Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Was it us?
Do you have any idea how fucking pissed off I am? Check that stat line in the image above, that is Brandon Lloyd, Broncos receiver, leading the league in receiving yards with 1046 yards in ten games, TEN GAMES THE DUDE HAS CAUGHT 54 PASSES FOR ALMOST A TWENTY YARD AVERAGE IN TEN FREAKING GAMES!
Brandon was traded to Washington from San Francisco in the 2006 offseason on the first day of free agency, the Redskins gave up two picks, a 2006 third round pick and a 2007 fourth rounder, to acquire Brandon, then turned around and gave him a seven year, 31 million dollar contract with ten million guaranteed. He was supposed to bolster a 2005 receiving corps that principally consisted of Santana Moss, Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis. Antwaan Randle El also arrived that offseason as a free agent, the Redskins had their bunch of sparkplug wideouts, no one over six feet tall.
I knew what Brandon could do, I had followed him in San Francisco and even seen him in person in the Redskins 52-17 circus in 2005, I was all about this signing, my recidivist take on Washington pushing TWO MORE Santana Moss clones in favor of pursuing a receiver free agent with size, height or physical credentials was simple: If Mark Brunell wants little guys that can get separation, who am I to disagree?
Pretty quickly though it got rough, the early returns on Brandon were indicative of how he would perform overall in his two troubled seasons in Washington. Through a miserable 2006 season that saw Mark Brunell give way to Jason Campbell at quarterback and the team win only five games, Brandon caught 23 passes for 365 yards in fifteen games, barely third receiver quality numbers, Brandon was supposed to be a solid number two that could push the number one.
In game seven that season against the Colts Brandon argued with Antwaan Randle El, the two had to be separated. Brandon did it again in game twelve against the Falcons, throwing his helmet on the field in the fourth quarter, earning the Redskins a fifteen yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. This second egregious loss of control earned Brandon a closed door sit down with head coach Joe Gibbs who you remember was supposed to be the guy ultimately behind the Redskins player acquisition decisions.
Brandon's reaction to being singled out on the team and in the media for detrimental behavior, and of being hauled behind closed doors for a verbal whipping by a Hall of Fame head coach? Not so much.
Still, coach Gibbs said he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and indicated Brandon would play in game thirteen against the Eagles, Brandon did not start and had one catch, off an option pass from Antwaan Randle El.
Three games later coach Gibbs had had enough, Brandon was inactive for the season finale against the Giants, the injury report indicated Brandon had bronchitis, no one believed it, Brandon's first season in a contract with ten million dollars guaranteed was a disaster.
Heading into 2007 it was not feasible to cut Brandon, Joe Gibbs and the team clearly was going to give Brandon another shot.
It did not start well. After bragging about how the 2007 offseason was the first time he had ever engaged in significant offseason workouts, Brandon gave himself shin splints and was unable to practice at full speed for the first three weeks THREE WEEKS of training camp. Still, he made the 2007 team.
And things did not get any better for Brandon. Two weeks into the season he did not have a catch. In the third week, Redskins fans were treated to one of the all time great displays of tone deafness, Brandon was featured in the Washington Post Business section as a compensated spokesman for Microsoft and their upcoming video game Halo III. In the article, Brandon named all the free gear and the advance look at the game experience the number one perk he had ever received as an NFL player, and then went on to talk about what a huge part of his life playing video games is. It would still be two more weeks, into October until Brandon got his first catch in 2007.
In November Brandon missed a team meeting and was barred from accompanying the team on the road to game eight against the Jets, and once again Joe Gibbs insisted Brandon was still important to the team and viable as a receiving option. Little did we know at that time that with seven games still left in the 2007 season that Brandon had already produced everything he would produce: two catches for fourteen yards.
One more game and no more catches later, on the last play of practice on Wednesday 14 November 2007, Brandon broke his collarbone, the team put him on injured reserve, ending a season that never really happened for Brandon. In all he missed nine games between healthy scratch, bronchitis and the clavicle injury, and produced 25 catches for 378 yards and no touchdowns. In February of 2008 the team cut Brandon, two years into thirty million dollar contract with ten million dollars guaranteed. Washington barely noticed.
Brandon played with Chicago in 2008, holding close to Washington form with 26 catches for 364 yards in eleven games. In 2009 he signed with Denver and produced only eight catches in two games.
Coming into 2010 no one expected Brandon Lloyd to do what he is doing now, Josh McDaniel has Brandon and quarterback Kyle Orton really working on the same page, Brandon has already set a career number for catches, with six games still remaining in the schedule, and is nearly four yards per catch ahead of his highest yards per catch season ever.
