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Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins. Get details and order at http://GutCheckBook.com
November 19, 2004
Art, Jake, Grimm Make Hall First Cut
Art Monk, Russ Grimm, and Joe Jacoby have made the first cut on the way to the Hall of Fame. The three Gibbs-era stars are on the list of 25 semi-finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. From the Hall of Fame's website and press release
Modern-Era Semi-Finalists for the Class of 2005 - Pro Football Hall of Fame: "The list of 25 semi-finalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 13 modern-era candidates. That list will then increase to 15 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame's Senior Committee. This year's Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are two of pro football's early pioneers - Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players, coaches, and contributors whose careers took place more than 25 years ago. The list of 15 finalists for the Class of 2005 will be announced in mid-January."The exclusion of Monk, now in his fourth year of elegibility, from the Hall has been a particular sore spot for most Redskins fans. Simply put, it's difficult to explain how the man who once held the NFL records for receptions in a season and receptions in a career can be left out.
This is just my speculation, but there may be a political dynamic in play this year that will help Monk get in. Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated, known as "Dr. Z" has made no secret of the fact that he has opposed Monk's entry for a laundry list of reasons. After the selection process last year, Zimmerman resigned from the Veteran's Committee, which picks two nominees from the 1970's and earlier. In doing so, he loudly criticized those on the main selection panel for not enshrining his nominee.
That's not likely to sit well with the panel. They're not likely to be very responsive to the arguements of the the man who threw them under the bus last year, who basically said that they didn't know what they were doing. Perhaps that will give Monk the edge he needs.
It's a shame that you have to discuss the political machinations of the committee instead of Monk's merits in weighing his chances of getting in, but that's what it's come down to. His exclusion clearly isn't on merits, so it must be due to something else.
I don't want to give Grimm and Jacoby the short shrift here and the cases for them will be detailed in this space in the future. Grimm, I think, has an outside shot. Jake is a longer shot. Both are deserving and both should make it eventually although Jacoby likely will have to go via the Veteran's Committee in a decade or so.
Delhomme: A Correction
In a post on Wednesday, I incorrectly said that Jake Delhomme didn't take an NFL snap before the 2002 season. He started two games late in the 1999 season, going 42 for 76 (55.3%) for 521 yards (6.9 per attempt), 3 TD's and 5 INT's.
It's certainly possible that Schottenheimer could have coveted Delhomme based on those two games. There still would have been the obstacle of Delhomme's status as either signed or a restricted free agent.
November 19, 2004
Gibbs: Playmakers Will Play
Said Joe Gibbs of Darnerien McCants in today's Post
I think he is a playmaker. He's a big guy with really good hands and I think deceptively on deep balls he's very good, also. So it was good seeing him get in there and make some plays for us, and hopefully that will continue and hopefully we can find ways to play him more in the offense. I think now that he's up [dressing for games], I think we can do that and that's to his credit: If you make plays you're going to play.The Redskins knew that McCants was a playmaker when they kept him off of the restricted free agent market by giving him a three-year, $4.5 million contract. In the preseason, he caught a long touchdown bomb from, yes, Mark Brunell.
Due to an inability to play special teams (the public reason) and poor practice habits (the private reason), McCants was active for just one game until Sunday. Whether his insertion into the game during a fourth-quarter drive was the cause of the team scoring its only touchdown of the day or if was a mere coincidence, time will tell. From what Gibbs says, it looks like he will give us some chances to find out.
It Doesn't Add Up
In Paul Woody's article in Wednesday's Richmond Times-Dispatch, he had this rather peculiar entry:
At the end of the 2001 season, the Redskins were closing in on an 8-8 record, had millions in salary-cap space for 2002 and the name they had on their drawing board at quarterback, according to an NFL source, was an unknown then, but is fairly familiar now: Jake Delhomme.Normally, Woody does his homework very well, but this scenario doesn't add up. Carolina signed Delhomme after the 2002 season, the then-Saints quarterback's fourth season in the league, the first for which he was eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Had Delhomme been signed, the plan was to team him with running back Stephen Davis for a ball-control offense, then use the salary-cap space to rebuild the defensive line.
It's not a bad plan. It's essentially the same one Carolina used to win the NFC title last season.
The scenario that Woody paints is after the 2001 season. If Delhomme was available then--if he did have a contract that expired after that season--he would have been available as a restricted free agent. He hadn't taken a single NFL snap at that point, and he was undrafted coming out of college, so it's highly unlikely that Marty would have wanted to sign him as a restricted free agent and hang the team's future on him.
If they'd planned on waiting until after '02 to go for Jake, the "poison pill" in Davis' contract--an unacceptably high cap number--would take effect by then, eating up any cap money that might have been spent on a D-lineman.
As I said, I like what Woody writes, but he should probably check his "NFL source" a little better here.
I Just Don't Get It
I guess it's kind of dumb to be dismissive of the opinions of someone like Pete Prisco of CBS Sportsline.com and then continue to comment on them, but I must.
Prisco was on the Sports Bash with Eric Kuselias (an excellent show, by the way; EK is an top-notch host). Kuselias asked him who was doing a worse job, Parcells or Gibbs. Prisco reiterated his view that Gibbs was doing a worse job because his offense wasn't working.
Uh, excuse me, Pete, but Parcells' last three losses have been by 21, 23, and 28 points. Over the course of the year, the Redskins have been outscored by 25 points, Parcells' Coboys have ben outscored by 90.
I don't know if Bill is a "offense" or "defensive" guy. I would say, however, if you're in your second year with a team and your scoring margin is three times worse than the guy that is in his first year with his team and your W-L records are identical, you're doing a worse job, period.
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