You know some things in life just aren’t fair. You get bypassed at work for a promotion by your boss’ idiot nephew. Or you find out the day before free agency that your favorite team will be completely handcuffed because the NFL has decided to fine them for reasons that makes zero logical sense. Maybe you have played Mega Millions for your entire life only to find out the person who just won $640 million bought a computer generated ticket literally 15 minutes before the drawing.
Truth is everyone has a bone to pick with the universe sometimes, for some that bone needs to be picked a little more often than others.
Such is life as a fan of the Washington Redskins.
My dad once told me being a Redskin’s fan would prepare me for the harsh realities of life – he was right. Since 1992 the Redskins have been stuck in professional sports absolute worst purgatory – mediocrity.
They are never good enough to have any type of consistent success, or bad enough to be in the position to draft a QB with enough talent to get them over the hump. Sure Joe Gibbs 2nd run with the team brought two playoff appearances, but it also brought a record of 30 wins and 34 losses. Not good enough to be good and not bad enough to have a draft pick that will change everything
For whatever reason the stats always seem to align for certain teams, like the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts are coming off a decade and a half of dominance lead by Peyton Manning. Now they have the first pick in the 2012 draft and are all set to re- solidify their QB position for another 15 years.
Jim Irsay is busy trying to convince anyone who will listen that he hasn’t decided on what to do with the first pick in this year’s NFL draft. If you believe that I have some land in Texas I’d like to sell.
There is ZERO, let me repeat that ZERO chance that Irsay doesn’t know what he is doing yet. It’s April people! The draft is in a few weeks, to even imply that they don’t have a plan is foolish, and to believe Irsay when he says they aren’t sure what is happening is naïve to the point of stupidity.
I will take it a step further, the Colts are taking Luck. He fits exactly what they want to do and should help Colts fans forget old what’s his name sooner than later. The Colts are looking right at a 30 year period of time with 2 starting quarterbacks leading the charge.
The Redskins on the other hand have not had anywhere near that type of stability at the QB position. The parade of QBs to come in and out of Ashburn since Theismann got LT’d has been Comical at best and embarrassing at worst.
The 25 player long list of failed replacements pretty much covers the spectrum from washed up Pro Bowlers (McNabb, Brunnell) to laughingstock projects (John Beck, Tim Hasselback).
Historically the team has not been that great drafting Quarter-Backs either.
In 1937 they got it right taking Sammy Baugh with the 6th pick of the ’37 draft. Outside of that the first round has been pretty rough including Heath Shuler (3rd pick overall) Patrick Ramsey (32 pick overall 2002) and Jason Campbell (25th pick overall in 2005). It is worth noting that the Redskins had to trade into the first to take both Ramsey and Campbell and that both could be considered a reach at the spot they were taken.
History would suggest that the Redskins fans should have more to worry about in drafting a QB in the first round considering two of the three Super Bowl winning QBs were not even drafted by the Redskins (Theismann, Williams) and the third was a 6th round pick (Rypien), but this time it feels different.
With the Colts set to take Andrew Luck 1st overall (no matter what Irsay says) Robert Griffin III will be the guy.
I am not going to break him down here again and sell you on the fact that he is a perfect fit for what Shanahan wants to do in DC. Everyone not name Donnovan McNabb has been doing a great job of that for the better part of a month so you are just going to have to trust me – the kid is a perfect fit.
Some guys like Irsay have all the Luck, but it looks like the tide is finally turning in favor of the Burgundy and Gold.
Ah, Spring time. The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, love is in the air. It’s the time of year where new romances begin to bloom, it’s beautiful.
Think you have somehow stumbled across the wrong blog? Don’t worry you haven’t.
I’m talking about yesterdays Baylor Pro Day. If the NFL Combine is supposed to bee speed dating, yesterday was like the actual first date.
In case you happened to have missed it the beginnings of a great love affair were solidified yesterday as pretty much anyone who is anyone in the Washington Redskins organization spent the day in Waco Texas lusting after their Heisman winning QB of the future.
Listen no one in Ashburn is going to tell you that the Redskins want Robert Griffin III. When they traded up for the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft Bruce Allen said they had “fallen in love with two players”.
They very well may think a lot of Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck, but I can promise you they only have eyes for one, and he goes by RG3.
