Thursday, December 29, 2011

Growing Pains

Am I the only Wizards fan who's getting a sense that this year may be another year where we feel like we should be getting paid to watch the games? I don't mean any disrespect, but maaan was that hard to watch last night. I would've been better off watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta".
But in all seriousness, this is only year 2 of the Wizards (soon to be Bullets) rebuild. We're far better off two games into this season than we were at this point last year. At least we don't have to worry about Gilbert Zero ruining the psyche of John Wall anymore, and we have plenty of young players that will be looking to lockdown a spot in the rotation over the next few weeks.

The main thing I can take away from last night's game vs. Atlanta is that "at times" the Wizards are capable of playing great basketball. Let's face it, the lockout doesn't help any young team come together..especially a team that has 9 players with less than 4 years of NBA experience. This team looks completely disorganized, selfish, and has an innate ability to play anything but team defense.

Am I being too rash? Until I see something different I'd say No! Like I said before though, the lockout has pushed the development, and the camaraderie of this team back at least a month or two. It's unfortunate that we lose 16 games right when we need them the most, but if the players & coaches take this as a positive for the future, and learn from this year's can only help this team in the future.

Wall played better last night than he did in the first game vs. NJ...but I'm not going to give him too much praise when I still see an inability to finish at the rim. He may be the fastest PG in the NBA but it won't make a bit of difference until he can finish, and also set up his teammates while driving the lane. I know John won't be happy with his 6 tunrovers last night, to go along with an average amount of assists (6). He needs to have a ratio of at least 2/1 or 3/1 in the ASSTS/TO category. Is it just me or does his cardio look a bit sluggish so far? Easy for me to question his cardio while slugging down a 6-pack last night. Jordan Crawford may be working his way to the bench if he continues to put up gooseeggs on a nightly basis (0/6 fgm/a)..not to mention Nick Young looks like he's getting back to his old form with 21 points last night on 6/12 shooting (3/6 3ptrs). Wouldn't be too surprised if Nick was in the starting line-up as soon as Friday night @ Milwaukee. JaVale McGee had his shining moments and finished with 15pts & 12rebs. He still needs to work on his inconsistency though, and try to put "multiple" complete games together. I catch him standing and watching as shots go up instead of being more aggressive and putting a body on someone. Hopefully going against Turiaf at practice will help him out. I'd rather not go into the play of Blatche so far because it's too early in the day to start drinking away my frustrations.

I'm looking for the Wizards to bounce back against the Bucks tomorrow night, and get that monkey off their back early in the season and pick up that crucial 1st road win to start building their confidence.

WSH 94 - MIL 90

Fight On Zards!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ready to Launch

Wizards fans have so much to look forward to this 2011-12 NBA season. Jimmy Wall is back in action, and looks much improved from his already stellar rookie season (minus Monday vs. New Jersey). Jordan Crawford is on the verge of a breakout season, even with Nick Young back. Look for this kid to become a 12-20 point scorer a night. Andray Blatche is speaking like a veteran, and actually working like one...having a similar body frame to Dray's, I always knew I could make it in the NBA. But watch out, I think I saw some muscle on the kid this year. I'm looking for a huge season from him! JaVale McGee has been getting praise from the media so far in camp for his improved play, but I don't like seeing him on the bench at the end of games. So make sure you keep an eye out for that tonight. I'd love to see McGee banging against Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Brooks Lopez, etc. and really show these guys that there's a new big man in town.

Young pups like Jan Vesely, Shelvin Mack, & Kevin Seraphin need to learn on the fly, and try to earn some playing time through practice. I think Jan can fly with anyone in this league, but give him some time to adjust from the European style of ball. Don't put high expectations on him early, let him learn and grow...and hopefully bring his girlfriend to the games.

Key role players this year besides Nick Young will be Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Roger Mason Jr., & Ronny Turiaf. I love the energy that Booker & Turiaf bring to the game..but their biggest issue is going to be trying to stay healthy. Chris Singleton is my diamond in the rough this year. I think we're going to look back at this draft and say he was one of the top 5 picks. The kid is straight nasty on D..he can guard all 5 positions, and as soon as his offensive game starts to out! Same thing with Chris though, injuries have to stay away.

