Man, was I moved by this ESPN documentary-style piece on Alex Smith. I had no idea how close he came to losing his leg and how a flesh-eating bacteria almost took his life.
I remember how excited I was for the 2018 season with Alex Smith as our starting Quarterback, and how well the team was playing with him during the first half of the season; The Redskins were on top of their division — The team seemed to be flowing well, and on their way to make a playoff run….. things looked extremely promising.
Then, Alex Smith suffered what appeared to be a career-ending injury, eerily similar to Joe Theismann’s career-ending leg injury back in 1985, which occurred on the same date as Smith’s injury (November 18).
From that point on, everything fell apart for the 2018 Washington Redskins football team. However, most importantly than football, it almost ended the life of Alex Smith.
It was an incredibly revelatory experience watching this Project 11 piece. Learning how Smith’s unique predicament took the doctors by complete surprise. How unfamiliar they were with this infection, plus there wasn’t anyone with a similar experience that they could use as a reference point to lean into, especially an infection like this within the sports world.
Watching him in the hospital fighting for his life. How incoherent he seemed after the infection took over. The gruesome images of his leg, and then, 17 surgeries later attempting to reclaim his life. It was such a catastrophic ordeal for him and his family.
His recovery has been remarkable, to say the least.
I was always an Alex Smith fan, and after watching this documentary piece, it is beyond evident that we should not count him out, and we definitely have not heard the last from him.
Another NFL Draft has come and gone, and my dear beloved Redskins had a solid, thoughtful, and productive draft.
We had the #2 overall pick…. and, well, we picked Chase Young, but more on him later.
This was not a normal draft — Roger Goddell called out the picks from his home — it was the strangest draft ever, I was not expecting much, but they pulled it off very well. Kudos to the NFL.
The CincinnatiBengals did the right thing in drafting Joe Burrow with the #1 overall pick.
The Miami Dolphins drafting Tua and using their other picks to build around him was smart. I think Miami has finally found the right coach in Brian Flores with whom to build something special for years to come.
TheGreen Bay Packers drafting Jordan Love was the shocker of the first round. The story repeats itself; echoes of 2005 when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers, whose draft stock was plummeting from possibly being selected as one of the top overall picks — to end up getting drafted at #25 overall by Green Bay. Even though Bret Favre was still considered to be in his prime….drafting a quarterback that high sends a weird message. It is evident to me that a decision has been made to begin the process of replacing Rodgers.
And for the Redskins….
We didn’t draft a quarterback this year, which doesn’t really mean much, and It seems that the coaching staff are all in on Haskins, or at least for the next season, but expect Kyle Allen to push him hard.
This was not a good draft for Tight Ends, and we did not draft any this year to replace Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, but we did end up signing Thaddeus Moss as an undrafted free agent TE from LSU, (Randy Moss is his father)….. Don’t know much about Moss — all I know is that he had some issues staying healthy, but all his coaches raved about him. So, we shall see how he fares.
Trent Williams was finally traded to the 49ers for a 5th round pick this year and a 3rd in 2021 — Reuniting him with Kyle Shanahan. I wanted us to get two picks out of Trent for this 2020 draft. Maybe a 3rd and a 4th this year and a 3rd in 2021 — or a 4th and a 5th rounder this year and a 3rd next year. I felt like we gave up a Pro Bowl elite tackle for peanuts, but at least this whole trade drama is over, and it will not be looming around and clouding training camp (if there is one), or the season for that matter.
All in all, we made thoughtful picks, and it seems the front-office, including Head Coach Ron Rivera and our unofficial GM Kyle Smith, were on the same page, which has not been the norm for many years around Redskins Park.
Here is a quick breakdown on the Redskins 2020 NFL Draft:
#2 overall-Chase Young DE Ohio State: The second year in a row that we took an Ohio state player in the first round, and they are both from the DC area. Young is considered to be an immediate impact player. For what is worth, we should be an elite defense, based on all the first-rounders and young talented players we currently have on our defense.