For the better part of an hour yesterday afternoon Griffin flew around Baylor’s practice bubble (which is incredibly nicer than the new one at Redskins Park) like some sort of mythical super human. While the Redskins brass and fans all gawked like a bunch of middle school boys in front of a Victoria’s Secret.
I will admit Griffin put on a show. The guy has absolutely explosive speed and an impressive arm. Time and time again he rolled out and hit receivers in stride, it was beautiful. The cherry on the cake was the last play in which Griffin caught a 45 yard TD pass from Kendell Wright just because he can.
Now it is worth noting that pro days like this are scripted, and definitely worth noting that there are no defenders in pro day workouts. But I have to be honest watching that type of explosive speed roll out and throw It is going to extremely difficult to defend this kid.
Griffin has a burst that is unlike anything I have seen from the Quarter Back position before, and Mike Shanahan absolutely loves it. It is no secret that Shanahan’s offense is based on the QB boot and play action and with Griffin defenders are never going to really know if he is going to run or throw.
Every so often ESPN would show Shanahan, Allen and Snyder standing on the sidelines watching – grinning from ear to ear, salivating at the prospect of this kid running things in DC and he is more than capable.
Griffin showed a lot more yesterday than just his ability to run and throw. Between every throw he was talking up his receivers, coaching them on the field, and displaying the leadership the Redskins have missed in the huddle for a long time.
On a stage that was pretty big and all eyes looking on him, Griffin looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. He looked like a 22 year old kid playing a game and he is good at it. Wearing a tee shirt that said “No Pressure, No Diamonds” while warming up, you can tell that the lights are not going to be too bright for this guy. He loves the pressure, and his attitude is infectious.
Watching Griffin interact with his teammates it is pretty clear that they think the world of him. His value transcends X’s and O’s to the point where no one will ever be able to take him off the field for a guy like John Beck.
The thing that impressed me the most from yesterday is this: even though he has all the tools speed, accuracy, strength, touch, it is never just about him. During his press conference he spoke of how success on the field was team success, and that he could promise that it would always be about team and never just about him. For a team that has seen its share of me first guys fail. It is refreshing to see a guy like Griffin “get it”.
When asked about playing for the Redskins you can almost tell Griffin already believes that he is one. He even went as far as to say “no I didn’t grow up a Cowboys fan so there won’t be any awkwardness there” and honestly if he hadn’t said anything else, that was enough for me.
Let’s face it boys and girls, London Fletcher is not getting any younger. While I wish I could sit back here and say with confidence that he will continue playing at his current level for the next three years (assuming the Redskins actually resign the guy), the truth is that is not realistic. Even in a perfect world where the Redskins do bring their captain back, the reality of the NFL is that the clock is ticking.
Now is the time for the Redskins to begin to groom a replacement that will make transitioning to a life without London a little easier.
Resident SOW Draft Guru Justin Partlow breaks down Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks and asks if he can be the guy to lead this defense.
While undersized and sometimes overlooked, Mychal Kendricks is still seen as one of the better ILB prospects in the 2012 draft class. With a knack for making tackles and finding the football, Kendricks has proven to be a true leader for the Cal Defense. The question though for many will be can he stack up against the big time OL in the NFL? That question will be answered throughout this profile as I really like Kendricks and think for the Washington 3-4 D he’s a very good fit.
Strengths: 3 things really stick out for me while watching Kendricks. Those are his tackling ability, blitzing skill and his coverage. When I watched a few cut ups of film on him I really was taken aback by his tackling ability. While he’s not a big guy who’s not going to wow anyone with his frame, he is a form tackler who can pack a good punch to his opponent. Unlike a guy like Burfict who tries to intimidate his opponents on the field and then use poor tackling to get by, Kendricks instead uses his play on the field to make sure O coordinators will game plan for him.
Another thing that was impressive was watching Kendricks blitz the QB. It almost reminded me a bit of watching London Fletcher here in the 3-4 D. He just sits backs and waits while everyone else takes off first and then will fly into the backfield and get after the QB or RB. It was impressive because this one cut up from draftbreakdown.com showed a great blitz by Kendricks on Andrew Luck.
Check out that clip from about the: 36 second mark and watch him sit behind and wait then take off and get Luck for the sack. That was impressive and the times I watched him blitz on film, he did the exact same thing. In our 3-4 D we need guys like that who can get after the QB but also play calm and get after the QB. It’s one thing to be a guy who can blitz, but it’s another thing to be an effective blitzer.
