October 28, 2010

Synaptic Shotgun - DaView, London, Going Deep, Wimoweh

Occasional, recurring short-form posts about
the Washington Redskins, NFL and maybe even Life.
Almost like a blog.

Season Record: 4-3 (2nd, NFCE)

Don't mind me. Just enjoying da view.

Been a while since I felt like I was watching something being built. Yes, Jim Zorn started 6-2 in his debut season, but with Vinny Cerrato and Jason Campbell large and in charge, even then it was hard to get too excited about the upside. Respectability maybe. Possible championship(s) not so much.

This feels different. Allen, Shanahan, McNabb, Williams, Orakpo, Landry ...

Hey I'm not saying how far off. Just that if I squint my eyes just so, I can almost see it from here.

Meanwhile let's not forget to stop and enjoy some of the roses along the way. With winning comes suddenly finding familiar favorite names and faces starting to appear on all those lists and features that for so long Redskins fans have viewed from the outside looking in.

Do they "mean" anything? No, not really.

Is it cool anyway? Oh yeah ...

● Far more impressive and meaningful to me were London Fletcher's comments last week about the "ridiculous" fact the Redskins had given up 500 yards of offense to the Colts than were DeAngelo Hall's reported "words" with Jim Haslett over the kind of coverages the secondary were running.

No disrespect (or lack of appreciation) intended for Hall's 4 interception effort against the Bears, but chalk up one vote here for Fletcher's leadership, both publicly and I am willing to bet good money in the locker room, having had more of an effect on the defensive performance against the Bears (including contributing to Hall's picks) than did DeAngelo's continued weekly willingness to make his vocalizations public.

Oh, that and Albert Haynesworth's decision to actually play like the player he could and should be every time he hits the field. Helluva game AH.

There I said it.

● Please don't talk to me about the Redskins needing to beat Detroit "big" on Sunday. It's far too soon for fans to be worried about style points for this team. A generation of losing football doesn't get cleansed from institutional memory over the course of seven weeks. It won't even be cleansed after a full season. It's going to take 2-3 years of winning football before Redskins fans can objectively look at any NFL game and reasonably "expect" their team to win.

Bottom line, Washington has a chance to hit midseason and the bye at 5-3. In a transition year that is about all anyone could or should realistically hope for. And that statement comes with the memory of Jim Zorn's 6-2 start in his first year still fresh and acknowledged. Fortunately, no one reading this space needs to have the differences between Mike Shanahan as a first year Redskins head coach and Jim Zorn spelled out.

Baby steps friends.

● Nothing like the threat of a running game to slow the pass rush and soften up a secondary. It doesn't take much—just a split second here, a yard of placement there. With his back-to-back 100 yard games, including 125 last week against the Bears third-ranked run defense, Ryan Torain has been getting enough attention to where the Lions will have to gameplan for him.

Count on the Shanahan's anticipating that and coming out Sunday with early play-action (and downfield shots) more often than might otherwise have been expected.

● Amazing how differently fan perception and attitude about their particular team can vary. Last week fans of the then-4-2 Bears by and large expected the 3-3 Redskins to come to town and lay waste to the locals. This week, many fans in the Motor City fully and loudly expect their 1-5 Detroit Lions to do the same to the visiting 4-3 Redskins. Cockiest fans of a perennial losing (and did I mention 1-5?) team I believe I have ever run across.

Fair Warning: if I hear the expression "don't sleep on the Lions" one more time I'm going to post this damn video. You don't want that. Oh and if the Redskins stomp the Lions I may have to post it on that Lions board.

I'm not a nice man.

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