Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The Nationals even match up with the MLB-leading Red Sox and NL-leading Mets in this wondrous post-May 9 stretch. Boston is 12-4 and New York is 12-5; pretty good company. Teams not in this good company include the Braves (7-10), Orioles (8-9), Cardinals (7-9), and Marlins (8-10). Yes, yes, all teams have up and down times during a season, but who really thought the Nats would at ANY time have a prolonged streak of consistent winning such as this. If this team finishes within sniffing distance of .500, it would be absolutely criminal if Manny Acta did not receive Manager of the Year honors. Possibly written off in some quarters as an overly optimistic first-year manager, Acta kept the clubhouse from splintering in those tough early weeks and has led the team to overachieve ever since, constantly relying on cast-offs and after-thoughts the whole time. Who else in MLB has gotten so much out of what was thought to be so little. Maybe it's too much to expect that he keep this up for four more months, but we couldn't call ourselves DC Optimist if we expected otherwise.
It's also worth pointing out how unexpected contributions continue to be the norm with this team. It's already been postulated elsewhere that the arrival of Ryan Langerhans ushered in this era of good feeling, but today we have the first tangible evidence that he could be a key piece here. His eigth-inning grand slam was as unexpected as it was desperately needed, and provided a cushion that kept this game from being close the rest of the way.
Not wishing to jinx this current run, DCO will, for the moment, refrain from guaranteeing the Nationals will not lose 90 games, but you never know...
Friday, May 25, 2007
Kearns is turning into a nice story that we hope will become the norm for this club. When he was traded here from the Reds last season, it was widely reported that he was miserable in Washington, and it looked like it could be another one-and-done deal a la Alfonso Soriano (less than one, really). However, after offseason conversations with Nats management, Kearns has bought into what the team is trying to build, and has signed on for the long haul.
It's a nice contrast from the results of an MLB players' poll (taken before the start of the season) in the recent issue of Sports Illustrated. The poll asked players which team they would rather play for other than their own. The only team not to receive a vote was Washington. Kearns is at least one vote against that sentiment. With a bright future and the infectious and unflappable optimism of manager Manny Acta, the Nationals will likely win further converts and, again, disappoint those who predict, and hope for, their failure.
Instead of resorting to cliches such as "much-maligned", and without falling back on mocking (and equally cliched) references to a 700-page playbook, we will instead label the Redskins' offense of last year, led by certified offesnive genius Al Saunders, as misunderstood. While nearly everyone acknowledged the immense complexity of the system, and the time necessary to implement it properly (estimates of this time seemed to range from one training camp to half a season, to a full season, to two full seasons), critics and optimism-haters were still quick to jump on the team's (and Al's) lack of success moving the ball and scoring points.
With that in mind, we give this Friday's Manny Acta Optimist of the Week (MAO of the Week) award to Chris Cooley and his teammates on the Redskins' offense, for their comments and attitude this week (the Post actually described them as "brimming with optimism) that this offense is coming together at last and will, presumably, be a force this coming season. Cooley is reported to have said that he and the offense in general are "faster" this year, which doubtlessly will lead to some of the field-stretching bombs from Jason Campbell that we all were hoping for last year. Redskins Insider has some more specific information on the matter that should give fans already hoping for big things in the fall even more reason for hope.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Quite a little run they're putting together, isn't it. A 9-4 record since those awful days of early May, and finally a the long-promised re-awakening of the bats. Series results since May 10: vs. Florida, 3-0 series victory; vs. Atlanta, 3-1 series victory; vs. Baltimore, Big Picture victory; vs. Cincy, no worse than a 2-2 series tie. Run totals for the last three games: 7, 8, 12. Some might call both streaks a fluky abberration, something to be dismissed as a brief but shining period of wins coming together and hot hitting streaks coindicing. Nonsense, we say.
The team is merely showing what it can truly be capable of. That the Nats have put this run together at a time when their starting pitching rotation is such an injury-riddled debacle is even more impressive. Just think what the team could be with hitting at even a little less of its current output accompanied by starting pitchers who were either beginning to dominate (Bergmann, Hill) or who could turn their season around and again be effective (Patterson). Most heartening could be the rediscovery of the home run, with Church, Kearns, Zimmerman, Lopez, and Schneider all homering this series (and with Guzman and Young again finding the gaps for extra bases).
