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Monday Morning H-Back

Wow. That was ugly. The defensive coaches were talking all week about how they were making progress and getting there and how the secondary had played its best game yet against Jacksonville. My inner BS-meter kept me from writing any of that, and I'm glad it did. They are a mess back there, I don't care what they say.

Let's see, Grim Reaper was burned repeatedly downfield ... again. The tackling is much worse than we've ever seen it on a consistent basis under Double-G, and for all the money they spent on the D in the offseason, I don't see any of it paying off yet. There has not been an adequate adjustment made to contain downfield, over-the-middle bombs that are completed at the rate of 4 a game.

The pass rush was limp. Andre Carter was MIA. Archuleta was Archuleta. Brandon Lloyd was held without a catch for the second time. He has 75 yards for the season. That's a decent half of football for Santana Moss. The free agent class looks like a bust. Yeah, it's early, but let's be real. Randle El is the truth, the rest of them seem lost.

Now, John Hall's leg is aching again, and he's not kicking off. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

But from all the carnage, the harsh reality of being 0-3 in the NFC is the biggest negative to come from this game. That 10-2 record within the conference was probably the biggest reason they made the playoffs last year, and they can't duplicate that now. Next two weeks finishes off the AFC - Tennessee and Indy - and then after the bye its 9 straight against conference foes.

Should they go into the bye 3-4, assuming a split in the next two games, that's asking a lot. Especially with four division games in those final nine contests. Might take another 5 game winning streak like last year for them to get where they want to go.

PS - How bout TJ Duckett. They dress him and he still doesn't get in the game. Thought maybe they'd give him the ball on that third-and-one. Not so.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 9, 2006; 9:00 AM ET
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Next: Playmakers


The game in one word: pathetic
It was about as exciting as watching soda go flat.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 9:04 AM | Report abuse

JLC shoot me now and make the pain stop. You were here in the dirty this weekend. So you know what is like for me today around the Big Blue. I stating it here and now I WILL NEVER BE FOOLED BY BRUNELL AGAIN!! (I know caps upset some of you but hell he gots to go) 45 yards in the first half. 109 yards for the game. Hell my 14 year old son would have done better. The reaper gets a pass for this week. However, he cannot have any more games like that. Sad Sad Sad day here in Jersey for me.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

JLC I have a question... after every sack Strahan and the rest of the all pro D line (at least when they play the skins), pretended like they were doing a jump shot. WHY IS THAT NOT PENALIZED? This makes zero sense, and shows the NFL is not being consistant in this silly rule.

As for the skins, they played without any heart. it was pethatic. just as bad as last years trip to the sewar.

This is going to be a loong week...

Posted by: Go Skins Go | October 9, 2006 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's another sad day for us skins fans... don't keep your head down cuz it might smack the ground by Week 8 of the season :(

What are we paying these "coaches" for. I mean millions are spent on top coaches and on the defensive side it's about the system and not the player but WTF is going on... the PLAYERS don't seem to get it! Was it LaVar really that bad? What about the guys who are on the team now?

And Jason, what's with going for a short pass on that 3rd and 1? I mean if your donig play action throw it down field and let's see what happens... And if your throwing the ball on 3rd and 1 and you miss you damn well better go for it on 4th.

That game pissed me off! Only good part was the burger and beer at CCR.

Posted by: Franky Four Fingers | October 9, 2006 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Post-game limerick
Impossible -- too tempting
To rhyme "suck" with "%#$!".

Posted by: HaikuMan | October 9, 2006 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Before I get to gloom and doom let me just say this. As bad as this game was it's not gloom and doom. The game that is kiling us right now is that Minnesota game.

We should have/could have won that. Losing to the Giants and Dallas at home isn't that bad. Everyone in the East is pretty much splitting wins at home.

Now onto what we now know.

Brunell can be a cog but he is no longer a spark. When the other players aren't making plays he is servicable and that's being charitable.

ST is regressing. He cannot cover WR's and should be used as an enforcer. He is not good enough (yet, if ever) to do some of the things they are asking him to do.

Before I get verbally abused. He's a very good players and stripped the ball. But he's not making his unit better. He makes great individual plays.

Archuletta OR Ryan Clark/Vinatieri and backup O-lineman. You get one guess and I hit you with a pin hammer if you start the sentence with the letter "A".

Springs return won't solve the issue of Barber going 5 running plays straight without being touched until six yards passed the line of scrimmage.

If we are two games below .500 after the bye Jason Cambell had better be starting. At this point I'm willing to give Brunell 2 more games if for no other reason than for everyone else to get more aclimated with the offense before we find out if the 10 pics given up for JC were worth it.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

JMan, all will be said today based on a HORRIBLE showing yesterday, but I would like to make one comment re Grilliams. Does ANYONE want to smack that stupid smurky face when he lets out the company line "we just need to work on our technique out there". I thought you just tackle the guy when he approaches you with the ball.

Third and long is something all teams are capitalizing on. LOOK AT THE FILM coaches.

Better secondary play and no one would be challenging the free agent class. Are they this bad or the D coach we lost to UCLA was actually pretty good, and Jerry Gray is not?

TJ for secondary help.

Nickie Boy get that leg ready. Johnny the Hook/ Can't Kick Off Hall is starting his midseason form.

Did our tackles look like statues yesterday, or were those just manicans(sp). Fauria, they call it blocking.

Fellas, Manster Sellers was trying to pump you up but you just wouldn't follow suit.

NO MORE FOX interviews. They are the front cover of SI for this team.


Posted by: coolio | October 9, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least the QBs are matched evenly on next week. They both average about 100 yards of passing.

O wait, at least Young can use his feet to make things happen, like scoring touchdowns.

Can anyone make a case not to go with Campbell?

Posted by: A Dog | October 9, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Anyone ready to get rid of that awful whit-on-white uniform combo? That changed the luck last year...let's get back to the burgundy pants to change it around this year!

Posted by: Jeff | October 9, 2006 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It was definitely not a pretty 'rah-rah' game like last week turned out to be, that's for sure. As much as we're maligning the defense here, considering they held the Giants to a 2-FG lead in the first half tells me they were making a decent attempt at keeping the game winnable, if not completely boxing in the Giant offense. (Darn that runny Barber twin - second coming of Emmitt Smith as far as a Redskins defense is concerned.) Of course, I'd prefer to see our cornerbacks actually challenging the opposing wide receivers once in awhile, rather than falling back 10 yards, screaming out "more cowbell!" and waiting for the Reaper to swing his scythe, but that's a different point....

The offense, though - ugh, where to start? We could pin things on our most fashionable target, Brunell. I've learned to hate two things - 1) the 11-to-15-step drop back, & 2) watching Mark try to throw DURING the 11-to-15-step drop back. When he planted and threw, he had some accurate short passes, but when he didn't, it was all flapjacks.

Perhaps we should lay some tar on the offensive line, too - either the Giants got their pants on straight in the bye week, or our true shard of kryptonite is the 6+ defender blitz? We couldn't even open a wafer-thin gap for CP to run through. What happened to the counter-tray revival we saw last week?

