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Mattyk 04-17-2007 07:22 AM

Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
[url=http://blog.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/]Redskins Insider[/url]

Posted at 9:19 PM ET, 04/16/2007

The Lying Game

Okay, I am going to preface this by saying that this is the time of year when the NFL - land of super, double, top secrets - becomes the domain of loose lips. Everyone is lying about everything. Still, there is always a kernel of truth available out there, and here is what I heard from people today. So, with that caveat out there and this duly filed under the "slightly-more-that rumor" category, here's what I have heard:

Looks like the Skins would have to trade to first overall to get Calvin Johnson. I heard today that the Raiders will end up with Culpepper after MIA cuts him (also heard today the Fins asked the KC Chiefs for the proper sizes and specifications of Trent Green's equipment today). So the Raiders take the stud WR to replace Randy Moss - who probably goes to Green Bay - and Russell falls a bit.

Detroit loves Gaines Adams. Have visited with him three times. The coach there might see him as a reincarnation of Simeon Rice, who he coached in Tampa (although some people I talked to him see him as a situational pass rusher who is a third-down guy at the next level). They could probably trade down and still take him, and the Lions have been shopping this pick since right after the combine (when they first explored trades with the Redskins).

Cleveland is deadset on a QB (Lions might be gunshy about taking another Qb so high even if Russell is still there). Cleveland loves Quinn, but I hear the Dolphins do too, maybe even enough to trade up and get him should he still be there at 6th overall (hint, hint).

Tampa loves CJ, but could flirt with a QB, too. They might also end up trying to trade that pick if CJ and Russell are gone.

Arizona really loves the tackle, and his agent happens to be the same guy who represents the new head coach and offensive coordinator there.

So at 6 the Skins could very well have their pick of the defensive players. If they use the pick, I would be stunned if they took someone not names Landry or Okoye (both have completely wowed the team and again, I heard Landry had a killer workout Monday). After those two, Jamaal Anderson and Gaines Adamas would be the next two best options among some people out at The Park, with Calvin Johnson likely ending up the top player on the Skins overall draft board (that will be completed this week after the offensive draft meetings end this week - defense went last week, position by position).

Minn. is set on a Qb or Landry if available, I hear, and Houston will probably draft D, too.

Mia is thinking QB if possible as I said and Atlanta has fallen hard for Okoye (who played for the coach and D Line coach at Louisville) and Landry, enough so to trade up for either. Again, the Skins at 6 could be prime partners. Keep an eye on this, cause at 10, plus getting a second round pick, the Skins might find two really good players in such a trade.

Also, I hear the Skins will have something like 15 kids - on defense only! - at the facility this week, to say nothing of all the offensive players who have come through and still will come through. Is that overkill and indicative of the over-the-top nature of the guy who signs the checks? Is that too many bodies for any team to really handle in a limited time? Is it a little circus-like?

Yeah, probably, but that's the Skins. That's how they roll.

In the end, it doesn't really matter, as the film study, interviews and backround checks should carry the day. If they get the right guy or make a shrewd trade, then more power to them. There remain no shortage of people in that building really hope they trade down, but we'll see what the Snyder/Gibbs axis ends up doing in the war room.

djnemo65 04-17-2007 09:54 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
I sure like that Miami scenario. Oakland drafting CJ would seem to be pretty good for us.

Schneed10 04-17-2007 10:19 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
It's nice to get some real insider meat regarding the draft, rather than just having to pick at the same bones all the time.

I do like the sounds of LaRon Landry and he'd be a good addition over the long-term for us, but I agree with JLC, we're not going to have much of a defense this year if we don't help out the D-Line. Guys like Okoye or Anderson would be good long-term solutions at a position of greater need.

I'm torn. I really want to see us get Amobi Okoye, so I don't really like the idea of trading anywhere below Atlanta at 8. With Bobby Petrino sitting there at 8, I think he'd take Okoye over Landry if given the chance, just my hunch. But then again, it'd be pretty nice to drop down to 9 or something and get Jamaal Anderson and then pick up a 2nd or 3rd rounder to draft a serious G or something like that. As much as I want Okoye because DT is a bigger need than DE, we have other holes than just along our D-Line. I'm not OK with Todd Wade as a long term solution at G.

Mattyk 04-17-2007 10:19 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
I really hope we don't go with Landry. Great player but with so many quality d-lineman out there I'd hate to pass one of them up. But then again we do need more playmakers (INT's) in the secondary.

TheMalcolmConnection 04-17-2007 10:23 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
While DT or DE is by far my biggest "want" for the draft, I'll go on record now by saying I won't be SAD if we get Landry either.

Schneed10 04-17-2007 10:24 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
[quote=Mattyk72;298578]I really hope we don't go with Landry. Great player but with so many quality d-lineman out there I'd hate to pass one of them up. But then again we do need more playmakers (INT's) in the secondary.[/quote]

Yeah I feel your sentiment. Landry would be a good player in the NFL, and teaming him with Sean Taylor gets me pretty excited.

But we need defensive line help SO badly, at DT most of all in my opinion. I just don't see how we're going to clog the middle against guys like Philly's Sean Andrews with 290 pound Kedric Golston in there. If we're vulnerable to the run up the middle, we're in serious trouble. This defense is predicated on stopping the run first and foremost.

Landry will make big plays. But it doesn't help much if teams can just rip off five yards every time they hand the ball off.

