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The After Blog - Redux

I could probably just re-post what I wrote following the first game. Nothing changed for the better, except for the kickers and punters being non-factors in Week 2, while the offensive line collapsed in pass protection to compliment its overall run blocking woes. I'm going to have to scramble to get this posted before my flight leaves - back to the hotel around 1:30 am this morning with a 6:30 wake-up call and the usual check-in delays at this godforsaken airport - so I'm betting on at least 3 grammatical mistakes with no time to read it over.

I've kept the categories the same as a week ago, for the sake of continuity.

Speed Kills, But Who's Dying (apologies to Dave Mustaine): Managed to have the receivers even less involved than a week ago. At least against the Vikings there was on pass for more than 25 yards; none again the Cowboys. Randle El, the best weapon in Week 1, was not on the field as much (1 catch for minus-5 yards). Lloyd finally caught a pass - one - and Cooley not has two catches this season. Al Saunders had better figure something out, fast - he's getting blamed for the offensive futility in KC, also, ouch - and I'm fully prepared for a deluge of emails and comments this week calling for Mark Brunell's head. He has been bad thus far, as has the entire offense.

The Secondary is Primary: The biggest surprise in the entire game to me was the Cowboys' hesitance to go deep. Every time they did, good things happened for them, same as with the Vikings. TO had that broken bone in his hand, so he didn't do much, but Terry Glenn was running Kenny Wright into the ground. It's far from certain top corner Shawn Springs will be back for Sunday's game in Houston, so someone is going to have to step up. Let's see, Bledsoe hit Glenn for the big gain down the left sidelines, leading to the first TD. they picked up 41 yards on a blatant pas interference to get the ball down to the 5 - leading to another TD. Bledsoe hit Glenn for a 40-yard TD when he was, what, 7 yards behind everyone in the end zone.

Yeah, that defense got gashed again and again. Reminds you of the preseason, eh? Gregg Williams, as has been the norn, declined to comment after the loss. Like Saunders, he's going to have to come up with something because the pass rush was an non-existent as ever, and they have produced all of one turnover this season. Take out that five-game run to make the playoffs late last season, and the weak rush and lack of turnovers are hallmarks of this defense just as much as it's superiority against the run and all of the positives that get mentioned.

Free Agent (offseason acquisition) Follies: Paging B.Lloyd, Andre Carter, Adam Archuleta, Randle El, T.J. Duckett (some nice runs but, man, big problems in pass protection), Saunders. Not a good start for the class of 2006. Carter was lucky that penalties negated a couple of big Dallas gains that would have come at his expense. He produced no pass rushes of note dating back to the first preseason game. Archuleta has not helped the blitz and is getting beat in pass coverage.

Kicker/Punter: Watching Atlanta's kicker blow one field goal after the next made me wonder how much longer Nick Novak would be on the street. John Hall made his only attempt against the Cowboys, but it's a long season.

Third Down Debacles: (new category): They are getting pummeled on both sides of the ball here. If you want the gory details, just read the sidebar I wrote at the game. It's all in there.

Offensive O-Line (new category): This group has been out-muscles at the line of scrimmage two straight weeks now. DeMarcus Ware had his run of the place. The running game again never picked up momentum-building chunks of yards. Brunell was sacked six times for 45 yards and it really could have been 8 probably, with ticky-tack penalties going the Redskins' way and negated big losses.

Random Anchorman Reference (wrote Weaterman before like an idiot): The replay official for Sunday's game was named Bob Mantooth. Seriously. Forgot to ask him if he was any relation to Wes.

Okay, we're about to board this puppy. Hope I can grab 90 minutes of sleep or so. Know this will be a long day at The Park. Gibbs usually does his press conference around 5 pm. We'll see what he says. I'm banking on more of the same - "We're all in this together. It's all of us, offense, defense and special teams." Figure he'll point to the character of this team, maybe reference the rebound from the 5-6 start a year ago. We'll see.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 18, 2006; 9:21 AM ET
 
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Comments

It is officially time to hit the PANIC button. I'm so freakin' depressed!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't mean to be overly simplistic, but doesn't an NFL team need a QB who's not afraid to throw the ball more than five yards beyond the line? Jason, which is it? Are these the called plays, or is Brunell unable to throw downfield with any velocity? There were guys open on several plays, and he flat-out couldn't get them the ball. Or he was unwilling to try, which is pretty much the same. Can he still throw or is he done? If it's the latter, what are they waiting for? At some point, Jason Campbell's gonna have to play.

