4:30 p.m., WRC (Channel 4), WBAL (Channel 11),Saints nike Browns Jordan Cameron Brown Orange White Jersey by 10Drew Brees has 22,918 yards passing since joining the Saints, the most in any five-year span in NFL history. Brees’s 66.7 percent completion rate in the playoffs is the best in NFL history. His 103.7 passer rating is second highest. The Saints have nike Browns Jordan Cameron Brown Orange White Jersey never won a playoff game on the road (0-3).SMARTER STATS: According to Football Outsiders’ game charting, the Seahawks’ Matt Hasselbeck is one of the Jordan Cameron Jersey best quarterbacks in the NFL against the "big blitz" (six or more pass rushers), and the Saints blitz big more than any defense in the league. With Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory out with injuries, things set up quite nicely for the Seahawks.Users picking the Saints95%
It was 4 p.m. on an early January Sunday at New York’s Hunter Mountain. As the chairlifts shut down for the day, a noisy crowd filled one of the base lodge bars, all eyes fixed on nike Cowboys Dez Bryant Navy White Silver Jersey a large flat-screen TV mounted high on a wall.Many of the gathered Dez Bryant Jersey skiers and snowboarders now wore “Manning,” “Jacobs,” “Simms” and “Taylor” football jerseys. They moaned and groaned or screamed in delight nike Cowboys Dez Bryant Navy White Silver Jersey as their New York Giants played the Atlanta Falcons in a National Football League wild-card playoff game.
As the first big, crunching tackle of “The Longest Yard” — the new Adam Sandler football comedy — flickered across the big screen, the audience let out a collective “ooooh!” It must’ve been a pretty good hit, since the people inside the Owings Mills, Md., movie theater last week know a little something about hard hits.About 40 members of the Baltimore Ravens attended the special screening of the remake of the 1974 movie starring Burt Reynolds. (Quarterback Kyle Boller and safety Will Demps — the Ravens’ pinup boys — didn’t bother going; they received invitations to the star-studded world premiere in Hollywood.) Sandler plays an ex-NFL quarterback who is sent to prison and forced to put together a team of inmates — the Mean Machine — to take on the prison guards. Former NFL stars Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski and Brian Bosworth appear in the movie, as does Bob Sapp — a onetime Ravens training camp participant who went on to become a K-1 fighting champion.”A lot of the stuff they did in the movie, of course, it wouldn’t go down in the NFL,” tight end Daniel Wilcox said, “but the physicalness nike Panthers D.J. Moore Black Blue White Jersey of the sport, I think they portrayed it real well.”Little touches were familiar to the Ravens. Before the big game, the Mean Machine players gather together and shout, “What time is it?” Said defensive tackle Maake Keomeatu, “That reminded me of Ray [Lewis].”Quarterback Paul Crewe, Sandler’s character, conjured up images of Boller. “The way no matter what’s going on, Boller tells us it’s going to be okay, we’re a team,” offensive lineman Marques Ogden said. “Boller never gets down. He’s got great composure and poise.”The rapper Nelly received high marks for his portrayal of inmate running back Earl Megget. He even reminded some of a certain Ravens running back — no, not Jamal Lewis, but Chester Taylor (who, incidentally, is nicknamed “50 Cent” for his resemblance to another rapper).”Nelly definitely had some shiftiness to him,” Wilcox said. “A couple D.J. Moore Jersey of those nike Panthers D.J. Moore Black Blue White Jersey spins were unbelievable. Those spins — he probably would’ve gotten his back broken a couple of times trying those spins.”One of the biggest laughs was an inadvertent one. When Sandler told the warden that the guards needed a tune-up game, he explained that his college team always opened its season by whipping an overmatched opponent like Appalachian State. Wilcox — who went to Appalachian State — loudly protested as the other Ravens laughed.”He kind of hated on my school, didn’t he?” Wilcox said. “He said we used to play some [pushover] school like Appalachian State and he called us a Division II school when we’re Division I-AA! We beat a lot of D-I schools. We beat Wake Forest!”Sandler’s slight notwithstanding, Wilcox gave the movie, which opens this weekend, a thumbs-up: “Five stars-plus. I thought it was great.”– Camille Powell#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Ravens SectionNFL InsiderThe Post’s Mark Maske provides exclusive analysis and keeps you up-to- date with all of the latest NFL news.Fantasy ChallengePut your fantasy analysis, drafting and trading skills to the ultimate test with this free, full-featured fantasy league.Slideshow: Checkin In With Ovechkin–>
