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The Crystal Ball

As I've said before, I'm not big on predications, but as we stand a week away from the start of the 2007 NFL calendar, and the goodness March 2 brings with it, I figured I'd weigh in on some fairly educated guesses about what's to come in Skinsland. I have done a fair amount of reporting the last few weeks , and while it is still too early to get a great read on certain situations, well, what the hell. It's a blog so I'll play a few hunches and we'll see how this shakes out.

I am sure some of you out there will be keeping score, and by all means, please do. By mid-March we can all sit back, review this post and I'll let you guys dole out my grades. Of course, much of this is still in flux, and at any time in the next week all it would take is one phone call and the entire tenor of certain negotiations could change. So with that caveat in mind, here goes:

GUYS WHO WILL BE CUT: I see them releasing Hall, Patten, Vincent, Fauria (this list does not include free agents who the team does not intend to pursue, like Wright, Holdman). Some within the organization are counting on Wynn and Daniels coming back, but I think Renaldo could be in jeopardy of being cut. He and Daniels have heard nothing from the organization and there have been no attempts to restructure yet.

FREE AGENTS WHO WILL BE BACK (and the Skins don't have many FA of any sort): I would be stunned at this point if Dockery is re-signed before March 2. Now, they could still end up getting him out on the open market, but unless the Skins really raise the figures they are exchanging, my peeps tell me what's being offered now is not in the range to get Dock to forgo free agency. He's looking to see what's out there at this point. I'd put the odds on him coming back around 50-50 right now, while stating, again, that there is ample time for this to change.

Other than that, Jimoh will be back for around the minimum. They have expressed an interest to re-sign Pucillo, who actually was quite valuable, and I believe they'll get that done. I would be surprised if Fox is not re-signed, and Posey is a possibility, too. They also want to keep Todd Wade, but know it is a long shot at best. From what I heard, Wade is intent on playing the free agent market and for good reason - the dude is huge, had a great game in his only start and is over his knee problems. Several Redskins were very impressed with him in practice all season, believing he could play RT in the league no problem, and I'd be very surprised if he doesn't get that chance.

GUYS THEY ARE TRYING TO RESTRUCTURE: As I've said all along, it looks like Springs is going to be getting paid someplace else next season. Barring a major reversal in the tone of that negotiation when the sides meet at the combine, I believe he will be gone by June at the latest. There is a lot of work to be done with Brunell as well, but I think he will ultimately agree to a stripped-down contract and be back at a much more manageable cap number. From everything I have heard, Lloyd and Arch Deluxe are safe and have been informed of nothing to the contrary. Coaches are banking on both being back.

FREE AGENTS THEY WILL PURSUE. London Fletcher will be priority No. 1 from everything I have heard (if he's not in the building the day free agency opens, I'd be floored). Lemar has been beaten up playing in the middle and there are concerns that at his size he will not hold up there. They believe that if used situationally (wasn't sure this was a word at first; then assured it was), they could max his skills. He will get a lot of work on the strong side with Marcus coming back from serious hip surgery this offseason, and the expectation is that Rocky takes hold of the weak side. Fletcher has been a warrior and is very durable. He does all the dirty work and knows this system inside out (remember, the original idea here all along was for a "super-smart" vet, Mike LB to lead this defense (Barrow, Mike), and Fletcher fits the bill.

They love Nate Clements too and will make a play for him, but are not positioned to compete with teams sitting on $25 million of cap space to sign him, and some within the organization concede they may not be able to get their man this time. Smoot has earned very favorable reviews during internal discussions, and if he is cut I would be stunned if he does not get an immediate call from the Skins. The Skins also have fairly good internal scouting reports on Dre' Bly, and while they don't necessarily love him, the duo of Smoot and Bly might be able to fill some of the void if Springs leaves as expected.

I would not rule them out making calls to Patrick Kearney and Chris Kelsay as well, but again, are probably not in position to land them. They will explore those options, but plan on addressing the D Line (and its overall lack of youth) in this draft in a big way. They will look at several tight ends as well - maybe Eric Johnson in San Fran. They need a competent pass catching compliment to Cooley, and while Kyle Brady doesn't fit the bill in that regard, he could at least fill Fauria's shoes cheaply.

THE DRAFT: There is a strong sentiment by some within the organization that they should trade down. Of course, it takes two to tango and the reality is that such a deal is highly unlikely to take place until the week before the draft at the earliest,. and even then probably when the team is actually on the clock. There is a hope Adrian Peterson or another offensive star will slip out of the top 5, and someone will be willing to step up to get him. The Skins would love get a pick in the 18-25 range, plus pick up a second rounder and maybe even something else. If they stay at 6, the emphasis will be on a pass rusher, with Adams and Anderson atop the best available. If you put a gun to my head today - and obviously we're a ways off from anything actually happening here - I say they trade down and still address the D Line with their early picks.

There is a consensus that overall this entire offseason is about the defense. The Skins have about as much money guaranteed to their QBs, RB's WR and O Line as any team in the NFL, and clearly need to improve the other side of the ball.

So there you have it. Again, none of this is written in stone, but it's my take on the scene as we stand right now. Oh yeah, and I'm thinking The Ugly Mug Sat. I'll post something Thurs. trying to get a head count of how many to expect. Hope to see as many of you guys there as possible (I'll be the dude who looks like the twerp in the picture in the left hand corner of your screen).

By Jason La Canfora  |  February 21, 2007; 7:00 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Another New Orleans Trip
Next: The Ugly Mug on Saturday - PacMan Jones Is Definitely Not Invited


Are we clear?

Yes, Sir.



Posted by: Tom Cruise | February 21, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

And even typed/spelled correctly!

1.a. The way in which something is positioned vis-à-vis its surroundings.
b. The place in which something is situated; a location.
2. etc.

situ·ation·al adj.

situ·ation·al·ly adv.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Posted by: N. Webster | February 21, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...Denver has the #21 pick.

They want Peterson.


They have two 3rd rounders, right? Including the one we gave up in the Duckett deal?

If they gave the Redskins their 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd rounder we gave up to them, it would be roughly equal to the #6 pick in draft value points.

What irony if this deal happened...

Posted by: Cliff Huxtable | February 21, 2007 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info, Jason...I think. As I have stated ad nauseum I'm really upset about Springs leaving. Yes, the primary reason is because he is smokin' HOT...but also he is a really good CB when healthy. Gregg Williams has always stated that he can do "so much more with the D when Shawn is playing" so it makes absolutely no sense to me that they would let him walk - especially since Clements is so costly. Smoot or Dre Bly for Springs? I would love for Smoot to return as a complement to Springs - not to replace him. But as usual, nothing the Skins does makes much sense. They will undoubtedly go out and sign someone else to a huge contract (can't imagine how but they will) and let another core shaker (yes, that's my term :) go.

Why would they cut Vincent? Thought his contract was affordable and they could use a veteran leader as back up.

I don't understand the hold up on Dockery, either.

I hear Peyton Manning has restructured his contract - and many other players on other teams are being franchised. Does not sound like a great FA market.

Posted by: Lisa | February 21, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Anonymous | February 21, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, they have a lot of safeties right now and frankly, troy could not get it done and the injuries are a big problem at this point at his age.
if they have prioleau - expect him to start - taylor, Doughty, fox, Arch Deluxe - i am not sure they would keep troy, too.

as for Dock - it's pretty simple. right now he wants a lot more money than they are willing to pay. they've already put so much money into their O Line, and he expects to be taken care of well. that's what happens when you're third string WR makes the same thing as your starting RT and DE. They also don't have a ton of cap space to play with, and fully realize they need to add talent to the D thru free agency and draft - hence the conundrum.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 21, 2007 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I congratulate you on your work JLaC. You did a great job poutting this together.

WOW! It seems like were starting over again with the defense. Look, everyone can't get paid on the O Line and Dockery is the odd man out. He was also the weakest link from what I understand, so hopefully the Skins now what their doing. Getting Smoot or London Fletcher would be big, along with trading down and still getting good D Line help.......

