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Just A Little More On That Bruce Smith Issue

Posted by Matt Terl on February 4, 2009 – 4:39 pm

A few days ago, I asked if people considered new Hall of Famer Bruce Smith a Redskin.

Unsurprisingly, most people said no. (Equally unsurprisingly, the folks at Mister Irrelevant said no with entertaining verve.) Heck, I pretty much said no myself even as I was asking the question, although I tossed out a few half-baked stats to offer the counter-argument.

But ESPN 980 host Steve Czaban posted some more statistics (courtesy of John Thompson Show producer Chuck Sapienza) that actually muddy the water a bit further. I mean, they still don’t fully change my impression of Smith’s tenure here, but they do offer a few interesting points of comparison.

Bruce Smith started 54 games for the Redskins
Doug Williams started 14
Timmy Smith started 8
Rick “Doc” Walker started 53

Bruce Smith had 29 sacks in 4 years
Lavar Arrington had 23 sacks for his Redskins career

It is genuinely unbelievable to me that Doug Williams logged FORTY fewer games as a Redskin than Bruce Smith. I guess it just goes to show you that leading your team in the greatest quarter of football in human history on the biggest stage your sport has to offer makes a lot more of an impression than 40 more games in late-career pursuit of the sack record. Read more »

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An Interesting Possibility Signs A Futures Contract

Posted by Matt Terl on February 4, 2009 – 10:42 am

So the Redskins announced today that they’ve signed two guys to reserve/futures contracts — that is, 2009 contracts for players who were not under 2008 contract to any other team — and both are at positions that have been the subject of much offseason (and in-season) speculation:

  • Dave Rayner, K
  • Dominique Dorsey, RB/KR

Rayner is an experienced kicker, although a bit of a journeyman. He’s seen action with four teams, including the full 2006 season with Green Bay, but that seems to be the way things go for kickers until they find their spot. Coach Zorn mentioned this phenomenon in a press conference back in December:

There’s kind of a group of punters and a group of kickers and they all rotate until they find a home, and what the do when they find a home, you know what they do? They get coached and they find their rhythm.

So we’ll see what shakes out, and maybe find out how Suisham acquits himself with competition in camp.

But the more intriguing name is Dorsey’s. He’s is a former UNLV running back — his 1,000 yard 2004 season is the most recent one they’ve had — who received the 2008 John Agro Special Teams Award. That award, as I think we all know, is given to the most outstanding CFL special teams player by a vote of his peers, so … pretty prestigious honor.

Dorsey, a classic too-short-for-the-NFL case at 5-7, still trains in Las Vegas in the offseason (and also did some offseason work at the FedEx loading docks there, where he earned more accolades: Employee of the Day, per a profile in the Las Vegas Sun).

Now, I can hear you already: hey, that’s Canada. Don’t they have a wider field than we do? And weird rules? Do they really eat french fries with cheese curds and gravy? And don’t they pronounce the letter O weirdly? So how much can the Candian special teams award really imply?

And those are all great questions. The answers to the first four are simple: yes, yes, yes, and yes. For the fifth, though — the one about what the John Agro Award implies — for that, let’s go to the videotape.

Here’s Dorsey returning a missed field goal 129 yards.

It’s a longshot, obviously. In most cases like this, there’s a reason that a guy hasn’t made it in the NFL just yet. But in an offseason where plenty of people have commented that the Redskins could use someone like Darren Sproles, the 5-6 KR/RB in San Diego, well … maybe Dorsey could fit that mold, but without the price tag that Sproles’s playoff performance will command. Worth keeping an eye on, anyhow. And isn’t it nice to have some specific players to speculate about beyond Albert Haynesworth and Jordan Gross?

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Wednesday, February 4: Clinton Portis, Quote Machine

Posted by Matt Terl on February 4, 2009 – 9:05 am

Well, Clinton Portis is on the ground in Hawai’i, and the amusing quotes are already winging their way back to the mainland.

For example, from an AP article on about how the players don’t want the Pro Bowl to leave Hawai’i:

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, another University of Miami standout, said there’s no question where the players would rather end the year.

“This place is much better. You can go to Miami all the time,” he said.

And, later in the same article:

Portis said in Miami, “there’s too much to get into,” especially with places like South Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

“There’s going to be people getting DUIs, people getting suspended, so I think coming out here is much nicer,” he said. “[Being in Miami], I don’t think it will have the same feel. They don’t have any leis in Miami. They don’t have flower shorts to walk around in.”

I suspect that the four cast members from ABC’s Lost who have been arrested for DUIs in Hawai’i would take issue with Clinton’s specific points, but whatever.

Then there’s … well, remember yesterday, when I said that things were quiet here without Colt Brennan? Well, according to an article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, he’s keeping things plenty lively in the islands … by taking Portis diving. With sharks. That’s right: Clinton Portis, Shark Diver.

Here are some of Portis’s gems on the subject: Read more »

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