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An Inside Look at Skins at Halfway Point

I spent some time picking the brain of an NFL executive who has scouted the Redskins several times in the first half of the season, including early in the season and more recently. We chatted in general about the Redskins, some strengths and weaknesses, and general impressions.

On offense, this executive sees a whole lot more of the Joe Gibbs stuff going on than what you would find in the typical West Coast Offense. "It looks a lot like what Gibbs was doing to me," he said. "Power running. Using the run to set up the pass. Protecting the football. Going play-action."

There are three players opposing defense have to be concerned with at this point, he said - receiver Santana Moss, running back Clinton Portis and tight end Chris Cooley.

"They cannot lose Santana Moss," the executive said. "When he pulled up Sunday from the hamstring, that's not what they want to see. They have to keep him healthy. I don't see much depth on the interior of the offensive line, either. They're an older team on offense and injuries could be a major factor down the stretch for them. There's a big dropoff from guys like Moss and [tackle Chris] Samuels.

"You can double Moss, but if he's healthy and playing like this you can't really stop him. So if I'm playing them, I'm doing whatever I have to do to stop the run. If you take away the run I think you can contain the passing game.

"I'm interested to see how they move the ball when they play in the division. This will be the second time for them getting a look at Jim Zorn. They like to release the tight end a lot, but when they play Philadelphia the second time I don't think that will be as effective. You have to get the ball out very quickly and the Eagles' safeties are very good in the open field. There won't be the yards after the catch.

"In this league now I think safeties are the key to the whole thing. With the problems the Redskins give you, you need good safeties. The Eagles and Giants have good safeties and a very productive scheme. They're running the same scheme and they learn from each other. They can see what works and what doesn't through the course of the season and make a lot of adjustments depending on how they play common opponents. Will Zorn be able to win that chess match the second time around?

"It's hard to win games and going 6-2 is a great start. There's an obvious carryover from what they were doing under Gibbs. It's the same style and they are a good football team, bur I don't see them scoring a lot of points. The formula [running the ball, playing defense] can work, but it's not as explosive as they would like.

"Most of the time the offense has too far to go. The defense doesn't give them any short fields. They're not getting much of a pass rush. [Greg] Blache's system is based on the secondary and linebackers. They're not an up-field pass rushing team. They're more of a two-gap, lateral, team. He doesn't put them in the juice packages until it's third-and-long, and that's only 10 percent of the game.

"They got Jason Taylor to get to the quarterback, but you won't see the Jason Taylor of Miami in Washington. It's a different system. They're not playing with the lead, either. The games are so close and they have to play things pretty close to the vest."

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 29, 2008; 7:39 AM ET
 
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Next: Campbell Takes Wise to School; C.P. on O.J.

Comments

6-2 is all I got to say.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 29, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Pretty obvious you hate brains, Jasno.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 29, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

executives, consultants, all bs. However, I do agree about the WR's. They have to find away to get atleast Thomas involved more. Since when does Philadelphia have good safeties? Quentin Mikel (sp) is decent but Dawkins has been on the decline for several years now and probably will not even be on the team next year. Sean Considine should not even be on an NFL roster. This "executive" must be a Philly executive. Philly loves to over value their own players. That is why they have basically been only a .500 team since 2005.

Posted by: kmichael76 | October 29, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Why can't we know who this person is:
"an NFL executive who has scouted the Redskins several times"?

It's not as if this "executive" has shed any new light on the Skins. I give you:

"It's hard to win games and going 6-2 is a great start."

Wow, thanks for the insight.

While I know it's hard to come up with 3 or 4 articles a day, please tell me information that I can't figure out on my own, That would be part of being a "Redskins Insider", right?

Posted by: captjim | October 29, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Why can't we know who this person is:
"an NFL executive who has scouted the Redskins several times"?

It's not as if this "executive" has shed any new light on the Skins. I give you:

"It's hard to win games and going 6-2 is a great start."

Wow, thanks for the insight.

While I know it's hard to come up with 3 or 4 articles a day, please tell me information that I can't figure out on my own, That would be part of being a "Redskins Insider", right?

Posted by: captjim | October 29, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

wow you continue to impress me with the different ways that you can suck you tubby dork

Posted by: jonthefisherman | October 29, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

So what is the latest on Springs. ESPN reports that he won't play Monday. What exactly happened to his calf? Why aren't they making a move to put Thomas on IR and try to pick up some secondary help?

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Your post makes us out like we were lucky to be 6-2. [YAWN} Same ole negative nancy crap. Please let us know what this "executive" has to say when we beat his team again. If he really exists.

Posted by: Predator48 | October 29, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Oops, not Thomas.

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

This post seemed a little slanted towards the negative. "you wont see the Jason Taylor of Miami, in Washington", no kidding, might that have to do with the injury to his calf??

eh, is this the same guy who said the offensive line was crap at the beginning of the year?

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 29, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

oh c'mon CAPJIM, give JLC a break, he hasn't brought his famous "NFL executive" for quite a while now. After doing so well following the whole "tampering" thing, he is little by little going back to his old ways, you didn't REALLY think it would stay reasonable did you?

Readinig that BS, I really think this all must be a mirage, the Skins suck, right? This is even a matter of pointing things that need to improve (a lot of this is accurate to the extent that these are points that are to be improved upon) but the way this is presented, the Skins just suck, and their dam lucky to be 6-2.

At least, that's what I got out of it.

Posted by: craig2 | October 29, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, where for art thou Flounder?

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

This has got to be Springs' last year with the team. I hate to question his toughness, but I don't understand why he'll only play if he's 100%. Guys like Smoot, Taylor, Portis, Samuels, etc.. are out there playig when they can barely walk. I can't see how these guys have much respect for him.

Yes, a calf muscle is a big deal when you're a DB, but so is a groin and Smoot is out there balling every week. Hell, he played with a BROKEN STERNUM. I sit behind a desk all day and I wouldn't want to come to work with that.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

This has got to be Springs' last year with the team. I hate to question his toughness, but I don't understand why he'll only play if he's 100%. Guys like Smoot, Taylor, Portis, Samuels, etc.. are out there playig when they can barely walk. I can't see how these guys have much respect for him.

Yes, a calf muscle is a big deal when you're a DB, but so is a groin and Smoot is out there balling every week. Hell, he played with a BROKEN STERNUM. I sit behind a desk all day and I wouldn't want to come to work with that.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Even though the WP has basically stripped us of out first amendment right to free speech with their restrictions on this page I must say that I enjoy the conversation so much more these days. That being said, does anyone agree that we need to take our shots down the field early and often against Pittsburgh to throw them off balance? We are being too cautious in the early going.

