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Free Agency Ends; Roll Call for Workouts

Jason Reid writes:
With wide receiver D.J. Hackett having joined the Carolina Panthers, the Washington Redskins likely are finished pursuing free agents in this market, team officials said yesterday. The Redskins have shifted their focus to the draft to fill needs, and they're confident in an unusual approach for them.
"It's always changing, so you don't know how it's going to be from year to year, but we just weren't going to do something for the sake of doing something," said Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations. "Last year, we said we needed a middle linebacker. We had to have a quarterback on defense, which is hard to find in the draft.
"To get a guy with that experience, who can walk into your locker room on Day 1 and everybody says that's our leader, there aren't a lot of those guys out there anywhere. We went out and got London Fletcher because he is one of those rare guys. Free agency is the only way we felt we could do that, so we did, but we determined that wasn't our situation this year. Yeah, we were interested in Hackett, but it had to make sense."
Hackett, to whom the Redskins offered a contract last week, agreed Monday to a two-year, $3.5-million deal with the Carolina Panthers. The Redskins had hoped to sign a dependable, big veteran receiver, and Hackett (6 feet 2, 208 pounds) could have filled that role for quarterback Jason Campbell.
The Redskins had concerns about Hackett's durability in his first four seasons in the league with Seattle. Hackett, the lone free agent to visit the Redskins, was limited to only six games last season because of a high-ankle sprain, missed his entire rookie season and has never played in more than 14 games a season.
Coach Jim Zorn, formerly the Seahawks' quarterbacks coach, recruited Hackett for the Redskins and "is excited for D.J. because I know him and he's a good receiver. He's off and running now. He's got himself an opportunity. He used this opportunity to look at all the situations and he took the one that's best for him."
The Redskins have little interest in the remaining options at wide receiver in this market, team sources said, though the team still is waiting for Reche Caldwell to decide on their contract offer. They have no more visits scheduled with free agents, Cerrato said.
"If something comes up, we'll run it down," Zorn said. "But there isn't anything that I'm hot after, there's nothing on the hot list, per se."
In addition to seeking to bolster the defensive and offensive lines and hoping to add a pass rushing end, the Redskins also will turn to the draft for a wide receiver, Zorn said. "I don't know if I want to say 'big' is the prerequisite," he said. "It can't be a 5-8 guy, I don't believe, but that's something [selecting a wide receiver high in the draft] that has to be definitely considered. I think it'll depend on who's available."
Because the Redskins are about $8 million under the salary cap (they also have set aside about $5 million combined to sign their draft picks and players during the season), their lack of activity has raised eyebrows, considering Washington has been among the most aggressive teams.
Cerrato, however, dismisses speculation that the Redskins are cutting back. "That has nothing to do with it," he said. "If there was a player we felt we needed out there, that would make the difference for us, we would go out and get him. It's as simple as that."
The Lineup for Voluntary Workouts:
Defensive lineman Phillip Daniels, cornerback Shawn Springs and safety LaRon Landry are among the players not expected to attend the Redskins' voluntary offseason workout program, which began Monday.
"There's just a handful" of players not participating, Zorn said. "And really, it's just those guys who, in the past, kind of had their own program."
Daniels is scheduled to compete in power-lifting contests. "He's trying to be a strong man, and doing a pretty good job of it," Zorn said. "He'll be around as well. It's not like he's going to be gone for the whole offseason.
"There's not a designated, 'You have an excuse to show up to training camp. You get a free pass to do whatever you want.' All these guys are going to be in and out. Some have already been in. Some are trickling in and they'll be here by early next week."
Players who are not attending the workouts have been in communication with the Redskins about their individual programs, Zorn said.
"There's a constant communication effort to try to make sure we know what those guys are doing and they know what we're doing," he said. "And then as they come in, it's should be kind of business as usual."

By Cindy Boren  |  March 18, 2008; 7:01 PM ET
 
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Next: Jim Zorn, Take Heart

Comments

1st???

Posted by: zornskins | March 18, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Second!

Posted by: TheCindy | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

If no news is good news, then the Skins have had a month of good news

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 18, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Zorn,
So 5-8 doesn't cut it huh?
Well, hurump!

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 18, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you Stumped. Zorn is just another one of those athletes that discriminates against old, short, fat, slow guys. Well, I'm denouncing and rejecting Zorn.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 18, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Weird, isn't it?

Not even the tiniest little plash in free agency?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

:)

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I can see 5-8, followed by 5-9, followed by 5-10 followed by 5-11 followed by a new coach in 2009

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 18, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Not to burst any bubbles, but all this emphasis on the draft--as welcomed as it is--ain't worth diddly if we draft with the same incompetence we have for most of the last decade.

Posted by: dha1245 | March 18, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Chad Johnson is on the NFL Network right now and he is very serious about leaving Cincy. He is not being obnoxious or anything and really did not want to talk about it but the NFLN guys would not leave it alone. Chad said that he has "said his piece" and that he just truly badly needs a change of scenery - said $$$ is not the issue at all....he does not want more $$$ fron Cincy. He was almost in tears.

Cincy really needs to just let him go.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Zeker,
All those Zs in your name and you're not a Zupporter of Zorn?

(Or are you a stone cold realist?)

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Vinny I know you read this blog,just to let you know im pissed. How dare you not spend that damm money the fans had placed in your hands. Damm you could have went after hall, OOPS we have aging star in his 30's.

Posted by: poolman | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vinny I know you read this blog,just to let you know im pissed. How dare you not spend that damm money the fans had placed in your hands. Damm you could have went after hall, OOPS we have aging star in his 30's.

Posted by: poolman | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vinny I know you read this blog,just to let you know im pissed. How dare you not spend that damm money the fans had placed in your hands. Damm you could have went after hall, OOPS we have aging star in his 30's.

Posted by: poolman | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vinny I know you read this blog,just to let you know im pissed. How dare you not spend that damm money the fans had placed in your hands. Damm you could have went after hall, OOPS we have aging star in his 30's.

Posted by: poolman | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Vinny I know you read this blog,just to let you know im pissed. How dare you not spend that damm money the fans had placed in your hands. Damm you could have went after hall, OOPS we have aging star in his 30's.

Posted by: poolman | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

hey jason u think the redskins will go after free agent Darrell Jackson he is a free agent he is a guy that jim zorn coached before in seattle and knowns the west coast game so you think they might bring him in

Posted by: xpoc2 | March 18, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Why all the juggling to get under the cap by $8 million?

Hmm, something's up..

Posted by: SteveMG | March 18, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

"Not to burst any bubbles, but all this emphasis on the draft--as welcomed as it is--ain't worth diddly if we draft with the same incompetence we have for most of the last decade."


Oh yeah, guys like Chris Cooley, Jason Campbell, Anthony Montgomery, Rocky Macintosh.

