Jun 4, 2005, 8:31 PM EDT
We have created the news and it is us.
One can imagine the Redskins organization uttering that line, an alteration of a famous line in the old “Pogo” comic strip (for those not as old as I am, which is most of you, the line was “We have seen the news and it is us”.)
From the Washington Post:
The Washington Redskins are being investigated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association for possible violations during offseason practices after video of some drills was made available on the club’s Web site. Representatives from the NFL and NFLPA said they are looking into whether the Redskins conducted practices that were too physical and in which offensive and defensive linemen engaged one another in live contact, which is prohibited.
Some will remember reading here last month about the Redskins’ effort to present the news about the team “unfiltered”. Part of this campaign was to webcast highlights of their offseason practices or OTA’s as they are called. It was during one of these webcasts that someone in the player’s union noticed the activity between the linemen.
“Do you know how we caught them?” NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw told the Associated Press. “We saw it on their Web site.”
Although it’s unlikely that the Redskins will face anything but very minor sanctions for this, it’s a safe bet to say that they wish that they had filtered that particular news.
Should the Redskins be penalized for violating OTA SOP’s, they would be the second team to have that happen to them in the past month. The Philadelphia Eagles forfeited a week of OTA’s or about a third of the total allowed. The issue involved improper reporting of dates of the workouts to the NFLPA, a sloppy mistake by the Eagles.
And this brings us to the Len Pasquarelli angle on this story. As one would expect, the ESPN.com NFL writer had a field day with this, calling the Redskins “The Capital Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight,” among other knee-slapper lines. Then, he goes too far. After saying that virtually every other team in the NFL has similar drills during their OTA’s, Lenny P takes a cheap shot at Joe Gibbs:
As Gibbs noted, just about every team in the league uses a similar drill in mini-camps and so-called “organized team activities.”. . . Hey, you can’t make this stuff up, you know? But as long as the Redskins are around, we don’t have to, because they keep providing more than enough fodder. Gibbs suggested that he didn’t fully understand the rule banning the drill, further evidence that perhaps the Hall of Fame coach should have stayed in a NASCAR pit instead of relocating to an NFL sideline.
So nobody else fully understands the rule and everyone violates it but Gibbs alone should quit his job.
And as if we need any proof that Pasquarelli just flat doesn’t like the Redskins, let me share with you the results of a search for remarks that Lenny P made that were critical of Andy Reid. Surely Lenny must have had some pretty harsh words for Reid, whose team actually lost a good chunk of their allotted OTA’s due to sloppy scheduling. The results of the search for Pasquarelli’s comments on Reid follow between the quotation marks:
Of course, it’s not surprising that Pasquarelli would bash Gibbs, who is suspected of the equivalent of a misdemeanor–even if the Skins are determined to have violated the rule, they are unlikely to lose any OTA sessions–and not do the same to Reid, whose record in this case is like a felony conviction.
In fact, the only shocker here is that Lenny didn’t find a way to praise Reid for losing the OTA’s, perhaps giving his players some badly-needed rest from the rigors of the offseason.
The Redskins deserve criticism as long as they continue their mediocre on the field performance. I guess it’s too much to ask, though, that teams receive somewhat equal comments for somewhat equal issues. Certainly it is too much to ask when the subject is the Redskins and the critic is Len Pasquarelli.
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