What's this? What's this? Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will be profiled on TV? Tonight? Our Dan Snyder?
Yup. Our Danny Snyder.
Dan Steinberg previewed tonight's 12-minute profile of Snyder on ESPN's video magazine E:60. The interview occurs in Snyder's Potomac, Maryland, home and will feature Redskins artifacts one might find in any fan's home, only nicer and more of them.
Snyder reached a low point last season along with the fortunes of the Redskins. His two-pronged response was to flush team management for better people and to flush his old handlers for competent public relations.
That Papa John commercial shows a smiling, friendly Daniel Snyder. The NFL Gear shows Snyder to be just one of the guys...in trouble with his woman like the rest of us. Snyder shows a flair for commercials. He should work on that. By the way, I'm sure that's Tanya (Mrs. Daniel) Snyder sitting with the man in that NFL Gear commercial.
I've been as critical of Snyder as anyone has. More so last year when his failings as an executive leader did the most damage to the Redskins. In any business, leadership counts most when the group is in crises. The Redskins lost the season before it began.
Snyder's initiative was to be expected. Wyllie has shown as much shrewdness on the p.r. front as Mike Shanahan has on the football side of the house.
The show comes at a good time, after a big win over the Eagles. More wins will help. So will a more accessible owner. Jerry Jones is as controversial as Snyder is. Where Jones is out front and accountable to Cowboys fans for his decisions, Snyder has been reclusive. That's only hurts Snyder.
Fans were prepared to think that an organizational mess was the source of last season's ticket scandal. That's when Snyder should have come forward to say that shouldn't have happened and I'm going to fix it. Instead, he sent the team's lawyer. Everything went downhill from there.
Daniel Snyder does not own the Redskins. He owns the franchise rights to sell us Redskins stuff. He's not dealing with customer loyalty. He's messing with fan allegiance. That makes him a semi-public official. He's accountable. Owning the franchise does not convey a right to mismanage the team. That applies to every owner of all old-line sports team embedded in their community's DNA.
The road to recovery for Snyder and the Redskins may be the story of the year.
"E:60" airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN from October 5 through November 9, 2010.
Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis issued his own injury report on 106.7 The Fan sports talk radio yesterday when he said his groin injury could keep him out of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.
Portis suffered the injury in Washington's 17-12 upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles. He left that game in the third quarter, but returned in the fourth for one play. Ryan RB Torain, who had been splitting carries with Portis, finished the second half. Torain had 70 yards on 18 carries and he scored a first quarter touchdown.
Portis is waiting for the results of the MRI examination from Monday. Player announcements are not official. Head coach Mike Shanahan likes to play these things close to the vest, so he might whisper something to Portis about too much information. Shanahan would like opponents to have as little information as possible about the condition of the team.
If he should miss the Packers game, Portis still expects a fast recovery.
“Being the condition that I’m in, I think my recovery will be fast,” Portis said. “I look to whenever I can help this team again.”
Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy Updates
Michael Vick told The Bruce Smith Show on WXTG Radio 102.1 in Norfolk, Virginia, that he suffered a torn cartilage and "a small fracture" in his chest in Sunday's game against the Redskins. He hopes to be out one to two weeks "hopefully." Eagles head coach Andy Reid called Vick "day to day." (You can always believe what a head coach says about his players.) And yes, "Bruce Smith" is that Bruce Smith, former Bills, former Redskins Hall Of Famer.
Though Vick missed most of the Redskins game, he remains the NFL's No. 3 quarterback with a 108.8 QB rating.
LeSean McCoy played the entire game against the Redskins even with a fractured rib suffered at some point in the contest. McCoy finished with 174 yards of total offense. Iron man. The Eagles weren't sure of his status for their game against the San Francisco 49ers.
All that hype about McNabb vs. Vick when the Washington Redskins visited the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday was just to sell tickets. Quarterbacksdon't face against each other. They face defenses.