Posted by: rallenii | March 18, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

LaRon Landry

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 18, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Sean (RIP) Taylor

Posted by: squashmo | March 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Who do need to develop some offensive lineman and defensive lineman. If we can find one on each side of the ball and add a tall wide receiver that would be good. Also keeping are picks and not spending crazy this off season is awesome.

Posted by: tjzukoski | March 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

So what's the go with doing a bracket dealio? Do I have to pick the entire bracket now? Or do I just do the 1st Round at this stage?

Posted by: kost52 | March 18, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I've decided. Devin Thomas in the first if he's there.

Posted by: marlonjohn | March 18, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

marlonjohn, I like him too, but would you still take him if Derrick Harvey is available? Or if we had a worthy offer to trade down? Having a late round pick makes it so difficult to work out what we'll do, I know it's taken a lot of the fun out of the draft for me.

Posted by: kost52 | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

marlonjohn, I like him too, but would you still take him if Derrick Harvey is available? Or if we had a worthy offer to trade down? Having a late round pick makes it so difficult to work out what we'll do, I know it's taken a lot of the fun out of the draft for me.

Posted by: kost52 | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

kost, you gotta fill out the whole bracket, through the championship game, including a prediction of the score in the championship game (which would be used as a tiebreaker if needed).

In American college basketball, each team usually scores about 60-80 points per game, so I wouldn't advise making your score prediction something like 102-98.

All picks have to be submitted by Thursday morning Eastern (US), which means you have something like ten minutes to get yours done. But since you're in the future, you have a leg up on the predictions, don't you?

Good luck.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Great, now Lisa has me concerned all over again that we might try and make a big plash by trading for Chad Johnson.

I know a lot of people up here like this guy and want us to go get him, and I admit he does look like a better WR talent than even Santana, but something feels wrong about a. adding another big salary at WR when it seems we can get a good guy relatively cheap, say round two of the draft, and 2. adding this particular spotlight hog, no matter how talented.

Seems like that would be a volatile combination, considering that the entire O has an uphill battle to learn and implement Zorn's scheme. Like, he might come to feel that he got out of the Bengal frying pan and into the Redskin fire. Such as.

So given the assumption that a big WR is high on Vinny/Zorny's wish list, the question... was our apparent restraint in not outbidding for the two WRs who cycled through the market last week because we weren't really sold on either of them, because we have our eye on a WR with that #21 pick (ugh), or because maybe just maybe we have a plan to swap for CJ?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I haven't monoblogged in a while, and it wasn't something I thought I'd find myself doing this evening, but so be it. The kids are asleep, the wife is out, and the house is nice and quiet.

Beer me.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Not Devin Thomas the knifemaker? Another Devin Thomas?

http://www.devinthomas.com/meet.html

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

This is awesome, by the way, 22 participants in the blog peeps' NCAA tourney pool. Some relatively new folks, some blog stalwarts. Good stuff. Good times.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Do the skins get any compensatory picks for Sean Taylor (RIP)?

Posted by: jgluke | March 18, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

It's not a bad question, jgluke, but I don't think so. I think compensatory picks are based on free agents who arrived and departed in the previous offseason.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Really, really thorough predicton/breakdown of the 2008 compensatory pick allocations at the link below. This guy has us getting an additional third rounder for Dockery and an additional seventh rounder for Kenny freakin' Wright.

http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=208336

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

My mistake -- the guy has us picking up TWO additional seventh rounders, one for Kenny Wrong and one for Warrick freakin' Holdman.

He basically has the addition of London Fletcher balancing/cancelling out the loss of TJ Duckett. Which feels like it would work in our favor.


What's funny is that as this guy deciphers the logic by which free agent signings are evaluated for compensatory pick purposes, the more games the player appears in, the higher his value for compensatory purposes.

So as painful as it was to lose "one of our own" and not have locked him into an extension at a reasonable price, it turns out to be good for us that Dock went up to Buffalo and started all 16 games last season.

I had guessed it was only salary which determined compensatory value, but the player's success in his new location, in terms of playing time, is also taken into account... interesting stuff. Or what passes for interesting in these offseason doldrums.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Nate, did you get my email about the tourney?

Posted by: bangkokben | March 19, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I find myself thinking about Sally J's "curry-comb haircut" comment about Zorn. What exactly was she getting at there? Weird...

But then, I just watched a couple of versions of Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz" on the YouTube, so who am I to cast stones?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Stop with the Ocho Cinco talk... his accelerated cap hit number for the Bengals in 2008 would be $8 million... that's equal to the entire gross domestic product of Cincinnati (excluding chili).
If he's really unhappy, let him refund his signing bonus... put his money where his heart is.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

I think I got you hooked up with the pool, Ben -- please let me know if not.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

The surprise that justaguys like Holdman and Wright deserve compensatory picks is tempered by the fact that a pick at the end of the seventh round just means you have exclusive rights to negotiate the league-minimum contract, and Vinnie takes him to Arby's rather than the Palm.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, cload, I needed that dose of reality.

But come on now, wasn't there a very high-profile WR who was disgruntled about being on a crummy team and managed to get himself traded (for peanuts, even) just last offseason? I realize it's not exactly the same, but it's close enough that it skeezes me out a little.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Nate, Thanks. Filling out the bracket now.

Posted by: bangkokben | March 19, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

"So... You guys comfortable in the back seat there? Great, great.

"Just a quick stop here at Arby's on our way to the Park. Could I interest you in one of their delicious ham sandwiches?"

http://www.arbys.com/menu/roast-beef.php

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Weird... not a ham sandwich to be found at the Palm...

http://www.thepalm.com/menus_main.cfm

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Randy Moss had a high salary figure, not a high signing bonus figure. So the Pats took over Moss' contract, paid him something (he was due to make $9M), and he tore up the contract and signed a one-year $3M deal.
Ocho Cinco got a nice signing bonus that gets distributed as $2M/year for 2008, 09, 10, and 11. That's the $8M that goes right to the Bengal's cap if they trade or release him.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

All picks have to be submitted by Thursday morning Eastern (US), which means you have something like ten minutes to get yours done. But since you're in the future, you have a leg up on the predictions, don't you?

Good luck.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 18, 2008 11:38 PM

It's only Wednesday here? Did I forget to wind my clock back for daylight savings or something?

Here's a tip for the tourney.....Cornell. The fact that they share their name with my favourite singer means that they're a shoe in for a first round victory. After that they're on their own.

Posted by: kost52 | March 19, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

This is why I don't usually do the bracket thing -- it's the girl who wins and explains "I liked their purple uniforms" that ruins it for everyone.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

kost, now that you mention it, I think there is a glitch in the bracket software. I can't seem to find my alma mater, the University of Virginia, listed anywhere.

I guess I'll have to hack in to the system in order to send them through to the Elite Eight, as I do in my brackets every year.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes, cload.

In our pool this year, the role of the girl who wins and explains "I liked their purple uniforms" and ruins it for everyone will be played by Redcoat.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Gee thanks Cload!

It's better than the 'Redcoat formula'! The Midwest has three Wildcats! How does that compute?

