Sunday, September 20, 2009

Redzone Debacle

The "boo-birds" made their first appearance today at FedExField, on the first game of the year. Rightfully so on the heels of the awful redzone play-calling that has plagued this team over the past few years. During a game in which the Redskins walked up and down on the St. Louis Rams, the offense came to a grinding halt on all 5 occasions that they made it inside the redzone. 3 times they settled for field goals, once a fumble, and the last a turnover on downs.

The last two trips into the redzone, Jim Zorn ran all run plays that were subsequently stuffed at the line of scrimmage forcing the 'Skins to kick a field goal on one drive and turn the ball over on the 3 on the other. What bothers me and every other fan was the fact that Jason Campbell was responsible for driving the team down the field only to be handcuffed and forced to hand the ball off when the team desperately needed a touchdown. I didn't mind going for it on 4th down but the fact that Jim Zorn did not give the offense many options to score puzzled me. If Campbell rolls out he has a two way go in which he can throw to one of three receivers or run the ball in. Yet time and time again run plays to the right side of the line were called and St. Louis stopped them all.

I don't know if Zorn is trying to appease Clinton Portis or if he really felt that he'd pull one over on Steve Spagnolo by running the ball on every single down. This play calling is what the "boos" were directed at and rightfully so. Still a win is a win and the fact that at the end of the game the fans still booed Zorn is a little embarrassing but that just shows the frustration of the fans.

Next week the 'Skins go to Detriot and an offense game plan like this will result in a loss that will send this town into a frenzy. Sports radio this week will be abuzz with talk of canning Zorn for his simple-minded approach to the redzone and everyone will wonder whether anything will change for this week. After 18 games of the same thing I wouldn't look for anything to change at this point and I may soon be preparing to rev-up the new coach bus that Snyder is sure to be piloting.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Try at the 'Skins Final 53

With cuts looming this week as teams around the NFL have to get to the final 53-man roster, I'll take my shot at predicting the final 53 of the Redskins. Here is the breakdown of how I think they roster will shake out.

QB - 3
  • Jason Campbell

  • Todd Collins

  • Colt Brennan

There has been much controversey surrounding this position since the offseason and much of it surrounding the incumbent starter Jason Campbell. In his latest outing JC showed he was far and away the starter by leading the team to a halftime tie with the Patriots. The real battle was originally to be for the backup spot with Brennan and Collins duking it out for that spot but as the preseason went on Brennan's real battle was for a roster spot at the thrid-string with Chase Daniel. The only reason Colt stays is that he's more attractive on the waiver-wire than Daniel and has more experience in this offense.

RB - 5
  • Clinton Portis

  • Ladell Betts

  • Rock Cartwright

  • Mike Sellers

  • Anthony Alridge

Most of these spots were thought to have been locked up all the way through camp, but when the 3rd preseason game came around and Marcus Mason once again flashed his ability someone's spot seemed to be in jeopardy. Some thought Cartwright could become a casualty and other thought Betts would be. After thinking about it long and hard and seeing Mason's lack of pass protection skills I decided that Betts was too important to the offense and Cartwright too important to special teams to be let go and thus Mason gets his walking papers once again. In Mason's place will be Anthony Alridge who by some accounts is Vinny Cerrato's guy and could make the team because of that. Alridge does have amazing speed and if he sees time in a game he could be that game breaking running back the 'Skins haven't seen in years.

WR - 5
  • Sanatana Moss

  • Antwaan Randle El

  • Malcolm Kelly

  • Devin Thomas

  • Marko Mitchell

This is a make or break season for the two 2nd-year players in Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. Kelly has shown a grasp of the offense this year and could unseat Randle El for the #2 spot which could benefit this offense with ARE in the slot. Thomas is still raw but has the talent to contribute if he can learn the offense. The suprise in this group could very well end up being Marko Mitchell who has shown thus far that he can play at this level scoring two TDs on fades. Is Mitchell the missing redzone piece for this offense or is he just a "one-route" wonder? By keeping Mitchell, this group becomes much younger and much more inexperienced making the TE position that much more important to this team.

TE - 3
  • Chris Cooley

  • Fred Davis

  • Todd Yoder
This was the easiest group to pick out with Fred Davis showing flashes of skill with some ball handling issues. Cooley will be the go to man for this team but Davis will provide the offense another wrinkle in two-TE sets with athleticism. Yoder has been a great blocker as well special teams contributer.

OL - 9
  • Chris Samuels

  • Derrick Dockery

  • Casey Rabach

  • Randy Thomas

  • Stephon Heyer

  • Jeremy Bridges

  • Will Montgomery

  • Mike Williams

  • Chad Rinehart
The most scrutinized group in the offseason because of its lack of depth and inability to finish out the season strong last year. I imagine that the team will retain 9 lineman keeping Mike Williams as a project. They've been strong this preseason but one injury to a starter up front could be devastating. Keep an eye on Chris Samuels because I have a feeling that he may be on his last legs eventhough he is considered the best lineman of the group.

DT - 5
  • Albert Haynesworth

  • Cornelius Griffin

  • Anthony Montgomery

  • Kedric Golston

The biggest offseason acquisition sits here and he should be a force up front creating opportunities for the backers behind him and the ends to either side. All the interior lineman in this group have playing experience and all should contribute substantially.

DE - 4
  • Andre Carter

  • Phillip Daniels

  • Renaldo Wynn

  • Jeremy Jarmon

While there are only 4 listed in this group you can really consider it as a 6 people deep with two draft-picks, Jarmon and Orakpo, 3 vets, Carter, Daniels, and Wynn, and a young wild-card who is a speedster off the edge in Wilson. This may be one of the deepest positions on the team.

LB - 7
  • London Fletcher

  • Rocky McIntosh

  • Brian Orakpo

  • H.B. Blades

  • Chris Wilson

  • Cody Glenn

  • Darrel Young
There are 7 listed here but two of them will also see work at defensive-end in Orakpo and Wilson. Relatively young and inexperienced I think this group is two injuries away from being in big trouble. Keeping Cody Glenn as a guy who can fill in both inside and outside is a risk because he is a rookie and very raw. Darrel Young will be a special teams player that the coaches like. Orakpo will be interesting to watch to see if he develops into an outsidebacker because it will be a big adjustment for him.
CB - 5
  • DeAngelo Hall

  • Carlos Rogers

  • Fred Smoot

  • Kevin Barnes

  • Justin Tryon
Keeping only 5 may be a risk the Redskins have to take to fill needs at other positions. I think that Byron Westbrook is the last player left off on the defense and even though we haven't heard his name too often this preseason, as a DB that means you are doing your job. The back end of this group is young and raw which could pose problems should the D-line not be able to get pressure again.
S - 4
  • LaRon Landry

  • Chris Horton

  • Reed Doughty

  • Kareem Moore
Strong group with two young studs in Horton and Landry but lacks the center fielder that Sean Taylor was. Landry will fill that position as the ball-hawk deep though he may be better suited playing up on the line. Horton played well last year and supplanted Doughty as the start who also has experience playing.

