This was written before the Vinny news. As this article takes me hours to write, and this particular one includes a lot of content provided by you guys throughout the week, I decided to keep it in its current form. Feel free to incorporate the new era we find ourselves in into your comments below.
As most of you know, I was invited to participate in a live segment of Comcast Sportsnet's Post Game Live broadcast this past Sunday. Kevin will be doing the San Diego Chargers game on January 3rd. I think I have set the bar rather low so expect Kevin to look like a superstar in comparison. Here is the video from the show, provided by the good folks over at CSN (to see the good work they are doing covering our favorite teams, click here.)
Ten Yard Fight - 10 Chances To Make One Good Point
Even though we are winning games now in what amounts to a "lost cause" of a season, it is still encouraging to see the passion and loyalty from the Redskins faithful. To suggest we don't care or that we don't pay attention just because playoffs are not a possibility would be patently false, and the debate raging on the recap post this week is evidence of this. In that spirit, for today's "Ten Yard Fight", I thought I would pick some of the comments from that discussion. Unlike James Woods (pictured below), when we solicit your feedback, we appreciate it.
1) "I think Jason Campbell is a winner for this franchise if the right rebuilding steps are taken in the next few offseasons. We don't need a Brees or a brady-type to win games. That's not Redskins football. Keep Campbell." - CarverM
There is an overwhelming sentiment within the Redskins fanbase to bring back Jason Campbell. At this point in time, it is even conceivable that the front office folks here are strongly considering such a move. I will offer you guys this though: As you saw in the video from Sunday's Post Game Live, Brian Mitchell grilled me a little when I suggested that JC would want to come back next year. His point of course is that Jason Campbell has been treated so poorly by Snyder and Cerrato, he would take pleasure in walking away from those two. Whether or not you agree with the point of view, or the possibility that JC would take this stance, it remains a VERY valid point.
2) "Zorn got a 3 year contract, he should be allowed to finish it out." SkinsOsTerps
3) "...all of my [comments] regarding Zorn and keeping him next year were based on Sherm [Lewis] being OC full-time." Scott E
Hmmmmm...this issue is getting cloudier by the second. I mean, the debate over who gets the credit for our current success and who gets the blame for our past failure is RAGING. Hell, I made the case to keep Zorn a few weeks ago and even I'm not convinced right now it is the best thing to do. On one hand, I so desperately desire a move by this front office that points to a commitment not even to Zorn, but to stability and continuity. It would be easy to pin a lot of our failures in the last two seasons on Jim Zorn. It might even be fair. But the decision to continue down the road they committed to just two seasons ago would take a lot of backbone, and part of me wants to see that backbone brought to bear on this issue. It is conceivable that we could build on what is happening this season with Zorn at the head of it all. On the other hand, some of the situations and positions Zorn has put this team in over the last two seasons are simply unacceptable. We have gone over them ad nauseam so I won't re-state them here. Suffice to say that Snyder could base a firing decision on some very real reasons. Ultimately, while the "on-the-job" training approach has been kind of a bust, I am of the mind that we see it out the 3 years we gave it at the outset. Men like Jim Zorn often make you look good and smart if given an opportunity (has he only been given 2/3's of an opportunity so far?) To those of you out there who continue to very passionately articulate opposing opinions (GTS), let me assure you--you are getting through to me. But I look at this team and organization right now and I see plenty of "major shake-up" opportunities that don't include Jim Zorn.
4) Clinton is done: He is no longer the star back, and he needs to retire. dr WNC
5) If you can get rid of: Montana, Namath, OJ (OK, he's a double murderer), Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Ricky Jackson (Saints), Favre...the NFL is a hardass hustle folks." Mark Antney
6) Wonder if we could [get] Leon Washington for an affordable price." BayAreaBullet
This was of course in reference to our lengthy Clinton Portis question: is he done? I don't think it would be fair to characterize the general sentiment of the fanbase as either anti-CP or even as a "he's worn out his welcome" kind of feeling. Instead, it would seem that (like CP himself) we all kind of see the future of this team moving away from Clinton Portis--the player and the persona. Portis has been like the sun and our offense and team has--at least in some respects--orbited around him. I don't think that is the direction this franchise is going to continue in and I think with specific regard to the gravitational pull of his personality, the move in a different direction will be deliberate. I do believe he is capable of carrying the ball productively in this league still, but to keep him around here would seem a lot like breaking up with your girlfriend but continuing to live with her. We can't dedicate entire gameplans to him anymore (nor should we given our budding passing game success) and I worry that he would not appreciate that. Not to mention it would be kind of like when Rocky came back to work in the gym for Mick. Do we really want to see one of the more mercurial backs we have had in this town carrying spit buckets?
