Friday, September 08, 2006

Redskin Interrogation!

First off, I'd like to thank Ben from the Curly R for asking me to do a 5 question exchange with him about the Redskins and Vikings. His questions about the Purple (and my answers) are over at the Curly R. And now, for your reading pleasure, the transcript of the interrogation (In case you're wondering, I used the same tactics the CIA uses--it's how it's done in Washington).

Question 1. Living in the Washington, D.C. metro area, I can't help but notice the buzz surrounding the Redskins this year. Do you believe the Super Bowl hype? And if so, does your opinion change if Clinton Portis' injury is more serious then they are letting on, and you have to rely on T.J. Duckett and Ladell Betts for a significant part of the season?

Curly R: I'm optimistic about the Redskins chances this season, but I'm reserved in my predictions. I think the Redskins need to play to 80% of their potential to in order to stay in the playoff hunt, and each of the other teams in the NFC East needs to have some kind of meltdown. For the Giants, Eli needs to play down to his true potential, or Tiki (Wahoowa!) needs to fall apart. For the Eagles, Dono needs to be just average, since the running game will disappoint and the receivers are mostly new. For the Cowboys, TO needs just to be TO.

About Clinton, I tend to believe a fellow Redskins blogger Master4Caster's theory that the Duckett trade was defensive in order to cockblock the Eagles from getting their hands on him. As evidence of this, they brought broken-down bruiser Stephen Davis in for a tryout the next week. Did I mention the Eagles running game will be weak? The Redskins had the horses without TJ, but adding him to Ladell gives them a solid running game. I'm not worried about Clinton.

Question 2. Who was your favorite Clinton Portis character and why?

Curly R: my personal fave is Coach Janky-Spanky, a defensive guru who's plan to stop Clinton Portis is to put two more Sean Taylor's on the field. The all-time best, though, is Southeast Jerome, who showed up with his homey Johnny Whiteguy (Chris Cooley taking a break from screwing Redskins cheerleaders).
Southeast Jerome

Question 3. The 'Skins brought in Al Saunders and his offense by giving him head coach money this offseason. What do you think so far? Is the offense suited for the 'Skins personnel?
And do the rumors of Saunders' back stabbing previous coaches worry you?

Curly R: So far I'm confident, even though I thought it was a little odd. Gibbs has always run the offense, so I look at this as setting up a succession plan as much as trying to win a Super Bowl. After this season or next, Joe will step down, perhaps to President of Football Ops, and be succeeded by either Gregg Williams or Al Saunders. That Gibbs has ceded the offense to Saunders tells me it will be Saunders, and Gregg Williams will get another shot as head coach for another team.

I do think this offense will work with these players. The Saunders and Gibbs run-first-QB-manages-the-game philosophies are very similar. Saunders has produced high-octane offenses everywhere he's been. It's all about Brunell. If he can't get it done, it doesn't matter who's calling the plays.

Now I have heard nothing about Saunders stabbing Vermiel in the back, but rather about how Chiefs ownership passed over Saunders in favor of Herm Edwards who was the defensive backs coach in Kansas City under Marty Schottenheimer, and who the ownership had their eye on for some time. If Saunders wanted to be a head coach, he would be, and I think we'll start to hear rumblings a la Marvin Lewis tward the end of this season.

Question 4. Shawn Springs is doubtful for Monday's game. How important is he to your defense, both at corner and as a leader? And how do you feel about having to start Kenny Wright instead, considering Wright was a major factor in the awful Viking secondaries of this decade?

Curly R: Shawn is a starter, so I don't want to downplay his importance. He's had the injury bug going back to the Seahawks, always one thing or another. I don't think the Redskins ever expected Springs to go 16 games in any season, and how much does your abdominals tearing off the pubic bone suck? Corner is one area where the Redskins lack depth, but I don't think this will hurt the Redskins because Sean Taylor hits so hard Marcus Robinson is taking out some extra insurance.

Question 5. What are your feelings on Dan Snyder? Is he a good owner that just needed some time to control his inner Steinbrenner? Or is Joe Gibbs the only reason Snyder isn't treating the Redskins like a fantasy football team?

Curly R: Dan Snyder is an ass and I despise him for soaking Redskins fans for every last cent (Remember two seasons ago when he tried to limit Redskins season ticket holders to re-upping only with the Redskins Visa card?) . He's cash-rich, and as long as cash-solves-cap, he can keep doling out big money, but until someone puts him in his booster seat and tells him to butt the fuck out, it's pissing in the desert. So far, it looks like Joe Gibbs is that guy.

Finally, a bonus question: What are your feelings on Heath Shuler possible return to Washington? Have you joined the Stop Shuler Campaign yet?

Curly R: Heath. What a disappointment. Who were the two marquee QBs in the 1994 draft? Heath and Trent Dilfer. Granted Trent has a Super Bowl ring, but he got it playing for a Ravens team that did not score an offensive TD in the month of October. Baltimore could brought in Barry Switzer to run the wishbone that season and they still would have won it all. The Ravens defense was historic and Ray Lewis was a killer that season.

I've seen Stop Shuler, and it's hilarious. I think Heath will be a great Congressman, a conservative Democrat that can carry a southern district. He's running against Charles Taylor, the guy that brought us Freedom Fries. North Carolinians should vote for Shuler on that issue alone.

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