Posted by: 4th | February 21, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Albeit the weakest link on a good O Line.

Posted by: 4th | February 21, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff JLC. Could you pass along any further info you know about the Dre Bly situation with Detroit? Is he going to be cut or will some type of trade need to be worked out to acquire him?

I'm actually very glad a bunch of these FA's are getting franchised and there isn't much to be bought. Will force the Skins to learn some type of fiscal discipline.

Posted by: cdubb | February 21, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

cdubb - from what i hear the Lions giving Bly permission to seek a trade is a precursor to him getting cut. no one seems interested in giving up much to get him - considering he's ecpected to be free soon - and the Skins have no picks to trade for him, really. As of Mon. the Skins had not contacted his agent but from what I hear if he becomes a UFA they would at least make a preliminary call to express interest.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 21, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Jason, thanks for putting it all down in one place ... I think the RI has intuited alot of those pieces from the vibe you've been sending this past week. To me, the biggest relief is to see that Pucillo and Fox look safe for now. Pucillo has the chops to step in as Dockery insurance in my mind. I'm also hopeful about his massive guard they just picked up, Will Whittiker. I tend to agree that Wade can be a starter ... if only the Skins had signed him for two years, he'd be the one guy worthy of a trade. For the safeties, it also seem like the team have plenty of quality ready to happen assuming the D can control the line of scrimmage a little better. Who knows, with a little bit better pass coverage in the shallow middle by F-B, maybe even Archuleta can be the player we thought he'd be. [Cough, fire Steve Jackson, cough.]

Seems like all the pieces are there on offense, esp. with a healthy Portis AND a QB with a full offseason, plus a few months to prepare without the clipboard. The one guy you didn't mention was Yoder. I recall he was a one year FA. You mentioned the search for other TEs. Does that mean you sense Yoder did not do the trick? Personal fave, esp. after the long preseason catch from Campbell, Buck Ortega (almost on name alone).

Ugly Mug sounds great. I wear glasses like the twerp in the upper left hand corner, only with thicker frames (and probably thicker lens), plus a few grey hairs.

Posted by: dcsween | February 21, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

AAAArrrrggghhhhh!!! My stupid computer has blocked out the line where Jla says who he thinks will be cut. Can somebody cut and paste in a post and let me know what he said?

Thanks for the great work, JlaSoul, you are the boom diggity. At the very least it will provide blog fodder for the rest of the week. Glad to hear they are looking to move down, we'll see what they actually do......

Posted by: pulldownclaw | February 21, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, real news? Well, maybe not news, but at least something new to discuss.

Everyone worried about the 'Skins not being able to make a splash ought only to look at last season when they did make a big splash, only to have it blow up in their face. Being forced to be subdued can only help this organization.

The 'Skins' record belies the fact that had they won those two winnable games (Minnesota, Tennessee) early on, they would have been in a great position to make a run, instead of playing out the string. The secondary situation is concerning, but the offense is in better shape than last year with Campbell and a healthy Portis and Moss.

Anyone making predictions about season records is engaging in a fool's errand. Don't even bother getting excited about any of this until at least August, and probably not until September.

In the meantime, we always have "24" and "Entourage".

Posted by: P Diddy | February 21, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

If thats the plan lets roll with it . Its been said before whatever they decide, they just need to be right.I have no problems JaLa with anything you have laid out. The question is can they execute and bring in the right guys on D.

Dockery at the end of the day is just a guard. probbally the most easily replaced posiition in The League. He is no pro bowler and continuity would be nice but at the right $. I bet we don't miss abeat if he goes.

Posted by: Old School | February 21, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey there, Yoder has a chance to stick around, too. He's not a priority and I think they would like to upgrade if possible, but this is a really weak TE class. Assuming they don't make a play for the kid in NE - who is going to want to start - or Stevenson - who from what I gather is something of a jackass - there's not much else there. I really think Johnson makes a lot of sense for them. Should that not be the case, i think YOder could be back.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 21, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Old School, given his size, Dockery probably could, like Wade, even play right tackle.

I agree that every guy who makes the team is still a professional athlete and, on any given Sunday, anything can happen and often does. Who would have thought Skins could beat the Saints? [As it turns out, only my buddy and I, but not the other 35 people in the office pool ... good week for me.] The level of competition, the speed of the game, the mental discipline; I'm just saying that whatever it is about Shawn Springs that is turning our eternal optimist Lisa into John from Herndon (other than maybe the shorter days in winter), I think the Skins will do just fine. When you think about it, the Oakland Raiders, for as miserable as they are, could still have CRUSHED Ohio State this past season.

Some guys will step up. We bash the Skins for treating players badly, but it is a business, and there are players who do get a chance (every CB on the team this season) and there are players that suck it up (Portis) and/or step it up (Cooley) when needed. Next year could be a break out one for a guy like Prioleau or Fox or Khary Campbell or Demetric Evans. It happens.

All I'm saying is that this season the Skins FINALLY got it going on special teams. Its THOSE guys who will energize the team next season (as opposed to two fairly miserably played post-season games falsely did coming into the this season).

Posted by: dcsween | February 21, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

pulldownclaw ... Hall, Patten, Vincent, Fauria (plus FAs who won't be re-signed).

Posted by: dcsween | February 21, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, whats the chance of the Redskins getting Peyton Manning.

Posted by: Rizwan | February 21, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The goodbye talk I wouldn't want to have as a coach is the one with Patten. From what the WRs say, they all look up to him (Super Bowl jewerly, etc.). My thought when he dropped those last two catches on the last two plays of the last game (Giants) was that I witnessed a swan song, maybe end of a career. Actually, my first thought was that Thrash would have caught both, but my next though was the less infantile, more poignant one. DP, we hardly knew ya. [Fauria, don't let the door hit you on the way out.] John Hall? He will be a starter next year ... somewhere else (maybe resetting the pay clock back to vet minimum, but starting and probably kicking well nonetheless).

I'm feeling chatty (waiting for a phone call). I think lots more RBs will get playing time around the NFL this year. Everyone is going to copy the two back set like the Colts and the Bears had (and that the Skins will kick @$$ at this year!). Even Duckett will be one of pair. Maybe Jesse Lumsden even gets a job (maybe with McGahee in Buffalo ... practically Canada up there anyway). OK. I'll stop for now.

Posted by: dcsween | February 21, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Jason, makes sense on TEs. FA class is slim. Draft is slim. Every team wants good ones to beat the Cover Two. What surprises me is that the Skins don't just use Sellers for that duty. The guy can catch. Maybe even turn some of the RB/FB depth into TE, like Nemo or Manuel White. Note: just checked the roster ... what happened to all the guys listed as injured reserve? Skins still have exclusive rights on White, don't they?

Posted by: dcsween | February 21, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

P Diddy, where y'at? Paging P Diddy.

If you're still up for a drink Saturday night in Seattle -- RI's Pacific NW chapter -- please drop me a line at nateinthepdx at gmail.


Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 21, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

losing dockery WILL hurt if they don't have a good replacement.

Posted by: pd | February 21, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

sween - I think the problem with Sellers is his ability to really get downfield as a TE, and also the fact that they he is the only legit FB on this team, a position of increasing import since Saunders took over. They use him as the lead blocker a ton. they need to get a few decent TE in there now and have them go thru OTAs and training camp; they can't be scrambling for bodies like last season, although, was anyone surprised Fauria got hurt?
I know I wasn't.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 21, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

PS - the gals are kicking the livin stuffing out of the guys on American Idol. Not even close.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 21, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

No spoliers please, hasnt come on TV yet in the OC. Not much watching the girls since they kicked out Baily sad!!!

Posted by: OC Skins | February 21, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

No spoliers please, hasnt come on TV yet in the OC. Not much watching the girls since they kicked out Baily sad!!!

Posted by: OC Skins | February 21, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you about American Idol, Jason. Several of the girls rocked..especially Lakisha. The guys were lame last night.

