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Los Angeles Lakers Pre-Game Report by Jeff Little

October 26, 2010 1 comment

It’s the season opener for the 2010-2011 Los Angeles Lakers; but before the journey to repeat commences the squad will receive their championship rings for last seasons exploits. This past off-season was the quietest off-season ever for a two-time defending champion in any sport.

The Lakers have no problem with being under the radar with all the pressure being on a certain team that plays in the east. While the majority of the NBA was enamored with a super team being assembled with the three biggest names in free agency landing on the east coast.

The spotlight, scrutiny and high expectations will hover over the Heat all-season and like it or not the move ushered in a new era in the NBA. The super team that Miami is chasing is already assembled and in place on the west coast. However, the purple reign is far from over, but it has improved. The purple and gold didn’t rest on their laurels and stand pat. The two-time defending champion Lakers retooled and are now two deep at every position.

The Additions of veterans Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff and impressive rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter provide a needed mixture of versatility, experience and youth. The Lakers bench was a weakness last year and now should add better outside shooting as well as produce 35+ points per game.

The additions have also extended the careers of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher as well as provide the Lakers with the ability to match up with anyone. Facing the Rockets; the Lakers have to prepare to play two different teams; one with Yao Ming and one without.

It has been widely publicized that Yao will be limited to 24 minutes per game. Yao is a huge presence in the post and will get the majority of his touches in the half-court offense the Lakers have to minimize his impact on this game.

Los Angeles needs to control the tempo and not allow the Rockets to get out and run. It is a must that all five Lakers get back on defense to eliminate transition baskets. Los Angeles will have to do a good job defending the screen and roll as well as rotating out to their three-point shooters. Los Angeles needs to control the boards and play defense without fouling.

It is imperative that the Lakers take care of the ball, limit their turnovers. The Lakers can out-work the Rockets with a combination of excellent ball and player movement.  When the Lakers do a good job of sharing the ball; effectively moving it from the strong to the weak side and moving the defense in the process, they’re tough to beat. The Lakers need to trust their offense and get into a rhythm early. Los Angeles will run their offense through Pau Gasol in the post and he needs to accept the challenge and be much more aggressive.

 

Prediction: Lakers 102 – Rockets 94

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: TNT
  • Houston: TNT

Radio

  • Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Houston: 1140 AM KHTK (Gary Gerould)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • Andrew Bynum (Knee) Out
  • Luke Walton (Hamstring) Out
  • Theo Ratliff (Knee) Listed as Day-to-Day

Rockets

  • C Yao Ming (Foot) Listed as Day-to-Day
  • PG Kyle Lowry (Back Spasms) Listed as Day-to-Day

 

Jeff Little is the mid-day host of the Locker Room on the Sports Journey Network.  Based out of Los Angeles, he is also a writer for Laker Nation.

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Stay Out of Lockeroom by Ritchie Owens

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

In the past week, I have seen various female reporters and woman’s groups getting fired up over the decision or lack thereof the NFL made to not punish the Jets for the alleged incident after last weeks loss.  And by no means am I condoning any behaviors that can be conceived as harassment.  The issue, to me, is that she and her colleges should never have been in the locker room in the first place.  After all, even families aren’t allowed in the locker room post-game.

Here’s the solution to the problem, remove ALL reporters from the team locker room and place them in a separate room to do their interviews!  There you go equal access.  Because it’s not about a Woman’s right to go into a Man’s locker room, it’s about the right to have equal access to players regardless of gender. As a former player, I think that it is ridiculous to have to speak to people while you are fresh out of the shower, trying to get dressed, etc…  And let’s be honest, most reporters are only there to interview the same 5 or 6 guys every week anyway.

Contrary to what some reporters, male included, are calling a, “gender neutral area“everyone‘s “work area“.  I say it is not.  A reporter in a locker room is a courtesy not a right.  You do not work for the organization that you cover.  Ask anyone who has every showered in a health club or any other open shower setting if they would mind if a few dozen members of the press could come in get some interviews.  It isn’t a public area.

