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Stirring a Frosty pot

Aug 31, 2008, 8:25 AM EDT

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.

  1. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Excellent post! This punter has the potential to be special and the cb has speed which you can’t teach. Makes perfect sense… I kinda like this Zorn gun. (Not a Gibbs bash) I also like Cerrato being up front and saying that Frost had not been the most consistent the past 3 years.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Excellent post! This punter has the potential to be special and the cb has speed which you can’t teach. Makes perfect sense… I kinda like this Zorn gun. (Not a Gibbs bash) I also like Cerrato being up front and saying that Frost had not been the most consistent the past 3 years.

  3. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Mike Wise’s articles read not as insightful partisan behind the scenes analysis but as spiteful vindictive attacks on the cool kids who wont let him eat at their lunch table. He postures and hems and haws about how its his job to present the situation as is, and if the skins gave him good things to write about he would write on that…Well then how bout an article on former VA Tech safety and local favorite Justin Hamilton’s improbable run to make the team. Or a story on any the young guys who, regardless of how sources claim they played, worked hard and made a pro roster. I am not the stick your head in the sand type, at times the skins deserve all the criticism they get and more, but this man’s body of work is ridiculous. Mike Wise cant keep his personal feelings out of his articles and thus discredits everything he writes. Bravo Post, Bravo Wise, keep alienating the fan base you cover and soon Danny boy will have you covering the skins from baltimore and reasonable people will applaud him on.

  4. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Mike Wise’s articles read not as insightful partisan behind the scenes analysis but as spiteful vindictive attacks on the cool kids who wont let him eat at their lunch table. He postures and hems and haws about how its his job to present the situation as is, and if the skins gave him good things to write about he would write on that…Well then how bout an article on former VA Tech safety and local favorite Justin Hamilton’s improbable run to make the team. Or a story on any the young guys who, regardless of how sources claim they played, worked hard and made a pro roster. I am not the stick your head in the sand type, at times the skins deserve all the criticism they get and more, but this man’s body of work is ridiculous. Mike Wise cant keep his personal feelings out of his articles and thus discredits everything he writes. Bravo Post, Bravo Wise, keep alienating the fan base you cover and soon Danny boy will have you covering the skins from baltimore and reasonable people will applaud him on.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Your column is spot-on. No one expects a 4th-rounder like Tryon to be an instant starter and corner is a position which must be learned. The only thing indicated by the inconsistent Frost’s comments is that he is lacking in class. Yours is a much better analysis than Wise’s. Keep up the good work.

  6. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 12:48 PM

    Nice post! The team is starting out on a new path and no one seems to see the big picture.

    You here that the team should “…get younger…” and when the do they get bashed for it. I like the direction the team is taking. Maybe in 3 yrs we have a stable winner to root for.

    HTTR

  7. Skudge - Aug 31, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Bravo.

  8. Chris C - Aug 31, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Rich I’ve read your book and I love your columns. What happened to reporters pumping up the fan’s about their team instead of all this sensationalism? Most people want to read about the good things about their team, not some loud-mouthed punter who’s a six-pack away from a mouth like Vanderjagt.

  9. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 4:58 PM

    I think it’s the case of opening up the offense from last year to have a shot this year. Instead they give the reins to Vinny and this year is a throw away while adjusting to the west coast offense. The offense actually seems worse then what we saw the last few years. When all this blows up Vinny will be the whipping boy and we can start all over again.If any of the draft picks were cut how many would have been picked up? at least Frost received a call from Seattle.

  10. Diesel - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:32 PM

    If the intention with Tryon is to develop him, why in the hell give him a roster spot? He’s not ready to play, so you put him on the practice squad. No one else is going to claim him — he can’t cover.

    So your story just doesn’t hold water. There is no good reason to give Tryon a spot on the 53 man roster when, for example, you need more than 5 receivers but only 3 of 5 you have can actually play.

    You stick Tryon on the practice squad and you keep McMullen. Or anyone else, frankly, who can contribute to the team.

    You explanation is the kind of whitewash we’ve come to expect from this incompetent front office. The worst part of all: the front office claiming the coaches made the decisions. Sure…

  11. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Frankly, it is abundantly clear that this front office intended to keep all 10 drafted players regardless of performance. That’s 20% of the roster.

    Zorn needs receivers for his offense, so they drafted a boatload. None are ready to play, but they make the roster anyway. So Zorn is hamstrung just to make the front office look good. Why not stick one of them on IR? They did NOTHING in preseason.

    The Skins are going to regret not having a few more veterans players, particularly a big body receiver and some depth at OL. But we’re used to stupidity — we’re Skins fans.

  12. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:37 PM

    I kinda agree with Mike Wise, but for a different reason: based on Zorn’s offense so far, they’re going to do a hell of a lot of punting. The rookie really better be Ray Guy. We’ll all be watching his first punt out of his own end zone this Thursday.

    It could get ugly.

  13. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    Come on… anyone watching this team for the last 10 years is not at all surprised by Frost’s comments about Vinny.

    Vinny is a world-class turd. Anyone who has ever watched the office ass-kisser get promoted knows the type.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:44 PM

    If they kept Tryon to develop him, they blew it completely. Based on what he showed in preseason, he wasn’t getting a call from another team, so there was no need to give him a roster spot. Tryon was toasted so often they renamed the hospital burn ward after him.

    They have a practice squad. They could keep Tryon without wasting the roster spot.

  15. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 5:46 PM

    The best players should make the team. Period. That didn’t happen. Are we trying to win football games this year? If not, let me know so I can skip the games and just look forward to the draft.

    Tryon can’t play. Maybe he can play in a year or so, but that doesn’t mean you give him a roster spot that could be a backup lineman, wide receiver, or even Marcus Mason.

    If Marcus Mason turns into an NFL running back, remember that the Skins gave Tryon his spot. Then judge your boy Vinny.

  16. bobmilldevils - Aug 31, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    “If not, let me know so I can skip the games and just look forward to the draft.”

    They will just screw the draft up anyway.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 10:53 PM

    Bobdemilles is right… they screwed up this draft, so even if they go 0-16 they’ll likely pull the equivalent of drafting Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan. We all know Vinny Cerrato can’t find his own ass with both hands, but he’s gotten promoted in Washington because he CAN find Danny’s ass.

    What a pathetic excuse for a franchise.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 31, 2008 at 10:54 PM

    Wait, Rich — you’re saying they know Tryon can’t play this year, but kept him to develop him?

    They have a word for that: PRACTICE SQUAD.

    This is a terrible post. Did Vinny write it???

  19. Anonymous - Sep 1, 2008 at 10:42 PM

    I’m no Vinny fan but he put together a nice draft. My only criticism is that a lot of teams passed on Kelly cause of his knees. I think we’d have been better off drafting limus sweed but that’s water under the bridge now. Fred Davis will have a huge impact on the offense this year so he makes up for lack of production from the rookie wr’s

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