Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Welcome Back Will Montgomery

The Redskins made a smart decision yesterday by resigning the versatile offensive lineman, Will Montgomery.  While the C/G is anything but a household name, he has quietly solidified his place on the team.  2011 was Montgomery's first season as a full blown starter.  He started 14 games at Center and 2 games at Guard and had a solid season.

Between G Kory Lichtensteiger being injured and missing 11 games and LT Trent Williams being suspended for 4 games, the offensive line was in flux all season.  Will Montgomery's ability to play Center and Guard gives the Redskins some much needed flexibility and security.

Being that Montgomery grew up only about 10 miles from where the Redskins played, it's a great feel good story and a good move by the Redskins.  Congratulations Will!

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The Arguement for Signing Peyton Manning

Let's assume for now that Peyton Manning will be fully recovered and ready to go for the 2012 season and that he is released by the Indianapolis Colts.  Should the Redskins try to sign him?


SHORT-TERM:  Realistically, I  think we could plan on 2 or maybe 3 years out of a healthy Peyton Manning.  So in the short term, we could not have a better leader on the field in 2012 and 2013.

WIDE RECEIVERS:  If we signed Peyton Manning, that may give us an inside edge to sign an elite level free agent Wide Receiver to go with him.  If we also signed WR Reggie Wayne, Peyton's longtime teammate, or Vincent Jackson, Santana Moss could move to the #2 slot where he is best suited and could thrive.  That would leave Jabar Gaffney as a solid #3 and Anthony Armstrong along with the two young up-and-comers, Leonard Hankerson and Niles Paul, to fill out the squad.  That would be the best overall group of wide receivers the Redskins have fielded in over a decade.

DRAFT PICKS:  Another big advantage to signing Peyton would be saving our draft picks and using them to fill out several other big areas of need.  The Redskins could stay at pick #6 and select someone like CB Morris Claiborne, which would certainly make sense.  They could also follow last year's plan and trade back in the draft to accumulate picks.  If they were able to trade back to the 12-15 range, they could add badly needed help to their interior offensive line by selecting either of the available Guards, David DeCastro or G Cordy Glenn, and hopefully pick up an additional second round pick in the process.

WINNING:  Most importantly for fans, we could have a legitimate chance of going from worst to first in the NFC East.  Last year, we all saw how much better Peyton Manning single-handedly made the Colts and he could do the same thing for the Redskins.  He could instantly transform our anemic offense with no big play ability into a feared unit with a realistic chance at the playoffs and more.


There are always upsides and downsides to every free agent and Peyton Manning is no different.

MONEY:  The first obstacle the team will have to overcome will be the mountain of cash they will be giving away.  Obviously Peyton Manning himself will not come cheap, but that is not the only check we will have to write.  In addition to Peyton's contract, we will have no choice but to dole out a second big contract for an elite free agent wide receiver.  Then, there is the offensive line.  Assuming G Kory Lichtensteiger returns and is healthy, the Redskins would need to add at least one free agent Guard to the offensive line.  And, since we are protecting a fairly fragile Peyton Manning, we should probably invest in one of the best free agent Guards that are available like Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks, rather than selecting an unproven lineman out of the draft and expecting him to perform at an elite level right out of the gate.

FREE AGENTS:  If the Redskins sign Peyton Manning, they are officially going into Win-Now mode for the next two years.  That means you cannot necessarily use last year's strategy of selecting key players to build the team for the long-term.  Instead, we will have to go for broke and sign the best free agents available to plug the many remaining holes on the team as quickly as possible, regardless of their age.

LONG-TERM:  Of course, Peyton is not a long-term solution for us at quarterback.  While we should be covered for the next two seasons, we should immediately invest an early round 2012 draft pick in a young quarterback that can begin developing and learning from the absolute best and groom him to take over the reigns when Peyton ultimately retires.


There is no easy answer.  We could sign Peyton Manning and catch lightning in a bottle for the 2-3 years and have a shot not just to get into the playoffs, but make a legitimate push for the Super Bowl.

However, there is no way fans can possibly block out what Dan Snyder has done to the Redskins over the last miserable decade.  The team could dish out huge contracts to not only Peyton Manning, but several other 30+ veterans.  Peyton could get badly hurt in the very first game and have no choice other than to retire.  Then, we will have missed out on quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Matt Flynn and be staring at yet another season long nightmare dreaming about picking USC Quarterback Matt Barkley in next year's draft.

