The fears documented in my last blog (Bye Donavan) just over a month ago played out much to my disappointment this weekend when Washington dropped their rematch with the New York Giants Sunday. I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions but if you’re a true Washington Redskins fan 6-10 is unacceptable. Even 8-8 reeks for a city that has hosted three post Super Bowl parades in three decades. Sigh… I really enjoyed the holidays with loved ones, family and friends—cool gifts without even asking for anything special. The holiday glow like the Redskins has dimmed and it’s back to work. However, since I did not ask for much Xmas 2010, I thought it would not hurt to get started on a list for the 2011 holiday season.

• Peace on earth good will towards all of course.
• A fully recovered economy.
• An offensive scheme that works.
• A defensive pass rush or at least a solid line backing corp.
• A quarterback who starts 99% of the schedule.
• And how about if I’m really good—the Redskins make the playoffs for the first time in four years?

Naturally it’s always easier to list the things you don’t want or desire least like…

• Lack of production or cooperation from supposedly talented behemoths tabbing themselves defensive specialist. Also see, cash cows who fail to produce.

• Surprise announcements of all-pro future hall of fame quarterbacks named to the position of quarterback.

• Excuses from an experienced coach regarding player personnel and development seven games into the season.

Starting with my wish list I think all of Redskin nation is waiting to see a better semblance of offensive football. We are tired of watching an off brand of backyard football played at a speedier clip. This is not the 90s where a straight on offensive packages will get the job done. Defensive play is as specialized as the offensive side of the ball. Not once this season did I hear mention of the younger Shanahan’s offensive system.

Wow, we need a pass rush! Offensive teams in the NFC are loading up against the Skins and going long. Washington’s DB’s have got to be the hardest working guys in the NFL. Since that high dollar guy who naps between plays is not working out the organization needs to draft some hungry defensive talent. Linebacker U in PA is known to have a few good linebackers on occasion, not to mention the talent across town in College Park that has seemingly been out of reach? London Fletcher has the heart of a lion and still hits a ton but he’s now older than the oldest Over The Hill Gang members from Redskin lore.

Fletcher can still play but his last seasons would be even better if he had a couple of talented young guys to his right and left.
Please Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen and Coach Shanahan, no more all-pro all promises surprises in the marquee position. A Doug Williams only comes along twice a century. The Mcnabb implosion would be more acceptable if the coaching staff had done more than just wind him up and expect him to win eleven games. Michael Vick is one of the top rated passers in Philadelphia this year because he still had talent, he worked hard to improve his game and Coach Andy Reid monitored and critiqued Vick’s progress as needed.

I’m not sure if Rex Grossman will play beyond journeyman status in the NFL, but if he is the starter beginning the 2011 season--work with the guy, get behind him and prepare him to be the team’s starter.
Coach Shanahan has two rings of his own from Super Bowls past so I am not expecting him to shrug off a six win season. He’s been around some of the best and should know what he’s working with before the midway point of a new season. Whatever the plan or resolution for the 2011 season, Redskins fans want winners.

Jdon Howard

Bye Donovan?

Following the fallout from the 09 season there was a lot to talk about and a little action going on around the beltway. Jim Zorn returned to his place as a 70s NFL trivia question again; Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan touched down in D.C., an Allen (Bruce) returned to Redskin Park, and hold onto your hat an Eagle in the form of Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb landed. Still I reserved comment preferring to wait and watch Washington's extreme makeover pay dividends. With the retro burgundy and gold colors visible again I had hopes of some incarnation of Redskins glory past, Over the Hill, Smurfs, Hogs or some reasonable facsimile. Beating Dallas early on is always a good sign and I though the team had a perceivable spark.

Now November, Dallas is in the cellar and my hopes are around .500 with the Redskins. Different year but it is the same sad story reissued. What we have seen over the past couple of months is an offense with talent but lacking the kind of timing and continuity that lights up the score board. But hey, a new quarterback, new offense warrants time and patience. Anyone worth his Sunday salt knows Donovan McNabb is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, he's just not looking his best. I expected him to demonstrate a greater level of comfort last weekend based on a growing familiarity with his backs and receivers and a better command of the playbook, but he looks hurried and indecisive in retro Redskins garb. Given the fact that #5 is a proven commodity in the position Washington has failed to secure for several seasons it would behoove the coaching staff to make the right call and keep McNabb behind the center. If this means bringing in the varsity high school playbook with the best four offensive plays and an audible thrown in, make it so for the sake of the season.