Even if this is just a freakish run of good fortune, how many of us really thought there would be any 9-4 stretches this season, or totals of 27 runs in three games? Let's not fret that "this can't last" or worry about a time when the Nats might again lose eight in a row and just enjoy the ride and think about what it could mean for a brilliant future.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Four-on-four overtime is fine for the regular season. We can even grudgingly accept shootouts instead of hard-fought ties. But back off when it comes to the playoffs, even if the games stretch into the morning hours (which, as Wetzel points out, they don't do as often as some would have us believe). As a hockey fan and a Caps fan, and as a survivor of April 24, 1996, I truly hope Commissioner Gary Bettman does not continue to desperately grasp for the mass-media respect that hockey is never going to get by implementing such rules. Even though Petr Nedved ruined a perfectly mesmerizing game of hockey 11 years ago by scoring late in the fourth overtime, I would rather have seen the game as I had rather than seen it decided by the three best shooters on each team plus the goalies.
It's true what Wetzel wrote: every rush up the ice that night by the Penguins filled the arena (at least the portions not occupied by Pittsburgh fans) with tension, and every possession by the Caps brought the hope that it would be over (for the better) in a matter of seconds. Double those feelings on a power play for either side. That's a few dozen swings in emotion over the course of a 20-minute period. Exhausting to watch, and even more so to play? That's the game.
So thanks, Dan, for refuting Kara Yorio's overtime defeatist column from last month. One of her arguments actually, in retrospect, shows the foolishness of ever allowing the shootout to appear in the NHL, under the slippery slope category: "If the shootout is a good enough way to decide how teams get into the playoffs, then it should be a good enough way to decide who wins the games once they're there." We would argue: if it's a mediocre-to-bad idea in the regular season, it's an absolutely dreadful idea in the post-season.
"I'm from Laurel, Mississippi. I know a lot of back roads that got the dog fight
if you want to go see it."
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Finally, a bases-loaded clutch hit, or just a clutch hit. Nook Logan's eighth-inning, 2-RBI squeaker through the infield (after fighting back from an 0-2 count) assured that we in Washington will not be subjected to obnoxious chants of "sweep" from inferiority-complex-laiden fans up I-95 for the next month, until the Nats and O's meet again. While it is doubtlessly disapointing to lose two out of three to this rabble, it is no reason for Nats fans to dispair and, perhaps more importantly, no reason for O's fans to be lost in a sea of giddy euphoria. It's pretty clear how this season will play out anyway: two teams out of the playoffs, with one non-playoff team costing nearly $60 million more than the other.
An article in the Washington Post fleshed out the details nicely, but the basics are simple: the Nats are suffering now to build for the future after being badly neglected for years by psuedo-owner MLB, and the Orioles are shooting in the dark each off-season, unwisely spending millions (and therefore the future), while being neglected (or perhaps just incompetently managed) by an actual owner.
Even Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun, who earlier in the season reveled in Washington's sports-related misery, has found truth that one team has a bright future and one is eternally destined for third-and-fourth-place division finishes. Incidentally, is the Baltimore Sun taking a page from DCO with its blindly hopeful headline that the O's had moved into a second-place tie in the NL East, with their sub-.500 record landing them 9.5 games behind the Red Sox?
Despite some missed opportunities this weekend, DCO still salutes the Nationals for their ever-present effort, and is very grateful for the riveting late-inning victory today. We are also grateful to the Orioles for finally answering the burning question: How much does it cost to buy an under-achieving, over-priced bullpen that specializes in blowing late-inning leads? The answer? $41.5 million. Thanks, Peter.
Friday, May 18, 2007
No, we here at the DC Optimist are realists. We see a team lead by an aging, oft-injured quarterback who specializes in five-yard dump-offs not named Mark Brunell withstanding a glaring playoff flameout last year against a dome team in their Hamsterdam backyard, in addition to taking on a new, also often injured running back heading to the diminishing returns stage of his career, remaining invincible to criticism. Why if you posess the prestigous pomposity of coach like Brian Billick, whose offensive genius has yet to be realized in 9 years in Balitmore, you can simply deflect all media criticisms and point to results. We could write an 800-plus word opus smashing the management of the Ravens for losing communication with such important individuals during this critical time period, held much closer to the beginning of the season than the OTA's of the Redskins (who still can note just one missing player). But that would be trite, and it could be refuted, say three days later.
Similarly the baseball team that has represented ballmer, and for a woeful period of time the District, can point to their results when criticism arrives, just as a rather cowardly annonymous commenter may have done in a recent DCO insight (although this commenter is anonymous enough to be likely located in the great state of Delaware, home of Dow chemical plants that spurt foulness onto I-95 like deer entrails).
