In the finale of this weekend’s wild card festivities that will surely be won by a combined score of, say, 44-26 with four road wins (believe in Madden), you’ll see an elusive quarterback run, and consistently keep plays alive with his feet. You’ll see him demonstrate great comfort and ease while throwing outside of the pocket, and often target his receivers deep downfield after designed rollouts. You’ll see him make athletic defensive ends look simply silly while diving and whiffing.
Then Robert Griffin III will take the field.
If he was fully healthy, Griffin would be the slightly more mobile of the two mobile, blossoming rookie quarterbacks set to square off Sunday in Washington, with the other Seattle’s Russell Wilson. But he remains at least mildly hobbled by a knee injury, giving us two QBs who are nearly identical. They’re supported by two running backs whose downhill, pounding styles are almost identical too after Alfred Morris finished second in rushing during the regular season with 1,613 yards (he was one of just two running backs to average over 100 yards per game), and Marshawn Lynch was right behind him in third with 1,590 yards. And finally, there’s also the two opposing speed threats split out wide (Pierre Garcon and Sidney Rice).
But the mirror doesn’t work so easily on the defenses.
Nearly every year in early December as we’re all aimlessly wandering around stores and looking for plasma bikes and such — seriously, in my day we were happy with one dimensional hockey guys who moved on long poles (*shakes fist*) — another gift is bestowed upon us. He is the holy one, the championship winner, the money maker, the winner of all the bread, and the Samkon Gado.
He is the late-season waiver pickup who wins everything for everyone, and he is Pierre Garcon this year. Maybe, likely, and if by the grace of the almighty he can stay healthy.
Tip 302: Resolve family tension by directing anger at universally hated figure.
At its best, American Thanksgiving is a time to gather the family from all corners of the globe and eat lots of food. The cousin you haven’t seen in seven years, the uncle who just got out of prison — they’re all there. Hey, you might even get to talk about the recent election in a civil manner. It’s just politics after all.
At its worst, American Thanksgiving is a time to question the sanity of your mother as your family camps outside a Best Buy for five days, subsisting on uncooked ramen noodles and expired canned chili. A discussion about the recent election turns into an alcohol-fueled fist fight between brother-in-law Rex (America is doomed) and cousin Jeffrey (America is doomed and he’s a Muslim). Read the rest of this entry »
In February of 2011, Barcelona’s midfield maestro and self professed “football romantic” Xavi spoke in a sit-down with The Guardian about the keys to winning soccer games. With a dab of eloquence and expletive, he remarked that it’s vital to react rapidly and find vacant grass when in possession. He elaborated, saying “it’s like being on the PlayStation. I think shit, the defender’s here, play it there…” Wait, what? PlayStation? It’s almost ludicrous to compare reality and virtual reality, but when you think about it, it makes a bit of sense.
Whether it’s football or futbol, the goal of the offense is to find spaces to run or throw into. Plays are designed to clear out one area of the field to allow a pass catcher to come run without disruption and receive the ball, or for a runner to run through. Take for example the case of Washington Redskins rookie phenomenon Robert Griffin III, known by the popular moniker “RG3″. He’s endlessly found space when running the recently indoctrinated zone-read concept, regardless of whether he’s faking the hand-off to execute an exotic play action, or cutting blades of grass past would-be tacklers on a carry.
In it’s simplest form, the zone-read requires the quarterback to read an uncovered back-side defender of the formation at the “mesh” point and then determine if he will hand the ball off or tuck it away and run.
The defender, an end or outside linebacker (in some cases, a tackle) depending on the defense’s front of choice, is unblocked and will have to make a decision as to who he will go after: the quarterback or the running back. What’s the correct choice? Neither, because it doesn’t matter, and they’re both wrong. One player can’t defend two offensive players, and as a result, the defense has to compensate by bringing over another defender, thus leaving less in coverage.
Chris Cooley is a fun guy. He married a cheerleader and divorced a cheerleader, while also marrying a team and then divorcing a team, a career move that wasn’t his choice, but was instead made by Redskins management with little room left for an aging tight end who has chronic knee problems on their roster behind Fred Davis.
Also, a locker room can only hold so many steins.
But now after he was a roster cut down day casualty due to both the lack of room on the Redskins’ tight end depth chart, and mostly the lack of healthy structure in his knees, Cooley will be employed again in Washington later today once he passes a physical. The move isn’t motivated by a sudden realization that a 30-year-old tight end has experienced some kind of off-field renaissance. No, it’s motivated by desperation, and the loss of Davis for the season.
When Davis suffered a non-contact injury yesterday and went down in the back of the end zone, suddenly depth was needed in Washington at a critical position, especially with a mobile rookie quarterback at the helm of the offense who leans heavily on his safety valve at times. So predictably it took a matter of hours for Cooley’s phone to ring, as a tight end who’s familiar with Mike Shanahan’s system was an easy decision during the brief search to fill the void left by Davis.
After running a route to the back of the end zone in the first quarter of the Redskins’ divisional game against the Giants, Fred Davis crumbled, and suffered an apparent knee injury.
He was doing the ol’ one-leg dance while hobbling to the sideline, which means two things:
He looked like me in da club, between glasses of gin and juice.
The injury definitely isn’t a minor one.
He was briefly examined on the sideline, where he still wasn’t able to put any weight on his right leg. A cart was then required to take him to the locker room, and that’s still the worst form of football transportation. The Fox broadcast reported that he’s being evaluated for an Achilles’ injury, and Davis won’t return. So many ughs, so much awful.
It seems the term “black Jesus” is more than just an awful Everlast song, and a good way to get lost in the deepest depths of the Internet for a few hours. Black Jesus lives, and his human reincarnation is Robert Griffin III.
Fred Davis is familiar with the dogma of Black Jesus. And with unwavering confidence yesterday after Griffin’s 138 rushing yards that included two scores on the ground during Washington’s 38-26 win over Minnesota, Davis declared that the Redskins QB is in fact Black Jesus.
From the D.C. Sports Bog, behold Davis’ comments to Comcast’s Rob Carlin shortly after the game :
“You really can’t say much more,” Davis said. “I mean, like I said, he’s Black Jesus right now. He saved us today. He’s a great player. He makes plays. And he did what he had to do on that third down. We’ve been talking about him protecting himself a lot more, but he seen an opening and made a play. And what can you say? I mean, he’s a great player.”
I don’t know about you, but I believe everything an amateur lawyer tells me.