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Fight for Old DC is a blog covering all sports in and around the District. Main focus will be on the Capitals, Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, United, and Hokies (I know they aren't DC, but it's my alma mater). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Virginia Tech @ Miami Live Blog

Blog will be updated every 10 minutes throughout the football game. Please feel free to comment!

First Quarter Thoughts:
  • Lame opening return by Roberts, let's see what the offense can do from their own 28.
  • Nice pass and catch by Glennon/Coale. Nice play call by Steinspring. Did I just say that?
  • And repeat. Tyrod did a good job of breaking the pocket and finding Coale on the outside.
  • Terrible call to go for it on fourth. In a game where points WILL be so valuable, Beamer comes out looking the fool. Let's see what the defense can do.
  • Nice three-and-out for the defense. Didn't like that coverage on third down but a key drop gives the Hokies a break.
  • I think that was a catch. I'm trying not to be a homer, but Boykin had that ball and control was never in question until he had both feet on the ground and turned up the field. Bullshit call...
  • Defensive line looks to be getting good pressure but Foster also seems to be a little afraid of the big play, only rushing 3-4 guys at once. Playing against Freshmen QBs should call for lots of heat, and I don't agree with Foster only bringing his front four.
  • Roughing the passer was bullshit as well, Miami's got the refs on their side so far tonight...
  • I don't have a good feeling about this game after the fumble bounces right back to Miami. Karma just isn't working in our favor right now.
  • Following Robert Marve slipping out of a "devastating sack" by Cody Grimm, James punches it in from two yards out. 7-0 Canes, thanks to the refs and poor tackling down the middle of the defense.
Second Quarter Thoughts:
  • Marve finally gets punished. He was bound to get hit sooner or later. Looks like the defense can't hold again though as they give up a long screen on third and 10.
  • BIIIIG turnover with the forced fumble by Bonesaw and recovery by Kam. What can the offense do with the opportunity?
  • I like the blocking effort by the receivers on these screens. Unlike the typical Steinspring calls, he's allowing his guys to have some blockers out front. Unfortunately, Miami is matching our effort and athleticism on the defensive side so far.
  • Nick Marshman looked SLOW on that sack he gave up. Just a terrible one-on-one effort. Thanks for killing the drive Nick.
  • GREAT defensive series against Harris. The offense needs to finally capitalize on some good field position (own 47).
  • So karma goes the other way. I think Darren Evans obviously fumbled on the play, but I'll take a break where we can get it.
  • Glennon has looked fairly poised (crosses fingers) but Evans just has to get some blocks up front to be successful.
  • And just as I write that, Tyrod gets a nice block from Boykin, then gives the 'U' a big "PUSSY" sign. Gotta love 15-yard penalties. Let's see if it was worth it (I'm glaring at you kick coverage unit).
  • Block in the back bails them out. Over/Under on big returns for the rest of the game for the Canes? Two.
  • NASTY hit by Macho. Probably should have been a helmet-to-helmet call.
  • Evans finally converts on a third down.
  • Why the hell doesn't the clock stop on an out-of-bounds play any more? One of the stupidest rule changes ever. It just completely changes the scope of a two-minute offense, and I don't like it.
  • Jarrett Boykin = your heart out David Tyree.
  • If our offensive line can't protect better, we have no hope of winning this game.
Halftime grades:

Offense: (C+) Some nice individual efforts and a decent passing game has been negated by poor protection and run blocking. O-Line is the reason we aren't up by at least one score.

Defense: (B-) Decent effort, but they need to capitalize more on the pressure they've been putting on the QBs. Some bad penalties helped Miami score, but the middle of the defense must tighten up in the second half.

Special Teams: (D-) Bowden's pinning Miami keeps this out of the doghouse, but big returns for Miami, poor ones for us, and a missed field goal don't look good so far.

Third Quarter Thoughts:
  • Poor tackling on these screens for the Hokies. They're taking poor angles and not wrapping up.
  • Poor angles again on Marve's run down to this six. The linebackers have regressed tonight so far.
  • Defense makes up a little bit by holding Marve out of the endzone on that 3rd down play. Good discipline. They need to keep that up. 10-7 Miami with the field goal.
  • Terrible first series by the offensive line in the second half. Can't block for shit.
  • Nice shank by Brett Bowden. Don't you love that Cortez Kennedy can't string two words together, but got out a nice national championship prediction in the next two years for the Canes? They may have had swagger back in his day, but obviously not brains.
  • Again the defense gets beat down the middle. Nice catch by James, poor coverage by P-Stump.
  • Nice hold again by the defense. Worlids gets a lot of credit for fighting through that separated shoulder all night. He's been in the backfield quite a bit but that was a big sack. 13-7 Miami.
  • Ed Wang is playing a TERRIBLE game. He still no brock werr...This is the old offense we all know and hate.
  • The defense has to come up with a turnover. The only way to turn the tide of this game is to shift the field position right now.
  • Our defense is exhausted right now, and regardless of whether or not Miami scores here, we need a long offensive drive to even have a prayer for the rest of the game.
Fourth Quarter Thoughts:
  • First of all, nice SORENSEN reference Mr. Anonymous.
  • Jason Worilds' arm looks like it's just going to fall off.
  • What a lucky freaking bounce for Miami. First and goal. Go figure.
  • O.K. Defense, nice hold. 16-7 Miami. The offense has to do something and now.
  • Not nearly enough intensity from the offensive front and a conservative second half game plan equals -8 yards to this point for the offense in the half. Only a turnover will give us a chance at a win at this point.
  • At least Jason Worilds has some heart. Nice sack.
  • Dyrell Roberts just blew it. Freshmen.
  • Nice run by Tyrod. Again. I hate these clock rules so much.
  • We need to keep this thing going. And just as I write that Tyrod gets off a bad pitch. Why aren't we at least calling pass plays? Option hasn't worked all night.
  • Nice touchdown T-Mobile. Even if we can't come back in this, it's really encouraging to see Tyrod take charge of such an important game. It's a shame it may be too little too late. 16-14 Canes.
  • Time to earn your scholarships defense. This is the game in the next three plays.
  • By the way, how big are the three points Beamer opted to leave on the field on the first drive? WHY DON'T WE EVER TAKE THE POINTS?!
  • O.K., good stop D. Let's see a nice return and some offense.
  • So much for that return. Here we go Tyrod.
  • Smart play by Tyrod on that throwaway.
  • Terrible call by Steinspring on third down. Lost the game. Who calls a draw there?! That should be his job right there. It's amazing to think what we could do with some decent play calling. I don't mean to take away from the fact that our offensive line is terrible, but those kind of calls are inexcusable. I loathe Bryan Steinspring.
Offense (D-)
Defense (B)
Special Teams (D-)

I know this wasn't a big deal to a lot of you, but let me know if you at least enjoyed it (despite the loss). Comments on how bad Steinspring is are welcome.

