Time is a wasting
The Washington Post's Jason Reid reports that Mike Shanahan's agent has been summoned from whatever wretched hive of scum and villainy agents dwell in to get down to brass tacks on a contract for Mike, it is still perplexing that it is taking this long, I mean seriously, the team negotiated a one hundred million dollar contract with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in five hours so what is the hold up?
Methinks Mike has Redskins owner Dan Snyder over a big old barrel and is larding up the deal with every possible privilege and perk he can come up with, and the coach shall have final say on all personnel moves and the general manager shall defer to the coach on all matters of assistant coaches and the owner shall shower the coach with rose petals on Mondays...
In the meantime I can no longer wait to start discussing what happens to this team in the offseason, I am still a bit confused about exactly what no salary cap will mean, who will become disposable and how hard it will be to acquire free agent talent and at what cost, I am sure the focus will turn to this topic in short order once the team's coaching vacancy is filled.
So the quick takes on some of today's news should be taken with the big old grain of salt that these are my opinions in a vacuum and without regard to salaries, draft picks or complications in free agency. Ok, ahem.
Reacting to John Keim's piece at Redskins Confidential:
On drafting versus free agency: OF COARSE YOU CAN'T BUILD A TEM THROUTH FREE AGENCT ALONBE!!!1! Bruce Allen better know that, draft picks are more valuable than ever in a world where decent free agents cost real draft picks, so the Redskins are now in a position to try and hoard picks which could be difficult since the Redskins have only five picks out of a possible seven, plus any supplemental picks awarded, hey thanks again Vinny for that Jason Taylor deal last year.
So in a world where free agency costs draft picks, the Redskins need to be sellers, not buyers. No one is going to give up first and third round picks for Jason Campbell and as much as I like Jason if Mike Shanahan has his eyes on a young guy then get a second or third for Jason and move on. If you can get a ham sandwich for Carlos Rogers, do it. Anyone else that is tradeworthy, listen when other teams call.
On Chris Cooley versus Fred Davis: If it is true that Mike Shanahan likes one tight end that can catch and one that can block that would make him... exactly like every other coach. I never figured out why the team drafted a guy projected to have an upside no bigger than Chris Cooley's with a second round pick, nothing about Jim Zorn's style screamed two tight end sets, and they had one and a half seasons to implement the Unicorn set with both Fred and Chris in there and never did it.
See free agency versus draft directly above, Chris Cooley is probably the most tradeworthy player on the roster right now, young, mid contract and productive. Fred Davis is inferior at this point to Chris, I counted at least four major mistakes on his part in the season finale against the Chargers, and yet he managed to achieve almost exactly Chris' output.
The verdict is simple: Trade Chris Cooley, especially if you can get a team to part with a first round pick. Fred Davis is good enough that having him and not playing him next season is counterproductive.
On Bruce Allen is a good listener: I bet he never forgets your birthday either does he?
On Mike Shanahan is a control freak: I wish I could be there the first time he politely tells the owner to get the fuck off his practice field.
On the players addressing grievances above Jim Zorn's head: Yes it is true that Jim Zorn was a player's coach and more of a friend than a father figure, you cannot fault him for that. I lay that dog at the feet of Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato for creating a culture where the parade of spoiled brat players like Clinton Portis and LaVar Arrington before him can ingratiate themselves with the owner at the expense of the coach.
Given the egos on star football player I cannot really fault these players for flowing like water through the path of least resistance to the most powerful person in the building that will blow sunshine up their skirts and as such this is really Dan Snyder's problem. He needs to learn the discipline to keep a professional distance from the players and not show favoritism, like a teacher banging his students, temptation and opportunity are there, it seems harmless at the time, and nothing good can come from it.