Posted by: Epstein'sMother'sDoctor | September 18, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Epstein. It looked like guys were open and Brunell couldn't (or wouldn't) try to get the ball to them. I think if they tank in Houston and Brunell plays lousy again, you've got to seriously consider trying Campbell. What's the point of bringing in the new weapons if no one can pull the trigger? Oh, what has happened to your arm, Scott Brunell? (props to anyone who gets the Scott reference)

Posted by: G Money | September 18, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Is Brunell injured again? Wasn't that the explanation for why he couldn't get the ball downfield two years ago?

I think I would be less upset by this loss if it had come with Campbell under center. At least then, he'd be getting big game experience. If we're going to lose games, why not prep next year's starter in the process? (And yes, I just advocating using this season as training for next year's QB.)

Posted by: OS | September 18, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

G Money, are you making fun of me?

Posted by: Dick Stockton | September 18, 2006 10:16 AM | Report abuse

That performance made me depressed and disgusted. As far as anyone can tell, Brunell is not nagged by unjury/infirmity as he was in his first season (though he denied it). So you really have to come to the conclusion that it is time to go to Campbell. Not because Jason will be better -- he won't. But he is the future QB and the future is NOW. It will be ugly as he learns on the field as a starter, but this step is absolutely necessary now. Brunell's fallen off the cliff. If Gibbs and staff want to wait 2 more games to do this, that's fine. But is needs to happen. And yes, I also hate to acknowledge that (if not now) at least after Week 4 -- a quarter through the season -- we have to look to next year. But we do.

Posted by: dig deep | September 18, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I love Mark Brunell as a person and leader; but if anything is obvious, it is that Mark's best days are long behind him. He is incapable of stretching a defense vertically which in turn makes the run much easier to defend.

We spent a first round pick for Jason Campbell. It IS time to for Jason to play. We need defenses kept honest. Look, the scouting report will now be "everybody crowd the line of scrimmage and receivers because Mark can no longer beat you deep".

Yes, I know Jason will struggle, but does anyone think he will struggle anymore than what you watched last night? No offensive TD's; no threat to score from the offense ... at all! Please Saunders and Gibbs, let's use Mark now for his wisdom and experience in helping Jason prepare and during game time. Let's do what we need to do to win.

Posted by: Ivan Lambert | September 18, 2006 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Jason I think Brunell is the real problem with the offense. If you were to look at his 2nd half of the season last yr (incl. playoffs) and the first 2 games of this yr, I think the passer rtg would tell the story. Regardless of the defensive pressure in the pocket, he gives up too many sacks. Look at Brad Johnson - whenever he feels pressure he quickly gets rid of teh ball. Brunell is also too afraid/incapable of throwing anything other than a screen pass. Saunders is handcuffed into calling screens and hitches, and swing passes, with Brunell. It's a shame the skins are wasting such a great offensive mind and so much talent at other skill positions.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Dick Stockton in the house!

Posted by: G Money | September 18, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Gibb's second coming will be remembered by his loyalty to a washed up ineffective Brunell. A guy he brought in. Brunell is and has been the problem, however, Gibb will not bench him. Sad.

Posted by: Stro | September 18, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

THE BEST THING ABOUT WATCHING THE GAME LAST NIGHT............ WAS SHAWN TAYLOR LAYING THE HITS ON T.OWENS. HE NAILED HIM GOOD A FEW TIMES. IF ANYBODY SHOWED THAT THEY WANT TO WIN, ITS SHAWN TAYLOR.THE FORCED FUMBLE BY HIM WAS OUR LAST CHANCE TO WIN LAST NIGHT. THEN BRUNELL GIVES THE BALL AWAY.