No, instead of trying to start some meaningless war with Ballmer in the midst of two transitioning teams moving in opposite directions meeting up (one losing five straight, one winning 6 of 7), we will instead look to ultimate positivity, our hallmark. We look to our May 18th MAO of the week, Redskins running back and entertainment phenomenon, Clinton Portis, who on a very special episode of Ballers on the BET network, guaranteed that the 'skins would be in the NFC championship. Portis, an expert at press-handling, shook off the negativity-laced questions from hard-hitting "journalists" like Guy Torry, John Salley, and an even more annoying Hugh Douglass, providing us with a statement that will drive us throughout what looks like a massively successful 07: "The haters is my motivation." Simply brilliant work, again, by Portis, who also praised Joe Gibbs, praised the draft strategy, praised Jason Cambell and said he needed his '06 injury woes to rest. We too saw something special in the manner that the Redskins handled their offseason and also predicted similar results. As for a prediction in Baltimore? How about puzzlement.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
We've touched on this before, but let's for a moment revisit a piece written in the spring by New York Post columnist Joel Sherman. In his little blog posting from spring training, he makes a number of disparaging comments about the Nationals, and who could really blame him. At the time, and still even now, it was more than fashionable to pile on the team, to make the ever-popular and utterly hilarious and original comparisons to the '62 Mets. He starts out with the obligatory shots at the Nats' pitching rotation, calling it "bad" and "dreadful." He further goes on to state that the crowning of an NL East champion could come down to whoever beats up on the Nats the most. Here are a bunch of gimme games, contenders. Whoever grabs the most easy wins takes it all.
One quarter of the way through the season, let's look at the numbers, and Mr. Sherman's predictions. The Nats have the worst record in the NL, that is undeniable. But, thanks to a recent resurgence, they find themselves within five games of eight other teams. They have a better record than the Royals in the AL, and are not too far behind a number of other teams there, including the darling Twins. As far as pitching, Shawn Hill and Jason Bergmann, two of the guys Sherman singled out as part of "...a rotation so bad that the Long Island Ducks laugh at it", have respective ERAs of 2.70 and 2.76.
Looking at the "who can beat up on the Nats the most?" question, ask the shell-shocked Braves how that's working out. They rolled into DC in first place, doubtlessly looking for some easy wins to pad their lead a little. Three losses in four games later, the Braves are lagging 1.5 behind the Mets. Today's impressive 4-3 win against Atlanta levels Washington's record against the NL East at 14-14, hardly the type of cakewalk the division was expected to have. In fact, the Marlilns and Phillies have worse division records. The Nats are secure in their .500 division record for a while, too, as they begin a long stretch against non-division foes.
Yes, at 15-26 there is still a long way to climb, and there may be a few more prolonged non-winning streaks, but it is (again) clear that these Nationals and the inimitable Man-Act will not simply roll over and fulfill everyone's prophesies of doom, much less give them an open road to the division title.
That's Swedish (roughly, according to some online dictionaries) for "piece of the puzzle", and that is precisely what the Washington Capitals secured yesterday. Center Nicklas Backstrom, big-time scorer and phenom from the Swedish League, will join the Caps next year in the NHL. Marvelous. It was widely bemoaned that Backstrom was not in Washington this past year, but in retrospect that is a good thing. Having Backstrom last year would not have made the Caps that much better and would only have counted a year towards his free agent elligibility. Now, DCO believes, a slightly older and more seasoned Backstrom is a step towards propelling the Caps to greatness.
Time to look again to the offseason, and the acquisition of a quality defenseman and at least one of the following: a top-line center, another quality defenseman, a scoring wing. Regarding the top-line center, DCO re-emphasizes its insistence that this player NOT be Daniel Briere (aka, King of the Groin-Spearing Tools, soon-to-be-aka King of the Eliminated From the Playoffs Before Their Hockey-Media-Mandated Stanley Cup Championship Tools). Several commentators on Capitals Insider have similarly expressed their distaste for "Mr" Briere's cowardly spear-centric play, and we encourage all, especially Caps' management, to read. Please, Ted, George, et al, by all means make a play for Chris Drury or Scott Gomez, but not this idiot.
But back to the positive. Having Backstrom here next season will be huge. Add a few more players to a fast-maturing set of youngsters, and big things will happen. Keep an eye on guys like Boyd Gordon (who could be primed for a breakout year as a shut-down checking center) and Matt Pettinger (25-goal scorer if he stays healthy). They are former first round picks who may finally be showing some real promise.
