June 17, 2011

The Clinton Portis Legacy

When the Washington Redskins released running back Clinton Portis on March 1, 2011, the curtain came down on one of the most mercurial, memorable careers in team history.

His was truly a shooting starsometimes brilliant, often frustrating, never ordinary.

Yes, there have been colorful characters in burgundy and gold before. Troubled defensive end Dexter Manley springs to mind; as does legendary Hall of Fame running back John Riggins. But none have ever outshone Clinton Portis.

Redskins fans will definitely remember his presence on the field; perhaps more so in time, as his career settles slowly into the rear view mirror and historical perspective.

Few running backs of his era have been more adept at finding small seams in defenses arrayed to stop him—the byproduct of an often inept passing game during Portis’ seven years in Washington—and bursting into the defensive secondary.

Few have also been as frustrating once arriving there. In recent years Portis was increasingly, frustratingly, unable to make that one final, open-field move and beat that one remaining defender between him and the goal line. The money move—the move that turns big gains into a game-breaking scoring plays.

Few running backs in league history, let alone Redskins history, have ever been more physical. Portis introduced a generation of local fans to the concept and value of a reliable, sometimes brutish, backfield pass blocker.

Of course, at the end of the day, what history truly measures running backs by are numbers. Cold statistics. In that light, Clinton Portis shines...

June 16, 2011

Beck Fires Up Snark Machine

You kinda expect it from the Washington Post. It's what they do.
With the Shanahans apparently determined to promote the former third-stringer, one thought comes to mind: For their sake, this had better work.
And it's predictable catch-a-wave content for the average blog:
The man who is certain to take over as the team’s starting quarterback by sheer force of positive will has enlisted the help of a friend whose job it is to record the proceedings. Because John Beck is a LEADER OF MEN, and filming fake practices screams of leadership and other intangible qualities that will make the Shanahan duo swoon.
You'd be shocked at anything BUT from the standard-issue know-it-all element on sportstalk radio and the web (no quotes necessary—if you're a Skins fan you've heard 'em,  made 'em or both).

Hell, even Dan Steinberg can't help himself:
Someone joked about how it must be nice to have film sessions without coaches barking out corrections, but the Leader of Men disagreed.
Although, being a consummate pro, Big Dan caveats it just in case:
And while I’m mostly joking about all this, there’s probably something to what the Redskins and Beck are doing...
No, John Beck probably won't turn out to be Montana or Manning. Maybe not even Bolger or Brees. But given the state of Redskins quarterbacking over the past generation, and the snarky, reactionary lemming-fest of criticism that has materialized around his sudden summer spotlight as he takes his shot, should Beck turn out to be even competent—say Gannon or Green—it sure would warm ye old cockles to watch the Snark Machine's mad moonwalk claiming to have seen it coming all along.

Yeah. It's been a long offseason.

June 15, 2011

Is This Thing On?

Don't mind me ... just kicking the tires in case these gentlemen ever extricate their rectally inverted collective crania and give us back our game.
NFL lockout talks progressing, but...

And on the seventh day of "secret" talks there was still no immediate agreement between the NFL and NFLPA to end the lockout, but sources on both sides maintained they're getting close.

Just how close is a matter of opinion, but everyone around the league seemed to continue their cautious optimism that a new and lengthy collective bargaining agreement is on the horizon after generally positive discussions at the talks which are still going Wednesday afternoon in Maryland. The general feeling remained that there's a good chance a deal can be reached in time to preserve all of training camp and the full preseason and regular-season schedules.

Many, in fact, continue to expect a deal to be reached by early July.

That said, many sources took a more cautious tone Wednesday, one day after many reports suggesting a deal was "almost done" or even "80-85 percent complete". Those sources characterized those reports as overly optimistic and said crafting a long-term CBA with so many moving parts is a complicated process and there were still chances for future snags or delays
Not holding my breath though. Life's too short for this shit.