Figure It Out ……………

Figure It Out ……………

Well Monday Night Football brings us a conference and divisional —— matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins . For these two NFC East teams comes the first of two divisional games where the duo will look for dominance between both parties. Mike Shanahan as coach of this Redskins’ team is off a 2-0 start and one of the surprises of the season , albeit that the schedule is in its infancy. The Redskins’ coach seems to have this team playing with a great deal of resilience with the offense seem to be leading the way with the play of incumbent quarterback Rex Grossman taking the helm and leading by example .

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From my own standpoint this game should prove to be something of an eye opener as to the ambitions of both teams. Cowboys Stadium will play host to these two divisional rivals with team owner Jerry Jones still singing the praises of his $1.3 billion homage to ostentatious opulence , albeit that the Cowboys simply have struggled in the early part of their schedule , having lost a winnable game to the New York Jets inexplicably. For some reason Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo would like to have us believe that he should be seen as one of the elite players at the position within the league but fortunately for many of us we know that’s simply not true . And for the ever consuming idiot analysts within ESPN who continue to drool over the player’s alleged abilities my question for them is when will they simply wake up to the fact that Tony Romo is not an exceptional talent ? He may well be statistically the second most successful quarterback in the franchise’s history sitting behind Hall of Famer Roger Staubach . But that counts for nothing when you have yet to lead the Dallas Cowboys to successful run in the NFL postseason and therein lies the dilemma facing the Cowboys’ organization .

For Jones’ counterpart there’s the equally ambitious Dan Snyder whose millions seems to be limitless when it comes to spending money needlessly on overpriced talent . The Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb experiments were a case in point where neither player were at all productive for the team last season .

Both the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins garnered themselves some highly regarded talent in this past NFL Draft and it seems to have paid dividends for the Cowboys and Redskins as both seek to complement their respective rosters. Jason Garrett having succeeded his predecessor Wade Phillips seems to have the Dallas Cowboys playing with a great deal of confidence but as I alluded to before the Achilles’ Heel for this team just happens to be Tony Romo.

Now while Romo has a litany of offensive weapons at his disposal with the likes of Dez Bryant , Miles Austin , Jason Witten , Felix Jones , DeMarco Murray and Tashard Choice the real problem has been the inconsistency of the Dallas Cowboys to close out a game decisively . If they are to succeed then it will be incumbent of Jason Garrett and the coaching staff to emphasize that to his players.

With what appears to be a renewed belief amongst the Washington Redskins’ fans as well as the front office of the organization it would appear that Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff led by his son Kyle Shanahan has this team playing with a great deal of resolve . Given the mindset of Dan Snyder and the very fact that he’s a mirror image of Monday night counterpart without the title of general manager . As much as Jones and Snyder are viewed as two of the more high profiled owners within the league it has been their mere presence with interjecting themselves in the day to day affairs of the respective franchises that they own which has led to the ongoing lack of success for both teams over the last decade. Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder may feel that as owners it is their right to dictate the terms under which their teams operate and what they expect their coaches to do . Unfortunately for both success has been fleeting and it would appear that both Jason Garrett and Mike Shanahan are in for an uphill battle if they are to succeed for their respective franchises.

Results they say can be misleading given the premise of the schedules set by the league . But I would susgest it all comes down to how the teams prepare themselves leading up to gameday . And clearly this seems to have worked out and favored the Washington Redskins but I would suggest that their season while in its infancy has yet to convince me that this team is capable of being considered a legitimate contender within the NFC for the Superbowl .

Rex Grossman for his part has shown why he was preferred over counterpart John Beck . And as good as both appear to be for this team it would very well lead to the Redskins struggling for much of the season . The long held belief that the game has passed Mike Shanahan by may well have been justified but that now seems to give us a moment to rethink mindset.

Monday night’s game could provide us with several clues as to the aspiration and direction of the Cowboys and Redskins . Both are proving that on both sides of the ball they are capable of showing playing at a reasonably high level . I am not convince that either the Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins are truly capable of being considered amongst the very best that the NFC has to offer by way of being the best teams the conference has offer much less win the Superbowl.

