Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Name Sean Taylor will Echo...

Apparently for quite some time, a DC blogger has been biting his tongue, holding back the urge to tell the Redskins fans to get over the death of Sean Taylor. Now, some of what he is saying makes sense in the most general way. Sean Taylor should be remembered as a man who died protecting his family, not because of his skills on the football field. I humbly respect this man's opinion and more so, his right to express it. I'll express mine right here.

Sean Taylor will forever, and I do not exaggerate, forever be remembered as a great Redskin. Sean Taylor isn't the first professional football player to pass away during his prime. Pat Tillman has been mentioned as someone who should be remembered for giving his life in defense of this country and I absolutely agree. His name should be mentioned in the same breathe as Sean's for the fact that they died honorably. Sean Taylor died protecting those he loved most. He became known for his skills on the football field at Miami, made a name for himself as an elite safety as a Redskin, and will be remembered as a hero. Redskins fans won't forget it, and nor should they. Players like Santana Moss keep his memory alive by trying to play as Sean did. Fans remember Sean Taylor because he represented everything we want from a player; dedication, courage and excitement. Who is anyone to say when one should stop grieving or remembering someone who has passed.
Clinton Portis will never forget #21
 I know guys who still aren't over old girlfriends, let alone a fallen friend.
Sean Taylor was a man. On and off the football field, he proved that. As a fan, I will always remember how he played on the football field with passion and love for the game. I will always remember where I was and how I felt when I heard of his passing.

Someone who isn't a Redskins fan will remember Sean Taylor as a man who gave his life in the defense of his family, not for his skills on the football field. I couldn't care less if they remember him as one of the most athletes to ever play the game. Redskins fans will remember him for both, and they should.

Most professional athletes are looked up to as heroes, but Sean actually was one. For this reason, the name  Sean Taylor  will  always  be a name that  echos from  generation to generation. . .

Hey Caps, Your D is Too Soft...(that's what she said)

Some may think that many of my posts are negative, but hey, that's what living in the DMV for 24 years will do to ya. But I really have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I read articles like I just read about how the Capitals D-men will handle Cindy Crosby tomorrow night.
When asked if they will ease up on Crosby, since he is just coming off of a 10-month layoff from 2 concussions...the Caps D had this to say:

Karl Alzner: "I wouldn't want all of Canada to hate me," Alzner said with a chuckle

Dennis Wideman: "He's a guy that you want to be physical with but it's not that easy," he said. "If you try to take a run at him he's probably going to go around you and get a goal."

Roman Hamrlik: "I have so much respect for the guy," he said. "He's one of the best players in the league. I'm not going to try to run over him. I'm not the kind of guy to go and hit in the head. I would have to be really ticked off. You don't want to see the best player get hurt again, but it's a tough sport and it could happen to anybody." So would you take a shot at him? "I would think twice," he said. "You want to play tough against everybody, but I would think twice before I hit him."

We might as well give Cynthia a red carpet right down to Vokoun/Neuvirth. The only defender who has any fight in him this year has been John Erskine. Mike Green can be tough, but he needs to worry about just staying on the ice at this point. You don't have to fight to be a tough guy, just let them know who's side of the ice they're on!
I didn't even mention #55 Pillows Schultz. I'm 6'0 195lbs of pure musclely fat and can barely skate...but I bet I can still hit a guy harder than Jeff. Come on man! You're 6'6 use some of it! If you look around the league, the best teams have the toughest defenders. Whether it's Chara (BOS), Phaneuf (TOR), Pronger (PHI), Ohlund (TB), or Murray (SJ) just to name a few...the teams that are the most successful come June, are the teams who won't back down to anyone, injured or not.

Here's a question for you all: If Ovechkin or Green were just coming back from a serious you think Brooks Orpik or Deryk Engelland would think twice before sending a hit their way tomorrow? ...Hell no.

Hall named NFC Defensive player of the week

Welcome DeAngelo Hall the cornerback. . .

I know we like to rag on DeAngelo Hall here at Fight on DMV, but the man had a stellar game this week in Seattle. Just one week after calling himself out for his low level of play, Hall, by my standards, had his best game as a Redskin (and yes I do remember his 4 interception game against the Bears). Hall is known better as a play maker than a cornerback. He'll get burned from time to time because he goes for the big play. Last Sunday against Seattle, it looked like DeAngelo went out to try to be the best cornerback he could be, and lets hope he continues to do so.

Here's the stat line from Sunday's game: 7 tackles, 7 passes deflected and one game ending interception. These are the stats you want from your number one corner. I have most definitely given Hall a ton of crap for calling out wide receivers and then subsequently getting lit up by them. For that reason, I commend D-Hall for his play this past week. He didn't say a word all week, and come Sunday, he spoke with his actions. If this is a sign of the future, I'm on board, because that was one hell of a cornerback I saw out there in Seattle.

Your thoughts?

Welcome to the Dale Hunter Era

One day of practice and one game is not nearly enough to see a complete change as we enter the Dale Hunter era. The Caps players looked a little out of sync early and I attribute that to what I call the "post Boudreau hangover." These players are human after all and be it their fault or not, they have lost the coach they have played for the past 4 seasons. Dale Hunter is an unknown to most of these players, and it will take a few games for them to build a relationship of trust and respect for one another. I think Dale feels extremely fortunate to be the coach of the Washington Capitals, and he will be working hard to right the ship, but he's been thrown in the deep end of the pool by McPhee with the Penguins coming to town Thursday night.
It was good to see the fans react positively to Dale Hunter. I expected nothing less, but the positive reaction is some proof that the fan base was ready for a change. Whether or not this is the right change is yet to be seen, as I pointed out here.
Back to the game, I think in crunch time the Caps finally started to wake up and their minds were able to focus on just playing the game rather than the new face behind the bench. They started to hit, and win some 50-50 pucks. Against a stingy St. Louis Blues defense, the Caps just couldn't break through in the end and get the goal they needed. One thing to point out is Alex Ovechin's ice time went down even further to just over 16 minutes. I'm not sure if this was a deliberate move, or if coach is just playing with the lines, seeing what he has on the ice. Hunter pointed out after the game that he doesn't have a timeline for when he wants the Caps to be playing the way he wants, he just wants to "see improvement every game." I tend to agree with that statement because you can't make arbitrary benchmarks for a team to make. It will just take time for the Caps and their new coach to gel.
I'm a Dale Hunter fan, but it will definitely take some time for me to get used to seeing a new face behind the bench Rockin the Red. I definitely want to see the Caps play a grittier style of play, and I did notice John Erskine staying at home owning the space in front of the net.

