February 19, 2010

NFL Unrestricted Free Agent List: It's Okay to Look

The Daily (ahem) Redskin 2/19/10

The NFL has released the list of players scheduled to become 2010 unrestricted free agents on March 5 when, as of this writing, it appears the league will head into an uncapped season

Redskins fans bring a unique mindset to the opening of the free agency period in 2010. For years in Washington, the advent of FA has proven an exercise in either elation or dismay, depending on ones' personal take, as the Redskins aggressively, successfully (in terms of getting players signed) and often dramatically plunged into the market.

More often than not, within the first 48 hours of the signing period the burgundy and gold have emerged as the NFL's undisputed Big Winner (or Big Loser) in the league.

This year will be more of the same. Only with a twist ...

With a new brain trust (GM Bruce Allen, HC Mike Shanahan) and new direction (Wither Dan Snyder?), there is no way for anyone not "in the room" at Redskins Park to know what kind of approach the team will take.  One thing we do know, however, is that whatever the Redskins do, it will be news.

If they prove to be merely peripheral players, the headlines will read Snyder Reported MIA! ... So is The Future Now or Not? ... Redskins Chart a New Course.

If the Redskins are aggressive players, that too will be news: Redskins Chasing Offseason Championship, Again ... Snyder Still In Charge ... The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.

And if the burgundy and gold prove to be "just another team" in terms of FA involvement, that will be spun in some quarters as news as well:  Shanahan/Allen Slow to React ... Signs of Front Office Dischord? ... Redskins Adrift.

So you might as well go through the list.  The press most assuredly are. We better hope the Redskins are.  I know I am ... but more on that later, it's a long offseason.

No matter what else happens, come March 5 we will get our first real taste, our first substantive indicator, of what the New Ashburn Paradigm is really all about. Or at least some will claim we have.  And it will be based on what names from The List are, are not, are rumored to be, or even rumored not to be, scheduled to swing by Redskins Park for a social visit.   

T minus 14, ladies and gentlemen.

February 12, 2010

Analysis of Shanahan's Draft Tendencies in Denver

The Daily Redskin 2.12.10

If you are a Washington Redskins fan in the mood for a little meat on them pre-draft analysis bones, help yourself to some tasty Mike Shanahan draft history and number-crunching from Aston Gambino's always-satisfying (if too infrequent!) blog, Are You Not Entertained?

Perhaps the most compelling question, if not the most important, is what will new head coach Mike Shanahan do on draft day?

... In an effort to get a gauge on Shanahan's positional draft tendencies, I analyzed all 111 draft picks he made during his tenure with the Denver Broncos between 1995 and 2008, breaking each pick down by position to see if anything popped out. Hardly an exact science, but it'll have to do until those tarot cards finally show up.

First, let's look at the raw totals by position. And uh, Carlos? You might want to 'pay attention' to this

Dulles Hangar Collapse and Redskins One: The Final Word

Well, at least something good came out of this.

I got definitive word last night that no aircraft owned by Dan Snyder or the Washington Redskins--Redskins One or otherwise--was damaged in the hangar collapse. Which at this point is not unlike finding out from good authority that seawater is salty, but still ... it's nice to know.

The internet, bless its fiberoptic noospheric heart, remains a wild and woolly frontier. Bloggers and citizens alike should tread it with care.

If you should happen to see Redskins One mentioned again in this space, rest assured it will be in context of whatever coveted NFL butt is sitting in it winging its way toward Redskins Park.

Hail and thanks for playing.


No Redskins aircraft was damaged in the making of this blog series.

February 11, 2010

Dulles Hangar Collapse Update: No News Is Good News

The Daily Redskin 2.11.10

Good news, that is, if you are not one of the many people I've heard from who for a variety of reasons liked the idea of Dan Snyder's plane being grounded.  You people kill me.

Best I've been able to put together, four airplanes were damaged in the FEB 6 Dulles hangar collapse ... but none of them was Redskins One.

The aircraft in the incident photos below with burgundy and gold stripes may have been mistakenly identified as one of three airplanes Dan Snyder and/or the Redskins reportedly have ownership interest in that hangar at Dulles International Airport.

The damaged aircraft's tail number however, N89MX, checks out through the FAA Registry as owned by 821 393 LLC, of McLean VA ... and for which I have been unable to find any tie to Snyder or the Redskins.  I will leave it to someone more motivated than I to follow that particular breadcrumb through to the bitter end if they choose.

February 10, 2010

Unconfirmed: Redskins One Damaged in Dulles Airport Hangar Collapse

According to the unofficial pilot's grapevine*, the hangar housing Redskins owner Daniel Snyder's private jet, the infamous Redskins One, collapsed at Dulles International Airport during the recent snowstorms.

The jet was reportedly inside the hangar at the time.

No official confirmation or information on injuries or damage to the aircraft are available at this time.

Stay tuned.

* my brother flies for American Airlines

Sources 'R Us: Shanahan Eager to Draft QB

The (Quasi) Daily Redskin 2.10.10

With apologies to my friends from places like Montana ...

