The 2012 NFL Playoffs are down to the final four in each conference, which means we have to analyze each and every one of them and figure out what they have that the Washington Redskins do not. In order to save time and space and my sanity, I will simplify it.
Four of the teams playing have Pro Bowl-level quarterbacks. In the case of the Packers, Saints, and Patriots, they have best of the best. The Giants have a former Super Bowl MVP, who often plays among the best. The 49ers, Texans, Ravens and Broncos have the guys you would call game managers. Although Tim Tebow Nation may disagree using last week as evidence, Denver still only threw it 21 times and are clearly a run-first offense. The Ravens' Joe Flacco is probably more than a game manager, but still not a guy the Ravens ask to win the game each week. But no matter how you cut it, the Redskins would be better off with all of the above, because none of them turn it over as much as you know who.
In this week's edition of "Chain Reactions," we look at the Redskins chances of getting a future franchise quarterback, retooling of the coaching staff, an early look at the Wizards' draft prospect and whether Prince Fielder is really coming to D.C.
Will the Redskins Go Get RGIII?
The Redskins still have loads of evaluating to get done before selecting their quarterback of the future in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. They likely are out of Luck in getting Andrew and would likely need to move up some to grab Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, who has been described as a smaller version of likely rookie of the year Cam Newton.
In Mike Shanahan's two seasons, he has preached that character counts. RGIII seems to get an A-plus in that category. Here is what University President Ken Starr had to say about what the quarterback has meant to the school -- and yes it is that Ken Starr.
"He is priceless. He's just matchless in terms of the combination of goodness of character, greatness of skill and his commitment to his university and his teammates," University President Ken Starr said. "The nation has found Robert to be this very endearing and, as someone said, he's the most interesting person in perhaps all of athletics, but interesting in a positive sense. It's all good, and there's a goodness of character that makes Baylor proud."
Griffin, though, will likely be gone when the Skins pick at No. 6 because the Cleveland Browns at No. 4 are in desperate need of a quarterback. The Redskins might have to pay up to move up. Over the next several months, we will find out if Shanahan is ready to pay the freight or select someone later.
The Redskins, who forever have done things for the wrong reasons (i.e. marketing) might find RGIII brings them the best of both worlds. He's a charismatic leader with a personality and the talent to actually back it up.
Redskins Retooling Underway
There had been rumblings for several weeks that Shanahan would shake things up on his coaching staff, and it makes sense after a 5-11 season that someone would get thrown overboard. In this case, one of the coaches thrown overboard will be replaced by a former Buccaneer, as Raheem Morris is joining the staff as defensive backs coach. The deal allows Morris to continue to pursue coordinator opportunities as well, but for now he's happy to be in DC.
"They were the first ones to approach me," Morris said of the Redskins. "They talked about giving me time to give them an answer, but I didn't want to screw up a good thing with a great organization. They were patient. They waited and gave me time to go through the process. But I've been a head coach, and I know how tough it is when you feel like you're getting the runaround. And I wanted to be fair to everybody in Washington."
Back to the coaches thrown overboard: they were safeties coach Steven Jackson (who I guess injured LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe) and wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell (who had one of the most talent-deficient position groups).
Never Too Early to Think Wizards Draft
It is just 10 games into the abbreviated 2011-12 NBA season and many Wizards fans must be wondering why they wanted the lock out to end? A night after winning their first game of the season, they lost, 78-64, to the Chicago Bulls. The 64 was a franchise low against a Bulls team missing reigning league MVP Derrick Rose.
The Wizards' season from a competition stand point is hopeless. This team is not going to be playing beyond the scheduled 66 games, which is not surprising when you look at the roster. You get what you pay for and the Wizards have not exactly added anything from the outside of draft picks.
However, the bigger concern is the sophomore slumps from John Wall and Jordan Crawford. So what is there to look forward to? Maybe Dwight Howard wakes up tomorrow and says "I want to be a Wizard!" OK, so let's assume that never happens. Remember during Redskins season when fans decided to root for the L's?
Well, sure the Wizards don't control their draft destiny, thanks to the "Draft Lottery," but they are certainly helping their odds. Only You Know Who knows who will ultimately win the draft lottery,
David Stern whoops I mean Tim Tebow obviously.
Anyway, if you are peaking ahead at the draft -- and at this point you should -- there are some intriguing players that could fit nicely with the Wizards. What do the Wizards need? Everything outside of point guard is a good start. A dynamic scorer, dominant big man or, more simply, another franchise talent.
So in the spirit of the "Suck for Luck" campaign from the NFL season, here is what the Wizard fans can root for this season:
- "Dump for Davis" (Anthony Davis PF from Kentucky)
- "Drop for Drummond" (Andre Drummond C from Connecticut)
- "Horrible for Harrison" (Harrison Barnes SF from UNC)
- "Pathetic for Perry" (Perry Jones PF from Baylor)
- "Suck for Sullinger" (Jared Sullinger PF from Ohio State)
The Wizards may even want to use these in the promotions for upcoming games. You're welcome.
Prince Fielder Saga Continues
As you may or may not have read last week, I wanted the Nationals to sign Prince Fielder because this lineup is desperately missing that big bat. I was also hopeful they could get him at a bit of a discount at this point since no one is clearly that anxious to hit agent Scott Boras' asking price.
So where do things stand, you may ask? Depends on what you read. This first came out yesterday from MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
The source indicated that Fielder's price must come down in order for the team to think about acquiring his services. The Nats are not willing to give Fielder anything close to the 10-year, $240 million contract the Angels gave first baseman Albert Pujols.
Ladson's baseball source also said there was a 99-percent chance that the Nats will not sign the first baseman.
Later, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wrote that a person familiar with the situation said the Nationals are "patiently and aggressively" chasing Fielder. He added this nugget
The Nationals’ push for Fielder continued when Nationals principal owners Ted and Mark Lerner met with Scott Boras, Fielder’s high-profile agent, at the owners’ meetings in Arizona this evening, the person said.
Awesome. So to recap: they are out, but might actually still be in. I hope that cleared it up for you.