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Where have they gone on defense?

Remember back in 04, when Griffin was destroying offenses inside, getting a steady push and making 2-3 tackles in the backfield every game?

Remember Springs tied for the team lead in sacks and also getting five picks and guys like Matt Bowen and Ron Warner making big plays on the blitz?

Remember Marcus Washington and Lemar Marshall blowing up plays on the perimeter and Antonio Pierce conducting everything masterfully on the inside? People were not out of place. Tackling was sound. There was not this deep, gaping, black hole 35 yards downfield over the middle just screaming to be filled by tight ends and receivers.

I wrote about this a few weeks ago in the paper, and it seems more clear than ever. This ain't the same defense. Not even close. And this goes much deeper than Shawn Springs and Pierson Prioleau being out. And it's also about more than just poor execution, which is what you hear most out of the coaching staff.

They need some sort of cultural shift over there, and some major-league adjustments. The effort is there from a lot of guys, but teams can still pretty much avoid Marcus and attack the weak side with plentiful results on the ground or through the air. Whenever linebackers are used to cover in the slot, it seems to work out well for the opposition. They get burned in Cover 2. The D-line can not get a push from week to week.

We'll see what they come up with. So far, it's impossible to argue this defense got better in the offseason despite the arrival of the big-ticket free agents, and they are far, far from the standard set in 2004.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 9, 2006; 1:51 PM ET
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Any word on when Rocky gets used? We all know, and was pointed out in the other blog by someone, that Grieg Williams needs to break his Rookies spirit's before he lets them play but aren't we reaching the point where the kid can play some situational stuff?

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

Did any Redskin play a good game? This was gawd awful. Changes to the starting line up should be made immediately!!!!!!!

Posted by: CW | October 9, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm harping on this, I know... but if Walt Harris is not waived, then not only do you have a legitimate corner instead of Wright, but maybe you also reduce the pressure of Taylor and Archuleta in coverage. This frees up the ability to blitz more often, and when Springs is back, it gives you a solid Nickel defense.

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm going to make an easy prediction. People are going to start calling for Brunells head this week. We will play the winless titans at our house and he will put up 278 yards 2 tds' and 1 int. We win the game, then people will be saying he isnt that bad. We go to Indy, and with our pass Defense Peyton Manning has his best day this year and Brunell throws for 103 yards 2 ints 0 tds. Go into the bye week with Gibbs standing by brunell.

Posted by: gatorskinz200 | October 9, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see Rocky, and I notice him all the time involved in special teams plays. And I'm not a Holdman fan, at all. But i did think Holdman had a pretty good game yesterday, probably better than MWashington, as much as it pains me to write that. And even though our D got dominated pretty badly, giving up 19 to the giants in the meadowlands does give you a pretty good chance to win....IF the offense comes through....but still.

Posted by: WrongDog | October 9, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Gatorskin200: thats exactly what ive been telling my friends and coworkers today...

Posted by: Rob | October 9, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

We need to dub this "The Case of the Missing Defense."

Get Holmes and Watson in here on the double.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

So...I walked to Chocolate Moose to get a card for a babe (no, not a sympathy card for Derek Jeter; this is for a real newborn babe) and they have a little toy that's called "The DecisionMaker." It has a magnetic pendulum that swings over a series of answers. Three times, it was asked "Will the Redskins go to the Super Bowl?" and twice it said yes.
Of course, it didn't say which YEAR...

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the defense is aging? This isn't an easy game, and the shelf life of players ain't exactly long. I think this is where being able to replenish with depth and youth is critical. Golston and Montgomery might be those guys on the d-line, thankfully. But I think we might have to accept the fact that our previously solid line players may be in slight decline. Marcus Washington is still in his prime, though.

Chocolate Moose rocks.

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 9, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Cindy, always trust in the Magic-8 Ball:

"Very Doubtful"

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

I'll say this, Walt had a very poor season last year. Had to start more than they would have liked and he struggled.
Warrick has been much better than a year ago, but the LBs as a whole have been not spectacular. Like I said, Marcus is the playmaker and teams can still basically just avoid him and go the other way. The lack of a pass rush hurts Lemar and he ends up chasing stuff all over the place.
They really do need major improvement all over the place right now.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 9, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

This whole team, though, is too enigmatic. They're one big incarnation of Randy Moss, in that they play when they want to play, particularly on defense. They came out last Sunday and played like the outcome against the Jags would decide their season. Against the Giants, they were limp and uninspired and seemingly passionless. This team is truly at a crossroads right now, and it goes deeper than the Brunell and secondary situations. It's got to come down to the coaches, who to this point in the season, really haven't done a top-flight job. Williams, especially, needs to vocalize his unit's weaknesses. He needs to own up to the deficiencies on his side of the ball and start implementing some new schemes. The FOX crew was dead on, when they all suggested he blitz more. It seems counterintuitve considering the secondary's abysmal performance thus far. But maybe don't the illogical would be logical.

