April 28, 2010


Like Robert Palmer said, some things are simply irresistible.

The official Dallas Cowboys site has a nice synopsis page on all their 2010 draft picks ... with a link under each name labeled "Call." I had never seen that before and found myself wondering what it stood for.

Video of Commissioner Goodell announcing the pick?

A misspelling of "Coll" and link to each picks' alma mater site?

The truth was so much better. "Call" is a link to an audio recording of General Manager Owner Jerry Jones telephoning each draft pick to let them know the Cowboys were about to hand up an index card with their name on it.

Which I thought was funny enough. One thing I'll say for Jerry, the man ain't shy about putting himself out there.

It got better.

You know I had to ... I listened to the first one; the call to first round selection WR Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State.

Hey, Bryant may end up going to the Hall of Fame. This isn't about that. This is about history, that singular Golden Moment, etched forever in silver and blue lore, when he first became a Dallas Cowboy.

When you listen you may understand not only why I could not resist posting this, but am still laughing hard enough to make it difficult.


Thanks for brightening my day, Mr. Jones.

April 27, 2010

DeAngelo Hall Sounds Off - And I Like It

While working on the requisite post-draft analysis piece (probably posting tomorrow), I stumbled on yesterday's PFT blurb about some comments from Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall.

If you haven't read them yet ...

DeAngelo Hall: "We'll dominate our division"

"It's based on the talent we feel like we've got. "It's based on the improvements I feel like we've made. It's based on the scheme," Hall said. "The scheme alone is gonna give us four or five more wins. The games we lost by two, three points, we'll win those games, easy."

"We'll dominate our division, off of bringing Donovan McNabb in here, a guy who's dominated the division in the past," Hall said. "So that's just an educated guess. That's an educated guess, and I stand behind. I'll stand behind that. I'll fight and claw to try to make that happen."

Funny how the mind works.

Normally, I brush off empty public bravado, particularly when the source has a history of such vacuous yappery.

Without a doubt, Hall is part diva. And he may be as much flash as substance (like when opposing running backs come barreling around the corner, say, on key third downs, and Hall is the only thing standing between them and game-clinching first downs--no DeAngelo, we have not forgotten).*  And honestly, I've had about enough yappery and diva-ry in my professional football players.

But ...

I'll be damned if I didn't like it. I can't even tell you why, really, not in cogently specific terms. It was just a quick jumble of first reaction thoughts that added up.

Maybe it will piss new Head Coach (and no shrinking violet) Mike Shanahan off enough that he'll run Hall up the proverbial flagpole and use this silliness as an object lesson, furthering setting the new serious tone at Ashburn.

Maybe he'll use it for just the opposite, and not say a word, letting his locker room and the practice field take care of it.

Maybe the other veteran players will take Hall outside, find something resembling a woodshed, and have a little talk with him.

Maybe they will just roll their collective eyes and say something wry about Hall just being Hall.

Or maybe ... just maybe ... some of them feel the same way.

You know?

Come September no one will remember a cocky cornerback's commentary back in April. Between now and then there will be dozens of breathless news cycles of all shapes and sizes that by opening day will long have relegated this blip to memory's discard pile.

So there's really no downside to any of this, not on any meaningful level.  And by tomorrow I may feel different--perspective tends to round off the edges of gut reaction.

But today, for one unguarded moment ... I have to admit liked the sound of it.

I liked that part of me grabbed it, held it up to the light, moved it this way and that inspecting it for clarity, and found it exhilirating. And you know what ... why not?

You can't achieve what you can't conceive.

EDIT: it's even worse than I thought. I am reminded by a caring friend that it wasn't a running back at all, but former Carolina QB Jake Delhomme.

* shudder *

April 23, 2010

Trent Williams Joins Select Company at Pick #4

When the Washington Redskins selected Oklahoma LT Trent Williams with the fourth overall pick in last night’s NFL Draft, they placed a qiuite a burden of expectation on the young man. Williams will enjoy the riches and notoriety that come with being a top selection in the NFL, but will also have to prove worthy of the huge financial and strategic investment the team has made in him.

The fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft comes into the league with expectation, at the very least, of being long-time productive starter. But it's more than than ... there is also the general feeling that a player taken that high should become a special player, anywhere from multiple Pro Bowl selections to induction into the Hall of Fame.

