I have spent this past week digging through so many football stats I started to dream of numbers spiraling through an immense blackness. I am filled with confusion at what all these numbers mean, what story they tell. A stat is useless unless it tells a story, contains meaning. The numbers I have looked at tell what has happened so far in the Redskins season. The numbers tell the story of a much improved team. The Redskins are a team who are controlling the game, but how much of an impact what has happened on what will happen remains a mystery.
People smarter than me have compiled and analyzed these numbers against past history and against the strength of schedule to deduce that the Redskins have a 43.3% chance to make the playoffs. Before the season began most people would have guessed that percentage to be much closer to zero, and now it is just a bit below the odds of a coin flip. There are still those that say the Redskins have no shot at the playoffs, and this baffles me. I have never understood how some can make such declarative statements about something as unpredictable as sports. The Redskins 3-1 start is no fluke as they have outscored their opponents by a 20 point margin. Mostly on the strength of their defense.
Tony Romo has banged up ribs and if he plays DeAngelo Hall will be aiming for them. Felix Jones has an injured shoulder and if he plays DeAngelo Hall will be aiming for that as well. I can’t decide if what Hall said this past week is bad or simply stating the obvious. If an injured player plays and that injury is known then players on the other team are going to be looking to exploit it as a weakness. It is just the way football works, but this is a big rivalry and everything is magnified.
In 2010 both the Redskins and the Cowboys finished with 6-10 records. The Cowboys got rid of coach Wade Phillips late in the season and replaced him with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett while the Redskins choose to get rid of 26 players. Among the players the Redskins rid themselves of were aging and under-performing veterans who were replaced with younger players better suited to Mike Shanahan’s system. The Cowboys came into 2011 thought of as a contender for the NFC wildcard while the Redskins were thought to be nothing but a contender for Andrew Luck.
With the global version of football now out of the way (congratulations to Spain, of course), it’s time to turn our attention to the fact that we are really only about six weeks away from the return of the American version. Up at FedEx field, a very different looking team will be appearing out of the tunnel come the beginning of the new season due to both addition and subtraction on the field and sidelines, and it actually is time to start thinking about the year on the horizon.
With many of the big events from earlier this summer concluded, alongside the fact that today is one of the slowest sports days of the year (as the days before and after the MLB All-Star Game often are), there was a nice hole in the sports pages to try and get in the conversation. Not surprisingly, the Redskins have used this to launch a little bit of a marketing effort to fill out the stadium come September. The slogan this year? “R You In?”
Well, are you? Check out the released video for the campaign and let us know if you think it gets you excited for the season. My opinion? Meh.
I guess the other foot on the big DC sports week had to drop eventually, and it involves the only district squad hanging around without a #1 pick. ESPN just passed along a report from the Washington Post that Santana Moss, who led the Redskins last season at receiver, received Human Growth Hormone (HGH) from Anthony Galea, the Canadian doctor accused earlier this week of unlawfully distribution of the product among the athletes he has treated in the past. The Buffalo News confirmed that Moss was a patient of Galea, but the HGH claim has not been verified.
The reports mention that there is no reason to believe that Moss could be charged in relation to the case; however, any professional athlete with a connection to Galea is likely to cause significant suspicion about performance enhancing drugs.
It’s pretty weird when it becomes your beat to cover Redskins Quarterback signings, but I’m the new guy around here and not exactly partial to any specific NFL team, so why not provide this service given how much news there has been this off-season? In just the last few days, the Redskins traded away Jason Campbell, who has been the starter in town for most of the past three seasons, and signed an undrafted rookie out of Penn State, Daryll Clark. It’s getting confusing to follow, so here’s an idea of the depth chart at QB, with info about NFL service time and how each signal-caller got to the team:
With every new quarterback acquired during the off-season (Rex Grossman, Donovan McNabb), it was getting more and more likely that Jason Campbell’s time with the Washington Redskins was running out. Apparently, his last days with the team are now final. Adam Schefter is reporting that the ‘skins have traded Campbell to the Oakland Raiders, and terms appear to involve Washington acquiring a 4th Round pick in 2012. A developing story, and more to come…
The memory of Sean Taylor will continue to be preserved by the Washington Redskins.
It was announced on Friday that Taylor’s locker will be removed from the Redskins Park training facility to FedEx Field where it will be put on public display. General manager Bruce Allen told The Washington Times that he realizes how much Taylor meant to the fans and that the team is “happy to be able to share this with them.”
Team officials say that fans will be able to visit the locker during other events and during stadium tours. This might be something that fans bring up to the Redskins front office about preserving Taylor’s memory.
4 p.m., Monday, April 5: Redskins marketing goes into full effect, launching an e-mail to registered members to let them know that they already have the opportunity to reserve a #5 jersey in Burgundy.
Sure, maybe you think that the Redskins have a deeper rotation under center than the Nats as of this afternoon and should have focused more on Offensive Line issues. But at least you can have that thought will forking over $71.99 for a new piece of McNabb swag.
Today is what should have been Sean Taylor’s 27th birthday. Taylor was murdered November 27, 2007, having died from critical injuries due to gunshots wounds from intruders who entered his Miami area home.
Taylor is remembered for his hard work as an NFL safety who played for the Washington Redskins for the duration of his four year career.
It’s been a busy and eventful last two weeks in the Washington DC sports world. The Caps are ON FIRE!!! The Wizards might be getting there. And we’ve had some solid developments for those out-of-season teams, some expected, some not so much.
Last Two Weeks: 7-0
Place:1st in the Eastern Conference
With yesterday’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals are on a 10 game wining streak tying their 1984 franchise record.
Defender Mike Green will be out for the next two games for an elbow to the head of Michael Frolik during Friday night’s game. Green’s absence yesterday was a huge disadvantage for Washington, as Green is the league’s leading defensive scorer. However, with Ovechkin’s third period goal, they managed to pull out the victory.
Over the next two weeks, the Caps are out of town quite a bit, traveling to Boston, Ottawa and Atlanta. Look for a solid match against the Penguins at the Verizon Center on February 7th.
The deal is done, the press conference scheduled for this afternoon, and Mike Shanahan is now the coach of the Redskins for the next five years, or until Dan Snyder gets impatient. Shanahan will also have some control over the roster under the deal, something that only Coach Gibbs was given before. The deal will pay Shanahan $7M per year.
Last Two Weeks: 0-3
Place: Last in the NFC East
Well, this is one season no one will want to revisit anytime soon. This morning, Jim Zorn was fired (my only surprise was that he rode their plane home), after the Skins put up their worst record since they went 3-13 in the 1994 season. Zorn finishes his tenure with the Redskins at a tremendous 12 and 20 (.375), or, just where Steve Spurrier finished in 2003. He is the sixth coach of the Skins to be fired since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999, none of whom have an over-.500 record.
There’s little to celebrate at the end of the season. Jason Campbell still isn’t the Quarterback-leader the Skins are hoping for. Chris Cooley is on the mend, this is true, and he’ll be a bright light for 2010/2011, but there’s a lot of rebuilding left t go.
But if the Skins were to do one thing this off-season to engender trust from their fans? Take Dan Snyder away from the reigns of the team. Entirely. Hire Shanahan and then take two years away from the team, Danny boy, and maybe then you’ll be alright. Continue reading →