OF: Synaptic Shotgun 8.19.10 - Carter, Cynicism, Riggo Drill, Tremendous Machine

One of many experimental iterations ...

Om

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August 19, 2010

Occasional, recurring short-form posts about
the Washington Redskins, NFL and maybe even Life.
Almost like a blog.

ANDRE CARTER

The offseason new Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen have put together has been a treat to watch. They have been confident, in command, and based on the earliest returns have the team headed in the right direction.

Which makes it even harder to wrap my brain around the Andre Carter situation.

I'm a Carter fan—he's a pro, dedicated to his craft and by all accounts a strong locker room presence. But the truth is, to my eyes he looked utterly at sea at linebacker against Buffalo. The man was, generously speaking, mechanical—seemingly running to a spot and hoping to find the play there. It wasn't—and the Bills repeatedly ran or passed to the vacant spot Carter had recently been.

Mike Shanahan saw it differently:

Shanahan disagreed that outside linebacker Andre Carter struggled during his limited time against Buffalo.

“Andre has done a great job in camp,” he said. “You need game-day experience, especially when you switch positions. … [The transition] is why you have those OTAs and summer camp – so he becomes comfortable not only rushing the quarterback, but dropping [into coverage] and playing different routes and techniques.”


I hope so.

When the Redskins take on the Baltimore Ravens this Saturday, I definitely know one thing I'll be isolating on however. I assume Shanahan and Haslett will be as well. I know Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will be. Not to get all dramatic after one preseason game, but here's hoping the new Redskins' brain trust didn't get this one really wrong.


YES, WE KNOW

It was inevitable, I guess, but still irritating.

Last Friday at 7:30 pm EST, the Redskins were a 4-12 team coming off two awful, embarrassing seasons. They had a new coach, new general manager, new offensive and defensive systems, new offensive and defensive coordinators, a new starting quarterback and more than 30 new players.

To say expectations were guarded would be understatement. And anyone confidently predicting a 42-17 thrashing of whatever opponent the NFL saw fit to schedule for their preseason game would have gotten laughed out of even semi-sober Redskins conversations.

Well, turns out the Redskins did precisely that, surprising everyone but themselves and outperforming even the most optimistic of forecasts.

So what happened? Within hours, inexorably and predictably, the "Yeah but's" began emerging. You've heard them. You've seen them. You may even be one of them. I find myself wondering, today, why some folks seem to think everyone else needs to be reminded that it...

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Lanky Livingston

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I find it funny that when a team gets smashed in the preseason, its game over - season DONE. But when a team dominates someone else, its just one preseason game, doesn't guarantee success, etc...
 

China

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About that Tremendous Machine, or at least the race. The first thing that struck me when I watched that was when they came out of the gates I was wondering "Where are the rest of the horses?" There were only 5 in that race. I'm used to seeing more. I checked and there were 10 in 2009, 10 in 1989, and still 8 in 1977 when Seattle Slew won. I'm left wondering why there were so few, although I don't think it would've mattered how many there were, once he got in front Secretariat was gone. :movefast:
 

Om

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Lanky ... we're not going to make many friends from the Snark Faction. ;)

China, every time I go back and revisit that race I'm struck by the same thing. Five almost looked like a match race. I suppose if the field had been larger it could have affected Secretariat--there's always the chance of a bad ride due to another horse's actions. But given Big Red crushed not only the smaller field by 30 lengths but the Belmont track record by over two seconds (mucho time in that context), my guess the only difference would have been that he won by less lengths. :)

Oh, and fwiw, he beat a field of 13 in the Derby, then only 6 in the Preakness. I think people were afraid of him, honestly. That was one bad ass horsey.



 

servumtuum

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Om, I think I may have mentioned elsewhere that I was in my mid-20s when Secretariat won the Triple Crown. That horse was simply at a level that other racehorses couldn't match-much in the same way that Usain Bolt as a sprinter exceeds the physical capabilities of other runners. What truly amazed me about the Belmont was that Secretariat was still pulling away from the field at the end, a testimony not only tremendous speed but unheard of endurance capacity. I still shake my head watching the video of that race-a truly amazing performance by an amazing animal.
 

Neophyte

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Never see another horse like him, I don't think. His name belongs on the roles of the greatest ever right next to Ali, Phelps and Lewis (Carl not Joe, although Joe was great too). What an amazing beast. Still an inspiring performance almost 40 years later. Thanks for digging that up, bro.
 

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