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Its the talent, stupid


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We have few, if any, players who play consistently at aPro Bowl-level.

Not Lavar, not Champ, not Samuels, not Hall. Coles is a maybe, but is not really in the top 8 receivers I'd pick in this league.

I've been hearing how much talent this team has for months and it makes me hurl. We have NO players who I would give an A to.

To get an A that means in the top 90%. If there are 32 teams that means for positions with a single player (QB for instance) you're in the top 3 or 4 in the league. If there are two players per position per team, it would mean you're in the top 6 or 7.

We have no players at that level, period. We have very few at the B-level as well (75% top 8/16). To get a C you need to be in the top 50% (16/32). A D is at 25% (top 24/64) and an F is below 25% (you really suck).

There, I said it. No A-list players. Report cards, please ..


WRs: Coles (B has never taken it to the house). Gardner (C- good hands, mediocre speed, F for his Westbrook brains). DMac (C gets open only in the end zone)

TEs: Phlem (D cant block and cant hang on to the ball), do we have any other TEs?

OTs: Jansen (C run blocks Ok sometimes, cant stop the bull rush, cant count), Samuels (C+ mediocre run blocker, injuries kept him from doing anything with DREs last 2 years), Winey (C played better than Samuels last couple weeks)

OGs: Thomas (B not bad, not great), Dockery (C- lots of beef, no feet)

Cs: Moore (C- average run/pass blocker, below average line calls), Friedman (C much improved line calls, mediocre otherwise)

RBs: Canidate (C track speed dont translate, Betts (C some potential, cant stay on the field), Rock (B give him his name)

FBs: Johnson (C doesnt do anything that isnt mediocre)

QBs: Ramsey (B- gotta gun and big heart, but slow to react in the pocket and mediocre touch), Hasselbeck (D- dink and dunk but Ds can game plan him)


DEs: All of them F- (must be the worst in the league)

DTs: All of them D+ (once in a while they make a play and we all ooh and ahh but they get pushed around and no pass rush)

LBs: Lavar (B big hits and athletic plays get noticed but cant get off blocks and runs himself out of plays), Trotter (C- slow to react, slow to the ball, tackles are all downfield), Armstead (C- see Trotter)

CBs: Champ (B doesnt make a play when its important, misses too many opportunities to make big play), Smoot (B big heart, a keeper)

S: Iffy (C- cant cover, takes bad angles, easily faked out), Bowen (C- see Iffy, biggest hit was first day of practice).


Ks: Hall (B+ made some good kicks with game on the line), Barker (F- yuck)

KRs: Morton (C runs into traffic and is not a PR), Johnson (C speed = potential)

We can talk schemes all we want but we dont have the studs up front and the rest of the "talent" base is Swiss cheese.

Its Vinnie thats gotta go ...

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yank, Gardner, good hands? Here's a hint. His nickname since getting drafted is 50/50...... that means 50 percent caught, 50 percent not caught.

Phlem is a flat out F as in failure.

Hall is close to 80 percent on his field goals. that's an "A", especially with all of the 50 yarders. And given the post Lohmiller history, i'd make it an A+.

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Gardner has talent - He doesn't drop the ball any more then Coles, no matter how many times you say it - it won't become true.

But back to the point of the post...

I disagree - As Boswell so eloquently put in his recent column - last season the Skins were 2 games better then The Cowpokes. The Skins bring in Coles, Brown, Morton & Hall. The Boys bring in Parcells. Now the Boys are 4 games better...

It's NOT the lack of talent. When the OBC uses common sense and RUNS THE DARN FOOTBALL, we're a decent team.

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Bruce, Trotter, Wynn and Armstead are a year older and Trotter hasnt come back from his knee - which at their age is a huge difference.

Daryl Gardner and BDW are gone. Champ aint been his old self.

Thats 7 worse players out of 11 on D than last year. Thats considering we have Iffy and Bowen at safety and guys, they aint very good.

Thats a huge talent drain compared to last year.

Morton hasnt upgraded the return game to anything but mediocre. Hall in the top 3 or 4 in the league, mmmmmaybe, but its definitely a big upgrade for sure

Conspicuous by its absence is any reference to Canidate replacing Steven Davis. Thats a big downgrade.

Samuels and Jansen are not close to previous years' performances. Another downgrade.

Coles and Thomas (not Brown) are upgrades for sure. Dockery over Tre? Sorry but another downgrade.

Agree that OBC hasnt made the necesary adjustments (blitz, no blitz, etc) but Boswell's eloquence cant make an ugly girl the prom queen.