And as for the personnel management and playcalling, we can smear that some as well. Good lord, short yardage. Not only was there TJ Duckett, but there was Mike Sellers, too. We couldn't get either of those bowling balls into the game? And Cooley was getting open, with all eyes watching Clinton Portis. Why not throw to him more often? It would of helped open up the short game some measure, if not the passing game, as well.

I'm not usually a fair-weather fan. I've even gone to blows for the Skins in the past. I'm just getting a little green from the rocking boat that this has become. I just hope we improve as well as the Giants did with a bye week, if it's not too late by then.

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 9, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Angry I am as well....but putting the blame on Brunell is's difficult to make any passes when you are on your back or hurried...where was the O line protection? And what has happened to our stellar Defense - it's MIA this season. Springs cannot make that big of a difference....of course we are missing Pierson Prileau as well.

Doc Walker said it best this morning - if Brunell has time to step into the pocket he can make things happen - if not, he cannot.

We are just so inconsistent.....beat the Jags last weekend and they blew out the Jets yesterday but we can't even score on NY????

Posted by: Lisa | October 9, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey Jason,

Why do you think with the "geniuses" the Skins have on staff, that they can't prepare and motivate their players to play the game with passion and urgency every game?

Are the players just not bright enough to learn what they're being taught?

Joe Bugel is the king of offensive line coaches and yet his O-line can't run or pass block. They can't maul the opponents' defense like the Hogs did.

I hate to question Joe Gibbs but 3rd and 1 and you for a pass play?!?! They then decide to go for a field goal.

Gregg Williams is supposed to be a "genius" defensive coordinator and yet he can't draw up a scheme to limit the deficiences on his roster?!?! Better yet, he can't evaluate film well enough to know that Archuleta stinks in pass coverage or to draft Shawn Merriman instead of Carlos Rogers?!?!

If Jerry Gray is supposed to be a very good CB coach, how come he hasn't "taught" his players how to go about covering WRs?!? They've practiced for many hours since the spring and none of his players can stay with anybody?!?!

Maybe the "geniuses" aren't geniuses and they're just as dumb or not as bright as their own players. What do you think?

Posted by: Baller4Life | October 9, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Lisa I must disagree with you 100% here sweetie. Brunell cannot throw the ball deep. Which means all the teams are doing is bring up the safty to stop the run. And when he does have time he is not getting the ball to the wide outs. He just needs to go.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Here's the bottom line on the Skins:
Inconsistent Offense and Bad Defense = 2 and 3 Record.

Nothing should be surprising about Brunell's inconsistencies. We know we have to get the power running game going and beat teams off of that.

What is killing us is the reality that our Defense is plum BAD. No effective 1-on-1 pass rushers, no cover-corners who get burned long, and 2 safeties who both want to play LB,(and if we think the "return" of a 30 year old corner coming off of abdomen surgery is the answer, we are really drinking the Kool-Aid) . Seriously, GG has simply struck out this year with his D, and I'm tired of hearing about Wright and Rumph, when Rogers is the one who gets picked on down the stretch. For a #9 overall, so far the early returns are "not-living-up-to-expectations".

Posted by: pfu | October 9, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

A few thoughts:

1. I had no idea that Hall wasn't kicking off, since the Redskins only kicked off twice in the entire game.

2. Isn't it time to use our pricey 2nd round pick, Rocky McIntosh? Gregg Williams has such an ego about him and is so determined to break a rookie before playing him that he's let himself forget that McIntosh is potentially worlds better than Bears castoff Warrick Holdman. You've made your point, Gregg. Now put the best team on the field.

3. The white-on-white magic was property of last year's team. Now let's return to Fashion Sense 101.

4. I'm not a huge Brunell fan, but yesterday was definitely not his fault. He had an average of 3 seconds to throw on every dropback yesterday, and not one of us reading Jason's blog could possibly get off a pass in that amount of time. In fact, nearly every good play Brunell executed was of his own making. Brunell gets a "B-" for yesterday. The O-Line gets a "F."

Posted by: Dylan | October 9, 2006 10:37 AM | Report abuse

WOW that was so bad I left my friends house in the 3rd to drive home! I can't really think we are this bad, they just need to decide that they want to show up and play. I am sick of the mood swings. YUK! Is it too late to get on the Ravens bandwagon, I mean they look good.

Posted by: navypilot17 | October 9, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Jerry Gray on the Comcast interview after the game; "Uh well, we need Shawn Springs back out there." "And uh, all these new players they aren't picking up the system", "and uh, we are letting too many big plays over the top, and uh you can't live off of big plays", "and uh we might have to make some changes". Blabber, stammer, excuses, undisciplined play in the secondary, poor coverage, poor tackling. The hallmark of G. Williams coached corners was agressive, in your face coverage, not Rumph and Wright giving 10 yard cushions on third and two. And get Rogers some gloves with stickum all over them, I mean industrial strength stick-um. "Anvil hands" Rogers. Adam "the Runt" Archuletta, Sean "Grim Reaper" Taylor, Mike "the plush cushion" Rumph and Kenny "Orville" (last in flight) Wright. Reed "Da Div.2 Rowdy" Doughty even got some frantic confused action out there!

Change to WHOM? I might ask Mr. Gray? And instead of Uh guessing at the problem, how about FIXING IT! You are supposedly D coordinator material Gray....GET ON IT.

Posted by: JerryGray-Maybay-Baby | October 9, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Not directed at anyone in particular. I don't think alot of people are solely blaiming Brunell but it seems to me that this guy can only make a play when everyone else around him does.

It's like saying, well Carlos Rogers isn't that bad IF Sean Taylor is doubling up his reciever, Carter is pressuring the qb and Cornelius Griffin tips the pass.

The guy makes 5 Mill a year he should be able to make a play when things go wrong. He did it last year early on in the late season playoff run with his feet and it's not unreasonable to expect him to do it again.

If he can only be expected to make plays when the O-line blocks, the Running game is going off and the WR's are getting major seperation tell me why we can't ask Todd Collins or JC to do that?

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse


**X.Hog rolls over on the couch - a beer can that was sitting next to him falls to the floor on top of the half eaten pizza still in the box ... and asks,**

Is the game over yet?

Posted by: X.Hog | October 9, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

We have to be objective here. The Redskins are not a good football team. They're 0-3 in the NFC and 0-2 against the NFC East. They weren't competetive in their two NFC East games; they haven't even scored an offensive TD in these games!

There are just too many holes on this team. The defense is dreadful on all levels. Offensively, it's looking like the convergence of several poor personnel decisions this offseason, perhaps none greater than the hiring of Al Saunders. Going into Year Three of Gibbs 2.0, you would think that the offense would be ready to explode. Instead, you have two new WRs trying to understand Saunders' scheme, H-backs trying to figure out how to play TE or FB, and a 36 year old QB who's trying to orchestrate the whole thing. Really, this should have been a year of comfort for the entire offense...with Gibbs calling the plays in his offense. Don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing Saunders and his offensive philosophy. It's just looking more and more like the Skins are in transition when everyone thought that this would be the year for a serious Super Bowl run.

