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The Defense Rests, Rolls Over and Falls Asleep

In the process of reporting a story I am working on for the weekend, I've talked to a lot of NFL people. Current and former coaches and general managers. Scouts and decision makers. Lots of Redskins coaches and players. Former Redskins coaches and players. Agents for many people associated with the team.

All have essentially said the same thing: Fixing this defense is not going to be easy.

When Grilliams arrived here in 2004 he heard a lot of talk about how weak his talent was, about how they could not make plays on defense, about what a struggle it would be. And somehow they managed to be the third best D in the league. His scheme was rugged, his timing and feel for the blitz impeccable and pretty much everyone on that defense had a career year. Do you remember guys like Ron Warner, Matt Bowen, Jermaine Haley, Andre Lott, Garnell Wilds and Chris Clemons making plays? Know how many of them are still even in the league, or, if they are, actually playing?

Williams's stock was never higher. The next season the D dropped off, but hit stride in the playoff push, getting sacks, turnovers and defensive touchdowns like never before. It was enough to finish in the top 10 for the season, but there were some problems. Lemar Marshall had a strong season, but not an Antonio Pierce season at middle linebacker. The heart of the run defense, tackles Joe Salave'a and Cornelius Griffin, were hurt for large stretches and a team impervious to any runner in 2004 went through a deep rut where it could not stop the ground game (Tiki at the Meadowlands, anyone?)

Shawn Springs, playing like a shutdown corner, became dogged by injury problems again. Safety Ryan Clark, whose worth to the franchise will be explained in some detail in the story I am working on, was allowed to walk away for a pittance in Dan Snyder spending terms. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, the team's top first round pick in 2005, showed flashes of ability, but clearly had a ways to go. Warrick Holdman, the starting weakside linebacker after the LaVargate fiasco, has a brutal season all the way around. Save for a three-game flurry by Phillip Daniels in December 2005, the team had no defense end on its roster who showed an ability to fluster a quarterback regularly.

Which brings us to 2006. The Archuleta for Clark swap has been a abject failure, and the signing of Andre Carter to be that stud, pass-rushing D end has been a flop. No need to belabor those points.

I had two general managers and a high-ranking NFC personnel executive go over the defensive roster in detail with me. Couldn't really argue with what they said.

Essentially, all reached the same conclusions:

On the D line, Griffin is the only top flight talent, and after two straight years or serious injuries and little individual talent around him, expecting a return to 2004-form from a guy who will be 30 next year might be a bit much. Carter appears lost from his switch to LB last year. Salave'a is worried his career is nearing its end due to all of his injuries. Golston looks good, but Daniels is nearing the end. An overhaul could be in order, and we know the kind of success that type of thing generally produces with the Redskins.

At linebacker, Marcus Washington is the only above-average talent, they said. And it's become very clear how easy and fruitful it is to simply run plays to the opposite side. Holdman might be playing his last NFL season, these guys said, and is "just a guy," as one put it. Lemar is not that big to be playing inside, struggles in coverage and may be best suited to weak side. He plays very hard, and, at his size, these guys said it is natural for his body to be so beat up now.
They all like Rocky McIntosh, and, while realizing he has a lot to learn, were shocked the learning curve on the field has not begun, even if just on third down. For what he Redskins gave up - swapping second rounds, giving up this year's second rounder and a sixth rounder, "You've to start to see what the kid can do," as one personnel guy put it.

In the secondary, Rogers, considering how high he was taken, has not proven anything yet. He has the tools to be very good. Does he have all the maturity and intangibles? We'll have to see. Springs had serious injury problems before, and some close to him figure this will be his last year here. One person who had Kenny Wright on his team before called him "barely serviceable." Sean Taylor has taken steps backward this season. One GM thought he was having to think too much with Archuleta back there, and was not as much of a ball hawk in the passing game. Coverage was never his strong suit at Miami, one scout said, and he still takes poor angles to the ball. Losing Clark has had a dramatically detrimental impact on Sean, for reasons I will explain in the paper this weekend.

These guys I spoke to think it will be very hard for Williams for reverse this thing. No amount of scheming can change the attributes that make his system successful, and he may have overestimated the talent level considerably in terms of who can actually pull it off consistently. They wonder after three years of his intense, willful personality, if it's natural for some to start tuning the message out, or not buying in as thoroughly. Besides Golston and McIntosh, these guys said there is no one on the defensive roster not playing regularly you could say would be a potential impact player in the future, and the turns for the worse taken by the two youngest guys, Rogers and Taylor, are of concern.

The constant trading away of draft picks leaves the team without the means to replenish. People around the league are fully expecting the Redskins to get Nate Clements if/when he becomes available. They also expect the Skins to make a huge bid for Dwight Freeney if possible. Problem is three of the people I spoke to all said the same thing: No way Polian lets Freeney leave Indy.

No on with the Redskins would ever say it, but go back to the class of 2004 free agents and it seems like there was a definite three year plan in place when you look at the ages, experience and injury history of many of those guys. Now a lot of them, quarterback included, seem to be at a career crossroads, and this defense might be, too. Those three years are almost up, and with so many problems stopping the run or the pass, it could be a rough second half for the D.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 26, 2006; 3:05 PM ET
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Next: Coach Joe And The Fans


Great -- but depressing -- stuff, Jason.

On the other side of the ball, do you think there's any chance JC is the number two guy against Dallas? Or is Saunders still itching to get Collins in the game, like he supposedly has been all season.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Matt Bowen's on the Bills roster, but hasn't played a game this season due to a broken bone in his leg

Posted by: SKIN28 | October 26, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Very discouraging JLC. Can't agree enough about playing McIntosh more. Ease him into the game a few series at a time if nothing else. Maybe they can recoup some draft picks next April by trading down from their inevitable top 10 selection - The offense may be fixable this season - but the D doesn't sound like it is. Great work

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks alot JLC. I was having a great day laughing at "get in my belly" post. Reading that just sent me to the dark side. But great information as always. How is the little one?

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Jason.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 26, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

This all really puts in in persepective doesn't it?

Posted by: Megskin | October 26, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Andre Lott's played in one game for San Diego - he was cut at the end of pre-season, then re-signed in late September.

Posted by: SKIN28 | October 26, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Ron Warner's currently playing (and starting)for Winnipeg in the CFL

Posted by: SKIN28 | October 26, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

What did all those scouts and football types say about Fudge-Ums? Why hasn't he gotten a shot?

Posted by: BooferSux | October 26, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Garnell Wilds suffered a knee injury last summer while riding a motor-scooter in Florida - and was quickly released by Carolina

Posted by: SKIN28 | October 26, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I knew that Ryan Clark thing was huge. I've heard his name dropped in like 17 player interviews this year about him being a leader on and especially OFF the field! That just pisses me off. I mentioned this earlier today, but some of the guys have mentioned Royal too, surprised me. You CANNOT break apart locker room chemistry!!! I HATE the salary cap sometimes, but the NFL is sooo much better with it (see Texans/Jags and my fateful jettison from survivor pools everywhere). My Lord, it sounds like between this and Twerps hoops, I have nothing to look forward to for 3 winters. At least there's always Gilbert.

JLC - you da man.


Posted by: Pub Golf | October 26, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the insight, Jason. I feel like I just took a helmet to the groin.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 26, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"barely serviceable" -- ouch.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 26, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Good Job JLa,

This is the type of stuff that should be in the paper. I have to believe MSFandom would love to read that. (Well hate to read it but you get the point)

What's particularly telling is what they said about the 3 year plan. We seem to go all in and I'm afraid the "crapped out" years are coming.

Posted by: Skinz | October 26, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

At least it sounds like they may have gotten a player in Golston. Any word on how Montgomery's coming along? I know they struggled against the Titans.

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey y'all.
Chloe is stirring from her slumber, thanks for asking. Would not go down at noon, partied in the crib til 1, my wife put her back in after 2, and the beast is making noise again now, so I'm back on duty.

Real quick, some people were telling me Fudge Ums has a kid brother who could be a sleeper pick in a suplimental draft, cause apparently he's played some pro bowl in Canada. I'll have to look into it in more detail and maybe slip a flashcard under Vinny's door or something.

Not trying to bring you guys down, but I couldn;t use much of this info for this story - it doesn't fit - and won't get to hash it out in the print edition 'til next week - cause my butt is taking the weekend off like Dolla Bill and the boys - so thought I would put it up now.

Who knows, they'll probably find a way to get 2-3 more big name free agents on the D next season - Clements is definitely one to watch - but not sure how well that will work.
I know everyone in SD seems to be roided out, but to compare this group with a young, draft built D like that really drives how the differences.

Anyway, I'm out. Will try to post something Friday but I'm not guaranteeing it. We're taking the show on the road to spend the weekend in B-more at my parent's house. First Natty Boh is on me.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Excellent job, JLaC. I think this confirms things that we have been seeing on the field -- a D that is used up and may not have the juice to rev it back up.

That being said, it's not like a defense has to be FULL of stars to be good. A few great players and some solid role players can combine to make a good defense. Maybe if the Skins coaches are good enough to develop Golston, Mongomery, Rocky, Rodgers and Taylor into nice players, get something out of Washington, Griffin and Springs on the decline and smartly fill in the gaps (that means DRAFT PICKS and bargain free agents, Mr. Snyder), they can be solid again in tthe next few years. I guess that's a lot of ifs, though.

