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Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 NFL Preseason Wrap-Up: Bears 33, Redskins 31 posted by Joe Anello

It was a great start and a great finish for the Chicago Bears as they won their first preseason game of 2012 thanks to a 57-yard field goal from Robbie Gould. That’s the most excited I’ll get about the fact that they won. Because as you all should know by now, WINNING IN THE PRESEASON DOESN’T MATTER IN THE SLIGHTEST. That being said, there are some positives to discuss coming out of the win. Let’s go through them so you can get back to not caring about preseason football.

-Jay Cutty to Brandon Marshall: the connection we were all hoping to see. Bear fans weren’t waiting long as Cutler hit Marshall on the first offensive play from scrimmage for 41 yards. Later in that same drive Cutler found his buddy again for another completion, this time for 20 yards. It was a breath of fresh air to see a QB/WR combination on the same page and talent level. When Marshall tip-toed the sideline and stayed inbounds I did a double-take. “Wait. A Bear wide receiver… making a wide receiver move?” I know. It’s crazy. That drive ended with a catch by rookie Alshon Jeffery and a short yardage score by the bruising Michael Bush. It was as complete an offensive drive as I’ve seen in my years of preseason football. And it all started with Cutler and Marshall.

-RG who? The Bears’ first string defense locked down the hyped rookie, never letting him find a groove and getting pressure in his face. Henry Melton and Julius Peppers showed plenty of spark in their time on the field. Shea McClellin also had a solid night operating from the end position. On their second defensive drive, Chicago showed an outside blitz with safety Major Wright, who chased Griffin III into the arms of Israel Idonije, who knocked away a football that Peppers was oh so happy to gather up. That turnover set up a nice, short TD run from Bush, his second of the night.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 NFL Preseason Wrap-Up: ..."


Joe Anello

Notes from Day Three of the NFL Draft posted by Joe Anello

And it’s all over! Following a near eight hour session in which we saw rounds four through seven of the NFL Draft, we can finally put a cap on all these selections and start whipping around the league for analysis and impact. Now, as I don’t know as much about these late-rounders as I did the first two days’ worth of players, I won’t run you through too many opinions on their front. Instead I’ll add in my two cents about the draft presentations and coverage. I’ve got OH so many opinions when it comes to that.

-In one of the more interesting moves of the day, the Washington Redskins drafted Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins early in the fourth round. A perplexing move to some of the draft analysts, this pick sent the ‘net into a mini-tizzy as everyone tried to explain the rationale behind bringing in a competent QB to give Robert Griffin III pressure at his back. Cousins has the makings of a quality back-up in the NFL without ever having held a professional clipboard. Still, he was projected by some to have legitimate starting capability. He’s not going to wow you in any of his tape, but he’s an intelligent thrower who has enough arm strength to make nearly every throw. Let’s not get anything confused though. RG3 is the quarterback of the Redskins. Washington is just taking the Philly approach to things. They’ll draft Cousins, use him as a back-up in case Griffin ever gets hurt (which is likely given his play style) and then use his reputation to get assets back in a trade at some point. I get it.

Continue reading "Notes from Day Three of the NFL Draft"


Joe Anello

2012 NFL Free Agency: Day One posted by Joe Anello

Free agency news is all over the internet with teams announcing the typical flurry of moves within the first hours of the new league year. I don’t have the patience for an introduction, so let’s just get to the news of the day!

-Mario Williams is all up in Buffalo as we speak, and he won’t leave unless he turns down a boatload of cash. If you’re even thinking about heading to Buffalo, you know what they’re going to pay you. You just want them to pay for a first class flight too before you sign the dotted line. The defensive end is going to be a very rich man. (Richer, really.) Likely joining him in upstate New York will be Saints wide-out Robert Meachem. Not a bad haul thus far for the lowly Bills. (Edit: Mario IS apparently leaving Buffalo without a deal and Meachem has signed with the Chargers. Well done Bills.)