Hokies @ Miami: Pregame Thoughts

According to DeAngelo Hall, this Tech team is worth him talking shit to his new Redskins teammates. For the first time in the last three years, I'm actually proud that he was a Hokie. As much as I love Portis, Moss & Co. now, I sure as hell hated them when they were 'Canes. I hope his "boys" as he called them back him up tonight on National Television

This is a monster game for our young Hokies. Going to Miami is never easy, but as we've all read this entire week, the road team has won 3 of the last 4 matchups in this series. I believe that will continue tonight. I'm going to keep this short and sweet, but I believe that our offensive line SHOULD be able to overpower a stout Miami front seven, that's been good, but not great against the decent offenses they've faced this year. Last Thursday looked a lot like 2004, and I think this game will be along the lines of that '04 season finale in the O.B. Tech will get a big special teams play, give up a big running touchdown, but get just enough from the defense (i.e. timely turnover, sack or safety) to pull this one out. This game will look a lot better than the last time we travelled to Dolphin stadium.

Virginia Tech 23
Miamuh 21

I'll be live blogging the game, so check back up throughout the game for my thoughts! Feel free to comment as well

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Olie Given Nice Tribute...and a Loss

Image Courtesy of

Last night marked the return of everyone's favorite Cap, Olie the Goalie to Verizon Center. It was also my first game since last year's Boston Massacre in early March. Before I get to the breakdown of the game, I wanted to include a few thoughts on my experience in Verizon last night.
  • It was nice going over to the game alone, since I was able to do what I wanted to, and was able to go down and watch warm-ups for the first time in years.
  • Although I've seen them live, seeing Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin warm up from ice-level is breathtaking. I am really glad I'm not an NHL goalie that has to deal with those shooters on a nightly basis. Ovie put 5-6 pucks right at my face and I couldn't help but flinch every time. He also seemed to be able to place the puck WHEREVER he wanted to on every shot. I have every expectation that this offense has unlimited potential moving forward with that raw ability on the roster.
  • Alex Semin seems to be skating much smoother than I remember him skating in March. He's got a nice swagger about him with the puck.
  • I made sure to donate to our many military families by getting a new "courage cap," which are awesome. Classy philanthropy guys.
  • "Unleash the Fury" NEVER gets old. I love Tom Green.
  • I wish we could bring back the C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS chant more often. Seems to get lost in the shuffle a bit now.
  • What's with the middle sections being completely empty? Verizon was full of energy, but I couldn't help but notice some COMPLETELY empty club-level (correct me if I'm wrong) sections.
  • Classy tribute to Olie, it's just a shame it had to come after a 2-0 lead. Not that I wasn't happy about it, but it couldn't feel that good to Kolzig. Props to the crowd for the standing-O.
The game obviously started out pretty well, with Olie giving up two goals on the first two shots, but I have to say that I'm actually pretty disappointed with the effort for the last 2 periods. As Gabby pointed out with the post game media, it seemed as though Ovechkin and Semin were being way to cute with the puck after the first period. There were at least four cases where we made one-too-many passes and could have scored with some more selfish play. I liked the shorthanded efforts as well, but we could have easily put up 6+ goals last night.

Hustlers: Brooks Laich, Brent Johnson, Tom Poti
Boneheads: John Erskine

If the Caps can keep this run going, they can build a lead in the Southeast, but we'll learn a lot tomorrow night @Carolina. Hopefully Erskine won't have any stupid turnovers like last night, because the Canes will capitalize.I f we can put in a full 60 minutes, we should have no trouble coming out on top.

Kudos go to...

Brent Johnson for being the NHL's third star this week. He should continue to start over the underachieving Theodore, and his GAA would be even better without last night's garbage goal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Caps Drop Two to Northeast, Other DC Sports Notes

Image Courtesy of

So in my week hiatus, the Caps have dropped two straight to Northeast division foes. They looked terrible and lackluster in a 5-0 beat down in Buffalo, and seemed to shape up a little bit last night while picking up a point in a 2-1 (OT) loss in ScotiaBank Place. There are some important things we can take out of the two losses:
  • Accountability: After the awful effort in Buffalo, the Caps lost their day off and were given sprints instead (a la Disney's Miracle, I'm sure...). The defense looked terrible in Buffalo, but the effort seemed much better last night against the Senators. Boudreau needs to continue to promote accountability, and stress it with ice time. If players are not giving the effort or performing up to scratch, they need to be handled accordingly. I'm not talking Ovechkin's slow start, but I am referring to Backstrom (came into camp out of shape) and Clark (who is just not the same player since missing 60+ games last season). The effort seemed better overall last night, but the team isn't in sync. Maybe a kick in the butt will put them into a higher gear.
  • Poor Defensive play: On the defensive side, I still don't understand the Erskine deal, and with Morrison's poor play of late, I'm concerned for this team over the next few months. It looks like the only likely help could be coming out of Hershey, but it's disconcerting to see such lackadasical play so early in the season. Unless we consistently put up 3-4 goals per night, we'll be a .500 team at best.
  • Goaltending: Johnny deserves to be the #1 guy right now. Jose has allowed too many early goals, as well as poorly-timed momentum shifting goals. Part of this has to do with the defensive effort, but Johnson's 41 saves last night were certainly heroic (even with the defense he has in front of him). We're also paying Theodore enough money to perform at that level on a consistent basis. The only time he's earned his paycheck was in the 3rd period of the Penguins game last month.
I think the guys will come out of this funk, but they need to find themselves soon, or they'll have a hole to climb out of against the 'Canes for the next few months. Time to put the big boy pants on and live up to your potential young Caps!

In other DC Sports news:

The Steelers game was a debacle, so I'll just chalk it up to a tired mid-season let down. I think the team looked worn-down, and I thought the game plan catered to a Pittsburgh pass rush that destroyed our old/exhausted/beat-up line. We're still a 6-3 team at the bye, but playing Dallas next week will go a long way to determine how the rest of this season will play out. Hopefully Tony Womo's wittle pinkie wont huuurt so much. Oh, and Kudos to Redskins management for putting the Meast in the Ring of Fame. I'm going to try my damnedest to be there on Nov. 30 for that one.

What the hell is Eddie Jordan doing? I've seen some of the most cluster-f*&ky lineups ever in the first 2.5 games this season. I know we're banged up, but I should have some sort of idea of what the rotation is going to be. I mean, really? In light of the puzzling coaching decisions, Nick Young is starting to look like he just might be a star. I really like the kid.