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

it would be "inside" info. if this came from someone who plays/coaches for the skins. sorry...but charlie casserly is getting worn thin and not like john madden neither.

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

espn the mag article on Soups:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?section=magazine&id=3660356

Posted by: chrislarry | October 29, 2008 1:06 AM


greg, it's charlie casserly. yeah this is kinda getting worn thin...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Not a lot you couldn't figure out on your own, unless you are a strict rah-rah fan and any criticism of the Redskins (even of the constructive sort) causes you great mental distress (as is obvious from the comments above). I mean, we saw the past several years how vital Moss is to this offense and we saw last week (again) how important it is that Samuels is manning the left side. Injuries are the great equalizer for all teams in the NFL (i.e. Westbrook in Philadelphia) so it is not big news that injuries to key players would cripple the Redskins. I still don't get the vitriol over such a common sense post. What here is so surprising to anyone? Why does it make you so angry? Now, while I agree that the Redskins offense look a lot like the Gibbs version, I think the executive is remiss in not mentioning the development of Jason Campbell. That is the big difference and Zorn deserves some credit for that (but Jasno has talked about that extensively). Also, do you readers really not get that if you are a reporter with sources on other teams if you give that person's name you will no longer have a source?

Posted by: Ehren | October 29, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Is the famous NFL executive Charlie Casserly??? They could have done the interview on the set of Comcast Sportsnet.

Posted by: RedskinJim1 | October 29, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Although the post seems a bit negative I'll concede that a lot of it is valid. I've thought a lot about what kind of adjustments the other NFC east teams will make when we play them again. I'm sure Jimmy Z has thought about this as well and I think as the season progresses we'll see more of a West Coast look to the offense.
Honestly, it's been the same scouting report since 2005. Moss, Cooley and Portis are the guys you have to stop. And guess what? No one has done it yet. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing what passes for "inside" analysis these days: "It's hard to win games..." and Portis, Moss, & Cooley are our big offensive threats. Skins run a lot, and the defense doesn't produce many sacks... Boy, this Ravens exec, oops, I mean this NFL exec really has the Skins scouted, all right.

Posted by: LittleSoren | October 29, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"You can double Moss, but if he's healthy and playing like this you can't really stop him. So if I'm playing them, I'm doing whatever I have to do to stop the run. If you take away the run I think you can contain the passing game"

Help me understand this. So you put 2 guys on Moss, and you put 6 or 7 guys in the box to stop the run. So that leaves you with 2 or 3 guys left in coverage to cover Cooley, ARE, and whomever else is catching balls.

Isn't what makes Zorn a good coach so far is his ability to ADAPT, and not FORCE STUFF??

Nevermind....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Not a lot you couldn't figure out on your own, unless you are a strict rah-rah fan and any criticism of the Redskins (even of the constructive sort) causes you great mental distress (as is obvious from the comments above). I mean, we saw the past several years how vital Moss is to this offense and we saw last week (again) how important it is that Samuels is manning the left side. Injuries are the great equalizer for all teams in the NFL (i.e. Westbrook in Philadelphia) so it is not big news that injuries to key players would cripple the Redskins. I still don't get the vitriol over such a common sense post. What here is so surprising to anyone? Why does it make you so angry? Now, while I agree that the Redskins offense look a lot like the Gibbs version, I think the executive is remiss in not mentioning the development of Jason Campbell. That is the big difference and Zorn deserves some credit for that (but Jasno has talked about that extensively). Also, do you readers really not get that if you are a reporter with sources on other teams if you give that person's name you will no longer have a source?

Posted by: Ehren | October 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Although the post seems a bit negative I'll concede that a lot of it is valid. I've thought a lot about what kind of adjustments the other NFC east teams will make when we play them again. I'm sure Jimmy Z has thought about this as well and I think as the season progresses we'll see more of a West Coast look to the offense.
Honestly, it's been the same scouting report since 2005. Moss, Cooley and Portis are the guys you have to stop. And guess what? No one has done it yet. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

So what is the latest on Springs. ESPN reports that he won't play Monday. What exactly happened to his calf? Why aren't they making a move to put Thomas on IR and try to pick up some secondary help?

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Tyler2Durden:
Seems like our secondary has been playing pretty well even without Springs don't know that we need any help there

Posted by: wstclair | October 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that there are issues for this team. But guess what. There have been issues all year to be dealt with. And guess another what! They have handled things pretty well.

Zorn is the real deal. Does that mean the Skins are on their way to the SB, NO, but it does they stand a pretty dam good chance of going as far as ANY OTHER team in the league, cuz EVERY other team ALSO has issues to deal with.

How about you do a piece on how Zorn has brought this team together and overcome so much difficulty already JLC?

Posted by: craig2 | October 29, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

"the way this is presented, the Skins just suck, and their dam lucky to be 6-2."

Well said, my man. Well said.

Posted by: peterandmeredith | October 29, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

okay...here's what i'm willing to bet my life on:

deep throat: shawn springs
nfl executive: charlie casserly

no employed "nfl executive" would do this...

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I pride myself on being a call em like I see em type dude....

This post is beyond lame

Posted by: chrislarry | October 29, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

So it took an NFL Executive to tell us that our offense uses Moss, Portis and Cooley?

He's scouted us since the start of the year and concluded that we are a better team when our perennial Pro-Bowl left tackle is healthy and playing.

Also, I distinctly recall that before the beginning of the season, Zorn said he was keeping the Skins running game intact from the previous year - even using the same terminology. So why is it that pundits seem to pat themselves on the back for saying the running game looks more Gibbs than WCO?

Forgive me if I don't feel very enriched by this NFL executive's insights.

Posted by: p1funk | October 29, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like this executive watched all the coaches interviews on Redskins.com from this week, and put together a montage of quotes. There's really nothing new or even insightful about his views.

Posted by: kafkasbug | October 29, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, where for art thou Flounder?

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:11 AM

I'm here, what's up?

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 29, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

JLC - Why is it that the quotes from your "NFL executive source" sound just like the opinion articles you write?? There is no source and if that guy is an NFL executive then he probably works for the Bengals or Lions because he is clueless!!