Posted by: Lisa | February 21, 2007 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Jason, thanks for the massive update. Way to go out on a limb with the predictions. Convenient how the talking heads on the national level can say whatever they want and don't have much accountability for their crazy prognosticating I guess if you're a local beat writer and have hundreds of loyal idolizing bloggers to answer to, the blow back is a little more personal. Your insights are helpful as only yours can be.

Just caught my roommates dog chewing on the GeorgeForeman grill's grease resevior... gotta take off the belt and be the Alpha. Stupid pack animals. Always trying to climb the ladder. Peace.

Posted by: Dorf | February 21, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Jason, what's up with your Ravens giving Bilick a 4 year contract extension? I have a feeling the Ravens will not be good next season....seems like when teams do things like that (on someone they were not high on last off season) it comes back to bite them.

Posted by: Lisa | February 21, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Nice article but we will see. JLC forecast is actually very grizzly. Losing a starting lineman Dockery and the top backup Wade isnt good. Keeping total busts Arch and Lloyd is not good. Keeping Brunell is not good. Losing Springs is not good. At some point you have to wonder if Joe Gibbs is going to say to himself .... OK ... who produced while on the field. The keeper list of guys who DID NOT produced is ...Brunell Lloyd and Arch!! The let em go list of guys who produced is ... Wade in his only game and Dockery and Springs.

What it really shows is that when there is no cap room decisions do not get made wisely. Underperformers can not be cut because of cap hit. Restructuring even keeps them around longer. Meanwhile talent on the rise can not get the raise they deserve and so they leave. Good guys fighting injuries like Springs are too risky and let go as well. It really is all about the lack of cap room driving dumb moves. DAN SNYDER AND JOE GIBBS MUST UNDERSTAND THIS!!! Mustn't they?

Posted by: AL | February 21, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

bly would make sense if we were playing a man to man system... do you know if greg williams is changing that much? i know he admitted his cover 2 is somewhat exposed.

any chance of AT from the ravens coming to us? for that #6 pick? then they could make a play for all that talent (peterson included to replace lewis)

what johnson were you talking about in your earlier post? and finally. . . whats up with the secondary coach. i forgot his name. Has there been any say on his future?

thanks in advance

Posted by: irrelevent | February 21, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

thanks sween, now I can get a good nights rest, without tossing and turning about that list.....

Posted by: pulldownclaw | February 21, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

do they want to trade down for Okoye

tell them to!!!!

with fletcher and bly/clements/smoot we will be a lot better

our rookie dl were good... carter turned on

we just need time and patience... like cambell said during the season. the offense will just get more aware which was a problem i believe in tough situations... how can they just play when they havwe to think that much... sucks the heart out i think... anyway we look pretty good. regardless of the overspending of arch/lloyd


Posted by: jw | February 21, 2007 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jason, now that Dockery is going to be gone next season, who do you see starting at LG? Are they going to give Mike Pucilo a shot, or maybe resign Todd Wade and get him to play in this position? Moreover, would they be interested in picking up any FAs to replace him?

Last question: What would they do about O-line depth? Young linemen thru FA or late draft picks?

Posted by: Fernando | February 21, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

What I can't get my head around re: Springs is that you get no cap relief releasing him before June, and while his price is fairly high given his health, for 2007 it's not outrageous for a top corner. I don't see how they can do the other things they need to do, sign a replacement, and trade/cut him.

Posted by: cload and daggar | February 21, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

the skins want their safeties to be able to make more big plays on the ball and they want corners with solid coverage skills and guys who have good hands - they feel Bly fits enough of the above to merit consideration. the Cover-2 will be tweaked but they think an upgrade of talent in key spots will be a big difference maker.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 22, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I was just reviewing this post and wondering, do I really care this much about this stuff? Yes, yes I do.

Jason, great job breaking things down for us. Really appreciate it. But if you are wrong with any of these predications, I will never, ever trust you again.

I did have a sort of meta-offseason question about Gibbs spending time with his race teams and its effect (if any) on his performance as Skins boss.

We were rapping up here about this perceived issue a few days back. Just wondering if that has come up when you talk to players or agents, whose opinions are the ones I'd be concerned with, or if it seems like everybody is taking care of business.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Nice little nugget above from Old School: "Dockery at the end of the day is just a guard." Well done, sir.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Jason -- I can understand moving away from Springs, maybe even buy Bly as a replacement, but how can they make the cap work? Am I missing something because Springs' cap hit for 2007 (during the FA signing period at least) is $7.5M whether you play him, trade him, cut him, have him run over by a bus, give him a plasma and a chair with Coles...

Posted by: cload and daggar | February 22, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

cload, I can't make sense of all this stuff. At some point maybe things will coalesce into something I can compute. But we must be totally screwed cap-wise if we're likely to be parting ways (per J-LaKreskin) with so many of these dudes and likely to be keeping Arch and Lloyd. The joke's on us, I guess.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

cload - they may end up keeping him til June, but then they can spread it over two years and take some of that money to extend Cooley, add depth, etc.
I think Springs is still an elite corner, but they have expressed concerns about his health.
Nate - Joe is just doing the same NASCAR stuff as always - he shows up for ther media day and goes to the Daytona 500, then it's all Skins after that.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | February 22, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Cyn City,

I'm late on this, but today's episode was another good one. I laughed out loud when I heard the timer go off. Again, so impressed at how you go toe to toe with those two massive personalities.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure keeping ArchDeluxe is a bad move. It's not like he's old, nor is he a bad guy, nor is he a bad football player. Clearly, there was a problem last year with integrating him into the system. I don't know if that's fixable, but IF some of the other defensive problems are addressed, then maybe having two hard-hitting safeties can work.
This is one other reason I like the idea of Branch -- that extra 20-30 lbs. in the middle allow you to go a little lighter across the linebackers, and Arch is only 5 lbs. lighter than Marshall. It's not exactly a cover-2 defense, but imagine a 46-style defense (in certain specific situations) where you have:
Daniels Griffin Branch Carter
ArchD Washington Marshall RockyMac Taylor
with Springs & Rogers in coverage.
Romo stares at that lineup and has no idea which six guys are coming after him.

Posted by: cload and daggar | February 22, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse

>>> "Stupid pack animals. Always trying to climb the ladder. Peace."

Love it, Dorf.

Nate, sent you email. While you peeps party on on the east coast, Nate and I will hold down the fort out here on the left coast.

Posted by: P Diddy | February 22, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Ok, that clears up the timing. So is there any thought of a trade for Springs? I'm not sure how that works given the need to spread the cap hit. If they trade after June 1, what portion of the salary counts toward the cap? Because if it's regular-season pro-rated, then the 2007 cap hit would be minimal, and no need to spread the hit -- just ~$8M more in cap ceiling in 2008. Even if it's full-year pro-rated, the extra cap in 2007 would be very small. Hmmm, that's why you pay the capologists the big bucks...

Posted by: cload and daggar | February 22, 2007 1:26 AM | Report abuse

cload, um, aren't you overlooking the fact that Arch had a lot of trouble in the pass coverage? Yes, I guess he deserves a do-over after being the fall guy for the '06 D, but he sure didn't look too good out there. Not that anybody on our D looked too good last season. I'm just saying.

What I find mystifying is that a guy who went from FA hero to doghouse zero by mid-season could somehow be an integral part of the plans given Grilliams' apparent predilection for vindictiveness (viz, LaVar). Or maybe Arch is an integral part of the punt protection plans.

Was it the defensive system? Is the system changing to better accommodate our players? Or is a personnel overhaul the path we're taking?

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Strange little story here, the theft allegations being made by Terrence McGee of the Bills... and Skins assistant Jerry Gray is in the mix:

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Well, here's an idea for a DT, just in case the Redskins have a chance to trade down for extra 1st day picks and can't get a top DE + Branch:

Paul Soliai/DT/Utah: Already anointed by scouts as the next top Polynesian performer at the combine, Soliai is ready to produce some eye-popping numbers. He weighs 338 pounds, is expected to run under five seconds and should complete 35 repetitions on the bench.