Something has happened, hell has frozen over, Brandon Lloyd has turned into a franchise receiver. I'm pretty pissed about it.
Image screencap detail of this page.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
A Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family and hangers on from us here at The Curly R, this year we are back in Dumfries at the home of the Folsom parental units, grilled turkey and football all day. And now on to the timeline:
0230 Realize neighbor and cable TV holdout Tony Almeida and I have been talking about his project to distribute media into all rooms of his house and drinking whiskey for way too long, depart, corn chips and a big water, asleep on the couch.
0600 Awakened by kids ready to watch TV, move to kids room, fall back asleep.
0900 Once again the wife offers the option to stay home and sleep or get up and go with the family to a Turkey Trot road race, once again she seems surprised when I choose to stay home and sleep, move up to my own bed, close eyes and quiver.
1045 Hear family coming back into house, get up and pretend oh yeah honey I'm up, why do you ask? Shower, pack kids for overnight at Grandma's.
1215 Depart Alexandria for Dumfries, realize too late the early game, Patriots at Lions, starts at 12:30pm, not 1pm, fail to get football picks in for this game.
1305 Arrive Dumfries, realize parents no longer have wireless router I left with them specifically so I can get wireless in their house, go to plan B, fire up wireless hotspot app on iPhone, what an awesome feature.
1400 Halftime of Patriots-Lions game, blink hard to be sure I see what I think I am seeing, Lions leading by seven points. Cringe in embarrassment for Kid Rock in the halftime performance, it is an obvious lipsync and even so he sounds terrible.
1430 Time to eat, grilled turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, ambrosia, stuffing and gravy, cranberries, deviled eggs, rolls. My mom can still bring it on Thanksgiving.
1620 So much for that Lions lead, they get killed, on to the Saints at Cowboys, FOX is really lathering on the we heart our troops bit, I think exploitative is too strong a word, and if it improves troop morale then maybe it is ok, I tend to think the job of our deployed troops is sufficiently serious that we should not be mixing it up too much with broadcast entertainment. It kind of smacks of permanentizing wartime. Oh by the way I hate the fucking Cowboys.
1715 So far this game is going the way I want, off from parents' house back to Alexandia, sans kids, the wife and I will be taking a food coma nap then going to see a show later at 9:30 Club, Donavon Frankenreiter who is the guy that does the I wish that I knew what I know now song.
1830 Returned home, wallowing in post meal fatness for an hour or so before drinks with friends before the show, we are kidless for the evening.
2100 Crash wife's friend's family Thanksgiving party, feel lucky I brought a flask, this is a beer and wine crowd. Now heading out to show.
2330 Show over, it was great, Donavon Frankenreiter put on a great show, we head to Nellie's sports bar in the neighborhood for a nightcap then head home.
0130 26 Nov 2010, the wife is in bed, I am cleaning up the scene, final water and chips and I head to bed, hope everyone had a good turkey day.
Other Curly R Thanksgiving threads: 2006 :: 2007 :: 2008 :: 2009
Photo by me of the turkey being grilled by the other Redskins fan named Ben Folsom.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This season McNabb has fallen over several times
Comedian slash Redskins fan slash radio host Danny Rouhier is out with his week eleven video, a sober introspection on how the fuck Donovan McNabb keeps tripping on his center's feet at the snap. If you thought it was Casey Rabach's size eleventeen sneakers that were getting in the way, the Titans game with all its injuries provides useful insight: DONOVAN TRIPPED OVER WILL MONTGOMERY'S FEET TOO. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THIS?
Get on over to Danny's YouTube channel and give some loves.
YouTube from here.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Their paths diverged from here
Thursday night was an important night for former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. It was his second game as color analyst for the NFL Network's Thursday games, Joe had been out of the game game since getting shitcanned by ESPN after the 2006 season in favor of Ron Jaworski on Monday Night Football. Up to that moment Joe Theismann had been a color commentator for NFL games dating back to 1988, an eighteen year streak that ESPN had to end because Tony Kornheiser is a whiny brat that does not get along with anybody and whom the network mistakenly thought was carrying the broadcast.
How ESPN later canned Tony for another football guy in Jon Gruden tells you all you need to know about how wrong the network was to stick with that loser for so long.
Frankly though Ron and Jon does not work for me either, it is one hardcore football mind in that booth too many and with Jon trying to keep his options open for another coaching gig someday the posturing by that guy in the booth is enough to make me sugar vomit.