How do you guys feel? Who stepped up last night? Who didn't? Share your opinions in the comment section.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shots for Beags!

"Shots for Beags!" is something Ben and I started after Jay Beagle got knocked out in Pittsburgh back in October. We decided that he sacrificed his face for the team, so we wanted to do the same. I like my "girl catcher" aka my face too much though. So we're going to let our livers take the hit.
Everytime a Caps player gets in a fight, we're going to take a shot in honor of Jay. We want the rest of the Red Nation to join us (over 21). We'll post a few pictures to let you know we're not pussing out. Feel free to send your pics in too, and we'll throw um up on the blog. This was our first shot for Beags about a month ago!

Fight on!

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly on TV Tonight

There's plenty to look forward to tonight in the DMV, and I've broken the most important events to watch into 3 categories.

First off, the ugly...

For some reason a genius at ESPN thought it would be a good idea to put this years Terps on national television @ 7:30pm/est vs. Illinois. Doesn't sound too promising...but may be a good way to kill the intermission time during the Caps game!

Prediction:     Maryland  55  -  Illinois  74

Now, the bad...

The reason this is considered "the bad" is because right now, well, the Caps suck. Pretty excited to see Dale Hunter behind the bench tonight though vs. St. Louis. Definitely worthy of my Tuesday evening.

Prediction:     Caps  4 - Blues  2

And finally, the good...
You can't go wrong with the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at 10pm/est on CBS. Just in time to flip over after watching my man Alan May break down the Caps first win with Coach Hunter in charge on CSN.

Welcome Home Dale Hunter!

If anybody has to come in to fill the void at coach...I'm happy it's a hometown hero! He was hard-nosed, tough, and borderline dirty, but he knew what it took to win, and that's why his jersey is hanging at the phone booth! Hopefully he can inject that same style of play into these Caps. Here are my Top 5 favorite clips of Hunter back when he was playing with the Caps.



New DC United Jerseys in 2012!

They don't blow me away, but I can dig it for next year. If only we had a decent stadium to rock these in...

Go to and enter "2012" to get 30% off these new uni's today only!

Just Announced: DC United will open up the 2012 season at home March part of MLS First Kick Weekend!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bruce, Thanks for the Last 4 "f*ckin" Years!

Here's a send off to the most successful coach in Caps history! He may cringe at this video clip, but I f*ckin love it! Good luck in the future coach, you won't be out of work for long.

For Better or Worse: Boudreau Out, Hunter In

  • Fastest coach to reach 200 wins in NHL history.
  • Four consecutive Southeast Division titles.
  • One President's Trophy
  • One Jack Adams Trophy

Just a few of the things Bruce Boudreau accomplished in his four years as head coach of the Washington Capitals. Today's news is tough to swallow. The name Boudeau is closely associated with the resurgence of the Washington Capitals organization. Time will tell if this decision was the right one or not, but one thing is certain, Boudreau will be missed. Playoff woe's aside, "Gabby" was loved by the the District of Columbia. Like Ted Leonsis, he was honest, sometimes brutally so. If the team didn't play well, he said so during the press conference. For the most part he was able to correct problems with the team's play. After 2009 when the Caps were giving up too many goals, he changed the scheme, and made them more defensive minded, while still maintaining the success they had the past 2 seasons.
The move to fire Boudreau nearly exactly 4 years from his hiring is a desperate move by a club looking to take a team from regular season winners, to Stanley Cup winners. George McPhee thinks Dale Hunter can do better. Hunter played most of his career with the Washington Caps and his number is hanging in the rafters of the Verizon center. He is a former captain and instigator. He spent so many minutes in the penalty box, the Caps organization gave him one of the penalty boxes as a gift when the U.S. Air Arena was closed. The Caps are hoping he can use his energy to help light a fire under these players and get them to the next level. As far as I'm concerned, if Boudreau absolutely has to go, this is the guy I want behind the bench. Ironically enough however, Hunter has had trouble in the playoffs as well. Hunter has coached the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League since 2001, leading them to the playoffs every year. The irony is that since they won the Memorial Cup in 2005, and losing in the finals a year later, he hasn't been able to get past the third round of the playoffs.

Boudreau with the Jack Adams Trophy
George McPhee and the Capitals organization have made their move. They are hoping Dale Hunter can inspire this team and lead them into the playoffs and more. They had better be right, because if they're not, where do we go from here? Boudreau will most likely watch Tueday's game against the Blues on his couch. If this coaching change doesn't work, McPhee could be in the same position next year. In my opinion, this is a day to remember Bruce Boudreau. I am a Dale Hunter fan, and I wish him the best, but Boudreau will always, always have a place in my heart as the coach who brought back Caps hockey. I wish him the best of luck in his coaching career, because it's not over.

