Craig Johnson. 19th October, 2006 - 1:29 pm
Ever since I was a kid I have always imagined what it was like to either coach, own or just even operate a professional football team. Sometimes I even ask God, why he passed me over for being that rich kid (Daniel Snyder) that can buy anything they want. Half way through that question I even try to explain to him how capable of that job I would be.
I was once told from an old football coach of mine, that making a good football team was like developing a great recipe. A pinch of this here and a pinch of this there, all behind a great field general should come a dynasty. That?s not exactly what Washington fans are staring at right now. In fact, many are at home crying, ?Why! Oh Why are we 2-4 and going to Nap-town?, the city that has seen the Hoosiers replaced by Peyton. After last week?s depressing loss at home to the Tennessee Titans, it has even caused ?The Fun Bunch,? to turn well, not so fun! But I ask you all one question. Why are we really upset? Losing at home to a 0-5 team with a rookie quarterback and giving up a career high in rushing to a mediocre running back is exactly Washington?s specialty. I?m sorry if you came for the Roasted Duck with the Mango sauce and a side of a Titan ass kicking, but you got exactly what was on the menu. Believe it or not though, this season is not quite over, but I can give you the exact recipe that has gotten us to this point.
1. When your starting defense that looks so revamped on paper gives up 111 yards per game on the ground, a 17 ranking, you might want to ask if our defensive line is blocking for opposing running backs. Seriously, I think I saw DT Joe Salave?a holding a Titans offensive lineman on top of him, while Travis Henry ran by.
2. Now to the secondary which is allowing 222 yards in the air, a ranking of 24 in the NFL. This secondary would make even Brunell look fantastic. I know that injuries play a big part here with Shawn Springs missing a lot of action and now Carlos Rogers has three screws inserted into his thumb, but replacing him with an injured Troy Vincent is kind of like the blind leading the blind. Let?s get it together here fellas?.
3. It wouldn?t be Washington if there weren?t some kind of quarterback controversy, now would it? Mark Brunell must go to the bench and do a whole lot of searching for the real Mark Brunell. I think right now he even believes that he is Scott Brunell (We can blame that on Fox Analyst, Dick Stockton). Brunell is definitely not getting the job done. He?s dinking-and-dunking us to the cellar of not only the NFC East but also the entire NFC. Just when you thought it would be exit Brunell and enter Jason Campbell time, Gibbs announces that it will definitely be Brunell who remains the starter. I would even prefer Babe Laufenberg or Heath Shuler right now.
4. Clinton Portis is the key to this entire team. Yes, the ENTIRE team. As he plays, we play. No, there is not a mouse in my pocket, this team is just as much mine as it is there?s. If Portis breaks for long runs (as in Houston) the defense turns in big games (as in Houston). Portis is like the ham-to-the burger, the sugar-to-the kool-aid. Give Portis the ball between tackles, around tackles and even look for him out of the backfield. Don?t let the opposing team that will be keying on him have plays off, like not having him (Portis) on the field for practically every play.
5. With the signing of Antwaan Randle El, the playbook should have expanded, yet all I see is 3,4 and 5 yard passes. Open up the playbook a little. Go for more deep passes like the one to Brandon Lloyd last week. How about letting Antwaan toss a few passes, they would look prettier than Brunell?s.
6. We brought in Al Saunders, who made Tony Gonzales a stud, but why are Chris Cooley?s touches and numbers declining from last seasons? Cooley is a stud in his own right so let him be one. And by the way, what has happened to T.J. Duckett? Does he even own a uniform? We got him for a reason so use him and take chances on short yardage plays instead of settling for field goals (No offense Novak). And speaking of Nick Novak, it?s great to have you back. I have been calling for you for two full seasons now.
There you go. It?s simple, don?t over season, bake and definitely do not nuke. You know what? I am going to go out on a whim here. Washington will come out explosive and surprise everyone this week. It will be the best they have looked since the 1987 slashing of the Denver Broncos in Superbowl XXII. On the menu for this week we?re serving up a Washington Delight. 31-17 Redskins victorious.
In other news, I will be handing out a new award for the NFL. It will be going to the lamest play, player, team, fan or even mascot, so for this week the ?Bitter Beer Face Award? goes to: The Entire staff of the Oakland Raiders. You guys are horrible and now you play Arizona this week. We?ll just call that the ?Battle of the Weak!?
Craig may be reached at Craigrealgm@yahoo.com