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"Trades and Benches" Archive


The Problem With Benching Rex Grossman

Washington Redskins QB Rex Grossman drops the ball

This photo shows Redskins QB Rex Grossman in his most comfortable position--dropping the ball.

The life of a Redskins fan was lookin up sort of. The Redskins were performing better than analysts predicted. Last night, they ran into a desperate Eagles team. Oo I hate to say that but it’s true. Redskins came into the game with one of the better performing defenses in the league and an up and down offense with a QB that has made some crucial mistakes.

In addition to Grossman being shaky on offense, the Redskins receivers are extra regular, and one of their best options in the past, the tight end Chris Cooley, has regressed due to injury. The Redskins biggest threats are running backs Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower.

The Eagles got off to a fast start scoring 20 points in the first half. In the 2nd half the Eagles didn’t score at all, but the Redskins just couldn’t take advantage of any of it.

In the 4th quarter of the game, after Grossman threw 4 interceptions,  the Shanahans had seen enough. They pulled Grossman from the game and put in John Beck, the dude I WRONGLY predicted would be the starter from the beginning. Not because he’s “so good” but because we already know what Rex Grossman has to offer. And we already know (or I thought we knew?) that it’s not good enough to be a starting QB in the NFL. We don’t know what Beck has to offer, and if he’s the only other option, it might be good to see what he’s got. That way you know if next year needs to find you drafting a QB, looking at David Garrard, or trying to wrestle Ryan Mallet away from the Patriots.

Although I thought that Beck should be the starter for the season, I still see an issue with the Shanahans benching Grossman at Week 6.

If nothing else, thus far Redskins seemed stable. They were low on mistakes (especially non-QB mistakes), they were competitive in their 1 loss coming into this game, and have already won more games than many analysts predicted. Benching Grossman throws the team into an uproar again and I’m not sure that the Redskins offense is one that Beck is gonna be so much better in. While the receivers are reliable, the Redskins don’t have the kind of explosive offensive weapons that can help a struggling QB not look so..well…struggle’ish.

Secondly,  I think that the decision to bench Grossman should stand for the entirety of the season win or lose. I don’t think that Grossman should start again unless Beck can’t play. It just doesn’t serve anyone to have that kind of controversy at the QB position. But given the Shanahans’ history, we might see another benching at week 9, around the time that offenses really need to be clicking on all cylinders.

That’s just bad. How does it help a QB’s performance to have the threat of benching hanging over his head after every game?

Grossman finished against the Eagles with a QB rating of 23.7, apparently he’s given 3 worst performances in his career. He’s the same Gross we always knew and I can’t ever  complain about Grossman being offered a seat on the sidelines. But I worry that this is just another act in the Redskins Quarterback play, and the rest of the cast deserves better performances from the lead characters.



10 Players Have Already Torn Achilles Tendons; Plus 400lb Bryant McKinnie Looks For Work

I soooo did not want to write this post. I can’t even type the phrase “torn achilles” without grimacing. It just sounds so damn painful! Anyway, I wondered if it was common to have 10 players to injure their achilles in two just two weeks of camp, and it looks like this hasn’t happened in the past. Judy Battista at the New York Times took on the subject in her column yesterday.

But so far, the unintended winners of the lockout are orthopedic surgeons. With training camps open for less than two weeks, unofficial counts have 10 players with Achilles’ tendon tears, season-ending injuries that Monday claimed their latest victim, Mikel Leshoure, a rookie running back for Detroit.

The number is notable because nine players are thought to have torn their Achilles’ tendons in all of the 2010 preseason. According to figures compiled by Football Outsiders, a Web site that tracks every game of the season, nine players were on injured reserve with Achilles’ tendon injuries in the first week of the season last year.

WOW, so before the pre-season even begins, more players have injured their achilles in training camp than would typically injure them in the pre-season. Battista quotes a doctor who says that not training enough during the lock out could be contributing to the problem.

I hope that players’ muscle memories can hurry and catch up, because if 10 more players injure their achilles tendons it’s gonna be some trouble!

Speaking of not working out enough, Bryant Mckinnie was cut by the Minnesota Vikings for being out of shape. Yes, I know you knew that. But what you probably didn’t know is that his weight was reportedly 400lbs and his cholesterol level was a soaring 400. Just so you know, anything headed into the 200s is considered high. And sure offensive tackles like McKinnie are big but 400lbs? Even at 6’8 400 is pushing the envelope.

Still, McKinnie is looking for work.

