid. THAT is the guy I want owning the team I root for. I just don't want him picking the players. He loves the team too much and that love clouds his judgment. As a result, I've spent the past 8 years loathing the man. If he really loved the Redskins, he'd overpay an excellent GM to manage players.

Please, Mr. Snyder, if you are reading this, hire a GM.

Posted by: mugamack | March 22, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Peter Cetera? wow, we've hit a new pop culture low.
I gotta get out of here. this blog does stink.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | March 22, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I vote no on Darwin Walker. another 30 year old is not what the D-Line needs.

DMAN, I agree with you on the GM but I was one of those who rode Casserly out of town and to quote Ron Burgundy '...that is in no way depressing.'

He was/is a bum GM. Shall I remind you who just last year held the #1 overall pick with at least 3 can't miss prospects to choose from...and missed?

Posted by: etrod | March 22, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I forgot. The concern over new nicknames being utilized.
I confess I had been posting as "Ray", but decided to make only a small amendment to "Redskin Ray". I didn't really see any problem...

Posted by: Redskin Ray | March 22, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Keep on rockin' Jason. Your intelligence is top notch my man.

Posted by: Daveskin | March 22, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse


Today's post seems a lot more measured and less heated than yesterday's "AA redux" - which I think is much better. And despite my criticisms of some of your past postings, I appreciate the dedication you bring to the blog - we are lucky for that.

Now, JLC, you used the AA trade as an example of what is wrong with the skins' FO structure and decision-making outcomes. Fair enough, for that one example. And there are others: Duckett, etc.

However, while I generally agree that in the last three years, the FO's choices have been more misses than hits, what about:

Clinton Portis, Shawn Springs, Sean Taylor, Chris Cooley, Marcus Washington...Santana Moss...Kedric Golston (Draft: 2006 - 6th round)...acquiring these players were not bad moves in Gibbs' second tenure, I think most would agree.

So its not all bad, right? Is the FO structure to be praised when they get things right? Or only when things go wrong?

One step further: according to Mark Maske (WaPo NFL Insider), the Eagles and Patriots have basically the same FO structure as the 'skins - and they are perennially successful. To paraphrase Mark Maske's views: its not the structure per se, its the decisions that get made (and whether or not "deciders" are qualified).

I agree that some terrible decisions have been made. I think the key is finding and organizational system that consistently works for them. The traditional model of Owner-GM-HeadCoach is the most consistent organizational model in the NFL today, and this helps ensure that when someone leaves the FO, the team can hire a replacement without completely re-working the organization as a whole. But its not the only model that has worked.

Posted by: Rennypolis | March 22, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

ArtMonkToTheSticks, did you check the cafepress site ?

I designed a model named after you with one of my favorite quotes ever. It touches my heart, really...

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | March 22, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree with u on most points here. But i will defend snyder to a point. I here all the fans saying hes the man because of all the money hes willing to spend to make the team better, and i agree with that. BUT just think if he had somone with half a brain guiding these decisons on who to spend all that money on how good we could be. And if we trade for Calvin Jhonson i will frickin cry. Move down get more picks the draft stocked with DEs and pick up a decent guard in the 2nd round with that pick u got for movin down. I mean we all saw how much mario williams did last year i think we can get someone just as good as gaines and anderson later in the first.

Posted by: Outlaw | March 22, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Segway altert on the Cetera/Chicago theme

Dan Snyder to Antonio Pierce:

If you see me walking by/
and the tears are in my eyes/
look away, baby look away

Posted by: etrod | March 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

JLC, we can disagree all day long about a lot of things and still come together over some oat sodas. But I will not stand, this agression will not stand, against Peter Cetera. What did he ever do besides lay down a brilliant track to suppliment the 37th greatest sequel of all times?

"I loved the movie 'Karate Kid' when I was little. I wanted to be just like him. I just couldn't find a 60 year old Asian man to be friends with me" - Mitch Hedberg

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | March 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Neil from Durango/Mr. Chile, I recognized the thought process about buyer/seller. The analogy has come up several times since you first posted. Great to have you back.

Now let's fast forward this offseason, find out who the Skins drafted, and get to bringing out the long knives for Vinny.

Oh, another thought. This one is about the defensive line. [Also, I don't think Skins should trade for Darwin Walker -- maybe wait to see if he gets cut.] I've been thinking about the D-line and especially Coach Blache lately. The link to the blogpost about the Lindsay canning reminded me that someone had to be the goat for the LBs. The D-line isn't as much of a performance problem, as a problem of roster, esp. age (thus motor). Its clear that, at both DT and DE, Skins need some new guys. New guys (and I'm including Golston and Montgomery) ALWAYS need to work on "technique." My thought is that the Skins could/should add another D-line coach as a trainer for the new blood. [Yes, as absurd as it sounds, I'm suggesting adding another coach.]

