More Redskins notes – 8/12/10

— I mentioned in my last post how too many people are quick to write off Clinton Portis because of the rhetoric that Shanhan is going to run the over-used concept of a “Running Back by Committee.”

I’m still saying that Portis is going to have a nice bounce-back year – a thousand-plus yards on the ground and more than a half dozen TD’s – but should Portis go down with an injury, Larry Johnson may actually be a worthwhile starter for both the Redskins and your fantasy team.

I really thought Larry Johnson was going to rebound last year for the Chiefs. It was the first offseason where he actually kept his nose clean, and didn’t resort to his usual extra-curricular activities, including publicly slamming his coach or punching some woman or uttering homophobic slurs on twitter.

Looking back on my notes, I predicted that he would approach a thousands yards rushing, in one last attempt to resurrect his downward-spiraling career.

It turns out, I was wrong on both accounts.

Sure, I was way off on his totals – 581 yards rushing, no rushing TD’s, and a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry, leading to him eventually being released from the team – but it also looks like Johnson still has one more chance to play in this league.

Johnson has quietly been impressing in training camps, so far. According to ESPN’s Matt Mosley, he’s in “excellent shape” and “actually has shown a burst at times” (the latter of which has been mentioned by many fans who have attended open training camp practices).

Johnson is not the same running back that he was in 2005 & 2006 – nor will he ever be again – but he’s certainly worth a late round draft pick, especially as a handcuff for Clinton Portis owners.

— I hate Vinny Cerrato as much as one person can hate any sports figure, but I was actually very excited when the Redskins selected Devin Thomas in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft (though I can’t say the same thing about TE Fred “Sleepy” Davis, who ironically was the best player to come out of that class).

But as he enters his third season – a year in which receivers usually prove whether they belong in this league or not –  I’m not sure whether to start calling Thomas “the Tin Man” or “the Scarecrow,” because he desperately needs an infusion of both brains AND heart.

Thomas’ skillset reminds me of a bigger version of Santonio Holmes: speedy WR who excels at YAC (Yards after Catch). But with his sloppy route running and stories of hot-dogging it during practice, it’s no surprise that Mike Shanahan has him buried on the depth chart below has-beens and retreads like Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams.

Right now, to paraphrase Denny Green, Thomas is exactly what we thought he is: a player good enough to record 7 catches for 100 yards and 2 TD’s in a game, only to follow that up with 2 receptions for 38 yards total over the next four games.

But ‘Skins fans, like myself, desperately hope that he can finally get his shit together and emerge as a starting receiver, because  at this point, he’s really the only hope we have left at the position.

Unfortunately, It’s time to pull the plug on the Malcolm Kelly project, because we need him to break out of the trainer’s room before he can actually break out on the field.

While the reports over the years have been that Kelly has the intelligence and work ethic to succeed at the next level, he’s been constantly plagued by injuries. Funny how that works, especially when Kelly’s medical charts were red flagged by EVERY other team in the NFL when he was coming out of Oklahoma.

Great pick, Cerrato. Ass hat.

I’ve been saying this for years: if we could transplant Kelly’s brain in Thomas’ body, we’d actually have a legit #1 WR prospect.

Where’s Dr. Frankenstein when you need him?

— I still maintain that the Redskins most valuable addition this offseason – outside of Mike & Kyle Shanhan – was Defensive Tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu. Because everyone has been so busy talking about Fat Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb and the new coaching staff all offseason,  the acquisition of Kemoeatu flew completely under the radar of most Redskins fans too busy reading about the soap opera surrounding Fat Al.

Kemoeatu is a 345lb Tongan beast who was shown the door by Carolina after tearing his Achilles tendon last training camp. On his way to being ready for the season opener, Kemoeatu is the perfect fit for the critical nose tackle position in the 3-4 defense – the centerpiece for the entire defensive line, if not the entire defense itself.

Kemoeatu – NOT Haynesworth – is the guy best suited to be the immovable object who eats up two or three offensive linemen, thus allowing the linebackers to attack the gaps in the offensive line or blitz the ever-loving hell out of the quarterback.

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