From Jason La Canfora:

Rosenhaus’ (Mckinnie’s agent) email to NFL teams reads as follows: “Free agent Bryant McKinnie would be willing to sign a one year contract for $2,500,000 plus reasonable incentives. Please let me know if you have an interest.”

Don’t all jump at once!

McKinnie has been one of those guys who’s ALWAYS questioned about his behavior. I defended him in this blog post when the innanets blew up about him supposedly spending 100K on a bar tab. Some of the other things he’s done have been borderline indefensible. But as I always say, character issues in the NFL are of no consequence as much as we like to pretend we care. What matters is winning, and guys can’t perform when they’re out of shape.

The Jacksonville Jaguars  also released a player, Vince Manuwai, for being out of shape. But it looks like most of the guys across the league came to training camp in good condition. Or, good enough, at least given the circumstances.

That reminds me, I hear New England Patriot Albert Haynesworth is lookin good like I knew that he would! And that’s all that matters, really.





How to Get A Man: A Guide to Help Your Team Woo NNamdi Asomugha

NNamdi Asomugha's contract with the Oakland Raiders was voided when certain incentives weren't met.


Unless you’ve been hiding under Serena Williams’ bountiful booty, you probably know that Nnamdi Asomugha is the most highly desired free agent on the market right now. The long suffering (9 years to be exact) Oakland Raiders Cornerback is out of the Defensive Back Witness Protection Program and ready to sign with a new team and hopefully make an official debut on the national stage.

Asomugha isn’t just talented on the field he also is one of the smartest, nicest, and genuinely charitable NFL players there is.

He’s also extremely, extremely HOT. #TheThirst #Oolala #DamnHeFine

Since January, team message boards around the league have been filled with chatter about where the Nigerian Los Angeles native will land. Even teams with no freaking chance of signing the “shut down” corner have fans who are holding on to hope.

Well, never fear, I am here to help. I put together this handy guide that your team’s owner and front office can use to woo Aso.


Pronounce His Name Correctly

As someone who has a last name that people, including family members, butcher into stewed beef pieces I know what’s it like to have a name people struggle with. And I also know it’s kind of a nice surprise when people try to pronounce it anywhere close to right.

NNamdi Asomugha presents problems because both names look like gibbrish to the average American public school graduate. Just remember, One N is just for decoration and real Gs move in silence like Asomugha. Now you know Nnamdi is “Nahm-dee” and Asomugha is “Awe-sum-wah.” Even though on Madden Asomugha is pronounced Ahso-moog-gah, your team’s front office shouldn’t be satisfied to wallow in video game ignorance. Pronounce the man’s name the right way and win a few extra points when the signing process comes down to the wire.

Do the Salary Shuffle

Look, Corners with the ability to consistently cover deep man-to-man are rarer than quiet moments at Chad Ochocinco’s house. If you want Asomugha, you got to come up with some serious paper. Not you, Detroit Lions, you’re all tapped out. But the rest of you? The lockout has given your team plenty of time to think about who they can release, whose contract(s) can be restructured, and what other personnel moves might be necessary to make this thing happen.

When Asomugha shows up at your team facility, you need to have a plan you can show him. Just like when you take a fine ass woman on a first date, don’t stand there looking confused, show a little creativity and initiative!

Emphasize Your Commitment to Winning

This pretty much leaves out the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals and, of course, the Oakland Raiders. But for the rest of the 28 teams in the NFL, you either need to show Asomugha that you have been winning or that the changes you’re making for this season guarantee at least a .500 record or more—preferably a playoff berth. A power point presentation that breaks down matchups, the spread, and your schedule including which SPECIFIC games you expect to win might be appropriate.

Asomugha has been stuck on a losing team for far too long. And through it all he has maintained a positive attitude, impressive command of the English language, a clean arrest record, no visible tattoos, zero paternity suits, and a mouth completely free of gold teeth. Why should such a perfect specimen have to choose between winning games and getting a contract that lets him ball ‘til he falls?


Get Real Ethnic On His Ass

If you can’t tell, NNamdi Asomugha isn’t your regular run-of-the-mill black name—it’s Nigerian. Nigeria and Nigerian culture are really important to him. He is the chairman of his own foundation called Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) which provides food, shelter, and medicine as well as supports literacy and vocational training in Nigeria.

If you want to attract the four-time All Pro standout to your city it might be good to show your ethnic sensitivity. In other words, this is the perfect time NOT to mention KWANZAA (or, God forbid serve a Kwanzaa cake), kente cloths or any other faux African practices. It’s also not a good time to talk about your daughter’s cornrows or to try to show off the little bit of Swahili you learned in college. And please, please do not wear some silly ass dashiki to lunch with this man!

