Posts Tagged ‘Redskins’

Redskins could regret decision to not sign running back Brian Westbrook, who went to 49ers

August 18, 2010

Mike Shanahan and the Redskins walked away from a chance to sign running back Brian Westbrook, who signed with the 49ers. (Photo by Mike Frandsen)

The Redskins made a decision that might end up haunting them for years, letting Brian Westbrook sign with the San Francisco 49ers Monday despite the fact that Washington has no established third down running back.

In a passing league that necessitates a running back who specializes in catching the ball and getting yards after the catch, the Redskins will apparently go with Ryan Torain, who has played two NFL games, out of the backfield in third down situations.

The Redskins should have signed Westbrook.

It’s not as if Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson are awful at catching the ball. However, they are a far cry from the third down specialists that every successful team needs to have. Portis is a good blocker but has never distinguished himself as a good receiving back. Willie Parker is even worse. Parker had only nine receptions the last two seasons combined even though he carried the ball 308 times.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Despite Grimm’s induction into Pro Football Hall of Fame, anti-Redskins bias still exists

August 10, 2010

Gary Clark cheers on Art Monk at the 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony as Ricky Sanders looks on. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Former Redskins guard Russ Grimm’s induction Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame was long overdue. Grimm anchored one of the best offensive lines in history, the “Hogs,” who played in four Super Bowls, winning three.

Grimm and the Hogs blocked superbly for the Redskins’ running game and passing game for a decade, ultimately helping running back John Riggins and wide receiver Art Monk become Hall of Famers.

But Grimm was inducted into the Hall in his 14th year of eligibility. And it took Monk eight years, despite immaculate credentials. Why did it take so long?

An anti-Redskins bias remains among Hall of Fame voters. The Redskins aren’t considered as glamorous as the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh Steelers, who each have 10 players in the Hall of Fame from their Super Bowl winning teams. Meanwhile, the Redskins only have four players in the Hall from teams that won the Super Bowl (Riggins, Monk, Grimm, and cornerback Darrell Green).

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Former Redskins guard Russ Grimm first of “Hogs” inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

August 8, 2010

Former Redskins Hog Russ Grimm becomes the first Hog to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm is in Hog Heaven.

Grimm became the 18th member of the Redskins, and the fifth during the Joe Gibbs era, to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio Saturday.

Grimm played 11 seasons for the Redskins, winning three Super Bowls and appearing in four. He made four consecutive Pro Bowls, was named a three-time All-Pro, and was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s.

During his speech, Grimm thanked his fellow offensive linemen, the “Hogs.” He said, “I want to mention a few guys that made it possible for me to be here today. A group of guys that grew together, worked together, played together, raised families together, celebrated together, guys that I consider family, a group known as the Hogs.”

To see the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Washington Redskins should sign former Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook as a 3rd down RB

May 19, 2010

The Redskins should sign former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook to fill the team’s greatest need – a third down running back. Westbrook, when healthy, is not only one of the best pass catching running backs in the NFL, he’s one of the best in NFL history.

Westbrook, who was cut by the Eagles in February, visited with the Redskins and the Denver Broncos last week, and the St. Louis Rams have also shown interest.

The Redskins already have three running backs in Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker who are, like Westbrook, close to 30 years old. But more importantly, they are primarily runners who aren’t nearly as adept at Westbrook at catching passes. Westbrook has 29 career receiving touchdowns. Johnson has six, and Portis and Parker have five each.

To see the rest of my article on examiner.com, please click here.

Skins sign Larry Johnson – making the team slightly better?

March 16, 2010

I’m not thrilled with the Skins’ signing of running back Larry Johnson.  It’s not that he doesn’t have a lot left in the tank, it’s just that now we have two running backs in Johnson and Clinton Portis who are not only near 30, but more importantly are primarily runners who aren’t that adept at catching passes.

Let’s face it – the NFL is a passing league now and it helps a lot – in fact, it’s practically a must – that your running backs need to be excellent at catching passes out of the backfield.  (That is a cliche and redundant – where else are they going to catch passes from?)

Both players’ best years had them catching over 40 passes in a season.  Not much if you consider that’s about 2.5 per game.  Let’s hope the Redskins have plans to draft at least one running back who can catch the ball.  At least Portis can block.

I think the Skins should have gone after LaDanian Tomlinson who would have been more of a complement to Portis.  Or Brian Westbrook, who if healthy is still one of the best running backs in the NFL.  If you’re going to add another running back, why not Thomas Jones?  Because he’s better than Johnson?  That makes no sense.  You go for the best players.  Plus Johnson has a reputation as somewhat of a malcontent at times so that makes two with Portis.