Another issue is: does the "front office" have the guts to cut their losses on Archuleta and Carter?

What a mess.

Posted by: NFC Least | October 26, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Jason, great stuff. Can't wait to see the weekend story.

PG -- The Jags did you in too, huh? Nice game coming out of the bye week Del Rio. Now there's a bunch of scrubs left in my pool including a receptionist who picked teams by the their colors. What up wit dat?

Posted by: Ali Haji Shank | October 26, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jason....I think. So can one go on?

Posted by: Lisa | October 26, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Montgomery played that bad. Those guys haven't played together much putting two rookies in is just brutal. If Cornelius was in with Monty I think he'd have played better.

I also think that "tuned in" comment was probably as dead on as anything else. I'm sure we can all remember how excited all those guys were in '04. A bunch of no-namers who worshipped the coach who told them that no one, not even 56 was better than them. Lightning in a bottle is a great thing. The problem is it's hard to catch and easy to lose.

Posted by: Skinz | October 26, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Our front office is seriously one of the biggest jokes in all of pro sports. We spend like the yankees, distracting the fans and getting them excited after every terrible season, then go out an play like an expansion team. Look it up, under Snyder (and Cerrato for that matter), the Redskins have been one of the five worst franchises in the league. That's crazy. No fans give more and get back less than Redskin fans.

Posted by: Andrew | October 26, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

One other thing -- I guess it says something that no one else thought they were useful, but it hurts to think about players like Wilds (remember the game against Randy Moss?) and Rufus Brown, who I thought we would keep around and develop but were tossed onto the football scrap heap. We don't develop these kinds of players, we replace them with terrible vets.

It seems like the reason for this is that Gibbs and Co. were setting up for a 3 year run and wanted as many vets as possible. But instead of a Super Bowl in 3 years, we get another major rebuilding project. Boy, those young players would come in handy right about now.

Posted by: NFC Least | October 26, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Dangit. I agree with the "blogger" above... I feel like I just got hit in the groin with a helmet. This sucks and it can't be un-done... "oh-no we suck again"

Posted by: Inigo Montoya | October 26, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Remember where you heard it first:

The Skins starting QB next year will be either Trent Green or ... Byron Leftwich.

Posted by: The Prognosticator | October 26, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I think what is most depressing is the way the front office spends its money.

I mean I have no problems with the additions of Randle EL or Lloyd because the team had two passing options last year, but how can the Coach and the Front Office look Skins fans in the face and tell us in 2005 we can't afford players like Pierce or Smoot and then go out in 2006 and overpay for players like Archuleta and Carter.

Honestly, they could have resigned Clark for less than the signed Archuleta for. I just don't get it.

As for fixing the defense. There is no way to fix a secondary made up of 1 starting cornerback (Springs) and 3 nickelbacks (Rogers, Wright and Rumph).

Rogers has just flat out has failed to live up to his 1st round billing. He's just terrible. I hope the broken hand keeps him out longer... Just another draft blunder by the front office.

Posted by: Skinsfan | October 26, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Progno - Don't forget chris simms, even tho he'll play like Cringer before the power of grey skull. I still stand by it too, if I see Phil Simms in burgundy and gold, look for me in Jessup, cell block D, playing tummy stix with a 7 footer.

Shanks -- Our gig actually ENDED on that BS! Between the skeezhawks and the jags, some young and astute lady (altho I assure u she has ZIPPY on Megskins) picked the Jets cause she LOVES Vinny..........and she is spending $1500 on shoes this wknd while I'm staring at this blog drinking Steel Reserve 40's.

I feel like the fat kid from Old School post cinder block haze.

PG out

Posted by: Pub Golf | October 26, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Good article and sad but true.

What draft picks do they have left next year?

Posted by: tim flynn | October 26, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic article J La. The amount of research that went into this blog post is impressive and illuminates the problems that the Redskins face infinitely more than any statistic or diatribe could.

I'd like to see a future article that turns around and applies the same sort of analysis on the offense. Although Brunell has been explained to death, and the pros and cons of Moss and Portis are apparent, it might be interesting to discuss the TE and FBs in blocking schemes, the performance of each member of the O-Line in pass/rush, takes on the new WRs, etc.

Also, I'd like to see someone explore in depth the play-calling on offense, how it has changed over Gibb's tenure, how it has changed in season, and whether future changes to overarching play-calling strategy could improve the situation. Unlike teh defense, the offense appears loaded with talent, although many scouts pointed out before the season that it was the wrong talent, particularly with a bunch of WRs that had similar attributes.

Posted by: Rain Man | October 26, 2006 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with a lot of the people above, JLaC ... even the small tidbit you showed us here is simply dismaying. The fact that you talked to seasoned pros to come up with some of the conclusions makes it even more Linda-Blair-necktwisting-wince-inducing.

In retrospect, perhaps the fact that Grilla did so well his first season here was the worst thing to happen. Had he not had that season, perhaps he would have looked at his personnel planning more carefully, or he would have made his system less complicated, rather than more.

Instead, one crushingly successful season kept people from doubting his moves and questioning his choices. If he had a nasty first season, perhaps it would have trimmed Grilla's conviction that a great defense depends more on a thorough system rather than great, instead of 'servicable' players. Perhaps a first bad season would have put things on the road to better, than the road to worse, but that's merely speculation.

What now? Yes, we need to make sure Rockamac gets into the game more. A lot more. No matter how bad his case of The Stupids is, he needs to get started - Can't Getta definitely isn't cutting any mustard.

And perhaps Grilla might consider simplifying his mega-system of defense. Perhaps the system in place now is all about rote and rationale, rather than relying on itch and instinct. When instinct and procedure clash in situations that require scant seconds to decide, the battle can be quickly lost. The Giants defense certainly improved after they simplified things over the bye - maybe it can do similar things for the Skins.

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 26, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Great reporting. I have been telling my bros all season the loss of Ryan Clark was H-U-G-E for a myriad of reasons, thanks for giving me more amo!

Posted by: Chris Larry | October 26, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Ok, maybe being a Red Sox fan for my whole life has made me somewhat optimistic regarding this. Going into next year, we'll most likely have Golston, Rocky, Rogers, Taylor, all starting, and only being in the league 4 years or less. With our first round pick we need to pick up a defensive end/tackle. Do we need to focus more on the draft, YES, but if we can get the same results from the 2007 draft, where our later round picks are not only on the team but contributing, as we did in the 2006 draft (Montgomery/Golston/Doughty-special teams), then we'll be in good shape.

Posted by: Greg(Boston) | October 26, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Yep. They shot their load in two years. They got close last year. A good QB could have been a differnce maker. Gibbs made one big mistake in his "win now" plan - Mark Brunell.

Posted by: Stro | October 26, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy Ballmer.

I'm glad the GM's had the stones to tell you they think Grilliams is a jerk. Somebody had to say it.

Posted by: Lavar Walt Clark | October 26, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Consensus is for Picks:

Rounds 1,5,6,7

fun, huh?

Posted by: Pub Golf | October 26, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Whoever mentioned Trent Green could be on to something. i think I posted some musings to that end a few weeks ago and it something I will be watching very closely. Some people close to Al said he would be overjoyed with such a move. Of course, it would kill Campbell.
Then again, some people around the organization are wondering if Brunell could actually be back next year, too, given Coach Joe's undying support of him.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

They should have never let Trent Green leave. He is too old now.

Posted by: Stro | October 26, 2006 3:16 PM | Report abuse


Getting a dlineman is a great plan but what about the O-line? 4 of the 5 are 30+ and Jansen is slowing down and wants to be behind a camera. Raybach is just not very good and Samuels is starting to grow Redhair and his Step Dad no longer claims him.

We have lot's o problems and not alot of draft picks.

Posted by: Skinz | October 26, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Can someone enlighten me as to Fudge-Ums is?

Posted by: Lisa | October 26, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Ernie Grunfeld should have double DC duties! What do you think?

Posted by: Chris Clark | October 26, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you NFC Least unfortunately the problem with this front office is they're incredibly patient with struggling vets (Brunnel, Holdman, etc) but don't seem to have patience with developing rookies, so they trade all their picks away.

"The Skins starting QB next year will be either Trent Green or ... Byron Leftwich."

as long as it's not Plummer. Ugh! Hey he's ambidextrous - can throw ints with either hand.

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

...He is too old now...

age is a mere numba grasshoppa!

Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Meant in front of a camera not behind.


Fudge-Ums was first discovered by a talent agent and did some Domino's Commercials. He is 3 ft cube of poop with legs and prehensile arms. He runs a 4'8 40. Some people think we could pick him up in the Sup. Draft and he could either replace Archabingus or Holdman.

Posted by: Skinz | October 26, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHA...Inigo Montoya...sorry, I needed that little distraction from the dreadful truth that is the Redskins. I do whole-heartedly believe, though, that a rebound is certainly possible, and if we beat D in 1+ weeks, I will not consider this season to be a complete bust.

I hate everything Dallas, like I hate cancer.

Posted by: Cary Ewles | October 26, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

JLa, what, if any is the status of some of our own free agents, Betts, Dock, and Duckett? I'd like to think that Betts has caught the eye of Saunders, and is proving to be a worthy backup. If we don't sign him, then we need to sign Duckett, and make that worth it. Also, Dockery, is proving to be a good player, while NONE of these guy's is worth a TON of money, they're the type of second-teir players that we need to keep on the team.

