Posted on: February 15, 2013 11:18 pm

Two safeties the Redskins should look at

The Redskins should make a play for both Woodson and Ed Reed. Safety was their biggest weakness last year. Reid Doughty played well in the second half of the season but he is by his own account a good backup rather than a good starter. Brandon Meriwether has proven that he can't be counted on to stay healthy and Madieu Williams gave up more pass touchdowns than just about any safety in the league. He HAS to go. The Redskins could also use some corner help, but upgrading their safeties has to be their top priority.
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 6, 2013 1:10 pm

My Top 10 Most Hated List

Sportsline recently put together an article based on a poll of Atheletes who America hates. I thought I would have some fun and put up my own personal list.
My top ten most hated list(in no particular order): Kobe Bryant, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, DeSean Jackson, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, Coach K(not even gonna attempt to spell that name), J.J. Redick, Christian Laettner, Steve Wojokowski.

Runner up goes to every white Duke player in school history(Hurley, Cherokee Parks, Josh McRoberts,Cris Collins, the brothers Plumlee, etc. etc.)

PS- Kurt Busch and Lance Armstrong shouldn't be on this list because driving a car and riding a bike on steroids are not sports!

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 26, 2013 9:09 pm

Thoughts on UNC NCSU

First of all I would like to send out my sincere congratulations to N.C. State. They deserved this win. They were the better team. UNC is very young and just not ready to compete on the road against this level of opponent. That being said, I have learned many things about this team tonight.
    First of all: Dexter Strickland, please shut your mouth! UNC had beaten State 13 times in a row before tonight. Strickland had nothing much to do with any of those wins, but he felt the need to run his mouth, then didn't show up to back his words up. He and Marcus Paige were so thoroughly overwhelmed that Roy Williams put them on the bench for much of the second half, instead relying on transfer Luke Davis. P.J. Hairston and Reggie Bullock were also conspicuosly absent from this game. In other words; the three players who should be relied upon the most for North Carolina simply did not show up.

   Roy Williams also deserves his share of the blame for this embarrassing defeat. During a critical 20-2 run in the last 7 minutes of the first half Williams had many chances to stem the tide with a timely timeout. He chose not to, and the result was to kill what little confidence his guards had in themselves tonight. The worst offense was during four fast break dunks in a row. Any coach would have called a TO after any one of these. Roy let four go by before finally, mercifully, putting an end to the slaughter.

   That being said, several players gave me confidence in the future with their display of heart and work ethic, especially after the game seemingly was out of reach. Joel James, Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto, and especially Jackson Simmons all played with a lot of heart and effort. All of these guys are young and showed that in the future they are going to be a group of core players inside for UNC that no one is going to want to face. James Michael McAdoo also survived early foul trouble to provide leadership for this young team. He never gave up and continued to fight.

   Overall I think this was the worst first half performance I have ever seen by a UNC team. But this was also the gutsiest second half performance I have seen by a young UNC team. This team is going to frustrate and fascinate UNC fans all season. However I think UNC showed that once it puts the pieces together they are going to regain their place among the ACC elite.

   N.C. State is the better team. This is their year. State fans should enjoy this win. They should savor it too. Because next year is going to be a very different story.       
Category: NCAAB
Tags: UNC NC State
Posted on: March 9, 2010 10:49 pm

A closer look at Redskin free agents

Clark Judge praised the Redskins for not falling into the free agent trap this offseason.  He also gave us a brief reminder of past offseason failures that the Redskins have given money to.

Judge wrote: Don't tell me you're surprised. This is the guy who signed Jeff George, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders and Mark Carrier and got next to nothing from them. This is also the owner who made Adam Archuleta then the highest-paid safety, then watched him move down the depth chart before his release. He paid the big bucks for Antwaan Randle El. He paid more big bucks for Laveranues Coles. And he took out a second mortgage on Haynesworth.

It's easy to lump all of these players in the same category and give a universal thumbs down.  Most HAVE been busts.  But not all.

Let's look at the first four names mentioned.  Deion talked more than he tackled, and Mark Carrier was never more than a solid journeyman as a defensive back.  But Bruce Smith put in four solid years in Washington with close to 40 sacks and producing double digit sack totals in two of the four seasons.

These three get lumped in with George as the worst free agent blunder in NFL history, but if you look at the facts the Redskins were 6-3 and at the top of the NFC East before the real free agent bust ruined the season for them.  Dan Snyder's meddling caused more harm than any free agent signing when he insisted that starter Brad Johnson be benched to make way for his favorite gunslinger Jeff George.

