Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rare Rookies: Teddy Bridgewater

Day 1: Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater was drafted 32nd overall by Minnesota

Bridgewater was drafted 32nd overall by Minnesota

Going into last season, young Theodore “Teddy” Bridgewater was the consensus #1 quarterback across the board for the draft “pundits” in the media. Most liked Bridgewater going as high as #1 overall to whatever NFL was picking first, because that team was most likely going to need a quarterback.

After a solid-yet-unspectacular final season in Louisville, Bridgewater saw his draft stock plummet. Evaluators watching Bridewater’s film began to nitpick. He was too skinny, he lacked the NFL caliber arm strength, he was inaccurate and bombed his pro day (wow…). Bridgewater became the most scrutinized prospect in the draft next to fellow first-round QB Johnny Football (more on him later).

Despite all of the Bridgewater hate that occurred before the draft, and the fall of Bridgewater to #32 on draft day, I maintain my opinion that he will come out of this draft class as the best first round pick of the three QBs taken in the first.

Bridgewater is indeed on the smaller side, measuring in at 6’2, 214 lbs at the annual NFL combine, and has had some durability issues in college (Bridgewater broke his left wrist against UConn).

 

Bridgewater plays against Rutgers with a broken left wrist and sprained ankle.

Bridgewater plays against Rutgers with a broken left wrist and sprained ankle.

 

Bridgewater, however, returned to that UConn game, broken left wrist and all, and led Louisville to a win. Bridgewater never missed a game once he was inserted as the starter in his fourth game of his freshman year, while only missing one “start”, a game against Rutgers where he came off the bench despite his injury and won the game, sending Louisville to a BCS berth.

Bridgewater has shown rare pocket movement and the ability to truly manipulate the pocket. He also has unreal short to mid-range accuracy. His screen pass placement and deep ball placement can leave a lot to be desired but overall Bridgwater has the ability to put the team on his back.

Earlier in the year I had watched four or five hours worth of Louisville games, hitting about seven games overall. In that time watching the offense, I noticed Bridgewater had an eerily similar playing style to Aaron Rodgers; I noticed through his many games that Bridgewater is deceptively athletic with the ball in his hands while also possessing the ability to bust off a 10 yard run to convert for the first down if needed.

Overall, Bridgewater was my favorite QB in this draft–by far–and there’s no secret about how sad I was to not see him go to the Cardinals or Patriots.

I am pretty pumped to see what Bridge can do with Norv Turner running an extremely Tight End favoring offense. Being able to throw passes to uber-athletic tight end Kyle Rudolph, freak of nature Cordarrelle Patterson, and hand the ball to one of the greatest backs of all time in Adrian “All Day” Peterson will surely aid in Bridgewater’s development, while also allowing for some sneaky OROY potential.

Until next time.

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Barra Bravas Hitting Young- ZTM

The readings this week were really interesting. Quite scary, actually.

The readings were about these mini-mafias in Argentina called barra bravas. These barra bravas are like soccer fan gangs. Often in the barra brava is a leader, like a mafia boss, and structured power. There are crimes committed- ranging from drug dealing to murder- to legal yet unethical attacks – political corruption- on the public.

Barra bravas have been the cause of more than 257 deaths since 1923, more than half occurring in the past 2 decades according to the Washington Post. For soccer, that’s too many. Not to make this political, but that’s too many deaths regardless of the situation. But the deaths for a sport make it scary. Apparently some Argentine fans broke into a player-only section of a stadium after a game and beat a player. As a player, obviously, I’d feel extremely uncomfortable with returning to the team. The player of this team eventually did, but he said he was uneasy and a little nervous.

Part of the reason these barra bravas are staying around is the fact that they are getting to the youth. Kids in search of heroes and role models cannot often find it in Argentine soccer players; the Argentine players that excel and are worth looking up to are often players that leave Argentina for Europe. Because of this, children are looking up to these barra brava leaders and wish to follow in their footsteps. One leader served 3 years in a prison for assault, came back after being released from prison and started signing autographs for fans.

It’s scary because it’s almost like these mafia bosses are seen as icons, superheroes. Good models for children.

What makes everything worse?

The barra bravas are spreading.

According to the Global Post, these barra bravas are spreading across South America. Many countries are beginning to adopt barra bravas, including Mexico. A world cup official said that after one of the matches he was reffing/during, the crowds were chanting the same exact things as those in the barra brava culture.

