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Taking Stock of a Whirlwind Tuesday

Quite a Tuesday, wasn't it? Felt like the first day of free agency to me. There's lots to assess and review.

Shaun Alexander is obviously the biggest name involved in all of the transactions, but he may end up making the least impact of the three newcomers. I'm not sure how quickly he will be able to really contribute (although by all accounts he did look good in his workout,)and obviously the entire league passing on him for half a year doesn't bode well.

Alexander is a guy who was never the same after the Redskins knocked him out of that playoff game in the 2005 season. He took what appeared to be a fairly innocuous hit from LaVar Arrington early in that game, and neither player was ever heard from much again. Alexander, a big back, did not run like a hefty dude from there on out, and the injuries mounted. Mike Holmgren ran the heck out of him, 370-odd carries some years, and that tends to add up on a guy fairly quickly.

Maybe being refreshed after a long layoff is exactly what he needs. Maybe being asked for just 5-10 strong carries a game is exactly what he needs. But regardless, Alexander hasn't been hit in a long, long time, hasn't even gone through a full-contact practice in a long, long time, and I wonder if that rust will manifest itself in turnovers or poor play. Could Marcus Mason, who ran in this Gibbs-based system two preseasons and who is also fresh (minus the years of wear and tear) have been a better option? Or, will Alexander's superior size and experience, and knowledge of the passing part of the West Coast offense make him an instant hit? (If you look at how Ladell Betts was being used in this role, it was often on third down catching balls, or in short-yardage situations.

As for the other moves, Ryan Plackemeier has a chance to be a hero simply by punting the ball 40 yards with any consistency. A little field position would go a long way to help the team. And given the dearth of safeties on the roster, Michael Green is a guy who may have to give the team some plays right away. Rookie Kareem Moore looks like he needs more time to grasp this defense.

It's hard not to feel bad for Reed Doughty. I thought the Redskins would give him a few more weeks to see how this nerve problem worked out, and, according to people close to Doughty, Reed figured the same thing. He thought that within a few weeks he would be back. The move to put him on the injured reserve list yesterday caught him by surprise, they said.

Also, Justin Hamilton is someone I thought would get a little more PT. He was a larger safety with some good skill, and several veterans said he performed well in practice and flashed some ability. They wondered if the fact that he was a street free agent and not a draft pick had something to do with, say, Moore, a draft pick, getting more of a chance on game day, and with Moore struggling some in recent weeks. The fact they let Hamilton go, and not someone like end Rob Jackson, a rarely-used draft pick at a deeper position, or even offseason acquisition Erasmus James, another end who has given the team virtually nothing, was a mild surprise to a few players.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 15, 2008; 8:15 AM ET
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Next: Another Trap Game?


I for one agree with jason. vinny used 3 second round picks to in sense do what jerry did with a 1-3-6 and a 2009 7. williams also has had a season with 83 catches and over 1300 yards in.....DETROIT!

Posted by: dbussjd | October 15, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: poolman1200000 | October 15, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

How many times are you going to flip flop JLC? You blast these same players until it give you a chance to take a shot at Vinny. You really just need to let it go man. Grow the F up.


Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 15, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

db, Vinny got 2 wide receivers and a tight end, with those 3 picks. Jerry got 1 wide receiver. And thats not even taking into consideration the salary of Roy Williams if they sign him, will FAR out weight the salary of ALL THREE players the Redskins selected.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 15, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I dunno, JM, flip-flop or not - the FO seems to protect their investments vs. talent they didn't work & pay to get.

Maybe Favre should be in Green Bay. Maybe we should still have Frosty.


Posted by: DikShuttle | October 15, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

JM, I don't get it. Mason gets cut because he DIDN"T KNOW THE PLAYS. But when its 'cheap shot' time, Mason is suddenly a viable option.

If Moore has been 'struggling some', what the heck has Doughty been doing??

Regarding Hamilton, versus Jackson/James, we all know how this was going to be played. Had they released Jackson or James it would have been spun, "wasted draft pick" or "wasted trade". But because they released Hamilton, its "I thought this guy was on the verge".....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 15, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

83 catches and 1300 yards, how many of those balls and yards where in garbage time?

Posted by: tdskinz | October 15, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I know that these guys were draft picks and that may have swayed them on who got cut and who didn't. But I would think that playing time would be up to the coaches, not the FO. They watch these guys every day in practice and maybe they see more from Moore than from Hamilton.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 15, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Come on DikShuttle. We all called for Frost head the last couple of years. Now we want to talk about we should keep him even though he is about to cut by the Packers. No I am a man that stands by my word. If I am proven wrong then I admit I am wrong. Not try to turn things around to make me look good because I don't like someone. That to me is weak. 10 out of 10 times I would have cut Frost. Maybe Brooks wasn't the answer but Frost damn sure wasn't the answer.

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 15, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we should still have Frosty.


Posted by: DikShuttle | October 15, 2008 8:32 AM

Why the hell would we want Frost he sucks and is loosing his job in GB, get off the we could still have Frost, Brooks was the better option of the two he is younger and had more upside, hen did not work out we move on.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 15, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Who would have thought that with all the boneheadedness played by the 'skins at home - shanked punts, dropped interceptions, fumbles, - that Jason Campbell would be the epitome of cool under pressure. Our qb has ice in his veins. The same thing that makes him who he is, is why the fans rip him - they mistake his calm as not enough passion. I say f passion.

Posted by: bangkokben | October 15, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I heard Roy Williams is getting 20 million guarantted. That's a lot for a WR whose probably not a top five player in his position. Any way, I think JLC made some valid points. I like the Alexander move because of his experience in the league and Mason's perceived inability to help in the passing game. The Ravens have had issues at RB all season with injuries (etc)and Mason hasn't been called up from the PS to date. Maybe his inability to pick up pass pro might have something to do with him not getting a look.

