young’ns

Although the past Redskins season didn’t unfold as i had expected, there were a couple of bright spots…or at least areas that may appear to be bright if things unfold how i hope they will.  The rookie class from last years draft had minimal impact this season, starting of course with the much written about here, Josh Doctson.  Most of the kids drafted in April of 2016 didn’t see much playing time due to injuries or roster depth.

Take a quick peek:

  1. WR – Josh Doctson from TCU
  2. LB – Su’A Cravens from USC
  3. DB – Kendall Fuller from Virginia Tech
  4. DT – Matthew Ioannidis from Temple
  5. QB – Nate Sudfeld from Indiana
  6. LB – Steve Daniels from Boston College
  7. RB – Keith Marshall from Georgia

If you look closer at the draft though, the team managed to keep everyone in the organization and didn’t cut them.  What that means of course is that the organization felt they did a good job of drafting.  Now, who really knows who drafted these guys.  Could have been Scott McCloughan or Bruce Allen…or maybe it was Chris Cooley…who knows…!  I’m going to keep my hopes up and hope these guys have great futures with the team.

Besides Doctson, i’m really hoping for something great from Su’A Cravens.  He’s making the shift from LB to Safety next season.  Something that should have been done last year…but who has time to look backwards these days.

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Cravens likens himself to a Sean Taylor kind of player…most of the defensive backs that play for the Redskins or wear 21 do, so it’s cool that he gets to fulfill that wish i guess.  Taylor was a freak of nature and a complete beast on the field.  He also loved football and always went all out when he played…not saying Cravens can’t do that…but…i’m just sayin it’s a lot to live up to.

Not to mention, Cravens likes his social media which i really couldn’t imagine Sean Taylor posting photos of him posing near a waterfall during his vacation…but maybe…who knows.  I have hope that Su’A will become a dominant player, only time will tell.

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The only other player that really saw much time on the field last year was Kendall Fuller, although it was somewhat short lived.  He was coming off an ACL surgery from the prior season, so no telling how healthy he was last season.  His impact last year didn’t amount to much, but he seems like the kind of player that will be solid and have some great games.  Maybe not an All-Pro, but his blood line is that of an NFL’er…plus the new secondary coach for the Redskins was his DB coach at VTech.  So there’s that.

Nate Sudfeld is a bit of a curiosity for me.  Is the Cousin’s replacement next season?  Is he just a guy that will be a 2nd and 3rd string quarterback?  Who is he and what can he do!  Only time will tell for him.

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Since he’s a QB, i’ve been working to stock up on his autographs like i did with Cousins during RGIII’s rookie year.  That was some seriously major foresight on my part.  If things don’t work out for Cousins and the Redskins in the future, i’ll have my Sudfelds ready to go and fully invested in!

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The other players i don’t have cards for yet are Steven Daniels and Matthew Ioannidis.  Daniels was injured during training camp and was placed on IR but had a decent start to his camp last year.  Seems like one of those small cannon ball kind of line backers that is everywhere and becomes a field leader…like London Fletcher was for so many seasons.  Keith Marshall was another player that was injured and didn’t have an impact on last season.

Looking back on t the draft, you really have to hope that these kids can get and stay healthy or this draft could turn out to be a huge bust.  But if they can get and stay healthy, who knows what their future holds for them.  Lots of potential and talent for them young’ns.

The music today is brought to you by a couple of enigmatic dual personality MC’s from New York.  Kool Keith and MF Doom.  A couple old guys that the young’ns love…especially Doom.  He has quite a cult following for those true hip hop fans.

