Saturday, February 18, 2012

Good news in a slow week for the Washington Redskins

We had a light week over at Redskins Hog Heaven with only three stories posted. February 12 marked the 75th anniversary of the day the NFL chartered the Washington Redskins, making official George Preston Marshall's move of the team from Boston. 

Marshall bought the franchise in 1932 when it operated in Boston. The story as told in Wikipedia:

"The team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932. At the time the team played in Braves Field, the home field of the Boston Braves baseball team. The following year the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to the Boston Redskins. The Redskins relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937. In their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team.[8] The Redskins played and won their first game in Washington D.C. on September 16, 1937, a victory against the Giants, 13–3.[9] On December 5, 1937, they earned their first division title in Washington against the Giants, 49–14, for the Eastern Championship.[9] The team then proceeded to win their first league championship, the 1937 NFL Championship Game, on December 12, 1937, against the Chicago Bears, their first year in D.C."

The Hog Heaven story is Feb 12: The most important day in Washington DC sports history and is shows an image of the 1937 championship team and a neat photo of a 1937 traffic jam on 14th Street at The Mall.

There were automobiles back then?!?

If I learned anything about sports blogging it is that fans are not attracted to impartial assessments of their team's strengths and weaknesses. They want to now why the team is going to win its next game. If they are mad enough, they want to know why the team lost the last game and who should be benched, kicked from the team or fired for it.

Your Hog Heaven writers are not given to rants or pandering and yes, we pay a price for that in page views. So it's really good when we can write one of those "why the Redskins are going to win" stories in genuine thoughtful analysis. 

The Redskins are on the verge of great offseason success was that story this week. For once, we are not speaking of a Snyder Special when the team signs and overpays an over-glorified, sometimes over the hill, from some other team. (Personal philosophy: Stars emerge from teams, not the other way around.)

This story notes that the Redskins are close to $50 million under the salary cap and can e aggressive in signing up free agents without crippling its future. Mike Shanahan has much to prove about his coaching and use of talent, but Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen have made "smove moves" since their arrival, except for that whole quarterback thing.

Greg Trippiedi's story Revisiting the Redskins Draft Conundrum is another of his special deep dives assessing the team's moves. 

"The Redskins are between a rock and a hard place heading into a do or die year: the Shanaplan essentially dictated that a year of having no long term quarterback could necessitate a team-wide improvement at other key areas to put the team on the fringes of the playoffs.  The problem was not the design: the design was fine.

"The passing offense performed better than expected under Rex Grossman, but the rest of the team failed to live up to expectations.  That was the big problem in the 2011 season that got glossed over.  Having no long term solution at quarterback was a highly publicized issue, but not one that was unaccounted for."

Greg's story includes a list of NFL free agents aged 25-26 who should be prime targets to add to the team. 

This lengthy story is worth a read by fans who want to understand how winning teams are built.  

Did I mention that I was a contributing writer and associate editor of Bloguin's NFL site This Given Sunday? Writing stories for TGS burns cycles that I would have spent on Redskins Hog Heaven. So check that second site from time to time so see how I spend my blogging life. This week, I wrote tow stories:

Greg Schiano the the Buccaneers? Bill O'Brien to Penn State? What's wrong with this picture? and,

Burning question; How do the Cowboys fix their defense and conquer Texas?

Check these stories out. We'll be here when you get back.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Peyton Manning is all the buzz in Washington this week

The Washington Redskins fan base is obsessed with  the possibility of the team signing the elder Manning if he becomes a free agent and is able to play--two BIG ifs in my mind. Manning and lessons to be learned from Super Bowl champion New York Giants occupied space on Redskins Hog Heaven this week.

Both of the teams in Super Bowl 46 prove the value of coaching stability says the story in Patriots and Giants lesson for the Redskins: stand by your man.

Greg Trippiedi listed the 2012 QB free agent class, shown by age.

What would the Redskins do if they do not land Peyton Manning or Robert Griffin III? Both are real possibilities, but there are options.

Throughout the Snyder ear, Redskins fans said "Peyton Manning could not win behind that line." We wondered if the Redskins were good enough to win with a healthy Manning. We looked at the stats of the Jets and the Vikings the year before Brett Favre joined those teams for comparison to the 2011 Redskins.

Know what? The 'Skins were not out of line with those teams. The offensive line comparisons were actually favorable. So yes, the Redskins are Peyton-ready, more so if they get a first class No. 1 wide receiver.

The bad news is that Farve proved to be a one-year wonder for both teams, neither of whom won a Super Bowl. Sic Semper Manning.

As usual, quarterbacks draw all oxygen from any football discussion, so it's no surprise that no one is talking about free agent wide receivers who the Redskins could use.

Running Redskins is a archive of my football thoughts from the NFL 2004 to the 2007 seasons. See Redskins Hog Heaven for my latest content.