1. The Shanahans-- Mike and Kyle Shanahan have now been with us for almost two full seasons. On the field, their win-loss record lies below the 0.500 line used to grade mediocre coaches. The lack of any emergence of a "Once and Future King" under center is currently driving area fans to drink large quantities of adult beverages. The sidelines do appear to be in greater order than they were under Jim Zorn, and there is a marked decrease in bingo callers relaying plays to the huddle. Mike has established continuity for our players with regard to the schemes we run and he has developed some potentially very good young players in those schemes. Kyle has been on the receiving end of most of the criticism directed at our offense, rightly or wrongly. I like the idea of sticking it out for more than a couple years at a time with one style, so I am not ready to see Kyle move on. Good news for me...his dad is likely not ready to fire him. Nice
2. Bruce Allen-- It is fitting that we bring up Bruce Allen in a Christmas column. The dude has that kind of rosy-cheeked, Dean Martin, wrinkled-up perma-smile that seems to tell people, "It's okay if I look like I am three martinis deep, because I have to watch this team play 16 times per year." If you put Bruce in a bright red sweater with Rudolph on the front, his look would be complete. Are we going to forget about the Donovan McNabb trade? I'm working on it. One thing I know is that the Tim Hightower trade was a thing of beauty. Further, his ability to trade back last year and add precious picks helped bring in a few players in 2011 that could contribute for a long time to come. Nice
3. Dan Snyder-- Before you all pile on me for being too nice to these guys, let's just--for a second--be thankful that this year we are talking about Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder as opposed to Jim Zorn, Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder. Come on...if you stand next to a hot girl, you look a lot better than if you stand next to Kevin. I know. I stand next to Kevin all the time. Snyder has done some real solid work in the "Let the big boys do their job" department. I hate to disappoint people, but I think Dan just might be starting to get it. BUT YOU ARE STILL PLAYING TOO MANY COMMERCIALS AT FEDEX OVER THE LOUD SPEAKERS AND ON THE JUMBO HD SCREENS. Naughty
4. Jim Haslett -- Oh, Jimmy...ooooooooooohhhh Jimmyboy. Last year, you would have had a difficult time getting served a bowl full of pig crap from a room full of pigs who had been doing nothing but eating Mexican food and drinking coffee. I suppose that the idea there--aside from what I consider to be a hilarious visual--is that you had a tough time with the fans initially. Now look at you. Your defense is the talk of...well, your defense is being talked about in more favorable terms than a year ago. I am confident that with a few more young blue-chippers, you will have completely retooled and reinvented a defense that was annually ranked among the best in the league before you got here. All kidding aside, I like the journey our defense seems to be on, and I think there are very good things to come from it. Jim, congrats my friend...you get a Nice.
5. Rex Grossman-- If there are any parents reading this, I beg you...please...for the love of God...keep the Rex Grossman out of reach from your kids. Rex is a recreational drug that can be very, very easily misused. If your kid thinks he or she can play quarterback in the NFL, it is because he or she has been watching way too much Grossman. If your kid thinks he or she can "let himself or herself go" with zero repercussions regarding future employment or how they will look in their uniform, he or she has been watching too much Grossman. I will say this for Rexy...he has made pleasantly plump sexy again. We all know that there is only one acceptable classification for the #8 car: Naughty...and we wouldn't have it any other way.
6. London Fletcher-- One thing I have learned from doing this gig and getting to talk to players is that if you want to have ANY chance of doing ANYTHING in this league as a team you MUST have players like London Fletcher on your squad. We officially know the extent of certain players' dedication to their teammates by their off-field actions. It stinks that it takes something like that to cause you to recognize the kind of player London Fletcher really is--and we're talking about a guy whose stats jump off the page. Fletcher may never get to the top of the mountain with this Redskins team, but he can hold his head up high. Fletcher has yet again proven to his teammates and fans that he remains indispensable. Nice
7. Fred Davis and Trent Williams -- Well, this Naughty just writes itself. Who do these guys think they are? Olympic swimmers? There is a more appropriate place for engaging in the kind of activity Freddy and Trent seem to enjoy: the NBA. Seriously, I would like to see Dwight Howard back Trent Williams down in the post. It appears that we are one mistake away from losing these two players for good. If Harold and Kumar release another movie, we are F'ed.
8. Rookies-- We certainly had the quantity part going for us this season. Someone check the numbers, but I think we had 37 rookies on this year's roster. Actually, the guys we brought in this year have contributed every step of the way. Guys like Kerrigan, Jenkins and Helu were going to get time right away no matter what. Others like Hankerson, Gomes, Neild and Hurt were pressed into action because of injuries. Bruce Allen did not swing and miss too much in last year's draft, did he? I can just see him now...looking all happy and merry, with a red-button nose that implies no less than 17 straight hours of drinking...you deserve it Bruce. Nice.
9. Redskins Fans-- We've been through a lot this year. We had our customary fast start that makes everyone think we have arrived sooner than our 2015 reservation. (I may be willing to revise that down to a 2014 reservation...I just got a cancellation from a party out of Philly.) We were for Rexy, then against him...for Beck and then against him...for losing and then--wait, we were NEVER for losing! Hahaha...no way we get anything but a big, fat, Nice.
10. Rival NFC East coaches-- Tsk, Tsk, Tsk...Andy Reid finally killed the goose that laid all those golden eggs for him. He invited all that "Dream Team" business and let me say that it couldn't have happened to a better coach! For years, he seemingly made one accurate, timely decision after another, always intuitively knowing when to get rid of a guy and when to add a guy. Not anymore! Jason Garrett...thank you! I thought Joe Gibbs' double timeout against the Buffalo Bills a few years ago was awful (and it was). But you, sir, have redefined what it is to be hilariously idiotic. As for Tom Coughlin...I actually don't have much to say. I just hope that someday he is able to take that dump that he seems to be needing to take 24 hours a day based on his facial expression. Naughty!