A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Redskins Strategy of Acquiring Injured Players is Flawed

    Every team likes a bargain. And in drafting, trading and signing for players who performed well when healthy a team can hit the jackpot when injured players that others have given up on return to the field and resume their careers.

    But you can't use this as your method of building depth on your squad and counting on it for overall improvement in the fortunes of the club as a matter of course.

    For Washington, unfortunately, many of the players they identified to acquire who were rehabbing from serious injuries have failed to come back 100% or close enough to it to continue their NFL careers at a high level.

    We have many examples from Maake Kemoeatu to Jammal Brown to recent signees Josh Morgan and Jonathan Goff.

    Most if not all have failed to return.

    Joe Gibbs often said one of the most important considerations in signing players for the Redskins was their history of durability.

    Whatever talent players have they have to play to exhibit it.

    Now, we can knock off the signings of guys like Goff and admit we were swinging for the fences on a player recovering from an ACL to be a backup to what is otherwise a talented linebacking corps.

    But on the offensive line we had two performers coming back from injuries this season in Lichtensteiger and Brown and the latter has had a history of missing time, and yet we left the line without any step in solutions/insurance during a year we are initiating a Heisman Trophy winning 22 year old quarterback...............?

    Tight ends and receivers be damned. I know Davis is a question mark in regards to the drug testing and I am also aware the team envisions using Moss in the slot to great effect with Griffin.

    But Chris Cooley and Moss together count $9M against the cap this year and lack of cap space was one reason given for failing to make any moves in free agency for capable OL that became available.

    So, in an unusual year with Giffin coming in Allen and Shanahan COULD have restructured these players deals and created enough space to provide that insurance.

    But it didn't happen.

    The team once again decided to gamble at a unit on the team where past gambles have almost never turned out for the club in recent seasons under Shanahan.

    You would figure the failures here in the past would make everyone at Redskins Park damn sure the OL if any was not going to be the area that let the team down in 2012.

    You can win without 2 productive passing tight ends.

    You can win with Giffin throwing to Garcon, Hankerson, and a group of receivers not named Moss.

    But you can't win without an OL.

    And again you can't win depending continually upon players who are coming back time and again from long odds in injury and rehab.

    We have to start targeting players like London Fletcher and the players Gibbs had here back in the 1980's, guys that missed few games over long NFL careers:

    Monk - 14 years
    McKenzie - 15 years
    Warren - 14 years
    Coleman - 16 years
    Butz - 14 years
    Green - 20 years
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  2. #2

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    Default

    Come on BD. Do you just need to be critical or what?

    Four years ago everyone was beating this team up for building through FA and ignoring the draft. Now, in the last 3 years this team has had more draft choices than any other team in the league so you pick on them for signing a few injured guys?

    Dude.
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Yeah, I'm with Neo on this. Way overly critical of a team finally building the right way. So what if they gamble on a few placeholders with injuries? Gotta fill those roster spots somehow, and with a bogus cap penalty given out by a division rival, bargain bin shopping seems like a good way to go.

    And I know youdon't think Nevin McCaskill and Jordan Black are long term solutions...
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    Florida Atlantic

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    Well, I'm not even sure how you can call it a "strategy." As Neo pointed out, we've had the most draft picks of any NFL team the past two years - and the number of players we've drafted >>> number of injured FAs we've signed. Its not a strategy, its filling out the roster. Every team does it.

    If they didn't, injured players would never get another contract! We all know that's a silly notion.

    According to BT, the Patriots should have never re-upped Brady after he tore an ACL.
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    James Madison

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    I honestly can't remember, can anyone tell me what the alternative to Brown was? McNabb shouldn't be in this conversation, IMO. As you said Tr1, it wasn't his injuries that was the problem.
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    OLine. DLine. Secondary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    I honestly can't remember, can anyone tell me what the alternative to Brown was?
    They could have re-signed Stephon Heyer...

    (EDIT: who had suffered injuries)
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    I honestly can't remember, can anyone tell me what the alternative to Brown was? McNabb shouldn't be in this conversation, IMO. As you said Tr1, it wasn't his injuries that was the problem.
    Not trading our second rounder for McNabb and drafting a RT with it?