Current Caps coach Dale Hunter

Dale Hunter

- 12 years played for the Caps
- 3565 penalty minutes (2nd in NHL history)
- Served 21 game suspension for a hit (longest in NHL history)
- Only player in NHL with 1,000 points and 3,000 PIM
- Played for the 1998 Caps- lost in Stanley Cup

Impressive player stat line. However, he has never coached in the AHL, let alone the NHL. He has a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders, and as a Caps fan, I wish him the best. You have your work cut out for you.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Semin vs. Boudreau

Who's going to break first, or shall I say who's going to get the boot first? Obviously, if you've read my previous blogs you can tell that I'm Pro-Boudreau. Even with the past playoff blunders, I'm willing to ride it out with Bruce at the helm. As for Alex Semin, I'm ready to kick his A$$. I thought we should've traded him the moment he had his 40 goal season a couple years ago to get the most out of his trade value, but George McPhee thought differently.
The difference between Boudreau and Semin is their progression. Bruce has continued to learn how to coach and how to bring new styles that work well with his players. Semin on the other hand has digressed year after year, and shown a serious lack of discipline and desire. Matt Bradley said it right in the offseason when he called out Alexander for having so much talent, but said he just doesn't care. The kid has been benched for taking too many penalties, and since his benching, he's had penalties in 2 of his next 3 games. At some point you have to realize who is at the pit of the teams problems. George McPhee needs to realize that a few of his players don't have the heart and mind of a champion, and Bruce said it himself after last night's loss to Buffalo.

“Sometimes we’re not mentally strong,” Boudreau said. “This group has got to learn how to be mentally strong. It hasn’t had a lot of adversity in the last four years unless it was in the playoffs.“The regular seasons have seemed like a walk in the park. But now we’ve gone 15 games with adversity and some guys are having a hard time with it.”

These guys need to find it within if they want to win. Changing coaches isn't going to make these guys grow up. Here is a trade scenario that I wish McPhee would consider:

Capitals Trade:

-Alexander Semin
-2nd & 4th Round pick

NJ Devils Trade:

-Zach Parise

Are we giving Jersey too much? Maybe, but let's be real...Semin is in the last year of his contract (as is Parise), Parise is a leader and easily a top 10 player when healthy. There is talk coming out of NJ that the GM knows Parise doesn't really want to come back, and they can't afford him and & Kovalchuk together. And Alexander Semin will be going to a team with fellow countrymen Ilya Kovalchuk and Anton Volchenkov..which may keep him from bolting to the KHL right away. The Devils would only be taking on a $700k cap hit after the trade (which they can afford), and it would also free up the same amount of space for the Caps. Maybe for a D-Man at the trade deadline.

Caps Nation: What do you think?? This would be a hell of a blockbuster deal!

Randy Edsall...Drop and Give Me 10

For a team that finished last year with 9 wins, and in the top 25...this year was nothing short of an embarrassment. Randy Edsall took over in January for Ralph Friedgen, and immediately started to implement his militaristic coaching style.
At first, when reports came out that players wanted to transfer, or quit..all I thought was that these kids need to grow up and maybe they had it too easy with The Fridge. But the more and more I take a look back at this season, I can't help but wonder what exactly Edsall is trying to do. Having a military type mindset is fine...when you're winning, but when you lose 8 straight in your first year, and there's anarchy in the locker room..maaaaybe it's time to change it up.
There is absolutely no way that MD will let him go after one year, they have too much invested in the fact that they bought out Ralph's hefty a$$...I mean contract.
I'm not a fan of AD Kevin Anderson for many reasons. Most notably, the hiring of an average coach (at best) to lead the football program to the next level..doesn't make sense. Not to mention he just cut 6 different sports programs (8 teams) all in his first 2 years. Congratulations! Now go back to Army!
Someone needs to put Randy Edsall in line..not only has he embarrassed the entire state of Terp nation, but he doesn't seem to think any of it is his fault. Needless to say it's going to be an interesting offseason. Keep an eye out for player transfers, recruiting, and Edsall's take on the changes needed for the upcoming season.

Here's a clip of the Terrapins new recruiting video to show High School recruits the typical football practice run by Edsall: Enjoy!

RIP Meast #21

4 years ago today Redskin Nation lost one of the most dynamic players in the history of its organization in Sean Taylor. He's been missed ever since, and I can't help but wonder what Area 51 (Landry & Taylor) would've done together in their primes. Taylor would've been 28, and I can promise you our D would be nastier than any other in the league! Take care 21, you'll always be missed!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Socca Flocka

Casey Townsend has been a straight stud all year long for the UMD Men's Soccer Team, and he looks to continue his hot streak this Sunday in the Third Round of the NCAA Tourney. It's the 10th straight year the Terps have made it this far, and they look to build off of Townsend's hat trick last week vs. Dub.V.U.
The Terps will be at home Sunday vs. Louisville at 5pm and I'm looking for Casey to keep this ride going!
The game will be on if you get the chance check it out!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksblogging

You can thank ricky for this picture..
Today is Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday. 

For that reason, I will do a quick blog brushing upon the Skins and the Caps before I begin the festivities. I am thankful to all our readers, because without you guys, I wouldn't have the $4.52 earned by this blog. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, lets get to the Caps first.

Also, my fellow blogger Ricky said I need to take it easy with the girl pictures. What do you think?


The Caps won their second straight last night against the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in overtime. Jason Chimera is having a breakout year for himself and not many people are talking about it. He is silently leading the team in goals with 8 on the year. Chimera is in his third year in DC after being traded from Columbus. He is easily the fastest skater on the team, and probably up there with the best in the league. Chimera has been part of arguably the most productive lines this year alongside Brooks Laich and Marcus Johannson. What did Jason have to say when finally asked about the solid year he's having? 

"Well, I've just always had it," Chimera joked. "Was just going to wait until my later, mid-30s to get it going. I don't want to peak too early. I want to keep playing until I'm 45 so hopefully I'll keep on getting better."

Easily one of the best lines I've heard from a Caps player. Chimera is a workhorse who never seems to get tired, and will continue to play his game regardless of the score. I would love to see him keep this up.
As for the the entire Caps team, I like where they're going. Their shot total is climbing, averaging 36 shots a game in their last 5, and they have put up 4 goals in each of their past 2 wins. The key for them will be to stay motivated and take every game personally. I think Ovechkin is trying his best to be a leader, which is interfering with his style of play. He doesn't want to be suspended, or be a shot hog. You can see that he looks for the pass just as much, if not more, than he looks for the shot. This is good and bad, but I think we would all like to see him get a little more selfish. I also like the amount we are hitting the past two games. The first time we played Winnipeg, we mustered a laughable 5 hits. Last night was a completely different story, as they wrecked the Jets for 35 hits. The hit total shows effort and hard skating. The more we hit, the easier it is to dictate the style and pace of the game. I hope this trend continues, because skating hard and shooting the puck has been our game the past couple years, and it looks good.


