NFL Draft

The 2010 NFL Draft takes place today at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  It offers a chance for teams to retool their rosters with the addition of college footballs best players.  The Washington Redskins have the 4th overall pick this year after a disappointing 4-12 season.  With a front office overhaul and the help of new coach Mike Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen the ‘Skins are expected to wheel and deal, with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, quarterback Jason Campbell, and linebacker Rocky McIntosh on the trading block, to add the four alloted selections they currently have.

David’s Mock Draft:
1. St. Louis Rams – QB Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)
2. Detroit Lions – DT Ndamakah Suh (Nebraska)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma)
4. Washington Redskins – OT Russell Okung (Oklahoma State)
5. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Trent Williams (Oklahoma)
6. Seattle Seahawks – OT Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)
7. Cleveland Browns – S Eric Berry (Tennessee)
8. Oakland Raiders – OT Bruce Campbell (Maryland)
9. Buffalo Bills – QB Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame)
10. Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Rolando McClain (Alabama)
11. Denver Broncos – WR Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State)
12. Miami Dolphins – LB Sergio Kindle (Texas)
13. San Francisco 49ers – CB Joe Haden (Florida)
14. Seattle Seahawks – RB C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
15. New York Giants – DT Dan Williams (Tennessee)
16. Tennessee Titans – LB Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech)
17. San Francisco 49ers – OG Mike Iupati (Idaho)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech)
19. Atlanta Falcons – LB Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri)
20. Houston Texans – S Earl Thomas (Texas)
21. Cincinnati Bengals – TE Jermaine Gresham (Oklahoma)
22. New England Patriots – DE/LB Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida)
23. Green Bay Packers – S Taylor Mays (Southern Cal)
24. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State)
25. Baltimore Ravens – DT Jared Odrick (Penn State)
26. Arizona Cardinals – DE Brandon Graham (Michigan)
27. Dallas Cowboys – OT Anthony Davis (Rutgers)
28. San Diego Chargers – RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State)
29. New York Jets – DE Everson Griffin (Southern Cal)
30. Minnesota Vikings – CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers)
31. Indianapolis Colts – C Maurkice Pouncey (Florida)
32. New Orleans Saints – DE Jerry Hughes (Texas Christian)

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Redskins Update

Do not try to call Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen this week.  After trading picks to the Eagles for star quarterback Donovan McNabb less than a fortnight ago he can’t rest and wait for the NFL Draft to arrive.  He’s still got plenty of work to do.

Last year’s starting quarterback in Washington, Jason Campbell, has signed a $3.1 tender with the ‘Skins, taking him off the market as a restricted free agent but opening up the possibility (or probability) of a trade.  He has stopped attending voluntary workouts with the team.  Other franchises that are rumored to be interested include the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and Buffalo Bills.

The Redskins are also exploring opportunities to trade highly paid defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.  The former Titan signed a huge contract with the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent last year but has not seen eye to eye with coach Mike Shanahan and his staff.  Albert has made public his disappointment with the teams decision to tranform into a 3-4 defense, as he has always played in a 4-3 scheme, and has also refused to show up for voluntary work outs with the team.

Though it is believed he would report to mandatory camps, the situation seems to have built up too much tension to be resolved soon.  Shanahan is trying to change the culture of players being too empowered at Redskins Park.  Haynesworth is also said to have a strained relationship with many of his teammates and removing him would endear the head coach to his new squad and spread positive chemistry throughout the locker room.

The only team likely to be a suitable trade destination would be his former team, the Tennessee Titans.  However, the Redskins would probably want some return on the $21 million bonus they paid to Haynesworth last month.  The Titans are not historically the kind of team to throw around money and that may be too rich for their blood, but something might be able to be worked out since Shanahan has a good relationship with Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

The NFL Draft is April 22 and the Redskins biggest needs are an offensive tackle, developmental quarterback, and nose tackle.

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McNabb Traded to ‘Skins

Donovan McNabb became the newest Washington Redskin on Easter Sunday.  The Philadelphia Eagles traded the Pro Bowl quarterback to their NFC East rivals for a second round pick in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft and a third or fourth round selection next year.

McNabb, the number two overall selection by the Eagles in the 1999 NFL Draft, had a very successful career in Philadelphia; playing in five NFC Championships and one Super Bowl in 11 years, while being named to six Pro Bowls.

McNabb joins a crowded Redskins team under center, who already have three year incumbent Jason Campbell and Rex Grossman; another quarterback with Super Bowl credentials, formerly of the Chicago Bears.  The Redskins have also been scouting quarterbacks before next month’s draft, where they sit at number four overall, including Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, who is scheduled to visit with the team on Tuesday.

