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Redskins And Basketball, And Other Links

Posted by Matt Terl on March 16, 2011 – 5:12 pm

It’s unquestionably basketball’s time of year, so here are a couple of seasonally appropriate notes (along with a bunch of other random links). First up, above, is Redskins Pro Bowl middle linebacker London Fletcher playing roundball back in high school. It’s frankly remarkable. (H/T to Cindy Boren.)

Then there’s Donovan McNabb, who’s providing analysis of the NCAA tournament for Comcast SportsNet. McNabb isn’t just a basketball tourist; he was a walk-on on the Syracuse basketball team for a couple years in college, he played basketball on Pros Vs. Joes, and he even did a pretty solid NBA preview on his radio show last season.

In advance of this new gig, McNabb broke down this year’s bracket with CSNWashington’s Ryan O’Halloran. “It’s a wide open field,” McNabb told O’Halloran. “A lot of people are giving Ohio State and Kansas the edge. Kansas, I can see. But Ohio State, the Big Ten hasn’t been very successful since Michigan State had its run with Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson. And the brackets this year aren’t as equal. Duke has an easier bracket. Ohio State has a tougher bracket.”

Plenty more from McNabb in the link. Some other pieces worth reading….
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A Somewhat Unusual Note On First Round Picks

Posted by Matt Terl on March 16, 2011 – 10:07 am

There are a few bromides that Redskins fans tend to return to when they discuss how to improve the team.

“Build the team through the draft” is most definitely one of those, a repudiation of the free-agent-heavy personnel moves of the last few years.

Another would be something like, “Go back to Redskins football,” meaning a return not only to the power running game of the early Joe Gibbs teams, but to some sort of imagined ideology of those same times.

And one more — an elaboration of the first precept above — would be “Don’t trade that first-round pick for an aging veteran.”

What people seem to forget — or not to realize — is that all of those approaches aren’t necessarily compatible. It’s common knowledge that George Allen was fond of trading away draft picks for familiar players. What’s less noted is how rare first-round picks were during the first Joe Gibbs era as well. I was looking through the Wikipedia page for “List Of Washington Redskins First Round Draft Picks,” and the chart there really makes for a stunningly clear visual of this. Check it out: Read more »

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