But I digress, that is not really the point, nor is Joe Theismann getting back in the booth for live games really the occasion of importance in Joe's life.
Twenty-five years ago Thursday night, 18 November 1985, was the night Lawrence Taylor broke Joe Theismann's leg live on Monday Night Football in one of the most gruesome career ending injuries that has ever been witnessed in football.
Joe's football career was ended that night, Lawrence went on to make the Pro Bowl that season, and every year for the next five seasons, he would win two Super Bowls, be named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team. A first ballot Hall of Famer, Lawrence's number is one of only eleven retired by the Giants, a team that has been in existence since 1925.
Three years after his injury, Joe Theismann resumed his football career in broadcasting, becoming ubiquitous in the sport for better or for worse. Lawrence Taylor turned to partying and drugs and a hard lifestyle, while a player he tested positive twice for cocaine, legend has it only the threat of a lifetime ban for a third positive forced him to quit.
After retiring he did lots of drugs and became the shady character that goes with the lifestyle, he was arrested twice for trying to buy from undercover officers and went through rehab at least twice in the 1990s. He lost lots of money in bad investments and became a caricature of himself in pop culture. Last year he was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident then this year it got worse, he was arrested for statutory rape of a sixteen year old admitted prostitute, he is facing trial on these charges. In a sign times are tough for Lawrence, he went to court, or rather technically did not go to court, to try and get child support payments for his twelve year old daughter by his first wife reduced.
Kind of seems like Joe Theismann got the better of that whole deal from 1985. Not judging, just saying.
The immediate aftermath of Lawrence Taylor's career ending hit on Joe Theismann: George Gojkovich / Getty Images from here.
Friday, November 19, 2010
In pitch perfect style Redskins fan slash comedian slash radio host Danny Rouhier goes Behind the Music with the Redskins for his week ten video, ever notice how you cannot get on BtM unless you made a bunch of money then lost it all or got hooked on drugs or lost a limb or something? Yeah the Redskins are like that.
YouTube from here.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Out of the Box: The rematch, on Monday Night Football no less, as the new quarterback plays his old team in the stadium where he won ten times in eleven years, it's the Eagles in primetime at Redskins Stadium, 8:30pm on ESPN.
Quick jump to
The Story So Far: Well here's some shit. Quarterback Donovan McNabb was benched with two minutes to go against Detroit and the game still winnable, after the game head coach Mike Shanahan said putting backup Rex Grossman in the game gave the Redskins the best chance to win the game, Rex was offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's backup last season in Houston so presumably Rex had greater familiarity with Kyle's two minute drill. Bullshit factor: HIGH, Rex never ran a two minute drill in Houston and was not known for his late game heroics in Chicago. Poor Rex went in there, got sacked on the first play, fumbled and gave up a touchdown to seal the game.
The next day the story was about coach Shanahan's concerns about Donovan's health and cardiovascular conditioning. The health part of the comment is a reference to Dono's sore hamstrings and quadriceps, a byproduct of playing professional football for more than a decade. The cardio comment was about Dono's basic conditioning, which we have learned the Shanahans think is not good enough to play their system. Bullshit factor: HIGH, like all veterans halfway into a football season, expecially those quarterbacks stuck behind bullshit offensive lines, Dono is sore. He is also a warrior, if he walks he goes. As far as conditioning, the dude trains all offseason at altitude in the Arizona heat, the guy is more than in shape to play this position, for christs sake Malcolm Kelly, ten years younger than Donovan, could not handle Donovan's training regimen, pulling a hamstring that ultimately ended his season.
As the week wore on we heard more whispers, about coaching unhappiness with Donovan's practice habits and coaches maybe not feeling Donovan is a great fit for the system. Bullshit factor: MEDIUM, it may in fact be the case that Donovan McNabb at age 33 or any age may not be the Shanahans' idea of a scientifically perfect quarterback, and to that I ask
WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER OPTIONS FOR WINNING IN 2010?
To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go onto the football field with the team you have, not the team you may want or wish to have at a later time.
In 2010 Donovan is that guy, a better option for a winning season than Rex Grossman or John Beck, so get the fuck off your coaching high horse and play the guy like the star athlete he is.
No one ever questioned the authority of the coaches, they can bench Donovan in favor of a ham sandwich and no one disputes that, it is the lies, the whispers and the unproductive rhetoric that pisses Redskins fans off, there may be players out there that get motivated by being shat on, if that was ever Donovan he is well past that now, he is in an elite class of self motivating professionals, just give him the damn ball and let him go to work.