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 3:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow - can the server response for this blog possibly be slower? Here it is at 3:50 AM, EST, there is no chance anyone but me is connected, and this thing is running slower than Sonny Jurgenson forced out of the pocket.

Earth to WaPo Tech Support: How about a decent-sized RAID array, or maybe a couple of new standard oversize hard drives? C'mon guys, RI is the big time - don't run this thing on a mom-and-pop set-up.

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 3:55 AM | Report abuse

Hey Cindy!

Nice video work with Tony and Part-Timer Wilbon this week. The timer is a great addition.

It's nice to hear that Jess Atkinson has a productive life after football, but you may want to mention to him that on-screen names are better when correctly spelled.

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 4:19 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for your insights/predictions for the off-season. It should be an interesting FA period this year.

Regarding the CB situation, has there been any talk around Ashburn regarding Jordan Babineaux of the Seahawks? He can play both DB postions and I believe he will be a RFA after March 1st. He seemed to improve greatly in 2006, is still young, and has decent size, speed, and cover skills. With the thin UFA group at CB, the RFA list might be a good place to look and possibly make an offer if Springs is leaving. (Babineaux was signed as an undrafted free agent by Seattle, so RFA compensation is a bargain.)

I know Lisa and others would like to hold on to some of the highly-skilled and older leadership-type players like Vincent and Springs, but the Redskins desperately need to work on getting younger, faster, and cheaper. Even with a salary cap that escalates annually, it is only going to be a matter of time before the above average player in the NFL has only two contracts before his career ends: the rookie contract and the first UFA contract. After that, above average players will not be affordable. Top money and contracts past the age of 30 will only go to "superstars". Anyone else playing past 30 should be looking at working for league minimums or starting their life after football. (Please take note, Mark Brunell.)

And let's face it: everyone in the NFL is getting bigger, stronger and faster at every position, with the exception of kickers. As this trend continues, the older (smaller,weaker,slower) players will be injured sooner and more seriously (see my next post). It just doesn't make sense to sign older players to big contracts when one major injury often means a trip to Injured Reserve for the year. It makes much more sense to invest bigger dollars into younger players where a team can get a better return on the investment.

The only caveat all of this is that the FO has to be able to accurately identify which players have demonstrated quality worth paying for. (BLloyd is an excellent example of how this process can easily be screwed up by having the wrong people, i.e. Vinny and Gibbs, making those decisions.)

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Regarding serious injuries: although I am not an orthopedist, I have a theory that the reason for the rapid acceleration in season- and career-ending injuries is related to the constant demand for "bigger and faster" athletes in the NFL. Twenty years ago, it was somewhat rare to hear about ACL tears, bicep/tricep detachments, torn patellar tendons and the like, even in older players. Now, players are tearing ACLs in college regularly, and suffering even more serious injuries in their 20s. (LeCharles Bentley of the Browns is a good example.)

Why is this happening? Here is my theory:

1) The demand for younger, faster, stronger players is putting a premium on excess running and weight work at an earlier age. Young men in high school and college with not-quite-mature bodies are putting ridiculous demands on their muscles, joints, and connective tissue.

2) In particular, overbuilding muscle mass puts unusual internal stress on the bones (muscle attachments) and joints. Joints and muscle attachments cannot be made significantly larger to handle the additional stress. At some point, the attachment will tear or the joint will break down.

3) The joints not only have to support all this additional weight/mass, but also must deal with the stress of running, changing direction rapidly, and being blocked or tackled by ever-larger players. Ligaments and tendons respond minimally to size-building (lifting, running, etc.) and thus are the weak links in the equation.

Given that this trend will probably never be reversed, the average age of healthy players will continue to decrease over time. Therefore, the only way to combat the growing injury trend is to constantly rely on younger players. Why? Because younger players heal faster, and older player are more susceptible to season- and career-ending injuries.

Considering the recent increase in volume regarding disabilities of retired NFL players, every player over 30 automatically becomes a potential future liability for every team in the league. The "quick" remedy for many teams will be to put as many over-30 players into retirement as possible. Subsequently stocking a team with over-30 players will guarantee that a team is automatically older/slower than most of the league, and unable to remain competitive.

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 5:32 AM | Report abuse

From news, 12/31/06:

. . . What does Dockery think about his pending free agent status?

He wants to stay a Redskin.

"I love being a Redskin," he told reporters last week. "I want to be here. I'm going to tell my agent to do what we have to do for that to happen." . . .

Okay, Dockery - let's see if you really meant it. Remember, though - you are an Offensive Guard. You were drafted in the 3rd round. And you're not listed on the Pro Bowl squad. Yes, you are due a significant increase in salary. No, you don't deserve to be paid like an All-Pro tackle.

I hope you get a reasonable offer based on those parameters.

Otherwise, Sayonara.

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 5:41 AM | Report abuse

"RI Blues"

(Sure, it may be late,
But I want to be like Nate;
No, I haven't been drinking,
But I cannot sleep for thinking.)

It soon will be March,
Snyder's lure will be money;
Then we're drafting in April,
Hope the picks aren't funny.

And then will come workouts,
And training camp, too;
I'll be glad in September,
When 4-12 becomes 14-2.

Goodnight. : )

Posted by: Ocho-Ocho | February 22, 2007 6:00 AM | Report abuse

cload, on the cap hits/cut dates, my understanding is that, as a result of the new CBA, cuts by the March date take the cap hit from accelerated bonuses in the preceding season. Cuts by the June date can be spread over two seasons. Cuts after the June date count against the next season.

Nate, re: St. Joe and NASCAR, I think Portis summed it up well when defending Sean Taylor's offseason non-phone call returning ... in the offseason, you need to get away from football to recharge for the next. I'm sure there are plenty of peeps here who would prefer to see St. Joe at NASCAR as opposed to, say, church.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

A day late and a dollar short as usual here, but why not a DB if they trade down? I know DE is a serious need, but barring a trade and assuming that the free agent class is weak, why not look for some depth at CB especially?

Also, I'm not so sure about the "need" at TE. I think the free agents mentioned above are not really too much better than what we've got. They're all vets on the downside of their careers with the exception of the kid from SF with whom I am not familiar. I'd assume he's not as good as Vernon Davis but I'm in the dark there.

Posted by: evan | February 22, 2007 7:47 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins have created the monster,All these yrs of overpaying FAs has put them in Cap hell & word around league is Snyder will overpay! Now they cant and expect players already on team to take less & also FAs that wont happen with a 5-11 team!!!

Posted by: time to pay the FA piper | February 22, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the Grilliams Defense.

If he is able to execute his defense properly, strong cover corners are a must. He is from the Buddy Ryan school where the blitz is relied on causing more man coverage.

The defense we saw last year was not true man-boobs style because injuries in the front 7 and poor play in the secondary forced Grilliams in to more cover 2 to try to protect them.

Cover 2 is a situational (there's that word again) defense. Even the teams that are famous for it like Tampa and Chicago only run it about 25-30% of the time. It should not be used on running downs because it takes the 8th man out of the box and opens up more lanes.

We've seen Silky Johnson thrive in this defense and I think Dre Bly could too -- if he's as good as he thinks he is.

I like Springs a lot, but he's getting old and often injured. I don't want to see him gone, but I can get over it.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Ocho Ocho, if you aren't an orthopedist, then you're an occupational therapist, physical therapist, biomechanical engineer, or maybe a high school gym teacher who teaches health. Everything in your theory makes complete sense. I wrestled in high school and cutting weight on a weekly basis does not combine well with growth. One of my teammates had both shoulders pop out of joint (like Portis' injury) and another, who started on the football team as a sophomore, ended his football future with two torn knee ligaments. These guys were in the weight classes above and below me. Of course, this was all before the days of routine nutritional supplements to build body mass and maintain joint fluids, but my whole peer group was encouraged to start into the weight room by 8th grade and I remember more than a few freshman benching over 250 pounds. That was all over 20 years ago, so I can't imagine how routinized and merchandised the whole thing has become by now.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Something I didn't know (from Wikipedia) re: the Roethesberger effect ...