Posted by: TWISI | October 15, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I blame the 80 man camp roster rule. If not for that, we could have brought in another vet punter to compete with Frost and Brooks.

We also should never have let Antonio Pierce leave. :)

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 15, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

twisi, SHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

You don't want to point out stuff like that to the Masonites. That will upset them.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 15, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good point TWISI. If Mason was that good he wouldn't be on Ravens PS. I am sure JLC think that is due to our front office as well.


Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 15, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I was down with pierce, but he has nothing to do with any of this. Our LB corps while being thin is still one of the best in the league, they are playing lights out A major reason for our sucess.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 15, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

JM, instead of calling up Mason, and giving him the job, they moved their FB to RB, and used him. How many more excuses need to be made for Mason's inability to get on the field??

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 15, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Former MVP for the league minimum, stupid! Should've signed an undersized back (which will probably still be availble if Alexander doesn't work out). Not keeping a safety who didn't do much in pre-season instead of cutting Moore or Jackson (both have shown flashes. Even JLC has said so) STUPID. What is wrong with you Vinny????? Nerve damage in your back, lets wait and possibly risk a guy's career instead of getting it fixed? Unbelievable!!!
I think I summed up the flaws and bias in Napeleon's thoughts!

Posted by: Lacantwrite | October 15, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I down with the SA move aswell, the most important part of his game will be to simply keep the chains moving protect the passer and HOLD onto the BALL. Alexander has always been steller with ball protection, which is crucial this year because CP26 and Betts have both ridded the fumbles they have had in the past(knocking on wood). If we brought Mason in and he lays one on the ground our RB situation would look very tricky.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 15, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Is this week's game at 4:15? It is listed to show here at 3:15am, Monday the 20th. Looks like I'll get to bed early Sunday. Now I'm excited the third game shown live here (Arizona, Dallas, now the Browns).

Posted by: bangkokben | October 15, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Or maybe, JM, you could read the actual post Jason made and realize that he was simply quoting players about THEIR surprise at how the transactions went. So, in other words, aside from that first sentence, this wasn't Jason's POV. It was that of the players.

Posted by: CDon | October 15, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I've stated often on this blog. Frosty had punting problems, but he was a football player, not just a punter. And low average aside, he still had some strategic use.

However bad he sucked, he is and was better than brooks - and I've been saying that since training camp

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 15, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse


There were no direct quotes there, even from unnamed players. I got a whiff of speculation from that.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 15, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Or it could have been that breakfast burrito talking back at me.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 15, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

CDon do you really believe anyone at the park talk with JLC? I don't at all. Every notice that he only quote players NFL GM's when he has something negative to say.


Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 15, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

with pacman jones being suspended maybe dallas feels TO may be the next to unwind. May have had a factor in the roy williams trade. The price was to high and this seems like firefighting. I like our moves...they came cheap

Posted by: myrtle_beach_fan | October 15, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

We are going to need Double Move and Springs healthy and ready to go when the girls come to town.

On the upside, the detroit game just got a little easier. Only Calvin Johnson to worry about now.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 15, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

JLC must be getting all of his Insider information during his racquetball matches with Vinnie.......We need a new Redskins Insider with some real insider information !!!!!

Posted by: alwaysaskinsfan | October 15, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 15, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

orig, good call on the Det. game.

Anyway, coming full circle, this weeks game has somewhat of a 'must-win' feel to it for me. The Browns have some good players on their offensive line, Steinbach, Joe Thomas, but they're largely on one side, right I believe. The left side not so much. Carter is going to have his hands full this weekend.

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 15, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

83 catches and 1300 yards, how many of those balls and yards where in garbage time?

Posted by: tdskinz | October 15, 2008 8:36 AM |

Considering that garbage time in Detroit starts in mid-September, most of them.

Last year when Kitna threw for 4K yards, Williams was a very pedestrian participant, catching 64 for 838. He's not a elite receiver.

Posted by: rtandler | October 15, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse


Yes, the game is at 4:15 PM ET in the U.S. Are you in Bangkok? haha, that's crazy you gotta watch it at 3 in the morning, but its also kinda cool. I hope you get hammered.
I think getting Alexander was a solid move. I think he will do enough to help us for a few weeks, and then we can get Betts back on the field baby!!! I looked at Plackemeir's average on punts this season and it is nothing special. God, I hope he plays consistently well or I will be screaming at my television and breaking things.

Posted by: marleyb313 | October 15, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This game is a must-win. All the games are.

Posted by: marleyb313 | October 15, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Seion said the Roy Williams signing reeks of panic. I agree.

Posted by: willbkill | October 15, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Make that Deion.

Posted by: willbkill | October 15, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

More journalistic integrity. You are like john jerry. Rob Jackson and James are actually contributing, Hamilton isn't doing anything but riding the pine. You actually had him quoted just a day or two a go saying that he was stealing pay checks.

I am not a stephen alexander fan at all, but either way this move is low risk, he costs us almost nothing, no picks, no big committment. If he sucks next week we can get rid of him and get mason.

Posted by: offbyone | October 15, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I never read anything about Mason not learning the plays, I read that Mason was cut because he didn't have a role on the team with three RBs ahead of him. If he was THAT bad, he wouldn't be on a practice squad at all, he would be at home like Alexander was a week ago.

And btw McClain isn't the Ravens true fullback anyway, Lorenzo Neal is.

My prediction at the beginning of the season is that Mason would play in a game by Week 10, and I still stand by it.

Posted by: bigphilmd | October 15, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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