Posted by: Greg(Boston) | October 26, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

...Can someone enlighten me as to Fudge-Ums is?...

LISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

jason, editor, somebody, quick! please delete lisa's last comment.

Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Michigan CB Leon Hall with the 1st pick in round 1?

Posted by: JB | October 26, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The more and more I look at the season and the near future, I start thinking of a quote spoken at the end of The Hunt For Red Oktober, when the submarine that shot at Connery's submarine was about to take the ultimate shabingas from their own torpedo. The one officer says to the captain, "You arrogant ***, you've killed us!"

Man, I need to stop thinking about all of this.

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 26, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse


Dock will be 27 next year, and Samuels, and Rabach both will just have turned 30 next year. Jansen and Thomas will also only be 31. While that isn't optimal, we're not in panic mode with the O-line yet. We've got bigger issues on the D-Line, I believe.

Posted by: Greg(Boston) | October 26, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Good Article. I think while its easy to discount him now, La Var made some great plays last year too. He was a strong quick tackler on the run, that punished people and could make plays behind the line. The Philly game at home stands out. Lar var made a tackle for a five yard loss, and Ryan Clark intercepted the ball to close out the game.

If you follow up your draft article, it would be nice to hear some Gibbs/Vinny perspective on the excuses they used on Perice, Smoot, and I have to beleive Clark, which at the time went something like: Peirce, we think M. Washington is better than you, therefore we can't trump his current contract or else we will have to pay him more to keep him too. Something like that for Smoot vs. Springs too, and probably Clark vs. Sean Taylor. I think Gibbs or Vinny had some strange plan to short circuit the salary cap by seeing if you could shame players into accepting less by comparing them to better players on the same team, shocker it has not worked out.

Posted by: HeadCoachClowns | October 26, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Everyone complains about how old and washed up Brunell is . . . how is Trent Green (who has a nice streak of injuries going) going to fix that?!

Anyways, I don't care if they took a 3-year shoot-for-the-moon approach when Gibbs came back. They should have! That it didn't work out sucks, but it's not the end. The danger here is that they fall into some sort of Tenn or Balt trap (who have crapped the bed for several seasons after shooting their respective loads). Obviously, I've given up on this year. But if they can now reload for another three-year run (or two-year plan, given St. Joe's age), that would be awesome. All the more reason for them to treat the rest of this season as preseason -- they can get a 9 game lead on that plan!

Posted by: HS | October 26, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

fudge-ums is a character that dominos pizza just created. if you go to their website or google it's pretty eerie looking thing.

Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Did I just see a reference to the six fingered man???

Have fun stormin the castle.

Brain fart, must-be-close-to-wknd...what are the rodents called again?


Posted by: Pub Golf | October 26, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

has anyone noticed how well kc is playing WITHOUT saunders and WITHOUT t. green t?

Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Reading that article just confirms one thing for me and that is, fans know more about the 'skins/football then given credit for. With all of the avenues we have within our reach we can gather the same info as those on the inside.

I hate to say it, but we are looking at another offseason of turnover in personnel and yet another season where we lack one of the most important attribute's for a team and that is chemistry. When Joe came back he vowed stability and has done just the opposite.

To think what we could have on defense is scary. Peirce, Smoot, Clark, Bailey and even Lavar. What do all of those guys have in common? They are far better than what we have at their respective positions. I know the Bailey and Lavar situations were hard to avoid, but the others could've been had for cheaper than the retreads we brought in and in some cases at a fraction of the cost and we could've upgraded in other areas or at the very least added depth which we have practically none.

To put it blatantly, we are screwed for now and the immediate future and you can spin it all you want, but that's exactly what you will be doing, spinning. It sucks, doesn't it?

Posted by: King Gibbs | October 26, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Rodents of unusual size. Inconceivable!

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The R.O.U.S's?

Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | October 26, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse


Thank you. Oh, and they exist, try living in Federal Hill. They'll bite off a tire if you run over them. I try to stay away from B-less, the city that reads, because of them.

Posted by: Pub Golf | October 26, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse


You keep on using those words. I do not think it means....what you think it means.

Posted by: Skinz | October 26, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse


Wish I could say the same for the skins organization.

Posted by: Max | October 26, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget: Fudge-Ums aka Little Cubes Of Poop

Posted by: Ali Haji Shank | October 26, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Pub Golf, come on up to Brooklyn. I'll introduce you to some real R.O.U.S.'s.


Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | October 26, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse


"has anyone noticed how well kc is playing WITHOUT saunders and WITHOUT t. green t?">

Kansas City 2006 (without Saunders):
294.5 YPG
195.5 Passing YPG
99 Rushing YPG
19.5 PPG

2005 (with Saunders):
387 YPG
238.1 Passing YPG
148.9 Rushing YPG
25.2 PPG

To answer your question, yes. Kansas City clearly misses Al Saunders and Trent Green.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 26, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse


Fabulous've confirmed what some of us have suspected for quite some time: the talent level on this year's defense just doesn't cut it. There are serious holes all the way around--at d-line, lb, and secondary.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Since I didn't get the "i don't think they exist" I'm putting myself in the corner.

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a holocaust cloak!

Short Guy: Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?

Posted by: Buttercup | October 26, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, the mistake of the off season was giving up Clark for Archuletta. We let a solid, over achiever with great chemistry with the rest of the defense leave and brought in an overpriced big name guy. DOES THIS SOUND AT ALL LIKE A GIBBS MOVE? HAYEL NAWH! Clearly, Snyder and his little dog Cerrato are still running this team, and we will suck suck suck until this changes.

Posted by: Impeach Snyder/Cerrato | October 26, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

PG - the rodents were called ROUS's (Rodents Of Unusual Size).

It could be worse people...we could be Cardinal (Arizona that is) fans.

Posted by: Healey | October 26, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who blames Saunders is out of their mind. He came in here with a new offensive system, players he had never worked with before, and a QB who is very limited in what he can do. What's the old saying? "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Anyway, we can't continue along this path of bring a guy in for 1 season and fire him if we don't play well. That is exactly the reason the team has been so bad for so long. If we would have kept the same coach and the same offensive and defensive systems for the last 6 years we'd be in much better shape. We (particularly Danny Boy) have a short leash with coaches and that is the heart of the problem. It's like this city has Attention Defecit Disorder. We can't stick with one coaching staff for more than one season unless they bring us a superbowl. Patience everybody. Firing coaches is obviously not the answer here... we've already tried that.

Posted by: Saunders | October 26, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I hate the fact that we are so worried about paying big money to CB's and draft them so high in the draft when are D-line is so bad. The defense starts at the line. If you can't get a rush, I don't care if you have Deon and DG in coverage, it's not going to work.

Also, how about the excuse of not re-signing Clark. "His downfall was when he was run over by Tomlinson." Are you kidding me!?! If getting run over by LT meant not getting re-signed, there would be a lot of players out-of-work. Granted, Archuletta may not get run over, but why take the hard route when you can just run around him. What a joke signing he was. Nobody would have paid even close to what we paid for him.

Posted by: BT | October 26, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Do you have something against Fudge-Ums? Perhaps I'm a little to eager to bring him up in conversation, but dangit if that little cube of poop doesn't just brighten my spirits--especially after J-La drops some killer knowledge about how our defense right now isn't worth poop. So that's why I say, let's put in Fudge-Ums. And I'm glad to hear he's got a brother up in Canada--that's something to get excited about eh?

Oh, and it seems that the Skins fell for one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less famous, is never give away all your good players for nothing and sign multiple Shabingi when the SUPERBOWL is on the line...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Thud).

Posted by: BooferSux | October 26, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

No, Archuletta won't get run over by LT because he takes such a bad angle he would just end up missing him completely. Damn, how sick are we of seeing #40 running behind someone as they sprint into our end zone?

Posted by: Impeach Snyder/Cerrato | October 26, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Impeach Snyder/Cerrato, you're an idiot. It sounds exactly like a Gibbs move. Gibbs has never been known for his player-selection prowess. And that was the murmered knock on him when he came back as more than just the coach this time.

I'll let you in on a little secret: Snyder owns the team. You have no say in how it's run. If you don't like it, you have an awfully long wait before he sells it or dies.

Besides, it's so 1999 to blame him for everything that goes wrong.

Posted by: HS | October 26, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

No more rhymes now, I mean it....

Posted by: LWC | October 26, 2006 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The only thing keeping me sane at this point is knowing that we do have a football team on its way to winning a championship. Thank god for DC United!!!

Posted by: Todd | October 26, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

HS, if you want to give Snyder the benefit of the doubt over Gibbs, good luck getting the rest of the true Redskins fans to take your side.

Posted by: Impeach Snyder/Cerrato | October 26, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I came back to from eye doctor's appoinment and I come back to this!! I can barely see now, but I wish I was blind and never read this post!

That being said, I think those of us who have watched this team closely made some of the above observations a long long time ago. This is the NFL, and you can't just throw money at all problems. You always need those people who are hungry......

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Well, look at Gibbs' title. And his statement that he's ultimately responsible.

Look, I prize my NFL Films Redskins Super Bowl box set as much as the next guy. Hell, I'm even a Joe Gibbs Racing fan. But I do believe that Gibbs has a big part of who stayed and who left since he came back.

Posted by: HS | October 26, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs' strategy revealed!
He is not left-handed!!

