It's an exciting time in the sports calendar right now, as the NFL preseason is history and college football is underway. In this week's Chain Reactions, we deal with the Redskins No. 1 quarterback (for now), show numbers that suggest the preseason actually matters, relive another Redskins' soap opera, ponder Maryland's fashion statement heard round the world and note how Strasmas Part II cannot be dampened by mother nature.
The Fix was Not In After All
OK, raise your hand (mine is in the air) if you thought the Redskins' quarterback competition was set up for a John Beck victory. Unfortunately for Beck, he was unable to make enough of preseason statement to be the team's starter in week one. I had suggested it would be a good idea to start the "unknown" to find out about him, because Rex Grossman is, well, Rex Grossman. We have seen that movie before -- 34 career starts, 35 interceptions, and did we mention the 20 fumbles?
However, in the "competition," Grossman was more "Good Rex" than "Bad Rex." If it was truly a competition as it was presented publicly, than Mike Shanahan did the right thing. Shanahan, unlike media and fans, needs to be most concerned about winning for the here and now. Yes, the Redskins need to get better for the long run too, and 37 new players since the end of 2009 suggests the coach knows that better than most.
For the other 52 players' sake, Shanahan needs to put the guy most ready under center. In this case, for right now, that is Grossman. For better or for worse. Also, keep in mind there are very few outside of Grossman himself that think he will start all 16 games. The Beck question will likely be answered this season at some point anyway.
Certainly, you could also chalk this up as a father giving his son that new bicycle he wanted for his birthday, albeit a year late. You know Kyle Shanahan was wanting to work with Grossman, not Donovan McNabb, last year. Now that Kyle has what he wants, let's see if the Redskins' offense can ride it to some victories, not just gaudy stats.
Encouraging Numbers for the Redskins
As long as were are going all stats geek on you, here's one for Sunday: the New York Giants have won six straight against the Redskins and nine of the last 10. However, a number that could encourage the Redskins offense heading into Sunday is 6, as in the number of defensive players lost for the season already with the Giants.
For what it is worth (not much) I see the Redskins as a 8-8 team that could end up 9-7 with some breaks. Ultimately, I don't think they will be in the playoffs.
Another Redskins Soap Opera?
Laron Landry apparently is a must follow on twitter these days. As Mike Jones of the Washington Post points out @MrLandry30 had some harsh things to say about ... something, which were eventually deleted. Was he talking about his injuries?
Uuhhh oo it ain't my fault...blame the genius circus staff for the rush. wouldve been there 2wks ago. Im sry but saga cont
Dont u hate when u absolutely know something 200% and dumb a$$ mofos still do the opposite of what u tell them!!! Set backs wtf!!!
Maybe his account got hacked? Wait, that only happens to politicians on Facebook and usually involve nude photos.
The bottom line is that the Redskins could use him in the secondary this Sunday, but can't afford to rush him back and lose him for longer. Landry was having a huge year in Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme last year before missing the final seven games.
Terps Make a (Fashion) Statement in Opener
The idea that Maryland's new uniforms will bring in recruits is as funny to me as the idea that they will lose recruits because there are no names on the back of uniforms. Here is what gets big time recruits attention: winning and getting players in the NFL. The two usually go hand and hand.
For the record the uniforms gave me a migraine, but I think the ultimate fail was the two-sided helmet. Speaking of helmets, could someone get Davin Meggett one that fits? The great news about having the ugliest uniforms in college football is the rankings change week to week. On Saturday Night, I had Georgia as the leader in the worst uniform rankings, and by Monday the Terps had overtaken them.
Ultimately it does not matter what you are wearing. It's all about results, and for the first week, a 32-24 win over Miami was a real strong statement for Randy Edsall's team, even with all of Miami's suspensions. The ACC Atlantic is not exactly the SEC West at the top. Florida State is projected to be a national power, but Clemson, North Carolina State, Boston College and Wake Forest are not real intimidating.
The Terps have the most accomplished quarterback under center in the ACC with Danny O'Brien. O'Brien was awesome Monday night, throwing for 348 yards and a touchdown, and was honored as the conference's Player of the Week. As long as O'Brien is under center, the Terps will have a chance ever week.
Strasmas Still Special
Stephen Strasburg gave up a lead-off double against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but settled down and hurled five scoreless innings on a rainy Tuesday night. The only blemish on the night besides the weather was that the Nationals could not keep the lead for him in a 7-3 loss. Strasburg's 56 pitch performance was "special," as Davey Johnson said after the game.
"It’s a big milestone I’ve accomplished here," Strasburg said. "Ever since I went under the knife that was my goal — to come back and pitch in the big leagues in 2011, and now . . . it’s all about getting stronger, staying healthy and being better than ever in 2012."
Strasburg showed his pre-surgery pop and effortless mechanics as he works his way towards 2012. His next test on the mound will be Sunday afternoon at home against the awful Houston Astros.
Sunday should also be a good indicator to how much Strasmas occasions mean to D.C. Sports fans, since it will be competing with the opening Sunday of the NFL. The Redskins, fortunately, kick off at 4:15, so fans have time to enjoy the best arm in D.C. before watching ... well, you get the point.