PITTSBURGH — The Baltimore Ravens somehow found a way to lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, complicating their playoff chances and leaving virtually everyone in a quiet visitor’s locker room at Heinz Field shaking their heads or muttering to themselves.The Ravens had two touchdowns nullified by penalties, watched their most dependable receiver drop a would-be touchdown pass and fumed about a final call by the officials that sealed the outcome as they were beaten by the Steelers, 23-20."Missed opportunities are the moral of this story," Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth said.Indeed they were, as the Ravens got 141 rushing yards by tailback Ray Rice and two touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Flacco to tight end Todd Heap. They took control of the play in the second half, particularly during a third quarter in which they had possession of the ball for just more than 12 1/2 of the 15 minutes.But they were undone by a second-half drive on which a holding penalty on wide receiver Kelley Washington negated a touchdown run by reserve tailback Willis McGahee, then normally sure-handed veteran wideout Derrick Mason dropped an on-target throw from Flacco in the end zone. That came after Foxworth’s touchdown return T.J.Graham Jersey on an interception earlier in the second half was wiped out by an illegal block by linebacker Terrell Suggs.The Steelers escaped with the win after place kicker Jeff Reed provided his third field goal of the day, a 38-yarder with 5 minutes 25 seconds remaining, to break a 20-20 tie. They ran out the clock after a Ravens’ interception in the final two minutes was nullified by an illegal contact penalty called on cornerback Frank Walker, giving the Steelers a first down.The teams emerged with identical 8-7 records, and still in contention in the wild scramble for the AFC’s two wild-card playoff spots."Not dead yet," Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said. "Still got a pulse in this thing and we’ll continue to control the things we can control — playing winning football, preparing, doing the best we can. . . . We move on to next week and we’re hopeful that we’ll get the necessary help. But again, we make no excuses or have no explanations. We put ourselves into this position. But I like the way they’re dealing with it."Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 259 yards and nike Bills T.J.Graham Blue White Red Jersey a touchdown for the Steelers, becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to have a 4,000-yard passing season. Tailback Rashard Mendenhall ran for a touchdown and the Steelers followed up a last-second victory over the Green Bay Packers a week earlier with another narrow triumph."We’ve been do or die for a while now," Roethlisberger said. "We fight nike Bills T.J.Graham Blue White Red Jersey to the last minute. I think we’re the cardiac kids or something. We’re out here barely winning these games. But a win is a win. It doesn’t matter how you get it."The Steelers used Mendenhall’s four-yard touchdown run and two field goals by Reed to craft an early 13-3 lead, and it was 20-10 at halftime after Roethlisberger answered a Flacco-to-Heap touchdown with a 94-yard drive capped by a touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes.The Ravens got to within 20-17 early in the third quarter on Heap’s second touchdown catch, then had to settle for a tying field goal after Suggs’s penalty wiped out Foxworth’s touchdown on his interception. The Ravens appeared to take the lead in the final minute of the third quarter on McGahee’s dash to the end zone, but Washington was called for holding Steelers safety Ryan Clark.CONTINUED 1 2 Next >/* BEGIN TOP STRIP STYLES */#customTS-SingleThumbBlog width:454px;margin-bottom:6px;padding-bottom:6px;font:11px Arial;border-bottom:solid 1px #CCC;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog p margin:0;padding:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:link, #customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:visited text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:hover text-decoration:underline;color:#C00;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .redkicker font-weight:bold;color:#C00;margin-bottom: 4px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .thumbSlot float:left;width:80px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .textSlot float:right;width:368px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog ul padding:0;list-style-type:none;font-weight:bold;margin:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog li background-image:url(http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/images/bullet_3x3_999999.gif);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0px .4em;padding-left:6px;padding-bottom:2px; Latest Posts From NFL News Feed More Posts | Sports Blog Directory #botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the NFL SectionThe LeagueA conversation about what’s happening today in the NFL.NFL News FeedMark Maske keeps you up-to-date with all of the latest news in the NFL.Redskins InsiderJason Reid provides exlusive analysis of the Redskins.