K - 1
  • Shaun Suisham
The battle between Suisham and Dave Rayner never materialized during games and in practice the two were practically identical. Based on Suisham's familiarity with long-snapper Ethan Albright he gets the nod.

P - 1
  • Hunter Smith
Only punter on the roster is an upgrade at the revolving door that this position has become over the last few years.

LS - 1

  • Ethan Albright
Savvy vet has been a mainstay on this team over the last few years.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reaction to 'Skins-Pats

After last night's last second loss to the Patriots the Redskins still have some work to do. Here are some of my thoughts; good and bad.

Jason Campbell - Jason had a decent game last night going 15-23 for 203 yards and leading the team to two first half scores and a tie with arguably one of the best teams in the league. The only problem I saw was that he was still not very accurate on some of his passes, missing a streaking Santana Moss for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. Campbell still needs to work on his timing with receivers making sure the ball is on the correct shoulder and not floating them too high.

Defensive Line - I liked what the D-line did last night applying pressure but the pocket never really did collapse on the quarterback and with a veteran like Tom Brady all that needed to be done was step into the void and deliver a pass.

DBs - Deangelo Hall was abused last night by Randy Moss. This was their first match-up in their careers and clearly Moss was the superior player catching two TDs over top of the shorter Hall. The rest of the DBs played ok but giving up too many 3rd down plays and a few pass interferences. Kevin Barnes made his first INT with great coverage but I didn't like how he undercut the ball before looking for it. Had that pass been a bit more to the outside of the receiver it could have been a first down.

Red Zone - The 'Skins were finally able to score in the red zone this week but I didn't like the personnel in there when they ran the two fades to Malcolm Kelly. I think that getting Kelly and Marko Mitchell in there at the same time running two fades on opposite sides of the field may help Campbell with two options because the Pats knew Kelly was going to get the fade each time by putting safety help over top. Running two fades may also open the middle of the field for a Cooley TD or even a slot receiver underneath.

Kicking - Good here was the punts by Hunter Smith but the bad was Shuan Shuisam missing a 52 yd FG that led to the Pats game winner.

All in all I think this outing was a little more reassuring to the fans that this team can compete but I still think overall they have a lot to work on to push themselves up into the upper half of the league.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Phil Mickelson has done it again

No I'm not talking about choking away a share of the lead on the last three holes of another US Open like today. I'm talking about the horrific choice in wardrobe that Lefty decided to go with today. I mean seriously a brown shirt with sleeves showing his golfers tan along with white pants with brown pinstripes? Could you imagine Phil hoisting the US Open Trophy looking more like he was a UPS man delivering the trophy to the ceremony?

I think its time for Phil to pull a Tiger-like move and go with a solid color that he only wears on Sunday or the final round. How about the "all black" look he pulled out for The Players Championship in 2007 or even just a black shirt like when you won The Masters in 2004. Whatever is it a change must be made in the colors.

Even the style of shirt he wears must change. Those tighter fitting, shortened sleeved numbers that Phil trots out need to be replaced one a bit longer. Only guys like Sergio, Tiger, and Camillo can pull those off, guys that are in shape. Phil on the other hand is a bit pudgy and saggy and needs to hide it with a nice loose fitting shirt that we had become accustomed to a few years ago.

Anyways, the US Open for the most part was very eventful with a final round that nearly saw David Duval regain some of his old feel and pull of an upset for the ages. Mickelson may have been the best storyline with his wife battling breast cancer in the hospital. If it wasn't for the fact that once again Phil couldn't hold on to a tie lead and faltered with his putter at the end we might be watching Phil hoist the trophy or an 18 hole playoff tomorrow.

For Lucas Glover, it was a bit of redemption for him since he had to regionally qualify for the Open and had only won once before on tour making him only the fifth player ever to have to qualify for the tournament and win. All in all we got a great show eventhough the weather didn't cooperate for much of the weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One for the Ages

Washington, D.C. has long been known as the political center of the world. A place where public servants meet to discuss policy within the limestone structures and carouse around to the many grandiose restaurants that require a sense of power to sit in.

Tonight, this town will go from a political epicenter to a red wearing, hockey-crazed town. Not since 1980s has this town seen a fever quite like this when the talk of the town was for a small time taken away from the Capitol Hill and focused in on an athletic team. Back to the days where Riggins, Monk, Theisman, Manley, and Green were the love of the town in the Redskins' glorious era, a new regime has taken over. A period where economic times are troubling and jobs scarce, a group of men have taken away the pain and given hope to an area devout of a championship in nearly 20 years.

Led by Alex Ovechkin, reigning NHL MVP, the Capitals have been embraced by a town that was once thought be only a football town. At a time where only a few years ago this team fell behind the DC United in the area sports heirarchy. When only a few years ago it looked so bad for a team whose own arena was clad with the colors of the Red Wings, Penguins, or Flyers. Not anymore. This team here is the hottest ticket in town. A team where you see all the young talent and can only say its a matter of time until a Stanley Cup is brought home.

Tonight's game 7 is an anticipated match between hockey's three best players in Ovechkin, Crosby, and Malkin. The whole hockey world will watch on the edge of their seats as the finale to one of the greatest hockey series is finishing up. A game where the hope of a city rests on the shoulders of those donning the red sweaters, for it has been too long without a winner. The final game in a series so epic that it will be looked at as the beginning of a new era in the sport. A chance for one team to pull itself closer to the final goal. A chance to redeem two decades of sports mediocrity in a city that demands the best from its political counterpart. A chance to keep the magic alive.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Last Stand

The Caps-Pens series has so far been one for the ages. Hat-tricks by both Ovechkin and Crosby in Game 2, OT wins by Pittsburgh in both game 3 and 5, and plenty of refereeing issues and claims of runs being taken at Russian players. Wow this series sure has lived up to the hype.

For the Capitals though, advancing to the next round would mean more to the city of DC than anything else right now. In a sports down void of any real winner over the past decade-and-a-half, the Capitals have been the closest thing to a champion since the Redskins won the Super Bowl back in January 1992.

What has plagued the Caps in this series is a defense that too easily gets sucked in throughout the neutral zone and gives up an odd-man rush leading to shots on goal and rebound chances for a Pens team that thrives on that. The speed of Pittsburgh seems to be overwhelming at times and to make up for getting beat the Caps tend to hook, slash, or trip the Pens on their way to the goal.

The absence of two of the Caps leading scorers, Alexander Semin and Mike Green, also doesn't bode well for their chances. The fact that these two have been non-factors throughout these games leaves on Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom as the only real threats to Pittsburgh. For being the NHL's highest scoring teams in the league during the regular season, the absence of the two drops point production dramatically.

