Campbell Stays in Washington - see now

The aftermath of the Cutler trade from Denver to Chicago left the Redskins reassuring their starting QB that he's still their guy. Michael Wilbon often expressed the opinion that someone needed to grow up on George Michael's "Full Court Press." Jay Cutler's reaction to his name being offered in trade talks may have spurred some in the media or fan base to rally around the Redskins QB a little too much. Wilbon's remark from the old show could be used here and about Cutler.

We're talking about players being paid millions of dollars to play a game. Quite often players hold out in training camp during contract negotiations and their teammate's reactions are it's just the business so why shouldn't any organization try to make a trade if they believe it's in the best interests of their team? Doesn't every fan base want to improve the team and see it win?

In MLB near the trade deadline many names often appear in trade rumors, but ultimately may never be traded. It's a business and all the players mentioned go back out and play. Why is the NFL trying to be so different?


Cutler may have only been a slight upgrade at the position, but had the potential to be the spark to lift the offense to new heights. Unlike Campbell, Denver's offense was Cutler's team. In Washington it's Portis' team then Moss, Cooley, Jansen, and then Campbell. What Cutler offered was a chance to make it his team and run the offense with new leadership and comparable skills. Campbell is highly intelligent, but at what point do those within the organization see what Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco were able to accomplish with less in their first season and begin to scrutinize the level of play at QB more closely?

After encountering Jason Campbell at Caps post game celebration at the Green Turtle, he couldn't seem like a more nice and personable person. He's intelligent and handled the entire situation like the consummate professional that he is. Zorn spoke with his starting quarterback and all appeared well, but there appears to be much ado about nothing. Campbell's playing the final year of his contract and knows hell need a solid year to be resigned to a big contract. Everyone in Washington explored, executed, and responded to the situation just as they should.

 

Play, this game was amaizing number 91


What Haynesworth means to the defensive line:

Unfortunately the addition of Haynesworth cost Marcus Washington his job in Losenoidoomock. The decision makers at Redskins Park felt keeping Daniels, Griffin, and Taylor made more sense than keeping Washington. His injuries were a direct result of the battering he took from the lack of a defensive line.

Haynesworth will tie up to offensive lineman and leave the rest of the line to face one on one assignment. Either Daniels, Taylor, and Griffin will be exposed with little success winning one on one battles as they're past the point in their career where they can contribute at a high level or they will succeed with new found maneuvering room along the line as Haynseworth takes on a double team.

All of the defensive lineman will be on display and evaluated to see who can help their newest player and who can be released to provide greater depth and talent along other areas of concern. After all, if you can lose with someone not making plays with a high salary you can find someone less expensive with more potential and groom them even though the immediate effect won't be noticed.

Haynesworth is a playmaker that can be depended on to make plays when they're needed which is something the Skins haven't had along the line since the late 80s and early 90s.

What Haynesworth means to the linebackers and secondary:

Due to a projected more consistent pass rush up the middle, the back seven can become more aggressive. London Fletcher excelled the past couple of years stuffing the run and coming up with big plays. Imagine what he'll do when he has more room without being blocked by a guard barreling down on him. A stronger nose tackle in Baltimore helped R. Lewis run unimpeded to the ball. Marcus Washington would have benefited the most as he accumulated the most sacks in the linebacker group. His void will have to be filled.

Overall improved pressure from the front four and a greater whole for blitzing linebackers should help the secondary in securing turnovers via interceptions and forced fumbles. The time the secondary should have to cover receivers should be reduced as quarterbacks deliver the ball early by the disruption up the middle.

Some may criticize the price for a defensive player when the offense had issues scoring, but they're missing the point that the defense performed so well due to the coaching staff and back seven. It was a defensive scheme that reduced big plays for offenses and forced them to move methodically down the field. There wasn't a playmaker to prevent game winning drives, force turnovers to provide the offense more opportunities, or shorten the field of play for the offense. When considering the rest of the league the Redskins only have two real game changing play makers on the team and that's Portis and Moss both of whom play on offense. It was a great day for the Skins!

Tampa Bay - offseason for the Buccaneers

There certainly have been a lot of changes this offseason for the Buccaneers. Not only have they made a change at Head Coach and GM, they have two new coordinators (one which is changing a system that has been in place for over a decade and has its own name), a couple new playmakers, and must replace a number of people on the defensive side of the ball, including a first ballot Hall of Famer in Derrick Brooks.

With all these changes, where do they stand going into the draft? It appears many of the offseason moves have been on the offensive side of the ball. They slapped the franchise tag on WR Antonio Bryant, re-signed WR Michael Clayton, traded for TE Kellen Winslow, and signed RB Derrick Ward to form a running back duo with Earnest Graham. They also bring back a young and potentially stellar offensive line. Although it appears they have done a lot to strengthen the offensive side of the ball, the big question remains, who will get the new additions the ball and captain the Bucs ship? This has led many to speculate that the Bucs will invest in a franchise QB, assuming that is what you think Josh Freeman is, with their first round pick.


As Lee Corso says, "Not so fast my friend". One glance at the other side of the ball will show some glaring needs, and while there is still cap room to sign some players and potentially trade for some big names to fill the holes, the defense needs to be addressed. This is the same defense that carried the team to a 9-3 record first the first three quarters of last season only to completely collapse in the final 4 games. As a result, the offseason has seen a total youth movement for the defense. Gone is Monte Kiffin, the defensive guru that led this unit for the past 13 years. Also gone are a number of veteran players, including the aforementioned Brooks.


