Monday, August 20, 2012

State of the Skins - The Shanny Era

One of the things I constantly hear from Skins fans and national pundits is the poor job The Shanny has  done so far. I remember hearing from many talking heads that he is sitting on the "hot seat".  In reality however, he has done a masterful job with the few assets he had to work with. The Skins job was by far, one of the worst coaching vacancies that 2010 NFL off season had. The only thing we had going for us is the prestige value of the Redskins franchise (and Snyder's deep a$$ pockets).

FYI - Rehashing the end of Cerrato/Horny for Zorny era kind of sucks.

Salary Cap Hell:

This team had was loaded with way too many older players with long term contracts. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a a few under achieving duds (the biggest one, figuratively & in reality is the training camp star Alberta Haynesworth). FYI, these numbers are not the entire amount the players made during the year. If you include bonuses and such (not just cap effect), these numbers increase exponentially.

2008 NFL Roster:

2008 roster looks like of ugly. We had some vets with some huge contracts on the team. A lot of these contracts were pretty long term as well. Just to name a few of the top cap values of the team (thanks USA Today):

1. Jason Taylor - 7.5 mil
2. Shawn Springs - 7.5 mil
3.Marcus Washington - 6.4 mil
4. Cornelius Griffin - 6.2 mil
5. Clinton Portis - 6 mil
6. Chris Samuels - 5 mil
7. Jon Jansen - 4.5 mil

What is the theme of all these players? They are old as hell and not on the roster anymore. Also, many of these players were oft injured (actually all of them were) and rarely contributed anymore.

2009 NFL Roster:

All I can do is sigh:

1. Albert Haynesworth - 7 mil
2.Chris Samuels - 7 mil
3.Clinton Portis - 6.2 mil
4. Laron Landry - 5.8 mil
5. DeAngelo Hall - 5.3 mil
6. Santana Moss - 5 mil
7. Randy Thomas - 5 mil

At least we see ONE player that is relatively young and is still a starter. Santana and Hall are still on the roster and contributing at a starting level so that's nice. Also, again like the previous year, many of these players are oft injured and rarely contributed consistently (cough cough LaRon).

None of these players are on this team. On top of that, look at how old they are!!! Many of them were on extended contracts (due to extension after extension to spread their salary over the long term to take a lesser of a hit.

The Shanny Era:

2010 NFL Roster:

Now what can Shanny do his first year? Due to it being an uncapped year, both he & Bruce Allen dumped the salaries of all their top money makers into this year. They were also able to cut of their aging stars because there would be no salary cap (or so they thought...Mad Scientist evil laugh Roger Goddell) Unfortunately, this is what caused us to be docked half our salary cap space for 2012 (but it also allowed us to gain flexibility in future years because we got rid of many long term older vets and under performers. Our salaries reached an insane level of $180 mil (PFT).

1. Albert Haynesworth - 27.3 mil
2. DeAngelo Hall - $20.8 mil

Enough said about the contracts...They also released Fred Smoot, Rock Cartwright, Randy Thomas and Antwaan Randle El, Chris Samuels, Todd Collins and Ladell Betts (Football Outsiders) which resulted in 30+ mil of dead money. As mentioned before, this year was for the fines faced in 2012, this year was necessary for the overall health of the franchise

Draft Hell:

Not only were we stuck with all these old veterans with super long contracts, we had some pretty crappy drafts. Our issue was not only did we trade away all of our draft picks, we also missed on almost entire classes. When a team misses on most of the class, that means the roster has no cheap depth (with potential to improve) which changes the age and makeup of the team entirely:

2008 NFL Draft:
2. Devin Thomas - Cut/Just Retired (LOL)
2. Fred Davis - Prime to be a star
2. Malcolm Kelly - Injuries/Cut
3. Chad Rinehart Cut/ Quality Starter in Buffalo
4.Justin Tryon - Cut
6. Durant Brooks - Cut 
6.  Kareem Moore - Stuck around for a while/Injuries/Cut
6. Colt Brennan - Cult Status/Cut
7. Rob Jackson - Quality backup/Depth
7. Chris Horton - brief starter/Cut

On this roster, only 2 people remain from the 08 draft class (Freddy D & Rob Jackson is high quality depth...great find in the 7th). What killed us was missing on both Devin & Kelly. Rinehart also would have been useful (as he is a starter in Buffalo now). A few players stuck around for a few years (Justin Tryon, Kareem Moore, Chris Horton) but were ultimately cut @ the beginning of The Shanny era.

2009 NFL Draft:
1. (13th) Brian 'Sackpo' Orakpo - Star/Franchise Level player etc.
3. (80) Kevin Barnes - Still on roster. Depth at corner. Poor 2011 season
5. (158) Cody Glenn - Cut
6. (186) Robert Henson - Injuries. Cut.
7. (221) Eddie Williams - Cut
7. (243) Marko Mitchell - Training Camp Star/Cult Hero/ Cut

Holy crap, this is a pretty bad draft. Obviously, Orakpo is on his way to becoming an elite OLB & Kevin Barnes is pretty okay depth at corner (but his expectations is raised by being a third round pick), but outside of that, this is an AWFUL draft. No one else is still on the roster. The other interesting thing is the lack of quality high picks (2nd through 4th rounder).