Tennessee Titans Coach Jeff Fisher called Le Affair de Vince a "complete misunderstanding." Titans third-year quarterback Vince Young said his disappearance for more than 24 hours after spraining his left knee and being booed in his home stadium during his team’s 17-10 victory over Jacksonville was no big deal, except "you’ve got to tell your momma where you’re going."This StoryThe Vince Young Saga: a Misunderstanding or a Real Cry for Help?TalkBackNevertheless, Young’s bizarre sideline behavior and emotional well-being were such a concern to Fisher and the quarterback’s family that the coach on Monday asked Nashville police, crisis negotiators and a psychologist for assistance in finding and dealing with the 25-year-old.All over a game won by the Titans in which the former Texas all-American was 12 of 22 for 110 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions before being injured in the fourth quarter.”It was my first time getting booed,” Young told reporters in Nashville on Thursday. “I didn’t know how to handle that.”But I was never depressed. It hurt just a little bit. Football, this is my life.”Veteran NFL hands say the most popular player in every NFL city is the No. 2 quarterback. No quarterback is immune from demanding fans, no matter how passionately loyal those fans might be. And with the growth of critical and often mean-spirited sports-talk radio and intense 24-hour media coverage, quarterbacks need a tough hide and deaf ears."These guys are living in a fishbowl and not all of them are emotionally equipped to deal with it," said Mike Stutz, a Rockville psychologist who works with young athletes. "Add the factor of physical pain — to those more sensitive and vulnerable to criticism — [and] you’ve got a very stressful job.Vince Young is “still a young kid, which people forget. Some nike Raiders Lyle Alzado Black Silver White Jersey kids just don’t have the maturity at this point in their lives to deal with those situations.”Former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said in a telephone interview last week that he still hears the RFK Stadium boos "from two decades ago" — adding he hopes Young "can learn from this experience.”If not,” Theismann continued, “he’s got no chance.”Theismann said: “The most important element of playing quarterback in the NFL is nike Raiders Lyle Alzado Black Silver White Jersey mental toughness. The position is extremely difficult. He’s being paid a lot of money to do this. Maybe Vince Young doesn’t have the mettle for the job. We’ll see. But you can’t pay attention to the fans. If you play well, they’ll cheer you. If not, they’ll boo you.”If Vince Young wants to stop the booing, he needs to throw the football better.”Which bring us to the Redskins’ Jason Campbell and today’s game’s against New Orleans (1-0), which should draw more than 90,000 to FedEx Field to see if the fourth-year quarterback can begin managing Coach Jim Zorn’s West Coast offense.One disappointing performance by Campbell against the defending NFL champion New York Giants 10 days ago left many Redskins fans wondering if Campbell is the right man for this offense, or whether Zorn should have kept his overhyped offense in Seattle and created a scheme here to suit Campbell’s skills.We’ll see what develops today and remember Sonny Jurgensen’s famous words when booed a long time ago by the RFK Stadium faithful: "It was worse in Philadelphia."Talking CapitalsStopped by my local ice rink in Ballston on Thursday to chat up the Capitals’ new No. 1 goalie, José Theodore, who was working out informally with some of the kids preparing for the start of rookie training camp this weekend.For the first time in 20 Lyle Alzado Jersey years the Capitals open the season without a