It may be time for the Washington area to reload and hope that in the fall the Redskins can make a miraculous run to get to the Super Bowl but the chances of that are very slim. Looks like DC may be in for another summer of boring baseball and may once again have to pin their hopes on the Caps next year. Barring a change in play I'll most likely be hanging up my jersey's and getting ready for football season. It hurts me to say this but I wish our big name players could step up and give us hope. Game 6 hangs over us and so does our hopes of championship coming to town.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Steroids Claims Another

This biggest news in baseball up until the other day was the Alex Rodriguez steroids admittance that grabbed the headlines early in spring training. With the 50-game suspension doled out to Manny Ramirez by the MLB, baseball seems to be in an uproar about steroids chopping down another one of the games' current greats. Was anyone surprised by this? With the allegations swirling around other such greats as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mike Piazza (all of whom have not admitted to anything) Ramirez is another to actually fall to the testing procedures implemented by the league.

The reaction to the news of Manny is not all too surprising but is something that maybe needs to be re-looked at. The fact that many people still can't seem to wrap their heads around the amount of "cheating" that has occurred and still occurs is amazing. One of the things that has been said all along about steroids is that as long as they are testing people there will be ways found around the tests and newer performance enhancing drugs that aren't detected.

Another big thing is that these accusations and confessions will lead to a period in baseball where some of the games most prolific hitters and pitchers not being inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. With the stance creeping closer and closer to not voting these players in we'll see a lull in the amount of player who actually with make it into the HOF. Does baseball need a period in which the amount of people inducted declines to levels never seem before? Or that the quality of the player that is inducted isn't as good in comparison to the rest of those in Cooperstown?

Part of me believes that even though these players cheated by using performance enhancers some of the blame needs to be put on commissioner Bud Selig for turing a blind eye to all of this. Selig is one of the reasons the Players Association got away with all they did. He did not pursue the right course of action until it was too late. He knew players were juicing and just turned the other way and basked in the glory of the home run battles. Baseball thrived in the years in a time when after the strike it needed fans more than ever.

Will Manny be the last big name to fall? No. There is no chance when watching a game that there are players out there who got as big as they did without the help steriods. Guys like Albert Pujols, Mark Texiera, CC Sabathia, Dustin Pedoria all put up insane numbers and all would be no surpise if they too were linked to some sort of enhancer.

At this point I'm over it. I don't watch baseball wondering whether or not players are juicing because to be honest I don't really care. I'm there to be entertain and as long as that happens I'll be happy. It's those baseball purist who are hurt most by this but in this era where seemingly everyone was doing it the playing field may have been in fact level the whole time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A hat-trick without hats?

After tonight's game between the Capitals and Penguins, one in which the NHL's two stars recorded hat-tricks, one of them was upset about the amount of hats being tossed on the ice after the other recorded a game deciding goal. To no ones surprise, Sidney Crosby had yet another thing to whine about with Alex Ovechkin. This has seem to become a normal occurrence in the saga between the two, one in which the NHL will certainly prosper from, and may soon begin to taint the image of one of the budding stars.
This is what Crosby had to say;

"People kept throwing hats, I was just asking if he could make an announcement to ask them to stop"

Really? I mean c'mon Crosby are you really going to complain about a tradition of hats being thrown on the ice after the home team's star gets a hat-trick?

This has been typical from Sid as we've seen him also complain about Ovechkin jumping into the wall after he scores and how he plays hard and hits the other teams star. Much like Don Cherry, Crosby has taken an approach to the game that is very business-like and no-nonsense that seems to be very rigid. For a sport that needs as many fans as it can muster, Sid is not to appreciative about boisterous play and excitement that Ovechkin brings to the ice. Were it not for Ovechkin and his antics hockey may still be on a downward spiral towards mediocrity.

As we've seen in the first two games, the two superstars have seemed to not only dominate the media attention but the stats on the ice as well. Each have scored 4 goals and seem to give their team an edge any time they are on the ice. This series will continue to warrant all the attention it gets but this added bonus of the shots that Crosby seems to take at Ovechkin and vice-versa will also be interesting to continue to watch.

As for me, "LET'S GO CAPS!!!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pacquiao's Stardom

The 2nd round knock-out that surprised everyone has vaulted Manny Pacquiao into a stratosphere unseen by any of his countrymen over the course of their history. He is know the face of boxing, the "pound-for-pound" champion who has won a title at six different weight classes and has beaten two of the most recognizable faces in the past few years in Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

In Pacquiao's first marquee fight of his career, one that had the industry reveling in meaning, Pacquiao dismantled "The Golden Boy" and forced him into a long overdue retirement by mercifully picking apart the guard that De La Hoya tried to present. Quickly De La Hoya was outmached and Pacquiao toyed with him until De La Hoya's camp threw in the towel for the final time in a glorious career. This marked the first big name fighter Pacquiao would face on a big stage and he would follow with an encore so stunning that even he was surprised.

The fight between Pacquiao and Hatton this past Saturday night was to be the biggest fight of the year pinning speed versus brawn. Pacquiao, the speedy Filipino, against Hatton, the brawler from Britain. Two opposing styles meeting in the ring which was destined to be a battle. Though Pacquiao was the favorite, many saw Ricky Hatton as a person who could in an instant put "Pac-Man" on his back in slumber so deep it would take months for him to awake. Only this fight happened to turn out the opposite. In the five-minutes and fifty-nine seconds that the fight lasted, Pacquiao knocked-down Hatton three times the third of which stoned Hatton so hard he may retire. It was pure brilliance and something unseen in and of Pacquiao's fights that it brings to new light whether or not Pacquiao now has the power to knock someone out as well as wear them down.
On the same day, the previous "pound-for-pound" champion, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came out of retirement setting up an intriguing situation should Mayweather beat Juan Migel Marquez in his upcomming fight. Should this happen, many believe this would set up a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight that could rival some of the major heavyweight fights this past decade.
Two men with similar styles trying to best one another could be the most anticipated fight in years. Who would be the favorite? Its hard to tell now since Mayweather hasn't fought in nearly two years and Pacquiao has yet to meet someone with the caliber of Mayweather. It would be an interesting fight and probably one with as much hype as any Tyson fight late in his career. Will this save boxing, probably not since fans really flock towards the heavyweights, but nonetheless it would be one of the highest selling pay-per-views in years.
When this fight happens, count me as one of the millions who will watch this fight on the edge of their seats, watching as two technicians scrap their way to a victory. For now though, Pacquiao is the darling of boxing, and until someone dethrones him he will be the premeir fighter for all to watch.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dream Matchup

The Game 7 win by the Washington Capitlas volted them in to the Second Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs. This was followed up by a late, improbable win by the Carolina Hurricanes in which they scored 2 goals in the final 80 seconds to come from behind to win. What this leads to is a "Dream Matchup" of arguably the two best players in hockey, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

The series matchup between the Penguins and Caps will be the start of one of the most riveting stories in hockey this year and maybe in sports. What makes this series even more interesting is the fact that Crosby and Ovechkin has publicly voiced their dislike for eachother throughout this year.

