Photo: Joe Gibbs at Redskins Draft Party, Don Wright Photo, redskins.com
Monday, April 30, 2007
Photo: Joe Gibbs at Redskins Draft Party, Don Wright Photo, redskins.com
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
"With the sixth pick of the draft, the Washington Redskins select . . . ."
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
I'll never understand Eagles fans. Here's a link to a post written by an Eagles' fan who's debating his father about Donovan McNabb. It seems Dad thinks NcNabb can't win the Super Bowl. You have to read the post to believe I'm not making this up. It's hilarious in its absurdity.
Go look and laugh.
Why does McNabb get bashed so much? In Philadelphia, yet? There are 32 teams in the NFL. At least 29 of them would give up body parts to have Donovan at QB. Poetic justice would be if McNabb were driven out of town and immediatly led his new team to the Super Bowl. Irony would be if his new team was the AFL champion and the team they beat was the Iggles.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Here's the link to the story, and here's my response:
If the dictionary gives that definition [Redskin, n, Offensive, American Indian], then it is out of date. It should have noted that redskins, small cap, by the way, is an archaic term hardly used anymore even the the U.S. west, where the term (may have) originated. Redskins, capital R, specifically Washington Redskins, has an entirely different connotation that applies to the NFL team and its fans. When I say Redskins, I mean me, and not as a slur. All, well, most, of my heroes have been Redskins. I am not referring to Geronimo and Red Cloud. I mean Jurgensen, Mitchell, Riggins, Brown, Arrington and Portis. Say Redskins to me, and that's what the thought conjures up. I cant speak for those people in Dallas.
- Wealthy, and not afraid to use it to stock the team
- DC-based; Snyder is unlikely to ever move the team to LA
- Put in elevators to the upper deck of FedEx - consumer focused
- Put in Easy Pass system to speed up concession lines - consumer focused
- Lured Joe Gibbs out of retirement - however it turns out, this is a home run (pardon the metaphor)
- Not football smart. His flawed concept for building a team only disrupts progress. Taking "win now" short cuts yields an unbalanced roster, overdrawn salary caps leading to unnatural acts to skirt the issue. As a result, the Redskins are better at manipulating contracts for a few stars than building a resilient team with a flow of young talent under development.
- Not an organizational leader. NFL teams are akin to corporations like General Electric. Snyder runs the Redskins like a 1990s dot com. Dot coms got their value from creative software engineers working in a free wheeling way to create a niche product. A few very good people with bright ideas developed innovative products. One or two stars could make you a winner. The problem was they were one hit wonders. They grew fast, and tanked faster.
For GE to be successful, they think and act organizationally -- operate for efficiency and effectiveness at every level, and across-the-board. It's not enough to have the best visible products -- light bulbs, jet engines, generators, appliances. They want the internals to be as good, the accounting department to be as efficient as manufacturing. Acting organizationally, they have sustained success. They are not a one hit wonder.
Jack Welch, GE's legendary chairman & CEO strove for -- demanded -- that his executives achieve organizational excellence, achieve and maintain top three market share, and break bureaucratic boundaries to work together efficiently. That's quite a challenge for a massive corporation like GE. They didn't always succeed, but they always had a reservoir of highly regarded management talent in demand by GE and by a host of other companies eager to emulate them.
By outward appearance, Snyder seems to focus on the fun part of the business -- assessing talent (which he is not best qualified to do), hanging out with players, and negotiating contracts. He gets props for business marketing, but the Redskins' front office is not highly regarded. They seem geared to accommodating Snyder's rule than to best practices (I don't blame the personnel; they gotta eat.) In so doing, they aren't getting results on the field or in serving their customers. Jack Welch would have thrown the bunch, including Snyder, out. Developing a true top tier front office is not as glamorous as picking talent, but it's a lot more important than Snyder treats it. Until this is fixed, the Redskins will be at a competitive disadvantage.