New Nats uniforms are being revealed tomorrow for the 2009 season. Will they cover up the stench of 100 losses any better than this year's unis? Maybe not, but rest assured they'll make money off jersey sales. That's all that matters, right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caps Rock the Red, Rock the Preds 4-3 (OT)

Image Courtesy of

Hats off to Alex Semin. He currently leads the NHL in points and is tied for the lead in goals. As I wrote the other night, he's making the kind of plays that only a really special player can make, and the more and more I see him play (although this time on replay), the more impressed I become. I do not consider myself to be a hockey expert by any stretch of the imagination. I know the basics that a fan would typically know, but I've never played and I don't know the nuances nearly as well as I do with football. However, I do feel like I know about the makeup of a successful team, and I see a lot of good signs with this 08-09 Caps squad (hats of to Ted Leonsis) AGAIN for the rebuilding efforts). Alex Semin is a major reason for the success of this team currently, and will continue to be so for the next several years. Semin is the quiet leader that goes out, takes care of his business, skates hard, and pulls hard for his teammates (albeit rather quietly). Semin is also the type of player that makes a special kind of play. The kind of play that can lift his team up to new heights, and can demoralize an opposing team. The amazing part of this is because he's able to do it so quietly. Ovechkin plays every game like a kid that loves the game. Semin plays every game like a veteran that's been there before and knows how to get the job done. While we all love Alex Ovechkin and all that his greatness brings to the ice, the Washington Capitals need a player like Alex Semin to compliment him. I'm not speaking in terms of a Batman-Robin relationship. I don't feel like it's fair to say that Semin is a "sidekick" to Ovechkin's star, but rather his alter-ego that provides a steadying, almost calming confidence to this franchise. Ovie is the volatile, excitable, fun-loving star that D.C. Hockey needs, but Alex Semin is the steadying force behind a potential championship-caliber franchise. If the Caps hope to hoist the cup in the next few seasons, look for Semin's contributions to matter every bit as much as Ovechkin's. His exploits may be a little quieter, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't win the hearts, or the respect of all Caps fans.

As for the 4-3 Victory, Kudos go to...

Bruce Boudreau, for continuing to push the right buttons (considering the absences of Ovie and Poti), as well as this freakin' sweet commercial.

Next up: @ Buffalo Sabres, 11/1 7:00pm

Monday, October 27, 2008

Matt Millen Has Ruined My Life

Photo Courtesy of Mr. Irrelevant.

Matt Millen did this to me. Life can be hard as a seven-year-old, but it's a million times harder when you're a Lions fan that just doesn't know any better. Unlike the other kids across America, I have very little to look forward to on Sundays when my "team" takes the field in "competition." All I wanted this year was to watch my Lions finally win some games and make me proud. You killed that Mr. Millen. My daddy thought introducing me to football would teach me how to be a man, and be a great way to bond, but being a Lions fan has only sent my world into confusion. Fans like to dress up for games to honor their teams. The only way to honor mine is to dress accordingly, hence the pussy face paint. Now, thanks to you Millen, I'm going to spend my school days getting my ass kicked because all the other kids that are smart enough to know not go to Lions games will be giving me wedgies and shoving me into lockers. I'll probably miss a few days of school because of the head injuries and fail the 2nd grade. Because of your terrible drafts, I'll never get a proper education, and I'll never be able to find a good job. I'll be too poor to own a TV, let alone eat, but rest assured I can still go to Lions games, because the seats will always be open and people can't give them away. Hell, I'll probably spend the rest of my poor, homeless life as a Lions fan, hoping for them to finally crawl out of the hole you've dug, crying to myself while performing various homosexual favors for KFC coupons. Think of that image while you try to sleep in your forty-bedroom mansion that you didn't earn. My sexual ambiguity and crushed dreams are a direct result of your mismanagement. And you're mad you didn't get paid for the job you did.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Postgame Thoughts: Avoiding Choke Job v. 2.0

Despite the Redskins best efforts to blow an easy game, they took home a very hard-fought 25-17 victory from the jaws of defeat. While I'm not at all thrilled with our inability to dominate a team that we should have, I am extremely happy to be 6-2 headed into the Monday Nighter against Pittsburgh. Some costly mistakes and some unfortunate injuries kept this game close into the 4th quarter, but I'm not ready to sound the alarm that we're an overrated team. I think we all learned how invaluable Chris Samuels, Chris Horton, and Cornelius Griffin really are to this team. While Cedric Golston had a strong outing, Griffin's presence in the middle was sorely missed and would have spelled big trouble if we hadn't dominated time of possessions so well. Secondly, you didn't have the extra man in Horton flying to the ball after every play. His ball hawking skills have really made a huge difference in his rookie campaign.

Stephon Heyer is easily the biggest cause for concern in terms of injuries. Heyer was dominated on the line of scrimmage, and looked lost and slow on the left side. If Samuels goes down for any prolonged amount of time, this offense could be in serious trouble against the tremendous pass rushers of the NFC East. The other big concerns have to be Jon Jansen's untimely penalties, and a continued concerted effort to keep Rock Cartwright at the bottom of the depth chart. Shaun Alexander does not run hard, and fails to show why he is any more serviceable than Rock. Once Betts is 100%, I'll feel much better. Seeing Portis go down at the end of that 31-yard run was scary.

On the lighter side, Santana Moss showed up in a big way. Campbell not only found him nine times for 140 yards, but also managed to get the ball to Cooley (6 catches) and Randle El (3 catches). Campbell was extremely accurate from deep balls to check downs, and we should all be encouraged by the second half effort. Based on today's performance, teams will not be able to key off on Portis as much, knowing that Moss remains a viable threat downfield. Helmet stickers on defense go to London Fletcher (sick hit on Johnson to seal the game), Carlos Rogers (holding Johnson to 4 catches), and Rocky McIntosh (for several nice open field tackles and nice pass coverage).

Looking forward, this win is huge, but next week will be a huge boost if we can pull off a win. Hopefully that extra rest for our starters will have us ready for the brutally physical game we'll have to play next week in order to beat the Steelers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Week 8: @ Detroit

I was worried about the Rams game. It was the standard "Redskins shit the bed" game. Sure enough, the Redskins shit the bed, and the people panicked. Having just gotten my Redskins tattoo, I was pretty angry that it was going jinx the season. Our heroes managed to bounce back to win an ugly one against the Browns last week, and seem poised to move to 6-2 going into the Monday night showdown against Big Ben and the Steelworkers. There's a little business to be taken care of today at Ford Field, and the Skins best be focused. Don't get me wrong, this Lions squad is terrible. Awful. Stupid. There will be no excuses if the Skins don't win by at least two touchdowns today. While we've been playing well lately, teams see that our passing game has been nothing more than run-of-the-mill. I do feel that we have been keeping teams somewhat honest with some timely passes. However, the passing game seems limited, and not nearly as scary as it was going into the Philadelphia game. Unless we start to establish ourselves as a consistent (note: consistency is NOT Santana Moss going missing for two weeks) passing offense, teams will eventually figure out a way to stop Clinton Portis. It's all well and good that Jason Campbell has yet to throw an INT this season, but I'd rather see us take a few more deep shots than try and preserve the record with a conservative passing game. Here are a few things to look for today besides Campbell's deep balls:

  • Portis- How long will he play? I suspect if we get an early lead, Clinton will get his standard 120, and we'll see a lot of Rock Cartwright. You heard me. I said Rock. I'll put Shaun Alexander's carries at <5>
  • D-Line Pressure- Can we generate a pass-rush today without bringing the house? This team needs to learn how to get to the quarterback against a terrible line (see: failures against STL), and get into an opposing quarterback's head. Today provides a great opportunity for this. This game will be about building more confidence in the defensive line, and we'll need that down the stretch. While the defense is playing lights-out ball (6th overall in the league), we won't stay that way without generating some pressure on the QB.
  • Turnovers- Can we avoid any stupid turnovers, and can we create some easy points against a team that is known for boneheaded plays and poor coaching? If we can create 2-3 turnovers today, expect a blowout of epic proportions.
Zorn should have his troops ready to maul the Lions today. I fully believe that he expects no less than a blowout, and that's hopefully what we'll see. I'm predicting 120 out of Clinton, 3 Campbell TD passes, a turnover directly leading to a score, and a partridge in a pear tree. Detroit will be lucky to pull off any points against our defense, but Calvin Johnson alone will probably manage to find the endzone. I know people have been saying it every week, but keep your eyes peeled for #11 in the burgundy and gold today. This is a great chance to get him some major work.

Redskins 38
Lions 10

**Bonus Kicking-Them-While-They're-Down Pick:

Fighting Jeff Garcias 23
Cowgirls 6

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Caps Finish Up 1st Road Swing on High Note

At least one of my teams decided to have an offense today. The Caps prevailed in a 6-5 nail biter earlier this evening, powered by Sergei Federov (2 goals), The Flash (2 goals), and a strong effort from netminder Jose Theodore (28 saves). Not the prettiest wins, but considering the lackluster performances at Calgary and Phoenix, this win was well needed and well deserved. A few thoughts about the win, both positives and negatives...

What I Liked:
  • Creating Strong Scoring Chances- The Caps seemed to spend the entire third period making Marty Turco stand on his head. Turco earned his keep tonight, and despite giving up six goals, he had a strong showing without much defensive support. The Caps offense moved with great fluidity and seemed to create space for scoring opportunities while confusing the Stars' defenders. Without Turco's efforts in the 3rd period, the game could have easily gotten out of hand.
  • Young and Old- Sergei Federov is playing like a selfless 28-year-old in a 38-year-old body, and his play is energizing his linemates and the team as a whole. The Caps also have to like the efforts of Tomas Fleischmann (24), who picked up the slack tonight when the team needed some secondary scoring.
  • Alex Semin's Dominating Presence- Semin has now accounted for 14 points in 8 games, and is showing no signs of slowing down. He continues to come through in the clutch, and did a great job of generating opportunities tonight with his great positioning. That game-winning wrister was a special shot by a special kind of player.
What I Didn't Like
  • "Power" Play- While we went 1 for 4 tonight, the power play attack only generated 3 shots and didn't seem to intimidate the defense at all. Crashing the net doesn't seem to be an option, and the offense is being out-muscled on every contested puck. This team must become more physical if they hope to repeat as Southeast Champions, let alone a Stanley Cup.
  • Ovie's Absence- Obviously we're looking at a six-game goal drought. While it's nice to see other Caps picking up the slack, it's never good to have your star player in a scoring funk.
  • Defensive Toughness- The blue-liners are really missing the presence of Tom Poti, and it showed in at least 4 of the Stars' goals tonight. Washington's defense is not clearing people out of Theodore's face, and rebound chances are getting out of hand. Someone needs to step up as an enforcer in front of the net, and fast.
Kudos go to...

Tyler Sloan for his first career NHL goal. Congratulations go out to the Calgary native, who's certainly not known for lighting the lamp.

Next up: Nashville Predators @ Verizon Center, 10/28 7:00pm

FSU Second Half Thoughts

  • Defensive line is getting strong push up front early on in the half, which is promising, but the tackling continues to be a little suspect.
  • Cody Grimm is having a monster game so far. It seems like he's been in on every big tackle this afternoon.
  • Macho Harris has played well with the ball in his hands today, but that was a STUPID play running back through the endzone on that punt return.
  • We always have a big special teams screw up against FSU, so credit Eddie Whitley with the typical bonehead play. I hate Florida State.
  • And Glennon gets absolutely destroyed. We're done.
  • Can we talk about overdone cheers? The war chant makes me want to punch someone.
  • Sims fumbles that ball based on the video evidence. Unfortunately, the ACC is not only the worst conference, but has the worst refs.
  • This team looks like they have had the wind knocked out out of them. It's hard to say I blame them.
  • Cory Holt has some serious guts. While at this point I'd be surprised if we win this game, it's nice to see the fight in the team and for a classy guy like Holt to get a chance to step up.
  • Nice to see that we didn't completely fold today, but it was a tough afternoon, A for effort (except for the offensive line, which gets an F).

FSU First Half Thoughts

  • Nice return on the opening kickoff by Dyrell Roberts, way to set the tempo--until Tyrod gets taken out on play #1. Initial thoughts would be that he's done for the year. Looks like we get the immortal jackass Sean Glennon again...
  • And Glennon still can't throw the deep ball. So much for his claims of being able to "pick defenses apart." I'd rather have Taylor's inexperience and talent.
  • Ref is VERY EXCITED about the first false start penalty!! Gotta love 3-and-outs. Pretty piss poor play calling round Steiny. Maybe you want to lose your job after all. In his defense, early penalties don't help either.
  • Jason Worilds is a monster when he wants to be, that was an amazing tackle in the backfield.
  • Nice first series on defense--the tackling is looking good
  • Macho had a nice play on Carr, and contrary to what the announcers said, that was not pass interference.
  • God I love draw plays on first down. Thanks Steinspring. Thank the defense for the 3-0 usual.
  • Looks like the offense is starting to open up now, with two nice passes to Macho and Boykin, and go ahead and add some help from a blatant face mask. Steinspring gets some rare credit from me when I say that was a VERY well called series of plays.
  • So the offense shows some flashes and the defense breaks down. We need to put an entire game together if we expect to compete for the ACC title.
  • It amazes me that this team seemed so mature at the beginning of the season, and continues to beat itself with stupid penalties. Great catch by Boykin to bail Ed Wang out. He no brock werr.
  • Danny Coale's catch was as clutch as you'll find with this offense all year.
  • All in all, I was right on point with the 13-10, but obviously that pick was for the entire game. I give the defense a B/B-, and the offense a C for the half. Here's hoping we can pick up the pace a little.