Posted by: Colin | October 9, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I know we are far from being out of playoff contention, but if/when that time does come, we need to get Campbell into the game. It is really hard to watch when Brunell has these games when it looks as if his shoes are made of concrete. This game cant be put on Brunell alone. Our defense looked horrible. Just horrible. Have they really been stout at any time this year? Even though we won against the Jags, our secondary was torched. If you cant look decent against the Texans, who can you look good against?

I was really hoping someone would have knocked Tiki Barbers ridiculous smile off his face.

Posted by: gatorskinz200 | October 9, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

In my last comment, don't should read doing.

Posted by: Colin | October 9, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse


I don't get it. You say that Holdman is playing well on one hand then you say that they run away from Washington. Doesn't that mean they basically run at Holdman? Do you mean he's playing well relative to last year?

Of the 5 game's i would rate him as solid if unspectacular in 2 and downhill from their in the others.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

This really needs an edit button. You said "...playing better" not well. I appologize.

Also, there not thier.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey there. I probably should have been more clear.
I didn't say Warrick is playing well, just that he is playing much better than last season.
Warrick is okay. He's playing like a serviceable NFL linebacker. I'm talking about guys who change games. That's the element they are lacking and it's not who Warrick is. He's a system linebacker.
No one in that front 7 is really making plays and the guy best suited to it, Marcus, often can't because they go the other way and there is no one to fear on the opposite end of the field.

Posted by: Jason La Canfora | October 9, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Signing Adam Archuleta: Thirty million dollars

Signing Andre Carter: Another thirty million dollars

Not signing Ryan Clark, Walt Harris, Antonio Pierce, and Fred Smoot so you can watch your defense become a complete embarrassment: Priceless

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The defense was bad but not horrible. This is a Giants offense that is averaging very near 400 yards a game -- and we gave up 411. But 19 points is respectable, especially on the road.

Not that any of this matters, since the offense was such a mess. Redskins could've held them to 6 points and it wouldn't have made a difference.

When you get handled 19-3 there's plenty of blame to go around, but I think the lion's share lands plumb on our offense (or lack thereof).

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 9, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line: if our d-line were putting pressure on the opposing QB, everyone on the D would look better.

For my money, I'd rather see Gregg W. blitz away and suffer the consequences...heck, we're giving up bombs left and right anyway.

Posted by: KC Skins | October 9, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

following on Megskin ...

There are some things that money can't buy (like the chance to marry Megskin). For everything else, there's Dan Snyder's checkbook.

Posted by: Gonzo, MD | October 9, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

So, the DecisionMaker sez yes, the Magic 8ball sez very doubtful. What's the tiebreaker -- reading chicken entrails?
Hmmmm....lemme see what's on the menu in the cafeteria. That might be doable. We like to be as scientific and thorough as possible.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

We suck. Plan and simple. Between bungled play calling, Brunells lack-O-arm, porous O-line, no pass rush, terrible secondary a female kicker and leading the league in penalties we have the 7-9 market cornered. Oh yeah, how many times has the opponent started on the 40 yd line this year. SUCK!

One person should not mean that much on D. Losing a starting Qb on O often ruins a season but a CB?? C'mon.

Taking Bone China Springs out of the secondary means that GWilliams cannot blitz to provide pass rush assistance to our anemic front 4. He has both Taylor and Archuleta back there, sometimes 2 LBs have to drop back to help and then the opposition gets 8 yds per carry. Just horrible, embarrassing.

We need an owner that doesn't ripoff the fanbase and spends wisely, a real GM and only 1 headcoach--and my friends, Gibbs is not the man.

Posted by: PedroG | October 9, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I normally don't mind getting on the offense, especially Brunel. But if the defense only forces one or two punts in a game, we must realize there are 15-20 plays that the offense never even get's to run.

