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Recap: Redskins Fall Short

The Redskins came out looking inspired, but after two deflating penalties, a Trent Williams hold & a questionable helmet to helmet call on Brian Orakpo, it was starting to look like the MNF massacre all over again. The Redskins seemed to be content with letting the Eagles beat them with short passes just to not give up the deep ball. That plan backfired as the Eagles took what the Redskins gave them & held the ball for over 20 minutes in the first half.

Individual Performances

Rex Grossman was…well the Rex Grossman that had people laughing at the Redskins & Mike Shanahan in the off-season for selecting him as the starting QB. He threw 4 Ints. The first interception I wasn’t mad because it felt more like a punt regarding the down & distance & the spot the Eagles ended up with the ball. The next 3 Ints in my opinion were just inexcusable. In fact this is the 3rd game in a row where Rex has thrown at least one INT that was just inexcusable. 9 interceptions in 5 games, he’s doing the team more harm than good at this point.

John Beck came in for Rex at the beginning of the 4th quarter. It was some throws Beck would’ve liked to have back but for the most part he was a welcoming change. His mobility was evident within a couple of plays of entering the game. Hopefully Shanahan names Beck the starting QB for the rest of the season on Wednesday. Still need to see Beck for a full 60 minutes with the starters but with Rex you know what you’re going to get & it’s good to go into a game not having to say “I hope Rex doesn’t F*** it up this week”

Runningbacks Ryan Torain nor Roy Helu had many lanes to run through. Some of this could be attributed to Trent Williams & Kory Lichtensteiger going out with injuries but the Eagles defense really stepped up against the run this week. Some may have felt Kyle Shanahan abandoned the run too quickly & he probably did, but when it seems that you’re on the verge of getting blown out & the running game isn’t working…its hard to stick to it.

Receivers I’d like to see more from this group. Gaffney got behind the defense a couple of times but he was targeted 10 times with only 2 catches. Moss was virtually invisible today, but Rex had such a bad day that you don’t know how much you can take away from the receivers performance today. I will say I’d like to see more of Terrence Austin in the near future as well as Niles Paul & possibly Leonard Hankerson. Getting Anthony Armstrong back should help the downfield passing game. I want to see the Redskins QBs target more guys, seems like they’re locked in on the veterans.

Fred Davis Great performance from Fred today. The Eagles had no answer for him & eventually put a cornerback on him. Was by far the Redskins best weapon on offense today.

Offensive Line Had some really costly penalties in this game. Seems like every time the offense were on the verge of moving the ball there was a costly holding or false start. Top that with huge injuries to the left side of the line & it was not a good day for this unit.

Defensive Line I would’ve like to have seen more push from this unit against a weaker offensive line in the Eagles. The Eagles O-line created easy lanes for LeSean McCoy & on Mike Vick’s scrambles some of the D-lineman were pushed so far away from the play that Vick had no choice but to take off running.

Linebackers Ryan Kerrigan got some pressure a couple of times but seemed to be just a tad late. Brian Orakpo was rather non-existent pass rushing today which was a bit of a disappointment considering he was going against a 3rd string LT.  London Fletcher was solid as usual, tackle machine out there along with Rocky McIntosh they combined for 23 tackles. Still saw too many missed tackles on McCoy. McIntosh had some trouble in coverage with Brent Celek.

Secondary First half was tough on these guys. Still don’t know how much I can chalk it up to the soft coverage or guys not being in spots they were supposed to be. Would’ve liked to have seen guys be more opportunistic on a couple of those tipped balls in the first half. One play comes to mind of the Kerrigan tipping a Vick pass in the air in the redzone & the Redskins players standing around while Jeremy Maclin makes a catch. Kevin Barnes had a very tough first half checking the slot receiver. Just seemed a step too slow. Good to see O.J. Atogwe get his first interception.

Special Teams Gano & Rocca have really been steady this season. Since Gano missed that first FG of the season he’s made his last 9 that weren’t blocked. Rocca once again did a great job of pinning the Eagles deep & not giving Desean Jackson a chance to break the game open. The coverage unit could use work. I see barely any lanes for Brandon Banks to run though although he did have a 47 yard KO return.

