That seems to be one of your favorite arguments, Om... that only those people who are Redskins fans and follow the team closely, truly know what's going on in DC and furthermore, that they are the only one's who can make a fair judgement of issues that surround the team. Yep, you keep going back to that.
However, I happen to follow the Redskins quite closely, through most of the same channels that Redskin fans do. Next to the Cowboys, I know more about the Redskins than any other team. They're my most hated rival and people by nature tend to pay attention to those teams more than the others. Cleveland, for instace, means next to nothing to me, so I know very little about them.
I read frequently on CPND, Extremeskins, the official Redskins site and a couple of other places. I read most articles that are written on the Redskins because they're posted on CPND or Extremeskins.
We all know that since I'm just a typical Dallas fan, I'm not nearly as smart as you, but I have been paying attention to what's been going on in Washington.
It's skewed thinking to basically say, "You're not a Redskins fan, so you can't possibly know if we had a good offseason or not." That's misleading, at best, and frankly, is a weak argument no matter how many big words you try to use.
Put the word nightmare in quotes if you want, but I'm not alone in that thinking. Most of the NFL and it's fans feel that way. I've also seen plenty of realistic Redskin fans write basically the same thing about the off season you've had. I've read post after post by Redskins fans on both CPND and Extremeskins about how bad the front office truly is in DC. Usually to be shot down immediately by you, Art, or someone of that ilk.
Though I may not be a Redskins fan, but I was able to see the following events. Remember, we're not talking about if these moves should've been made or not... we're just trying to determine if the whole of the events constitutes a bad off season or not:
*Coles was unhappy with his role in Gibbs' putrid offense, and so was shipped to the Jets for Santana Moss. Moss is half the player that Coles is and yet it was a straight up swap. Don't forget the Redskins gave up a number 1 draft pick to acquire Coles from those very same Jets a couple of off seasons ago. Now, take into account that Coles cost the Redskins about 9 million dollars in cap space because they traded him. Uh... that's a negative in anyone's book. Even if the 9 million is a little off, that still doesn't change what a negative move this was for the franchise. (This is usually where Redskin fans start talking about the "toe" and how they got rid of a locker room cancer. Whatever. It was one rotten move.)
*Because of the 9 million needlessly spent on Coles, the Redskins can't afford to keep Smoot and Pierce. Of course, in typical fashion Washington fans have determined that Smoot and Pierce weren't very good players and that they were just "system" defenders. Yet, before that, all you would hear at CPND and Extremeskins was how great they were. Minnesota and the Giants paid enough money that the cap strapped Redskins couldn't match. Why do you think that is? Because those players are good enough to get that kind of money. Smoot is a very solid cover corner and Pierce was a perfect fit, mentally and physically for Gregg Williams' scheme. They were a loss, especially Pierce, and a lot of fans wanted to keep them. Losing two of the players that helped the defense become second in the league isn't a minor thing. Again, not talking if the Redskins should've found a way to keep them... that's a different argument. I'm just saying that it was a quite negative outcome for Washington.
*Somewhere in here, the Redskins front office gets in some sort of a disagreement with the Washington Post (I think) and takes away the season tickets that it normally gives the newspaper. This mutual dislike eventually turns into the Redskins trying to break the news first and probably led to the OTA footage on the website that cost the team off season training days.
*Lavar Arrington gets upset with the organization about how his injury was handled and said that “their way” of handling the injury got him back on crutches again and that he would take as much time as he needed before taking part in any activities. He spoke to the team through the media and added that if it made the Redskins want to get rid of him, then so be it. Nice. That’s just what you want from one of your supposed team leaders.
*The Redskins trade next year's first and fourth rounders and this year's third rounder to get Denver's number 25 overall pick. In a draft that is universally looked at as very weak after the top 15 picks or so, that move was bemoaned by Redskins fans everywhere... then, after thinking it over, it became a stroke of master genius. Next year should be a very strong draft, and for the Redskins to give up what very well could turn out to be a high number one was poor judgment. If the pick is in the top 15, that move will quickly move from bad to cataclysmic. In the court of public opinion, your team took a beating.