That makes third downs important for the skins offense and defense, and so far neither are good. Playing third and long in soft coverage with no blitz (Williams MO in the Giants game) is like playing Russian Roulete with four or five bullets in the gun and hoping you are not going to get hurt.
NFL quarterbacks with time make plays, all of them, even Brunel. Without pressure you are cooked. I guess Springs, Preilou, and Clark gave Williams confidence that he could send exotic blitzers and they got there. Now he either thinks the blizers will get picked up, or the DB's can't disguise the coverage.

Regarding Lemar Marshall or Holdman, they got run over, both of them by the Giants run game and Tiki. Play MacIntosh.

Posted by: Assistant-Head-Coach-Clowns | October 9, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

What's the tiebreaker -- reading chicken entrails?

That or tea leaves. I think the tea leaves would be the cleaner option.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"I normally don't mind getting on the offense, especially Brunel. But if the defense only forces one or two punts in a game, we must realize there are 15-20 plays that the offense never even get's to run."

Er... If the offense didn't get to run plays yesterday it had everything to do with their dismal 3-11 on third down performance (actually 2-11, since one of an incomplete pass to Brandon Lloyd negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty).

Last I checked, a punt and a field goal result in the same outcome: one team kicking to the other. Sure enough, the Redskins had 8 drives yesterday, and the Giants had 9. The difference was that the Giants could sustain drives long enough to score points and the Redskins couldn't. Skins: 3-11 on third down, Giants 9-16. Redskins 10 first downs, Giants 20. Do you see a pattern emerging?

With just one more drive (9) the Redskins hung 31 on the Texans. The way the offense played last night, would it have mattered if the defense had forced punts anyways?

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 9, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Megskin, you haven't seen our cafeteria.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Megskin, you haven't seen our cafeteria

They serve used and scummy tea leaves? Bleh. I'll take the spinich instead, thanks.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

just wait after the bye week before you give up on the season and call for brunell's head. you know the mighty braintrust is going to have have a kneejerk reaction any second now and are about to make a trade for a CB. probly end up paying too much in drafpicks but it'll ensure us[us? u shillin for skins?] a playoff spot.

it's funny how they lose. i much rather lose this way than the way the girls lost.

it's as if they have their schedule on the board and whatever they deemed as a loss they just don't show up for that game. rather unprofessional. sad to say about a gibbs team.

is gibbs calling the plays? and if it's OC to HC to QB then is/was it possible for this team to be in a hurry-up offense? as the seahawks, eagles, colts did against the giants???? successfully.

JLC, you know you mentioned all those playmakers from 04 but those names weren't household names they were just scrap and that's what GW is good at and mayb, just maybe he overestimated his ability to turn scrap to gold. we got 11 more...let's see what he does. i personally think the D'll play much better in the second half with or without springs.

Posted by: dealer | October 9, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

It all comes down to the weekin week out play of Brunell. Gatorskinz200 nailed it on the head. Gibbs gives every morsel of a chance to Brunell.

I think we can only atleast measure him to NFC opponnets only. He came from the AFC South and is familiar with those teams, so he and AL can discuss with accuraccy his strengths. He is not a Beast in the Mighty East (NFC, that is).

I haven't heard a good reason yet not to bench him.

Posted by: A Dog | October 9, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Where have the playmakers gone?"

You didn't see them on NY's sideline?

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

If any of you at the Post see Tarik El-Bashir in the hallway, can you tell him to get with the program with his Caps blog? JLC and esteemed editor Cindy have set the blogging bar kinda high, and TEB's performance is sorely lacking. I also implore others to give TEB's blog a visit. It needs a boost.

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

PedroG, did you follow the Skins when Norv was the coach? We had a "real" GM and 1 head coach and a non-interfering owner and it was 10x worse than it is now. Trust me, Gibbs is definitely the man.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I am wrong and leave this to the crowd...but Archuleta is where i lay the blame. Sean T aside from one breakdown this week has been solid. Archuleta can't blitz or cover and looks like the bum that made all the overrated lists.

But the real thing killing the defense is Williams' ego...he thinks he can take anyone and make them good. That being said Joe Gibbs, Gregg Williams, Al Saunders, Joe Bugel, Jerry Gray, Greg Blatche, Don Breaux, Dale Lindsay, and Danny Smith all got outcoached by Tom Coughlin.

