Double Donks…A Redskins Rant

Its an interesting time within the DTC walls. The Washington Redskins are 4-2, sitting on top of the NFC East with one of the best defenses in the league and one of the better rushing attacks. However everywhere you look around this city, you’d think the Redskins were 1-5 and had zero hope this season.

For example, two of DTC’s very own, Joe and Steve, hereby referred as “the double donks” think Blake Bortles is better than Alex Smith. Joe can’t stop crying for Pierre Garcon to come back, and somehow a healthy, untargeted Jordan Reed is all of a sudden a bad player. Maybe these double donks forgot what life was like as a Redskins fan half a decade ago. Sure you caught lightning in a bottle in 2012. Sure once Kirk Cousins took over and began slinging the ball around the offense was fun to watch. Sure Sean McVay was being brilliant working under Gruden. But if you look deeper, you’ll realize this 2018 Redskins team is better.

Are the Redskins flashy on the offensive side of the ball? Not even close. Do they have the ability to all of a sudden figure things out and start clicking? Absolutely.  I’d like to see the double donks, or anyone come into a complicated system, such as Jay Gruden’s and excel at playing the most difficult position in professional sports. Alex Smith is not flashy, but he is also your steady hand. A steady hand that helped the Redskins beat a Panthers team, and helped FINALLY beat the Cowboys in what seems like forever. Notice I’m saying “helped”. I acknowledge we need more, but I’m also not blinded to the fact that more will inevitably come.

Alex in my book, still gets a pass. He has a lot to learn, and plenty of relationships and chemistry to develop with his skill players. Now — in regards to these “skill” players. That is where we can agree we’re lacking. Would I (FP) like to see the Redskins go out and bring in a stud WR1? You bet your ass I would. Am I thankful we didn’t go about it the same way the stupid Cowboys did? HAIL YEAH (I had too). Right now the wide receivers are capable of making plays. Richardson can break a route and make a huge play. Crowder has shown, when healthy, that he can be a force in the slot.

Really everyone’s concern  is Doctson. Yes, he’s struggled mightily and isn’t playing to the expectation a first round pick should, but maybe, just maybe, Gruden has been using him wrong this entire time. The narrative has always been that Doctson is an elite talent at climbing up and making a play on the ball. “Throw him the 50/50 balls! He’ll get those!” Wrong. He has shown he can’t be that receiver. This past Sunday against the Cowboys, who have strength in the middle of their defense, Doctson made SOME plays. He showed he can be a “possession receiver”. Use him on a couple more inside routes, and I’ll bet his stat lines look better.

Lets keep debunking these two double donks and the rest of the “fans” who are for some reason, UPSET AT A 4-2 REDSKINS TEAM. I’ve heard people complain about Reed not being the elite TE he needs to be. He doesn’t throw blocks, he doesn’t pass protect, he doesn’t make guys miss and make electrifying plays. Look, the guy is finally healthy for the first time in who knows how many years. What that sentence should tell you is this: He was going MAYBE half speed during training camp. Taking it easy. Not working in pre-season, not establishing – you guessed it – chemistry with Alex Smith. Jordan Reed shouldn’t have to “prove” himself to anyone at this point. Stay healthy, keep practicing and eventually the big plays will come.

Finally, the running game. Adrian Peterson. AP. AD. All Day. What a sight for sore eyes. FINALLY a running back that can capitalize on the dominance our offensive line has become.  Unless of course, you’re one of the two donks who think its not a good sign that we rely on our “aged” running back. That eventually he’ll get hurt. That “this is 2018, we need to pass for 9000 yards to succeed!” Maybe you forgot about Kareem Hunt. Or Todd Gurley. Maybe you didn’t pay attention last year when a New Orleans Saints team, with two dynamic running backs went deep into the playoffs. OR in 2016 when nobody was used to this RB called Zeke and he carried the Cowboys to the playoffs. How about this Steelers running back name Le’Veon Bell? Did he help his team at all? Yes — the NFL has becoming a passing league. Yes — you are an idiot if you don’t think a playoff caliber team needs a strong run game.

This team isn’t perfect. We all know that. But guess what…the Defense is pretty damn special. So much so, that I didn’t even have to mention them in this post. Everyone, including the double donks can see they are playing at an elite level. The offense — while sputtering out, struggling, and not doing anything in any second half of any game is concerning, its not disheartening. Points are being put on the board. Costly mistakes aren’t being made. Slow and steady isn’t a BAD thing. Give this team a little bit longer. I bet once we’re 7-2 things will look brighter.