Coaching Overall I thought the coaching lacked in this game on both sides of the ball. On offense Kyle Shanahan kept putting too much on Rex Grossman’s shoulders & I thought Mike Shanahan should’ve benched Rex Grossman at the start of the second half. Defensively Jim Haslett had a very soft gameplan in the first half. He let the Eagles dictate how they wanted the game to go. Credit to him for making adjustments at the half but I think he was coaching scared from last year’s game in this first half.

Moving on…. Panthers next week. No time to hold their heads down, John Beck needs to be the starter going into this game, get a full week of reps with starters & see if he can protect the ball better than T-Rex aka Turnover Rex. Another scrambling QB in Cam Newton but Haslett just needs to tell the defense to attack & not sit back & let a rookie QB dictate the game. More on the Panthers game later this week.


 
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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in NFL

 

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Redskins – Eagles: The Redemption Game

Typically Redskins fans would worry about facing a 1-4 under achieving team in the Eagles. These are the games you’re afraid the Redskins will overlook or underestimate the opponent. Also the game where you think Philadelphia will come out hungry to stave off further embarrassment. The latter could very well be true, however this a game where the Redskins may have the biggest fish to fry. This Redskins team hasn’t forgot the embarrassment of last year’s 59-28 MNF massacre handed to them by the Philadelphia Eagles. A lot of players still feel like no one takes this team serious. Matching intensity shouldn’t be a problem in this game for the Redskins, it actually may be the Eagles that have to match the Redskins intensity.

Who I Expect a Big Game From On Offense?

Ryan Torain. Ryan Torain rushed for 70 yards & monster TD the last time he faced the Eagles. He was injured for the MNF massacre, & he’s coming off a 135yd rushing performance in his first action of the year. I expect to see a lot of Torain early on to wear down the Eagles D.

Who’s Name Do I Expect to Hear A Lot On Defense?

Watching the Eagles-Bills game last Sunday, there was one name that I heard constantly on the Bills D, Safety George Hill. Hill was all over the field wreaking havoc on the Eagles offense. I expect Jim Haslett will unleash Laron Landry all over the field on the Eagles to have a similar impact, Landry should be in top form for this game.

On The Hot Seat?

Rex Grossman. Mike Shanahan said Rex will be judged off of Wins/losses. While I don’t think Grossman will be benched anytime soon, he’s regressed every game this season, & if he keeps it up the Shanny’s will look to John Beck.

The Redskins Will Win If….

They produce touchdowns in the Red Zone which has been a problem since the NY Giants game. The Redskins offense really needs help the defense out this week & keep the Eagles offense off the field. When the Eagles aren’t turning the ball over they can damn near score on every drive.

The Redskins Will Lose If….

The Eagles defense forgets how bad they are & totally shuts the Redskins offense down.

Prediction

Redskins 24 Eagles 17

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in NFL

 

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Very Early 53-man Redskins prediction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having seen some very vanilla training camp practices this past week & without the new free agent signees, I’d like to take a pre-preseason stab at the 53-man roster.

QB’s

1. John Beck

2. Rex Grossman

3. Kellen Clemens

Ben Chappell (Cut)

Marc Verica (Cut)

Analysis: The biggest question mark on the team is this position. John Beck will get a chance to show what he can do. 

RB’s

James Davis (Cut)

Shaun Draughn (Cut)

4. Roy Helu

5. Tim Hightower

Evan Royster (Practice Squad)

6. Ryan Torain

Analysis: Depending on the health of Ryan Torain(wrist injury) Evan Royster could make the 53-man roster. Otherwise Torain, Hightower & Helu are locks.

FB’s

Kevin Gidrey (Practice Squad)

Keiland Williams (Cut)

7. Darrel Young

Analysis: Redskins go young with at Fullback after converting Mike Sellers to TE, leaving Darrel Young as the new starter.

WR’s

Isaac Anderson (Cut)

8. Anthony Armstrong

Terrence Austin (Cut)

Brandon Banks (Cut)

9. Jabar Gaffney

10. Leonard Hankerson

11. Malcolm Kelly

11. Santana Moss

13. Niles Paul

Aldrick Robinson (Practice Squad)

Donte Stallworth (Cut)

Analysis: The deepest position battle on the roster. Veteran Wideout Stallworth is brought in for competition, But a healthy Malcolm Kelly is tough to beat out.

