Posted on: February 6, 2010 11:02 pm
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.
Posted on: January 28, 2010 8:06 pm
In order to not be disappointed when my favorite player drops out of the Pro Bowl I have devised a checklist to determine the likelyhood that the player chosen will actually appear in the pro bowl he has been selected to.
Take the original list. Now scan over the names one by one.
Has the player recently played in a tough playoff game? Cross him off the list.
Will the player be playing in the Super Bowl? Cross him off the list.
Has the player been injured at any point in the season, even if it is a relatively minor injury? Cross him off the list.
Has the player played in more than two previous Pro Bowls? Cross him off the list.
Does the player have a possible family commitment that would give him a reasonable excuse to miss the game? Cross him off the list.
Is the player a ten year veteran? Cross him off the list.
If a player who is on the pro bowl roster matches any one of these criteria there is a 75% chance he won't play. If he meets at least two of these criteria there is a 99.9% chance he won't play.
If a player has pending legal trouble or a family that he wants an excuse to get away from the odds of him playing are slightly better. If he meets two of the above criteria he has a 50% chance of not playing. It would take three of the criteria to make him 99.9% sure of not playing.
Follow these guidelines and you will be sure not to be upset when the actual game is played.
If you still watch it.
Posted on: December 31, 2009 10:27 pm
I like the fact that more great black coaches are getting legitimate chances at top coaching positions in the NFL. Certainly the Rooney Rule has helped increase awareness of worthy black coaches.
But any rule that forces people to follow strict guidelines will lead to pointless exercises from time to time.
This is one of those times.
Dan Snyder wants Mike Shanahan as his next coach. Shanahan is very interested. But due to the Rooney rule Dan Snyder is forced to waste his time and Jerry Grey's time in order to follow league protocall.
I'm not a black man, so maybe I am not aware of the subtleties of seeking a job as a black man. But to me it would seem that going through an interview process for no other reason than to fill a quota is just as insulting as being passed over because of your ethnicity.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Grey is being strongly considered for this position. However, judging by the process involving the search for a new general manager in Washington I would have to say that this interview had more to do with avoiding legal headaches than seeking out the most qualified candidate.
I am somewhat naive when it comes to race relations because if I owned the Redskins I would interview every good coach that I could, regardless of race. And I would chose the best candidate regardless of race. But I do know that not everyone thinks the same way as I do.
Maybe the Rooney Rule helps a worthy coaching candidate get his foot in the door. That can only be a good thing.
But in this particular instance Jerry Grey's interview looks more like a dog and pony show than a worthy candidate up for equal consideration to be the next head coach of the Washington Redskins.
Posted on: September 29, 2009 9:58 pm
Following one of the most embarrassing losses in recent franchise history Redskin nation will be looking many places to heap the blame. Coach Jim Zorn and quarterback Jason Campbell will probably bear the majority of it.
While they certainly played their parts in Sunday’s debacle the person that deserves the most blame is defensive coordinator Gregg Blache.
For a person who has such a good coaching resume and led the defense to a very good showing last year he really showed an amazing lack of understanding of basic football concepts.
Gregg Blache gave rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford the time to gain confidence. Every basic coaching course will teach that the best game plan to use against an inexperienced quarterback is to bring heavy blitzes and force him into making a mistake.
Gregg Blache must have skipped the introductory coaching classes.
Most coaches will study game film to determine what formations have been most effective against the Lions this year. New Orleans and Minnesota certainly provided enough of a blueprint. They pressured Stafford into five interceptions and allowed only one touchdown pass.
Gregg Blache must have skipped the film session.
Instead he decided that playing prevent defense the entire game would be more effective. He was right. His scheme certainly prevented a Redskin victory.
This may have been the worst defensive coaching job I have ever witnessed. He rushed four people almost the entire game. He had speed rusher Brian Orakpo playing coverage over 60% of the game, including the critical 24 yard pass play on the Lions’ last drive that helped them seal the victory.
He had the cornerbacks playing eight to ten yards off of the receivers on several third and two situations. How does that make any sense to anyone?
The Lions were certainly grateful. When Stafford saw the amount of space that the Redskins were giving on these plays he checked down to easy three yard button hook pitch and catches.
I have never witnessed a defense play as conservative against a rookie quarterback in my life. The Redskins never came close to getting any pressure on Stafford with just four pass rushers. As a result Stafford had time to find the seems in the secondary.
I don’t care if you drop back eleven players into coverage. A professional wide receiver will eventually get open, and a professional quarterback will eventually find him.
Gregg Blache wasn’t the only person who was at fault yesterday. He was just the most glaring reason for this loss. Here is a list of (dis)honorable mentions.
You should be ashamed of yourself. You were scared to hit a rookie quarterback!
On a third and thirteen on the Lions’ first scoring drive Smoot had a perfect shot to tackle Stafford short of the marker and force a field goal. Instead he threw a timid alligator armed attempt at a tackle with his eyes closed that I had previously only seen performed by wide receivers who are scared to catch a pass over the middle.
The result was that Stafford flew by him and Detroit scored a touchdown later in the drive.
Smoot and fellow cornerback DeAngelo Hall bear a striking resemblance to Deion Sanders (minus the interception returns for touchdowns). This leads to a question that is equally as confusing as the question of why a coach wouldn’t blitz a rookie quarterback.
Why do you play defense if you are scared to hit someone?
Hey Clinton, the game was yesterday, in case you forgot.
I know that the offensive line isn’t opening up holes very well and that Portis isn’t being called on very much. But when he did get carries he showed no burst or power.
The Clinton Portis that I am used to seeing is a player who excels at getting underneath tacklers and falling forward for four yards even when no hole is open. That guy didn’t play yesterday.
From his body language to his facial expressions it was very evident that Portis is very angry with the coach, the scheme, and his reduced role in the offense. It is clearly affecting the way he plays.
I’m not sure which reality is correct, but either choice is a bad one for the Redskins. The choices are either that Portis is disgruntled and playing without heart, or that age and wear are finally catching up to him.
Either way I wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins go in another direction at running back next year. The 1400 rushing yards Portis needs to become the all time Redskins rushing leader are looking like a pipe dream. That in itself is an amazing testament to how low this team’s expectations have become.
It’s amazing how often early coaching mistakes come back to haunt a team later in a game. If you take back Zorn’s decision to go for it on the first drive instead of kicking a field goal and his decision to accept a penalty instead of making Detroit attempt a fifty yard field goal the Redskins win the game.
Zorn’s two crucial errors cost the Redskins seven early points. They lost by five. You do the math.
How does a player who gets paid millions of dollars to spend his life concentrating on being the best football player he can be not understand basic football concepts?
Like getting out of bounds to preserve time during end of game scenarios!
Betts did this not once, but twice.
The first time was during the Redskins’ final scoring drive. Betts caught a pass near the sidelines, had the first down, but decided to turn up field to gain one extra yard instead of getting out of bounds. As a result roughly 30 critical seconds were lost.
The second play occurred at the end of the game. Betts caught a lateral, ran beyond the first down marker, and had time to step out of bounds with two seconds left. Instead he ran right into the waiting arms of two Detroit defenders.
I know the second situation was a tough play to make, but good players make those smart decisions. The ones who can’t usually end up as backups on a 1-2 team that looks to be one of the league’s worst.