Curly R Aside:
Gameplan: Last time these two teams played Donovan had a bad game, Michael Vick was separated from his ribcage and the Eagles were gasping for breath at the end. On offense the Redskins need to go after the Eagles secondary, they are missing two starters, including safety Nate Allen who was selected with the 2010 pick the Redskins traded for Donovan. On defense, just keep it up, rattle Michael Vick, make him move out of the pocket and throw on the run, let DeAngelo Hall and LaRon Landry do their thing.
My Take in 60 Words or Less: DAMN YOU GET ME A SWEEP BY MIDNIGHT I WANT TO BE 3-0 IN THE DIVISION
This is a nationwide game, for you watching at home on ESPN or locally in Washington and Phildelphia, we will be treated to Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.
Enjoy the game, I will be there, this will be the 23rd of the past 24 Eagles-Redskins games for me and game partner lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery, this game marks my twelfth straight at Redskins Stadium and 21st in a row overall, our tradition of attending all Eagles-Redskins games together dates back to 1999.
This is a gameday open thread.
NFL helmet logos from here.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Everything is in place, Monday cannot get here fast enough, got my tickets and my parking pass for tomorrow night's Eagles at Redskins game. Accompanying me this year will be two Swarthmore Drive neighbors, an college friend slash opportunist, political writer, radio host and former editor of Redskins Examiner Mark Newgent and lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery.
For Wilbert Montgomery and me tomorrow's game will be our 23rd of the past 24 Eagles-Redskins games played at any venue, for me it will be my 21st in a row overall and my twelfth in a row at Redskins Stadium. Our streak goes back to 1999, Donovan McNabb's rookie year.
If you are in the Gray lot or nearby come on down and have a drink with us, send me an email and I will give details.
P.S. - Whereas I was hoping to see the Cowboys get slaughtered today, they did not and in fact handily beat the Giants, I will say what I said last month about the first Dallas-New York game, as much as you would have loved to see the Cowboys take a beating when they are already down, Dallas winning that game was much better for the Redskins... as long as Washington remains in playoff contention.
Photo by me.
Friday, November 12, 2010
At some point this week I need to turn back to the Redskins, for now I am still wallowing in the midseason firing of Dallas head coach Wade Phillips and the Cowboys' smile inducing 1-7 record.
So imagine the pleasantness of my surprise when I open my weekly copy of The Onion on Metro this morning and see the Cowboys covered in Sports. Money quote:
According to a recent USA Today poll... Thirty-two percent [of the country] said that the season has been emotionally taxing for people who grew up worshipping Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith, and that those people should probably go fuck themselves anyway.
Enjoy your weekend, the Cowboys play at Giants Sunday in the late game, let us Redskins fans tune in and be the game's laugh track.
Team attending to an injured Tony Romo: Uncredited image from here.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Don't worry Wade, it wasn't you
Something that has never happened since Jerral W. Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 happened yesterday, Jerry fired his head coach midseason, terminating Wade Phillips after an embarrassing 45-7 loss to the Packers on Sunday, dropping the Cowboys to an awesome 1-7 in the 2010 NFL season. Offensive coordinator and one time head coach in waiting Jason Garrett assumes the reins for the rest of the season.
I am sure all of Redskinsland joins me when I say in all sincerity
More than simply dropping the Cowboys with finality out of the playoff race, this move makes clear how far the Cowboys have fallen, at the start of the season America's Team (lol) had high expectations of being the first team to play on its home field in the Super Bowl, number 45 of which will be played at the Taj Mahal of the NFL, the new Cowboys Stadium in February. The Cowboys are a complete mess with discipline and execution problems all up and down the team. As a Redskins fan this warms my heart like a cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day.
It did not take an advanced degree to see this coming, and now begins the apocrypha that EVERYone saw this coming, I watched the horrific showing Dallas put up against Houston in an August preseason game then went over to Hogs Haven to write about it, later that week a coworker told me was willing to bet the Rams would end 2010 with a better record than the Cowboys, it was not exactly a bold call to look at that team and think there was an overconfidence problem.
I bear Wade Phillips no ill will, I think he is a good coach, he just has an expiration date, he is an aw shucks players coach who basically ignores the offense, in addition to being the head coach Wade was also the defensive coordinator. Wade is not a fire breather so he is not going to motivate his players with his you come on you guys are professionals post game speeches, one thing I have learned from watching so much football at all levels is that player need coaching all their careers, they need to be reminded constantly to keep focus, to forget the last play because the success you earn in the NFL always starts with the next play.