I know the season got off to a rocky start the other night against the Nets, and the lack of "star-power" may ultimately doom this team...but I think they have a true leader in John Wall who won't let this team go down without a fight. Players need to breakout this year in order for them to improve. But if the growth for players like Blatche, McGee, Young, & Crawford don't improve over past seasons...we have another "Lottery Party" to look forward to next summer. My hope is that they can sneak into that 8th spot in the East...the key number for this season  is 30. 30 wins in a 66 game season doesn't seem too great. But it's achievable, and it's 7 more wins than we had last year in an 82 game schedule.

Tonight's Game:
WSH Wiz @ ATL Hawks
prediction: ATL 102 - WSH 90

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Tune in today at 4pm (probably on ESPN) to find out whether Matt Barkley will return to USC for another season, or turn Pro. This is a HUGE decision for Skins fans..whether you're pro-Barkley, or pro-RGIII. This decision is going to decide a lot..especially with Washington's recent winning ways.

If Barkley were to come out this year he would be a top 7 or 8 pick. And either the 2nd or 3rd QB taken, depending on who you're listening to.

If he were to stay another year at USC, Barkley would have a shot at a BCS bowl game with a yet-again loaded Trojan squad. Not to mention being a front-runner for Heisman, and an all but guaranteed #1 draft pick, or at the very least..the first QB taken in the 2013 Draft. Oh, and then there's the money issue..there's quite a difference between #1 money and #7-8 money.

That being said...why wouldn't he come out this year?!?! Riiiight..I'll be on pins and needles around 4 o'clock and "Tebowing" along the way! Come out this year Matt! Skins Nation needs you to!


What the Flip is Going On?

The NBA was locked out for what seemed like minutes? Or days? Months? I'm not really sure because I didn't think about it all that much. I honestly didn't think we would have a season this year. But, alas we will have a season, and the Wizards' start on December 26th. Training camp began a couple weeks ago and I followed along. Michael Lee reported what seemed to be every minute of camp. Players told him there was a huge buzz at camp. Their in house scrimmages were off the charts. I couldn't believe the hype that was building around this team. This hype built an anticipation for their opening preseason game against Philly. Fans expected an improved John Wall, a dedicated Andrey Blatche, and a focused JaVale McGee. Well, sometime expectations can be a set up for disappointment. The Wizards do not look poised to make a splash this season. If anything, it seems like they are taking a step back. Jordan Crawford has looked abysmal, taking quick jump shots before any kind of offense has time to function. The silver lining? This team has a ton of potential. McGee has a frame like Kevin Garnett and can jump out of the building. John Wall just might be the fastest player in the NBA, and we resigned Nick Young for the year. And guess what? Those damn jerseys look SEXY. I love the old school look. So at least I have something good to look at. I'll just put a sticky note over the scoreboard on my TV this season.

Anyway, I'm a little off track, but here's the point of this article. I'm wondering if Flip has the ability to motivate these guys. Can he get these guys going? This is a team FULL of young talent. They are in a critical moment for their development as players. They need a coach that pushes them and drives them to reach their full potential. Right now, it's sloppy. Let's just hope it's the short training camp that has them in a bit of a funk. If not, Flip Saunders will have some 'splaining to do. And I think it's beginning to look like we could have 2 new head coaches in the Verizon Center by the end of this season. I'm rooting for you Flip, but I want to see these young studs develop.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Opinion: Skins Dominate Giants. Good or Bad?

Boo Hoo
This is a pretty touchy topic right now. The Skins are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so fans immediately start thinking draft spot. Well, some fans anyway. There are basically two sides to this argument. You either can't wrap your mind around the idea that losing games can be a positive, or you want the Skins to lose out the season in order to improve their draft pick. Here's what I think.

What is the goal for the season? The entire reason the NFL exists, besides for profit obviously, is to get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. If your a player, you've probably lived your whole life with that goal. Girls dream of their perfect wedding, kissing the man they have waited for their entire life. Football players dream of that perfect season, kissing the shiny Lombardi trophy they have waited for their entire life. Perfect analogy? I tend to think so. That being said, teams will never tank a season for a draft pick. As much sense as it would make for the future, no team with that mindset will be successful no matter how many number one draft picks they "earn". Therefore, should we be happy that the Skins crushed the Giants for the second time this season? Absolutely. I loved the way they played. I hate the Giants and their "if we played the Redskins 100 times we would win 99 of them" attitude. And more importantly, I hate watching the Redskins play awful football. So, when the season ends prematurely and we start to look at draft picks, winning is still the number one goal, and a higher draft pick is merely the silver lining of a late season loss.