Pregame Hokie Thoughts: FSU Game

If you feel like you're having a hard time getting pumped up for this week's matchup against the Seminoles, let me provide you a little motivation. I'm sorry that I had to subject you all to that, but I think that Peter Warrick is still running away from Ronyell Whitaker as I write this sentence. I will always hate Florida State, and so should you. While last year was nice to exorcise some demons in our 40-21 victory, it will take at least another 20 to make me feel any better. Following our "offensive" debacle last week, there are a few things that I will be looking for today, playing against a much better defense and far better coach in Bowden and his Seminoles.
  • Offensive line- How are they firing off the ball? If they are pushed back on every play like the last few weeks, we have little hope of winning. Tyrod needs to start this game with confidence, and that comes from a strong (and consistent) run game from Darren Evans, and legitimate protection. There were points last week when T-Mobile had the time to hit an open receiver, but he would pull it down too quickly or someone would have a mental lapse and kill the play. These things can be avoided with a little early offensive line consistency.
  • Confidence- How does Taylor respond to such a miserable outing? Coaches have been saying that Taylor does a great job of keeping a cool head under pressure, but it has been apparent at times this year that he has grown frustrated with the line and playcalling early on in games. He's done well in the past in hostile environments, but he's been shaky at best this year. It will be interesting to see if we will see the Nebraska version of Taylor or the BC version. Whichever one shows up will go a long way towards determining who will control this football game.
  • Tackling- While the defense did quite a bit to bail out the offense last week in Chestnut Hill (2 TDs accounting for most of our scoring), they had some obvious deficiencies, most notably tackling. Bud Foster's crew was out on the field early and often last week, and fatigue led to sloppy tackling and extended drives. The defense was weak on defending third downs, and needs to tighten up in order for this team to be successful.
All that being said, most of the blame has to go onto the offensive coaching staff for poor preparation and somewhat poor playcalling. Steinspring is looking like he's 1-2 more poor performances away from being ousted at the end of the season. However, much like our buddy Al Groh, Steinspring also manages to do just enough to keep his job. Bud Foster has to have one eye on that Clemson job with Steiny still in place at OC. I can't say I blame him. All this being said, I think the Hokies O-line will step up today, and Tyrod will do just enough to win. The defense is a prideful group, and I think we have a good chance of controlling a tough, low-scoring game today.

Virginia Tech 13 Florida State 10

Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Rivalries

Okay, so I've let you down again. I really haven't had an opportunity to write my receivers' preview, but I listened to something today that made me want to post. I have been a Redskins fan since I was five, and a Cowboy hater just as long. On my way home from work today, I was listening to the guys on ESPN 980 broadcasting from Ashburn, and they had Malcolm Kelly on the show. The crew asked Kelly the standard questions for a rookie wide receiver (i.e. where do you fit into the lineup, what's different about the pros, did they make you sing your fight song, etc.). The interesting point of this interview was when Kelly was asked about his Texas roots and his loyalties. Malcolm replied with "I USED to be a Cowboy fan." Impressive. The guy's only been around 3 months and he knows what to say. I wouldn't expect anything less from a true Redskin, and it's nice to know that The Rivalry lives on.

This leads me to the point of posting. I disagree with people that say rivalries aren't possible in the modern NFL. I believe the Redskins and Cowboys still hate each others guts, and there will always be events in the rivalry that will pass the hatred on for generations. Even in rivalries that turn one-sided (of which I've been a part of both ends), the rivalry continues to burn on both sides. Here are my two examples:

As a Redskins fan in the 90s and early 00s, Dallas had our number for a long time, but by beating them more in the last 3 years, it just makes me hate them more and the victories that much sweeter.

As a recent Virginia Tech grad, while it's become almost a given that we beat UVA every year, I still love rubbing their stuck-up Wahoo faces in every loss we deal them.

I think that the importance and intensity of a rivalry comes from its history, and the Redskins and Cowboys have that. I'm sick and tired of hearing Eagles fans talk about how they are a part of the "real" NFC East rivalries. I have a little note for Eagles fans: No One Cares About Your Team. You still haven't won a Super Bowl, and losers speak in Division Championships. The reasons the Redskins and Cowboys have a legitimate, classic rivalry is because they've played for the aforementioned championships (a la the 1982 "We Want Dallas" episode), and have been relevant in the football world (whether or not they're good) for decades. The Eagles are important in their own minds and to their own fans, and beyond that no one cares. While I HATE Dallas, I know that I have to respect that they have five Lombardi Trophies. The NFC East now combines for 11 total, of which the Eagles have none. That says enough. The ONLY, and I mean only reason I hate the Eagles is because I hate the city of Philadelphia and the way their fans carry on. Beyond that, I could care less whether they were in the NFC East or the Big East.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Brett Favre Needs to Go Away

I think the Madden Curse this year is on the entire country, not on Brett Favre, because we have to continue to see his mug on TV. I'm sick of hearing about him, and yes, I know I'm contributing to all the noise out there about him right now, but really, just retire. I don't even want him to play because I'm just tired of hearing about him. If he plays this year, it means his waffling comes up again next offseason. Do us all a favor Brett and just walk away for good. Sorry for the short post, but I'm going to (finally) review the wide receivers tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Official Redskins Blog and the Readers that HATE it

We all know that the blog is an invention of the current internet generation, and their success or failure typically depends on how interesting, or in some cases how controversial their commentary proves to be. Things like Stuff White People Like, and Deadspin appeal to specific crowds, but also light a fire in the belly of certain readers. Even though readers can be hateful (and comment boxes provide them the means to act in such a way), the controversy typically attracts readers, and thus propels the popularity of the blog. Maybe that's why this one is only read by my 7 friends and commented by another 3-4 (those few comments are GREATLY appreciated by the way).


The reason I was compelled to post tonight was triggered by my daily lunchtime blog check-up. I usually check the staples, but in light of training camp starting this week, I've also made it a habit to check up on Gary Fitzgerald's timestamp updates on The new addition to the 'Skins official site this year is their official Blog, written by 31-year-old, life-long fan Matt Terl. The guy moved his family here from MD to be paid zilch to cover the Redskins from a new angle. If anybody follows the Redskins regularly, especially during their yearly preseason hype period, they understand that Ashburn is constantly overrun with throngs of media and fans throughout training camp. Typically, in a year when Danny Boy brings in a novelty act, these numbers are higher (which is almost every year nowadays). That being said, each media outlet seems to cover the same things, the same players, and the same coaches. There isn't a great deal more to be said about Jason Taylor beyond his daily reps, Jason Campbell's progress, or our aging offensive line until they begin taking live snaps in the preseason. Terl's responsibility is to bring his readers some of the ins and outs of training camp that fans don't get to see by lining up 25 yards away from the players in the heat.

However, Terl seems to be getting destroyed by his "readers." Today, he was completely blasted for his commentary on Brad Berlin and the Redskins Equipment Room. Personally, I feel like that's something not many people get to see, or hear about, and might be interested in. The logistics of keeping an entire 80-man roster stocked up through an entire training camp, let alone an entire season are mind-boggling, and that's something I'd like to hear about. People are griping that Matt should write about camp and the players, but there's only so much he can report on that other members of the media that haven't already covered a hundred times over. He's also being accused of stuffing the comment boxes, which may or may not be true, but I thought I would post this in support of him, and say that I think it's nice to see a change-of-pace official blog on my favorite NFL team. Maybe the controversy will bring about more readers for him, and hopefully pull up some supportive ones. So this one's for you. Keep up the good work Matt!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Poor Man's Version of the Uni Watch

As you may or may not know, I'm a big fan of Paul Lukas's Uni Watch Blog, which makes the occasional appearance on Like I've said before, I find the presentation of sport to be almost as interesting as the sport itself at times. That being said, I'm going to address new developments from Blacksburg and Ashburn with a Uni Watch Spin.