Sunday's more cogent contest was Daniel Snyder vs. Andy Reid. Snyder and Reid follow opposite paths to build a football roster. Both made significant changes to their rosters this year. Both followed their unique approach. The finished products were both on display at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday.
By coincidence, both men rose to their position in 1999 when Reid was named Eagles head coach and Snyder bought the Redskins.
Daniel Snyder: Acquire players, max the cap, win now
Snyder's methods are well known, to the disgust of Redskins fans. Mike Shanahan polishes Washington's tarnished brand. When Snyder finally relented on hiring a competent general manager, he signed another famous name, (Bruce) "Allen," son of legendary Redskins head coach George Allen and brother of former U.S. Senator and Virginia governor George Allen.
Shanahan brought in big-name quarterback Donovan McNabb and opened training camp with big-name free-agent running backs Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, big-name cast-off tackle Jammal Brown and ageless free agent wide receiver Joey Galloway. Shanahan contended with holdover big name defensive end Albert Haynesworth through the summer.
It's Snyder's style to sign marquee coaches (not counting Jim Zorn) and "known quantity" veteran players whose Redskins contract exceeds their performance. Cope with the disparity by finessing the salary cap to push excess earnings to future years. The Redskins always max the salary cap. There's never room to write off an unproductive player's contract in the year he leaves the team.
The Redskins released Brandon Lloyd in 2008, for example; yet he counted as $5.5 million on the Redskins payroll in 2009. Washington needed a productive receiver and offensive line depth last year, but could not acquire them because Lloyd was still on the payroll.
The Redskins are the best team in football on the first day of free agency
It escapes Snyder's that player performance does not transfer to Washington when the team uses that player differently. Albert Haynesworth is only the latest example. Add Jason Taylor, T.J. Duckett, Adam Archuleta, Clinton Portis and Antwaan Randle El to that list.
Taylor was not wanted by then defensive coordinator Greg Blache who was not asked, or was ignored, about trading for Taylor. Blache never moderated his defensive scheme to exploit Taylor's skills as a pass rusher.
Cleverness with the salary cap is a technique. It is not a strategic competitive advantage. Matching players to the system is the strategic skill. That's the skill mastered by Baltimore's Ozzie Newsome, New England's Bill Belichick and Andy Reid in Philadelphia.
The Snyderskins made a game of finessing the salary cap rather than use it to impose self-discipline in acquiring players. Philadelphia never does that.
Andy Reid: Cycle players, conserve the cap, and build for today and tomorrow
The Eagles' approach under Reid couldn't be more different from Snyder's. They trade players for draft picks, and then use those picks to restock the team.Philadelphia had 13 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, including the second round pick acquired from Washington for Donovan McNabb. The Redskins had six picks and are looking at four in the 2011 Draft.
Why on Earth would the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb?
Because he is in the last year of his contract. McNabb is an elite quarterback who projects to have fewer productive years left in his career than the life of his next contract.
McNabb will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He will still be an upper-tier quarterback. Demand for his services will be high. So will be the dollars needed to keep him. The Eagles might have franchised McNabb for 2011. However, that move would lock them into high dollar contract and lock the first round draft pick other teams must offer them for McNabb.
McNabb is good, but not that good. So why not use him to cripple the division rival most inept at managing the cap? Daniel Snyder just loves to negotiate headline deals with headline players.
I doubt Reid's thinking went that far, but the effect is the same. The Redskins have to negotiate a new contract with McNabb without knowing what the next salary cap will look like. Two of Washington's draft picks will be used to rebuild the Eagles.
If Reid had his druthers, he would have preferred to keep McNabb for one more year. The clock in McNabb's contract did not allow for that. McNabb had to be moved now.
Recycle and renew
That's the Eagles' style. McNabb is the latest of a long list of Eagles players pushed off the bus while they had trade value. Others include Duce Staley, Brian Dawkins, Jeremiah Trotter, Troy Vincent and Brian Westbrook. (How interesting that McNabb is here, Trotter and Vincent were here and the Skins tried to woo Westbrook here.)
