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As Openers Go, This One's No Cupcake

Heading into Sunday's season-opener at the Giants, the Redskins have opened the season against an NFC East opponent seven times in the last 20 years. They've won just once.

There were mixed reactions in the locker room about having to open this season on the road against one of the better division opponents.

"I think there's a lot of other Week 1 games that we would've rather had," said tight end Chris Cooley, "but this is a big test for us and if we're going to be a good football team, we might as well find out right now and win a game on the road."


Although the Redskins' didn't start the year against a division opponent from 2000-08, it happened a lot more frequently in the 1980s. Last year was the first time since 1999 - a loss to Dallas - that Washington had a division battle right out of the gate. You might recall the Redskins also opened the 2008 season in New Jersey against the Giants, losing 16-7 in Jim Zorn's debut as head coach.

"You've got to play them twice anyways, so why not start off the year with them?" said center Casey Rabach. "I don't think there are any benefits or negatives to it, but we're definitely familiar with them and it's a team that hopefully we've figured out this offseason."

If you're looking for hints as to what kind of Redskins team you might see Sunday, there's no sense in spending too much time with preseason film. Training camp and the four exhibition games were more about conditioning, determining the roster and understanding the playbook. The team didn't begin installing its gameplan for Week 1 until yesterday.

"It's hard in the preseason because every gameplan is minimal," said Cooley. "You want to watch film and you want to spend all the time, but really, you you're going to play six or seven plays. So it's like, 'Hey, let's get through this week and continue to get in better shape.'"

Zorn was asked after practice Monday whether the team's offensive game-planning was particularly "vanilla," compared with what the team plans to unveil during the regular season.

"I probably wouldn't even want to comment on that," Zorn said. "But that's a good question."

By Rick Maese  |  September 8, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
 
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Comments

First to say beep beep--over on the other thread, that is.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The Fearless Prediction is:

Redskins 27, Jints 19

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | September 8, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I think that our Defensive line will hold it's own this weekend. Maybe not a lot of sacks, but I think they'll hold up well against the Giant's run attack.

Similarly, I think our DBs can handle the deep pass threat. Not sure that NY has found their replacement for Burress yet.

Biggest concern for our defense is how well the LB corps can handle the intermediate passing attack. Very concerned that Orakpo and company will get exposed here.

We need the offense to step up, and continue working the downfield passing attack. If they do, and our LBs are up to the task, I think the 'Skins could pull this one out. If those two things don't happen, it could be a long day in New Jersey.

Posted by: smurff1 | September 8, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

That 1999 opening day loss to Dallas was the most upset and most hurt I've ever been as a Redskins fan. And that's saying something...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope for a win, drink to plan for the loss.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"I probably wouldn't even want to comment on that," Zorn said. "But that's a good question."

Last year he would have told them specifically what he was working on and what he thought would work against the Giants. Maybe this coach does pick up on things.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 8, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry, did Santana Moss get traded last night? Why is he not in the WR conversation here?"


Were are also not talkng about Randle El.

No disrepect to either of them.

It's just that they are known quantities.

Plus: since the days of Micheal Westbrook and Desmond Howard, the skins have searched for wide receivers to pick up were Monk, Clark, Sanders left off.

Not that the young'ns we have now will be the Fun Bunch.

But if they excel, watching them do so will be a bunch of fun.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

We need to NOT fall apart when the Skins lose.

Posted by: yondego | September 8, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Defensively, the key is whether we can stop their rush attack. Just ask Landry how strong they are. The Giants have 7 WRs I believe, and none of them are particularly good. No more Plax to burn us or Toomer to get his one catch for a 35 yard TD on third and goal.

Hopefully the offense can withstand the blitzing attack that will come. If so, the rest could fall in place.

Posted by: Section104 | September 8, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

We saw "vanilla" last year. We also saw Tuck feast on Heyer during last season's first game. I want to beat these guys bad.
Kinda worried about Portis. Looked slow in his limited pre-season reps. Has he lost a step?
Their o line is one of the league's best. Even if Haynesworth draws doubles, our other guys will need to take advantage. If we can stuff their run, which is a tall order, we can stop them period. If Carlos is healthy their passing game shouldn't be much of a concern.

Posted by: pgugino | September 8, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Real test for O Line - let's hope U-menorah is still a little out-of-sync as his latest slip up suggests.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Plus: since the days of Micheal Westbrook and Desmond Howard, the skins have searched for wide receivers to pick up were Monk, Clark, Sanders left off.

Not that the young'ns we have now will be the Fun Bunch.