Remember when Ovechkin and Malkin were having their little spat earlier in the year, (aparently Ovechkin punched Malkin's agent in a nightclub in Russia), and Ovechkin was going for a big hit on Malkin during one of the early matchups. Well, Crosby didn't like how Ovechkin played so physical with the other stars on the ice. He also doesn't like Ovechkin's antics when he scores goals either.

This will be the most anticipated series of these playoffs and the team that wins here could possibly win it all. I think the smaller games within the games could prove to be more interesting and as Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said, "Welcome to the circus."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why the 'Skins should not draft Mark Sanchez

Dan Snyder's intrigue with Mark Sanchez is understandable. He's went to USC, he's already got the talent to make the NFL throws, he already looks good in burgundy and gold, and he got the star power that Snyder craves. So essentially there is nothing wrong with Sanchez but the Redskins still should NOT draft him. Wanna know why?
For one the Redskins do not need a QB at this moment. They have Jason Campbell who has yet to been a starter for two full years in any system dating back to high school. He may not be the answer but he still needs a chance to develop in a system that Jim Zorn has said takes at least two years to start to master.

The only reason Sanchez came out after his only year of starting at USC is because the top three QBs decided to stay in school. Tim Tebow doesn't have NFL capabilities yet but he's on his way with the way he played in the BCS Championship game throwing all over Oklahoma. Colt McCoy is a tremendous talent at Texas and plays against some of the best teams in the nation week in and week out. Then there is Sam Bradford who is by far the best in the 2010 class of QBs and sure as shit is ready to play at a high level in the NFL.

So the best thing for Snyder to do is let the Campbell experiment run another year. Campbell only has one year left on his contract and letting him play out his contract will give the Redskins an opportunity to see if he has what it takes to lead this team to the playoffs. Should Campbell not work out after the first half of the season, Snyder could force Zorn to play Colt Brennan and see if his preseason magic translates into the regular season. Should that work the 'Skins don't need to pick a QB as they have one waiting in the wings already. If Campbell does work out you can give him his deserving extension and all this talk of another QB is history.

But should Campbell not work out, the 'Skins would have more leverage with picks next year to move up in the draft to pick one of the three studs that will be coming out next year. This could also give Snyder the opportunity to toss Zorn aside and bring in a guy like Mike Shannahan or any other of the high quality coaches that are sitting out this year.

My opinion is to give Campbell a chance this year and wait to see if the 'Skins need to make a move in next year's draft to pick a better QB than Sanchez. It is nothing against Sanchez but he only came out this year because he knew that with only Matthew Stafford as the only other 1st rd QB he had the best chance to make his money this year as opposed to next year where he might be a late first rounder or early second round pick.

Dan Snyder needs to focus elsewhere on this team like the O-line, D-line, or Linebacker where the holes are glaring, rather than QB where the hole is only questionable.

Please Dan, don't pick Sanchez this year just because you like him in this year's draft. Next year there will be a better crop of players to trade up for and more leverage with the picks you haven't traded away yet. It'd be better for the team to focus on the non-glamorous players rather than the sexy pick. Do something smart for a change.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A New Hope is all but lost

A drought dating back to 1992 when the Redskins won the Super Bowl, the Washington, D.C. area has got to be the last remaining big city to win a championship. With the Phillies World Series win last fall D.C. has jumped to the front of the pack as the loneliest sports town in America. With all the big sports in town, and a frenzy of fans who will ride bus when hot and and cliff jump when cold, this area is desperate for a championship.

This year the Washington Capitals were that "New Hope." The team with the games most iconic player and an offense that is sure to dazzle, the Caps were the love of the town. Recording a franchise-record 108 pts in the standings, winning the Southeast Division for a second year in a row, and securing the #2 in the Eastern Conference it was destined that this team make a run at the Stanley Cup.

While the Wizards fizzled to a franchise low and the Nationals off to an MLB worst start, it was up to the Caps to provide the fury for the sports-loving area. Though the Redskins are this town's darling, hockey has provided a mistress for people as we wait for the Dark Lord in Dan Snyder to find his way in operating a sports franchise.

Games are the talk of the town and red can be blinding within "The Phonebooth." The deafening cheers along with the boat horn that accompanies every Caps goal were raving downtown and you couldn't turn on a TV without seeing Alex Ovechkin acting goofy in an Easterns Automotive commercial.

5 months after the start of the season, the real season began. Caps fans have waited all year for the playoffs, a time when last year they lost in a Game 7 overtime to Philly, the most hated city in this area. In walks New York, the second most hated city in this area, a team that the Caps went 3-1 against in the regular season and hands the Caps two straight losses at home. Game 3 provides an uplifting story with a rookie goalie recording a shutout for the Caps and a hope that this team can pull this out. Then comes Game 4. An effort lacking any emotion or flare and the Caps skate away 2-1 losers. The loss, probably the most disheartening loss since the Redskins playoff loss to the Seahawks after Sean Taylor died, will undoubtedly put this city into an early hibernation and a sleep that is has become accustomed to over the last 17 years.

With the Redskins looking to trade up in the draft to pick another QB, a certain FAIL in the fans eyes after watching the offensive line deteriorate last season, it almost a lock to see that team struggle once again with an ownership running around with its head cutoff. The summer will be all but dead with the Nationals providing loss after loss with a bullpen who cannot sustain a lead or get a side out in the 9th. The only possibility in terms of excitement is if the Wizards can somehow land the #1 pick and grab Blake Griffin. Should this not happen, this area will be the most depressing city in the country as another year of losing sports fills the docket until the Caps come around again.

Only a miracle can save this city now. A win in the first round would do wonders for this Capitals team and show them that they CAN win and could spark something special. Until that happens, this team too will provide disappointment and heartbreak to an area that needs a champion more than any other city in the country.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Been a while since I've posted but didn't find any compelling reasons to write.

Today is the final round of The Masters and this year the tournament has been somewhat low scoring. There has been an absence of the top two players in the world on the leaderboard which generally leads us to believe that this year there will be a first time winner. They have been a few bright spots in the tournament with Chad Campbell shooting a first round 65, Anthony Kim setting a record for most birdies in a round with 11, Gary Player playing in his final round, and Kenny Perry being in the final group of The Masters today trying to become the oldest winner ever.

Looking at today's round watch for a tougher course with the toughest pin placements that have been accustomed to at day four. This could lead to a lot of movement on the leaderboard but pay close attention to the final two groups of Angel Cabrera-Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell-Jum Furyk. I think we'll see these two groups pull away with someone in the 2nd group putting on the green jacket at the end.

Without Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson contending this leads to an interesting, wide-open race that may be void of some of the roars we are used to seeing when Tiger makes a charge. I suspect that these two will be in contention down the road this year at a Major but it seems that this weekend they couldn't put it together with wayward tee shots and unlucky breaks on the greens.

So relax with family turn on your HD TVs and watch the drama that unfolds with those still in the hunt because The Masters is still one of the best golf tournaments you'll watch all year.