Finally let’s get to his coverage. It’s almost a bit underrated because at times it really doesn’t stick out on film, as he’s just a LB. When watching the film though, he really does a good job on covering guys who are obviously bigger than him. He needs work on his technique, but also think of it this way; really what players coming out are perfectly sound on technique? With a year of seasoning per se and the ability to sit under one of the top ILB’s in football in London Fletcher, Kendricks really could have the chance to shine and be a starting ILB.
Weaknesses: Really there are two weaknesses that I see from Kendricks that really stick out. There are others that are more minor but for the sake of this profile I’ll stick to the major ones. Kendricks will have problems with his height as well as his ability to almost overrun the play at times.
First off let’s talk about his height. Look I hate to do it, because players shouldn’t always be judged on height/weight/speed if you always do that then you need to sign up be an Oakland Raiders scout or front office guy (I kid I kid). What the truth is though that Kendricks is a smaller guy, so he will have difficulties at times matching up against big time TE’s who are 6’4 or 6’5. It’s not something that should be the end all be all with him in terms of deciding to draft him or not, but at the same time it’s something that scouts will mark negatively and will be the reason why he’s going in the 4th round range instead of the 2nd round. Kendricks though uses his size to his advantage, which is a positive to watch at the same time. What Kendricks needs to do is continue to use his height as an advantage, but at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me if teams did take him off the field on 3rd downs or obvious passing downs.
Also the other negative that shows up on film, is that while Kendricks for the most part does play the run and pass well, he has a tendency on running plays to overrun and end up letting big gains occur. A couple of times on the film I watched, I saw him just barely overrun the play, but by him overrunning the play another 5-10 yards were gained on the play. This is more of a technique and reading of the play flaw with Kendricks that can be taught, but also like I said you need to give him time to develop and learn.
So where does Kendricks fit? I love the idea of Kendricks in Washington as a 4th round pick. Bring him in, let him sit and learn and come in on certain downs and get his feet wet and then let him take over when London Fletcher retires. Kendricks has potential to be a starter and because of his size will fall on draft day, but look for Kendricks to become a starting caliber guy whether it be for Washington or another 3-4 team that I expect him to go to.
Big thank you to draftbreakdown.com for the YouTube cut up used in the draft profile.
Justin Partlow is the resident Draft guru at SonofWashington.com. For more great Redskins and NFL related info hit up Justin on Twitter @JTPartlow21.
At Arizona State, Brock Osweiler was seen as a very athletic QB, who despite his size had a chance to be a starting QB in the NFL. While that thought still remains, there are concerns now with him leaving a year early for the Draft. What Osweiler possesses is a strong arm, athletic ability and fiery leadership.
With seasoning and grooming, Osweiler can become a starting QB in the NFL, but at the same time he will need a good bit of time before he’s ready.
Lets get to the details and film on him.
Strengths: What I really like about Osweiler’s game from the two game cut ups I’ve seen is his ability to play within the scheme. I always have felt bad for Osweiler playing at ASU, because he was forced to not really show off his arm strength. The ASU O seemed to predicated on swing passes and short passing to attack defenses.
The times Osweiler was allowed to take shots down deep, you can definitely see his arm strength and ability to make the big play.
Also something I really liked to
watch from Osweiler was his athletic ability even at 6’8. Watching the cut ups you can tell he does have that basketball background and has athletic ability that’s pretty impressive for a guy that’s as tall as he is.
Weaknesses: Now with the weaknesses its pretty simple but lengthy to get into.
First off I really think Osweiler can be a starting QB and I’d put a late 1st to mid 2nd round grade on him, but a lot like Ryan Tannehill he’s a guy you are going to need to develop and let mature. When watching the tape two things really stick out.
One of them is the footwork that Osweiler has right now. Sometimes it looks good then other times it looks like he’s never really had any real coaching. Watching cut ups of the USC game I just was sitting there shaking my head on a lot of his drop backs at the sloppiness of his footwork.
It’s not a slight against Osweiler as a person because a lot of young QB’s don’t have the coaching to help them for the next level.
He will need work though, and with his work ethic I have no doubts he can improve on it and become better.
