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Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

Jun 5, 2005, 12:31 AM EDT

Comments Off on Pasquarelli on Skins "Unfiltered" OTA's

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 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.

  1. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2005 at 5:20 PM

    Its OK, Len Pasquarelli has no real journalistic integrity. He’s just out to stir the pot and make some headlines for himself. He’s all about getting some attention (but for all the wrong reasons). If Gibbs and the Redskins start winning, I guarantee that he will say “I’ve been predicting from the beginning that Gibbs would succeed.” That’s precisely the kind of two-faced, lying, pathetic loser that guy is. Let’s just hope the Redskins have a great year to shut that loud mouth idiot up.

  2. Anonymous - Jun 5, 2005 at 5:24 PM

    What’s going on with Sean Talyor? That guy has acted and sounded like a total nut case from day 1. It seemed like we were making the rational decision to not choose the other nutcase (Winslow), but ours may be just as bad. I don’t have a good feeling about how its going to end for Taylor, who is proving himself to have some real mental health issues. Greg Williams must be miserably distressed. Just more of the Redskins curse.

  3. mbarnes202 - Jun 6, 2005 at 2:43 PM

    Regarding Taylor, read the Washington Times for a real scare. There are apparently some extremely tough gun-laws with very stiff mandatory minimums in Florida, enacted as part of Jeb Bush’s get-tough on gun crimes legislation. If he’s convicted of firing a gun while committing a crime (e.g., assault), the mandatory minimum is 20 years. What a tragedy. I’m glad no one was hurt, and I hope he can plea his way out of that kind of charge.
    Anyone know if the ‘Skins have a “don’t be stupid” clause in their contract to get back some of their SB $ if Taylor is charged with a felony?? If Taylor is locked up, and misses a mandatory training camp, what happens to the contract vis-a-vis the salary cap?
    OK, that’s jumping the gun a bit. But geez, what was he thinking, or, rather, why wasn’t he thinking?

  4. Anonymous - Jun 6, 2005 at 4:47 PM

    Maybe some jail time would be healthy for Taylor. I read in an article in the that if convicted, Taylor would have a mandatory sentence of 3 years if the gun wasn’t fired and 20 years if the gun was fired. Assuming Taylor goes away for an extended vacation, what recourse do the Redskins have with regard to the bonus money, salary cap issues, etc?

  5. J_B - Jun 6, 2005 at 7:03 PM

    Just look at the two Ravens stars that have been involved in a lot worse than it looks like Taylor was involved with for the type of jail time that Taylor MIGHT get.

    Honestly, I think this will likely shake out as nothing. Especially if those guys did steal his ATVs.

    They’ll just come to an agreement to drop all the charges and everyone will fo their separate ways.

  6. mbarnes202 - Jun 6, 2005 at 9:50 PM

    The assault charges are criminal, not civil, so whether the “victims” and the “perpetrators” come to any agreement is irrelevant– it’s up to the DA to determine whether to charge Sean or not, and for what.
    I do agree, though, that what will likely happen is some kind of plea bargain that will reduce the charges, hopefully to some kind of probation.
    I wonder, though, if the Florida DA (or whatever county it’s in) would agree to anything less than a felony– and a felony conviction– I wonder what kind of league penalty that might entail.

  7. J_B - Jun 7, 2005 at 11:41 AM

    Trust me, it happens all the time where two sides each do something to the other that the outcome is that neither side opts to press charges.

    And it’s going to be hard for the DA to press forward with the case against Taylor if the victims refuse to cooperate.

    And they won’t want to cooperate if that means that they come up on charges of stealing 2 ATVs.