Monday, April 6, 2009

NCAA Championship

So we've finally made it down to two teams, Michigan St. and UNC. Two coaches with a combined 12 Final Four appearances, Izzo - 5 and Williams - 7. Two of the most storied programs in their respective conferences meet tonight in Detriot.

Michigan St. dominated UConn enroute to a 9-point win that looked more like a 19-point win. UNC continued to shoot lights out as they were the clock that struck midnight on the Villanova Wildcats who looked satisfied to just finally make it to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.

If we look at tonight's game its easy to see why UNC has made it to this point and is really no suprise to anyone who has followed college basketball all year long. Michigan State on the other hand has been somewhat under the radar all year long mostly due to being in a conference that hasn't received the pub that the Big East or ACC have gotten all year long. Everyone was surprised that the Big Ten got 7 teams in the tournament and felt that they had an inferior schedule compared to other leagues but we see now that Michigan St. sure had the preparation to get through to the end.

Tonight's keys rise and fall on Ty Lawson and Kalin Lucas. Both of these guards have provided the offensive sparks for each team and can initiate from the top of the key and draw another man allowing for a dish close to the hoop. Lawson is surrounded by a much better cast and can push the ball unlike any other play in the NCAA. His ability to get the ball to Danny Green and Tyler Hansborough allows for UNC to be one of the most well-rounded and prolific offenses all year.

Michigan State was very physical against UConn and were able to outrebound one of the best rebounding teams all year long. The only issue is that this physical play wont hamper a UNC team who is too good all around to be hurt in a one-dimensional attack. The only way Michigan St. can stop a hot UNC team is by forcing bad shots from outside. If Michigan St can do this and out-rebound another team it will look good from a Spartan perspective.

I don't imagine seeing UNC going cold from the floor but I do think that Michigan St. can hang with them for some time. This game will just come down to the fact that UNC is too strong and too deep for Michigan State to hang with.

UNC wins 83-77.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Final Four

Well here were are today down to the last four teams in the NCAA Tournament. For the most part it was chalk throughout the tourney with #3 Villanova and #2 Michigan State advancing past the top seeds in their regions. So let's breakdown these games and decide who's going to win.

UConn vs. Michigan State - UConn has been relatively dominant in the tournament thus far. Michigan State has shown a shooters touch and had an easy road to the Final Four playing the top seed of the tournament who hadn't played any of the top teams from its conference more than once in Louisville. With Michigan State "homecourt" advantage coming in Detriot, an area hit hardest by the recession, it might be easy to think that the Spartans have an advantage over UConn.

Let's rethink this though, Detriot is a great sports town and for the Spartan faithful to travel to Detriot would make it easy but since the recession has hit this area hard, I'd be lying not say that I don't expect an large amount of fans to make it to the game. Factor in a powerhouse school in UConn who generally travels well and I don't think fans will be much of a factor. Also the fact they are playing this game in the center of Ford Field making it tough for the fans to be directly on top of the court noise should not be a factor.

Now for the game analysis, UConn has been too good down low with Thabeet and Adrien for the Spartans to attempt to play this game in the post. The only chance Michigan State has is to shoot lights out the three and make the Huskies match them on every possession. Even with a good three shooting team the long misses and length of the post players for UConn should make it easy to grab these missed shots and convert them into break opportunities or one-shot possessions.

UConn wins this game easily and advances to the Championship game.

UNC vs. Villanova - Villanova has been somewhat under the radar all year but after dominating UCLA and Duke in the tournament teams have recognized their toughness and ability to go deep into their bench for quality minutes when in foul trouble. The only issue I see with 'Nova is that they aren't big enough underneath to match some of the size that UNC can bring off the bench. With nobody on the roster above 6'8 'Nova may have a tough time with the inside game of Hansborough.

If there is one person on Villanova that needs to step up and score its Scottie Reynolds. Reynolds has been the leader of this team for the past two years but hasn't been the prolific scorer he was last year. After his heroic last second shot against Pitt Reynolds seems to be nearing the point to where he knows he can score and can take over a game. For Villanova to compete in this game Reynolds needs to come up big on both ends of the floor. He may draw Ty Lawson on defense so denying penetration from Lawson and forcing him to get rid of the ball to some of their other guards may be key in Villanova keeping this game within reach. On the offensive side Reynolds needs to take it to the hoop to draw fouls or draw a double team to dish it their fowards who shoot jumpers well. Reynolds also needs to catch fire from three to force the UNC defense to come out a bit and cover thus opening up for Shane Clark and Dante Cunningham underneath.

For UNC the key is to get Hansborough the ball underneath because the Wildcats have a tendency to get into foul trouble and the easier they can get players like Clark and Cunningham on the bench for fouls the easier this opens up 'Nova's defense. Lawson will also play a vital role in starting break opportunities for the Tar Heels off of misses and made baskets and his penetration has seemed to be unstoppable. As long as Lawson continues to not turn the ball over, only 2 thus far this tournament, UNC will be hard to stop.

I imagine this game could be the most exciting of this round and personally I would like nothing more than to see Villanova win the game and advance to the championship. It will be tough and I think that UNC has too much quality depth to let this one slip away. Close in the first half I see UNC pulling away late in the second half advancing to face UConn in a matchup that will not be one to miss.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cutler a Bear!

Well I guess that ends the discussion for the 'Skins. Jay Cutler ends up in Chicago and the 'Skins front office is sent away with their tail between their legs.

Now comes the interesting apologies and or retractions to Campbell. Does he feel betrayed or not liked? Who knows.

Should be an interesting year in DC.

Jay Cutler to 'Skins?

Alright, so it may be obvious that I'm a 'Skins fan and have a bias towards writing about them in this blog. Well now with the rumors floating around that Jay Culter could be coming to the 'Skins in a trade that would send the incumbent QB Jason Campbell elsewhere I feel the need to show some stats and provide a view of why Cutler may not be the answer.
For a long time now I've backed Jason Campbell saying that he's been hamstrung by a front office that has made both coaching and personnel moves that are questionable. Now I did a little research this morning on stats from each players' 2008 season, which was arguebly the best in their short careers. Lets take a look;
Jay Cutler:
average rank of defense faced: 19.875
qb rating: 87.15
tds: 25
ints: 18
Jason Campbell:
average rank of defense faced: 12.9375
qb rating: 85.97
tds: 13
ints: 6

When you look at these stats you see that Cutler faced inferior defenses and had a higher rating. Cutler also threw 12 more TDs than Campbell but a caviat to that would be that he also threw 12 more INTs than Campbell as well.

Next lets look at the top 5 and bottom 5 games each had and their average QB ranking and the average rank of the defense in those games.