Another thing I noticed that caused a bit of concern was the throwing motion. It almost seemed like he was shot putting the football to his receivers.
While every QB has different throwing motions, I really haven’t seen one
as unorthodox as this with maybe the closest as Vince Young. It’s something I haveconcern about because while he’s a tall guy, he’s also bringing the ball down instead of releasing it at its highest point and that can lead to batted passes. Something he’ll
need to improve, but if I were a QB coach working with him, I wouldn’t try to change everything about his throwing motion, but I would try to get him to work on throwing it at its highest point.
The last weakness I noticed was his accuracy. Now let me explain what I really mean by that. He’s accurate in the sense he can get his passes off and to the receivers, but he’s inaccurate in how its placed to the receivers.
Usually you want to put the passes in the receiver’s chest, but when watching film I saw numerous times where the passes that were pretty basic, they were off the typical target you want to see.
It’s not like it is the end of the world with him, but as a WR you want to have that pass in your chest so you can get the pass and try to make a move up the field.
By him throwing off that target he’s leaving his receivers
vulnerable to hits since they have to adjust to make the catch and aren’t able to sometimes see the defender coming for them.
Overall Osweiler really does show
that he’s raw as a QB and will need work, but there are tools that show he can be a starting QB and one you can win with.
Where does he fit? Well I like Osweiler as a guy you can sit and develop, but I
really don’t see him as a fit here in Washington.
While he does seem to have the arm strength we want in a QB, he’s also not extremely accurate with his passes as
I documented above.
He has a ton of talent, but Washington needs someone who can play now or within the rookie year and right now I don’t see Osweiler being ready until at least half way through year two to almost year 3 because of how raw
he is as a QB.
While he was probably better served staying in college another year, I
understand why he came out considering his HC was fired and that offense was going to change a lot under Todd Graham and staff. Osweiler while a talented individual, isn’t
a great fit in Washington
Justin is the Son of Washington resident draft Guru. You can follow him on twitter @JTPartlow21. Let him know what you think of his work.
I have to admit I was pretty excited when I received a text message from Kiel today showing me the 2012 Redskins Draft hat.
At first glance I was impressed considering I typically hate the draft hats.
Then I noticed that this is actually made by New Era (the official hat of Major League Baseball).
Back when Reebok’s exclusive deal with the NFL was coming to a close, New Era swept in looking for a way to supply the official lids of the NFL.
Apparently Jerry Jones got them in. For some reason that I don’t care enough about to actually research, the Cowboys have the right to sell whatever brand hats they want instead of sticking to the uniform hats like the rest of the league.
When Jerruh went to the league for approval on a new hat design by New Era the league liked what they saw enough to have New Era submit a proposal to become the NFL’s official hat.
Flash forward a year Nike now holds the rights to jerseys and the hats are New Era.
I’m just pumped that I don’t have to see the crappy headwear that Reebok had on the sidelines anymore.
Plus a big shout out to TK from extremeskins.com for hooking us up with the pic of the new gear. You guys can follow TK on twitter @TKextremeskins for awesome Redskins Tweets.
As the 2012 Draft Season nears closer and closer I thought I’d go ahead and get my first initial mock draft out before the FA season has hit. I usually don’t predict trades but I do expect the Washington Redskins to move up the #2 pick. Without any further ado here’s my first attempt
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck QB Stanford
This is pretty much a no brainer, Luck is by far the best player in this draft and by far the best player I’ve scouted in the past 8 years or so. He’ll help turn around the Colts who need a new face of the franchise
2. TRADE: Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
Again another pick I just see happening easily. Washington is going to love having a dynamic QB like Griffin who will do wonders for Kyle Shanahan and that offense. He’ll have his growing pains moving to a traditional pro style system, but expect him to be a heck of a player
3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil LT USC
Minnesota got their franchise QB last year in Ponder and now they need to protect him with a franchise LT. Kalil is by far the #1 OT in this class and has the ability to be an all-pro player for a long time
4. Cleveland Browns- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
First off to explain why I have Washington over Cleveland in the #2 pick, I personally see Cleveland trying to acquire Matt Flynn to become their guy. He fits exactly what Holmgren likes and this is a total Holmgren type move. Adding Blackmon then just solidifies what they need on that O which is explosive players
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborn CB LSU
This quite possibly might be the most no brainer pick of the whole 1st round. Tampa has a lot of problems at CB and Claiborne is hands down the best D player in this draft. This will help a lot with an aging Ronde Barber and a secondary that got torched last year
6. St. Louis Rams(From Washington) Michael Brockers DT LSU
St Louis is able to trade down here to #6 and get a guy who will help make a DL that was getting stronger that much better. Brockers, while a RS Soph, will be able to have an immediate impact on that team especially in the run stopping category.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Kendall Wright WR Baylor
Look I know I’ll catch heat for this, but at the same time this is also a Gene Smith type pick. Kendall Wright is going to be a Steve Smith(CAR) type WR in this league and that’s exactly what they need with a young QB in Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert now has a legit weapon outside of MJD that’ll help his development
8. Miami Dolphins- Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Again another no-brainer type pick for me. Reiff is exactly what the Dolphins need. He’ll be able to come in right away and play at RT, but also can move to LT if anything happens with Jake Long.