The NFL season while still in its infancy won’t give us a a clear indication as to an outright favorite as of yet but by week 9 or 10 we should be getting a much clear indication as to what lies ahead for the real contenders as they look to separate themselves from the pretenders . As to the coaches on the perceived ” hot seat “ we may well see a casualty . My own thought as to who are the likely candidates ………….. well you can count Norv Turner , Chan Gailey , Tony Sparano , Jack Del Rio and Tom Coughlin should he not be able to corral the New York Giants ——– lead them to at least the divisional round of the playoffs . Anything less , and I believe that the coach’s tenure in New York with this franchise will come to an abrupt end !

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What if anything has come as a complete surprise to you as the NFL embarks upon another season ? And do you believe that either the Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins are viable contenders within the NFC for the Superbowl ? Simply chime in with a thought as to this piece and anything else you believe to be pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The Cowboys won the game in overtime 27-24 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ….

(2) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace (97) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez ……

(3) Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan watches the action in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. Washington won 22-21. AP Photo/Nick Wass ……

(4) Quarterback Rex Grossman (8) of the Washington Redskins hands the ball off to running back Tim Hightower (25) during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at FedExField on September 18, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(5) Two of the NFL’s more high profiled owners seen here at Fedex Field in Landover , Maryland . Dan Snyder (left) owner of the Washington Redskins is seen here with his Dallas Cowboys counterpart Jerry Jones prior to a game between their respective teams . Getty Images / Harry How …………….

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It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up !

It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up !

Well the furor over the latest shenanigans of the Miami Hurricanes’ program carries on unabated and that’s largely in part to the claims now being made by incarcerated felon Nevin Shapiro . University President Donna Shalala along with AD Shawn Eichorst and senior compliance officer David Reed all now seem to be a loss to explain what went wrong on the campus of the school during their tenure. I would suggest that there has been an environment of calculated misdeed that has been ingrained within this university for the better part of two decades ! And at no time has anyone within the athletics department faculty governing the program has seen to address this matter and stem the tide of malfeasance . So on goes this saga as Shapiro makes his claims that now have embroiled current and former players of the school’s football and basketball programs .

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As things now stand I certainly would like to see what the outcome will be after the findings of the NCAA’s now five month ongoing investigation. Mark Emmert has seen fit to have legal counsel undertake this exercise on the collegiate body’s behalf . At some time the NCAA will have to take a stance and make an example of the university, very much in the same as they had previously done with the SMU Mustangs over two decades ago.

It certainly will interesting to see if Paul Dee as chairman of the NCAA’s Infractions Committee will recuse himself from any deliberation , as it relates to the University of Miami when it comes to a decision as to what form of punishment will be levied against the school. Dee served as a former AD of the program and to my mind it would be seen as a conflict of interest , albeit that his tenure ended with the school over ten years ago . Pat Haden currently serving as the athletics director of USC would certainly have a valid claim were Paul Dee seen to be part of any discussion concerning what form of punishment if any is levied against the Canes. As chairman of the Infractions Committee he played his part in making sure that the punishment meted out to USC was severe , with the loss of multiple scholarships, postseason play in any football games or for that matter BCS sanctioned games . One cannot deny that the athletics director of USC would have a valid argument against Dee presiding over the deliberations as it relates to Miami but this is simply what we have now come to expect from the NCAA ! As the governing body of collegiate athletics this institution is simply bereft of any intelligence much less integrity to begin with. Much of this came into being long before succeeded his predecessor Myles Brand as the body was thought of as corrupt and open to any form surreptitious activity just as long as they were able to profit from those actions financially .

Did I miss something but overnight , did the sky suddenly turn a different shade of blue ? Suddenly the whole baseball world is awry as the game’s first player has tested positive for HGH . Minor league player Mike Jacobs has become the first North American athlete to test ” positive” for the steroid and it certainly doesn’t bode well for the claims now being made by the league and in particular Bud Selig ——— that baseball (MLB) has the most stringent drug testing policy in all of professional sports . Unfortunately, the game simply doesn’t test the players playing at the major league level , where the union’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits such testing but allows for it at the minor league level , ostensibly because of the power of the MLBPA (union).