Brunell is though. Doh!

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Look around the NFL and you will see that the successful teams keep their coaches, offensive and defensive systems together for quite some time, despite the fact that they switch players in and out.

Examples of teams that keep their coaches for several years:

Denver, New England, Pittsburgh, Philly, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Carolina. Yes they all had their bad years but they stuck to their coaches and systems for several years and eventually found success. The skins need to realize stability starts with a consistent coaching staff and system. It's the players that are the interchangeable parts, not the coaching staffs.

Posted by: Max | October 26, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Ok, HS, I agree with you, and yes, I too support Joe Gibbs Racing for no reason other than it's called Joe Gibbs Racing. We'll never know who is really making the calls here (but I think we can agree that Gibbs will never point the finger at anyone other than himself), but my ultimate point is Gibbs needs a GM to succeed, and the Danny will never let that happen...
Not sure if you were joking, but Snyder didn't own the team until the 99-00 season.

Posted by: Impeach Snyder/Cerrato | October 26, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!"

Princess Bride = awesome movie :)

Here's a quote from Count Rugen that about sums up this season for Redskins fans. Can you see Snyder saying this to us?

"As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old. Really that's all this is except that instead of sucking water, I'm sucking life. I've just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don't know what that would do to you. So, let's just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?"

Posted by: bandwagon blues | October 26, 2006 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Carey, "anybody want a peanut?" I miss the late Mr. the Giant.

Jason, this was your best reporter/blog thread starter yet! I'm really looking forward to your article, esp. if this is the stuff that you had to cut out.

I don't know if it came up when you were talking to your 'sources', but I'd be interested in whether anyone thought well of Prioleau. I was kind of hoping he'd be stepping up to be one of our two starters soon.

Also, if anyone knew about the structure of the Archubingus and contracts AND knows about how the salary cap hits work, I'd love to hear about what it would mean if these guys found new homes. My understanding is that signing bonuses don't count for salary purposes, but that all 'guaranteed' money does and some portion of different kinds of bonuses do. I'm thinking that LaVar was the last one in the NFL ever to agree to buy himself out of a contract. Also seems that Carter is going to be one of those guys who ends up playing awesome for an NFC East rival.
I STILL think that Archubingus could be successfully moved to one of the LB positions that doesn't require as much in pass coverage (SAM or MIKE) ... and that a 4-4 might work someday if we really do need to eat his contract.

Finally to J-La, how old is Ms. Chloe again? Can't you get the folks to embrace their grandparenthood so you and Mrs. J-La can head to the beach for the bye weekend?

Posted by: dcsween | October 26, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

It's the players that are the interchangeable parts, not the coaching staffs.

I think Grilliams is finding out that this is not always the case.

Posted by: Megskin | October 26, 2006 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Hey there.

I spend most of my life in East Bawmer, and I know one thing, our rats are bigger than most cats/dogs/lions, and much more brazen. They will confront you, take your lunch money and make you run crying to your momma.

Chloe is 20 months and trust me, her grandparetns coulw kidnap her and raise her themselves if given the chance. They couldn't be more pumped.
We had a trip planned to go away but cancelled it 'casue of fundage issues.
More than happy to spend the weekend having some beers with boys, taking my wife to a decent dinner or two and letting GPs get up in the AM with the Cloestir for a few days.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

We Want Dallas

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if Grilliams isn't feeling overshadowed by the new guy hoping to be head coach in the post-St.Joe era (or whether they don't ALL plan on leaving when Joe does ... and their social security checks start rolling in). Someone mentioned that they could see Grilliams in Arizona. That might be a nice fit for his manboobs. Dennis Green has blossomed in the Arizona sun (but I guess that theory doesn't work given the fatness in the NE ... the increasing droopy jowls on Bellichek, the sapling from the Bellichek tree, Eric Mangini, Andy 'I Am The Walrus' Reid, etc.). I see all these guys trading up to get Fudge 'Ums.

Posted by: dcsween | October 26, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

A duck can't walk without bobbing its head.

Posted by: CMoney | October 26, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bandwagon Blues-
Great Reference! In fact, if the Skins lose to Dallas, for me it will be like the scene where Humperdink runs in and just flips the switch on the machine all the way and sucks the life right out of Wesley. Right now, I'd say I feel like about a year is gone, but after a Dallas loss, it would be complete death (in fact, even worse than "mostly dead.")

Posted by: BooferSux | October 26, 2006 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I STILL think that Archubingus could be successfully moved to one of the LB positions that doesn't require as much in pass coverage

The Rams used to do this with him from time to time. I think they found it best to keep him out of pass coverage; he had a tendancy to drop potentially game saving interceptions.

Like Skinz said in the Rumors thread--Grilliams probably just planned to have him play along the line. Someone on the Redskins staff had to know his pass coverage was a liability; that or they just don't do their homework.

Posted by: Megskin | October 26, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

taking my wife to a decent dinner or two

Persimmons in Bethesda is always good; not that you asked but ya know, love that place.

Posted by: Megskin | October 26, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

this team will never win as long as vinne/gibbs are making the personnal decisions

my dog even thought letting clark go and signing arch was a bad idea.

will someone please tell adam archeletta to shave his molester mustache?

Posted by: a knowledgable fan | October 26, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Great work Jason! I am sure your weekend piece will make us all feel even worse. Aside from the need to pay your bills and support your family, how do you not let Gibbs have it at the pressers?

Can't you slip a zinger in there every once and a while? Maybe something like, How much do you miss not having a GM? What is current definition of a "core Redskin", given that our core guys, as you called them, were allowed to leave, and plow their trade elsewhere? Why are you so opposed to retaining draft picks? Some thing along those lines.

By the way, this story must have taken some time to put together. Your interviews probably ran long, what with people laughing so hard at our debacle, with each passing question.

Posted by: Kevin K | October 26, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

If he lives in Bawlmer, wouldn't Bethesda be too far just for a dinner?

I suggest Timbuktu down the street from arundel Mills Mall, if you like seafood that is. To me, they have the BEST crabcakes in the area.

Anyone care to differ?

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse


Don't think I'd keep Tampa Bay up there as they won the Superbowl the same year they canned former head coach Callahan.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 26, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey JLC, any rumors to the effect that the change in QB's in Dallas might cause a rift between JJ and Parcells? Sounds like JJ was disappointed Bledsoe wasn't named starting QB. Having Dallas implode may be the only bright spot for us skins fans this season.

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Negativity is a stinky cologne. I agree with a lot of the points made in the blog by Jason, his best ever. BUT, and this is a big BUT, opposing GMs/scouts/personnel love to stick it in when the chips are down. To discount what the defense did last year as a run is a huge understatement. That defense was punching people in the mouth! You could not run anywhere. If you threw it, your wideout was going to come back to the huddle pissed at you. Why? Ever heard of a shotgun-wielding free safety? That's why. Those guys were incredible, and they were incredible in the playoffs.

Archuletta is one of the top ten worst signings of all time...and I stand by that. He is so lost out there. The one play with Reggie Wayne having him and the corner beat like a Tina Turner book club meeting hit the point home for me. The Carter know what, we missed...we thought he would be good, but we missed. Happens all the time to everyone.

Back to my point about negativity. When the chips are down, everyone is ready to drop a sky dump on you. GMs etc. are so competitive, they love to go back and look at the mistakes your team made. Look at the Cowboys. They are 3-3...they were right there with Philly in Philly, the best team in the league in my opinion. They are Top 10 in O and D (only NFL team ranked in both) and people are asking them if their season is over. Is this a rebuilding year? What? They have Carolina, who they beat last year, and then us. Even if they split, 4-4. Parcells made a dumb decision with Romo. Stupid idiot.

Antwho, my point is, when you lose, everything is bad, and nothing is good. The Indy game was to keep playoff hopes alive. We know how that turned out (mashed potatoes anyone?) This Dallas game is to salvage dignity and franchise momentum. We will go to war against Dallas.

By the way, Do you honestly believe we're bringing in another QB? No chance. It's Brunell and JCampbell.

Posted by: The Governor | October 26, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Okay. I think we had aenough signings to come up with......


1st I say we name a bunch of players than rank them. My worst signings are as follows:

Deon Sanders (to me, #1), Bruce smith, Archbingus (sp?), Carter, Mike Barrow, Brandon Lloyd, and Jerimiah Trotter.

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the pick on the first play of the Romo era is the reason that Gibbs hasn't started JC yet. As Megskins' research on TheissmaBrunell demonstrates, Gibbs will defend his vet QB till cows are hitting the snooze bar, but NO ONE wants to have to un-bench a starter. Dallas fans are getting all Romo, all the time, from now on and its going to be making Jerry Jones wince till the plastic cracks.

What no one has explained to me why Gibbs would move up in the draft to get Campbell. I just don't get it. He hates the draft. From what I gather, so does $nyder. They don't bat an eye on these extremely costly insurance policies (Archubingus and Duckett), but they trust the DRAFT to fill in for Brunell/Ramsey/Hasselback (the younger)? With 20/20 hindsight, it seems completely out of character for Gibbs.

Final Archuleta thought: You know how boxers become celibate before a big fight to get real aggressive and focused? Google Jennifer Walcott to see Archuleta's girlfriend. He's lost whatever aggression or focus he ever had.