9. Carolina Panthers- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
A very good value here for Carolina as they get the #2 CB in the class who is going to be a very good cover corner in the NFL. Has off the field problems, but seem to be a non issue moving forward
10. Buffalo Bills- Mike Adams LT Ohio State
A bit of a reach in some respects, but Adams is my #3 LT behind Kalil and Reiff, he should be able to come in right away and play at LT, but will have his problems with his first year. In 3 years look out though, could be one heck of a LT
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Jonathan Martin LT Stanford
A guy who I feel is best suited for the RT position in the NFL, Martin can come in right away and provide a good anchor on that OL. Has issues with speed rushers but should be able to man the RT position for 10 years
12. Seattle Seahawks- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
Could be considered a reach, but also if Christian Ponder who missed a ton of time goes to Minnesota at 12, then Tannehill can very well go in the same spot as well. Will need time to develop, but when finished will be a very good QB.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Quinton Coples DE UNC
Honestly not a guy I’m a huge fan of, but with Arizona staying in the 3-4 he’s a good DE fit across from Campbell. When giving 100% is one of the most dominant players in college football, but a lot of concerns about motor.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
Another pick that makes sense, The Cowboys have needs at CB and Jenkins is the BPA available. Has off the field concerns, but does seem sincere in his problems. Dallas will enjoy having a guy who can shut down his man.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
Feels like a recurring theme, but a guy who makes perfect sense for the Eagles. A long rangy LB who can cover the whole field and is a tackling machine. Will provide stability to the Eagles D was run through constantly.
16- New York Jets- Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama
This just fits in perfectly with what Rex Ryan wants. A big OLB who can get after the passer but also is versatile and can move to ILB for a play or two. Need help on O as well, but Upshaw’s value too good to pass up.
17- Cincinnati Bengals- Trent Richardson RB Alabama
I know its late for him, but I couldn’t really find a team that would take him as a primary need. Cincy will be lucky to have a guy like him who can provide a top end workload for a long time. Knee injury is a little concern, but should recover well
18- San Diego Chargers- Devon Still DT Penn State
A guy who should go earlier, but like Richardson will fall because of needs. Can definitely see a team moving up for him and would be a great move. Think he can be a very good 3-4 DE for the Chargers who have had issues along the front the past couple of years.
19- Chicago Bears- David DeCastro OG Stanford
A pick that people will go “what?” but will be able to come in right away at G and provide stability to an OL that has problems protecting their QB. He’s going to be a guy who will be in pro bowls constantly and an all pro type, but because of position will be devalued on draft day.
20- Tennessee Titans- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
I wanted to put a DE here for the Titans, but with issues with Kenny Britt as well as questions at the WR position, Floyd is too good of a value to pass up. Will help out Locker in his development as a franchise QB.
21- Cincinnati Bengals- Cordy Glenn OG/OT Georgia
Another non sexy pick here, but Glenn will be a good fit to the Bengals who have some needs at the OL positions. Definitely can come in day one and be ready to play for them.
22- Cleveland Browns- Lamar Miller RB Miami
A total no brainer add probably one of the most dynamic RB’s in the draft to a dynamic WR and now you have an offense that should be a lot better next year. Will help Flynn a lot transitioning into a full time starter as well.