The acquisition of Jason Taylor brings a lot of certainty to the Redskin defensive group, but some questions as well. Not the least of which will be who rocks the #99 jersey this year. Andre Carter has worn it throughout his tenure as a Redskin, but wore #96 as a 49er dating back to 2001. Taylor has worn the number throughout his career, and has apparently expressed interest in buying the number off of Carter. It should be interesting to see the bounty that #99 will bring in this year. These issues are not new to the league (a la Jeff Feagles), or the Redskins (a la Clinton Portis v. Ifiyani Ohalete), so it should be interesting to see who comes out on top. My prediction is that Taylor will take the number and Carter will enjoy having the relief from another legitimate pass rusher on the line with a side of free vacation.

On a more serious football note, there is a legitimate debate about who will play on the left side for the Skins' defensive line, as both guys have played there for the majority of their careers. Odds are that Taylor will make the move into Daniels' vacated side, since he's spent more time over there, and has more natural pass-rushing ability. Regardless, his presence on either side should free up Carter and Marcus Washington to make a Tony Romo sandwich more than a few times this year. Maybe I should just shut up about Jessica's boy toy or I might upset TO more...

On a different note, the annual ACC Football meetings just concluded, with my beloved Hokies being picked to win the Coastal Division and to finish 2nd to the Clemson Tigers in the league. I'd have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with this pick. While we lost what seems like 8,000,000,000 seniors from last year's ACC Championship squad, we still have exponentially more talent than UVA and the other schlubs in the Coastal by default (sans Miami, whose talent won't live up to their billing while Randy Shannon retains his headset in Coral Gables). However, I believe that our strategy this year was given away too quickly at the meetings. As you can see above, our primary objective this year is to blind our opponents with horrifyingly hideous uniforms, and then take the extra time we bought to find some skill players (that haven't yet hurt themselves). In all seriousness, as much as I love my Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange, I identify that they really don't go well together, and in any case, Orange should be nothing more than a complimentary color. That being said, the new home uniforms use WAY TOO MUCH orange down the sides and bordering the numbers. The white jerseys aren't horrible, but I felt like Nike is ruining a perfectly good thing we had going with the old jerseys. We should stick to the all-white for night road games, all-maroon for night home games. Oh well, Jim Weaver, Beamer and the bunch are all slaves to Nike and their lack of taste.

Oh and Sean Glennon still sucks...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I didn't realize he could play football too!

That smell you just noticed is Tony Romo shitting his pants as we speak. If I have to read one more press release about how the Redskins acquired an extremely talented ballroom dancer, I might throw up. Yes, this trade has brought me out of my "new job vs. blog" slumber, and I couldn't be happier. This trade makes a previously thin Redskins front-seven into a force in the NFC. Jason Taylor is still a top-5 pass rusher in the NFL, and teaming up with Andre Carter's double-digit sack ability, Cornelius Griffin's presence (when he's present), and a solid tandem of young defensive tackles makes the Redskins defense scary. There are still a lot of 'ifs' present with this group, but any secondary problems could be completely irrelevant if the opposing quarterback can't get rid of the ball. This move makes Marcus Washington a better linebacker and Fred Smoot, Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers exponentially better. If Jason Campbell can take a step forward, this team could be a force in the playoffs. As John Clayton put it, 1-2 wins in the toughest division in football is EASILY worth a second rounder. While it's not a guarantee, I like the move. Condolences to Phillip Daniels, who I've always found to be a class guy that has never gotten his due, as this probably spells the end of his career in Burgundy and Gold, if not totally. Hats off to a solid locker room guy, a good leader and a true Redskin. The rest of the previews will be coming in the next few days, now that wedding season is coming to a close. Expect a full report from the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in two weeks!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Part Two: Running Backs

Part Two will cover both Running Backs as well as fullbacks, mostly because I don't think Fullbacks need their own section. The Redskins have one of the deepest crops of Running Backs in the NFL, with Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright all posting 100-yard rushing performances in their careers, and with Portis and Betts both with the potential to rush for 1200 yards in a starting role. Portis has been knocked in recent years because the Redskins traded Champ Bailey away to acquire him, and his performance is not what it was in Denver. I disagree with this. I'll admit that I've had times when I've missed Champ a lot, but his play hasn't been nearly as strong the last two years in Denver. He's been making the Pro Bowl more on his reputation, while his passing defense consistently ranks at the bottom of the league. Clinton Portis (save 2006) has been a stabilizing force for the Redskins rushing attack, and the Skins have been one of the strongest rushing teams in the NFL in recent years. If they expect to make the playoffs again, the rushing attack will be the most important factor for the offense. Here are some things to look for going into summer:

Shaping Up: Portis has had injury troubles the last few years, and many people are beginning to think he's not a very durable back. Many people are reporting that Portis is in the best shape of his Redskins career this offseason, and is poised for a very strong 2008 campaign. This may have been derailed a little bit when Portis and Safety LaRon Landry decided to race after practice one day, and Portis came out of it with a strained hip flexor. Hopefully the coaches are right in saying he should be ready for camp, but fans should be a little concern about his injury tendencies the last few years.

Out in the Flat: Because of the implementation of the West Coast offense, look for Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts to catch the ball more out of the backfield. Both have proven to be pretty good receivers out of the backfield, but the offensive rhythm will rely on their hands as much as their legs now. Portis actually had his best receiving season in 2007 with the most catches (47) and yards (389) of his career. Betts had 53 catches for 445 yards in 2006 when he was in the starting role for a majority of the season. Jim Zorn will rely much more on their receiving abilities than Joe Gibbs did, and they need to perform well in order for the offense to work.

Yards Per Carry: Portis has also been knocked because his career YPC has dropped to 3.9 since he joined the Redskins. Last year, he was very up and down with his YPC varying greatly from month-to-month (September-4.7, October-3.1, November-4.5, December-3.5). The Redskins need to keep him above 4.0 to consistently win games. Zorn needs to find a way to keep Ladell Betts' average up, as it dropped from 4.7 in 2006 to 3.6 in 2007. If the running game can consistently gain over four yards-a-carry, they will be very difficult to defend overall.

Positives: Clinton Portis (26) and Ladell Betts (28) are both in the primes of their careers, and should have a strong season, especially if Zorn balances their carries well. Betts should be able to spell Portis in order to keep them both healthy, and they seem to have a good relationship, so they shouldn't bicker over carries too much. On top of this, Portis is the best blocking running back in the NFL, so he allows Zorn to keep him on the field in obvious passing situations. He and Betts allow for a very diverse offense. If one or both goes down, Rock Cartwright is a strong 3rd option, and Mike Sellers provides a lot of brute force in the short yardage game. Overall, this is one of the strongest if not strongest units on the roster, and should go a long way towards a 2008 playoff push.

