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Big plays again an issue for Redskins' defense

The Redskins' defense continued to give up big plays in Sunday's 27-17 victory over the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.

Denver quarterback Kyle Orton and receiver Brandon Marshall combined on 40- and 75-yard touchdown passes in the first quarter. But Orton suffered an ankle injury and did not return after halftime, and the Broncos failed to produce points in the second half with backup quarterback Chris Simms directing the offense.


"It was the same thing with Atlanta, it was the same discussion with Philadelphia. Big plays has killed us," defensive end Andre Carter said. "But one thing about us is ... we talk about it. We don't point fingers. Sometimes it's an adrenaline rush, it's whatever, but we fight back.

"It's something we have to work on. We've always discussed it week by week, big plays [have] been an issue. But one thing about us is we calmly chip away the bad and come back fighting."

Discuss Betts's role

The question of the day in the Redskins Tailgate Zone: Does Betts deserve to start over Portis?

By Jason Reid  |  November 16, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

It's hard to understand why the rules for a RB are different from a QB. If Campbell got concussed and Collins came in and had a stellar game and won, who do you think would be starting next week? The better guy, or the guy with the hot hand, that's who you should always start. There is a mile long history of backups getting their shot and coming up huge, and it would be stupid to cut that opportunity short for Betts right now.

I said at the beginning of the season, and still think now that Portis should be the 3rd down back, and Betts should be the first and second down back. It just makes sense.

Betts is hungry, Betts does not look for a place to fall, Betts practices hard.

Portis is still stellar at pass protection, Portis is still imo better in space. He's perfect for third downs, blocking for Campbell or catching a screen in space is what he should be used for at this point.

Posted by: REXskins | November 16, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Betts and Cartwright saw carries and produced yesterday HAS NOTHING to do with Marcus Mason, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that Portis was out yesterday.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 16, 2009 9:25 AM


I don't believe I said otherwise.

And yes, I went to bat for Rock more than anyone because his name came up more. But when the conversation turned to Betts, I was just as vehement that he need not go just yet. And I'll say what I said then...if there's a young guy on the roster that can BEAT THOSE GUYS OUT, then I'm all for replacing them. Since Mason and Alridge couldn't, I don't want 'em.

Tell me this: do you think Mason goes for 114 yards and a TD yesterday if he got the start?

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 16, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

portis can come back, but he's gotta start practicing 100 percent, no more star treatment, no more my ankles hurt...if you're hurt, you don't play...

Rogers has gotta go....guy is just mailing it in...the funny part about it though is he doesn't realize how this isn't helping his 'next contract'....I cannot wait for him to get not even a SNIFF in free agency...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and they did something about that.

They sat Carlos Rogers overrated ass. I think they need to "Keyshawn" his ass and send him home for the rest of the season.

Bring him back for what? So we can witness him swallowing a double move? It's obvious he doesn't want to be here, so why keep him around? The comments he made yesterday made him "most hated" in my eyes. The dude walks around chest out like he's f-ing Deion Sanders and sucks dog s***.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Betts should get the start next game vs Dallas. He and Rock both have run with a purpose lately. Portis will need another week to recover from the concussion.

Posted by: FedorEm | November 16, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

You guys really arguing about Marcus Mason?

Posted by: mack1 | November 16, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Betts deserves the start over Portis. Stick with the horse you rode in on.

I still think we coulda won w/ Orton still in there.

But as I've said numerous times, the secondary needs to understand their packages and assignments. Believe it or not, I think Smoot is helpful in this area.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 16, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

If I am Zorn I make it easy, if you are able to practice all week long, your able to play.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 16, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Portis gets hurt and THEN we platoon our RB's, should've been doing it for the last 5 years. Once again, that has to be put on management and/or coaching.

Betts didn't practice much this week due to injury, looked pretty good.

Campbell is leading ALL QB's in first down %...E ...L ....I ....T..... E

hello Thomas, Kelly, Davis haters good morning

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 16, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Ganther looks like he may have some fire. He made a nice block on one play and caught a pass and initiated the contact on the defender. We need guys like that.

