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OL Injuries Change Cooley's Role

Tight end Chris Cooley is the most reliable target for Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell. He led the team with 83 catches last season, and was ahead of that pace 22 receptions over the first four games -- again, most on the team.

But in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers, Cooley went without a catch. The last time that happened: Nov. 7, 2004, at Detroit, in the middle of Cooley's rookie year. More stunning than that: Campbell didn't target Cooley on a single pass Sunday.

The reasons, though, are fairly simple. When starting left tackle Chris Samuels went down with a stinger injury in the first quarter and was replaced by D'Anthony Batiste -- who appeared in just the fifth NFL game of his career -- Coach Jim Zorn called plays in which Cooley had to stay in and block.

"It changes how we call plays because now Cooley has to stay in and block more often than getting out," Campbell said. "That's the reason we couldn't get him involved in the offense because we had to use him in protection."

Santana Moss led the Redskins with four catches for 44 yards. Fred Davis, a second-year tight end who was used along with Cooley, caught a career-high three passes for 23 yards.

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 11, 2009; 6:46 PM ET
 
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Comments

We all wish for Danny to sell the team and Vinny to get fired. But they are not an easy excuse for the failure of Jim Zorn.

He came here to do one thing - develop JC and assemble a WCO.

He has failed at doing this in even a rudimentary way.

Joe Gibbs power-run game carried him through the first 8 games of last year. Now that CP26 has worn down, there is nothing. NOTHING. Zilch. No signs of progress. No indication of development.

The man just needs to be fired.


Posted by: p1funk | October 11, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Cooley needs to stay in and block...

...because our Olinemen after Chris Samuels are bottom-of-the-barrel no account excuses for linemen.

Posted by: p1funk | October 11, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

kman2, that's actually a profound point. I've read somewhere (Boswell ?) that JC's QB rating on 1st down is excellent. Even normalized for other QB's rating on 1st down (probably higher than average since the defense has to play pass/run), it's still very very high. If we can get to 2nd and 5 on a consistent basis, that would make things TONS easier. I would love to see a breakdown on Redskins plays and drives when they throw on 1st down (or even when they run but gain 5 or more yards) vs when they don't...

Posted by: hailbg | October 11, 2009 6:51 PM

Posted by: hailbg | October 11, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

kman2, that's actually a profound point. I've read somewhere (Boswell ?) that JC's QB rating on 1st down is excellent. Even normalized for other QB's rating on 1st down (probably higher than average since the defense has to play pass/run), it's still very very high. If we can get to 2nd and 5 on a consistent basis, that would make things TONS easier. I would love to see a breakdown on Redskins plays and drives when they throw on 1st down (or even when they run but gain 5 or more yards) vs when they don't...

Posted by: hailbg

Posted by: hailbg | October 11, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If they need Cooley to block, he's going to have that role for the rest of the season. Or most of it.

This line isn't going to get better.

Just one more cheery note to consider.

Boy, Sam Baker would be a heckuva lot more useful to this team than Thomas and Davis.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 11, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

That is a BS excuse.....i just went back and FF through the game on DVR and Cooley was out on almost every pass play.....They simply did not throw his way!

Posted by: leevi98 | October 11, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

...because our Olinemen after Chris Samuels are bottom-of-the-barrel no account excuses for linemen.

Posted by: p1funk | October 11, 2009

Hmmm, well 2 3rd round pick guards in Dockery and Rineheart, plus a late round selection by the Ravens at center. And 2nd rounder Davis was known for his blocking at TE. I would like to know why he wasn't "kept in to block"?

Again, its really at tackle that they are most vulnerable, and center if Rabach goes down. They needed to draft 1-3 tackle/guard with a center LAST YEAR. Not more-than-one "beast" for the defense. It was 4th ranked wasn't it?

Posted by: periculum | October 11, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Are we ready to work on the O-line now?
With no disrespect intended to the current line, there is a huge gap in talent from the top of the depth chart to the next level.
Next subject - who's not listed with the starters next Sunday - Zorn or Campbell?
And would someone please check the league rules - can we trade the owner?

Posted by: qpalzm2 | October 11, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I just told my wife, "Since we are in Texas, maybe we need to be Texans fans".... not 5 seconds later, Schaub throws a pick 6 to Rogers-Cromartie...

Maybe the SKins don't suck,... Maybe it's ME?

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | October 11, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Boy, Sam Baker would be a heckuva lot more useful to this team than Thomas and Davis.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 11, 2009

Could have gotten a fairly decent OT where they selected Kelly as well. Two would just about made it.

Posted by: periculum | October 11, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Its nice to see Portis finally scored after 13 games ...

Posted by: periculum | October 11, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Let the Jim Zorn termination watch begin

Posted by Mike Florio on October 11, 2009 6:25 PM ET
With the Redskins finally managing to blow a game against a team that previously had lost every game it had played, and with "consultant" Sherm Lewis in place to absorb some of coach Jim Zorn's duties, it's not too early to start wondering when Zorn will be fired.

Early rumblings are that owner Dan Snyder is livid in the wake of Sunday's loss to the Panthers, which hardly qualifies as a surprise.

And firing Zorn won't be a surprise, either. The only question is whether Snyder wants to give Zorn a chance to beat the 0-5 Chiefs next week -- or whether Snyder realizes that firing Zorn might enhance the likelihood of doing so.

Either way, Zorn and I currently have an equal chance of being head coach of the Redskins in 2010. What remains to be seen is whether one of us will have the job next week at this time.

Posted by: snydercash4clunkers | October 11, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

What wretchedness hath been bestowed upon thyne home football team?

