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Redskins had 2009's most injured offense


(By John McDonnell - TWP)


Throughout the disastrous 2009 season, plenty of Redskins decision-makers raised the flag of injuries, pointing to their atrocious health as one of the main reasons things went downhill.

"it's been quite amazing, how many guys that we've lost," Vinny Cerrato said. "And when you lose somebody, then it's just an opportunity for somebody else, is what it is. And it gives guys the opportunities, it gives them a chance to step up and show what they can do, and I think you've seen that with Fred Davis. I think we saw that with Chad Rinehart, then he got hurt. You know, and I think with the receivers, same thing."

"Those were the turning points on offense," Jim Zorn said, speaking of injuries to Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas and Clinton Portis. "We played pretty steady on defense and we tried to find ourselves on special teams. But we were a little bit all over the place on offense and that's what made it such an up and down season [in terms of] game planning and execution. It was a frustration for us."

The temptation for a lot of us was to respond yeah yeah, every team in the NFL has injuries, no one wants to hear about it, you just have to win, etc.

But now Football Outsiders is out with new stats that measure "Adjusted Games Lost," factoring in both games missed by projected starters and "partial" games, via appearances on the injury report. It also accounts for injuries to fill-in or replacement starters. And there's good news and bad news for people who thought injuries ruined the 2009 season.

Good news: The Redskins were the seventh-most injured team in the NFL, with 75.5 adjusted games lost. And more than that, they had the most-injured offense in the league. Quoting:

Washington had the most-injured offense in football, with 55.2 AGL on offense alone. They were 22nd on defense. For essentially the second half of the season, they were playing down four offensive starters every week: halfback Clinton Portis (and would-be starter Ladell Betts), tight end Chris Cooley, and offensive linemen Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas.

Also, a great number of healthy teams made the playoffs; six of the nine healthiest teams advanced to the postseason.

Bad news: So the Skins were hurt, and they were hurt bad on the offense, where they could least afford to be hurt, and teams that stayed healthy seemed to win. Still, you can do it the hard way. Three of the league's 10 most-injured teams made the playoffs; both Super Bowl teams ranked in the top four of adjusted games lost. That means the Saints and Colts were both hurt worse than the Redskins.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 29, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

10 Reasons For Washington DC Sports Fans To Keep Hope Alive
http://dalockerroom.com/index.php/2010/01/29/10-reasons-washington-dc-sports-fans-hope-alive/

Posted by: ceo22 | January 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

its rich to hear the redskins complain about injuries as if they might otherwise have a shot...

Posted by: rtramonte5500 | January 29, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Washingtonpost can you please give Steinberg an annual salary instead of paying him by teh word. This and the new uniform choice article might have been the most useless and worthless articles ever published by the Post.

Posted by: Hank4 | January 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

These stats are somewhat misleading. Teams that have no shot at the playoffs shut players down for the year vs. playoff bound teams hoping against hope that a key guy can come back for the playoffs (or even round 2 or 3 of the playoffs).

Thus playoff-bound teams will always look healthier than those who don't go; especially those who have known for weeks that they won't go.

Posted by: CByrd1 | January 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It's like people forget that they played the easiest possible schedule in the 1st half of the year before any real "wave of injuries" hit the team, and still couldn't beat the the Lions, Panthers or Chiefs. And BARELY beat the Rams and Bucs. Injury excuse = joke.

Posted by: ReginaldSmash | January 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

...and teams that have good GM's have drafted well and have back ups in place when those injuries occur. This minimizes the effect of the injuries. And we all know where WE were this year!

Posted by: 1of9000 | January 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The Indianapolis Colts were the second most injured team this year. By the way, how are they doing this year?

Posted by: nativedc | January 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

******Washingtonpost can you please give Steinberg an annual salary instead of paying him by teh word. This and the new uniform choice article might have been the most useless and worthless articles ever published by the Post.