TE’s

14. Chris Cooley

15. Fred Davis

16. Logan Paulsen

Mike Sellers (Cut)

Joe Torchia (Cut)

Analysis: The most stable unit on the offense. Mike Sellers tenure with the Redskins likely ends as he’s converted to TE with tough competition to beat out.

Offensive Tackles

17. Jamaal Brown

18. Selvish Capers

Xavier Fulton (Cut)

19. Clint Oldenburg

Willie Smith (Practice Squad)

20. Trent Williams

Analysis: Trent Williams the 4th overall pick in last year’s draft is entrenched at LT. Re-signing Jamaal Brown ensures the spot at RT, after that it’s a battle of the backups, not a lot of quality depth here.

Guards/Centers/LS

21. Chris Chester

22. Erik Cook

Artis Hicks (Cut)

23. Maurice Hurt

24. Kory Lichtensteiger

25. Will Montgomery

Corey O’Daniel (Cut)

26. Nick Sundberg

Analysis: Free Agent signee Chris Chester will help the inside rotation, looks to start at RG. Kory Lichtensteiger will hold LG down for the second consecutive year. Will Montgomery looks to fill the void left by Casey Rabach. Shanahan hopes to get good depth from youngsters Erik Cook & Maurice Hurt.

Defensive Ends

27. Stephen Bowen

28. Adam Carriker

29. Kedric Golston

30. Jarvis Jenkins

31. Darrion Scott

Jeff Stehle (Cut)

Analysis: Solid rotation along the line with newcomers Stephen Bowen & Jarvis Jenkins challenging to be starters.

NT’s

32. Anthony Bryant

33. Barry Cofield

Joe Joseph (Practice Squad)

34. Chris Neild

Thomas Weaver (Cut)

Analysis: Cofield & Bryant will be a formidable duo rotating at the Nose, while 7th round draft pick Neild will provide good depth.

Linebackers

35. Lorenzo Alexander

Horatio Blades (Cut)

Obi Ezeh (Cut)

36. London Fletcher

37. Robert Henson

38. Rob Jackson

Edgar Jones (Cut)

39. Ryan Kerrigan

Eric McBride (Cut)

40. Rocky McIntosh

Kyle O’Donnell (Cut)

41. Brian Orakpo

42. Perry Riley

Markus White (Practice Squad)

Analysis: Orakpo should have help now the Ryan Kerrigan is playing opposite of him. Inside there will be a battle for starter next to London Fletcher with Riley, McIntosh & Henson vying for the position. Good depth at this position.

CB’s

Dante Barnes (Cut)

43. Kevin Barnes

44. Phillip Buchanon

Tyrone Grant (Cut)

45. DeAngelo Hall

Reggie Jones (Cut)

Davonte Shannon (Cut)

Brandon Thompson (Practice Squad)

46. Byron Westbrook

47. Josh Wilson

Analysis: With the departure of Carlos Rogers, Josh Wilson is the likely corner starting opposite of D. Hall. Barnes & Buchanon will battle for the nickel spot. Barnes figures to have a leg up with Buchanon serving a 4 game suspension to start the season.

Safeties

48. Oshiomogho Atogwe

49. Reed Doughty

Dejon Gomes (Practice Squad)

Chris Horton (Cut)

50. Laron Landry

Kareem Moore (Cut)

51. Anderson Russell

Analysis: This position figures to see stiff competition for backup roles & with Laron Landry still nursing his achille’s. Chris Horton figures to be the odd man out with Reed Doughty just signing 3 year deal. Kareem Moore last year’s starter at Free Safety, struggled in many games & is on the PuP list this training camp, may find himself out of a job with Anderson Russell looking good so far.

K/P

52. Shayne Graham

53. Sav Rocca

Analysis: If Graham Gano continues to show stuggles as he did last year, the consistent Shayne Graham will beat him out for the kicker job. Sav Rocca will be the only punter on the roster during training camp.

Again very early selections, a lot can change after a couple of pre-season games, I will be checking in until then.

 

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in NFL

 

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Time For The Nationals to Make a Move

Time For The Nationals to Make a Move

Safe to say the Nationals have done a little more than expected at this point in the season. Hovering around the .500 mark without star pitcher Stephen Strasburg & their most consistent player in the past decade Ryan Zimmerman missing a chunk of the season. Sitting at 48-50 & having gone 3-7 in the last 10 games, Nationals fans feel this team could be in a much better position than they currently stand. For instance, the Nats have loss the last 6 one run games they’ve been involved in. Coming off of an embarrassing series loss to the Houston Astros & the trade deadline looming, the Nats need to bring in an extra bat, preferrably in Center Field.