Rob Manfred states that can foresee the day where the players at the major league level will be tested for steroids then quite possibly someone has failed to pass on that information to Michael Weiner and his members of the MLBPA . Given the fact that the league hierarchy has simply been powerless to even have the temerity to truly discuss the matter in depth with the union they have chosen instead to cower like a child in the corner that has been rebuked simply for doing nothing at all. Bud Selig is ” spineless” and it speaks to his incessant stupidity as the baseball commissioner ! And all this for an executive who’s compensated with an extremely exorbitant salary if the rumors are to be believed . It is said that Selig’s salary for the fiscal year ending 2010 hit $20 million . Given the team salary of the New York Yankees , that wage would place Bud Selig alongside Mark Teixiera , CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez and most certainly in line with the 15 highest paid players in the league .

If Bud Selig cares as much as for the game of as much he invokes the names of Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson , Hank Aaron , Willie Mays , Lou Gehrig and Sandy Koufax in the way that he has done . I certainly believe that the commissioner has simply been about creating sound bytes, merely for the sake of making them because he believes it is in fact what the fans would like to hear ! His actions hasn’t simply borne out what he aspires to see for the game .

Certainly if baseball wants to remain resonant amongst the fans then issues such as steroids and how best to deal with having a policy that is fair and seen as equitable in the eyes of the fans rather than the idiocy that we are now seeing . It is time now for the league hierarchy along with the team owners and the union to seek a remedy where there is some consistency as to how MLB addresses the issue of steroids and its testing policy. Perhaps it is the frustration of the fans who have seen Alex Rodriguez , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire , Sammy Sosa , Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds simply evade the wrath of the league in spite of either the allegations , speculation or proven case where these players’ names have been closely associated with presumed steroid abuse and the inevitable “Mitchell Report” which simply cast an even bigger cloud over the game .

Even with the advent of causing his school complete embarrassment Terrelle Pryor is in for a rough start to his NFL career. At the insistence of commissioner Roger Goodell the player will have to forgo the first five games of the NFL regular season . With the ongoing investigation of the Ohio State program and that is even school president Dr E Gordon Gee and AD Gene Smith now feeling that this sordid affair is now behind them . The school’s former football coach Jim Tressel has relinquished his role riding off into the sunset but knowing whether or not he will be able to hold a similar post at some point in the future.

Pryor’s agent Drew Rosenhaus now has to impress upon any team willing to take a chance on the player that his problems are far behind him . With the NCAA ,themselves having imposed a five game suspension on the player after he was embroiled in numerous allegations that upon investigation had been verified and found to be true. In light of that showing, the player decided to forgo his junior season with Ohio State and making himself eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft . It is my belief that Rosenhaus will do utmost to sell his client as someone who’s capable of leading a team especially at the quarterback position . Pryor, himself , will have a hard time proving that he is the right man for the job. Quarterback’s taken in this past draft have found their way unto teams seeking either backups , starters or simply someone (third string) to carry the clipboard.

If Terrelle Pryor isn’t able to prove himself worthy enough of a starting position as a quarterback then there is always a possibility for the player to switch positions and become either a tight end or wide receiver . There’s an increasing belief that this may well be the best possible option for the player. Is Pryor good enough to have a successful career in the NFL ? Only time will tell but most definitely there is a great deal of intrigue being built up in anticipation to see how the player will fare. If he is unable to matriculate what was a moderately successful career at the collegiate level , step up within the NFL , then there’s every chance that Terrelle Pryor can become a star in the NFL .

Well now that Chad Ochocinco seems to have found a resting place for his languid career . I just hope that the player can live up to the claims that he’s a Canton bound future Hall of Famer ! Bill Belichick , his coaching staff and New England Patriots’ general manager Nick Caserio took a chance in acquiring the player via a trade from the Cincinnati Bengals . It certainly looks as if Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth another cast off who has joined the Patriots and found themselves welcomed , for both players this is their last chance at redemption.