Posted by: Hank4 | January 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse *******


And yet you continue to read....and post. When I don't like a writer, I stop reading their work.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | January 29, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The main point missed is that would the current versions of Portis (or Betts), Cooley, Samuels and Thomas be even consider "Starters" for those other playoff-bound teams? If not, then the Redskins really have no excuses, except for the fact that they do not have playoff-bound talent as suggested by the Vinnie before he was fired!

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 29, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

...and teams that have good GM's have drafted well and have back ups in place when those injuries occur. This minimizes the effect of the injuries. And we all know where WE were this year!

Posted by: 1of9000 | January 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

...and, R Thomas and C Samuels injuries were foreseeable, and they did nothing about them.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | January 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The difference is even my 4-year old sister knew Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas wouldn't make it half the year this year (they both had double season ending injuries to end the 2008 season). Samuels and RT were still hurt in OTAs and training camps! What does Cerrato do...absolutely nothing. Zero draft picks used on OL and brought in only Dock via FA.

Posted by: HogsHaven | January 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Hurray for firing our conditioning coaches!!

Posted by: REXskins | January 29, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

They got better when their front line players went down.

Posted by: pstotts15 | January 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

A lot of the injured players would have played through if there was anything to play for.....

Posted by: Wemiss21 | January 29, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

As I said before, other than the simple law of averages catching up with Dallas, the only reason they won a playoff game this year is because they stayed extremely healthy all year long.
The link in this article supports my theory.

One injury to a key starter (Flozel Adams in the Vikings game) and they get "debacled", "blowed out", etc.

Posted by: jgarrisn | January 29, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

As I said before, other than the simple law of averages catching up with Dallas, the only reason they won a playoff game this year is because they stayed extremely healthy all year long.
The link in this article supports my theory.

One injury to a key starter (Flozel Adams in the Vikings game) and they get "debacled", "blowed out", etc.

---------------------------------------

This is funny. Apparently you didn't watch too many Dallas games, did you?

Posted by: arizona4 | January 29, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Please...the offense was worse when they had everyone healthy.

Posted by: collins63 | January 29, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Is this a serious question? Of course injuries ruined the Redskins season. Losing your best 2 offensive linemen in the first few games...that would kill any team's chances. But no, let's mock this and blame Snyder instead.

Posted by: LilyTerp01 | January 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone with a brain knew the skins o-linemen were injury prone. Why should anyone be surprised that Randy Thomas didn't make it a full season or that Samuels got hurt or that our WRs had hamstring issues? It happens every year. It was foolish of management not to prepare for that inevitability and to suggest otherwise is just ignorant.

Posted by: jt110 | January 29, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me? Are skinsturds fans that blind?

Maybe you guys sucked b/c your team has no talent???

Posted by: DaleGribble | January 29, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

this team wasnt doing JACK!when they were all healthy,so dont blame their sorry-as-ed seaon on injuries.

Posted by: billydee123 | January 30, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

LOL!

No, really, LOL!!

Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

Yes, all those injuries ruined a perfectly good 6-10 season. What a bad break!

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | January 30, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

rewrite history? Nope. The team was unprepared long before injuries took their toll. Of course, keeping injury prone linemen wasn't much of a strategy to begin with.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 30, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Ego's and money ruined the season.

BOYCOTT $NYDER OR YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

Posted by: hessone | January 30, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

There must be some contest where the winner comes up with the most useless statistic.
There should be a follow-up winner going to the sports writer who publishes that "winning" stat!
As most skins fans know..the team rolled the dice, and went with an old O line, with minimnal back-up. Portis has been hurt and never practiced for some years. The guy they picked up later in the year( Gather) ran better than Portis had done, and behind a worse O line. It definately hurt to loose Cooley, but guys stepped up there.
The defensed managed to play well for about 55 minutes in most games..but seemed to give up four or five last effort drives that lost games.
They only have drafted a couple of O linemen since 2003, and none highly rated.

Bad decisions at the top..rarely breed success. It has been more years than I can recall that this team had a real shot at going to the Super Bowl.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | January 30, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

the fact that JC17 wouldn't get injured ruined the season!