You'll never see me complain about at Redskin victory, no matter when it comes during the season, but don't look for me to jump for joy and talk about how this team is turning it around either. They are just finally playing football without the pressure of the fanbase needing success on their backs. Until they learn to play with that pressure. This team will struggle to play at the level we saw this past week on a consistent basis.

So what do you guys think? Glad they pummeled the Giants? Or are you pissed that we are moving down the draft order? Share your thoughts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Knock Knock...Philly Still Sucks

Not gonna lie..I thought last night's episode of 24/7 featuring the Flyers/Rangers was pretty good. Obviously not as appealing without our Caps in it, but the Flyers had me cracking up when they showed their postgame celebration and started dancing around to Mac Miller's "Knock Knock".
 Solid effort...but I'm going to have to stick with last year's Caps anthem "Beat Dat Beat Up" by DJ Pauly D. Watch & vote for which one you think is the best!

Dale Hunter will get Better, Right?

Fans loved Dale Hunter the player
If you're a long time Caps fan, you knew who Dale Hunter was before he was brought in as head coach. You knew he was arguably one of the most dirty, gritty, fierce, competitive, and for that matter, beloved players to ever wear a Caps uniform. When he was introduced as coach, I know I wanted to see that kind of mentality passed on to his players. But what about Dale Hunter the coach? What has he done? Where did he come from? In case you were wondering, here you go:

 In 1996, the Knights mustered a shockingly embarrassing 3 wins in a 68 game season. Hunter took over as head coach for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League in 2001-2002. His first season? 24 wins, 65 points and made it to the second round of the playoffs. His second year? 31 wins, 72 points and made it to the second round of the playoffs. His third year was even better with 53 wins, 110 points and the team made it to the third round of the playoffs. By the end of his fourth season, he was hoisting the Memorial Cup in the air after a 59 win season and 120 points. He has mentored current NHL stars such as Corey Perry, Patrick Kane and John Tavares.

What does this say about Dale Hunter as a coach? He gets the most out of his players. He shows consistent improvement. He's intelligent enough to learn on the fly and find ways to win with different players. Although he doesn't have any NHL coaching experience, there is reason to believe he will be successful. It's been a rough start so far, with questions as to whether or not he can translate his success with young players into success with men in the National Hockey League.

Let me explain my stance on Dale Hunter, as some readers were confused over my last post. I am not calling for Dale Hunter's head. In no way do I think he should be fired, nor do I think he will be fired at the end of the year. I do think he needs to get the team to show some life. When you have opposing players and media for other teams saying Hunter's system is totally unsuited for players like Semin and Oveckin, it's not a good sign. I'm not saying scrap it, I'm just saying I want to see Dale Hunter learn and adapt, just like he did with the London Knights.

Short video on Hunter's success in London

Share your thoughts in the comments section

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dale Hunter on the Hot Seat? Or is it too early. . .

The Caps' 5-1 loss to Philadelphia last night wasn't just a bad loss. It was an embarrassment. Every single Caps fan who went to that game should get their money back. After a 3 day break between games, the Caps came out with zero heart, zero emotion and zero preparation. They looked tired, sluggish  and completely disoriented. Three years ago, a two or three goal deficit meant nothing. The team would keep their heads up and battle. They had that confidence and winning attitude that keeps elite teams in any game. Last night, Vokoun gave up a lazy goal in the first period, and it seemed like they gave up after that. We lost every 50-50 battle, couldn't get anything going on a power play that went 4-6 last game, and couldn't muster any dangerous shots on goal. Philadelphia came into our town and showed the Caps who's the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference. The Caps on the other hand, need to figure it out before it's too late.

