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.