Jay Cutler:
Top 5
Avg Defense: 20.8
Avg QB Rating: 112.82
Bottom 5
Avg Defense: 17.4
Avg QB Rating: 63.82

Jason Campbell:
Top 5
Avg Defense: 18.2
Avg QB Rating: 109.82
Bottom 5
Avg Defense: 3.4
Avg QB Rating: 63.12

Now these statistics may be the most interesting. For Jay Cutler, his best five games last year on average faced a defense that was ranked 1-2 spots lower than Jason Campbell's five best games. Cutler did have a QB rating 3 pts better in these five games but can that be attributed to worse pass rated defenses? Maybe, maybe not. Now when you look at the bottom five games for each player something to me really stands out. On average Campbell faced defenses ranked 3.4 in his bottom five games and had an average QB rating of 63.12. When you look at Cutler you see that he faced defenses that averaged a rank of 17.4 and his QB rating was only marginally better at 63.82.

Maybe I'm reading way too much into this but most people are arguing over stats when comparing the two. But when you argue that Cutler is way better than Campbell a breakdown in stats shows that "way" better is only "marginally" better. I'm fine with Campbell and think that Zorn can make Campbell even better so giving up 2 first-round picks and possibly Campbell just to get Cutler doesn't make much sense. There are more important needs to fill on the 'Skins roster than QB. I guess we'll see how it all plays out.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Tour Belongs to Tiger

TThis weekend's display at Bay Hill may not have been Tiger Woods' biggest win or even his most dramatic (see last years US Open), but it may have been his most important in his career to date. The whole tournament had a Tiger feel to it; Tiger down the first two days, lurking early on Saturday and creeping into the final group, playing lights out on Sunday with a dramatic final three holes that included a bogey and a 25-foot birdie putt to win.
It was all so Tiger-esque and was something we had become accustomed to the course of his career. Whether it was last year at the US Open, sinking a birdie putt to win on the 19th hole of a playoff, his "Miracle Chip" on #16 at the Masters in 2005, or the putt on the 18th hole at the PGA Championship in 2000 to force a three-hole playoff in which he won.

What is most amazing about Tiger's victory is the fact that he did it in only his third tournament back from reconstructive knee surgery. If this is any indication that Tiger is better than ever then the whole Tour should be quite worried when he plays. The fact that for nearly 8 months Tiger focused most on the strongest part of his game, his short game, and looked great on the green and chipping in, no one really has a chance to catch him in his quest for 18 majors.

I don't think Tiger will pull off a Grand Slam this year but I do think that he has the opportunity to win atleast 2. Anyways, I think we all look forward to some great Majors this year on the PGA.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elite Eight

I was only wrong on two games in the Sweet 16, Kansas and Memphis, so I aim to make it up with these picks all winning.

UConn vs. Missouri - I liked how Missouri played in their huge win over Memphis. Missouri kept Memphis shooting very poorly and player terrific on offense. The only problem here is that Missouri runs into a UConn team that has been absolutely dominant in the tourney thus far. I don't expect UConn to take a step back but I do think that running into Missouri's press could lead to some issues, but UConn is just too good to lose this one.

Pitt vs. Villanova - Did anyone expect 'Nova's win against Duke to look so easy? I sure didn't but I also believed that 'Nova was much more athletic inside that Duke and would win the battle down low and that's exactly what happened with Dante Cunningham playing like Dwight Howard. Pitt on the other hand has Dejaun Blair down low and he seems to create mismatches with his size and athletic ability. I don't think 'Nova can make it past Pitt and will choose Pitt in this game but don't be surprised if 'Nova keeps it close because of the play of their athletic forwards mainly Cunningham.

UNC vs. Oklahoma - Blake Griffin is by far the best player in the NCAA this year and will be the #1 pick in the draft. The only problem here is that UNC is too talented on the perimeter to lose this game. The Griffin-Hansburough matchup is one to watch and suspect Griffin will dominate Hansburough, but it will be Ty Lawson and the other guards' play that will make this outcome favor the Tar Heels.

Louisville vs. Mich St - Michigan State has played well the 2nd half of the season after a bunch of injuries hampered them early on. I didn't think they'd make it this far but they've proved me wrong. I think that this could be a close game but Louisville has been making it look easy lately and they'll run away with this one late in the 2nd half.

This should lead to the 2nd consecutive year where all the #1 seeds make it to the Final Four.

Hopefully Monday I'll have something to brag about with these picks but until then enjoy these games with the highlight being the Pitt-Villanova game featuring two of the best Big East teams.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet Sixteen

Alright a look back on some of my picks followed by a quick re-up on this weeks picks.

First off West Virginia couldn't get hot like they had been prior to the start of the NCAA tourney and I knew this team was a stretch when I picked them to advance to the Elite 8.

Wake Forest absolutely flubbed it when it came to losing to Cleveland State in the first round. Now its not their fault that Cleveland State couldn't miss like the old Michael vs. Larry McDonald's commericial, but they didn't help their cause when they played very sloppy at both ends of the court.

Now for my predictions for the upcoming Sweet 16.

Louisville vs. Arizona - The Wildcats have proved everyone as to whether or not they belonged in the tourney. They've strung together two good games but I think the talent of Louisville will be too much. Plus I think that the Siena game was a wake-up call for Rick Petino's crew.

Kansas vs. Michigan St. - I didn't have the Jayhawks making it this far but I think with their experience they'll push through to the Elite 8.

UConn vs. Purdue - The pending internal investigation of Jim Calhoun's squad could pose some focus problems for this team but I think that the talent of the Huskies and leadership of its players won't let it affect them. Huskies run away with this one.

Missouri vs. Memphis - This is an interesting game featuring two of the nations best defenses. I think the raw talent of Memphis gives them the edge and that they will ultimately win the game but if they get into free-throw shooting trouble they are in for a tough one.

Pittsburgh vs. Xavier - I think that Pitt is way too talented to lose this game and you'll see the Panthers "Big Three" play well.

Villanova vs. Duke - This is the match-up of this round. Two athletic teams that come from the two best conferences in college basketball. I think that for 'Nova this is a great match-up, I've watched them play all year and found this team has a knack for staying with any team they play. I thinks Villanova wins this in a close finish, possibly overtime.

UNC vs. Gonzaga - Easy pick with a Tar Heel teams that has a semi-healthy Ty Lawson. They're too good to let this Gonzaga team get to them. Blowout with UNC.

Oklahoma vs. Syracuse - This is where I think that Syracuse runs out of steam. Plus I think that with the way Blake Griffin is playing he'll be way too much for the Orange to handle.

Almost all chalk! Let's see how my picks hold up.

Lions new logo?

I saw on FoxNews this morning that the Detroit Lions have had another gaffe. This time someone put up a new souvenir on that unveiled the logos seen here.

I like the logo and thinks it adds a little flare to the current lion and updates the font on the team name.

I do find it interesting how they put an emphasis on enlarging the "L." Is that a tribute to their 0-16 season or the fact they haven't had a winning franchise since prior to Matt Millen?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Loosen your Sphincter NHL

As you might have seen on ESPN, Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season last night, which put him in special company as being one of only four players to have three 50-goal seasons in their first four as a pro. The scoring spree Ovechkin has been on this year has him in position to become the first back-to-back Hart Trophy (MVP) winner since Dominick Hasek did it back in 1996. Pretty impressive for a guy who is only 23.