- Snyder, alone, proposes a trade for Lance Briggs and then he tells Joe Gibbs! Did Snyder talk to Gregg Williams before hand to understanding how Williams might use Briggs in his defense? Did he take advantage of the brainpower on his staff to assess the trade offs of a Briggs move? I doubt it. If I'm wrong, I apologize. Somehow, I sense that an apology will not necessary. That's the kind of move Snyder was making in 2001. It's what he said he would stop doing when he made Gibbs team president. (F- on that one)
- Flawed vision. Snyder wants to win now. Laudable, but misguided; it might lead to a single Super Bowl one day, and will be followed a break-up of the team. Instead he should target consistent playoff appearances and build the best front office/scouting team in the NFL. Then he might have a resilient team that overcomes injury by reloading from the bench with a sound salary structure. Instead, the Redskins rebuild with another team's unwanted stars. A better vision is to build a perennial playoff contender with our stars, capable of winning 10 or 11 games a season. Consistent playoff appearances boost the odds of getting to a Super Bowl.
The difference is subtle. I know the Skins won't win the Super Bowl every year. I can live with that. A perennial contender is much more fun to watch. I would much prefer the frustrations of Philly or Denver fans than what Snyder has given us.
Now, I swear, I promise this is my last Snyder rant, until the next time.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
"I don't know what 'it' is, but whatever it is, I've got it." ~Katherine Hepburn
With teams hiding their intent in the run-up to the draft, there's little for bloggers to do, but write about what others are writing. In the blogosphere, that's called "conversation."
Don Pierson wrote a story for MSNBC Trading down in NFL draft not so easy. He makes the case that it's generally tough to trade down because the other team must swallow a huge a contract for an unproven rookie. It's a risk not many general managers are willing to take. As an example, Pierson quotes Bears GM Jerry Angelo on the Redskins trade offer for Lance Briggs.
"We have to digest what it is from a cap standpoint," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "The sixth pick is an inordinate amount of money and there are cap issues in terms of our plan."
Pierson points out that the difference between last year's sixth and 31st draft pick was about $15 Million in total contract, of which $10 Million was guaranteed.
That's one reason the Oakland Raiders at No. 1 and the Detroit Lions at No. 2 in this year's draft aren't overwhelmed by offers from teams willing to risk big bucks on prospects who find it difficult to live up to the increasing hype and pressure.
Pierson doesn't come out and say it, but a team would be well advised to put some of that first round contract money on an upgraded scouting department and make better picks in the middle round of the draft. (Hint, hint)
Tom Kowalski's story at www.mlive.com says that a deal for the Detroit Lions' number two pick hinges on who the Oakland Raiders take with their number one pick. The consensus is that the Raiders will select JaMarcus Russell. That could prompt up to four teams, including Washington, to offer the Lions trade up deals for a shot at Calvin Johnson. However, Kowalski points out
The Redskins are going to have trouble making a deal for the same reason they couldn't work out a trade with the Lions for cornerback Dre Bly (now with Denver): they don't have enough ammunition. The Redskins don't have a second-round pick because they dealt it away -- and that's going to cripple their chances of competing with other teams.
Oakland will blow up this scenario if they take Johnson instead of Russell.
Skin Patrol at Hogs Haven touched on this in his story Redskins want the Lions pick. He closes the story by cataloging how the Skins frittered away their middle round picks in the Snyder/Gibbs era.
In another sign of football news drought, Patrol beat me to Kowolski's story by an hour or so. Usually there are so many team stories published, and rumors whispered, that everyone can take a different facet of the news and create unique content around it. For the next ten days, bloggers will pounce on every news snippet to be first to comment. If you are third or fourth with a post, you start asking "is there anything I can add to this story, or will this just be another me-too entry?"
There's always the option of a hiatus. The Redskins Report was on one. They are waking up in time for the draft. (TRR was my muse and inspiration when I started this blog.) The Curly R is focusing more on W, its baseball site. Skinsaphrenia was traumatized by last season. They went into hibernation in December, only recently awakening. War Cry is still active. The Warpath and ExtremeSkins message boards are still engaged, but most posts are the hypothetical "should we take . . . " variety. Hogs Haven, if you didn't know, is one of the top five blogs listed on Fair Catch. Check out my other friends in the blogroll to your right.
