- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Now that it’s officially the offseason for the Redskins — OK, not officially, but you can see it from here — so many thoughts pop into my head. Why don’t we count them down, one by one, in the Casey Kasem style?

25. Not that it comes up often, but shouldn’t the NFL have a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy with regard to personal fouls (which would have resulted in the banishment of Mike Sellers from the Eagles game Sunday night)?

24. At the very least, Sellers’ third victim should have gotten two free throws.

23. Speaking of penalties, I don’t understand the 10-yard walkoff against Philadelphia’s Hugh Douglas for tripping. I mean, doesn’t the NFL have a tougher drug policy than that?

22. As impressive as Sellers’ trifecta was, it still took a back seat to Sean Taylor knocking on their respective keisters — at various times during the hostilities — an Eagle, a Redskin and a cheerleader (the latter through an intermediary named Terrell Owens). The officials managed to escape unscathed (as did the Funky Four, near as I could tell), but there’s always next week.

21. The more I watch Chris Cooley, the more I see Brent Jones.

20. Or maybe it’s Doug Cosbie.

19. At least three members of the Redskins defense had better make the Pro Bowl. Otherwise, they got robbed. (My nominees would be Cornelius Griffin, Antonio Pierce and Fred Smoot.)

18. Something tells me they’re gonna get robbed.

17. I’m not rooting for it or anything, but it would be absolutely amazing if Laveranues Coles finished with 100 receptions this season, or even 90, and didn’t catch a single touchdown pass from a quarterback. (He collaborated with Clinton Portis for the lone TD among his 76 grabs.)

16. Suppose you went on “Wheel of Fortune,” and the answer to one of the puzzles was “Joe Salave’a.” Would Pat Sajak let you buy an apostrophe?

15. Taylor and Portis must have quite a clothing budget if they’re shelling out $5,000 for a pair of socks (the fine they were assessed for wearing crimson University of Miami stockings against the Giants). Heck, I’d sell ‘em a pair of my support hose for half that.

14. “I don’t know if I’ve been part of a team that’s had this much go against it,” Joe Gibbs said yesterday — for the umpteenth time. Boy, I wish he’d retire that one. We’re talking about a team with a $100million payroll, a team that might wind up playing only five games against clubs with winning records. How tough have the Redskins had it, really?

13. Hard as it is to believe, Coach Joe actually looks better now than he did in September. Back then, I wasn’t sure he’d make it to the bye week, much less the end of the season. Sleep deprivation must agree with him.

12. Something else that doesn’t seem possible: The Redskins are 30th in the NFL in third-down conversions (a miserable 28.4 percent) but eighth in time of possession (31:16). The explanation, obviously, is that the Washington defense is just as good on third down (30.4 percent, third in the league) as the offense is bad. It’s also strong against the run, which makes it harder for opponents to eat up the clock.

11. What if somebody throws a Shawn Barber-type contract at Antonio Pierce? Can the Redskins possibly keep him?

10. What if somebody throws a Duane Starks-type contract at Fred Smoot? Can the Redskins possibly keep him?

9. And if they can’t, will folks immediately blame it on the Mark Brunell deal?

8. It’s a moot point because he’s can’t be traded or released — the salary cap precludes it — but does the defense really need LaVar Arrington?

7. One of these decades, the Redskins will have a home-field advantage again.

6. It will probably happen around the same time they post a winning record in the division (which they haven’t done since Norv Turner was coach).

5. Given their history of kickers with leg problems, the Redskins had better have a Plan B next season in case John Hall has a relapse.

4. How can it be that Tom Tupa, a former quarterback, has yet to throw a pass out of punt formation?

3. Or is Gibbs just saving it for Bill Parcells, the Grand Vizier of Gadget Plays (when he goes up against the Redskins, anyway)?

2. Of course, Parcells hasn’t seemed very Grand lately. Perhaps I should have called him the Gramps Vizier.

1. It could have all been different, I’m convinced, if Coach Joe had thrown his arm around Ramsey the day he was hired and told him, “You’re my guy.”

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