What's that you say, it's too early for predictions for next season? Nonsense. How's this: Caps will make the playoffs as no lower than the 6th seed. We're as sure of that as we are that the Nats will not lose 100 games. Put it in the book.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
"We're light years ahead of where we were last year with Jason."Seems like the Redskins are headed for the stratosphere. How about that for a space metaphor, Sally?
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Finally, we have a sweep.
DCO was fortunate enough to have a representative at Saturday night's epic 7-3 Nationals' victory over the Florida Marlins. This rep stuck it out through the first nearly three-hour rain delay and the soggy innings through the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, by the time the second rain delay imposed itself on the proceedings, the rep and his companions had to finally pack it in (early plans for Mother's Day). Despite missing the thrillng ending (witnessed by only a handful of laudable diehard fans), the events witnessed by the rep and the information gleaned from these events should hearten Nats fans for years to come, even in the midst of this challenging season.
Manny Acta, already the winner of two of the awards that bear his name, has clearly (very quickly) become a hero to suffering Nats fans. The several hundred fans who persevered through the first rain delay saved their loudest cheers for the rookie manager as the team trickled back onto the field around 11 PM. Acta clearly relished in returning the love, smiling the whole time despite the miserable conditions. While we still love and miss Frank, and acknowledge that his patronly curmudgeonness has its place in baseball, replacing him with Acta has to be among the best moves of the new ownership. We should be grateful that another well-known patronly curmudgeon, Lou Pinella, made it clear he wanted to go only to a contender (a la Deion Sanders), and not the nationals. It warms our hearts to see his chosen "contender", the high-priced Chicago Cubs, completely eating it so far this season. Give us Man-Act; let the Cubs have Lou (and Alfonso, for that matter).
This win, sandwiched between Friday's near-flawless 6-0 victory and Sunday's sun-soaked victory (let's all pitch in and buy Robert Fick some sunglasses, shall we?), might be the old cliched "game that turns the season around." For the Nats, a turned-around season could mean losing 90 games instead of 110. We'll take it.
Friday, May 11, 2007
We don't see Manny as simply a rah-rah-ing motivator of a coach who slaps the bottoms of GIDPers in an effort to slap away the grim reality of the looming historic implications of ineptitude. No, MAO is our leader, our revolutionary savior, our chairmananager, our chairManny who neglects ruining fine lunch spreads when encouragement can be better achieved through motivational quotations. We have already begun passing out copies of "Best of Successories" to our contingent, printing them in a little red book format. We gather in 2005-at-RFK numbers chanting selected passages from it, hoping to bring down the established elites that run the local sports scene with their trade demands, contract fusses, and obligations to foreign lands.
There are days when we think there is no hope, but then we look to chair-Manny's teachings and realize that his example is the ultimate version of whatever we have been trying to accomplish.
Working together works. - Dr. Rob Gilbert.
The country is full of good coaches,
What it takes to win is a bunch of interested players. - Don Coryell
...Acta continues to stay the course. Rather than dwell on whatever negativesSound a little bit like your favorite optimism-themed blog? It's no coincidence. DCO supports Manny and his glorious revolution. Your only choice in this matter is to join us!
come out of each loss, he looks for small rays of hope. When the Nationals lose
3-1, he points to the strong performance he got from his starting pitcher. When
they rally late to make things close, he applauds his players' ongoing efforts.
And when they lose eight straight games, he points to the fact that five of
those were by two runs or less.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
This brilliant piece of theorhetical-mathematical-sabremetrical goodiness updates itself every inning showing just how likely the Nats will not win the game. As statistical, mathematical, and above all predictive whizes ourselves, we have applied this brilliant piece of technology to the remaining buzzing sports stories, mostly in an effort to prod the Post into including the meter on all of their stories. Here's a few Win Probability scenerios we have concocted:
Brendan Haywood, in an effort to mimic the sensibilities of his homeboy Kwame Brown, has requested a trade. In the Wizards' glorious past, guys who were a bit tough to motivate usually went on to star in another city. One of the cities that has benefitted the most from tough-to-motivate Wizards has been Detroit. The Pistons' starting five features three ex-Wiz and they are on their way to the Eastern Motors Finals. So its only right that Haywood would find a home in the city where reminiscing about the wonder years in DC makes for great newspaper reporting. So how likely is it that Haywood will take his new position in the Pistons lineup and turn himself into the consistent-contributor we all hoped and dreamed for?