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | January 30, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"For essentially the second half of the season, they were playing down four offensive starters every week: halfback Clinton Portis (and would-be starter Ladell Betts), tight end Chris Cooley, and offensive linemen Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas."

And yet - the offense appeared to play better in the second half of the season...

.

Posted by: oldnova | January 30, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Injuries? No. Lack of talent? Yes. Inept front office decisions, especially with no improvement made on the offensive line? Yes. Off field incidents (cough Henson cough)? Maybe. Injuries? Don't be ridiculous. Your losers. Get over it.

Posted by: mcgratsp | January 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Dahhhhhh!

The obvious difference between the Redskins and the two super bowl teams that was not mentioned by the author is that the Skins offense was injured early in the season while the playoff teams were not.

I think that it is also obvious that the Skins had very poor depth on the O-line (thanks to Vinny and Danny!) where the playoff teams had very good depth on their O-lines.

The point is: Who's at fault for the 4-12 record - Zorn or Cerrato? Obviously, no one is perfect and that includes Jim Zorn, but I do belief that no other coach could have done much better than 4-12 given the players he had to work with and the constraints that he had to deal with.

I am so thankful that Cerrato is gone, and I think that Zorn will prove himself as NFL head coach in the near future.

Posted by: SkinsFan2111 | January 30, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Amen, REXskins. There's a very good reason we were the most injured offense in the league: CONDITIONING. It's not like we were just unlucky or something. Our conditioning coaches simply didn't have our players physically ready to go throughout the year. You could see that on the offensive line all season -- yes, they were mostly the B-team (and sometimes even the C-team), but conditioning played a big part too. Haynesworth could barely stay on the field for more than two plays in a row...

Posted by: mmurchison | January 30, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Well maybe you suck because you are DaleGribble! BTW F-Dallas!

Posted by: vexed50verizonnet | January 30, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"The main point missed is that would the current versions of Portis (or Betts), Cooley, Samuels and Thomas be even consider "Starters" for those other playoff-bound teams?"Posted by: JohnWWW

If that's the 'main point', it's not much of one. Samuels and Randy Thomas, when healthy, are legit starting linemen on a playoff club. Cooley has been remarkably productive in a struggling offense. The only question mark is about those two Skins running backs. Portis' injury may hide a back on the descent.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"There's a very good reason we were the most injured offense in the league: CONDITIONING. It's not like we were just unlucky or something. Our conditioning coaches simply didn't have our players physically ready to go throughout the year."

True for Portis, but not the staff's fault -- he's been protected by the owner. There was nothing wrong with Betts' conditioning. The real injury bug was on the o-line, related to the club's decision to gamble on players like Thomas and Samuels, who were accidents waiting to happen. Then they relied on backups like Mike Williams, a guy coming back from years out of the league, instead of Jeremy Bridges, a mediocre player who nonetheless wound up starting for Arizona in the NFC championship game. When the dominos finally started to fall, the season was effectively over.

So yes, the Skins were unlucky with injuries. And yes, in large part it was their own damn fault.

But conditioning had little to do with it, except in Portis' case.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant the NFC semi-final game.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 30, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Maybe if Albert Buttersworth (thanks Mike Wise!) and Clinton Portis would actually work out in the off season and participate in training camp and in-season practices as if they were members of the team, and we had some offensive lineman who went to college this decade, there would be fewer injuries?

Posted by: jburnetti | January 31, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

THE REDSKINS ARE A SORRY EXCUSE FOR A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM...MAYBE THE HIRING OF A GM AND A SEASONED HEAD COACH WILL GET THEM TO .500 NEXT YEAR...IF THEY'RE LUCKY! AND IF DAN SNYDER GOES ON VACATION...

Posted by: ronniecope106 | February 1, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Surprise, surprise. The reason this team has stunk for so long is that Danny spends all of the cap money on a few starters and when they go down, we've got no one decent to back them up.

Posted by: Redskinrex | February 1, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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