Running Redskins is hanging in for the run up the draft and a few weeks thereafter, then will wind down until training camp. Summer is coming. The Bay is near, and the boat needs attention.
Michael Vick is donating $10,000 through the United Way to help the families of the Virginia Tech victims. Mike gets bashed a lot, including by me. He deserves props for this, so I want to acknowledge his concern and generosity.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Washington's major dailies are weighing in on the Redskins options in the run-up to the draft on April 28.
Ryan O'Halloran at the Times compiles the number of picks that potential trade-down partners have in the first three rounds of the draft. The Atlanta Falcons, a frequently mentioned trade partner, have three of the first 44 picks. They could be enticed to exchange their #8 and #39 picks in exchange for the Redskins #6. This scenario is plausible because the Washington Redskins have a need for defensive linemen and have been impressed by Louisville's Amobi Okoye, who coincidentally was coached by Atlanta's Bobby Petrino, Louisville's coach last season. The Falcons, supposedly would use the #6 pick on Okoye or safety LaRon Landry.
The money quote in O'Halloran's story:
This draft simply isn't full of top-end talents that have teams drooling and desperate to move into the top 10.
Could it be that everyone wants to trade down because the first rounders aren't worth the money they will demand?
The gee whiz factor in O'Halloran's story is that the San Francisco 49ers have eight of the first 135 picks. With picks galore, a willingness to acquire players, and a beast for a running back, it's just a matter of time before San Francisco returns to glory, and cap hell. Saints-49ers in the 2008 conference championship game? You heard it here first.
Of course, a willingness to acquire hasn't helped the Redskins. Three years from now, lets compare San Francisco's and Washington's won-loss record and draw yet another inference on building through the draft versus building through "proven commodities."
I once worked for the world's largest technology company. There's an old joke about sales reps from that company that goes
How can you tell when the [world's largest technology company] rep is lying?
His lips are moving.
(Just for the record, I never lied. But then, my lips are moving.)
Jason LaCanfora, just back from paternity leave (thank you Hogs Haven for pointing that out), penned The Lying Game on his Redskins Insider blog at the Post. LaCanfora points out the hazards of believing everything - or anything - you hear in the run-up to the draft. Teams are posturing to gain some advantage. Call it the kick-off to the game between the seasons.
Detroit "loves Gaines Adams," according to rumblings picked up by LaCanfora. That confounds mock drafkateers who penciled in JaMarcus Russell or Calvin Johnson, who ever of the two Oakland doesn't take, as the Lions first pick. If that happens, Russell or Johnson could be available by the sixth pick. If it's Russell, the Skins chances to trade down go way up. If it's Johnson, the Redskins should keep him and go to sleep until the second day of the draft. Yes, I recall that the Redskins selected Taylor Jacobs under similar circumstances. Johnson didn't go to Florida and Steve Spurrier didn't hang around. So, there.
This scenario only plays out if Detroit truly prefers Gaines Adams. But then, Detroit's lips are moving.
Photo: Coach Mike Nolan, Chronicle/Mike Maloney http://www.sfgate.com/
Photo: LSU's Calvin Johnson, http://www.nationalchamps.net/
Monday, April 16, 2007
Emotions motivate us to take action. I know nothing about the perpetrator of these ghastly acts, except that he was weak. The strong channel their emotion to initiate change. The weak are controlled by their emotion. Sometimes, other people suffer for it. Tragic.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
It's the slow period before the draft when teams go quiet to hide their intent. I don't expect to see big NFL news until draft day, or just before the draft. Time to muse.
For serious football bloggers, this is a difficult time. You work to build a following. You blog frequently because readers demand new content. My Running Redskins readers spend two minutes or less per visit. Story frequency keeps them coming back. So it hurts when teams aren't generating news for bloggers to over-analyze. Curse you, off-season.
So, what's the value of a blog anyway, especially when it's non-commercial? It turns out that people who think about those things value web logs on the basis of links. The more others link to you, the more valuable your blog. Technorati calls it "authority," and they use it to rank search results. Call it the "50 million monkeys can't be wrong" theory. If a lot of people link to a post, then that post must be relevant to the topic. Relevance gets you promoted to the top of the search list.
