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Carter Returns to 'The Stick'

Coach Jim Zorn gave the players Monday off after the victory over the Eagles, but many guys came in watch film, get treatment, etc. This season finale will be a little special for end Andre Carter, who played his college ball in the Bay Area, and will be returning to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, the team that drafted him and where he spent his entire career before signing with Washington as a free agent in 2006.

He said that as the years have passed, and as the 49ers' roster has changed, some of the significance of the reunion has dwindled, though it will certainly be a different feeling to be back in Candlestick Park (quick note on that - it's actually called Candlestick again. I looked it up. It was Candlestick until 1995, then 3Com Park from 1995-2002, then San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point from 2002-September 2004, then Monster Park from 2004-2008, until going back to the original name. Whew.)

Anyway, here's what Carter had to say about going back there.

"Sometimes you have that feeling of an 'advantage' but throughout the years that feeling has died down," Carter said. "When I go back to San Francisco, I have a lot of memories. It was great to be a part of the last draft class of Bill Walsh and to be the 2002 NFC West champs.

"I just want to go out there and win. A few old teammates are still there, but the majority of the guys there now are new. Some of the coaches I know are still there, but for the most part it's a whole new organization."

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 22, 2008; 1:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Zorn Returns to Form

Comments

was that last article about Shaun Alexander????

Is he missing next week's game!?!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, and thank you young Skywalker. Where did you find that? I wonder if that site has the cumulative totals as of being 6-2 (and whether the Skins first down rate was higher off the passing game during those games of greatness as well). I'm guessing that, over the span of all of Gibbs 2.0, there were more first downs from running plays than there were from passing plays.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse


That was on NFL.com's page on the Skins (look at season stats).

Posted by: alex35332 | December 22, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

What did we learn (other than Jason Taylor can still play)?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 1:58 PM

That Betts is and has been a good option in the passing game, even better than Portis?

That attempting a 54 yard FG in 40 mph winds is worse than betting against a Sicilian when death is on the line?

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Portis broke some long runs (not TD's) early in the season before he started to wear down from overuse

How many?

Seriously, How many "long runs" has portis had this season.

I cateorize that as runs over 20 yards. I think it's only like 5.

I appreciate Portis for his work ethic on the field, and his contributions to the team over the years. But he's definitely lost a step and no longer has that breakaway speed like he used to.

I really don't think he has/had as many "long runs" as you do...

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

11 possessions total for us yesterday
8 in our own territory: get 3 points
3 in philly territory: get 7 points.

Short fields make a difference!! Which goes back to pressure on the QB.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

11 possessions total for us yesterday
8 in our own territory: get 3 points
3 in philly territory: get 7 points.

Short fields make a difference!! Which goes back to pressure on the QB.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM

That wasn't "something else" I learned yesterday. I already knew that.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

it's actually called Candlestick again. I looked it up. It was Candlestick until 1995, then 3Com Park from 1995-2002, then San Francisco Stadium at Candlestick Point from 2002-September 2004, then Monster Park from 2004-2008, until going back to the original name. - Jasno

And peeps up here don't think he does investigative journalism ...

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Portis has lost a step, and is not the game-breaking back that people love to watch highlights of.

What he is is a workhorse that gets the tough, consistent yards needed to move the ball. I would argue that he has the best vision in the NFL when it comes to being able to hit holes that most RBs couldn't recognize. It's not a coincidence that every tailback used this year (Betts, Alexander, Cartwright, Sellers) haven't even come close to CP this year in yards per carry.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A "little special" for Andre Carter ... a "terrified sneaking into" for Vinny Cerrato.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

My 2 cents:
The O-line is the problem. Early in the year, they were knocking down the D-line and Portis had plenty of running room. Late in the year, they were getting stood up and knocked back. Sellers tried twice at the goal line and was stuffed. Thomas and Rabach have been blown up and forcing Portis deep on sweeps. Jansen has all kinds of problems in pass protection. It's not the scheme: guys are rarely coming free. It's the line not executing.

