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Skins relapse early in 2010

By Evan Bliss

First, congratulations to Sam Bradford for earning his first win as a pro quarterback. Second, thanks to the Rams for not running the score up by being overcautious with Steven Jackson. Yup, it could've been much worse than losing by 14 to last year's worst team in the NFL. (Insert favorite four-letter word).

What's the deal Coach Mike? What are you saying at halftime to produce these lackluster second half performances? Up 20-7 at halftime last week, OT loss. Clawed back from 0-14 to 13-14 at halftime this week only to be outscored 3-16 in the second half? You (still Coach Mike) showed the NFL world you were the head honcho of the Washington Redskins when you refused to let our high priced superstar write his own rules. Wouldn't that precedent warrant players responding to your halftime pep talks? Instead I'd cancel the halftime "adjustment" meetings and watch Gladiator clips or something similar to the Unleash the Fury video that fires everyone up at Caps games. If you (still Coach Mike) continue to stress the importance and success of the off-season conditioning program then it couldn't be that our guys are running out of gas, could it?

In the past we boasted a top 10 defense almost every year. So you toss out our best chance of winning ball games for the sexy and ferocious 3-4 defense. I was 3-4 curious and a bit excited, but I did have one reservation: the personnel. Just because a guy makes a left-handed free throw doesn't mean he should play the whole game with his weaker hand. You get me? Sure it’s a work in progress, and in time could be successful, but with the offense's tendency to stall, winning week after week is going to be more difficult, especially with the upcoming schedule. Eagles, Packers, Colts. All probably looking at us the same way we looked at the Rams: an easy win.

Nothing is easy in the NFL, and any given Sunday anything can happen. Problem is, in Washington, anything happening always happens! Players were seemingly upbeat and genuine about the changes and excitement at Redskins Park, but they've yet to show us any chang on game day.  You can give the house a shiny new coat of paint, but you should've fixed the leaky pipes, the faulty wiring, and the rotting foundation before you call the moving company.

Granted, these changes do take time, but we've given years of our time, and still can't answer why any 53 players and however many coaches that show up in burgundy and gold every Sunday can't put together a consistent team effort. I'll continue to support our guys every week, as I have during what I continue to call The Dark Ages, but for a coach -- even one with past credentials -- the sure way to lose a locker room is to do just that: lose. (Insert favorite profane phrase and throw inanimate invaluable object a safe distance from any person, pet, or valuable object).

By Box Seats blogger  | September 27, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  | Tags:  Evan Bliss, Redskins  
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You've said it and I agree with it all. The $64,000 question remains - why in the world was Shanahan so anxious about installing the 3-4? So far, it's been the biggest bust we've seen in Redskinland for many, many years. We're not just struggling with it, we are drowning because of it!!! It is simply not working. And I, for one, do not want to wait 2 or 3 years for it to "potentially" start working. By then, McNabb and our few remaining stars on offense will be gone. And what guarantees do we have that this regime will trade for and draft the personnel needed to make the 3-4 work? Given their track record of bringing in Galloway, L. Johnson just to name a few - do you honestly feel confident that they will bring in the defensive players we need? All of this drama and was so, so unnecessary. We had a decent 4-3 defense -the true strength of our team. And we blew it all up for what? So that Shanny's ego could get a boost by force feeding the 3-4 to a team not suited for it? It's the height of coaching arrogance to have done so. And he compounded his error by hiring a D coordinator that no one else even wanted. A man who looks completely flummoxed on the sidelines and seems utterly incapable of making those critical defensive adjustments, as the opposing team shreds our defense at will.

Posted by: teresae878 | September 27, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Nice article! I think that we have to remember two things about this coach: the fact that he is somewhat of an ego-maniac, and that his defenses were pretty consistently bad.
I didn't understand the 3-4 move either, considering that our D had 40 sacks last year (more since I can remember). I was disappointed when they announced that Haslett was coming to install the new D, because I thought our D did well. If our offense could produce more, and our D did just as well, or even slipped a little, we could win some games.
Well, who would have thought our D would slip to 32? Who would have thought that we would get shredded by a Jackson-less Rams offense? Teresa is correct -- our coach looks lost. Offenses usually take longer to gel than defenses, so I'm not jumping off the McNabb Project yet. But if our D keeps playing like this, we'll be lucky to win 4.

Posted by: joedavis7 | September 29, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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