"Smoot broke his jaw in a single-vehicle crash in Mississippi on December 22, 2006, where he was spending the week. His jaw was broken in five different spots."

Another one that I hadn't heard was a Smoot quote from his senior year at Ole Miss, "two-thirds of the world are covered by water and the other third is covered by Smoot."

Finally, for the Thursday morning gossip/rumor readers (this from ... seems like pure, straight up gossip, but until real football rumors heat up from the Combine, here's one to chew on:

"Pacman Jones.

The story, which is now everywhere, is amazing. The talk coming out of Indy, where scouts and agents are convening for the combine, is that Jones might finally have found himself in a situation from which he won't be able to extricate himself. ... The situation started when Jones threw hundreds of dollar bills into the air at a Vegas strip club on Sunday. One of the dancers apparently didn't realize that Pacman doesn't want them to actually retrieve the dollar bills until he gives them the green light. So Pacman allegedly grabbed her hair and slammed her head against the stage. A fight ensued, and there are reports that Jones ended up going Mike Tyson on someone's ankle. Jones also allegedly threatened to kill one of the guards at the club, and then one of the guys Jones was allegedly with then tried to do it, by opening fire. One of the persons hit by gunfire is now permanently paralyzed from the waist down."

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Good post JLa,

Dockery: This is when not having draft picks kill you. You have no depth and no draft picks. Dock has alot of leverage. I'd bet this deal gets done unless some other team becomes enamoured with him.

I think he's a very average player. His value to the skins has more to do with his familiarity with his teammates and the system.

Vincent: I;m with Lisa, I understand he may be hurt but I don't see how this guys not a great backup. He doesn't cost much and is a high moral character guy.

Fletcher: It scares me when you say he'll be here first day of FA. We don't need to blow everyone out of the water. Getting him probably should be our biggest FA concern but not at the outrageous Redskins Price of the past few years.

Spring: You've confirmed my greatest fear. If all we did was resign him I'd be happy, our D looked demonstrably different when he was not in the game. Why healthy, he is the single most important player on our team.

Clement: I don't want him. Would he make us better? Yes. Is he worth all that money? Probably not. Any guy who comes out and says he wants to be the highest paid guy is in it for one thing and it aint winning.

Posted by: Skinz | February 22, 2007 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but i think double-move was the right pick.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Ocho went a long way, heroically, to make the point that younger players are more durable, faster and generally more desirable than older players, and that that's the case now more than ever.

I'm a little suspicious of the general statement about the perception that there are more critical injuries now than ever before... there are more teams and therefore more players in the league now than 20, 30 years ago, there is far more intense media coverage than ever, and there has lately been a (welcome) shift from 'playing with pain' to being a bit more careful, responsible about health matters.

But the overall point of Ocho's screed is well taken. Nobody is going to win up here with a latter-day Over the Hill Gang. I'm all right with signing a few key veterans with relatively clean medical histories, yes, but not at all our positions of need.

I'm also wondering, on the scale of healthy to injury-plagued team-seasons, was 2006 a light or moderate year, statistically. Seemed like we got off easy as far as total starter games lost, but then losing a lot of games for Portis and Springs was huge.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Nate do you wake up at 5am to blog? Between you and Ocho-Ocho... there's always someone for Paps in manila to talk to at odd american hours/normal overseas hours.

Do we have any service members BTGO from the middle east? Much love to you if so.

There was talk about Prioleau for a hot minute... hows his recovery doing?

Smoot quote was mad funny.

Pacman story was mad messed up.

Bos had a great article today about the Nats pitching rotation. I'm getting kind of excited.

Posted by: Dorf | February 22, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Nate, on the injury front, I think it wasn't just the big injuries of Springs and Portis, but also the big injury of Prioleau that had big time adverse affects on the on-field playing dynamic, plus the minor 'playin through the pain' injuries along the D-line of Daniels, Big Joe, and Cornelius.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Great points all true.The facts are that people are bigger than 20/25yrs ago. nutrition, weight training are year round starting earlier and taken more seriously by coaches begining in jr high. When I played high school football weight lifting was encouraged, any many guys did but it wasn't mandatory (this was late 70's in Futbol crazed PA) only when I went to college did the offseason program get serious. I expect this was the norm for the time.

There is only so much the body can take the speed and size of todays NFL game makes these guys modern galdiators, I don't mind a bit when these guys get a big contract the risks are so high and nothing but the bonus is garenteed. Get it while you can.Thats when the business side comes in it can get cold hearted but if I'm an owner getting ready to shell some real money to someone, health history and age certainly factor in. No certainty either way but odds favor younger, stronger faster in this game of survival

Posted by: Old School | February 22, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Dorf, we're still ironing out the wrinkles, but Ocho, Paps and I are shooting for 24/7 coverage. Getting an early start at the office today... and tuning in to the TK radio show.

I agree, it would be great to hear if we have any service members abroad who follow the blog.

etrod, what did you mean by Double Move being the right pick? I'm sort of glad we have a young corner under contract who has been in the system a few years, but has he turned out to be one of the top corners in that draft? Do you mean as compares to that knucklehead Pacman Jones?

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Morning peeps... been a while. I had to work a conference for my company down in Orlando over the weekend. That's right... worked 10-12 hour days over a 3-day holiday weekend.

It's poop... poop mouth. I hate you Ron Burgundy, I hate you.

JLC, I love the predictions, and even more so, I love the trade talks. How does this compare to years past though? I feel like everyone talks trade possibilities (to get offers going, I guess), but they don't happen too often. Does this year's internal trade down chatter seem sincere to you? Or could it just be another ploy to stir up offers?

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | February 22, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I mean that Double move came in the same draft as Pac Man. At least CRog seems to stay out of trouble.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"The Skins also have fairly good internal scouting reports on Dre' Bly."

Isn't this an oxymoron? Doesn't the Redskin's internal scouting acumen explain Archuleta, Lloyd, and Carter?

Posted by: Unnamed League Source | February 22, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"The Skins also have fairly good internal scouting reports on Dre' Bly."

Isn't this an oxymoron? Doesn't the Redskin's internal scouting acumen explain Archuleta, Lloyd, and Carter?

Posted by: Unnamed League Source | February 22, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

If ANYONE from the Skins front office reads this blog, please take Adrian Peterson with your pick at 6 if available!!
We can trade Portis for some EXPerienced D-lineman who are already under contract and certainly save money and cap space by moving Portis, who seems to be getting hurt in this offense and may blossom somewhere else.............Thanks for listening.

Posted by: Bob-Ashburn, VA. | February 22, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Bucktown, there is alot about this season that is different from recent seasons because of the new CBA, including the likelihood of and opportunities only available via trades. The new CBA gives teams some certainty about what the rules are going to be for a while. The new CBA increased the cap number, and revised the cap hit rules. I've been trying to figure out what this all adds up to in articles from guys like Kirwan at and Clayton at, but I think both of them are trying to explain what they see rather than predict what it should mean. The most immediate impact has been that teams are much freer to slap the franchise tag on a guy b/c there is much more cap space than in previous years. Also, like all things in economics, the market figures out ways around things. B/c of the Hutchison 'poison pill' contract by the Vikings, the transition tag option is no longer something teams can rely on. The latest move (again, just the market functioning) was done by Pat Kearney yesterday ... avoid the franchise tag by voiding your contract before your free agency year (and before the team figures out it needs to tag you in the first place). I'm guessing it might be harder for players to negotiate for voiding clauses b/c of that. Trades may be coming into vogue again, primarily as a way to avoid acceleration of cap hits for players who don't quite fit. The natural limit on trades, however, will be that only quality players will be trade fodder (and probably only when they don't fit ... rather than when they decline in performance). Other than the Skins FO, I think teams will be smart enough not to trade for a player who is likely to get cut anyway. But who knows, maybe crap for crap trades will come into vogue for teams who think they can squeeze something out of guy (but we have seen the Taylor Jacobs-Mike Rumph deal might have put the squash on crap-for-crap trades).