Other thinkers put a theoretical value on a blog based on the number and value of incoming links, whose value is similarly assigned by the value their incoming links. That adds a financial element to the evaluation. Your blog is more valuable when high value blogs link to you. (That's a lot of computing power by somebody to track all that.)
There are a couple of sites that figure this out for you. At Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog, you put in the URL for a blog and it will calculate its theoretical worth based on the link-to-value ratio underlying the 2005 AOL-WeblogsInc deal. According to them, Running Redskins is worth $7339.02. I think of myself as small, but influential.
The more engaging way is to go to Blogshares and search your blog. Better yet, join the Blogshares marketplace and play the game. With a little time and practice, you can become a high stakes market manipulator of the blogosphere.
Blogshares is a hypothetical stock market that treats blogs as businesses, post as products, and use incoming and outgoing links to calculate intrinsic value. But, in the game, you (anyone) buy and sell shares in the blogs. The frequency of buy-sell activity affect market price, and your portfolio value. The supply-demand feature is where the fun happens. On Blogshares, Running Redskins is valued at $4462.78, with a share price of $122.15. (Blogshares says I'm over valued. Hurmph!). Blogshares always under counts the number of links on Running Redskins. I suppose that affects value.
Fortunately, I get to buy and sell other blogs and invest in commodities. My Blogshares net worth is B$60,683,388.65. That's all funny money, I hasten to add. Serious players get into tools that allow market manipulation and hostile takeovers. I'm not a serious player, but have been hostilely bought out of blogs at outrageous profit. That's all funny money, too.
Fellow bloggers should know this is all a game. Nothing about Blogshares affects real ownership of blogs. Owners can claim their blog in Blogshares by registering and placing some HTML code on their site. That adds the Blogshares badge to their site so Blogshares' spider will recognize the claim.
No more time for this. I'm going over to Blogshares and buy controlling interests in Hogs Haven and DC Sports Kid, while waiting for football news.
Friday, April 13, 2007
"Samuel's representatives were seeking a contract that included about $30 million to be paid out in the first three years of the deal.
"The Patriots were offering a package that averaged around $6 million per season, and although it is not known how much money would be paid out in the first three years, one thing is clear: It wasn't close to the $30 million Samuel was seeking . . . ."
Photo: Asante Samuel, wwwnflplayers.com
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Photo: Robert Kraft, www.columbia.edu
The Washington Post tells London Fletcher-Baker's inspirational story in today's issue. If you haven't read it yet, follow the link and take a look (Registration required. It's free)
Fletcher's Stairway to Success.
This is a story I'm happy to point to, and better than the Don Imus story I just posted (I feel so dirty).
The NFL will announce the 2007 regular season schedule at 1:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 10.
The NFL has suspended Titans defensive back Adam "Pacman" Jones for the 2007 season, and Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry for eight games. The full story is on NFL News.
I've been bashing the Redskins for their roster selections recently. Allow me to show them some love now. In the 2004 draft, the Redskins chose safety Sean Taylor instead of tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. Taylor has been good-to-great and the Skins had excellent tight end production from Chris Cooley in 2004 & 05 when Winslow was out. Kellen Jr. did scarf 89 receptions in '06, more than any other tight end.
I wanted to write that the Skins were smart not to take Adam Jones in the 2005 Draft. It turns out that Pacman was selected by the Titans with the sixth pick. The Redskins, with the ninth pick, selected Carlos Rogers. I'm sure the Skins would have picked Rogers even if they had the sixth pick. Or, so I'd like to think.
Guys like Don Imus probably don't have a high opinion of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. So, the thought of a broadcaster having to do penance with those two should be enough to dissuade racially charged comments, on the air no less. It wasn't in Imus' case, so now Imus won't be in the morning for two weeks starting Monday.
With hair like Imus', you'd think he be careful about the term "nappy headed." I'm just saying . . . .
Mayby it's the circles I run in, but the Caucasians I know at least have a vague sense of the racial history of the U.S. and sense the very serious connotations of a white man calling a black woman a whore. Even if meant for humor, there's no redeeming explanation you can give for a statement that offends black and white listeners.