Don't take my word for it though. Below is a list of the last forty Number Four overall selections, going back to the 1970 draft and the year of the AFL/NFL merger. This is the company young Trent Williams will keep, and against which he will be compared, from this day forward.

Some general notes and observations ...

April 22, 2010

Final Mock Draft Roundup

Only one thing on the minds of true football fans today ... tonight's Prime Time First Round NFL Draft Extravaganzalooza.

I will admit to being a bit of a traditionalist---I have always loved the Saturday at High Noon start to the NFL draft. The morning coffee and apple fritter rarely tasted better, the sports page rarely felt crisper, the internet rarely seemed more relevant. 

So when I first heard the league was going to move the first round to a weeknight, for crass ratings purposes alone, I didn't like it much.  I may have even harrumphed.  It happens when you get to a certain age.

But I seem to have come around.  Woke up this morning easier than usual for a Thursday, already anticipating a full day of hype (and maybe sneaking an occasional peak at the web from my desk), before sitting down tonight over a steak and generous supply of cold ale to dive into the delicious arcana that the annual NFL Player Selection Meeting (really) has become.

Throw in the fact that rounds two and three will be my reward for surviving Friday rush hour on the Beltway tomorrow night, and that I still get some Saturday draftology to enjoy (hey, the Redskins might actually make a pick or two), and I am prepared to admit I was wrong. 

Thursday night prime time NFL Draft. 

Bring it on.


Figured the only thing any true Redskins fan wants to read about on the web today is the draft, specifically what first-round talent "the experts" believe will end up wearing burgundy and gold.  It's all I really wanted to see today ... so I indulged myself with a quick scan around the web for the "final" mock drafts by some of the biggest names in the business to see what exactly is the buzz...

April 21, 2010

2010 Redskins Schedule - First Reactions

The upcoming NFL season swam a bit clearer into focus yesterday with the release of the 2010 schedule

First gut reaction? Count me as one Redskins fan pleasantly surprised. It seems, at first blush anyway, that for a change the NFL has given the Redskins a bit of a break.  Courtesy of redskins.com, here is the who, when and where regarding the burgundy and gold's schedule this fall:

(click to enlarge)

It's interesting ... when the Redskins were really good--and I can say this with confidence because I am old enough to remember the days when the league release the new schedule during the first Gibbs Era--I would scan semi-arrogantly down the list to find the 2-4 games I thought the Redskins might actually lose. 

Thing is, I am also young enough not to have forgotten looking at the schedule releases since then, when the Redskins have been mostly dead for so many years, searching in quiet desperation for the 6-8 games I was pretty confident they might actually win.
Quick Note:  please bear in mind that yes, I do in fact know that how a 2010 opponent did in 2009 does not necessarily indicate how good they will be this year. Also, unlike last year I will not fall into the trap of scanning the newly released schedule for wins and losses. It’s a fools’ errand, plain and simple, as every thinking fan knows. There are far too many variables—there is no way to know what teams will be good, what key players on both rosters will be injured, or having career years, or what the weather will be like, or whether the refs will screw up in your team's favor or the other teams’ favor, how the funny-shaped pigskin will bounce, etc.
So, to the matter at hand. Here are some first-reaction observations immediately following the schedule release which, taken as a whole, contributed to the overall sense of "you know, this might not be so bad ..."

April 20, 2010

Okung, All Ye Faithful

If William of Occam were handicapping Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft, this is what he would say about the fourth overall selection ...

Forget the endless analysis, subterfuge and misinformation. Washington Redskins fans will wake up Friday morning comforted to know that QB Donovan McNabb will be protected from blindside mayhem for the foreseeable future by Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung.

(It works better if you read it with an Italian accent.)

Old Bill's old saw would be right. The simplest explanation is almost always the right one, and in the case of the 2010 Redskins, the simplest explanation (as well as logic and common sense) points toward the selection of the draft's most highly-rated offensive lineman.

Down and dirty, here's why ...

April 1, 2010

The Daily Redskin

Main Entry: dai·ly
Pronunciation: \ˈdā-lē\
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century
1 a : occurring, made, or acted upon every day
b : issued every day or every weekday
c : of or providing for every day
2 a : reckoned by the day
b : covering the period of or based on a day