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Myth: There is lots of talent on this team.

Long n Left

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I've seen it written on these forums countless times. Parcells said the Skins have the best talent in the division. Even Kiper says the Skins are talented. I say over rated.

After watching the Skins bumble their way to a 5-11 season this year, I started paying more attention to the players, and less attention to the plays. What I saw were a number of mediocre players on a mediocre team. There is some talent in DC, but I think there is far less than some people would have me believe. After all, what would you expect Parcells to say? It was an easy way for him to get a backhanded dig into Spurrier.

First, the offense:

Receivers: The Skins have one very good wide receiver. That's it. Gardner is a guy with talent unrealized. He drops too many balls (lack of concentration is my guess), runs lazy routes, and shows zero toughness or heart for going over the middle to make the hard yards. Maybe Gibbs is the kind of guy to help Rod realize his potential, but if not, I'd try to get something for him in return while there is some market.

Jacobs is a complete question mark. He's got the talent, now he's got to prove it. McCants is a solid posession receiver, and great in the red zone, but lacks speed and separation which limits what you can do with him. Russell and PJ are burners with bad hands. PJ may stick around due to his willingness to play ST.

Running Backs: After two years Betts is still an incomplete. He's shown flashes, but that's it. A lot of guys show flashes, then fade away. Will Betts be one?

Canidate is an enigma. He doesn't run forcefully, but when he finds a seam he can pile up some yards. He's not the kind of back that'll make something out of nothing though, and he cannot stay healthy. Also, he's a horrid blocker.

Rock was fun this year, but he is no feature back. He doesn't have the speed to break big runs, has suspect hands, and may have been as bad as Canidate at picking up blitzers. Strictly a back-up special teamer. McCullough? Who knows? He doesn't seem to have the body to withstand the punishment of an every down back.

Quarterback: Along with Coles and R Thomas, the lone bright spots on this year's offense, but with a caveat. Ramsey is still green, and needs to get more comfortable in the pocket. He has all the physical tools to be great, but needs to develop and hone his instincts better. If he does, he has a chance at greatness.

Offensive line: Randy Thomas was a FA steal. He should be around for many more years, barring injury, and be a stalwart of the "new" Hogs. Jansen and Samuels are solid bookend tackles, but are far better in the run game than pass protection. Speed edge rushers give Jansen fits (Greg Ellis made Jansen look like a speed bump on the QB expressway in the secon Cowboys game.) Samuels is solid, but there are 8-10 in the league as good or better.

Dockery has some potential, and his development will be the key to this offensive line becoming good. Not the most mobile guy, which could pose problems in the Gibbs running game, but a mauler with attitude.

Center is a big problem. Neither Moore nor Friedman played very well, though Friedman made better adjustments. Both these guys are backups, the Skins need a starting center, bad.

Tight End: Royal is the ONLY guy with any talent here, and it ain't a whole lot. The worst collection of talent in the league at this position.


Defensive line: A collection of back-ups starting at every position along the line. This D-line also has the worst talent in the league. Chase, Holsey, and Wynn may stay, but I would wager that they will do so only as second stringers.

Linebackers: I've been amazed by how many people think Jesse Armstead had a good year. He is WAY past his prime, and should be one of the first to be shown the door. He would make one play, or sack each game, then get run around or through, the rest of the game. He is slow afoot, lets blockers get into him way too easily, can't cover anyone outside of a fullback, and reacts too slowly to many plays. Give me a younger, cheaper alternative.

Trotter played poorly the first half of the year, but came on the second half. That said, he gets paid far too much for his performance. He guesses himself out of plays, does not shed blockers well enough for a MLB of his size, and does not have the sidelins to sideline explosiveness a dominant NFL MLB needs to have. Probably better in a very aggressive scheme.

Lavar is the real deal. He sometimes took himself out of plays with over pursuit, or poor angles, but I tend to think he did some of this in an attempt to make up for his teammates shortcomings. With more talent around him, and a more disciplined approach, I can see him becoming one of the 3-5 best defensive players in the league.

