Sons and Daughters of Chief Zee:
I am sorry for the three-week lag time between updates. Have been caught between work, summer travel and watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJweC3zeiuM . Yes, that's right, it's now just over 2 weeks until the opener and Positive Peter is sneaking back into my persona. If you're not feeling what I'm feeling and the loins aren't turning upside down over the upcoming campaign, then I recommend this course of action: watch the above video about 6 times, pretend last year never happened, and read the middle two paragraph's of this blog written by our good buddy JLC:
JLC has been down on the B&G for quite some time, so my feeling is that if he is starting to come around on them, then there's no reason why all of us shouldn't do the same. Remember - he's embedded, he knows.
I'd like to give a shout out to Dan Siesser for reminding me to throw something together this week and I'd also like to wish a Skins Serv happy birthday to my brother Rog, who turned 30 this week. Kiddush.
1) Good Bye Lemar - This cut makes me feel really good about the direction of the defense. Everyone's saying they're playing at warp speed so far in the preseason and that there's more depth in the back seven then there has been in years, I think letting Marshall hit the road is proof that there might be something to this type of prognostication. Marshall had been a linchpin of the defense, was a starter over the last two years, and was considered one of the most athletic defenders on the team - if he's expendable, that means younger players like Rocky and rookie HB Blades are coming along quicker than expected. The Skins are always that team that picks up old, washed up training camp cuts because the young kids on the roster aren't getting it done. This year they didn't try making a move for Simeon Rice or Michael Strahan (classic Skins targets) and instead let someone like Marshall go. That's so healthy.
2) The O-line - I spent the entire off-season believing that the front four would pose as the biggest problem this year. It looks like I might have been wrong - it is the O-line that is giving everyone at Redskins Park serious headaches. I am not so much worried about them filling in for Samuels - if he's not healthy by 9/9 then we got serious tzurus, but for now, left guard is the real problem. They let Dock go, which I didn't lose any sleep over because 66 was good for 2 false starts a game and Todd Wade showed signs last year as a filler. But Wade, who has been battling injuries throughout camp, hasn't shown anything thus far. It looks like he might not give JC the same kind of protection, or create the same running lanes for CP, that Dock did last year. Remember, Dock was younger and more agile than Wade, and Bugs and Co ask these guys to pull a lot - don't know if Wade's going to get it done. Also, pray that Campbell sits the rest of preseason. If the Skins throw him out there again without the full compliment, and instead protect him with names like Heyer and Fabini, then the kid is not gonna make it.
3) Why the Front Four Might Become Irrelevant - Remember how good the Skins defense was in 04 and 05? Do you also remember that the front four was totally crappy then too? They couldn't get push or a pass rush in those years also, and that was without Andre Carter. My point is that the Gregg Williams scheme flourishes when they can man up on the sides and blitz one of the corners or safeties (usually Springs). With Carlos and Smootsie complimenting Springs, and Taylor roaming the outfield like a Vick dog, they'll be able to start going back to what made them awesome. Springs was hurt all of last year which made the Skins vulnerable in man coverage and kept them from blitzing. This year Springs is in good health (poo poo poo), Landry is going to really help the run stopping defense, and McIntosh and Fletcher seem to be everywhere (and that's w/o a healthy Washington). I think they can be a top five defense again with Daniels and Carter having mediocre seasons, they're just that good behind them.
4) Campbell - His knee will be fine. The fact that they're still considering starting him Saturday shows the injury isn't significant. How about that throw to Cooley? Forget the hit he took - I think that play is what we're going to be seeing all year from the offense. 'Tana and Lloyd will occupy the corners and safeties on the outsides and Captain Chaos will abuse opposing LBs by sprinting 20 yards up the middle seam for big gains. Green to Gonzalez. Green to Gonzalez.
5) Washington - He's playing in the opener. Nothing else you need to know about that.
6) Lloyd - Did you know Lloyd scored his first TD as a Redskin this past Saturday night? The good thing about 85 is that it can't get any worse than last year (it's statistically impossible, unless he plays in a wheel chair). I see the guy bouncing back a bit and lightning the load on 'Tana. Even if he doesn't catch 50 balls; as long as he balances the field and keeps defenses away from doubling, it'll make things easier for the offense.
7) Brunell - Why not trade this guy for a 6th rounder? The Falcons are desperate for some stability behind Harrington. The trade makes sense, but i'm just not sure Gibbs will part with his boy. If Brunell does go, I see them bringing back Bramlett for the number 3 spot. Jordan Palmer's got zero experience and will not be put on the active roster under any circumstance.
8) Business - Many of you have indicated you will be attending the opener on 9/9. I encourage everyone to be there. The Dolphins might be one of the worst in football this year and pending another opening night debacle, I think 9/9 will be a celebration of 75 years of Redskins football. If you do come out, please let me know - we'd love to have you at our tailgate.
9) Personal Plug - Here are links to two articles I recently wrote on Redskins rookies Alex Buzbee and Pete Schmitt (Schmitt's gonna make the team). http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007708170358
10) The NFC - Continuing on the optimistic tone of this email, I'd like to point out that the NFC is a weak sister conference this year. Every team has plenty of questions and nobody stands out. It's anybody's year.