Posted by: kost52 | March 19, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

A few threads and a lot of booze ago I made a tongue in cheek suggestion of switching a few players positions. Since then two of the suggestions have been repeated by other bloggers. For amusement purposes only would anyone care to make an intelligent assessment of: Alexander to FB, Sellers to TE and Cooley to WR. For further fun and games any other player position switches might also be amusing. Points awarded only if changes have some validity.

Posted by: Keyskonnection | March 19, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Kost, you made the right call. I went to Cornell and just because they haven't won a tournament game since, well, maybe before I was born, doesn't mean they can't go all the way.

I'll catch up with you on the blog, but you gotta start posting on Geelong.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 19, 2008 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheCrickets007 | March 19, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

A new mock draft (Rob Rang), with a new slant.

"21. Washington Redskins

Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma: New head coach Jim Zorn would like to implement a passing game more suited to his West Coast Offense roots. To do so, he'll need big receivers to complement the diminutive and oft-injured Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El."

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10606857

Posted by: TheCrickets007 | March 19, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Rockin the wee small hour on RI, huh?
It's better at 1Am than at 1PM.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 19, 2008 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and that COT, Central Oblivious Time.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 19, 2008 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting NFL personnel name of the week:

John Spytek (scout)
Philadelphia Eagles

Posted by: TheCrickets007 | March 19, 2008 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Coach Joe Bugel was at the U. of Virginia Pro Day in Charlottesville on Tuesday. Anyone think he might have been there to get a close look at Branden Albert?

Posted by: TheCrickets007 | March 19, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

This is hilarious, for all you Ken Lee fans out there!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RgL2MKfWTo

Posted by: kost52 | March 19, 2008 6:10 AM | Report abuse

With the Aussie Rules season starting in about ohh...21 hours here's an introductory video for all you beginners!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsaxSpv9lmU

Posted by: kost52 | March 19, 2008 6:16 AM | Report abuse

SETH.LEMASTER,

Not to draw the thing out (although I am drawing the thing out), I have to call you out on this whole "Darrell Green doesn't deserve to have his # retired" thing.

While I agree that some guys they have out of circulation don't really deserve it (i.e.- Theismann, Larry Brown), Darrell Green fits every concievable criteria. The man had the stats, longevity at the toughest position on defense, played with the team his entire career, and was "Mr. Redskin" for portions of 3 decades. If he doesn't fit the criteria, NOBODY on ANY team does.

And even non-Redskin fans would put Green in the top 3-5 corners all-time, which makes it shocking to me that a Skins fan would even suggest he's not. The long Art Monk snub is proof there's a Redskin bias, but yet DG is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. And he's a quiet, humble guy just like Monk. That should tell you something.

So whether they actually retire it, hold a ceremony for it or not, nobody should wear the number 28 in burgundy and gold again.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 19, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

Now that I got my DG rant out of the way, let's now rant on Chad Johnson. HE'S NOT COMING TO WASHINGTON!!!

I think the sweet baby Jesus every night that he's not coming here either, because the guy's a cancer. He's five times the player Brandon Lloyd is, but he's also five times the headache. Anyone who puts his coach in a headlock should be avoided like the plague.

This team is sticking to the draft, as well they should. That's how the Pats and Steelers and Packers stay atop the standings and there's no shortcuts in this league. And for those worried about how they draft, it's a crapshoot. Nobody knew Brady would be good or else nobody(including the Patriots) would have let him slide to the 6th round. For every Cooley, Montgomery and Golston there's a Jim Molinaro, Taylor Jacobs, and Rod Gardner. So you just don't know. You do the best you can with the best information you have at the time.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 19, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood,

It is a miracle, I agree with you last two post's, are you sure your feeling OK.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Zorn talks about the wide receiver issue, including a comment about Mix.

http://www.redskins.com/news/newsDetail.jsp?id=34916

Posted by: TheCrickets007 | March 19, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood,

It is a miracle, I agree with you last two post's, are you sure your feeling OK.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 07:35 AM

Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks for asking. I just wasn't feeling well when I was so pissed over the head coaching search that I wanted to trade everything and everybody. We might actually agree more often now (unless of course, you think that first-ballot Hall of Famers don't deserve to be honored by the team they played for).

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 19, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

cricks, what did Kelly run for a 40 time at the combine? Do you have that?

km, I've been diggin on some of Browns stuff lately as well....not sure what that means...lol..

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

brownwood speaketh the troof today!

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

...and that would be shakesperian ebonics for those keeping score this morning.

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

News on Kelly,

There was a time when those of us in the mock draft industry thought Oklahoma receiver Malcolm Kelly might go as high as No. 11 overall to the Buffalo Bills. But that was before Kelly decided to skip his pro day because of the thigh injury that also caused him to sit out his combine workouts.

I talked to an AFC scout last night who said that several teams were losing patience with Kelly, who will supposedly perform at a private workout in Norman on April 9. If he has an outstanding showing, Kelly could vault back into the top 20, but right now he's fallen behind Cal's DeSean Jackson and Michigan State's Devin Thomas on many draft boards around the league.

"If the kid's not going to work out, we're not going to touch him in the first round," said the scout. "He may be a star in the league for all I know, but he's not doing himself any favors right now."

Thomas didn't do much at his pro day last week because he'd already posted a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. He'll visit with the Bills and Vikings this week. The Cowboys were hoping Thomas would still be on the board for their second pick at No. 28, but that's probably out of the question now.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Kelly did not work out at the combine here is his stats before the combine.

Name: *Malcolm Kelly
College: Oklahoma Number: 4
Height: 6-4 Weight: 224
Position: WR Pos2:
Class/Draft Year: Jr/2008
40 Time: 4.54 40 Low: 4.47 40 High: 4.59
Projected Round: 1 Stock:
Rated number 3 out of 337 WR's 23 / 2549 TOTAL

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

From Redskins.com:

In discussing wide receivers, Zorn mentioned Anthony Mix, the 6-5, 235-pound second-year player out of Auburn. "Wow, he's a big receiver," Zorn said. "He's going to get an opportunity."

If he doesn't make it at WR, maybe they can beef him up and try him at center? Surely he can snap it without Jason squating like he's pooping in the woods.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

km, thanks again for the hookup. Not sure what to make of Kelly, and the drama that is going on with him. Seems like he might be causing his own stock to drop.

If there is not a DE available at 21 who wouldn't be considered a REACH, and if Devin is still on the board, I'm thinking the Redskins go WR, in the first, and DE in the second. If Campbell can be had in the second, and I believe he can, thats how I'd roll.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
Fron the Washington Times

Fletcher accepts change on Redskins staff
By David Elfin
March 19, 2008

London Fletcher, who was close to Gregg Williams, is looking forward to working with Greg Blache.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No Washington Redskins player was closer to Gregg Williams than London Fletcher, who ran the coach's defense brilliantly as his middle linebacker for two years in Buffalo and last season in Washington. So Fletcher could have seethed when Williams not only wasn't hired to replace retired Joe Gibbs last month but was fired as assistant head coach-defense.