Of course the aforementioned would be a logical move but wait...Washington just brought in ex Raider Jamarcus Russell? Dan Snyder has been awfully quiet this season--hmm? Russell, a young former number one pick seemingly with all the tools has been troubled and has had difficulty in running an NFL styled offense. And if Mike Shanahan is concerned with McNabb's conditioning he may want to scan Russell's workout log after two months of inactivity. Defensively Washington teeters back and forth between expert and novice. Thank goodness London Fletcher doesn't realize he's over 30. With all the new faces and changes made the Redskins are still losing the close games at home and making excuses afterward.

Sitting home on a bye week and facing a crucial month of football ahead the teams interim report card reads; plays poorly together, does not finish assigned tasks (winning) in an orderly fashion. Donovan McNabb may not be making the cut eight games in and DeAngelo Hall might be the last line of defense but a false move by the organization could send the Redskins to the bench in January.

Jdon Howard

MundyNiteFootball-Christmas Come Early

And the Cowboys walked off of Fed-ex field with their heads down. No one's head was lower than Alex Barron's, the offensive tackle who held or choked Orakpo and nullified the final td pass from Romo the homo (no offense to homosexuals) to Roy "who is he again oh yeah the Lions guy" Williams. Burgundy and Gold waved in the air as a crowd of 92,000 screamed in unison. (well lets say a crowd of 72,000 cuz there were a lot of cowgirl fans there) A much needed emotional win that every true Redskins fan felt deep down to their very core rocked DC last night and gave us the hope we need to keep believing in a team that has let us down so many times in the past. But the redskins need to know one thing.
We believe.
It may not have been a pretty win, we may not have scored an offensive touchdown.
But we believe.
Miles Austin had 146 yards and a touchdown
But we believe
Trent Williams held his own against Demarcus Ware and the offensive line only gave up one sack.
We believe.
Mcnabb avoided pressure got the ball down the field, kept our defense off of the field and gave us hope of being a contender again.
We believe.
Santana and Cooley gave us a glimemr of hope that our passing game can be found in the jumble of burgundy and gold mistakes
We believe
Portis had a tough time 18 carries for 63 yards but he will emerge as a top running back this year barring any injuries
we believe
Deangelo Hall stripped the ball on a Cowboys terrible play call form their own thirty at the end of the half with one play left, and he ran in back for a touchdown
We believe
Laron Landry hit everyone that had the ball and showed us he is ready for the probowl
We believe
Orakpo and Fletcher and Carter kept constant pressure on Romo
We believe
Shannahan, Haslett and the rest of the coaching staff guided us in to victory and would not let us lose the home opener against our most hated rivals
We believe. My seats were in the endzone that Roy Williams caught that last pass, and when the flag came out and we won the game, the crowd went crazy. Fans were jumping up and down, screaming at the top of their lungs, high fiving and chest bumping, but not me... I closed my eyes and soaked in the feeling, because it had been a while. I looked up towards the night sky through the smoke that filled the air and felt the goosebumps go down my arms and with all of the ecstatic anarachy going on around me, I looked back down at my burgundy and gold team jumping up and down on the field below celebrating their victory. Out of the corner of my eye i saw the cowboys walking off the field as the stars fell out of their eyes, and i didnt even bother to look i just watched my team, Dc's team celebrate a victory that we have needed for a long time. The Redskins were victorious, they beat the superbowl hopeful Cowboys no matter how ugly of a game, fans were going crazy with joy and running out of the stadium jumping in the air, and for that one night whether you were a redneck, a thug, a business man, a grandparent, a child, a parent, a preppy a pot head, rich or poor, young or old, fat or thin girl or boy white or black or yellow or brown (not blue with a star), everyone came togeher and highfived, everyone in the dc area was joined because the Redskins showe dup finally ready to play. You united DC for a bried moment on Sunday night.
That's why we believe...

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