Monthly Archives: November 2010

Daniel Snyder, There Are No Words

Daniel Snyder, you were the guy in high school who always went too far trying to impress your classmates, weren’t you? You’re the one who probably killed off most dates within the first 20 minutes with too fluff and not enough substance, and acts that reeked of desperation, weren’t you?

If so, it’s not a surprise. It’s how you run your NFL team.

Did you really just guarantee Donovan McNabb $40 million? Wow. The same Donovan McNabb that Andy Reid thought Kevin Kolb was an upgrade over? Kolb, mind you, still isn’t the starter in Philadelphia. The same Donovan McNabb who was benched in crunch time for, well, we aren’t really sure what for? Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan spit out about eight different explanations for why his teams starting quarterback was yanked with the game on the line.

In less than a year and a half Daniel Snyder has handed out $213 million in contracts for Albert Hanynesworth (7 years/$100 million, $41 million guaranteed), Mike Shanahan (5 years/$35 million), and now Donovan McNabb (5 years/$78 million, $40 million guaranteed). Yes, that’s right, three people, $213 million in contracts.

And for what?

We know what Albert Haynesworth is, or, well, what he thinks he isn’t. He thinks he’s not a 3-4 defensive tackle. He also isn’t someone who is willing to showing up for OTAs during the offseason, and who seems to have a difficult time getting in shape and actually playing hard every play (those of which he’s actually on the field for).

A coach who has won ONE career playoff game with anybody not named John Elway under center? A coach who coached 11 seasons without John Elway, and won 10 or more games just four times? A guy who went .500 with no playoff appearances in his last three years in Denver? That’s what you wanted to spend $7 million a year on?

And now to top it all off you sign a 33 year old quarterback to a five year contract worth almost $80 million. Say what?

Mr. Snyder, you do realize that Donovan McNabb will be 38 when this contract is up. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but over the last few years McNabb has become less accurate and more turnover prone, while offering less and less of a threat as a runner. I guess he’s going to find the fountain of youth while in Washington though, correct?

Not only that, your $35 million coach obviously has some issues with McNabb, be it with his work ethic, his playbook knowledge, or his physical shape, or all of the above. And now you’re going to have each of them hitch their wagon to each other, and you’re going to hitch your franchise to THAT wagon?

Perhaps it makes perfect sense that this deal was announced on Monday night just before playing a relatively big game against the Philadelphia Eagles on national television.

It was on national television where everything that is wrong with Daniel Snyder’s irresponsible spending was spotlighted.

On one play, Albert Haynesworth literally just laid down on the field, completely giving up on the play. Apparently he was just tired of chasing Michael Vick all over the building.

On the other side of the ball you had Donovan McNabb throwing three interceptions, one of which came back for a touchdown.

And of course you have the fact that the Eagles set an NFL record by holding a 28-0 lead….at the end of the first quarter….on the road. That sort of thing only happens when a team isn’t prepared, and isn’t motivated. That sort of thing only happens to teams like this years Dallas Cowboys. And this is the guy Snyder thinks will lead the Redskins to the promised land?

Snyder can probably overcome the Shanahan fiasco whenever he wishes, he’s got the money to have no problems eating that money doled out to Shanahan. He can also, if the time arises, cut ties with the likes of Haynesworth and McNabb and be on the hook financially just for the guaranteed portion (which still is in excess of $80 million). The problem is the crippling effect it can have on the salary cap for the Redskins.

There’s also this little issue of the CBA expiring and a new deal having to be put in place in the near future as well that could really make these contracts look exceptionally bad, and become exceptionally burdensome.

The once proud Washington Redskins are quickly going the route of the Oakland Raiders of the last decade. Unfortunately for them, Daniel Snyder is still young enough to keep running this team into the ground for many decades to come.

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Hawks Show Improvement

If you saw last years playoff series against the Orlando Magic you know exactly why the pundits dismissed the Hawks as a viable contender in the Eastern Conference. Boston and Orlando were expected to remain top dogs, with Miami being the obvious pick to upstage those two and represent the East in the NBA Finals. The Chicago Bulls were the popular pick to play spoiler.

The Hawks? Well, it wasn’t as if people expected them to be bottom feeders, but most felt their ceiling had been reached, and Orlando last year showed that ceiling to not be as high as Hawks fans and players would wish. With no major additions made over the summer, the Hawks stuck with the status quo, and it was widely believed in NBA circles that the status quo wouldn’t help the Hawks improve.

That could be a mistake.

Yes, it was only one game, but it was an important game. The Hawks and Magic series has been among the most lopsided series in recent memory in the NBA. Orlando didn’t just win 7 of 8 games against the Hawks last year, they did so by astounding margins that are downright embarrassing for a collection of professionals.

The Magic destroyed the Hawks in a four game sweep last year in record breaking fashion.

So, could these Hawks toughen up physically and mentally? Could they make the adjustments in their style of play to contend with the Magic? Could they play well on the road against elite teams?

The answer to all four questions was yes. In short, yes, the Hawks lost to Orlando 93-89. But this was a one point game in the final minute, in Orlando, with two of the Hawks top 7 in their rotation in street clothes.

There is also one thing more about the status quo, the Hawks didn’t entirely remain the same. They did change head coaches, promoting Larry Drew. If Monday night in Orlando was any sort of look towards the rest of the season, that one change might be a lot bigger than initially thought.

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