In their first two preseason games of the New England Patriots seem to have hit their stride having not really lost a step from last season in spite of their postseason upset at the hands of the New York Jets .

Having decisively won the AFC East in 2010 with a 14-2 mark the letdown of that loss to the Jets remains fresh in the minds of the players , perhaps none more so than Tom Brady . The Superbowl winning MVP player knows that shocking loss and the fact that questions arose not simply about his play but the lack of heart from the team had many wondering if Brady’s heart was still in the game and not elsewhere . After-all , he’s now married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen , father of two children , has immeasurable wealth alongside Peyton Manning , the duo it has to be said are the ‘faces of the NFL’ .

Once again building through the draft and the acquisition of free agents seems to be the path that Bill Belichick seems to be taking . Complacency on the part of the team , the coach and his staff may well have the main reason behind the Patriots’ fall from grace last season. Certainly, this season the team will have to prove themselves worthy and in particular the new additions to the roster , notably Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth.

At some point during the season we well begin to discover what the New England Patriots will be about over the course of their schedule. Character , depth , heart and force are the traits I am hoping to see from the team ! A set-back for the organization and it’s once again back to drawing board , something I believe that neither Belichick or the members of the team will simply want . Their goal will be a berth in the Superbowl and the end scenario of this team raising the Lombardi Trophy .

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit on this topic and other salient points you feel pertinent .

Alan aka tophatal ……. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Shawn Eichorst the current athletics directors of the Miami Hurricanes . Only in his current position for a little over a year , he succeeded Kirby Hocutt who now holds a similar position with Texas Tech . Miami Herald / Hector Garcia ……

(2) David Reed compliance director for Miami Hurricanes’ athletics program . It would be an understatement to suggest that Reed has simply sat idly by as the program has slipped down the ladder further into an abyss of shrouded malfeasance and lack of oversight during his tenure . courtesy of University of Miami . ……

(3) Mike Jacobs, seen here at Rockies spring training in March, says he took HGH to treat knee and back problems . Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

(4) Bud Selig , Rob Manfred and former MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA are seen here being sworn in before giving testimony to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee up on Capitol Hill , Washington DC in 2008 . AP/Getty Images /Jamie Squires …….

(5) JEANNETTE, PA – AUGUST 12: Terrelle Pryor works out at a practice facility while quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson looks on on August 12, 2011 in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …….

(6) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) smiles as he talks to teammates Rob Gronkowski (87) and Sebastian Vollmer (76) in the huddle during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Buccaneers 31-14 AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……..

(7) New England Patriots’ Albert Haynesworth during NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass. Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ……….

(8) FOXBORO, MA – AUGUST 11: Chad Ochocinco (85) of the New England Patriots talks with teammate Tom Brady (12) in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 11, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The New England Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 47-12 . Photo by Elsa/Getty Images …….

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The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?

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Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .

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FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !

Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.

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Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !

Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !

The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.

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Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !

Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !

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In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……

(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
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Free Agency ……It’s Never Been That Simple

Free Agency ………It’s Never That Simple

It’s remarkable to see that the NFL is nothing more than a business driven machine. But herein lies the problem for many of its players. How do you explain to them that it’s never that simple to simply pursue the money instead of the greater glory of winning ? Far too often that at the height of a player’s career after achieving a modicum of success with one club , he’s then saying that he wants out unless he gets paid. We often hear ‘I’ve been disrespected ‘ !. Or for some reason when the player becomes either a restricted or unrestricted free agent that the contract negotiations begin with a club. There seem s to be an impasse reached between the two vested parties over money. The club is willing to pay but not overpay for that player’s services.

Seahawks'   wide  receiver   T J Houshmanzadeh   shows   off  his   new  jersey   replete  with  his   name  and   number.  Pity   however  the  player  has   yet  to  show  the  form  for  his  new  team  that  made   such  a  highly  sought  after   free  agent  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/  Kevin  P. Casey  .............