It’s reported the McNabb chose the Redskins over the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills, who also made offers.  The Eagles also rejected an earlier offer of highly paid defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth from Washington.

The Eagles were disappointed in McNabb’s performance last year after he missed several weeks early in the season due to a cracked rib and poor displays in losses to the Dallas Cowboys in both Week 17 and the Wild Card playoff game.  Philadelphia seem to be comfortable going with youngster Kevin Kolb, drafted out of Houston in 2007, and the electrifying former Atlanta Falcon, Michael Vick, who is attempting to revive his career after a conviction on charges related to dog fighting and his subsequent prison stint.

Donovan McNabb leaves as the franchise leader in yards passing (32,873), completions (2,801), attemps (4,746), and completion percentage (59.0) and with a 92-49-1 record as a starter.  He has the third highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks behind the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning and the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady.  He holds many other NFL and franchise records.  He will now hope to help coach Mike Shanahan lead the Washington Redskins back to the playoffs and beyond.

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Redskins Roster Overhaul Begins

As NFL free agency begins, one would expect the Washington Redskins to be making a lot of headlines this offseason.  The team has a new general manager in Bruce Allen, a new head coach in Mike Shanahan, and perhaps a new philosophy for a team known for signing past-their-prime talents to huge mega-contracts.

The first headlines came Thursday when the Redskins made room on their roster by releasing wide reciever Antwaan Randle El, cornerback Fred Smoot, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, kick returner Rock Cartwright, guard Randy Thomas, quarterback Todd Collins, and running back Ladell Betts.

Offensive tackle Chris Samuels retired this offseason, leaving Derrick Dockery the only offensive lineman left on the roster among last years opening day starters.

With no salary cap this year, owner Dan Snyder should open up the purse strings this offseason, as he usually does.  It being an uncapped year, he has no ceiling to worry about as far as player salaries go.  The team has already signed Artis Hicks, an offensive guard from the Minnesota Vikings.  Hicks is 31 years old and began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Super Bowl XLIV

This year’s NFL Super Bowl will be played February 7 at SunLife Stadium in Miami, Florida.  Super Bowl XLIV will be played between the Indianapolis Colts, representing the AFC, and the New Orleans Saints, representing the NFC.

It will be broadcast on CBS, with announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and a halftime performance by The Who.

Here are some players to look out for:

The Colts finished the regular season 14-2 after resting their starters after clinching homefield advantage.  Led by league MVP Peyton Manning, the Colts are playing in their second NFL championship game in four years.

Peyton finished the season with 4,500 passing yards, 33 touchdown passes, and a 99.9 passer rating.  His top two targets are wide receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark, who both finished the season with 100 receptions and 10 touchdowns.  Recievers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are also factors in the passing game.  Joseph Addai led the team in rushing yards behind an offensive line anchored by center Jeff Saturday.

Defensively the Colts are led by Pro Bowl defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.  Safety Antoine Bethea also made the Pro Bowl roster with 70 tackles and 4 interceptions.

Jim Caldwell has guided the Colts to the championship in his first year as head coach.

The Saints also finished their season as a number one seed in the playoffs after finished at 13-3.  This is the first NFL championship game in the franchises 43 year history.  This team began to turn around after Hurricane Katrina ripped through coastal Louisiana and devastated the area in 2005.

That offseason they picked up quarterback Drew Brees, who led the league with a 109.6 passer rating and completing an NFL record 70.6% of his passes.  His main receiver was Marques Colston who had plenty of help from other recieving weapons such as Deverey Henderson, Robert Meachem, Jeremy Shockey, and playmaker Reggie Bush.  The running game was led by Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell.  The offensive line got three Pro Bowl nods thanks to great seasons by Jahri Evans, Jonathan Goodwin, and Jon Stinchcomb.

Defensive end Will Smith led the team with 13 sacks while Jonathan Vilma had a team-high 87 tackles.  The secondary was led by 12 year veteran Darren Sharper.  Rising star Tracy Porter also contributed at cornerback.

The Saints are led by head coach Sean Payton.

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NFL Pro Bowl Selections

12 teams have earned the right to compete in the football tournament known as the NFL playoffs.  That, however, is for a later blog.  Today we look back at.

