Quick Links

Stirring a Frosty pot

Stirring a Frosty pot

I have a moderate issue with former Redskins punter Derrick Frost complaining that the Redskins cut him just because Durant Brooks was a draft pick. He told Jason LaCanfora of the Post:

"I feel like I was dealt with dishonestly. I want to thank Danny Smith for the three years he gave me here, and I feel like he always treated me well, and I will continue to think that. But I think we all know who made the decision, and when you've got a draft that isn't starting to look so good, you're going to do whatever you can to make it look as good as possible."

If you have to vent about losing your job and point fingers and blame everyone but yourself, that's fine. But complain to your wife, to your brother, to your best friend over a few brews at the local pub. Don't complain to a reporter.

Twenty-two players were released by the Redskins on Saturday. Several of them, such as Billy McMullen, Marcus Mason, Ryan Boschetti, and Matteral Richardson, had legitimate cases to pop off as well. But they chose not to, being smart enough not to burn bridges to one of 32 organizations that can give them the dream jobs coveted by many.

Despite all of that, I can cut Frost a little slack here. You're mad, your cell phone rings, it's a reporter. Or you pick up the phone, see that reporter's number in your address book and you hit the call button. The filter in between your brain and your mouth isn't there. You spout off, you hang up and that's that (well, except that you give another reporter the same stuff at a different time).

But that wasn't that as far as the Washington Post is concerned. Frost's words became the launching pad for a Mike Wise column that is nothing short of stupefying. Here's the lead:

If I'm Vinny Cerrato today, I really need Durant Brooks to be the next Ray Guy or Sean Landeta. Heck, I would settle for Dave Jennings. Because if Brooks, the rookie whom Cerrato surprisingly plucked in the sixth round of the NFL draft, 18 spots ahead of the now legendary Colt Brennan, doesn't at least approach numbers and performances better than his predecessor, well, Derrick Frost might turn out to be right.

When a column starts off like that, you know it's in trouble. The implication that Brooks has to be as good as Guy or Landeta or even Jennings to be better than Frost is ridiculous. He just needs to be as good as Chris Kluwe, Adam Podlesh, Daniel Sepulveda, or any of the 24 punters that finished ahead of Frost in net punting average in 2007.

Let's proceed to the nut of the article:

When every draft pick is held onto in the NFL, it normally means the franchise did its homework around draft time. But when the incumbent punter says he got fired because the GM is trying to make his draft-day résumé look better, well, that's a little extraordinary, right? To say nothing of keeping Justin Tryon, a defensive back outplayed by a number of others.

Let me get this straight here. All of a sudden Derrick Frost is the expert on all things Redskins, including the workings the front office? I must have missed all of those times when reporters and columnists flocked to Frost to get a real feel for the pulse of the team and for the direction of the organization.

Oh, wait, you mean he popped off and all of a sudden he's newsworthy?

The last throwaway line about Tryon is another gem. I think that the Redskins got exactly what the expected out of him when they drafted him. They knew he had good speed and suspect coverage skills. You can teach the coverage skills, you can't teach the speed. Keep him on the team as your fifth corner, work to hone is coverage skills, and see what you have in 2009.

The Redskins have been criticized over the years, and justifiably so, for slapping together a team for the here and now rather than building for the future. So this year, in late April, they identified 10 football players who they thought would help them win games in the future. Not necessarily in 2008, but in 2009 and beyond.

And now, in late August, the organization still believes in those players. Perhaps the team would be a little better in 2008 if they had kept Billy McMullen as a sixth receiver rather than Rob Jackson as a tenth defensive lineman or Frost instead of Brooks or even Stu Schweigert rather than Chris Horton.

But it's apparent that this roster was not built with 2008 as the sole focus. A team that has been accused, again with considerable justification, of shifting direction on a whim, sticks by its guns and sticks with its plan to start retooling for the future.

But Wise can't see that. He picks up one of Frost's rolling balls and runs with it.

Quick Links

Free agency update: What happens next for the Redskins on the defensive line?


Free agency update: What happens next for the Redskins on the defensive line?

The Redskins sure hosted a lot of free agent defensive line visits in the second week of free agency, but so far, no signed contracts. 

Johnathan Hankins came to Ashburn. Sylvester Williams came to Ashburn. Pernell McPhee came to Ashburn. All three left without a done deal, and now for Redskins fans, the question becomes not about when a deal will get done, but if any deals will happen.

Actually, one deal did happen. According to a report, Williams has signed with the Lions. 

Since visiting the Redskins on Monday, Hankins also took a trip to see the Lions. McPhee, who was offered a contract by the Redskins, has since taken a trip to visit the Falcons. 


Keep in mind too, Washington expressed interest in nose tackle Bennie Logan last offseason, and the 6-foot-2, 309 lb., former Chief is again on the market. A visit from Logan would surprise nobody, though it hasn't been reported yet. 

Mother Nature might also be an impediment for the Redskins. A March snowstorm shut the D.C. region down on Wednesday, which could have limited potential free agent visits.

What's clear is between Hankins, McPhee and Williams this week, in addition to Muhammad Wilkerson and Benson Mayowa last week, the Redskins are obviously looking to upgrade their defensive line. Combine that with a contract restructure for incumbent Terrell McClain, and Washington has the flexibility to improve on last season's NFL-worst run defense. 