Stop the bullsh*t with the "sources" please!! We are not dumb fans and WE CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH ALL OF YOUR BULLSH*T. We also don't really give a flying f*ck what you or your sources opinion is of our 6-2 team. Just report the news. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR OPINION!!!!

Please go get a job with the Baltimore Sun. That way, you can be closer to those fans with the inferiority complex and your big toothed, know nothing buddy, Jerry Coleman.

Posted by: PASkinsFan2 | October 29, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Dealer -- right on the money

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Dealer -- right on the money

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Dealer -- right on the money

Posted by: Original_etrod | October 29, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

This guy is dead on. It is a well-reasoned, cogent analysis of why the Skins are in last place in the division, behind not only the Giants, but the explosive Dallas and Philly teams. Hey, wait a minute...

Posted by: LiberalMike | October 29, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

there was probably no nfl exec. saying this. jlc just made that up so he could still be negative without saying it. the eagles have given up lots of passing yards this year so how can anyone say something so ignorant. they have also given up some good running yards against decent running teams. how the hell did anyone from the post hire this guy?

Posted by: rls1041 | October 29, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

thanks etrod!

cindy, blog is really sloooooooooooooooooow!!!!!

speaking of money here's a free tip (this comes from a cabby who has a lot of time on his hands and does nothing but be on this blog and watch the market):

the market has revealed it's bottom and it is 8500. market has gone below 8500 three times now in the past 4 to 6 weeks and everytime it comes roaring back. so next time it goes below 8500 you might want to invest in an index fund or an exchange traded index fund. and put in a sell order after a 10% gain. do not mess with an individual stock.

but please be aware if a cabby can figure this out then it's probly time for the capitulation to stop. "past performances are no indications for future results."

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

This "scout" loses some credibility by not mentioning the development of Jason Campbell. Before the season, everyone was saying JC was the key to the Redskins this year and some even question his ability to do exactly what he is doing right now - be elusive, make good reads, make the short and long throws, make plays.

Part of the reason Portis is doing so well is, this year, teams finally have to respect the pass.

Posted by: daddy00 | October 29, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, the Eagles had no idea they would need to stop Chris Cooley last time. Hey, wait a minute...

Posted by: LiberalMike | October 29, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So wait, the executive said if you take away the NFL's leading rusher, one of the top WR in the NFC and the pro bowl TE the offense will struggle? Man, he's good! We're a better team with Chris Samuels and the defense hasn't generated much pass rush? This guy is MONEY!

What's your next post JLC, "NFL Sources Confirm Sun Rises In The East"

Posted by: jaldrichl | October 29, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Ok, need to ask another favor of my RI peeps.

Going to the Dallas game, and am thinking about purchasing the following tickets:

Lower Level Section 117 Row 4 - $335 each

Lower Level Section 114 Row 11- $330 each

Zone B Club 305 Row 17 $330 each

Zone D Club 330 Row 16 $310 each

Thanks, and bonus points for all who help out...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 29, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Captain Obvious. This "NFL Exec" knows nothing if they are saying the Eagles and Giants have good safeties. Dawkins is past his prime and we saw what type of safety Butler is on Sunday. He's terrible in coverage and average in run support. Both teams have average safety combos. I'd rather you not post anything from an "NFL Exec" unless you can name the source....because it's just sounding foolish. What's the deal with Tana's hammy. Give me something solid in regards to that.

Posted by: dwills11 | October 29, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

nfl executive confirms the earth is NOT, repeat is NOT flat!

btw...lisa demorase used "Whatev" in her article today:

CNN was approached by Obama's campaign about taking tonight's time buy, but unlike MSNBC took a pass. "We'd rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television," CNN said in a statement. Whatev.

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I think if teams try to stop the run as suggested by this exec, JC will gash them throw the air. That what the WCO does, short passes to supplement the run. JC has been very accurate this year and his development makes stacking the box a risky proposition. I think the Steelers will do just that, and I think JC will have a very good game.

Posted by: TWISI | October 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Could I have written that in a more ambigious manner??

My question should have been, given the choice, those who have attended games in the past, which of these seats would you choose....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Jasno,

I'm forwarding you my resume and I hope you'll pass it on to this "NFL Executive." I'm "between jobs" and I'd lower my salary to $120,000 per year, plus expenses, parking, health benefits, and a good 401K plan.

If this guy has "has scouted the Redskins several times in the first half of the season" and comes up with this, I can add value to his organization. I've developed a better understanding of the 'Skins by reading the threads on this blog, and I can help him with the rest of the league by following their blogs, too. This would free him up to spend his time on the things that he does well, whatever those might be.

Thanks,

talent_evaluator

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

BeantownGreg....Section 114 row 11 is def the best set on your list if you want to be near the live action and intensity of a Monday Night NFL game. The club section is more of a corporate atmosphere with less intensity but more comfort (climate controlled, leather seats insider etc).

Posted by: dwills11 | October 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Is this the same NFL executive that said our secondary was terrible, JC was an awful fit for the west coast and our offense of line couldn't block anyone? I hope it was the same source because he seemed to know a lot

Posted by: Houligan26 | October 29, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

F that NFL Exec...sounds like someone who has zippy positive to say so F him. 6-2 is what I'd like to tell him and our D being 6th in the league isn't too bad eh hot shot? O is 7th in the league....to me that smells of nothing but success....

SO...F THAT "NFL EXEC"

Posted by: P00P | October 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Even I have to say this is pretty negative.

Having said that, he scouted them earlier in the year and again recently. Then mentions Philly and Gmen. Wonder if it's a guy on the Cowboys.

Depth the dude is correct. What he fails to say is that JC is more comfortable in the passing game, the line playing better after a year of not playing together and Horton is getting more and more experience in a league where "safeties are so important."

We'll see, it's smash-mouth football in the NFC east. Saying "stop the run" and stopping the run are two different things. I doubt the Eagles and Gmen are/will be the first to try that.

Posted by: Gweez | October 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Is this the same NFL Exec from the preseason who said our secondary was terrible, JC was an awful fit for the WC and our offensive line couldn't block anyone? I hope it is, he seems like an intelligent source.

Posted by: Houligan26 | October 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Is this the same NFL Exec from the preseason who said our secondary was terrible, JC was an awful fit for the WC and our offensive line couldn't block anyone? I hope it is, he seems like an intelligent source.

Posted by: Houligan26 | October 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting (not really)...

So let me get this straight the manner in which the skins are winning does not jive with the philosophy and preferences of JLC and "The executive" so we should be worried.