Posted by: Terry | October 9, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The problems on defense must be attributed to Gregg Williams. He has gotten it into his head that the cornerbacks are not good enough to cover man-to-man. And I think most reasonable fans would have to agree the guys we have are definitely not very good. But he is attempting to correct this problem by leaving more players in coverage. By leaving more players in coverage the Redskins are completely unable to mount any semblence of a pass rush. So the result is that opposing quarterbacks have all the time in the world to pick apart the coverage.
If Gregg Williams were to change his philosophy and send more creative blitz packages despite the lower level of cornerback play, one of two things would happen: 1) We would give up the big pass play or 2) We might cause the opposing QB to make a mistake or create a big play on defense. Since we're doing #1 anyway, is there really that much of a risk to try some exotic blitz schemes? If our players give up big plays anyway, isn't it worth a shot?
In yesterday's game the Giants had a third and one and the announcers pointed out that our cornerbacks were giving the Giant wide receivers a 10 yard cushion. Is this what the Redskins are relegated to? Now we concede first downs? For crying out loud we're an NFL football team, at least try to make them punt.
Our problems on defense have reexposed a familiar problem with our coaching staff. Someone once told me that the definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Unfortunately, the defensive scheme hasn't worked against a legitimate opponent this season. Until a change in scheme, the results will be the same.
(By the way, the score in this game was deceptive. The Giants shot themselves in the foot in the first half and the Skins were lucky to give up just field goals. A better opponent would not have been so generous.)

Posted by: throbster | October 9, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree with pfu, Rogers is much more disappointing than Wright or Rumpf. He lines up with a 10-12 yard cushion and turns and runs at the snap. After every completion in front of him he looks around and stomps his foot like it was someone else's fault. If Rod Gardner was "fifty-fifty," Rogers is "ten-ninety" with his hands of stone.

Posted by: fred | October 9, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What we saw yesterday isn't much different from the preseason so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise. You CAN'T compete in the NFL scoring 3 points in game, especially against a division rival.

Hopefully they threw away that one play where they had Brunell run a shove pass option with Randel El. That play is horribly designed.

And not sure why everyone always taking things out on Carter. He not that bad, he was in Manning face a few times yesterday and gives Williams a lot of flexibility with being able to cover a lot better then most d-line in zone blitz packages. Is he great? mmmmmm nope but I see some upside to having added him to the team. They made much bigger blunders the past few off seasons. Did they over pay for him? Nah the redskins would never do such a thing. : )

Posted by: DC | October 9, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

OK, this is getting depressing. Best to make some lemonade out of the lemon. Perhaps a new defensive back nickname competition?

Carlos "Call me 'Jackal' because I only come running in after the tackle's been made" Rogers? Mike "Speedbumph" Rumph?

Maybe not. I'm not getting any happier.

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 9, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

That was a group "effort" out there yesterday.. Lets see 0-3 in the conference.. Toast.. see you next year when hope is renewed.

Posted by: olduffer | October 9, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

This team plays its best when they commit to running the football. The last two weeks it seemed like the Skins were building a "run first" identity. Looked like they scrapped that yesteray -- 20 total carries.

The defense is a bad joke. Who thought that Sean Taylor covering Plaxico was a good idea? And what happened to blitzing? When they did bring the blitz, it was hesitant (e.g. Marshall, Lemar).

Between lack of running and blitzing, the Skins have gotten away from what they do best. I hang this loss more on play-calling than Brunell, Taylor, Holdman, or the O-line.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I am too depressed to type so I will just dwell on the only positives:

1. LaVar was not a factor. I only heard his name once, when he blocked that pass. We ended up with a first down on the next play anyway. The camera was on him the whole game (celebrating on the sideline, deservingly so for his team win, not individual effort). Giants seemed to have payed a lot for a part-timmer.

2. I won't have to worry about sending Danny-boy playoff ticket money so that he can sit on it for months making interest. This will also please my spouse!

3. At least BOOFER's team lost as well...

I shall return when I can think of constructive things to say.

Posted by: Art Monk HOF 2007 | October 9, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Typo: "Paid", not 'payed'...ugh!

Posted by: Art Monk HOF 2007 | October 9, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Flim, the Monday after a loss (esp. a bad one) is reserved for self-flagellation. We can make lemonade on Wednesday or Thursday.

That said, Mike Speedbumph Rumph is a good one. That might stick.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I tend to fault the players (and player selection) more than the coaching here. It's hard to coach around the players when they get manhandled at the line of scrimmage.

Al Saunders didn't cause this problem. He's simply failed to fix it. It's one of several games in the past two years in which the offense has been pretty much nonexistant (Last year: Chicago, most of @Dallas, @NY, Oakland, both playoff games, and all three losses this year).

The line can't protect the QB and there's only one starting-quality WR. That's a tough combination against a physical defense.

Posted by: Phil | October 9, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

You can always go wrong in the free agent market. Even the best GMs in the world fail at individual choices because of circumstances outside their control. But the fact is that when the Redskins signed Lloyd and Carter, at least they were making an effort to upgrade particular weaknesses from 2005.

So I'm not going to jump on that bandwagon, to castigate those selections as free agents.

But what I do have a tremendous problem with is how we selected the particular positions to spend money on. If one more person cries about Shawn Springs, I am going to puke. This is a guy who has been repeatedly injured in his career, and on many days that he played he was less than 100%. So the fact that the Skins pay enormous contracts for other positions, while dismissing the need for a solid backup CB, is ridiculous.

This was a grave, forseeable error that the Redskins are paying dearly for, even on the days they win. Lost in all the hoopla of the Week 4 win, was the obvious inability of the Redskins secondary to stop an average passing offense when it mattered.

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Boswell was right on this morning, this team never plays with emotion unless its a desperation game. The only guy I saw out there playing with ANY fire was Sellers. And I love 45, but he cant block 7 people on the same running play. You know its gonna be a bad day when Marcus Washington is getting run over.

Posted by: RIP Cooley's Afro | October 9, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Maybe those coaches are geniuses after all, Baller4Life! I mean, wouldn't you think it was ingenious to be able to swindle millions in yearly salaries out of a so-called brilliant businessman? What a waste! That defense is a joke, and no amount of scheming or even the return of ONE MAN is gonna fix it! The players just aren't good enough, and the coach is too busy counting his money, rather than evaluating game film of the opponents! The talent that we did have is doing quite well with other teams that know how to evaluate good talent. Ryan Clark is - what- STARTING for Pittsburgh? Antonio Pierce?

The offense has just as many issues. I'm still trying to figure out if Brunell just can't react fast enough to 'just throw the @#!! ball', or if the receivers aren't getting open. Sure, the O-Line can be like a siv at times, but more times than not, Brunell holds that ball just too long! There IS talent in this offense, but again, we have another coach counting his all money all the way to the bank while Lloyd, Duckett, Patton, Randel El, etc are left scratching their heads wondering whether or not they should just be happy with their money, too, or really give a care! I think the latter!

There has to be a major shake up of the status quo at Redskin Park. The daily rhetoric and 'stay the course' (where have I heard that!) attitude obviously isn't working. I'm a die-hard fan for life, but I'm also not shouting as loud as I used to - and THAT HURTS!