Posted by: dcsween | October 26, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Jeff George has to be in the mix

Posted by: skinswest | October 26, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

4th Floor, I disagree that Brandon Lloyd was a bad signing, either at the time or now. He easily is performing like the 4th round pick he was traded for, he has many good years left, he is capable of amazing one-handed stretch passes, and he cannot be evaluated until we get a coach who will call or a QB who will throw the long ball.

Posted by: dcsween | October 26, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Trent Green!!! You got to be F ing kidding me! I just return from the gym and was feeling great until I read that JLC. You have really killed my spirit twice today. If they bring him or Phil Simms in I will be in Cell Block D as well.

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Safety Ryan Clark, whose worth to the franchise will be explained in some detail in the story I am working on, was allowed to walk away for a pittance in Dan Snyder spending terms."

This is the most disturbing part of the offseason moves to me. Why don't the Skins understand the possbility of subtraction by addition? If you have chemistry in your starters, change the names at your own peril. It would seem having quality backups added to what was still a pretty to very good defense last year, which you've pegged as something that draft picks can do easily, should have been a higher priority than addition for addition's sake.

Still, ain't them dee-fenders out there on the field a bit more than they should be? Fire up the O, and see if it doesn't fire up the D, when healthy, if that ever happens, too.

Posted by: worstSeat | October 26, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The reason I put Lloyd in there is because Randle-El is a capable #2. PLus we traded a 3rd and 4th rounder. I just think we didn't need to spend that money. Also, I am talking about just the signings, so it dosen't neccesarily mean that the player was bad, but when it involves a 3rd and 4th rounder, that has to make you think. And, I listen to Lloyd on his XXX show and I don't really like him much as a 'core' redskin as of right now for various reasons (which includes his ambition to become a rapper).

I forgot about Jeff George. How could I (I think I was 'away' during that season so I missed most of it)?

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

4th Floor

I think B Lloyd was a good pick up. If you have a QB that doesn't look for him (even when he is open) or refuse to throw it long. You can't blame B Lloyd for that.

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it but its eerie how the skins are like the older wizards(bullets) , Capitals. What i mean by that is the skins bring these guys in and they suck! They leave and there awesome or they just let them go with out finding out if there good or not or they think they can do better and let them go just like Trotter,trent green, Stan Humphries,Keenan Mcardell(gibbs drafted him and cut him i belive before the season started),Frank wychek,Rich Gannon,N.D Kalu, Shawn Barber,Brad Johnson,Ryan clark ,Antonio pirce,Stephen Davis, Its like the water around here think the wizards weber, howard,rasheed,ben wallace,rich hamilton, Yet they finally got it together with a a gm who said this has too stop and people like wes unseld putting there egos aside and agreeing, However Gibbs ( who I think is great he is like a god to me ) Cant do that . We all blame Danny yet Danny has taken a back seat somewhat The guy does what gibbs tells him not Vice Versa He respects Gibbs ,Dont get me wrong im not defending Danny boy who has ruined our beloved redskins . All im saying is these coaches and front office people need to have some type of check and balance system in place. Look the 49ers suck so why would they be eager to give up andre carter. The rams suck at pass defense yet they let Adam go. Its like we are the B'more O's of the nfl. Some one please save us Because it won't be JCampbell He aint that good I went to auburn When he was there ronnie brown + Caddy Williams= 2 top ten first round draft pick running backs make sure any quarterback looks good. Were going to suck for awhile. Oh yeah Cooleys contract is up when ?? hmmm hell be next person weall will be saying we wish we still had! WE NEED A GM not some guy named Vinny who they probably fill his office with every toy and video game outthere too keep him busy because the guy is about as smart as a Lemming!
Sorry for the rant I feel Better

Posted by: SadSkinzFan | October 26, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Les Curse De Boulez??

Say it ain't so! That lasted for what, like 20 yrs? So are we about 10 years away from getting out of it?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I think we got Cooley locked up one more year (4yr rookie contract?). We can not let him go, but as in recent history of the 'Skins, he will go(sadly) to romp the very many other cheerleading squads such as Texas or Miami. Did you guys see them Tampa Bay Cheeleaders reality show. Ummmmmmm.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse


I disagree about Campbell. I think he is going to be good. If we take you view into account about Campbell, then Matt out there in Arz must really suck. Bush and those top WR he had at USC made him really look good. And he is again with a good RB in James and the two WR are just a beast. If anything I am not sold on Matt or Eli. It is going to be interesting to see what he does next year when Tiki is not there.

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 6:00 PM | Report abuse

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh dear god it always comes back to that its a carry over curse since Danny tore down the usair arena so we all could get charged more haha ... Thing is I use to love those Bus rides from Usair arena to the staduim. They were fun . Oh yeah i forgot Westbrook. Can someone please dig up Bobby B. and get him to be our gm

Posted by: SadSkinzFan | October 26, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I'll give you this he has a good arm and Has a feel to avoid the sack but he takes chances with his passes when the rush is on without realizing he is not Farve. But then again Trent green was said to have happy feet and Pulled the trigger too quick and look what martz and saunders did with him. So theres hope , I just hope soon

Posted by: SadSkinzFan | October 26, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse


I say let him play a couple of games and then let's make our judgment. At this point I will take him over Brunell.

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

At this point I'll take Gus over burnell hahaha , Alhtough Gus did go to a Probowl!! by defauklt but he did go

Posted by: SadskinzFan | October 26, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

GUYS - Did you read Howard Bryant's Article today??? This paragraph sums it all up to me:

'More delicate is the acknowledgment of both the coaching staff and players that, at least offensively, statistics can be misleading. The team is producing similar numbers, but not similar results, as last season. The coaches want to work more closely with Brunell, especially on his dropbacks on passing plays and his reading of defenses. While Brunell is a more accurate passer this year than a year ago, the coaching staff wants to emphasize to him that, in associate head coach Al Saunders's offense, decision-making must be immediate. Brunell's habit of dropping into the pocket, scanning the field and then patting the football has disrupted the timing of the offense, coaches say, and forced him to throw to a safety-valve receiver, most often a running back.'

I mean, COME ON!! We ca nteach JAson that at the same time! Why is Brunell in there if he is still having HAPPY FEET and always throwing to the dag-gone 'safety valve'? How can Jason Campbell be worse??? PLease someone explain that to me?

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Just digging out of the massive snow out here - - Jason, great post. While it is not earth-shattering news that we trade away good players only to overspend on substantially less serviceable replacements, it was interesting to read that other people in the league view it the same way.

Does anyone know what Fudg-Ums' brother's name is?

Posted by: CO Skins Fan | October 26, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse


Jason can't be worse ... youjust have to get the guy who has a bust of his 80's self in the hall of fame to stop being stubborn and realize that the kid needs to play now! I wish i would have driven gibbs to the er when he had the diabetic shock because hell he leave me in there and im pretty sure i could not win games like brunell but My way would be a lot more fun too watch I would audible double reverse flea flicker passes to jan jansen haha

Posted by: SadSkinzFan | October 26, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

pub golf...

the cap isnt the problem...its simply letting the system proven and chemistry players go...plain and simple that you pointed out...if it aint broke dont fix it...smoot, clark, pierce primarily...letting people walk out in general and turning around and overpaying and/or overtrading for what they call upgrades that are really just gambles on straight accross changes at best...

the offense wouldnt have struggled so badly in the martyball and coach em up years had they not let Bjohnson and Sdavis go...jeff george, tony banks, trung candidate etc...are you kidding me? i knew, and im sure everyone else did too, the second we picked up JG we picked up a death sentance...

im sure we were all feeling it to a degree...being screwed now...but jason has really laid it out here...and its far worse than i thought...

Posted by: deadskin | October 26, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

4th Floor

You want an answer. Can you say Coach Joe? That is you answer plain and simple.

Posted by: jm220 | October 26, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse


I would say your write-up was ok but not great. The doom and gloom is way overstated. Don't get me wrong, I think our defense is in serious troube this year, but it is absolutely fixable next year and I will explain how.

First let me address the 3 year plan because that is just the most overstated piece you have made. Every NFL team has a 3 year plan when they sign FA's and even when they draft talent. The average NFL player does not play longer than 4 years in the NFL, depending on position ofcourse. No team says WOW now that we have these players we are going to be great 4 years from now. Most new coaches have 3 years to make a difference or else they are out of a job. So three year plans are the norm in the NFL, unless you are a low spending team or the Patriots. I would also like to add that Joe has only been here exactly half of his 5 year deal. I know it seems like longer than that, but really, this is exactly half way through his third season and we still have 2.5 more years left. So within that time he has already taken us to the playoffs and even won a playoff game. Not bad for such a short period of time on the team.

Now let's talk the defense. We all know the biggest problem this defense has is stopping the run, to one side I might add. The right side of the D has a seriously undersized DE (carter), terrible linebacker (holdman) and MLB playing out of position. Every NFL team knows that by now and we have been getting killed there.It is so bad that when we over commit to stopping the run on the right side, teams exploit the overload and simply run left (where we are shorthanded) or play action and burn us on the deep ball. So, my point is that the right side of the ball is really where we need the most help and if fixed will take away the run D problems we have been having.