The absolute gem of this article however is:

The formula [running the ball, playing defense] can work, but it's not as explosive as they would like.

Oh it CAN work, how nice of him to conceed...All you hear folks in the NFL say is defense and a running game win championships...I am glad Jason and his gal pal conceed that this can work. They are really might be on to something. Now are they going to tell us the team that scores the most points wins

Posted by: JLR75 | October 29, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

hmmmm so "nfl executive" agrees with everything JLO has come up wth..interesting

Posted by: brianlee720 | October 29, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

the market has revealed it's bottom and it is 8500. market has gone below 8500 three times now in the past 4 to 6 weeks and everytime it comes roaring back. so next time it goes below 8500 you might want to invest in an index fund or an exchange traded index fund. and put in a sell order after a 10% gain. do not mess with an individual stock.

Posted by: dealer1 | October 29, 2008 8:52 AM

I used to rely on CNBC for financial advice, but no more! I'll still watch them to see the Hottie Money Honeys, but now I can turn the sound off and just listen to dealer.

I'll have money to invest after 4th's stock tip: Six Flags. I made a major investment on his advice at $1.00 a share and when it hits $1.50 I'll be golden. Today it's at $.29 a share, but it's due for a good pop. Now that the 'Skins are turned around, Snyder's going to let Zorn run Six Flags in the off season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 29, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Uhhg the market. My guess is about 7500 and they close the market for 2 days. The markets are no longer based on information. They are based on the whims of the masses who garner info from the internet. Buy good companies and hold onto them.

Posted by: Gweez | October 29, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

The next game will tell us a bit about the team. Was Zorn going conservative so the team would not beat itself against lesser opponents, or is something else behind it, is he trying to change what he does to keep opponents looking at different film? If the team comes out and plays the same style of offense that they did the last two weeks I will be worried, if they can get back to the higher powered style of the 4 win streak, great, If the team goes into some crazy new mode that we never saw this year thats cool too.

IMO, a team needs to have 3-5 different types of offensive game plans, different ways that they can change their system to beat up on opponents, that way they can say, well lets change to this game plan, mid game not just at half time but other times as well.

We have seen the skins run two or three this season, with the last 5 games being the power run with some other options mixed in. We saw the JC friendly Shotgun system against the Saints, Cards. We saw the attempt at a classic WC system in game 1, the team did not seem ready for it yet. I dunno what others we have but I am guessing we will see new stuff in the next 8 games.


Posted by: alex35332 | October 29, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

One word in response to this NFL "executive":

Duh!

Posted by: RambleOn | October 29, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The next game will tell us a bit about the team. Was Zorn going conservative so the team would not beat itself against lesser opponents, or is something else behind it, is he trying to change what he does to keep opponents looking at different film? If the team comes out and plays the same style of offense that they did the last two weeks I will be worried, if they can get back to the higher powered style of the 4 win streak, great, If the team goes into some crazy new mode that we never saw this year thats cool too.

IMO, a team needs to have 3-5 different types of offensive game plans, different ways that they can change their system to beat up on opponents, that way they can say, well lets change to this game plan, mid game not just at half time but other times as well.

We have seen the skins run two or three this season, with the last 5 games being the power run with some other options mixed in. We saw the JC friendly Shotgun system against the Saints, Cards. We saw the attempt at a classic WC system in game 1, the team did not seem ready for it yet. I dunno what others we have but I am guessing we will see new stuff in the next 8 games.


Posted by: alex35332 | October 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

dwills, thanks man. 10,000,000 bonus points coming your way.

Oh and same amount to you dc, just cuz I care...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

We chatted in general about the Redskins, some strengths and weaknesses, and general impressions.

By Jason La Canfora | October 29, 2008; 7:39 AM ET |

The Redskins have the 6th best defense in the league, but you didn't cite a single "strength" -- only weaknesses and negative impressions. Either you, or this executive, is a fraud.

This is a typical Jasno analysis: "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we're 6-2. Everything else is bad news."

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 29, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't confuse "scouting" here with what most people would assume he was implying -- an NFL team sending a person or people whose official job it is to conduct a thorough, in-depth analysis of an upcoming opponent. Here, I'm thinking it means a guy who is employed in some capacity with an NFL team (my guess is the Ravens) who has happened to catch a couple Skins games on tape or NFL Network. That's not "scouting" to me, but then again calling the league to ask if Vinny was guilty of tampering for an innocuous radio show comment is not "journalism" to me either.

Posted by: LittleSoren | October 29, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/11067473


Wow can't believe that Prisco actually put us 3rd in the Power Rankings...

Then again Power Rankings=Power Rankings.

Posted by: Gweez | October 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

We'll see, it's smash-mouth football in the NFC east. Saying "stop the run" and stopping the run are two different things. I doubt the Eagles and Gmen are/will be the first to try that.

Posted by: Gweez | October 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

No.. they won't be.. teams have been trying that already. They stack the box early in the game, but so far we keep wearing them all down!

Posted by: fbchick | October 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing new in this post. This observation of the team was farely easy.

I've been saying for weeks they are playing Redskins Football (codeword for Gibbs Football).

No one knew how JZ would call the plays so we did have an advantage there. The 2nd time around will def be harder than the 1st. Atleast all of those games will be played at home.

When we play Philly they will blitz the heck out of us, unlike they did the 1st game.

And that was my analysis wich pretty much matches up with the 'Source'..........

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 29, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused about the "lack of interior line depth" comment. Do most teams carry pro bowlers or solid starters as back-up o-linemen? We made the playoffs last year with Fabini starting 14 or 15 games at right guard and we've got the 3rd round pick who looked good in camp and is seen as a starter 1 to 2 years down the road (if not forced into duty before then). So maybe Geisenger's not the best backup center in the league, but taken as a group, are most teams in the league "stacked" at back-up center/guard and we're not?

Posted by: PatM1 | October 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"spent some time picking the brain of an NFL executive who has scouted the Redskins several times in the first half of the season, including early in the season and more recently." ...

what does this mean?
I could have told you all the stuff the "executive" said. I think the source meter is going to be on Red Alert today!!!

So, where are the strenghts of the team? the fact that they are top 10 in both O and D?
JLC bama of the week week for this blog..