Just to be clear, no matter what you see on those cartoonish hip-hop videos, African-Americans do not like the language or name-calling or negative portrail shown!
There were so many ways Imus could have gone with the Rutgers story. The discipline, dedication and plain hard work it takes to reach a high level of sports achiement, for example. Or, the fact that Rutgers could be America's next college sports factory, given the success of Rutgers' football team. Imus' thoughtless comments must have incensed the entire Rutgers community just as they are basking in the greatest year in their sports history.
Should Imus be fired? Well, he didn't cost the Rutgers' women career opportunities. The memory of their achievement will forever be tainted, however.Any day now, I expect to read that Imus is suffering addiction to prescription medication and that he's seeking help. Sort of like Rush Limbaugh.
The Rutgers women's basketball team, who Imus maligned with his comments, agreed to meet him to "express the great hurt that he has brought to us." That's why women are in men's lives, to moderate men's impulses. A mens team would have said sure, we agree to meet -- for ten minutes in a back alley.
There I go stereotyping again.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Running Redskins upgraded to Blogger 2.0 two weeks ago in Phase I of a technology upgrade. In Phase II, I'm experimenting with a new look using Blogger-provided layouts.
I notice that other blog sites are trending to the minimalist look, with lots of white space. They appear to be pleasing to the eye. My other site at Porcine Paradise went to that new look, but they have real technologists to create the layouts and backgrounds and link them together. I only write the Redskins articles there, I don't own the site.
Since I am HTML challenged, I'm not able to do the same here on my own. So, I'm experimenting with some of the Blogger layouts. You might say that I'm trying them on for size. Tomorrow night or Wednesday, I'll try another layout to see if they look better.
In the end, I'll probably go back to the original layout. I like the burgundy highlights of the old look. The lighter layout takes getting used to, sort of like white-on-white Redskins uniforms. Bear with me while I work through this.
Thank you for your support.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
"People talk about the record I've compiled at Grambling, but the real record is the fact that for over 50 years, I've had one job and one wife," ~~ Eddie Robinson
I celebrate Robinson's off-field accomplishments as reported in today's Washington Post:
During Robinson's 57-year tenure, the football program helped elevate the school in northern Louisiana from obscurity to national prominence, and the man who regularly corrected his players' grammar on the practice field graduated 80 percent of his players and sent more than 200 to the National Football League. (emphasis mine)
Four Grambling players made their way to the Washington Redskins' roster:
- Henry Dyer, RB, 1969-70
- Clifton McNeil, WR, 1971-72
- Roosevelt Taylor, DB, 1972
- Doug Williams, QB, 1986-89
Easter and Passover is upon us. I'm looking for a quiet news on the Redskins front, unless the front office allows Drew Rosenhaus unsupervised access to the owner. The Skins signed depth cornerback David Macklin today. Anything else will be on that scale. So, I'm going to take the weekend for myself, and maybe try out Blogger's new layouts for a new look to Running Redskins.
Changing anything on a computer or web site could be risky. I once worked for the world's largest technology company and learned that I/T projects always took longer than you thought. So, I may not be back online until Monday evening.
Happy Easter. See ya.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
It's ruining the team. "Win now" didn’t work for the 2000 "$100 million team," and it isn’t working now. Instead, it encourages your management team to take short cuts at high cost. They buy other team’s stars, expecting instant results. Stars emerge from systems. If you aren't running the same system as that other team, the star you bring in may not be as effective for you. (See Archuleta, Adam) Even if that trade or free agent is successful, it's going to take a season for them to jell. The team will be more successful growing its own talent. Merge them with your scheme and keep them on your roster.
This comment arises from the stories of how the Lance Briggs trade offer came about. Briggs is a fine player. He can improve any defense. By himself, he cannot help the Skins D enough to fill all the holes. The suddeness of the offer, the investment of precious cap dollars to an area of strength, the left field nature of the whole thing are the earmarks of the worst characterist of the Redskins under your ownership -- ill-considered personnel moves that add players who don't really fit. Scouting by name recognition is what I do in fantasy football. It's not what you should do in reality football. Unless you grew up in a football family like someone named Halas, or Rooney, you will always be taken advantage of by a football professional when you drive the personnel moves.