The Eagles used Washington's second round pick on safety Nate Allen to backfill Brian Dawkins who was released in 2009. Philadelphia does not expect Allen in his rookie year to match Dawkins' performance. However, they think they have the long-term solution for safety.
The Eagles eschew big name free agent signings. Javon Kearse never matched his Titans performance. We won't bring up Terrell Owens, even though Owens was the last piece the Eagles needed to make the Super Bowl.
If there were a 2010 salary cap, the Eagles would be $16 million under it. That's unheard of in Washington. To Snyder, cap surplus means you aren't trying hard enough to win.
By happenstance, both teams are undergoing significant change this year. The Redskins feature another team's cast-off quarterback with aging players at running back and wide receiver with a big name head coach and defensive coordinator. Mike Shanahan is limited in building through the draft unless he can trade Albert Haynesworth or Devin Thomas for something. This is the last ride of the trade/free-agent players acquired by Joe Gibbs and Vinny Cerrato. That group has to play like there is no tomorrow. They have to win now.
Philadelphia's young players might be the most dynamic offense in the NFC East. They'll be intact for a playoff run this year and next and the year after.
We don't know which method will be more successful going forward. Reid's approach worked best in the past. The harder Snyder tried to win now, the further he got from a title. Reid has chalked up 110 wins, seven division titles, one conference title and a Super Bowl appearance. Spoiled Eagles fans are not satisfied with that, but it sure looks like up to me.
Point after: ESPN's NFC East blogger Matt Moseley pointed to a story Peter King story that says the Redskins want to get away from the quick fix mentality that has plagued the team in Snyder's reign. King says that's why Vincent Jackson isn't a Redskin today in spite of Washington's desperate need for wide receivers.
Ex-Redskin of the Week: Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos
Brandon Lloyd? BLloyd? The guy who left us wondering what ever happened to Rod Gardner? Yes, that Brandon Lloyd.
Without fanfare, Lloyd emerged as the NFL's No. 2 wide receiver after four games with 454 yards on 25 receptions. Lloyd is just a shade behind the Colts' Reggie Wayne with 456 yards. Wayne needed 33 receptions to eclipse Lloyd who is averaging 18.2 yards-per-catch and 113.5 yards per game to become Denver's leading receiver. Lloyd caught for 117 yards for all of 2009.
As you might expect, Denver's Kyle Orton is the league's leading quarterback with 1,419 yards already. Lloyd worked with aging Mark Brunell and raw Jason Campbell during his stay in Washington, called "the lost years" by both Lloyd and Skins fans.
We don't want to begrudge Lloyd his success. Things have a way of leveling out, especially when speaking of Brandon Lloyd. Denver faces the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday.
Ex-Redskin of the Weak: Todd Collins, QB, Chicago Bears
I didn't know that Todd Collins was still in football. After Sunday night, Collins must be wondering why he is still in football.
Collins stepped in for Chicago Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler in the second half of the Sunday Night Football game between the Bears and the New York Giants. Cutler would leave the game with a concussion after the Giants sacked him nine times. Collins would be knocked from the game, too, in the fourth quarter. He completed four of 11 passes for 36 yards and an interception.
The Black and Blue division meets east coast smashmouth. For one night, smashmouth won.
The Redskins visit Chicago October 24 and visit the Giants December 5.
It turns out that the best defense against Michael Vick is to knock him out of the game. Vick left in the first quarter of the Washington Redskins-Philadelphia Eagles contest after being crunched by CB DeAngelo Hall and Kareem Moore.
Vick's injury came after a 23-yard scamper to the Redskins one-yard line. It was vintage Vick. His elusiveness still strikes fear whenever he plays. But this time, a holding call wiped out a game changing play. The penalty reset the Eagles down and distance to third down-16 yards on Washington's 34 with the birds down by 14.
The Eagles could do no better than a David Akers field goal. It was not enough to change the course of the game.