Instead of all that offensive stuff, you might want to point out if your city is near a large Nigerian population (*ahem* Houston Texans), or not too far from the Nigerian Embassy (*hint hint* Baltimore Ravens) or simply has a great Nigerian restaurant or two (HELLO Philadelphia Eagles). At the very least, your team should make sure to note that they would do its best to support Asomugha as he endeavors to expand OWIN to other African countries.

Treat Him Like a Cancer

No, not the Terrell Owens kind, the zodiac kind. Asomugha was born on July 6, 1981 which makes him a cancer. Male cancer characteristics include a need for loyalty and privacy as well as sensitivity to criticism. Mention some things that might appeal to these traits. Is there stability within your core group of players? Do you have a contract with a security service? Do your fans rarely boo or verbally assault players? These are the kinds of things he might like to assess.

Flaunt Your City’s Food and Beaches

Now I don’t know if Asomugha is a foodie or not, but I do know he’s going to need something to do while he’s bored in the backfield. If none of the Quarterbacks are going to throw to him, the least we can do is offer the man a delicious snack while he’s wandering about aimlessly.

I would think beaches would be an important selling point too (Hear that, Miami Dolphins?). Asomugha has lived in California almost all his life. He grew up in Los Angeles, attended college at California Berkeley, and played for the Oakland Raiders ever since he left college. This man probably likes water. If you’ve got a few beaches, it might not be a bad idea to entice him with the prospect of being able to do whatever it is that people who like water do near the water or whatever. I don’t like water, so I really don’t know.

Make Sure Your Community Isn’t Singing What Have You Done For Me Lately

Asomugha had Nike add a stipulation to his contract that he would outfit freshman students at one high school with football and basketball team with shoes. He also, takes high school kids on college tours to ensure they pursue higher educations and has personally mentored and tutored students in Oakland.

The NFL touts community service and Asomugha has been exemplary in this area. If your team has made a commitment to its surrounding community, I think Asomugha would like to know.

And there you have it. I hope this handy guide helps you land the man of your team’s dreams.

You’re welcome, and good luck!




Plaxico Burress Takes Curious Steps Upon Release From Jail

Plaxico Burress works out with Chad Ochocinco, Frank Gore and Antonio Brown

Former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress is a fellow Tidewater, Virginia native, and as such it is my duty to vigorously defend him! But I gotta be honest, he’s making it really hard right about now.

I first started to get annoyed when his agent Drew Rosenhaus kept giving us jail release updates every week knowing full well there’s a lockout and teams can’t make any moves. This is not a situation in which a forgotten player needs publicity to make sure he’s on team radars. Everyone who’s anyone in football remembers Burress very well and they also remember why he spent time out of the league.

Secondly, he’s now joined up with anti-gun organizations in the vein of another Tidewater native Michael Vick joined forces with the Humane Society of the United States after being incarcerated for being involved with dog fighting.

Here’s the difference: Vick didn’t have a choice, HSUS wasn’t going to let him live ONE day in peace if he didn’t cow tow to their demands. Further, it’s easy to believe that Vick now understands that fighting dogs is cruel, I’m not sure Burress believes that guns are wrong if you carry them safely and within the confines of the law. Of course, I don’t know his heart so I could be wrong, but it doesn’t pass the smell test from my perspective.

I would have much rather have seen Burress remain silent on the topic OR join up with organizations that are fighting the type of sentence that he received. Burress is old enough to understand very fully that carrying a gun isn’t what got him incarcerated-not following the law is what caused his troubles. Hell, I’d rather see him shoot safety commercials for the NRA, he might actually make some decent cash doing that.

Finally, I think that Rosenhaus has Burress talking way too much. I think he needs to choose one long form interview to do on his experience and leave all the little quotes and sound bites about what team he’d like to play for out of the discussion. Teams are well aware that Burress exists and once the lockout is over he will have no issues getting tryout opportunities. When you’re in Burress’ position, wouldn’t you be happy to play for ANY team?

Anyway, Rosenhaus’ PR abilities have always been questionable to me. This week the back and forth with the Giants was really unnecessary and Burress should have been advised NOT to criticize the Coughlin’s coaching style. In particular, since Coughlin turned the Giants completely around and by most accounts has resolved many of the issues players had with him-at least publicly. Burress’ comments are about…umm…2 years late. lol!


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