1. Jansen re-signs. We know Jansen wanted to stay in Washington all along; it's why he didn't test the free agent market when he could have done so after the 2002 season. But we also know he was a bit concerned how the Redskins would treat him in the negotiations; would they take care of one of their own? Would they live up to a promise they made to him this past summer? The initial offer was not a good one, from what we heard, but clearly the Redskins came through for him. It's a good step for an organization which has a sometimes bad rep among longtimers. I'm still curious to see what happens with some of the others; there were players who last year agreed to redo their deals only to be upset about how the money was then spent. Will they do it again?
2. No Norv. Looks like Wade Phillips will be the coach in Dallas, which is amazing how the Cowboys can go from Bill Parcells to Phillips. Yes, he's a defensive-minded coach and this defense has more talent than the results would indicate. But he's still Wade Phillips. They'd better hope that Jason Garrett is indeed ready to call an offense. We're surprised that Turner did not ''sell his soul'' to get this job. It might be his last opportunity, though if the Niners have another good year offensively, maybe Turner would land another job. It would have been funny had he become the coach; he then would have worked for the three most meddlesome owners.
3. Marcus Washington surgery. He underwent hip surgery yesterday and will need three months to recover. You knew his hip was bad this season when he was forced to take practices off. That's an unbelievable statement by Washington, who doesn't like to take any time off. He'll need three months of rehab, but that should still give him a few months to get ready for the season. The thing about offseason surgeries is that it takes time away for lifting and getting ready for the season. Look what happened to Lemar Marshall last year. The coaches say it was a result of not being able to fully prepare his body for the season. Also, one interesting rehab to watch is Mark Brunell. It couuld affect his renegotiations with the Redskins. If they don't think he'll be ready, they could opt to find another backup quarterback. He wants to stay and they want him to return, but it comes down to his health.
4. Derrick Dockery. It sounds as if he'll get to free agency; from what we hear the agent has told the Redskins as much. Apparently they'll have a chance to match any offer, but here's the problem: how long could the Redskins wait for him? This is where the lack of a fulltime GM hurts them; had they had one, this person could have focused on retaining him during the season and not afterward. I think Dockery would be best off to stay in Washington because of the familiarity, etc. Also, he's the No. 5 lineman on this line and everyone knows that. If he goes somewhere else, he'll be under more pressure because he'll be considered a big signing. Can he deal with that? He has many flaws and elsewhere those flaws would be picked at more, where people accept him for what he is now: a sometimes very good player who has bad breakdowns.
5. Art Monk. Can't move past this without one more word, but it's still a shame. It's nice that Peter King changed his mind about him now, but it might be too little too late. Had he done so a couple years back, Monk would have probably been in. Now he might get bumped aside for other receivers, such as a Cris Carter, and others with gaudy numbers. Makes you wonder how long he'll now have to wait. What's also funny is how much King picks at Marvin Harrison, basically calling him soft for not running routes over the middle. Yet most would pick Harrison as being better than Monk. He was a complete receiver and it's baffling how others don't see it. Tony Gwynn was not denied entry to the baseball Hall of Fame for being essentially a singles hitter. All Monk did was get first downs and enable other receivers to make big plays.
Nickel Package: Jansen In, Norv Out
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