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Sonny Jurgenson claimed on News4 today that Bill Parcells told his team last week that the most talented team in the entire NFC East is the Redskins.

Sure, there's considerable probability that this was at least partially an insatance of "coach speak"-- seeing as how we just happened to be the next team on their schedule, but I think talent is the least of our worries.

Spurrier and his motley crew of coaching cronies are in WAYYYYY over their heads.

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Coaches will say anything to pump their team up while snookering their opponent. I'd take the Dallas defense straight up for ours.

Am curious why few specifics are given why our talent is the least of our problems. Which players should get more credit than I am giving? Which downgrade hasnt happened?

I know bashing coaches and owners is more fun, but pulling the bankies over our heads aint makin the boogey man go away.

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Yank, two things: one, you're a harsh grader. Second, your talent evaluation is statistically a little flimsy.

If you're looking at top 10% talent at QB, for example, the average team will have 0.1 of those (32 teams, 3.2 "A"-level QBs, divide the A's by the teams = 0.1). Kinda rare talent.

Same for the rest. Each team gets 0.2 "A" WRs, 0.3 "A" LBs. If you add up QB (3.2), LB (9.6), RB (3.2), WR (6.4), TE (3.2), and DB (6.4), you get 32 "A" players for 32 teams. Each team gets one.

So how did the Skins do? Well, by any measure Champ is an A (one of the 6.4 best DBs). He's clearly that kind of player. So's Lavar (one of the top 9.6 LBs). It's hard to argue that Lavar isn't one of the 10 best LBs in the league -- if not, name the 10 better players.

So the Skins have at least two "A" players on defense, when, statistically speaking, the Skins are only entitled to one on the whole squad (well, just those positions we looked). Pretty nice!

The problem is not the talent at marquee positions. The problem is that Snyder/Cerrato have made chasing talent an end unto itself. Here's the problem with that: they pursue very talented players at a handful of position, tying up all their cap room in very few players. Something has to give, and it does: the Skins have much below average players playing special teams and non-glamorous positions like TE, S, DT, etc.

Good coaches know how to exploit that. How many balls did Coles catch on Sunday? None. How many chances did Champ have to get his hands on the ball? How often did they run straight at Lavar? Instead, good coaches exploit your weaknesses -- embarrassing your subpar safeties and tight ends, humiliating your backup QB, etc.

On pure talent, the Skins are pretty damn good. They're the best team on paper. The best team in June. That doesn't translate onto the field though, because they're not a team at all. They're a collection of undisciplined mercenaries.

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I think the problem lies with the team's perception of it's talent. They read the press clippings about Lavar, Champ, Trotter, Smith, and Armstead and think..."hey...we're stacked on defense"

The truth is.... we aren't talented on defense. Champ doesn't make plays and has been exploited as "unaware" on the football field. Arrington launches himself like a cruise missle, failing to wrap up, and is rarely in a position to make a tackle. Trotter is slow to recover from serious knee surgery, Armstead is older and slower, and Bruce Smith looks like the puppet from "Tales of the Crypt".

On offense, we expected Ramsey to be the reincarnation of Marino when in essence he's a rookie QB. Canidate has only proven the whispers about him being fast but fragile. Gardner has proven he's a physical receiver with little seperation speed and iffy hands.

The bottom line is, we're not a talented team. The writers might right it, the magazines might plaster their names and likenesses all over the place, but the truth is the team isn't talented. Continuing to pay Champ with no results, Lavar for freelancing and missing tackles, and Smith to get the sack record is exactly why the team is 5-9.

Add to that, poor coaching.... a lack of discipline.... and an owner with his door open to players and the finished product is exactly what we've seen on the field.

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Not a talented team? The lack of discipline (Lavar freelancing, Champ "unaware", Bruce allowed to play just for personal goals) are COACHING problems, not talent problems.

Do you really believe Joe Gibbs or Bill Parcells couldn't get this team to the playoffs? Sure they could. Plenty of talent on this squad -- more than most teams if you run down the roster. But no heart. A good coach -- a disciplinarian, a firebreather -- would fix that. That's your problem. Not talent.

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They need the same players playing under the same coaches and they need to develop players through the draft instead of throwing money around in FA.

Most good teams in the league right have those characteristics:

- Eagles: same coaching staff for years, build through the daft, get role players in FA.

- Chiefs: Same coacing staff for 3 years, build through the draft, AND wisely choose mid-range FA for good ROI (Priest Holmes was cheap, so was Trent Green)

- Pats- same story.

- Titans- same story.

- Rams- same story.