But if they excel, watching them do so will be a bunch of fun.


Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 8:43 AM


I'd settle for them to play like the trio of Westbrook, Connell, and Fryar circa 1999.

It's my hope that we're playing from ahead enough and that the running game is clicking to the point that we don't have to feed 3 WRs the ball.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

That brings up an interesting question. Are the Skins going to focus on running the ball or passing it this Sunday?

I can see valid arguments for either. But I'm not decided on what they SHOULD do yet. What do you think?

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

pgugino,

Its hard to tell anything on CP in pre-season. You are talking about a guy who wants to give 0% effort until the game counts and going into a pre-season play he seems to now give a bare minimum, no fighting for yards type play, that shoulder injury a few years back had a permeant effect.

I am no hater of CP, he is the best RB in team history as far as I am concerned. But I don't give him a pass on his attitude towards pre-season and his ill natured shenanigans, however the good natured shenanigans I am all for.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Did Saints tamper with Chase Daniel?
Posted by Mike Florio on September 8, 2009 8:50 AM ET
On Saturday, the 32 NFL franchises dumped as many as 22 players per team onto the market.

Any of the players having fewer than four years in the NFL were required to pass through waivers. By rule, teams can't contact the players and negotiate contracts or practice-squad assignments before the waiver period ends.

In the case of quarterback Chase Daniel, it appears that the Saints had premature communication with the player, before the league office informed the 32 teams that none of them had claimed the contract that the former Missouri quarterback had signed with the Redskins.

Per a league source, the notice regarding waiver claims arrived from Park Avenue at 4:45 p.m. ET on Sunday. "That is the first time any team could have known that Chase Daniel actually cleared waivers and was a free agent," the source said.

But Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reported on his Twitter page nearly 30 minutes earlier (and, indeed, the time code doesn't lie) that Daniel would sign with the Saints.

Hey, the Redskins are the last team for which anyone should shed tears, given the likelihood that the Redskins were negotiating a $100 million contract with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in advance of the official launch of free agency. But at least they waited until Haynesworth became a free agent to sign him.

In this case, La Canfora's report proves that the Saints were talking to Daniel prematurely.

It's arguably a no harm, no foul situation, since the Saints could have made a run at Daniel after he cleared waivers. Still, it's a prime example of the fact that rules get broken all the time, and that only in the most obvious situations does the team that committed the infraction suffer a consequence.

This very well might be one of those obvious situations.

"That is some quick recruiting," the source said. "Good thing the 49ers didn't do it."

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


It is obvious, Florio's source is Vinny as trying to 'get back' at JLaC.

Hiliarious random tit for tats, though.

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

It is obvious, Florio's source is Vinny as trying to 'get back' at JLaC.

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:00 AM

No way. If Vinny were the source, there wouldn't be all the usual Redskins hate in the post. I believe Florio figured it out himself from looking at Jasno's post. This didn't require any inside knowledge.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"That brings up an interesting question. Are the Skins going to focus on running the ball or passing it this Sunday?"

The one thing the jints and skins have in common is that both teams are saddled with young wide receivers.

We boast Kelly, they boast Hakeem Nicks, and Bearden.

I'd max protect and go after the jints' secondary.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

TE - It's Vinnie, because Florio was directed to the issue via this league source. And the only ones who would have cared about someone signing to the practice sqaud is the team that wanted him on it. As LaCanfora pointed out on Saturday, the Redskins wanted him on their practice sqaud.

So...You gotta believe Vinny was upset about that..Who else will call out tampering for some practice sqaud SJK?

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Last Skins QB to beat the Gints in Giant stadium? Collins? In 07 when the Gints had to win to get into the playoffs...
If JC is stinking it up..after the 1st Qtr.. Should Zorn put in Collins?

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | September 8, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

That brings up an interesting question. Are the Skins going to focus on running the ball or passing it this Sunday?

I can see valid arguments for either. But I'm not decided on what they SHOULD do yet. What do you think?

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 8:54 AM


Run. This should never be a question in Washington. And the fact that it is highlights my biggest gripe with the Snyder/Cerrato era.

That's what Redskin football is. F you up at the line of scrimmage and cram the ball down your cakehole. Passing obviously factors into that, but the backbone of any Redskin offense should feature a bruising ground game.

Say what you will about "the evolution of the game"...the Redskins won 3 Super Bowls in 5 tries like that and Pittsburgh wins like that even today.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

That 1999 opening day loss to Dallas was the most upset and most hurt I've ever been as a Redskins fan. And that's saying something...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 8:40 AM

I second that. Stephen Davis' coming out party and then the first play of overtime Rocket Ismail flys by everybody on the bomb. I put that up their with the final 8 games of the 1997 season when the 7-1 start ended up at 9-7 no playoffs.

