Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Finally, a Redskins offseason in the hands of a competent pair (Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen) instead of a dimwitted duo. A pair that will have a plan, implement it, draft wisely, demonstrate patience, and develop players. Or will they?

We all know that Shanahan (138-90 career W-L, 8-5 Postseason record) and Allen have been successful on their own. But can they coexist together, with Snyder, and within the NFC East? I'm not so optimistic.

The new power structure atop the Redskins organization is bizarre and disaster already foreseeable. Bruce Allen was hired as GM, but all the football decisions are being left to Shanahan. Um, what? Per Adam Schefter, who appears once every 4 minutes on ESPN, Snyder is leaving all football decisions in the hands of his two new hires. Sure, Adam. So basically, Bruce Allen is in charge of the team, except when Shanahan says otherwise, and except when Snyder decides to sign Free Agent Y for $800 million over the next 17 seasons. This is going to be fun.

And I'm not so optimistic about Shanahan as a coach/personnel guy. Shanahan inherited the Broncos Super Bowl rosters, and then after Elway retired built his teams around smaller and quicker zone-blocking offensive linemen, and zero defense. Everyone in DC is clamoring with Hogs-nostalgia for a sturdy offensive line that will take us into the 2020s. Will Shanahan adapt to the bruising NFC East style or try to impose his zone blocking scheme on it? Or will it be an awkward mix that completely fails? One offseason, the last place Browns cut their entire defensive line, and Shanahan signed them all one by one. The Broncos remain one of the league's worst defenses year-to-year, and that's all thanks to Shanahan.

When newcomers arrive in DC, fans become impatient and Snyder's deep pockets tempt those in charge to make the quick fix. But we need something different. We need a team built soundly and developed patiently. This will require three giant egos to coexist, will require Allen and Shanahan to work together towards constructing a sound and deep roster on both sides of the ball, and will require unprecedented patience on Snyder's part. Making it work won't be automatic. It will take time, and it might fail. If recent history has taught us anything, it probably will.

Don't be tempted by the big-name hire. It doesn't mean anything until we see the results.

John Carlson's OT Game Winner

To beat Canada, 6-5, in the World Junior Championship. This is one Caps prospect we are super excited about. USA, baby!

Our New Captain

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Caps Half-Season Poll Results

The majority of you put the Caps in the A/A- range, with a few of you none too pleased by their recent trend (see B, B-, and C), and one asshole who is clearly a Penguins fan weighing in with his unwanted opinion (F).

The average GPA they received from DCLS viewers was a 3.57, just below an A-. In consideration of DC's misery the past decade, anything resembling this type of performance the second half of the season would be a major accomplishment.

Assuming, of course, it precedes a Stanley Cup.

Tonight: Canadiens @ Caps, 7 ET

Hoping for a Felony

A few days ago, I was about to write something on how it is time to give up on the season and this team, and start the rebuilding process. I have actually been calling for a rebuilding for the past 2 seasons, and the run of close losses to bad teams had put us at a record of 10-20, which was only 3-4 games out of a playoff spot, but about 14 games from being in contention to do anything in the playoffs.

I am of the 'championship or bust mentality' and as many of you know, the Wiz are in an awkward situation because we need to rebuild to have a chance for a championship, but have 1 albatross of a contract that is preventing us from doing so. That 1 contract, of course, belongs to a nut-job named Gilbert Arenas, aka Hibachi, aka Agent Zero (as I said, nut-job).

Outside of the Pistons a few years ago, and the Celtics a couple years ago, every NBA championship team and contender has a top-5 or top-10 player. These elite players are generally acquired at the very top of the draft, so a team stuck in mediocrity is unlikely to ever get one of these guys. My opinion has thus been that the Wiz should trade away all of the other players on the team and try to get a few pieces in place before Arenas's contract expires in 4.5 years. This method is certainly unorthodox, but at least the rebuilding effort will have started. We will have a few bad seasons and thus lottery picks through this method, and maybe will hit the jackpot in the draft lottery in the next 3 years. This rationale is why I freaked out when the Wiz essentially gave up Ricky Rubio and Dajuan Blair in the draft. Sure, we'd have some veterans, but I think Rubio and Blair could combine with Blatche, McGuire, Young, and McGee to give us a few parts of an elite rotation. When you consider that we could get even more young talent from trading Jamison, Tough Juice, and Haywood, the idea suddenly gets very exciting.