Seahawks’ wide receiver T. J Houshmanzadeh shows off his new jersey replete with his name and number.Pity however,the player has yet to show the form that made him such a highly sought after free agent. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Kevin P. Casey….

Fast forward and take a look at the situation that involved two of the most noted free agents to have hit the market within the NFL. First there was former Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver T.J Houshmanzadeh. A terrific player, who’d been productive with the Bengals and he alongside, Chad Ochocinco , were once viewed as one of the best receiving duos in the league. He simply made life easier for Bengals’ quarterback, Carson Palmer , with his electric speed , blocking ability and most exceptional were his catches and the yardage gained after the catch. Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis was visibly upset with the loss of the player ,when he left the team , to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.

Houshmanzadeh’s career seems to have taken a turn for the worse, as the Seahawks have tumbled out of relevance within the league. The excuses are made that the team declined with the injury bug that hit the roster , with the loss of quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck. Some have said that the departure of former coach, Mike Holmgren , upon his retirement -the team were never the same. Holmgren’s successor Jim Mora Jr. has seemingly been unable to maintain the success attained by Holmgren . And Houshmanzadeh ‘s play has just simply declined in the aftermath. While all of this has been happening , the Bengals as a team , is now on the rise. And the play of Palmer and Ochocinco has been exceptional. Marvin Lewis has the team playing with a great deal of passion and resolve . They’ve also become competitive within the AFC North and the NFL , as a whole.

For $ 100 million you’d be better bringing a lunch bucket to work , rather than a sandwich box. It’s simply amazing to hear of a player being paid such an excessive sum , only having simply produced , merely just one year’s body of work , having been in the league for a number of years going unnoticed.But simply put , the Washington Redskins have never been averse to overpaying for marginal talent. It’s been their coup de gras over the years. Think of it , as desiring a Maserati and you end up buying a hoopty. The Redskins sought and pursued former Tennessee Titans’ defensive player Albert Haynesworth with a great deal of zeal. Justified or not, the team to my mind had far greater needs in a variety of areas. And on another level , the team’s general manager, Vinny Cerrato at the behest of team owner , Daniel Snyder , simply has played fast and loose in spending money , on players who’ve never panned out with the Redskins. Just look down the list and it’s who’s of infamy- players who just haven’t lived up to the perceived hype about their abilities.

Haynesworth  seen  here  with   Redkins'  coach  Jim  Zorn

Haynesworth seen here with Redskins’ coach Jim Zorn just after formally agreeing to and signing a $100 million, 7 year contract offer with the team. Of which $45 million was in guaranteed money.Haynesworth’s form for the team has fallen far short of the contract’s worth. picture appears courtesy of getty images-north america/ Mitchell Layton…………

Haynesworth, having had a tremendous season with the Titans, was on the market as a free agent. And in essence, he was one of the most desirable of them all, out there. Far be it for me to suggest otherwise. But I do think that the play of Haynesworth’s former teammate , Kyle Van Den Bosch , played a great part in the player’s perceived importance and Albert’s belief in his own self worth. Haynesworth may well have been the fulcrum that held the team together . But to my mind Van Den Bosch played just as great a part in the team’s success last season under coach , Jeff Fisher and their 13-3 regular season of last year. Unfortunately, their loss in the playoffs was something of a surprise to many , who felt the team was destined for something better. But it wasn’t to be.

The Titans this season are (0-6) in the NFL ,soon to be quite possibly , (0-7) and further descending into depths of banality. But if anything , there’s more synergy and camaraderie within the Titans’ organization and the team’s respect for their coach.Their problem I believes is in the fact that the team’s quarterback ,Kerry Collins,has lost the confidence of his teammates and his leadership skills appears to be on the decline. As are Collins’ skills as a quarterback. Waiting in the wings, is said to be a rejuvenated Vince Young,who’s set to prove to the organization and its fans that he is the same player whose performance in the Texas Longhorns’ celebrated win over the USC Trojans, has been the highlight of his football career thus far. He’d like to show them that he’s regained that type of form. If Young can resurrect his career and play the Titans back into competitive contention. Then all will be forgiven in the eyes of many.