roster spot for their venerable and highly popular goalie, Olie Kolzig, who lost his starting job to Cristobal Huet (now with Chicago) last season. After an unpleasant parting, Kolzig signed with Tampa Bay while Washington inked Theodore to a two-year, $9 million contract.”I’m not here to replace Olie Kolzig,” Theodore said. “He’s in a class by himself.”And then borrowing lines from Nuke LaLoosh in "Bull Durham," Theodore said: "I’m just going to try to make some saves, help the team and hope the fans get to know me."Smart man.Theodore, who turned 32 yesterday, comes to Washington after two years in Colorado that followed an eight-year run in his home town of hockey-mad Montreal, "where hockey is everything." He arrives in the wake of the Alex Ovechkin-led Caps, coached by likable Bruce Boudreau, turning the area "Capitals Red" with a late-season surge to the Southeast Division title and an exciting seven-game playoff series won by the Flyers. In the process, the Caps increased interest in the sport, boosted season ticket sales by 4,000 to about 10,000 and have owner Ted Leonsis talking Stanley Cup.”The primary reason I came here is the Capitals are one of the most exciting teams in the NHL,” Theodore said. “They’re fun to watch.”Bullish on a Bowl Game· All the right people (pols, bankers, committeemen, ADs) are behind the new EagleBank Bowl game to be held Dec. 20 at RFK Stadium. Provided Navy wins at least six games, the Midshipmen will be the home team this year, playing a team from the ACC. Army is the host team in 2009, with a similar six-victory requirement. Kickoff is 11 a.m., early enough for Kornheiser to attend.· Loved: Serena Williams and Roger Federer winning U.S. Open titles and was impressed by the huge turnouts at Flushing Meadows, but did not like Elijah Dukes, who has done well for the Nats, getting into it with Shea Stadium fans Wednesday night when everyone knows confronting New York baseball fans is a no-win move. And how about GM Jim Bowden giving Manny Acta a vote of confidence, when I don’t hear anyone doing the same for Bowden? Then we have Mystics managing partner Sheila Johnson admitting to The Post’s Kathy Orton that after four years, "The honeymoon period is over." Really? The Mystics are not doing right by their loyal fans.· Political Sports Tidbit: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is an avid runner, having completed marathons and, when possible, running seven to 10 miles a day. Palin told the Wall Street Journal Magazine that when she works out: "I’m thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time."When I run, I usually think of ways to make Feinstein more miserable.Have a comment or question? Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.» This Story:Read | Comments
Michael Leahy is the author of “When Nothing Else Matters: Michael Jordan’s Last Comeback.” As nike Patriots Sebastian Vollmer Navy Red White Jersey a boy in Southern California during the late 1960s,I watched nike Patriots Sebastian Vollmer Navy Red White Jersey Notre Dame football games with a neighbor, a middle-aged rabbi named Joseph Elsant. He was many things to me: a profound moral influence, a happy raconteur and a fellow football fan fascinated by the Fighting Irish. “Kickoff!” he would announce and settle back in his big chair. He would have relished the thought of Notre Dame’s presence in Monday night’s national championship game against Alabama.The late Rabbi Elsant regaled Sebastian Vollmer Jersey me with stories about key Notre Dame players from earlier in the 20th century. He loved to tick off their surnames, particularly those that signaled a family’s immigrant background: Bertelli, Lujack, Patulski, Szymanski, Mastrangelo, Tripucka, Buoniconti.