Cornerbacks: This is the best unit man-for-man on the team. They kept the Skins in many a ballgame this year.

Champ has awesome cover skills, but mediocre playmaking skills. He can be right there, and NOT make the play. That said, he's still one of the three best corners in the game today, and should be resigned, but only to a reasonable contract. The Skins need money to shore up the rest of the team.

Smoot doesn't have champ's cover skills, but has good closing burst, excellent body control, and a nose for the football. Together, these guys form the best CB tandem in the league.

Bauman is a solid slot corner. Actually, in a pinch, I think he could be a decent #2 corner on most teams. He's small, but has very good speed, and is a very tough sure tackler. Health is a concern because of his stature, but he is a guy with good positional skills.

Jimoh is green, but has talent. Sure he got burned a few times this year, but I watched him make some solid plays too. He's a guy I would keep around at least another year to see if he develops. His contract is minimal as well.

Safeties: Again, this collection of "talent" is the worst in the league at that position. Bowen is not fast enough, takes bad angles, has poor cover skills, and makes almost no plays. In short, he should be a special teamer ONLY. Iffy has better cover skills, and a nose for the football, but he too is not fast enough, and is a poor tackler in the position where a big hitter is usually the starter. i don't think Iffy would start on any other team in the NFL. Franz is a better tackler than either Bowen or Iffy, but is not fast enough, again. Terrell has decent physical tools, but always seems to make bone headed errors. This position may be a weak as D-line on this team.

Special teams:

Kicker: Hall is good. He's not great, there's a handful of guys in the league I'd trade him for, but he's a good solid kicker, and better than anything the Skins have had for years.

Punter: Worst in the league, two years running. 'Nuff said.

The Skins have also not had a BIG special teams performer the past couple years, since Kato Serwanga left. Those kind of guys are invaluable, and can set the tone for the team. The Carolina Panthers are a great example of this with Rod "He Hate Me" Smart and Jarrod Cooper. Two guys who lay it on the table every chance they get.

My summary is that the Skins have a core of solid players in Ramsey, Coles, Arrington, Thomas, Samuels, Bailey, Smoot, and Hall, but the remainder of the team is woefully deficient. They possibly have the worst collection of talent in the NFL at tight end, safety, defensive line, and punter. That's a lot! To say this team has loads of talent, IMO, is just plain wrong. Hopefully, Gibbs and the FO can fix some of this in the offseason, but I still think the Skins will enter 2004 with the least talent of the four NFC East teams.

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I'm just curious how many here played football at some level higher than high school?

In all the years I played, I never saw a coach make one block, tackle, or TD. Never saw him throw, catch, or defend a pass.

Sure, some coaches have problems, but it's been my experience that many of those are due to being unable to motivate players, or get them in the right position to make plays.

Coaches coach. Players make plays. In my years, my teams rarely, if ever, lost to teams with inferior talent.

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Wow. I disagree on so many fronts.

We are as deep at WR as any team in the league. Not only is Coles a top 5 WR, an unrealized Gardner is still a very solid #2 and McCants is better than you say. I agree that Jacobs is an unknown, but I don't see any reason for pessimism.

At QB, we have a star-in-the-making. A fabulous arm, real smart, tough, fabulous technique. Now playing for one the great coaches in the history of the game. We need a veteran backup, but we're stocked here.

RB, I agree.

TE, I agree, although not with your hyperbole. Many teams lack talent here. We're one Kleinsasser away from being in good shape here.

O-line, we're as talented as any team in the league, especially now that Samuels will not be permitted to arrive at camp in anything less than excellent shape. Center is our weak point, but hardly in a disasterous way. I thought Friedman, while a little small, played well.

D-line is the disaster area. Total agreement.

LBs are very solid. Trotter may not fit our new system, but I thought he played pretty well in the 2nd half of last year -- and this after coming off of a serious knee injury the year before. Arrington is one of the top outside backers in the league and I'm one of those who thought Armstead had a very consistent year. He was good and seemed prepared at all times.