MARK BRUNELL=BENCH
JASON CAMBELL=STARTING Q

Posted by: mrjunkhead | September 18, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

All this talk about Mark Brunell, Al Saunders and the woes of the offense is fine, but how about a little bile spewed at the once-vaunted defense? They have exactly zero pass rush, can't cover man-to-man, play a leaky zone, aren't even tackling all that well and let a conservative Dallas offensive scheme put up 27 points that should have been 40-something if the Dallas receivers hadn't dropped more balls than an amputee juggler.

At what point is it appropriate to do a total house-cleaning starting with the front office, rolling right through the sainted-but-ineffective coaching staff and the gutting the hugely-paid but totally complacent roster.

Bubba Tyer can stay.

Posted by: Dexter Semper | September 18, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

This is the first time that I've seen most redskin fans on the same page. We are not all blind. When John Madden makes a comment about your quarterback's inability to get the job done and the rest of the world was able to see for themselves - IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE. I'm actually getting tired of the same of line by Coach Gibbs that that guys are smart and good guys. WELL SOME OF THEM ARE NOT TALENTED ENOUGH (i.e. Betts, Holman, Wright, and Brunell) and other OVER-RATED (i.e. Samuels, Jansen). It's actually painful to watch this predictably dull team.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Until I see a game where the Skins have their feature tailback in the lineup, the pass protection doesn't completely dissolve, and the playcalling isn't a joke, I'm not ready yet to blame Brunell. And I don't agree with whoever said there were guys open downfield he kept missing - there weren't! There was good coverage, which tells me the recievers are checking out of their routes.

Also, in blaming the QB, too many are losing sight of the fact that this was a game that screamed for an aggressive pass rush. Bledsoe had all day in the pocket - and the Cowboys OL isn't that good. Didn't they see in the Jags came what happens when Bledsoe gets pressured?

Ugly on all sides.

Posted by: Kelly | September 18, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Offense
The Redskins couldn't run the ball (again). They couldn't throw it to their wide receivers (again). They couldn't block for quarterback Mark Brunell, who was sacked six times and spent a good portion of the rest of the night running for his safety (again). His most important pass of the game was a pitiful lob into double coverage that Roy Williams easily intercepted at the Dallas 1 late in the third quarter _ not the kind of pass you expect a smart 36-year-oldf veteran to make. Once it became clear the Redskins were going to have to throw to get back into it, tackle Jon Jansen was beaten twice on sacks and committed at least one false start. Running back Ladell Betts was gritty with 40 yards rushing and 57 yards receiving, but no one hired him to catch seven passes a game. Chris Cooley was all but shut down, as was Brandon Lloyd. Grade: F

Defense
The first thing that stood out was how poor their tackling was for the second straight week. Dallas rushed for 138 yards, a lot of it coming on second-effort runs by Julius Jones. For the second straight week, the pass rush was non-existent. Clearly, Redskins assistant coach/defense Gregg Williams doesn't feel he can turn his linebackers loose at the quarterback until Shawn Springs returns to the secondary. Carlos Rogers and the others did a better than average job on Terrell Owens _ at one point he clearly short-armed a pass after noticing Sean Taylor out of the corner of his eye. But Terry Glenn, always a nemesis, played the part again with a 40-yard touchdown. It's hard to believe CB Kenny Wright plays in the NFL, let alone started for a good Jacksonville team last year. Dallas finished with 367 yards total offense, and almost four minutes advantage in time of possession. Grade: F

Special teams
Rock Cartwright's 100-yard kickoff return was masterful. John Hall had a 39-yard field goal, and returned to kicking off, which wasn't expected. Derrick Frost met a strong challenge put forth by Matt McBriar, with 8 punts for a 51.6 average. It was a better than average performance. Grade: B

Coaching
11 penalties for 117 yards pretty much says it all. Even if the officiating crew headed by Tony Corrente has already established a reputation for being whistle-happy, that's far more than a team walking this fragile a line between success and failure can afford to walk. Defensively, the Cowboys relied on Washington paying close attention to Terrell Owens and often floated passes to tight ends and running backs in areas the defenders had vacated. Grade: F

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hello. Nice to see the usual suspects gathering here to ruminate,fulminate and commiserate. This is going to be an interesting week. They can't lose to the Texans, can they??? No. No way.

