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Who's to Blame, and What Should You Do?

By Jonathan Newton - TWP

At some point you run out of things to say about the Redskins, especially once you've already used the line about the soggy hot dog bun and the porta potty. So what to do at that point? Why, you quote other people saying things about the Redskins, obviously!!!!

And look, at least of few of you have expressed the opinion that this is just too much gloomy Redskins content, and that I should switch teams. It's a point well taken. Still, I already transcribed all these quotes, and it seems a shame to waste them.

So Chick Hernandez wisely asked his fellow panelists on Comcast SportsNet's Postgame Live Sunday night to assess who's to blame for the soggy hot dog bun that is this season, and that seemed like a fine way to frame this. But first, what should you do?

Qadry Ismail, ESPN News: "Where do you start? You start from the top. I think the problem started from the day Daniel Snyder decided that his MO of winning ballgames is throw money at anybody and expect that all of a sudden your team is magically gonna get better. And again, Jim Zorn is the latest line of coaches where just the continuity of that offense, the continuity of the personnel, they just don't mix."

Brian Mitchell, CSN: "Everybody deserves some of the blame. You start with the players, because they're not playing well enough. Look at the coaches on offense and defense, they're not doing their jobs. And then you cannot go without blaming Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder. They put this junk together, and you put it together, you have to own a lot more of the blame than everybody else."

Trevor Matich, CSN: "From the standpoint of just the game itself, 100 percent on the offense. The special teams did struggle, but the defense was stellar. The offense couldn't bust a grape. They just were inept in every way. But Brian I agree with you, I think Jim Zorn, one of the reasons that he was hired was that he would allow the power structure to remain at the top and he was okay with that. The problem is that also trickles down, and for that to work, the owner has to give power and authority TO that head coach, or the players won't respect him. And what we see now is that Jim Zorn is hanging out there without any kind of authority or support from ownership, and he can't motivate this team."

Joe Theismann, ESPN 980: "I guess they're talking about Sherm Lewis being the playcaller. That is absolutely the worst thing that this organization can do. You cannot have someone who has not spent time in training camp, doesn't know the players, doesn't know the system, turn around and call plays. That would be the complete worst thing that this football team could do. Let Chris Meidt call 'em. Let Sherm Smith call em. We talked last week on this show, hey, a change at quarterback, maybe it makes a difference. I'm telling you folks, unless Jason Campbell is behind [a different] offensive line, no quarterback has a chance to move around and make plays....It's not Todd's fault, it's the fact that offensive line is patchwork at best at this point....The offense is horrible. They NEED [fans]. And they're gonna need you Monday night more than you can possibly imagine."

Boomer Esiason, The NFL Today: "Buffalo and Washington I think are teetering on disaster....Washington now, you're talking about a potential firing of a coach in the middle of the season, that would be the seventh coach since 1999 for Daniel Snyder. Those two teams are teetering on disaster."

Trent Dilfer, ESPN: "It's very simple to me. I see the same thing everybody else sees, that this is a bad offensive football team, and I think it's bad personnel on offense. Jim Zorn has not done a great job, obviously he takes the burden for that, but at some point, you've got to recognize who you are offensively, and try to be just good enough to help your good defense keep you in games and win 'em at the end. They've been in some games. The thing that's surprised me the most about the Redskins, I knew they weren't gonna be that good on offense, it's that they're even worse when it matters the most, they're even worse in the clutch."

Darryl Grant, Joe Theismann Show: "This is very hard to watch, it's very hard to be a part of. I just don't know what to say. It's just really bad right now. I think the players are gonna have to rally with each other, if possible. I'm not sure if these kind of guys have that kind of unity, to come together with one another and just say, 'Hey, this has to stop, we're spiraling out of control, it ends right now, it ends for us, nobody else.' I don't know if they're that kind of a unit. They just seem to be defeated mentally across the board. I just think they're down mentally and I don't think they can come out of it by themselves."

Rodney Harrison, Football Night in America: "I'd definitely have to say management [is to blame]. They have the talent. Of course, they drafted the quarterback Jason Campbell, but overall, they have a lot of talent: Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis. They have talent."

Thom Loverro, Washington Times: "The maroon and black era of the Washington Redskins has to end. Jim Zorn can't continue as the coach of the Washington Redskins."

Michael Wilbon, World Wide Wilbon: "Firing Jim Zorn is inevitable. But that doesn't mean a team where so much is broken will be fixed anytime soon. The line is inadequate, the young receivers still haven't proven jack. Who knows whether the new head coach can find the talent we presumed was inside Jason Campbell. I was at a function on Sunday night, immediately after the game, where it seemed every single person in attendance, many of them longtime ticket holders, seemed affected on some level by the team looking so forlorn."

Jerry Gray, Postgame Live: "We know we have a better team on paper. It's not showing up on Sunday, and we're trying to figure out why."