Posted by: rdscnz | October 29, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Another good analysis:

http://was.scout.com/2/805748.html

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 29, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Pat,

I would say that any injury to our interior line would lead to a severe dropoff in production. Fabini is a year older (34) and just not good. Last year we basically abandoned running to his side. That is spot on analysis. But hardly "insider"

Anyone seen "Rock-n-Rolla" Guy Ritchie's latest flick? Any good?

Posted by: Gweez | October 29, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"You have to get the ball out very quickly and the Eagles' safeties are very good in the open field. There won't be the yards after the catch."

Since when? This NFL executive thinks too highly of the Eagles. As if we haven't been playing Cooley the same way against them for years. Gameplanning Cooley is nothing new. Yawn @ their safeties.

Posted by: Gfunk | October 29, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time stomaching Larry Michael's "source meter," but this is exactly why he has developed it. This post is so pitiful. Just wait until they lose a game and then you can slam them. There's a good chance they'll lose to the Steelers. They are tired and running into a good team, so they may lose.

Why don't you wait until then get all of your negative stuff out.

One thing I know for certain - the writing is on the wall: Your days on this beat are numbered. Why do you think they've brought in so many guys behind you? You've stirred up too much crap because of your Baltimore bias. And the thing with Vinny was the last straw.

I have enjoyed your coverage over the years, but it has become more than obvious over this last year that you have an agenda.

So, I have to admit, I can't wait to say, adios!

Posted by: cb6671 | October 29, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I have a hard time stomaching Larry Michael's "source meter," but this is exactly why he has developed it. This post is so pitiful. Just wait until they lose a game and then you can slam them. There's a good chance they'll lose to the Steelers. They are tired and running into a good team, so they may lose.

Why don't you wait until then get all of your negative stuff out.

One thing I know for certain - the writing is on the wall: Your days on this beat are numbered. Why do you think they've brought in so many guys behind you? You've stirred up too much crap because of your Baltimore bias. And the thing with Vinny was the last straw.

I have enjoyed your coverage over the years, but it has become more than obvious over this last year that you have an agenda.

So, I have to admit, I can't wait to say, adios!

Posted by: cb6671 | October 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

That was a poor post. I am not an NFL insider, but I don't need to be to know that Zorn did not change the running game from what Gibbs did. He announced that he was not going to change the running game. Why is power running like Joe Gibbs a surprise to this guy?

No inside info here. Skins have a good Defense, but not enough pass rush. Skins lack depth on the O-line. Surprise, surprise.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | October 29, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm not claiming that Fabini is anything to write home about (although you have remember he was playing next to Todd Wade or an undrafted rookie, who even in his second year none of us are excited about having to run behind if he ever gets back in there, so I don't think you can pin all the right side woes on him), and certainly there's a huge dropoff in athleticism there if Randy Thomas goes down, but my point is more could you say that about nearly every team? You think Dallas has some to plug right in if Leonard Davis goes down? Look how the colts struggled early in the year with no Jeff Saturday. I just don't think it's common to have that depth, so I don't see why the "lack" needs to be pointed out.

Posted by: PatM1 | October 29, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

So, to get an unbiased analysis of the 'Skins, Jason goes to an anonymous competitor...who promptly makes it sound like the 'Skins have won the 'Lotto to be at 6-2. This is just awful journalism.
JLC's incessant shots at Cerrato are beyond inappropriate. He's somehow managed to put a highly competitive team on the field with a good coach. What exactly is it that a GM is supposed to do?
Can't wait for JLC to get drop-kicked.

Posted by: PS7900 | October 29, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

my take on the post, Jla was talking to captain obvious. No kidding, you mean Cooley, Portis, and Moss are our biggest threats? Wait you mean thanks to Thomas being a moron Moss is our only game breaker at receiver? Wait our oline is old? Wait our defense doesn't get a lot of sacks?

What this guy should have pointed out is that JC is playing lights out football and has ascended to possibly the best qb in the division. That we're 8 games into a new system and we're regularly hanging 400 yards a game on people. That we beat Philly and Dallas on the road, that even if we just win the games we should the rest of the way we easily get to 10 wins. And that we should be fighting for a first round bye/home field advantage. The key to all of this though is JC, if he stays healthy, I have faith that we have a shot against everybody, this is the same CP that has been here for years and the same Moss, and the same Cooley, the difference is, this isn't the same JC, he's making plays and makes our passing game legitimate for the first time maybe since Brad Johnson left after winning the division and Jeff George took over.

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 29, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 29, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Someone ask Clinton Portis how much this offense resembles Gibbs' offenses. You don't go from averaging under 4 yards per carry and publicly stating that you would love to be in a more dynamic offense to averaging over 5 yards per carry, leading the league in rushing by nearly 300 yrds, being voted for multiple awards, and being the front runner for NFL MVP with no significant changes. And if not CP.....ask Jason Campbell.

More garbage from Chumpfora and his "sources".

Posted by: SirAnonymoustheGreat | October 29, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

... does anyone agree that we need to take our shots down the field early and often against Pittsburgh to throw them off balance? ...

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | October 29, 2008 8:16 AM

Totally. That plus the intermediate passing game. Zorn trusted Jason early in the season; now Jason needs to trust Zorn, esp. to return to the quick-paced passing game. I realize that the second round pass catchers didn't pan out as quickly as desired, but now it definitely the time to get more attempts to Thomas and Davis ... AND Thrash (who, to me anyway, seems like he is one of the most reliable at hanging onto balls that touch his hands ... OK, maybe after Santana). Skins DEFINITELY need to return to the passing game. THAT is how they prevailed over the Saints/Cards/Eagles/Dallas. I'm all for Portis breaking a league record on the ground, but we are now into Week 9 (is it 9 or 8?) and there is a lot of film that teams have on the Skins. They will figure out how to stop Clinton off tackle (like the Browns started figuring out, like the Lions started figuring out), probably some read off the O-linemen. If the Skins don't evolve and figuratively "move the chains" play-calling (and play executing)-wise, then they will not have the same success that they've had to date.

BeanTgreg, the Club level experience is not worth the extra cash. I've sat in the 200 level seats above 117, but the 114 seats will get you out of the endzone and a better view on how much distance remains on the FGs.

chRIs lARRy, still loving rainbows and lollipops today? or was it really just Red Bull in the coffee yesterday?

Posted by: dcsween | October 29, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Someone ask Clinton Portis how much this offense resembles Gibbs' offenses. You don't go from averaging under 4 yards per carry and publicly stating that you would love to be in a more dynamic offense to averaging over 5 yards per carry, leading the league in rushing by nearly 300 yrds, being voted for multiple awards, and being the front runner for NFL MVP with no significant changes. And if not CP.....ask Jason Campbell.