The only way to stop these barra bravas is to let the culture die out and making sure the young stay removed from it by incorporating new/better role models. The biggest issue could be the fact that the barra bravas are too busy hurting these role models for these kids to have established role models to begin with.

Whisenhunt-Detroit Marriage Must Materialize

What’s going on everyone?! I have a TL;DR if you deem the article too long, but the information that makes it different than most others is contained in the longer version. Enjoy the article, comment with some feedback or questions guys!

Background:

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Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was once seen as the future of the organization.

After a winless 2008 season for Detroit, the only team to do so in the history of the National Football League, Schwartz was brought in to coach up the team new General Manager Martin Mayhew assembled.

The start of Schwartz’s tenure was a little slow; the Lions went 8-24 in Schwartz’s first two seasons.

After years of awful play, and a previous season that saw the team lose narrowly in each of its 10 losses, hope finally emerged for Detroit fans as the Lions went 10-6, earning a wildcard round playoff berth.

The Lions lost that game to the New Orleans Saints 45-28, but optimism maintained for Lions fans everywhere; Detroit was finally fielding a winning football team.

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As the 2012 season opened, progressed and finished, Lions fans saw happiness become depression, excitement become anger and merrily drinking become binge drinking to forget the offensive display of play, both defensively and offensively, that season as Detroit finished 4-12, despite Calvin “Megatron” Johnson breaking the single-season receiving yard record, falling just short of his 2,000 yard goal.

Schwartz entered last off-season on the hot seat after losing control of his talent (seven arrests in the off-season/pre-season, in-season stompings and penalty problems) although it seemed unlikely he’d be fired if the team performed well in 2013.

The Lions, with a golden opportunity in 2013 to redeem themselves, fumbled their way out of the NFC North despite the starting quarterbacks for the Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers) and the Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler) suffering significant injuries that saw each miss 4+ games. The Lions faltered down the stretch of 2013, losing six of their final eight games after starting 5-3.

Schwartz was fired on the Monday following the end of the season, also known as Black Monday, putting the Lions into a search for their newly-vacant head coaching position. This is what brought YOU, the reader, to this story and I shall make you wait no more.

Ken Whisenhunt has been pumped up by the media as the perfect candidate to take over for Schwartz in Detroit. Offense, Kurt Warner, blah blah. Why is it actually imperative that the Detroit Lions bring in Ken Whisenhunt to take over for their vacant head coaching position?

Stats:

In three seasons as the Pittsburgh Steelers OC, Whisenhunt helped coach the team to yardage and points scored rankings of  16th and 11th (’04), 15th and 9th (’05), and 7th and 12th (’06). Despite working with a then-rookie/2nd/3rd year player in Ben Roethlisberger (of whom was originally thought to be raw and unfit to play before injuries to Charlie Batch and Tommy Maddox), Whisenhunt led the Steelers offense to a solid season, ranking in the top-half of both major offensive statistics recognized by the NFL.

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In 2007, Whisenhunt received a promotion in the form of a head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. He immediately helped the team produce, leading Arizona to an 8-8 record with thought-to-be washed up quarterback Kurt Warner. The offense ranked 7th in points scored and 12th in OYPG (offensive yards per game).

The following season was Whisenhunt’s mastermind season; it was the season he coached his team to the Superbowl against his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The offense ranked 3rd and 4th in points scored and OYPG, although Whisenhunt’s team ultimately faltered in the big game versus Pittsburgh. Whisenhunt had one last season left with his star QB before Warner ultimately retired, leading the offense to a lesser (while still respectable) offense ranked 11th in points scored and 14th in OYPG. After Warner’s retirement, GM Rod Graves failed to acquire a legitimate QB for Whisenhunt, leading to an ultimate downfall and losing record of 5-11.

Whisenhunt then led another seemingly washed up quarterback in Phillip Rivers into a career year that saw him complete over 69% of his passes for over 4,400 yards, 35 TDs and the second-highest passer rating of his career. Whisenhunt was seen as the overseer of this revival for Rivers.

Now…imagine Whisenhunt working with a QB that’s thrown for over 100 TDs and over 17,000 yards in 61 games (just under four full seasons) as a starting NFL quarterback and a wide receiver that broke the single season receiving yardage record originally set by Jerry Rice.

Add in a dynamic backfield consisting of someone with something to prove to the whole league after going undrafted (Joique Bell) and the ex-Heisman trophy award winner that had everything taken from him after being told he wasn’t good enough to start in the NFL.