Are you guys seeing the corrolation? Snyder has to make a wise move with the coaching choice and then stick with his program.

He also needs to cease and desist all GM duties and let a prefessional do the job.

For someone who supposedly likes the Redskins, he seems to really enjoy screwing them up.

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Arrington launches himself like a cruise missle, failing to wrap up

I notice that too. When making a tackle he leads with his shoulder and doesn’t wrap up well. He did it in the open field a couple of times Sunday. If he doesn’t kill the ball carrier outright, which he has done, the guy bounces off of him and keeps on going. It’s a small technical thing that greatly reduces his effectiveness.

I love the guy’s heart and talent but his actual impact on the game is a lot less than it could be.

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you only have to go as far as Dallas to see your so wrong!

Discipline is the number one problem and has been for sometime.

Marty started to change it but he sucked so bad as GM..Geez!

Parcells could have gotten this team deep in the playoffs and farther than he will the cowboys..that fact is the only good thing to come out of the season..thank god Jerry convinced him to win with his guys. A QB and RB they might have a chance at winning a SB.

Our defense would not have been as strong as Dallas has now become but we would have had a top ten defense and offense and been very good.

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One problem with continuity is that we start with old, injured players (Bruce, Wynn, Armstead, Trotter) and keep them around together for years, guess what - they get tooo old. Anyone who says these 4 have have "talent" left is living in the past. About 3 or 4 years in the past.

Do our safeties have "talent?" Do our DTs have "talent?"

Our CBs and Lavar have "talent" on defense. Period. Paragraph. End of story.

That aint enough, people - open your eyes. Three players with talent on D out of 11 or 12 = bottom 10 Defense.

Most of our offensive "talent" has either been injured or has flat out played poorly. Our OTs have been mediocre and then Samuels was injured.

The only 2 on offense who have played to their "talent" level are Coles and Thomas. Ramsey was pummelled, hurt, inconsistent and indecisive. He's still essentially a rook. A rook with the biggest stones on the team, but a rook still.

Nobody should say our RBs/FBs come to mind when thinking about "talent." Canidate has never done anything in this league and the rest havent either.

Our TEs have no talent. Dockery is still lost out there.

Um, exactly where is all this "talent?" Names, please?

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Defense: Smoot, Arrington, Bailey

Offense: Jansen, Thomas, Samuels, Coles

That's really a remarkable group of players. I'd bet you that there aren't more than 5 or 6 teams that wouldn't trade those seven players for their seven starters at those positions. Can you think of some?

The problem is that even though the Skins have big-name talent at a few positions, they've been forced to fill all the other holes with truly below-average players because they've got so much cap money tied up with those stars. That's why they're stuck with Flem, all the DTs and DEs, the RBs... it's an ugly situation.

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The problem is that we go after players due to their name and dont worry about if they fit into a system that we run. Trotter is a example of this, in Philly he just attacked the line of scrimmage and tried to blow plays up but here in washington he plays 7 yards off the line and is asked to read then react.

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It's tough to dole out grades and be objective.

It's tough to give the grades based on the play of the others at that position and not and up weighing in how we 'think' they should perform over how they actually perform.

It's tough to judge based on performance and not on preceived performance.

It's tough to judge because it is very hard to break down one players play without understanding the influence of the players around thems impact on who well thier playing is measured.

That said I think you are pretty much on.

I would still grade Champ an A-

I would give all TE and F

Moore a D

Our Safties C+

Smoot a B+

Bryan Johnson a D


In general though I agree with what you have said, we do not have talent that is actually performing in an elite status.

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You guys are all being unreasonably harsh on Champ Bailey. Through week 5 Bailey's name was being mentioned by ESPN analysts (Jaws, Boomber) as the NFL's defensive MVP. Clearly his play has slipped since then due to injury yet he has still performed consistently at a pro-bowl level. Several times this season it has looked as though Bailey has given up the big play but in reality it was the safeties fault. The consensous on Bailey is that although he has some flaws (can not react well to the double move, does not make big enough plays) he is still the best if not in the top 3 cornerbacks in the NFl.

Yank, I think you make pretty weak cases for the grades you give. Although Jansen and Samuels have had week seasons it can be attributed to a poor scheme, injuries, and Ramsey holding onto the ball too long. To say that they do not have talent is ridiculous. They are one of the best tackle-tandems in the NFL.

It is pretty apparent that LaVar Arrington has missed assignments too frequently as well as not wrapping when he tackles. But talent wise he is one of the best in the NFL. Regardless of his shortcomings he has still put together a very solid year. 5 forced fumbles is something to be proud of and his play in general is worthy of merit. If he becomes more disciplined (which a coach like Marvin Lewis had him doing) he can be borderline top 3 LB in the league.

