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  1. #1
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    Default WPC: Vindicating Vinny

    http://web.warpathconfidential.com/?p=2586

    Vindicating Vinny

    By John Pappas
    Warpath Confidential Editor

    A funny thing happened on the way to an historically bad season for the Washington Redskins; they started playing as well as anyone in the NFC East.

    After a 2-6 start to the season, one that featured some of the worst offense seen in years, a rash of injuries to starters, and a shake up in the coaching duties, the team looked all but dead.

    But beginning in the second half of the Atlanta game in early November, the team started playing a much better brand of football. So much so that they are now competing with teams like Philadelphia and New Orleans, and breaking season scoring highs three weeks running, with Sunday their biggest margin of victory since Jim Zorn became head coach. But for a few missed field goals, and one or two poor defensive stands, the Redskins could be sitting at 7-6.

    And no-one can figure out why this is, or who gets the credit.

    Click the link to read the entire article...
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    Just my opinion, but nothing about this season vindicates Vinnie. Sure, once the geriatric OL he was responsible for collapsed he managed to scramble around and patch together a line decent enough to be ok by mid-season, but seeing as we are 4-9 it was obviously too little too late. We should have never been in that position in the first place.

    If we are able to see how great Vinnie is at reacting to disaster time and again, well, we must also then recognize that disaster continues to occur.

    And we are almost two full years out from Gibbs. This can no longer be placed on his shoulders. Gibbs' last season we were 9-7. Last year we were 8-8. This year we are probably looking 6-10 (and that's being generous.) That's the bottom line. We have been worse every year since Gibbs left.

    On top of that our QB, the most important player on the field, is a free agent at the end of the season and nobody knows if we actually want him back. What the hell is going on over there? Is our starting QB, a four year vet with plenty of experience and game film to look at, is that guy part of our plan or not? I don't think Snyder and Vinnie know yet, so how the hell can we say that anything they are doing is part of some overall scheme? Are we going to wait until the end of the season and decide, "well, he's actually pretty good. Let's re-sign him." Because that plan will have us overpaying dearly for the guy, if we get him back at all.

    Maybe we'll lose out on Jason Campbell and trade away all our picks to draft a QB. And we all know drafting QBs is one of Vinnie's strong points (/sarcasm). Of course, we don't know who our coach will be, and what his scheme will be, and if one of the top rookie QBs will fit into that scheme, or if any of our current WRs are capable of running that scheme effectively with whoever the hell that QB will be ... if Campbell goes.

    And oh wait. We probably need an offensive lineman or something? Eh. We'll figure that out once the season starts.

    And hey, that's never stopped us before. As long as Vinnie can effectively plug holes well enough to get us around 8 wins a year, hope will spring eternal.

    Sorry, as I said in another thread I'm especially cranky today. I'm done.
    Last edited by Henry; 12-15-09 at 11:28 AM.
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    Air Force

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    I initially put this in the news section. It kinda echo's your thoughts Henry

    Sorry, Vinny is still the crux of all that is wrong with this organization. The moves he's made since the starters went down have been the result of luck and pulling things out of his ass. Levi Jones for example. Yeah, it's great that he's turned out to be "servicable", but if vinny was really on his game why didn't he invite Jones to camp? The reason is that vinny thought Heyer could pull LT duty if need be, and that proved to be a disaster.

    Just one example of the ineptness of vinny

    I could go on

    And on

    And on
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    You aren't being cranky Henry, just honest.

    Praising Vinny for what is going right now is a bit like praising the Captain of the Titanic for getting some folks in life rafts after it was obvious the ship was going to sink.
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  5. #5

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    There are a lot of examples of teams coming together and overachieving at the end of the season. Historically it has almost zero carry over to the next season. Someone else on the board posted some examples but I can’t seem to find the post now.