Jeff Schultz was a healthy scratch again, proving that Dale Hunter sees in him what every fan has seen for 4 years now, absolutely nothing. Roman Hamrlik is also a huge bust. It seems like he aged 10 years this offseason and is constantly taking penalties or reacting slowly to the puck. I'm sorry to say it, but Ovechkin just hasn't been the same since he was suspended twice two seasons ago. He looks like a beaten man, exactly like what Boudreau looked like after his last game coaching the Caps. He's a man without answers. Guess who was supposed to be the man with the answers; Dale Hunter.

Now, I know it's early. The team has shown some promise since Hunter has taken over, but nothing consistent. At this point, it is far too early to start questioning Dale Hunter's ability to coach this team to the playoffs, but for me, it's time to see something out of this team. I love Dale Hunter as a player and a man, but I hope he isn't in over his head here. Coaching in the NHL is an entirely different animal than coaching 17 year old kids in the Ontario Hockey League. I don't know what this team needs in order to wake up. Does Ovechkin need to be a healthy scratch? Does Semin need to be traded? What about Vokoun? Something has to give, and maybe it's time to bring Holtby up and give him a shot. I bet he's dying to get a chance to prove his worth to Dale Hunter.

What's he going to do next?
Right now we are 11th in the conference, 2 points out of the playoffs and 7 points behind Florida in the Southeast division. This is the lowest we have been in the standings this late in a season since Boudreau's first year. George McPhee must be sweating in his office, because his job is on the line even more so than Dale Hunter's.
But maybe this is what is needed for McPhee. Maybe he needs to be pushed to the brink in order for him to take the steps necessary to right the ship. Just maybe he'll trade Semin and Schultz away for a veteran, or a rising star with speed like Zach Parise.

Again, I have to reiterate that I know it's only mid December, but at some point everyone is looking for a lightning bolt to hit this team and zap it back to dominance. We're all waiting for something, that's for sure.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moves like Jagr

Thanks to Albert Haynesworth...Jaromir Jagr isn't the most pathetic free agent signing in DC sports history anymore. Now he's #2. Congrats Jagr! The other day I was reminiscing over the glory years with Jagr in a Caps uniform, seems more like he merely used Verizon Center as his glory hole. I was trying to think of a few great games he had here, but.................................................I'm thinking.........................still thinking...................nope, I can't seem to remember any.
Jaromir has come out and said he can't stand playing in DC, he says it's not the easiest arena to get going in.... GOOD! Because tonight I'm looking for Ovechkin to put Jagr to sleep like he did in the Olympics last year. In case you forgot, here is a little reminder:

Keep your head up Jaromir...there's going to be a freight train coming at you tonight!

Fight On Caps!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Manning to DC? It Could Happen. . .

The Indianapolis Colts face a fork in the road once this season comes to a close. Break it down any way you want it, but it comes down to choosing between Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. The Colts will have to decide which one before they pay Manning his $28 million bonus this spring. We can speculate all we want, but no one outside of the Colts' organization knows which way they'll turn. History would say Peyton Manning has played his last game as a Colt and will finish his career somewhere else. Seems bonkers to picture Peyton in any uniform but a Colts' uni, but hey, it's happened before. Joe Montana was traded to the Chiefs, even Brett Favre played for his arch rival, the Minnesota Vikings. How about another great Colts QB Johnny Unitas? He is considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history by many, yet he was traded to San Diego at the end of his career.
Bottom line, don't think Peyton Manning is untradable. When it comes down to it, the NFL is a business and Jim Irsay will do what he thinks is best for the future of his organization. The question is, who will go after the Manning the hardest? McNabb was a mistake, but bringing Manning to DC would be a perfect move for the Skins. But what would we have to give up? Definitely our first rounder this year, and hopefully nothing more than a 2nd rounder in 2013, considering Snyder would be saving the Colts a cool $28 million. For the record, it Manning came to DC, I would spend the next few months learning how to do a standing back flip just so I could celebrate the right way. Peyton Manning starting at QB the next 3 years and training a young quarterback to play as he does? The only way that's a bad idea is if we can't get a QB in the first round. Here's three different scenario's that I could see going down, assuming we earn a top 5 pick:

Scenario 1: Skins get Manning

Redskins trade:
2012 1st round pick
2013 2nd round pick
Ryan Torain

Colts Trade:
Peyton Manning
2012 3rd round pick

Redskins draft:
Landry Jones in the 2nd round

Scenario 2: Skins use first pick on a QB 

Redskins draft: 
Robert Griffin (assuming he enters the draft, which I'm sure he will) or Matt Barkley of USC. For the record I am not a Barkley fan. All I see is Matt Leinart 2.0

Scenario 3: Skins use first pick on OL

Redskins Draft:
-Matt Kalil of USC. Put him on the left side, move Trent Williams to the right side.
-Draft either Landry Jones of Oklahoma or Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State.


