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Old 01-18-2009, 10:13 AM   #1
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Final Thoughts 2008

Wanted to toss this into the ring -- my final take on the 2008 'Skins. Cheers.

Considering the final standings and the current state of the squad, coupled with the contrast in the start vs. the finish, this season was one of extreme highs and lows. Their stunning and unexpected early success was mirrored by their subsequent, dreaded second half stuggles. The stretch run's growing futility and dwindling hope was relieved only by short, infrequent periods of so-so. Not bad, mind you -- just not the sort of things likely to be remembered, with the power to fire you up years after the fact.

Watching all this who among us was not carried through the entire gamut of emotions? As such no one, two or even three single moments will be equal to the task of summarizing their latest campaign. I've boiled down what for me are the ten lasting, defining images of this season, and why I chose them. As you no doubt can imagine, some are good, while others are -- ah, let's just get to it.

In chronological order, they are as follows:

1) Jason Campbell sidestepping an onrushing Saints lineman, then uncorking a beautiful bomb to a streaking Santana Moss for the winning TD in week 2. A comeback win against a quality team, one that showed us this was our guy behind center and on the sidelines. Bittersweet, poignant tribute by 'Tana as he stood in the endzone, head down, arm outstretched, saluting his fallen brother ST...followed shortly thereafter by ARE caught up in the moment, playing leapfrog like a schoolkid. The classic feel-good play.

2) Chris Horton's pick against Dallas, week 4. Just the thing to quell the old nagging doubts that somehow the 'Skins would find a way to lose the game, as they'd done so many times since the glory days. One heck of a way for the rookie to introduce himself not only to us, but the league itself.

3) Pete Kendall fumbling against the Rams, week 6. In a game that was the first time things just didn't feel right, that play stood out above all; cruel Fate at her capricious worst. There we were, comfortably en route to the expected win, when WHAM! -- hey, check it out! l call this play "incredible, crushing fluke." Whaddya think? Uh.......

4) Clinton Portis fumbling against the Browns, week 7. Quintessential post-dynasty Redskins: never a dull moment. Having slowly, inexorably choked nearly the last breath out of a team that they should, the long-awaited foregone conclusion was in our sights...then our workhorse RB picks that play to lay the rock on the ground. Boom. New life for them, newly bitten fingernails for all of Redskins Nation. A not so subtle indication that this season would be nip and tuck all the way.

5) Santana Moss' punt return TD against the Lions, week 8. The specials teams big play excitement we were starving for. Coming on the heels of his earlier long TD pass, it teased us with the potential for offensive fireworks that were always right around the corner, but never really materialized. One constant remained in this game, however; the outcome was in doubt until the very end.

6) JC's 3rd quarter interception against the Steelers, week 9. Down 16-6 and outplayed most of the game, the 'Skins were about to make a show of it after all, when JC gets picked by a DB, who then fumbles, but recovers the ball to kill the drive and rip away any momentum we thought we had. Still a quarter and a half to play, but Game Over. A reminder that this edition of the Burgundy and Gold, like so many others, seemed to be either cursed or snake-bitten. Or both.

7) Rock Cartwright's attempt to down a punt against the Cowboys, week 11. Big game, and a divisional rival to boot. Everything going okay to that point, a good but not great vibe. When he inexplicably caused a ball that was already at rest to follow him into the endzone, a chance to pin 'em deep and take the game over was gone. As was the vibe, then the lead, and ultimately any chance of winning.

8) A four play series against the Seahawks, week 12. Late in the 4th, nursing a 3-pt lead, Zorn turned to old reliable CP, who responded with consecutive runs of 9, 11 and 2o yards. In a heartbeat they were in Seattle territory and things looked good. On the very next play Ladell Betts fumbled while spelling Portis. One carry almost turned out to be one too many. Fortunately they won anyway, but those four plays also symbolize the theme for '08 -- two steps forward, one step back.

9) DeAngelo Hall's fumble recovery against the Ravens, week 14. A new concept: a big-name acquisition who actually produces the goods. His second turnover since he arrived led to a quick TD and we were back in business. Now if the defense could...just...hold 'em....sigh. Perfect illustration of how this year the 'Skins were never quite going to get over the hill. So close, and yet so goddamn far.

10) The final play was the final play at home against the Eagles, week 16. A superb defensive effort seemed as if it might go for naught when Donovan McNabb drove Philly from their own 9 all the way down the field in the last 3 + minutes of regulation. With seconds left he found Reggie Brown at the goal-line for a 17 yard completion. Problem was, the endzone was 18 yards away. Fred Smoot and Laron Landry combined on the hit that kept the receiver from crossing the plane by mere inches, and time expired before another play could be run. As a lifelong fan I was all too familiar with how I felt right then; euphoric, amazed, and exhausted by the drama.