I count 4 players still on this roster. Folks, that is quite bad from 2 drafts. Even worse, Cerrato had six 2nd -  4th rounders and he only hit on 2 players?!?!?

Supplemental (future 2010 3rd round pick): Jeremy Jarmon traded for Jabar Gaffney

Shanny's Draft:

Look at the stark difference under Shanny. His first pick? He drafted the glaring need on this team since Chris Samuels retired, a LT. He also often traded down to collect more picks to increase the depth of this team (and he seemed to have hit on those picks as well). Cerrato & Zorn screwed him with a lack of picks from 2010, but at least he hit on way more players throughout the draft:

2010 NFL Draft:
1. Trent Williams - potential to be star 
3. (as above mentioned, Jeremy Jarmon) - traded for Jabar Gaffney
4. Perry Riley - Quality Starter @ ILB
6. Dennis Morris - traded to get Cut
7.  Terrence Austin - depth @ WR, fringe player
7. Erik Cook - Depth @ C, fringe player
7. Selvish Capers - cut

Four players are still on the roster with 2 quality starters from the 2010 draft. Trent Williams is primed to have an excellent year in 2012 and Perry Riley seems the heir apparent to London. Advanced stats (thanks Football Outsiders) indicate he has the potential to become one hell of a player!! Cook & Austin seem like fringe roster players but at least they provide depth and competition on this team.

2011 NFL Draft:
1. Ryan Kerrigan - Starter, Pro Bowl Potential
2. Javaris Jenkins - Depth - Quality Depth in DL, Starter Potential
3. Leonard Hankerson -  Quality Starter WR - Pro Bowl Potential
4. Roy Helu - Quality RB - Depth - 2nd Level Bench
5. Dejon Gomes -  Quality S @ Depth -2nd Level Bench
5. Niles Paul - Quality depth at TE/ Fringe player- Depth
6. Evan Royster - Quality depth @ RB/ fringe roster player
6. Aldrick Robinson - Quality depth @ WR/ fringe roster player
7. Brandyn Thompson - Depth @ CB/fringe roster depth
7. Maurice Hurt - Quality Depth @ G/ Fringe player
7. Markus White - Depth 
7. Chris Neild - IR/Injuries
Undrafted - Willie Smith - Quality depth @ T

This was a huge draft for us. Not only are 12 players out this draft still on the roster, but 6 of them were starters at one point or another. This does not include Willie Smith who showed some promise at Tackle when Trent went on his Jamaican vacation with Snoop Lion.

Also, notice how the amount of quality picks increased. Shrewd wheeling and dealing allowed the Skins to pick up way more picks then they started with.

Wow, what a difference, eh? When someone knows how to properly run a franchise is at the helm, the draft can yield some budding optimism. 

State of 2012:

2012 NFL Draft & Key  Free Agency Pickups:

3. Josh LeRibeus
4. Kirk Cousins
4. Kennan Robinson
5. Adam Gettis
5. Alfred Morris
6. Tom Compton
7. Richard Crawford
7. Jordan Bernstine

Obviously, this draft will be judged on how RGIII performs; however, there seems to be some diamond in the rough. It is too soon to tell about how these players will pan out but some of the rookies look like they have a chance to contribute this year. Outside of Bob Griff Roman Numeral 3, Adam Gettis looks like he can become a quality starter sometime this year at G. Alfred Morris also looks like a bad a$$ at RB. The other impressive rook has to be 7th round corner Richard Crawford. He is making plays all over the field and looks to be a quality contributor this year. I thought we could have used a tackle earlier in the draft but unfortunately, we didn't address that need through the draft.

The Shanny created near 40 mil in salary cap room for the 2012 season but the freaking NFL screwed us by docking  half of our salary cap space the night before Free Agency started (Albert Haynesworth, the gift that keeps on giving). With that, we couldn't address our needs on the OL. Fortunately, we were able to sign some quality pieces to fill some of our other positions. We gave big time money to Pierre Garcon and he seems to have nice chemistry with RG3. We also resigned London the ageless wonder for a few years,

Final Thoughts:

Overall, this franchise is in WAAAYYY BETTER position then it was prior to him taking over. Some good moves in 2010 by our front office gave the Skins the flexibility they needed to be successful in the long run. This success may have been realized this year if the NFL had not docked our salary cap space. We are still in solid position for the future, but I truly believe we were not able to address our OL because of NFL involvement. I think 2013 may be the year when we finally see the results of Shanny properly building this franchise to its former glory.


  1. Good read... not a typical blog from Skins fans who speak soleley off of their blind faith and unrealistic loyalty, but dont know what they're talking about.. Interesting supporting facts too...

  2. I tend to be a huge homer, but I'm never a blind homer. I think next year, we have a chance to be something special. This year, I just think there are too many ifs (if RG3 can perform at a good level as a rookie, which I think he can but the bigger if is can the OL protect him reasonably and make holes for the RBs)