Injuries to starting CB Shawn Springs and backup Safety Pierson Prioleau left the Redskins secondary shattered. Without Springs, Gregg Williams has been forced to rely on 2nd year CB Carlos Rogers and recent free agent pickups Kenny Wright and Mike Rumph as well as keeping underachieving free agency pickup Adam Archuleta and the beast Sean Taylor in coverage. Where these two players really belong is the line of scrimmage, causing unintentional bouts of urinary failure in opposing quarterbacks.
Finally and mercifully after getting smoked by big plays in the secondary against Minnesota, Dallas, Jacksonville, the Giants, and most recently Tennessee (4 different receivers caught passes 20 yards or more), the Redskins decided it was time to actually address this problem.
And so the Redskins signed 15 year veteran Troy Vincent from the Buffalo Bills. Vincent was likely sought for his relationship with Secondary Coach Jerry Gray who also coached Troy Vincent when he was the Defensive Coordinator for the Buffalo Bills (2005).
While I would usually view the multi-year signing of a 35 year old veteran clearly on the tail end of his career with much skepticism, drastic circumstances require drastic action.
And really, Troy Vincent has played at a Pro Bowl level as recently as 2003. Last year he had a very respectable year, recording 66 tackles and four interceptions. That's more than Archuleta has over the course of his entire career.
Another big plus in Vincent is his versatility. He spent most of his time in Philly playing cornerback, including the 5 years in a row he was selected to the Pro Bowl from 1999 to 2003. Most recently he played free safety for the Bills and thus gives the Redskins an excellent coverage player to include on passing downs. Archuleta's coverage skills are suspect and Sean Taylor cannot babysit both sides of the field.
It's doubtful that this will solve all our defensive woes. Our run defense looked terrifyingly weak against the Titans on Sunday and Troy Vincent doesn't fix that. At the very least, however, Vincent can help us close down 3rd and long drives and amend our current laughable inability to stop long passing plays. Only the Green Bay Packers have allowed more passing plays of 20 or more yards. Six weeks into the season and 2-4, including a loss to the team formerly known as the winless Tennessee Titans, I'll take whatever I can get, especially a former pro bowler who brings veteran leadership to a horribly struggling secondary.
Troy Vincent, welcome aboard. Please do not join the ever growing ranks of Redskins Free Agency Signings that never live up to the hype.
Update [2006-10-17 14:50:4 by Skin Patrol]: PS: In case you haven't yet noticed, the reason I have this wonderful opportunity to pine endlessly about the Washington Redskins is because I'm part of a supportive SportsBlog Nation community. In support of that community, I'd ask all readers to please take just a few moments to fill out this survey. The questions are uninvasive and you will not be required to enter any identifying information. Ultimately the survey helps our network remain self sufficient so that bloggers like myself can continue to provide content without having to worry about all the business "stuff".