There they are, folks. My year in review. About half are good, the other half are not, and a couple are actually a little bit of both. Two themes run throughout: great expectations (which in some cases were better than met; they were exceeded) and helpless frustration. Looking at the list as objectively as I can -- which is to say not much at all -- I truly believe that we saw more of the former than we have in a good long while, even taking into account the second Gibbs regime.

That's encouraging to me. It means we might be on the right track again, with an eye for the future plural instead of the future next season only. I could certainly wish for more proud, inspired highlights from any particular season of Redskins football, but it's all good. There's always next year.

And if that fails, there's always the year after that. Hail.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

All you have shown is the futility of this team. JC makes 1, one, just 1 heroic play to Santana Moss and some people think this defines his future?
The 6-2 start wasn't all that impressive. The Skins were pulling it out in the final minutes of every game. JC was still making the same mistakes as in prior years only to be camouflaged by the running game and the defense.
Both offense and defensive lines are old and battered. This has been known for the last 2 years by every fan and sports writer alike yet, The Little Danny and Vinny still refuse to draft for "needs" and go out and draft 2 WR's, a TE and a damn punter. The 2 WR's are either to stupid to learn the offense or they are in constant injury mode, even though some have never played a down this season. That wonderful 6th round pick of a punter cost us a game or two and was finally let go. Our TE, as if we needed to draft one, being that we already have a "Pro Bowler" as our starter, has contributed squat this season and our one and only O-lineman that Vinny managed to scrape up in the draft, didn't play a down this season.
We have a Defensive Coach who thinks that sacking the QB is over rated and has almost cost us at least 5 of those first 6 wins by playing that damn "Prevent Defense" and then has the nerve to deny it in post game interviews, with an attitude.
We have an owner and I guess what you would call a GM, who seem to dictate to our Head Coach, who to play and that would be Jason Campbell. They invested a couple of draft picks for him and seem determined, at the expense of the team, to make him into the "Franchise QB". It also seems that our Head Coach, Jim Zorn, has played along with this fallacy thus his announcing that JC would be the starter even before looking at any film of his play on the field last year.
And then we come down to the Head Coach search last year. It seems the only one person desperate enough to take the job was Fassell but after the uproar by the fan base, The Little Danny had a change of heart. He tried to lure other big names to coach here but to no avail as no one was willing to work under a meddling owner and a so called "GM" who is the butt of jokes through out the league.
After being turned down by numerous candidates, the only option left was...Jim Zorn, who was brought here as a first time offensive coordinator (no prior play calling in the NFL) and to "coach up" Jason Campbell into a legitimate starting QB.
His coaching up of JC seems to have worked to a point but JC still makes the same mistakes and still can't read a defense and seems to be more afraid of making a turnover than being a leader and scoring TD's. This is as good as JC gets and again, Jim Zorn tells the media that JC is the starter and that no matter how bad he may play in preseason games, coupled with how good Collins and Colt may do in those preseason games, JC will still be the starter.
So in conclusion, I see nothing encouraging and I think we are far from being "on track". I just see the same mediocre players. The same mediocre coaching from a man who is desperate to keep his job. The same mediocre owner who doesn't know jack shit about running a football team and a joke of a GM who is nothing more than a "yes man" to the mediocre owner. I wish and hope that I'm wrong and that you are right but nothing this ownership has done has convinced me otherwise.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

Fire Stan "The Man" Hixon.
Get more WCO coach's on this team. Preferably with a brilliant mind in designing plays.
Work the rookie WR's starting now until they have everything down pat.
Bring in all the WR's that were supposed to have talent but were let go cause Hixon couldn't coach them up. ie; Mann, McMullen, Mix, and go after Monk who the Giants let go. Find a way to get the " 4-M"(Mann,McMullen,Mix,Monk) team on the field along with Kelly and Thomas. and please work Mix's arse off till he loses all those pounds he gained prior to last season. I know you are wondering why I didn't mention Moss....well I think if we spell him more he would be a bigger threat/target. Always have fresh legs, and teams would have to wonder what's in store when he comes on the field.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:13 PM   #4
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

Way to kill the thread MDcrab.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

Thanks. I resemble that remark. However I like to hold on to the little positive I gave ....I really did like all the WR's we let go and truly think they could make a difference only if we had a much better WR's coach. I also wanted Monk when he was in college. He showed alot of promise also.

I like JC. I'd say give him another year with better knowlege of the offense he would probably do alot better,but if he shows the same issues in regards to reading defenses then let move on next year.