The move improves the Redskins but I just think L.J. is too much like Portis.  Then again, you can’t have too many running backs and Shanahan likes to spread it around.  Now the Skins need some offensive linemen and a third down running back.

Russ Grimm in Hog Heaven — former Redskins guard makes Pro Football Hall of Fame

February 6, 2010

Congratulations to Russ “The Flea” Grimm on making the Pro Football Hall of Fame!!!  It was long overdue.  Here’s the article I wrote for Examiner.com:

Former Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. Grimm, a member of the “Hogs,” the Redskins legendary offensive line, played in four Pro Bowls and four Super Bowls, including three wins. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1980s.

Former Redskins Guard Russ Grimm

Grimm anchored one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history, alongside players such as Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, George Starke, Mark May, Raleigh McKenzie, and Jim Lachey.

Grimm anchored the line as the Redskins won Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks and three different primary running backs. Six different running backs led the Redskins in rushing during Grimm’s 11 seasons but the offensive line was the constant along with wide receiver Art Monk.

The Redskins often featured Grimm in a “counter-trey” play in which he and left tackle Jacoby would pull from the left side to the right side to lead running plays.

Grimm becomes the fourth Redskins player during the Joe Gibbs era to make the Hall of Fame. Monk and cornerback Darrell Green were inducted into the Hall in 2008. Running back John Riggins was inducted in 1992. Gibbs is also in the Hall of Fame.

Grimm was selected in the third round of the 1981 draft out of the University of Pittsburgh. He has been an assistant coach in the NFL since 1992 and currently coaches the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals.

Jerry Rice, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little and John Randle and Emmitt Smith were also selected.

The full article can be seen at:

http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m2d6-Russ-Grimm-in-Hog-Heaven–former-Redskins-guard-makes-Pro-Football-Hall-of-Fame

Message to Redskins Fans and Media

October 20, 2009

This is a message to all the media and fans about the Redskins situation.  This includes those on TV and radio, newspaper writers, bloggers, and just regular fans.

We know that the Redskins haven’t been very good under Dan Snyder.  We know that he has gone through a lot of coaches.  We know that the personnel decisions made by Snyder and Vinny Cerrato haven’t been very good overall and that it would be great to get a good General Manager.  We know that it is a dysfunctional organization.  We know the team didn’t address the offensive line problems in the offseason, and we know that Jason Campbell hasn’t become a great quarterback, though I think he’s getting too much criticism.  We know that Jim Zorn is not a great coach and that it was odd the way the Skins hired him two years ago as an offensive coordinator and then promoted him to head coach.  We know that it is bizarre to have hired Sherman Lewis out of a bingo parlor to call the plays starting this Monday night.

Can we come up with something else, though?  I’ve been a little bit guilty of it myself.  But when you’re a sportsradio station and you have a lot of time to fill, you really should go more into details and specifics.  Come on, people.  Let’s come up with some better stuff.  Break some stories – don’t just repeat what everybody else says.  Analyze the players, the games and the plays.  Come up with some solutions.  If my full-time or even part-time job was to do this I’d come up with more stuff.  Don’t keep saying the same stuff over and over.

Redskins: Checking Pre-Season Predictions

October 19, 2009

Ok, now it’s time to see how my pre-season predictions have come out so far now that the season is more than a third over.