Damn that's a lot of snow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

According to Redskins Insider, the ubiquitous, all-knowing "league sources" are back and sharing that "[New Redskins Head Coach Mike] Shanahan is eager to draft and develop a young quarterback."

The Insider goes on to mention, separating the two thoughts with a comma, that "former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has been linked to the Redskins in most mock drafts."

If one accepts those casually joined statements at face value, he might walk away thinking chances are pretty good the Redskins will be drafting a quarterback with the 4th overall pick in April's Draft.

If, however, one is a little more skeptical of either anonymous sources, casual inferences or both, he might be motivated to look at least a little deeper.

February 4, 2010

Sam Bradford On, You Know, the Redskins Nickname (and stuff)

The Daily Redskin 2.4.10

I got a kick out of Hog Haven’s piece on Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford’s interview with Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 yesterday. Specifically this part:

Kevin Sheehan: You are of Native American descent, correct?

Sam Bradford: Correct.

Kevin Sheehan: So, out of curiosity, do you have any sort of feelings about the Redskins name?

Sam Bradford: "You know, obviously in Oklahoma there's a large Native American population. There are a lot of opinions on that name....but...I really don't feel like, you know, I need to be, you know, voicing my opinion. You know. If it's something I have to do down the line, you know, then I will, but I just don't feel like I need to address that issue right now."

My first reaction? That Mr. Bradford may not have really, you know, helped himself much. Because like, while he did dodge the question and all—which could mean he feels the blind-side pass rush and moves well in the pocket—it could also mean he’s, you know, like, not all that bright.

Not trying to directly equate the Midwest's answer to Valley Boyishness with intellectual capacity, by the way. I'm just sayin'. I remember a Redskins beat reporter describing the pool conference call with former QB Heath Shuler on the day after the Redskins drafted him in '94, recalling how he had hung up the phone when the call was over, turned to a colleague and said, “My God, they just drafted Gomer Pyle.”

I snickered at the reporter’s cynicism at the time. A year or two later it had became clear to just about everyone that while Shuler was a very nice guy, he wasn't exactly Albert Einstein–or even Peyton Manning–when it came to the gray matter aspects of NFL quarterbacking.

In all fairness, while Shuler was clearly not possessed of professional football level quarterbacking smarts, he has shown he is quite capable of being elected to Congress.

I don't care what they say.  This a great country.

Says here Bradford wasn’t about to take a position either way. He was simply avoiding controversy. The Redskins’ nickname has been a polarizing issue for a long time, one with well-articulated arguments on either side, passionately defended by firmly entrenched advocates not about to budge.

Like they would for any good politician on the campaign trail, Sam Bradford's handlers have prepared him to tapdance around anything even remotely controversial. They want conversations involving Bradford for the next three months leading up to Draft Day to be about his health, arm strength, football smarts, leadership and Heisman Trophy, not his stance on political or social hot-button issues.

They'll take their chances with the small cadre of critics who will inevitably try to equate his political two-step with lack of character or conviction.

Now if you have to find fault in Bradford's non-answer, accuse him of waffling. It indicates a potentially troubling lack of judgment, because as any redblooded American knows, the waffle is a poseur and far distant second (French Toast advocates would say third) to the REAL syrup-soaked breakfast standard—the pancake.

Waffles. Pfft.

By the way ... when you were 22 years old, would you have been prepared to stand in front of a microphone with tens of millions of dollars and possibly your career literally hanging in the balance, and ad lib an articulate, cogent, politically correct answer to an out-of-context question about a controversial social issue?

Have to admit I also got a bit of a kick out of the responses to Bradford's answer among many Redskins fans. The default reaction of most seemed to be that Bradford's evasive non-answer meant he must be against the Redskins nickname.

Which is certainly possible.

Of course it could also have meant that Bradford thinks the question is merde in a blender, can't believe thinking people in 21st-Century America still waste brain cells agitating about silly sports team mascot nicknames, and didn't want to piss off anybody who might one day offer him a commercial endorsement or worse, show up at the family reunion.

Or maybe he's just Gomer Pyle without the drawl.

Guess we'll, you know, find out soon enough.

February 1, 2010

Peppers to Redskins? Must. Not. Think. It.

The Daily Redskin 2.1.10

I couldn’t help it. The first thing that flashed across my mind when I read that stud DE Julius Peppers is likely leaving Carolina ...

“Damn he’d look good in a Redskins uniform.”

Bet I’m not the only one.

The retorts/questions immediately followed of course:

● You serious? Does “offseason champs” ring a bell?
● Dude, you build through the draft.
● I don't care if it is an uncapped year–we'd pay too much.
● He’s 30, an 8-year vet. If Carolina’s willing to let him go he must be washed up.
● Why can’t we find our own Julius Peppers for once? (then again, maybe we did)

So yeah ... probably not a smart move. Defensive End and/or Outside Linebacker (hey we're going 3-4, right?) aren't priorities–not for Big Free Agent Dollars anyway. We need offensive linemen; a corner, a running back ... hell, a quarterback.

Plus he’s, like, old.

And it totally smacks of, well ...

But the mental image is there.

Peppers. Haynesworth. Orakpo. Carter ...

Damn it.