    Generally I like what we've done since Shanahan/Allen's first offseason, but I do agree that our methods of building the OL are highly questionable. I like the way we're building depth in the late rounds but I'd have liked to have seen a little more commitment to the starters with some early round picks. 'LT and a bunch of guys' isn't going to cut it.
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  8. #8
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    Interesting but incomplete, BD.

    This discussion would be more meaningful if we included factors like:

    - an objective list of players the Redskins have brought in that fit your initial "drafting, trading and signing for players who performed well when healthy" criteria

    - a sample of similar objective lists from other teams against which to compare the Redskins' "hit rate."

    - mention of the $18 million salary cap hit we took on the eve of FA and it's effect on the 2012 class

    There are more, but you get the drift...
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    Eschew obfuscation.

  9. #9

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    James Madison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Not trading our second rounder for McNabb and drafting a RT with it?

    Generally I like what we've done since Shanahan/Allen's first offseason, but I do agree that our methods of building the OL are highly questionable. I like the way we're building depth in the late rounds but I'd have liked to have seen a little more commitment to the starters with some early round picks. 'LT and a bunch of guys' isn't going to cut it.
    As much as people want to talk about his magic with QBs and RBs, Shanahan's history with the OLine is pretty incredible. I can't really fault him for thinking he could replicate the success he had in Denver here by taking unheralded, undersized, unwanted players from other teams and smaller colleges and getting them to perform here.

    One thing I personally wonder about is the impact that Alex Gibbs had on the player selection and certainly the coaching of those Denver OLines. I wonder if that is the magic elixir that has been missing the last couple of years?
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    OLine. DLine. Secondary.

  10. #10
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    Florida State

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    But that is the misconception Goal. Shanahan's most successful lines were comprised of early draft picks, 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounders or FA's, with an occasional late round gem. In fact, he only had one true late round gem in Denver.

    I have done the homework before and really don't feel like going through it again, but Lanky and I had this discussion and it turned out that one late rounder started for him for longer than like 2 years. That one late rounder was a 6th or 7th if I remember correctly and he started for like 7 or 8 years.

    Edit: And I am not talking about the OL that he inherited from Reeves.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  11. #11

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    Tom Nalen & Chris Myers were 7th & 6th round picks, respectively.

    He drafted Cooper Carlisle (4th), Ben Hamilton (4th) and Chris Kuper (5th), other late(r) round OL picks.

    He signed Mark Schelreth (10th-round pick) and Broderick Thompson (UDFA-UFL), his first year in Denver.

    In his second year, he signed Tony Jones as a FA, who was originally a UDFA.

    Harry Swayne (7th), Matt Lepsis (UDFA), Ephraim Salaam (7th), Steve Herndon (UDFA), Erik Pears (UDFA) all started at one point or another for Mike, all Free Agent acquisitions.

    Throw in first round picks George Foster & Ryan Clady at tackle, a rare 2nd-round pick on Lennie Friedman, and looks like his OL acquisition strategy hasn't changed much.
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  12. #12
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    Default

    Resigning Jammal Brown to an extension WHILE he was still trying to rehab last offseason was a mistake. 5 years at $27M and $9M guaranteed. Come on.

    That mistake only served to compound the earlier error in trading a third round pick for a player who evidently couldn't walk without a limp.

    Again, my point in making the post was more to recognize that there were opportunities in the offseason to solidify the OL with a key acquisition or two.

    With the cap penalty imposed by the NFL, it would not have been remiss for the team to look for Cooley or Moss to restructure their deals to provide some additional flexibility.

    No, we should not be doing this as a rule at the rate of 5 or 6 players each season as Vinny Cerrato did.

    But in Griffin's rookie year and the cap penalty overhanging, the Redskins without creating some extra space were handcuffed sitting there watching players they could have used sign with other teams.

    In addition to Brown there was no guarantee that Lichtensteiger was going to return 100% from the ACL/MCL injury in a single offseason.

    The fact the team didn't sign a single guard with a legitimate chance to start if Kory was unable to go or got beat out was Mistake #2.

    It's great that the Redskins are drafting OL in the middle to late rounds. That will help depth down the road IF the picks turn out.

    But it doesn't do much in the short-term to help Griffin transition to the NFL.

    And after giving up what this team did to obtain the pick to select him, you would think the team would do more in this important year for the organization to protect that investment.
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