Posted by: goose33 | September 8, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe I think the skins will come out throwing. The Giants always play to stop CP first. If the intermediate game starts off for the skins it'd be a good sign. I'm hoping Fred Davis (who btw wasn't featured much during the preseason) and Cooley are on the field together for a good amount. It'll help in pass pro, and the Giants LB can be had in the passing game w/ these TE..

Posted by: TWISI | September 8, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe,
I agree that the Redskins should throw the ball because the Giants will be looking for runs. If they can provide JC with ample time, one of the receivers should come free because the Giants' secondary is shaky without that pass rushing defensive line causing havoc. Throw deep, throw deep often and have Portis run to the outside to try to tire those defensive linemen. I also like a no huddle offense. It keeps the Giants from using their depth to keep players fresh.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 8, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Brownie's gestalt. But that kinda goes out the door w/ WCO.

Believe it or not, I'm thinking draw the safeties up w/ dink & dunk on the outside, then BAM give'em some Malcom & Marko deep!

You gotta imagine they're going to blitz the stuffin' outta us, so some draw plays are in order.

Then again, smashmouth has worked well against the Ginas in the past.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see us open with a screen to the tailback on the first play of the game.

We know the G-Men d-line (and their D in general) is very aggressive. Screen should be able to offset that and set the tone for the rest of the game that we know whats coming.

If that works, could do wonders for running lanes through the rest of the game.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | September 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Are you guys serious? Come out throwing against a team with the league's best pass rush? Really?

How about playing to our strengths here? Running the ball, setting up play action, and hoping to God that Heyer doesn't get blown up by Justin Tuck. Russ Grimm used to tell people what they're gonna do and dare them to stop it. We're obviously not that good anymore, but you've gotta do what's best for you regardless of whether or not the opponent sees it coming. If you execute it properly, it doesn't matter if they know it's coming or not!

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

TE - It's Vinnie, because Florio was directed to the issue via this league source.

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:16 AM

I see your point. Thanks.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Kinda worried about Portis. Looked slow in his limited pre-season reps. Has he lost a step?

Posted by: pgugino | September 8, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Didn't look like he'd lost a step when we opened some lanes against the Steelers. He's just not going to pound it in there for two yards in a game that doesn't count.

Posted by: mhaslup1 | September 8, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

From what I saw of the Gints in pre season I have questions about their abilities at OLB, I saw them get cut up by the Bears bad. Basically ran off tackles and hit guys on slants and TE passes.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Giants are probably the best team the Skins will face during this regular season. They're a 6.5 point favorite going into game week, and they're at home in front of a rabid crowd.

They're expecting a victory.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

brownwood26 I don't think we can line you a beat 8 in a box right out the gate. CP hasn't had many touches, neither Betts. If I were the Giants I'd play to make the skins so me that they are improved in their passing game. They have to make plays in passing, or the offense is in for a long day.

Posted by: TWISI | September 8, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Ehhh....Guys...

I don't know if you have been paying attention, but the NYG DLine rotation has shrank considerably in the preseason.

Jay Alford - Out for the season

Rocky Benard - Hasn't played/practiced yet due to hamstring injuries.

Fed Robbins and Osi - Both had knee surgeries within the past year...

========================================

I think their DLine depth will be suspect, atleast for week 1. Don't forget the Osi blow up last week....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

brownwood26:

"F you up at the line of scrimmage and cram the ball down your cakehole." Written like a true GIBBSIAN disciple.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 8, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Attention Sports Fans for a mere $149.99 you now can own one of the 4 worst football team uniforms ever made: http://www.getufl.com/

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

brownwood

"...Running the ball, setting up play action, and hoping to God that Heyer doesn't get blown up by Justin Tuck...."

The jints d-line will get its sacks and raise cane, we know that.

But if Fred Davis is used like a tackle alongside Heyer to help with protection, maybe 6 blockers can give JC the time needed to attack the jints' secondary--something which ain't all that.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm not impressed with the special teams at this point other than HUNTER SMITH. If they don't come to play, REDSKIN field position will be so bad, the offense will never gain traction. With the disaffected comments of ROCK CARTWRIGHT revolving in my brain, I wonder what DAN SMITH will cook up for the GIANTS. It had better be good.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 8, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

can anyone tell me what happen to dominic dorsey

Posted by: robertg238 | September 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Dink and Dunk down the field for a few points early, just try to come out ahead by 2-3 in the half. The run it down their throats and try the deep pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

But if Fred Davis is used like a tackle alongside Heyer to help with protection, maybe 6 blockers can give JC the time needed to attack the jints' secondary--something which ain't all that.