-Marques Colston never hit the market, re-upping with the Saints shortly before free agency began. It’s a five year, $40 million dollar deal for the big-bodied receiver, who decided to remain a target of Drew Brees. (Smart move.) You can see the dominoes that fell after the Colston deal became official, with Chicago making a deal for Brandon Marshall ( my thoughts here) and the ‘Skins making a glut of Snyder-like moves, as you’ll read next…

-As always, the Redskins make a fool of themselves in free agency in mere minutes by signing two wide receivers and using too much cap space to address one position. (They’re still talking to Eddie Royal as well.) Josh Morgan signed on for a two-year $12 million dollar stint, coming off a whopping 15 catches in San Fran. And as the “the fuck are they doing?” deal of the say, the ‘Skins gave 42.5 million dollars on a five year contract for Pierre Garcon. With over $20 million in guarantees, this deal is utterly ridiculous. Sign him? Sure. But bathe him in pirate gold and fan him with virgin women? Probably a bad idea. The Redskins improved their lot at receiver, but not enough to warrant this kind of money dump. And this after they were docked salary cap space! Still, I love the 'Skins. What would free agency be without them?

Continue reading "2012 NFL Free Agency: Day One"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 15, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

I’m not sure what else you could have wanted from week 15 in the NFL. Two impressive streaks ended, the “Trap of the Week” proved to be true once again and one win never mattered as much as it did for Indianapolis. (And Candlestick Park was sans light… for a few second before auxiliary lighting come on. Not as much drama.) Many a-loser won on this day. Oddsmakers be damned! Get ready for The Final Drive!

(1-13) Indianapolis Colts 27
(7-7) Tennessee Titans 13

Oh Tennessee. How could you? You somehow managed to give their first lowly Colts a victory whilst in the midst of your own playoff hunt. For shame. While it’s nice to get a win (I’m sure), Jim Caldwell should still get effing fired.

(6-8) Kansas City Chiefs 19
(13-1) Green Bay Packers 14

Another streak brought to a necessary conclusion! Honestly, as much as we generally thought the Packers COULD do it, it’s probably better that they didn’t. Injuries to their offensive line killed them yesterday against the Chief pass rush, just one facet of a defense that made it difficult on Aaron Rodgers. Well done Romeo Crennel. Oh yeah, and the Chiefs can somehow still get into the playoffs.

(5-9) Washington Redskins 23
(7-7) New York Giants 10

BOOM! You got TRAPPED Eli! This was such an obvious upset to pick, even in a day that ended up with a metric ton of stunning results. How the Giants could come out and lay an egg like this when they had a chance to put some distance in front of the Cowboys is appalling. (And hilarious.)

(9-5) Detroit Lions 28
Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 15, 2011"


Randolph Charlotin

Pick Six: Week 14 posted by Randolph Charlotin

1. I’ve said before that the Patriots have the best pair of tight ends in the NFL. Let me just add that one of them is the best tight end in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski was a beast, breaking tackles en route to career high in receiving yards in a game (160) and set a new standard for touchdowns in a season by a tight end. He broke the record with his 14th TD grab then extended it when QB Tom Brady quickly tossed a pass over a blitz to Gronk. The Big Gronkowski did the rest, breaking a LB Ryan Kerrigan tackle then racing to the endzone and to the arms of a waiting Pats fan to celebrate.

2. The sideline argument between Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was blown way out of proportion. This happens during intense games. What no one said was that Brady’s frustration was building because the offense failed to score three red zone touchdowns. In fact, WR Wes Welker dropped a sure score just before the interception. This game wouldn’t had been close if the offense executed as Brady expected, and the sideline exchange of words would had never happened if Welker caught the previous pass.

3. It’s a lot easier to score when you don’t have to run 50 yards. DT Vince Wilfork pounced on a loose ball in the endzone, jarred out of QB Rex Grossman’s hand by DE Andre Carter, and Wilfork held onto the pigskin while under the pile for his first career touchdown. A lot easier than trying to return interceptions, right?