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

This secondary reminds me of legendary toasted Redskins of the past like Stanley Richard, Brian Davis, Tom Carter and the eternal Dennis Woodberry. Seriously, this should be the start of the "Bring Back Darrell" campaign. If Morten Anderson can play, then so can ole DG ...

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

Sam Shade also was horrible ...

Posted by: G Money | October 9, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I must caution the Angry American: It's much easier to outcoach someone when you have two weeks in which to prepare.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

If you have read any of my comments you know that I have not placed the blame on Brunnell (not all of it anyway). However, I will never forgive Gibbs for the way he treated Patrick Ramsey! Two years ago when Brunnell truly did suck, Gibbs gave him a long, long leash. But Patrick was given a choke chain. One half of a game and he was put out! Never will I forgive Gibbs for that - at least the way he handled it. Ramsey was a nice young man who never complained even though he was pummeled repeatedly during the Spurrier trial. And he had a great arm.

Posted by: Lisa | October 9, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It's time for Jason Campbell on offense. Sure Brunell has been ok the last two weeks, but every big play was created by a player other than him. For example: Santana Moss turns a 5 yard dump play into a 55 yard scamper. Even that throw in overtime was into double coverage. He just got lucky that Santana Moss made him look good. Opposing defenses know that the big play isn't going to come from an accurate deep bomb. That makes them focus on Portis and that results in what we saw on Sunday against the Giants. I'd rather throw this season away and let Campbell take his lumps. With a strong running game, he might even have some measure of success.
On defense: Can we please blitz? PLEASE? Somebody needs to explain to Gregg Williams that adding the extra men into coverage is NOT helping the lousy cornerback play. With the time the opposing QB's are getting, it's child's play to pick apart the coverage. In other words: by not blitzing, we're hanging our secondary out to dry. Get a clue coaches. It's been 5 weeks of lousy defense. Time to try something different.

Posted by: Throbster | October 9, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

JMan, definately one of the clearest and most concise points you've directed to us little fish. Make a handout and distribute in the Coach's parking lot. Frig that #36 crap for Sean, Somebody needs to get it in gear. Even Coach Gibbs looked pissed about the D.

As for Holdman, he reads too late, like little Adam. I'm not going to whine about losing Pierce, but it would be nice to see someone in for Holdman. Did you see Marcus bounce off Jacobs? Looked like a toad stool getting booted. Ouch.

O-Line make tho offense go for CP. Without it, #8 gets the low lights.


Posted by: coolio | October 9, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Sam Shade also was horrible ...

Gack! How can you be dissing 'The Sheriff'?

Yet another great acquisition. :(

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

J-La: (stolen!)

How about a comment on the decision to kick a FG on 4th and 1?

I am abusing the math but here goes:

The expected value of a John Hall FG try at 40+ yards is = 1.5 points roughly, because he only makes them 50% of the time.

So even if the Skins had only a 25% chance of converting the 4th and 1 and of scoring a TD, it would still make sense...

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Yet another great acquisition. :(

OK, everyone curl up into a fetal position and cover your ears as I say this...

A friend of mine told me that Heath Shuler to Michael Westbrook was going to be the second coming of Montana & Rice...

Posted by: FlimFlam | October 9, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

My dear Megskin, not to disrespect your obviously impressive knowledge of talent-challenged Redskin DBs of the past, but I believe "The Sheriff" was Stanley Richard -- master of the wait-til-they-run-past-me-so-I-can-jump-on-their-back tackle. Shade was just a poor man's Sean Taylor, minus the criminal record.

Posted by: G Money | October 9, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Point has been made elsewhere but...

if you cannot cover 36 inches on 4th and 1 when it matters most then you probably deserve to lose the game. We have talent on the line, we have one of the best RBs in the league, and we have a very boring kicker. We choose to go with the kicker.

4th and 8 is different. 4th and 5 is different. 4th and 2 is different. Hell, even 4th and 1 is different if you have a lead.

He should have gone for it, vindicated in hindsight because Hall booted the kick. If you throw on 3rd and 1 you should be ready to punch it up the gut on 4th and 1.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 9, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Riggo is speaking reality.

Full Disclosure - He's Pro-Campbell also.....

Posted by: A Dog | October 9, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

GMoney: oh my gawd your soooo right. Those were bad bad bad years!

