Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Busted Tail Light

The debate is now festering among my colleagues here at ESPN980. It goes something like this: “Are the Redskins now a ‘good’ football team?”
Some say, yes. Others say, no.

I say: “Bad question.” (Thanks Jim Zorn for that one! Works great!)

Being a good football ‘team’ changes from week to week, and month to month in this league. Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles were a HORSESHIT football ‘team’ when they tied the Bengals and got housed by the Ravens the following week.

Then, they ended up one drive away from the Super Bowl in Phoenix.

So it’s not about being a good team. It’s about being a good ORGANIZATION. And this is no breaking news to anybody. But we ain’t that. Not even close.

Organizationally, we do so many dumb things, I grow weary of cataloguing them.
Of particular concern, is the ongoing Antwaan Randle El punt return fiasco. It has now entered the realm of “Secret Wager Absurdity.”

I had this discussion with more than a few Skins fans. They ask: “Why in the HELL is he still back there on punts?” My theory (and it’s the only one that makes any sense) is that he has an actual CLAUSE in his contract that mandates he has the choice to return punts. So he uses this clause, in hopes of somehow breaking a big one. If you are him, you are probably worried that once they take you of punt return, the logic of keeping you as a mere receiver starts making even less sense.

Either that, or there’s a “Trading Places” type of secret wager going on here, that we don’t know about.

No matter what it really is, however, doesn’t matter as much as it isn’t getting fixed. On Monday’s regular news conference, Zorn refused again to replace Randle Fell on punts once and for all.

This is like a broken tail-light on the Redskins car. Are there bigger problems? Engine, transmission, suspension, etc? Of course. But this is an EASY thing to fix! So fix it!

If we can’t fix a broken tail-light like punt returns, then what hope do we have on larger issues?

But for what I call a “December Pre-Season” game, not bad.

What is “December Pre-Season?” You know, games that count toward the actual standings, in the NFL’s final month, but have all the feel, tempo, and significance of those in August.

For teams like the Redskins and Raiders, all you can really do at this point of the season is evaluate. Yet, ironically, the last thing you really should do after these games is…. well, EVALUATE.

Because what we are looking at now, will have almost no bearing on what we will see come next August. Even for teams that are relatively “stable” (and the Skins, do NOT qualify there) there’s too much that happens. Every other team in the league changes. Bodies and injuries re-set. People get paid. Others get cut.

And I’m not even talking about how the Skins are due to have both a new head coach and quarterback!

No way we should get rid of Campbell, right? Well, everyone wanted him out of here about a month ago. You gonna make a potentially $40 million decision based on beating the sorry ass Raiders?

But look at the point totals, Czabe! The offense is starting to click! The second year receivers are starting to contribute! It’s all coming together!
No, it’s garbage time people. That’s what it is.

It is not Sherman Lewis. If you believe that, you believe in the tooth fairy. I know from talking to somebody who is out there at Redskin Park almost every day, that the Sherm Lewis credit train is making Zorn nuts.

Lewis’ role in the playcalling is actually minimal. Lewis doesn’t put together game plans. He doesn’t call running plays. He doesn’t call 2-minute drills. He doesn’t even get the full menu of passing plays in the playbook. He gets something closer to a “here, choose one of these 3 passing plays.”

And don’t start gushing about how the O-line has finally come together. So what? Are you saying that Levi Jones and Mike Williams are viable, sensible answers going forward? You gonna sign those guys to contracts and make them starters?

Before the slew of injuries, this Redskins team – as envisioned by Cerrato, with all of the “stars” in there playing full time – wasn’t worth a paper bag of spit.

Vinny will likely claim that this proves the depth of talent is better than his critics will concede. I say it’s further proof that he doesn’t know how to build a team. His reserves and waiver wire pickups appear better than the starters.

That’s a good thing?

There is no momentum going into next season in the NFL. The league has become a 32-team kaleidoscope. Everything re-sets. Except the Colts and Peyton Manning. Lucky bastards.

So yeah, nice win. I had fun. You?

But let’s not get carried away. This team needs to win out for a 7-9 season. I don’t recall any of our listeners calling up and saying they would be happy with that back in August.

AND NOW…. Time for random thoughts and stuff….

- How awful is Jamarcus Russell? No really, just step back and ponder. It seems like everything he does, is slow and sloppy. Calling the plays, making line-of-scrimmage reads, his drops, his progressions, his ability to feel and or evade pressure. I only saw 30 minutes of this guy, I can’t even imagine being a Raider fan who has watched him for almost 2 years now. Cut his ass. Now. There’s nothing there.
And on that note, how much of a cocky fuck do you have to be, to suck so bad, and yet to wear giant diamond stud earrings on game day?

- Dick Stockton is losing it. Not only did he totally whiff on correctly pronouncing “O-RAK-PO” (how hard is it, really?) but he also referred to the play clock as the “shot clock.”

- Tom Cable vs. Jim Zorn. We’re never gonna see that one again people, I hope you savored it.

- Okay, Graham Gano looked solid. Two nice kicks. Let’s sign him to that 5 year deal. Or not. That said, with Gano’s addition, we now have the Lou Groza Award winner, the Bronco Nagurski Award winner (Orakpo) and the Mackey Award winner (Fred Davis).


  1. Couldn't agree more. The skins always seem to have a bright future, but when the season starts, reality hits.

    If you look at the teams that are successful year in, year out, they generally have one thing in common. With few exceptions, they don't give large guaranteed contracts. The Patriots gave Tom Brady a big contract, but he's Tom Brady. The Eagles made one big gaffe in signing Jevon Kerse, but that's it.

    If people get paid for not working hard, they'll not work hard. There are exceptions like Peyton Manning, but they're few and far between.

    The skins need a GM who can recognize talent and wrap up a player before he has a big year, not after. Once they make the pro bowl, they're too expensive. Vinny is not that person.

  2. Jamarcus Russell is an embarrassment to Black dudes. He makes Joey Harrington and Ryan Leaf look like Hall of Famers. Boot his azz. He so freaking sucks. It's pathetic. They should send him to Guantanamo prison with Jim Zorn and Tom Cable.

  3. Dick Stockton is losing it? Really? And....you are just noticing this now? The only thing he was ever good at was NBA announcing. And he was pretty much only good at working NBA games that involved the Celtics, Sixers, Lakers, or Bulls at that. Did you see any of his MLB playoff work? Clueless. How does he stay employed?

  4. you forgot the Jim Thorpe award winner - Carlos Rogers.

  5. Good points regarding the Skins....except....I don't see where there is a better replacement for Campbell available for next year. This isn't based on just the Raider game, his performance this year shows me he is a competent NFL QB who is still improving, could be becoming above average. Not that the Skins shouldn't try to find other options to improve their QB, but I don't see how they would be better off getting rid of Campbell.

  6. Is Campbell great? Nope, but he's good enough if you put a good line in front of him. Sadly, Vinnie will opt for another #1 pick to be the new QB and renew the building process. Czabe, enjoy Texanistan. I had moved to Bengalistan this Summer and will reside until the Skins Mujah Hadin is deposed.