November 03, 2003

The Redskins and Coach Steve Spurrier received three hours of increasingly blunt criticism during the Cowboys game Sunday from Fox announcers Chris Collinsworth, Troy Aikman, and Joe Buck. "If a team could write a script for the worst possible way to spend two weeks preparing for a big game against its archrival, the Redskins just did it," writes a Washington Times reporter.

posted by rcade to football at 05:53 AM - 26 comments

I usually hate Chris Collinsworth and being a Redskin fan I expected to be particularly annoyed by the end of the game, but the criticism was just and the feelings mutual. "They're setting Ramsey up to fail," Aikman said. "He's got no chance. He's getting hit every time he goes back. This looks like a group that does not spend a lot of time during the course of the week preparing for what they're going to see on Sunday." I have no idea what the problem is. I don't know if it's the coach, the players, the practices, the owner or what, but I know the team played horribly and deserved everything they got. It was embarassing to watch.

posted by 86 at 06:44 AM on November 03, 2003

I can't recall an announcer ripping a team or a coach as much as Collinsworth did Sunday. The studio announcers were laughing about Collinsworth's tirades as early as the second quarter. In spite of being a Cowboys fan, I wanted Spurrier to do well in the pros. He looks like a deer in the headlights and his team reflects that state of mind. When you combine his problems with idiotic Snyder moves like cutting Rob Johnson without an adequate replacement on the team, the Indigenous Persons are done. Spurrier's gone after this year and they're rebuilding yet again.

posted by rcade at 06:51 AM on November 03, 2003

I have to chime in one more time because I want this on the record (again) before they go and kill him. Given the chance to take David Carr, Joey Harrington or Patrick Ramsey (the three first rounders of '02), I'd go with Ramsey. It's a close call between Carr and Ramsey, but the kid is amazing. He has a rifle for an arm, a sly elusiveness, and by God he has got to be the toughest bastard to ever play the game. No kidding. Patrick Ramsey has been sacked 25 times this year. That number would be higher except for the fact that he actually does a good job getting rid of the ball. It would easily be tripled if you accounted for the beating he takes on pressures and knock-downs. He gets up, goes out there, gets killed and gets back up again (with no help from his linemen, mind you) and takes another licking. Lather, rinse, repeat. Spurrier is to blame for this, because the head coach is always to blame, but I think he's at his wits end. I know I would be. He tries quick-plays and the audible crap kills them. He tries more protection and Rock Cartwright and Chad Morton decide to pick up the turf rather than blitzers. Chris Samuels looks like a division III player and a lousy one at that. I could scheme a defense that would beat this team. And all the while, Ramsey is getting killed. The one thing that I was looking forward to about this season... seeing the kid play... and now I hope they bench him for his safety. If he gets hurt, criminal neglect charges should be forthcoming. When you think about who it's coming from, a man who had his leg broken on a sack play, this sums it up nicely. "I've never seen a quarterback take this type of punishment week in and week out." Me niether, Joe.

posted by 86 at 07:43 AM on November 03, 2003

That was a strange game. Granted, as a die-hard Cowboys fan, it was nice to see the 'Boys win the game and eclipse there record of the last three seasons (5-11) and be sitting atop the NFC East at 6-2. But, man that was an ugly game. It looked like the Cowboys were trying to give the game away in the first half. Luckily, the Skins were the most ineptly managed team in a while. That is a team in free-fall. Any sort of cohesion and direction and they could of beat an off-kilter Cowboys team. I don't know what is going on in DC. Must be the over-bearing owner (Snyder) or further proof that college tactics don't work in the NFL. Sure, you can beat up on Tallahasse St. if your Florida, but the NFL is different. One thing I expect from a Spurrier team is offense. All offense and no defense. I expect them to lose game 38-30 or something. But yesterday, their D played well. Their offense is horrid. Their WR's are good enough to go max protect and wait till Coles gets open. I have no idea what they are thinking in DC. Going to get their good QB killed. But for the record: Ramsey isn't taking that bad of a beating. Carr took a worse one all last year, and Hutchinson got killed in the second half of the season for the Boys. Good result, but a crummy game. I guess in today's NFL you can play like dog crap like the Boys did and still win.

posted by kinack at 09:40 AM on November 03, 2003

86, always glad to read your football insights.

posted by garfield at 09:49 AM on November 03, 2003

Although we didn't get this game in the SF market, I was surely happy to read about an announcing crew that didn't call every reception and run up the middle great and every defensed pass and sack terrific. These TV guys never met a superlative they didn't like and use until there was no meaning left in it. Watching a lot of English soccer I notice their announcers don't do this nearly as much, though the American TV crews of course do. Can we bring some of the better English guys over in the close season as instructors for Fox, CBS and especially ESPN???