CBs are gold standard (assuming we re-sign Champ) and S is adequate. If Bowen would actually use his arms to tackle more often, he'd be better.

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Good write-up.

Here's where I disagree:

What you see as a lack of talent with these players, I see as a lack of coaching.

Case in point: Jacobs. As you said, What the hell happened with him? The answer is simple: poor coaching has not yet developed him into the NFL game. There is no doubt that through college, he has some raw talent there. He never made this trnasiction because he never had the right coaches with him.

I also attrubute Betts' inability to develop to poor coaching. He's been inable to really show durability and displays below-par RB skills, such as blocking, etc. Notice how the two years he's been in the league, Spurrier has been controlling his development.

But, good points w/ the TEs, and DL. Agree there.

I can't agree with wanted Armstead out of the equation. Maybe he has lost a step, but his strength is just that: he can bring veteran leadership to an otherwise young defensive unit. Trotter, although a bit expensive, will flourish w/ a great DC. I believe he began the process under Lewis, but was set back w/ his knee injury. LaVar is another case in point- he simply needs direction. Literally. Give him a good DC for more than one season, and he'll be the best in the league.

To reiterate, I strongly believe most of these players' true potential has yet to be groomed. If these players that are on the brink of mediocrity simply commit to working hard in Gibbs' system, we will see improvement beyond what we can express. It all comes down to their drive. That will be the determining factor.

But...I think this team does, indeed, have a great deal olf talent. They just needed coach that can coach. And by God, they got one!!!

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I agree 100% with your evaluation. Glad you took the time to type it up and not me. :)

This is the era of parity, Look at Dallas and Carolina, how many holes do they have? Yet they made the playoffs because of solid schemes and coaching. That's why we have a chance next year with this regime. Sure we'll still have holes but so does everyone else. I think THIS year we will do everything we can to address each and every need as opposed to last year in which we knew we had weaknesses.

Cerrato said last year that he wanted a safety and the 'plan' was to make a run this year and fill the hole under Spurrier. I think our FO has learned that hole get exploited and that's why we will try to upgrade any weakness. We've already read reports that we will be making a lot of moves this year so why would we expect less.

Don't worry we're in good hands now. We will have 'enough' talent.

yes I'm up to 0.83 posts per day now.... :rolleyes:

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bah humbug with that post. I DO think we have thats of talent, they just need the initiative, drive and coaching to bring it out. I HATE when people start busting on our redskins. YOU ARE NOT TRUE FANS!!! As I have said before you can have the biggest and best army in the world, but without a good general, it gets you NOWHERE. I think you will start re-claiming some of your sayings when gibbs turns attitudes and competitiveness around for this team.

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As to the argument that the Cowboys have less or equal talent, I'd say:

I would take their receiving corps over Skins.

I would take their TE over Skins.

RBs is a wash, but Hambrick played every game.

Ramsey over QC, no doubt, but again Quincy stayed healthy.

Skins offensive line slightly over the Cowboys.

Cowboys D-line by miles over Skins.

LBs a wash. Speed vs size.

Skins CBs over Boys. Newman is gonna be a good one unfortunately.

Cowboys safeties over Skins, easy.

Special teams are a wash.

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you play only as good as you practice, if you screw around in practice you will screw around on game day. if your preperation is half a$$ed during the week your team will look ill prepared on game day. Everything a football team does is a direct reflection on its coaching staff. There is some dead weight on this squad but, it will be thinned out between now and training camp, players who want to play will be here those that don't wont. there are players on this team with potential and this coaching staff will instill discipline, pride and a winnig attitude back into this organization. The positions we have talent at will blosom and those where we are lacking it will be brought in. The start of the 2004 season is the start of BRAVES ON THE WARPATH

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I call nonsense on your post about Arrington. Then what is more laughable is you brought Urlacher into the discussion?

LOL I've read Bears posts, and while they say he is a good to great player, he gets blown off the ball by blockers far too often. This year he was not a playmaker and yeah, you can blame it on his line, but the same could be said for our players. Our line was WORSE!