Worse was the first-quarter loss of Vick. He was diagnosed with a chest and rib injury. A X-ray was negative, but he is scheduled for a MRI on Monday. He looked to me to have injured his collar bone. If that's the case, Vick will be out for some time.
Kevin Kolb replaced Vick and he played like a guy shaking off rust. He mistimed his throws. His aim was awry. His receivers looked lost.
The technical term is "off." Used in a sentence: the passing game is....
It was a nice turn for the Redskins who a week ago spotted the Rams 14 points, then failed to over-come it.
I compliment the Eagles fans who offered a standing ovation to Donovan McNabb at the introduction. Nice touch, Iggles fans. Rare, but appreciated.
McNabb's Philadelphia reception was all the hype in the lead up to the game. Eagles fans attending the 1999 NFL Draft famously booed McNabb's selection. They wanted Ricky Williams. (Fans, don't try the NFL Draft at home. Leave it to the professionals.)
News that the Eagles traded McNabb to the Redskins unleashed an unseemly celebration at the WIP studio in Philadelphia, along with disparaging comments about McNabb and the Redskins.
It might be fun to listen to the fans on Monday's WIP call-in show. Through the magic of the Internet, you can listen to the audio stream here.
For Donovan McNabb, you can't go home again. No one in Philly will agree with him that the Eagles made a mistake by trading him. Andy Reid has taken responsibility. Fans will point to players and play-calling. They will lament the loss of the quarterback whose skills most nearly match McNabb's. They will wonder if Vick is as injury-prone as McNabb supposedly is and if his character is as high as McNabb's definitely is. They will say everything but "wish he were here."
The Washington Redskins re-signed wide receiver Brandon Banks to the roster this afternoon. The team released running back Keiland Williams to make room.
Mike Shanahan continues to tinker with the roster. It's interesting that he added a wide receiver, the shakiest group on offense. Banks, 5-7 and 150 pounds, caught eight passes for 129 yards during preseason. He averaged 15.4 yards per punt return.
Williams appeared in three games this season and seemed to be a receiving option out of the backfield. He caught six passes for 29 yards.
Matt Moseley, the NFC East blogger for ESPN.com has a hunch that Michael Vick will struggle against the Washington Redskins this Sunday. Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles fans might have a hard time buying that after watching the Skins stumble against Sam Bradford and the Rams last Sunday.
Moseley says the Redskins will force Vick to scramble. That sounds like a bad idea to me. Vick is at his most dangerous when he's running. Here's how Moseley described in his Final Word post Washington's approach to defending Vick:
"I think [Jim Haslett] will have a defensive back spying on Vick at all times. He has told his players to get their hands up earlier than usual in an attempt to disrupt Vick's rhythm. The Eagles' quarterback looked brilliant against the Lions and Jaguars, but those teams did a poor job containing him. The Redskins will try to lure Vick into throwing the ball across his body. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall played with Vick for several years, so he knows a lot of his tendencies. Look for outside linebacker Brian Orakpo to play a different style in this game. He can't race up the field. Instead, he'll hold the edge and try to force Vick the other direction."
The Redskins faced Vick only once, in December 2006. The Atlanta Falcons snapped a four game losing streak by beating the reeling Redskins 24-14 at FedEx Field. The Redskins won the prior meeting against Atlanta 33-31 in the 2003 season. Doug Johnson started at quarterback for injured Vick. (T.J. Duckett made a particularly strong impression on the Redskins front office in that game. But, I digress.) Matt Ryan was Atlanta's quarterback when the teams met in 2009, a 31-17 win for Atlanta.
Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was head coach of Falcons rival the New Orleans Saints for six seasons. He is very familiar with Vick. Haslett is 4-6 against Atlanta when Vick was the starter for Atlanta.
Donovan McNabb is familiar with Vick. McNabb tried to recruit Vick to Syracuse out of high school and supported, perhaps lobbied, adding Vick to the Eagles roster. The Eagles traded McNabb to Washington when they figured they were set at quarterback with Kevin Kolb and Vick. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.