TheMalcolmConnection 04-17-2007 10:25 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
The good news for me is that fact that if we decide to NOT go with DT, Fletcher is far more capable of holding down the middle than Marshall.

Schneed10 04-17-2007 10:28 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
[quote=TheMalcolmConnection;298586]The good news for me is that fact that if we decide to NOT go with DT, Fletcher is far more capable of holding down the middle than Marshall.[/quote]

That's true. Fletcher has a better nose for the ball. And Fletcher has the brain to get guys lined up kind of like Pierce used to do. So Fletcher might have a big impact against the run, even with our current personnel.

But even given that, we're still better off with a serious run stuffer along the line. It would allow the defense a lot more flexibility. If we stick with Golston, we pretty much need someone to have his back at all times. Put a serious run stuffer in his place, now all of a sudden we can move Fletcher around a bit more.

Mattyk 04-17-2007 10:29 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
Looking back on previous seasons we did manage to do a good job stopping the run with the likes of Griffin, Salave'a, Wynn, Daniels, etc.

So what changed so much last year? Did these guys get old overnight and their games fell off that much?

Was the scheme to blame?

Injuries?

A combo of things?

Schneed10 04-17-2007 10:39 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
[quote=Mattyk72;298590]Looking back on previous seasons we did manage to do a good job stopping the run with the likes of Griffin, Salave'a, Wynn, Daniels, etc.

So what changed so much last year? Did these guys get old overnight and their games fell off that much?

Was the scheme to blame?

Injuries?

A combo of things?[/quote]

Great question, definitely worth examining. I think:

- Joe Salave'a used to be sturdy against the run. I thought he was way underappreciated for a while. But the guy is older now and always has foot problems. His replacement was mainly Golston throughout the year, and while he's quick, he's not real big, and he got pushed around against power running games. Griffin was hurt at times throughout the year too. I remember against the Titans, we started Golston and Montgomery at DT. Travis Henry went for over 150 yards on the ground, a huge portion coming in the 4th quarter.

- Going from Wynn to Carter was a big downgrade in run support. Carter started to get a lot better, even in run support, at the end of the year, though. He had several games where he made 7, 8, 9 tackles at the end. It seems like Carter had a learning curve at the beginning. Along with his learning curve, the problem on his side was compounded by the fact that Warrick Holdman was worthless behind him. When Carter improved, the run defense improved. I do think our defensive line will be better this year, simply because Carter is better.

- We took a downgrade two years ago when we went from Pierce to Marshall in the middle. We didn't have the QB of the defense. In 2005, this was covered up by a healthy Griffin & Salave'a, and healthy Wynn & Daniels for the most part. These guys had continuity from the previous year and didn't have learning curves. They weren't the same as the 2004 defense, but they stopped the run well enough. In 2006, with Carter and Golston as newbies, we needed a QB of the defense to really help them out. We didn't have one.

- The problems in the secondary exacerbated the problem. We had to drop LBs into coverage more often than we liked. We couldn't attack the line of scrimmage. I think the LBs were on their heels quite often.

Mattyk 04-17-2007 10:41 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
I was just about to add the secondary limited how aggressive GW could be in run support with the corners.

All in all I think there were many factors in play last year for the huge fall of the D and it wasn't necessarily all regarding the personnel.

diehardskin2982 04-17-2007 11:08 AM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
what would you guys think of taking Landry then making a hard push for Kris Jenkins either by trade or when he gets cut?

GTripp0012 04-17-2007 12:32 PM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
We HAVE to go with Okoye at 6. I could see us making a deal with Atlanta and taking whoever is left at 8 though, even though Landry could go to the Vikings at 7 (if Okoye goes 6 to the Falcons). Then we'd miss out on two of the three best defensive players in the draft, actually the top 2 IMO.

I really don't want Jamaal Anderson. His body type is better than Gaines Adams, but I'm always VERY wary of the pass rusher who rushes past his senior year to enter the draft. Such is the telltale sign of the bust. If Carriker is there instead, take him.

But if we are picking between Landry and Okoye (and it should be an easy choice), at least we know that we are ending up with a good player.

GTripp0012 04-17-2007 12:36 PM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
[quote=diehardskin2982;298612]what would you guys think of taking Landry then making a hard push for Kris Jenkins either by trade or when he gets cut?[/quote]I'd rather go with Ian Scott.

Trying to fix the DT through FA has been a slippery slope for this team for a long time. The problem on the DL isn't a gaping hole in talent as much as it is a bunch of players with flaws in their games who are aging. I mean, we can start Daniels, Griffin, Saleve'a, and Carter for one more year and get away with it, but if this becomes a lost season again, we really need to have a guy like Okoye to step in for Big Joe and start getting reps (and maybe start to rotate Golston and Montgomery in with Griffin). We don't want to find out after we lose our 7th game that we have no youth on the DL to work in. IMO, that would be a worst case scenario.

GTripp0012 04-17-2007 12:43 PM

Re: Latest from JLC: The lying game
 
Last thought on this article for now:

If Daunte Culpepper comes back healthy for Oakland, I mean, what a wonderful signing for them. I would still take Joe Thomas with the first overall pick if I signed Culpepper EVEN if they dealt Moss to GB, because I think Ronald Curry can get it done in this league, and so can Jerry Porter.

But a healthy Daunte Culpepper makes last years laughingstocks into a damn solid playoff contender, especially if that defense continues to improve.


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