Urlacher is not on arrington's level. Yeah at first, but now they make the same mistakes and Urlacher and Arrington are more spectacular than they are steady and great.

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Originally posted by riggo-toni

Next to Samuels, Lavar maybe the most over-rated of the bunch; yet you yourself fall prey to the "talent hype" and go to great lengths defending him....

Arrington has tremendous physical skills, but is not in the same league as guys like Lewis, Brooks, Urlacher, etc.

Urlacher? You have got to be joking, he is a newer Jerry Cooney. When LaVar gets situated with a coach a good coach that will teach him Arrington destroy's Urlacher, he pretty much does already. Also I tend to disagree with the original poster, the talent is there but the coaching WASN'T! period this same exact squad coached by Gibbs and company would produce at least an 10 -6 record. Shore up the trouble spots 1 DT 1 DE and RB we go to 13 wins easy.

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Fact: This team has as much talent as several of the 2003 playoff teams.

Teams the Redskins have as much or more talent than:

Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos.

The talent level of this team is not great, but it's more than adequate. What has been missing over the last four years is a competent coaching staff.

As soon as this team is coached properly and put into the position that best suits their abilities, this team will look VERY talented.

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We have more talent then any team in the NFC East and maybe the whole NFC!

I live in Packer country and I here there fans telling me all the time damn with all that talent why can't you guys win?

My answer has to always go back to coaching! That is the only thing these team truly has lacked in the last 10 years.

Now that Gibbs is back he will show us what kind of talent we really have.

QB Patrick Ramsey vs.

K.Collins/Q.Carter/D.McNabb; McNabb is the only one I would give the advantage to over Ramsey

WR Coles and Gardner vs Galloway/Glenn;Pinkston/Thrash;Toomer/Hilliard?

I think we have the Advantage!

HB to be announced?

I really can't see us with any of our backs being the starter next season!

TE to be announced?

Tackle combo: Jansen/Samuels

Petitgout/Ian Allen;Adams Flozell/Vollers Kurt;Thomas Tra/RUNYAN Jon.......I think between us and the Eagles on this one.

Guard Combo:Thomas/Dockery

David Diehl/Seubert Rich;Larry Allen/Andre Gurode;John Welbourn/Bobbie Williams......I really have to give us the edge given Larry Allen is hype because of name this season he was hurt alot. Thomas should have been starting in the Pro Bowl.

Center: Lennie Friedman

Fraley Hank/Lehr Matt/Bober Chris

Hard call on this one? I know center is important but they are one of the hardest to evaluate.

As for defense alot might change in the offseason but linebackers we have to be up there as a whole.

D-Line ours sucked but things will change. Secondary one of the best in the league with Smoot and Bailey at corner. Likely upgrade at saftey in the offseason.

Kicker rocks-Punter socks

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Cleotis da Clown I agree. The problem was lack of discpline enforcement by the caoches, which led to slacking in practice, which led to crappy play on game day. One good example, was after one of the games, spurrier got pissed and told everyone next practice was full pads - not one player listened. What does that tell ya? That WILL NOT happen under Gibbs or you are out THAT DAY.

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We have better talent than the 5-11 record that we just witnessed this year. I guarentee that with Parcells in charge for us we would have made the playoffs this year with this year's talent. The issue was with coaching or the lack of. It is really embarrassing when coaches, ie Edwards, plays the same defense over and over that doesn't work.

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The only place that our overall talent rates as poor is TE, RB, D-line and safety. And what's funny is that our d-line really only needs a playmaker to get out of that classification. We have strong talent at WR, O-line, LB and CB, and we have 2-3 elite players in Bailey, Lavar and (arguably) Coles. Very few teams can claim that.

Tennessee, for example has only one elite player on the entire team in McNair; and I'd argue that New England has no elite players. The fact is that we're average to above average in talent, and we've managed to get less from more than most teams in the league. We're far better than 5-11 in terms of our talent.

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