But the real story was the celebration that followed his 50th tally of the season. After Ovechkin scored, he stopped just pased the goal and placed his stick on the ice. He then proceeded to place his hands overtop the stick pretending as if it was on fire and/or warm. FANTASTIC!!! I love watching celebrations and seeing players be excited after they've scored. In hockey you never see this and for a change you get to see a player who isn't straight-faced and stiff when he scores.

Other players, teams, and color-commentators feel differently about this. Recently we heard Don Cherry, CBC analyst, criticize Ovechkin for his celebrations like jumping into the boards or raising his hands like a soccer player. Even the "face" of the league Sidney Crosby criticized Ovechkin for his celebrations as being too excessive and stupid. After lastnight more criticizm came from not only the opposing coach Rick Tocchet, "he came down a notch in my book," but the Capitals coach as well Bruce Boudreau, "I personally don't like it that much."

Now I can understand the feelings from the coaches because they are older and hockey was different back when they played. But for players to come out and say something as well, I kinda find it interesting. I mean if you look at the NHL right now, you see that after the lockout there were rule chages made to promote scoring and get rid of ties because for the longest time goalies dominated the game and really pushed away the casual fan. Fans come to watch hockey to see goals be scored, fights breakout, and beautiful skating. When you watch a game that has a low score you can appreciate the great goaltending but don't tell me you wouldn't rather see a high scoring affair.

Anyways, while the NHL hasn't done anything yet, Ovechkin seems to be becoming the NHL version of Chad Johnson or T.O. Seemingly outcast by his peers and other team officials, but embraced by his fans and teammates. For a post-lockout NHL this is something they need. They need someone to bring flare to the game, show emotion, and evoke the temper of other players. Right now Ovechkin is doing that. And have you seen the Verizon Center on any given night? Have you seen opposing arenas when the Caps come into town? Have you seen a jump in ratings and fans since this guy has become the real "face" of the NHL?

Looks like the league may need to either turn a blind eye or have a chat with these unhappy coaches and players and tell them that without Ovechkin, this league could be just as gone as the XFL.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let the Madness begin

On the eve of the beginning of NCAA Tournament, most of us are frantically trying to analyze and make last minute changes to our brackets with the hopes that we have "THE" bracket. Well staying with the spirit of making picks I'll breakdown my Final Four and some of the other interesting match-ups and upsets that I have.

First Round Upsets:
Arizona - two words Chase Budinger
USC - long and athletic up against BC
Utah St - Marquette lost 5 out of 6 once they lost PG Dominic James
Maryland - if they can guard the 3 Cal is in for a surprise
VCU - Eric Maynor is a top-10 PG who can take over a game
W. Kentucky - back again for another run into the sweet-16?

Surprise Sweet-16:
Missouri - great defense gets a break when they meet Utah St.
Arizona St - Syracuse's luck runs out against the Sun Devils
West Va - good shooting Mountaineers shock defending champ Kansas

Arizona State - runs into a recently inconsistent Oklahoma to advance to the Elite 8

Final Four:
Louisville - despite a weak conference schedule the Cards have the easiest road to the Final Four
Memphis - strong defense and a chip on their shoulder muscle the Tigers in once again
Pitt - Dejaun Blair dominates the East in a win over Villanova
UNC - makes it this far despite a well-less than 100% Ty Lawson

Championship Game
Louisville - Memphis can't quite hang with the Cards
UNC - Lawson close to full strength gives a huge edge to a UNC team whom many thought could run the table this year

Despite having a schedule that didn't feature Pitt, UConn, or Villanova twice, the Cardinals are a team that is well rested from an easy Big East grind. Terrence Williams is the Most Outstanding Player and leads Louisville to a National Title and Rick Petino gets another one.

Friday, March 13, 2009

When will women's golf have this?

Yesterday at the WGC-CA Championship, Henrik Stenson had an interesting 3rd hole that was only missing a topless European beach and a Sangria. After his first shot went wayward into the muck at Doral, Stenson decided that rather than take a drop he would play his ball while standing in the mud. Now while most normal golfers would have either taken the drop OR taken off sock and shoes and rolled up their pants, Stenson thought it would be much more dramatic if he would take the shot with just his briefs on. So while assessing his shot Stenson dropped his pants and peeled off his shirt and took his 2nd shot on the 3rd hole.

Was it completely necessary to do this? Or was this more for effect? I can see a player taking the shot looking like Tom Cruise in Risky Business with just a shirt and tightie-whities so that their pants wont get muddy, but taking the shirt off as well? Can't really see anyone else doing that.

Hopefully Stenson is on to something though. I hope this starts a new revolution in golf where more players start to play in underwear. It will make things more interesting and if it moves to women's tournaments, it will lead to unprecedented ratings with Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer, and Erica Blasberg all sporting the latest in Victoria's Secret lingerie.

This will come with some drawbacks. For example, I'm not to sure I want to see Jiyai Shin or Phil Mickelson in their skivvies but I would be willing to tolerate it if it meant that we could see Lorena Ochoa bending down to read the greens in bra and panties.
Anyways, this is all just a pipe dream and I hope this incident is not just confined to the PGA.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's already March, where's the Madness?

With Conference tourney's revving up and the NCAA Tournament right around the corner we've hit the part of the season where the debating starts. We'll argue who's in, who's out, strength of schedule, quality wins, etc. But have the conferences gotten too big? The ACC is 12 teams, the BIG East 16, and Atlantic 10 with 14? Does the large amount of teams per conference muddy the waters when not every team plays home and away games at each of there conference opponent?

A classic example is Louisville. Louisville, though very good has had one of the easiest Big East schedules all year. They played all the Big East teams once and had home games against Notre Dame, Pitt, UConn, and Marquette. All of these teams were ranked in the top 13 when the Cardinals played them. They only had to play at Syracuse and Villanova in a conferernce that is arguably the best in college basketball.

Maryland on the other hand is a team that is exact opposite coming out of a strong ACC that has had three different teams hold the #1 spot in the polls at some point this year. Maryland Duke and UNC twice, at Florida State and at Clemson, while having only Wake as the other home game vs a ranked opponent.

Now, I'm not making a case for Maryland and against Louisville, but I do find it interesting how the conference schedules have broken down over the past few years as we've seen an influx in the amount of teams in the elite conferences. When you stop playing teams in your conference twice a year, once at home and once on the road, the integrity of the tournament comes into question. What was once a fair way in deciding who belonged and who didn't from these major conferences has become a debate because of the saturated conference structure.

To truly have a fair regular that is uncompromised by the dilution of teams in the major conferences we need to have either less non-conference games which would allow for teams to have both home and away games against each team. Or we need to put a cap on the amount of teams allowed per conference so that we can still allow for some non-conference matchups as well as all the in-conference home and away battles that have become a part of the college basketball landscape.