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse


Portis is untradable at this point. He still has some 16 mill in signing bonus that would become a cap it next year, putting us over the cap.

When I say untradable I'm not stating that as an opinion. I mean literally that doing so would violate NFL cap rules.

Posted by: Skinz | February 22, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm probably in the minority here but I am glad to see Archuleta is going to be back. Dude was made a scapegoat on a defense that was absolutely horrible last year. Andre Carter was playing poorly too but then started to come around the last 5 or so games. Archuleta is not a cover safety. He is effective up near the line of scrimmage and if Gregg Williams is so smart he should have known this well before he was signed. Players need to be put into positions where they can succeed, not have their weaknesses exposed. I love Sean Taylor like the majority up here but he has to be the safety who excels in pass coverage. If the Skins can somehow get Smoot/Bly to go along with Rogers I think the defense has the potential to be much better.

Posted by: cdubb | February 22, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Here is another pearl.

Its better to be a year or two early on a player than to late. Example Springs is thirty two his whole career has been marked by two things very good play on the field and injuries.Seattle would have never let have let him walk if he had played every game.They said (correctly)let some one else pay him top corner money, and they were right. He came here had one good year Healthy and was good his second year but broke down and missed half the games his third. At 32 is he suddenly going to get more healthy or take his game to an even higher level, ahh NO.Daniels, Wynn, patten etc time to move on. These guys may still be able to help a team, just not our team, nice guys, good guys, wrong guys. We are a team in transition these are guys who could provide veteran depth, leadership for a team on the cusp.This team right now needs to think and act like the team gibbs took over the first go around. The Jack Pardee era was about keeping the last remnents of the over the hill gang to together, when it was clear the day had past.When Gibbs came in we cleaned house and alot of favorite guys were let go, but in came youth unknown at the time, that became the foundation of 80's run.That team started slowly, then found themselves, they got stronger more confident thats a youth /talent thing. An older team just doesn't do that. So I say clean house, we now where the the Springs daniels wynns MB can take us thats nowhere,It may takes 2 yrs because of the cap to do it, bit I would rather see us go 6,7 8, wins whatever maybe better but do it knowing you are younger than winning the same number of games but with a group that is getting older and just hanging on. The difference is subtile, the result the same, but the direction and feeling like your moving toward something.

Posted by: Old School | February 22, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse


I have been starved for Redskins related notes, predictions, rumors, etc. all offseason. You've guaranteed that I won't get anything done at work today.

Thank you, sir.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | February 22, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor crossed the road. No one ever dared to question why.

On this dearth of quality TEs, seems like the body types of the good ones are (1) tall, (2) mid-sized heavy (3) fast who can (4) block and (5) catch. To me, that just sounds like a premier athelete/gladiator. Why not try to find the best athlete in the draft and make him a TE? Last year, the draft seemed real heavy in OLBs ... I think RockyMac was like the 6th or 7th one chosen. This year, the draft is supposed to be good for DEs and WRs (also good for OLinemen, but even the good ones don't really go till rounds 2 or 3, so its less noticeable in the mock draftery). Maybe a heavy WR might make a good TE. Maybe a pass rushing DE who can catch might make a good TE. Last week, someone mentioned a guy from Penn State (Tim Shaw?) who played DE his senior year, moving over from LB b/c they were deep there, and I read about how his high school career was at QB (and basketball). That guy sounds like an athelte/possibility for TE.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor once created a rock so heavy that not even Sean Taylor could lift it.

Then he lifted in anyway just to show you who the F@#! Sean Taylor is.

dcsween, you got me started again.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

etrod, saw your post this morning ... and to me, etrod means Sean Taylor smack.

When the boogeyman goes to bed, he checks in the closet for Sean Taylor.

[and when Superman goes to bed, he puts on his Sean Taylor pajamas.]

Anyway, its still Skins-related ...

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'll take that as a compliment.

If it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, and feels like chicken but Sean Taylor says its beef, then it's f@#!ing beef.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I'll take that as a compliment.

If it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, and feels like chicken but Sean Taylor says its beef, then it's f@#!ing beef.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'll take that as a compliment.

If it looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, and feels like chicken but Sean Taylor says its beef, then it's f@#!ing beef.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I meant to post 3 times because Sean Taylor is a beast.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED! The Skins replaced the quality control coaches (Coy Gibbs and Kirk Olivadotti) with new guys for QC guys for offense and defense. Notwithstanding the importance of these coaching changes, I can't recall their names. One guy's uncle used to be a kicker for the Skins and the other guy has been the Skins video editor.

FINALLY, some quality control!

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

There was a day in the NFL when basketball playres were drafted to become tight ends and track stars were converted to receivers.

Posted by: Throwback | February 22, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Old School,

Not sure if that is your writing or someone elses.

I agree with what was said with one question. If you get rid of those guys who plays? I mean you have to replace your #2 and #3 DE's with someone.

I'm all for youth movements. But just as the name implies you need the youth before you start moving. Furthermore, anyone who thinks that our GM/President/Coach/Nascar Fan is going to sit around for 2 or 3 years while the Cap clears itself out is sadly mistaken

Posted by: Skinz | February 22, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Breaking News!
The Redskins have released Troy Vincent.

Posted by: Cindy | February 22, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The redskins issued a press release stating that they had released Troy Vincent. Not sure how much money this free's up, but thanks for blocking that field goal versus Dallas.

Posted by: Greg(Beantown) | February 22, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Breaking News!
The Redskins have released Troy Vincent.

Posted by: Cindy | February 22, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Vincent?? So the prediction is true ... Jason La Nostradamacanfora walks the earth and writes for the Post.

I'm guessing the Skins wanted to clear Vincent out of the locker room before he educated too many of other players about their rights under the new CBA.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

To thank him for blocking that kick, I would gladly buy Troy Vincent a drink if I were to run into him and a bar and recognize him. It's more likely I would need someone to point him out to me, but I'm just saying.

Troy, if you're reading this, I'm good for it next time you're in Portland.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Jason, do you have any suggestions for Lottery numbers?

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

in a bar! I meant in a bar!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I guess the Vincent Price was just too scary. MSNBC is going split-screen with Britney Spears and Anna Nicole developments. Seems there just aren't enough hours in the day. Take me now, Lord.

Posted by: SMACK | February 22, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

SMACK, with the Vincent price pun, Homer Simpson is asking whether he should smite you (and ye shall be smoten).

I went to the Skins site and Vincent was the longest serving vet by 2 years (15). Next are Brunell and Allbright (13), to-be-restructured, plus re-signed. Then Todd Collins, Fauria, and Kozlowski (12). Three to be gone. David Patten (11). Hasta. Springs and Daniels. Uh oh. Seems like Jason might not be the only prophet here ... Ocho Ocho might also have it nailed on age trends.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse


It is me. I know the goal is to win now, But Gibbs stated Goal was to restore the franchise before he leaves again. The Playoff run in 05 delayed the transition by over half a season. In brief, we won, we loaded up, thought MB could manage the game one more season and maybe in a weak NFC, we could go all the way. That was the universal thought before the preseason of 06.Reality struck in August but didn't sink in until NOV. Campbell in Brunell out is the line in the sand establishing us as team in transition ( I am not saying we can not be a playoff contender while we transition) I am saying that this year and next we need to turn over the roster and find good young players everywhere,Anyway possible. your point about Backup DE's and CB's thats the FO's job. other teams seem to find guys who can play (not just make your team.) on a regular basis and they find them late in the draft.We need to do the same. I know I am stating the obvious, but this year most moves, whatever they are, need to be right.I would much rather have a backup at an impact position like DE who can get after the QB even if that player is some small school nobody who's like 245, than to see renaldo nowynn lock up with some offensive tackle on third 7, i've been watching that to long. same with daniels.