All in all, logic tells us to pass on signing Peyton Manning and, instead, to continue last offseason's smart approach of building the team for the long haul with high quality, young players that best fit our system.  If we follow logic, we should select a young quarterback in the upcoming draft or try to sign the younger free agent quarterback with upside, Matt Flynn.

Since Dan Snyder has followed anything but logic since he bought the team, who knows what will happen.  Decisions, decisions.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Well, It's Over. Let's Be Happy

It wasn't easy, as usual, but the season is finally over.  Let's look at the bright side of things today and see the positives that came out of the 2011 season.
  1. We got players that can play in the 3-4 defense.

  2. The defense improved substantially and the unit held up surprisingly well given the fact that they were on the field so much more than the offense was and they were put in so many bad positions by Rex Grossman.

  3. Albert Haynesworth is a distant memory.

  4. Donovan McNabb is a distant memory.

  5. One way or another, we will have a different quarterback in 2012.  It can't get worse!  Right?

  6. If another NFC East team had to win and you had to pick between the prima donna Cowboys, the Eagles with their dog beating QB, and Eli Manning and the Giants, I am taking the Giants all day long.

  7. The Giants won the Super Bowl!  That's right, Tom Brady lost to one of the Manning's...Again!  Once again proving that all things from Boston, and that general cesspool area of the map, are bad.  All that talk about the Patriots' dynasty and the Bill Belichick / Tom Brady duo being the best ever is officially over.  Now, someone please give Tom Brady a comb and some new shampoo.  You would think if you had a super model wife, she could at least help you get a decent hairdo, gross.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New York Giants Moves Paying Off

 As the New York Giants continue on yet another impressive push deep into the playoffs, their personnel moves of seasons past continue to pave the way.

Let's take a brief, albeit painful, look back our post "Yet Another Blown Opportunity".  Back on February 27, 2009, our beloved Washington Redskins, who needed an entirely new defensive line, owned the headlines by signing one player, DT Albert Haynesworth, to a 7 year $100 Million contract.  With incentives, the deal would pay Hayensworth $16 Million per year.

Meanwhile, the New York Giants quietly and smartly spent the same $16 Million per year on 3 players:  starting DT Chris Canty, reserve DT Rocky Bernard, and starting LB Michael Boley.

Since that time, Michael Boley has been a key defensive player for the Giants making plays all over the field.  While Canty and Bernard do not get a whole lot of press coverage in the New York media, they have done a very solid job plugging the middle of the defensive line for the Giants.  This is one of the main keys to the Giants success rushing the passer.  With the middle clogged and the opponents running game minimized, the Giants' much publicized defensive ends can go all out rushing the quarterback.  It leads to a steady flow of sacks, pressures, mistakes, turnovers, and mayhem in general.

While none of the may be selected for the pro bowl, Bernard, Boley, and Canty are the types of players that the Redskins should have been targeting for the last decade.  They are good, and young, players that have solid characters and they are pushing their way towards a second Super Bowl win in the last 4 years for the Giants with a very impressive win over the Green Bay Packers.

Meanwhile, we have absolutely nothing to show for our investment.  Haynesworth, as all fans know, was so bad, on and off the field, that he was traded away by the Redskins to the Patriots for a minimal 5th round pick in 2013.  And just to solidify how bad he was, and now is, he has since been released by the Patriots as well as the Buccaneers.

The good news is that Dan Snyder is, supposedly, not making these decisions anymore.  Last offseason, Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen, did do a fine job upgrading the defense and transitioning to a 3-4 scheme.  It is not a dominant or elite level defense, but it is in the top half of the league and moving in the right direction.

Of course, we all spent last season complaining about how bad the offense was and how they virtually ignored that side of the ball in free agency and the draft.  We will find out soon enough if they can have a second straight successful offseason and improve the offense as much as they did with the defense in 2011.  Here is to hope!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Free Agent and Trade Frenzy Brings More Help to the Defense

At last, the talk of the NFL Lockout is behind us and the fun has begun.  Much like they did at the NFL draft in April, Redskins' fans have watched the team take a very different approach to free agency.  Instead of going out and signing one or two of the highest paid veteran free agents in the middle or second half of their career, the team has focused on adding quality, young, up and coming players who still have potential to improve.