The NFL announced the players voted to be the best in the league over the past 17 weeks that comprised the regular season.  These players will compete in the NFL Pro Bowl, professional football’s all-star game, on January 31 at Dolphin Stadium:

AFC Offense: QB Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts), Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers), Tom Brady (New England Patriots).  RB Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans), Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars), Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens).  FB La’Ron McClain (Baltimore Ravens).  WR Andre Johnson (Houston Texans), Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts), Brandon Marshall (Denver Broncos), Wes Welker (New England Patriots).  TE Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts), Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers).  OT Jake Long (Miami Dolphins), Ryan Clady (Denver Broncos), Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns).  OG Logan Mankins (New England Patriots), Alan Faneca (New York Jets), Kris Dielman (San Diego Chargers).  C Nick Mangold (New York Jets), Jeff Saturday (Indianapolis Colts).

AFC Defense: DE Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis Colts), Robert Mathis (Indianapolis Colts), Mario Williams (Houston Texans).  DT Haloti Ngata (Baltimore Ravens), Vince Wilfork (New England Patriots), Casey Hampton (Pittsburgh Steelers).  OLB  Elvis Dumerville (Denver Broncos), James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers), Brian Cushing (Houston Texans).  ILB Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens), DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans).  CB Darrelle Revis (New York Jets), Nnamdi Asomugha (Oakland Raiders), Champ Bailey (Denver Broncos).  FS Ed Reed (Baltimore Ravens), Jarius Byrd (Buffalo Bills).  SS Brian Dawkins (Denver Broncos).

AFC Special Teams: K Nate Kaeding (San Diego Chargers).  P Shane Lechler (Oakland Raiders).  KR Joshua Cribbs (Cleveland Browns).  ST Kassim Osgood (San Diego Chargers).

NFC Offense: QB Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Brett Favre (Minnesota Vikings), Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers).  RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings), Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams), DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers).  FB Leonard Weaver (Philadelphia Eagles).  WR Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles), Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys), Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings).  TE Vernon Davis (San Francisco 49ers), Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys).  OT Jason Peters (Philadelphia Eagles), Bryant McKinnie (Minnesota Vikings), Jon Stinchcomb (New Orleans Saints).  OG Steve Hutchinson (Minnesota Vikings), Jahri Evans (New Orleans Saints), Leonard Davis (Dallas Cowboys).  C Andre Gurode (Dallas Cowboys), Shaun O’Hara (New York Giants).

NFC Defense: DE Jared Allen (Minnesota Vikings), Julius Peppers (Carolina Panthers), Trent Cole (Philadelphia Eagles).  DT Kevin Williams (Minnesota Vikings), Darnell Dockett (Arizona Cardinals), Jay Ratliff (Dallas Cowboys).  OLB DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys), Lance Briggs (Chicago Bears), Brian Orakpo (Washington Redskins).  ILB Patrick Willis (San Francisco 49ers), Jonathan Vilma (New Orleans Saints).  CB Charles Woodson (Green Bay Packers), Asante Samuel (Philadelphia Eagles), Dominique Rogers-Cromartie (Arizona Cardinals).  FS Darren Sharper (New Orleans Saints), Nick Collins (Green Bay Packers).  SS Adrian Wilson (Arizona Cardinals).

NFC Special Teams: K David Akers (Philadelphia Eagles).  P Andy Lee (San Francisco 49ers).  KR Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings).  ST Heath Farwell (Minnesota Vikings).

The Pro Bowl will be shown at 8:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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Cerrato Out; Allen In

Things are changing for the Washington Redskins, and the way things have been going lately (i.e. since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999) that’s a very good thing, at least if you’re a football fan.

Snyders’ longtime second-hand man and Executive VP of Football Operations, Vinny Cerrato, resigned December 17.  Cerrato has taken a lot of heat from the D.C. media for overspending in free agency on over-the-hill free agents that were once great NFL players such as Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Irving Fryer, Jeff George, and Mark Carrier.  He was also blamed for shortcomings in the NFL draft, with depleted picks (from trading up or signing restricted free agents) and neglecting the trenches (Chris Samuels and Derrick Dockery are the only standout offensive lineman drafted, in 2000 and 2003 respectively).

While the Redskins have produced off the field (they are currently the second highest grossing team in the NFL) they have had a pretty bad decade on it.  Now, however, the Redskins hope to have a fruitful football future with their latest addition, General Manager Bruce Allen.  Bruce is the son of the Washington Redskins Hall of Fame coach George Allen.  He has NFL managerial experience with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Although for much of his career Allen has worked with former coach and current Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden, his appointment has been linked in the media with the potential hiring in a new head coach in Mike Shanahan, two time Super Bowl winner and former coach of the Denver Broncos.

Washington Redskins hire General Manager Bruce Allen

By: David

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