Just like there is no crying in baseball, you cannot get all sentimental in football.

Root for the uniforms.

Tim Shaw call was me, that sounds like a football player, we could use a few of those.

Posted by: Old School | February 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

you obviously sit on the toilet with a magazine that has sean taylors pic without a shirt? with Billy Squires music in the background STROKE ME STROKE ME!!

Posted by: give it a rest (gave up more plays then made | February 22, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

sween, maybe Albright should be exempt from that list, as punters and placekickers should be.

Has Collins' name come up? I didn't see him mentioned in Jason's post or followup comments. Guess he is assured a roster spot as #2 or #3 QB, or mayeb he's just way off the radar, given our intense curiosity with Brunell's status.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor invented Burgundy and Gold. In fact, he invented the entire spectrum of visible light.

Except pink. 'give it a rest' invented pink.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse


It is me. I know the goal is to win now, But Gibbs stated Goal was to restore the franchise before he leaves again. The Playoff run in 05 delayed the transition by over half a season. In brief, we won, we loaded up, thought MB could manage the game one more season and maybe in a weak NFC, we could go all the way. That was the universal thought before the preseason of 06.Reality struck in August but didn't sink in until NOV. Campbell in Brunell out is the line in the sand establishing us as team in transition ( I am not saying we can not be a playoff contender while we transition) I am saying that this year and next we need to turn over the roster and find good young players everywhere,Anyway possible. your point about Backup DE's and CB's thats the FO's job. other teams seem to find guys who can play (not just make your team.) on a regular basis and they find them late in the draft.We need to do the same. I know I am stating the obvious, but this year most moves, whatever they are, need to be right.I would much rather have a backup at an impact position like DE who can get after the QB even if that player is some small school nobody who's like 245, than to see renaldo nowynn lock up with some offensive tackle on third 7, i've been watching that to long. same with daniels.

Just like there is no crying in baseball, you cannot get all sentimental in football.

Root for the uniforms.

Tim Shaw call was me, that sounds like a football player, we could use a few of those.

Posted by: Old School | February 22, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse


For shame! Sully the good name of Billy Squier up here. Tsk, tsk.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

JLaC- Good musings about the upcoming roster moves. Hit the nail on the head with Vincent. From the start, that looked like one of those "3-year but really 1-year deals".

They already re-signed Big Red to one of those cap friendly veteran minimum deals, so our favorite long snapper is in the fold for another year at a very small cap charge.

Posted by: 4-12 | February 22, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Nate. And besides, I'm listening to 'My kind of lover' while on the toilet.

Perhaps I've said too much.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I still find it rather suprising to see that most of us are still thinking that this will be a 1-year fix for the TannedSkins. Frankly, I think this is more of a two year project, if not 3. Not only do we need to get some strong players in (especially at defense), but we also need to build on depth as well. The latter is especially important if we're going to make a playoff run at some point.

It's a matter of irrational exuberance to think that there is going to be some magical formula that will mend things. Let's face it. FA is not going to be as lucrative place to pull players from, now that many of the choice pickings have been franchised all over the league. The draft isn't quite as good this year for the positions we would want to fill. Trading down probably won't be an option, with the premium on younger players - heck, everyone's got the TannedSkins as a sterling example why not to ride the Dead Man Walking route to Superbowl fufillment. Definitely with the Doble Ocho as far as the age thing is concerned.

So, what'll happen with this offseason? I'm with J-la on this one. We're definitely out of the Nate Clements race - with Asante Samuels franchised, Nate will be the princess of FA. We're going to keep Skins One grounded on that count. Getting Betchyer-Maker or Dynamite Harris would be a good option, and maybe grabbing up some depth on CB, too - at least a 2nd/nickel-grade CB like Dribble (Dre Bly), because I'd rather not see Two-Wrongs as a 2nd CB, do you? Draftwise, they should use the #6 pick for a DT, provided we don't get a miracle trade. Adams seems rather desirable. A year or two with Griffin mentoring him, and the guy's liable to be a beast. (Great - we're getting our future coaches through free agency. I knew there was a reason the Skins are FA happy!)

And yes, the offense is intact. I'm convinced that the offense will improve without too much meddling, now that The Souper is behind the center - both our rushing and passing will benefit from having a QB that can actually shoot 'n scoot. Losing Hickory-Dickory-Dockery would be sad, but not irrecoverable.

We're a long bit from a good team, folks. We need to get through the foam head of the beer before we get the good stuff.

Posted by: FlimFlam | February 22, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

We all said the same about Lavar,look where that got us?

if you cant take a fan with a since of humor who disagrees then ill consider your posts as falling under the ITA rules!

Posted by: back to reality | February 22, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that Sean Taylor and Lavar Arrington can agree on is that 'Back to reality' is a tool.

Dude, I'm just having fun. Relax.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm still hung up on trying to reconcile the Archuleta we assumed, say, three months ago would be a surefire goner with the dude who's going to stick around and be a (well-compensated) part of this team.

Remember when Archuleta was coming on board and we learned about his Gar Heard-like interview, blowing Grilliams' mind, and they spent hours and hours sorting out the magic trick by which a differently able safety like Arch would fit in this defense?

And then Arch didn't fit in this defense.

So we can assume that either Grilliams is changing the scheme for '07 or Arch is changing positions? Wha'happened?

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Gotta be scheme Nate. Good coaches tailor their plans to the players they got. Not trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

Posted by: cdubb | February 22, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Some reports have said the Falcons were considering franchising Patrick Kerney, but that is not the case. Kerney will be on the free-agent market. Fact. Now before he gets there, the Falcons will continue to re-sign him, and Kerney wants to give Atlanta every chance to retain his services. But with San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Detroit, Cleveland and practically every team in the league looking to upgrade the position, the 30-year-old Kerney knows he is going to cash in somewhere -- even coming off a torn pectoral muscle he suffered last season."

Not a good signing for the 'Skins.......

Posted by: 4th | February 22, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I guess we'll be signing Fletcher-Baker* which, assuming it doesn't exhaust our FA piggybank resources, will shore up the middle LB spot, a move I'm starting to like.

Prioleau starts with Taylor at safety, is that the conventional thinking up here now? That makes me nervous (counting on a dude coming off a full season on IR who's never really done anything to be an anchor of the secondary), but I guess I can deal with it.

What I really don't like is that if we cut Springs and don't quickly move to sign a pretty good FA CB, I'm gonna get really nervous about where we stand at the corner position. Cover corners matter; we saw that every game Springs was out and every time Double Move was thrown at.

Even if we shore up the middle with Fletcher-Baker and a DT with #6 pick (as I hope), we're still going to need corners. Ade Jimoh? Oh, no.

*is it Fletcher or Fletcher-Baker? Is there a media guide on this?

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Arch and bLloyd both had awful seasons, and neither one one can be cut because of their ridiculous contracts. Here is my take though on the two of them if we were able:

Arch was thrust into a situation he was not prepared for, nor was he skilled at -- starting SS with heavy coverage duties. He didn't play well. He got screwed over by gDUBs and scapegoated. He then sat the bench, played special teams AND kept his mouth shut.

bLloyd dropped at least two sure TD passes from JC. Amassed a grand total of 23 catches for 365 yards. No special teams for this guy AND he ran his mouth. He has no drive to be better.

I say F bLloyd. He screwed his own chances up. Archuletta, in some respects, got screwed by gDUBs arrogance and an all around piss-poor D. I think he deserves another shot.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | February 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

For all you suckers who are sad that Dockery is leaving. Read this:

"With the Combine days away the focus is directed on big-name players such as Calvin Johnson and Brady Quinn. Yet small-school players such as Marques Colston, who came out of last year's Combine, made an impact as a rookies. Brent Sobleski looks at a pair of small school offensive linemen hoping to do the same in '07.