All 3 scenarios have their risks and rewards. The safest scenario seems like number 2, but the third one would give us two great offensive tackles for the next 10 years. Right now the first scenario is certainly the most risky, but seems right up Daniel Snyder's alley doesn't it?

What do you guys think? Or do you have your own scenario? Bring in the comments!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Something to Cheer About

We like Roy Helu
Chris Mortenson of ESPN is the only analyst that I know who picked the Skins to win this one. Most predictions were a blowout victory for the Patriots. The Skins held their own and played up to their opponents level for this one, which is a great sign for the character of this team. The season is over as far as playoffs go, Injuries and suspensions have piled up so much that this offense's only familiar face is Rex Grossman. Yet, the New England Patriots came into town and the Skins made a game of it. This was the first game I watched this season thinking I was getting ready to watch a blood bath. Even with a loss, there are a ton of positives to take from this game.

  • The offensive line is gaining invaluable experience. Rex Grossman holds on to the ball far too long, and has zero pocket presence, but the O-line gave him enough time to be successful. The fumble in the end zone was 100% Rex's fault for holding the ball too long.
  • Roy Helu is consistently putting up numbers. For the third straight game, he has put up over 100 yards rushing. He is an explosive back that is making a serious case for being the number one back next year. If we add a goal line back, our running game should only look even better next year.
  • Welcome Perry Riley. This guy looks good. He plays hard and hits harder. London Fletcher is impossible to replace, but I'll feel much better knowing Perry Riley has a new contract. He signed a 4 year deal in 2010, and London Fletcher will be 40 years old at that point, and Perry Riley better be getting a fresh new contract. 
  • For all the crap the coaching staff gets for not making adjustments and poor play calling, they proved that they can do both today. Brandon Banks threw a touchdown on an end-around pass to Santana Moss, and Mike Shanahan retooled his offensive line for the sixth time this season, while making adjustments to the game plan after Sellars went down.
Obviously everything wasn't positive, but I'm pumped to write something good for a change. Yes, the Patriot's defense is bad, but we exploited their weaknesses with a rookie running back, a makeshift offensive line, and a bevy of older wide outs. The coaching staff and the players gave fans something to cheer about, and hope for the future of this organization. Kudos to the players for busting their asses out there when the only thing to play for is pride.

 Bring on the New York Giants!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Great Wall to Superman? I'm Down!

With all of these "super teams" in the NBA now, and the proposed Chris Paul to LA got me thinking. I know the Paul deal was shutdown, but another big name that's been floating around as of late is Dwight Howard. He's been linked in trades to LA, NY, & NJ. With a 95% chance that he won't be coming back to Orlando, the Magic are absolutely entertaining offers before the season starts.
The Wizards have a solid core of young players surrounded around their franchise cornerstone in John "Jimmy" Wall. But how about some of our young talent for the best big man in the game (and only 26..birthday was yesterday). The dude is a freak of nature, but you may ask yourself why would he ever want to come to DC?? One reason...John Wall. There are only a handful of point guards in this league as dynamic as Wall, and we're lucky enough to have him.
Players like Dwight Howard aren't dangled out there for a trade very often. So Ernie Grunfeld, PLEASE consider your options here. Giving up some of our young talent for the best center in the game is well worth the trade off for me! This trade would immediately make us contenders. Rebuild over...

Here is my proposal:

Wizards Trade:
-Nick Young (sign & trade)
-JaVale Mcgee
-Jan Vesely
-Two 1st round draft picks

Magic Trade:
-Dwight Howard (agreement to sign extension with Wiz)
-Hedo Turkoglu

New Starting Line-up:

PG John Wall
SG Jordan Crawford
SF Hedo Turkoglu
PF Andray Blatche
C Dwight Howard

PF Trevor Booker
PG Shelvin Mack
SF Chris Singleton
C Kevin Seraphin

You now amnesty Rashard Lewis' over $21million/yr contract, and go get reliable veteran free agents such as:

-J.J. Barea
-Roger Mason
-Kurt Thomas
-Josh Howard (reduced contract!)