More garbage from Chumpfora and his "sources".

Posted by: SirAnonymoustheGreat | October 29, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Interesting thought from 4th about the Eagles: you apparently didn't see the same game as I did, cuz the game I saw had over 60% blitz early, but guess what, JC beat 'em on their blits, Portis beat 'em on their blitz, and they stopped blitzing late in the game.

Why would it be any different in game two? Why would it be any different against any other opponent who does the same thing.

And don't take the Lions D-Line play too lightly, they had 8 sacks in the two games prior to ours, and then three against us. They also stacked the box with eight and nine man fronts, JC beat 'em, and they backed off later in the game, came back to it late in the fourth quarter, and got beat by it anyway.

Zorn and JC know what's coming, and seem to have an excellent understanding of how our opponents will try to attack our offense, why would that change now?

Posted by: craig2 | October 29, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Someone ask Clinton Portis how much this offense resembles Gibbs' offenses. You don't go from averaging under 4 yards per carry and publicly stating that you would love to be in a more dynamic offense to averaging over 5 yards per carry, leading the league in rushing by nearly 300 yrds, being voted for multiple awards, and being the front runner for NFL MVP with no significant changes. And if not CP.....ask Jason Campbell. While some of the philosophies may be similar, the creativity and execution is a significant change.

More garbage from Chumpfora and his "sources".

Posted by: SirAnonymoustheGreat | October 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | October 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

We should just have a standard morning post:

1. JLC S*cks
2. This is obvious
3. There is no NFL Executive
4. All he says is negative
5. Some one fire JLC
6. JLC S*cks
7. Can't he say anything good about the time.
8. JLC is biased and he s**ks
9. JLC hates Cerrato
10. JLC hates Danny
11. JLC hates Danny and Vinny, and btw, he S*cks
12. JLC likes the Ravens
13. Someone fire JLC

Round and round and round we go -

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 29, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

If you guys hate JLa so much, and think he's that bad, stop reading. It's really that simple. Spending all day on this comment board complaining is pretty pathetic.

And Larry Michaels is a homer, a bootlicking mouthpiece completely incapable of an original thought. Guess what? Sometimes the Redskins deserve criticism. Admitting that does not make you less of a fan. You people are brainwashed or something.

Posted by: The_Doc | October 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the insights, Mr. Newsome. You'll get your chance to scout the Skins up close on December 7th. Don't think it'll be as easy to beat the Redskins as you make it seem here. See ya soon.

Posted by: lupin_iv | October 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

STEELERS HAVE A NEW LONG SNAPPER
Posted by Josh Alper on October 29, 2008, 9:00 a.m.
The Steelers made two moves Tuesday that could give their special teams a very different look when they visit the Redskins on Monday night.
Jared Retkofsky won a four-man audition to replace Greg Warren as the team’s long-snapper. Warren’s knee injury forced linebacker James Harrison to snap during Sunday’s loss to the Giants and Harrison sailed a snap over punter Mitch Berger’s head for a game-tying safety. Retkofsky spent training camp with the Steelers in 2007 and was undrafted after playing his college ball at TCU.
The team also signed Ricky Schmitt to their practice squad as insurance against Berger’s strained hamstring. The Shepherd College product went to camp with the Cardinals in 2007 and the 49ers this year but was cut each time.
If Berger isn’t able to play, it will create another problem for the Steelers. Berger is the holder for Jeff Reed and would be replaced by Hines Ward, who moved up in line after Charlie Batch’s injury, in the event of Berger’s absence.
Mike Tomlin said that the team is prepared for that eventuality. “Hines has done it every week, twice a week since Charlie went down. Hines has a little comfort and continuity with Jeff.”

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 29, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Ozzie Newsome, another possible Deep Threat...

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 29, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I think this is an accurate assessment of the first have the Redskins season – and the JLC haters are a joke. The team is playing well and gutting out some tough wins, but let’s stay realistic. If Moss goes down they would be in trouble. If an opponent can shut down our run game the Skins very likely would lose. These were both accurately stated by JLC’s source.

It is also true that Redskins drives never (rarely) start in good field position. The defense does not generate takeaways, and there is absolutely NO PASS RUSH. Again, two accurate points made by this league executive. I don’t care who he is, or if he exists – these are obvious points to anyone who watches the games.

And whoever said Brian Dawkins is washed up – I don’t think so. He may be a little past his prime but he always seems to come up big against the Skins. I think it is fair to say the Eagles and the Giants both have good safeties. Now the Cowboys on the other hand…

I am as big a Redskins fan as any, and I am fired up that they’re 6-2 and playing well. Hopefully these key guys (Moss, Samuels, Portis, Randy T, JC, Fletcher, Rogers) can stay healthy. If they keep playing the way they are and stay healthy they should be able to win 4 to 6 games in the second half of the season and stay in the hunt for the NFC East. Jason – keep up the good job and thanks for all the posts in the Insider. Go Skins!

Posted by: burgundyandgold21 | October 29, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Someone ask Clinton Portis how much this offense resembles Gibbs' offenses. You don't go from averaging under 4 yards per carry and publicly stating that you would love to be in a more dynamic offense to averaging over 5 yards per carry, leading the league in rushing by nearly 300 yrds, being voted for multiple awards, and being the front runner for NFL MVP with no significant changes. And if not CP.....ask Jason Campbell. While some of the philosophies may be similar, the creativity and execution is a significant change.

More garbage from Chumpfora and his "sources".

Posted by: SirAnonymoustheGreat | October 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Zorn said himself on 980 yesterday they are essentially using the same running game with different termanology. yes, the execution has been different/better and Zorn's play calling has been better. the running attach lloks quite similar over this past stretch as it did at the end of last year and the end of 2005.

And about asking JC ... yes Zorn has hlped him, the passing scheme seems better, but this is not West Coast offense. The "source" that everybody loves to hate is absolutely right that most of the passing attack is based off play action and deep drops.

It's OK to be a little critical of the team. They're far from perfect - and think the players and coaches would be the first to say that based on recent performances against bad teams.

The Skins are 6-2, JLC is doing some fine reporting, people need to lay off. And never forget ... Larry Michael is huge tool.