Either way something needs to happen because aside from a screwed up conference setup, the NCAA Basketball committee has it right when it comes to deciding a National Champion. The NCAA Tournament is still the premier way to decide who the best of the best is.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Media Score Card: Dan Snyder vs. Jerry Jones

It hasn't even been a week since the start of free agency and the battle for the offseason Media Super Bowl and Jerry Jones has countered Dan Snyder's signing by releasing Terrell Owens. For the past decade the offseason has been dominated by these two men who own the two most wealthy franchises in the sports world.

When the Cowboys announce a new bigger stadium than the current largest stadium owned by the Redskins, Snyder immediately starts consulting the District of Columbia with idea of building a new stadium even bigger than the new one in Dallas.

When the 'Skins make a big splash this year in free agency Jerry comes right back with the release of TO. This back and forth to gain the media attention between these two has been somewhat comical over the years and this year might prove to be the best yet. As Dallas continues to shed its big names the Redskins continue to add more. Will "The Danny" add TO to the 'Skins to one up Jerry? Will the Cowboys continue their cutting spree and release anyone else.? Will the two finally decide to drop trough and see who's junk is bigger than the others? These questions and many more remain and it should be an interesting offseason since it's only been a week and we've had so much drama already.
It's your move Danny.

Where will the TO reality show land?

So late lastnight the Cowboys decided to cut ties with Terrell Owens. Now TO has to take his Vh1 reality show to another city and restart his life goal of slowing tearing apart each team in the NFL. 3 down, 29 to go.

So where will the quarterback-loving player land? Well the obvious answer seems to be Redskins and who would be wrong to assume that wouldn't be the place for him to go. The fact that Dan Snyder seems to love to sign the big name player and last year made an offer of TWO possible first round picks for Ocho Cinco. TO after all would be a great fit in the nations capital. The 'Skins run a west coast offense that Owens came into the league playing in. They need another threat at receiver since the three 2nd round picks they used last year combined for 1 TD. And TO would get to play two of the teams that gave up on him twice a year. Makes all the sense in the world for the 'Skins to bring in a motivated TO.

Other possible places for Owens to land.

How about the Giants. They need a big receiver with big play ability since the future of Plax is in the hands of the New York judicial system.

Ravens. They tried to trade for him the first time around and also need a receiving threat. Seems logical for Ray-Ray and TO patch up their differences and come together with a young gun at QB to get past the Steelers and into the Super Bowl.

Bucs. They had a purge on their team and had the cap space to bring in Haynesworth so why not settle for a guy like TO to work with the bazillion QBs they have. Could make logical sense to bring him in and let him stimulate the offense and allow for their inexperienced guys to get some 1 on 1 coverage.

Rams. Great running game, a quality QB, and Torry Holt asking for his release. This would be a a great fit for TO who would become the main man in St. Louis, a team in desperate need of a playmaker beyond Steven Jackson.

Of course, this is a short list of the possible teams but there are a lot of teams that wont make a play for him out of fear of him being a cancer to the locker room. Believe me though when I say that there will be a number of teams making a play for TO just on the fact that he is still one of the ten best receivers in the league. Let the saga begin.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cassel and Vrabel for a 2nd Round Pick?

There's something fishy about how convenient and easy the Chiefs and their new GM Scott Pioli were able to land Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel for only a 2nd Round pick. Almost sounds as if the Patriots franchised him for Pioli so that no other team would make a play for Cassel. Guess the best way to describe it, a goodwill gesture from the Pats thanking Pioli for being a part of a front office that has put together the best football team this decade.

Now getting Cassel doesn't necessarily make KC the Miami worst-to-first team for 2009, but it sure helps. Matching Cassel with a potential playmaker like Dwayne Bowe and a Pro Bowler like Tony Gonzalez sure makes the offense better but Cassel will also take away some of the reliance on work-horse Larry Johnson who has also seemed discontent with the direction KC was going. Adding Vrabel also give this porus defense another playmaker at the hybrid-linebacker spot that features Derrick Johnson as their tackling machine and Glenn Dorsey who hopes to come into his own in his sophomore campaign.

Were KC might have improved the most is at the coaching position. Herm Edwards is a fine coach and all but in KC he could never find an offense that could outplay their defense. He was also hampered by a bust at QB in Brodie Croyle who was supposed to be the quaterback of the future for this team but epically failed to outplay Damon Huard of all people. Todd Haley, based on what we saw of him in the playoffs, mainly his firery shouting match with Anquan Boldin, should be able to inject a different style into this offense and that will start with the new face of the team in Matt Cassel. If Cassel can stay off his back, which has recently been a problem in KC, Cassel immediately makes this team 2 games better than they were before. Add another receiver to become the possession guy that Gonzalez is and this team's offense could have a similar feel to Arizona, only with a fantastic running back.

Now we just have to wait and see if Cassel is as good as he was this year or if he was a someone who benefitted from a system that has produced 4 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Lombardi trophies in the past eight years.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Albert Haynesworth already a bust?

The contract Albert Haynesworth received early this morning from my beloved Redskins makes him the highest paid defensive player in the history of the NFL. A 7 year $100 million deal doesn't come with low expectations. Fans here will be foaming at the mouth with the hopes that the numbers Haynesworth puts up are worth the $14.5 million he's getting per year.

If this is the case then call Haynesworth a bust right now. Before he's even introduced at Redskins Park Haynesworth is a bust.

This perception only rings true if the expectations for Haynesworth are set unattainably too high. People in DC will expect Haynesworth to have 20 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 30 tackles-for-loss, and atleast 1 touchdown return. For a defensive end this may warranted since defensive ends are defensive playmakers. Defensive tackles on the other hand are more or less the unsung heroes of the defense. By clogging the middle and drawing doubles teams nearly every play, DTs allow the linebackers time to read and react to the play and hold up the interior offensive line from getting downfield to block on the 2nd level. DTs also help out the ends by ruining the lane for which the QB can step into when speed rushers beat their men on the outside. So while the stats for DTs may not be as showy as DEs you'll find that when you do not have a presence in the middle your defense suffers in creating big play, i.e. 2008 Redskins.
Now I am not saying that Haynesworth is a bust already nor am I saying that he will live up to the expectations that he will get by coming here to D.C. I just want to make sure that everyone knows that an interior defensive lineman helps the team in ways that stats do not show. So for everyone from the D.C. area, or anyone for that matter, that reads this (probably zero overall); Haynesworth's production will be more of a summation of the overall improvement of the defense rather than individual statistics.


Welcome to those of you have stumbled across this abomination of a blog that I have decided to write. I'll try to write as much as possible but can't promise anything.

A little bit about me; I'm Mondo, from Maryland and am an avid sports fan. On this blog I will write about anything that comes to mind. It could be anything from sports to politics, video games to relationships, or anything else that I want to rant about.

Please feel free to give me any criticism on what I write because what would life be if you agreed with everything anyone said.