*Then, after making yet another one sided trade with Denver, the Washington front office makes the colossal mistake of letting the NFL know who they made the trade for a few days in advance. This may not end up being a negative on the field, but it sure looks pretty bad for the front office and Gibbs in particular, and does nothing to dispell the notion that the Redskins are having a bad off season.
*On draft day at pick #9, instead of already having a corner in Smoot and being able to draft what most consider to be a longstanding weakness on the Redskins defense, a pass rushing DE, they have to draft a CB to merely replace Smoot. While I think Rogers will end up being a good player, Smoot would've been better [font=Verdana]this[/font] year. So Washington simply treaded water, at best, instead of improving with the 9th overall pick. They could've ended up with Smoot, Pierce and and either one of Shawne Merriman or Demarcus Ware. That would've made their defense much, much better than losing Smoot and Pierce and adding Rogers. Or they could've added Mike Williams, a move they could really regret not making down the line. Or they could've traded down, picked up another 2nd or 3rd, and added a player like Pollack or E. James. That would've been quite shrewd, but they couldn't. They didn't have that choice because they had to replace Smoot, who they had to let go because they traded Coles for a lesser version of himself and paid 9 million for nothing.
*On draft day at pick #25, lo and behold, the Redskins take just who everyone said they moved up to get. Of course, all of the Redskin fans were saying Len Pastabelly and Chris Mortenson were idiots for thinking the Skins would be stupid enough to take Campbell when they already had Ramsey. "Won't ever happen" was seen frequently on CPND and Extremeskins. Not only do they screw up by letting the cat out of the bag, but they take a QB that probably would've been there at least until the Cleveland pick and maybe beyond that. I won't get into if Campbell will be a good QB or not, because we don't know that, but around the NFL, in the media and with the fans, this move was considered to be somewhat less than brilliant. Had another team wanted Campbell (apparently no one did in the first round) all they had to do was move up prior to 25 to get him, because everyone knew Gibbs was taking him there. Teams knew that Campbell would be gone at 25 and they didn't care. No one wanted him that badly except for Washington. The whole feeling coming out of the draft was pretty negative for the Skins. Even Redskin fans were pretty much disgusted with how it turned out. Of course they're happy as "pigs" in mud now, after Art spun it for them. Who says the Jedi mind trick isn't real.
*Then of course, Sean Taylor wouldn't even call back the head coach (for weeks) and decides to just stay in Miami to do his offseason workouts. This too seemed to be looked at quite negatively by Redskin fans. Other fans, of course, see this as a very negative occurance. Last year's 5th overall pick won't work out with the team and won't even call the head coach back... not good. Don't forget that he hired/fired/hired agents after cutting out early from the mandatory rookie symposium (what's $25 grand to him, right?) Shaving cream to the face causes a little stir, then Taylor gets pulled over for DUI with a teammate's woman doing, ahem, whatever and is lucky enough to not get convicted. Also, don't forget that he wants to re-negotiate his rookie contract, actually before he ever takes a snap in the NFL, but has to wait until he's been there a year before he can do it. Nice. Changed numbers too... not very surprising is it?
*Washington signs Cory Hall who then promptly decides to retire. No harm, no foul, but just that the Skins were even wanting a safety who runs a 4.8 on their team speaks volumes… not to mention it just looked pretty bad to announce a signing and then have him retire the next day.
*Taylor then gets in all of his legal troubles that reflect quite poorly on the organization. Will he serve any jail time? We don't know, but even if he doesn't the negative impact, at least in public perception is real. The impact in the Redskins locker room can't be positive either.
*Finally, the Redskins, in an effort to outdo the Washington press, posts some video of their practices and gets nailed for going against the rules. If they hadn't been trying to outdo the media they probably wouldn't even be in this mess and would have their practice days back. Practice days that are important. It isn't that big a deal, I know, but those OTA's are precious to coaches.