Posted by: burgundyandgold21 | October 29, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Someone ask Clinton Portis how much this offense resembles Gibbs' offenses. You don't go from averaging under 4 yards per carry and publicly stating that you would love to be in a more dynamic offense to averaging over 5 yards per carry, leading the league in rushing by nearly 300 yrds, being voted for multiple awards, and being the front runner for NFL MVP with no significant changes. And if not CP.....ask Jason Campbell. While some of the philosophies may be similar, the creativity and execution is a significant change.

More garbage from Chumpfora and his "sources".

Posted by: SirAnonymoustheGreat | October 29, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Zorn said himself on 980 yesterday they are essentially using the same running game with different terminology. yes, the execution has been different/better and Zorn's play calling has been better. the running attach looks quite similar over this past stretch as it did at the end of last year and the end of 2005.

And about asking JC ... yes Zorn has helped him, the passing scheme seems better, but this is not West Coast offense. The "source" that everybody loves to hate is absolutely right that most of the passing attack is based off play action and deep drops.

It is OK to point out some weaknesses over the first half. The Skins are not perfect – the players and coaches would be the first to say so after recent performances against bad teams.

The Skins are 6-2, JLC is doing some fine reporting, people need to lay off. And never forget … Larry Michael is a huge tool.

Posted by: burgundyandgold21 | October 29, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This isn't an inside look; this is a look from an outsider from ANOTHER franchise! Give me something from an actual insider! Oh yeah, the organization HATES you...

Posted by: brownwood26 | October 29, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

All points are valid. None are news.

Bottom line is our head coach is doing what he can to win, and easing the QB into the WCO. That's what good coaches do: they game plan for the players they have.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 29, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

my goodness, this team is 6-2 and J Caca picks the brain of someone else who hates the Skins.

why isn't J Caca fired yet?

get bent J Caca.

Posted by: IHateJLC | October 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"WHEW"!! What venom on these post no the Redskins are not a one trick pony but just like every other team in the NFL they have strenghts and weakness,you can be a fan and still have honest criticism about them true they don't have depth on the O line HELLO!! is that real news? most of us knew that comming out of training camp and we need a complimenterey receiver to go with Moss(no offence ARE)Surprised? not really.So lets all relax and take a deep breath, after all this is how we get away from our problems every Sunday for three plus hours we focus on a game and have fun on this blog lets not take ourselves too seriously!! NOW, lets beat the crap out of the Steelers and their smug self serving fans.GO SKINS!!

Posted by: dargregmag | October 29, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"WHEW"!! What venom on these post no the Redskins are not a one trick pony but just like every other team in the NFL they have strenghts and weakness,you can be a fan and still have honest criticism about them true they don't have depth on the O line HELLO!! is that real news? most of us knew that comming out of training camp and we need a complimenterey receiver to go with Moss(no offence ARE)Surprised? not really.So lets all relax and take a deep breath, after all this is how we get away from our problems every Sunday for three plus hours we focus on a game and have fun on this blog lets not take ourselves too seriously!! NOW, lets beat the crap out of the Steelers and their smug self serving fans.GO SKINS!!

Posted by: dargregmag | October 29, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

When this nfl ex mentions depth on the line i just laughed out loud thinking to myself in todays free agent atmosphere that hardly any NFL team has depth on the O-line like we do. I will take our back ups on the line over many on other teams and we added Rhinehart, . As the article went on I was shocked to read the "insider/insight" as it was 3rd grade level stating the obvious.

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

So to sum up:

We have three good players on offense.

We can't get to the qb, and Taylor is washed up.

We are in trouble the next time we play the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys, becuase they've already seen us.

----

This is getting beyond silly. If these two actaully talked weakness AND strength regarding the Redskins, where are the Strengths? A couple of guys on offense? Who by the way, can't score many points because of the run first philosophy....I suppose the Redskins don't gain any advantage seeing those teams a second time around, just they have the edge on the Skins. That would indicate our coaching isn't very good, which would be a dubious statement in the least based on our record and performance to date.

Jason,

If this guy said positive things, where are they? He doesn't even mention Campbell, and two of the three he does mention, he states have issues (Moss with health, Cooley teams will take away).

If our record weren't mentioned, I'd guess we were 4-4, and that only because the exec CONCEDED the Skins were a good team.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | October 29, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Quick question: If you don't like the way JLC writes his blog, his "negativity", etc. than why keep coming here? Why not go to a more friendly, positive blog to get your Redskins news?

It reminds me of the people who complain about Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olbermann and than sit and watch their program.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 29, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

burgundyandgold21

i dont need to lay of sh#& if i dont want to bro. Lets be honest this article was complete garbage, which doesnt mean i am disagreeing with it. I am just saying its garbage obvious stuff. For you to read this and think anything but proves you are a feeble minded football brained human. I will give you a pass as you are in the brotherhood of skins fans but i will recomend you learn some football. I would be glad to help you with anything you need to know

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Poopy_McPoop

Once again, ! why shouldnt i come on here and rip the guy that rights in one of the biggest, widely read papers in the world about my pride and joy (Washington Redskins) and puts junk up like this. Its called America and i am going to keep reading JLC and when its garbage i will call it garbage. When its good i will call it good so stop being such a lame

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Poopy_McPoop

Once again, ! why shouldnt i come on here and rip the guy that rights in one of the biggest, widely read papers in the world about my pride and joy (Washington Redskins) and puts junk up like this. Its called America and i am going to keep reading JLC and when its garbage i will call it garbage. When its good i will call it good so stop being such a lame

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Because I enjoy reading the comments section of the blog, which has many interesting perspectives.

Are you telling me I need to go somewhere else if I don't agree with JLC's point of view concerning the Redskins?

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | October 29, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Dude is right on point about us. We're in trouble if we lose Moss because the rookies and 4th Floor's boy, James Thrash, are not ready for primetime. Our passing game has been really ordinary the last few weeks.

We'll need some new wrinkles vs pittsburgh and the NFC the 2nd time around.

Also, I just want the QB to be touched by our defense. Humor me. Just touch him. Find a way to touch him. Right now, we pressure the quarterback like JM220 misses workouts: it doesn't happen.

I heart the fact we are 6-2 but remember the facts dudes and non-dudes: onside kick vs dallas, 4th down vs philly, fg vs browns etc. We're just as close to 3-5 as we are to 7-1. Let's not start counting chickens when we only have chicken embryos.

