Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good Alridge update

Here's a good nugget about Alridge, courtesy of Gary Fitzgerald at

"At running back, Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright look solid, but Anthony Alridge has really flashed his speed and cut-back ability when he has the chance to run with the ball. If Alridge can play well on kick returns, he could push Cartwright for a roster spot."

That's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to hear! They need to find a way to get this guy on the team. He WILL add some TDs on some long breakaway runs. Make it happen!

Still relying on others for Alridge tidbits

So, with no interview (see previous post), I'll continue to rely on others for any dribs and drabs that have anything to do with Anthony Alridge. Here's Jason Reid's Redskins Insider post in the Washington Post today:

Job of 'Home Run Hitter' Still Open

Clinton Portis rushed for almost 1,500 yards last season despite having no gains of more than 31 yards. And the Skins' top back has had no rushes of at least 40 yards in the last three seasons.

No. 2 back Ladell Betts, expected to play a bigger role this season, rushed for more than 1,100 yards in 2006. Betts, however, had no gains of at least 30 yards in his first seven seasons.

The Skins' ground game has been productive with Portis and Betts occupying the first two spots on the depth chart. But Portis and Betts are not considered "home run hitters," speed backs capable of breaking big plays on every touch.

No. 1 wideout Santana Moss was the team's only big-play threat last season, ranking 12th in the league with 15 receptions of at least 20 yards and tied for 20th with three gains of 40 or more yards. Adding a speed back with the potential to consistently break long runs was among the items on Vinny Cerrato's to-do list to improve an offense that produced an average of only 16.6 points and ranked 28th in the 32-team league.

"It's another weapon," Cerrato said. "It's something the defense has to prepare for. And if you make a mistake, it could be a big play."

Cerrato did not attempt to address the situation in the draft, but the Skins claimed Anthony Alridge off waivers and signed free agent Dominique Dorsey from the Canadian Football League. Alridge spent the 2008 season on injured reserve with the Broncos and Dorsey excelled on special teams for the Toronto Argonauts.

Alridge is listed at 5 feet 9, 175 pounds. Dorsey's listed measurements are 5-7, 175. Obviously, they are diminutive backs, which usually is the case with speed guys. Darren Sproles is about the same size as Alridge and Dorsey, and acquiring Sproles seems to have worked pretty well for the Chargers.

"Everyone knows what Clinton and Ladell do for our offense, and we definitely need those guys to be healthy and out there to reach the level we want to as a team," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "But as an offense, you want to have as many weapons as you can. You want to give the defense as much as you can to think about. A lot of times, those little guys can do big things for you."

Alridge and Dorsey are expected to receive plenty of work in the preseason, and the Skins are hoping one of them emerges as a viable option for a situational role on offense and, potentially, a major role on special teams. Special-teams standout Rock Cartwright is entrenched as the team's primary kickoff returner after he ranked sixth in the NFC last season with an average of 25.6 yards.

Things aren't as firm on punt returns. Antwaan Randle El struggled last season and could be unseated as the top option for that role. Of course, there's a long way to go on that front. And in addition to having to prove themselves on special teams, Alridge and Dorsey must block well enough to inspire confidence in the coaching staff to use them on offense.

Marcus Mason, who is back in camp with the Skins, impressed in the 2008 preseason, but failed to make the 53-man roster, in large part, because of his deficiencies in third-down pass protection. So the formula is clear for Alridge and Dorsey: star on special teams, pick up blitzes well and you'll be in the running to stick with the Skins.

"We're going to watch 'em big time in the preseason," Cerrato said. "But they've got to be able to block. You've got to pick up the blitz."

Good stuff, Jason... If you've read any of my previous posts, this post pretty much sums up my opinion about the need for a change of page back to complement Clinton and Ladell... Let's hope Anthony makes the team. Or, I guess, Dominique Dorsey. We need someone like that... So, they have to hold on to the ball, pick up blitzes, and oh yeah, run like the wind untouched whenever they have the ball -- easy enough, right?