posted by billsaysthis at 11:20 AM on November 03, 2003

Huh? Yes, English announcers sound more educated than their American counterparts, but it's a different game and for a different audience. Soccer has one guy for a couple of hours all by himself. He'd better be fairly literate or it's going to be a long afternoon. Football is a series of stops and starts interrupted by beer advertisements (as opposed to putting them on the jerseys). ESPN's coverage is the worst of the bunch? I'm not a Theismann fan, but I think the Sunday night team does a great job. Each of the network's A teams is ok by me. Once you get down to Gus Johnson, Kenny Albert, et al, you're in trouble. There just isn't enough talent in the booth and in the production truck to cover all ~14 games on Sunday.

posted by yerfatma at 11:50 AM on November 03, 2003

Their WR's are good enough to go max protect and wait till Coles gets open. kinack, I keep hearing this, but they tried and it didn't work either. Indeed, it ended like every other passing play, with Ramsey on his back. Shotgun set, five lineman, two backs (Sultan or Morton on the left and Cartwright on the right), three wide. Both backs stayed in to protect, and at first it was a good thing they did because the Boys brought both safties (Williams off the left, Woodson from the right). Whichever Skins back was on the left made the right read and tried to block Williams, only he sucked at it and Roy blew right around him. Cartwright, on the other hand completely ignored Woodson, who was directly in his field of vision, plainly coming on the blitz and obviously was his responsiblity. Instead, Rock tries to go across the formation and block the speedy Williams. At the time of decision, the other back hadn't even missed the block yet, but when he did Cartwright was in no position to even get an arm on him (making him worthless on the play). The end result was Williams and Woodson piling on Ramsey as he let the ball go. Coles was deep, had just gotten through and it could have been a TD given a chance. Indeed, they may have had a shot at it if one of the blitzers had been picked-up. Ramsey has dodged guys before and he could have stepped around one guy, but with both on him he had no choice but to throw early and wallow in the pain of two great safties taking their best shot at him. And this went on all game. Jaws has looked at this and confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the protection schemes. Joe Bugel said the same thing. I watched closely all game and saw it over and over. The problem is the players and how much they effing suck at this stuff. They're terrible, even the "Pro Bowlers" amongst them. It's brutal. People can blame Spurrier and offer advice, but it's worthless until the players prove they can play. And it's not that Spurrier should be let off the hook for this... He leaves them in, he doesn't get irate and he doesn't bench the under-performers, but the system isn't at fault... it's just an easy thing for people to say. Ramsey isn't taking that bad of a beating. I begged to differ. He's getting killed. Joe Theisman should know what that's like and he called it the worst he's ever seen. Carr's season is fresh on everyone's mind so I doubt he forgot about it. Hutch was bad, but I don't think it was close to this. You have to add all the hits, all the knock-downs to the sacks before those numbers have meaning. And Ramsey gets hit on every passing play. This, a man who has proved his toughness over and over, and he hasn't finished the last three games. If it ain't a beating, I don't know what is. And frankly, I never want to see it (even if it was Quincy taking it). Okay, maybe if it was Quincy. And McNabb. And Elway. Yeah, definitely Elway.

posted by 86 at 12:26 PM on November 03, 2003

billsaysthis: I think you'd like Nick Halling. An Englishman who can commentate on games in the style of a Premiership commentator. He's actually done one NFL game for an American network.

posted by salmacis at 01:12 PM on November 03, 2003

I want Andrés Cantor to work a few NFL games. Gooooaaaaaaaaall! Touuccccchhdowwwwwnnnnn!!!

posted by dusted at 01:24 PM on November 03, 2003

Salamicis - I think that the Premiershp commentators are the best on the planet. Absolutely classy and understated - and their knowledge of the game is unsurpassed. Much better than getting some half-drunk ex-player in there to do the verbal equivalent of mooning the audience for a few guffaws. Football is the WORST. Any sport where John Madden earns $4 million a year becuase 'people seem to like feeling smarter than him' is an addle-brained beer league in my humble esteem (and boy isn't it humble?). Anyone watch the Packers/Vikings game? Favre throws a block (a nice one, granted) on a reverse that goes for a first down... "And that's why he's one of the best ever to put on a jersey" Uh, not to metion the touchdown tosses fellas. Al Michaels was scrambling over the broadcast table to be the first to just snap Favre off at half-time. Reminiscent of Amad Rashard trying to felate Jordan every interview he could "Mike (to audience 'see? I can call him Mike' - we're buds), that was a great play to end the half, you found your man open when no one else could and now you're up by 12." Mike - "Was that a question?"