Am I crazy? What do you all think??

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Took the Orioles GM Job...Because I Got High

I thought there was supposed to be a light at the end of the tunnel? Well how damn long is this tunnel in Baltimore? It seems like no matter who our GM is, they all have the same philosophy...and that would be "don't spend, and lose lose lose". I guess it's OK if you want to shatter your fan base, and you don't care much for money. But come on man, Peter Angelos only brings in guys who will shine his shoes, do his dry cleaning, and maybe pick up a slugger who's 10-years past his prime (i.e. Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez??).
Andy McPhail gave it his best shot the last few years, but our young arms have hit a wall, and I'm sure Angelos wouldn't give him the green light on many trades, or free agent acquisitions. So he knew that it was time to pack up and go.
Dan Duquette must have been hanging around Fred Davis, & Trent Williams when he made his decision to come back to baseball with the Orioles. Hell, Ricky Williams is right down the street so maybe he's giving him a good hook-up. You have to be high as a kite to take this job, and then come out during the winter meetings and say "We're not going after big name free agents. We'll get our players through trades, and just try to give our pitching staff more depth." Dan won't even give a free agent pitcher more than a 3-year contract. Good luck trying to lure those top players into Charm City with that philosophy.
And where are these trades going to come from? The only players we have that are worth anything are Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Jim Johnson, & prospects Manny Machado, Xavier Avery, and Mychal Givens. And Machado better be untouchable!
We need to go out and get a player that's going to make other players actually want to come to Baltimore. The Nationals went out and did that last year with Jason Werth, little did they know..he's not very good. If the Orioles made an effort to go get the O-BEAST Prince Fielder, maybe it would finally make the League look at Baltimore in a way that they haven't in 14-years. And then Duquette may have full reign to go get the pitchers he wants.
Until we start looking at what's going to make Baltimore a winner sooner rather than later...we might as well keep hoping that Steve Biscotti will buy the team, or have Ray Lewis murd...I mean tackle Peter Angelos right out of the picture.

Fight On B-more!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Caps-Cats Preview

The Washington Capitals are in Florida tonight to take on the Southeast division leading Panthers. It's been at least 4 years since the Caps have looked up at the Panthers in the standings. Tonight's game, and every division game for that matter is a statement game now. It seems like eons ago when the Caps dominated this division. Look for the Caps to keep up their hard hitting mentality as they look to show the Panthers just how shaky their division lead is. Vokoun won't get to play against his former team this time as Neuvy will get the net for the second straight game. Michale Neuvirth played well in a 3-2 overtime victory against Ottowa two night's ago, and Dale Hunter is showing that hard work and good play will get rewarded. If Neuvy has another good game tonight, I wouldn't be surprised to see him in net again against the Senators on Wednesday.

Florida is coming off a great win in San Jose to end their road trip, and although they are playing well, they may be tired and sloppy after their trip out west. In what seems to be a recurring theme, special teams play may be the deciding factor in this one. Florida gives up over 30 shots a game, but a lot of them are blue line shots that don't really test the netminder. Their penalty kill is a solid 82.2 percent which is 17th in the league during an unusually stingy penalty killing NHL season.
The Caps are running a 1-2-2 trap scheme which is new under head coach Dale Hunter. It is something very new for the Caps, who are trying to avoid giving up odd man rushes and break aways. They are looking more and more comfortable in it, but still need to learn how to get shots on goal when transitioning to their forecheck. Florida will be a good test to see if they are getting the hang of it. Although we are getting production out of every line, it would be good to see the Caps top line lead the team in points for a change. We need success from every line, but teams are not fearing out top line like they used to, and Ovechkin is not the dangerous player he used to be, partly because he looks to pass much more than he used to.

Look for another low scoring affair in what could be a 2-1 victory for either team. Semin's status is still up in the air, so perhaps we will stay out of the penalty box. Rock the Red at home, and don't forget to send in your "Shots for Beags" pics. Use the "Contact Us" page to send in!