Greg Blache seems like the guy who would be Grilliams' D-coordinator if Grilliams' became coach. Like he's almost already the deputy D-coordinator. His TITLE is Defensive Coordinator/Defensive line. He WAS the defensive coordinator in Chicago (before Rivera). Before that, he was the D-line coach in Indy and GB. The guy has a ton of experience and success. As a player, however, he was a defensive back. I'm not saying he doesn't have the chops to train new guys, but his job in recent years (other than the two new guys) has been to oversee the journeymen (Wynn, Daniels, Griffin) who had plenty of technique training already.

What I'm envisioning is a new buck, in a role like Bill Lazor plays for Jason Campbell, i.e., stays late, obsesses over maximizing the performance of the players he coaches, etc. A guy looking to enter coaching where his WHOLE job performance will be rated on the performance of the guys he coaches. Greg Blache already earned his cred, so he doesn't have to be that hungry.

Anyway, that's my new thought for today, esp. to develop new top pick (#6) or the trade down guys (1st and 2nd rounders).

Posted by: dcsween | March 22, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Jason's right. Skins seem to constantly let players go who they have brought up and developed (quality Redskins such as AP, Smoot, Ryan Clark, going way back to Stephen Davis). Then they always pay out the nose for some "star" past his prime who never fits in or seems to have the same heart or desire after he cashes in. How does it make the current players feel to see quality guys constantly undervalued and let go while overvaluing other teams' castoffs that we could have probably signed for less and without surrendering the entire draft? The skins personnel dept. IS a mess and I'm afraid that they will be inconsistent until it is corrected.

Posted by: Mark from Virginia | March 22, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

A curse on you NWO4LIFE! I can't get that damn Raffi song out of my head!

Posted by: dcsween | March 22, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Again, great article! Loved the produce/kitchen analogy. And, remarkably, very little name-calling . . .

Hmmm, keep up the good work. You da Man!

Posted by: TahoeSkin | March 22, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Continued great work, JLaC. Congrats on adding number 2 to the brood, gonna get a boy this time?

Hope all goes well and stay strong bro!

Posted by: k Squared | March 22, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

There is now a new post from Jason

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

You do a GREAT job with the insider information, but I think your second guessing the Arch deal after the fact is where I kind of lost respect. Everybody's a great GM after the fact. I get tired of all the Snyder bashing. Lots of other teams that are not rich and not located in the Nation's capital make numerous mistakes, too. But if Snyder does something, its all over the political correct ESPN. How come nobody remembers that Snyder wanted Moss, but Gen. Schottenhemer took Gardner? Even the great JKC and son (ie Norvelle Turner) made mistakes. The Skins were going no where under the son. And boy, Bethard and Casserly sure left their teams in great shape! If the Skins make the playoffs or better this year, then all the right moves were made, if not, we're in trouble. I for one, hope for the best and remain positive. Its too depressing to think otherwise.

Posted by: Dave | March 22, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

portis trade.. one great player for another.. so thats an even swap.. same as moss/coles.. lost a great player and gained one.. and champ has probably missed a lot less time playing than portis anyhow..
taylor, cooley, golston drafts.. that our point.. stick to drafting, that where u pick up your best players..
washington, spring were probably the only good FA pickups.. but they were "known" good players in free agency that year.. just like nate clements and thomas adalius are this year.. my problem is picking up guys who most think are ave players (lloyd, andre carter, arch etc) and paying them twice what everyone else would.. i wouldn't mind it if we pay them what their stats and past performance dictated they should get paid.. but by paying them off-the-scale amounts, we don't leave ourselves cap funds to keep our good players or get the really good FA's out there.. and that kills this team..

Posted by: vpar | March 22, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Core" Redskins Insider bloggers have the attention span of coked up hamsters. Why are people still talking about Archuleta and yesterday's bloggery? That is SO yesterday! Useful as an old calendar.

Gotta blog our guts out on new stuff. Gotta get that J-LaC feedback before the contractions start.

Note to Jason: Actually, that Raffi CD w/ apples and bananas has some catchy tunes on it. Evokes less hostility in me than Laurie Berkner. When I can, I slip in "Not Just for Kids" by Jerry Garcia and Dave Grisman. Ain't no bugs on me.

Posted by: dcsween | March 22, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Is there a Blog Pulitzer?

Posted by: TB | March 22, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins are a mess. We agree. But Snyder? Is there any evidence he's messing with anything? I haven't seen it. He's an easy whipping boy for the frustrated amongst us.

The coaches are no better than the players they have to work with. Both Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders know how to build a good offense, but who could succeed with Brunell and young Campbell at qb? I hope that Campbell succeeds, but I'm not holding my breath. Wait and see what the young man can do. That's all we can do. All the rest of the pieces are there.

Williams knows how to build a good defense. And yet the defense was horrible last year. So why?

It was pretty much proven around the league that teams were getting attacked down the middle deep on a cover-2. We were one of the teams that couldn't handle that particular pressure, and Archuletta fell because of it. We also lacked a pass rush. So, the qbs had all day to throw. Part of the reason for that was that Springs was down for most of the year, and we couldn't afford to blitz much. Finally, showing how completely awful the defense was, we couldn't stop the run. For years, I have gotten the impression that our strategy on the run is to have the down men tie up blockers so that linebackers can make the play on the run. We didn't have linebackers doing their jobs properly. We have hopefully addressed part of that with London Fletcher.