4. While I do support the league’s initiative for player safety, the way the game is being called is ridiculous sometimes. Washington LB London Fletcher was flagged for a personal foul when he led with his forearm just as Brady started going into his hook slide. Later Wilfork was flagged for hitting RB Roy Helu just after Helu stumbled to the ground without contact. Nevermind that Helu could had got up and ran. Should Wilfork be gentle and softly touched Helu down or something? Give me a break.

Continue reading "Pick Six: Week 14"


Randolph Charlotin

Hours Before Kickoff: Week 14 posted by Randolph Charlotin

What should had been a blowout of a clearly inferior team became an embarrassing one score win over the Indianapolis Colts as the defense gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Two of those scores came at the expense of CB Devin McCourty. Colts RB Donald Brown swatted McCourty away with a stiff-arm en route to a 5-yard TD run. Less than eight minutes later, WR Pierre Garcon got behind McCourty and caught a 12-yard TD over McCourty’s head. McCourty lunged to no avail to stop the completion, beaten so badly that he couldn’t even look back to find the ball.

No one has an answer to what has happened to McCourty this year. Theories include the reduced off-season stunting his development, playing with an injury, the dreaded sophomore slump, opponents knowing how to get after him after viewing a season’s worth of film, to Devin switched places with his twin brother Jason for the season.

(Patriot fans probably wish they had Jason instead of Devin right now. Jason has 87 tackles, eight passes defended, two interceptions, a sack, and a forced fumble for Tennessee. That’s dramatically better than Devin’s output this year of 63 tackles and three passes defended.)

Pointing a finger to any one explanation doesn’t fully rationalize such a dramatic decline in Devin McCourty’s play. He’s gone from best corner since Ty Law to consistent burn victim a la Chris Canty. How does a former first-round pick go from one extreme to another in one off season is a mystery.

McCourty isn’t a Darius Butler case. Butler was an athletically gifted corner drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Butler improved gradually and earned more playing time during his rookie season, and was starting by the end of the year.

Continue reading "Hours Before Kickoff: Week 14"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 11, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

After the (eventually) thrilling start on Thursday night, week 11 continues with a number of exciting games to keep your eye on this weekend, including several divisional match-ups with playoff implications. What else do you need? Time to start The Opening Drive!

 

(4-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at
(9-0) Green Bay Packers

I’m pretty positive the Packers will lose a game at some point, but it shouldn’t be this week. If the Packers don’t own a two-score lead by the end of the first quarter I’ll be stunned.

(5-4) Buffalo Bills at
(2-7) Miami Dolphins

I would say this is the clear “Trap of the Week,” but I don’t think that a team that’s lost two in a row can get trapped by a team that’s won two in a row. Buffalo has no choice but to take this game seriously because of their own dwindling playoff chances. At 5-5 they would have nearly hammered the nail in their own coffin, and that my friends, takes talent. Miami’s just playing better football right now and has all the momentum.

 

(5-4) Dallas Cowboys at
(3-6) Washington Redskins

Because I know how Dallas operates, this claims the prize of “Trap of the Week.” Coming off an absolute trouncing of Buffalo the ‘Boys could head into Washington with inflated egos, leading them to take Rexy and the ‘Skins lightly. I’m not sure Washington is capable of taking advantage, but they could catch Dallas on one of their famously off days. Hopefully Jason Garrett off-sets those odds by handing it off to DeMarco Murray a bazillion times.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 11, 2011"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 6, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

In the insanity of week six in the NFL, we saw two coaches sorta get into a confrontation, one team stave off utter embarrassment, and one pooper of a Monday nighter between offensive dregs. The Final Drive starts right now!

(4-2) Cincinnati Bengals 27
(0-6) Indianapolis Colts 17

Don’t look now, but the Bengals are an astounding 4-2 after whupping the down-and-out Colts. They’re actually keeping pace with Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the AFC North! Almost as big of a story are the reports that Indy might be shopping Dwight Freeney or Reggie Wayne at the trade deadline. No Peyton Manning really takes a toll.