I really think our OL is set. Not. Yes they need to get younger but we can't afford to dump everyone and whole sale go after rookies or new people cause now most of the OL knows atleast most of the blocking. To go after all new people would result in another 8-8 due to learning curve and rookies would have to get up to game speed as well as learn the plays and blocking. One or two new guys will do well and get some back ups.

DL need somone who can push the pocket. It would be nice to have two of those but one might have to do. Atleast get some big guy to just command double teams even if he has no clue other then to run straight forward causing double teams allowing the DE's to get to the QB.

I liked our LB's other then MW only cause he is gettng older and more injury prone. If he was a situational player coming in only on third downs maybe keep him if he can stay healthy but he's taking a roster spot from someone who could possibly play all season with out injury and maybe even every down.

CB kinda worries me. Springs is getting older and probably should be moved to safety so he does not have to constantly run with the big dogs. Let one of the younger guys do that and let him work for the interceptions or big hits.

We need to have an open kicking camp. Come one come all. Who ever shows they can get it done gets the job. ...calling all college kickers, calling all college kickers. report to Ashburn please.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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Originally Posted by BigRedskinDaddy View Post
Wanted to toss this into the ring -- my final take on the 2008 'Skins. Cheers.

Considering the final standings and the current state of the squad, coupled with the contrast in the start vs. the finish, this season was one of extreme highs and lows. Their stunning and unexpected early success was mirrored by their subsequent, dreaded second half stuggles. The stretch run's growing futility and dwindling hope was relieved only by short, infrequent periods of so-so. Not bad, mind you -- just not the sort of things likely to be remembered, with the power to fire you up years after the fact.

Watching all this who among us was not carried through the entire gamut of emotions? As such no one, two or even three single moments will be equal to the task of summarizing their latest campaign. I've boiled down what for me are the ten lasting, defining images of this season, and why I chose them. As you no doubt can imagine, some are good, while others are -- ah, let's just get to it.

In chronological order, they are as follows:

1) Jason Campbell sidestepping an onrushing Saints lineman, then uncorking a beautiful bomb to a streaking Santana Moss for the winning TD in week 2. A comeback win against a quality team, one that showed us this was our guy behind center and on the sidelines. Bittersweet, poignant tribute by 'Tana as he stood in the endzone, head down, arm outstretched, saluting his fallen brother ST...followed shortly thereafter by ARE caught up in the moment, playing leapfrog like a schoolkid. The classic feel-good play.

2) Chris Horton's pick against Dallas, week 4. Just the thing to quell the old nagging doubts that somehow the 'Skins would find a way to lose the game, as they'd done so many times since the glory days. One heck of a way for the rookie to introduce himself not only to us, but the league itself.

3) Pete Kendall fumbling against the Rams, week 6. In a game that was the first time things just didn't feel right, that play stood out above all; cruel Fate at her capricious worst. There we were, comfortably en route to the expected win, when WHAM! -- hey, check it out! l call this play "incredible, crushing fluke." Whaddya think? Uh.......

4) Clinton Portis fumbling against the Browns, week 7. Quintessential post-dynasty Redskins: never a dull moment. Having slowly, inexorably choked nearly the last breath out of a team that they should, the long-awaited foregone conclusion was in our sights...then our workhorse RB picks that play to lay the rock on the ground. Boom. New life for them, newly bitten fingernails for all of Redskins Nation. A not so subtle indication that this season would be nip and tuck all the way.

5) Santana Moss' punt return TD against the Lions, week 8. The specials teams big play excitement we were starving for. Coming on the heels of his earlier long TD pass, it teased us with the potential for offensive fireworks that were always right around the corner, but never really materialized. One constant remained in this game, however; the outcome was in doubt until the very end.

6) JC's 3rd quarter interception against the Steelers, week 9. Down 16-6 and outplayed most of the game, the 'Skins were about to make a show of it after all, when JC gets picked by a DB, who then fumbles, but recovers the ball to kill the drive and rip away any momentum we thought we had. Still a quarter and a half to play, but Game Over. A reminder that this edition of the Burgundy and Gold, like so many others, seemed to be either cursed or snake-bitten. Or both.

7) Rock Cartwright's attempt to down a punt against the Cowboys, week 11. Big game, and a divisional rival to boot. Everything going okay to that point, a good but not great vibe. When he inexplicably caused a ball that was already at rest to follow him into the endzone, a chance to pin 'em deep and take the game over was gone. As was the vibe, then the lead, and ultimately any chance of winning.

