Sunday, December 10, 2006

Flipping the bird

My apologies to readers for not posting for awhile. The cares and pressures of life and livelihood intruded in an ugly way to divert me from the truly important work of blogging the Redskins. My priorities are straight. This won't happen again; or, at least not too soon. To get caught up, this article is being cross-posted to RUNNING REDSKINS and to HOG HEAVEN. Now, on to team news!

We knew the defense didn't build on the 2005 season, but couldn't they have built on the previous week (Panthers)?

The McNabbless Iggles visit FedEx today. Amazingly, Philadelphia, at 6-6, is still in the playoff hunt. That alone tweaks Redskin pride. Stupid losses to the Buccaneers and to the Titans, teams the Redskins should have beaten, deny the Skins their shot. Playoff teams beat teams they should beat and they win at home. The Skins didn't do that, so . . . .

Washington's season is reduced to entertainment value. The Iggles are playing for postseason life. That gives them a motivational edge. Even the guys on George Michael's Redskins Report (WRC TV) cast doubt on Washington's ability to prevail, although officially, homers George and Sonny picked the Redskins.

The poor season season means lots of fans will go Christmas shopping today and their tickets will fall in the hands of those boorish people in green shirts. It's the last home game before Christmas. I think Santa will deliver a three point present to Redskins fans.

The Redskins lost the season before it began with Clinton Portis injured and the defense nowhere near what it was. Portis' shoulder issues were freakish and could have happened anytime. Pay no attention to talk that he shouldn't have been in the game (preseason game one). Of course he should have been in. All of the veterans should have been in and for longer to fine tune their play.

As for the defense, injuries and far too many roster changes caught up to them. Sure, losing Shawn Springs and Pierson Prioleau hurt big, but over time, we also said good-bye to Champ Bailey, Fred Smoot, Antonio Pierce, Ryan Clark and Walt Harris, the NFC's defensive player of the month. The last straw was LaVar Arrington. This team plays differently without Arrington prowling the field or the sideline. Injured or not, the man could hit. The squad seemed to pick up when he was on the field. Much like Ryan Clark, LaVar's influence went beyond his play and extended into the locker room. You get the sense the coaches didn't know that. Or care. If you are like me (and I know I am), you are thinking the team should have kept LaVar and dumped Dale Lindsey.

Clark and Harris were one year players for the Skins. They were allowed to leave and did well for their next teams. Think about that as the Redskins decide if Kenny Wright and Mike Rumph stay or go. I'm thinking Washington shouldn't be so quick to release them. After a year in this system, they will make a bigger contribution to the team in 2007, as Clark and Harris might have this year, than anyone Washington imports.

With TJ Duckett and Ladell Betts on the roster, the Redskins had a choice in running backs. The Skins' preference for Betts was confirmed last week when they extended his contract. Betts deserved it. He paid his dues. He is running well. He fits Al Saunders offense better than Duckett. But, as a fellow Michigan State alum, the Redskins treatment of Duckett frosts me. For all the use they made of Duckett, the Redskins could have pulled Nemo Broughton off the practice squad and wasted that third round draft choice in some other useless way.

Too bad Rod Gardner isn't available. He could help this offense. Stop laughing. In his last year here (2004), Gardner caught 51 passes for 650 yards and 5 touchdowns. This season to date, Brandon Lloyd and Twaan Randle El combined for 42 passes for 494 yards and 2 touchdowns.

A season like this should forever bury that canard "the last time Joe Gibbs went 0-4 in preseason, the Redskins went to the Super Bowl."

The Redskins deny that Fed-Ex Field is named for Kevin Federline.


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