The Skins are stuck this season because of the lack of stability in the quarterback position. Everyone knows that the quarterback of the future simply is not on this roster, and that's a tough pill to swallow, especially for veteran guys like London Fletcher. This is a time of year for the Skins where they will be playing for their jobs. Young guys like Evan Royster will be given an opportunity to showcase his skills, and players like LaRon Landry who can't stay healthy will be looking to prove their worth. I like the framework we have on the defensive side of the ball and it would do well to keep it intact, and add to it. So hopefully we can work something out with Landry, who is a restricted free agent after this year. And for those of you who think he's the same guy on and off the field, check out Mike Wise's article on Landry's Leadership for Life program
The Redskins finish out the year with games against Seattle, the New York Jets, New England, the New York Giants, Minnesota and Philadelphia. Definitely not an easy schedule by any means, which means the heart and soul of this team will be tested each and every week. A lot will be revealed about their character, but it will be a struggle to finish out the season with more than 5 wins.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hit up the comments section with your thoughts on where each of these teams are and where you want them to go. I'll be eating food and watching football all day, and hopefully you all will do the same. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Embrace the Old Caps

Go back to 2009. The Caps enter the postseason leading the league in scoring with 318 goals, Ovechkin and Backstrom both record over 100 points, yet the Caps lose to Montreal 4 games to 3 in the first round. Since then, Boudreau has preached a tighter form of play, one that prides itself in its back check as much as it does its fore check. This was embraced by the fan base as the right way to play the game in order to win in the playoffs. Since then, different style of play, same results in the playoffs. I say, to hell with that style. The Caps are back in the swing of things, having won 2 straight, with 4 goals in each game. And that my friends, is Caps hockey. Throw the puck at the net as many times as you can. We have players capable of making their own scoring chances. Come playoff time, keep that same attitude and tell opposing teams to bring it.
Now, I'm not saying Semin, Ovechkin and Backstrom don't need to back check. I'm saying, let them loose. Give them free reign like the Redskins did with Sean Taylor. Give them the ice, and challenge them to bring back the Stanley Cup. Thinking about that mentality and writing it is getting me fired up to watch some Caps hockey the way it was almost 3 seasons ago. Three years ago we didn't have the weapons we have now on defense. We didn't have John Carlson, Karl Alzner or the up and coming Dmitry Orlov. We didn't have Roman Hamrlik or Dennis Wideman. We also didn't have Neuvirth or Vokoun in net, we had Jose Theodore, who moved from pipe to pipe slower than Jeff Schultz skates.
This time next week we will be playing the Pittsburgh Penguins avec Sidney Crosby (who scored 2 goals with 2 assists in his first game back in almost a year). The game is at home, and as usual the Phone Booth should be rocking big time. This is going to be a statement game for both teams. The Penguins will be looking to ride the wave of excitement Crosby has brought back to Pittsburgh, and the Caps will be looking to stomp that fire out.
Bylsma is going to be up for the Jack Adams trophy once again for the fact that they haven't missed a beat without Crosby. The reason being that they play Penguins hockey year in and year out. The Caps need to play CAPS HOCKEY. Let's get back to where we were and stop thinking so much. I was all for the change when it happened two years ago, but I'm off it. I want the Caps to play fast paced hockey and make the game fun for the players again, because honestly, they seem more worried than the fans.

Looking Forward: Orakpo and Kerrigan

Looking forward to Eva Mendes!
Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are arguably the brightest spot on the entire Redskins roster. They  are young, have a great attitude, and should be playing together for a long time. Both were defensive ends converted into outside linebackers. They have both made the transition extraordinarily well. If nothing else, they are a promise of consistent quarterback pressure, something that has been lacking for quite a while. So, lets look forward.

Brian Orakpo:

Brian Orakpo is in his third year out of Texas, after making the Pro bowl in his first two seasons in the NFL. He is on pace to record 30 sacks through his first 3 years in the league. He is known for his speed rush to the outside. One thing you notice about Orakpo right away is his attitude. He loves the game, hates to lose, and always does the right thing. You don't have to worry about him slamming his teammates, or missing meetings. He made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker as well as anyone could have hoped. He is still improving in coverage, but his pressure on the quarterback has been compared to the Cowboy's Demarcus Ware.

He still needs to learn a few more moves when rushing the passer however. He has relied on his speed to get around offensive tackles, or to draw holding penalties. He lacks a solid spin move and swim move, which is catching up to him this year. If he can open up his game to include these kinds of things, he will be mentioned among the elite, until then, he will be just excellent.

Ryan Kerrigan:

Ryan Kerrigan has exceeded all expectations this year. He, like Orakpo, made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. In his rookie year out of Purdue, he has already recorded 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and an interception for a touchdown. He has shown a lot of football IQ, reading plays and batting down passes. He is average in coverage, but has plenty of time to grow under Haslett's 3-4 defense.

Kerrigan needs to continue to learn the defensive scheme, as well as how offenses run in the NFL. He has done very well at learning on the go, but he must continue to work and avoid a slump in his second year. He is in a dogfight for defensive rookie of the year with Vonn Miller, but as of right now, Miller has the definite edge.

Sum it up:

It has been a long time since the Skins have had a tandem like this on defense. The have the ability to rush the quarterback from both sides, which limits opposing offenses' ability to run plays away from our strengths. If both of these guys continue to improve and learn from a seasoned vet like London Fletcher, they have the potential to be perennial Pro bowlers, and become the best linebacker tandem in the NFL.

. . . Your thoughts?