Posted by: FedorEm | November 16, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If I am Zorn I make it easy, if you are able to practice all week long, your able to play.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 16, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for letting the hungry guys play...keep Betts and Rock playing!!! Was our O-line better yesterday or was it the running back playing were better??....I gurantee the o-line wasn't better so it must be the running backs were better!!!! Campbell looked better...funny how a running game helps the team in many different ways!!!!!

Posted by: jcrabbe1 | November 16, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

red, thats about as accurate an assessment of CRogers that there is...he no longer wants to be here...get Barnes active, move smoot into CRogers spot, tryon is the #3, and Barnes can be #4...enough is enough with this....if tryon can make marked improvement from one year to the next, why is it that we're still at the starting line with CR?? No improvement, none, in fact one could argue that there has been regression.....ugh..what a waste...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Portis will need another week to recover from the concussion.

Posted by: FedorEm | November 16, 2009 9:45 AM

That's the key to me. There really isn''t a need to rush Portis, or Cooley even, back to play. The other guys on the team are picking up the slack, which is good to see. The skins will need to get a home run threat in the backfield next year to diversify what the team does in its running game.

Posted by: TWISI | November 16, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The O-Line was WORLDS better. WTsjk were YOU watching?

Running backs weren't getting pummelled at the line. The ISO calls were getting a push upfield.

I do have to give props to Soup!! He stood in there like a trooper and may make a go of it yet. I recind my former comment about wanting Simms. No Thanks.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 16, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

campbell again was horribe. he missed at least 6 open receivers and 3 were for touchdowms. how do you miss a wide open moss? again.

Posted by: cavalieri10 | November 16, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

campbell again was horribe. he missed at least 6 open receivers and 3 were for touchdowms. how do you miss a wide open moss? again.

Posted by: cavalieri10 | November 16, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

give cerrato credit for signing levi jones. he was awesome.

Posted by: cavalieri10 | November 16, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood26,

So what is it, either the Sherm Lewis hire was either a good hire or it isn't.

You seem to be waffling on both sides. One time you say that his hire dosen't mean anything because it is so simple a cave man can do it.

Then you turn around and say that now we use of all our offensive players that Zorn would not do is why Zorn should be fired.

From where I sit, Portis's injurty and the direction of the playcalling with personnel since Lewis arrived is a major factor in the win.

Smashmouth Football fits this Team, Yeah, but Sherm Lewis is calling the plays.

So you can't say the Bingo Caller is not a factor. But, yeah, you can say Zorn should have been fired.

However, if Zorn allows this success to continue, he might keep his job.

Ya' Heard' Me'!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 16, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

mistamayor/Cindy Boren


Drop this on Mr. Zorn at today's presser:

If Clinton Portis is cleared to play, should he start over Ladell Betts this weekend?

Moe says no.

Let's get some moe Betts/Cartwright/Ganther.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 16, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

From the times:

The Redskins set offensive highs in points (27), yards (388), rushing yards (174) and time of possession (35:43). It's not a coincidence that these numbers were put up during Ladell Betts' first start of the year. There is something to be said for Betts practicing often with the first-team offensive line (what's left of it) and knowing how they work on every rushing play. Meanwhile, coach Jim Zorn, quickly defused any Starting RB Controversy by saying Clinton Portis would remain the starter when he returns from a concussion.

*It didn't result in any interceptions but Jason Campbell really struggled in the first half. I had him making five bad throws -- including behind Devin Thomas in the end zone, overthrowing Santana Moss on a deep ball, throwing ahead of Ladell Betts and too high for Fred Davis to corral. But Campbell looked sharp with his decision making on when to hang in the pocket or scramble.

Gotta give JZ credit, he sees how well the team performed with betts, and he's immediately gonna put in portis...gotta give him credit for that...he's at least up front with making the wrong decisions....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I do have to give props to Soup!! He stood in there like a trooper and may make a go of it yet. I recind my former comment about wanting Simms. No Thanks.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 16, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The verdict on Campbell is still so so. He once again missed a wide open Santana Moss for 6. If we hit on plays like that, then that makes life so much better. He can't hit the big one. And we most certainly need to find a homerun threat in the back field for next year.