No Alridge interview ... for now

Okay, my interview request for Anthony was declined by the media department at Redskins Park, for now... Training camp is too busy a time for them, which I understand. Matt Taylor was nice enough to email me back regarding my request:


Thank you for your request. We will not be able to be of assistance at this time. Feel free to contact me as we move into the season and things slow down a little at Redskins Park.


I'll follow up when things slow down, the only worry is, what if Anthony doesn't make the team?

No Alridge news

I've got no Alridge news or updates today... I've actually put in an interview request. We'll see if I hear back about that. I also want his help to do some kind of fun profile on him... Again, we'll see.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More Alridge

Today, on the 24-hour Alridge channel, we get this quote, courtesy of Larry Weisman at, "Special teams is a regular position, it’s just a special position to play,” says Alridge, who spent his rookie season in 2008 on Denver’s injured reserve list. “You’ve got to be a man. You have to have courage. You have to be ready at all times. And I love doing it.

I like the sound of that. I'm really excited to see him play in preseason. I want to see him take it to the house, whether on a kickoff or as a running back... Just really, really hope he doesn't fumble. That would negate everything in the eyes of the coaches ... unless he's Devin Hester and takes it all the way nearly every time he touches it.

Alridge update

So it appears I've been spelling Anthony's last name wrong. It's Alridge, not Aldridge. Oops. As for the only update I have on him today, it's not the news I wanted to hear.

Ryan O'Halloran of the Washington Times said: "RB Anthony Alridge continues to struggle holding onto the football -- he had another fumble."

That ain't good, Anthony. Fumbling = being cut, and I want you on the team!

But maybe it was because I was spelling your name wrong... Now, all should be good. Cradle the ball, my man. Watch tapes of how Tiki Barber held it, after Tom Coughlin took over as coach. He rarely fumbled ever after that and it didn't hamper his running at all -- as his production went way up.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Anthony Alridge mission

I want Anthony Alridge to make the team! The guy is blazing fast, and would give the offense a home run hitter, which they need, especially from the RB position. I see him as the 3rd string RB. Clinton would get the bulk of the carries, Ladell would get a decent amount (hopefully more than last year), and Aldridge would get 1-3.

It's been a while since CP scored on a long run. And Ladell is capable of breaking one, but both can be caught, I think. Ain't no one catching Aldridge if he breaks one.

So, my mission is to somehow help him make the team. I have no idea how I'm going to do this. But, to start off, I want to chronicle how he's doing in training camp, and hopefully, get him to give progress reports about how he's doing. Until then, since I'm not there, I'll have to rely on others.

In Matt Terl's Redskins Blog, he writes: Of the two little speed backs (the other being Dominique Dorsey who starred in the CFL), I'm finding myself slightly more impressed by Anthony Aldridge.

And The Warpath did a nice profile about him back when he first signed (with some past YouTube clips.)

Hopefully, I'll be able to scour for more nuggets and post them here as training camp progresses.


Well, I haven't posted in a little while. I just finished up a second novel, so I was a tad preoccupied. But, I want to post about something fairly recent before I focus entirely on training camp.

It has to do with Lavar Arrington. I know a lot of us have mixed feelings about him, and here's my take.

I don’t know whether the things he says about Snyder are true or not (read Leonard Shapiro’s column on Lavar for the specifics: Shapiro column. If WaPo hasn't archived it, the column basically quoted Lavar saying Snyder doesn't know what he's doing and just tries to buy a championship), but what bothers me is that Lavar never acknowledges what his shortcomings were as a player. Let's be honest, he gambled too much. He could deliver a hell of a wallop, but he was undisciplined. He was like a home run hitter who strikes out 200 times a year. In baseball, a team can get away with that and still win, but in football it’s a much bigger problem.

I definitely remember some very specific great plays he made, but I also remember some clear blown assignments that cost the Skins games (in an Eagles game, he was supposed to cover the fullback, but rushed the passer instead, and the fullback took a swing pass and scored the game winner).

He never seemed to truly acknowledge those mistakes. And he would take umbrage if a coach would say it (Marvin Lewis called him undisciplined, and others said similar things. Greg Williams essentially didn't seem to trust him at all).

So, basically, I would respect Lavar so much more, and care more about his opinions, if he was as critical about himself as he is about others.