TAMPA, Nov. 25 — The offensive players sounded sheepish, almost embarrassed about their performance. The defensive players spoke comfortably of carrying the team, aware that they had contributed well more than their share.[an error occurred while processing this directive]In fact, the talk coming out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ locker room after their 19-13 victory Sunday afternoon could easily have been applied to the Washington Redskins’ dressing room down the hall, with one crucial distinction. The Buccaneers forced six turnovers, leading to 16 points. The Redskins’ defense forced none.After the game, the Buccaneers’ defenders nike Packers Marshall Newhouse Green Navy White Jersey suggested that this was not an accident, saying their philosophy calls on them to create scoring chances."It’s the same attitude that has been here: score and get the ball back," said rookie safety Tanard Jackson, a Bullis graduate. "We, as a defense, pride ourselves on getting the ball back and scoring on defense. We didn’t score, but we definitely got the ball back."And in the process, the Buccaneers left their mark on the team’s record book. The four fumble recoveries equaled a team record, set in 1983 and equaled in 2001. The six forced turnovers were the team’s most in six years.Cornerback Ronde Barber, whose fourth-quarter interception accounted for Tampa Bay’s fifth turnover of the afternoon, became the franchise’s all-time leader in that category. Defensive end Greg White became the first player in team history to force a pair of fumbles in back-to-back games.And Tampa Bay’s turnover differential spiked to plus-11, easily tops in the NFC. Entering the weekend the Redskins were already in the lower half of the league in that category; after Sunday, their turnover margin plummeted to minus-8."You can’t say enough about that defense," said Buccaneers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, whose unsightly outing was salvaged by his teammates on defense. "That’s the reason we’re winning football games.""We need to just be better as an offense, better as a team, but I can’t say enough about how our defense performed," seconded quarterback Jeff Garcia, whose injury forced Gradkowski into the game. "They created turnovers, they gave our team an opportunity to put points on the board. . . . That’s the nike Packers Marshall Newhouse Green Navy White Jersey type of defense you need to compete at the highest levels."And, as several Buccaneers noted, much of the defensive damage was done by the aging holdovers from Tampa Bay’s 2003 Super Bowl-winning team. Linebacker Derrick Brooks, making his 200th career start at 34, contributed the key stop on fourth and one in the third quarter, staving off the charging Redskins. Brian Kelly, 31, and Barber, 32, came up with the late-game interceptions that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.”Ronde mentioned something coming off the field, he said, ‘Just like old times,’ and it is,” Kelly said. “We have some young guys that are playing lights-out ball right now, but we have some good defensive leadership, and we are still here playing.”Whether "leadership" is a euphemism for "age," the defense still provides the backbone of this Tampa Bay team, which can virtually lock up the NFC South by beating New Orleans next week. Gradkowski said after the game that Brooks told him just Marshall Newhouse Jersey to protect the football and let the defense handle the rest, and several defenders echoed that confidence after the game.”You put us on the field,” Barber said, “and we will find a way to make a couple plays.”But, still, six turnovers?”It was good,” White said,” but we need more.”» This Story:Read |Watch |Talk | Comments#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Redskins SectionRedskins InsiderNews updates, poll questions and exlusive analysis of the Redskins.Tailgate ZoneA discussion group that invites fans to debate all matters burgundy and gold.Insider PodcastPost reporters and editors discuss and dissect the team’s ups and downs.