My theory is that they're old. Early in the year they're fresh and do well, but as the season goes on they wear down, get knicked, and don't heal as quickly as a 20 year old. The Redskins need to address O-line, specifically center and guards in the upcoming draft. Hopefully Heyer and Samuels can hold down the tackle spots, and Rheinhart will be good enough to start at guard, so they need to draft only 2 potential starters.

Devin Thomas can play. Malcolm Kelly needs to figure out that when the ball is thrown to you, you need to make the supreme effort to catch it. He's only going to get 2 or 3 a game until he proves himself. Thomas figured that out.

Nice block by Sleepy Davis yesterday de-cleating the the linebacker. Gotta take those when you can get them. It wasn't a cheap shot, just a good clean hit.

Philphy-delphia is the dirtiest team in the league. I saw at least 2 helmet-to-helmet shots that looked deliberate, one on JC and another on Moss, that should earn fines from the league office.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 22, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

From the previous thread, re: what did we learn yesterday?

I learned that if your direct TV is not coming in, due to the 2 feet of snow you've gotten the past 48 hours, If you actually hit the dish with snowballs, and knock the snow off of it, the picture comes in more clear.

I also learned that if you have a snow blower and your neighbor does not, but he has gas, and you do not, its winner-winner, chicken dinner for both of you.

Also learned that children aged 9, 7, and 5 are not very much help with shoveling....

thats all I've got...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 22, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Portis, Portis, Portis! (in the voice of Edward G. Robinson saying "Moses, Moses, Moses!" in The Ten Commandments).

Portis > Brian Westbrook!

There can be NO debate! Just like "its a pizza as soon as you put it in the oven!"

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What did we learn (other than Jason Taylor can still play)?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 1:58 PM

That Betts is and has been a good passing option, even better than Portis? (knew that)

That attempting a 54 yard FG in 40 mph winds is worse than betting against a Sicilian when death is on the line? (knew that, except for the Sicilian part)

We learned we wasted another stellar defense this year. (knew that)

MY TAKE: yesterday's game and the game vs SF should be about figuring out what we have and what need for 2009. Did we learn much yesterday about Chad Reinhart, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Fred Davis, Justin Tryon, Rob Jackson? Because that is what we NEED to learn about.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/nfl/12/18/bowl-prospects-1/index.html


NFL prospects for this year's draft and next year's draft by bowl game. I think it covers all players likely to make it to the NFL in the first 5 or 6 bowl games, by team.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 22, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

BTGreg, win-win for the neighbors maybe ... not so much for the chicken ...

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Short fields make a difference!! Which goes back to pressure on the QB.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM

That wasn't "something else" I learned yesterday. I already knew that.

Posted by: dcsween

Agreed Sween ... nothing new. Except we keep hearing that our defense is #5 in the league. But the rankings don't account for defenses that score points and create short fields -- which ours rarely does.

That #5 ranking is used to justify (excuse?) our lack of a pass rush. Doesn't cut it for me.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I think we all know what we have in Justin Tryon! I NEVER wanna see that dude play on defense.

Posted by: dcwun | December 22, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

psps23-
"I would argue that he has the best vision in the NFL when it comes to being able to hit holes that most RBs couldn't recognize. It's not a coincidence that every tailback used this year (Betts, Alexander, Cartwright, Sellers) haven't even come close to CP this year in yards per carry. "

Man, give me a break. Betts would have just as many yards if not more given the same amount of carries. Betts is a much better receiver. Portis is not a top 5 back in the league. Did you watch the giants/panthers game last night- there were 4 rb's in that game better all around than Portis.

Posted by: yellow_jacket98 | December 22, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Did you watch the giants/panthers game last night- there were 4 rb's in that game better all around than Portis.

I disagree. There were 2 OLines in that game better than the Redskins. Portis would have had a field day running through holes that size.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 22, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Notwithstanding the final score of that Giants-Panthers game, to me it looked like Panthers have a better chance to go farther in the playoffs than the Giants.

Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

If Jason Taylor had played 15 games at a level close to what he played at yesterday, the Skins would be 11-4 and in the playoffs.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 22, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Did you watch the giants/panthers game last night- there were 4 rb's in that game better all around than Portis.

I disagree. There were 2 OLines in that game better than the Redskins. Portis would have had a field day running through holes that size.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 22, 2008 2:28 PM |
-------------------------

Exactly.

No disrespect to Ward, Bradshaw & Jacobs, but behind that Giants O-line, I think Shaun Alexander (as he is today) could get well over 1,200 yards for the season.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | December 22, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

VTDuffman-
I agree with you for the most part- but I don't see Portis running over anyone (without falling down himself) and I don't see Portis running away from the pack for a 50 yard gain.

Posted by: yellow_jacket98 | December 22, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"Man, give me a break. Betts would have just as many yards if not more given the same amount of carries."

Based on what? The fact that he has more than a full yard per carry LESS on average than Portis?

There was not 1 RB in that game better all around than Portis. There was 1 RB that is a better power back, and 3 RBs that have better breakaway speed. Not one even comes close to Portis in terms of vision or pass-protection.

You know people are delirious when they think Clinton Portis is even close to being a problem with this offense. 1,407 yards, 4.5 YPC, 8 TDs. All on an offense that can't throw the ball anywhere close to down the field, and with an offensive line that has been spotted as the consensus #1 weakness of this team.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So the injuries to the tackles and guards had nothing to do with the reduced performance of the offense???

Yes, Portis has been banged up and the pass offense is pain offensive -- but the reduction in scoring correlates pretty well with the injuries to Samuels, Kendall, Thomas, and Jansen. Some were nagging and some were serious -- however poor player execution, a lack of effective backups, reluctance to play the backups over the injured starters, and not changing the strategy to match the (healthy) players have been the primary reasons behind the ineffective offense.

The o-line simply has trouble winning one-on-one blocking match ups -- as a result the QB has only 2-3 sec to make a pass and the defense can stack the box on the 1st/2nd down, and then rush on third.

Everyone (except the defense) needs to improve for next season. That includes the front office, the coaching staff, and the players...

Posted by: siris | December 22, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

That attempting a 54 yard FG in 40 mph winds is worse than betting against a Sicilian when death is on the line?


Posted by: dcsween | December 22, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

POD NOMINEE

and I'd like to add to the "lessons learned" theme from the ever eloquent and quick-witted sween.

The Good- I learned that we really got a gem in Stephon Heyer. And maybe Randy Thomas has 2-3 good yrs left. And maybe Raybach is still the anchor. Sure we need to start drafting for the future but with Samuels back, this should be a pretty good unit next yr as is. Would love to get a stud LT to start grooming as Samuels' repalcement in a yr or two but I was encouraged by the line's effort.

The bad - JC still has a little further to go than I thought. He had ample time/protection most of the day and couldn't get it done. Thomas and Kelly will help (hopefully) next year more or they'll be gone, and getting some line help will also aid his progress, but he needs to be able to make quicker decisions. When he ran for it, it was almost like it was that or be engulfed by a velociraptor - he needs to move that option up in his mind a half second when things break down. I still believe, but he needs to show more come next summer.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | December 22, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

VT & LH - Roger Craig is a HOFer and SA37 had one highlight year in '05 who we exposed in the playoffs.

What team has succedd in the WCO w/o big time HOFers? None.

F Schemes. We are keeping Zorn AND Vinny, so why argue that point?

If Zorn dosen't adjust this so-called WCO to his team and get the players that make plays on the field, he's no good and will be out of here next year (maybe with Vinny as well).

And if JC17 dosen't stop pumping the ball and just throw it, he'll be out of here next year.....

Posted by: DaReal4th | December 22, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"You know people are delirious when they think Clinton Portis is even close to being a problem with this offense. 1,407 yards, 4.5 YPC, 8 TDs. All on an offense that can't throw the ball anywhere close to down the field, and with an offensive line that has been spotted as the consensus #1 weakness of this team.

