1. If you're going to have a sixpack, twelvepack or even a case of the Mondays, it is always good for it to be on a Monday (as opposed to later in the week when I have been posting these). I hope you all enjoyed the Masters experience this weekend. It was one of the more memorable golf tournaments for a laundry list of reasons, but if you care about highly-paid sports figures facing down the epitome of pressure in their respective game, this was a real treat. I know not all of you enjoy the game of golf--playing or watching--but it does offer something to pretty much any sports fan. For something that is such an individual challenge, the camaraderie of players from all over the planet and the sportsmanship that is woven so tightly into the fabric of the game makes The Masters a compelling exhibition in any year. Once you have visited those Augusta National grounds, you will never watch another tournament the same way--and you will never let anyone you are watching it with experience it the same way either. You're welcome in advance for years of boring the ever-loving crap out of you with stories from my one day at Augusta. Until next year...
2. "NFL Draft Season" has morphed into yet another around-the-clock, year-long experience. I am convinced that Todd McShay thought he was getting the inverse equivalent of a school teacher's kind of job--instead of summers off, he would have May through February off. Being an NFL draftnik these days has turned into a nonstop, on-call position. I imagine there is one of those old-school, red, Commissioner Gordon-style hotlines in Mel Kiper, Jr.'s house sitting under a glass cover. When it rings, Mel races to the phone, dons his tinted glasses, punches himself in the groin to ensure he can convey the proper amount of anguish and disdain for whatever issue is about to come his way, and answers the call. Where was I? Oh right...the never-ending season of the draft. As we dance toward the Main Event, I am starting to really feel it...really starting to get in the spirit of the season. It's like when Santa brings up the rear of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade--the holiday season is for real.
3. A sign that the draft season is fully upon us: you start to really believe you can unearth starters--even Hall of Famers--with your 6th and 7th round picks. All year long, you look with indifference at those picks. They are the draft's version of the condiment bar at the grocery store. Sure, I can procure a month's supply of salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, submarine dressing, relish and sporks there, but there's no glory in it. There's no real long-term solution there. Of course, as Redskins fans, we know we actually have to land a gem in those rounds. Thanks to the magic of the season, we believe it is actually going to happen!
4. As much as we need our late-round picks to pan out, we need to identify guys who can start right away out of the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I have now participated in a number of mock drafts, including one with our own draft expert, Steve Shoup. My role has been mostly to bang the drum for a 2nd round offensive lineman. Let it be known that it has been banged...grow up Liger, it's a drum. If and when we take a corner or safety with the 51st selection in the draft, you won't hear me complain. Suggesting that we need to upgrade our secondary is like suggesting that Kevin should consider getting a penile implant. Everyone knows it is necessary. Still, I desperately want to bring in a starting caliber horse that can step in right away on the line. From the protection of our stud quarterback, to the continued evolution of our rushing attack, to the further scrutiny our scheme will receive from opposing defenses--in my humble opinion, there is nothing more important than dedicating valuable resources to building the strongest offensive line possible.
5. I understand that our secondary is the equivalent of an evite to every offense in the league to try and set a new passing record. I understand that our safety position is like a red carpet welcome to every top receiver in the league as he attacks us deep. I understand that our scheme can, at times, provide more holes for opposing offenses to attack than a Jenna Jameson movie. This is why you won't hear me get upset about bringing in a player that this franchise feels can contribute immediately back there. Today, I fall on the side of giving our offense a stronger foundation because they are that close to becoming an elite unit on a consistent basis. Our defense could get worse, but I am not convinced it could cost us that much more than it did in 2012. If our offense takes the next step forward, it would be powerful enough to carry our defense a long way. And yes, I understand that my logic has the same amount of holes as the aforementioned movie.
6. In a non-draft related thought...Philadelphia is starting to concern me. There's something about the new Chip Kelly regime that has me worried. On one hand, it is possible that they got themselves the next Steve Spurrier--a gifted college coach that could easily get to the NFL and realize he made a huge mistake leaving the NCAA. On the other hand, it seems unlikely that there would be more than one person ON THE ENTIRE PLANET that thinks pass protection is "stupid." Assuming for a moment that Kelly will decide that it makes sense to develop protection schemes from which to pass, the Eagles would already have an advantage over the Spurrier-led Redskins. Chip Kelly doesn't view the world the same way that everyone else does. He believes in the way he does things and frankly, the way he does things is going to be a real splash of cold water on the status quo in Philly. This bothers me most because the status quo in Philly involves never winning a championship. I am not suggesting that these guys will transform overnight into Super Bowl contenders, but if they are successful in changing the culture in the City of Brotherly Love, that team could pose problems for, say, teams that have to play them twice every year.