(5-1) San Francisco 49ers 25
(5-1) Detroit Lions 19

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 6, 2011"


Joe Anello

Joe's 2011 NFL Season Preview: The NFC East posted by Joe Anello

The NFC East. Always a source of hype and drama, the division went topsy-turvy once again in 2010 as Michael Vick had an MVP-caliber season and the Cowboys fell off the face of the planet. Can the Eagles build off their impressive free agent class and make a Super Bowl run? Will Rex Grossman… not suck terribly in Washington? Are the Giants flying under the radar? I love this division. Let’s break it down.

Philadelphia Eagles

So we’ve heard all the hype. (Most of it coming from a stupid quote by the back-up QB, but whatever. It’s there.) The Eagles are attempting to spend their way into a Super Bowl and hit it out of the park during free agency. Nmandi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie are probably the best corner trio in NFL history, but there are significant issues with the linebacking corps. Rookie Casey Matthews will be in charge of the defense at the MLB spot, but there’s a lot of uncertainty there. Luckily, the addition of Cullen Jenkins in the middle of the defensive line will take a great deal of pressure of those linebackers so new D-Coordinator Juan Castillo (former offensive line coach) can blitz all day. Still, despite any deficiencies on defense, this team will go as far as Michael Vick can take them. With Ronnie Brown as the bruising back and the addition of Steve Smith to an already explosive receiving squad, he’s primed for a successful year. Still, I can’t believe they’re going to gel immediately, so expect a few losses early. (Miami Heat. Natch.) They’ll get it going enough to win the division.

Continue reading "Joe's 2011 NFL Season Preview: The NFC East"


Randolph Charlotin

Taking a Pass on Haynesworth posted by Randolph Charlotin

Albert Haynesworth.

I don’t want him.

I wasn’t a fan of the trade when I learned of it last Thursday because he slouched for two years in Washington after banking $41 million from the Redskins. The second year as Haynesworth warred with ‘Skins head coach Mike Shanahan really turned me off.

A player that became so hated that his teammates wouldn’t support him isn’t a player I want polluting the noble Patriots locker room.

But if head coach Bill Belichick is willing to take a chance on Haynesworth, I figured I should give Albert the benefit of the doubt.

That chance is off the table now. The baggage as a player was concerning enough. Learning about Haynesworth’s legal past pushed me over the edge.

Haynesworth is a walking crime wave. The only thing missing is Haynesworth hangin’ out with wide receiver Plaxico Burress the night Burress shot himself, and Haynesworth being was strapped as well.

That didn’t happen, but these did: a case of road rage in Virginia; sideswiping a car at 103 miles per hour, partially paralyzing the victim; caught driving 100 miles per hour four days later.

The icing on the cake is Haynesworth is accuse of sexual assault for swiping his credit card down a woman’s cleavage and groping her breasts afterwards. The trial is scheduled for later this month.

This is the kind of guy I want nowhere near me, my family, my friends, my pets, or the ghosts of loved ones that watch over me. And I don’t even have a pet.

I don’t have concern about Haynesworth infecting the Patriots locker room. There are too many high character players and strong leaders that any bad attitude won’t seep into the team. More so, Belichick ain’t havin’ that. He will cut Haynesworth like a surgeon does cancer.

Continue reading "Taking a Pass on Haynesworth"

Washington Redskins News

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Redskins' Jackson trying to get healthy for Philly (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Jaguars WR Lee ruled out against Colts (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Jaguars shuffling O-line, sticking with QB Henne (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Redskins WR Jackson expects to play vs Eagles (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Redskins cut struggling Rambo, restore Meriweather (Yahoo Sports)

The Washington Redskins have cut Bacarri Rambo after the second-year safety struggled in the team's first two games. Rambo was released Tuesday to make room for safety Brandon Meriweather, who was restored to the roster after serving a two-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Rambo was a sixth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Georgia and emerged from last year's training camp with a starting job, but he consistently missed tackles and soon was benched. Rambo returned to start this season during Meriweather's suspension, but he gave up a big play in each of the first two games and was benched again in the second half of Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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