Posted by: MistaMoe

We're on the same page. A play action pass, screen pass, or something where the skins show run with personnel but actually pass.

Posted by: TWISI | September 8, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Big Dilemna.

My company are giving away Skins tickets to some employees for free. But, I have to choose. Of course you would say it's a no brainer, but it isn't. The 2 games to choose between consist of St. Louis or Dallas.

Ofcourse, I would choose Dallas, all things being eqaul (sp?). But, I am a real fan and I am afraid my coworkers, who I have never met, will be all uptight and trying to impress the higher ups instead of focusing on the game. I like to drink and can't control the cussing sometimes when Jack's Kids aren't around. And I want to be able to enjoy the Dallas game the way I am use to.

So? Dallas or St. Louis?

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

That 1999 opening day loss to Dallas was the most upset and most hurt I've ever been as a Redskins fan. And that's saying something...

Posted by: brownwood26

__

Right there with you. Rocket deep broke my heart... even if Dominoes gave us all that cheap pizza that year.

Posted by: Dorf | September 8, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

game plan for the giants:

--deter pass rush--
1. short passes off 3-step drops (slants, stops, outs)

2. screen plays

THEN

--establish run game--
3. run off Samuels left, run off Thomas right (w/ Sellers lead)

4. draw plays

THEN

--take shots--

5. Play-Action to Moss and Malcolm Kelly deep

Posted by: Sheriff_Gonna_Getcha | September 8, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

We're on the same page. A play action pass, screen pass, or something where the skins show run with personnel but actually pass.

Posted by: TWISI | September 8, 2009 9:50 AM


Ok, to clarify: are you guys saying you want to making passing the overall game plan or just pass early to set up the run?

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

" That's what Redskin football is "

Sure, if its the 80's into the early 90's. The league has changed however, its a passing league now. The team needs to pass in order to set up the run. The giants will stack 8 guys in the box, unless the Redskins give them reason not to...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

4th, have you been to a Dallas game? I've done Iggles and Jints, but no Pokes. If I were you I'd go see that one on someone else's tab. If you have, I'm there with you on St. Louis.

At the end of the day I'd rather watch the skins in the misery of my own home than have my emotions on a stage for my coworkers and employers to see.

Plus I can't throw my little warthog stuffed animal at the tv...

Posted by: Dorf | September 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

can anyone tell me what happen to dominic dorsey

Posted by: robertg238 | September 8, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Rock had a cooler name and won. All kidding asside, when is he going to accept that he can be a great special teams player and thats his position, not RB.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Sure, if its the 80's into the early 90's. The league has changed however, its a passing league now. The team needs to pass in order to set up the run. The giants will stack 8 guys in the box, unless the Redskins give them reason not to...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 9:55 AM


You can still pass and be smashmouth. Pittsburgh does it and so does Arizona. I'm pretty sure they did OK last year...

Plus Carolina most embodies what the Redskins used to be. They went 12-4 and were one mediocre QB away from a Super Bowl.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

al, no kidding, I read something in the Washington Examiner about Rock being upset about being the #4 rb. Did he misremember when he was a free agent, and NONE teams came a calling for his services......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

4th

hmmm... reputation vs. skins fandom.

Is there really a question? Isn't being a Skins fan bad enough of a rep?

Go enjoy yourself & hope the higher ups respect the passion!!

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Okay so who has any crazy predictions for the year? I am guessing Mason replaces Betts by the end of the year.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Why the world won't end if the skins lose Sunday:

Consider the before the 'bye' schedule

Sept 13@ Giants
Sept. 20 Rams
Sept. 27 @ Lions
Oct. 4 Buccaneers
Oct. 11 @ Panthers
Oct. 18 Chiefs
Oct. 26 Eagles

That's four home games in seven games and unless the world has fallen apart, I can't see the lions, chiefs, rams, and bucs (even with Leftwich) being great teams.

Skins' fans should go into this weekend realizing a loss to the jints on Sunday won't be a giant one.

5-2 or 4-3 the first seven games?

I'll take that.


Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Dorf - I was fortunate enough to be at the Troy Vincent Block/ST21 game. I was sitting right next to a pair of Dallas Fans. Lots of SJK Talking back and forth. We were sitting in the 400s. It was a GREAT game. I mean we were putting our jackets on while Dallas was setting up the kick. Talk about a 180 in change of emotion!