I remember being in the locker room and feeling very uncomfortable with the fact that there were women (and to a greater extent people with cameras and whatnot) in there while I was showering, and changing.  And yes, I have caught females in the locker room stealing glances or even straight out giggling to someone else.  To be fair, I did not know what they were saying, but the timing was suspicious. Please understand that there are more than just reporters in the locker room, its camera people, sound people and whoever else happens be associated with the production that day for various news agencies that has access to team facilities.

An incident that occurred while I was in the locker room that involved a female (I don‘t know if she was a reporter) showing myself and a couple of teammates a photo of a very well muscled teammate of ours.  Once over our initial shock of this woman who had the audacity to show us this picture and actually ask us if we knew who it was, we promptly reporter her to our public relations staff.   This woman was summarily ejected from the locker room.  To this day, I still don’t know who that woman was.

My whole point, ladies and gentlemen, is this.  It’s not about what is right or wrong.  This isn’t a matter of a woman being denied her rights.  This is a matter of what is proper.  Men aren’t allowed (with good reason) into woman’s locker rooms because is it not proper?  Therefore, women should not be allowed in man’s locker rooms.  Now since we don’t want to deny our sisters equal access to players, all reporters should be made to wait in a designated “interview room”.  I don’t understand what is so hard about that to figure out.

Ritchie Owens is a former Defensive Lineman in the NFL who played for 10 seasons.  He Currently hosts his own show ” Sack Sound with Ritchie Owens” on the Sports Journey Broadcast Network.

My View from the Washington Redskins Press Box by Lake Lewis

Optimism is all that any Washington Redskins’ fan can ever hope for after a horrid 2009 football campaign. Last season contained former Redskins head coach Jim Zorn — now Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach — routinely questioned by fans and the media for his coaching tactics.  Former starting quarterback Jason Campbell’s leadership was questioned and many debated if he even was a legitimate playoff caliber signal caller.  And lastly, the ‘Skins defense was often criticized for not playing in a free-flowing attacking style. 

Well, the 2010 season has brought eternal hope for all around our Nation’s Capital.  And if last night’s Redskins preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills was any indicator, then the new season should bring a sort of giddiness seldom bestowed on this franchise over the last decade. The Redskins came out and imposed their will on the Buffalo Bills in route to a 42-17 alley-slapping.

In the Redskins’ preseason opening win, the three most important off-season acquisitions, in my opinion, of Head Coach Mike Shanahan, Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and Quarterback Donovan McNabb did not disappoint in their burgundy and gold debuts – BTW: I didn’t count General Manager Bruce Allen as he joined the team at the end of the 2009 season. 

After a shaky first series, the Redskins’ offense -– 2009 NFL rankings of 22nd in total offense and 26th in scoring — showed signs of life.  On their second possession, the new look offense led by McNabb orchestrated a twelve play, 70-yard, drive culminating with the former All-Pro passer connecting with first-year player Anthony Armstrong on a four-yard touchdown strike.  The touchdown pass showed that finally the Redskins seem to have the most important position on the field covered. 

McNabb’s improvisation skills were on full display on the touchdown play as he showed foot movement and presence in the pocket.  The former Philadelphia Eagles starter kept the play alive by moving around to find his receiver despite some pressure from the Bills.  Overall, McNabb who took the snap from center 17 times — was scheduled to take only 18 snaps actually — completed five of eight passes for 58 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. The former 6-time Pro Bowl player also turned in a more than respectable 124.0 quarterback rating for the game.

In his postgame presser, McNabb said that he felt good after having played his first game with the Redskins.  The new leader of Washington’s offense said, “It was an exciting time.  When you play your first game, obviously, with a new ball club it takes you back to the first game you played.”  The 12-year veteran added, “Your adrenaline is high and you have to settle down a little bit.  The second time we went out, after our first drive, it led us putting up some points.  Then good things happen.  There are a lot of things we have to work on but I thought offensively we were able to progress today.”

