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Ten Yard Fight Mailbag: It's Idea Time...Go!

It's time to cast a wider net to get ideas for what the Redskins should be doing. Today, that net covers the Hogs Haven readership.


1. Earlier this week, I solicited your ideas for what you think the Redskins should do at this point in the season. My email inbox quickly filled--though mostly with offers from The Sunglass Hut, Golf Galaxy and The Republic of Tea. What can I say? I love my shades, golf and a mean cup of orange spice green tea. I picked out a few to include here and I invite you all to join in the discussion in the comments section. Remember the GM rules of the Ten Yard Fight: if you want to add someone, make room for him with a cut; if you want to trade for something or someone of value, remember that you likely have to get rid of something of value.

2. To the gentleman named "Sugar" that wrote to me with his suggestions on Tuesday, let me just go ahead and see if I can respond to your email while sparing everyone from having to read it. First of all, there is no way I am using my high definition camcorder to do that. Secondly, I don't have any way of getting in touch with Mila Kunis. Finally, even if I did, I find it hard to believe that I would be able to persuade her to make some of the incredibly bad career moves you have tastefully described. (P.S. That bottle might say cherry-flavored, but trust me, don't put it on ice cream.)

3. Trade for Additional Draft Picks -- The first word goes to Kurt, a long-time reader and fellow tailgater. He says our first order of business is to acquire additional picks in the upcoming draft. "We have needs at ILB, FS, SS, CB, RT, G, WR, TE, DE and NT. We won't be able to address all of those needs, but maneuvering to acquire draft picks will allow us to address more of those positions with young players who can grow and develop with Robert Griffin III."

4. First thing's first: I completely agree. That said, getting this done is always a thousand times harder than it seems. On one hand, dealing a few players before the trade deadline for picks would have put a big smile on Kurt's face as well as mine. On the other hand, if you thought the circus after Shanahan's defeatist press conference last Sunday was awful, imagine what would happen if we traded whatever we could for draft picks. So in order to accomplish this, the Redskins will have to make moves in the off-season. That means parting ways with players that can still contribute--obviously, that would be the only kind of player that other teams would be interested in. I'm thinking we have a couple of guys we could get a fourth-rounder for...MAYBE a third-rounder if a team is desperate, but anyone worth a first- or second-round pick is likely staying here.

5. Establish a More Professional Environment -- Preston writes that, "The best thing the team could do for 2013 would be to embrace and require a professional atmosphere. It's business, and they need to behave accordingly. Another thing that would be required for the Redskins to become a professional outfit would be ridding themselves of individuals like DHall...No one should get a pass based on talent." I think we can all agree that this organization could take some notes from other teams that have a more...professional...reputation. As for DeAngelo Hall...perhaps this is where Kurt's idea comes in? Do we think there is a team out there that would trade something for him and his contract? I am not sure if his contract is that friendly, or if a team would be compelled to give up a precious draft pick for him, but it sounds like something that is worth a try.

6. Draft Kenny Vaccaro -- Tim provides the most concrete suggestion so far, and says that this safety out of Texas is the player that the Redskins should use their second-rounder on in 2013. According to Tim, "Vaccaro has the size and speed to play FS, but can lay the wood in the run game also. A really good/great FS can let corners play tight and KNOW they have help over the top if they get beat on a double move. I just don't see any position on their defense that can be more impactful than FS."

7. Draft the Next #21 -- It appears that we had two guys with similar thoughts because Scott writes, "Is he out there? I don't know. I do know that Sean Taylor's only come around once in a generation, but my point goes beyond the process of talent grading, scouting and drafting. It is time to recognize how badly the Redskins need to step up and draft a FS to replace Sean...CB's are playing with a hint of indecisiveness, and LB's have not been able to run wild without fear of having to look over their shoulders to see if they can trust the guys behind them." Scott even suggested we put the #21 jersey on the new stud safety, which--while controversial--is a genuine sentiment that I have heard from a number of fans. If that was to ever be considered, wouldn't we have to put #36 on the kid first?

8. After watching this defense for nine weeks, it is hard to blame fans for wondering what life would be like with a safety in the back that had the kind of skills #21 had. Given that we began the season with a relatively strong front seven, it is probably fair to suggest that putting a Pro Bowl-caliber safety in the back could have been the difference in at least one or two games this season. Going forward, I definitely see the value of correctly identifying a player that could patrol center field in our defense for the next decade. They don't grow on trees, but if you pluck the right one, it makes all the difference in the world. My question for the rest of you: is it so important that you would use your top pick on the safety position over, say, an offensive lineman?

9. Sign Mike Wallace -- Evan (could your name really be Evan Williams...or am I just a degenerate bourbon guy?) emailed me saying that, "The Skins should probably go after Mike Wallace on day one of free agency, and cut Dezmon Briscoe, and probably at the same time cut Santana Moss or make [2013] his last year. I don't think Wallace will re-sign with the Steelers, and the biggest problem I see right now with the Garcon-less Redskins is drops with the receiving corps, which I think will last through the rest of the season." In addition to adhering to the rules regarding making room for new added players, Evan also confronts an issue that sort of ties into Kurt's suggestion above. We are at a point where guys who have been the only ones worth tuning in for each week are at the ends of their careers. Guys like Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and London Fletcher are slowly on their way out. Letting them go won't be easy. The opportunity to trade them for draft picks--if we ever would have--is likely gone. Tough decisions regarding the replacement of these favorites are not going to be easy.

10. My final thought for today--my contribution to this list of suggested changes--is more of a mindset change on the defensive side of the ball. I think there is a difference between plugging a spot in your defense with the best guy on the bench that is available, and figuring out a way to get eleven guys on the field such that as many of them as possible are set up to succeed in the way each individual is most capable. I worry that we are trying to force a scheme that isn't working with players who just aren't capable instead of deploying a group of players that gives at least some of them a chance to excel at what they are most skilled at accomplishing. I know you want concrete examples, but I think that put simply: Jim Haslett needs to step away from trying to be a "top-notch schemer capable of dialing up the right play at the right time" and he needs to start trying to be the coach who is capable of milking every drop of talent we have. I don't think we are setting up our most skilled players for success. I think we are still trying to be smarter than our opponents. SPOILER ALERT: We aren't looking very smart lately.