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The Long and Short of the End-Around

Some media members and fans have questioned Coach Jim Zorn's decision to call an end-around option pass for Antwaan Randle El on the second play of the season opener against the Giants.

On the Redskins' first play from scrimmage, running back Clinton Portis gained 34 yards on a rush behind left tackle Chris Samuels and left guard Derrick Dockery. On the next play, the Giants' secondary did a great job in coverage against wide receiver Santana Moss and tight end Chris Cooley.

Randle El held the ball too long and was sacked for an 11-yard loss, resulting in second and 21 from New York's 48-yard line. The Redskins ran two more plays, failed to gain another first down and punted. They did not have another possession in the first quarter of the 23-17 loss.

Despite what some people think, Zorn called the right play for that moment in the game, Randle El said.

"The play call was perfect," Randle El said. "It's first down. If you just throw it away, it was second and 10. I should have just thrown it away."

By Jason Reid  |  September 16, 2009; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

enough already. it was one play. we're beating down the redskins too much. give em a shot before writing the season off

Posted by: mopp04 | September 16, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Jason Campbell pointing the finger at Zorn. I suggest you read this...

Campbell was asked about the offense, responding:


"You know, there's things that I feel like we can do, eventually I feel like we will get to and get to doing 'em. One thing about it, you have a quarterback that has a strong arm and everything, likes to get the ball deeper downfield and hit those deeper and intermediate routes. And I think right now coaches, they watch the film, they just want to make sure if the time's gonna be there to hit those deeper routes, or are we having an understanding of how far we're supposed to get on the depth of routes....

"I think from coach's perspective, he probably just thought maybe this is not the time to try to put ourselves in position where we lose yardage, let's just try to keep things where we're moving in the pocket just because of the heat and the pressure that they bring."


Later, he was asked specifically about taking more chances downfield. He said that every quarterback wants that, but when asked whether he felt he was getting enough, he responded with an "ummmm." Pretty telling.

Posted by: BenchCampbell

Posted by: BenchCampbell | September 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Power rankings = scrapple fried in oil

Posted by: freakzilla | September 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I was not about one play it was an entire game of bad calls, many to a much overrared Portis!

Posted by: OMFG | September 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Randle El must've thought it was a punt return and was supposed to get the least amount of yards possible.

I'm suprised he didn't try to call for a fair catch on that play.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

ugh...nothing else to write about, gosh this subject is quickly approaching Pierce territory.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Randle El will never be a coach either...

Posted by: BenchCampbell | September 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I can see why ARE would say than. Oh, and how much experience does ARE have calling plays? That's what I thought.

Why is there another post on this play? Nothing else to post about?

Gotta say, I would welcome back Jasno based on the lame posts JReid is giving us.

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

TheCork,
Interesting read on the running game. You're right that Rabach's not going to win a battle with a 320 pound defensive lineman. So, things were broken inside, and I think they let the defense string things out when they ran outside. I remember one play where Portis made a bad cut and didn't use his blocker, but for the most part, the blockers just weren't getting it done. I've ruffled some feathers today by saying Cooley is not a complete tight end, but I think you can see it in his run blocking most of all. Moss, at his size, isn't going to move too many defenders off the line of scrimmage if you plan on running to his side of the field. If they're going to run outside it would make sense to have Yoder and Kelly on that side of the field.

Posted by: RedSkinHead

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that "Zorn called the right play for that moment in the game", but like ARE's unhesitant mea culpa on what he should've done.

Posted by: chasgiffen | September 16, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

You trying to bad mouth scrapple?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 16, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Solid Wednesday reporting. 3 paragraphs of well known fact discussed ad nauseam, plus a sound byte. Why do I find the best content in this site in the comment's referring to other articles on other sites? Not a good sign.

Posted by: rexforab | September 16, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't this posted yesterday?

Posted by: Original_etrod | September 16, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

We did a end-around on the end-around post.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

check out the redskins coverage here

http://www.csnwashington.com/pages/main

Posted by: nattylite88 | September 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"I've ruffled some feathers today by saying Cooley is not a complete tight end"

Actually what you said was that Cooley wasn't effective in the redzone. To which I asked who had more touchdowns, Witten or Cooley, and you never responded........

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 16, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

to call that play at that time was not good timing. you are not fooling the defense. build momentum, then try trickery.
Of course the Skins' offense, hasn't had
any momentum anyway!

Posted by: madalao | September 16, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Cody Glenn was cut by the Colts...

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 16, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the fascination with the end around in Sunday's game has something to do with the Skins having run so few plays in total(50). NY ran 61, which is about average. Washington ran about the same number of plays as Denver did in that awful 12-7 game they played.

Interesting what Manning said about the goal of NY's possession game wasn't to keep the Skins offense off the field -- it was to keep the defense on it.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

So....

2005, we had Pierce

2006, we had the Brunell Debacle

2007, We had Deep Cover

2008, we had Leigh Torrence

2009, the year of the Bad 'End Around' play call/execution

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 16, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

If they want some better stories...

-Why don't they ask Chris Samuels if it was his fault that Campbell had the ball knocked out of his hand when Osi ran it back for a touchdown?

-Why not talk about Horton and Doughty's roles in the defense? Seemed like Doughty filled in for Horton later in the game.

-Why not ask Zorn how many plays he scripts in advance and why he thinks that's a good idea?

-Why not ask Dan Snyder point blank how many games Zorn needs to lose before he cans him?

-Why not ask Vinny Cerrato what he thought of both Cutler's first game as a Bear and Sanchez's first start?

-Why not ask Hunter Smith how it feels to share the team lead in scoring? (I would also like to know his time in the forty because it seemed like it took his little legs a lot of pumping to get just eight yards)

-Why not ask Todd Collins how he thought the Redskins could have done things differently on Sunday?

-Why not call up Jay Cutler and ask him how it feels to be losing with the Bears instead of losing with the Redskins?

Just some suggestions...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 16, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Redskins 35 - Rams 3. OK JC you can throw the deep ball now!

Posted by: classicskins | September 16, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Despite what some people think, Zorn called the right play for that moment in the game, Randle El said."

That's because El's number was called. DUH!

You DO NOT call that play at THAT moment. You just had a 30 yard run and killed momentum. You give the ball to your playmakers and El is NOT one of them. El sucks.

Another reason El and Zorn should both be shown the door.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | September 16, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Washington Warriors"

Lemme explain... I remember Dan Snyder bought the rights to this name a looooong time ago, ostensibly as a step toward bringing an Arena League team to DC under that name, but there was speculation then (this must have been in the early aughts) that it was a hedge against someday losing in court and having to rename the team.

And I have to say that, all things considered, Washington Warriors is an okay name by me.

Since my mind is wandering now, whaddya wanna bet we have a redesigned uniform in the next five years? As with every team in every sport, you can buy Redskin merchandise in many different color schemes, but those black-on-black (or whatever) jerseys are still not what the team wears on the field... I think Danny will want to enhance that particular revenue stream by freshening up the team's on-the-field look. Just a hunch.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 16, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

4th, any thoughts on Turk Mcbride. Pick him up and dump Monty??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 16, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oops, you'd think by this point I'd know to check before I blather on:

"...In January 2005, the feds sent Snyder a “Notice of Abandonment” and put the [Washington Warriors] trademarks back up for grabs."

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=35702

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Really? More end-around?

Posted by: 4-12 | September 16, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Come on Sports Fans, it was only one game. Your acting as if the season just ended.

Posted by: classicskins | September 16, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

El was your leading receiver, wtSJK?! He definitely doesn't suck. He's not a starting QB. And that was a chicken SJK play.

I didn't like the gimmicks when Gibbs would call them (low success rate), why would I like them when run by signifigantly less successful coarch.

Of COURSE El isn't going to throw Zorn under the bus. Those were the best stats he's had since he came here (almost?).

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 16, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

As with every team in every sport, you can buy Redskin merchandise in many different color schemes
Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 16, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I still don't get that. "I'm a Redskins fan, so I'm going to buy this black jersey with turquoise lettering!"

?

Posted by: redskirt_ | September 16, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Can we just give the end-around the, uh, reach-around, and finish it off?

Posted by: 4-12 | September 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

What I have on my mental loop this week is ARE fiddle-farting around as that play fell apart thanks to the perfect defense... the same fiddle-farting around that makes him such a terrific punt returner.

But that's in the past...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

4-12! HERE'S YOUR REACH AROUND.

Posted by: classicskins | September 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Firstly, I HATED this play and still do. BUTT Mayor do you have short term memory loss, you already blogged on this dude! You post the same blog post like 3/4 times a week. It is insane to me.

My read on The Mayor: Good journalist, bad blogga.....

Posted by: chrislarry | September 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

is there an echo on here.....same posts everyday. if this was the offseason i might understand, but regular season and this is the best there is...

Posted by: the_shocker1 | September 16, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Wow benchcampbell, way to cut off a quote to try and prove a point. When asked if he wanted to take more shots downfield, he went on to say:

"Coach and myself were talking earlier, he's like of course there's more things he want to call, of course there's more things he wanted to do, but we didn't have the ball a lot earlier in the game to attack some of the stuff," Campbell said. "It was a little bit of a touch situation, because now it's hard to utilize some of the play action, utilize some of the things you wanted to do.

"And he knows there's things he wants to get to, calling things. And he understands players and what we have to do is that trust thing, we have to be able to trust each other, no matter what's called or no matter what's on the field.Eevery play's not gonna be a perfect play or a positive play but make sure you have more big ones at the end of the day than the ones that you mess up."

Posted by: -swb | September 16, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Here's what happened:

The Mayor blogged too many times about the same subject, offering little extra in facts and nothing extra in commentary.

Here's what I think:

The Mayor needs to grow a pair and ask some tough questions to some actual players and coaches himself.

Posted by: rexforab | September 16, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

BeantownGreg1,
Actually, before that I said I thought Cooley was over rated, but you must have missed the thing that started it all. Since you know the answer to the question anyhow, let me just say that I don't think much of Witten, either. Cooley may not be as good as people think he is, but because he wears Burgundy and Gold I'll root for him every week.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 16, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

redskirt, I'm not even wild about throwbacks, since our "throwbacks" have never seemed historically honest to me... I should make it clear that I LOVE our unis, I LOVE seeing white jerseys and burgundy britches most games...

I just think that Danny has seen the Eagles and Giants (among many other storied franchises) make major changes to their logos and color schemes in recent years, and I honestly think he drools over the possible revenue there... trumping his own love for the uniform the team wore when it reached the apex of its glory, a love I have no doubt he feels deeply.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 16, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a bad call - ARE f-d it up. Throw the damn ball away or scramble for + yardage.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | September 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

No no no! that was a dumb play. yeah Randle should have thrown the ball away but the play should have never been called.
why not play action ---- why not just give it back to Clinton...

Posted by: tareil | September 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

rsh, so cooley is overrated, witten isn't that good.....care to fill me in on who you think is a good tight end??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 16, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

beeps, good news.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

You're right it wasn't a bad call. It was a horrendous call!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"to call that play at that time was not good timing. you are not fooling the defense. build momentum, then try trickery.
Of course the Skins' offense, hasn't had
any momentum anyway!Posted by: madalao"

LOL it's good timing if it works. And if Randle El had simply thrown the ball away, no harm done.

Posted by: Samson151 | September 16, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

BeantownGreg1,
I didn't say Witten wasn't good, I just don't like any player that plays for the Cowgirls. I think a traditional tight end lends more to the running game and can also be an option in the passing game. I think the new standard for tight end height is 6'6" or above. You want someone who you bring in on red zone packages who can block on the off tackle or can slide into a pass route towering over defenders.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 16, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

people really need to lay off of J. Campbell a little bit because its not all his fault. Zorn play calling STINKS. Zorn needs to allow Jason an opportunity to play football and go down field. the skins have to much talent on offense not to be putting points on the board

Posted by: tareil | September 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Randle says the play was perfect, Zorn says the play was perfect.
So why didn't it work?

Posted by: jmy999 | September 16, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

SSDD WOW

Cooley cannot block but I hear he is a great blogger?

Fred Davis 2nd Rnd USC. Bigger Faster played in bigger college games = winner.

Ask Santana why did he get pushed out of the way on jc interception

Why did the skins act so slowly when he was getting mugged.

Why Cartwright looked lost on the on-side kick.

Better offense the less the denfense is on the feild.

Ask Zorn about the 3 and out at the goal line and not throw one pass! 6 foot receivers.

ARE cut!

JC should fine himself 50k to show that foolish mistakes are not tolerated.

JZ needs pointers on feild position, clock management and setting a game plan to do produce results later in the game for the offense.

Posted by: zariah | September 16, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I commend ARE for taking the blame, but I call shennanigans. That play wasn't even close to working. It was a horrible call based on timing. I question strongly whether or not he could have thrown it away cleanly. There was a guy in his face. It looked like he didn't have a chance to get a throwing grip on the ball much less complete a throw without being hit or having the ball tipped.

ARE did a good job not to turn it over. That CALL put us in a hole that we will have to emerge from on Sunday vs. Rams.

I like Zorn. I'm not calling for his head, but that game was 100% his fault, IMO.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 16, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Randle says the play was perfect, Zorn says the play was perfect.
So why didn't it work?

Posted by: jmy999

the play was perfect....for the Giants

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 16, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

If it was that easy to just throw the ball away there wouldn't be any sacks....ever

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 16, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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