The strong performance of the Redskins did not stop at McNabb’s doorstep.  Back-up quarterback Rex Grossman, a former Super Bowl lead guy in Chicago, may have helped ease any discord about who will replace #5 should he have any kind of setback.  Grossman showed complete command of the Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which he was already familiar with from having been coached by the younger Shanahan last year with the Houston Texans.  For the game, Grossman played two quarters while completing eleven passes for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. The former Florida Gators passer also finished with a great quarterback rating too (122.5).

One of the recipients of Grossman’s two touchdown passes was gifted receiver Devin Thomas.  The former Michigan State receiver had recently been under intense scrutiny for his participation in a music video with R&B star Fantasia.  But he rebounded to have a nice game as he pulled-in three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.  Some people, who I talked to during the game, thought that Thomas should be bypassing any outside distractions and just focusing on football. 

However Thomas showed why he was a top-rated receiver prospect on many boards back during the 2008 draft.  Yesterday’s game could be the confidence booster for Shanahan’s offense and the third-year pro that the Redskins have been looking for.  After briefly talking to Thomas after the game, I can safely say there is not a more engaging player who knows exactly what is expected of him in the locker room.  I truly expect a breakout year for the developing receiver and for Thomas to also be the starter opposite veteran Santana Moss come opening day.

On the defensive side of the ball, there were some things from the game that I believe need to be corrected including over-pursuit and poor tackling.  But for the most part, new defensive coordinator Jim Hasslet’s unit showed the attacking style that most Washington fans have longed for since the departure of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is now with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.  The other major off-season drama, the Albert Haynesworth situation, also definitely seems to have been put to bed.  The $100-million dollar man started his long climb back up the depth charts and ‘Skins Nation’s hearts by playing a solid game.  Haynesworth entered the game in the second quarter, with the second unit, and although he did not record a sack or a tackle, his presence helped several players.

Redskins Game Notes:

First-year players who made an impact on the game were:

— LB Perry Riley who played well and was credited with a tackle for a loss.

— WR Anthony Armstrong caught his and Donovan McNabb’s first touchdown as Redskins.

— RB Keiland Williams showed that he could possibly breakthrough an already crowded backfield to make the final roster.

— CB Ramzee Robinson made several special teams gems.  And as always this is what separates young players who make NFL rosters.

— WR Brandon Banks showed the 4.2 speed that has caught the eye of many around the NFL.  Banks did not waste any time as he returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown.  His effort should help add greater debate about getting the young speedster more opportunities.

— RB Ryan Torain was impressive with 17 rushes for 62 yards.

— Former Pro Bowl TE Chris Cooley looked comfortable working with McNabb as he produced 3 catches for 33 yards.

— CB DeAngelo Hall had a nice interception, which he returned for 33 yards.

 

Lake Lewis is the head of the Sports Journey Broadcast Network and their daily drive-time radio host.  He also is a credentialed member of the media by the NBA, Washington Redskins, and Baltimore Ravens.

Oakland Raiders’ Offensive Success Starts Up Front by Jeff Little

Training camp has begun for the Oakland Raiders. The silver and black are working hard preparing for a successful 2010 season. The Raiders had one of the best offseasons in recent memory. The offseason has provided the team with much-needed momentum. Two of the bigger acquisitions for Oakland were offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and quarterback Jason Campbell.

These are just two of the many additions brought in to upgrade the offense that ranked 31st in the league and scored 17 touchdowns. The NFL is a passing league and the Raiders ranked 29th out of 32 teams; only the Jets and Browns had fewer completed passes.

The Raiders ranked 21st in the league rushing in 2009, posting seven rushing touchdowns and allowing 49 sacks.

A significant amount of the blame for the above-mentioned rankings needs to be placed on JR’s doorstep. JaMarcus was a man who never got it. He seemed to be more taken with “purple drank” than he was at improving as a football player. The Raider offense will improve with a renewed commitment to the running game and an improved passing game with Jason Campbell at the helm.

