Redskins lose; defense doesn’t get the stop it needs …
But, last night, it was the same old story: The score was tied in the fourth quarter and with the game on the line, the supposedly upgraded offense managed just 21 yards and two first downs on its two first possessions.
That left the defense to salvage things, and it had problems of its own.
The defense, with four first-round draft choices on the line and in the secondary and a Pro Bowl linebacker, struggled in preseason. Things began badly last night in the opener: The Redskins surrendered an 80-yard touchdown drive to the Vikings on the opening possession.
The unit steadied the rest of the first half, but even that is misleading.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers nearly gave up what should have been a long touchdown pass in the first half to Vikings receiver Troy Williamson, who let a perfect pass from Brad Johnson sail through his hands.
The Redskins needed Rogers to step up in the absence of injured Shawn Springs, but he instead showed why he isn't ready to be a No. 1 corner. Rogers was toasted by the nondescript Marcus Robinson for a 20-yard touchdown that gave the Vikings a 16-13 lead in the third quarter.
The Redskins' offense later drove for a score-tying field goal, and the defense could have kept that momentum going by holding the Vikings offense to a three-and-out.
Instead, the Vikings churned out two decent drives that crossed into Redskins territory, though one ended in a long missed field goal and the other on a third-down incompletion.
The Redskins' offense faltered again, leaving the score tied and the Vikings with the ball at their own 33 and 5:34 remaining.
It was the perfect time for the Redskins' defense to show why it was one of just two in the NFC to rank in the top 10 the past two seasons.
Instead, the defense allowed unheralded running back Chester Taylor to power for 14 yards on two carries. On third-and-9 at the 48, Rogers whiffed on a tackle of Williamson. Safety Sean Taylor, the fifth pick in the 2004 draft, made matters worse with a 15-yard face mask penalty.
That put the Vikings on the Washington 24. Chester Taylor took over from there, setting up a game-winning, 31-yard field goal for Ryan Longwell.
This already-good defense was supposed to be even better after the offseason addition
of pass-rushing defensive end Andre Carter and hard-hitting safety Adam Archuleta.
But Carter, invisible in preseason, was nowhere to be seen last night. Archuleta, deficient in coverage in August, didn't pay a first dividend on the $30 million the Redskins invested in him.
The defense forced 20 turnovers and recorded as many sacks during the 5-1 stretch that earned the Redskins a playoff berth last season. The unit was supposed to be even more disruptive this season.
Last night, however, there was only the same decided lack of big plays that was the norm during the team's 5-5 start last year.
Meanwhile, Bill Parcells decides to stoke the Romo flames a bit …
"(Bledsoe) could have played better, and I'm hopeful he will," Parcells said Monday. "I'm going to give him an opportunity to do that."
Still, Parcells suggested Bledsoe could be benched if he continues to struggle. Romo logged plenty of playing time in the preseason, including taking every snap against Seattle.
"I told you I was getting Romo ready to play," Parcells said. "Now don't make anything out of this because Bledsoe is starting next Sunday. That's it. Now, we'll see what goes on from there. But I told you I was getting Romo ready to play at some point. I'm hopeful to be able to play him this year. Now, I don't know when, where or under what circumstances.
"But that shouldn't be the story for today."
Parcells grew increasing agitated as reporters stuck with their quarterback questions.
"You're trying to get me to say at some point I'm putting Romo in," Parcells said. "That time is not now. Is that clear enough? Do you want me to repeat it?"
Parcells had a chance to shut the door there, and he chose to leave it open for some reason.
Buck Harvey in San Antonio, is quickly becoming a must read for me. I do not care
for his Spurs loving, but when it comes to football, he writes some great stuff. Here he chastises the Texans for their passing on Reggie Bush for a Defensive End …
Bob McNair listened to his football people. He heard about the need for defense, and about Mario Williams' size and speed, and about the right way to build a football team.
Sunday, McNair heard his fans. They booed, just as they did last year when they
weren't too bored, and that's when McNair should have realized his mistake.
He doesn't own a football team.
He owns a business.
He also owns the contract of a large, amiable man whose greatest success as a pro thus far has come in combines. Williams struggled Sunday with two tackles, one assist and no sacks, albeit against two Pro Bowl offensive tackles.
At times he seemed to loaf, which was his rep in college, and Williams acknowledged afterward he had a few issues. "It wasn't good enough," he told reporters.
