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Some offseason optimism

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Old 01-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #16
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Re: Some offseason optimism

Great thread PT. One more positive I might add is our schedule for next year, from the brief glance I gave it we look to have things I little easier than '08. Previous years I wouldn't really point to this but under Zorn I think we've won all but two of the games we should have IMO (should not have lost to St. Louis or Cinci - I sort of expected the loss to SanFran), so I'm taking a risk in hoping next year we actually have an above average season since... jeez when was and last?
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:19 PM   #17
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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Originally Posted by Paintrain View Post
We've all had window seats on the Bitter Bus the past few weeks (and I stirred up enough negativity with the Vick thread) so I figured I'd put forth a few positives entering this year vs. last year:

1. Stability-The dreaded "s" word. For the first time in a long time we're not going into the offseason either installing a new offense or a new defense or someone learning an important position on the job (Campell in '07). We should be able to focus on execution, expansion of the offense and fine tuning the defense.

2. Injuries-Other than Samuels, we've got no other starters that will require significant offseason rehab and recovery. Remember last year we had questions about Rogers, McIntosh, R. Thomas and Jansen being able to start the season healthy. This year we're going into the offseason work with virtually all hands on deck.

3. Familiarity-While the roster will see some much needed change, we are almost assured to enter 2009 with the same skill position players we ended the season with. Campbell, Portis, Cooley, Moss, Randle El, Kelly, Thomas, Sellers on offense, Landry, Horton, Springs, Hall & Rogers (assuming Hall signs and Rogers isn't traded) on defense. It's been said ad naseum that our major flaw is in the trenches. I think it's significant that the players we count on to have or be around the ball are not having to learn anything new or differently and can just build on whatever foundation is here.

What are some of the other positives we can highlight?
I'm not down with the familiarity or stability excuse. Guys move around all the time and it's business as usual (rookie QBs, RBs and WRs who produce right away, rookie coaches make the playoffs, veteran QBs like Brees going to NO and putting up huge numbers from day 1 and others like Pennington this year, backup QBs stepping right in, etc.). This is the Pros.

I am optimistic that the Skins will dust off all of their weapons next year and become more dynamic and difficult to defend on offense - use a 2 or 3 back system, get Kelly, Thomas and Davis on the field early and often (and use ARE like he was used in Pittsburgh), better utilize Campbell's legs, more creative play calling (use the backs in the passing game, some Wildcat and other gadget plays every game, no huddle here and there, move the pocket around, naked bootlegs on the goal line, etc.).

Throw in some tweaks on defense to create more sacks, turnovers and be generally more disruptive - and presto chango, the Skins are back in the playoffs, maybe even going deep.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:46 PM   #18
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Re: Some offseason optimism

Yeah I stirred up about half of the stuff up on the Vick thread. Sorry everyone I'm trying to quit smoking and it's a bitch. I also work in the mortgage industry and things are, shall we say, hectic right now with 4.5% rates.
I say let it ride. After reading about the Salary cap, great thread by the way, I can see most of our guys coming back and for the first time healthy.
I'm also optimistic about FA and the draft because I think Vinny and Danny are starting to learn their lessons.
We did sweep the Eagles and that is always good and we did beat Dallas at least once. I'd be happy with another NFC East win against Dallas or the Jersey Giants.
If things don't work out then we'll blow it up. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm looking forward to another season to see what Z can do. If we can start bumping up wins every season then we'll get there.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:27 AM   #19
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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1. Stability-The dreaded "s" word. For the first time in a long time we're not going into the offseason either installing a new offense or a new defense or someone learning an important position on the job (Campell in '07). We should be able to focus on execution, expansion of the offense and fine tuning the defense.
I think stability is huge and something that this team has not had in the past three/four years.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:54 AM   #20
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Re: Some offseason optimism

I'm usually optimistic in the offseason in part because I tend to overestimate how well some young players & free agents will fare.

After this season I'm less optimistic about next year in terms of putting up a winning record. I see the D potentially taking major steps backwards w/age in crucial positions & I fear the wrath of D. Hall, having seen my VT teams fall apart in the past w/many blaming him for locker room discontent. On the other hand, our D has often pleasantly surprised me going back to R. Pettibon's tenure.

If there's reason for optimism I think it's the fact that Zorn will be in his 2nd year & everybody will start to catch on, as others have mentioned. If Thomas & Kelly can become starting caliber wr's, as they should, and some offseason moves improve the O line (I'm for drafting a RT that could start right away) then by mid to late season the offense should start to click. I have faith in JC (J. Campbell ).

My greatest fear is that this team is in a rebuilding mode and wins 5 to 6 in 09, then Danny gives Zorn the axe. Unless some changes are made, this team is no better than the 2-6 record it finished this year with. If we have to go through some rebuilding so be it, just give JZ a chance to see it through in 2010, that's when I think we should have higher expectations.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:17 AM   #21
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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I'm usually optimistic in the offseason in part because I tend to overestimate how well some young players & free agents will fare.

After this season I'm less optimistic about next year in terms of putting up a winning record. I see the D potentially taking major steps backwards w/age in crucial positions & I fear the wrath of D. Hall, having seen my VT teams fall apart in the past w/many blaming him for locker room discontent. On the other hand, our D has often pleasantly surprised me going back to R. Pettibon's tenure.

If there's reason for optimism I think it's the fact that Zorn will be in his 2nd year & everybody will start to catch on, as others have mentioned. If Thomas & Kelly can become starting caliber wr's, as they should, and some offseason moves improve the O line (I'm for drafting a RT that could start right away) then by mid to late season the offense should start to click. I have faith in JC (J. Campbell ).

