Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Redskin Defense is Star-Studded, or So I'm Told

I can't stand it, but the Redskins seem to dominate the news with their absurdity, even in their slowest time of the year. Today's news is that Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher will be joining D******* Hall at the Pro Bowl. Usually I would say 'La dee frickin da!', but instead I am just confused, and not the only one to notice that this doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

For those of you who stomached the Skins this year (or maybe wised up and just read the stats), you know we had the #31 ranked defense in the league, and the #18 offense: that is a horrendous defense and a mediocre offense. Sure, there are no obvious big names on the offense who probably deserve to 'go to the Island', but 3 guys from an awful defense? Are we the most underachieving unit ever and Jim Haslett is the anti-christ? Are the selections on name recognition to blame? Remember, Laron Landry played like a stud too before getting hurt, so could be a 4th selection with a couple more games under his belt.

I actually have an explanation....

You already know my feelings on Hall and I shouldn't need to tell you that his Pro Bowl selection is absurd, so I will skip to Rak and Fletcher. Just look at the Pro Bowl rosters, I count 26 guys who have been selected but are not playing! LFB as a Pro Bowler sounds great, but he has actually only been designated as one of the top 6 middle linebackers in the game. There are maybe 40 starting MLBs in the league, and only maybe half (total guess) play close enough to a full season to be considered for 'the island.' So LFB in the top-6, sure, and really not that impressive, he is better than mediocre, but certainly not being judged as elite.

Along the same line, Rak is gaining recognition as one of the top 9 OLBs in the league, which is slightly more impressive given that there are 64 starting OLBs (not including however many missed significant time with injury).

So 3 players from the 31st ranked D is crazy, but don't look at the Rak and Fletcher selections as the source of the absurdity. You should look at the 3rd guy, who is completely undeserving, but overall, these selections are not as prestigious as they sound, and if you remove Hall, having 2 guys as late additions to the game from an abysmal D is not insane, even if you want to include Landry as being recognized for a fantastic season.

Though the recognition should be mooted, this is a direct reflection of the lack of a supporting cast and the greatest issue that has plagued the Skins for years - going after big names and players at the expense of depth. The Skins should take this to heart, but probably will just chase Carson Palmer and Herschel Walker(!). At least Herschel's comeback would entertain me for what is shaping up to be another rough season DC.

(Image courtesy of goslingphotographyblog.com)


  1. Pro Bowl is a sham and I think more people are coming to understand that. The All-pro selections are far more impressive and should really be the only things looked at as far as recognition for quality performance (although I do think they should expand their selection numbers a bit, I like the idea of having a 1st Team and 2nd Team All-pro roster).

  2. Love this idea. I mean the NBA has 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd team All-NBA....

  3. Yeah and since there's no 'all-pro game' whoever is chosen is set. There should be no sliding into spots based on non-attendance to some meaningless game. Basically they're saying with pro-bowl selections, "since the finest performers at suchandsuch position have been so successful that they are going to the super bowl, it has become apparent that these other guys are just as awesome!" or "Since superman LB is hurt, we've realized this mediocreman LB is also great"



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