Chick Hernandez, Postgame Live: "The only thing this Redskins offense has created so far: shame and embarrassment for this franchise."

Tony Kornheiser, ESPN 980: "The Redskins are, I hate to tell you this, one of the five worst teams in the NFL."

By Dan Steinberg  |  October 19, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Inside the Owner's Box


Just reading this makes me die a little inside. And also laugh. There you go.

Posted by: hackeynut | October 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Raiders East.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This is The House That Snyder Built. Awesome.

I heard Kornheiser mention this morning that he was at the game sitting in Snyder's box, and that he chatted with Snyder. TK mentioned that Snyder said he was embarrassed for the fans. Oh really? If Snyder really had any interest in the fans beyond the contents of their wallet, perhaps he should make or release a statement to that effect. Instead, he hides behind his puppet, Cerrato, and trots out Cerrato and his other employees such as Larry Michael and Kornheiser to talk for him.

I guess money is the great insulator.

Posted by: rooster75 | October 19, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that Campbell calling a time out so often was because he was forbidden to audible even when the play called was wrong for the defensive alignment? That the benching yesterday was despite the fact that Campbell didn't defy Zorn?

Is it possible as others suggested that he might be able to do better without Zorn calling the plays?

Posted by: arlingtonresident1 | October 19, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

@arlingtonresident1: Doesn't matter who's calling the play. No QB can be expected to perform behind that insult of an o-line. Can you imagine this team playing the Ravens? the steelers? Man, I pity the fool who's tasked with being the QB on that day.

Posted by: tundey | October 19, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Snyder didn't build the physical house as he is so often blamed for.

Posted by: sitruc | October 19, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I think Dressing up in Capitals Gear is the best thing to do because it shows support for Washington, but also makes a point to what the fans want in a franchise.
Having said that, not everyone has Caps stuff so I say we all wear Black. I would say we all wear green to signify the owners and players greed, but given its against the Eagles, not a good idea.

But I do think if the Post could organize an official protest instead of 20 smaller ones, it would b e more effective. I say against hte Saints, everyone wears green and chants Snyder and Cerrato must go while the Defense is on the field. This creates noise and proves a point.

Posted by: WheresRickySanders | October 19, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Snyder didn't build the physical house as he is so often blamed for.

Posted by: sitruc | October 19, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

He crammed in 20,000 additional seats which directly contributed to the transformation of FedEx into unbearable hellhole.

It was fine when it was built. Snyder made it worse.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

My vote was for "Other" Explanation below:

I think all season ticket holders should mail their season tickets back to Danny and request a refund.

Best case scenario - you get your money back.

Worst case scenario- you are not tempted to waste your Sunday afternoon actually going to the stadium.

Posted by: ChrisG6 | October 19, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

What exactly did Snyder do that was so terrible? Attempt to keep the talented portions of his team together while bolstering problematic areas via free agency? He continues to pay players, which is what owners should do. So the Redskins have a problematic offensive line that is short-circuiting cohesive play, why can't that be rectified in the offseason? So they have a hiccup of a season due to injuries on the line. So what. Same thing happened to the precious Ravens.

Posted by: Bobtimist | October 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Scout for the draft! We need a new franchise EVERYTHING.

Posted by: SupremeWu | October 19, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse


You fail to see the point. You're suggesting more of the same: playing catch-up to fix the ostensible "holes", failing to realize that this isn't a team with one hole. It's flawed to the core, a mismatch of personnel ill-suited to one particular style, with overrated talent and over-inflated senses of self-worth. It's the oldest roster in the league. Its best players are on the decline, some steeply (Portis, Randle El), and others might have played their final snaps ever (Samuels, Thomas). And this doesn't even address the D, with zero depth at linebacker or in the secondary, and without the cap space to re-sign Rogers, our only effective cover corner.

You think a few 33-year-old free agent O-lineman are going to turn things around? You and Snyder should have tea together.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I blame Barno.

[I keed, I keed]

Posted by: 4-12 | October 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Look! I know we beat you guys and that probably cursed you. Its like what we're going through and will continue to do so, until the Ford's sell the team and get out of the Sport's franchise business altogether.

Funny thing! No one, even once, has protested in full-force, about the Ford family being the main problem with the team.

The Detroit Metro Region (including NW Ohio) seem to be 'gun-shy' or Have 'no-backbone' to protest. The only difference between DC Fans and Lion Fans, you guys speak up about your team problem, straight-on and your head is not in the sand.
Its obvious to anyone with any brain-matter, the Fords should go (sell).

The NFL should put benchmarks in ownership policies, that address: if owners fail to perform for their markets within a certain length of time, their subject to force-sale.

This type of NFL tool, would force owners to allocate a certain amount of money back into the franchise for quality talent.