That being said.....I'll choose St. Louis....I don't think my new job is ready to meet '4th' yet, lol......Sorry Dik...It's a tough economy and I have already been 'whacked' once this year....Plus, I love my new job and would like to gain a little capital in here before I start to wreck havoc....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Arizona is about as far from smashmouth as you're going to get in this league. Wisenhunt employs a sound coaching strategy in which he lets his personnel dictate his strategy, not the other way around. Similar to Joe Gibbs 1.0, who came from Air Coryell and instead morphed his philosophy into Riggo and the Hogs.

That said, I really don't care what Zorn does, so long as the ball gets to where it needs to be. NYG is out a starting corner and a starting DT (pass-rush specialist from that spot), and they've had a little internal turmoil between the best pass-rusher they have and their new defensive coordinator. Weather will also always be a factor in NY. Wind permitting, I think Zorn airs it out early on.

Posted by: psps23 | September 8, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

SANTANA MOSS out - MARKO MITCHELL in as #1 receiver. Is that crazy enough for you?

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 8, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

my boss was telling me we put their (Ginas)3rd string QB on the pratice squad. That should help the D quite a bit, shouldn't it?

Confirmations?

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Okay so who has any crazy predictions for the year? I am guessing Mason replaces Betts by the end of the year.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:06 AM

I am willing to find a bandwagon for that.

I heard somewhere the word is the only reason they kept Betts was for salary cap reasons. So, if your forced to keep him, he better earn his money, right? That's why they made him a 3rd down specialist and want him to contribute more on STs.

Did anyone here hear Rock's comments over the weekend? He's on a I don't give a SJK mood....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I agree, players make scheme, as a result Arizona's offense is basically AFL passing in a NFL field, with a few runs in between.

Skins should be a run it hard and spread out a bunch of varieties of WR's and TE's to stop the pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree, players make scheme, as a result Arizona's offense is basically AFL passing in a NFL field, with a few runs in between.

Skins should be a run it hard and spread out a bunch of varieties of WR's and TE's to set the pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Dink and Dunk down the field for a few points early, just try to come out ahead by 2-3 in the half. The run it down their throats and try the deep pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 9:45 AM

Mix it up, but go deep early and semi-often. It will set the tone for the game and the season--teams need to know they have to protect to whole field. If Kelly/Thomas/Marko have the height, hops, speed, and hands we must use 'em downfield.

Recently, this team has gone nearly whole games without a single completion to a WR. Time for the WRs to stretch the field for the TEs and RBs. The Giants won't expect it based on recent history, and it will force them to have to adjust.

Posted by: Alan4 | September 8, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Arizona is about as far from smashmouth as you're going to get in this league. Wisenhunt employs a sound coaching strategy in which he lets his personnel dictate his strategy, not the other way around. Similar to Joe Gibbs 1.0, who came from Air Coryell and instead morphed his philosophy into Riggo and the Hogs.

Posted by: psps23 | September 8, 2009 10:11 AM


Unless you have something different, I understand smashmouth football to be a mindset and not necessarily running the ball every down. Being more physical and more aggressive than your oppenent is what I understand it to mean, in which case it's hard to get more physical than the WRs the Cards have. Their line is nothing to mess with either.

But that's neither here nor there...just beat the Giants on Sunday!

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

brownwood26 I'm saying pass early to set up the run. I think the Giants DE are set up to get pounded late in the game.

Posted by: TWISI | September 8, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

4th, I'll also be at the St. Louis game. Does your company have good seats? I believe I'm in 204

Posted by: -swb | September 8, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Breakout ARE in the wishbone! ( just kidding ) Fight!

Posted by: bostskin | September 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

psps23

"Wisenhunt employs a sound coaching strategy in which he lets his personnel dictate his strategy, not the other way around."

This reminds me of the James Brown line:

"..sometimes you gotta use whatcha got, to get what you want..."

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

brown, all I'm saying is that they need to have a balance, if they don't, it will be 2008 all over again...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I agree, players make scheme, as a result Arizona's offense is basically AFL passing in a NFL field, with a few runs in between.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:17 AM


That's out of necessity though...they had the poo-poo platter at RB and couldn't do anything consistently. That'll probably change now that Beanie Wells is in the mix (that is, if he can stay healthy). Believe me...Whisenhunt and Grimm would much prefer running the ball.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

That 1999 opening day loss to Dallas was the most upset and most hurt I've ever been as a Redskins fan. And that's saying something...