Posted by: Jason's editor | September 18, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe I'm agreeing with dopey, fat, coffee-slurping Peter King, but PUT IN CAMPBELL!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The problem is not the defense. I thought the defense for the most part played well enough to win the game. Sean Taylor's fumble was huge. After the first quarter the defense played decent. They stopped the bleeding and gave the offense a chance to get on the board. The offense is the real problem. You can't continue to go three and out and put that pressure on a defense that is lacking it's top corner Shawn Springs. On the turn over they had to come away with a touchdown and, what did they do turn it over to Dallas who took it down and got a score of their own. The offensive line is horrible! Six sacks they should refuse to take their pay checks for that performance. They got physically beat up in the trenches. They couldn't run the ball and Brunell never had time to throw the football. Bottom line if they don't fix the offense the defense will continue to struggle. 0-5 anyone?

Posted by: Jon | September 18, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

all that negativity is warranted but we're only a game out in the nfc east with 5 more games to play in it. far too early to hit the panic button.

come on guys, we have the texans to warm up with next week. we lose that one and i'm on the campbell bandwagon. until then...patience, were only 2 games in.

Posted by: ` | September 18, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Given the O-Line's problems, doesn't that make a QB that is big and can run even more valuable? If you're going to throw in Jason Campbell, why not make his first game against the Texans, rather than the Jaguars or the Giants (the next 2 games after the Houston game)? Gibbs won't do it, but I think this is the week to give Jason Campbell a try. Granted, there are plenty of other problems other than Brunell, but perhaps Campbell's stature and style will be a better fit for this team.

Posted by: dsmac | September 18, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Jason!,Jason!,Jason!,Jason!,(come on say it with me)Jason!,Jason!,Jason!,Jason!

Posted by: Busdriver | September 18, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi I too am worried about Brunell, but, come now, all you MMQBs. The last (absurdely meaningless) drive showed that he could get a lot of zip on the ball to his downfield recievers IF he has ample time. Pass protection was atrocious. Run blocking was atrocious. The Cowboys rushed four and got six sacks. Unbelievable.

They can put in Campbell, but he might get pummelled less, but will probably toss more interceptsion (given his lack of experience). All great NFL teams have great o-lines. Methinks that some of those offseason surgeries have caught up with the front five.

Posted by: lonelyredskinette15 | September 18, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Gibbs apologist, but even I can see that it's time to start Jason Campbell. The NFL is a quarterback's league, and there are a lot of young quarterbacks playing right now. Big Ben is an abherration, of course. But Carson Palmer started in his second year and did fine. Phillip Rivers started in his third year and appears to be doing fine. Eli Manning started in his second year and is doing just peachy. The list goes on.

Start the kid. We might as well see what he can do.

Posted by: P Diddy | September 18, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

When Gibbs says "we all need to look at ourselves, and it starts with me," what does he mean by that? Does it mean that he is looking at his decisions? Does one of those decisions include the one to continue starting Brunell?

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone other than me hoping we go 0-5 just so that it forces Gibbs to play Campbell? Seriously. If this team goes .500 Campbell is never going to get playtime. Even if this team makes the playoffs, can anyone after last year believe that this offense led by Brunell after a long 16 game beating can go deep into the playoffs?

Its stupid to pay big dollars for a quarterback just so you can sniff a chance at the playoffs. Better to lose big and rebuild than year after year of mediocrity. At least losing big gives you a high draft pick and an easier schedule next year.....whoops we gave away our draft picks.

Posted by: ptt | September 18, 2006 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you: Jason! Jason! Jason!

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Junkhead...pretty sad when "best things bout last night" was Taylor (is he on parole still?) hit TO a few times.....we have big problems to worry about here

Posted by: Griff Mills | September 18, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

We want Jason!

Maybe the Vikings can make do with an old and slow quarterback like Brad Johnson (why did Danny ever let him go?) but at least he has a strong and accurate arm with a quick release. Not the way you would now describe Brunell's arm.