Posted by: Philir | October 9, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Before everyone starts ordering their cement shoes and jumping into the Potomac, let's get a little perspective.

The 'Skins are playing boring, uninspired football one week, amazing, electric football the next. They are massively inconsistent not just week to week, but drive to drive and play to play. To top it all off, they go up to New York and lay a big fat egg. Sounds like a similar refrain from last year.

St. Joe is a November/December/January coach. Next week is a winnable game against Tennessee (though, note that in the wild and wacky world of the NFL, even the Colts had a tough week this week and barely eked out a win against them). The week after is the monster game against the Colts heading into the bye. Last year, they were 5-6 before they pulled it together.

The fact is that the team is relatively healthy right now (only one starter hurt). If the team can remain healthy, they could make a push. As we all know, in these always strange NFL seasons it really does come down to "last man standing".

All of that said, you would expect a bunch of guys paid a heck of a lot of money to play a game would actually show up and perform. It was a truly pathetic performance all around.

I know the NFL is one big fraternity, and right now I suspect the 'Skins are as much a laughingstock as the Raiders and Texans. To have that much squandered talent is sad, really. Come on guys, get it together.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, they did some play-action early with the intention of going downfield. Brunell just never threw it. I'd guess you have to credit the defense on that.

Even then, the fact that they couldn't go downfield is a travesty. Wasn't impressed with Saunders's calls yesterday. Poor effort all around, but it's to be expected in NY. They always play like crap there.

That being said, I'm still not encouraged. And I won't be fooled when they run the Titans next week like they ran the Niners last year. It WILL be a similar whoopin'.

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 9, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Oh no.....the Brunell Bashers have resurfaced again! Please, get a life. Or, better yet, better educate yourself about the nature of the game.

It all starts at the line of scrimmage and yesterday niether the offensive or defensive lines showed up yesterday. Yes, Brunell's best years may be behind him, but when the running game is working (which is to say the Saunders system is fully functional) Mark's passing game flourishes. Surprise, surprise.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If you are gonna bash people and make such opinions put a name to it.

I can just as easily argue that had Brunell made plays under pressure they'd have backed off him and put their safeties in cover 2 allowing the running game to get started. NO ONE on a field can change a game like the QB so go get a some balls and educate yourself.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the Brunell defenders. The running game was actually working yesterday (why they insist on calling all these fancy plays when brute force "hand it to 2-6" seems to work is beyond me). But when Brunell was passing, he was mauled all game.

Credit the Giants. They pay the other guys, too. After laying their own big fat egg in Seattle, they came back with a vengeance. Such is the nature of the NFL.

It's a long season. Patience.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

It should be noted that I ascribe to three philosophies in life:

1. Never mess with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
2. Look both ways and wear clean underwear.
3. Always trust St. Joe in November and December.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Left the couch during the 3rd quarter to play football outside... I'll share with you my stats

8 tackles
2 sacks
1 forced fumble
1 deflected pass

3 catches
60 yards

My productivity was down on offense but the muddy fields slowed down the game and let me make plays on defense. All in all a good day and a great team effort. I am willing to play for a minimum league salary if Daniel Snyder is interested.

Posted by: Dorf | October 9, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sage advice P. Diddy. You forgot: Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I'd agree that it is a long season and that patience is prudent, but the Skins are already 2-3. A trip to Indy in two weeks probably puts loss #4 on the board. You can probably forget about 11-5 or 10-6 at that point. They're in bad shape. Basically have to sweep the Eagles and then win all of the other division games at home. Ugh.

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 9, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

After 5 weeks I have a feeling this team is going to be like this all year. One week great next week terrible. It's obvious our DB's are terrible maybe if they play 40 yds off the line instead of 20 they can cover the deep ball.

Jason...Where is Rocky Mcntosh? Why do I say this because Warrick Holdman is terrible he can't cover anyone and stop the run at all. He's a joke. Also, Lemar Marshall is our MLB who can't cover the middle of the field at all in Cover 2. I always see him and Rogers chasing people from behind down the field.

Posted by: calebt17 | October 9, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I was always Pro-Campbell since Pre Season. I just got in line when they put Brunell in there because I am still going to root for the team no matter who is playing. He keeps on buying himself some time with these performances that I would still call suspect. Texans are still the Texans and last week, out of his almost 300 yards passing, how much of them were YAC from Santana and the other recievers??

Brunell, has not demonstated anything this season that Campbell can not due, in fact he has proved he can't do some things that Campbell could possibly do, if given the opportunity.

Posted by: A Dog | October 9, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Its simple... Skins win when they run the ball and control the game. That did not happen and they got too far into a hole and ditched the run. We can talk about individual battles and who let us down yesterday, but it always comes back to running the ball and winning the game in the trenches. That's my Maddenism for the week. Enjoy!

Posted by: Dorf | October 9, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse


re: Walt Harris

How about an article or post about the decision of the Redskins to waive Walt Harris, which saved 2 million for salary cap purposes?

His replacement, Kenny Wright, has not been good. No one should necessarily blame Rumph as that was clearly a desperation trade that cost the Skins nothing. (Hi Taylor Jacobs!)

At the same time, Walt Harris is very much a part of why the 49ers have rebounded. He has already had a couple of dominant games.

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Pretty sure Walt Harris had something like three picks yesterday.

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 9, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

A Dog I am with you. I been saying since last year put Campbell in. Hell at least he can run when that weak o line breaks down. He has the arm to send it downfield when he does have the time. When Brunell does have the time he cannot get it down field. People look at how many passes he completed over 30 yards. A big fat 0. Most of the yards he gets are yac. Where is Rocky Mcntosh? Hell he can at least tackle be Tikki ran on that left side like somone stole something from him. (might have been the right bang my head from watching him break past the line all the time)

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Cindy give us your thoughts of the game.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

is available...

Greg Williams put some damn pressure on the opposing QB any way your defense can. If your players can't execute what you've laid out, then either change your plans or get people who can. I'm getting tired of this egomaniac.

Same thing with all these other coaches. If what you're teaching isn't working, then you have to change how/what you're teaching, because obviously it's not getting through to the players, except for the fact that the players aren't going to be held accountable for their poor play.

Posted by: Casserly | October 9, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

is available...

Greg Williams put some damn pressure on the opposing QB any way your defense can. If your players can't execute what you've laid out, then either change your plans or get people who can. I'm getting tired of this egomaniac.

Same thing with all these other coaches. If what you're teaching isn't working, then you have to change how/what you're teaching, because obviously it's not getting through to the players, except for the fact that the players aren't going to be held accountable for their poor play.

Posted by: Casserly | October 9, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

is available...

Greg Williams put some damn pressure on the opposing QB any way your defense can. If your players can't execute what you've laid out, then either change your plans or get people who can. I'm getting tired of this egomaniac.

Same thing with all these other coaches. If what you're teaching isn't working, then you have to change how/what you're teaching, because obviously it's not getting through to the players, except for the fact that the players aren't going to be held accountable for their poor play.

