1. What Cheese?
Marvin Lewis turned to the corporate world for help with his defense on Sunday. Lewis assigned all of the defensive players to read Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson. The entire book is less than 100 pages and is written in large text, I read it while waiting for a plane in less than 25 minutes. Subtitled, 'An A-Mazing Way To Deal With Change In YOur Work And In Your Life,' the book illustrates the link between adaptability and success. Along with a much needed additional week of practice time, the defense found the cheese.
2. Shiney Quarter
The Redskins played well for four quaters on Sunday. But the most shining example of the game versus the Titans was in the third. Patrick Ramsey showed mobility, poise, a strong arm and excellent touch. But most importantly, Ramsey showed the team he had guts. Ramsey took several punishing hits. But he continually got up and trotted back to the huddle after each one. In one stretch, Ramsey threw a perfect strike to Kevin Lockett for a TD. Then the Redskins defense stopped the run, forced Tennessee into a third-and-long and sacked Steve McNair. The third quarter was the Redskins' best of the season, and the fourth was no let down.
3. Oh, O, O-line
Just as some of us thought the Redskins offensive line would never show up, they stepped up big-time against the Titans. The Redskins offensive line had their best game as a unit. Jon Jansen had a great day, pounding Titan defensemen without mercy. Samuels, Loverne, Moore, Stai, Brown and TE Walter Rasby demoralized the Titans defense. They were tough, consistent and did all the little things well. Finally, the offensive line played as a unit. They picked up stunts, called out the switches and openned holes. While the pass protection still could use some work - this unit was Oh So Fine on Sunday.
4. Gardener helps Defense Grow
It takes more than just one guy to improve a defense. But Daryl Gardener deserves a lot of credit for helping to shape the Skins defense. Dan Wilkinson, who has done a solid job for over a year, finally got the help he needed on the inside. Teams can no longer double-team Wilkinson exclusively. They now must contend with 6'6', 317 lbs -Daryl Gardener. Gardener was explosive, disruptive, aggressive and a bunch of other 'ive's.' The addition of Gardener to the line-up has been ... well, POSIT -IVE.
5. What Game are You Watching?
Week in and week out we're forced to watch the worst or the worst try to bring the game to our TV sets. The hopefully, soon-to-be-fired producers and directors of the game versus the Titans on Sunday provided endzone camera-angle after endzone camera-angle. Especially on punt and kickoffs. In case they might catch this, let's break it down really slowly for them. On a kick - that's when a player kicks the ball with his foot- it's nice to see certain things. The standard, wide-angle shot from the sidelines - that's where the players stand - works quite well.
The rear-angle lacks important elements. Things like; how far the kick travelled; what the hang-time is; maybe we could even see running lanes. Instead, we watched a tight shot of the returners butt and the resulting dizziness as the camera person attempted to follow the action. All this while Dick Stockton flubbed, mis-called and cluelessly conjectured about the action on the field. On the rare occassion, the camera angle did show something significant - Stockton called the action like a 5th grade cheerleader with maladjusted bifocals.
6. ...Are you Tough Enough?
Since I'm whining about camera angles and poor direction - let's move on to the commercials. I sincerely appreciate the guys that pay big bucks to bring us the games for free - or next to free every Sunday. But one of those 30-second ads really bugged me. The voice of Jeff Goldblum asking if I was 'Tough enough to drive a Toyota. Tough enough for what exactly? I'm pretty sure that almost everyone watching the game could whip Goldblum mercilously. I've got socks tougher than Jeff Goldblum. Sean Connery could pull it off. Bruce Willis could handle the line - but Jeff Goldblum isn't even tough enough to WASH my Toyota without hyper-extending an elbow. Shouldn't a TOUGH guy ask you if you're 'tough enough?' What next, pop-star Michael Jackson will quesiton our masculinity for Home Depot?