Negatives: Portis has been nicked up the last few years and his YPC stats can be a little scary in some outings. The Redskins need to see much more consistency from game-to-game if they want to see a strong season as a whole (rather than a late surge to put them in as a wild card). If they expect to compete for the division, they must stay healthy, must catch well, and must make the most of their opportunities. If the running backs don't play well, it could be a very long season.

Grade Review:
  • Skill- This backfield doesn't have the home-run ability as some (Adrian Peterson) but they hit a lot of singles and doubles, and like to grind down the opposing defense. While none of them is very big, they are physical and quick, which is a good combination
  • Athleticism- Clinton Portis is not only a strong back, but a great blocker and receiver. His body adjustments and versatility allow for him to be one of the most athletic backs in the NFL
  • Depth- The Redskins have a Pro Bowl caliber back in Portis, a strong starter in Betts, and a quality backup in Cartwright. Sellers is a solid Fullback as well as a punishing runner. All of them are experienced with their line and quarterback. That counts for a lot
  • Experience- Clinton Portis has rushed for over 7700 yards in his 7 NFL seasons, and seems to be in the best shape of his career. Betts has a season of starts under his belt and has been on the roster since 2002. Portis began his career in Denver in the West Coast, so that should allow him to have a very big year
  • Intangibles- These guys don't really have to run with a chip on their shoulders, but Portis is itching to get back to the Pro Bowl and prove to people that Denver did not make him a great back. Their major motivation is to carry the Redskins to the playoffs and stabilize Jason Campbell's offense
Overall: Like I said earlier, this is one of the best units on the tean (if not the league), and they will be the driving force behind a playoff run. If they have an OK season, the Skins make a playoff push. If they have a great season, the Redskins could challenge for the division, or maybe even the NFC. We just need to see some consistency.

Next Section: Wide Receivers

Please Comment!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Part One: Quarterback Breakdown

The Quarterbacks are the focal point of my first positional breakdown. We are in a very interesting position this year. Jason Campbell is now in his fourth year, in his third offensive system, and while he hasn't proven himself to be an elite NFL quarterback, has shown flashes of being a very capable quarterback. Unfortunately for him, he has Todd Collins' late season push last year casting a shadow on a promising season ahead. When Campbell went down with a knee injury, Collins stepped in and admirably led the offense to four straight wins and a wild-card birth in the NFC Playoffs. A promising start in Seattle fizzled out to bad mistakes and coverage lapses, and the Skins were eventually booted to the tune of a 35-14 loss. With a new coach and new offense, this is what we should look for going into this summer at the Quarterback Position:

Position Battle to Watch: Going into June, we have four quarterbacks (ignore Derek Devine) that are vying for 3 spots. Let's stick with Jim Zorn's belief that Jason Campbell is a solid #1 with no QB controversy. Essentially, it's a battle between second-year man Sam "Hollabackgirl" Hollenbach and Colt "I swear I didn't sexually assault that girl" Brennan for the 3rd QB position, and it should actually turn into an interesting battle during camp. As a recent Virginia Tech alumnus, I can honestly say my only major knowledge of Hollenbach comes from the two games I saw him play in as a Terp. The one that stands out most was a 55-6 egg that UMD laid in Blacksburg on a Thursday during my freshman year. Hollenbach had to put down his clipboard when the 1st string QB played his way out of the game and the 2nd stringer was knocked out cold. He actually played pretty gutty, and led the Terps on a nice FG drive, but that was about all I remember. He was very average in 2005 against the top-ranked Hokie defense, only managing a meaningless score in the 4th quarter in a 28-9 loss. Basically, I've heard he was an average quarterback in a very average program, and I don't see a lot of major potential. He has to have something going for him or the coaching staff would not have kept him around, but I'm not sure what it is. Brennan is coming off hip surgery, but the organization is already selling his jersey (which is an idiotic move for a #3 QB), so you wonder how high Jim Zorn must be on him. Once he's healthy, I'd put my money on Brennan because of his upside.

Progress Under the West Coast: We all know that Todd Collins success last year was greatly affected by his experience under Al Saunders' offense. He excelled in a system that he knew well. Redskins fans are keeping their fingers crossed that Jason Campbell will be able to recapture the magic he had in his Senior Year at Auburn under Al Borges' West Coast scheme. Campbell propelled himself into the first round by leading the Tigers to a perfect 13-0 record, a Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech, while throwing for 2700 yards, with 20 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. If he can have the same success under Zorn, things will look very good for the Washington offense in 2008.

Pocket Presence: Jim Zorn believes that Campbell's release is good, but that his footwork needs to be more efficient. Campbell has received a lot of credit in the past for his release form, but he always seems to hold on to the ball too long. He was sacked 21 times in 13 games, but many more plays seemed to be out of rhythm and turned out negatively (incompletion, batted down, fumble, etc.). Zorn is tweaking how Campbell stands in the pocket, and hopefully his reputation as a strong QB tutor will pay off. How Campbell responds to his teaching will go a long way to determining how this season will go.

Positives: Jason Campbell still has a world of potential, and his leadership ability and physical tools could eventually lead him to Pro Bowls, or maybe a Super Bowl. As long as he has the capacity to learn and adapt, the offense can do well. Collins proved himself to be a capable backup if Campbell goes down, and fans have a lot to feel good about. Brennan is a nice developmental prospect for a coach like Zorn, and keeping him on the roster could pay off down the road if he pans out as a solid player.

Negatives: While Campbell has always shown the willingness to learn and work hard, he has to be a little uneasy about how well Collins played down the stretch last year. If he stumbles early, how long will Zorn, or more importantly, Dan Snyder put up with poor play? His tendency to hold onto the ball needs to change, and change fast, or he could lose his job.

Grade Review:
  • Skill- Campbell has strong throwing ability, but needs to improve on his short throws
  • Athleticism- Jason Campbell has all the physical tools to be a top 10 NFL quarterback
  • Depth- The Redskins have a strong starter in Campbell, with Collins being more than capable as a backup and Brennan in a good position to learn and develop
  • Experience- None of the quarterbacks has been a healthy, consistent NFL starter, but the combined experience isn't too bad
  • Intangibles- The potential for controversy is there, but it's ludicrous if people believe that Collins is a more capable quarterback. Campbell has a lot of incentive and tools around him to succeed, and the motivation should be enough
Overall: The position is solid, but needs to see improvement in order to carry the team further into the playoffs. Leadership will be huge in an offense with a great deal of star power (as well as ego), and Campbell has the potential to take the team to the next level. I look for Campbell to take a major step forward this year and possibly make the Pro Bowl. Unlike a lot of people, I like the hiring of Zorn, and think it will do a lot to stabilize Campbell's career.

Let me know what you think!