Haynesworth, for his part, now appears to be a character from the H G Welles’ classic novel ‘The Invisible Man’. If his name comes up any of the Redskins’ stats sheet, then can someone show it to me , please ! It was never about the money was it Albert ? Don’t bullshit me , please ! You say you wanted to play for a successful organization and build further upon their success ? What happened ? The fact of the matter is that the Washington Redskins under their coach, Jim Zorn ,have been totally abysmal . And the team and the organization has lost all confidence in the coaching abilities of Zorn. But what might be more damning ,may well be the fact of the lack of passion shown by the players on the field. Haynesworth ,quarterback, Jason Campbell are front and center. Obviously , they’re all are equally to blame for the abysmal showing of the team. There has no leadership shown from either and Zorn quite simply put, isn’t NFL coaching material. Plainly and simply, the organization has made another one of their several faux pas over the years. Think back to the Steve Spurrier era for the Redskins ? Was he bad or what ?

As I’ve alluded to earlier, it may well have not been about the money but simply wanting to build upon their legacy. But for Albert Haynesworth and T J Houshmanzadeh , the decision made to leave for pastures green, just hasn’t seemed to have worked out at all. It has been a complete and unadulterated mess for both. And it’s hard to see where both can go from here. Up you might say ? But that’d be predicated upon viewing both the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks getting a new lease on life and starting to win and perform better than they are now doing . And based on the evidence as the season has unfolded ,they appear to be a hell of a long way off from where they desire to be. Simply put ,Haynesworth and Houshmanzadeh made a decision about the careers that has been nothing short of being disastrous. Would you agree on that summation ?

DC ……BC ……There’s No Mistaking The Redskins Suck

The NFC East off all of the NFL divisions is said to be the most contentious and competitive. Within that division lies the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants , Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

Steven  Jackson  of  the  Rams   is   upended  during  the   game  played  against  the  Redskins   by DeAngelo  Hall.    The  game  itself   was  something  of   an  eyesore  as  a  spectacle  for  those   in  attendance at   Fedex  Field  in  Landover, Maryland.   The  game  was  won   by   the  Redskins   9-7  over  the    St  Louis  Rams.     picture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/  Rob  Carr  ......................
Steven Jackson of the Rams is upended during the game played against the Redskins by DeAngelo Hall. The game itself was something of an eyesore as a spectacle for those in attendance at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland. The game was won by the Redskins 9-7 over the St Louis Rams. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rob Carr ......................

With the installation of first time coach Jim Zorn , -it was felt that the franchise and team would settle back into some sort of normalcy. Normalcy with this franchise and with the arrival of owner, Daniel Snyder . In many respects , it has been very much like watching a speeding train ride just race ahead at full speed not knowing what lies ahead and the fact that rail tracks have become buckled. You know it’s going to careen and crash- laying almighty waste amongst the carnage that remains. It’s the only way that I for one can best describe the franchise , since the departure of Joe Gibbs and what essentially went on before his second tenure of the franchise he led so triumphantly to three Superbowl wins as an NFL coach.

Redskins'  defensive  lineman  Lorenzo Alexander  (79) and  teammate  defensive  end  Brian  Orakpo  watch   from  the  sidelines  at   Ford  Field ,  in  Detroit  as  their  team   goes  on  to   lose  19-14   to the  Detroit   Lions.    picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/   Carlos  Osorio  ...................
Redskins' defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander (79) and teammate defensive end Brian Orakpo watch from the sidelines at Ford Field , in Detroit as their team goes on to lose 19-14 to the Detroit Lions. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Carlos Osorio ...................

Well once again it’d appear that not all is right in Daniel’s world and the belief is that Zorn’s head could well be on the chopping block , if the team doesn’t fare well this season. And if the team’s present record (1-2-0) and performances are anything to go by. Then the Washington Redskins and their fans are in for a long and arduous season. Statistically also, the team leaves a great deal to be desired . And their lone victory this season came over the hapless St Louis Rams, 9-7 . A game for which it can be best described as atrocious in its execution , by both teams ! In actuality for the Rams , of whom it can be said ,they’d be hard pressed to even give a high school team a competitive game. Such, has been their travails to date.