That problem is that this young core would have to play with Agent Zero, who in addition to his atrocious contract, also poses the issue of preventing the team from truly tanking enough to likely get a top draft pick. My theory/hope was that there is always the slight chance that the Wiz will somehow be able to rid themselves of Agent Zero's contract, hopefully through him playing well enough to attract anybody to take him in a trade. Now, everyone has seen the news, and I don't want to jinx anything, but Gil might actually be so stupid that after duping the Wiz into giving him this $111 million contract, he's giving us a way to get out from under all that money. You want to know my first thoughts after reading that it was Gil involved in that 'standoff'? First, I thought, 'what an idiot, this team is a train wreck', and then I thought, 'hey, will this allow us to somehow get out of Gil's contract?'

I don't exactly have a law degree, but it has been well-reported that if Gil can be pinned with a felony, then the Wiz can void his contract and jumpstart the rebuilding process. A felony seems to be a stretch, but Gil has already been in trouble with the league and law for possessing a gun, and I can always dream.

Gil has been a light in the dark of DC sports for a few years, and even provided hope while injured, but I can't help but root against him here. Not only is his performance undeserving of that contract, but anyone stupid enough to put 4 guns in public view does not deserve that kind of money. A misdemeanor seems likely, but will not be enough to change the fortunes of this team. Call me an asshole, but I'm rooting for the worst for Gil, which will be the best for the Wizards.

(Image courtesy of

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Week 17 Picks (Late Edition): Happy New Redskins Season!

Just one awful game today, and we were are finally free and back to being offseason champions. I was away and unexpectedly without internet access for the weekend, so was unable to post picks. Better late than never I say (see Cerrato, Vinny), so here are the picks even though all but 1 of the games have already happened. I know this sounds ridiculous and pointless, but if you are gambling on week 17 in any game that does not have playoff implications for both teams, then you are probably really excited right now.

On to the picks..........FO's 'locks of the week' were 9-11 with 3 'locks' this week, their 'reasonable' picks were 30-38, and their 'stay away' picks were 80-65. FO does take into account that starters will sit. Please note that differences in total games picked is a result of us using slightly different spreads.

The standings (with pushes excluded):
Sports Guy: 8-7 last week 123-111 overall (52.5%)
FO: 11-4 last week, 119-114 overall (51.1%)
DCLS: 7-8 last week, 111-122 overall (47.6%)

As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence with home teams in CAPS. Given that I did not post my picks before any of the games occurred, I will only take credit for 1 pick, which is the Skins over the Chargers, because I pick the Skins every week. Considering analysis is pretty pointless right now, I will just track the record of FO through their picks.
  1. Green Bay +3.5 over ARIZONA: 1-0
  2. Jacksonville +1 over CLEVELAND: 1-1
  3. Baltimore -10.5 over OAKLAND: 1-2
  4. New England +7 over HOUSTON: 1-2-1
  5. Cincinnati +10 over NEW YORK JETS: TBD
  6. New Orleans +8 over CAROLINA: 1-3-1
  7. San Francisco -7 over ST. LOUIS: 2-3-1
  8. Kansas City +11 over DENVER: 3-3-1
  9. Philadelphia +3 over DALLAS: 3-4-1
  10. SEATTLE +4.5 over Tennessee: 4-4-1
  11. Chicago -3 over DETROIT: 5-4-1
  12. Pittsburgh -3 over MIAMI: 6-4-1
  13. Atlanta -2.5 over TAMPA BAY: 7-4-1
  14. Indianapolis +8.5 over BUFFALO: 7-5-1
  15. Washington +4 over SAN DIEGO: 8-5-1
  16. New York Giants +8 over MINNESOTA: 8-6-1
Picks will continue through the playoffs; with FO finally over .500, maybe we should get a little excited.......

(Image courtesy of

Week 17: Chargers 23, Redskins 20 - Knee Jerk Reactions

Quick recap of today's game, as the sooner we rid ourselves of this version of a professional football team the better:

  • I've heard people say the Redskin DB's hands are made of stone, but that's a generous criticism. Fred Smoot and Justin Tryon had a bad case of Carlos Rogers Syndrome today, a disease which appears to be specific to the DC region. Go figure.
  • Malcolm Kelly's 84 yard catch and run - which was pretty sweet, by the way - accounted for 23% of his career receiving yards (365). Welcome to the NFL, dude. I guess.
  • Antwaan Randle El sighting on a punt?! Good Lord, a random kid in China must have exploded, too.
  • Jason Campbell was his usual self. Pretty damn good, but not great, but not bad. Some big plays, some missed plays. Some pluses, some minuses. More or less it was much of the same. Take it or leave it. I'll just stop right now.
  • So what if Jim Zorn can't coach? On this team, it's all about style, and he's got that in shades spades.
And thus concludes the shoddiest game recap of all time, a fitting way to end the worst Redskins season since 1994.

I guess I'll drink to that? Whatever.