Posted by: brownwood26

----

For me, it was the Rams game last year. That loss REALLY hit me hard...I could not watch another full Skins game all year after that. It just crushed the entire season for me. Before that game I had really begun to believe we had transformed into a really strong, solid team. It was a brutal disillusionment.

It also happened to be the one game I made an effort to attend in person, because I figured it would be as close to a mortal lock for a Win as it gets. What a horrible mistake.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have NO plans to attend a game in person this year. I just can't afford going to all the trouble and expense to risk sitting and watching them fail miserably again. It is BEYOND frustrating.

Posted by: McMetal | September 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, Greg. Agreed.

You guys should see this OchoCinco vs. Skip Bayless crap on 1st and 10...comic gold.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Seriously though. 1st play? Flanker screen to Kelly w/ Marko on the downfield block.

Posted by: bostskin | September 8, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

McMetal, I'm with you. A late season collapse, especially against weak teams like the Rams, is more demoralizing than an early season loss even to a hated division rival.

#1, most teams are still working out kinks the first few weeks. #2, you get a second shot at that division rival.

One thing about Gibbs teams, they were almost always peaking at the end of the season, and that's when it's most important. I'd like to forget last year.

Posted by: Alan4 | September 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Prince Al's presence will have an immediate and beneficiary effect on which redskins defensive player:

Brian Orakpo
Kedric Golston
London Flecther
DeAngelo Hall
Andre Carter


Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

My impression of smashmouth has always been power blocking, running between the tackles, and physically grinding down the opponent. You often aren't going to do that if you're passing the ball a majority of the time. That let's the defensive line attack your offensive line, not the other way around. Pretty tough to physically wear out your opponent if he constantly has you on the back foot.

But anyway, agree, all I care about is getting the ball where it has to be.

Posted by: psps23 | September 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Okay so who has any crazy predictions for the year? I am guessing Mason replaces Betts by the end of the year.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:06 AM


Sam Huff does a TV inteview while wearing his underwear outside his pants.

Posted by: Original_etrod | September 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Wood I am sure they would prefer to run it but thats not what they do. To me smashmouth is not "just" philosophy but it is a style of play, it means the line comes first then run the ball.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Sam Huff does a TV inteview while wearing his underwear outside his pants.

Posted by: Original_etrod | September 8, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Why do you think all his interviews are usually shot from the waste up?

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Moss, Malcom, Marko & Mason, hope this turns into some good M&M"s

Posted by: Keyskonnection | September 8, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if a team picked up Aldridge? I thought he would at least be fodder for the practice squad. Was hoping he would make it as a Sprowles-type speed back.

Posted by: quinn3 | September 8, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Where they seemed the most vanilla to me was on the defensive side. There's no way in the regular season that Blache plays Hall one-on-one on Randy Moss. The whole Patriot's game first half saw the redskins offer little in way of schemes to counter Moss; just left Hall out to dry. (At least i hope it was the cheme and not the fact that Hall is so much a worse DB than Springs.

Posted by: jmwolgin | September 8, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I really loathe Pierce.....

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce missed the New York Giants' practice Monday for personal reasons.

Coach Tom Coughlin said afterward that Pierce was excused from the roughly one-hour workout. He refused to disclose the reason for Pierce's absence.

Pierce was not immediately available for comment.

The Giants open the regular season Sunday at home against Washington. Pierce played for the Redskins before signing with New York in 2005, and he said on Twitter over the weekend that he considered playing them like an annual Super Bowl.


Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I think Blanche said they did not change the scheme for moss on purpose.

I trust that the team was playing the cards close to the vest for the pre-season.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree, players make scheme, as a result Arizona's offense is basically AFL passing in a NFL field, with a few runs in between.

Skins should be a run it hard and spread out a bunch of varieties of WR's and TE's to stop the pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:17 AM


There is another team in the AFC whose balls everyone is on this year that pass like the AFL but never gets the criticisim. Their name?

New England PAtriots.

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

All is right with the world. It's football season and Kornheiser's back on the radio.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | September 8, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Pierce played for the Redskins before signing with New York in 2005, and he said on Twitter over the weekend that he considered playing them like an annual Super Bowl.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 10:40 AM


I don't get why...especially since he's actually won a Super Bowl.

He's already won. He went to a better team that beats the Skins pretty consistently and won a Super Bowl with said team. It's been about 5 years now, time to let it go.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Will Sam's underwear, worn on the outside of his pants, be Sponge Bob Square Pants brand? Boxers or briefs?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | September 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

4th,
you are correct, NE does play the pass all the time system, I still think the Skins could do the same scheme but balanced out to 50/50 Run Pass vs the NE AZ 60/40 Run Pass.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Will Sam's underwear, worn on the outside of his pants, be Sponge Bob Square Pants brand? Boxers or briefs?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | September 8, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Banana Hammock.

