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Skins Are 'Treading Water,' Zorn Says

Overall, Jim Zorn said his team is "treading water," which works for me. They haven't played a complete ballgame in more than a month and the offense is weak in terms of scoring. It has six offensive TDs in the last five games, and has not scored more than two offensive TDs in a game since Week 3.

He continues to believe the scheme is sound and that execution - whether it be pass protection, guys running the wrong routes, procedural penalties - is holding the offense back. He maintains there are only "a small handful" of issues facing the team (pass protection chief among them), and it's more of the "glaring" nature of the problems than a multiplicity of issues facing the team.

Zorn discounted the idea that coordinators are catching up to his offensive ideas, pointing out that his team continues to move the ball and it's not like the Redskins are punting "eight or nine times a game."

"We're moving the ball, but not maintaining our composure," Zorn said.

Much of his Monday press conference focused on how often Jason Campbell has been hit lately (19 times in the past two games), and Zorn said it's a matter of technique more than anything else (which is a bit troubling for an older, experienced line). Zorn said offensive line coach Joe Bugel was harping on the fundamentals to several of his charges during the game after catching them ducking their heads. Too often the linemen were getting pushed back, Zorn said.

He was asked if he might change some personnel along the line - with one-time starting tackle Stephon Heyer waiting in the wings as a back-up - and said, "I don't think so."

Zorn said he did not regret challenging a touchback call that would have put Dallas on the one-yard line had officials reversed it, believing the trade-off in that negative field position was worth the potential price of a timeout, even though a lack of timeouts at the end of the first half forced the Redskins to try a long field goal rather than take a shot in the end zone.

Zorn said he did not believe Rock Cartwright's backside was on the goal line at the time he attempted to down the ball. "It was worth the timeout to me," Zorn said.

The coach was "livid," however, about a sequence in which the Redskins were penalized for having 12 men in the huddle and had to burn a timeout right afterward. Portis needed to come out of the game, and Betts rushed on and Zorn was calling a formation with an empty backfield, which led to some chaos.

Then the officials restarted the clock and the offense still was not set. "They're not going to be sensitive to us," Zorn said of the officials, with whom he had no complaint. He was fuming that his team did not operate more smoothly.

On the defensive side, Zorn, like us, focused on the lack of any semblance of pass rush, especially when facing a quarterback who's in his first game back after being out with a broken pinkie. Zorn is hoping Jason Taylor can make some plays on third down and admitted that the Redskins generated not a bit of pressure Sunday night unless they rushed more than four men.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 17, 2008; 2:28 PM ET
 
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Next: Taylor a Situational Pass Rusher?

Comments

Because it'll come up based on how the lines played ...
9/22 starters are on the offense or defensive line. That's 41%

6/31 draft picks since 2004 have been on the lines. Thats 19%.

The 6 picks:
Rob Jackson, Chad Reinhart, Anthony Montgomery, Jim Molinaro, Kedric Golston and Kili Lotofu. Only Reinhart (3rd round) was picked before the 5th round.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 17, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

DRAFT MORE BLACK LINEMEN AND YOU WON'T LOSSE AS MUCH. YOU HAVE THREE OLD WHITE GUYS TRYING TO BLOACK STRONG FAST BLACK MEN. ITS NOT GOING TO WORK.

Posted by: poolman1200000 | November 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"But Springs can't go?"

People were saying the same thing about Moss last season when he "took off" from playing with his hammy tweak/strain/pull/tear. Muscle injuries are a lot different from ligament injuries. You simply can't play at full speed with a muscle injury. It won't happen. It will never happen. It's not something you can "tough out". Ligament injuries are another story, where you can deal with it as long as you feel stable and you can deal with the pain (although you're probably even more susceptible to serious injury with ligaments).

Everybody will jump back on Springs' bandwagon when he starts playing again. People were crapping on him because he missed the Giants game, but three weeks later were all over his *almonds* when he shut down Boldin and TO.

Posted by: spizzle

Posted by: spizzle | November 17, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess the unwriiten rule plays a role after all, black men are faster to the ball then white men. This is a race issue, we all know it. Time for change, just asked the new 'BLACK PREZ".

Posted by: poolman1200000 | November 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Ocho Stinko warms up with Eagles' receivers

CINCINNATI - We're guessing Donovan McNabb might not be the one to get the heat from the fans this time.
Early in warmups for yesterday's game, according to Eagles Web site czar Dave Spadaro and radio analyst Mike Quick, Bengals receiver Ocho Cinco, nee Chad Johnson, jumped into the Eagles' pass receiving line.

He caught a slant from Donovan McNabb and then raised his face and arms to the heavens, presumably rejoicing in the opportunity to catch a pass thrown by his friend and offseason confidante, as Cinco told reporters in a midweek conference call. Then McNabb and Cinco hugged, calling to mind McNabb's postgame rites of friendship with Giants players afer last week's loss.

If I'm Bengals quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, I'm not real pleased with Senor Cinco. If I'm Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, I'm not real pleased with Senor Cinco. If I'm a Bengals fan . . . If I'm a Bengals fan, I think about relocating, but that's another story. *

- Les Bowen

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/sports/20081117_Ocho_Stinko_warms_up_with_Eagles__receivers.html

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Here we are again blaming 5 proven veterans for the lack of production from the qb spot. And at the same time he won't bench the weakest link...

Posted by: dealer1 | November 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

From a coach preaching "stay medium," you expect more than treading water? Pul-eeze.

I think Zorn would rather be in Seattle.

Posted by: Xlnt | November 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

weakest link being 76...

Posted by: dealer1 | November 17, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

This is a bunch of politically correct crap from Zorn. We stunk last night and practically for the last month. Do something about it!!!!!!

Posted by: bubba13 | November 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Here we are again blaming 5 proven veterans for the lack of production from the qb spot. And at the same time he won't bench the weakest link...

Posted by: dealer1

Proven at what? Getting b!tched by a 4-man rush?

Posted by: spizzle | November 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

dealer, what team are you watching. JC barely has time to raise the ball into proper throwing position before he has two or three guys in his face. JC is a good young QB who would be a lot better if his old line would give him just a second more. Get over it he's here to stay.

Posted by: jayandcat | November 17, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Skins picks since 2000, by position (57 total)
DBs 12
LBs 7
DL 6 (highest pick was round 5)
OL 8
TE 5
QBs 7
WR 7
RB 4
Punter 1

Of the 8 round 1 pics, only Ramsey and Gardner were busts
Of the 7 round 2 picks and excluding this year, only Taylor Jacobs was bust.

Of the 6 round 3 picks, Lloyd Harrison, Rashed Bauman and Cliff Russell were busts

Only 4 round 4 picks, Sage Rosefels is the only success.

Of note 32/57 picks are round 5 and lower, or 55%. If you don't give away picks, that number is 43%

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 17, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

he did want to stay in Seattle but sea said no. That's how he ended up here.

Posted by: dealer1 | November 17, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Overall, Jim Zorn said his team is "treading water," which works for me

I am sure it does. I have the Ravens game mark and can't wait. I want this game more than I did the Dallas game. Oh and thanks for stating that Hall had a int after giving a week full of post of you btching about Torrence

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 17, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As for where he trains in the off season, I don't understand what that has to do with his injury or "benefit of the doubt." He reported to camp in good physical condition and ready to play football.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 17, 2008 2:33 PM

There's something to be said for being here with the team in the off-season. I'm pretty sure coaches wouldn't stress it if it weren't so. And I never said Springs is a "loafer", I only said that it SEEMS that he's not willing to play in pain like CP and JT have shown. I, for one, think that he should be put on IR and released next year because he's nowhere near worth what he's being paid. If he can go this week and be fine the rest of the year, then let's roll with him. But if he's tying up a roster spot and not playing we could use an active body elsewhere.

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 17, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

dudes I'm over blaming jc. Jc is who he is. What he isn't is a west coast qb that throws 30 times a game for 200 yards. All this is on zorny. First you bench a starter then you start him cuz of an injury and he's stinkin up the joint and youcantgo back to your starter???? Who was better at protecting your qb? Does that make sense?

Posted by: dealer1 | November 17, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Blogs throughout the net are reporting that Zorn will start niether Jansen nor Heyer, but will instead be inserting a large orange traffic cone in hopes of slowing the pass rush for at least one second for his QB.

Posted by: Soup17 | November 17, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

DRAFT MORE BLACK LINEMEN AND YOU WON'T LOSSE AS MUCH. YOU HAVE THREE OLD WHITE GUYS TRYING TO BLOACK STRONG FAST BLACK MEN. ITS NOT GOING TO WORK.

Posted by: poolman1200000 | November 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

After reading this I kind of felt like I did when I heard the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor back in '41.

Posted by: Cobain | November 17, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

it's not like the Redskins are punting "eight or nine times a game."

OK, lets look at that quote a bit more carefully. How did drives end?
1 TD drive of 49 yards
2 FG attempts, one due to Rock's long KO return
1 INT (out of FG range)
1 4th down try missed (out of FG range)
4 punts (3, 3 and outs)

There are only 9 possessions in the whole game. On 6 of 9, we didn't get into FG range. On 1 of the 3 we did, it was Rock's kick return that got us there.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the screen passes did anything for us yesterday.

The slants were fine...on those, you've got the receiver moving towards the goal, and the qb. We made at least a couple of firsts on slants that I recall.

But the screens take a while to develop, there's always the danger of the ball going the other way, and I don't remember seeing anything from them other than a receiver or two lit up by the defence.

I wonder if we might have had a different outcome if those screen pass plays were deep throws instead. Even if none of them worked, at least we're stretching the defense, rather than rewarding them for crowding the line.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | November 17, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Poolman,
Save the Last Dance is airing on TNT today. Watch, learn, and live!

Posted by: Soup17 | November 17, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

We should all listen to Poolman.

After all, he's wise enough to pay $5,000 a month in rent.

Posted by: freakzilla | November 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The weakest link on the OL is not Jansen but Fabini closely followed by Rabach. Jansen didn't give up any sacks (though he does get pushed back a lot), and he has been our best run blocker the past two weeks. Fabini and Rabach, and also Randy Thomas to a lesser degree, have been horrible the past two games, especially against quicker lineman. They've been beaten off the ball, are late to get to the second level, have blown blocks, etc, etc.

I would suggest we move Jansen to guard and put Heyer in at his old spot.

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 17, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It's a bit disconcerting when you consider that the O-line is our most veteran unit on the team, but its pass protection is the chief breakdown and they are needing to focus on fundamentals.

Vinny was saying that on the radio as well. The funny thing is that they say that in a way to allay our concerns, but nothing could be more concerning to me than a bunch of vets who can no longer perform the fundamentals of their position.

That's more than a small concern, especially b/c the template to stop this team is out: blitz. And we've got at least 4 teams left on the schedule (Sea, NYG, Bmore, Philly) who are known for doing just that.

Posted by: p1funk | November 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"DRAFT MORE BLACK LINEMEN AND YOU WON'T LOSSE AS MUCH. YOU HAVE THREE OLD WHITE GUYS TRYING TO BLOACK STRONG FAST BLACK MEN. ITS NOT GOING TO WORK."

-Poolman1200000


3 comments:

1. Randy Thomas and Chris Samuels are black. Samuels had a poor game and Thomas got manhandled.

2. Many of the top lineman in the league, both offensive and defensive, are white.

3. You're an idiot. Learn to spell.

Posted by: hender_22 | November 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"...admitted that the Redskins generated not a bit of pressure Sunday night unless they rushed more than four men."

Don't kid yourself Zorn. It wasn't there with 5 or 6 either.

Posted by: Gweez | November 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

In my earlier post, I meant Kendall, not Fabini.

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 17, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping Zorn learned from the first time around. He will inform Jansen first and then let us all know later that Heyer is back in as the starter.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 17, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

3 comments:

1. Randy Thomas and Chris Samuels are black. Samuels had a poor game and Thomas got manhandled.

2. Many of the top lineman in the league, both offensive and defensive, are white.

3. You're an idiot. Learn to spell.

Posted by: hender_22 | November 17, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

#3 should be on there twice. Poolman, get a hobby....on that doesnt include posting on here.

Posted by: robrown22 | November 17, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

poolman are you related to Jimmy the Greek?

Posted by: RedBaron2008 | November 17, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I guess I need to learn to spell too...that was supposed to be "one" not "on"

Posted by: robrown22 | November 17, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

JC was never sacked more than 2 times in a game in the first 5 contests. The Giants and Cards will probably be division winners but they sacked him 3 times total.
In 4 of the last 5 games he's been dumped at least 3 times (10 in the last 2).

These numbers would seem to indicate an offensive line where every starter is 31 or over might be wearing down. Can JC play better? Sure. But tell me a QB who can be sacked 10 times and hit another 10 in 2 games and not have his confidence shaken. Super Bowl winners like Big Ben even play poorly when they get jacked up too much. Honestly, I think passive play calling on both sides of the ball are more of an issue than what the players are doing.

Posted by: elfreako | November 17, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I hate complaining about officiating, but what was up with the lack of offsides call. There were three situations where dallas was offsides without a call. On third down, once Ware jumped (no call), another time Ware lined up offsides (you could tell because the ball was on the yardage line, and his hand was on the line as well), and another time the other defensive end jumped without a call.

Posted by: tedunni1 | November 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Beepbeep

Posted by: alex35332 | November 17, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

If they bench Jansen, it will just be using him as the scapegoat. Collectively, the O-line is playing horrible. It's not just 1 weak link.

I have a hard time believing this has to do with "fundamentals" but it's nice that he doesn't throw guys under the bus in public. It would do him no good to kill these guys in a press conference.

Posted by: Joe_in_Raleigh | November 17, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"...admitted that the Redskins generated not a bit of pressure Sunday night unless they rushed more than four men."

Don't kid yourself Zorn. It wasn't there with 5 or 6 either.

Posted by: Gweez

Both INTs came on blitzes. One a delayed blitz from Horton, the other came on an unblocked blitz from Landry.

Posted by: spizzle | November 17, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

DRAFT MORE BLACK LINEMEN AND YOU WON'T LOSSE AS MUCH. YOU HAVE THREE OLD WHITE GUYS TRYING TO BLOACK STRONG FAST BLACK MEN. ITS NOT GOING TO WORK.

Posted by: poolman1200000 | November 17, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

After reading this I kind of felt like I did when I heard the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor back in '41.
_______________________

Imagine how the Japanese felt when they heard this, too.

Posted by: Xlnt | November 17, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

poolman are you related to Jimmy the Greek?

Posted by: RedBaron2008 | November 17, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Just talked to Poolman. He's related to the guy who plays Kramer from Seinfeld.

Posted by: Cobain | November 17, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Aging line vs. young DL's = disaster.

Zorny can sugarcoat it but the fact is all of our OL starter are 30+ and the only reason our pass protection wasn't such an issue earlier in the year was that Portis was running for 120+ and teams were forced to commit more men to stop the run.

Now that Portis is playing hurt, teams are exposing what is an aging, mediocre line. Even Samuels who has a bad knee played poorly last night. Rabach and Thomas have no excuse after being lit up by Ratliff who isn't even considered a top NT/DT.

DL has same issues although our DB's and LB's mask them by being good in coverage and sure tacklers. Kudos to Rogers, Hall, and Smoot for all having strong games.

Posted by: wizfan89 | November 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know how many draws were run? Portis on one, Campbell on another and they worked well... were there more? Point is, their DL was blasting past our OL with ease, right? Don't you try and slow that down with a few more draws? Unless I'm wrong and Zorn called more of them, I'd say that was an error in playcalling. Anyone agree?

Posted by: fan-o-matic | November 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Man, last night was real hard for me to watch, I live in Texas, from DC and I hate Cowboy fans... they are the loudest, most abnoxious fans in football and did not deserve that win last night. Poolman, you're retarded... Way to bring race into the argument... Maybe you sould read up on Polaris and chlorine and leave the posts to the "grown ups" Heyer is a really weird looking "white" guy if you ask me, not to mention Samuels and Thomas...Good one! Second, Where is Zorn planning to go? where is our offensive line... and why can't Devin Thomas catch a screen on 3rd and 4... Lastly, I like JC and think he has all the tools for the job, but throwing to Santana on Double coverage on 4th and 4 on a 5 yard out... C'mon, might as well have tried the QB Draw again...

Posted by: DCXNTX | November 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I meant a slant... not a screen

Posted by: DCXNTX | November 17, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Until Zorn decides to put in some younger offensive linemen that can actually move their feet after the first half, maybe he should use more designed roll-outs for Campbell.

Did Zorn really say in this article that he was trying to run a play with an empty backfield? Let me get this straight. His QB was being eaten alive by pass rushers and he wanted to help them out by not keeping a back in to block?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it has anything to do with ethnicity but young lineman are stronger and tend not to be as beat up as the season wears on,also they are not set in their ways and more open to being coached.Our O line is older; more experienced? yes, but more prone to getting beat by speed rushers and physical interior lineman,Vinny made some serious mistakes this draft(ya think?) not going after O&D lineman hopefully what we have will hold up and at least get us to the playoffs.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

the reason we're losing is a failure to play "smash mouth football" against teams with good defense. 13 carries for Portis vs Pitt. 15 carries vs Dallas is not the way to play when it's winning time. the 3rd and 2 pic Campbell threw was a perfect example. with CP, Betts, Alexander and Rock we should be hitting anything not wearing a skin uniform and wear down the opposition. THEN the passing game will work but first we have to establish the fact that we are here to play! SMASH MOUTH Baby SMASH MOUTH!!

Posted by: LAskinfan | November 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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