    If we want to give Vinny credit for the team playing hard recently, then he has to take the blame for the first part of the season. Playing hard is great. We’re still 4-9 any way you slice it. If we win out and finish 7-9 my opinion of Vinny hasn’t changed in the least. He’s a guy with enough football knowledge that he can talk the talk to Dan. He’s nothing special when it comes to running a football team.

    Vinny hasn’t had the official title of GM or president of football operations or whatever they want to call it except for the last 2 years. Still, other than the Marty year he was very involved with player moves here to one degree or another depending on who you believe, that can’t be denied. In those years, skipping the Marty year, the team has gone 47-49.

    “But, we haven’t had a franchise QB.” Well, why is that? Is it because we failed to draft the right guy, or is it because we didn’t put him in a position to maximize his abilities? That’s the type of thing a GM has to consider when you bring in a new head coach or put in a new offense that doesn’t suit his abilities. Vinny hasn’t.

    “But, we had a lot of injuries on the offensive line this year. You can’t have all pros waiting on the bench.” True, but you could draft an offensive lineman once in a blue moon so we have some talent waiting in the wings.

    “But the Skins are willing to spend money.” Great! They need to do so with a little more foresight than they’ve shown in the past. Every team makes free agency mistakes but we seem to make more than our share. Why is this? You can only look to the top.

    So, nice try thinking outside the box to defend Vinny. Dan might buy it, but I’m not.
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    Vinny can't be vindicated because his team was finally ready to play by week 10. He has to take responsibility for going into the season with the "geriatric" o line he assembled.
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    If Vinny is going to get credit for the turnaround, the one man he needs to thank the most is Campbell. This guy could have sulked and packed it in long time ago.

    Instead Campbell has been playing hard even through the beating he's taken.
    Vinny should stop courting the hot young QB's like Tiger Woods with ****tail waitresses and support Campbell.

    If Vinny deserves a second chance, then what about Zorn and Campbell? Regardless of who gets credit I firmly believe Vinny needs to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    Praising Vinny for what is going right now is a bit like praising the Captain of the Titanic for getting some folks in life rafts after it was obvious the ship was going to sink.
    I don't think a more perfect analogy can be made. Well said.
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    I think you guys make a good point about Campbell. He's handled this whole situation about as well as anyone could.

    As a QB he is what he is. He has his strengths and his limitations. He's not Joe Montana, but he's not Akili Smith either. He and Zorn will be the latest scapegoats for Vinny. And the beat goes on.
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    Props to Pappas for hanging a curve ...

    Not sure I'm ready to give VC "credit" for anything given the context. Others have made that point quite well already--temporarily extricating onesself from an unholy mess of one's own making merits, at least, a passing nod. "Credit" I'll withhold pending further evidence. A lot of it.

    That said ... the Redskins have a CHANCE to change the entire course of conversation this offseason. Playing hard and losing three straight to good teams and beating a bad Raiders team was one thing. If they were to continue the apparent arc they're on right at this moment, though, and say win 2 out of their last 3, against winning teams, and end the season looking like a real football team ...

    This could get interesting.
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    Well, in my jaded viewpoint, I think part of the reason Campbell is playing the way he is playing, is because he wants out of Washington. I mean, who wouldn't? They basically tried to ship him twice this past offseason, and support hasn't exactly been coming from everywhere. His late-season performance can be attributed to auditioning for other teams, in my humble opinion.
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    I'm sorry, Mr. Pappas. Another sub .500 season doesn't change my opinion on him in the least. He needs to GO!
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    I also gave Vinny some credit on my Game Recap for finding a few guys to help this team look better.

    However, one must not forget that it was Vinny that put us here in the first place.

    - Vinny never fully addressed the O-line in 2008 and 2009 and gambled that the aging starters would stay healthy. He also gambled that Heyer would become a solid RT and that Mike Williams would either beat out Heyer at the spot. I think Vinny was lucky that Buges was able to convert Williams to a RG to fit the Skins needs.