2nd round: We had ZERO picks
#66 Overall-Antonio Gibson RB Memphis: Listed as a running back, but runs routes like a receiver — I heard Kyle Smith was hight on Gibson. This pick is very intriguing, especially knowing how Scott Turner used McCaffrey in Carolina, He is joining a crowded and very talented backfield with Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, JD Makkisic and Bryce Love.
#108 Overall-Saahdiq Charles OT LSU: It looks to be a depth pick and a developmental player.
#142 Overall-Antonio Gandy-Golden WR Liberty: He was highly rated. He seems to physically fit what the Redskins were looking for in terms of receiver. TV talking heads were also high on him but thought he fell to the 4th round because this draft was loaded with receivers.
#156 Overall-Keith Ismael C San Diego State (Trent Williams pick): This is another depth and developmental pick. Offensive line depth issues have plagued us for multiple seasons, and it seems we are finally starting to address those issues in this draft.
#162 overall-Khaleesi Hudson OLB Michigan: This is another depth and developmental pick with special teams in mind.
6th round: We had ZERO picks
#216 Overall-Kamrem Curl S Arkansas: Safety and special teams depth.
#229 Overall-James Smith-Williams DE North Carolina State: This is another depth and developmental pick. We must have Defensive End depth in case we lose Ryan Kerrigan next season.
My Redskins are just about done putting together their new coaching staff under new Head Coach Ron Rivera. The hiring of Ken Zampese as the new Quarterbacks coach is a solid hire. He brings tons of experience to a position where experience is needed. Dwayne Haskins will benefit from Zampese’s experience, and an improved Quarterback play should be expected next season under the tutelage of Zampese and new offensive coordinator Scott Turner. Another highly experienced coach is John Matsko, who rejoins Rivera from their days with the Panthers. In all his years in Carolina, Matsko had consistent rushing stats, and although he has big shoes to fill taking over Bill Callahan’s position; I still feel this is a big hire for the ‘skins. We also have a new wide receivers coach in Jim Hostler, who is also rejoining Rivera from the Panthers. Hostler is another highly experienced position coach, having worked in Green Bay, Buffalo, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Carolina, to name a few. Hostler is inheriting a very young receiving corps that features the breakout wide receiver star Terry Mclaurin. Pete Hoener is another Carolina coach making his way to the Redskins this season. Hoener will be the new Tight Ends coach, and he also brings many years of experience molding, coaching standout tight end talents like Greg Olsen, and a young Vernon Davis in San Francisco. I’m excited about all these changes to our coaching staff; it was time to bring new voices into the locker room. We have the number 2 overall pick in this upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, and we should be all in on Chase Young. He is more than just a pass rusher; He is a one in a lifetime-generational player. Young could be that missing piece that we have been missing to give our defense the boost needed to become an elite NFL defense. We need to find some corners that can contribute immediately, and some tight end depth should also be a high priority.
NFC-AFC Championship Games:
49ers 37-Packers 20: Raheem Mostert was unstoppable in this game, and his backstory of being cut by a bunch of teams and finding a spot in the 49ers squad is remarkable. Jimmy G threw the ball 8 times with only 6 completions, that is an insane stat. They will need to be more aggressive with the passing game against the Chiefs if they expect to win the Super Bowl. The Packers seem to be a few pieces away from getting back to the big game, especially on defense. The window for Aaron Rodgers to get back to a Super Bowl is getting smaller. Kyle Shanahan has the unique opportunity to become the first father-son Super Bowl-winning Coaches in NFL history.
Chiefs 35-Titans 24: Tennessee looked great in the first half of this game leading 10-7 in the first quarter, but Kansas City took Derrick Henry entirely out of the game, and Ryan Tannehill struggled to get anything going on offense. The Chiefs defense has stepped up as of late and is better than the talking heads on sports media suggest. Pat Mahomes is the complete package, and he is the best young quarterback in the NFL by far. Andy Reid is back coaching in the big game after 15 years. Reid is a great coach who is getting a second chance to win a Super Bowl after losing his first Super Bowl against the Patriots in 2005 when he coached the Eagles.
