Rip Van Master4caster has awakened from what feels like a twenty year slumber. With bleary eyes, I get caught up on Redskins happenings.
Photo: Rip Van Winkle, www.porterfieldsfineart.com/
The most recent small news, not counting all the Dre' Bly stuff, widely reported elsewhere, involve the Detroit Lions. Former MSU Spartan, former Atlanta Falcon, momentary Redskin T.J. Duckett had a homecoming, of sort, by signing a one-year deal with the Lions. Duckett is a Michigander (well that's what they call themselves) who enjoyed his greatest football success at Michigan State. His pro career has been disappointing and he now finds himself at one of the worse run franchises in the league. Heck, Cincinnati turned itself around. Someday, perhaps Detroit will, too. This old Spartan wishes Duckett well. He deserves it.
The Lions also signed Rams free agent cornerback Travis Fisher to a one year, $2.25 million deal. Len Pasquarelli describes Fisher as a "top second-tier player." The men of Ashburn invited Fisher to Redskins Park where he was penciled in as depth at DB. Then the team signed Fred Smoot. Perhaps a top second tier player dropped to secondary importance to the . . . , oh never mind.
Was it as recent as last year that the Men of Ashburn would not be out bid for talent? What a difference cap restrictions and an eleven-loss season can make. Whatever the team did last off-season, they are trying the opposite this year. Where there was excess, now there is restraint.
The team was one good wide receiver away last year. They went out and signed two average ones. Joe Gibbs' old school offense needed a tweak of an update. They hired the ultra-guru of modern-day firepower. Screwed the whole thing up. They needed Plan B players to hedge the potential loss of Sean Taylor and Clinton Portis. Money and draft picks were no obstacles for signing Adam Archuleta and the aforementioned T.J. Duckett.
Today, veterans can condition on their own rather than follow the teams regimented program at Redskin Park. Training camp will open sooner and will involve more hitting; you know, football. Preseason games may be taken more seriously to work out kinks in the offensive and defensive schemes. They pass on bidding wars for average talent. And our number one draft pick quarterback of the future will be genuinely coached to win. Good things can emerge from adversity.
Spending like drunken sailors did nothing but get the team lost last season. Rational navigation is the better route to go.
With the opening of free agency and the Combine, I followed Porcine Paradise and the stellar bloggers to the right for updates. One emerged from the pack. Skin Patrol established himself as the hardest working Redskinologist in blogdom. Among what must be 50 stories a week were a few gems:
- Mar 02, 2007, The Redskins understood the market. The rest of you didn't; "2007 changes the paradigm. No longer should we suffer the endless Redskins bashing; while we made decisions that didn't pan out, our contracts seem a whole lot less crazy given what's happening right now in this seller's market. The Redskins entered 2006 knowing full well that they had 17M more dollars to spend than they had the previous year; no one else got the memo. Now that other teams are apparently on board, I think it's about time we challenged the conventional wisdom that the Redskins and spending were in a league of their own."
- Mar 02, 2007, Free Agency Open Thread; "Everyone knows January is the most important month of Football."
- Mar 09, 2007, Adam Archuleta and how the Highest Safety Contract might've been a steal; I pride myself on focusing on the business of football. With this piece, Skin raised that area to a new level. He also shows the advantage of affiliations. Hogs Haven is part of SportsBlog Nation and Skin Patrol isn't shy about mining the knowledge of his compatriots. I suspect the future of blogging is in alliances and partnerships. It will become harder for standalone sites (like this one)to offer compelling & competing value over time. I've got to get busy.
We all went into a stupor as the Redskins tanked last year, Skinsaphrenia a bit longer than most. David Gaines has reanimated the site, so I'm adding it to the blogroll.