First name that comes to mind is B.J. Upton, CF for Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But the question has to be asked, how much of an upgrade is Upton to Roger Bernadina. While Upton has 15 HR’s & 52 RBI’s with 22 SB’s on the season, he’s batting .232 with an OBP of .313 & 96 Strikeouts in 341 AB’s.  Bernadina’s numbers are 5 HR’s 20 RBI’s with an average of .260 & .319 OBP in much fewer plate appearances. Perhaps Bernadina is looked at as a utility OF while Upton would be considered a staple for the future alongside Bryce Harper & Jayson Werth. Nats scouts have checked a recent Tampa Bay game out to look at Upton, so this could be a real possibility.

Colby Rasmus of the St. Louis Cardinals is another name being thrown out. He’ll be turning 25 in less than a month so he’s a couple of years younger than Upton. Rasmus has had quite a disappointing season so far this year splitting time in CF with John Jay. He may not be much of an upgrade at this time, but the Nationals would be more enamored with his potential.

Michael Bourn of the Houston Astros is another possibility. Bourne is the oldest of the bunch at 28 years old, but is one of the fastest players in the sport & brings a .294 average & .353 OBP along with 35 SB’s to the table. His production out of the leadoff spot is what really attracts the Nats to him. Nats have used a number of different players at the leadoff spot this year & the production has been lackluster to say the least. Bourne would give the team a legit & consistent leadoff hitter that could set the table for RBI producers Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse & Jayson Werth (when he finally heats up).

Could Marquis be on the move?

Teams have been calling GM Mike Rizzo about the availability of Starting Pitcher Jason Marquis who is in the last year of his 2 year deal with the Nats. Marquis has been one of the Nationals more solid SP’s this year even racking up his 100th win of his career this year. Relief pitchers Drew Storen & all star Tyler Clippard have been the subject of trade rumors but it’s highly unlikely the Nats would unload either of the 2. In fact it would be stupid. It’s more likely that Todd Coffey and/or Sean Burnett will be moved before the deadline.

The Nationals may not contend for a wildcard spot this year, but any move they make before the trade deadline will surely add to the contention chances for 2012.

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in MLB, Sports

 

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Building The Right Way

Since taking over as the majority owner of the Washington Wizards in 2010, Ted Leonsis has made it a priority to build this franchise the right way. He inherited a team that would struggle to win against an NBDL team. Leonsis made it clear to Ernie Grunfeld he wanted to build through the draft. Grunfeld had to adjust the way he was used to doing business. That would include not trading & selling draft picks for veterans or cash to fit under the luxury tax, as he had in the past.

2010-11
Clearly a rebuilding year, as before the season Leonsis & Grunfeld stressed to the fans to have patience. Grunfeld put together a solid draft, with a no-brainer #1 pick in John Wall & obtaining the 17th pick in the draft for taking on Kirk Hinrich’s contract. With that pick they selected 19 year old Kevin Seraphin, a raw big man from France. The Wizards then used a pick they received in the Antawn Jamison trade to select Trevor Booker. The team had their struggles throughout the year. but Grunfeld was able to make a superb trade that would yield the Wizards another first round pick from the 2010 draft (Jordan Crawford) while receiving a first round pick in the 2011 draft as well in exchange for veteran Kirk Hinrich. This year also marked the end of the Gilbert Arenas era. In a trade for Rashard Lewis straight up the Wizards were able to cut back 2 years of paying Gilbert’s hefty contract. This move allowed it to be John Wall’s team & also let guard Nick Young finally come into his own. The Wizards finished the season 23-59, but as the season wore on rookies Wall, Crawford, Booker & Seraphin’s confidence grew and each showed promise. Talented but immature center Javale McGee showed a lot of promise as a big man that can be a staple for the Wizards.

