Man, the Redskins' (100%-attended) offseason workouts haven't been this tism-riffic since the days of Gibbs 1, or Spurrier 1, or something. This new coach-guy Jim Zorn has the Black and Maroon-clad nation buzzing audibly as if they ingested two vente lates laced with crack based on his whimsical Madden 2008-inspired practice techniques, allowances of fun-havings, and coy nature with Kelli Johnson-types with microphones. Zorn's ball-rolling, footrace-(and subsequent OMG a possible injury!)-ignoring, and oversleeping-rookie coddling early dispatches have the DCO contingent positively brimming with the sort of good thoughts that rarely occur post-Snyder hiring sessions. What a strange time period it has been previous to these bright, sunny, Shermy moments:
- The god Joe Gibbs hangs 'em up after a season where the emotional tolls far outweighed the improbable and ultimately insignificant on-field gains, bewildering the many who thought the genial mastermind would at least give the team one more shot at glory before handing things over to his assistant coach-whatevers.
- Heir Snyder holds the seemingly endless interview process where speculation, promotion, demotion and devotion all were gauged and thoroughly dissected before a head coach kind of just happened at the 11:30th hour. While the DCO contingent was head-on with the rest of the Redskins players, media-coverers, et al in their desire for Gregg Williams to get the promotion he so deserved, we speculate that a rift betwixt the excitable Williams and newly-minted head General Manager Vinny Cerrato on the subject of player personnel decisions ultimately would have proven to be more problematic that necessary. Just about everyone complained of Gibbs's dual duties as coach and GM, and pretty much all instances of this hybrid have failed miserably. Although Vin-Diesel's General Managing record is spotty with bad free agency moves, with this being his first crack at legitimately running the team, why have that rift from the get-go? The 'skins move forward-- or Zorn-ward, if you will (or won't, that was a bit of a stretch).
- J. Z. manages to bungle the decades of tradition and heap loads of tism-hating onto the braintrust in his initial pressers, causing the quick-tempered Redskin-faithful to just about lose hope.
- The Z-Man bounces back and kicks off some of the more underreported and unheralded staff formulations, taking in holdover pieces like the incomparable special teams coach Danny Smith and newly-promoted D-Coordinator Greg Blache, and combining them with newcoming brilliances in the form of Stump, Sherm, and Chris Meindt to form a great transition-ready staff of teachers, motivators and NFL-playing experience doler-outers. He begins months early with Jason Campbell, installing the umpteenth offense Campbell has to memorize, tweaking his throwing motions, and instilling the confidence that this QB-coach relationship is one that will matriculate
- Best hall of fame class ever is finally inducted.
- Jerome Mathis leads an atypical free-agent signee thrust that consisted mainly of re-upping big-time contributors Collins, Yoder, Fabini, and Rock.
- Pinings for Chad Johnson somehow went unheard, and a stable of draft picks were actually available for the first time in like ever.
- That stable is enhanced by clever trade-downs, yet laps were still landed with necessary and unnecessary ball-catchers Thomas, Davis, and Kelly, with the "need" positions of safety, corner, d-line, o-line, wherever else, filled in elsewhere.
- 'skins finally hold their lone minicamp, Zorn holds those wacky QB drills for the reporters to drool over, and minute, will-forget-about-it-in-like-two-weeks happenings like Fred Davis hitting the snooze button one too many times and Antwaan Randle-El getting his knee slurped, occur.
Heady times indeed, times that have been punctuated lovingly by the newest member of the 'sphere of speed, lewdness, and brilliance, Chris Cooley, whose blog rules to the innumerable power, so much so that professional sporting blogs have taken his postings on as an inside-the-totally-cool-player-with-the-cheerleader-fiance, the-heavy-metal-shorts, and the-pro-bowl credentials look at the NFL. Great move, as was Cooley answering our question during his week-long draft Q&A. Interviewer of the stars Bobtimist asked Captain Chaos, he whose jersey and T-shirt has been adorned in these parts since like before he was a superstar:
8. What is the weirdest thing you have read about yourself in draft
The funniest thing I think about the draft profiles is how much people
actually make stuff up. When I was a rookie people said that I would be a good
blocker and possession type receiver. That my downfall is I could never stretch
the field. My current profile says that I'm a bad blocker, but I can catch the
ball down field. No one knows what type of player someone can really become.
Sweet response, and sweet blog. Like we previously mentioned, Gilbert Arenas revolutionized professional sports on the 'net with his blog. Never before had intimate access been given with the frank and friendly nature, complete with slightly controversial, fan-, sports-writer-, etc-baiting comments, all to help burgeon a personality-based superstardom. Unlike the beige-colored comments that emanate from all non-Clinton-Portis press conferences, these blogs both convey the superstar's thoughts in a frank, fun way, but also reveal the inner-workings of the professional athlete's lifestyle that no fawning profile nor MTV Cribs could ever convey. Cooley's foray has been doubly fastidious as Gilberts, already sharing locker-room horseplay legends, musings of comely wife and singer wresting matches, and reviews of draft coverage in addition to pertinent analysis of NFL workings. The first to scoff at Cooley's remarks were PTI's yappers, who, again found some way to belittle a voice-producing player. Attention stalwarts, these blogs are doubly more important than anything produced by your reams of paper.
While that may be 'nuff said about the navel-gazers, far more could be said about the upcoming successful skins season. Zorn's West Coast Offense, reprised with an easy-learning edition punctuated with Sherm's input, ought to work well for the skins, especially with the new pass catchers on board. The weapons, if (huuuuge if) healthy, can work this system like Nick Johnson works a count, and if proper utilizations occur, huge numbers could be put up. Keeping this as the only minicamp will be much more advantageous for that crucial health factor than the minor adaptation factor. The defense will "largely be the same" as has been re-iterated by Blache, meaning a top-ten style of stoutness is to be expected. The schedule will be laborious, with the (ugh, hating to admit it) champions on the road, and in the decrepit armpit of Philadelphia early, but the DCO sees early typical "DC Hole (explanation forthcoming)" trials as trivial, and will be easily overcome. Zorn and company have already proven that they are a brew that has been strange in its inception, yet likely delightful once ingested, kind of like pruno. Here's to the prison that is life being made more enjoyable through this concoction.