That doesn't mean, however, the Redskins will absolutely sign one of the above mentioned players. And it doesn't mean outside linebacker Junior Gallete won't return to the Redskins either. 

Many fans wonder if a McPhee signing means the Redskins would move on from Galette. It might, but that's no sure thing. 

Washington went into the 2017 season with five outside linebackers: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Galette, Ryan Anderson and Chris Carter. Right now, the 'Skins only have Kerrigan, Smith and Anderson under contract. The team needs to add at least one OLB, but likely two.

McPhee also carries about 20 extra pounds on his frame than Galette, giving the former Bear and Raven more flexibility to play against the run. Galette is a speed, leverage and moves player, focused on getting to the quarterback. He's capable against the run, but in the same way a sports car shouldn't carry a snow plow, Galette should be used to pressure QBs. 

Point being: McPhee and Galette could both make sense for the Redskins, if the team can work out the cash. 

Money usually matters the most in free agency, and it's clear the Redskins haven't made the type of offers that any of these players felt compelled to immediately sign. Deals could still happen though. Hankins didn't sign last offseason until April and Galette seems to thank Redskins fans via social media with relative frequency. 

Washington also had some success with the patient approach to free agency. The team was able to keep Zach Brown, though it took some nervous days of allowing the tackling machine linebacker to test the free agent market. With that win in hand, don't expect the Redskins brass to change their philosophy. 

Until further notice, it's hurry up and wait season in Ashburn.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Redskins Draft Countdown: Could Da'Ron Payne be the final piece to the D-line puzzle?

Redskins Draft Countdown: Could Da'Ron Payne be the final piece to the D-line puzzle?

Redskins draft countdown

Da’Ron Payne

Defensive tackle

Stuff the run in the middle of the line? Check. Get outside to stop stretch plays? Check. Get after the passer? Check. Yes, Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne checks all the boxes the Redskins are looking for on the D-line.

He can be the immovable object, taking on double and triple teams, and he also can chase down the quarterback. At 311 pounds he could be the Redskins’ nose tackle in base and move outside in nickel.

Height: 6-2
Weight: 311
40-yard dash: 4.95

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Payne possesses one of the most impressive combinations of strength and athleticism that we've seen from an interior lineman. He will be the premier run-stuffer in this draft, but he may have enough in the pass rushing toolbox to project as a better pro than college pass rusher. Payne is a game-ready starter who immediately upgrades a defense's ability to slow the run.

Lance Zierlein,

How he fits the Redskins: This just in—the Redskins need a nose tackle. Of course, if you’re reading this you know that, and you’ve known it has been the case ever since the Redskins went to the 3-4 defense in 2010.

In very closely related news, they need to play better against the run, too. You probably noticed that they were dead last in the league in rushing defense last year. And that the NFC East has two very strong rushing teams in the Eagles and Cowboys and a Giants team that could well take Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the draft. If they don’t fix their rushing defense they could literally get run over.

Payne could help them a lot. He can take on double and triple teams and clog up running lanes in the middle. If they try to go around him, he has the quickness to penetrate and disrupt outside runs.

And a defensive lineman taken in the top half of the first round should be able to provide some pass rush pressure. As noted by Zierlein, Payne has the potential to do that. He’ll never be a double-digit sack guy, but if he can kick in four to six per year and get some pressure up the middle, that would be fine.

Film review: vs. Tennessee, vs Georgia (national title game)

Like most players, Payne can’t get much in the way of a pass rush when he is double and triple teamed. But when they tried to block him one on one he consistently got pressure. Payne didn’t get many sacks, but he did make a difference. Against Georgia, one pressure resulted in an interception and another forced a third-down incompletion.

Payne is very difficult to move off the spot in the running game, even when the offense tries to do it with two or even three players. Running backs did not get by him on a regular basis. In the second half in particular, Georgia tried to move the ball with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, both of whom are likely to get selected in the top 100 in the draft next month. But they kept running into a mass of humanity in the middle of the line with Payne in the middle of it.

He played well during the Tennessee game during the regular season, but he didn’t have a lot of impact. The only time his name was called was when he was hit with a roughing the passer call.

Potential issues: At 311 pounds, Payne may not be the ideal size to fill the chronic hole at nose tackle. It should be noted, however, that defensive line coach Jim Tomsula has said that the Redskins aren’t necessarily looking for the 350-pound nose tackle and that a relatively smaller player can get the job done. Ziggy Hood played the nose at 305 pounds last year. The Redskins finished last against the run, although that’s not necessarily cause and effect.

Bottom line: The Redskins went 20 years without taking an interior defensive lineman in the first round before taking Jonathan Allen last year. Nobody could legitimately complain if they doubled up on first-round D-linemen after so many years of neglect.

Payne should be there when the 13th pick goes on the clock. Unless the Redskins address the nose tackle spot in free agency Payne will be under strong consideration. The defensive line improved last year with the additions of Allen in the draft, Stacy McGee as a free agent and the second-year emergence of Matt Ioannidis. Payne could be the final piece of what could be a dominant defensive line.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.