My Super Bowl Prediction:
This game is shaping up to be one of the best Super Bowl matchups in recent history, and they are both formidable teams, but unfortunately, only one will get to raise the Lombardi trophy at the end of the game. My heart says; the Chiefs should win, but my mind says; The 49ers will end up winning the whole thing.
The changes continue at Redskins Park. They let Eric Shaffer go after 17 years with the Redskins. He is highly regarded when it comes to the salary cap, but a changing of the guard was needed. Coach Rivera has brought in his own guy Rob Rogers from the Panthers who also served at Carolina in a similar role managing the salary cap as Shaffer. Doug Williams was retained but under a new title of Senior Vice President of Player Development. Ken Zampese has also been hired as the new Quarterbacks coach to work under new Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner. Zampese has an impressive resume working and developing young Quarterbacks, so we’ll see what kind of impact he has on young Dwayne Haskins on this upcoming season. Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor was retained, which was a no brainer since his unit was the most consistent and best-performing unit this past 2019 season.
Kyle Smith has been promoted to Vice President of player personnel. This is a pretty big deal; Kyle will work closely with Coach Rivera as they approach the 2020 NFL Draft. It is important to note that Kyle Smith is the son of A.J. Smith, who was the San Diego Chargers General Manager during the time Rivera worked there as the defensive coordinator under Head Coach Norv Turner. All these connections are essential to get a sense of what this new regime is trying to accomplish.
And now some Divisional Playoff action:
Titans28-Ravens 12: Lamar Jackson came crashing down. The Titans and Derrick Henry took over this game and never looked back. It was the most surprising win, and nobody expected Tennessee to beat the number 1 scoring offense. Next, the Titans take on Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs, and I think the Titans playoff Cinderella run will come to an end.
49ers 27-Vikings 10: Total domination by San Francisco. Kirk Cousins got blitz to death in this game, Cousins had better stats than Jimmy G, but they were both pretty mediocre. Next, the 49ers should be favorites against the Packers. I would love to see the 49ers vs. the Chiefs in the Superbowl.
Chiefs 51-Texans 31: This was the most exciting game of the weekend. Houston was 21 to nothing in the first quarter, Kansas City scored seven straight Touchdowns to turn this game upside down on Houston. Patrick Mahomes‘ playmaking abilities reminded the entire world who the most dynamic young quarterback in the NFL is. Next, the Chiefs should be the favorites against the Titans to reach the SuperBowl representing the AFC.
Packers 28-Seahawks 23: Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers looked sharp against a Seattle team that seemed to arrive at this game pretty banged up. The Packers take on the 49ers next week. A battle of former Redskins assistant coaches Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur. San Francisco is a hell of a lot more dangerous and more dynamic than the Seahawks. I pick the 49ers here to end up in the Superbowl representing the NFC.
The Redskins are in the process of cleaning house; we have already hired a new Head Athletic trainer in Ryan Vermillion, who worked for Ron Rivera in Carolina for many years. We also hired LB coach Steve Russ, reuniting him with coach Rivera from their time with the Panthers. It was announced that Scott Turner (Norv Turner’s son), is moving back to DC as the new offensive coordinator for the Redskins. Scott Turner worked under Rivera in Carolina as a Quarterbacks coach and is still unclear what is going to happen with Kevin O’Connell, his name is being thrown around for potential offensive coordinator jobs in multiple places. Will they keep O’Connell as Quarterbacks coach and Scott Turner as the Offensive Coordinator? I really hope they don’t mess this up. Haskins’s development under O’Connell was remarkable, so bringing Turner to the Redskins means a new system for Haskins to learn. I did like what they did in Carolina with Christian McCaffrey, so maybe there is a bigger picture here with Turner running the offense, and perhaps that is why they are allowing Kevin O’Connell to walk away. Figuring out the Trent Williams situation should be our top priority. Things are moving pretty fast around Redskins park.
And now for some Wildcard Playoff action:
Titans 20-Patriots 13: The Belicheaters got exposed yet again. Brady looked done, and it might be the end of the Brady-Belichick era. I think one or the other will be out of New England next season. Derrick Henry is probably the best running back in the playoffs. Next, Tennessee plays Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
Texans 22-Bills 19: Buffalo made some insane decisions in this game, which cost them the game. The Bills seem to be very close to getting this team over the hump. Next, Houston takes on Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs. Deshaun Watson vs. Pat Mahomes equals must-watch TV.