2011
Going into this draft, Grunfeld said he wanted a big man, a defensive peremiter player and a backup point guard for Wall. Check, Check, Check. They walked out with 6’11″ Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic. Defensive specialist Chris Singleton out of Florida State who compare’s to a young Ron Artest or Gerald Wallace & backup guard Shelvin Mack from Butler University brings a winning mentality to a team that sorely needs it. All of these guys figure to bring tenacity & defense to the Wizards making an effort to become tougher as a team. With the uncertainty’s of the upcoming labor dispute in the NBA, it’s unclear what the Wizards plans in Free Agency will be. They do however plan on bringing Nick Young back, which they’ve extended a qualifying offer too.

Going Forward
The Wizards have built a team that can potentially cause mismatches at every position on the floor, with a young & hungry bench. Wall at point guard will have the size & speed that few if any can match at the position. Nick Young can score as well as anyone in the league from the SG position & at 6’7″ can get his shot off at anytime. Chris Singleton at 6’9″ can guard any position 1-4 on the court & cause hell. Vesely at 6’11″ & his ability to run the floor can potentially be a nightmare matchup. Javale McGee is the most athletic center in the NBA, if he puts it together mentally can become a top 5 center in the league. Grunfeld with the guidance of Leonsis has set this team up to succeed the right way in this league. Now the only questions that remain are, Will they put it all together? & Is Flip Saunders the man to lead the Charge? Time will tell.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2011 in NBA, Sports

 

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Making the Leap: John Wall

Recent history suggests a point guard makes his biggest leap in the 3rd year of his career. John Wall seems to have to taken note of this with his recent proclamation that he expects to be an MVP candidate in 2013. Perhaps overshadowed his rookie year by the dominance of “redshirt” rookie Blake Griffin & the Wizards poor record, Wall put up one of the best statistical seasons of any rookie point guard in recent memory. In an era dominated by point guards, Wall is looking to join the elite group that consist of the likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo & Russell Westbrook. All of the aforementioned guards didn’t make a significant leap in their game until at least their 3rd year in the league.

With that in mind, can Wall make the big leap in his second year? Flip Saunders seems to think so. Saunders has been glowing about Wall early on this off-season. According to Flip, Wall is now 6’5″ & may peak at close to 6’6″. He measured in at 6’4″ last year. With that combination of size & speed Wall will be one of the rare talents in the NBA. Saunders also says Wall’s jumper is 100% improved from last year already.

Wall soaring for a dunk in a game last year.

His jump shot & ball control were his two biggest weaknesses last year. His jumper definitely improved as the year went on & he gained more confidence. With that said its still a lot left to be desired after shooting 40% from the field & 29% from 3-point range.

Wall says he played most of all last year on an injured knee. Which would explain why he didn’t finish at the hoop with the explosion he displayed at Kentucky. He says he’s fully healthy now. He’s in between DC & LA working on his game & getting stronger, he’s up to over 200 pounds now. Wall is letting it be known, he’s ready to be a force in this league.

Comparisons to Derrick Rose & Rajon

Rondo coming out of college, it’s not out of the realm to suggest Wall can make the big leap this year. He had his problems with turnovers this past year, but tough to overlook averaging over 8 assists per game with a mediocre supporting cast for much of the season. With his size & speed that’s rarely unmatched in this league at his position, Wall has to improve his jump shot to take his game to the next level. Scary to think what a healthy John Wall can do with a consistent jumper & more scoring help depending on the Wizards off-season moves. Averaging a little over 16 a game, 8.3 apg & over 4 rpg with just under 2 steals in his rookie year, improving those numbers in his second year will surely be All Star worthy. He’s already

shown the ability to make those around him better. Javale McGee saw an increase in his scoring average thanks to a number of alley hoop passes from Wall. Nick Young had a career year playing alongside Wall averaging over 17 ppg. Even fellow rookie Jordan Crawford saw a big increase in his production after being traded from the Hawks to the Wizards at the trade deadline.

It’s important for Wall to continue to work on his shot this summer, come in to the season ready to take even more responsibility. Wall’s potential is through the roof & he’s shown maturity in realizing what he needs to do to succeed. I fully expect him to make the traditional 3rd year leap in his 2nd year. That doesn’t mean expectations are for him to be an MVP candidate this year, but with the numbers he put up in his first year, he should be pushing the elite group of point guards this year. The new face of the Wizards franchise hopes to be one of the faces of the NBA sooner than later.

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in NBA, Sports

 

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