Where the Redskins Are

I pick the best blog pictures
The Redskins are sliding butt first straight into turkey day riding a 6 game losing streak. 7-9 seems like climbing Mt. Everest at this point so I'm thinking 5-11 right now. Two weekends of the unexpected mixed in with 4 weekends of the expected. At this point in the season, it's time to look at what the Redskins have achieved, and what direction the compass is pointing for next season. Although Skins fans and critics everywhere are grossly underwhelmed with this season, I have a slightly different outlook on the year. The Skins, as they are built right now, are a team that needed everything to go their way in order to win. There is zero margin for error. Play mistake-free, injury-free football, and you win. We simply do not have the skill, or the depth to overcome any kind of adversity (8+ injuries to offensive starters, multiple turnovers each game). What else don't we have? We don't have a leader at quarterback. A leader, is what we need, he doesn't have to be Manning or Brady, he just needs to lead. Look at that guy in Denver that everyone loves talking about. I would put my money on John Beck and Rex Grossman over him in any passing competition. The thing is, Tebow has that leadership quality that this team has been lacking for 25+ years, without exaggeration. Since Mark Rypien and Joe Theisman, we haven't had a quarterback start for 5 straight years. How big is this statistic? Lets take a look at the teams who have, (and I'll just look at teams in the past 10 years):

  • New England Patriots- Tom Brady
  • Indianapolis Colts- Peyton Manning
  • New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees
  • Dallas Cowboys- Tony Romo
  • San Diego Chargers- Philip Rivers
  • New York Giants- Eli Manning
  • Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Rothelisburger
  • Philadelphia Eagles- Donovan McNabb
  • Houston Texans- Matt Schaub
  • Cincinnati Bengals- Carson Palmer
  • Minnesota Vikings- Daunte Culpepper
  • Jacksonville Jaguars- David Garrard
  • Tennessee Titans- Steve McNair
  • Carolina Panthers- Jake Delhomme
  • New York Jets- Chad Pennington
  • St Louis Rams- Marc Bulger
  • Seattle Seahawks- Matt Hasselbeck

That is 17 teams, and it will grow by at least 3 next year. 

This is why the quarterback situation needs to be addressed, but it needs to be done carefully. As I have said before, if we want someone to lead this team for at the very least 5 years, it had damn well better be the right one. Until then, we are part of that bottom third of the league that is floating around in NFL obscurity, looking for an anchor.

Next up, the coaches. Mike and Kyle Shanahan are still under the microscope as far as everyone is concerned. The big story in their first year was McNabb, and the uproar when he was benched. That move doesn't look so bad now does it? McNabb went to a much better Vikings squad and proceeded to get benched for the second straight year. The other big problem has been the play calling, which I attribute to injuries and lack of talent not allowing them to do what they want to do, and the they are lacking a field general to really allow this offense to work. What I don't like, is how Mike answers questions during press conferences, or should I say the way he doesn't. If we were winning, fine, but we're not. He ignores every question and responds with a bland, vague statement. Another problem I have is that I'm not sold on his commitment to being a Redskin. Gibbs bled burgundy and gold, and we haven't had a coach with that kind of passion since him. I like that Bruce Allen is here to provide some of that passion, but I want a coach who will share that as well.

There is obviously much more to talk about, so I will gather my thoughts and get back to the Redskins. Until then, fill me in on your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Caps Plummet in the Power Rankings

Carmen Electra always makes me feel better..
ESPN's NHL Power Rankings are tough to take seriously because unlike the NFL power rankings where there is a panel of voters that vote each week, Scott Burnside and Pierre Lebrun alternate deciding the rankings every other week. This is part of the reason the Caps went from 6 to 21 in the power rankings. The other reason is the fact that they are mired in a 4 game losing streak and have gone 3-7-1 since starting 7-0-0. They are in serious need of a wake up call, and if Boudreau can't figure it out, these players are going to cost him his job. If Boudreau is fired this season, it will be a huge mistake for an organization that is painfully close to becoming an NHL Dynasty.

There is no doubt McPhee needs to do something if this trend continues, and I'm sure Boudreau is privy to some of his ideas just as much as I'm sure McPhee is asking Boudreau about his players. Fans and Media alike have been clamoring for Semin to be traded or benched, but I would be fairly surprised if this happened right now. Boudreau has been vocal in his support of Semin recently, saying Semin has a reputation, and that refs are singling him out. We know Boudreau isn't saying this for Semin's sake because Semin hasn't learned English yet. I would tend to think that Bruce really does back Semin's work ethic. If this is the case, why would he bench Semin?

If things don't change soon, George McPhee may very well fire Boudreau. He has to remember though, if he fires his coach, and that doesn't work, there's only one place left for the blame to fall and that's on him.

My message to Boudreau....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When Boys Become Men...

You often hear young boys asking their parents..."when will I be a man?". There's no timeline on when you become a man, there's no age in which you leave adolescence. I've come to realize that you become a man based on how you hold yourself accountable for your actions, and how you handle certain situations that constantly push you to the brink in life. There isn't just one scenario in which you've passed the test to manhood. But, as I watch the Caps this year I continue to ask myself..."when will these boys become men?".
For years we've watched the Caps, led by the "Young Guns" of the team fail to meet expectations, fail to hold themselves accountable, fail to recognize their faults and correct them when presented with the very next opportunity to do so. The "Young Guns" we refer to are Alexander Semin, Nick Backstrom, Mike Green, & Captain Alex Ovechkin. These four players are not young guns anymore (based on their age, not their play) they are entering the prime years of their career and yet we still see the same mistakes, miscues, penalties, lackadaisical effort that you would expect from a rookie. Am I being too harsh?? Maybe 2 years ago, but at this point somebody needs a wake-up call. These guys are supposed to be the leaders of the team, and it kills me to see a group of boys yet to become men.
Over the last 5 years the Capitals have learned a thing or two about winning. They came in two years ago saying the only thing that mattered now is the playoffs. They then proceeded to bend over while Montreal showed them what Canadian bacon looked like close up. The following year they said the same thing...only the playoffs matter! They got by the NY Rangers in the first round, but then were embarrassed to an even higher degree by a group of "young guns" down in Tampa that were flying by the Caps in the maturity rankings.
Everyone questions Bruce Boudreau after every playoff flameout, and rightfully so. But taking this high-flying Caps team and turning them into a defense-first organization was straight genius. The only problem is only half the team is buying into his philosophy.
Let me set the record straight...Bruce isn't the problem! If there are players on this team who refuse to grow up, then get rid of them. George Mcphee brought in a few new pieces this year, but no real leaders. This team has been in dire need of a leader since Sergei Federov left (Jason Arnott wasn't here long enough to leave a strong impression).
The Capitals top players play with a certain swagger of knowing that they're untouchable. knowing that McPhee would never trade them. They think that Boudreau will get the ax long before they do. Hell, maybe that's what they're hoping for. But what McPhee needs to realize is that once Bruce is gone...the next one in line is him! George needs to send a message to this locker room asap. Let them know that if they don't want to grow up, then they won't be on this team! I would put these guys on the trading block, and let the media know about it.