The result was a catastrophe.  The Redskins went 1-4 under George and never made the playoffs.  Norv Turner was fired, and history looked negatively on all of Washington's free agents.

Adam Archuleta was another horrible pick up.  At least the coaching staff saw this and benched him halfway through the season, then cut him at the end of the year.

Randle El may be the worst return man in NFL history, but as a wide reciever he overachieved and had the best seasons of his career in Washington.

Albert Haynesworth did not have a good season by his standards.  Everyone was annoyed watching him get carted off the field during every game he played.  But I do think he helped the defense.  He freed up other players by commanding double teams and helped the Redskins have a pass rush for the first time in years.  It is way too early to call him a bust.

Judge wrote a good article.  But I don't think it's fair to lump all of those guys under one label.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 5, 2010 4:49 pm

Riggins was a moldbreaker

The age of thirty is a scary age for a running back.  If a man goes over the hill at 40, a running back goes over the NFL hill at 30.

Some persevere for a few years.  Curtis Martin was still usefull until the age of 32.  So was Emmitt Smith.  We can only speculate on the post 30 production of Jim Brown and Barry Sanders.  Both went out at the top of their game, before age became a detriment to their skills.

A running back is unique among NFL positions in one respect.  Barring injury, most players gradually wear down over time.  A running back can be the NFL MVP one year and worthless the next.  Curtis Martin and Shaun Alexander both went from record years to Nfl journeymen from one season to the next.

For some reason the age of 30 is when this usually happens.  I used to own a 1993 Plymouth Voyager.  It was common knowledge among mechanics across the nation that the transmissions in those vans always seemed to die at around the 130,000 mile mark (give or take a few miles).

So when my transmission started to show signs of slippage at 200,000 miles I considered myself lucky and traded it in for a new car.

This offseason has shown that, like most mechanics, NFL executives are aware of the risks of employing running backs who are over 30.  Ladanian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, and Thomas Jones are all casualties of exceeding their age, mileage and usefullness.

Every year that passes in the NFL another group of skilled running backs fall victim to this curse.  Every year brings me more admiration for the one running back who refused to fall victim to the dredded age of thirty.

Like my old van, John Riggins defied all logic and precedents.  He played the position of running back at an elite level until the age of 35 and retired on his own terms after the 1985 season, at the ripe old age of 36.

Riggins  was never one to pay attention to rules, standards, and precedents, and defied them at every turn.  Maybe it was that attitude that allowed him to thrive well past his 30 year expiration date.

Unlike Emmitt Smith, who played until the age of 34 but was only a shell of his former self, Riggins excelled after turning 30.  In fact, a closer examination of his stats would make a compelling argument that he never would have made the NFL Hall of Fame if he had retired at 30.

Riggins had journeyman stats during his early career with the Jets and the Redskins, only surpassing the thousand yard mark twice.  After he turned thirty Riggins had three more thousand yard seasons, and a fourth season where he rushed for over a thousand yards in 13 games during a strike year.

Riggins rushed for 1153 yards and twelve touchdowns in 1979, at the age of 30.  The next year he had the guts to sit out the season over a contract dispute at the age of 31.  I dare any currant NFL player to try a stunt like that today!

Riggins knew he could still play, and fortunately, the Redskins realized this as well.  Riggins followed a successful return season in 1981 with a Super Bowl winning effort in 1982.

He rushed for over 500 yards in eight games before destroying the competition almost singlehandedly in the playoffs.  In five postseason games he rushed for well over 600 yards and was the MVP of Superbowl XVII.  He was 33 years old.

He followed that season up with probably his two best seasons in 1983 and '84.  He rushed for 1347 and 1239 respectively, and led the league in touchdowns scored with 24 and 14.  In 1983 his 24 touchdowns set a new NFL record for touchdowns in a season.  He was 34 at the time.

After one more moderately successful season in 1985 where he gained 700 yards and scored eight touchdown Riggins finally retired at the age of 36.

Riggins is in the NFL Hall of Fame for many reasons.  He was a great player, and he was a pioneer.  He was the first NFL running back to sport a mohawk.  He was the first white running back to sport an afro.  He was the last great white running back.  He was the first, and maybe only, running back to win a contract dispute by sitting out an NFL season.  But today I am celebrating him for being the running back who did his thing successfully well past the age of 30.

And if current NFL trends hold true there won't be another like him for a long time.
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 8, 2010 4:45 am

Garrett Hartley for MVP

Sean Payton was gutsy.

Drew Brees was near perfect.

Tracey Porter was a back breaker.

But the Saints don't win this Super Bowl without Garrett Hartley.