8) A four play series against the Seahawks, week 12. Late in the 4th, nursing a 3-pt lead, Zorn turned to old reliable CP, who responded with consecutive runs of 9, 11 and 2o yards. In a heartbeat they were in Seattle territory and things looked good. On the very next play Ladell Betts fumbled while spelling Portis. One carry almost turned out to be one too many. Fortunately they won anyway, but those four plays also symbolize the theme for '08 -- two steps forward, one step back.

9) DeAngelo Hall's fumble recovery against the Ravens, week 14. A new concept: a big-name acquisition who actually produces the goods. His second turnover since he arrived led to a quick TD and we were back in business. Now if the defense could...just...hold 'em....sigh. Perfect illustration of how this year the 'Skins were never quite going to get over the hill. So close, and yet so goddamn far.

10) The final play was the final play at home against the Eagles, week 16. A superb defensive effort seemed as if it might go for naught when Donovan McNabb drove Philly from their own 9 all the way down the field in the last 3 + minutes of regulation. With seconds left he found Reggie Brown at the goal-line for a 17 yard completion. Problem was, the endzone was 18 yards away. Fred Smoot and Laron Landry combined on the hit that kept the receiver from crossing the plane by mere inches, and time expired before another play could be run. As a lifelong fan I was all too familiar with how I felt right then; euphoric, amazed, and exhausted by the drama.

There they are, folks. My year in review. About half are good, the other half are not, and a couple are actually a little bit of both. Two themes run throughout: great expectations (which in some cases were better than met; they were exceeded) and helpless frustration. Looking at the list as objectively as I can -- which is to say not much at all -- I truly believe that we saw more of the former than we have in a good long while, even taking into account the second Gibbs regime.

That's encouraging to me. It means we might be on the right track again, with an eye for the future plural instead of the future next season only. I could certainly wish for more proud, inspired highlights from any particular season of Redskins football, but it's all good. There's always next year.

And if that fails, there's always the year after that. Hail.
You are right 100%, i see this team being worse then 8-8 in 2009, and look for vinny to draft players we don't need!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:30 PM   #7
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

Well written Big. All those moments came back to me as you described them and it's especially good to relive positives.

... the one I want to add was Campbell's completion in the second Philly game in which he stood tall in the pocket and took a monster helmet-to-helmet hit just as he released the pigskin. TOUGH AS NAILS!!! Sometimes my brethren in the Skins fanhood piss me off for not recognizing (at least acknowledging) the impressive things Jason does. Few QBs stay in the pocket and take that massive hit, most try to dodge the rusher and while they may get out of the pickle who knows whether they get another shot downfield. I said it before and don't mind repeating: Jason Campbell will be money in '09.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

^As long as the coach gives him the tools to be able to change the plays at the line of scrimage when blitzes come and teach him how to read where to go with the ball as well as teach him how to run a hurry up offense. Other then that he's money.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

i think the skins should really go after matt hasslelback during the off season, and hopefully, have a QB competition with campbell in training camp. i just don't think that campbell is the real deal. He didn't read defense very well during the last 8 weeks, and at the same time, he has regressed. I know its the west cost offense and it takes two to three years to develop, but jim zorn and possibly Vinny cerrato job is on the line next year, and signing hassellback could be the most important off season addition for this team. He knows the system, and he's lead the seahawks to the super bowl in 2005. For all the talk about fixing the defensive and offensive lines, the skins should build those through the draft and in free agency, and to be honest, campbell is a average or below average quarterback in this league. This team needs a QB that can throw the ball down the field, and the ability to make quick and accuarte decisions in the pocket, and campbell hasn't done that since week 2. Hassleback the ability to do this under jim zorn offense. The bottom line is that if campbell does not play well in the preseason and training camp, then hassellback should be starting QB in 2009, and campbell could be release before week 1.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #10
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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Way to kill the thread MDcrab.
lol. you're welcome but it's the truth. I don't like it any more than you and I don't see any evidence that those two clowns running the Circus are going to change for the better anytime soon.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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I like your thread BigDaddy. Nice balance and optimism. True Skins fan. I will add thoughts at a latter time
Thank you, brother. Indeed, I have been dyed in the wool B&G almost from the moment I first realized what that funny looking pointy ball was, lol. I know there are a lot of 'Skins fans here and on other boards who genuinely believe this franchise will never see the top of the mountain again until either the Dan or Vinny, or both, are gone -- but I'm not one of them.

For one thing, let's face facts: the Dan isn't going ANYWHERE. Not for a long, long time. Vinny may be another story, but the owner we have now is the owner we'd better get used to, for good or bad. I know he's a meddler, a micro-manager, and a twit when it comes to true football acumen, but so was George Steinbrenner about MLB when he took over the Yankees. He dealt with more than his share of growing pains, but eventually he got it, and the Bronx Bombers rose to the top once again.