I really dont think talent is the problem with the redskins. Poor coaching is a huge part of the redskins inability to win. The coaching staff has not shown the fortitude to adapt during games and make the necessary changes during the week to be sucessful. This limits the teams ability to do well. Also, the offensive line schemes have been laughable this season. Helton will be fired during the off-season and actually stifled both Jansen and Samuels growth as offensive lineman. Another problem is that the Redskins have gone after big names and have relied on no names to perform. The defensive line is a clear example of this. They signed Thomas and Coles yet didnt address the d-line. There is an abundance of talent as well as a lack of talent but you cannot make good a arguement that we have very little talent.

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Originally posted by Even Madder

Defense: Smoot, Arrington, Bailey

Offense: Jansen, Thomas, Samuels, Coles

That's really a remarkable group of players. I'd bet you that there aren't more than 5 or 6 teams that wouldn't trade those seven players for their seven starters at those positions. Can you think of some?

The problem is that even though the Skins have big-name talent at a few positions, they've been forced to fill all the other holes with truly below-average players because they've got so much cap money tied up with those stars. That's why they're stuck with Flem, all the DTs and DEs, the RBs... it's an ugly situation.

Agree that few teams would refuse the above players, but its kindof a cherry pick to put it that way. Our few "talented" players (I'd leave Jansen off BTW) vs every other team at those specific positions.

There are a few teams, NE, Den, Mia, Balt, maybe TB that might not take that specific deal.

But I would guess that if you took the top players on all but a handful of teams in the league and we would jump at THEIR deal.

If you broke it down position by position it becomes even clearer. We stand out only at CB and maybe OT. I even think plenty of teams have better WRs as a whole than we do (STL, PITT, IND, SEA, even CIN and TENN to name a few) and that's supposed to be one of our strengths. Any other position group you test and we would swap our positions for those of way more than half the teams in the league. Except John Hall at kicker.

Here's my guess at how many teams we would want to trade our positions for (with focus on the starters only):

QBs - 50%

RBs/FBs- 90%

OTs - 30%

OGs/C- 60%

TEs - 100%

WRs - 35%

Average: 60% (We would swap offensive personnel with 60% of the league)

DEs - 100%

DTs - 95%

LBs - 55%

CBs - 10%

Ss - 95%

Average: - 70% (We would swap defensive personnel with 70% of the league)

K - 20%

P - 100%

KR - 50%

PR - 75%

Average 60% (We would swap ST specialists with 60% of the league)

Thats the measure of who's really talented. When you're choosin' up sides would you take ours ... or theirs.

When you compare to actual performances, we are somewhat lower than our talent level which you can attribute to coaching. But it aint that big a difference compared to the raw talent deficit.

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It's been repeated a number of times here but I'll add my two cents.

1st. Our number one problem is SS lake of imagination in the running game. All of his run plays showcase heads up blocking schemes. Delayed hand-offs and draws. The only movement you see by any OL'men is on his deep pitch plays. This is poor coaching guys. It enables the defense to feel a play out. Doesn't exploit mismatches and exposes our own. I believe this is a problem with SS because he never had to coach the dirty side of football. Offensive linemen.

2nd. Because we can't run the ball efficiently we don't have very many time consuming drives. Sure we put up yards now and then. BUT! If we tried to run the ball for four quarters vs. any team we would probably lose more than win. There is a big difference between efficient and effective. What the Coypukes did to the Skins last Sunday was a demonstration of an effective rushing game. Clock killing drives with the ball in your hands.

3rd. The less time you have the ball the more important your pass rush becomes. Our defensive ends out right suck and everyone knows it. Count how many big plays you've seen run off tackle or inside the DE (Bruce Smith). This causes or LB's to cover more ground than what can be expected of a human. I'm not making excuses for being sucked out of position but when you're forced to compensate, it's going to happen.

A testament to all of this is that we've lost so many games in the forth quarter. We've also scored above twenty points in every game with the exception of Tampa game and our loss to Dallas last weekend. I haven't checked time of posession but I bet we led that category in most if not all of the wins.

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I don't see a lot of talent on offense. Parcells could probably do better with this team because the talent is on defense.

I don't know what people see in Jansen and Samuels. If our middle wasn't so bad last year, they probably would have been exposed then as well.

Get a GM who brings in real talent on offense. Few if any teams are going to win with our talent at RB and QB. I don't understand the front office not going after more seasoned talent at RB and QB the last two years. To me, that's a no-brainer.

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