Mayhew has found plenty of talent in the NFL draft to load up his defensive front and with an offensive minded HC like Whisenhunt at the helm, the Lions could finally find their starting wideout opposite Megatron.

TL;DR:

Whisenhunt is an amazing offensive coach that could get the best out of recently underachieving and seemingly regressing Matthew Stafford. He made Philip Rivers and Kurt Warner look like top-5 QBs, think of what he can do with a guy like Matthew Stafford. Oh, he also helped the Steelers win the Superbowl in ’05 with a second-year Ben Roethlisberger.

Yeah. That sounds awesome to me, too. If GM Martin Mayhew can pull in Whisenhunt to coach one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, the Lions could finally find their way to the promise land, sooner rather than later.

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The Solution

Hey everybody! I know it’s been about 3 weeks since I had my last entry, so it’s about time for me to finally follow up on it.

This next post will be a little lengthy- bare with me. It’s about the solution (in my opinion) for 85% of the Washington Redskins woes.

Since December 17th, a lot has changed.

The Redskins fired Mike Shanahan, Kirk Cousins tanked any and all trade value, Bruce Allen stated he will be taking over personnel decisions, and the Redskins have already interviewed a handful of candidates.

So, here’s when my super-opinionated, but I feel highly logical, argument comes in on how to fix the organization. This would be my decision making from the perspective of Redskins GM Bruce Allen, who recently proclaimed he would have the “power” to do what he needs to turn the organization around.

Step 1- Hire Cincinnati Bengals DC Mike Zimmer as HC

I don’t like old coaches. At all.

I don’t want a coach that has run their course in the NFL, being outdated and kicked to the curb by their prior team because they simply didn’t seem like they had it anymore.

Perfect example: Mike Shanahan.

But there is 1 coach on the older side, compared to the rest of the reported candidates so fat, that I think would be wonderful for this team: Mike Zimmer.

Swapping one Mike for another in relationships may not be the best idea, but swapping that Mike for this Mike in D.C.? I’m all about that scandal.

Outside of the win Washington had over San Diego, thanks to a late game goal-line stand, the Redskins defense was absolutely terrible.

The front 3/4/5 (depending on which fronts they were using) couldn’t generate much pressure, exposing a poor excuse for a secondary in which the number 1 corner is a fading DeAngelo Hall. A little of this is personnel, a bit of it is situation, and a lot of it was coaching.

Jim Haslett did not lead the Redskins defense to one season as a top eight overall defense (something the Redskins were used to before the 3-4 and the days of Shanahan). His playcall was very spotty and his coaching must not have worked. For a guy like Brian Orakpo, a pass-rushing specialist, to be dropping into coverage on a third of his plays makes no sense.

Add poor overall defense with the issue of penalties in all facets of the game and overall poor fundamental football, you get to the root of the problems:

The Washington Redskins are less disciplined than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Sure, the Crimson Tide is a great college football team, but that’s the big difference; the Crimson Tide are a college football team. Professionals shouldn’t be outdone by student athletes.

Mike Zimmer is, from what I’ve seen and read, an old-school, players guy kind of hybrid-type coach. What I’m essentially trying to say is Mike Zimmer is a strong leader willing to listen to his players but doesn’t put up with crap.

I’d also love to see Mike ZImmer with bookend rushers like Ryan Kerrigan and impending free agent Brian Orakpo. I could see Zimmer converting the Redskins defense into what he has up in Cincinnati- a 4-3 with outside off-man coverage/press-man coverage and undersized speed rushers, containing tons of power, from the inside of the DL.

There really is a lot of potential to this Redskins defense. There just needs to be someone to get it all the working parts in conjunction with each other.

Step 2- After hiring Zimmer, go for a recently fired head coach as the OC: Rob Chudzinski

Chudzinski is an offensive mastermind. Ever hear of how good Shanahan has been at molding RBs throughout his career? Rob Chudzinski has the potential to do the same thing, but with QBs. This guy made Derek Anderson look like a top-5 QB back in ’05 before heading down to Carolina and helping Cam Newton to his record-setting rookie season.

Chud was recently relieved of his duties as HC of the Cleveland Browns. Now, considering it was Cleveland that fired him, I don’t think there is anything wrong with Chud. He went 4-12 with a bad offense that had no QB or RB provided to it by GM Michael Lombardi. Chudzinski did the best he could and kept the Browns fairly competitive in games in which they should have been demolished in.