Posted by: Casserly | October 9, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

My aching back ... I carry stress in my back. Truthfully (and statistically and historically), I figured this one would have been a tough win anyway (NFC East away). In my wildcard playoff run, this one was allowed to be a loss (Vikings and Dallas at home, however, were not).
On the plus side, I figure that NOW Jason Campbell will get a chance to start this year, and Rocky should be in the game around the same time as Shawn Springs returns ... hopefully by the Colts game. I don't think they should risk re-injuring Springs on the Titans. Frankly, the only two games I really, really want to win this year are the Colts and the Falcons (and maybe the Saints) ... and not lose to the Eagles or Giants in FedEx. Its a simple request. Also, for next year, I'd like to see them find someway to avoid the cap burden of Archuleta and find a good safety, preferably in the draft. Admittedly, Springs is in his 11th year, so maybe we could package up some of the veteran free agent busts and trade for a cornerback. Also, we will need a new tackle to replace Jansen soon, but maybe in the draft for the following year. How much is left on St. Joe's contract? Isn't this the year that was supposed to be the go-for-broke year?

Posted by: dcsween | October 9, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

>>> "Never get involved in a land war in Asia"

Or, as it turns out, in the Middle East.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

howdy! unlike the skins, you guys were on top of your game, especially with friday's blog. and thanks, jm220, for the 5 tccls. i think we should have a coronation for meg, who really co-rules with jason. i'm off fridays and saturdays, and i actually didn't have time to do the blog thang this weekend. i missed it and vow to never do anything on my days off again.
my thoughts on the game were two....oy and vey.
the skins were thrashed, whupped. i didn't really think they'd win, but i didn't think it would be this bad. there are so many areas of concern: the dinky passes that don't convert into yacs; john hall's leg (suddenly. gaaacccck.); the running game; dolomite's shoulder; the o-line; the secondary (the colts have plenty of weaknesses, but manning-to-harrison isn't one of them. yes, i'm looking past tennessee, altho i like jeff fisher.); grilliams (where do i start there?).
i do believe that coach joe knows what he's doing in november and december. but this team went 1-3 after last year's loss to the gints. 1-3 now would be 3-6!!!
also, i wonder whether the gibbs approach this time, as more of a nascar ceo, really works in the nfl. bless him for having a healthier mindset, but he's at .500 now since his return.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Clearly this team play well only when the backs are up against the wall.

This result and effort was predictable.

Posted by: Brick Tamland | October 9, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I bleed Burgundy and Gold but I'm not sure we can beat TN. Not playing like we did yesterday. Very, very discouraging -

The Caps scored more points than the Skins....that is a shame!!!

Posted by: Lisa | October 9, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The only positive is that, though we're 0-2 in the division, we have yet to play a division game at home. The bad news is we probably can't win at home, either.

We're still just 2-3. I don't think it's time to freak out yet, but we're getting there.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 9, 2006 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what happened to my post. Off in the ether, I suppose. Here's what I said, although the spontaneity is gone:

Awful. Abysmal. Dreadful. Pathetic (with apologies to Megskin). This is what happens when the Redskins play a division rival? It's a rivalry almost as intense as the Cowboys rivalry. They can't get up for this? The Redskins can't muster anything more than a field goal with all those offensive weapons? And they're getting torched for deep plays down the middle? I'm in disbelief.

Jason, just what is with TJ Duckett? Why would they trade for him to sit him? I don't get that one either.

Posted by: Deanna | October 9, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Deanna I think he might play this weekend. If the are smart they will rest CP. He looked like that shoulder my have given him a problem. (that was great block he put on LaVar) No matter how many weapons you have. If your QB doesn't have the arm to get it to them it is not going to matter. We need to see Campbell then we will know if we have a furture QB or not.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Listen for once and for all...

if Cambell is really better, at this moment, than Brunell, than the coaches would have already started him. He isn't, so lay off Brunell. He might not be the best QB in the league, but he's proved that he can still win games and take us to the playoffs (something Cambell would not do this year).

Andre Carter is the biggest bust. We got him so that we can but pressure on QBs like Manning and Bledsoe, who are in our division. He has not been seen at all this year. Kenny Wright needs to be taken off the field. On a big third and short play, he was giving toomer a 10 yard cushion (so Toomer easily caught a 4 yd curl pass for a first down).

We're are 2-3 (probably 3-3 after next week). Stop all this dumb Brunell benching talk. If we had a better option, we would have used it already. Lets just get our team right for the Indy game, and take it from there. 11 games left. Noone needs to panic yet.

Posted by: DC Luv | October 9, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The Skin's defensinve problems are due to poor personnel decisions made over the last couple of offseasons as well as the ego of the defensive coaches. Their ego states that their scheme can overcome any chemistry developed amongst the high performing defenses of the last 2 years. This coupled with Vinny's eye for talent (gag) gives us the wrong mix of players on the field. Archuletta is a good player but is he a good player for this team? I think the price to keep Ryan Clark, Smoot and the middle linebacker who went to NY (name excapes me at the moment) would have been worth far more than the loss of chemistry and performance we're now experiencing.

As for the offense, let's just say, just like the defense, it's player who strap it up and go one-on-one regardless of the scheme.

Anyway, Skins fan forever!!!

Posted by: FW | October 9, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

jm, maybe you're right about Duckett playing this weekend. He HAS played -- a little -- since he arrived in Washington. But the trade doesn't make much sense to me.

I don't have enough of an American football brain to know what needs to be done. Perhaps bring in a General Manager as a start? (As I recall, talent evaluation wasn't Gibbs' strong suit.) I do see lack of chemistry (as has been mentioned here several times). I do see players that don't seem to be stepping up. I see a bunch of assistant head coaches who are supposed to be some of the best in the NFL. But they're not putting a prepared team on the field. What's with the penalties? The defensive breakdowns? The failure to keep Brunell upright? The failure of the offense to throw the ball down the field on a consistent basis?

I don't know the answers. But the problems are obvious to anyone.

Posted by: Deanna | October 9, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm not jumping on Mark Brunnell yet, but he always plays on the road like he's scared.
Can anyone tell me what Greg Williams is thinking? We have two statue like quarterbacks in our division and you play coverage type defenses. Blizz dummy. Did you see Plilly yesterday? Blizz, after blizz and blizz somemore , results Bledsoe 3 INTS. When Philly played NY Giants, blizz, blizz and more blizzing, results EManning turnover machine before Philly lost momentum. Say it with me all, Blizz you idoit. Oh yeah stop telegraphing the blizz if they can see it coming they can stop it and try going up the middle, instead of around the corner for a change. Quickest route to the Qb is a straight line. If you are going to be aggresive then be that, cut out all that sit back and cover.

Posted by: Don Redskin | October 9, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jason, because I'm such a nice guy and because you deserve to spend more time with your kid, I've gone ahead and written up all the notes from St. Joe's press conference later today:

- We did some good things at time, but overall it was an inconsistent performance.
- It was a whole team loss, it's all of us.
- The problems start with me.
- We need to look deep in ourselves and work together to find a solution.

Lather, rinse, repeat!

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I wish all you Brunell defenders would just listen to what others are saying. I'm not saying that JC will give us a better chance of winning. I just don't know.(Nor do any of you for that matter. Big Ben and now Rivers are good examples of that.) My point is how much worse do you think we'll be? Name one WOW play from Brunell this year. (Not a play where Moss, CP or ARE made something happen with the ball)

What some of us are saying is: If Brunell is serviceable and not the future I'd rather take my lumps now. There are only two options with Cambell. Either never start him or you take your lumps while he learns.