But Fletcher took the disappointing news in stride.

"Obviously, I was close to Gregg and I'm going to miss him, but I'm looking forward to playing for [newly promoted defensive coordinator Greg Blache]," Fletcher said. "He called me right when everything first happened. The defensive coordinator and the middle linebacker have to be in sync. I'm going to have to get to know him as a coordinator, make sure I'm getting everybody to understand exactly what he wants to do. There will be some transition."

That's a challenge Fletcher, 32, hasn't really faced since he left the St. Louis Rams for the Bills in 2002. But because Blache worked for four years under Williams and Washington had the eighth-ranked defense in 2007, the changes will be far from drastic.

"They made that situation as smooth as possible because everybody [except Williams] is still there," Fletcher said. "If there was going to be change, it was very minimal. Coach Blache is his own person, so I'm sure that he'll implement some things. He was successful as a coordinator in Chicago. I'm sure that what was successful last year he'll continue and possibly build on that or add some new wrinkles. Our standards are extremely high, and we're going to continue to try to live up to those standards."

Fletcher said Williams' hiring by the Jacksonville Jaguars as defensive coordinator helped ease the pain, too.

"Gregg landed on his feet down in Jacksonville, so I'm very happy for him," Fletcher said. "Ultimately [Redskins owner Dan] Snyder did what he felt was best for the franchise and the football team. It could turn out to be a good thing for everybody involved, Coach Williams and the Redskins. We're all going to miss Coach Williams, but it's the NFL. Change happens."

Among the players who have yet to work out at Redskin Park this offseason are defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, safeties Vernon Fox and LaRon Landry, guard Pete Kendall, offensive tackles Jon Jansen and Todd Wade and receiver Santana Moss.

Wade said yesterday the knee that bothered him last season won't need surgery after all. He's working out in Florida and will report to Washington next month. So will Michigan resident Jansen, who missed almost of 2007 with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.

Cornerback Shawn Springs is working out in Arizona as he does every offseason. Defensive end Phillip Daniels is preparing for a powerlifting competition. Zorn has been unable to reach Moss, but running back Clinton Portis said that he expects his pro and college teammate to be on hand next week.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I could go WR in the 1st but only if there is no DE worth taking, I think we could still get a good WR in the 2nd, Jordy Nelson.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

If he doesn't make it at WR, maybe they can beef him up and try him at center? Surely he can snap it without Jason squating like he's pooping in the woods.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 08:24 AM

Good stuff, T_E. You got a chuckle out of me on that one. JC is damn near taking a knee every time he goes to get the snap. But I'm pretty sure most tall QBs have that problem; I read somewhere that Roethlisberger had the same problem last year. I heard the team is going to move Jansen inside at some point, I wouldn't be surprised to see him make a move to center if he does. That could help JC since Jansen is 6'6". Let's just hope he doesn't break any thumbs if he does.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 19, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

km, agreed. If Long, Gholston, Merling, Harvey, are off the board, I'm not sure there is another DE that would be worth taking in the first. Heck, even Merling is a question mark because of his lack of workout numbers.

I'd rather the Redskins took Thomas because they have a need at WR, and he'd be getting drafted where he needs to be, than take Campbell, who could have been had in the second round most likely.

Harvey seems to be flying under the national radar, not sure why? He had good combine numbers.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Harvey will be there and I would take him.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

km, I think that the Redskins are going to have a tough choice to make. They could be looking at Thomas/wr, Harvey/de, and Albert/g, all available at 21.

The question is who represents the greatest value, and would fill the most immediate need?

As I've said previously, Vinny can't miss with this draft, especially with the lack of bringing in free agents. They've all got to be hits.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Nate, this comment from CP was reported yesterday in the DC Examiner:

Running Back Clinton Portis is friends with Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson, who has said he wants to be traded. CP said "I might call him to tell him how relaxed we are here. I hope he can get out of Cincinnati and join us. You always want to play with a guy like Chad Johnson. He's a great guy; very talented. Trying to top his antics week in and week out, I'm sure that would bring a lot of excitement to this city. And he won't outdo me. "

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 19, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, I want no part of that clown. Too expensive, and too much of a me-guy, for a relatively new coaching staff.

No thanks.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Lisa...

So I want to ask you, in light of the salary cap implications of a CJ trade which cload cited above (the massive accelerated signing bonus hit), do you think his being traded is really possible this offseason, with the Skins or any other team?

And would you be in favor of adding CJ to this team?

Just curious... I have to admit, Portis and Johnson would be a 1-2 personality punch without equal in recent DC sports history.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Couple of things from yesterday re Darrell Green:
Green was an excellent tackler with no fear; I have a ton of old games on tape and am constantly amazed at how many screen plays he made backfield tackles on, and how he went after guys built like Mike Sellars just like he went after guys built like Santana Moss. He didn't necessarily bring the wood, but he went all out, and rarley let anyone through his grasp. Deion Sanders was great, yes, but would rather olay big dudes than make a real effort, or try to take a swip at the ball as they ran by. IMO, as long as Green is honored in the HoF and in the "Ring of Honor"; that's fine, no biggie if someone wears his number someday. Same goes for all numbers in my book. We'll never solve who the five best corners of all time are; it's just too relative. Too say he was a first ballot HoFer is good enough in my book. Also, Ronnie Lott was a corner for 4 or 5 years, then switched to safety. He was definitley one of the greatest though.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | March 19, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

I think if Harvey is there you go Harvey, then Nelson in the 2nd and Chilo Rachal in the 3rd this will take care of DE, WR and G. Then if we get the compensatory 3rd you go CB.

CB 8 Justin King JR 5-11/185/4.45 Penn State Monroeville, PA
or
CB 10 Patrick Lee SR 6-0/196/4.41 Auburn Miami, FL

I would say both would still be there at the end of the 3rd.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

If Chad Johnson really does want out of Cincinnati so bad, I'm sure they can make it happen for both teams. Both LaVar and Archuleta re-did their contracts in order to leave, presumably to avoid cap consequences. The trick is what might be worth Cincinnati's while, e.g., the first round pick or one of the Skins two starters, e.g., a short fast guy to put in the slot opposite House-a-mazilli. I doubt that S. Moss or ARE would re-do their contracts and/or agree to leave willingly. That said, presumably either of their contracts would be easier for the Bengals to swallow compared to Chad Johnson's.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"In discussing wide receivers, Zorn mentioned Anthony Mix, the 6-5, 235-pound second-year player out of Auburn. "Wow, he's a big receiver," Zorn said. "He's going to get an opportunity.""

"It can't be a 5-8 guy, I don't believe..."

Am I the only one who thinks these are comments that you'd expect from a high school coach rather than an experienced professional? If he wants to upgrade at WR, he needs to look for the best receiver available, regardless of size. Would Steve Smith be less effective playing for this team because ARE and Moss are also short?