What I said

What has happened

DT Albert Haynesworth will help the Skins a lot, but the move was a little risky to put so much money in one position when he has a history of missing a few games each year due to injury. He has helped but he has been nicked up a bit.  Tennessee is 0-6 after being 13-3 a year ago so you can see he is valuable – some of that can be attributed to Haynesworth being gone.  He hasn’t justified the money, though.
The addition of first round DE/LB Brian Orakpo helps the Skins at a position where they haven’t had a Pro Bowler since Charles Mann in 1991. Orakpo has helped but struggled when not rushing the passer.  He was a good draft pick.
So the Redskins improved their defensive line a lot but it makes you wonder if they could have spent money on several good players to provide depth at other positions such as the offensive line and running back instead of getting Haynesworth. True.  The OL has been a disaster because of lack of depth, and Portis looks old and we need a better backup than Betts.
It’s not as if Randle El had a terrible year last season.  He had 53 receptions and 4 TDs, so we’ll see if Kelly’s production is any better. Kelly has been a bust and Randle El is producing more.  Randle El has 18 catches for 209 yards.  Kelly has 7 catches for 73 yards.  Neither has a TD.
What is striking is that Randle El only had one carry last year.  For a fast WR, he should be running a lot more reverses.  Randle El has 436 career rushing yards for 5.6 yards a carry, yet only had one attempt last year?  In fact, Jim Zorn didn’t do a good job last year of using either Santana Moss or Randle El running reverses, and he also missed the boat in not using Randle El as a wildcat QB.  The former college QB has thrown 25 passes in the NFL, completing 20, for 281 yards and 4 TDs.   They need to use Randle El in the Wildcat. Randle El hasn’t had a carry yet.  Neither has Moss.  Zorn hasn’t used the wildcat though Randle El would be perfect for it.
Clinton Portis is ok but he’s getting older and losing speed, and has never been a very good receiver out of the backfield.  We (yes, I will sometimes say “we” don’t have much depth at RB. TE Chris Cooley is a bright spot. Safeties and LBs look solid. True
Back to money, I think the Skins may have overpaid for CB DeAngelo Hall, who hasn’t lived up to his draft status as a high first round pick, so again, the Skins could have gotten some lesser known players who didn’t have the big names. True
Our kicker and punter are again average.  Our kickoff and punt return teams and coverage has been below average for the last 15 years.  When was the last time the Skins blocked a punt? True
The offensive line has gotten a lot of criticism, but this unit has actually been together for several years, so they should do ok, although they sometimes lose ground to bigger lines.  The big problem is the lack of depth, unless there are some diamonds in the rough that we don’t know about. Yes and no.  The line’s lack of depth proved to be a big problem, but the line didn’t do that well in the first place even when healthy.
As for QB, Jason Campbell should have a decent year.  He needs to improve his accuracy on the deep pass. Campbell hasn’t played that well but he’s getting too much criticism.  He doesn’t have a lot of talent to work with.  He’s completing 65% of his passes (a career high), has 6 TDs and 6 INTs – not enough TDs, and a QB rating of 84.3, tied for a career high.
I have a problem with the Skins putting Colt Brennan on IR for the whole season when it appears that his injuries weren’t that severe. True.  It’d be nice to see what he can do now instead of Collins.  It’s a wasted season for him.
The Skins should pick up Jeff Garcia. True.  They’d do much better with him, though it wouldn’t be building for the future.
I also told someone that in a weird way, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dan Snyder almost wants the Skins to have a mediocre season…Why?  So that he can hire Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren, or John Gruden next year.  Of course, he’d love a Super Bowl win, but since it probably won’t happen, look for Snyder to hire one of those guys, most likely Cowher, Shanahan, or Gruden. True.
What the Skins should really do, though, is hire an experienced NFL GM. True.
Back to the Skins:  my prediction is that they will finish 9-7, which usually results in about a 50% chance of making the playoffs. This was obviously wrong – it looks like the Skins will go 5-11 or so.  But Snyder has completely undermined Zorn’s authority and if he hadn’t done that, the Skins might be 4-2 instead of 2-4.  In fact, yesterday’s 8-point loss to the Chiefs was the largest margin of defeat all year.  It sounds unbelievable, but with a few plays here and there, the Skins could be 5-1.  But they have played the easy stretch on the schedule so my prediction of 9-7 was definitely off.

Dan Snyder’s Redskins: better than they were in the mid-90s

October 5, 2009

It’s fashionable to bash Daniel Snyder and say that the Redskins have been a bad team since he became owner in 1999, but the team has most often been mediocre rather than bad.  The Skins’ record under Snyder is 78-86, with a winning percentage of .476.  During the six seasons before Snyder arrived, the Skins were 36-59, with a winning percentage of .379.

So while I think Snyder and his personnel man Vinny Cerrato have done a below average job, the Redskins have improved a lot under Snyder from what they were from 1993 to 1998 when they never made the playoffs.  At least the Skins have made the playoffs three times in 10 years under Snyder – not great but better than 0 for 6.

Obviously in the early to mid 70s, and again from the early 80s to the early 90s the Skins were great, going to five Super Bowls and winning three.

But the Redskins are considerably better under Snyder than they were during the previous six seasons.

Too Many Cowboys on TV – Sick of Them

September 13, 2009

I am so sick of getting either Troy Aikman or Daryl Johnston as our game color commentators.  It’s bad enough that for years we had to listen to Michael Irvin on ESPN, and then Emmitt Smith and now Keyshawn Johnson.  You can’t get away from them.

The former Skins are a lot better on the air — so much more intelligent — whether it’s Mark May or Trevor Matich for college football, or Rick “Doc” Walker or Brian Mitchell on the radio about the Redskins.  Jim Lachey does Ohio State broadcasts.  I would imagine he’s pretty good.  Joe Theismann was a great color commentator on NFL games.  Of course, Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff are great on the local radio broadcasts.

The fact is the Skins have been average for a long time so we always get the average announcers like Aikman and Johnson.  To prevent this the Skins will have to start playing a lot better.