According to our probability meter, not very likely. Sure it's easy to sit on a bench with non-defenders and complain about PT, but with actual two-wayers in Detroit and noted alpha dogs like Sheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups manning the locker room, Brendan will likely cower to the end of the bench with counterpart Nazi Mohammed.
The Redskins started their annual Optional Training Activities (ne OTAs) yesterday, and in practice sessions closed to the public, players both healthy and recovering gathered to do... something. Although the media folks were not allowed inside, that didn't stop the Washington Post from muckraking regarding the absence of star d-backs Sean Taylor and Shawn Springs. Instead of sending in a microphone-wielding hottie like Kelly Johnson to get the puffy scoops like Snyder-homies Comcast Sportsnet does, the Post has, again, decided to dwell on the negatives. After careful consideration, we decided to apply the Win Probability to this scenario:
As you can see, the whole scenario reeks of nothing. But just to make sure, we applied the science to the post's impending coverage:
Please breathe easy, Redskins faithful.
And finally, with Mike Wise not having the depleted Wiz bunch to kick around anymore, the Post sent him off to interview one of his good buddies and current ressurection specialist in Golden State, coach Don Nelson. In a column that blindly reaches for more racially motivated thingies than a Michael Wilbon trade paperback, Wise attempts to "pun-up" his piece in regards to the Warriors sensibilities.
"Now Nellie is giving the Warriors more street cred than Nelly?"
Besides being a woefully dated pun that caused a near-vomitous shock reaction in me, the pun does not take into account the fact that Nelly, he of the Super Bowl dual-jersey performance and the *shudder* Tim McGraw collaboration, has absolutely no street cred whatsoever. Because of this, we have applied our Win Probability to Wise's street cred, and here's what it read out:
Since it seems like almost nobody is sticking up for this team (except their beloved leader), DCO feels it necessary to, right now, guarantee that the Nats will not lose 100 games. If they do lose 100, then we will apologize to everyone we have maligned as an Optimism-Hater for failing to give this team (or, for that matter, any of our local teams) the beneift of the doubt. Well, almost everyone.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Today it's not so much about on-field performance, but about stupid team nicknames. Sure, the United are currently in second-to-last place in the Eastern Conference (though surely not for long), but would you rather they be in, say, second place with a name as awful as the Red Bulls? While DC shares the name of a prestigious title-winning team, New York (what, no more -New Jersey?) is named after, um, sugar water. Pretty cool (it actually might be, if not for the blatant our-team-is-named-after-a-commercial-product angle. Even the Anaheim Ducks managed to salvage their name by shedding "Mighty"). Next year, DCO looks forward to following the NFL's New York Gatorades and the NHL's New York Propel Fitness Waters. Soon to be folowed by the NBA's Brooklyn 5-Hour-Energy Drinks.
Monday, May 7, 2007
But on to the positive. Check out Shawn Hill, part of the starting rotation that was supposed to be completely laughable. In six of his last seven starts he's allowed two runs (in the other he allowed three). By all rights he should have had his third win yesterday, but, well, no reason to dwell on that. Others can do that for us. His unexpected emergence is a bright spot even as John Patterson continues to struggle. Jason Bergmann has also settled down, bringing his ERA to a near-respectable 3.34. The bullpen has shown signs of being legitmate (recent closing trouble notwithstanding), or at least servicable.
The pitching situation, combined with a gaggle of hitters who do have the collective ability to drive in runs, is a sure indication that the debacles of the first couple weeks of the season are not going to be the norm. In fact, since that difficult time, the Nationals have been quite competitive, losing a lot of one-and-two-run games.
So, we say yet again, it's not as bad as it could be (and actually is a little bit encouraging). Besides, we all know what this season is really about anyway: the draft!
Friday, May 4, 2007
My heart lie unbeaten,
yet remaining virulent,
for even the truest warriors,
cannot withstand the system
When color is whistled by the white-striped zebra,
the play is called by Imus.
“We want to get better and we want to get better as a coaching staff,” Jordan
said. “So I don’t look at the complaints. We’ve got a good offseason ahead of us.”
"I know everybody wants answers today to everything, but that's not going to happen, because that's not the way I work," he said. "I'm going to take my time.Grunfeld also has to mine the potential Stevenson opt-out, as well as negotiate the buyout of imminent Spanish superstar Juan Carlos Navarro, who can't possibly wait any longer to don the golden Wizards uniforms. Stevenson hopes his shot at free agency, unlike many of his shots in the playoffs, lands in the right place. To him, that right place is in DC.