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

marlonjohn, I like him too, but would you still take him if Derrick Harvey is available? Or if we had a worthy offer to trade down? Having a late round pick makes it so difficult to work out what we'll do, I know it's taken a lot of the fun out of the draft for me.

Posted by: kost52 | March 18, 2008 08:32 PM

km, I think that the Redskins are going to have a tough choice to make. They could be looking at Thomas/wr, Harvey/de, and Albert/g, all available at 21.

The question is who represents the greatest value, and would fill the most immediate need?

As I've said previously, Vinny can't miss with this draft, especially with the lack of bringing in free agents. They've all got to be hits.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 09:22 AM

If Harvey is there I'd take him. You can't ignore over 20 sacks in his college career.

Posted by: marlonjohn | March 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the skins Brain Trust (no editorial comments allowed) have a list of their 300 top players ranked in order. That order will be affected by their needs, but will also include the individual talent and athleticism of the players.
Then, just like last year, they'll choose the highest ranking player still available at #21. It was a lot easier to predict at #6, but it will still follow the same basic logic.
It's possible to guess at what their list looks like; I'll bet that --of the first 20 players -- 15 of them are on almost everyone's Top 20 list.
All that being said, if I were the GM, my player rankings would bias -- strongly -- toward ranking CBs very high. A good CB costs so much in FA that they are virtually unaffordable. So get a rookie, relatively cheaply, and develop him. Make sure he's a punt returner and you've got a special teamer + nickel back to start, then a replacement when injuries happen.
You could make a similar case for DE/DT, but the real elite DE/DTs go so quickly that you're picking over the #5 or #6 -rated DE by the time your pick comes up. For Vinnie, maybe the #5 DE is still rated higher than the #3 CB. And I'll get to complain about "that idiot FO".

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

brown, as i said before, my criteria for retiring a number is very high - not every hall-of-famer deserves to have his jersey retired... assuming each team had a player get in the HOF once every 5 years, you would be running out of available numbers in a hundred years... you have to think about the fact that this team is still going to be around long after you are dead.

i will reiterate my previous example - of the players currently in the NFL, i think only two (if they retired today) deserve to have their jerseys retired - payton manning and tom brady. no one else. NO ONE.

as to your comment about green being a top 3-5 defensive back by even non-skins fans - do some googling and his name won't consistently come up as being among the greatest ever. there are nearly a DOZEN players with shorter careers who posted better stats. Do some research. I was suprised how many great defensive backs have played this game that i had never even heard of before.

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | March 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

km, we're thinking alike, I just wish that Harvey had more of a mean streak. I think justified or not, U of F players are sometimes labeled as soft.

I might go Rachal, and Nicks, the G/T from Nebraska, in the third, with that extra third round pick. I think Nicks, despite his recent brush with the law is going to be the type of guy that Bugel can turn into a monster.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks these are comments that you'd expect from a high school coach rather than an experienced professional?

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 09:41 AM

Yes.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

As for CJ, as I've said before I'd take him in a heartbeat. There's no one in this draft at the skill position (execpt for McFadden), that teams will have to game plan for. There is no on on the skins right no (execpt maybe Moss when healthy, and possibly Cooley) that defenses have to roll coverage to. Look at the best offenses in football last year..NE/Moos, the Girls/TO, Browns/Edwards. Offenses need probowl caliber WR's. CJ is that and he is not injury prone.

Posted by: marlonjohn | March 19, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"News on Kelly,

There was a time when those of us in the mock draft industry thought Oklahoma receiver Malcolm Kelly might go as high as No. 11 overall to the Buffalo Bills. But that was before Kelly ..."

OK, now for my morning rant, esp. about not only the existence of a "mock draft industry" but that someone who does it actually calls it an "industry." The only reason mock drafts are relevant is to keep the football consumer fed during the offseason. If the knowledge was actually valid, it would be secret. These guys are giving it away for free. The hype over the draft only contributes further to the absurd staring salaries for high first round picks whose boom/bust risk is off the charts. Two words: Ryan Leaf. Mock drafts are like the Sears Christmas catalog ... looks like the greatest, coolest thing EVER ... until you get it, use it for a little while, then figure out it is what it is. I mock mock drafts (three cheers for Alan Branch! Winston Justice!). The purpose of the draft should be what it is ... to spread around new incoming talent to make sure no single team or teams can monopolize based on market strength. Frankly, now that I think about it, I think they should prohibit trading draft picks and eliminate compensatory picks. The whole thing has become overly focused on the first round circle jerk ... which means cash ... which means the consumer is ultimately going to pay for it.

Rant off.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

PSP,

Comparing Steve Smith to any other 5-8 guy is crazy name me one other reciever in the league that is 5-8 and any good. Zorn is looking for a guy that can go acroos the middle and catch slants and things like that, this is better suited for a tall reciever.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

dc, trading Moss/Are for CJ, doesn't really help the team does it? I mean the Redskins would be gaining CJ, and losing another receiver, so thats a wash, isn't it?

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Coach psps, you have a keen grasp of how to win at fantasy football, but on figuring out what might be best for the team based on existing talent and opportunities for success, I'm going to go with the QB coach who used to play the game.

daggar, agreed re: CB ... as per usual, your logic is impeccable (unlike your haiku). Given that all the starters are returning, I'm thinking the "positions of need" are identifiable by who gets oldest fastest (Kendall, Daniels, or Springs), plus the injury potential and existing depth. Your point about CBs in free agency is money. [A point I also would make about offensive tackles ... and, based on two free agency periods under the new CBA, guards.]

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Nate, one thing was evident from Chad's appearance on the NFL Network...he is EXTREMELY unhappy in Cincy and wants OUT. Chad said it is not about the $$$ and I (he did not say this) think he would take a pay cut to leave.

Personally, if we could get him without having to sign away our draft picks and without having to pay too much, I would be all for it. Imagine how fierce our offense could be with Chad, Santana, EL, CP and Cooley.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hold up, sween. I think he meant it's a mock industry.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

This is from Sports Illustrated. This guy could be a steal in the later rounds.

Vince Redd, OLB -- Liberty

Redd, who began his college career at Virginia before transferring to
Liberty, turned in a workout for the ages. He measured 6-6, weighed in
at 263 and then turned in forty times that ranged in the mid-4.5 area,
with some stopwatches reading 4.48. He also posted a 39-inch vertical
jump and 9-foot-10 broad jump.

Posted by: jimwell | March 19, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

greg(b), trades are supposed to be washes. If ARE/Moss replicate each other's skill set (fast, lots of YAC, major acceleration after the catch), then it might just be re-jiggering things, i.e., targets to throw at. As it is, I think ARE likely would move from the #2 (y) receiver back to #3 (z). I'm not saying I don't love both dudes, but I don't have any idea what the head coach/Vinny/The Owner are thinking ... except that I know the latter two are pals with Drew Rosenhaus.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Lets quit with the crack-pipe dream of not having to sign away draft picks, or give up too much money.