The fix:
Replace Holdman with Rocky right away. Rocky is a better tackler, stronger and faster. He will be a great player soon once he has some experience under his belt. Second and most important, use the #1 pick next year on a stud DE who can play all four downs. The draft next year is loaded with D talent, just read Kipers mock draft on ESPN and you can pick anyone of those DE to help stop the running problems. Third, move Marshall back to WLB behind Washington and sign a top MLB in Free Agency (letting Pierce go was the worst move Gibbs has made and my guess was it was on the advice of Greg Williams). MLB should be a position where we can get a decent free agent pickup. Having Marshall spell Washington on a few running situations should help Marcus on rushing the passer on passing downs and even get another year out of him playing wise. If they have enough confidence in Lemar playing MLB then they should surely have enough confidence in letting him play the run on the weak side. The main key is the DE position, if we can make a Sean Taylor like pick there then we will solve a lot of our run defense problems. The MLB is important, but Marshall could play there one more year and we would be ok. As far as the age on the middle tackle position goes, most big guys up front play productively until their mid 30's so we have a couple more good seasons left in them to find more young talent like Golston and Montgomery. Now, on to the secondary.

The best way to stop the pass is stopping the run. We all know that when teams have to pass then the D pins their ears back and an aggressive blitzing defense like Williams makes big plays. The injury bug has really hurt our pass defense. Losing Clark to FA was bad, but it would have been managable if Prealou did not blow his knee out on the first game of the year. Adam is definatley not a cover safety, but he was never meant to be. Greg's D style is to sub multiple DB's in the game during passing downs and take out the less talented cover corners and safeties. Adam was brought in here to help that senario by stopping the run and in obvious long passing situations they would replace him with a true cover corner or cover safety like Pearson(now troy vincent). This year he has not been able to do that, hence, Adam getting his butt burned on almost every significant pass play. Add in the fact that Springs has been hurt and you start to have serious coverage problems. I know you say Carlos is not as talented as he was billed up to be but I do not agree with that. My feeling is that he has a new position coach in Gray and there was a step back in his progress this year. Too much thinking not enough natural ability out there. Williams has also not been playing a lot of man to man blitzing schemes because the other DB's suck (rumph and wright), so the scheme is not suited to Rogers strenghts. Lastly, the D line is not getting enough pressure on the QB. With Carter playing all four downs he is getting too beat up to do what he is really suited for, rushing the passer.

The Fix:
Get healthy. We could also use a true cover safety for obvious passing situations and depth. This would allow Adam to be pulled from the game if it even looks like the team is going to throw the ball. However, you could still keep him in the game during passing situations if you use him to blitz the QB. Every team in the NFL could always use a CB so I would make a trade for a higher draft pick this year and take a corner to go along with the stud DE. I see visions of Gibbs on next years draft saying I will give you my number 1 pick in 2008 for your 2 pick this year and taking a corner. Another option is to overpay for a CB in FA and keep the 08 picks. One final option, although I do not think it will happen is to move Duckett during the season this year and get your 3rd rounder in the 07 draft back, this however is highly unlikely. Finally, stopping the run is the most important way to fix the pass D. Play action and 3rd and short is killing our pass D this year more than any player issues we have in the backfield. Even if we did not make a personell move and were able to stop the run this defense would be much improved in the pass defense, but that will not happen this year unfortunately.

In conclusion,

Get that stud DE! Pick up a experienced cover safety, starting middle linebacker and draft a young CB. Player movement for Marshall and bring Carter in for pass rushing situations and I think the defense is not only much improved but fixed. Finding MLB and cover safety in FA is not that difficult, much easier then getting a stud DE, CB, Left Offensive Tackle, QB, you get my point. So fixing this defense is not the doom and gloom you may think.


Posted by: Defensive Guru | October 26, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Dude. This is priceless.

I don't know what it is about the Blog format or whatever, but this is by far the best source for Redskins thinking out there. The conversation and analysis here blows the fan sites out of the H2O.

Anyhow, I'd boil the issue with the defense into a simple statement: they appear to be getting old before our eyes. You give WAY too much credit by calling what Gibbs has done a three year plan. It was really a series of three one year plans.

Posted by: TB | October 26, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is 1985 all over again (see'Meg Carries The Day (A Must Read)').

I hope the QB dosen't get injured, but I sure hope that something happens (outside of losing all of our games) to get JC in there.

I am getting restless appraoching my 12th hour at work. Luckily i am only on the 4th floor so the worst I can do is break leg (no pun intended)....

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Defensive gure, great analysis and a good read, but in essence you are talking about completely retooling the D, going mostly with vets again - that means in all likleihood another year with a steep learning curve, many new faces, etc.
Also, too late to trade Duckett - deadline passed.
And the Skins could very well end up swapping first rounders with Denver because of that, because of the Duckett deal. So you're looking at a late first round pick.
Off the top of my head I think they are also already withotu their 2,3,4 rd picks.
So adding a lot of talent there could be tricky.
Also, you are banking on them have a banner draft year; haven't seen too many of them around here.
I do agree, though, overall that they will target a yound DE in the draft, do whatever it takes to sign Nate Clements if he because a FA, and address LB depth.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jason! At least JLC is still with me........

My 12th Hour is upon me.....

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

i spoke to john clayton of espn on a radio show today and asked him:

1. why won't gibbs start jc now that the skins are 2-5 and brunnell is on the way out after this year?

A: gibbs will wait 1-2 more games - pending the results(as no one in the nfc east is running away with it). also, he said jc doesn't have a quick release and would have trouble getting the ball off against pressure(presumably like the cowpokes would bring).

2. will gibbs relinquish his gm responsibilities and focus on coaching the team, taking a more influential role in the offense?

A. gibbs will NOT step down, but if anything would remain gm before coach. he said, "gibbs is enjoying coaching too much" and he would be shocked if he stepped away or up to gm alone. of course he is not satisfied with the way they are playing, but truly does want to be coaching.

Posted by: cosmofla | October 26, 2006 7:40 PM | Report abuse


The defensive problems are age, Griffin is only 29 (plenty of gas left in the tank), Daniel (33, getting old and last year playing), Salvae (31 again not old for interior line), Holdman (31, but he sucks) and Springs (31 and has not played a whole game yet). Everyone else is either in their prime or in their most productive years regarding age. Second comment on Gibbs 3 year plan, I was responding to JLac's blog that the reason the skins have problems coming up is because they built this team on a 3 year plan. I would say Gibbs do not have a 3 year plan, your are correct. To me it looks like Gibbs first two years was part of a consistant plan, but this year he completely changed the offense (Saunders) and shipped some new defensive players in so this is obviously part of another plan that we have no idea how long will last. One final comment on the QB situation. JC will replace Mark when the playoff senario is completely out of the picture. As bad as the season has been, this year is not yet over. Now, I am not saying that we are going to make the playoffs this year beacause I doubt we win 4 of our next nine games, but with how the division breaks out now, Gibbs is probably thinking that they have one or two more losses before JC starts. Here is the picture in the NFC least we forget:

NY Giants, 4-2, no division losses (which is not good news) and only 1 conference loss, still not good news. The main point here is that they have the toughest schedule of any NFL team and with an early bye week and injuries in the Dallas game, this team may start to fade fast.

Philly, 3-3, 1 division loss and 3 confernce losses. Redskins are 2 games back in the division and they still play them twice, and same conference record.

Dallas, 3-3, 2 division losses and 2 conference losses, redskins still have a home game to even up the conference losses and could actually have 1 less division loss then Dallas if we win that game.

Overall Gibbs thinking is that if we get on a 4 game win streak and NY Giants drop a couple of the right games during the same period, then the best december record wins and that is why he does not want to pull Brunell yet and give up on the season. Personally, I would have pulled Brunell after the Giants game.

Posted by: Defensive Guru | October 26, 2006 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and on the doom and gloom front, they rank 26th overall on defense, bro. They've given up 110 points in 4 games. They could not stop Tenn. in the second half at home.
This is what people in the league are talking about. I'm not saying they are 100 percent correct - who is? - but this is what is being talked about.

Assuming Griffin and Salave'a will be first class run stoppers again might be a stretch. Taylor and Rogers were supposed to make huge leaps this season, Grilliams said repeatedly in the preseason. Yeah, they have injuries, but welcome to the NFL. How about the Colts without their two stud safeties the rest of the year; Eagles losing Kearse, etc.
When you have 20 guys making crazy money, there goes your depth. Not sure how they change that on the fly with the way they operate in free agency.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 7:43 PM | Report abuse

For info on whose contract is up when and what's the cap hit each year:

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 7:43 PM | Report abuse

patrol, Ws and Ls i was thinking of. they're 500, new staff, new HC, with DAMON HUARD! :)

honestly, when i heard they signed saunders i was like "WHAT the F is that?" i was thinking mike martz or even norv turner(who was actually an offensive coordinator and not just on the staff when the girls won)...or mike mularkey...

ohh well...

and when did madonna get an accent?

Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse


You are correct about the trade deadline, definately not an option(brain fart). You bring up some good points on my response to your blog, however, I still think my plan is not a total overhaul. Finding a good DE in the draft is not a total overhaul. That is the most important position needed on this team. Playing Rocky a young linebacker and moving Lemar back to WLB is also not an overhaul. Now, finding another middle linebacker to replace him would be a challenge but not impossible and that position has already seen player changes with only a little dropoff. The safety position would be not to replace Adam, because he would still start on 1st and most 2nd down situations, unless they were long second downs, still not an overhaul because Williams changes safeties like he changes his socks. Coverage safety's are the easiest postion to find in defensive FA. So we are really only talking about changing the DE and MLB position with new talent. One Vet and one rookie stud. The draft situation is really pathetic and we have to do everything we can to keep that high round 1 pick, even if it means trading a future 2 for a number 3 this year. I would say you are correct about overall drafts but we have been very successful picking 1 round talent on the defensive side Champ, Lavar, Taylor, Carlos(too early to say either way). Offensively we have been very poor, Ramsey and Rod Gardner (yuk). I would say our chances are good we can get a strong DE in a very good draft for defensive talent. The later round picks will not be used on defense.