Would you rather go into next year with Brunell, with Cambell having his first start, or with Cambell having 8 or 9 games under his belt and a bit of chemistry with his teammates.

I'm not blaiming all this on Brunell. But he's hardly done much when we needed him to step up and make a play. So far all he has shown me is that he can play well when everyone else does.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

DC luv Brunell will not get us to the playoff. He has shown last season and this year he is unable to get the ball downfield. Even you can see that. Don't you think all D coaches in the league know to beat the Skins you have stack the line and stop the run. Even Strahann said we knew to win we had to stop CP. In other words we know the QB is not good enough to win. Brunell doesn't have another season in him (if you ask me he doesn't even has this year) so we need to see what Campbell has now. Not next year and then go oh we need a QB because Campbell doesn't have it. And remember Coach Gibbs is very loyal to his QB. I love that about him but damn it he is hurting the team.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Amen! Skinz you got it brother. Let's take our lumps now. He can do everything that Brunell do (and run which Brunell seems to never do).

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Williams can't blitz like he did last year because the personnel he has out there is different than last year. You know a coach will never disparage a player in public (or at least, a Gibbs staff never would), but you have to see that the reason they're not blitzing is that they don't have as much confidence in Shawn Springs' replacement du jour as they do in Springs himself.

As for telegraphing blitzes, they're trying to time the blitz with the opposing QB's cadence. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But right now with Springs out, the only way they can blitz effectively is to try and do that. All blitzes are gambles, and given the state of the defensive backfield that's the best they can do.

Finally, on the subject of defense: you guys are whining about a defense that gave up nineteen points. In the NFL, if you hold the other team to nineteen points, you better be able to win the game. Say what you will about giving up the big plays, and they are concerning, no doubt about it, but the end result is nineteen points.

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Did the Skins make the playoffs last year with Brunell? I can't remember...

Did Brunell get flack last year? I can't remember.

Should Brunell be criticized for not throwing deep, but instead letting CP, Santana Bandana, and ARE make plays happen? I'm not sure.

I love the skins and have been a lifelong fan. I'm just sad that Washington has the greatest amount of bipolar fans in the country. Reading this post week to week, an outsider wouldn't know what to think of Brunell.

Reading all these hating posts makes me question alot of things I guess.

Brunell doesn't need to throw deep. 10 yd slants and screen to Moss and ARE can turn into 60 yd TDs out of nowhere. Let's just be patient. This year looks alot like last year, and we did alright last season I'd say.

Posted by: DC Luv | October 9, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

P Diddy I not am not whining about the D. To give up 19 points is a good stand. Yes, there are room for improvement. I whinning with the offense that could only get 3 points. Like I said Campbell can produce three points. Let's see what we have in him.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Someone needs to let Gibbs know that God will forgive him for benching Brunnell. Jesus has asked that Mark go work with Danny Weurful to spread the good word. It was really compassionate of Gibbs to let Brunnell get his swan song in against the Texans.
The time for Campbell is now.

Posted by: Realist | October 9, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

People, people, have some perspective. I too am angry about losing, but it's not the end of the season--or the world. We NEVER play well up there, look at Gibbs' record there lifetime, it's pretty bad. We lost there last year and guess what? We still made the playoffs. Brunell isn't going anywhere, and Saunders was a great addition to a great coaching staff. It's a long season and we are just past the quarter mark--there is a lot of meaningful football left to be played. I'm not saying there aren't real issues, like the secondary, but springs WILL help. Not a fix-all solution the day he comes back, but it will help to have a pro-bowl corner on the field. Please, please read Wilbon's column if you feel like jumping off a building today--it offers some great perspective. And I'm not even a very big fan of his redskins writing. I don't know about any of you, but when I look at the schedule every year, I chalk up the division road games as losses and the division home games as wins. Now, that isn't a given, ever, but it is the reality of the nfc east that winning on the road rarely happens. Ask dallass. The Giants were desperate and HAD to win. We did not. Not an excuse for a poor game, but the truth. Look at the second half of the skins' schedule and tell me you don't see a lot of very winnable games. I know I do.

If Williams used all of his best blitzes in september and october, would he fool anyone in Nov/Dec? Just wondering aloud...

Posted by: WrongDog | October 9, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Sage advice P. Diddy. You forgot: Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Continuing in this vein...we fell victim to one of classic blunders: playing the Giants in the Meadowlands. We should have poisoned our own goblet, not both.

Seriously, how often do we win up there? The only way we at the Meadowlands is if Hoffa's corpse floats up on the fifty yard line and causes Tiki to fumble.

Let's start the worrying if they lose next week.

Don't Panic.

Stay strong.

And stay away from the kool-aid; take horse tranquilizers instead. Works for me.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

DC Luv you make my point. Campbell can throw 10 yard slant. But he can also go deep which pulls the safety from the line. Which opens it up for CP. I am a life long fan but I am also a person that realize the truth. Brunell cannot win a game for us.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Megskin you are going to have all the men with blog crushes on you. lol Now that made my day. I in Jersey with nothing but Giants fans (yes I am in Hell) and you made my day with that post. lol

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice a very effective Ryan Clark playing for Pittsburgh last night? Sure could've used some of that play in the Washington secondary.

Posted by: Diva | October 9, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Diddy, you summed up Joe's Monday meet and greets with the media pretty well.

I agree there are problems with personnel, but Grilliams has a lot of say in that as well. They wanted depth CBs who made the vet minimum - that's what they got. They didn't want Clark, thought Arch was tougher, stouter and an overall upgrade. They targeted Carter as the guy to get the D Line over the hump.
None of it has worked to this point. Not saying the season is over, but they're in another big early hole and anyone thinking this D is going for the okey-doke. 411 yards a week after giving up 6 explosive pass plays and 30 yards at home. Come on.
That 19 points could easily have been at least 30 - TD overturned on penalty and missed FG.
They got's problems on the D.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 9, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Skinz, jm220, ya'll are off the ball on Brunell. I didn't hear you all complain when he threw the frozen rope to Santana to win the game last week... Campbell isn't going to get valuable experience either when the offensive line resembles a turnstile.

Cambell will have his time... Seriously, a week after Brunell sets a consecutive completion record (much kudo's to Patten for that, he should buy that man a new car for the punishment he took on that catch) and goes wild last week (much kudo's to Santana again)...

What we should really be up in arms about is the idiocy behind not seeing Duckett and Sellers more on short yardage, and our supposed "dirtbags" on the offensive line being too prissy to block some good pass rushers... how long would that defense last behind a pounding running game that never materialized? sigh...