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

Maybe we could trade TJ Wastebucket for another fine defensive player who can't tackle, can't cover and can't blitz.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Megskin -- to think I wasted so many wonderful football Sundays lamenting defenses led by guys like Marvcus Patton, William Gaines, Greg Jones and Marc Boutte. Aaaaiiieeee

Posted by: G Money | October 9, 2006 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What was wrong with Marvcus Patton and his team-leading tackle totals? Loved that guy.

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Joe Raleigh,
I have been a fan since Allen and Pardee. GibbsI was a tremendous time, but so were the draft picks he got from Beathard and Casserly. You win with players, and lots of them.

This team has abandoned the draft, hell they have abandoned having a real Gm since Charlie was bounced and it shows. Trying to win thru FA has doomed them. They overpay for has been, big name players(2000)or they overpay for never been, big name players(2006). The results are the same. No depth anywhere and mass disappointment from over expectations. GibbsI won with depth, if you don't remember, Doug Williams and Timmy Smith were not starters.

GibbsII has lost his confidence, he admitted that the game has passed him by and added another head coach to further cloud who is in charge here. What the hell is going on? Who do the guys listen too? In the past he had followers-Bugel and Pettibone, now he has 2 Headcoaches with their own egos. It is just not working out.

Give me Marty. At least then we knew what our team was about. That quite possibly was Snyders worst move, or firing Casserly, or hiring Deion and Bruce, or raising tix prices every year and driving off the core fans. It is a joke. It is embarrassing and sadly, you are still buying the sales job.

10x worse with Norv? Really? He was almost .500 and went to the playoffs once, just like Joe.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I seem to remember, during the first Gibbs era, that Bobby Beathard was responsible for getting talent. Seems like the 'Skins always found a way to get good people, especially via the draft. Then came along Charlie Casserly. Now Vinny Cerrato. And I don't see the same quality, either via the draft (when we do have picks) nor via free agency. Gibbs has a lot more power in personnel decisions now than he did in the first go around. I don't think this is his forte and he doesn't seem to have people backing him up who are good at it, either. Sure, Dan $ynder can get anyone to sign, but seems like we aren't getting the right people. Seems to me that Gibbs gave up the wrong part of the job. We've got Saunders and Grilliams, but we need Beathard. I wonder if he'd come back...

Posted by: New Mex'Skin | October 9, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What about Chris Dishman. Remember him in all his crappy glory? He made Carlos Rogers' pass interference calls look rare!

Posted by: BooferSux | October 9, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It's not Duckett's fault they don't let him play. Makes sense to me to give him the rock on 4th and 1. It also makes sense to me to run a play action pass more than once a quarter and have the WRs both go long to split the safeties and open up the middle. But that's just me.

Oh, and don't forget Barry Will-Be-Burned...

Posted by: Nobody Important | October 9, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"10x worse with Norv? Really? He was almost .500 and went to the playoffs once, just like Joe."

Or one could argue that Joe has gone to the Playoffs half the seasons since he's been back. Comparing Joe Gibbs to Turner is hardly fair. Turner had what? 9 Seasons and Joe is entering season 3.

Posted by: Skinz | October 9, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

ESPN has an article saying John Hall has competition this week, namely from Todd Peterson and Nick Novak.

You're slacking.

Posted by: GimmieSum | October 9, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

In his chat, Wilbon implied that the Skins picked up Duckett mostly so that Philly couldn't.

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 4:53 PM | Report abuse

News alert: redskins are shelving hall and are trying out new kickers...

Posted by: dealer | October 9, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Stay tuned for kicker news....

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Dark days: Skins lose to New York and J-La gets scooped by Pasqarelli...

Posted by: Josh in Seattle | October 9, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Nick the Kick is back!

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | October 9, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Jess Atkinson available??

Posted by: G Money | October 9, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Well Skinz,
Then compare JoeII to Joe I. THat really isn't fair. I was simply making a point that the Norv years weren;t too much worse than what is happening now.

I did a dance when Joe announced he was coming back but I think even he is under the Dark Lord's sway.

Marty ball would have had us in the playoffs every year since his 8-8 decleating.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 5:08 PM | Report abuse

According to you. Who knows what Marty would've done.

Gibbs returns and turns a 5 win team into a 10 win post season contender and you compare him to Norv? Give me a break.

We're 2-3. Playoffs hopes are very much alive and well.

Posted by: Skin Patrol | October 9, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Everytime Gibbs talks about how hard it is 'Up Here' or playing 'Up Here' , you have to take a shot, no matter where you are.......