-Alexander Semin
-Jeff Schultz
-John Carlson

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

End the Lockout!!!

Two nights ago at the Juliet Supper Club on West 21st Street in Manhattan, there was a shooting that killed one man, and injured another. Pro athletes at the club that night included Kemba Walker, Russell Westbrook, Victor Cruz, Chris Canty, Chris Duhon, Carlos Boozer, & Antrel Rolle among others when the shooting broke out. Usually this wouldn't be a headline in local sports news..but here's the issue...John Wall was there. For an area that is still trying to cope with the passing of the late great Sean Taylor, I can't even begin to think of what we'd be feeling if something were to happen to Wall.

I understand that this type of event can happen at any place and any time, but I would rather it not involve Jimmy Wall! He's the best thing the Wizards have going right now, and he's a hell of a kid. If this damn lockout would end we'd be able to get back to watching him shine, and not escaping situations like this.

Besides, doing "The John Wall" dance without basketball is just getting me weird looks around town.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caps Drop 5 Spots in Power Rankings

Scott Burnside has the Caps down to 6 in the NHL Power Rankings after winning only 1 of their last 5 games. It's hard to argue this drop as the Caps don't seem to have the winning attitude they used to have when closing out games. The Caps most recent loss came in a shootout after leading 2-0 to New Jersey. In order to be considered an elite team, you have to put away teams. If teams still feel like they can win even when they're down two goals, it's going to be a longer season than we thought. In other news, Mike Green just can't get a break. He will be out for Tuesday's game in Nashville. Hamrlik should be back on the ice, so the Caps should be able to avoid bringing up Dimitry Orlov. . .for now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time to Face the Facts

We still have something to watch
The Redskins are bad. The offense is one of the worst in the NFL. We have third string quarterbacks fighting for a starting job. The offensive line is a mess. Mike Shanahan has given up on the season and moving players around to see what he's got for next year. But guess what?

Many people forget, but we KNEW this was the case. The Skins started off hot and everyone forgot how bad this roster is. Fear not lads, there is still a lot of good here, so lets break it down.

Remember how bad the defense was last year? Critics and fans were blasting Haslett and Shanahan for trying to force a 3-4 defense in to a 4-3 shaped hole. Well, who is blasting who now? Ryan Kerrigan and a much improved defense. Through the draft and free agency, this defense is humming in its second year, if we fill the gaps in the secondary and get a dedicated nose tackle, we're looking at some major success on the defensive side of the ball next year. Kerrigan is almost a lock for defensive rookie of the year, London Fletcher will most likely head to the Pro Bowl again, and the rest of the defense will be one more year wiser in the scheme. The massive improvement on this side of the ball just cannot go unrecognized. Well done Haslett.

The offense looked decent in the first few weeks, but it progressively got worse from week one on. The offensive line is paper thin, and will definitely get deeper this offseason. Santana is getting older, Cooley is banged up, and Grossman looks just as bad on paper as he does on the field. All this aside, this offseason will be measured by how Shanahan improves this offense. There are still a TON of holes here, but we have 8 draft picks to use in 2012, and the first one will probably be a quarterback (6 of the top 10 picks are projected to be quarterbacks.) The rest of the picks and free agency will be used to bulk up the O-line, find another receiver, and fill the previously mentioned gaps on defense.

Now comes the coaching. Kyle Shanahan has been getting WRECKED for his play calling this year, but again, it hasn't been as bad as it seems. Fans and critics want to run the ball more, but we are constantly playing from behind. Our offensive line is getting pushed back EVERY play, so Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, pulling O-linemen, just doesn't work. As far as Mike Shanahan, he needs to be more honest with his motives. If you're starting Beck because he's mobile, say so. If you're starting Grossman because of his experience, SAY SO. These empty, vague, "he gives us the best chance to win" comments are getting you killed! Maybe you just flat out don't care what people think, but that tactic only works if you win (Bill Belichick). So, until then, expect to get wrecked by the media.

We are not a good football team, we weren't supposed to be one, but we have the opportunity to build a contender for next year, which in reality, the 3rd year is when analysts expected improvement anyway.


UPDATE: Rookie WR Leonard Hankerson placed on IR after injuring his hip on Sunday. . .awesome.

Missing the Point(s)

Already we're heading into Week 11 of the 2011 season, and still the Redskins find themselves struggling to find their identity. Injuries have played a serious role in the downfall of this season, but with so many unknowns entering the was hard to predict where the Skins would stand.

The defense started the year off with a swagger that we've become accustomed to seeing. Recently though they've shown a lack of effort/desire until the other team steps inside the redzone. Besides the surprising play of Ryan Kerrigan, and the continued development of Brian Orakpo...there isn't much to be excited about when staring down these 11 men. Even the leadership of London Fletcher can't save this unit. Yesterday they were punished yet again, this time against a 1-7 Miami team that has way more issues than the Skins do!