Posted by: FedorEm | November 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

If I am Zorn I make it easy, if you are able to practice all week long, your able to play.

Posted by: alex35332

Betts was hurt this week and didn't practice much, would you still use your SIMPLE philosophy

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Does Betts deserve to start over Portis?

Its not even debatable. They should IR Portis right now, let him get healthy and ready to go for next season, see if he can get back to form because you have so much money guaranteed to him, if he can't and its obvious in camp and preseason then cut him but he's been terrible all season, yesterday we saw what happens when healthy backs get the touches......

I put even more blame on Vinny and Zorny now, why wasn't Levi Jones on this roster week 1? Why weren't the healthy practicing backs getting most of the touches all season?

Posted by: zjfr2 | November 16, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Betts and Rock are a much better combo than Portis at this point in the season and given his medical condition....it could be a few more weeks before he is even allowed to practice. His injury is similar to Brian Westbrook who was held out of multiple games.

Let's give some credit where it is due: the O-Line ran block very well and gave JC protection most of the time. Levi Jones is a major upgrade over Heyer at LT and you could sense the Campbell felt more comfortable with him protecting his blind side. Heyer is an upgrade over Williams at RT at least in pass protection.

It still looks like the Redskins will need to draft a LT with their 1st round pick and a guard who can come in and play immediately as Rinehart doesn't seem to be a long-term answer. Kudos to Fred Davis and Todd Yoder for their play yesterday.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey bwood how about you answer my question from two post ago in this argument:

* How many yards and CARRIES did Cartwright and Betts have before yesterday?

* How many carries did Marcus Mason see when he was with the team?

The fact that Betts and Cartwright had good games yesterday has EVERYTHING to do with Portis being OUT and NOTHING to do with the talent of Marcus Mason. How you can even make that some underline for your argument for those two over Mason is straight up laughable.

How, and what could have used to determine that Mason wouldn't have performed, all of TEN (or less) carries?

And just so you know, I was more in favor of keeping Betts over Cartwright RE: Mason.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

That was the O line's best game of the season, and ST's.

J Reid, If you give up big plays and win then those plays were not an issue, but thanks for finding the negative in our log awaited moment of victory.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 16, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

When Gibbs first came here he brought that high flying octane San Diego scoring offense with him.

After a streak of loses, he quickly debunked it and adjusted his offense to his players and smashmouth was born and he did not look back.

Does anybody think that Zorn will be that smart after yesterday?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

as Rinehart doesn't seem to be a long-term answer.

how did you come to this conclusion after 3 starts??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

So what is it, either the Sherm Lewis hire was either a good hire or it isn't.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 16, 2009 9:58 AM


Bad hire considering the circumstances. Just being better than Zorn is hardly a good standard...there's nowhere to go but up if that's the only measuring stick you're using.

And what I said was, "Pretty pitiful that it took pulling a 67 year-old coach out of retirement to get this team to use its 2nd rounders from last year and to play to the strengths of the players on the roster." I don't see where you would think I said Sherm was a good hire in that remark.

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 16, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Betts was hurt this week and didn't practice much, would you still use your SIMPLE philosophy

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 16, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Its all about motivating guys.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 16, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey bwood how about you answer my question from two post ago in this argument:

* How many yards and CARRIES did Cartwright and Betts have before yesterday?

* How many carries did Marcus Mason see when he was with the team?

The fact that Betts and Cartwright had good games yesterday has EVERYTHING to do with Portis being OUT and NOTHING to do with the talent of Marcus Mason. How you can even make that some underline for your argument for those two over Mason is straight up laughable.

How, and what could have used to determine that Mason wouldn't have performed, all of TEN (or less) carries?

And just so you know, I was more in favor of keeping Betts over Cartwright RE: Mason.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 16, 2009 10:05 AM


Not sure why you're arguing this with me if you agree. Pretty T_E of you, really.