Posted by: ArtMonkToTheSticks | October 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Many of these comments are too harsh. The Post Sports section is world-class and Jason does a great job. The scout interview gave us a really objective view of the Skins' performance, which is always interesting. Of course a scout's view will not always be a major revelation -- they see what we see but are paid by teams to assess other teams. He made some noteworthy points: the offense's troubling tendencies do not show signs of improving (debatable but interesting from a scout); the inability of the offense to generate a lead prevents this defense from taking risks; we may not be able to release the tight ends against Philly and NY; J.Taylor is constrained by the system; the offense rarely gets a short field. Presumably the guy doesn't talk if Jason prints his name -- I'd rather have the scout's views than his name.

Posted by: regularguy2 | October 29, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Jason,
Sincerely, thank you for sharing this scout's perspective. I'm a Skin's fan that doesn't need constant tummy rubs about how great my team is, so I appreciated an outside, unbiased view. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: P-dogg | October 29, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I do think this looks like a Gibbs offense with the best quarterback play I have seen in 17 years. Zorn needs to throw the ball more on 1st and 2nd down, mix it up more like he was doing early in the year.

Posted by: vincentc | October 29, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

ArtMonkToTheSticks,regularguy2
and especially P-dogg
you folks are wack if you enjoyed that article because there was nothing i mean not one thing that i read which is news and or insight/insider info. I can tell you this as well , i surely dont need tummy rubs but I would like some real insider info. OF COURSE we are in trouble if we lose Moss, and NE is in trouble if they lose their Moss Denver would be in trouble if they lost Marshell , and so on . So would many teams in the league be in trouble if they lost their #1
that is the OBVIOUS , I know you will say things like "well the Giants can win with out Burres and give other examples. The thing we need to understand is that not one of use predicted the Skins to play to this level this year. Thats not to say we cant want and expect improvement.

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

ArtMonkToTheSticks,regularguy2
and especially P-dogg
you folks are wack if you enjoyed that article because there was nothing i mean not one thing that i read which is news and or insight/insider info. I can tell you this as well , i surely dont need tummy rubs but I would like some real insider info. OF COURSE we are in trouble if we lose Moss, and NE is in trouble if they lose their Moss Denver would be in trouble if they lost Marshell , and so on . So would many teams in the league be in trouble if they lost their #1
that is the OBVIOUS , I know you will say things like "well the Giants can win with out Burres and give other examples. The thing we need to understand is that not one of use predicted the Skins to play to this level this year. Thats not to say we cant want and expect improvement.

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Some of the scout's comments are things we as 'average' fans have picked up on and know by watching the team over the past couple of years. We have 3 key playmakers on offense and then a very large dropoff. It's also been obvious for some time that the OL is older and we only have one player off the bench in Heyer at RT that can go in and match the production of the player that is in there right now.

On defense the scout's comments were more revealing. I am coming around to his argument that safety has become a much more important position with all of the teams running the WCO and defenses needing to play the short and intermediate zones effectively to be successful.

I agree that the offense has bogged down in spots but I am wondering if in the second half of the season we will see more of Fred Davis in a two tight end system much like the one the Titans run, where on key downs each TE takes a short zone so Campbell has two taller receivers with good hands available on a short drop.

Posted by: leopard09 | October 29, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

And another thing ArtMonkToTheSticks i wouldnt say that a game where JC has his best passer rating of his Career , ordinary

i know the turnovers are not what we want and it was Detroit but it wasnt ordinary....
and who is counting chickens, who is jumping the gun and talking nfc chamnpionship ..not me...

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

And another thing ArtMonkToTheSticks i wouldnt say that a game where JC has his best passer rating of his Career , ordinary

i know the turnovers are not what we want and it was Detroit but it wasnt ordinary....
and who is counting chickens, who is jumping the gun and talking nfc chamnpionship ..not me...

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rehtoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from ficticious execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

two TE sets are something i too would like to see

Posted by: cosmiccatnip1 | October 29, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from ficticious execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from so called execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from so called execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from so called execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from so called execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is typical anti-snyder/vinny/gibbs rhetoric that has become standard from our local media....it's bad enough that you can't even listen to the local sports radio because polin is a bitter jock sniffer and the other one is nuts....call me a homer but I like to hear postive reports not bullsh!@ from so called execs posted by a stumpy, sour, nerd

Posted by: rclangley | October 29, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I recall "an NFL exec" last year blasting the Skins over Stephon Heyer. "It wasn't an accident he wasn't drafted" as I recall. I think Sally Jenkins is Jelly Jason's "source". Thanks for the recap. The Skins are getting better every week. A few plays away from blowing teams out. I'm digging the progress and anxious to see them at season's end...

Posted by: tdpillo123 | October 29, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Skins fan but this post by JLC was a pretty objective evaluation of the team's 1st half. We depend heavily on Moss to open up the underneath passes to Cooley and Randel-El and use play action off a strong running game. Neither Thomas or Kelly has given us the downfield threat to compliment Moss and we'd be in deep trouble if he was hurt. Same thing happened in 2007 when he wasn't healthy until late in the season.

Our defense is very solid, but far from dominant. We have a total of 9 sacks this season and that includes games against weak lines like St. Louis, Cleveland, and Detroit. Because of no pass rush pressure, we rarely force turnovers and our offense rarely has a short field. It's tough to consistently put together 12-15 play drives that result in TD's. The postive is that JC hasn't thrown a pick and only has 2 fumbles this year. We've also got a pretty consistent kicker so we kick a lot of FG's when drives bog down.

Second half of the season, we need to find a way to generate pass rush pressure even if it means blitzing more on 2nd down. Blatche plays the percentages and we only blitz on 3rd down. It's no coincidence that Philly, Dallas, St. Louis, and Cleveland mounted late game drives when they had to pass. No pass rush pressure gave the QB tons of time to throw. Our secondary and LB's have made key stops and broke up plays to preserve leads in the 4th quarter. Our TO ratio is one of the lowest in league for a winning team. I still see us making the playoffs but we're not anywhere as strong on Defense as NY who consistently pressures the QB with its front four. Our DB's also have dropped at least 6-8 balls this year that should have been INT's. A couple of those would have been TD's by Rogers or Landry if they could catch the ball.

Our special teams except kicker Suisham and kick returns by Cartwright have been ordinary except for Moss' return this week. This is another area where we could give our team better field position like other playoff bound teams. Yes, 6-2 is a great 1st half but there's room to improve in the 2nd half.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 29, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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