Either way, adding a middle linebacker and DE is not an overhaul. Rocky will start sometime this year anyway, at worst he is the starter at SLB next year. The CB situation can stay the same with Springs and Carlos but we will need some young corners to replace Springs after the 07 season as a starter. Everything else stays the same.

Posted by: Defensive Guru | October 26, 2006 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know 'D Guru'. Sounds like an overhaul to me........

Not a big one, but big enough that the Defense will need some time to gel......

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Wrong post about players contract lengths and Cap #s. Here is the correct one:

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree our defense sucks this year, but I am not talking about how to fix it this year I am talking about doom and gloom next year. Your point was that this was a total overhaul and it is too big to accomplish for next season much less this season. I agree with your point this year but next year it is not that gloomy even with the limited draft situation.

Taylor and Carlos are struggling because the team can not stop the run on the right side, Springs has been out and 0 help over the top for Carlos in man zone coverage, I don't care what Williams says in preseason, they still need help to do their jobs. When you run the ball successfully even Mark Brunell can throw the ball and break records. Griff is only 29 and is playing hurt. Salvae is going to backup Golston next year so that is a mute issue, he is vet depth at this point next year. Like I said, this seems horrible this year, but it is fixable and with some young talent and some FA.

Posted by: D Guru | October 26, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

JLC great job with this blog! I am aware of all the problems with the D (and the O!). However, the one thing that is very hard for me to understand is the lack of discipline this team has. For a team that on paper has a very respectable, capable, and proven coaching staff, I fail to understand why they have not been able to control the team. I guess discipline is not as important as X's and O's...

Posted by: Disappointed fan | October 26, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

To me the most disappoint thing this year besides the obvious, D and QB play has been the effect of the new offensive scheme on the O-line. We have one of the best power lines in the league and this year we totally changed our strategy up front to more of a sweep, pulling and movement system. This has to drive Bugel and the O-line nuts. I just wish we could fire off the line and lay some lumber on the people in front of us, I even like the zone blocking scheme they went to last year, but this pulling takles and guards to black DB's and outside linebackers is killing me. Our inside running game comes only off of draw plays, this is pathetic. Not to say Saunders scheme in general is bad because it is proven that it will work, but I wish he could adjust the blocking scheme to suit his real strength on offense which is this experiened, powerblocking O-line. Frustrating to say the least.

Posted by: D Guru | October 26, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

D Guru, thoughtful points (and welcome to the blog, you seem new ... here, we refer to the former Fity Fity as "Gardner, Rod"). Its clear that you've been paying attention to Ds. How do you really think cover corners are easy FA pick ups? Are you saying that they go cheap b/c there is plenty of talent? Or is it that its not a hard job. Lord knows the Skins could use someone with hands who actually comes down with an occasional pick. I'd pinned my hopes on Evans to ripen into a starter, thinking we needed to CB in anticipation of Springs' retirement, and presumably Vincent's.

Also, to everyone else, re: Howard's piece on chemistry ... is there ANY way out of this penalty hell? How does ARE not know that the goal post is a prohibited prop? How does the coolest of cool guys on the field, Santana, lose his cool with a head butt? [I'm just not going to say anything about the punter ... that's a Front Office problem ... Moss and ARE are superstars, whereas Frost got a stay of execution ... the ingrate.]

Posted by: dcsween | October 26, 2006 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I was looking at some defensive stats tonight. I know I shouldn't have; I swore I wasn't going to do anything football related know how it is. I think I may just take tommorrow off; I'm starting to make myself ill. Anyways, I don't always believe stats, and looking at them halfway through the year is kinda hokey, but some of the stuff I saw really bothered me.

This is broken down over the Grilliams three year span.Let's start out with rushing, specifically the yards per carry:
2004: 3.11
2005: 4.10 (wow, nice drop off there. Think losing Pierce didn't hurt?)
2006: 3.84

Why only 3.84 this year? Because every time our opponent throws the ball they rack up huge yards. Let's look at yards per attempt for passing:
2004: 5.78
2005: 5.77
2006: 7.48 (holy bejeebus)

Let's take a look at the rushing touchdowns given up per year.
2004: 7 (way to go)
2005: 15
2006: 3

What's up with the three? We suck at defending against the run right? Well, it's because everyone is too busy throwing touchdowns on us. Passing touchdowns per year:
2004: 17
2005: 15
2006: 14 (We're at game number seven!)

We all know our secondary is in shambles, but taking a look at interceptions per year:
2004: 18 (Smoot&Springs at corner)
2005: 16
2006: 2


Posted by: Megskin | October 26, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The 2004 defense is vastly overrated. They faced bad offenses that entire year pretty much.

Last year they finally got some real competition and we saw a drop off.

The reality is they were never as good as their 2004 stats say they were.

Posted by: Cliff Huxtable | October 26, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Posts stun me senseless
Like deaf man in a mime class
Overwhelmed by noise.

Posted by: HaikuMan | October 26, 2006 9:41 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dealer | October 26, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Heck of a World Series game going on, eh? Could be a classic.

I agree that in 2004 the Skins played a lot of crap teams in general, and many horrid offense - TB, Balt, CHI, Cleve, Dallas, NYG off the top of my head - but that team was legit against the run. I mean big time legit. I go with the eye tests on that one. No one busted them up the middle and very few got outside, either.
I remeber Tiki, Jamal Lewis (he was good then, trust me), Rudi Johnson, Ahman Green, The Bus (I think he got 100 at Pitt but it was a tough 100, Westbrook, all basically being shutdown.

But it is also true that once they hit some really in stride offenses in 2005 - KC, Denver, SD - it got pretty ugly for a while.
Also, even if you go back to the midpoint of the 2005 season you could see some of the secondary problems coming. Remember Chris Simms burning them on the blitz all those times in the regular season gaem there (that Shepherd character had a big day at Carlos's expenses if I remember correctly)? Even the Raiders moved the ball on them.
Maybe the writing was on the wall ...

Oh, and Meg, great research. I could see some of that stuff ending up next to one of my articles by Tuesday or Wednesday.

You guys are too good to me.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Meg where do you get all of these stats from?

15 hours and counting. I might as wel pull out the mattress..........

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 26, 2006 10:44 PM | Report abuse

4th floor, what the hell do you do for a living. Please don't tell me you are an on-call surgeon with a laptop next to the operating table?

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I have really grown to love Fudge-Ums... not because the 3 foot cube of poop is at all tangible or realistic, but Fudge-Ums represents the quick-fix, solve all problems solution we all desire. Fudge-Ums represents the FA that comes in a turns around the team. Fudge-Ums represents the opposite of Carter and Archu-"whatever were calling him these days".
We have been getting false hope since Daniel Snyder came into our lives. Every year its another scheme to get us all on board. Were the biggest doofs (yes doofs) in the world and he's rich and throwing his money away to crazy people (Tom Cruise)

Another thought: Could you imagine a healthy Stephen Davis from 5 years ago running the ball for Joe Gibbs? Sick.

As for Fudge-Ums little brother from Canada... we now have a BBFU and a LBFU. Good stuff.

Posted by: Dorf | October 26, 2006 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Damn Tigers keep giving away outs and runs.

BBFU and LBFU - I luv it. What gooshy, gooey goodness.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 26, 2006 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm just sick of the coaching changes. When Gibbs retires lets bring in a young coach and stick with him for 10 to 20 years. And let's all remember here, the league is full of excellent head coaches, and they have to play against each other, so everybody loses. That's life in the NFL.

Posted by: Max | October 26, 2006 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the linebacking core of Washington, Pierce, and Merriman would've been nice. A secondary consisting of Smoot, Taylor, and Clark would have had the chemistry that would magically keep Springs from being injured. Then we would have a better chance to land Freeney. Pass rush? Check. Ferocious linebackers? Check. Cover guys? Check. Hitters? Check. Trash talkers? Check. Did I miss anything?

Posted by: Bryce | October 27, 2006 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Stats: has all the stats you could ever want for most situations, though the interface is somewhat inelegant.

Meg, take the day off. You earned it.

Posted by: LWC | October 27, 2006 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Parcells wasn't the only one on the Cowboys sideline disgusted by that play. Teammates were frustrated by the same old, same old, too.

It hadn't gotten to the point that players were lobbying for a change, but linebacker Bradie James said it was being discussed.

How strong was the support for Romo?

"I don't know if it was sizzling," he said. "It might've been lukewarm."

I think a lot of the player on our team feel the same way. They are saying the company line but they have to be getting tired of Brunell as much as the fans.

Posted by: jm220 | October 27, 2006 7:42 AM | Report abuse

whether it's BBFU or LBFU, we always seem to give up way too much for him, over pay him and then wish he would turn out to be something that he never was to begin with. I think that's the most frustrating aspect of this organization - - everyone who knows anything about pro football (mostly everyone on here - other than BOOFER) can see the front office is completely mis-managing the organization. How do they themselves not realize this?