Posted by: Original_etrod | September 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

4th, I'll also be at the St. Louis game. Does your company have good seats? I believe I'm in 204

Posted by: -swb | September 8, 2009 10:19 AM

I have no idea. I am too humbled to be asking all those type of questions at the moment. I'll get back with you game week, though!

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry NE AZ are 60/40 Pass Run is what I meant.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I heard that Marcus Mason made the team...

Antonio Pierce is a jackass. Talk about an emotional bama. How long has he been gone now? Didn't he win a super bowl?

Can you send messages to people who have twitter pages? Or just read the bs they post?

Posted by: RedDMV | September 8, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

brownwood26,
You say running is the Redskins' strength, but I say have you looked at the running offense this preseason? I don't think the Redskins are a smashmouth football team anymore. They have one of the smallest offensive lines in the NFL. WCO is not smashmouth and good or bad, this team is 100% WCO now.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 8, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

For those who are my FB friends, I posted pic's of a replacement retractable roof stadium that I would love to see the redskins eventually build. A thing I wasted a good chunk of my 3 day weekend creating via google sketch up, yes I was that board.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't care if we're smashmouth, west coast, Coryell, or Wing-T as long as we score 24 ppg this year.

Posted by: Original_etrod | September 8, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I was more plank than board.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This oughtta get you jacked for the season:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqqO4KAh77s

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What will be the first offensive play call of the season?

My call if we have decent field position (20-30 yd line). Triple WR (Moss, Kelley and Mitchell) everyone on a go route and we go up top for the big play.

What's your call?

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 8, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

oe, agreed, regardless of what type of offense they run currently, what type of offense they USED to run, just score more points, period.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 8, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

My call if we have decent field position (20-30 yd line). Triple WR (Moss, Kelley and Mitchell) everyone on a go route and we go up top for the big play.

What's your call?

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 8, 2009 11:02 AM

Mitchell's not a starter, he's #5 on the depth chart. Replace him with ARE and you could be right.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's see if Pierce can handle a healthy dose of "road grader" Dockery; with Sellars and Portis steam rolling behind him! Plus he'll be busy defending plenty of slot passes to ARE and Cooley...

Let's see how well he plays on four days of practice and with a new, backup, semi-hurt DT trying keep the OL off him...

Posted by: siris | September 8, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't get Pierce either -- he won a Super Bowl and obviously came out on top in the whol ordeal, so who cares?

On another note -- I see an ugly game on Sunday...two good defenses, so maybe something like 20-17? Good thing I have no confidence in Suisham...

Posted by: mattylight | September 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the inspiration, Brownie!!

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 8, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

What's your call?

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 8, 2009 11:02 AM


Ironically, same thing we did for JC's first start in Tampa. Play action, streak up the sideline. Only that donkey Brandon Lloyd isn't here to drop it.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm here to help, Dik. Sometimes...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

No more Plax or Toomer to burn us.

Hopefully Haynesworth can slow down Jacobs North South running style and force him to try and find corners.

If we can get some pressure on Eli + force some bad throws I like the skins chances.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | September 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Seriously though. 1st play? Flanker screen to Kelly w/ Marko on the downfield block.

Posted by: bostskin | September 8, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Agree with that except it should go to Moss, cause he's the most effective on those plays. Not sure that either Kelly or Marko can take it to the house like Moss can on those plays. Remember the bubble screens with Brunell in 05? Moss was a beast

Posted by: ga8085 | September 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm here to help, Dik. Sometimes...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:22 AM

If this is one of those times, can you help me to understand how MASON made the team? Boy, I didn't see that one coming, did you? Haven't you had the same number of carries in the NFL that he has had?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"No more Plax or Toomer to burn us."

Actually, I think the jints look at us like we look at them: strong defenses, running games supporting shaky passing offense.

The big difference: Hunter Smith.

Again: I'd go after the jints early and often via the air and make them into what they don't want to be: a passing team.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If this is one of those times, can you help me to understand how MASON made the team? Boy, I didn't see that one coming, did you? Haven't you had the same number of carries in the NFL that he has had?

If you don't know, brownwood, maybe beantowngreg can help us on this one. It's a puzzler.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If this is one of those times, can you help me to understand how MASON made the team? Boy, I didn't see that one coming, did you? Haven't you had the same number of carries in the NFL that he has had?