Posted by: A Dog | October 9, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Here's a Cliff's Notes version, from Howard Bryant:

The Washington Redskins will bring in four placekickers -- and former Redskin Nick Novak -- tomorrow to compete to replace John Hall, according to sources, but it was unclear which other players have been invited.
Novak is expected to arrive at Redskins Park this morning for a workout with the team as a response to current kicker John Hall's injured right quadriceps.
When reached by phone Monday afternoon, Novak said he has a 1 p.m. workout tomorrow at Redskins Park.
Hall's injury will force another personnel change for the Redskins. Since preseason, the Redskins have dealt with problems with injuries in the secondary, primarily to cornerback Shawn Springs.

Posted by: Jason's editor | October 9, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

nah, no skoopz...just watching the presser on the computer...and actually saw JlaC...on camera at the end there...

hmmmmmmm all the players and coaches had a meeting...

hmmmmmm when asked about trades regarding CB's joe said "no nothing thru TRADES" so i guess scrap it is...for now....

i really hope they don't bring back springs before the bye week...too soon...

Posted by: dealer | October 9, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

On D, wonder if Taylor should try CB for a season. He's great at hitting, not so great at covering/reading. I think Ronnie Lott benefitted from his one season at CB, which helped him understand the game better.

Everytime I watch Carter, it looked like the OT in front of him was using perfect technique -- which means he wasn't able to get the guy off balance thru speed or power. Maybe move him around -- he just isn't the pass rusher the 'Skins need at DE. CG was their best player, but he is looking old this year. All the top tacklers were in the secondary. The 'Skins couldn't stop the Giants until the red zone. So blitz -- will still give up long ball, at least could get a penalty, sack or turnover.

On O, they looked so flat. Why is Thrash the deep receiver on play action? Where is Lloyd? Fauria blocking Strahan? Betts, one carry? They did OK running btwn tackles, why not use Portis and Duckett w/Sellers lead to power forward? That would wear a D out.

But mostly, they looked unmotivated. Reminds me of the US hoops team that thinks they can show up at game time and turn it on. And then they lose, say they learned a lesson, remain confident, and lose again. This is an overconfident group that hasn't found chemistry, and the coaches need to step back and shake things up.

Posted by: AL | October 9, 2006 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if the anonymous poster is the same as PedroG. Regardless, as to Norv vs Gibbs -- wow, I don't know where to start. If you thought the team was better off with Casserly and Norv, then you are in the minority.

There are very few great GMs around the league. You can't make a case for Casserly being among them. The only thing he's done between the day he got fired by Washington and the day he got fired from Houston was build the worst team in the NFL.

You want Marty? Go cheer for San Diego. Look, we had a good thing going for a while with Marty, but his personnel decisions were awful (e.g. "With the 15th selection in the 2001 NFL draft the Redskins select Gardner, Rod").

Yes, there have been some bad decisions made by the Redskins front office. They mismanage a lot of things and aren't always honest with the fans. That said, bringing back Joe Gibbs to coach and direct this team was not one of them.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 9, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

If the yankees and deadskins have showed me anything, it is that you can't buy championships. We always get rid of solid emerging talent because danny boy is too cheap to pay them , only to spend 10 times as much on an average/washed up/overrated player. Our team has no heart because we throw out the players who love to be here only to bring in players who only care about the $$$.

the decision to get brunell was as smart as the one to get Jeff George. Haven't we learned???

Posted by: Josh in DC | October 9, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

BUILD THROUGH THE DRAFT!!! BUILD THROUGH THE DRAFT!!! At least if they suck you dont have to shell out 30 mil. They have to earn those paychecks.

Have you seen the D-line Chicago has built through the Draft?? Good Gravy those boys are good, and young. And young. And young. Gibbs, lord knows I love the guy, needs to realize this isnt the 80's anymore and people dont sit the bench for 4 years before they get thrown into the fire.


Posted by: gatorskinz200 | October 9, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

>We need to dub this "The Case of the >Missing Defense."
>Get Holmes and Watson in here on the

I vote for Veronica Mars.

And Sam Shade wasn't Taylor w/o the record. He was also slower than Mark Rypien. Don't forget James Washington.

And just because it makes me laugh and someone mentioned Marc Boutte, I miss Jamal Duff. Duffman says lots of things!