And I did answer your question. Look at the top of the thread, 9:42 am.

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I was one that said cut Betts and Cartwright. It was because they were not fast enough and flashy enough to put Portis on the bench. And certainly Zorn wasn't going to bench him.

But finally, Portis got hurt and they had to play them and we see what average healthy practice everyday running backs can do for your team.

If Portis is healthy next weak and they start him it would be a mistake. Even if Portis plays well it would still be a slap in the face of Betts and Cartwright for they have earned the right to carry the Pigskin next week.

If Portis starts next week it is also a slap in the face of all players who show up for practice every day but are not given a chance to prove they can produce.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | November 16, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game. The overthrow to eddie royal was another bomb the Broncos missed, but there were several other times where Marshall beat the CB but the ball was not thrown at least 2 other times. Simms was just really late on the pass that was intercepted. Marshall had Hall by 3-steps. Add to the fact that Hall is not playing tackle football while he is out there, there are more big plays to come. the Redskins safeties stand still way to often on pass plays, they think run 1st and get caught. it was times they were in line with the CB and loss deep coverage. the second Marshall TD, Smoot jump on a shorter route which left the lane wide open for Marshall. They both were elementary plays.

Posted by: oknow1 | November 16, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I want to see portis in on 3rd downs and split firt and second, and as I said before rock is the short down back he finds a a hole quick with prejudice extreme prejudice(always has). and I would like to add this, portis is our version of the wildcat except put moss as his slot as he begins to transist to the full time slot, this can be our change of pace back we can call it the hurricane. hope its ready in time for dallas to up stage the razorback

Posted by: Rvf0509 | November 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think this was the first game all season that I saw the Redskins play passionate football. I can take the team win or lose as long as they play with passion and don't look like they are going through the motions. Some thoughts on the game:

* I agree with many posters that we should cut Rogers now and send a message. The guy is not a core Redskin and the bad attitude is not doing any favors. Let's see what we got with Barnes and Tryon and move on.

* I am pissed that Levi Jones sat out there for 8 weeks before we brought him in. Was this Vinny being hardheaded thinking we had the o-line guys we needed. Good that we brought him in but he should have been here much earlier in the season.

* O-line played well, but Denver D-line is one of the smallest in the league and they played pretty vanilla from what I can tell. Just hoping they can perform at that level on the road in Dallas.

* J Campbell for the most part played a pretty good game. Like we got passes off to 10 different guys. He NEEDS to hit those deep routes. Nothing more frustrating than Moss behind the Denver D by a few yards and the ball sails long.

HTTR and let's hope we can keep Dallas on a downward spiral!

Posted by: dwninit71 | November 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but no way Levi Jones is the only useful lineman out there.

Rogers needs to be coached, not cut. You'd think Blache would be up to the task, Zorn isn't.

It's good to have a win - and with so many guys down too.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | November 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

People are acting like the Skins are "back". Although I am happy that the Skins won, let me remind all of us.... It was one game.

I hope they can string a few of these together and make watching games exciting again.

Posted by: Monk81_Green28 | November 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Pretty glad we passed on DEMARCUS WARE - a top 5 DE - and SHAWNE MERRIMAN - a Pro Bowl LB and hometown kid, who's also THREE YEARS YOUNGER than Burnt Toast.

Goodbye Carlos. I'm sure your future is quite bright in Saskacthewan

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | November 16, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

pabrian2003 follow up

Portis gets hurt and THEN we platoon our RB's, should've been doing it for the last 5 years. Once again, that has to be put on management and/or coaching.

Agree throughly. Cant stand Portis and think he hit the wall needs to be traded.

Campbell is leading ALL QB's in first down %...E ...L ....I ....T..... E
BAHAAAAHHAAAAAA koolaid drinker Campbell is about as elite as off brand cereal! Campbell is serviceable at best!

hello Thomas, Kelly, Davis.
Love Kelly, Love Davis, but Thomas is a catch dropping no move making fool!!!

Posted by: VGOGHEDGE | November 16, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

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