The coaches decided to toss the ball back to Mr. Fatty Mcfatfat Rex Grossman to try and jump start this woeful offensive unit. I didn't have a problem with this change because I thought it would help the development of our young receiving corp (Hankerson: 8 catches 106 yards). Other than that, I would sum our performance up in one word...Fail! There's no reason to turn back to John Beck though, unless Rex Grossman refuses to stop going to Taco Bell after each meeting/practice/game.

Without the normal offseason preparations earlier this year, the Skins are still struggling to find out who they are. They didn't get the time to work with the coaches, and have yet to gel as an entire group. There's nothing to do the rest of this year except drink heavily throughout the game, and hope to pass out before it's over!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Prideful Play

This season has had its ups & downs for Maryland (2-7 1-5ACC). Technically it had only one up vs. Miami, & we've been heading downhill faster than the Jamaican Bobsled Team ever since. Tonight's game vs. Notre Dame (6-3) at FedEx Field gives the Terps a final shot to prove to the entire nation that they aren't just a team to be looked over. The Fighting Irish have been on a roll lately though, and they'll look to improve their overall record since losing their first two games of the season.

Randy Edsall announced that the Terps will be donning their "Pride" uniforms tonight. They also rocked these against Miami and received plenty of attention across the nation for it. Yes, they stole the idea from a ladies roller derby team, but f*ck it...I LOVE THEM! Supposedly Notre Dame will have a change in uniform tonight as well. So we'll see who wins the uni battle. Here's a quick look at their new helmet.

My hope is that these battered & bruised Terrapins can have more pride in their play, than in their gear tonight! Tune in at 7:30pm on NBC for the action!

Prediction: Maryland 20 Notre Dame 38

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scatterbrain Caps Thoughts

Welcome back Mike Green! Finally he is probable for tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils. This should be a big boost for the Cap's power play and defense. To be honest, the defense lately has looked straight up lazy. Carlson and Wideman can be seeing puck-watching at important moments giving up easy goals. Opposing players are sitting outside of the crease with ease, blinding our goalies and deflecting pucks into the net or gobbling up rebounds. Where is the fire on defense? 

Apparently Cap's coach Bruce Boudreau is sick of it too because according to him, the Cap's had their toughest 90 minute practice since his first year behind the bench. I say GOOD. This team has spectacular talent and sometimes it seems they play like they can win without breaking a sweat. According to Karl Alzner, “Teams that win the Cup are always working their bags off and they’re tired after every game. I think sometimes we’re mentally tired after games but not physically tired.”

That's not good. After 60 minutes on the ice, you should be exhausted. To say that the players aren't giving it their all every night is upsetting. We haven't even been CLOSE to winning the Stanley Cup yet and the players don't have the drive to give it up each and every night? This upsets me as it should every Caps fan. I doubt any of these players want to look back at their career and think, "I could have done more." 

We'll see tonight if that practice has any effect on their play. I hope it does, because we aren't going anywhere if we can only get fired up when the Penguins come to town. There are 28 other teams that are going to go balls to the wall to show that they can play with the Caps, and sometimes it looks like we just let them.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Nationals Catcher Kidnapped

The Washington Nationals have a budding star on their roster in Wilson Ramos, a 24 year old catcher who batted .267 with 15 home runs last year. The only problem is, he's kidnapped. Ramos was in Venezuela playing for the Aragua Tigers in their winter league. Kathy Vilera, the Tigers spokeswoman had this to say, "It's sad, worrisome and true that Wilson Ramos was kidnapped."

That sounds more matter of fact, and less bothered by the fact that one of their players has been kidnapped. 

Four gunmen entered his home in Venezuela Wednesday night and took him at gunpoint authorities say. They escaped in a van which was later found in the town of Bejuma, 60 miles from his home. According to Venezuelan officials, their "best investigators" are on the case. 

"Prudence and an even head are important in this difficult moment that the Ramos family is going through," Tigers President and General Manager Rafael Rodriguez said in a statement. "With God's help we will end up well in this complicated situation."

Baseball is extremely popular in Venezuela, and this is not the first reported crime against players in the area. CNN reports the following:

In 2009, the 11-year-old son of Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba, as well as his brother-in-law, were kidnapped for ransom. The pair were released the next day, reportedly with no ransom paid. 

Former major league pitcher Victor Zambrano's mother was also kidnapped that year, and rescued in a police operation.

The brother of Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco was kidnapped and killed in 2008.The trend of Venezuelan ballplayers being at risk goes back at least to 2005, when the mother of former big-league pitcher Ugueth Urbina, was kidnapped and held captive for months.

While headlines are all about Penn State right now, there is a missing person in Venezuela. I guess people go missing every day, so it isn't worthy of headline news. Right now, the FBI is not involved in this case because Wilson Ramos is not a US citizen, though they have offered any help Venezuelan authorities need.

I'm not sure what to make of this, Ramos is still missing, authorities are waiting for a ransom demand, but what if that never comes? 

This has Celtic Pride written all over it. . .Fight On DMV will keep you posted as the story continues.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Birdland Gets Their Man!

Actually, this is probably their 3rd or 4th man. After Tony LaCava & Scott Proefrock spurned Baltimore's offers to become their new Vice President/General Manager, Dan Duquette accepted the challenge (challenge being an understatement). It makes you wonder why the others didn't accept the job, making the O's go get a guy who hasn't been involved in the game in over 10 years. Then again, it makes you wonder why a man who's been out so long..would come back to an Organization in peril. I'm very intrigued by Duquette, but at the end of the day we all know that his hands will be tied by Peter Angelos.

Trying to stay on a positive note though, Free Agency is underway...and not a moment to waste! Let's see what Dan & Buck will do to try to right the ship.

Fight On DMV!

It Could Be Worse...