If you don't know, brownwood, maybe beantowngreg can help us on this one. It's a puzzler.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 11:32 AM


Wow, did you copy and paste yourself? That's friggin' pitiful, dude.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Rocket Screen, just because.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | September 8, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Again: I'd go after the jints early and often via the air and make them into what they don't want to be: a passing team.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 8, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. I liked what I saw in the preseason with them taking shots. Hopefully they will connect on them in regular season.

If the giants go with the 5-1-5 defense that they have been experimenting with I think we should focus on ground game and short passing.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | September 8, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Blah blah, enough talk and predictions about the team and this season and who did or didn't make the roster. Sunday will be here and then we can start some real conversation. By the way Washington Post Live is a bunch of haters. They never have one thing positive to say. B Mitch always seems to point out what our problems are. Last night he said depth was a problem for this team and then in the next breath he says once the starters come out of a pre-season game there is no reason to watch becasue most of the other guys who go in aren't going to make the team. Aren't those the guys who provide depth? Whatever B Mitch.

Posted by: thediesel44 | September 8, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I've had it with Snyderputz. Suing fans is the last straw. I haven't watched much of the Dedskins in recent years. The Ravens look awfully good, except for those uniforms that make wonder if they wouldn't look better in b&w.

Posted by: MartinZook | September 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

The New Jersey GiANTS looked pretty good against NWE the last preseason game. Of course, they were going up against second team defense, so it's hard to get a read. But, they did what they were supposed to do, which is beat up on them.

I foresee a defensive battle, as long as CR plays. If Smootie is starting at CB then MLB takes advantage of him. But I doubt that they run to that side, as Smoot has been f'ing RBs up on the sweep. But if CR plays, then I doubt NJG have the talent at WR to beat either CB. So for Redskin's defense it's clog the middle, make Jacobs go sideways, and get off the field after 3-5 plays. Which is the real reason they got AH, I think.

Offensively, I would LOVE for the Skins to abandon that STUPID, idiotic 2 yard pass to Moss. Burning a play to see what coverage they're playing is beyond moronic. They'll only change on the next one anyway.

I'd open with a flea-flicker, not deep to Kelley, but intermediate to Cooley or Sleepy Davis. The next play would be a shovel pass to the right, taking advantage of the GiANT's DE trying to beat Heyer up the field. Then a toss to the weak side. Basic idea is to get the Giants running from side to side, and slow down their run blitzes. Then, come back with Portis up the middle.

So -- Skins get AH to clog the middle and force teams to run wide. Hope it works. And they get those big WR to run across the middle to open up the cover-2. Hope that works too.

My final prediction is that Suisham misses a 48 FG at the end, Skins battle hard but lose 12-10.

Posted by: dpc2003 | September 8, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

That's what Redskin football is. F you up at the line of scrimmage and cram the ball down your cakehole.

-----

Couldn't agree more. That's what the line likes. They get antsy when they have to pass block for all those long seconds. As long as you have CP, with LB on 3rd down, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to run the ball on the Giants.

Posted by: ElYeah | September 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more. That's what the line likes. They get antsy when they have to pass block for all those long seconds. As long as you have CP, with LB on 3rd down, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to run the ball on the Giants.

Posted by: ElYeah | September 8, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm hoping they don't go with Betts that often. I could see a lot of drives stalling if we are relying on him on 3rd.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | September 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow, did you copy and paste yourself? That's friggin' pitiful, dude.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 8, 2009 11:35 AM |

So, I guess this is not one of those times when you want to be helpful? If you don't know the answer, just say so.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 8, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I say stay on the ground in the 1st half against the Giants. Their D-Line has health issues. Our O-Line has pass-protection issues. Run the ball down their throats so they can't blitz. Wear them down, let our defense go against their offense, play solid special teams, come home with a win.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | September 8, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Well I haven't liked what I've seen of the o-line work in either mode so far this season. They looked pretty frail in the x-season if you ask me.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 8, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I suggest the use of Randle El in an option wildcat (lone backfield with Sellers, no Portis), Kelly and Mitchell (WR). Line Vernon Davis with the 2 Tackles, and Cooley next to the Guard. The play is option, because if the Giant D plays the wildcat, Randle El can throw it to either WR

Posted by: squire0101 | September 8, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to say that the Skins just won't be able to compete on Sunday. My heart has them whipping the Giants but my head has them losing by 20. It will be painful. It looks like 33-13 to me. Sorry.

Posted by: scribebob | September 8, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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