I see a similar arc happening here with Snyder. I just don't know how long it may take. Sooner would of course be better, but I'm not going anywhere as far as my NFL allegiance goes, so in that respect I've got nothing but time...

Hail.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #12
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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Well written Big. All those moments came back to me as you described them and it's especially good to relive positives.

...I said it before and don't mind repeating: Jason Campbell will be money in '09.

Thank you, brother. Like I said in the OP, a few more positives would've been nice, but all things considered we finished at .500. As many losses as wins. The coming years should tip the balance a little more in our favor, record-wise. And as for our boy JC, I agree 100%. He will be lights out next year, and even better the year after that. Man's got all the tools; all he needs now is to remember that, and just get back to ballin'.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

Next Season Prediction #1: 8-8 AT BEST...

Reasons:

1. VC is picking the players
2. JC is the starting QB
3. Inferior Offensive and Defensive Lines
4. No legitmate/CONSISTENT No.1 reciever
5. Zorn's inability to adjust playcalling to counteract defensive schemes
6. Aging at key defensive positions with no apparent young talent ready to step in
7. No cap room to sign any free agents to step in immediately and contribute
8. Not enough draft picks to fill the gaping holes at crucials spots on our roster

Next Season Prediction #2: 11-5

1. WCO is FULLY installed and grasped by Offensive Unit
2. Change to zone-blocking schemes (staple of the WCO) in which Portis tore up the NFL in his first few years
3. No more hand-holding JC. Though I don't think he is our QB of the future, there is no denying his talent, let him rip and see what happens.
4. One or two key free agent signings (Definitely Jordan Gross, maybe on , Haynesworth, Suggs, Peppers)
5. Sign DeAngelo Hall
6. Either Thomas or Kelly steps up (more likely Kelly IMO)
7. Frequent use of the two TE set. GET DAVIS ON THE DAMN FIELD!!
8. Randle EL in the slot
9. Cut Suisham
10. Moss recieves two punt returns per game, at the appropriate times
11. Utilize Betts and Sellars as recieving threats more often
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:43 PM   #14
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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Originally Posted by wilsowilso View Post
Our best player was murdered last year and we still had a very respectable season with a brand spanking new head coach.

We were a combined 3-0 against the two teams in the NFC championship game.

Our rookie class was all over the place(mostly very uninspiring save Horton and Brennan).

The offensive line was completely incapable of peforming up to it's pay grade in this new WCO.

Jason Campbell was up and down and seeing as how the QB is so important in pro football I wish we had a better idea if the guy is going to be a top flight QB. I really have no idea.

The special teams had a big time regression.

The defense was mostly very good to great except in the fourth quarter where they were just average at best or even mediocre.
~~~~~~
Good points and I agree whole heartedly. I think we got overly excited over our fast and successful start. We were bound to hit some growing pains and we did.
We have got to shore up our Offensive line or otherwise we are going nowhere.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:47 PM   #15
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Re: Final Thoughts 2008

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Originally Posted by SBXVII View Post
Thanks. I resemble that remark. However I like to hold on to the little positive I gave ....I really did like all the WR's we let go and truly think they could make a difference only if we had a much better WR's coach. I also wanted Monk when he was in college. He showed alot of promise also.

I like JC. I'd say give him another year with better knowlege of the offense he would probably do alot better,but if he shows the same issues in regards to reading defenses then let move on next year.

I really think our OL is set. Not. Yes they need to get younger but we can't afford to dump everyone and whole sale go after rookies or new people cause now most of the OL knows atleast most of the blocking. To go after all new people would result in another 8-8 due to learning curve and rookies would have to get up to game speed as well as learn the plays and blocking. One or two new guys will do well and get some back ups.

DL need somone who can push the pocket. It would be nice to have two of those but one might have to do. Atleast get some big guy to just command double teams even if he has no clue other then to run straight forward causing double teams allowing the DE's to get to the QB.

I liked our LB's other then MW only cause he is gettng older and more injury prone. If he was a situational player coming in only on third downs maybe keep him if he can stay healthy but he's taking a roster spot from someone who could possibly play all season with out injury and maybe even every down.

CB kinda worries me. Springs is getting older and probably should be moved to safety so he does not have to constantly run with the big dogs. Let one of the younger guys do that and let him work for the interceptions or big hits.

We need to have an open kicking camp. Come one come all. Who ever shows they can get it done gets the job. ...calling all college kickers, calling all college kickers. report to Ashburn please.

Zorn has said in his interview that they're bringing in competition for the kicker and punter positions during training camp.
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