So Cincy is just going to give him away, and expect nothing in return?

If they do trade him, it will be to the HIGHEST bidder.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

tsk, tsk, dcsween
mocking cload's haiku? really?
yours are just as bad

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

From that Washington Times article: "Zorn has been unable to reach Moss, but running back Clinton Portis said that he expects his pro and college teammate to be on hand next week."

This is why RI needs to send a blogger to these press events ... "Um, Coach, Lisa and JustMe figured out Santana just got married this past weekend ... try Carnival Cruise Lines."

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Bad to the bone, Nate
So just throw me one up here
Bone or maps, such as

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

If the skins have Thomas/wr, Harvey/de, and Albert/g, all available at 21, i think we have to go with harvey. However, i don't think Harvey will still be there.

There is a very real chance we will have Thomas and Albert sitting there and i really think we need to go with Albert. Its not the "sexy pick" but its the smart pick. In Lorenzo Alexander, Brandon Albert, and Stephon Heyer, i beleive we would have three of our future offensive linemen ready to go. work them in for the next two years or so. at that point, we really need to either cut the old guys or get them to restructure their contracts so they can serve as backups.

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | March 19, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

kmdp4,

wes welker - 5'9

IMO, it seems extremely "immature" for a coach to look at someone and say, "wow, he's big. let's give him a shot."

or "it can't be a guy who's 5'8."

To discount a player because he's small or to hype a player because he's big is something I would expect from a casual fan, not from an experienced coach. A player is a player, in my book, regardless of size. In any sport. This fascination with size and athleticism is precisely the reason why guys like Troy Williamson get picked so high and end up as busts.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

dc, I guess my point is that why make the trade if we're not making forward progress?? I'm not sure that bringing in cj, and shipping out Moss or ARE would put us that much further along. Wouldn't they still need a 3rd receiver??

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

psps, I'm guessing Zorn's point is that they already have two excellent Welker-sized receivers on the roster.

In other news, remember Receiver, The's cheesy useless website?

Check out Santana Moss' website ... clearly he laid down some cash for the web design.

http://www.tanaman89.com/

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

greg(b), yes, they would still need a third receiver. Note, however, that the receiver with the most TDs (and second in yardage) during the regular season ... was Chris Cooley.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

psp, Welker was nobody until he was catching passes from the best qb in the league. I mean, 1 touchdown in 3 years, prior to joining the pats isn't much to write home about.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Lisa, I agree that CJ is a tantalizing player. I am still on the side of not wanting to break the bank (to whatever extent we have a "bank" of current or potential cap room) for any WR...

I think if we have a solid, healthy O line giving Soup time, and a consistently productive power running game, Santana and ARE and Cooley and whoever else we have running patterns will look like studs.

I just am not convinced that WR is a position of primary need right now... though it does look like there are leading figures in the front office and the blog community who believe it is, which is why all this speculation...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

PSP,

Wow you found one guy who happens to play with the best QB in the league, and plays with arguably one of the best WR in the league, who happens to be tall by the way. Welker was doing nothing in the league until he got to the Pats. Zorn is looking at the Skins situation saying a tall reciever is needed for what he wants to do, and considering he is the coach, and played the game, I would say he knows more then you. He is not condeming small wideouts, he is saying he wants a tall wideout, you have to read between the lines sometimes.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

fair enough sween. you don't have to agree with me.

plenty of coaches know the game and are tactical geniuses. not every one has the best sense of judging talent or assembling a team.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

dc, I guess my point is that if they draft a guy, and he contributes 30 catches 2 td's, wont that open things up for Moss/ARE/Cooley, more so than just having Moss/CJ/Cooley?

I guess its kind of a numbers deal, where 4 might be better than 3?

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

not every one has the best sense of judging talent or assembling a team.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:16 AM

I resemble that remark! [Missing the playoffs in four consecutive fantasy football seasons.]

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

psps and kmdp,

The two of you look silly, making a mountain out of a mole hole. Obviously they understand your nit-pickery that receivers are not one-dimentional and that it's about more than height. They just had a tall receiver in and they didn't hire him.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

psps and kmdp,

The two of you look silly, making a mountain out of a mole hole. Obviously they understand your nit-pickery that receivers are not one-dimentional and that it's about more than height. They just had a tall receiver in and they didn't hire him.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:20 AM

thanks dad.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"... I am still on the side of not wanting to break the bank (to whatever extent we have ..."

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM

Speaking of breaking the bank, how stupid is the Fed ... when they SLASH the interest rate to boost the economy b/c Bear Stearns (a big investment house) is about to tank? Yesterday, the NYSE has its largest gain in 5 years ... not on the interest rate cut, but on news that quarterly earnings by Bear Stearns' competitors (Lehman and Goldman Sachs) were higher than expected. If you want to HELP a company that invests (rather than borrows), wouldn't the idea be to RAISE rates? I'm not at all happy with the current Fed head ... a reactionary, not a visionary.

Oops, wrong blog.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Great turnout so far for the Redskins Insider NCAA tourney pool. 24 blog peeps have signed up, with a few more on the way.

Anybody who's interested in joining the fun -- and it's all fun, with no money at stake, just bragging rights -- please drop me a line at nateinthepdx at gmail dot com


...but hurry, since the tourney starts around this time tomorrow!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"... Obviously they understand your nit-pickery ..."

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:20 AM

But would the Coach Zorn understand my nose-pickery?

greg(b), I think you're getting the point ... that at some point you hit diminishing returns with too many receivers and not enough balls to go around.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

dc, I guess my point is that if they draft a guy, and he contributes 30 catches 2 td's, wont that open things up for Moss/ARE/Cooley, more so than just having Moss/CJ/Cooley?

I guess its kind of a numbers deal, where 4 might be better than 3?

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:17 AM

Greg you have to a player opposite Moss that would comand attention. For example, when TO isn't on the field, the cowgirls are a different team, because they have no one to step up to the #1 wr spot. The Colts on the other hand can keep their O going because they have enough talent at the WR spot and Wayne commands attention when he's on the field.

Posted by: marlonjohn | March 19, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

psp, Welker was nobody until he was catching passes from the best qb in the league. I mean, 1 touchdown in 3 years, prior to joining the pats isn't much to write home about.


Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:14 AM

However, those stats "dwarf" the stats of Brandon Lloyd!

Posted by: jimwell | March 19, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

t_e, for what it's worth, I heartily approve of your usage of the mountain/molehill idiom in the conversation about wide receiver height.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

dcsween,

I do not want to get into a political discussion, but I think Bush pushed them on the Bear Stearns thing I read something about that in the Post yesterday.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

But would the Coach Zorn understand my nose-pickery?

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:27 AM

I don't know. Do you have some advanced technique that you downloaded off the web? Zorn probably would, but could you explain it carefully for some of the (or, us) slower guys up here?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

t_e, for what it's worth, I heartily approve of your usage of the mountain/molehill idiom in the conversation about wide receiver height.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:32 AM

** Rant on **

Another beef I have with the English language. We have width and depth and length ... why not heighth?