  8. Anonymous - Jun 7, 2005 at 1:36 PM

    I was reading some of the comments of players such as Philip Daniels. If Taylor ever does make it back to the Redskins, I hope the players stage an “intervention” and confront this obnoxious punk. He may get off on this charge, but there will be others. He’s only been in the league 14 months and he’s already been fined and suspended (arrested for DUI, missed mandatory NFL rookie orientation meeting) and he’s missed OTA’s and he ingnores Gibbs’ calls. What a prick. I know if he’s on the team next year, I’m going to boo his ass the first time he steps on the field – and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

  9. Anonymous - Jun 9, 2005 at 3:46 PM

    I love that soundbite they keep playing on WTEM where they are asking Sean Taylor about the presidential election and he responsds “I hope the best man wins, whether its Bush or Cheney.” Obviously, he’s not the brightest person around, but he does have a father who is a chief of police, so he must be stupid enough to not even listen to his own father, who by the way thinks his son is immature and irresponsible. Now he’s the child of the Redskins organization and obviously he needs a lot of baby sitting.

  10. Anonymous - Jun 9, 2005 at 5:57 PM

    Come on, what would you guys have done had some punks stolen your ATV’s? Like you wouldn’t have smoked them fools?!


  11. Marcus Edwards - Jun 9, 2005 at 8:16 PM

    I can tell you what I wouldn’t have done. I wouldn’t have risked a multi million dollar career and jail time to wave a gun around in someone’s face like a punk moron wanna-be hood. I would have been at Redskins Park, where the people who are paying me the millions expect me to be.

  12. Anonymous - Jun 9, 2005 at 9:25 PM

    I agree, and if you think about it, what’s a couple of ATV’s to Sean Taylor? He’s already been paid 9 million dollars, which means he could go and buy another 1,800 ATVs (at $5K a pop) if he wanted to. Instead, he risks his career, his freedom, and his life (I read that someone actually shot AT him), all for a couple of ATV’s (that I’m sure the police could have recovered FOR him free of charge). Not too smart if you ask me, but then again, NO ONE is accusing Sean Taylor of being smart. NO ONE. I’d rather be a millionaire, celebrity athlete and a pu$$y, than a idiot who threw everything away for a couple of ATV’s.

  13. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2005 at 10:59 PM

    Why is your blog not current?

  14. Anonymous - Jun 20, 2005 at 11:32 PM

    I hope this blog hasn’t died. It has been the best Redskins blog by far.

  15. Rich Tandler - Jun 21, 2005 at 12:38 AM

    Nope, it hasn’t gone anywhere. I’ve written thousands of words about the Skins in the past few weeks, just none in the form of a blog. You can read what I’ve done at

  16. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2005 at 5:58 PM

    Rich, if you do not have the time to post, how about one of us cut and paste some newer articles of yours into the BLOG to get it going again. Trying to direct us away form an open discussion on your work makes me wonder why you started it, the BLOG, in the first place. If you want to end it, do so and be done with it.

  17. Anonymous - Jun 23, 2005 at 7:39 PM

    Hey Rich,
    Are you allowed to post Warpath articles in this blog, or is there some rule/agreement that you can’t do that? Its OK if you don’t have time for the blog anymore, don’t take it personally, but may as well just go ahead and end the blog, if that’s the case. Or maybe, are you planning on posting articles only during some portions of the year -such as during the season? Either way, its been a great blog, and thanks.

  18. Rich Tandler - Jun 23, 2005 at 7:48 PM

    C’mon, folks, it’s been just three weeks and we’re in the deadest part of the offseason. A little slack, please? Actually, you’re right, I can’t post the article I do for here. They pay me for those and, while they also publish the blog, the don’t pay me for that so I can do with it as I please. What I will start doing is posting a summary and a link to my articles (the ones that don’t require subscriber access) here and that way everyone can continue to comment here, which is my favorite aspect of this place.So look for the first summary and link later tonight. I appreciate the comments, it’s great to be missed!

  19. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2005 at 2:28 PM

    promises, promises….