Posted by: palopaleo | October 9, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Bring back Matt Stevens!

Posted by: Grimace | October 9, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

>Have you seen the D-line Chicago has >built through the Draft?? Good Gravy >those boys are good, and young. And young.

I think one of their backups, Mark Anderson, has more sacks than the whole Skins team. Anderson was a 4th rounder this past year. Maybe a GM would help with these things.

Posted by: palopaleo | October 9, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Give me Marty. At least then we knew what our team was about.

Just shoot me now. Or give me whatever your smoking cause it has to be good.

I don't have enough prescription drugs and alcohol to make it through Martyball again.

Posted by: Megskin | October 9, 2006 5:43 PM | Report abuse

gatorskins, have you seen the Jets D-Line? Three of the 4 were drafted by their "real GM," Mike Tannenbaum. They've given up the most TDs of any defense.

How about the Titans D-Line? Three of the 4 came from the draft. They've given up the most yards/game of any team. One of their homegrown players is serving a 5 game suspension for stomping on someone's face.

Maybe having a GM would help, maybe it wouldn't. For every one Jerry Angelo building a good team, there are a couple Floyd Reeses screwing things up. There are no sure things.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and the person who questioned the 4th & 1 choice to go for a FG (which missed) was COMPLETELY RIGHT. It was a bad COACH'S call. At 3rd & 1, I thought ... if don't make it on 3rd, go on 4th. Why, because down 13 points (2 scores) and a FG means its still a 2 score game, because D needs time off the field and because its a chance for the offense to get fired up. And given how long the Giants were taking on each possession, the 'Skins wouldn't get many more chances.

Even if Hall had made the kick, it still was poor strategy.

Posted by: AL | October 9, 2006 6:10 PM | Report abuse

And bring back Dave Butz! We need The Butz!

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


Why is everyone talking about defense? 19 points to the Giants on the road is NOT that bad, especially when the D only gave up ONE touchdown. They are mediocre, true, but not horrendous. They are an average middle of the road NFL D right now. The real problem continues to lie in our capricious offense. One day it dominates, another it's stagnant. I think the mental component of the game, and Gibbs' (my) ability to inspire players may be on the wane. Where is the attitude, the chip on the shoulder, the back-to-the-wall steely jawed resolve?

Posted by: JoeGibbs | October 9, 2006 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I think the reason some of us are focusing on the defense is because for the previous few weeks, the offense has shown up. The defense, to date, has not.

As J-La pointed out, we were lucky it was only 19. It could have been much, much worse.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 9, 2006 9:48 PM | Report abuse

If anyone cares, Czabe has a good article on his website about why the defense is the biggest area of concern. Sometimes Steve Czaban is too negative in his comments, I believe this one is spot on.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | October 10, 2006 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah. You guys are all going to be singing Kum-Bah-Ya by the bye week. Beating the Giants in the Meadowlands is almost as hard as beating Philly in Lincoln Field. Intra-division away games, esp. in the NFC East, require breaking the home team's spirit ... or losing spirit on your own. If not for the missed FG on 4th and 1, as well as the multiple consecutive penalties resulting in Brunell losing his cool about not having the plays come in quicker, we could have won that game.
The defense looked tired because it was. The time of possession game, esp. the first LONG possession by and, wore down the defense. The Skins' D looked stellar against the Jags because they were very successful at 3 and out. We never had any momentum in this game and, if we had, we could have taken out the crowd and gotten our D off the field.
Quitcher bellyachin' because we can and will beat the Colts IN INDY (assuming the O-line stays healthy against the Titans, and no Titan defenders get polka feet on our interior O-linemen in the red zone).
We lost b/c of penalties and unmotivated play on special teams. Am I the only one who noticed Derrick Frost trying for the on-side punt?

Posted by: dcsween | October 10, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who noticed Derrick Frost trying for the on-side punt?

And here I thought it was just the rum&coke making me see things.

Posted by: Megskin | October 10, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Please let me weigh in optimistically.

I agree with several posters commenting on how difficult it is ANY YEAR to win any NFC East game away. 4 of 5 times the home team wins except if you were the Cardinals. So 0 - 2 there is no surprise. Winning at JAX was a pleasant surprise! Loosing at HOME is always inforgiveable (Minn).

I believe we can win both AFC games and if we win the rest of our home games and two more away games (Philly?), then __We Are In__ ...

my 2 cents.