On coach Zorn losing the players as far back as September: Blame that on Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato for creating a locker room culture that ensured Jim Zorn was neutered from the moment the 2008 season ended. Really though that is almost beside the point, look at how fast the fans sussed out the 2009 Redskins, there were four thousand no shows on a sunny late summer football day for the Redskins first home game against the Rams, the Redskins were only 0-1 after losing to a team they had not beaten since 2007 and the fans booed the team off the field after a win.
Like dogs the Redskins fans could smell that cancer in that team the moment we met them.
On Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth not having a lot of friends in the locker room: Clinton did it to himself and Albert has at least a season to get back in good graces. Another season of dogging it in the first quarter and worrying publicly about his legacy while on the inactive list in a late season game and Redskins fans will be done with him as well. Fifty percent chance that if Clinton Portis is gone this offseason that Albert Haynesworth inherits the mantle of player Redskins fans hate because we think He Doesn't Get It.
On Danny Smith being endangered: Danny Smith this, Danny Smith that, the Redskins special teams were not spectacular this season, punt returns were awful, the star punter came in and got hurt, there was never a solid plan at kick returner and cutting your kicker in midseason does not accrue well to the special teams coach no matter how you slice it. Toss them all out and start over with new coaches in burgundy and gold.
On Carlos Rogers coming back next season: Only if it is that or a stick in the eye. Carlos has not had a consistently good season since his rookie year and a cartoonish superhero weakness like being a cover corner that cannot catch the ball makes him expendable at best, tender offer at worst.
On Joe Bugel retiring: Buges will always have a special place in my heart, unfortunately though he has lost his objectivity. Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder did not give him quality talent, to be sure, but he was so far set in his ways he was unable all season to separate a guy that can get coached up from a guy that is just not starter quality. As the team cycled through all the backups coach Bugel had unfailing praise for all of them and they all sucked. That tells me Buges cannot tell the difference anymore.
On players criticizing Jim Zorn with no repercussions: See Jim Zorn losing players above, coach Zorn may have had the failing of being a player's coach reluctant to attack grown men with jobs to do, the blame really falls on ownership for not selling out to the coach. If they hated Jim Zorn so much then why the hell didn't they fire him and have done with it? The long trudge with the awkward silences and belated and half assed votes of confidence was not good for the players, the coaches, the fans or the organization itself. Man how awful would it be to have Dan Snyder as a boss?
On players being on time for meetings and being all together: Albert Haynesworth was a big dumbass to show up late to practice on Christmas Day, I wish I could have seen the look on Albert's face when he realized after laughing at coach's first dismissal, dressing in for practice, taking the field, getting harrassed by coach again, then realizing, wait, he IS ACTUALLY GOING TO SEND ME HOME. Twelve games his first year with the Redskins, Albert missed one quarter of the team's games.
Reacting to Rick Maese's piece on Clinton Portis and the star treatment on Redskins Insider:
STFU Clinton. You believe you are above the team, that you deserve special treatment. You have cultivated a relationship with the owner not because you really want to be friends with him but because it maximizes your income while minimizing your workday. You can build yourself up at the expense of the team, you are the player version of Vinny Cerrato.
When you were tearing it up, no one cared, that is a rule in football. When you dislocated your shoulder in the 2006 preseason, you complained about Joe Gibbs playing you, said you were making a perfect form tackle at one hundred percent effort and if coach did not want you to get injured then he should not play you in preseason.
And what the fuck with attacking Jason Campbell? Clinton thinks that because Jason Campbell keeps it medium, never flies into a petulant Jay Cutler rage over route running or blocking that he is not a leader, that his unchanging demeanor is evidence he is incapable of leadership, that he has trouble getting the plays in and controlling the huddle, called Jason a poor captain.
I got news for Redskins fans, Jason Campbell was the best thing the Redskins had in 2009.
Clinton Portis is an example of why this Redskins team did not work out, no discipline, no class, no sense of commitment to anything but a paycheck.
He needs to be gone from this team.
Update 8:35pm: Jason Campbell has returned fire, shorter Jason: Clinton UR an idiot.
Bruce Allen: Getty Images from here.