3-5...that's the record that we have on this beautiful Fall morning. Winners of 0 straight, and losers of 4 in a row. Right on pace for a 6-10 season, and a draft pick anywhere from 8-14. Are we going to have a chance at Luck? Probably not. But hell, it could be worse! We could be fans of the "Super Bowl Contenders" ...Philadelphia Eagles, who by the way, have the same record as the Skins. We could be fans of a University that is under investigation, has their Coach halfway out the door, and losing top recruits as we speak. The glory years in Happy Valley seem a little, oh what's the word? Glorified?!

Too Soon?

I'm not going to lie, looking around the NFL & NCAA...I can't help but be O.K. with the way things are going in the DMV, at least for a day. The Skins season is all but over, so now it's time to look to the future of this Organization and see if any of our young players are going to be the answer for years to come. Here is a list of players to keep your eye on the rest of the year & hope that they'll step up!

1.Leonard Hankerson
2.Terrence Austin
3.Niles Paul
4.Roy Helu
5.Tashard Choice
6.Kevin Barnes
7.Perry Riley
8.Chris Neild
9.Maurice Hurt
10.Dejon Gomes

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tour de Franzia

Ben wanted me to recap the Skins game today, but I'm in mid-training for the Tour de expect an epic blog tomorrow morning when I awake with a wicked hangover.

Fight On Franzia!

Caps still number 1..

Pierre LeBrun has the Caps atop the power rankings for the third straight week. Big test on Tuesday night against the number 2 ranked Dallas Stars. We know we can score, so defense will be the focal point of this game. Boudreau, please stop playing with the lines. . .

Blog Update

All of our blogs are now organized by team. Every new blog will still show up on the homepage, but they will also be routed to a page dedicated to blogs about that specific team. So, every Skins blog can also be found by clicking the "Redskins" tab at the top of the page. Same goes for Caps, Orioles, Wizards, etc....

Latest STFU DeAngelo Hall Moment...

I won't waste any one's time, so here's the quote:

"It's almost like your little brother. Obviously you can't go beat up an 8-year old. If you're 15 years old, all you can do is keep training your little brother — hey, this is what we need to do, dude will come at you, throw your hands up, duck and weave, bob and weave, throw this punch, keep attacking em — but it ain't much more we can do. We can't, defensively, go out there and play offense.

"They're three-and-out, is it frustrating? Yeah. Do we want them to pick up first downs and score? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, if that's not happening, all I can do is try to be positive and try to say hey guys, let’s go, let's go make a play. They can't make a play, let's go make a play for them. That's just trying to be a leader and trying to stay positive. Everybody could bash dang near everything going on. It's easy to do that. It's harder to try to stay positive and keep guys upbeat."

Shut the F*CK UP! If there wasn't a divide in the locker room before, there is now. DeAngelo might make a play here and there, but he is up there as one of the most overpaid, overrated players at any position. There is one leader on this TEAM, let alone the defense, and his name is London Fletcher. And what needs to happen is for London to backhand this man. You don't see the offense complaining when DeAngelo gives up ANOTHER third and long to his receiver do you? Well you might now because the gloves are off. There is a reason Mike Shanahan is very vague when talking about the team's problems. Once you single someone or a part of the team out to the media, they run with it. I guarantee you Shanahan is much more blunt when speaking with his players. And if DeAngelo wants to tell the offense directly that he's frustrated with them, brilliant, do it!

As usual though, Hall stirs the pot. My advice? I don't know Hall as a person, but from what I have seen over and over again as a player, get rid of this guy and do it quickly, You paid to get rid of Albert, pay to dump Hall.

Am I being too harsh? Is it cool that DeAngelo called out the offense? Let me know in the comments section.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Congrats Graham Gano!

Graham Gano connected on a 59 yard field goal on the last play of the 1st half against the Niners. Not only is this a career long for him, but it puts him in the books for the longest field goal in Redskins team history!

Congrats Graham!!

Terps stole the idea for their jersey's from WHO?

"WTF! Moment of the Day"

I thought these uni's were sick the first time I saw them vs. Miami, I kept thinking it's so original! WRONG
The roller derby's Charm City All Stars have been rocking these same helmets far longer. They also look like they can beat the sh!t out of MD..kinda like everyone else has this year...

John Wall's New Kicks

There may be an NBA lockout but there is still a new John Wall shoe this year. Introducing the Reebok Zig Encore. Don't let Gilbert Arenas, or his poop anywhere near these! Scoop 'em up on for $114.99.

Skins vs. Niners- Let's See Some FIRE!

Seeing as how our offense has been playing so well, why not bring in the league's number one defense to test it? This game might be littered with Boo's all game long, then again, Mike Shanahan had never been shut out before last week, so maybe he's extra motivated to erase that from his memory.

The only way I see the skins coming out with a surprise victory is if they can stop Frank Gore, and cause a few turnovers from Alex Smith. If Frank Gore tears up the defense for 150+ total yards, don't expect a pretty scoreboard.

The Skins do have some things to feel good about however. Trent Williams will be back at left tackle, Fred Davis is slated to start at tight end, and it can't possibly be worse than last week, right? Here is a quick run-down of what I want to see in today's game.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Maryland vs. Virginia Preview

Today's game at Byrd Stadium is going to be a tight one...well, for at least the first 5 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I love my Terps, but man are they hard to watch this year. I would be lying if I said my hopes weren't high going into the year. Randy Edsall had the best QB in recent memory at UMD coming back for at least one more season, a Defense which was returning star players in Kenny Tate & Joe Vellano, and hard nosed running backs in Davin Meggett & D.J. Adams.

That now seems like an eternity ago. Now we're staring down a quarterback battle, a shaky offensive line, and an injury riddled Defense. Oh yeah, and we've lost 4 in a row. The defense has given up 146 points in those 4 games, and our offense is either hitting or completely missing.

Virginia comes in (5-3 2-2ACC) and within reaching distance of first place in the Coastal division. They had a big win last week in Miami, and look to roll over the Terps today.

It's almost gametime so I'm going to try to catch the first few minutes, like I said before, that may be the only part worth watching.