There's no urgency; you can't sign anybody today... and my experience tells me that the worst time to make decisions is right after tough losses. So you have to take a step back, clear your head, look at everything that happened throughout the season and see where you want to go from there."
"This is a great situation here, playing with Caron, Gilbert and Antawn,"
Stevenson said. "I think we could have won at least 50 games if everyone stayed
healthy. But I'll have to do what's best for me. This is a great situation
“He did a great job making adjustments and doing the things he had to do to makeWith enthusiastic locker rooms, brilliant general managing and a solid head coaching philosophy, we can't agree with Jordan's offseason assessment more. We could be Dallas.
us competitive. I have a lot of respect for him.”
Said Antawn Jamison, “I love Eddie and think he’s a great coach. He’s made myself and other guys in this locker room great players.”
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Alexander Ovechkin - NHL '07 for Playstation and XBox consoles. It was just another shot for Ovechkin, as he was rewarded the sweet cover after he lead the league in shots his rookie year, in addition to leading rookies in goals and points. The game was pretty eh, as was his follow up season. EA promises that next year's version will be muuuuuch muuuuuuch better and that we should trust them.Deshawn Stevenson - Xtreme Accuracy Shooting for PC. After a playoff series in which this gunner really showed off his accurracy, Stevenson, also gunning for a new contract, was able to secure this lucrative deal with a shooting simulator. The game features realistic tests of accuracy and it becomes impossibly tough to hit anything in the later "post-season" levels.
Dan Snyder - Championship Manager for PC. After another brilliant offseason of multiple intelligent personnell moves and favorable media coverage, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was given the opportunity to represent all great football managers on the cover of this ambitious simulator. The game may have its flaws, but fans of it remain undettered and consistently buy it, no matter how bad some versions have been. This is actually the second time Snyder has graced the cover of a video title. While a burgeoning mogul, Snyder was tabbed for the cover of this rather dull stock market title, Invest:
(looks like him, doesn't it?)
Eddie Jordan and Brendan Haywood - Wizard Warz for PC. This ambitious title features two mediocre spellcasters "coach" and "wood", one with more authority, the other with a disagreeable disposition, divided over their mutual roles in a Wizard academy. The gist of the game lies in making sure the two coexist peacefully. When both are at their peak output, the points soar and the victories mount, but when one is upset with the other, destruction occurs. In the end, only one will remain. It is up to you to decide.
And while it isn't a cover, game maker Data East noticed the motivational talent of Nats manager Manny Acta and gave him a key cameo in their video game classic, Bad Dudes. Here's a screencap.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Maybe you too have seen this compendium of draft graders and thought, "Wow, if a consensus of this sort exists, than the Redskins' draft surely must have been counterproductive." However, we here at the DCO have thoroughly examined each of the Redskins' newest draft picks, talking with talent scouts, agents, NFL personnell and draft plaudits (well, we googled), and we have decided that this draft was bountiful, and will receive a solid A+. Lets go over the players shall we?
First Round, #6 overall. Safety Laron Landry, Lousiana State. We have already mentioned why we think he was the correct choice, but lets dig deeper into the Redskins bold selection of a second top-10 overall safety a bit. In recent profiles, Landry has shown a penchant for flying around, always a good safety quality. He has yet to be arrested. Also a great quality in first-round draft selections. And of the four safety selections in the first round, it was Landry who ranked highest. It is obvious to us that the safety position is revolutionizing the NFL and teams are seeing the need to add gamebreaking athletes into that position. Couple this with the fact that Gregg Williams uses the safety in a unique, almost genius manner by assigning boxes to each player, and you can see how the Redskins were clairvoyant in their move. Even Jason La Canfora, never one to back down from blasting the organization, has been convinced, of course it took a college kid in Australia to notice, but at least the point that drafting from an admittedly weak class of defensive lineman was not the answer. To sum it up, bravo, braintrust!
He finished fourth nationally with 147 tackles last season and ranks third all-time in school history with 409. He was a three-time, first-team All-Big East selection and was named 2006 Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
Sixth Round, #205 overall. Quarterback Jordan Palmer, Texas El-Paso. The bro of Bengals' QB Carson Palmer, and not related to hilarious Canadian former-Giant Jesse Palmer, aka the Batchelor, Jordan Palmer looks to be a solid clipboard holder for years to come. Sporting good size (6'6"), good numbers (851-of-1,427 passes--a 60 percent completion rate--for 11,084 yards, 88 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.), and obviously a great pedigree, "JP" ought to be the prototypical superstar quarterback brother, unlike some other black sheep.