Hartley came into this game as the most inexperienced kicker ever in a Super Bowl.  He had only attempted 22 field goals in his NFL career.  The only reason he was even playing was because of an injury to the Saints' regular kicker John Carney.

Now Hartley owns two Super Bowl records.  Most inexperienced, and first to make three 40 plus yard kicks in the big game.  The guy didn't miss.

I know some of you don't value the role of a kicker.  Go ask the Bills.  They lost their first Super Bowl on a wide right 47 yard kick.  Hartley made two from 47.

Or maybe you should ask the Chargers.  They might have been playing in this Super Bowl if it weren't for the fact that Nate Kaeding missed all three of his attempts against the Jets in the divisional playoffs.  They lost by three points.

Or maybe you could ask Peyton Manning.  He endured years of playing with Mike Vanderjact, who was the NFL's most accurate kicker (at least until it came down to crunch time in a playoff game).  Peyton was no fan of loudmouth Mike, and must have been thrillred in 2006 when Adam Vinatieri joined the Colts.  He responded by leading the Colts to a Super Bowl victory that year.

Speaking of Adam Vinatieri, if you don't believe a clutch kicker is valuable just ask the Patriots...........or the Raiders....or the Rams......or the Panthers.  He singlehandedly snuffed out the dreams of these three teams and helped the Pats go from very good to Dynasty.

There were many heroes in this game.  But lets give it up for the little guy.  His accurate kicking kept the Saints in it early, and his precise onsides kick to start the second half turned the game in New Orleans' favour.

For all the great plays you saw in this game there was only one thing you hadn't seen before and may never see again.  You just witnessed the most inexperienced kicker in Super Bowl history become the most accurate long range kicker in Super Bowl history.

But for all that you may still doubt his value to his team.  I'm sure Sean Payton, Tracey Porter, and Drew Brees would beg to differ.
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 6, 2010 11:02 pm

Want Grim's credentials? Watch Broncos Superbowl

Many worthy candidates got passed over this year for election to the NFL Hall of Fame.  Shannon Sharpe, Chris Carter, and Tim Brown are worthy.

The selection of Floyd Little and Ricky (or is it Randy) Jackson may be questioned, and with good cause.

But please don't question Russ Grimm.

Offensive linemen aren't glamorous choices for the Hall.  But for a player who played on a team that won three Super Bowls with three different starting QB's and three different starting RB's, being an offensive lineman takes on a little more importance.

If you still have doubt watch a replay of the 1988 Super Bowl between the Redskins and the Broncos

The Redskins' starting RB George Rogers was knicked up.  Joe Gibbs elected to start Timmy Smith in his place. 

Timmy Smith had never started an NFL game before, and never made a positive contribution to an NFL game after the Super Bowl.  But somehow he managed to run for a Super Bowl record 204 yards that stands to this day.

Did God enter into Timmy Smith's body and will the Redskins to victory on that day?  Of course not!

Smith was the beneficiary of the single greatest offensive line performances of all time.

If you don't believe me watch NFL Film's top ten Super Bowl performances of all time.  Timmy Smith IS on that list, but most of the experts agree that any running back could have run through the massive holes that Russ Grimm and company opened up for him that day.

If you study the Redskins under the first Gibbs era you will notice that QB's, RB's, and even WR's to some extent came and went during their three Super Bowl run.  The one constant was their dominating offensive line.

Any skill player who has been a major factor on a team with three Super Bowl trophies has been a shoe in to Canton.  So lets not disparage a player who excelled at two different positions during his career, even if he was an offensive lineman.

Many sports fans don't know this, but any coach will tell you:  success starts in the trenches.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 5, 2010 10:39 pm

NFL should enact Dancing With the Stars clause

Seriously people.

Is there anything sadder or more damning to a reputation than a stint on Dancing With the Stars?

Actually, a more appropriate show title would be Dancing with the Marginally Famous, or Dancing with Former Stars In Desperate Need Of Cash Or Exposure.

Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were great players.  Even after watching them revert to mere mortal status during stints in Arizona, Seattle, and Denver there are still a great many people who still remember how great these two really were.

But becoming a contestant on Dancing With the Stars is almost unforgiveable.  The only thing worse than their performances on the show is the precedence it sets for future washed up NFL greats.

Therefore, before this thing gets out of hand, I am pleading to the NFL Rules Committee to enact a ruling that declares that any former player who participates in Dancing With the Stars will be banned from the Hall of Fame.

If you feel the need to grandfather Rice and Smith in fine.  But please take a stand.  Help stop former greats with bad managerial representation make fools of themselves.

Either that or put a tutu on Emmitt and Jerry's Canton busts!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or