  20. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2005 at 1:05 PM

    Seems like now is a good time to summarize what Gibbs has done this off-season. Spurrier made no changes to his offense between the first and second years. His offense was a failure the first year and a failure the second year. Spurrier wasn’t concerned with winning so much as he was concerned with seeing if his “system” would work in the NFL. He had no interest in changing his system for the sake of improving his chances of winning. Let’s compare that to Gibbs. Since the end of last season, Gibbs has done the following:
    1. Replaced our slower WR’s with extremely fast ones. Want to free up Clinton Portis? Have to stretch the field so the safeties stay back. Our WR’s did not get open last year for the long ball. Gardner is not fast enough, and Coles’ toe slowed him down. I specifically watched Coles, he did not get separation on the deep routes last year very often.
    2. change blocking scheme to a zone blocking scheme instead of the man vs. man smash-mouth style of the Hogs. This is a major departure and is what Clinton Portis loves. It gives him cut-back lanes and is what was done in Denver.
    3. Spread offense formation. Last year, Gibbs’ offense formations were bunched, tight formations that drew defenders into the center of the formations where Portis was trying to run. Not a lot of room to run there for Portis. This year, Gibbs’ offsenive formations will employ a lot more spread formations to spread the defense and open things up for Portis.
    4. Shotgun. For the first tim as a coach, Gibbs will use the shotgun formation at certain times to give his QB more time to read the defense.
    5. Shore up the offensive line which was average at best last year. Add one of the best centers in the league in Rabach and get Jansen back, this offensive line could dominate.
    Summary: Genius at work. Every change makes perfect sense. No fear about change, no fragile ego. Just a bullheaded determination to do whatever it takes to win. We’ll see how well it works, but I just love Joe Gibbs.

  21. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2005 at 1:09 PM

    Nice summary. Now I can’t wait for the Fall to see what happens. Could be interesting.

  22. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2005 at 1:11 PM

    Yeh, but you’re forgetting one thing that Gibbs can’t change. The Snyder Factor. Everything Snyder touches turns to crap. If Gibbs can win despite the Snyder Factor, then he will have proven without a doubt that he really is a Genius.

  23. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2005 at 3:58 PM

    “The Snyder Factor”
    I believe his heart is in the right place. All of the moves he has been a part of that have failed are not for the lack of trying, rather, some bad luck and some show of inexperience. All of his past blunders aside, forgiveness and acceptance will be plentiful if his bringing back “The Gibbs Factor” is a success this year. Gibbs has already proven his football genius and with an owner like Snyder to bankroll the team, and coaching staff, winning days are fast approaching.

  24. oneampoet - Jun 29, 2005 at 6:47 PM

    Lets give dan synder a break…the only problem with dan is that he wants to win so bad he’s trys to force the issue rather than letting the game come…The problem with football is you just can’t go out and buy a championship like you can in other sports, it takes time, chemistry and a lot of luck. Dan has made the Redskins the most profitable team in the NFL and brought back Joe Gibbs, which to me is like saying he resurected Christ…so lay off the man!

  25. Doug - Jun 30, 2005 at 1:02 PM

    In addition to shoring up the offense, Gibbs has worked on improving special teams. I expect a much better performance there as well.

    And I agree with poet about Snyder. People didn’t care for JKC that much until he hired Joe Gibbs. It’s amazing what winning can do for all concerned.

  26. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2005 at 3:34 PM

    The major difference between JKC and Snyder is that JKC hired a General Manager and left the football to the football people. Snyder has taken the opposite approach. Snyder, who has absolutely NO football experience on any level (except as a fan), seems to have been (ever since he bought the team) intimately involved on the football side of the organization including such critical team operations like personel decisions. This is what has earned him such ridicule around the league. How in the world does he think he can just show up without any definable football knowledge or acumen or experience and insert himself into football side of running the Redskins? We’ve seen the results: disaster. Its fine if he stays on the business side of things and makes the team more profitable. That’s really where his skills are: business. I will say that since he has hired Gibbs, he has kept his nose out of the football side of things to a much greater extent, and if the Redskins start winning, that will be an important reason why.

  27. Anonymous - Jun 30, 2005 at 3:38 PM

    I agree 100%. Snyder is the primary and only reason why you see such extreme differences between how the Redskins, as a football organization, are run and how successful teams like the Eagles and the Patriots are run. Archives

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