Allow Chud to install his vertical-based offensive playbook into a Redskins team rich in one aspect on offense–speed–  and then combine it with Robert Griffin III’s cannon of an arm. This could lead to an offense that could be extremely fast and extremely dangerous.

A huge benefit for Chud would be his ability to focus solely on Robert Griffin and emphasizing Griffin’s talents to help open up a running game for Alfred Morris. He no longer needs to worry about the complete state of the team, as he would no longer need to run the entity of it.

All he needs to do is focus on making this offense, and Griffin, better than they were.

Plus, if all Griffin does is throw picks, the deep passes will probably travel further than any of Sav Rocca’s punts.

Step 3- Hire Ravens STC (Special Teams Coordinator) Jerry Rosburg

Rosburg has led one of the best, most disciplined special teams in the NFL over the past few seasons. An explosive punt returner paired with good kick and punt coverage units have helped elevate, in my opinion, Rosburg to the top tier of ST coaches.

Rosburg could fix this….I don’t even know if I should call it a special teams unit.

Rosburg could be a big reason why the Redskins offense stops starting at it’s own 11, as well as a big reason to why the Redskins defense could stop having to defend starting at the opponents 38. I’m a believer in him; I think Rosburg could quickly lead this from the worst special teams in the NFL to a top-12 unit.

Step 4- Re-sign Rak, Sign FS, ILB, DL in FA

The current defensive roster will be turning over completely after the season.

Three of the top four corners on the roster become free agents. Young corners never saw time to develop under Haslett/Shanahan. The starting FS and SS are both free agents. The starting MLB is now retired, the “Jack”/other starting MLB/ILB is a free agent, followed by a defensive line that can’t create pressure without it’s best player who is, by the way, also a free agent.

If the Redskins re-sign Brian Orakpo like I say they should, they have solid pieces to build around on defense. Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, David Amerson, Barry Cofield. The rest of the defense needs some work. That’s where free agency comes in.

If the ‘Skins can re-sign Perry Riley and play him at SAM LB to gobble up tacklers and cover TEs, that’ll shore up some issues at LB. With less crazy cover schemes and more strict man-to-man coverage, Riley will be in a better position to succeed.

Buffalo Bills FS Jairus Byrd is a free agent.

I know Redskins fans, you hate it when we sign a big name. Look at our history:

Albert Haynesworth. DeAngelo Hall. Adam Archuleta. Trading for Brandon Lloyd. Trading for McNabb.

It’s a kiss of death.

With Bruce running the show, though, I think we stand a better shot of hitting rather than missing.

Bring is Jairus Byrd to play single-deep coverage every play and let him ball-hawk like he did his first four years and the guy can be a stud. He’s a great line of defense, a willing tackler, and someone who earns his paycheck every week. Pair him with a Wesley Woodyard or D.J. Williams (Bears) signing, and this defense goes from heavy fixing to a couple of patchwork players away from decency.

It doesn’t completely change the fact that the Redskins need a lot of help, but getting back seemingly-forgotten 2013 4th round rookie Philip Thomas could also provide some major help. After suffering a Lisfranc fracture, he hasn’t had time on the field, but should be prepared mentally for the game when he’s healthy enough to play again.

Step 5- Draft Line and Receivers

The Redskins defense is awful, but there are enough solid players in free agency for the Redskins to find value at their biggest needs (FS, LB and DT). What they need is to draft multiple ways to protect Robert Griffin III. Drafting speedy receivers to fit Chud’s offense as well as some strong, capable linemen could go a long way into keeping Griffin from being hit every play.

I’m not saying that the Redskins will draft the right guys. Allen doesn’t have a great…well, not even a good track record of drafting players, but attempting to build an offense around Griffin needs to be priority numero uno in the draft.

Step 6- This is the shocker- trade Alfred Morris

I know, earlier I mentioned to help fix RG so Morris’ running game opens up, but I couldn’t ruin the shock.

I legitimately believe the Redskins should consider, at the very least, entertaining offers for Alfred Morris.

Morris has been a workhorse for the Redskins over his first two seasons, amassing 2,800+ yards on the ground and over 20 touchdowns. You also need to remember something: Morris was playing for a Mike Shanahan coached offense. He’s a perfect fit for the zone-block scheme, which the Redskins may no longer employ, and is one of many guys that Shanahan has made look very, very good.

Some of those guys consist of Tatum Bell, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Terrell Davis and Peyton Hillis. Shanahan made these guys look much better than they really were.