    - Vinny (and Snyder) caused the whole debacle with Jason in the offseason which if not for Campbell, could have been a very nasty situation.

    -Vinny caused the circus with Zorn and the playcalling. Now had Vinny done this before training camp, then nobody would have really cared except Zorn. By bringing in Lewis and how he did it not only made the franchise look stupid but made the HC coach look stupid......even if it looks like it was the right move. Timing is everything.

    - It's the FO that signed Haynesworth, re-signed Hall and gave Portis the big contract. Yet, the Skins are winning without the big priced starters. Wonder why? But don't expect the Skins to learn from this.

    - Vinny hired Zorn. And it was Vinny who thought he would be a great playcaller. He's not. Nor is Zorn a great HC by any stretch. They put Zorn in a position well over his head and the result is 12-17 with three games to go in 2 seasons.

    So, like I said. I will give him some credit for some of the moves, but the 4-9 record has a great deal in part with the moves that failed miserably.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    Props to Pappas for hanging a curve ...

    Not sure I'm ready to give VC "credit" for anything given the context. Others have made that point quite well already--temporarily extricating onesself from an unholy mess of one's own making merits, at least, a passing nod. "Credit" I'll withhold pending further evidence. A lot of it.

    That said ... the Redskins have a CHANCE to change the entire course of conversation this offseason. Playing hard and losing three straight to good teams and beating a bad Raiders team was one thing. If they were to continue the apparent arc they're on right at this moment, though, and say win 2 out of their last 3, against winning teams, and end the season looking like a real football team ...

    This could get interesting.
    Well, maybe "interesting" like that hot girl in HS who always promised to put out, and yet somehow ended up never doing so was interesting. The F.O. structure of this team is poised to perpetually deliver similar results.

    There's no doubt that the team looks better than it did. However I can't help but think, if Cerrato could dig up Sherm Smith to bail Zorn out and figure out that BMW was a better OG than OT, why didn't he know these things BEFORE it all blew up into a steaming pile of rat poop? In other words, we as rank amateurs could play "switch out the pieces until you find something that works" but isnt Cerrato's stock in trade to know who's got the right stuff PRIOR TO the apocalypse?

    No offense, but I'm finding it difficult to find a lot of hope in the silver lining of finally regressing to the mean after initially picking the wrong guy for the job and the abject failure to realize the importance of the trenches...among other things.
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    Last edited by Yusuf06; 12-15-09 at 09:17 PM.
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    For every good move Vincent The Lesser makes, he makes at least one bad one. Bringing in Bingo Lewis looks like a good move but retaining Jim Zorn was a bad one. Jerry Gray, Joe Bugel or Danny Smith could have stood on the sidelines calling timeouts and throwing red flags as well as Zorn and THEY probably wouldn't have looked so lost or puzzled every time the camera comes in for a close-up. Retaining him also prevents us from getting a leg up on available coaches.

    While Vinny has proven he's not completely worthless, he's also proven he's not a great asset either.
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    Pappas has lost me completely. The only thing Vinny should get credit for is the failure of this organization to produce a winner. As I've said before, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut".
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    I love me some Pappas, but I think this is probably the biggest 'reach' I've seen him make since I've known him. I suspect he's as tired of writing 'Debbie Downer' pieces as all the rest of us are, and just couldn't take penning another That's not to take anything away from what's been a 'game' Redskins squad the past month.

    But lets face it - we've played the entire 2nd half of our schedule in garbage time. There's no pressure on this team. There's no pressure on Jason Campbell. There's no pressure on anyone, not even Jim Zorn, who appears to be dead head coach walking (if, technically, he really qualifies as a head coach at this point). We've been awful nearly across the board nearly the entire year. That we've overachieved to reach the ranks of not as awful, even *gasp* competitive at times - well, the glow of that would barely radiate were it not the depths from which we've 'risen'.