Vikings 26-Saints 20: It took overtime play for Kirk Cousins to finally win his first playoff game. Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph showed up big time for this game. Drew Brees was under fire for most of the game, and his mobility was limited. It was a solid game. Next, Minnesota takes on the 49ers; this will be the most exciting game of the divisional round. Kyle Shanahan knows Kirk Cousins very well from their time with the Redskins. I am looking forward to this game.
Seahawks 17-Eagles 9: Carson Wentz got concussed and replaced by 40-year-old Josh McCown, who played pretty well, keeping the “Beagles” within range of catching up to Seattle. There must be a curse on Carson Wentz because he cannot stay healthy, and something always seems to happen. DK Metcalf looked unstoppable, Marshawn Lynch scored two TDs and looked great. Next, Seattle takes on the Packers, which has the making of an excellent game.
Haskins had his best game of the season. His pocket presence is strong. The stats of this game show the gradual progress that we expected to see from him, and the chemistry between McLaurin and Haskins is something special. Steven Sims is getting more involved in the offense, which is a good thing. I can only imagine how things could’ve been if we had Trent Williams at left tackle, a healthy offensive line, Derrius Guice, Cris Thompson, both healthy for the whole season. Plus Jordan Reed or Vernon Davis as offensive weapons, then we are talking about a completely different offense, a more explosive offense. Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature, and at 34 years old, he still is running hard and breaking records. We need to keep him for next season. Losing this game sucked, but it was definitely a moral victory for this team struggling to establish some type of momentum going into the offseason.
Urban Meyer was at the owner’s box for this game seating and chatting up with Alex Smith, who was his former QB at Utah. Meyer also coached Haskins and McLaurin at Ohio State, so his presence at the game raised a lot of questions from all the talking heads in sports media. Meyer made a comment a few weeks ago saying that the Cowboys Head Coaching job would be a ‘no brainer’ if it became available. I get the sense Urban Meyer is setting himself up for a bidding war for his coaching services. I’ve never been high on hiring college coaches regardless of their credentials. The NFL is an entirely different animal than the college game. College coaches struggle in the pros, names like Chip Kelly, Nick Saban, and Bobby Petrino, to name a few. And let us not forget about the Steve Spurrier experiment, which left such a nasty taste in my mouth that I would prefer to never ever go back into the college ranks for a coach. But Snyder has a thing for trying to lure big-name celebrity coaches. Hopefully, this would not be the case. First, we need to address our GM situation and give Bruce Allen his walking papers. No coach will find success with the Redskins as long as Bruce Allen remains around.
My overall disposition regarding my Redskins: FIRE BRUCE ALLEN!!
And now for the rest of the league…..
Cowboys 44-Rams 21: This was one of the biggest choke jobs of the season. The Rams made Dallas look like the Ravens or Chiefs. The Rams’ playoff chances are now slipping away.
Giants 36-Dolphins 20: Eli won big on his final home game for the Giants, and proved my point that he can still start in this league. Hopefully, he’ll go play for a contender next season.
Ravens 42-Jets 21: Lamar Jackson broke Michael Vick’s record. Baltimore is now 12-2, making them the most dangerous team in the league. The Jets have to put this whole season under review and make some drastic changes, they have way too much talent to be this ineffective.
Patriots 34-Bengals 13: New England was supposed to win this game, but this game was overshadowed by the controversy regarding the videotaping of the Bengals sideline the previous week. The Belicheaters is the only team regularly accused of shady tactics. This controversy will go on into the offseason.
Cardinals 38-Browns 24: The hype machine surrounding Cleveland has imploded right before our eyes. They sold fool’s gold to the public. The issues plaguing the Browns go beyond the coaching staff. Arizona and Kyler Murray are showing flashes of their potential. Next season is going to be very interesting to see how this team progresses.