First, however, the Redskins had some unfinished business to take care of.  Namely, Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth, and they were smart to resolve both of these issues quickly and quietly and not letting them become a distraction yet again this year.  Regardless of only receiving 6th and 5th round picks respectively for them, the important thing is they are gone.  The only other option was to release them so they at least got something in return for them.  Per the Penguins of Madagascar said, "Smile and wave boys, smile and wave."

Now, on to the Free Agents!


Former New York Giant, Barry Cofield, adds some much needed toughness at Nose Tackle where the team struggled last year.

Adding former Cowboys' Defensive End, Stephen Bowen, adds even more depth to the defensive line, which could quickly be becoming a strength.  Between Bowen, Cofield, and 2nd round draft pick, Jarvis Jenkins, the defensive front should be much improved.

With Carlos Rogers departing as a free agent, the Redskins made an excellent move and added Defensive Back, Josh Wilson, from the Ravens who is only 26 and steadily improving.  This could prove to be their best overall move in free agency.


Versatile Guard / Center, Chris Chester, does add flexibility, but he has primarily been a backup player this far in his career.

Guard Sean Locklear is a 30 year old veteran from Seattle who is more of a finesse lineman.  It will be interesting to see if he can challenge for a starting job.  He does add more badly needed depth to the line.

Trading for Wide Receiver Jabar Gafney does add some more needed veteran leadership for the young, up and coming receiving corps.  He is not a star, but he is a consistent player who can and will contribute.

Donte Stallworth is the most bizarre signing of the offseason.  When you are trying to rebuild with younger players and guys that can bring a positive influence to the lockeroom, why in the world would you sign a 30 year old, inconsistent, injury plagued player who actually killed someone while he was driving drunk and stoned. On top of that, after having to deal with the McNabb and Haynesworth fiascos  for the last year, why would you possibly sign a guy like this?  It makes no sense at all.


Two of the Redskins' own free agents that they simply had to re-sign were Offensive Tackle, Jammal Brown, and Wide Receiver, Santana Moss.  If either of these players had signed with another team, it would have been absolutely devastating to the offense.

Two other very smart re-signings were Safety, Reed Doughty, and Linebacker, Rocky McIntosh.  When healthy, Reed Doughty is a quality reserve player with starting experience and, while he may not be the most ideal fit in a 3-4 defense, Rocky McIntosh is still only 28 and was very productive with 110 tackles.

What is Missing?

As if Redskins' fans need anyone to point it out, we still have no Quarterback.  One of the top free agent targets that the team should have gone after, IF they wanted to have a chance to compete this year, is Matt Moore who has signed with the Dolphins.  Moore is a young Quarterback who is still improving and has valuable starting experience.  So far, reports are he is having a fantastic preseason and could be replacing incumbent starter Chad Henne.  Moore's performance is no doubt part of the reason they have backed off of their potential trade for Broncos' Quarterback Kyle Orton.

The top trade target of this offseason, IF they wanted to have a chance to compete this season, was the above mentioned Quarterback Kyle Orton.  The Miami Dolphins were pursuing a trade for Orton who is better than most people give him credit for, but the teams could not agree to terms and the Broncos appear to be set on keeping him now that Tim Tebow has performed poorly so far this preseason.  Had the Redskins gotten involved early, they may have had a chance at landing Orton for a draft pick.

Instead, they said last year's 3rd string Quarterback John Beck would be this year's starter and they settled for signing free agent Quarterback Rex Grossman, who probably would not be signed by any other team in the NFL.  However, Beck has been so inaccurate in the preseason, it would be surprising if Grossman was not the team's starter in week 1.

What Does It All mean?

It means that the Redskins have made a substantial upgrade to their defense and they should be much improved on that side of the ball.  With that said, their numbers may not be as good as expected by the end of the year.  Why?  Because they are going to spend the majority of the season on the field due to a horrible offense that has potential to be really, really bad.

The only reason I can see completely ignoring the Quarterback position in the college draft and in free agency is that Mike Shanahan is planning on a horrific season in 2011 and he is putting all of his football eggs in next year's expected top draft pick, Andrew Luck's, Quarterback basket.

Since the team did not go crazy in free agency like they usually do, they may be saving up for next year.  In 2012, the Redskins could potentially land Quarterback Andrew Luck in the draft and a top free agent Wide Receiver like Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, or possibly even Larry Fitzgerald.  At least Dan Snyder can't take away our dreams.

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