No one really knows how these draft picks will turn out. Williams, given time and technique, might become a force. Reggie Bush, given the kind of hits he took in Cleveland on Sunday, might not last.
But that's just it. No one knows, and that's why the Texans botched their No. 1 chance. With a box-office star ranked higher — far higher in some minds — they opted for someone who might be no better over his career than, say, Greg Ellis in Dallas.
The worst that happens with Williams is that he bombs and Bush stars elsewhere, and the Texans hear the Jordan-Bowie analogy through the century. The worst with Bush would have been similar disappointment — after he gave the Texans both hope and a merchandise spike.
Jerry Jones, ever with a finger on the wallets of fans, wouldn't have hesitated with his choice.
Fraley on Buck and Hicks …
Hollow words: In spring training, Hicks said he expected a contender, and manager Buck Showalter said this team was ready to play in September. Wrong on both counts.
Before a last-gasp series with Oakland, Hicks said how the club played the remainder of the season was the most important thing. The Rangers are 7-8 since the start of that series.
In the face of this season's failure, Hicks publicly questioned the club's "mental toughness" and made his best player, Michael Young, into a fall guy by saying he is not a vocal leader.
That is all staggeringly wrongheaded.
By using the term "mental toughness," Hicks sounds as if he has been hanging around too many football coaches, or had the idea planted by someone looking for an excuse.
This team has not played to its potential. The responsibility for that falls upon Showalter. It is the nature of the job.
In baseball, the "vocal leader" is usually a fraud. Any player who says he is a leader usually is not a leader. Think Will Clark.
Young is an ideal leader: an All-Star who plays hard every day and is unselfish. For Hicks to cast Young in anything other than a favorable light shows again that the Rangers do not realize what they have.
Oh yeah. That Soriano guy is putting together one of the greatest offensive seasons EVER …in a park that is tough to hit in.
There is the 40-40 club, and that's exclusive enough as it is. Only three players in major league history have hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season.
Alfonso Soriano, though, has his sights on even loftier numbers. Yes, he was only one stolen base shy of 40 as the Washington Nationals prepared to play the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. But he's also on the verge of 100 RBI, 40 doubles, 20 outfield assists and perhaps even 50 homers.
That, according to manager Frank Robinson, deserves consideration both for National League MVP this season and as one of the greatest offensive years in baseball history.
"It should be," Robinson said. "It would have to be because the numbers say it would be. If he gets his 100 RBI and 20-plus assists and 40 doubles, that would be a terrific offensive line."
Few players can claim to have posted better seasons themselves. Entering last night's game, Soriano had 45 homers, 39 steals, 91 RBI, 108 runs scored, 38 doubles and a .293 average. And he gunned down Orlando Hudson trying to stretch a fourth-inning single into a double, becoming the first outfielder in major league history to hit 40 homers, steal 30 bases and record 20 assists in a season.
Aggie is finally on television; in San Antonio against Army …
Army, 1-1 this season, is coached by Bobby Ross, a high-profile coach who won a share of a national title at Georgia Tech in 1990 and took the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl in 1994. But Army's 60-year-old glory days of "Mr. Inside" and "Mr. Outside" (Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis) are ancient history.
Army has not had a winning season since 1996 and now faces a 2-0 A&M team eager to establish itself as a contender in the power Big 12. Even so, West Pointers are excited about the game and the future of the school's football program.
Athletic director Kevin Anderson came to West Point two years ago with a commitment to promote athletics aggressively to all corners of the nation.
"We're truly America's Team," he said. "Outside of Notre Dame, no one has more of a national following."
Liverpool to build new stadium - check out that lease with the city.
Liverpool have received the go-ahead from the city council to build a new 60,000 all-seater stadium.
Council leaders approved a 999-year lease on Friday for a piece of land in the city's Stanley Park, just 300 yards away from their Anfield home.
Liverpool opens the group stage of the Champions League today at 1:45 on ESPN2 if you want to see the greatness of Liverpool.
Fort Worth Cats win title, get arrested ….
Two members of the Fort Worth Cats baseball team were arrested this morning after they and dozens of people got into a fight at a St. Paul bar, police reported.
About a dozen officers responded to the fight at the Half Time Rec as members of the Cats fought with members of the St. Paul Saints team.
The Cats beat the Saints 2-1 Sunday night to win the American Association league championship.
After the game, the two teams retired to the Half Time Rec, a popular bar in the 1000 block of Front Street, a short drive from Midway Stadium.