Williams and Davis "Lucky" to miss just 4 games

2,000 players were tested for illegal drugs during training camp this past offseason. 11 "unlucky" players were dumb enough to get caught. Of those 11 players, only 2 were dumb enough to get caught AGAIN. Naturally, both of those players are Redskins. Because of a technicality from the lockout, these players will only receive a 4 game suspension, rather than the usual full season.

Fred Davis and Trent Williams. You could make the argument that they are the two best young players on the offensive side of the ball. You could also make the argument that they are the two least intelligent players in the entire National Football League. When I first heard this story, the beaten down Skins fan in me thought, no big deal, we're not making the playoffs anyway. Reading more and more about it, I decided, this is absolutely unacceptable. We are a team trying to rebuild. The word rebuild is thrown out there a lot in this town, and it's most widely interpreted connotation is related to what happens on the field. Well, unfortunately for this town, we have as many problems off the field or court, as we do on them. So the term "rebuild" applies to what happens on gameday, and the 6 other days where these players have the free will to be where they want and do what they want. As far as marijuana is concerned, I don't find it to be a big deal. To me, it's much like alcohol. Some people can handle it, some can't. If you can't, you should probably stay away from it. When you fail three drug tests in the NFL, you can't handle it. When you are the only 2 players out of 2,000 initial failures to receive discipline, then you just flat out don't care.

Fans as well as the media will talk about this all day today and then sparingly throughout the year, but what about the rest of the team? How do Trent Williams and Fred Davis go back into that locker room without their heads down in embarassment. When you have a locker room full of guys busting their asses to get better and keep the team from being cellar dwellars, what do you say to them at this point? The first time their names are called out, a simple "my bad" probably sufficed. Weed isn't that big of a deal when used sparingly, the second and third times, I can't see an acceptable excuse. These two players have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to make this up to the team. Forget about the fans, they'll find something else to complain about soon enough. The players in that locker room are the ones I feel sorry for.

This blog will be the last time I reference this situation. To me, the players that are actually able to wear a Redskin's jersey this weekend deserve my attention. Trent Williams and Fred Davis aren't even allowed in the stadium.

Quit Flippin' Out

I watched Flip Saunders' press conference the other day, and I was getting pretty pissed off at some of the things he was saying. I don't mind when he calls players out for playing like sh!t, but when you start telling the media that your team needs to grow up because of certain "youtube videos" they've posted...then I've got a problem with that.

How can you not laugh at this?!

These Wizards/Bullets players aren't being influenced anymore by a guy who went from being a Hero to a Zero faster than Chris Webber smoking a fat blunt on the way to practice. Actually, I guess the guy always was a zero. JaVale McGee & Nick Young are having harmless fun, and what Flip unfortunately didn't mention is that they're also spending a lot of time in their communities trying to help out, and doing things the right way.

As long as these two aren't bringing guns to work, sh!tting in Dray's shoes, or act like these two idiots, then I'll let their play on the court decide their maturity level.
Nick and JaVale are becoming the veterans of the team, and they need to show our younger guys what it's like to be a professional "at work". If their outside life is affecting their play, then Flip, you may speak up. Until then, chill out and if you must call them out, then why not do it for this kind of stuff:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Heart of a Turtle

My expectations for Maryland's basketball team this year were as low as they've ever been in my lifetime, thanks to this guy. I was hoping that at the very least the team would learn from their experiences this year, and the young Terps would mature into more rounded players.
They've had their ups/downs so far through 6 games, but I've been very impressed with the maturation of the team. Coach Turgeon has been a pleasant surprise, and his coaching style slightly echoes that of Gary Williams. He's intense, smart, and best of all..the team seems to be buying into his ways.
The Terrapins will be offensively challenged this year (outside of Terrell Stoglin) but I'm more concentrated on the effort they give on defense, and rebounding.
Pleasant surprises so far this year have been the emergence of James Padgett..especially on the offensive side, and Ashton Pankey, the redshirt freshman who missed all of last year with an injury. A couple players to keep an eye on are Nick Faust (frosh), and Mychael Parker (soph)...they need to be sound on both sides of the court because they'll have a huge impact on our guard situation the next few years.
This team has a lot of fight in it, and I believe it starts with their coach. It may be hard to watch this team this year, especially against Duke and UNC...but with my expectations low, I'm finding it fun to watch them improve every game win or lose. The coaches and players knew it could be a brutal year, but they're showing one thing you can't teach...heart.