** Rant off **

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

TE, sorry if that came out wrong, it was supposed to be just a lighthearted joke.

Obviously you can tell I'm a little apprehensive about this new regime of personnel decision-making. And I think Zorn has to become a little more media-savvy. I still have high hopes and expectations for this team, and I think Zorn will do just fine as HC. Hopefully the FO will keep the improvements coming as well.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

marlon, I guess my point was that having 4 receivers(Moss/ARE/Cooley/Rookie) to defend, makes it harder, than having 3.

With 4 LEGIT receivers, you force the defense to make more adjustments.

Just my .02..

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

T.E.,

I do not care if the WR is 5 foot tall as long as he can play, I was just explaining to PSP that Zorn wants a tall reciever for his offense, and I think he knows what he needs.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

psp, would you be more trusting of them if they kept Espy, and signed Hackett?

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

But would the Coach Zorn understand my nose-pickery?

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:27 AM

I don't know. Do you have some advanced technique that you downloaded off the web? Zorn probably would, but could you explain it carefully for some of the (or, us) slower guys up here?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:34 AM

I've spent so many seasons of jabbing myself with an icepick in the eardrum over the insane moves by the Skins' FO, that it has scabbed over and there is a tunnel that remains, which leads all the way to my nose. Thus, I can pick my nose from behind, rather than through the nostril. You know, because having a finger up your nostril looks disgusting.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sween,

Investment banks are highly leveraged. They borrow to invest. Rate cuts help them by reducing their cost of funds and by increasing the demand for their services.

But the rate cuts weren't to help investment banks. What the Fed did to help investment banks was to offer to take some of their riskier investments. This makes the investment banks much more liquid.

The rate cuts will help people with adjustable rate mortgages which should now reset at lower rates than they would have otherwise.

And I don't think Bush pushed anyone on Bear Stearns. His Secretary of the Treasury, a former head of Goldman Sachs, understands what's going on better than anyone else in Washington, particularly Bush. The Fed is independent and to the extent that the Administration was involved it would have been the Treasury Secretary that represented the Administration.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

sween, i believe you would be the poster child for the netti pot.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzK9Gn4E_Eg

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"... And I think Zorn has to become a little more media-savvy. ..."

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:36 AM

Zorn's candor is the one thing I'm looking forward to. Its the consolation prize after losing Gibbs and not getting Williams. Even though Zorn is never going to treat us with "guts out" or "up here" or "swinging souls," hopefully he will let us know what's really going on (at least for a little while).

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Also cutting interest rates like that could flood the economy with too much money and weaken the dollar even more. Oye.

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Candor... and refreshing unfamiliarity with all the baggage of the franchise, like what its uniform colors are.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

psp, would you be more trusting of them if they kept Espy, and signed Hackett?

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:41 AM

Yes I would. Right now it doesn't seem as if they have a determined plan as to who will fill that 3rd receiver slot. Like they said, they're looking at the draft, but nothing in the draft is guaranteed. It's all dependent on who falls to you. If they signed Hackett (to what was a very reasonable price, especially in comparison to what other receivers made this offseason) and kept Espy, then at least they would have options. They could still draft a receiver, and if he beats the other guys out, so be it. You haven't given up much. But if he doesn't pan out, then you have more options. As of now, it seems like they're resting everything on their draft pick. Not the greatest strategy, IMO.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Zorn? Media savvy? I think he has to do one thing: win games. If he doesn't do that, it won't matter how "media savvy" he is. And if he does do it, it doesn't matter either.

Besides, what you're talking about is not media savvy but "blog savvy." And it is simply impossible (challenge to dcsween) to craft a complete sentence that some tool on some blog somewhere won't try to interpret as proof that the person who said it is a nattering nabob of nuttiness.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I figured you would.

Hackett, and Epsy, are just such locks for putting up good numbers, and for playing all 16 games. You make a good point with both of those guys. They're about as guaranteed as can be.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

It was mentioned by some local media outlet (can't remember which one) right after Zorn arrived that he was very open and said what was on his mind - the exact opposite of Gibbs. While this is refreshing, unfortunately he will learn very soon that the DC media will eat him alive (as well as the fans) and his "honesty" most likely will be short lived.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 19, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

etrod, I'll stay with sticking my finger through my ear all the way to the back of my nose, thank you very much. That neti pot looks disgusting.

My first off-season prediction: Panthers' receiver, D.J. Hackett, has a great pre-season, and pulls his groin in the opening game, thus sidelining him for two games before the Panthers try to rush him back ... and he doesn't return to form until something like December.

Mark my words (with highlighter ... on your computer screen).

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

dc, the key with marking words is the permanent marker...now quit huffing it, and start writing...

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I've already said my peace about Espy, I won't rehash it again.

Hackett is more guaranteed than the empty receiver slots currently on the roster, or the 6 other no name receivers signed after the season, especially in your "put up or shut up" mentality of judging talent.

That's alright, if this new drafted receiver doesn't cut it, we'll just put Lorenzo Alexander in the slot. He plays everything else.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

challenge accepted.

"I am a nattering nabob of nuttiness."

An actual nabob would not confess to nuttiness, thus, I could not be such a natterer. But I just said I was ... oops.

t_e's point ... quod erat demonstratum.

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Um, Coach, Lisa and JustMe figured out Santana just got married this past weekend ... try Carnival Cruise Lines."

Posted by: dcsween | March 19, 2008 10:03 AM

They were going to wed on a cruise ship, but then Fred Smoot couldn't attend.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

psp, for a guy who has NEVER played a full season, and only played 6 games last year, Hackett is anything BUT a guarantee...

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow, fascinating economic coverage Up Here. The key point is that there is a considerable spread between the risk that a typical investor is willing to take and the risk profile of these highly-leveraged, wildly overvalued mortgage-backed CDOs. So they're not worth the book value that a company like Bear Stearns has them listed at, and no one is attracted to them even at a discount price.
My analogy would be a car dealer that has a bright yellow AMC Pacer on the lot. It's not worth the $10,000 MSRP, and no one will buy it for $5,000, $6,000, or whatever less! Meanwhile, he's paying interest on the car, it's falling apart before his eyes (that's why it's a Pacer), and pretty soon the dealer starts thinking about giving it away just to stop the bleeding.

Posted by: daggar | March 19, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So am I the only one wondering if the economy is going to effect any NFL owners/teams or other sports? I know the minor leagues that were going to come out this year collapsed due to Wall Street's nose dive. I wonder if any NFL owners are feeling the hurt?

Posted by: alex35332 | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

gregmarino,

all i'm saying is he would've been worth it. he wasn't signed to a javon walker-type contract. if he gets hurt and only plays half a season next year, then you really haven't lost much. if he stays healthy and plays consistent to what he's been producing per game, then you're getting a 1000 yard receiver for a bargain price. low risk, high reward.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

psp, agree to disagree. I'd rather take my chances on a rookie.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Crap. Coppin State lost. There goes my RI tourney pool bracket.

