1. If anyone out there has had to deal with the recent stomach bug that seems to be working its way around the DC area, I feel for you. It has been in my house (though my number has yet to be called...only a matter of time I'm sure), and it got me thinking: how in God's name do professional football players play through such things? I recall Stephen Davis in particular, throwing up all over the field in a game, which I believe was later attributed to a flu-like illness. We all know about Michael Jordan's playoff performance, and there are countless other examples of times when athletes somehow figure a way through what simply must be a harrowing experience. Is there a shot they take to quiet the symptoms down for a few hours? Think back to the last time you were knocked flat by a flu or stomach bug. Can you imagine having a football handed off to you in that situation? Can you imagine taking the kind of beating that comes with playing in the NFL on that day? There is always the "they are making millions of dollars, so no need to have sympathy" argument, but I just don't know how they do it.
2. Conversely, when a player misses a game because of "flu-like symptoms", don't we all just collectively roll our eyes and scream, "SUCK IT UP!!!"
3. I am marveling at how we are almost a week into free agency, and instead of talking about $100 million free agents, we are starting off the Sixpack with a stomach bug conversation. That is really saying something, given our history. How about this: in the comments section below, give me the boldest move that McLovin could make this week in free agency that would harken back to the old days. The splashiest guys--for the most part--are off the table, but there are ALWAYS some hairbrained (I believe they also accept harebrained in some places) moves to be made. No move is too crazy. No move is too dumb. But every suggestion has to help the Redskins. Kevin, Tim and I will review the best ones during tomorrow's Audible taping.
4. At the time this is being written, our only outside signing has been Kendall Reyes, the 6'4" 300-lb defensive lineman from San Diego. That means that Redskins fans have likely learned all there is to know about this guy--we are a bit obsessive that way. I think the one thing that stands out to me is his age--McLovin has once again targeted a 26-year old player. You can bet it is not a coincidence that last year's batch of free agents also contained a healthy dose of 26-year old players (Stephen Paea and Chris Culliver most notably). It is not so far-fetched--most players come off of their rookie contracts after four seasons, when they tend to be 26 years old. This offers some insight into the philosophy of our front office though, as McLovin has clearly targeted players not in their former team's plans. We did give Culliver a strong payday, but for the most part, we have looked to rebuild our defense with players that have some prime left in them...and something to prove.
5. Kendall Reyes has something to prove, as the former second round pick of the San Diego Chargers signed a one-year deal with us after not being pursued by his former team. Among the many reasons that a player signs a one-year deal is that he believes he can still play and thinks that by performing well on a one-year contract, he will earn a huge payday the following season. When your defense is in desperate need of upgrades, desperate players can sometimes make the biggest difference (as opposed to, you know, $100 million free agents that will never truly know desperation ever again). I suppose any player worth his salt has claimed to "have something to prove" at some point, but McLovin seems to really be looking for the guys who desperately need to perform just to stay in the league. When you are drafted in the second round by a team, and then that team is nothing but happy to show you the door, guess what: you have a LOT to prove in the league still. Of course, you can build quite a terrible team out of everyone else's garbage--we have watched that team play at FedEx over the years. This feels a bit different. McLovin is not a dumpster diver. I see him more as a picker (a la American Pickers, one of my favorite shows). He understands value and when he sees something he thinks he can use, he makes a move. Kendall Reyes is a player with talent and upside. The Redskins are modestly invested in that potential at a position that is a need. I am not sure Reyes is the kind of addition that moves the Redskins out of the defensive lineman business in the first round of the draft, but he could potentially allow us to justify sitting until the second round before we pluck one.
6. Every week on The Audible, we do a "Marry, Kill, Netflix & Chill" segment of our lightning round (a variation of a similar game that many of us have played before). We take turns coming up with trios to get each other thinking about a life married, for example, to Bryce Harper. (I still can't believe Charlize Theron got the axe last week.) If you would so kind as to help us come up with a bunch of threesomes to put into this segment, we would greatly appreciate it. The Audible, Hogs Haven's official Redskins podcast co-hosted by yours truly (alongside Kevin and Tim), tapes Tuesday nights. So if you are trying to buy whiskey in the Northwest D.C. corridor, you might get it today. By tomorrow, it will all be gone.