Archuletta is gone because he is thought to be the source of the Williams attack on ESPN. I agree with "Old Dominion" that chemistry matters. Gibbs says good-bye to whoever messes with team chemistry. The Skins have shown complete willingness to take a hit on getting rid of such players. I don't blame them.

As for the pick, I agree with those who say we're better off trading down if we can pick up more picks.

But I still think the biggest question mark on the team isn't Dan Snyder, Vinny, Joe, or Greg Williams. It's Jason Campbell. Can he rise to the occasion? The jury's still out. Who knows? He'll have his chance. But (N)ot (F)or (L)ong.

Posted by: olav | March 22, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Apparently (due to his age), La Canfora never heard Chicago (with the aforementioned Pete Cetera) in concert when they were really kicking it in the early 70s.

"It better end soon, my friends" (for the constant FO shabingi)

RIP Terry Kath.

Posted by: The Mole | March 22, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Jason -

I liked the market basket metaphor above. Nice clarification. But one bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch - it's basic chemistry.

Sayonara, Archulemon-san.

Posted by: The Mole | March 22, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick note about keeping core players -

The Redskins FO has made lots of mistakes not keeping good guys like Pierce, Clark, etc., but letting Stephen Davis go was a good business decision. Yes, he had one more good year after he left, but he wanted a very expensive multiyear deal. Unfortunately, that is a very big risk for a running back who has reached age 30. As a rule, running backs have short careers in the NFL. You can't undo the years of wear and tear.

Emmitt Smith. Edgerrin James. Stephen Davis. Corey Dillon will be the next on the list for any team that signs him.

Posted by: The Mole | March 22, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse


Arch D was the "Leek"

Rogers is the "Beet"

Posted by: charlie | March 22, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: xpac69 | March 22, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

What The Danny and The Coach need is a Minister of Common Sense. You know, the guy that says, "wait a minute, we´re seriously going to pay this guy 2 times his market value?" I hearby nominate myself for this franchise saving role.

(Either that, or we imPeach The Danny.)

Posted by: SJH | March 22, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Did Olav seriously blame Jason Campbell for the Redskins faults? Does he work in the Bush admin or something?

Posted by: sjh | March 22, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

People please what he said is bull

Posted by: Alexander | March 22, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"Their biggest flaw has been in their ability to self-scout their own players, and who they (the front office) give money to and who they let walk away."

As far as flaws go... they don't get much bigger than that.

Need a pick-me-up, try this: Jeff George.

Ha, ha, I always get a kick out of that!

Posted by: Redskinrex | March 22, 2007 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Loved the analogy but how did you miss the chance to use mushrooms (keep them in the dark, feed them sh*t)?

Have a nice vacation and a great baby.

Posted by: Suz | March 23, 2007 2:19 AM | Report abuse

> And boy, Bethard and Casserly sure left their teams in great
> shape!

Casserly left the team with Champ Bailey and La Var Arrington. Snyder lost any gain made by Casserly at the end.

Schottenheimer is a terrible GM. Its why Norv Turner is now the head coach in San Diego despite a stellar record this year. Snyder did that to himself by firing Turner in midseason when the skins were still over .500. Marty was the only one who would accept the job and his conditions were ridiculous.

There is no doubt Snyder is still involved. I am certain it is a daily struggle for Joe Jackson Gibbs. Hasn't anyone here asked themselves why Gibbs would hire Saunders to be an offensive coordinator when he really wasn't needed. They needed talent not a new system. He hired Saunders so he would have more time to handle the headache that is Snyder. Far, far worst than Dexter and LaVar. Snyder. Believe it.

Snyder still needs a major project. Perhaps a new stadium in DC to go with the new Baseball field? He is definitely an extremely poor football man.

Posted by: P. | March 23, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse

What a boring longwinded "wannabe Parcells" "kill me now" Grocery list metaphor....what a ridiculous waste of time that was........REALITY CHECK the AD deal last year and the AD deal this year are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DEALS, last year's deal was obviously a bad deal with player, coach, and management equally at fault.......Now to say the most recent deal was a bad one IS idiotic because it got us out of the original deal and got us essentially something for nothing. They managed to trade a player and contract that were, for all intents and purposes, completely untradeable................please try to prove your point in at least 3 blogs or less, under 20,000 words, and with as few "fruit" metaphors as sound like Democrat trying to filibuster a group of six-year-olds in an Elementry School Debate.

Posted by: Mike | March 24, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

the biggest reason archuleta, didn't work in washington, is simply because archuleta, is a cover 2 safety and the Redskins, to use him in the box and that's the biggest reason why he failed,because his coverage skills was exposed,as for patton, they should have given him another chance instead of signing Brandon LLoyd, Patton was a good receiver, in New England besides cutting patton, the skins didn't save much cap space the only question is that after this season are they going to be able to sign cooley.

Posted by: armen | March 25, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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