Bills 17-Steelers 10: Buffalo has clinched a playoff spot. This team is a very dangerous team for any opponent they face on the playoffs. The Steelers will need to win out and get some help to claim a wild card spot.
Falcons 29-49ers 22: Jimmy G goes from terrific one week to mediocre the following week. The Falcons are playing hard for their coach, but it might be a little too late to save his job.
Vikings 39-Chargers 10: Minnesota is still one game behind Green Bay for the Division. Monday night’s game against the packers will be huge for both teams.
Jaguars 20-Raiders 16: Gardner Minshew pulled two TDs out his hat of tricks to take the lead and win this game. This was the final game in Oakland for the Raiders before moving to Vegas next season.
Saints 34-Colts 7: New Orleans and Drew Brees are rolling into the playoffs red hot. The Colts started the season at 5-2, and they have only one single victory since then. Andrew Luck’s name started trending high during Monday Night’s game.
Chiefs 23-Broncos 3: Travis Kelce was the standout player of this game-breaking Tight End records. The Broncos are a disaster, and perhaps Drew Lock is not the QB answer that Denver was hoping for.
Texans 24-Titans 21: This was a very close game, and although the Titans lost, they are still within reach of the playoffs, while the Texans are getting closer to clinch the AFC South.
Seahawks 30-Panthers 24: Carolina looks worse without Ron Rivera. It’s safe to say that the entire coaching staff will probably be gone after this season. The Seahawks have officially clinched a playoff spot and are the number one seed currently in the NFC.
Packers 21-Bears 13: Huge win for Green Bay setting up the stage for Monday Night Football showdown against the Vikings. The Bears are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Buccaneers 38-Lions 17: James Winston threw 4 TDs and had over 400 yards passing in back to back games. He leads the league in interceptions, but he is fun to watch. The Lions got behind early and could never get back into traction.
My Redskins chance to run the table and win out ended on a failed two-point conversion play with about a minute left in the fourth quarter. All in all, I like how this team is showing guts and is playing better to finish up the season strong. Bill Callahan has gotten this roster playing tough. Dwayne Haskins got banged up but ended up finishing up the game. Terry McLaurin had a one-handed highlight TD catch in the fourth quarter. Derrius Guice was hit in the knee at the end of a run and got pulled out of the game (looks like he will be out for the rest of the season), this sucks, because he seemed to be getting on rhythm before getting hurt.
We are fortunate to have Adrian Peterson in our line up. He has been the most dependable and consistent running back for the last two seasons. Cris Thompson, Bryce Love, and Guice have not been healthy, and Smallwood is not explosive enough to be a constant running threat. Peterson fits our offense, fits what Callahan likes to run. It is a no brainer that we need to bring him back next season. The foundation of our running game starts with AP, and Guice is the future of it. There are a bunch of online rumors circulating about the potential firing of Bruce Allen soon, and I hope those rumors turn into reality, and it is not just wishful thinking. There is also lots of potential Head Coaching rumors flying around online, linking some names to the Redskins, names like Ron Rivera (former Panthers HC), David Shaw (current HC at Stanford University), Eric Bieniemy (current Chiefs Offensive coordinator), Mike Tomlin (current Steelers HC), to name a few. I am not overly excited about any of those names, although Ron Rivera would be an interesting proposition, but more on him and this possibility when the season ends.
My Current overall disposition regarding my Redskins: Waiting for Bruce Allen to be Fired.
And now for the rest of the league…
Cowboys 24-Bears 31: Mitch Trubisky had himself his best game ever. He made some fantastic plays against this overrated Dallas team and kept their playoff hopes alive. All the talk about moving on from Trubisky has been silenced for at least a week until this Sunday when they play the Packers, which I believe they can win. For the Cowboys to win the division and make the playoffs, they have to win out and hope for the Eagles to lose along the way. Nothing will bring me more joy than seeing the Cowboys eliminated from playoff contention and having another miserable offseason.
Eagles 23-Giants 17: Zach Ertz caught the game-winning game TD in overtime to save the Eagles season. The Giants looked more competitive with Eli Manning at QB, which reinforces my idea that Eli will be starting elsewhere for a contender next season.