Jessica Simpson, Kardashians, reality shows, a stadium with cage dancers I mean WHAT THE FUCK GUYS.
They loved being Dallas Cowboys so much the past few years they got complacent and it is simply not Wade Phillips' gig to get a stray team back on point.
I wrote extensively about the Cowboys coaching search and options following the departure of Bill Parcells in January 2007, the first thing Jerry Jones did was hire Jason Garrett, as either head coach or offensive coordinator with a big to be determined hanging out there while Jerry looked at other candidates. With the Jim Zorn hiring debacle still more than a year in the future, the notion that a team would hire a guy and then determine where he fit in the organization was ludicrous and damaging, well paid players with contracts can smell uncertainty in the wind and loyalty is as much about who is in charge as who is not. Hiring a guy and then telling the organization ok he may be the guy let's wait and see was a mistake from the beginning.
So with a possible head coach in the fold Jerry went out and surveyed the landscape, coming up with Mike Singletary who had been in coaching all of four seasons at the time of his interview and who is sure to be fired from the 49ers at the end of the season, pairing Mike up with Jason who had all of two seasons coaching experience was an idea so bad that even Jerry Jones did not bite.
Norval Turner was the only other real candidate and the 49ers gave him a raise to stay, so Jerry settled on Wade Phillips, while no team can ever publicly say a guy has a shelf life, at the time I looked at the plan as this: Wade coaches for a couple three seasons then moves on, either under contract expiration or honorable resignation, the idea that it could end with a firing is a bad PR move because it would call into question the competence of the coaching and management staffs, so if Jerry really wanted to marinate Jason Garrett and then promote him in the near to middle term, it was going to have to be a joyous transition, not in the midst of a storm.
For those of you into the palace intrigue, what kind of relationship do you think Jason Garrett had with Wade Phillips with this knowledge? Have Jason and the owner had a lot of um meetings over the years?
Fast forward to 13-3 and a playoff loss on a Tony Romo snap bobble in 2007, 9-7 and no playoffs in 2008 and you get to 2009. Dallas made the playoffs at 11-5 season, capping the regular season with a 24-0 shutout of the Eagles, then an emphatic 34-14 beating of the same Eagles team in the same stadium in the playoffs.
Even though Dallas lost the next game to the Vikings, the Cowboys had achieved a milestone: Their first playoff victory since 1996. A month earlier Jerry Jones had come right out and said it, if the Cowboys did not get into the playoffs, Wade would be fired, the strong implication was also that Dallas had to win a playoff game, again what would have been their first since 1996.
So when they did and then did, Jerry was stuck, he could fire Wade after a win any more than the Giants could fire Tom Coughlin after winning the Super Bowl.
And now we have this season, soft, undisciplined players arguing on the sidelines, the quarterback out for what will be the season because a fullback did not pick up a blocking assignment, culminating in a humiliating loss to the Packers and the inevitable decision to fire Wade.
So now Jason Garrett becomes head coach in a time when the quality of his offense is strongly in question, in the midst of a storm, the guy in waiting from 2007 now has become just a guy, the seasoning he was supposed to get may actually turn out to have been dry rot, the Curly R prediction is Jason Garrett is out at the end of the season, having never been considered a serious candidate for the full time job.
For the record, lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery discussed this at length on the way home from the Colts at Eagles game Sunday, while listening to the Sunday night debacle on Sirius NFL Radio, his call is for John Fox in Dallas next season, I think this makes sense, with John's contract expiring at the end of the year and the Panthers in need of a change, the Carolina job is wired to Bill Cowher whose home is in the Charlotte area, Jerry Jones will strike out with Cowher and settle on John Fox.
Wade Phillips coaching his last game with the Cowboys: AP Photo from here.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Let me get that for you
Quick Saturday bye week post to show off my latest piece of Redskins gear, a coworker was kind enough to gift me this Redskins keychain bottle opener and as it happens I have an immediate and relevant use for it, lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery has invited me to join him tomorrow for the Colts at Eagles game in Philadelphia and I think we may want to open a beer or two in the process.
Now that I have a real communications device check me on twitter.com/curlyr throughout the day as I microchronicle the oh so pleasant experience of attending an Eagles game as a (plausibly) neutral fan, I will also photochronicle this game for your enjoyment.
Hope you are having a great and Redskins free bye weekend.
Photo by me.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Donovan's like so fat
Danny Rouhier is out with his week eight video on the Lions debacle, among his best work yet. For just a second this season I thought the Redskins were going to be good and we would not need Danny.
WRONG AGAIN BEN
YouTube from here.