Next section: Running Backs

Friday, May 23, 2008

Your Weekend Update

I know it's been a few days since I've posted, so I figured I would give an update for anyone that's interested. I've been working on the layout of the blog (obviously), so you can now find my YouTube choices at the bottom of the blog, as well as a nice new format. I finally got my hands on Photoshop, so posts should be a little more exciting from now on. Look for some cool new additions for the next series of posts, which should begin within the next few days. If I can get this thing off the ground, we may have a few more writers come on-board to help me out. Anyway, OTA positional breakdowns will be coming soon! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HOF Weekend and Current Events

So I've just booked tickets to attend the 2008 Enshrinement ceremony in Canton, OH. Sweet. I always told my dad that we would go to see Darrell Green's induction together. Now it's actually happening and I'm completely pumped. My mom (and maybe my cousin) are also coming along, so it will be a family affair. The HOF weekend will be a nice break in the trend of the 18,000,000 weddings that Misha and I have to go to this summer (not that they won't be fun), and will be a nice way to kick off football season. We won't be going to the game on Sunday, but it's just a glorified pre-season game anyway, and I've seen waaay too many of those in my lifetime anyway. This trip is something I've been waiting for my whole life, and I'm way too excited about this to even begin to describe it. The pricing was actually very reasonable, which I was relieved to see. I'm assuming my dad is paying for the weekend, so that's just an added bonus.

On to some current events:

Owners opt out of current CBA through 2011- This is a really stupid move on the owners' part. I'm tired of hearing small-market owners whine about not making enough money. I agree with Chris Cooley, and maybe I'm a softie when it comes to competitive nature, but let's care about the team more than the money. NFL Franchises are more than investments, and football is something that Americans are passionate about. NFL owners exploit their players and fans enough, and this CBA disagreement is another example of this.

They're lovin' JT, and No I Don't Mean Justin Timberlake- There's a lot of buzz around Redskins Park about 4th Round Draft Pick Justin (J.T) Tryon. Many people are prematurely comparing him to Fred Smoot; both for his play and his mouth. I've done a little research on the guy, and watched a little video on him. I have to say that he completely reminds me of Smoot coming out of Mississippi State in '01. His mouth will probably get him into a little trouble as a young guy, but as they highlight in this video, his mouth is backed by his heart and passion for the game. I feel like he'll end up as a #2 corner in the NFL, as long as he bulks up to 195-200 lbs in the next year or so. His route recognition isn't strong, but he should do well as our nickel or dime (depending on Carlos Rogers' knee status) corner, and will move up in the depth chart once Shawn Springs hangs up his cleats. I personally do not see much of a future for Carlos Rogers in DC, which I'll address in a future post, so hopefully Tryon will live up to his billing and be a strong starter in a few years.

Non-Football Current Event: Pens v. Wings Stanley Cup Final- This has to be one of the best things to happen to the NHL in a really long time. I think that this final is one for the ages, if Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury can keep up his tough play between the pipes. Having Sid the Kid in the Cup final is huge for hockey pub, and will only build upon the hype and coverage that these Stanley Cup Playoffs started with (having Crosby and Ovechkin in the same year). Hockey enthusiasts and underground fans should really come out of the woodwork for this series, and this guy is hoping that ESPN continues to amp up the hockey coverage above and beyond "The Mullet." I hate both of these teams (being a Caps fan), but I'm going to go ahead and predict a Red Wings Championship in six.

That's all I have today, look for a Redskins Roster Breakdown in the next few days. Please post comments!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There's Nothing Good about [a] New Jersey

The design of jerseys and team logos is something that has always intrigued me. I always thought I was the weird kid around because I used to draw new logos and uniform designs for the Redskins in my notebooks as a kid to kill time in the classroom. Apparently I wasn't alone. In the last few years, I've discovered the ESPN counterpart to my secret obsession in the Uni Watch, a much more detailed insight into sports outfits and regalia than I've ever considered. My thoughts have typically been limited to football, hockey and basketball, as I'm not that big into baseball, so I'm not as schooled in that area.
One of my old ideas (as the always critical Redskins fan) was to retool the old uniforms and make them a little more "modern." This idea, circa late 1990s, was to actually look into a more spear-based logo, similar to the 2002 (70th anniversary) design. My idea would have taken things a step further, with a white home jersey with a similar look, but no awful gold pants. The concept of the 2002 jerseys was OK, but the look was a little too different from the current jerseys, and the burgundy was too dark, almost like the Chicago Maroon that my Hokies wear.
Anyway, this article does have a point. I'm a huge fan of the 'Skins uniforms in retrospect, and I want them to stick to what they have. The more I've thought about it, the classier I think they are, and the more unique it is becoming in today's NFL. On the same note, I wouldn't mind seeing the Burgundy jerseys on the road a little bit more. I understand that the Skins, Cowboys and Dolphins are the only teams that usually wear white at home, but I feel like it would be nice to wear burgundy more than just the one Dallas away game every year (besides the random Eagles game last year of course). That's all I really have for tonight. Hopefully I'll be back into the swing of things within the next few days.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Fresh Start

Like with all things, this blog is a new route for me. I've always tried to write more professional looking posts in other blogs, but that's going out the window here. Right now, I'm sitting one day away from graduating college. I have a month off, and then it's off to the "Real World" up in Falls Church, VA. While I'm about to put one part of my life behind me, which can be sad, I'm really excited about the opportunities that moving back to Northern Virginia has to offer. One of the coolest parts of this will be Redskins games. My dad and I had season tickets from 1991-2004 (the point when I graduated high school, moved down to Blacksburg and couldn't go to games anymore). He gave the tickets up and it was hard to see them go. I've had Hokie football to get me through my live football fix the last four years, and I have to say that it's been a hell of an opportunity to watch big-time college football every fall in one of the loudest stadiums in America. That being said, while I'm a Hokie, the Redskins were my first football love, and being estranged from them (geographically, not emotionally) the past four years has been absolute hell. Some of the best memories I have from growing up are at RFK and FedEx, and I can't wait to get back into the swing of live Sunday football again.

That being said, I've not given up on the Burgundy and Gold (or the maroon and black according to Coach Zorn) during my college career. Actually it's the opposite. College football has really unleashed a whole other football monster out of me, and it's really made me even crazier about the Skins than I used to be. Growing up (beyond the Super Bowl XXVI win) I was constantly rooting for mediocre-to-terrible Redskins teams, so I really only had major hope as a fan in Darrell Green. Since '04, my attachment to the team has gotten a little ridiculous. I'll admit that I have a closet man-crush on Chris Cooley, but in all seriousness, he really does a good job of making the fans feel like they're worth more to him than just his paycheck. Guys like Clinton Portis and Santana Moss give the team a ton of personality (sometimes multiple), and while they may not always have the best record, they're fun to watch, and fun to follow during the week.

Based on the draft, and the chemistry of the team, I feel pretty good about this year. I'll be coming back here periodically to offer a little personal opinion on what's going on with the team, DC Sports, or just life in general, but stay tuned!