You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
See the original blog here.
Joe: The move smacks of desperation. I
think to the "smart set" (your words) you only make a move like this
if you're looking at about 8 games without your starter.
I used the term “aggressive” to describe the move.
Aggression and desperation aren’t quite the same thing, but they hang out in
the same neighborhood. A dog who has been backed into a corner becomes
aggressive in trying to get out of there. We’ll just have to wait and see if
the Skins feel that they have been backed into the corner. To me, the move
makes sense and is fitting with the way that the organization does business
even if Portis will be 100% for the Vikings game. It’s not like the Redskins
are strangers do making moves like this absent a compelling reason for
desperation such as a major injury. If Clinton Portis isn’t ready by Week 2 in
Dallas then we will know the answer.
Michael: I do think the move makes the
'Skins better this year, but I also think we did overpay for Duckett's
services, mainly because Duckett's on a 1-year deal. You have to ask yourself
whether a high third-round pick equivalent is worth more than a situational RB
for 1 year. I think the high third-round pick is worth more.
Ultimately, it depends on who the third-round pick is. If it’s
Derrick Dockery, certainly it is. If that pick turns out to be Rashad Bauman, the
one-year rental of Duckett has the potential to much move valuable. The third
the Redskins gave up to get Mark Brunell in 2004 wound up belonging to the
Packers and they used it to take Clemson DT Donnell Washington. He has yet to
appear in an NFL game and he’s now the property of the Raiders. Then again,
later in that round the Redskins traded their ’05 second-rounder and took Chris Cooley. Thirds are gambles; you might not even get one solid year out of them. There
isn’t much of a chance that the Redskins won’t get one solid year out of
Duckett. But if the pick gets used for another Cooley, the Redskins clearly
will have lost the gamble.
Joe: As far as overpaying, yes, some people
prefer minivans, some prefer Porches. Some people like homes next to a school,
some like mansions in Malibu. Buy you don't pay Porsche money for a minivan.
You don't pay Malibu money to live next to a school in Richmond. Regardless of
utility, a 1st day pick is too much to spend on a short yardage back.
Especially when you have a few guys on the roster that can handle it already.
Good points, but I think that they fall apart with the last sentence
there. Who on the roster is a proven short-yardage back? Sellers had exactly
one carry last year, for one yard and a touchdown. That was against the Eagles
and, if you recall, Sellers coughed the ball up when it was just a hair over
the goal line (or a hair short of it, depending on who you talk to). I pointed
out Betts short-yardage numbers—two carries in third and two or less to go
situations for minus two yards—in the first blog. Rock did it some in his rookie
year but he doesn’t have the size to push the pile and he does have a tendency
to put the ball on the ground. Am I missing some proven commodity here? If you
don’t have that short-yardage guy and you believe that such a deficiency could
cost you the Super Bowl then you pay what it takes to
Michael: What about team unity? Obviously,
winning helps unite a team, but bringing Duckett in clearly has made waves at
least among the RB corps.
Joe: They have a right to be upset if the
coaches were blowing sunshine up their tailpipes while they spent all spring
and summer working out in Ashburn, just to have the rug pulled out from under
them on the eve of the season. You'd be mad, too.
This argument against the deal holds the least amount of
water in my view. You don’t decide against making a move that you believe will
improve your team because it might bruise the feelings of some of the players. These
players are realistic enough to know that any sunshine blown their way is just
temporary and that clouds could be cast in front of it at any second. We heard
the initial gut reactions of Cartwright and Betts. Cartwright has apologized
for what he said and Betts seems to be OK with it, too. They are professionals
and they will go about their business and try to earn—that’s the key word,
emphasized like in the old Smith Barney commercials—their roles and their
Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z,
Volume One: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the
Redskins played from when they moved to Washington
in 1937 through the 2001 season. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com