There appear to be needs at CB, DE, DT. This assumes the signing of LB Antonio Crowell and the position change from S to OLB for Jermaine Phillips will anchor the LB unit with Barrett Ruud in the middle. There are a number of players that can come in and make an impact on the defensive side of the ball with this pick, and it certainly makes sense to try to get a player that will continue the youth movement and fit into new D Coordinator Jim Bates' system.


A major factor in the late season collapse was the ineffectiveness of the D-line to control the line of scrimmage. For that reason, the Bucs need a defensive lineman with this pick. With needs at both DT and DE, the Bucs should go with the highest rated player at either position, and, therefore, the pick is...


19th Pick: Tyson Jackson, DE LSU


This all assumes this pick is not shipped to Denver as part of a deal for Jay Cutler, which would address a major priority of this offseason to find a QB of the present and future.


The Detroit Lions are now on the clock with the 20th Pick in the draft.

Terps Fall in 2nd Rd To Finish Season

Gminski and Brando weren't the only ones exalting praise upon Gary Williams. Andy Katz expressed before the tournament began what a tremendous job of coaching Gary has done this year and warrants HOF consideration.

It's easy to forget just a few months earlier the anti-Gary sentiment and apparent rift between Debbie Yow's Athletic Department and Gary Williams. Not only did Gary get the maximum out of a team that faced uphill challenges almost every game versus a more athletic squad, he kept the team together and gave them an opportunity to succeed. Gary returned the program back to big dance. The nay-sayers and will have to bide their time and wait lurking for some other time to rise up again.

The backbone and leadership of Dave Neal in his senior season also helped Maryland stay the course without completely derailing and allowing the season to become lost. Dave Neal, the "Rudy" of the team or as Brando & Gminski referred to the ready for the YMCA Leagues ended his senior season in style. Little did anyone foresee the role Neal would have in shaping the team and contributing in so many different ways to help lead the Terps back to the NCAA Tournament.

It's also worth reflecting on the ACC as a conference and how they fared so far in the tournament. Of the 7 ACC Teams entering the tournament only two remain, but of the five schools eliminated only Maryland made it to the 2nd Round. Clemson (who has started off on fire to start the season each of the last two years only to cool during the ACC Season under head coach Oliver Purnell), Wake Forest (who's head coach Dino Gaudio doesn't insist on pounding the ball down low with the big front court), Florida State (who's head coach Leonard Hamilton has recruited and assembled one of the most athletically talented teams in the conference), and Boston College all fell in the 1st Round. Maryland outlasted all four of them. It's acknowledges and is a testament to the great coaching of Gary Williams. The wild season ended better than most would have dreamed. With the excellent coaching from Gary and front court recruits coming in next year better seasons lay ahead.

 

Terps Post Season see more

After the 2002 National Championship & 2004 ACC Tournament Championship, the legacy of one of the biggest underachieving recruiting classes paved the way to playing in the NIT. After the 2nd Half collapse versus Wake Forest and 2nd Half let downs versus Virginia, the Terps find themselves in familiar territory. They'll need to win at least three games to garner the attention of the NCAA selection committee. An ACC Tournament win would provide an automatic bid to the big dance.

The Terps haven't found much success over the years in the ACC Tournament. The two most recent wins came twenty years apart in 1984 and 2004. Before the team and recruits imploded Gary coached one of his best seasons at Maryland mastering both the talent and personalities along the turbulent season. What separated the 2004 season from the subsequent season was the ability to fight that was instilled from the leader and point guard John Gilchrist. The team didn't back down from anyone despite the key losses during the season. As opposed to the current roster that just like every Gary team can rebound for a scoring run when the Terps are down, the 2004 team was relentless. They could break your heart, but never backed down or stopped fighting. The spirit and attitude led by Gilchrest made playing the Terps so tough in 2004.

Any team coached by Gary Williams never backs down, but as Vasquez goes the Terps usually follow. His intensity and energy lifts the Terps to higher levels. Without a tough low post player or second scoring threat on the team, the Terps can fall victim to their opponents when Vasquez becomes isolated on defense and ineffective. Who do the Terps look to in order to continue the fight? in 2004, Gilchrest's energy stretched to teammates. They had a choice to match his intensity or suffer the consequences.

Teams looking for a place in the field of 65 can always look back on the schedule for games that could have or should have been won. In Maryland's case there are several. Reverse a tough loss to Morgan State plus either a win versus the heartbreaking losses to Miami, BC, Fla. St. or even the disappointing loss to UVA and they'd probably be looking at an invitation right now. Maryland faces the Wolf Pack in an opening round game and if they're able to escape with a victory will then face a rematch with Demon Deacons. Most likely the winner of the Wake Forest game would play Duke to get to the finals.

The Terps have faced many must win games and won a few and while losing several others, but winning three would take a level of sustained effort over the span of succesive days that the Terps haven't shown all season. The selection committee doesn't just look at who you've played, where you've played, and who you've beaten, but how you've played coming down the stretch. When many teams look and fight like they want to play their way in the tournament Maryland has stumbled and played their way out of the tournament losing to the second worst team in the conference when all they needed was a win to stay in the hunt. It looks like another tough weekend on tobacco road.