Offensive improvement always starts up front with the offensive line.

A successful offensive line needs to be based upon having talented athletes and providing them with solid coaching. Tom Cable is a solid offensive line coach. There are coaches who teach the scheme and coaches who teach technique. Cable learned from Alex Gibbs, who taught both.

For those who do not know, Alex Gibbs is seen as the godfather of the zone blocking scheme when he coached the Raiders offensive line in 1988-1989. Wherever he goes, that team is successful offensively. Oakland’s road to redemption starts behind the five guys entrusted to move the crowd.

The Raiders have completed the walk-through version of training camp that head coach Tom Cable calls “learning intensive” sessions. The Raiders are focusing on fundamentals. The zone blocking scheme is widely used and highly successful. The zone blocking scheme creates a called “hole” to run in.

Zone blocking in the running game usually relies on technique, as well as smaller, more athletic lineman sacrificing size for mobility and runners committed to the one-cut-and-go system. The majority of the running plays, due to the movement of the linemen, always have the appearance of a stretch play to the weak or strong side of the formation.

The center, guard, tackle, tight end, and fullback work in unison to combination block an area with an emphasis on double-teaming a few defensive linemen, first or second level threats at the point of attack. The double-team block will provide movement at the line of scrimmage as well as cut back lane for the runner. Getting movement is the key.

Typically people think of the levels as first level—defensive line, second level—linebackers, and third level—secondary, as you will see in your game day program. The reality is that things are a little different on the field.

Facing a 3-4 defensive front, for example, causes a lot of confusion for offensive linemen. A blitz or pressure can come from several different players. It is all about threat level the linemen need to be able to read the defense and never leave a first level threat unblocked. A defensive lineman, linebacker, or defensive back could be a first level threat.

The Raiders will face 10 opponents that utilize a 3-4 defensive front as their base defense. Oakland will put the pads on August 2. The competition to be one of the starting five or depth begins. The guys who will receive snaps on the first-team are as follows:

LT Mario Henderson, LG Robert Gallery, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Langston Walker.

Depth: (T-G) Khalif Barnes, (T) Erik Pears, (C) Chris Morris, (G) Brandon Rodd

New Additions: (G-T) Bruce Campbell, (T) Jared Veldheer, (G) Daniel Loper, (G) Allen Smith, (T) Elliot Vallejo, (G) Alex Parsons

The Raiders best lineman, Robert Gallery, returns healthy after only playing in six games last year due to a series of injuries. In Gallery’s absence came Henderson, who had a decent start faded down the stretch.

Cooper Carlisle’s performance has dropped off over the last two years and competition at right guard is required. Langston Walker returns as the surprise starter at right tackle. Cornell Green has left the building. He will be “false-starting” in Buffalo in 2010. Samson Satele was slow to adjust to the zone blocking scheme, but came on late.

The smartest thing is that there will be competition at every position. The battle for playing time on the offensive line will provide some of the best positional battles of training camp. The best possible scenario for this group in five parts:

1) No serious injuries or games missed, with substantial success and growth as a unit.

2) Robert Gallery not missing a game.

3) Rookies Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell rapidly getting up to speed, making an immediate impact, and challenging for playing time at left tackle and right guard.

4) Langston Walker showing improvement as a run blocker while continuing to be solid as a pass blocker.

5) A few unexpected lineman playing well and challenging for playing time such as Daniel Loper, Allen Smith, or Elliott Vallejo.

With the “Answer” there are more questions By Reggie Williams

March 10, 2010 3 comments

Published reports are circulating that Allen Iverson is suffering from an alcohol and gambling addiction. This disturbing information arrives on the heels of a report that Tawanna Iverson, Allen’s wife of 8 ½ years, filed for divorce citing the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” On the day that Mrs. Iverson decided to call it quits with her high school sweetheart, Mr. Iverson’s working relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers was terminated; that marriage may also be irretrievably broken.