Let's not forget:
*Washington trying to no avail to trade Rod Gardner, yet another first round mistake
*having to cut Morton, yet another free agent mistake
*Lavar’s unhappiness with his contract
*Portis gets sued for not paying an ex-Redskin for his number
*Portis basically says OTA’s are not important and that it’s okay for Taylor to miss them
*the perception around the NFL that Gibbs hasn’t figured out how to run off season practices within NFL guidelines and that he still has a few problems with the whole instant reply thing
*that “blocker magnet” Noble gets an infection that is slow to heal
*the team has to cut Hasselback instead of Brunell because the team made such a bad decision on the contract they gave the old QB
*Washington pushed hard to sign Courtney Brown and lost him to Denver, of all teams
Wow. What a list. I may be forgetting something, but I think that’s it. I’ve never seen an off season like it. I’d wager than not many have.
To counter this opinion:
Originally Posted by [/color
Om]The "nightmare" off season is where you lose people who closely follow the team. I know the usual litany non-Skins fans throw out there---Sean Taylor, Pierce and Smoot, and now the ridiculous decision on the OTA thing. That's fine, if that's all someone thinks this off season has been about for the team. It fails to take into account all the work being done every day by the REST of the team and staff, now having been together a year, and what a sea change that represents compared to where they were last year at this time.
Until the team shows it on the field, they're an easy target if all one does is read the headlines. I just wish other teams were as quick to dismiss "poor Gibbs" and his team as you are. Sadly, they know better.
You bring up that the rest of the team has been working out and practicing? That’s what you say makes this off season a good one for the Redskins? That’s it?
Well, every team has every member of the club working out except for the one’s that aren’t there… right? I mean, you could have fifteen players missing practice and then say, “The rest of the team has been working out though…. Every day!”
Every team has that, Om… only they didn’t have the list of gaff’s that Washington did. They aren't the laughingstock of the NFL, like the Redskins.
Dallas has had every member of the team present for every single workout. The Giants have been working all off season on their schemes and on improving. Philadelphia has had the T.O. thing, and he hasn’t been there… but that isn’t taking into account “all the work being done every day by the REST of the team and staff.” Boy that just negates the T.O. thing, doesn’t it.
Oh, there were some positives. Let me see if I can remember them: Washington signed Rabach, Prioleau, Moss, Holdman, Patten, Allen… am I forgetting anyone?
None of those signings come close to negating the slew of negatives that hit the team this year. The only one that was of any significance was Rabach, and he hardly is enough to turn around the Redskins average offensive line. Did he even start in Baltimore? I think he did.
So you say that I called the Redskins off season a nightmare simply because I only read the headlines. Okay, what underlying information am I missing here? What hidden positives are eluding other team’s fans?
Another year under Gibbs? Another year for Gibbs to become re-acquainted with the NFL? Two new fullbacks? New blocking schemes for Portis? Jansen back from injury? Another year of experience for Ramsey and Cooley? Enlighten those of us who only look at the surface of what has become a debacle in DC.
Keep in mind though, that every team has been working out. Every team has players returning from injury and young players with another year of experience. Every team picked up free agents… only some actually got a few starters instead of just role players and one starter.
What did we miss?
I’m sure you’ll know a lot of things we don’t, and you’ve had the benefit of several months worth of spin over at Extremeskins, so I’m sure you’ll have some things to say. However, you’ll have to go a long way to spin that off season into anything but a team and front office that is at least partially in shambles.
You can always pick through my post and look for gammatical mistakes... I'm sure there are some. Or, you can nit-pick and look for some small mistakes I've made in some of the facts... I'm sure there are a few of those as well.
The overall jist of the post will still stand though... the Redskins have had one terrible off season and once you get outside of the fantasy land that is Extremeskins... it just doesn't look pretty for Washington.
Originally Posted by [/color
Om] It fails to take into account all the work being done every day by the REST of the team and staff, now having been together a year, and what a sea change that represents compared to where they were last year at this time
I wasn’t dismissing the guy. I simply feel sorry for him. He walked into a hornet’s nest there in Washington. He seems a little overwhelmed at times. Is he? I don’t know… but he seems a step behind from time to time, and I feel for him. It’s kind of sad really.
[font='Times New Roman']It isn’t easy to dismiss Gibbs. His team is another story though.[/font]
Originally Posted by [/color
Om]Until the team shows it on the field, they're an easy target if all one does is read the headlines. I just wish other teams were as quick to dismiss "poor Gibbs" and his team as you are. Sadly, they know better.