Detroit is a sportstown, and one of our main source of family entertainment is pro-football. The Fords are aware of this fact and benefit (fat profit margins) by not invested like other franchises, on players because they know Fan's will buy tickets regardless. Geographically, they don't have any other source of high profile family entertainment, excluding baseball and hockey.

Spending a big sum on a QB one year and a RB three/four years later doesn't build a franchise, and this is the Lions pattern and operating standard.

This tactic is especially true when they start to see ticket sales decline. They throw a little bone at it, in-lieu of major renovation using long-term planning and development for sustainable ROI.

This Ford family just pimps it for what its worth short-term (each year). Were you born when the Lions won their last Championship?

But I'm your therapist, I'll guide you through this nightmare or you can just tag along with us here in Detroit.


Posted by: carterassociates | October 19, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

By the way. I'll bet the Washington Post can't get my comment:

Posted by: carterassociates | October 19, 2009 5:51 PM

Posted or Published in our Detroit News or Free Press Newspapers?

You see, they are part of the problem, as well. 'Keep the Lid On It". The local News printers have done an excellant job for the Fords. When was the last time the Lion's were a real contender? And some people were angry that Barry Sanders walked-away. Hint: He's still walking and healthy, unexploited and records be damned.

Posted by: carterassociates | October 19, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"What exactly did Snyder do that was so terrible?"

Did you forget the 1999 season? The Skins made it to the division championship game against Tampa Bay? We had a solid team that year with Brad Johnson, Stephen Davis, James Thrash, Champ Bailey, Big Tre Johnson, Matt Turk, Dan Wilkinson, etc...

What idiotic decisions did Dan Snyder make for the 2000 season?

He overpaid an aging group of veterans in Deion Sanders, Jeff George, Bruce Smith, Dana Stubblefield, etc... And, to add insult to injury, he highlighted the new (or rather old) player acquisitions in the 2000 Redskins Magazine while the 1999 team (that made it to the championships) was only considered as an afterthought.

What incentive does a player have to compete when the owner of the team has no loyalty?

If you're Kedric Golston lining up next to Albert Haynesworth aren't you a little insulted on payday?

The Redskins team has been split since the 2000 season into the grossly overpaid players and the base to moderate salary players (isn't Deion Sanders still collecting a paycheck from his 2000 season contract?).

I understand that they all make relatively good money in the NFL but I also know that each player risks significant injury or death every time they step onto the field.

To conclude, Dan Snyder is a moronic owner who has no understanding of employee morale or the divisive impact that his personnel and salary decisions have had on the team.

Our only hope is to boycott the home games, drive him into bankruptcy and then pray for a passionate new owner.

Posted by: ecstudios | October 19, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Just as I predicted ... doggone it. You do not, I repeat do not replace Joe Gibbs and that multi-million dollar offensive coaching staff with Jim Zorn, Sherm and Stump. You don't GM from the owner's box with Madden 2XXX in your hands. You don't hire a yes-man lackey to run your football operations. Even your wife seems to understand that you've screwed the pooch! Dude her team, that used to be a doormat for this team, is going gangbusters! Sheesh! If you had focused on the OL instead of the defensive line ... and left Shawn Springs in there you might be competitive. You might even be in the lead to win the division right now.

Posted by: periculum | October 19, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Everybody line up and take a dump on Danny Snyder's front lawn.

Posted by: periculum | October 19, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I am protesting by going to the game and sitting silently in my seat in a black shirt. I am taking metro and not buying anything at the stadium. Other ideas, donate your tickets to a charity or simply don't use them. I just wont sell them to an Eagles fan.

Posted by: BueLLer197 | October 20, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Petty Tyrant, even if he knows we're pissed as fans and as his declining revenue stream, still has NO IDEA *HOW* F'g pissed we are. he has no idea the depth of the hatred that his gross negligence and blatant arrogance have created. I mean people want this guy ruined for what he's done and how he's treated this once-great team at us as fans like a battered wife, slapping her over and over expecting everything to be ok the next day. does he have any inkling he is now the most hated man on the eastern seaboard?

Posted by: greatteamdan | October 20, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

ecstudios - "To conclude, Dan Snyder is a moronic owner who has no understanding of employee morale or the divisive impact that his personnel and salary decisions have had on the team"

1. Not only that, Snyder undercuts the coach big time. He has his "pet" players that can approach him about any locker room problems bypassing the coach.

2. And then he still sticks with Vinny Cerato- please.. If i were to perform like how Vinny is performing, i would be jobless now and forever..

3. The Redskins are still one of the most profitable franchises EVER.. thanks to us, the foolish fans..we will still keep paying big bucks and fill up the stadiums filling up Snyder's coffers..

4. There really has to be a concerted effort on the part of the fans - NOBODY should show up for the Monday night game. Imagine, on national TV, with nobody in the stands - EVEN if Snyder gives away box tickets for FREE, people should not go.

Posted by: Ramya_ag | October 20, 2009 3:39 AM | Report abuse

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