With A.I., who has affectionately been known throughout his career as “The Answer,” there appears to be nothing but questions.

During this 2009 off-season the Cleveland Cavaliers picked up Shaquille O’Neal, the Los Angeles Lakers scooped up Ron Artest, the Boston Celtics grabbed Rasheed Wallace and the Orlando Magic snatched Vince Carter for a run at the 2010 NBA championship, but the only teams remotely interested in the talents of A.I. were the Memphis Grizzlies and that other Los Angeles team – the Clippers. The question that bears asking is: what was wrong with A.I. that teams, potentially one player away from competing for a championship, wouldn’t covet a sure 1st Ballot Hall of Famer with some game left in his tank?

The question that bears asking is: did Mrs. Iverson asked for a divorce because Mr. Iverson indeed is dependent on gambling and alcohol and the destructive behavior that accompanies such addictions has made their marriage “irretrievably broken?”

The question that bears asking is: why might A.I. have a drinking and gambling addiction; is it because his once brilliant career is heading south in a runaway Toyota Prius?

The question that bears asking is: has A.I. penchant to “keep it real,” – cornrows, tats and cronies who may have never understood that A.I. was a brand name with whose potential was limitless, really kept him in a dark place where now he seems to be stuck?

The question that bears asking is: those cronies that A.I. “kept it real” with, will they “keep it real” and support the dude who supported them or will A.I. become contagious to them like his hometown boy Michael Vick became infectious to his “keep it real” boys?

The question that bears asking is: can one of the hardest, toughest players – arguably the hardest and toughest player when you consider his stands just 6 feet and weighs a buck-sixty, end his career has a quitter. He quick on the Grizzlies after just 12 games; quick on the Detroit Pistons the year prior and while Messiah, his 4-year-old daughter, has been ill and I do believe family is far-far, way far more important than basketball – it’s fair to ask did he quick on the 76ers using his daughter’s illness for cover?

The question that bears asking is: what does the next chapter of the Iverson’s novel read when one considers that A.I. is on the verge of a divorce; his wife will probably seek a handsome alimony – does he have it? Will the next chapter reveal that he has failed to endow any assets into a subsequent career after pouring his heart and soul into a 13-year career? Will the next chapter become even more compelling when A.I. has to compete against a divorce and a declining career all while the troubled star allegedly battles the gripping addictions of gambling and alcohol.

The question bears asking: will A.I. fight the way he did when he would challenge a 7-footer in the paint, or will he become a fade away memory?

For 10 years (1996-2006) whenever Iverson stepped on the court he provided the answer. During the course of his first 10 seasons in Philly Iverson scored 28.9 ppg, dished out 5.5 assists and made victims of opponents with 2.3 steals per game. He led the League in scoring four times (one of only four players in League history to capture at least four scoring titles); named League’s MVP in 2000-01; a 10-time All-Star and two-time All-Star game MVP. Iverson was named to seven All-NBA Teams and if we “keep it real,” he’s public perception wasn’t as rebellious as the reputation that preceded it. Unfortunately now, there’s nothing but questions swirling around the Answer.

Reggie Williams, an award-winning editor and journalist, is reachable at rwilliams@itsflawless.com

King Kobe! by Lake Lewis

February 25, 2010 1 comment

Earlier in the year after watching Kobe Bryant drop 42 points on the Chicago Bulls in the “place that Mike built”, I could not help but think that he was a victim of the guy who won those 6 championships in Chi-Town.  Having watched his late game heroics against Memphis in his first game back after being out of action for a few weeks, Kobe Bryant in any era of basketball could be mentioned as perhaps the greatest of all time.  But we now must say “could have” and that’s because any player who plays after Michael Jordan will never get their just due.  Just like we date things in history from BC to AD, we now need to start looking at basketball history the same way.  There is the before Jordan era (BJ) and the after Jordan era (AJ).  Depending on when you played will determine how fans can place you historically.  I have said on numerous occasions as great a player Kobe Bryant is I can not put him in my top five as of yet.  When I actually said that on my radio show was during last years NBA Finals that Kobe and the Lakers won in convincing fashion over Orlando.  At the time I had Kobe ranked seven on my all time NBA player list.  That’s right I had him trailing Jordan, Magic, Bird, Chamberlain, Russell, and Kareem.  No one can argue that these guys at best can be mentioned with Kobe.