Posted by: X. Hog | October 10, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

... maybe too optimistic :)

Posted by: X.Hog | October 10, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

skinz, i agree with you i don't like the "win now" attitude either. i like the let's build something that we can sustain for 10-15 years like the patsies have done. a relatively young (not a member of aarp) coach, a second year qb(brady was) and build thru draft approach. it's not guaranteed (neither is doing it the danny way) but it's more fun that way (i think)...

Posted by: dealer | October 10, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Meadowlands is truly kryptonite to Gibbs. For some reason, the Skins choke big time up there (and in Dallas usuallY). Good points above, not much mixing it up on offense and sluggish defense. A. Carter was a mistake. I do hate to see so many ex-Redskin players doing well elsewhere though.

Posted by: Snavemot | October 10, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Winning at JAX is indeed a complete surprise -- seeing as it didn't happen. We beat them at home -- as we should. We're a game behind where we should be at this point because we lost to Minny at home.

Our schedule after the bye gets easier, some winnable road games, and you have to expect to win all your home games. Games at NO and SL late in the year could be interesting, I'm not convinced yet that those teams are any good.

We just need to play a lot better (duh), especially the defense. At least the offense has had a couple of good games; the defense has been shredded throughout.

And whoever suggested Marty Schottenheimer instead of Joe Gibbs, ya gotta be kidding me. Just count the rings on their fingers (metaphorically speaking).

Posted by: spunky | October 10, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I do hate the free agency approach, it's way overrated. And I'm cursed with two teams (Redskins and Yankees) that do it, to no avail.

A lot of people seem to forget that when the Yankees finally got good after over a decade of sucking, it was primarily because of their great farm system, which brought them guys like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera.

Can anybody think of a championship team, baseball or football, that was built primarily through free agency? I can't. There might be some out there, but they're very rare. The draft, great coaching, plus the occasional good trade or free agent here or there, that's the better way to go.

Posted by: spunky | October 10, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

One thing became obvious to me as I watched the game. What I noticed is the same bloody thing I saw last year (before 5-game streak): the coaches are not playing to win, they are playing not to screw up. They seem to take 0 chances. 3 and 1 and you pas??? 4 and 1 and you try a kick with John Hall? Is there no confidence that Portis/Betts + OLine can give you one yard? I wonder how that makes the backs and the line feel? I am sure they would have preferred to slug it out for that one yard instead of dropping back.

Posted by: JackLuminous | October 10, 2006 6:37 PM | Report abuse

the problem with the skins defense so far its pretty obvious, we underappreciated and let homegrown and blue collar players out (Antonio Pierce, Fred Smoot, Ryan Clark, Walt Harris); missed some injured players (Pierson Prioleau, Shawn Springs), there has been some dropoff in several players (Lemar Marshall, Joe Salavea, Marcus Washington, Phillip Daniels, Cornelius Griffin, Sean Taylor) and others are nowhere to be found (Andre Carter, Carlos Rogers, Mike Rumph, Adam Archuleta, Kenny Wright, Warrick Holdman). For the offense, well, its gonna be an on/off unit all year, until Mark Brunell gets benched, and thats not gonna happen soon......

Posted by: arbano1 | October 11, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

good catch (about JAX win). I brainfarted ... cuz I was at the gosh darn game in person.

Posted by: X.Hog | October 11, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TONY | October 16, 2006 8:13 PM | Report abuse

OH LET ME ADD: we need big big time pressure on the quarterback.. that + the heavy duty running back i mentione above and a front line that decides to start shoving folks around will make us winners again.

Posted by: TONY | October 16, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

riggo, suggest someone for us..

Posted by: tony | October 16, 2006 8:22 PM | Report abuse

let me put it all together so we can get back to taken care of business.
forget about the defense; greg will master that with gettin pressure on the QB.

OFFENSE; LETS PULL THE LINE AND INCLUDE WR, TE AND FB FOR BLOCKING SO OUR BIG NEW RB CAN BEGIN TO GAIN "BIG YARDS" this will open the passing lanes later..lets run right left up the middle but keep pulling and shifting so the will have a running start and momentum to man handle the defense utilizing wide receivers, full backs, tight ends and of course the line.
we have 10 people blocking 6 we win everytime..lets go offense and start taking care of REDSKIN BUSINESS...get out there and loose your mind..

Posted by: tony | October 18, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse

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