Lions'  wide   receiver   Bryant   Johnson  is   tackled   by  the  Redskins'  defensive   player   Carlos   Rogers  .     The   Lions  would  go  on  to  defeat  the  Redskins  19-14   in   a  game  played  at   Ford   Field    in  Detroit   ,  Michigan.    picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Carlos   Osorio   ....................
Lions' wide receiver Bryant Johnson is tackled by the Redskins' defensive player Carlos Rogers . The Lions would go on to defeat the Redskins 19-14 in a game played at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Carlos Osorio ....................

What may well just be another pointer as to how badly the Redskins have fared. It is the fact that their $ 100 million man in Albert Haynesworth has , had about as much presence on this team. As a vegetarian would feel comfortable in a room filled with carnivores with an assortment of venison laid out for all to consume. Through three regular season games thus far , Haynesworth has bearly registered a blip on the radar screen , registering just 9 tackles and 1 sack through those games. For $100 million , I’m sure that the Redskins’ fans and the NFL as a whole, were expecting more from the player ! But Daniel Snyder , as we all know has never been scared to overpay for what he deems to a priceless trinket. In this case however, he’s overpaid for a dud !

A  forelorn   Redskins'  coach   Jim  Zorn   walks  the  sidelines  in  the   third  quarter  of  the  game  played   against  the  Detroit  Lions .       picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Paul  Sancya  ....................................
A forelorn Redskins' coach Jim Zorn walks the sidelines in the third quarter of the game played against the Detroit Lions . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Sancya ....................................

One may well point to the fact that there has been continuous upheaval with regard to the organization. From the management on down. But for the team’s much derided quarterback , Jason Campbell . He’s had to deal with more than most. Since his entrance into the NFL and with him being named the team’s starter at the position. He’s had to go through two coaches and at least seven different offensive coordinators in that time . And one wonders why there’s no cohesiveness and fluidity to Campbell’s game ? He’d have been better off doing the play calling himself , for all of the assistance he’s been given. We could also point to the fact , that even though it’s been said that Snyder has taken a hands off approach. You can’t help but feel that he’s got his finger on the pulse of almost everything that takes place within the locker room and with Zorn’s own strategies and training practice schedules.

Redskins'  wide  receiver   Santana  Moss (89) is  tackled  by  Lions'  defensive   players    safety ,  Louis  Delmas (26)  and   linebacker,  Larry   Foote (55)   during  the  game.    The  Lions  would   go  on to  defeat  the  Redskins   19-14  and   halt  their   19   game    regular  season  losing  streak.        picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Carlos   Osorio   .................................
Redskins' wide receiver Santana Moss (89) is tackled by Lions' defensive players safety , Louis Delmas (26) and linebacker, Larry Foote (55) during the game. The Lions would go on to defeat the Redskins 19-14 and halt their 19 game regular season losing streak. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Carlos Osorio .................................

And in terms of a respite , it’s hard to see where the Redskins’ next victory may well come from. They essentially played down to the level of the Detroit Lions in succumbing to a 19-14 loss at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan ,during week three. There the Lions were able to stop their run of 19 consecutive regular season game losses, with the defeat of the Redskins. And about the only bright spot for the NFC East team on the day , may well have been the play of Campbell , himself . And that of his wide receiver Santana Moss . The player had 9 receipts for a total of 175 yards , with a touchdown to show for his production on the day. For Jason Campbell it was his best production by far in terms of the season as it stood. His figures , 27/41, 340 yds, 2 TD’s , 1 INT.