What keeps these players at the top of most NBA fan lists is that these guys played (BJ).  Kobe is the lone victim who is playing (AJ).  Sure LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony are great young players now, but they are not benefiting from playing in the Jordan era.  Kobe is the last link to this greatness.  He actually played against Jordan and had the torch passed to him directly.  This helps his cause along with his great game to be mentioned along side the greats.  All of the players that are on my list had one two special things in common.  Dominance on the floor, and championships.  At no time is Kobe the second best player on the floor.  Never!  He is at worst the second best player on a particular night if things are not going well.

Here lie the problems with me putting him ahead of these great players at this point in his career.

  1. He has benefited from a water downed league where he does not have a legitimate rival to his greatness.  Until James and Wade came along there was no other player who had the burden Kobe has to carry Jordan’s torch.  This may not seem fair to Kobe but that is the way it is.
  2. There has been only one “dynasty team” opposing Kobe’s Lakers during his entire career.  That team is the San Antonio Spurs.  All of the great players mentioned above had two and sometimes three “dynasty teams” that they had to conquer in order to win their championships.  Magic and Kareem’s Lakers teams had to go through Boston and Detroit.  Bird’s Celtics had to go through the Lakers, Detroit, and finally MJ’s Bulls.  Michael Jordan’s Bulls had to go through Boston, Detroit, L.A., and to a lesser extent Utah who had a great team.  Chamberlain and Russell had to go through each other and the Lakers when Wilt was playing in Philadelphia.
  3. Until last year when LeBron won the MVP there had not been a player or non-center to rival Kobe’s greatness.  Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal are the only players that could be mentioned with Kobe but the world would have liked a real rival from the non-center position.

Should Kobe win another championship which is highly probable I would have to put him in the top three trailing only Jordan and Russell?  His career averages of 25.2 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assist put him in this select category.  More importantly he will have 5 NBA Rings to back that.  That is where only the true greats can be mentioned because they dominated and won championships.   Take nothing away from Kobe because he did not choose which era he was going to play in.  He has been a true student of the game and has never shied away from greatness.  When he plays the best players in the game you can see him take it upon himself to show those players that he is the “man”.  This is what all of the games greats have done over time.  They would rise to the occasion to show that they could not be equaled.  At least in the (AJ) era Kobe is establishing the (KB) era.  That’s not such a bad deal is it?

Lake Lewis is the President and CEO of the Sports Journey Broadcast Network.  He was a host on ESPN Radio 1060 Orlando, ESPN Radio 1080 Melbourne and the Drive Time host ESPN Radio 1240 Maryland and WMET 1160 in Washington DC

A Step in the Right Direction by Lake Lewis

December 17, 2009 1 comment

As a sports journalist I have had to take on the -not said oath- of not showing bias towards or leading on whom my favorite teams are.  Well if you have followed my radio show you will know that I am a Nittany Lion and Hoya (My Alma Mater’s) and a huge Washington Redskin fan (my hometown is DC).  Today I awoke to the sobering news of the untimely and unfortunate passing of Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry.  The story surrounding his death is yet again another bad situation turned public.  The young man should be remembered as a testament that you can not judge a book by its cover.  I have one question regarding his death?  WHY IS THE MEDIA becoming the Supreme Court in our country?  For all intensive purposes Chris Henry had turned his life around and was becoming a sound man.  The media never focused on that aspect of his life until he was gone.  This seems so eerily similar to the passing of the late Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins.  He was another victim of bad media scrutiny that would not uncover his better side until he was murdered.  Can we start to tell the stories of good faith and great deeds by athletes instead of tearing them down for any mistakes that are made?  Wake up my media brethren, its time to look at ourselves in the mirror.