The District government has drafted a lawsuit against Bank of America to recover $30 million that flowed through accounts controlled by Harriette Walters and others in the D.C. tax scam, Acting D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles said yesterday.During a nearly eight-hour confirmation hearing before a D.C. Council committee, Nickles said the city is negotiating with the bank in hopes of reaching a financial settlement. If they cannot agree, he said, the District would likely pursue the lawsuit.”Our complaint lists checks through Bank of America,” said Nickles, who offered to let the council see copies of the draft.In an interview, Nickles said he has given the bank until Friday to respond to a settlement offer, the terms of which he would not disclose. Under an agreement with the bank that extended the statute of limitations, the District has until Nov. 10 to file the lawsuit.Nickles said the draft of the lawsuit also includes charges under the “False Claims Act,” which could triple the monetary damages.”I know how to protect the city’s interests,” he said. “I intend to do that.”Messages left with two Bank of America officials were not returned last night.Also during his confirmation hearing, Nickles said he was on the verge of an agreement with the Washington Nationals in which the team would pay $3.5 million in ballpark rent, which it has refused to pay since spring because it said the stadium was not complete. nike Dolphins Daniel Thomas Green Orange White Jersey In exchange, the District would seek extended warranties to cover repairs on the ballpark, Nickles said.In the tax scam case, Walters, a former tax office manager, and 10 accomplices have pleaded guilty to stealing $48 million over 20 years from the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. The amount cited in the draft of the lawsuit is based on the amount of the checks cashed at Bank of America, Nickles said.Bank of America was the primary bank used by Walters and most other participants in the scam, and the vast majority of the money stolen from the District flowed through the institution. One defendant, Walters’s niece, Jayrece Turnbull, channeled more than $24 million through various accounts there.Walters recruited a Bank of America employee, Walter Jones, to help keep the money flowing. Jones, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, handled at least $17 million in fraudulent checks from 2000 to 2006, charging documents state; he was fired early in 2007 after questions about his dealings with Turnbull emerged. But federal authorities did not catch on to the scam until several months later, when another bank, SunTrust, raised questions about a large check handled by Turnbull.Last year, Nickles, then Fenty’s general counsel, blocked the D.C. attorney general, Linda Singer, from trying to sue Bank of America to recover the stolen Daniel Thomas Jersey money. Nickles subsequently said he was fearful of interrupting the ongoing federal investigation into the scam. Singer resigned, citing nike Dolphins Daniel Thomas Green Orange White Jersey friction with Nickles, according to sources.CONTINUED 1 2 Next >
The former Chad Johnson has changed his name, but his jersey remained the same yesterday.The Bengals wide receiver legally changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, but the NFL decided against allowing him to put his name on his jersey.”While the NFL has recognized the legal name change of Chad Johnson to Chad Ocho Cinco, the league informed the Bengals today that certain issues remain to be resolved before Ocho Cinco will be permitted to wear his new surname on his jersey,” the league said in a statement.Contacted yesterday by the Associated Press, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "He has a financial obligation to Reebok, which produces the jerseys available nike Jets Geno Smith Green Navy White Jersey to fans. That has to be resolved before the on-field jersey can be changed."· BILLS: Former Buffalo TE Kevin Everett was honored at halftime of the season-opening game against Seattle less than a year after he had a life-threatening spinal cord injury.Everett walked onto the field to receive the Professional Football Writers of America’s George Halas Award, which is given to the person in the NFL who overcame the most adversity to succeed in the previous season.· 49ERS: QB Alex Smith could find out today whether his latest shoulder injury will end his season and his tenure with San Francisco.The former No. 1 overall draft pick was added to the injury report Friday after feeling pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder during practice. Smith, who lost his starting job to journeyman J.T. O’Sullivan in training camp, was in street clothes for yesterday’s game against Arizona.· BRONCOS: Denver signed LB D.J. Williams to a five-year contract extension. The deal was first reported by the NFL Network and Rocky Mountain News.– From News Services/* BEGIN TOP STRIP STYLES */#customTS-SingleThumbBlog width:454px;margin-bottom:6px;padding-bottom:6px;font:11px Arial;border-bottom:solid 1px #CCC;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog p margin:0;padding:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:link, #customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:visited text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog Geno Smith Jersey a:hover text-decoration:underline;color:#C00;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .redkicker font-weight:bold;color:#C00;margin-bottom: 4px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .thumbSlot float:left;width:80px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .textSlot float:right;width:368px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog ul padding:0;list-style-type:none;font-weight:bold;margin:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog li background-image:url(http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/images/bullet_3x3_999999.gif);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0px .4em;padding-left:6px;padding-bottom:2px; Latest Posts From NFL nike Jets Geno Smith Green Navy White Jersey News Feed More Posts | Sports Blog Directory #botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the NFL SectionThe LeagueA conversation about what’s happening today in the NFL.NFL News FeedMark Maske keeps you up-to-date with all of the latest news in the NFL.Redskins InsiderJason Reid provides exlusive analysis of the Redskins.