Just a month ago, a resurrected New Orleans Saints franchise was vying to play in the Super Bowl against the eventual NFC representative, the Chicago Bears. New Orleans overhauled their team roster the previous offseason to put them in position to achieve that success. A key addition for the Saints was drafting a small school offensive line prospect by the name of Jahri Evans. The Bloomsburg State product became a fourth-round selection by the franchise and solidified the right guard position from training camp throughout the entire season.

This underdog story is a reason why the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine is so important to most prospects. Often small school prospects are overlooked for the more glamorous names on the docket who may or may not elect to work out. But upon further review, it is those small school prospects that most often benefit from the exposure the Combine brings, especially along the offensive line.

Evans is not a singular example. In recent years names such as Paul McQuistan, Kevin Boothe, and Michael Roos came from non-Division I-A programs, had solid Combine results and became immediate starters for their respective teams. The league itself is littered with offensive linemen from small schools including future Hall of Famer Larry Allen and solid veterans like the Patriots' Steven Neal. And even a young stud by the name of Jamaal Jackson in Philadelphia.

This leads to today's crop of small school line prospects. Only two from non-Division I-A schools were invited along the offensive line. Those two being Allen Barbre and Elliott Vallejo.

Barbre hails from Missouri Southern, while Vallejo was an Aggie from the University of California-Davis after transferring from UCLA. Just being invited to the Combine should be a testament to the talent both possess, but just being invited is not the goal of these players.

Allen Barbre is a rare athlete at his position. At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Barbre has been asked to cover punts and even carry the ball on occasion in college. But don't just take my word for it. Here's what Southern Missouri's offensive line coach Casey Meile's had to say about him in a recent article in The Joplin Globe: "Considering he's the first guy down on the punt team every time, Allen is a special athlete," he said.

Rumor is Barbre will run a 40-yard dash time of sub-4.8 seconds. A Division I-AA All-American, Barbre was able to give the scouts an early peek at playing against some top level competition during the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star game last month. The results were positive. The left tackle prospect, who will likely be a guard at the next level, is a bit of project but has all the raw material NFL scouts drool over.

Elliot Vallejo impresses with his size of 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds. On top of that, Vallejo is a solid athlete and is expected to run in the 5.1 range this weekend. Vallejo replaced another former NFL prospect from Cal-Davis, Brad Lekkerkerker, and grew into a starter of thirty-two straight games at right tackle for the Aggies. A dedicated mechanical engineering student, Vallejo at one point questioned his future in the sport, but he'll see this week that NFL teams are serious about his potential.

Obviously there will be other prospects at different positions from non-Division I-A schools at the Combine who will be worth a look. Jacoby Jones (WR, Lane College), David Ball (WR, New Hampshire), Ben Patrick (TE, Delaware) are names to remember, but it's the offensive line prospects -- the hogs up front who receive little attention whether they line up for Texas or Texas St. -- who seem to have the most immediate and lasting impact at the next level."

NO gets a rookie gard who made it to the Pro Bowl. What has Doc done since?

Posted by: 4th | February 22, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

can we go with Glyph for F-B? or how about TAFKAF . . .

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

can we go with Glyph for F-B? or how about TAFKAF . . .

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Associated Press
Thursday, February 22, 2007; 11:45 AM

Veteran safety Troy Vincent was cut Thursday by the Washington Redskins, saving the team about $1.3 million in salary cap space.

I can already hear Redskins 1's engines starting up!

Posted by: ce1782 | February 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

no, seriously Nate, can we . . .

(not my fault - posted only once. Nothing you can do about it.)

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

1.3 million junior bacon cheeseburgers?

Well, cutting him makes a little more sense now.

Posted by: etrod | February 22, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

London Flaker?

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | February 22, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

4th, not sure what you meant about Kearney not being a good signing. I wouldn't think the Skins want or could afford him. Of the interested teams, we only play Detroit next year, but I still don't think the Lions could turn it around in a year.

cdubb, right answer on the adjusting the scheme to the players rather than vice versa. Primary thought is that this needs to happen on the O side of the ball (be more rush friendly, less pass happy). Hoping this plays out between St. Joe and Saunders ... and that the HC sticks to his guns.

FlimFlam, nicknaming your guts out today. Nice. Can someone tell me what happened to make Dre Bly so undesireable? He's a two time ProBowler (read, winner of the popularity contest). What happened? He's not that old.

Finally, if the Skins can't land Clements, my primary hope is that he doesn't land in Dallas, Philly, or Giants.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Bah, I still like London BetYer-Maker, personally.

Posted by: FlimFlam | February 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse


Ref Gibbs: I wasn't suggesting that we shouldn't bite the bullet and rebuild. I'm all for it. I was simply stating that it aint gonna happen with gibbs here.

Posted by: Skinz | February 22, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

London Belcher?

Posted by: 4-12 | February 22, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

London Belcher?

Posted by: 4-12 | February 22, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I know I could probably go on ESPN and read Clayton, but does anyone know off the top of their head what situations our division rivals are in re: cap space? Following up on dcsween's last comment. (I, too, have such fears. Lots of them.)

"Mr. Blue Sky"

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I know I could probably go on ESPN and read Clayton, but does anyone know off the top of their head what situations our division rivals are in re: cap space? Following up on dcsween's last comment. (I, too, have such fears. Lots of them.)

"Mr. Blue Sky"

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't see any difference making FAs out there... and other than Calvin Johnson, I don't see any sure fire difference makers in the draft.
We're in a 2 year re-building mode now. Time to let the old guys go (Wynn, Daniels, Brunell, Springs, Vincent).
Resign Dockery and Pucillo.
Bring in a bargain FA MLB and CB (Harris and Smoot, NOT Fletcher and Clements).
Keep trading down in the draft and use a few 2nd and 3rd round picks to build some depth on the O and D-lines, maybe find another DB.
Try to grind out a 7-9 or 8-8 year in '07, then go out and get a true #1 CB and DE in the next off season.

Posted by: Diesel | February 22, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

In an off-topic piece of news close to my heart:

Anyone been reading the Post's articles about Walter Reed this week? We all agree that JLA does an awesome job (just for us) - here is another example of incredible reporting and the effect reporters and newspapers can have. Nothing gets done in a hurry at WR for who knows how long, then the Post gets in there and all of a sudden people on Capitol Hill can't pontificate loud enough about how unacceptable it all is. Just like to say, our personal "Big Media" is good shti.

Giving the soapbox back now to Lisa or sfskin or whoever had it last . . .

Not as good shti as whoever yesterday knew that a "fletcher" was an arrowmaker . . .

"Sexy Plexi"
Jack Johnson

Posted by: stevie in gp | February 22, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

4th, the O-linemen in the draft ... that's what I'm talking about. On the site, they have a 'roster review' on the center and guard positions. Frankly, I think we might do OK there. Pucillo I already like. Lefotu, last year's 7th rounder, is back. I think he got cut b/c (1) team got scared by sleep apnea blackout and (2) his recovery meant he missed too much preseason development. Will Whitticker, 2nd year player who started for the Packers as a rookie. I'm not so worried.

Also, when you block copy that much text, you might want to note where you got it from. Not that you'll be tracked down, but somebody probably has it copyrighted. Just courtesy, etc.

Posted by: dcsween | February 22, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sean Taylor sleeps with a night light. Not because he's afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of him.

No suprise on Vincent -- I was surprised when I saw he got a signing bonus. Given his health, he had little chance of coming back -- $1.3M cap savings, $160K cap hit. Same with Wynn -- he's $4M on the cap this year, not gonna happen -- $2.5M cap savings for a $1.5M cap hit. Compare that to Daniels, who's only $3.1 on the cap (and actually starts!) -- I'm surprised that the negotiations haven't started with him, but I think you have to consider holding on to him -- I know Old School wants to clean house, but if you're drafting Jamaal Anderson then I want someone like Daniels in that slot as well -- and $3.1M on the cap is not bad for a DE.

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

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