Ravens 24-Bills 17: Second straight week Lamar Jackson has faced two excellent defenses (49ers last week, Buffalo this week), and although his numbers do not show much, he still managed to defeat two pretty good teams. It is important to note that Baltimore has only two losses, and they came early in the season (week 3 against the Chiefs and week 4 against the Browns), they have not lost since week 4. All of a sudden, the Ravens appear to be the most dangerous team in the NFL. The Bills lost another close game, bringing their record to 9-4, and just one game behind the Belicheaters. Hopefully, they will get on a winning roll and take division title from the Patriots.
Chiefs 23-Patriots 16: Kansas City needed this win badly. They have three winnable games at the tail end of the regular season schedule to get into a winning streak heading into the playoffs. New England continues to struggle against dual-threat Quarterbacks; they have lost to Lamar Jackson, Deseaun Watson, and now Pat Mahomes. They struggled early in the season against Josh Allen, and they still have to play him again in a few weeks, which could potentially determine the Division winner. Brady is in dire need of more talented receivers; all he is got is Edelman, and it is not enough.
Titans 42-Raiders 21: Ryan Tannehill has led the Titans out of the abyss into playoff contention while the Raiders’ playoff run is essentially over. Nevertheless, the Raiders should feel encouraged going into the off-season. Nobody expected them to be contending this late in the season, and they surprise all the sports media talking heads.
Rams 28-Seahawks 12: Sean McVay started rerunning Gurley, and all of a sudden, the Rams are back in the mix of things and looking like a dangerous offense. Seattle’s impressive five-game winning streak came to an end, but the next two games appear to be winnable, leading up to their final game of the season against the 49ers. This NFC West division is red hot.
Vikings 20-Lions 7: Bounce back victory for the Vikings, which puts them at one game behind from the Packers. I have a feeling the Vikings will win out and host a Playoff game. The Lions show some promise earlier in the season, but they have now lost six games in a row. Matt Patricia’s seat is getting hot.
49ers 48-Saints 46: Best game of the football weekend and maybe the whole season. San Francisco won the game by a field goal with only a few seconds left in the game. It was Jimmy G’s best performance this year, and George Kittle had a monster highlight catch. I have a feeling these two teams will meet again in the playoffs.
Jets 22-Dolphins 20: This was a field goal game, about 9 field goals between both teams. The jets scored a couple of TDs to make the difference in this game.
Chargers 45-Jaguars 10: Nick Foles has been benched for the remainder of the season in favor of Gardner Minshew and it has made no difference, the Jaguars are awful, and it has nothing to do with the QB. The Chargers ended their three-game losing streak, but the playoffs are no longer a possibility. They need to finish up the season strong.
Falcons 40-Panthers 20: Ron Rivera was fired last week. Panther’s new owner wants to get a head start on finding a new Head coach. This new owner did not hire Rivera and reportedly wants to hire his own “type” of coach (whatever that means). Apparently, Rivera being the winningest coach in Panthers history, a two-time NFL coach of the year, plus three NFC South titles and a Super Bowl appearance. All of that was not what this new owner deemed acceptable. Atlanta is trying to finish the season on a positive note and save Dan Quinn’s job.
Browns 27-Bengals 19: The Browns are trying to finish up the season winning out but with no chance at the playoffs, making them the biggest disappointment of the season. Baker Mayfield is not what the hype machine told us he was supposed to be. The Bengals have only 1 victory for the whole season, and as of this week, they are officially the worst team in the NFL.
Buccaneers 38- Colts 35: This was a back and forth entertaining game. James Winston is an interception machine, but he also throws lots of TDs, which makes Tampa Bay fun to watch. The Colts have lost two in a row and are self-destructing, putting themselves out of the playoff race.
Steelers 23-Cardinals 17: The Steelers’ playoff hopes are still alive, and the next few weeks will be crucial for their playoff chances. Kyler Murray has made me a believer, and I like the progress this Arizona team is making under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Broncos 38-Texans 24: Drew Lock might be the answer at QB Denver has been looking for since Payton Manning retired. The Texans got caught napping and got blown out early in the game — lousy loss for Houston.