This team is starting to make my brain erode and talk in non football speak. I know I shouldn't watch any more games but it's like watching a train wreck. I'm screwed!

Posted by: richs91 | October 11, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Shawn Springs making a defensive stop.

Posted by: TWISI | October 11, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"Fred Davis, a second-year tight end who was used along with Cooley, caught a career-high three passes for 23 yards."

Career-high = 23 yards! Keep up the good work Vinny...

Posted by: tony11 | October 11, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess that the team is buying into Zorn's concept of staying Medium. IMO Medium means: average, mediocre;.500 or below;middle of the pack;50/50. They have bought the Medium concept hook line and sinker and are continuing to sink week after week.

Posted by: pennstate1 | October 11, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Cooley did not catch a pass today because they had to keep him in to block due to the injury to Samuels. Thus, one of our major offensive contributors was taken out of the game due to out lack of depth on the O-line. Who responsible for the depth on our offensive line. Of course, some probably think Cooley ought to be fired because he did not catch a pass (or Zorn and Campbell should be fired because they did not win the game).

That left one of our other TE's to catch a few passes - Fred Davis - the most of his career. It is too bad they had little effect on the game. Davis is not known for his blocking. That apparently is why Cooley had to do it. Who drafted Fred Davis anyway?

Posted by: cannontl | October 11, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Listen I agree that Synder has made some very dumb mistakes but at the end of the day it's still the coaches and players that win or lose the games. Zorn has been terrible since his arrival and JC can throw short range passes with the best of them but he doesn't pull the trigger on the longer stuff. We need to get either Holgram or Cowher in here. And blow it all up.

Posted by: peg91 | October 11, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It is Amazing how much teams actually are with good offensive Linemen.

1. It can't be overstated how important it is to have a great offense line. Wow.

2nd. Why the HELL isn't Brian Orakpo rushing the QB every damn down. Wow.

3rd. Yeah great D.Hall had another pick, congrats on that. But when we needed the D.Hall/Defense to step up the most. Hall was dragged 7 freaking yards, 7 yards by a Freaking QB? are you serious. OMG. Shawn Springs would have made that tackle.

Posted by: gcoles32 | October 11, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder ought to worry about all the fans that are livid with him.

Posted by: cannontl | October 11, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Duh.
What kind of idiot doesnt know this??

Please stop, Jason.
Those that know football, know this.
Give us INSIDE info, not football basics 101

Posted by: kreator6996 | October 11, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Now you have to ask yourself what coach so far has been truly successful in Dan Snyder's organization?

You can get Holgrem or Cowher and it won't make any difference, assuming they would even want to come here.

We have had Hall of Fame coaches (Gibbs), successful coaches (Schottenheimer), journeyman coaches (Turner), college coaches (Spurrier), and a rookie coach (Zorn), and it never seems to work. What is the one constant in the organization for all variety of coaches that have come through here?

Posted by: cannontl | October 11, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

the reason we are making excuses for the o-line and having cooley blocking is b/c there is zero quality and depth at the o-line positions. Who's fault is that? Not JZ, I guarantee.

Posted by: jsh79 | October 11, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

MR. SNYDER IS A DESPICABLE, REPREHENSIBLE MAN OF HUBRIS.

Posted by: redskinfan4life1 | October 11, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Career day for Fred Davis...What a great 2nd round pick!!! I guess he doesn't know how to block, amongst other things. Good pick Vinnie!!

Posted by: jmeaicp | October 11, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Snydercashforclunkers, you think that you have a chance to coach the Redskins. are you joking? Why don't you submit an application to be a consultant?

Posted by: VegasJim | October 11, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Cooley wouldn't have had to block so much if the front office - perhaps a more appropriate description should be the back office, because we're about as backwards as they come in that department -payed any attention to acquiring a depth of quality offensive linemen during the last 10 seasons.

Who was our last 1st round pick at OL? I beleive that would be Chris Samuels in 2000. Part of that problem stems from the fact that we trade so many draft picks away with Danny's and Vinny's fantasy football league manuevers.

We should be drafting an OLinemen in rounds 1 or 2 for the next 6 seasons, but don't hold your breath, as we have more than enough history to know that our back office just doesn't work that way.

Until we build a 1st string, NFL caliber OL, Campbell will continue to look like the average, journeyman QB he is, and the offense will stay as impotent as it's been for 10 years.

Hell, even the second coming of St. Joe himself couldn't overcome the this glaring deficiency.

On another note. Can we please find a strong side linebacker and let him play strong side linebacker, instead of this failed experiment of Orapako masquerading as a SLB? Not only is Orakpo getting beat like a drum in pass coverage, but what a waste of his true talents at his true position as DE? Another example of the back office building no depth and having to serve lemonade when the menu calls for orange juice.

But when you throw away draft picks like confetti and blow your salary cap to hell with overpaid free agents; what more can you expect.

Poor Zorn - he's definitely over his head and trying to do way too much for his level of experience - but he didn't build this house of sand, he only inherited it. Unfortunately for him, impatient Danny and Vinny will give him the boot and continue the churn and burn that has become the Washington Redskins franchise. Turner - 2 years, Schottenhimer - 1 year, Spurrier - 2 years, Gibbs - 4 (left before his last year, do you blame him?), Zorn - ? (I place my bet on 2)

Posted by: SkinsKen | October 11, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Rebuild now. The future is over.

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 11, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

What crap. We recently heard how Gibbs would call plays for Monk to keep his streak alive. Cooley deserved the same.

Posted by: WorstSeat | October 12, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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