Posted by: psps2"

I don't think it's delirium to suggest that Portis isn't nearly as good as some RI posters think he is. For the record, I loved Portis. Back when I used to play fantasy football, I drafted him #1 and #4 overall in two drafts. But even I can see that he's not the same back that he was when he got here.

As you admitted, Portis doesn't have breakaway speed, and he's not a power back. Most importantly, he's led the league in carries more than once and he's not getting any younger.

The best teams don't wait until a guy completely falls apart before they replace him. The best teams plan ahead. If good personnel people ran the Redskins, they would have drafted a potential replacement for Portis last season (unless they think Betts can replace him). That failing, it wouldd be nice if they had even a backup that could occasionally turn a 12-yard run into a 60-yard touchdown.

Posted by: jcabana | December 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

wow did someone say they saw 4 backs better than clinton portis on saturday night....No disrespect to giant running backs but there is no way portis gets tackled on that long run that ward had...he ran out of gas like a shell gas station....and jacobs is good at what he does but if you get c-po to the next level without getting touched hes ripping off larger runs...D'lo williams Reallllllllyyyyy?????? No disrespect but he is not the caliber that portis is or they would not have drafted stewart....I think we have to appreciate that we have witnessed one of the greatest running backs to play the game and unfortunately we have wasted it as well as our great defense the past 5 yrs. On D'lo's longest td run he was untouched against the giants...if you dont believe that is a credit to their offense a line then your as good as a female fan (cheer when we are up and boo when we are down)....

Posted by: twenty-36-one | December 22, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

hey vtduffman "Portis broke some long runs (not TD's) early in the season before he started to wear down from overuse

How many?

Seriously, How many "long runs" has portis had this season.

I cateorize that as runs over 20 yards. I think it's only like 5.

How many?

Seriously, How many "long runs" has portis had this season.

I cateorize that as runs over 20 yards. I think it's only like 5."

Well FYI Portis is 2nd in the league to Adrian Peterson the best ATHlETE to ever play RB with 13 rushes of 20 or more and he did all of that the first 10 weeks of the season....Know what your talking about buddy and realize its the poor/aging offensive line....By the way im a Hokie and its pretty disappointing to see someone represent the hokies in this fashion.

Posted by: twenty-36-one | December 22, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"No disrespect but he is not the caliber that portis is or they would not have drafted stewart"

Uh- it's called "runningback by committee" - check it out sometime, most successful teams in the league are using it- we don't use it here some reason even though we have a 1,000 yd back on the bench.

Posted by: yellow_jacket98 | December 22, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

You know what "running back by committee" means our offensive line is better than your defensive line and it doesnt matter whos running the ball....For ex williams first two yrs very average this year pretty good coincidence they beefed up their o-line...Furthermore vikings dont do rb by com neither did the lions with sanders the cowboys with smith and the colts with edge bc you want the best player having the ball at all times.....chester taylor is good back but Adrian Peterson is better therefore he gets all the carries....I agree we have to spell portis but if you think hes washed up or betts comparable you must be watching espn instead of the game....

Posted by: twenty-36-one | December 22, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Carter had 10.5 sacks last year. It has been disappointing this year with Carter and Taylor likely to have less than 10 combined for this season. I had hoped an easy 10 each, at the least. It was somewhat entertaining to see Jason Taylor bouncing around like an all-everything LB, in a love/hate type way. I'm surprised it worked with Westbrook. Was it Alexander who pulled his hamstring trying to cover the same guy? I guess it was like having a big, physical cover CB manhandeling a reciever off the line. I guess. Carter has a similar playing history and I would have thought he would have made a better guy for the job. I'd love to have them both run the 40 to compare.
In a personal trainer mind set, I think Sellers should try to slim down as the season progresses like a bodybuilder for a competition. Where as, Carter may not be getting optimal size because he's allways too slim. Jason Taylor? Too much calander photo shoot. Didn't your daddy ever tell you to put some a$$ into it when you pushed a beat-up Ford to the service station? Some glutes and hip flexors and less smiling at the cheerleaders.

Posted by: chavez66 | December 22, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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