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:43 PM on November 03, 2003

Weedy, I was with you until you started trashing John Madden. That fat idiot makes watching even the worst games enjoyable. I will be sad when he retires.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:12 PM on November 03, 2003

Hey I like John Madden too - but does he elevate the sport like these premisership guys do? No - quite the opposite I feel.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:16 PM on November 03, 2003

Yerfatma--are you becoming my [wink] archnemesis?--I was only trying to suggest that our broadcast teams could use some lessons in toning done the overblown adjectives. Every player is a star, every good player is a superstar, every decent play is awesome, amazing, terrific or great. Just gets kind of sickening and devalues the truly wonderful players and plays. And Theismann is so bad he destroys the whole broadcast for me; fortunately there's usually something better on HBO to watch.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:21 PM on November 03, 2003

I think that the Premiershp commentators are the best on the planet. Agreed. We in New England might have the best football commentators in our radio guys, Gil Santos and Gino Capiletti. And I would mention not every ex-player is a bonehead. Al Michaels was scrambling over the broadcast table to be the first to just snap Favre off at half-time. You had me going until that. It's Mike Patrick.

posted by yerfatma at 02:38 PM on November 03, 2003

No I'm sure it was Brett Favre. He's number 4 right? ;-)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:27 AM on November 04, 2003

addle-brained beer league mmmm, beer league. on the burgundy and gold: *sigh* 86 is right on about criminal neglect if Ramsey is ruined either physically or mechanically by the team's inability to protect him. i blame Synder and Cerrato more than Spurrier though. their refusal to hire a real GM, and decision to run the franchise like it's danny's little plaything is what has got us in this mess. i still think Spurrier's system could work, if he were surrounded by experienced NFL coaches instead of yes-men from the college ranks.

posted by danostuporstar at 09:58 AM on November 04, 2003

dano, you make a good point: why was Spurrier made the GM when he has zero (non-playing) experience in the NFL? Pay him the money, give him some significant level of player control, but support him properly. The current situation is set up for failure.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:34 PM on November 04, 2003

I don't believe that Spurrier is the GM. The Redskins don't have a GM. Li'l Danny split up the job. Vinny Cerato is the Director of Player Personnel. (Brought back after the 2001-2002 season, but he stuck around town after he was "let go" after the hiring of Schottenheimer, meaning he was probably kept on as one of those consultants that Li'l Danny likes so much because he was still living in the DC metro area) Joe Mendes is the VP of football operations. (I believe he resigned before Schottenheimer's only season started, and was the team's capologist) The wacko thing that Li'l Danny did was hire Spurrier at such insanely high wages, even though he was not experienced at the NFL. But of course, he's a genius offensive coordinator that he didn't have to hire one. I wonder if Parcells is getting paid more than Spurrier? I wonder if Li'l Danny would be crazy enough to hire Deion Sanders after this season. After all, Deion did stiff him for at least $4 million, IIRC, when he hired Schottenheimer. Danny has an ego that is out of control, and thinks he can run a football team, let alone a franchise. You'd think that if he was so brilliant about pro football, he would've noticed how Jerry Jones' top-down management style worked so badly after he let go of Jimmah.

posted by GoDizzGo at 08:05 AM on November 05, 2003

My bad, Dizz, but I guess that's the appearance of things this far west. My main explanation for L'l Danny is that his mind was altered, and not in good ways, by having so much of daddy's money at such a young age.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:31 PM on November 05, 2003

Daniel Snyder is an Idiot. I wish I'd come across this last year... an older article that takes a pound of flesh out of Li'l Danny and the Old Ball Coach. I think this was written after the 2002 season, and there are some insightful predictions: I believe that last season will be the best that Steve Spurrier will have in the NFL, as it is all downhill from this point. Snyder will become disenchanted with Spurrier after another poor season, and Spurrier will go back to the swamp where he belongs. Snyder will either buy the last coach to win the SuperBowl, or the last college coach to win the National Title. He will then proceed to put together another team of past winners that will not produce the results desired. They will lose, and lose hard. The Redskins will slowly sink to the level of the Bengals, quicker than you can say Mike Brown. It is a shame that such a storied franchise can be run into the ground by greed.

posted by dusted at 02:31 PM on November 05, 2003

Great link, dusted. I was one of the few who thought Spurrier might succeed in the NFL, until I realized he was paired with someone who would not control him at all. Putting the Ol' Ball Coach with Li'l Danny is a recipe for disaster.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:52 PM on November 05, 2003

dusted, you think Bob Stoops or Pete Carroll would work for Snyder? I guess that quote isn't you, though. Still, those two are more likely than any current NFL head coach, who can see his handiwork up close. Maybe he'll decide to coach himself, in the tradition of Halas and Davis.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:54 PM on November 05, 2003

I think it's more likely that he'll just play with himself, as he's been doing since purchasing the franchise.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:16 PM on November 05, 2003

wfrazerjr, two years ago I was certain that Spurrier would succeed. How different could it be? I don't watch college ball, so I must have missed something (or likely many things). billysaysthis, I don't think anyone will want to work for Li'l Danny if he fires Spurrier. He's been through too many previously excellent coaches - he's worse than the EA Sports jinx for ruining careers.

posted by dusted at 09:24 PM on November 05, 2003

I'm a Mets fan and a Redskins fan. Pity me.

posted by languagehat at 03:59 PM on November 06, 2003

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