23- Detroit Lions- Whitney Merculius DE Illinois
A guy who I’m not too fond off but a good value here in the late 1st round. Kelechi Osmele is also an option or Cordy Glenn if he slips to this pick. Merculius will be able to come in and help the Lions out right away especially if they lose Avril to FA
24- Pittsburgh Steelers- Kelechi Osmele OG Iowa State
Pittsburgh is going to love this guy at the OG position. Osmele struggled at LT at times, but moving inside he could have a Carl Nicks type impact for the Steelers and that OL.
25- Denver Broncos – Fletcher Cox DT/DE Mississippi State
A very good value pick for Denver here late in the 1st round. Cox will be able to come in right away and help our that DL for the Broncos that struggled at times up the middle. Will help take pressure off of Miller and Dumervil to produce all of the pressure.
26- Houston Texans- Dontari Poe NT Memphis
One pick I’ve been back and forth on for a while now. Poe is a guy who while his weight says 350+ he doesn’t play that way at all. Very mobile for his weight and a guy who can help man down the 3-4 NT position for Wade Phillips. Could also go WR here if they want to upgrade the O
27- New England Patriots- Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina
Bill Belichick takes a gamble on a big time WR who has noted problems off the field. Jeffery has the talent to be the top WR in this class, but weight problems as well as some questions about maturity will contribute to his fall on draft day.
28- Green Bay Packers- Nick Perry DE/OLB USC
Green Bay will be doing backflips and dancing when they see Perry fall to them at 28. Will be the perfect compliment to Matthews at the 3-4 OLB position.
29- Baltimore Ravens- Dont’a Hightower LB Alabama
A pick that I was torn on here as I wanted to mock Vontaze Burfict to Baltimore. In the end I see them taking Hightower who will be able to come in and handle his emotions easily and be a very good player for the Ravens and the eventual successor to Ray Lewis
30- San Francisco 49ers- Reuben Randle WR LSU
The 49ers had a great year with 1st year coach Jim Harbaugh. In order to take that next step and be a championship team, they need to upgrade the WR position and Randle is my next best WR on the board. He’ll provide the ability to stretch the field and has shown to be a willing blocker as well.
31- New England Patriots- Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
Another good value pick here for the Patriots getting Worthy who will help shore up the 4-3 D that the patriots seem to be moving back to now. Good news as well is that they still can run the 3-4 looks as well as he seems to be a guy who can play some of the 3-4 DE position as well as 3-4 NT on passing downs.
32- New York Giants- Orson Charles TE Georgia
The rich get richer simple as that. The Giants are going to love what Charles can bring to the table. I would project Dwayne Allen here, but I really like how Charles can be used as a slot receiver but also as a TE as well. Will help bolster the O for New York as they look to repeat as Super Bowl Champs
So with that said thoughts? Questions? Let me know!
Update you can check out our mock being featured at DcSportsReport. Go check them out they have a HUGE mock database.
Mike Shanahan is a man of few words. This week, at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, he should be a man of even fewer.
Since his arrival in January 2010, Shanahan has been notorious for doing little to show his hand when it comes to personnel decisions.
After what seemed like an eternity of Vinny Cerrato spelling out everything the Redskins were going to do, Shanahan’s silence is a welcome change for some, but completely boring for others.
Off-season’s in D.C. have been pretty boring since Shanahan and Allen got here. The days of knowing every big name free-agent would sign with the Redskins, for some outrageous amount, are over. Welcome to thinking they are going to sign Cullen Jenkins within minutes of free agency, only to see them sign a relatively unknown guy like Stephen Bowen.
The difference in the past and present has been well documented. Which is why it has been hard for me to believe all these “leaks” coming from Redskins Park.
Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of people we talk to regarding the team that are in the know, and we trust those guys; but when I turn on ESPN to see reports of the Redskins “revealing QB plans”, I just can’t buy it.
I know local and national media have picked up on the Jim Hazlett Volleyball Gate that started with a fan post on the message board at HogsHaven.com
Perhaps the team is taking a new approach. Not to let everyone know what they are going to do, but to ensure that just when we think we know what is happening. . . we have no idea.
Combine week is typically the official start to the NFL Offseason. It’s the first real opportunity for media to get “face time” with team officials – since the season ending press conferences. Typically you can start to formulate what you believe teams are going to do heading into the draft and free agency, based on what they say to media at the combine.