Posted by: 4-12 | March 19, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Morning News,
PFT.com
JETS EYEBALLING McFADDEN
Posted by Mike Florio on March 19, 2008, 11:22 a.m.
With the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, the New York Jets might draft running back Darren McFadden. If, of course, McFadden is still on the board.

Whether the Jets would pull the trigger on the two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up will surely be influenced at least in part by the outcome of a visit on Monday with McFadden.

According to Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Jets flew a contingent of representatives to Fayetteville, Arkansas to meet on Monday with McFadden.

The Jets arguably have a need at the tailback position, given that Thomas Jones didn't perform for the Jets in 2007 the way that he'd run for the Bears before that.

We think that the Jets would have to trade up to get McFadden, most likely to the No. 3 spot with the Falcons. Because if a running back who runs a 4.33 is on the board when the Oakland Raiders pick at No. 4, the Raiders most likely will pounce.

Permalink | Comments Back to Top
BRYANT SIGNING COMING?
Posted by Mike Florio on March 19, 2008, 11:03 a.m.
Veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant, cut last month by the Detroit Lions, could soon be landing in a new city.

According to a league source, Bryant is in discussions with several teams and could agree to terms within the next 24 hours. Possible destinations include the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams.

Bryant, 30, spent five years with the Jaguars and four with the Lions.

Permalink | Comments Back to Top
VIKES, PACKERS INTERESTED IN GUS
Posted by Mike Florio on March 19, 2008, 10:57 a.m.
Veteran NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte, released by the St. Louis Rams last month, is drawing interest from a division in which he has plenty of prior experience.

Frerotte visited the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday, and is scheduled to visit the Minnesota Vikings.

He previously has played for the Lions and the Vikings.

It might be easier to list the NFL teams for which the 14-year veteran hasn't played, but Frerotte doesn't have much (if any) experience in the West Coast offense, which both the Packers nad the Vikings currently run. When Frerotte was last in Minnesota, the team was running a different offense.

In both places, he'd be the backup. But given the durability (or lack thereof) of Packers starter Aaron Rodgers and the development (or lack thereof) of Vikings starter Tarvaris Jackson, Frerotte probably would end up on the field at some point in either city.

Permalink | 2 Comments Back to Top
BROWNS SNIFF AROUND HAGGANS
Posted by Mike Florio on March 19, 2008, 10:44 a.m.
Nearly three weeks into free agency, Steelers linebacker Clark Haggans is making his first visit.

And he's not going far. Haggans will visit the Cleveland Browns.

Haggans has been with the Steelers for seven years. With linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley selected in the first two rounds of the 2007 draft, the Steelers are likely not inclined to bring Haggans back.

He has extensive experience in the 3-4 system, but he has not generated the amount of interest that some had expected.

Posted by: kmdp4 | March 19, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Alex- I don't know about any of the NFL owners, but Joe Lewis, a British chap who owns a Premier League soccer (football!?) team had an enormous stake in Bear Stearns that he paid cash for. I think I saw that he lost about a billion dollars when the company collapsed.

Posted by: 4-12 | March 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

So am I the only one wondering if the economy is going to effect any NFL owners/teams or other sports? I know the minor leagues that were going to come out this year collapsed due to Wall Street's nose dive. I wonder if any NFL owners are feeling the hurt?

Posted by: alex35332 | March 19, 2008 11:23 AM

Well, there's a guy named Snyder who invested a lot of money in Six Flags at $4 to $6 a share. Today you can buy it for $1.62, and probably $1.60 tomorrow. Most investment advisors recommend selling it now. That can't be good.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

psp, agree to disagree. I'd rather take my chances on a rookie.

Posted by: gregmarino88 | March 19, 2008 11:25 AM

fair enough. topic over.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"[Frerotte] previously has played for the Lions and the Vikings."

So what are we, chopped liver?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

anyone else want to argue over something? i feel so empty being content.

Posted by: psps23 | March 19, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

A little something for the RI Geek population. Odds are if you find this funny, you're a geek.
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/geekend/?p=1210&tag=rbxccnbtr1

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"[Frerotte] previously has played for the Lions and the Vikings."

So what are we, chopped liver?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 11:44 AM

We were when he was our QB.....

Posted by: dlhaze1 | March 19, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Nate,

I sent you an e-mail baout joining the tourney. Thanks.

Posted by: Forrest | March 19, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Well, there's a guy named Snyder who invested a lot of money in Six Flags at $4 to $6 a share. Today you can buy it for $1.62, and probably $1.60 tomorrow. Most investment advisors recommend selling it now. That can't be good.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | March 19, 2008 11:34 AM

that would be nice to see. Though I wonder what his evil plot for that stuff will be.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know when the 2008 schedule with exact dates will be made?

Posted by: dlhaze1 | March 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

* beep beep *

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

dlhaze1, maybe in a few weeks (April 3) per this speculation...

http://www.nflgridirongab.com/2008/03/08/2008-nfl-schedule-to-be-released-april-3rd/

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 19, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

brown, as i said before, my criteria for retiring a number is very high - not every hall-of-famer deserves to have his jersey retired... assuming each team had a player get in the HOF once every 5 years, you would be running out of available numbers in a hundred years... you have to think about the fact that this team is still going to be around long after you are dead.

i will reiterate my previous example - of the players currently in the NFL, i think only two (if they retired today) deserve to have their jerseys retired - payton manning and tom brady. no one else. NO ONE.

as to your comment about green being a top 3-5 defensive back by even non-skins fans - do some googling and his name won't consistently come up as being among the greatest ever. there are nearly a DOZEN players with shorter careers who posted better stats. Do some research. I was suprised how many great defensive backs have played this game that i had never even heard of before.

Posted by: SETH.LEMASTER | March 19, 2008 09:44 AM

OK, I understand the bar is high for you to retire a number. But again, this team doesn't retire numbers, so we're talking about taking it out of circulation. I fully agree that they take too many out of circulation and that they should put some back in the fold. I'll never understand why Theismann's is out of circulation. But nobody deserves it more than Darrell, outside of maybe Sammy Baugh (whose number is the only one actually retired).

And to say that Manning and Brady deserve the honor and DG doesn't is laughable. Brady hasn't played long enough by your standards to warrant that, and Manning isn't even the greatest QB in his TEAM'S history (that would be Unitas). DG is the greatest DB in Skins history, hands down.

Regardless of where you rank DG with all-time DBs, the man played corner until he was 42 at a high level, a position where guys routinely fall off after 30. I don't need research to know that. And if you take into account his off-field contributions and the great example he's been for fans and teammates alike, it's foolish to NOT honor the man. I don't believe in just retiring jerseys all willy-nilly, but regardless of how high the standard is, how can you not include Darrell Green? Who deserves it more?

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 19, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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