DTC’s 53 Man Prediction

As always the contributors at Defeating the Curse can never agree on a final 53 man roster for the Washington Redskins.  With Preseason now wrapped up, the Redskins need to come up with their final roster to suit up for September 9th game in Arizona. We put the big 4 – LP, FP, Joe and Steve,  up to the task of creating and agreeing (or not ) on a 53 man roster. Here is what they came up with:

QBs (2): Smith, McCoy

All agree here, Joe is a Kevin Hogan guy but the Redskins can’t afford a 3rd QB

RBs (4): Peterson, Thompson, Kelley, Bibbs

LP would rather have Perine over Kelley, however the fumbling issues we think ultimately cost him a roster spot. FP is good with the 4 RBs on the roster but wants to add a FB to the mix to help Peterson. Is that worth the cost a roster spot somewhere else on the team? Steve is a Byron Marshall fan and offered a semi wise suggestion: Maybe you put Byron Marshall on PUP and release Bibbs and go without a CT backup for the first few weeks of the season.

WRs (6): Richardson, Doctson, Crowder, Harris, Quinn, Sims

There was much debate as to whether the Alabama WR preseason standout, Cam Sims should make the team over veteran Brian Quick. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that you know what you are getting with Quick and that’s not that good. There is a much higher ceiling with Sims. We all know what Steve and Joe think of Brian Quick, or not so quick. FP has officially been inducted to the Trey Quinn fan club.

Tight Ends (3): Reed, Davis, Sprinkle

No debate here. Can Reed stay healthy and can Sprinkle be more than just a blocker are the biggest questions.

Offensive Line (8): Williams, Lauvao, Roullier, Scherf, Moses, Nsehke, Christian, Bergstrom

The decision here was to go with 8 OL, because we all agree that there needs to be an upgrade at LG at some point. You can’t trust Lauvao will stay healthy enough to play more than 8 games and frankly it’s a glaring hole that NEEDS to be addressed.

Defensive Line (6): Allen, Payne, Ioannidis, Lanier, Settle, Hood

FP has been high on the Phil Taylor return train, but it’s been too long and the Redskins have gone much younger at the position. A weakness last year has become a strength. Joe has Settle winning defensive rookie of the year.

OLB (5): Kerrigan, Smith, McPhee, Anderson, Robertson

No debate here, these are clearly the best 5 OLBs on the team. Robertson has shown some versatility and can play special teams, that gets him on this roster.

ILB (5): Brown, Foster, Spaight, Dion-Hamilton, Harvey-Clemons

After a much heated debate as to who would be the 5th ILB, Harvery-Clemons or Zach Vigil, LP decided to go with Harvey-Clemons because of his versatility. Harvey-Clemons can be what the Redskins thought Sua Cravens was going to be when they drafted him in 2016.

CB (6): Norman, Dunbar, Moreau, Johnson, Alexander, Stroman

Yet another debate on if the Redskins should keep 5 or 6 at this position. Stroman shows kick and punt return ability and he’s a VT product. We all know how much Torrian Gray likes his VT guys.

Safety (4): Swearinger, Nicholson, Everett, Apke

Apke has looked very shaky during the preseason but he’s got some raw talent. It will be up to the coaching staff to get him ready to play a larger role in 2019.

Specialists (3): Way, Sundberg, Hopkins

Do we really need to discuss this?

That leaves one more pick open here’s where the guys could just not agree:

LP: Add Perine to the 53

FP: Bring in his J.P. Holtz as FB for Peterson

Joe: Add someone from his beloved Browns roster

Steve: Is John Riggins available?

Nationals Welcome Soto; Capitals to SCF; NFL Anthem Issues

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-7qxvb-91eee9

Welcome to the DTC week in review. Mat, Stevie, and Joe discuss Juan Soto and his debut with the Nationals as a lone brightspot for the team this week with a “must-have” weekend series against the Marlins coming up. At the 12 minute mark the #Nationals talk shifts to #Capitals talk with a recap of the viewing party at Cap1Arena for game 7, and a discussion of why this IS the team that can bring home a title. Tom Wilson, Great8, Holtby discussed in detail, plus, has any one GM ever been responsible for two teams facing each other in the championship round of any sport? George McPhee built both the Capitals and #Vegas #GoldenKnights and deserves credit. The final topic starting at minute 29 (after a discussion of old guys and boobs) is about the #NFL and why their new national anthem policy will only make things worse for the business. Listen, like, and share!

100 Episodes Later… The Capitals May Do It!

Hard to imagine that this little sports experiment is 100 episodes and 52 articles old but here we are. Many have asked “Why didn’t DTC celebrate their 100th episode?” and there are two reasons… the first is embarrassing but true, we lost track of what episode we were on and this isn’t a sitcom, so does it really matter? The second reason is the real reason… we don’t want to jinx (fake jinx) the DC Sports Curse… which may or may not be real… but could be… but we aren’t sure… but we’ll see.