Posted by: CO Skins Fan | October 27, 2006 8:09 AM | Report abuse

CO Skins Fan, I think even Boofer would recognize a Front Office in a continuous state of shabingus when he sees it.

Posted by: dcsween | October 27, 2006 8:23 AM | Report abuse


Are you comprimising National Security when researching football?..I don't know if I feel safe, and I definitely feel worse as a skins fan, so, thanks...I think.

Per some yesterday conversation, I've attached a Times (sorry, sorry) article where some guy states ONE or TWO picks in rounds 1-4, dependent upon TDux comp. (Ricky Bobby found it actually)

Oh, and did D Guru challenge J La on his own blog? Nice. Too bad he got piecemealed. Love some of the thoughts though, but anything doing with MLB screams REVAMP to me, especially in Grilliams system.

Stat inquiry: After glancing at Megskins Statistical itinerary of doom (SID?), I have one more question: How bout QB pressure? We got to BBM a couple of times (I swore I heard his back break on that one hit) but as far as hurries/knockdowns etc vs 05 and 06...that is going to be a direct relationship to the disgusting Air Mail getting rammed down my virgin throat.

JLa-1st-tell me you watch the wire? GSE. 2nd-Coburns-in Canton square...HIGHLY recommended. I can pinpoint 3% of my body fat on that place alone from my days in B-less.

Oh, and good morning to all.


Posted by: Pub Golf | October 27, 2006 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I know this is a WP blog, but has anyone read the Times article this morning? JLC did a great job of examining the defense, but if you want the overall, bigger, and even more depressing picture, please read the Times.

I wish someone would deliver 5,000 of these to Gibbs and Synder's doorsteps. But even then, do you think they wouldn't get it? I don't.

I do have some good news though... we're still "all in this together". What a joke.

Posted by: Ricky Bobby | October 27, 2006 8:28 AM | Report abuse

PG - Once ate `3 hard boiled eggs at Coburns. Those were the days. When Tommy Welsh used to bartend there we were in there all the time.
I was one of the original busboys at Nocaho Mam's and grew up like a 10 minute walk from the square in Highlandtown.
Canton is my stomping grounds. Much damage will be doen this weekend.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 27, 2006 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Too much doom and gloom. Sorry, the Times looks at us having starters on the offensive line who are over 30 as a bad thing, but Donovan Mcnabb is over 30 and thats a good thing?? I'm not buying it. Look at philly's line, Runyan, and Tra Thomas are 33, and 34, but WE have problems because some of our guys are turning 30?? Look at Dallas, Terry Glenn, TO, Bledsoe, Jason Ferguson, Fabini, Ellis, Rivera, all over 10 years in the league. The Giants have the job of replacing Tiki next year, along with Strahan, Toomer getting up there in age. Sorry, I'm not buying that we're in bad shape, ANY WORSE than any other team. Great, Philly is going to be 31 million under the cap, they'll spend 10 of that, maybe, and thats it. People love to kick you when you're down.

Posted by: Greg(Boston) | October 27, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

There's reason to hope. I admit this is a bit of a stretch, but Jason's write-up didn't mention any of the young special teamers and practice squaders who might be able to help in the future. Specifically, guys like McCune and Doughty.

Don't laugh -- a lot of good players (pierce, clemmons, marshall, I think) started out on the p-squad. McCune had a sub-par combine in 2005 but played well at Louisville. Big, strong guy.

Doughty hasn't shown much thus far, but then again, I had no idea who Ryan Clark was until he got into some games due to Bowen's injury. Maybe some of the future young studs are already on the team.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 27, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Is Razorbacks still there? That place is actually the reason I had to leave Baltimore. Some cougar man-napped me and I didn't see daylight for 13 was ugly.

Seriuosly though, I'm 50/50 for ND tomorrow (still hurting from Indy) and will most likely be in Canton Sat night regardless(JD's, Claddaughs), I'll keep an eye out.

I'll be dressed up like Hannibal Lecter in the hand cart scene. One of my buddy's is pushing me around and feeding me shots all night through the mask.


Posted by: Pub Golf | October 27, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse


I appreciate the effort but I disagree totally.

1. In Grilliams system MLB is equivelant to QB on offense.

2. You have Marshall backing up Washington? Washington is probably the only guy that deserves to be on the field all the time.

3. Coverage safeties are the easiest FA pick-ups? Really? Let's get one then. I mean Troy is good but Muhammad Ali told me that Troy was 365 years old.

4. "The best way to stop the pass is stopping the run"

Yes and No. The way to stop the pass is to stop the run with 7 in the box and pressure from your D-line. Other than Corolina, Da Bears and Gmen to a lesser extent this is an extreme rarity.

5. "Get Healthy" JLa covered this. The only way you "Stay Healthy" is to have depth OR be Irish and pray alot. The way you get depth is through draft picks. We have none.

6. "Every team in the NFL could always use a CB so I would make a trade for a higher draft pick this year and take a corner to go along with the stud DE."

So next year you have a new MLB, QB, DE, CB and you think we'll win? Not to mention that you just shot our depth in the foot again.

5. "I will give you my number 1 pick in 2008 for your 2 pick this year and taking a corner. Another option is to overpay for a CB in FA and keep the 08 picks."


Overpaying for draft picks and players? Have you been watching the games for oh i dunno the last 7 year?

P.S. to all. Anyone who thinks that run D in '04 wasn't flat out nasty is just insane or talking all kinds of Shabingus. I'd actually be angry when someone got a 4 yard gain on us. It was the best Skins D I had ever seen.

Posted by: Skinz | October 27, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins lack of interest in the draft has sorely disapointed me the last few years. It is finally coming back to haunt them unfortunately.

Posted by: Justin(Rockville) | October 27, 2006 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, I am not a surgeon. Just a low level accountant.......

Posted by: 4th Floor | October 27, 2006 9:14 AM | Report abuse

HA! nice work SKINZ!

New thread, PG OUT!

Posted by: Pub Golf | October 27, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Megskin,Are you comprimising National Security when researching football?.

Nope. I don't work for any government agency, sorry; I'm really JLaC's research assistant.(That's a joke for people who haven't woken up yet!)

Meg where do you get all of these stats from?

Google is your friend; they are bigger and better and more powerful than any gov'ment. There are a whole buncha of sites that I look at and I try and double-check them to make sure someone hasn't fat-fingered something.

Meg, take the day off. You earned it.

Thanks, I really tried but no can do.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 27, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Your article and this blog confirms what I have believed since Casserly left. The Danny needs to hire a General Manager who can spend FULL TIME deciding who to pick in the draft, who to resign and who to let go. JG is not, except for QBs, a good picker either in draft of free agent market, as the off season performance prior to this season proves.

Posted by: A Hardwick | October 27, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Reading the Wash Times
Akin to cheating on spouse
You will burn in hell

Posted by: MV Dame | October 27, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a "bring me down". Nothing to sobre you up like the hard truth. I'm in such a state of confusion that its mind boggling. How in the world am I supposed to surf the internet efficiantly now while i'm at work!!!

Posted by: I_punched_Dan_Snyder | October 27, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Disclaimer: I'm a Dallas fan, who lives here in MD.

JLC is THE BEST blogger I've read and the posters here are much more clever and substantive than those on the Dallas Morning News blog. I'm big enough to give you guys mad props. More to the point, JLC does real analysis instead of spouting out the company line from The Park.

Sidebar: I was surprised to hear folks on the porn radio site (i.e., XXX Radio) be so critical of the their employer's team. They must pipe in some other radio feed into Danny's office.

Posted by: D. J. | October 27, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

DJ, thanks so much, bro. Welcome to the blog. You are more than welcome here. BOOFER, a Cowboys fan, is already a blog legend.
Pub Golf - Meant to write 13 hard boiled eggs there. True story.
There's a very good chance I'll be out in Canton Sat. night.
We usually start at The Maniac's (inside joke for a certain corner bar on O'Donnell and bounce around.
Honestly, we'll be about getting our drink on, catching up and watching the game, so we'll be avoiding the madness. Probably end up someplace a little off the path like Canton Station.
I'll be looking for the Silence of the Lambs costume. Sounds like a winner.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 27, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What the Deadskins really need is a real GM who knows how to draft and analyze talent. Stop trading those picks away! Get rid of Cerrato, I know he's the brains behind these free agent wasted signings. The difference between the Yankees and the Redskins is at least the Yanks get to the playoffs on a regular basis. Let's play JC now and find out out if he's the real deal. Realistically, our season is done, caput! finito! And just to maintain the status quo and for continuity, let's keep Saunders and Williams and make them co-head coaches that answers to the real GM.
That's my take.

Posted by: BOGEYMAN | October 27, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The front office will be terrible as long as Danny keeps vinny around instead of getting a strong GM, as for Gibbs he barely played rookies in his first tenure this is just a continuation of that & it shows how out of touch he is in the salary cap era you cant give up draft picks for players Like Macintosh and not play them at all.

Posted by: Killintyme05 | October 27, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note: Adam Archuletta-run-by-me's official web site ( has pictures of him in his St. Louis days (none from Washington, but it does reference that he plays from them). Guess the photographers here haven't been able to snap him making plays in this uni.

Posted by: Green Baby G. | October 28, 2006 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Green Baby G. | October 28, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

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