    Our offensive line is playing better together. Good for them. It doesn't change the fact that it WAS Cerrato's total ignoral of that critical need that doomed us to the kind of season we're having. It's not vindication, it's incrimination. We're also benefitting from a well-known phenomenon. We've been awful all year long. Teams approach us (no matter what they say) as an awful team. It's human nature, and its unavoidable - they don't take the Redskins seriously, so when we don't absolutely suck it up, we catch them sleeping.

    I'll confess - Jason Campbell has shown me something the past 30 days or so. Maybe even enough to reserve judgement on him. And we've got some serviceable young talent in spots, as already well-described above. But I think the whole coaching setup remains beyond dysfunctional. Did bringing in Sherm Lewis help? I think it's hard to argue otherwise. But I don't think the Redskins can go forward with a coach who's been publically castrated - and I think I'd argue, our offense has been more successful in spite of all the dysfunction and turmoil, not because of it. Again - there's zero pressure, teams aren't coming in particularly 'up' to play us, and we're exceeding expectations exactly because we've been so awful most of the year, just moving the ball makes us look dominant

    I've been fooled too many times by this team. No matter how 'resurgent' the end of this year looks, no matter how much 'better' we look as we bring it home this season, I have zero belief that it means anything. I have no idea what this front office will do in the off-season, and anyone who spends more than 10 seconds trying to prognosticate is just wasting their brain cells. I'll go out on a limb though and say that I think we're as far away from being a playoff team now and going into next year as we've been in a decade.
    Last edited by Boone; 12-15-09 at 11:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    I love me some Pappas, but I think this is probably the biggest 'reach' I've seen him make since I've known him. I suspect he's as tired of writing 'Debbie Downer' pieces as all the rest of us are, and just couldn't take penning another
    Damn, totally busted.

    But before you pack me off to the nuthouse, let's at least consider one question: What if the moves we all hate are the ones Snyder is involved in and, when left to his own devices, Vinny makes somewhat reasonable decisions?

    There is no excuse for not addressing the line, and he cannot escape blame for it. But at the same time, we should acknowledge where he has gotten guys in that in some cases are more productive than the starters they replaced. As well as made organizational changes that have worked.

    As for them playing "garbage time," that doesn't hold water. The team is scoring more, and scoring more early. They played the Saints closer than anyone and should have had that. Same sentiment with the Eagles in terms of having the game won before falling apart on defense.

    In any event, glad we could stir the pot. If you hated that one don't worry, I have something new up today for your dart-throwing pleasure.

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    Don't worry Pappas. I think most of us realized you were just trying to be creative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yusuf06 View Post
    Well, maybe "interesting" like that hot girl in HS who always promised to put out, and yet somehow ended up never doing so was interesting. The F.O. structure of this team is poised to perpetually deliver similar results.

    There's no doubt that the team looks better than it did. However I can't help but think, if Cerrato could dig up Sherm Smith to bail Zorn out and figure out that BMW was a better OG than OT, why didn't he know these things BEFORE it all blew up into a steaming pile of rat poop? In other words, we as rank amateurs could play "switch out the pieces until you find something that works" but isnt Cerrato's stock in trade to know who's got the right stuff PRIOR TO the apocalypse?

    No offense, but I'm finding it difficult to find a lot of hope in the silver lining of finally regressing to the mean after initially picking the wrong guy for the job and the abject failure to realize the importance of the trenches...among other things.
    Posted via BGO Mobile Device
    Maybe I was too cryptic, Yusuf, but I wasn't implying any "silver lining" angle. I was just saying that if the team does finish strong it's going to add some very interesting dynamics to the coming offseason. In a lot of areas ... Campbell, Sherm Smith, Zorn, Vinny, Portis, even a guy like Moss.

    If the season ended today, I'd put it at 90% we're looking at a major regime and "star" player overhaul. Depending on the next three weeks though, IF the team continues the sharp upward trend it's shown in the last month ... well, things could get interesting.
    Last edited by Om; 12-16-09 at 01:27 PM.
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