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Dark Clouds Need Not Apply


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This thread ain't about the details of yesterday's game, or about what will happen against the Giants next week. This thread is about the Big Picture ... and the feel of this team from where I sit this morning.

Generally, I try to wait a while ... get back on an even keel ... before posting after a game. But you know ... the feeling is strong this morning, and I don't think it's steak subs (with jalapenos, of course) or Sammy light talking.

So the hell with it ... time to shoot from the hip.


I posted sometime during the summer that the first couple of games would be crucial in terms of getting other teams’ defenses to respect the offensive scheme. That they would be critical in forcing teams to account for both Patrick and the running game, enough so to not simply be able to load up on one or the other, but make them play us honestly. After two weeks, by showing the ability to hurt defense both on the ground and in the air ... mission accomplished.

The Giants D is good, no doubt. But they are going to spend lots of practice time this week covering a whole lot of bases. In two games, the Skins O has now featured classic smashmouth – to the tune of 160 clutch, up-the-gut yards against the Jets in a defensive slugfest – as well as high-octane, as we saw in the 2nd and 3rd quarters yesterday. In terms of forcing opposing DC’s to game plan against us, this is pure gold. This week, the Giants are going to have to account for Ladell’s slashes and Trung’s jabs, knowing they cannot sleep on the run. The OL has proven surprisingly formidable in their run blocking. I know I didn’t really expect that heading into Week One ... gotta believe the league didn’t really either. And the Giants are going to have to be careful not to blitz TOO much when we throw, because they saw the adjustments the Skins made at the half yesterday, and they’ve seen that Coles & Gardner can burn them quick with the WR screens and slants. They also know we can go down the field with precision; in fact, watching Patrick throw three absolutely brilliant TD strikes to Gardner, McCants (hey, maybe Buchanan “defensed” it, but that ball was THERE) and Coles, showing simply outstanding touch and accuracy, the Giants know they cannot afford to let Patrick stand around back there and look deep.

What this all means, says here, is that regardless of what this team does the rest of the way, yesterday – specifically, the 2nd and 3rd quarters – showed emphatically that the Fun ‘n Gun Offense CAN work in the NFL. You give this team another year or two, and let the OL learn to play together, and let the QB learn the game (when to get rid of the ball, how not audible into slow-developing plays in the face of the blitz, how to roll out of the pocket to buy that extra second, etc.), and give SS more game-experience in which to perfect his “feel” for calling NFL games ... and the sky is the limit for this offense. There may well be ugly offensive showings the rest of the way this year – there likely will be – but yesterday’s explosion, even with the depleted Falcon secondary, nor the 1st half last week for that matter, were not flukes. The thing, given the right pieces and time to nurture them ... works.

If you’re an opposing defensive coordinator, you now know you can’t cheat the Skins O in the film room like you did last year. It’s a new day.

Better do your homework.


George Edwards, as of this moment, is coming up aces. For a man game-planning and calling his first two games in the NFL, it is hard to ask much more. I had hopes, but some reservations that they’d look very stout early while he tried to find his way. At this point, though ... I could not be more pleased. Guys are generally in the right place. They’re communicating. They’re making in-game adjustments and getting stronger as the game progresses. They’re playing balls to the wall pretty much from gun to gun. They don’t quit. They don’t miss many tackles. This unit is clearly “feeling it” when they play together. Yes, there’s a world of talent in the back seven, and yes, the DT’s are doing playing far better than expected.

There’s a reason for that. The guy running the show has hit the ground running; he’s doing his job, and he’s doing it damn well.


Patrick Ramsey. The jury is in.

The Washington Redskins have found their quarterback.


Special Teams ... are not. At least not the kick coverage or kick return teams. Incredibly undisciplined in terms of staying in lanes and forcing plays. Missed tackles after missed tackles. The occasional highlight hit or downing of a ball inside the 10 does not make up for the kinds of monstrous momentum-killer returns they continue to give up week after week, as in the one right after Rock’s TD brings us back within 3. Those plays lose you games in the NFL. And this has been going on for far too long. Something stinks in Stock’s world.

And the return teams aren’t any better in terms of blocking, either. The next seam they open for Chad will be the first. If not for Hall and Barker, both of whom are carrying these units themselves, we’d be looking at the worst ST’s in the league.

Driving me nuts, it is.

The sand in the vaseline.


I’ve written about this team being a BOG, rather than a team, for a long time, now. Bunch of Guys. Less than the sum of the parts.

Not any more.

Win or lose ... this group is beginning to carve an identity. It may be an exasperating, roller-coaster ride of a learning-on-the-fly, make you cringe one moment then give you chills the next kind of manic identity ... but when I looked out there yesterday, and saw Patrick standing in against a tidal wave, and Laveranues taking over the damn game, and a team down 17-0 in a madhouse, coming back ... and then later, seeing Patrick coming off the sidelines to greet Peppi Zelner after yet another big defensive stop, and seeing the LB corps simply taking over another game because the unsung bodies in the middle of the D line are doing the dirty work, and seeing adjustments made that flat out worked, and seeing the fists of every man on the field AND the sidelines pumping and the faces focused and so damn INTO IT when Ramsey and Coles get into The Zone and take over .... well, there’s something going on that we haven’t seen in this town in quite a while.

And what it is ... (screw it, cliches are needed sometimes) ... is the birth of a Team. Yeah, it’s just a baby still, and we’ll still lose games and look discombobulated from time to time ... but dammit, there’s something afoot in DC ... and I’m liking the hell out of it.

This ain’t about next week, this is about the last decade, and, more importantly ... the next 5 - 7 years.

Handing out cigars today, gents.

It’s a new day.

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Well said Om. I must say that I am still a bit surprised at how this team has performed the past couple of weeks.

One difference I have noticed with this team is that, unlike the past 9 years, we have been able to overcome mistakes, not-so-special special teams play, and still pull out a victory! There is indeed something special here –

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Great post Om, well stated as always.

You summed up my exact feelings at the end. We are seeing something here we haven't seen in a long time, ability to play through adversity and not lay down and quit. Over the last decade or so we have been conditioned to accept failure after a 17 point hole. I know I did yesterday. After Patrick fumbled and the Falcons went up another TD, I thought the game was over. But something about this team is different, the attitude and confidence they bring come game day is a treat to see. It seems like someone will always step it up when things are looking bleak and make a play to spark the team. I love it and can't wait until next week.


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Congratulations to us. The proud parents of a bouncing baby football team. Only one thing missing though. The baby needs a big brother to take him under his wing and show him the special teams ropes. How about this offseason we go to the well one more time and "adopt" Mike Westhoff to keep him company.

All we need is enough Snyderbucks and the right title...i.e. Asst. "Head" Coach of Special Teams (anyone remember how the Seasquawks stole Pete Rodriguez from us???)


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