With a lot of “news” leaking from Redskins Park the last few weeks, the Redskins are in prime position to say absolutely nothing at the combine and keep everyone guessing.
If Mike Shanahan or Bruce Allen decides to address the media, I expect it to be about as interesting as a three-hour reading of Websters Dictionary.
I am sure Mike and Bruce are going to be inundated with media members begging to know if they really are bringing in Peyton Manning, or if they have a deal in place with ST. Louis to move up to the second spot in the draft to take Robert Griffin III.
Just as the media is sure to ask those questions, the Redskins brain trust will not say more than “no comment”.
Even though the Shanahan Silence makes it a TON harder on guys like me to bring interesting content, the truth is this is exactly what the Redskins need.
The NFL off-season is like a high stakes game of poker, for once it is nice to have a front office that is able to not show their hand.
Ah. . . NFL draft season. While we all sit around dreaming about the Redskins drafting a guy like Andrew Luck or RG3, ESPN puts out a video like this.
I don’t know about you but that clip makes it rough for me to not want RG3 no matter the cost.
RG3 Sat down with SI’s Don Banks for an interview that is definitely worth the read.
The thing that I really enjoy about Griffin is that he is absolutely confident in what he can do without turning arrogant a la Cam Newton.
Though it will probably cost a ton I really wouldn’t mind seeing RG3 in DC.
“Perception is reality, and at the beginning of the year I wasn’t on many radars,” Griffin said. “I did have a lot more ground to cover than he did. He was the de facto Heisman winner and the de facto No. 1 pick. We already took one of those from him and we plan to continue to go out there and do that. Whether it’s with the first pick in the draft, a playoff win, or who goes to the first Super Bowl.”
While its still too early to tell if RG3 in DC is going to be a reality, I have got to say I love the idea of the above picture being reality.
As one of the more underrated ILB’s in the 2012 draft class, James-Michael Johnson possesses a nice blend of speed and athleticism that will be a welcome addition to the team that drafts him. As a starter at Nevada, he hasn’t faced the big time of competition like someone at Alabama would, but he’s proven that he can more than compete for a starting job early on in the NFL.
What Johnson does well that I love to see out of him is use his athleticism to the best of his ability. What I mean by that is, he’s athletic and he knows it so he has no problem lining up against a TE in 1v1 coverage and be able to stop him. I’ve see him run step for step with a RB too, which is something we need in our 3-4 scheme. Also when you watch him play he’s a very good blitzer. What he does well is take a proper angle to the QB and he can lay a good hit. Its impressive to watch and when you watch him play, you can see a guy who is a little raw in certain aspects, but at the same time he’s got talent you can’t deny. I see him a bit like I did Perry Riley, someone who had a lot of talent, but needed a bit of “seasoning” per say. I mentioned it earlier, but Johnson’s best trait to me is his coverage ability. He reminds me of a guy like Lawrence Timmons. Timmons was thought to be a bit of an odd fit for the 3-4, but LeBeau moved him to the ILB scheme and made him more of a coverage/blitz type guy for them. What Johnson could do is move to that position that Fletcher has done a great job at being able to still cover RB’s but also blitz the QB and bring the heat.
The downsides to Johnson are pretty simple and when you watch film they do show. The one that drives me nuts is watching him get washed out by OL in the run game. Now I know he’s only 240 and those OL are 290+, but you have to be able to take on blocks in the 3-4 scheme and make plays from that. Watching him play, I feel like it could be technique based on how to attack the blocks properly. Another thing that shows up on the film that is a negative is watching him sometimes in the pass game. He tends to play upright in coverage and that can allow him to give up a completion. Now again its technique with him, which is why I keep saying he’s someone you can sit on the bench learn from the other LB’s and coaches and then be ready to go when his number is called when London hangs his cleats up. Those two things on film really do stand out and if he can work on them, then he has the makings of being a very successful 3-4 ILB.
Where does Michael-Johnson fit with Washington? I think he’s a great fit here for the Redskins as a guy who can sit on the bench at first and be a special teams guy at first, then in 2 years when London will be winding it down on his career, can take over at ILB and not skip a beat. He’s got the blitzing ability that Haslett will like, and also is an effective player in coverage.
To watch James-Michael Johnson in action check out this video by TMBDraft that has 3 games mashed up.