Posted by: Gregarious | October 9, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else enjoy the commentators as much as I did? *barf*

They win an award for worst evah. They talked about how great a game Lemar was having, so I turn on the radio and Sam, Sonny & Doofus are talking about Lemar needing to get his act in gear.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Gregarious if you go back to last week post. I said" JLC I give Brunells he's do but will still like to see Campbell. Mark my words right here and right now.He will have a good showing against the Titians to fool us. Then the real Brunell will come out again againts the Colts. (the one that produce 3 points yesterday and the one that has look awful in the first two games)

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Good call Megskin, thank you. It's all about keeping yourself close and then getting hot when the time is right--like December. Look at the skins last year, or, even better, pittsburgh last year. Everyone in the league wants to be the 14-2 colts, but when they don't win it all, who cares about their record in the regular season? Pitt got hot when it counted and we just need to stay in contention right now.

Posted by: WrongDog | October 9, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

If I never hear Dick Stockton saying "___ was shaken up" again, it will be too soon. Made me wish for Sonny, Sam, and Frank (I know he's not there anymore, but he was when I lived there).

Posted by: Deanna | October 9, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Look, we know Gibbs isn't getting rid of Brunell unless he breaks a leg or someone slips him a dose of iocane.

Knowing Brunell perhaps he has spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder. Then again, as everyone knows iocane comes from Austrailia. And Austrailia is entirely made up of...I'll stop now.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's just replace the commentators with the following people:


Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Well Megskin I been telling all of the Giants fans that have come past my desk today. They could have thrown us a bone by taking care of Brunell.

Posted by: jm220 | October 9, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

jm220: They're too smart for that. They'd like to see him and his happy feet again.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Gibbsy let me down after that 3rd and 1. We were finally flowing on a drive and needed two TDs to tie it up and he sends ol' man Hall out to shank a long one. Go For it, man! This is supposed to be a power team.

Posted by: Mayor of NW | October 9, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"They're too smart for that."


Again, JM and myself aren't blaiming Brunell for all of our Ills. It's a question of Gain vs. Loss. In my opinion i'm not convinced that we lose that much if JC comes in because I don't think Brunell is making plays.

I think their is a tremendous upside to starting JC, perhaps not even this year, but certainly in the future.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think their is a tremendous upside to starting JC, perhaps not even this year, but certainly in the future.

No-no, that's just silly. When Brunell is washed up we can trade JC for Dante Culpepper.

Think of what you're getting:

o Veteran Quarterback

o Knows when to throw the ball away

o Immobile

o Really fights his guts out

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

OK, before I throw more fuel on the pro- and contra-Brunell fire with my long, drawn out, windbaggy whinging, I will say this. I hope that I will be proven wrong in thought and belief, and that Brunell can lead this team onwards and upwards. I hope that someday, down the road, I can pull out an NFL DVD of future seasons of the Redskins with Mark Brunell at the helm, and reminisce happily as a John-Facenda-gut-stirring baritone muses mightily about Mark Brunell, leader of the Redskins to victory and fufillment. If that were to come true, I would be happy. At current trend's rate, however, it's just not. Please don't label me as a bad fan because of it.

Now, to the meat and potatoes. Several trends of Mark's are worrisome, IMO. Namely, there's dropping out of pocket, throwing on the run, and his scrambling off to one side or another. Why are they scary?

First, the dropbacks. The offensive line does deserve some criticism - they have had penalties and coverage breakdowns. However, how one can pin everything on the line when what they're trying to protect is constantly dropping backwards and away from them is a bit ludicrous. A blocker sets into blocks - you cannot block and run backwards at the same time.

Maybe Mark is a bit hit-shy; I don't blame him, as he's getting up there in years, and he'd be a little less able to bounce back from a bruising. However, this leads him to drop back at the slightest indication of an overload rush. Ironically, swamping the front line with players is also a good way to stop a running attack, as well. If the quarterback's going to run if there's more heads coming at him than blockers, and you can ground Clinton Portis before he can get chugging in the backfield with an overload, why would a defense do anything else?

And then there's the scrambling itself. If Mark plants and throws, he is still an accurate passer in the short and medium range - the Jacksonville game is a prime example of this sort of passing. But when he throws on the run, the off-the-heel toss is marked by a wobbly, shaky, inaccurate quack of a fling, dead meat for defenders to swat or take.

Even worse, by running to the right or the left, he's cutting the field in half. How hard is it to figure out what side Mark will be throwing to when he makes for a sideline? Is it any wonder why defenses seem to know where the pass will be going, and are 'double teaming' in coverage?

Most problematic is how scrambling affects the quick passing scheme we're purportedly using. Scrambling eats up time that could be used to throw a quick shot to any of our receivers when they can get open. By the time Mark can get the ball out of his hands after a scramble, the coverage will have converged on the target receiver. That's not the way to do the quick pass.

OK, windbag, you might be saying to yourself, should we change QBs?. The answer is no. As much as I want to believe Campbell is ready, my brain tells me 'not yet'. (Hopefully they don't give the poor kid a Ramseying). And Todd Collins? I think he's there just in case Brunell or Campbell have a question about what The Assistant Man Upstairs is calling down from the heavens. So it's Brunell, then.

If Mark will just stay in the pocket, risk an occasional hit, let the pocket develop, and properly plant and throw, I think things will open up quite nicely for both the running and passing game. He will hit those zippers for the Flanker Trinity to exploit. He'll bring Cooley into the game, and when the linebackers have to break into coverage, CP will have a chance to run with the bulls. If Mark continues to bust out of the pocket, though, there'll be uglier things to come.

Sorry for the book, folks, but this is one of the few places I feel comfortable enough to blow the smokestack in. Back to our normal self-flagellation.

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 9, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The last one should be:

Fights his gosh darn guts out.

Besides in 8 years when Brunell is washed up Culpepper will probably be retired or Saunders will be fired.

Ok, ok no more rhyming i mean it. Anyone wanna peanut?

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Stop rhyming and I mean it!

Posted by: P Diddy | October 9, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I hope [...] Mark Brunell, leader of the Redskins to victory and fufillment

I have these little tabs with pink&purple ponies stamped on them. Your welcome to them.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

losing to the giants and cowboys on the road isnt bad...but not showing up for either game is rediculous...i blame the coaches...poor game aggressiveness or attacking on either side of the ball...

they needed to attack the weak secondary of the giants and they did not...and where was all of that creative play calling that got the ball into our playmakers hands the last two weeks?

grilliams said he'd rather play conservative and not blitz manning and leave our secondary exposed...NOTE TO GRILLIAMS...our secondary gets exposed either can you plan to let a qb like manning have all day? sending archulleta in on an obvious blitz is still going to force a quicker pass and is no less risky than leaving him back in coverage...force the qb to beat you...sure we will give up the occasional big play...but were not stopping that attacking isnt going to yield much additional damage...but it will yield less time and the occasional mistake by the qb...

stupid, stupid, stupid game plan!!!

ball control...too much emphasis on our offense controling the ball and the clock...trying to force a running game on the 2nd best running defense in the about pass and expose a weak secondary with the dink and dunk and truly going virtical down field...

or how about this...using your defense to support ball control...attack and get them off the fied...sure we are going to give up the occasional big play but at least it gets the D off the field sooner and many times its going to get a stop and get them off the field...playing conservative D allows teams to control the ball, the clock and sustain drives...which keeps your offense off the field...

case in point, the opening drive of the second half and the 98 yard drive...lets sit back and watch ol' Eli do it to us all day long...