My greatest fear is that this team is in a rebuilding mode and wins 5 to 6 in 09, then Danny gives Zorn the axe. Unless some changes are made, this team is no better than the 2-6 record it finished this year with. If we have to go through some rebuilding so be it, just give JZ a chance to see it through in 2010, that's when I think we should have higher expectations.
You make some good points there. The 'new Snyder' has shown a little more patience and I believe ordinarily even if we have a rebuilding year (4-12, 6-10) Zorn would be given a 3rd season to make good but with Cowher, Holmgren and Shanahan out there and available I don't see Snyder sitting idle with a disappointing season and that kind of talent available out there.
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:54 PM   #22
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Re: Some offseason optimism

Vinny said during an interview that both he and Zorn had TWO years. my one hope is that Zorn and Vinny both prove what failures they are and get the axe and this time next year, we are talking about how glad we are to have Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan as our coach for the next 10 years.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:06 PM   #23
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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Vinny said during an interview that both he and Zorn had TWO years. my one hope is that Zorn and Vinny both prove what failures they are and get the axe and this time next year, we are talking about how glad we are to have Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan as our coach for the next 10 years.
How on earth after an 8 win rookie season can we be calling Zorn a failure???

I guess your version of offseason optimism is hoping for epic failures from our head coach and front office, prompting yet another sweeping change...
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #24
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Re: Some offseason optimism

I hope we pull a move similar to the PATS last year where they traded back thier 1st rd pick and moved back 3 or 4 spots and still added additional picks without falling to far down the board. We need to make sure to focus on both sides of the line, and look for a OLB! Also, if anyone from Redskins park is reading this, NO TE this year please, we have enough!
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #25
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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I say we take either the best LB or OL available with the 13th pick. That could be Eugene Monroe, James Laurinitis, Brian Cushing, Jason Smith, Duke Robinson, Brandon Spikes... I'd be thrilled with any of those guys.
I dont get all the love for duke robinson... he's a guard. You dont take a guard in the 1st round... its just foolish. besides, we've already got Rinehart, Thomas, and Kendall could resign here. Have Rinehart start with either Thomas or Kendall, alongside Samuels, a new center and a new RT, and our offensive line will be fine next year. We can then replace Thomas/Kendall in 2010.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #26
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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I dont get all the love for duke robinson... he's a guard. You dont take a guard in the 1st round... its just foolish. besides, we've already got Rinehart, Thomas, and Kendall could resign here. Have Rinehart start with either Thomas or Kendall, alongside Samuels, a new center and a new RT, and our offensive line will be fine next year. We can then replace Thomas/Kendall in 2010.
Well, I agree that 13 is probably too high for Robinson. But he's been compared to Steve Hutchinson, who incidentally was a first round pick. Plus a lot of people are saying Robinson could possibly play T at well in the pros, though he's better suited for Guard.

I think if you can trade down to later in the first round, or up into the early 2nd round and pick up extra picks along the way, and Robinson is there...then he's a great pickup.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #27
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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Well, I agree that 13 is probably too high for Robinson. But he's been compared to Steve Hutchinson, who incidentally was a first round pick. Plus a lot of people are saying Robinson could possibly play T at well in the pros, though he's better suited for Guard.

I think if you can trade down to later in the first round, or up into the early 2nd round and pick up extra picks along the way, and Robinson is there...then he's a great pickup.
If Duke Robinson is comparable to Hutchinson as a player, then he's special and worth a 1st round pick. So, in view of our OL problems, I would rather take Duke at No. 13 than to risk losing him.

I remember wanting the Skins to take Hutchinson and being disappointed when we took 50/50 instead.

Get Jordan Gross or Stacy Andrews in Free Agency and Duke in the Draft and we'll be much better next season.

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:07 PM   #28
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Re: Some offseason optimism

I say we spend the 13th pick on Moreno, what the hell, we drafted Fred Davis last year with Pro Bowl Cooley, so now we need a high pick at a position with Pro Bowl Portis! Unless I am missing out on some sort of first round fullback legend to back Sellers! WHOOOOO! I love this time of year when we start talking draft and start seeing how crazy Vinny is gonna get!
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:53 PM   #29
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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How on earth after an 8 win rookie season can we be calling Zorn a failure???

I guess your version of offseason optimism is hoping for epic failures from our head coach and front office, prompting yet another sweeping change...
Zorn inherited a team with a very strong running game from Joe Gibbs. We started 6-2 because we adhered to that running game. As the season went on, teams began to adjust to Zorn. How did Zorn adjust back? According to Clinton Portis, he tried to start changing things with the running game - the one thing that was working right! - and we went 2-6 in the 2nd half of the season.

We will not get better unless Zorn changes dramatically for the better in his 2nd year. Thus far, the only changes he has instituted have hurt the team, not helped it. If Zorn keeps his staff and continues to do what Zorn wants to do (and not what has been proven to work), I fully expect us to be a 6-10 team at best next year.

Zorn was a very poor hire by Vinny. He was - by far - the dumbest of all the new rookie coaching hires made in the last offseason. it looked that way at the time and it has been confirmed by what we've seen miami, Baltimore, and Atlanta do this year. Vinny sealed his fate with the Zorn hire and the 2009-2010 offseason can't come soon enough.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #30
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Re: Some offseason optimism

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Vinny said during an interview that both he and Zorn had TWO years. my one hope is that Zorn and Vinny both prove what failures they are and get the axe and this time next year, we are talking about how glad we are to have Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan as our coach for the next 10 years.
so a coach - Shanahan - that could not win a division that had an 8-8 division champ is better than a rookie coach that had an 8-8 record. The grass is always greener
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