Take a page from former General Electric chairman Jack Welch. Sure, he wanted to make the most profit in American business in every quarter. That was his result, but never his goal. He wanted results. Welch famously demanded that GE divisions hold a top three market share position, or he sold them off. Your equivilent is to demand the Redskins make the playoffs every year. That leads to a more patient approach, one that has longer lasting impact than the quick hits (and short duration) the Skins have become famous for in your tenure.
Coaches requisition needs. Scouts find talent. General managers have the vision and expertise to build a roster that can win within budget and over the long term. Mr. Snyder, you have the vision, but lack the expertise to pull this off. Your role is to hold your people accountable.
Demand to know why your homegrown talent is now the middle linebacker for the Giants. Demand to know why a cornerback on the 2005 roster is had a pro-bowl season — for San Francisco. Demand to know if the people, including you, who managed your roster last year should have as much influence this year.
These things are not as much fun as hobnobbing with famous players or closing big deals, but demanding accountability is the second most important thing good owners do. (The most important is to hire a competent general manager. That's more important than hiring a competent coach.) You are the only one who can hold people accountable. We need you to be good at it. Do that, and you are on the first step toward building a winning organization that can sustain success over the long term. If it's you that's overlooking homegrown, rising stars in favor of famous names from somewhere else, then you should take a look at your results and step aside for the professionals.
Put your team on a strict financial budget, and by budget, I mean both cash dollars and salary cap dollars. We fans admire your willingness to open the checkbook to bring in talent for unlimited dollars, but it’s a double-edged sword. When there are limits, you get a lot smarter spending your money. You learn that it’s OK if free agents walk away when they price themselves out of the market. You get smarter about the next player alternative. And you take a good look at talent already on your roster. You find people who can move up and you groom them to start. They stay longer at a reasonable cost.
It may surprise you to know that we fans invest in players who grow before our eyes. We love it when a LaVar and Champ and Fred and Jon mature with the team. Believe me, we are as invested in Chris Cooley as in Santana Moss. We have high hopes for Jason and Rocky and Carlos and Derrick and Kedric and Khari. Ladell is a success. We want to win with them. We'll miss them more than the stars you bring in to replace them.
You and your management are failing to spend your money wisely. Because you have so much to spend, you buy everyone at any price. That doesn't work. We are not building fantasy teams here. Not saying you should be cheap, but the sky is not the limit, either.
Here's what to do when you get excited by that trade prospect, take his 2006 stats and discount by a third. Cut every free agent’s prior performance by a third. Then, compare that to the performance of the players now on the roster. If the current player's performance is the same as that outsider's discounted stats, let the new guy walk, or, at least offer less to sign him. Save your cap dollars.
Free agents need time to fit in. For a single season, the guy already in your system will give you more than that free agent in his first season here. I assure you, Andre Carter will be better this year just because he's been in your system for a year. A lot of those decisions are left to the coaches and general managers (if you had one). Only you can impose financial discipline.
Restore the draft as a source of talent. The Redskins overvalue free agency as a source of talent. Think about this. Stalwarts Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels, Champ Bailey, Fred Smoot, LaVar Arrington, Sean Taylor and Jason Campbell (maybe) came to the Skins by the draft. In your ownership, Santana Moss is the only traded player better than the man he replaced. Shawn Springs is good, but he’s no Champ Bailey. Clinton Portis was traded for Bailey. He's one of the top five at his position, but Bailey is simply the best.
All of these issues come from your desire to win now. Change the goal to winning over the long term. The team that is built patiently, can contend for the playoff consistently. Consistent playoff contenders are much better postioned to go all the way and are a lot more fun to watch.Don’t be so quick to give up those multiple draft choices for trades. Maybe when you see what Mike Shanahan, a consistent contender, does with that third round draft he got from you through Atlanta, you will start to get it.
Daniel Snyder Photo: William E. Amatucci Jr./WireImage from here.