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Pro Bowl Travesty

Pro Bowl Travesty

December 22, 2004

It’s a travesty.

It’s a sham.

It’s a mockery.

It’s (all together now) a traveshamockery!

The Washington Redskins have statistically the best defense in the NFC. Are you ready for the list of players off of that defense who have been selected to play in the Pro Bowl?

  • Marcus Washington

That’s it.

The most egregious slight was to Cornelius Griffin, the Redskins’ player of the year. He’s been a one-man wrecking crew in the middle. The success of the team’s defense starts with him. And Mr. Griffin is the fourth alternate for the Pro Bowl team at defensive tackle. Think about it. There are two starters and three other alternates in front of him, so by this logic he’s the sixth-best defensive tackle in the NFC. Something tells me that the guards and centers who have lined up against him this year would beg to differ.

Stats aren’t the main measuring stick for defensive linemen, but they’re a good starting point for comparison. Thanks to Rat Boy at the site this blog proudly calls home, WarpathInsiders.com, for compiling these numbers for Griffin and the two players selected at DT for the NFC:

DT Shaun Rogers:

Defense's Rank: 11th out of 16 teams.

Tackles: 47 Solo

Sacks: 4

Stuffs: 6

Pass Defenses: 5

DT La'Roi Glover:

Defenses' Rank: 10th out of 11 teams.

Tackles: 30 Solo

Sacks: 5

Stuffs: 3

Pass Defenses: 1

And your 4th Alternate:

DT Cornelius Griffin:

Defense's rank: 1st out of 16 teams.

Tackles: 52 Solo

Sacks: 5

Stuffs: 14

Pass Defenses: 5

Among the others snubbed were Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs, arguably the best CB tandem in the NFC. They also are alternates, along with some others. The complete list of Washington alternate selections from Redskins.com:

First Alternate

Clinton Portis, RB

Sean Taylor, S

Second Alternate

Antonio Pierce, MLB

Fred Smoot, CB

Tom Tupa, P

Third Alternate

Shawn Springs, CB

Fourth Alternate

Cornelius Griffin, DT

It will be argued that players from bad teams don’t make the Pro Bowl and that certainly can be demonstrated to be true. But the whole darn NFC except for one or two teams isn’t very good. If that form was followed they’d be sending the Eagles and Falcons to Honolulu and let them split up the positions.

Anti-Redskins conspiracy or bias? Probably not. For whatever reason, the defense did not impress those who vote for the Pro Bowl as much as it impressed those of us who watch it week after week. But it’s annoying nonetheless.

As we try always to emphasize the positive here, hats off to Washington, who the defensively-challenged Colts inexplicably let get away right into the waiting arms of Gregg Williams and the Redskins. What makes him special is his ability to make the big play but rarely get caught out of position. He’s a solid citizen, too.

And kudos to Sean Taylor as well. He’s overcome come some adversity, much of it self-inflicted, and is beginning to play to his monster potential. A lot of “experts” said that Taylor was the best player at any position in last year’s draft; this could well turn out to be one of the rare instances where the experts turn out to be right.

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Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

If you took 100 random NFL fans and asked them to name the best player in the league, there's a very strong chance none of the 100 would say Trent Williams, the Redskins left tackle who clears paths like a snowplow. But according to an in-depth ranking system published a few weeks ago from Bleacher Report, Williams is in fact the correct answer.

The system, called NFL1000, is supposed to "bring exposure" to players who aren't as appreciated as they should be, and in the eyes of the analysts who built the rankings, no one should be appreciated more than Williams, who beat out Tyron Smith and Aaron Rodgers for the top spot. But that's still not the peak of his performance, the lineman says.

No. 71 apparently just got a hold of the NFL1000 list, and in a Wednesday Instagram post that featured it, he said his "best is yet to be seen." Sorry, opposing pass rushers.

In addition to that accolade from Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus chose Williams as their highest-rated offensive lineman, and the Professional Football Writers of America assigned him to their All-NFC team. It wasn't a perfect year for the Pro Bowler, however, as he was suspended for four games during a critical stretch in the season's second half (the Redskins were 2-2 without him).

Nevertheless, because an offensive lineman is often doing his job best when you aren't hearing his name called, it can be easy to take someone like Williams for granted. These types of awards, though, show the 28-year-old's value — value that he says will continue to climb in 2017. 

MORE REDSKINS: SETTING THE ODDS ON WHAT THE 'SKINS WILL DO WITH COUSINS

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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