Image result for the dc sports curse

 

The entire city will be watching tonight, we are lead to believe so at least, as the Capitals attempt to win a game seven… on the road… and lead a DC team to the the finals in one of the four major sports for the first time in 20 years. The premise of this entire project, podcast, articles, and all, was to find some mojo to defeat the sports curse which has crushed souls and spirits in the District spanning nearly an the age of an adult of drinking age. The image above is so perfect and is borrowed with love from RussianNeverBreaks and is so perfect D.C. wouldn’t you agree… the crying Jordan meme is all of us for the past two decades but win or lose tonight, the Capitals are to be received with nothing but praise.

If you are anywhere near D.C. tonight, or maybe attending the Nationals game this afternoon, make your way over to the Cap1Vault and watch the Capitals vs. Lightning LIVE with the DTC sports crew and join us for a live show afterwards… win or lose we will broadcast… but we want a win! We want June hockey in DC as bad as we want November baseball and maybe, one day, February football too.

If you have no idea what I am talking about or have recently arrived from outer space, get caught up on all things Caps by listening to and subscribing to our podcast.

Let’s go Caps! C-A-P-S CAPS CAPS CAPS! #AllCaps this is it! Defeat the Curse!

Did Kirk just play his last Redskins home game?

It’s Christmas Eve and all we Redskins fans want is a Kirk Cousins long-term deal. However, it’s very unlikely. So much so that almost everyone, media and fans, in DC feels that the LTD ship has sailed. Let’s take a step back, remove our hardcore Redskins fan hats and take an analytical look at the situation.

 

First, let’s take a look at all the tag options:

Exclusive Franchise Tag – This tag option is the same tag options the Redskins used on Kirk cousins the past 2 years, and is essentially a 1 year lease agreement again. Which would cost the Redskins 34 million for 1 year.

Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag – This tag option is usually a lower cap hit but it allows the player to go out and negotiate with other teams. If an agreement is reached with another team, the gaining team has to provide compensation of a minimum of 2 first round picks to the losing team. This would be an option for the Redskins however there is a rule in the CBA that says a player franchised 3 times is unable to negotiate with any team other than the team who has franchised them. So this ultimately throws this option out the window.

Transition Tag – This tag option allows Kirk to talk to other teams and come to an agreement. If/when an agreement is made with another team, the Redskins have 7 days to match the offer. If no offer is matched the Redskins have the rights to negotiate compensation with the gaining team. If no other teams make offers or Kirk decides not to negotiate then the Redskins would be an another 1 year lease but at 28 million.

Kirk has maintained that he wants market value for this contract. There is only 1 way to know what the market is, that is to hit the market. The only option of the tags that allows Kirk to hit the market is the transition tag. The problem with this? A team can front load a contract with say 50+ million in 2018 where the Redskins will have no chance of matching. Let’s take a look at NFL teams who have more projected cap space than the Redskins:

Team Projected 2018 Cap Space
49ers $116,114,127
Browns $111,719,592
Colts $84,467,477
Jets $80,931,976
Buccaneers $66,120,552
Vikings $57,594,809
Titans $54,489,041
Texans $54,312,683
Lions $54,268,605
Redskins $54,031,714

One thing to note is there are certainly teams who would be interested in Kirk who have less cap space than the Redskins. I’ve left these teams off because if they do hand Kirk an offer sheet it’s less likely that it’s some massive front loaded contract. In that case it would be ideal because then the Redskins have a reasonable market price contract they can choose to match.

Of this list, let’s throw out the following teams just because they have a QB and probably wouldn’t be interested in paying an arm and a leg for Cousins: Colts, Bucs, Vikings, Titans, Texans, and the Lions.

That leaves the 49ers, Browns and the Jets that could out bid the Redskins in a Transition Tag bidding war. If you noticed I left the 49ers in the running just because of the unknown, however I think this is very unlikely and would be absolutely stupid to trade for Jimmy G., start him for 5 games. then decide to let him go. That really leaves the Browns and the Jets as the teams who have more cap space and who need a quarterback in 2018. I’ll take my chances that Kirk would rather stay in DC.

There should be no other option than a transition tag. A one year lease at any price to me is considered a failure. I think we all have Redskins contract fatigue and the goal for this offseason should be long-term deal or no deal at all and move on. The transition tag allows Kirk to test the market, allows the Redskins to decide if they want to match market price, and ultimately should end this one way or another.

Update: After the Jameis Winston tirade during today’s game, the Bucs may be in on a new QB. A team to watch as it will largely depend on who comes in at coach.