Redskins'  defensive  tackle  Albert  Haynesworth   covers   his  face  while   being   taken  off  the   field   on  a  motorized  cart .  The  player  suffered  an  injury   during  the   game  and  as a  matter  of   precaution  his   day  was   curtailed  in  order   for   him  to   undergo  X-rays  to  make   sure  his  injury  wasn't   far  more   serious.  With   $100 million  being  vested  in the  player  ,  the   team  has  yet  to   reap   any  reward   from him   by  way  of  leadership   or  his   presence   on the  field.   picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Paul  Sancya    ..........................
Redskins' defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth covers his face while being taken off the field on a motorized cart . The player suffered an injury during the game and as a matter of precaution his day was curtailed in order for him to undergo X-rays to make sure his injury wasn't far more serious. With $100 million being vested in the player , the team has yet to reap any reward from him by way of leadership or his presence on the field. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Sancya ..........................

With the team now sitting afoot of the NFC East . One has to ask what direction is this team said to be going in ? They’ve not posted a winning season since 2007. And having made the playoffs that season , they brushed aside by the Seattle Seahawks in a wildcard berth playoff loss , 35-14 . Prior to that their last postseason berth was attained in 2005. Something of a sobering thought for one the NFL’s wealthiest teams. For all of the money spent by Daniel Snyder. He’s yet to reap the dividends of his largesse. Much of that appears to be from the ineptitude shown when it comes to making personnel decisions and his continued interference in the team’s day to day operations.

Redskins' quarterback  Jason Campbell (97)  is  face masked   by  Lions'   defensive  player  Jason  Hunter (97)   during  the  game  played  between  the   two   teams  at   Ford  Field   ,  Detroit  ,  Michigan.      The   Lions   would   go  on  to   defeat  the  Redskins   19-14.          picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/   Paul  Sancya  .........................
Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell (97) is face masked by Lions' defensive player Jason Hunter (97) during the game played between the two teams at Ford Field , Detroit , Michigan. The Lions would go on to defeat the Redskins 19-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Sancya .........................

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

Wife wants Haynesworth to pay bills, stay away

By Teresa M Walker , AP Sports Writer

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP)—Albert Haynesworth’s(notes) wife is asking a Tennessee judge to force the Washington defensive tackle to pay veterinary bills, his daughter’s tuition and other family expenses dating back to when she filed for divorce in April 2008. She also wants a restraining order against him.

Stephanie Haynesworth said in the motion filed Sept. 17 that Haynesworth recently threatened to stop paying temporary support that began in June. The motion alleges he said he wouldn’t pay his daughter’s monthly tuition and a $4,000 veterinary bill that he authorized for the family dog.

A Williamson County Chancery Court judge had been scheduled to hear the the motion Tuesday, but it was continued until Oct. 13.

Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with Washington in the offseason. The Redskins said Monday that Haynesworth was in Tennessee for an MRI on a sore hip and personal business.

Attorney Joanie Abernathy, who is representing Stephanie Haynesworth, did not immediately return a message left at her office. The attorney representing Albert Haynesworth also did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.
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A vocal Redskins’ fans lets his thoughts be known about the franchise and particular its owner and coach

Where the team now stands at present , where they no doubt thought that they would be and want to be. Well it’s like describing the distance that needs to traveled between the earth and the moon. It’s safe to say that at present , as the pilot said to be steering this particular vessel. The coach, Jim Zorn is in need of a great deal of luck and someone who can best assist him in navigating this journey. So far the direction that they’re said to be going in bears no resemblance of the desired destination sought by the fans of the Washington Redskins , or that of its owner , Daniel Snyder. They’ve been aimlessly wandering around and plummeting the depths of mediocrity. That it’s hard to empathize with the franchise or its owner.

A somewhat comical view as to who Snyder ought to hire .
Be sure to watch this in its entirety , it’s a hoot !

Jim  Zorn  (center)  and  team  owner   Daniel  Snyder  (right) at the  team's   training  facility   in  Ashburn  ,  Virginia  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   getty images/   Chris    Hendricks    ........................
Jim Zorn (center) and team owner Daniel Snyder (right) at the team's training facility in Ashburn , Virginia . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Chris Hendricks ........................

We can all agree upon the fact that this is an organization that in one way or another has seemingly continued to suck. And they’ll carry on doing so , for the foreseeable future ! Not because they want to but merely because it’s now become a part of their inherent psyche.