Fight On Colli Park!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bring on the Jets!

Who needs this win more? The Jets, whose streak filled season consists of winning streaks of two and three sandwiched between losing streaks of two and three? Or the Redskins, who are fighting to find some kind of identity. This being a D.C. sports blog, I will spend most of my time looking at the Redskin's angle. The Redskins come into this game with a divided fanbase. Half of them desperate for a legitimate quarterback to lead this team, the other half wanting a team to surround the quarterback before we fill that gap. I understand   the   desire  for   the  Redskins  to   have   a  leader at the quarterback position, but I made my stance on what the Skins need most very clear. The next couple of weeks, much like last year, are going to show the fans what we have at each position. Roy Helu will get his second chance to carry a full workload, our future back up lineman will get more experience, Gomes will get more work at Safety with LaRon Landry out and Grossman will be pretty much the same.
The Jets are a defensive minded team that will come after you each and every down. Revis island should have no problem taking care of our wide receivers, so it will be up to Roy Helu and our running game to take advantage of a Jets run defense that gives up 115 yards a game. Look for the Redskins to have a pretty even distribution of run and pass plays this Sunday.
The Jets have a ton to play for on Sunday. Unfortunately for them they play in a division that features the New England Patriots. Because of that, they are fighting for a wild card spot. At 6-5, they are one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals for the last spot. The Jets have been under a lot of heat the past couple weeks, especially after losing to Denver two Thursday's ago. This led Rex Ryan to split practice reps between Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell. Well, Sanchez rebounded well and they came away with a victory at home against Buffalo. Don't expect this Rex Ryan team to look past the Redskins.
The New York's offensive line has given up 26 sacks on the year, so look for Kerrigan and Orakpo to do what they do best and get in the backfield early. I'm not particularly worried about their run game because Rex Ryan has a hard time committing to it anyway.

All in all, I think this will be a test for both teams. The Jets will be making a push for the last playoff spot, and every Redskin player will be making their case for a roster spot. Each team has their own motivation, and after last weeks chippy game, I expect more of the same this week. The Jets aren't known for biting their tongues, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple post-play scrums. Regardless of Washington's record, I think Sunday's match up against the Jets will be an exciting one, and after picking Seattle to win last week, I'm picking the Skins in an upset this week, with the special teams making some big plays. I just can't see Danny Smith's place kicking unit playing so bad again. Gano and the place kicking unit got a lot of work this week and should be playing to regain some pride.

Redskins win 23-20 on the shoulder's Gano's 3 field goals.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hunter Does Have a Soft Side

One of the grittiest players in NHL history, and someone who wouldn't back down to anyone...Dale wasn't always known for being the friendliest of sorts. But after receiving the offer to be Head Coach of the Washington Capitals, Hunter quickly realized that he needed to change the media/fans perception of who he is. So he dug into his fighting highlight reel, watched as many as he could, and picked out one of his best pummel jobs that he had in the NHL. He then proceeded to call that former player up, offer him a coaching position next to him...and badabing badaboom...Jim Johnson is now an assistant coach with the Caps. Way to go Dale, you do have a heart! Could Pierre Turgeon be next??
What a great guy!

I Wish Boudreau the Best...out West

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad Boudreau got a coaching job in the Western Conference. I definitely didn't want to play against him too often. Now with Boudreau named the head coach of the Anaheim Ducks just days after being fired by McPhee, we get the best of both worlds. We get to see a coach we're fond of get a head coaching job almost immediately, and its for a team we will play once a year in the regular season at most. I am not at all suprised that Boudreau was scooped up so fast. Anaheim saw that a former Jack Adams winner that became the fastest coach to record 200 wins in NHL history was available and they said see you later Randy Carlyle, this is too good to pass up. I think this helps Caps fans and players close the book on the Boudreau era. Everyone has said their good byes (some better than others, cough cough Mike Green), but now it's time to focus. Dale Hunter, the stage is yours. There are no distractions, no loose ends, no questions, just a talented team looking for a coach to guide them. The fans are behind you, the players seem to be as well. What would be better for Dale Hunter than getting his first win as head coach of the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins?