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Fletcher: It's Time To Work

Coach Jim Zorn essentially gave the Redskins Monday off after the spirited win over Dallas. Middle linebacker London Fletcher, however, put out the word that he expected his teammates on the defense to be around Redskins Park to review film and sort out some mistakes. Fletcher expressed his expectation that guys come in on their own to watch the game tapes, and they are obliging.

"I just wanted to make sure defensively, we got that film watched," Fletcher said. "In wins you can overlook a lot of mistakes that were made that could cost you down the road and we had our fair share of mistakes as good as we played. We need to end the halfs better and also start the third quarter. Those are areas we're struggling with."

I asked Fletcher about the decision to just rush three men at the end of the half, going with more of a prevent look. Fletcher said it wasn't really prevent, as they were maintaining their normal zone concepts just with an extra defender deep. When Dallas got closer to field goal range he said they clamped down a bit in coverage, Fletcher said.

I was surprised they only rushed three, regardless, and Fletcher did conceded that the extra time that allowed Romo did contribute to some of the passes to Crayton that led to the field goal at the end of the half.

Rookie Chris Horton, who had another big interception but also blew coverage on the touchdown pass to Jason Witten, was among those who heeded Fletcher's call. Horton got yanked from the base package after that TD, with Reed Doughty regaining his spot. Then Horton was called upon with the Skins back in a three safety set, and he got the interception by manning Witten on the inside, then peeling outside into his zone responsibilities to jump an outside route to Miles Austin.

"You want to see those 3-4 plays in which you could have made the play," Horton said.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 29, 2008; 11:51 AM ET
 
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Comments

ChrisLarry, I was not listening to Cowherd...I was listening to Vinny's show and they "beamed" Cowherd in - Cowherd did apologize for saying we were dead and buried and then pretty much kissed up to Vinny. But he then went onto asked Vinny why the Skins were impressed with JC - said he looks at JC and goes "huh?" or something like that. Obviously, Cowherd has not watched any of our games except the Giants.

Posted by: Lisa_R | September 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Go skins!

Posted by: isonic1 | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

first?

Posted by: DethBlosm | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The Horton/Doughty yo yo is annoying....just start Horton, he is going to make some mistakes, and all DBs get beat....but just commit.

Doughty can be used in nickel, special teams...and as LB as they did some yesterday...Doughty can contribute, but shouldn't start.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

8. Marion Barber is OVERRATED!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Agree to fliggin disagree! Can you give the D-line and Blache a little credit please!?!? They stop Barber and they stop the Dallas offense. That does not mean Barber is overrated; it means that the defensive game plan worked ... which means stop Barber. [I agree with Jasno's MMHB that Jason Garrett quit on the running game too soon, but I'm glad he did.]

Also, I love love love this about Fletcher recognizing what Renaldo Wynn taught us a couple of seasons ago ... a loss is never as bad as it looks and a win is never as good as it looks. This is lunch pail work. Guys with jobs. A-fraggin-men for London Fletcher!

fletcher rulz
weekly power ratings after 4 weeks drulz

Posted by: dcsween | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Horton was on espn's first take. Said that the defense was focused on stopping the run, not letting barber get into the game early and letting the girls try to beat them through the air.

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"The two most interesting names to track as the trade deadline approaches both come from the state of Missouri -- St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt and Kansas City tight end Tony Gonzalez."

Speaking of needing another recieving threat on the previous post, do you make a move for Torry Holt? I'm not sure that I would unless we could get him really cheap. It would cost us another draft pick and we already gave one up for Jason Taylor.

Posted by: Skins1 | September 29, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

8. Marion Barber is OVERRATED!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Agree to fliggin disagree! Can you give the D-line and Blache a little credit please!?!? They stop Barber and they stop the Dallas offense. That does not mean Barber is overrated; it means that the defensive game plan worked ... which means stop Barber. [I agree with Jasno's MMHB that Jason Garrett quit on the running game too soon, but I'm glad he did.]

Also, I love love love this about Fletcher recognizing what Renaldo Wynn taught us a couple of seasons ago ... a loss is never as bad as it looks and a win is never as good as it looks. This is lunch pail work. Guys with jobs. A-fraggin-men for London Fletcher!

fletcher rulz
weekly power ratings after 4 weeks drulz

Posted by: dcsween | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Doc Walker is on 980 saying we were TOO physical - that it was embarrassing and we needed more class. Said he is going to talk with Blache and Zorn about it. What????

Posted by: Lisa_R | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"If the government's nuclear football ever were to fall into the wrong hands Chris Horton would be called upon to intercept it on behalf of the Pentagon." -Kissing Suzy Kolber

We're lucky to have London Fletcher. Note to Aikman/Buck: Instead of spending 85% of broadcast filler verbally fellating the Cowboys, why not spend a few minutes documenting the unheralded elite linebacker? He's been a Pro Bowler for years and no one notices. He almost singlehandedly scared Garrett out of the run-game, shut down Witten, and is a tackling machine.

Posted by: ThisGuy | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Here's some more Skins glory on ESPN.com:

Redskins leave Texas Stadium with a fond memory

September 28, 2008 11:34 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

IRVING, Texas -- Barring a playoff meeting, the Washington Redskins made their final visit to Texas Stadium on Sunday. And after a 26-24 victory that doesn't even begin to tell the story, they pretty much left the Cowboys' defense in ruin.

Make no mistake. Sunday's win bore no resemblance to a fluke. The Redskins didn't steal a game from the team alleged to be the best in football. They walked in the front door and pushed around the Sultans of September in front of their home crowd.

Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell said he ran onto the field after the game in search of his counterpart, Tony Romo. Like most of his teammates, though, Romo had sounded the retreat.

It started in the second quarter and lasted throughout the rest of the game. The Cowboys' frantic comeback attempt only dolled up the final score.

Campbell was characteristically understated after the game, but what he did in the first half suggests that he's on his way to joining the upper echelon of quarterbacks in this league.

Facing a defense that was obsessed with not letting wide receiver Santana Moss catch a deep ball, Campbell calmly took what was given to him. But when Cowboys Pro Bowl cornerback Terence Newman bit on a stop-and-go route late in the first half, Campbell deftly stepped away from trouble and winged a 53-yard completion to Moss.

When I approached his locker after the game, Campbell was actually upset about the play. He felt like he robbed Moss of a record-setting touchdown by not hitting him in stride. Moss, who finished with eight catches for 145 yards, had tied the team record last week with touchdowns in six consecutive games.

"I wanted to get that for him," said a dejected looking Campbell. "That's the first thing I did was go apologize to him."

Redskins coach Jim Zorn said he led three "Redskins cheers" in the locker room before meeting with reporters. The biggest reason Daniel Snyder hired him as coach was his belief that he could take Campbell to a Pro Bowl level. That's why he quickly hired himself as quarterbacks coach.

When the offense looked awful in the season opener against the Giants, Zorn asked Campbell to trust him. That's when Campbell shot back, "You need to trust me too."

After the game, Zorn sounded like a proud teacher.

"He didn't have any of the ups and downs, these sways of emotion," Zorn said of Campbell. "What I always talk to him about is bearing down and what I mean by that is if you grit your teeth to get through difficult situations, you must [get through it]. We were fortunate enough to beat a great football team, but part of that was his concentration level and he just kept it up the whole game."

Zorn felt the sting of criticism after the Giants loss. He thought it was important for his team not to see him "flinch." And even when star running back Clinton Portis complained that week about the offensive line and the play-calling, Zorn didn't take the bait.

Now, he's reaping some of the rewards a lot sooner than most of us thought. And at least for one day, the Redskins looked like the team to beat in the NFC East. Or maybe the Cowboys are simply overrated.

Now, join me for several items that didn't really belong in the previous 700 words:

Did the Cowboys' obsession with T.O. backfire on them?

First of all, let's give the Redskins' secondary its proper due. In the first half, cornerback Shawn Springs jammed Terrell Owens at the line of scrimmage and pretty much took him out of the game. T.O. finished with only two catches for 11 yards, which may have caused offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to overcompensate in the second half.

After all, Patrick Crayton and Jason Witten combined for nine catches, 110 yards and a touchdown in the first half. On the first drive of the second half, Romo completed three passes to T.O., the third going for a 10-yard touchdown. Romo ended up throwing to T.O. six times in the third quarter and five more in the fourth quarter.

The most telling drive came right after the Redskins took a 23-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Redskins broke up three consecutive passes to T.O., the last two by Carlos Rogers, who was covering him because Springs left the game with a calf strain.

Of the Cowboys' 58 offensive plays, they either threw or handed the ball to T.O. 19 times. In my mind, that smacks of a team trying too hard to make one player happy. In the first half, he appeared to give up on a few routes when he knew the ball wasn't coming his way. It was pretty obvious that Springs was frustrating him.

After the game, a Cowboys starter on offense said he thought the team tried too hard to involve T.O. in the second half. It's not good when a player senses that coaches are calling plays in order to keep a teammate happy. It's not time to panic if you're a Cowboys fan, but I'd certainly keep your eye on that situation. It's a slap in the face to Witten, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin -- and especially rookie Felix Jones to freeze them out in order to please T.O.

At least the Cowboys shut down one running back

If there's someone who can make sense of Wade Phillips' justification for not giving rookie running back Felix Jones a single carry Sunday, please contact me immediately.
"He has a specific role that he plays," Phillips said of Jones. "The plays that he works on, they aren't really come-from-behind plays. They are more normal game situation plays. We will be more and more comfortable with him as he learns more."
After Sunday's performance, I'm thinking Wade might want to add a few more "come-from-behind" plays.
Sentimental day for Springs

Playing in Texas Stadium for the final time probably meant more to Shawn Springs than any player on the field. He remembers spending Sundays at the stadium watching his father, Ron, play fullback for the Cowboys.

Springs told me after the game that he opened up the Dallas Morning News today and saw a picture of Roger Staubach being lifted into the air after the Cowboys' 35-34 comeback victory over the Redskins on Dec. 16, 1979.

"You know who was picking him up?" Springs asked. "That was my father."

Ron Springs remains in a coma in a local hospital following complications from a surgery to remove a cyst last year.

Postgame altercation

Redskins running back Rock Cartwright said he and Cowboys defensive tackle Tank Johnson had spent much of the evening jawing back and forth. But as the Redskins were kneeling on the ball at the end of the game, Cartwright said he stood at midfield and gazed through the iconic hole in the roof of Texas Stadium.

Johnson, who's is his second year with the Cowboys, apparently thought Cartwright was attempting to evoke memories of T.O. standing on the star several years ago as a 49er. After the final snap, Johnson raced over and shouted, "Don't disrespect the star."

I'm thinking Johnson may have more important things to deal with after his defense gave up 161 rushing yards. Some of you might recall Phillips saying recently that "no one runs on the Dallas Cowboys."

Well, make that almost no one.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfceast/0-3-202/Redskins-leave-Texas-Stadium-with-a-fond-memory.html

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Love to see Fletcher keeping the guys down to earth and looking toward continous improvement. The start of this season just continues to amaze me and hope that it's the real deal.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, thongs and edible undergarments to all you OG's out there.

Posted by: Pulldownclaw | September 29, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"If the government's nuclear football ever were to fall into the wrong hands Chris Horton would be called upon to intercept it on behalf of the Pentagon." -Kissing Suzy Kolber

We're lucky to have London Fletcher. Note to Aikman/Buck: Instead of spending 85% of broadcast filler verbally fellating the Cowboys, why not spend a few minutes documenting the unheralded elite linebacker? He's been a Pro Bowler for years and no one notices. He almost singlehandedly scared Garrett out of the run-game, shut down Witten, and is a tackling machine.

Posted by: ThisGuy | September 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

DCsweeny, yeah dude of course mega kudos on stopping Barber, no doubt. But I thought he was overrated before yesterday's game as well, I can think we dominated the dude and he is overated. All I here is how great this guy is, I don't see it...

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Ph the Eagles!!

Posted by: RedskinWillie | September 29, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Agree to fliggin disagree! Can you give the D-line and Blache a little credit please!?!? They stop Barber and they stop the Dallas offense. That does not mean Barber is overrated; it means that the defensive game plan worked ... which means stop Barber.

Posted by: dcsween | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM

Completely agree. If barber starts to run, then it opens up the rest of the girls offense. Stop or limit barber and this offense is one dimensional.

I think that philips was aware we were not going to let them run, so he tried to win by passing, playing right into Blache's hands. Check Mate!

Posted by: Curzon417 | September 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Today is a good day to be off! All redskins all the time on every channel!

I watched Cowherd today on ESPNU and he had to eat his own words. Funny as heck......

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 29, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

cl, i agree it's annoying. but they're winning so i'm saying "greg, you know what you're doing..." :)

no one's perfect and that whitten pass wasn't like a 20+ yarder...there wasn't much room to manuever...

and he MAKES UP for his mistakes...

also cL, lisa wasn't listening to cowherd...

Posted by: dealer1 | September 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

What a great game! Glad to see them close out Texas stadium with a win.

Only negative was having to listen to Troy Aikman call the game. Maybe he'll be better next week when it's Philly and the Skins.

Posted by: skinswest | September 29, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Lisa- Think "tongue-in-cheek". Or "sarcasm". Or "maps".

Posted by: 4-12 | September 29, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Lisa,

Doc is being facetious. LOL You know how he loves to F with those puke loving friends of his.

Posted by: Im_JustMe | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Lisa- Think "tongue-in-cheek". Or "sarcasm". Or "maps".

Posted by: 4-12 | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

One thing I have to do is give credit where credit is due. Jim Zorn has given me the confidence to believe he can take this team deep.

I was very critical of Zorn after the Giants game. A majority of fans wanted to point the finger at Campbell -- saying he played awful, that he couldn't master Zorn's system, etc. During that game, Campbell played comparable to what he's done the last 3 games. He completed 60% of his passes, combined to hit his top-2 WRs for 12 passes and 1 TD (same as during this game), and had zero INTs or fumbles. My contention was that it was not Campbell, but Zorn who was mostly at fault during that game for his playcalling. The most telling comment in my opinion is what was posted by Matt Mosely last night on his blog:

"When the offense looked awful in the season opener against the Giants, Zorn asked Campbell to trust him. That's when Campbell shot back, 'You need to trust me too.'"

These past 3 games have been a far cry from what Zorn called during the Giants game. Zorn put the onus on his QB to carry this offense, and Campbell has done nothing but deliver. It's been simply brilliant. Zorn has absolutely answered my personal criticism of him, and for that I give him his props. Zorn is the real deal. He's proven he can coach in this league, and he can coach against the best of 'em. I'm excited to see how high his ceiling goes.

Posted by: psps23 | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Doc Walker is on 980 saying we were TOO physical - that it was embarrassing and we needed more class. Said he is going to talk with Blache and Zorn about it. What????

Posted by: Lisa_R | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM

He is being funny!

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

How about our 4th quarter poise, eh? I am most impressed with how we are finishing these games. Let's hope that this trend continues because I love kneeling to win.

Cowgirl supporters are especially quiet around the office today and it is a wonderful silence.

Now on to Philly. I hope Blache can be as effective against Westbrook as he was yesterday with Marion Barber. Westbrook always seems to torch us in some manner.

Posted by: splitbill | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Cooley's at it again on his blog: HTTR!!

http://chriscooley47.blogspot.com/2008/09/0-must-go-for-dallas.html

And for the poster who proposed trading for Holt: I think we've wasted enough picks on guys past their prime. I have Holt on my fantasy team, and I assure you that the Rams aren't as anxious as I am to trade him. He's from Carolina and I remember reading in the offseason that he wants to go there. They can have him...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 29, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Lisa,

Doc is being facetious. LOL You know how he loves to F with those puke loving friends of his.

Posted by: Im_JustMe | September 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

+++The Horton/Doughty yo yo is annoying....just start Horton, he is going to make some mistakes, and all DBs get beat....but just commit...

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 12:15 PM++++

One reason why the skins have excelled in the 4th quarter is they aren't spent.

Blache and his staff have done a superb job of rotating people at the places they have bodies..DB and DL.

The added advantage is when Horton does poorly or well, the coaches can Coach him up immediately.

But I agree his rate of improvement and skill set have made him the find of the draft and potentially a future star.

As the weather cools and his experience grows, I suspect he'll see the overwhelming majority of snaps.

Posted by: Corkczar | September 29, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

also, panties.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 29, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Somebody please research this Scamp. if you have time.

How many other teams will have played 3 road division games in the first 5 weeks.

F the NFL for this scheduling, Dallas has not played a road division game yet.

If we take this one from Philly. we have a good chance to go 5-1 in the div.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Denver and Oakland both play there 3 division rivals in the first 5 weeks. Both have 2 on the road and 1 at home.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 29, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

One thing I have to do is give credit where credit is due. Jim Zorn has given me the confidence to believe he can take this team deep.

I was very critical of Zorn after the Giants game. A majority of fans wanted to point the finger at Campbell -- saying he played awful, that he couldn't master Zorn's system, etc. During that game, Campbell played comparable to what he's done the last 3 games. He completed 60% of his passes, combined to hit his top-2 WRs for 12 passes and 1 TD (same as during this game), and had zero INTs or fumbles. My contention was that it was not Campbell, but Zorn who was mostly at fault during that game for his playcalling. The most telling comment in my opinion is what was posted by Matt Mosely last night on his blog:

"When the offense looked awful in the season opener against the Giants, Zorn asked Campbell to trust him. That's when Campbell shot back, 'You need to trust me too.'"

These past 3 games have been a far cry from what Zorn called during the Giants game. Zorn put the onus on his QB to carry this offense, and Campbell has done nothing but deliver. It's been simply brilliant. Zorn has absolutely answered my personal criticism of him, and for that I give him his props. Zorn is the real deal. He's proven he can coach in this league, and he can coach against the best of 'em. I'm excited to see how high his ceiling goes.

Posted by: psps23 | September 29, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

cl, agreed on Barber, gain 1000 yards, or better, and then I'll start to somewhat believe the hype. If he played for another team other than Dallas, he'd get nowhere NEAR the attention he gets now.

Beeps, too by the way.

And no trades, gosh dang it, no trades..!!!

Posted by: BeantownGreg | September 29, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Literal Lisa strikes again!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 29, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"And at least for one day, the Redskins looked like the team to beat in the NFC East. Or maybe the Cowboys are simply overrated." From the ESPN article.

Dont get me wrong I love me some skins, but statements like this comfirm that the world champion Giants are still being overlooked by the media. The sports media's obsession with the cowboys is ridiculous and I am sure it is fuel for the fire in the Giants locker room. That was a great win yesterday, but until we beat the G-men I still think they are the team to beat in the east. Right now I would rank the NFC East as follows
1. Giants
2. Redskins
3.Cowgirls
4.Eagles

Posted by: Brutus2 | September 29, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

We're lucky to have London Fletcher. Note to Aikman/Buck: Instead of spending 85% of broadcast filler verbally fellating the Cowboys, why not spend a few minutes documenting the unheralded elite linebacker? He's been a Pro Bowler for years and no one notices. He almost singlehandedly scared Garrett out of the run-game, shut down Witten, and is a tackling machine.

Posted by: ThisGuy | September 29, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse
---

Hey ThisGuy

"Verbally fellating". Best line of the day.

Rick

Posted by: rickmort | September 29, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Doc Walker is on 980 saying we were TOO physical - that it was embarrassing and we needed more class. Said he is going to talk with Blache and Zorn about it. What????


Doc was joking. Making fun of the beat down our Redskins put on the cowgirls!

Posted by: barbaraoffer | September 29, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Doc Walker is on 980 saying we were TOO physical - that it was embarrassing and we needed more class. Said he is going to talk with Blache and Zorn about it. What????


Doc was joking. Making fun of the beat down our Redskins put on the cowgirls!

Posted by: barbaraoffer | September 29, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Doc Walker is on 980 saying we were TOO physical - that it was embarrassing and we needed more class. Said he is going to talk with Blache and Zorn about it. What????


Doc was joking. Making fun of the beat down our Redskins put on the cowgirls!

Posted by: barbaraoffer | September 29, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

This is the best day ever.

Posted by: LiberalMike | September 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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