Coupling that with Alfred Morris’ punishing style of running, and it may be best to see if a second or third round pick could be picked up for the durable plodder. He’s got the talent, but doesn’t contribute much in the passing game and may be no good in the next coach’s offensive scheme. Helu has proven he’s capable of handling passing down duties, which would be upped immensely under Chudzinski.

Well, that’s the end of this very, very long article.

If you read all the way through, I sincerely thank you a lot and promise to keep most of my articles from here on out much, much shorter. Thanks again (Brandon)!

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The Redskins Aren’t Giving Up- Why That’s Not Conducive to Long-term Success

3-11.

That’s currently the record that the Washington Redskins sport to their beloved fans. They’re sitting below the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and the Buffalo Bills in the overall standings in the NFL.

They only lead the Houston Texans, and there’s no guarantee they won’t be the worst team by week 17’s end.

Spectators and fans alike must believe that the Redskins have given up.

That’s not true. And it’s not good that the Redskins aren’t.

The Redskins don’t have their first round pick this upcoming off-season, and that’s a big reason Washington fans want the Redskins to stay competitive and win their last two games. If they give up the sixth overall pick compared to the second, it will ease the pain from the RGIII trade.

The other reason fans want to win? The Redskins finish the season against the New York Giants, and play this week against Dallas. No ‘Skins fan wants to lose to any NFC East rivals. Especially not the Cowboys.

But what the Redskins aren’t doing correctly is the way in which they try to stay competitive.

Many will focus on Robert Griffin III’s placement on the gameday inactive list.

Yet, fans overlook the players on that list that also REALLY affect the future in Washington. Who were the inactives this past week in addition to RGIII?

S Bacarri Rambo, CB Chase Minnifield, LB Brandon Jenkins, LB Darryl Tapp, and OG Josh LeRibeus.

I see that list, I see 3-11, and I become baffled; Why on Earth are the Redskins leaving young players, important players on this list that need to be evaluated on gameday?

The first name that pops off this list is rookie FS Bacarri Rambo.

Sure, he’s been inconsistent. Sure, his open-field tackling has left a lot to be desired. But if any fan of the Denver Broncos remembers, FS Rahim Moore (currently on I.R./Recall) was awful as a rookie. He didn’t see the field, losing snaps to the likes of Quinton Carter, and seemed completely out of place in the NFL. If he hadn’t been a second round pick, Moore would likely have not survived the second round of cuts during the following off-season.

Moore is now a top-12 safety in the NFL. He was a revelation last season for the Broncos but is only recognized for the long touchdown reception Jacoby Jones had against him in the double overtime AFC Championship game between Denver and Baltimore.

It was Moore’s worst play in his career, and will no doubt overshadow the above-average play he’s displayed between his sophomore season and his third year in the NFL.

This isn’t to say Bacarri Rambo is as talented or as good as Rahim Moore. It’s just an example that NFL teams, and fans, need to give a player more than one season to prove they are capable of starting in the league.

CB Chase Minnifield is another guy that shouldn’t be on this list.

Minnifield wrecked his knee in college and re-did some damage to his surgically repaired knee during rookie minicamp in his last April.

Now healthy, Minnifield made the Redskins practice squad and was promoted to the active roster back on November 29th. He has yet to be active for one game this season.

Considering Washington’s lack of talent in the secondary, Minnifield should be seeing a plethora of snaps to prove going forward he can be a contributer, or better yet a starter, for the foreseeable future. Minnifield was a top-5 ranked CB in preseason (according to Pro Football Focus) and showed no sign of prior knee injuries, playing in all 4 games and a majority in the finale.

Seeing him in street clothes is enough to make Redskins fans, who desperately want some consistency and life in the secondary, sick to their stomachs as they watch Josh Wilson and E.J. Biggers get burned.

There are other players on this list that make me sick to see inactive, but I don’t want to bore anyone. Leave a comment at the bottom requesting one of the names and I’ll explain how it is the Redskins are affected by their decision to make that player inactive.

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Captain Kirk Starts My Blog

Captain Kirk starts my blog

This is Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins, also known as Vance Baughman, practicing for Sundays game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins have been confusing, awful, awfully confusing, and near-every negative adjective one could use to describe a supposed “professional football team” in the NFL (the No Fun League). It’s only appropriate after this horrible season, the Redskins currently sit at 3-10, that I start my blog off with Washington’s franchise quarterback not playing quarterback for the Redskins. This should be a fun journey with all, if any, readers out there and I appreciate you reading through my whiny first post. Have a wonderful day.

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