The other news story that broke today in the DC area was that Vinnie Cerrato had resigned as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Washington Redskins.  In other words, the de facto General Manager without General Manager credentials would not hold my beloved Redskins hostage any longer.  Sure Cerrato had drafted such players as TE Chris Cooley, S Sean Taylor, QB Jason Campbell and last years seemingly talented TE Fred Davis, and WR Devon Thomas and this year’s rookie sensation and future all-pro LB/DE Brian Orakpo.  But, he also helped orchestrait the acquisitions of high priced free agent busts such as WR Brandon Lloyd, S Adam Archuleta, DE Jason Taylor (trade with the Dolphins), and here is a name from the past RB Trung Canidate (trade with Rams).  He also had a pension for losing valuable draft picks and Redskins players such as S Ryan Clark (Pittsburgh), and LB Antonio Pierce (Giants).  There is another player that tells the story of how dysfunctional Cerrato’s regime was for me.  Jeremy Bridges who right now is playing really good football for the Arizona Cardinals at left tackle was a player who the Redskins decided to cut as one of their final pre-season moves.  If you have watched the Redskins over the past few years it is well documented that their offensive line albeit individually talented, has been on the decline with season ending injuries happening yearly.  Pro Bowlers Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas have had their seasons cut short the past two seasons so releasing an adequate replacement made no sense to me when Cerrato kept former first round bust Mike Williams who had been out of football for 4 years.

Placing all of the blame on Cerratto would be irresponsible of me so the Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder needs to eat some crow as well.  He has resisted for whatever reasons the idea of running this once proud franchise the way it was built by having an owner who is lavish and will spend money (Jack Kent Cook), a competent GM (Bobby Betherd and Charlie Casserly), and a coach whom patience would be needed to implement their own system (Joe Gibbs).  The hiring of Bruce Allen today is a great move for the Redskins in that it signals change that is more the blue print for all of the NFL’s successful franchises. They all have a “real” GM who can take the pressure off of the head coach and can draft with a vision of the future.  Not a quick fix that was always the approach of Cerrato.

Already the questions being asked are;

Is Bruce Allen going to bring in current ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst and former Super Bowl winning coach John Gruden?

Is he going to possibly look at former Bronco mastermind Mike Shanahan?

Or, maybe bring in a young gem in the making?

What is he going to do with current lame duck coach Jim Zorn?

Will he keep fan-boy punching bag quarterback Jason Campbell?

Will he get rid of high priced running back Clinton Portis?

Can Sherman Lewis keep his job and continue to draft up the offensive playbook?

Can Allen himself prove that he can run an organization because he has some critics who are quick to admonish that he won with Tony Dungy’s players in Tampa?

To me he could bring in Santa Clause –  Uh Oh, I have not even started Christmas shopping – to coach and play and to me it would not matter at this point because for once WE are  having a reasonable conversation about the future moves of the Redskins with a view of the future in sight.

Speaking of the future, I know what will be must see TV! That would be Monday night when John Gruden and Monday Night Football come to town for the Redskins/Giants game. Actually they come in on Friday for pre-game production so can you believe what the air will feel like when Gruden has to interview Jim Zorn?  Wow can you say chilly.  Maybe my former ESPN Radio colleague Mike Tirico or Jaws Jaworski will at some point in the game ask Gruden “so what do you think of your team?”  I know what I think!

HALE TO MY THE REDSKINS.

Lake Lewis is the President and CEO of the Sports Journey Broadcast Network.  He was a host on ESPN Radio 1060 Orlando, ESPN Radio 1080 Melbourne and the Drive Time host ESPN Radio 1240 Maryland and WMET 1160 in Washington DC