7) "It's a logical inference that unaccountable people in power at the front office & the coaching staff [level] would be thick as thieves." Grand Tanyon Sturtze
The initial topic was whether or not Greg Blache was the long-term answer for us at Defensive Coordinator. It was kind of a softball question, since many of us doubt that he even really wants to be here for the long-term (he was talked out of retirement to stay supposedly.) The commentary quickly split as fans of the same mind as GTS believe that there is something fishy with regard to the way Blache has handled himself here as of late. I don't necessarily agree, but I something about this statement reverberated in my head. To me, of all the douchebaggery that has transpired in recent years, Greg Blache has rarely if ever been at the epicenter, nor has he really ever been the target of my ire. Yet the "thick as thieves" part got me thinking...despite any short-term success we have enjoyed here in recent years (the current stretch included) it has felt at times that the front office is conspiring against any possible long-term success. Whether you believe that Zorn and/or Blache are complicit in this "conspiracy" (I do not believe this), the sheer fact we have this kind of thought is maddeningly depressing. To answer the original question, I don't think Blache is long for this franchise. The reason why is I think at some point the head coach is going to choose his own staff (correction, the head coach will be allowed to choose his own staff) and I question if Blache will be a new coach's first choice.
8) "I kinda see Clausen as having the attitude of Eli Manning with the talent of JaMarcus Russell." DbacksSkins
Wow...that is a pretty rough criticism of Clausen. That would be a horrible combination for a franchise quarterback. I seriously doubt that Snyder and Cerrato share this opinion, but I will say that I have serious reservations about Clausen and they are shared by people much smarter than me (isn't there a debate among the talking heads out there over whether or not Clausen is a good "locker room guy"?)
9) Mike Williams = "Comeback Player of the Year": Did anyone see Big Mike and his run blocking...he did a great job yesterday. I think he will become a solid right guard for us. We just need to steal a couple of Offensive lineman that can pass block and find one more running back and our offense will be a winner." LETJASONPASS
Hahaha...my boy might have gotten a tad carried away here on the Comeback Player of the Year nod, but yes, Williams did play a good game in Oakland. If he can stay healthy and maintain his desire, he should be able to contribute to our offense for a while. He definitely factors in our future. However, it was still inexcusable to base our backup plan for an NFL offensive line on a guy who had been out of the league for two seasons and had to lose 100 lbs just to try out for the team. Expecting credit for that move panning out at all is like you trying to convince everyone that it was your good looks and mad game that landed you a hot girl and not her obscene level of intoxication.
10) "My earring: What's the big deal?? I've worn it on the air for 16 years! R U just now noticing?" Chick@CSN
Haha...At the top of my segment on Post Game Live, Chick ragged me a little on my beard and I had spent literally all day thinking what I would say if he did (when you have a ratty beard like mine, you are just asking for it.) Needless to say, I arrived at an earring comment quickly. It is not that Chick can't rock the earring. He absolutely can. I commented back to him that I couldn't picture him without the earring. Chick has dominated the sports news scene here for a long time. We do semi-regular sports personality anchor ratings (usually over many beers and usually because someone has just done something on TV to kickstart the conversation...like when Michael Jenkins does something goofy or when Kelli Johnson wears an exceptionally bright pink or green shirt.) I will make a point to include that as a topic in our next video. Chick is almost up there in Jim Vance territory...and not just because of the earring. I love Jim Vance and his style. He is a staple on the D.C. television news scene. Chick is pretty much there now for sports news in this town. In the absence of dominant personalities like George Michael and Glenn Brenner (R.I.P.), Chick Hernandez has filled the void. Welcome to Hogs Haven Chick.
It's Time To Get Ready for the Giants
I have said it before and it bears repeating: I don't care about a higher draft pick at the cost of wins. I always want to see wins. I don't understand how anyone could actively root for losses just to get a higher draft pick. Where is the fun in that? Not to mention we get to play teams like the Giants and Cowgirls down the stretch who are counting on wins against us to make the playoffs. Regardless of what the win would mean to our postseason or offseason situation, beating the Giants and Cowgirls are each their own reward. We want to beat the Giants because they are the Giants and we want to beat the Cowgirls because they are the no-good, rotten, dirty Dallas Cowgirls.
We did not spend too much time talking about the Raiders last week but I could live with that. I can't live with not preparing ourselves mentally for the game on Monday Night Football. If you are going to be there, be loud. Get there early and tailgate your hearts out. Make sure the Giants know they are on the road and in a hostile environment. And for God's sake, keep them on the ropes. We are playing better than them right now. A win over the Raiders means little heading into next season. But NFC East wins are carryover wins for sure. They matter to the fans and they matter to the organizations. The teams in our division are the ones we measure ourselves against. No matter our records, these games are the true tests for our franchise. If our team is indeed worthy of getting excited about...if they truly are worthy of an opportunity to keep it rolling next year...if they truly have become something they weren't in September, then we will see it on Monday Night Football.