the scouting report said to pressure eli and make him beat said they are #2 in run defense and #29 (?) in pass defense...our game plan reflected the opposite!!!

sure there were bad plays, mistakes and poor execution by our players but a better game plan would have allowed them to be more successful...

that 3rd and 1 play where we passed (i think we were in the red zone or close to it)...not a bad call...sellers was wide open in the flat...brunnel forced the pass into cooley who was triple teamed...bad play by brunnel but i dont blame him for the game...

we've lost 3 games because of poor non aggressive and non creative passive game plans and we've won 2 games because we were aggressive and creative with the attacking game plans...on BOTH sides of the ball...

we may yield more points when we play aggressive/attacking D but it also turns into more opportunities, better field position and more momentum pumped back into the offense when we do...

same thing on the other side of the ball...

id rather win 31-30 (or lose by that score for that matter) because we were aggressive on both sides of the ball than lose 19-3 or 19-16 or 27-10 by playing passively...

our FA are busts because we arent playing to their strenghts...go out and over pay a Safety that cant cover to cover...get a speedy receiver to stretch the opposing d and dont throw to him deep (and one play on 3rd and 13 when all you really need is the first down...when your already down by 16 and the defense is playing not to give up the big play) DOES NOT COUNT!!!

JLC...does gibbs get in the way of grilliams or saunders? is he the fault of any of this conservative play calling/game planning? im starting to think he is on the sideline over rulling their creativity? dont blitz here...or i need another run here...maybe there are too many cooks in the kitchen... not giving up on anyone (brunnel, couches or FAs) or the season but this was...fack it...not even worth discussing any more...out!

(that was a winable game or at least one that should have been a battle to the end)

Posted by: deadskin | October 9, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

somebody might have already said this but i am not gonna read 90 comments...

Two weeks in a row we have not gone on 4th and 1 when we should have. Against the jags we got lucky because they couldn't get a TD. This week when we had an iota of momentum we killed it by attempting a 42 yarder. I like Hall. Best since the good days of Chip. But the skins were down by two scores late in the third and hadn't shown anything until that drive. If we had scored a TD that drive who knows what would have least the score would be more respectable.

Not going on 4th and 1, when statistics clearly show you should, is the negative aspect of having old school coaches. However, if Gibbs can't win the superbowl nobody can, hail.

Posted by: chillsonic | October 9, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

this reminded me of a spurrier "coach 'em up" type effort!!!

Posted by: deadskin | October 9, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to address a post by P Diddy. When you blitz you are not timing the quarterbacks cadence, you are blizzing to disrupt the play. I'll give you an example from yesterdays game. Third down, Eli Manning in shotgum formation with Jacobs on his left. Redskins are blizzing from his right, which Eli spots, he shifts running back to his right, snaps ball, blitzer is picked up, Giants first down. That's telegraphing. How is it that the Giants secondary is sorry, Philly's secondary is banged up but all of them blitz , Dallas secondary is suspect but they blizz us too. If you blizz and it's not picked up the QB has maybe 3 seconds to complete a pass. Now you telling me that the Washington Secondary can't cover for three seconds. My opinion is G Williams has lost his fast ball. If you going to go, go all out.

Posted by: Don Redskin | October 9, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Another thing. The Giants jump shot taunting is tantamount to Terrel Owens prostrating on the star in Dallas. But in that game Emmitt Smith had the pride not to let him do it again. Where was the pride from the skins? They were like beaten dogs. If I were Gibbs I would have allowed one of my players to pop one those giants for prides sake.

Posted by: chillsonic | October 9, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

pdiddy/don redskin...

the point is...blitz...keep the defense guessing...just like on offense where you try to keep the defense guessing...

id never complain about giving up 19 points...but to not blitz and to let them take 8 mins off the clock to start the second half and then i dont know how much time came off the clock on the 98 yard drive...a few blitzes might have shaken some things up...might have made something happen...probably would have gotten the D off the field at some point...even if it was a least the D would have been off the field...

i dont know that they should be timing anything especially if its not working and they are only telegraphing their intentions...that one play with the corner blitzing was rediculous...

id rather have him blitz after the snap straight out of coverage and catch them off guard...he may not get the sack, he may not "hurry" the pass by definition...but at least when archeletta was blitzing and getting picked up against jacksonville (they cant hold the block all day), it was forcing leftwitch to get rid of the ball fairly still shortened the time the DBs had to still forced the QB to get rid of the ball...

johnson, bledsoe, leftwitch and mannaing all picked us apart when we dropped everyone back...we've been more successful when we've forced them to make plays and beat us rather than sitting back and hoping they dont...

Posted by: deadskin | October 9, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Jason: help me, man. Help me understand. I'm out here in Santa Cruz, CA, loving beautiful paradise and getting my Redskins news via the web. I don't have Sonny, Doc or anyone live to tell me what's what.

Is it too much to ask for you or someone to post the Redskins VARSITY schedule -- the guys who blew up the Jags -- so I can skip the JV games, like the guys who lost to the Giants? I hate wasting my time watching the 9th graders line up against professionals. Thanks!

Posted by: Cruzer | October 9, 2006 9:17 PM | Report abuse

can anyone say over react. unbelievable. yes the game stunk and we got our asses kicked. look back at any nfl teams season record and you can probably pick 2-3 games where they just didn't play well. give it a rest. better yet, go back to last weeks blogs and read your own words

you guys crack me up. the skins are 2-3 and have shown they are very inconsistent. but they have improved over the first 2 games in many ways.

what is clear to me is that if our o and d lines are not competetive, you can throw all the coaching strategy out the window because we are going to lose.

my hope is that gibbs will do as always and find a way to get the team to run the ball, be it cp, lb, or tj. gibbs coaches smash mouth football and that's what we need right now

Posted by: cosmofla | October 9, 2006 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not under the illusion that the Redskins are a better team than the Giants and thus should have won this game, so I am disappointed, but not too surprised, by the outcome. The Giants had two weeks to prepare, they were at home, they were relatively healthy, and they needed to win this game to avoid starting 1-3. The 'Skins were simply outplayed and outcoached this time around.

"Randle El is the truth, the rest of them seem lost."

Jason, I wouldn't be even that charitable. They're giving Randle El a big chunk of coin, and looking at his overall production through five games -- 20 offensive touches for 121 yards, and punt return average that ranks 25th in the NFL -- I'd say that the Redskins have not been very economical with the truth.

Posted by: drew | October 9, 2006 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey there Drew. I think ARE has shown some real skill with the ball in his hands whether catching, running or returning.
They just need to get it there with a little more frequency.
Sure, they overpaid big time for him, but I don't even factor that in anymore. It's who they are and what they do. This cat looks like a player. The rest of the free agent class, well ...

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 10, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'd say at this point ARE is the only one who has not been a disapointment. If you want to blaim someone for the size of his paycheck look towards management.

ARE's punt returns haven't been that great but he's fair caught alot of balls that he should have.

He is used effectively as a decoy. Made some catches (certainly compared to lloyd) and made good decisions on plays (running instead of throwing on that end around pass)

Posted by: Skinz | October 10, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

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