One of the Cats players was arrested after allegedly choking a St. Paul police officer who was attempting to break up the fight, said police spokesman Tom Walsh.
A second player was arrested for his involvement in the fight and obstruction of justice, Walsh said. A third person, a 21-year-old woman, was also arrested on obstruction charges, he said.
Fagg's offseason work showed during opener ….
Koren Robinson in Green and Gold? Packers not only suck; now they sign people who suck …
The move is risky because Robinson, 26, has had numerous alcohol-related problems and was suspended for four games in 2004 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. After spending time in a treatment facility following his release from Seattle, Robinson signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
He averaged an NFC-high 26 yards per kickoff return in 14 games last year with the Vikings, scoring once on a touchdown. In addition, the former No. 9 pick overall of the Seahawks in 2001 started five games at wide receiver, averaging 15.8 yards per catch on 22 receptions.
He also rushed the ball four times for 27 yards and a touchdown.
"Koren is in a position to help this team," Keels said. "I don't think this is a
courtesy signing. I think it was something Ted and the organization did to help the ballclub."
Thompson, who was scheduled to address the move this evening, is putting his neck on the line with the deal because of Robinson's history. He was released from the Vikings Aug. 26, 11 days after he was caught driving 100 mph in a 55 mph zone on his way back to the Vikings' training camp in Mankato, Minn.
Robinson refused to stop and was eventually arrested. His blood-alcohol content was measured by the police at 0.11 percent.
Because his arrest might be a third violation of the league's policy, Robinson faces a one-year suspension. However, he will be able to appeal if the league chooses to do so and for the time being he is eligible to play.
Here is some nice sports email:
The fact that people are recommending that the cowboys bench Bledsoe and put Romo in there shows their level of football intelligence and should be ignored or publicly admonished. Granted, Bledsoe played terrible but if Jacksonville made Bledsoe look that bad lord knows how Romo would have looked. And you know what, the second Romo replaces Bledsoe and sucks it up, the same people will be emailing and calling about how stupid of a decision it was to play Romo. Anyone stupid enough to be calling for Romo 1 game into the year from a game we WERE SUPPOSED TO LOSE doesn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.
I feel bad for you guys having to field these moronic comments from such non-sports individuals.
PS. The Lee Corso signs are greatness. Long live the ticket.
I applaud you guys for your patience in having to listen to these ignoramus’s Grubbs puts thru to you both. Especially the last guy, i.e. Fire Parcells, put in Romo…..
..and whats more? He actually thinks THAT is the solution !!! There should be some kinda 5 question football IQ test given before listeners are put on the air..I hate the Cowboys, but even I know they are better than they showed yesterday, not to mention they were playing against quite simply, AN ALL AROUND BETTER TEAM. Period…Jags are just better….
Still, 9-7 should be where they land….maybe 10-6 if they are lucky…regardless, will still be w/o a Playoff win this year…
I don't know if you saw it but go back on the tivo and check out the face fabini makes at TO when he on the sideline repeatedly screaming at the offense "ITS NOT OVER". he screams it at fabini who is standing up and his face seems to say"whatever dude, i ain't playin'."
Hi Bob. Hi Dan.
I hope you boys were watching halftime of the Ohio State / Texas game last night. Someone was in the crowd with a sign that said “Lee Corso has a baby arm”. Absolute genius.
Here is a rundown of what that jackass, Lee Corso has done so far this young season on College Gameday:
1. Predicted California would win the national championship. They proceeded to get drilled by Tennessee in game 1;
2. Played to the crowd at Miami by picking UM to beat FSU. Wore the UM mascot head and waved to the crowd like a total tool. UM proceeded to lose to FSU;
3. His “Intriguing Matchup of the Week” this week was UCF vs. Florida. Predicted Florida would be looking ahead to their next game and that UCF was a talented team. Herbstreit and Fowler sat there with question marks over their heads as Florida proceeded to beat UCF 42-0;
4. Picked UT to beat Ohio State by putting on an inflatable UT helmet and waving a stuffed bevo doll in Fowler’s face and playing to the crowd. You know how that turned out.
I wish nothing but failure for this guy since he besmerged Dan on your show. I love the way he’s being ambushed by the P-1’s in the crowd.
Stay hard. Love you. Keep up the good work.
Youtube for you:
Sean Taylor, when not costing his team a chance to win with a stupid penalty or two, hits real hard. I swear, he is the same guy as Roy Williams.