Faces in new places

Change is inevitable, it happens.  People move, make new friends, change jobs, etc.  It’s a big part of life and in my opinion, it’s a great part of life.  I love to experience new things.  Try new restaurants and take a trip to a place i know nothing about…or simply listen to new music.  I live new.  New is good to me, it excites me and awakens me.  The flip side to that is i tend to jump in head first for the new thing and get caught up in the moment.  I’m a bit impulsive at times and this can be a bad combination…compulsivity and attraction to the novel.  That said, if i really am honest with myself and look back on what i’ve gone through, i can’t say that i have any regrets (or at least very few…) for things that i’ve done.  It’s always the things i didn’t do that get me…which i think most people go through in their life.  The fear of taking a risk and just going for it cripples most of us.  I know it’s paralyzed me in the past…completely shut me down at times.  I’m a totally afraid of fear.  Last year though, i started to take a different approach and go head first in to new things…now, these were safe gambles.  I wasn’t jumping out of planes or wrestling tigers (GO CLEMSON!!  YAY!), i was leaving something that was know for something that was unknown and striking up a conversation with people i wouldn’t normally talk to.  Attempting to become fearless.  Well, my levels of fear are creeping back up.  Self doubt is creeping back in to my mind and slowing me down once again.  It’s been tough adjusting to the new…but i think it’s worth it and i could really use a little bit of a reboot and a chance to challenge  myself again.

Leaving and arriving are antonyms, but really you can’t have one without the other.  If you are leaving a place, then you must be arriving to another place.  Whether the circumstances were of your own volition or through the making of someone else, it’s a chance to start fresh and push yourself to do things you maybe haven’t had to do in a while.

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Less than a year ago, the Carolina Panthers offered the Franchise tag to arguably the best cornerback in the NFL, Josh Norman.  There was quite a bit of back and forth with him and the Panthers and to be honest, i wasn’t paying attention…didn’t need to.  He played for a team that i appreciate, but don’t think too much about, he wasn’t a Redskin.  Well, time went on and the contract wasn’t signed for whatever reasons.  Just before it needed to be signed, the Panthers pulled the offer and Norman became a free agent.  Less than a week after, he was a Redskin.

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This was quite a coup for my team.  They needed major secondary help…MAJOR secondary help (and still do), he wasn’t going to be the savior but he was a night and day improvement over what the Redskins had last season.  Being the shutdown corner that he is labeled, he doesn’t get too many passes thrown his way.  A little ironic that the best player on your defense rarely sees the ball or gets close to the ball…seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?  He’s basically a little leaguer in right field…put him where he won’t see any action!!!

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Norman had a good season.  Not an epic season, but nice.  Held some of the best receivers in the NFL to their worst games of the year.  His battle with Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this year led to OBJr. getting sacked by a kicking net on the Giants sidelines.  Classic material if you ask me.  Josh Norman is one of those guys that you love if he’s on your team and hate if he isn’t and i’m cool with that.  He seems like a cool guy, energetic and knowledgable about the NFL game.  I guess he’s a great example of making the best of a new situation.  A situation he didn’t have total control over, but it worked out…kinda helped he got crazy paid though.

Being a rookie has to be tough on the college kids.  Incredible levels of competition and a whole new routine and way of life.  There is always someone nipping at your heels pushing you to be better and reach higher levels of excellence.  Some succeed and some crumble.  This guy, Matt Jones did neither last year.  He was somewhere in between and ended up losing his job due to costly fumbles…but hey, competition, right!  That hair in the photo is pretty epic.

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Another difficult part of being a rookie is injuries…damn injuries.  This kid, Keith Marshall was hit with some elbow issues in preseason and ended up on the IR for the year.  Not a great start for a guy at a deep position.

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He showed some signs of potential in the few touches he had in preseason, so it made sense for the Redskins to IR him in hopes of keeping him on the roster and not cutting him.

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Not sure what next year will bring for him, i hope he gets healthy, gets reps and has a chance to make the team next year.  Georgia has had some pretty fantastic running backs in the past, and maybe he can be a hidden gem?

So yeah, i picked up a couple autographs of him over the weekend.  They are cheap and colorful with wicked wands of hair…can’t go wrong really.  One of the cards i picked up though really caught my eye.  It was a personalized card, and a card that Kim had set aside for me.  My first personalized authentic card ever.  But it was cool and timely for me.  Take a look.

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I already miss Athens, GA.

Now, this could simply be rhetoric and i’m making it in to something deeper, but my point is that we should always feel great about moving forward and challenging ourselves with new experiences and be allowed to miss the people/places/things we’ve left behind.

I’ve always thought i was someone that never wanted to look back, only move forward…KIM (keep it movin’).  But, i’m understanding the importance of being able to look back happily and remember the experiences, good and bad that i went through…and more importantly the people that helped get me where i am today.  Thank you for reading tonight.

The song for the night is fitting for the post i believe…