Wouldn’t you just love to inject a touch of truth serum into the veins of some of the key principals in the farcical Redskins head coaching search brought to you mostly by the John Jerry Jersey Joyless Boys of The Redskins — now large, and once again very much in charge, team owner Dan Snyder and his favorite raquetball partner, Vinny Cerrato.With a mild hit of sodium pentothal, don’t you wonder if Jim Fassel might tell us what he really thinks about Snyder, a man who has now left him at the head coaching altar twice in the last four years. The first time, Fassel understood completely when Snyder finally convinced his own boyhood hero, the iconic Joe Gibbs, to come out of retirement and coach his football team a dozen years after he’d left the sport, giving him 25 million reasons to do so.But this time, Fassel was led on to the very end and jilted again at the last minute. Adding further insult, he was replaced by Jim Zorn, a guy Fassel had actually recommended to Snyder and Cerrato as a perfect fit to serve as his offensive coordinator in a Fassel head coaching regime. That really had to sting, despite Fassel insisting to Redskins beat writer Jason La Canfora that "I still like Dan Snyder."Oh please.Fassel nike Dolphins John Jerry Green Orange White Jersey clearly was not the people’s choice, considering the outpouring of venom and bile when his name nike Dolphins John Jerry Green Orange White Jersey was first leaked as a leading contender for the job. Perhaps that’s what scared Snyder and Cerrato away in the end, even if that’s hardly the way you pick a coach. If the internet had been around in 1981, what do you think the reaction might have been to a virtually unknown San Diego assistant coach?Fassel definitely was no slouch, as one of only 13 head coaches who could claim they took a team to the Super Bowl in this century. He was the league’s coach of the year in 1997, had a winning record in seven seasons in New York and was known for his innovative offensive mind, despite the disaster in Baltimore that may well have been more Brian Billick’s doing than Fassel’s. Oh yes, he also knew a little something about the NFC East.Snyder and Cerrato led Fassel to believe right to the very end that he was going to be their man. Instead, it was pure rope-a-dope on their part, and finally a knockout blow when they announced they had hired a man who had never been a head coach at any level, had never been a coordinator in the NFL and had never had the responsibility of relaying plays into a quarterback’s headset on gameday.You think Fassel wouldn’t use words like duplicitous and double-dealing in describing Snyder and Cerrato. They picked his fertile offensive brain for hours in what now must be considered a sham interview, just as they did with former Washington defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, thought to be the leading candidate the minute Joe Gibbs walked away five weeks ago.And what must Williams be thinking about Joe Gibbs right about now? Gibbs made him his very first hire four years ago, handed him one side of the ball and watched the Redskins turn into a top-10 defense three of the four years Williams ran one of the more creatively aggressive defenses in the league. More significant, his players virtually to a man desperately wanted him back, some saying so very publicly, and judging from the reaction when he left, so did the team’s legion of fans.And what was the payback for Williams? Gibbs seemingly abandoned him as well, never offering even a lukewarm endorsement, and very obviously never fighting for a guy who dedicated four years of his life to the franchise and seemed like the perfect fit if Snyder meant what he said about maintaining continuity the day Gibbs resigned.Maybe Gibbs was still miffed at Williams for not letting him know about the missing-man, 10-player defense he employed on the first play of the Buffalo game in honor of slain safety Sean Taylor. While everyone else applauded the move — even Zorn said he thought it was kind of neat at his introductory news conference — perhaps Gibbs took it as a grandstanding threat to his own authority and held it against Williams in the end.If so, shame on him.CONTINUED 1 2 Next >