Posted by: Rick | September 18, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The 'Skins looked like a third string high school time last night. Where is Saunders aggressive offense we heard so much about? Instead of looking at the players, we must look at the ineffective coaching. Saunders was brought in and paid big bucks because he was an "offensive genius." We have seen nothing in the preseason and in the first two weeks of the season to show Saunders lives up to his billing. The offense has not produced! If the entire offense is based on Portis, the Redskin season is already over. And don't get me started on Gibbs. His best years are behind him. He never should have returned to coaching! The game has changed since his Heydey and he should be man enought to realize it and bow out. Dan Snyder thinks money will buy him a superbowl, he doesn't realize it is the entire team; from the coaches to the players. If you have no depth, you have to build it and it may take a few years, but Snyder is to impatient to wait. Unless the 'Skins can turn it around soon, I think they will be lucky to be 8-8.

Posted by: Firedude | September 18, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I am all for being patient, but how many 3rd down conversion have the skins given up in the first two games. Here is a bet you will win everytime at a bar. Bet a beer that the other time will convert on 3rd down. I bet you win more then you lose.

Posted by: C7088 | September 18, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If the offense struggles again and we lose to Houston is there a chance Gibbs starts Campbell the following week? I think he should get the start against Houston, where he will have the best chance at getting off to a good start.

Jason! Jason! Jason!

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not denying that the offensive line was terrible, that was obvious. But what's even more obvious, is that Brunell is incapable of getting the ball downfield, and honestly, he looks scared to get hit. Madden even pointed it out, and that's amazing, but a second longer in the pocket on several plays could have produced successful pass plays down the field. I saw several times where he got rid of the ball, and the pressure was not there yet. It's like he gave up on the play before it had a chance. Face it, he's horrible. Coach Gibbs has wasted three years trying to fit this overrated quarterback into the Redskins plans. And even with a playoff appearance that was pure luck, he's wasted all three of those years. Give the kid Campbell a chance, the skins are going to lose anyway, might as well at least see some sort of effort from the quarterback position. The kid can throw deep, and can move around to avoid the pressure. Which I'm sure he'll do plenty of! Skins 5-11. 2007 anyone?

Posted by: Matt | September 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Jason! Jason! Jason!

Come on ya'll:

Jason! Jason! Jason!

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The worst thing that happened to the Redskins was winning their last 5 games to make the playoffs last year. It fooled our coaching staff into thinking that Mark Brunell could get the job done when it's clear to everyone else that his arm is now like a string of spaghetti.
I remember Mark Brunell when he played for Jacksonville and he was awesome. But this is the NFL and when age catches up to a player it's the coach's responsibility to make the change. The Sunday Night Football graphic last night even highlighted the fact that Brunell has lead the league in passes to the outside and was last in the league for throws over the middle.
This is the NFL, not some little league game and you can't always rely on the rest of the team to pick up the slack. At some point, your quarterback has to be able to make plays. Thread the needle, scramble for a first, come up with SOMETHING. Brunell cannot get the job done.
This team is a great team with a horrible quarterback. There is 0% chance of making the SuperBowl with Brunell. Joe Gibbs needs to open his eyes. Our only hope is that Al Saunders sees what's going on and pressures Gibbs to make a switch. It's a shame, because we're probably going to beat the Texans, and then the Brunell problem will be prolonged even further.

Posted by: JRobb | September 18, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Those of you in agreement that Campbell needs to start, join me in my blog chant, initiated by Busdriver! Let's take this chant to other blogs too. Spread the word - we want Campbell in there. Maybe if every blog on the Redskins is saturated with this chant, word will get back to Gibbs that we're ready to move on. I, for one, am prepared for loses incurred in the process of getting Campbell up to speed. I'm done with Brunell. Let's do this thing!

Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason!

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

there can be no remaining doubt that Brunell is through. I even hate to say it but I'm having doubts about Gibbs! The main reason the skins went on a run at the end of lasr season is because the PLAYERS went to Gibbs to plead with him to take the ball out of Brunell's hands and hand it to Portis and the running game. The players knew last year and they know this year that brunell can't get it done but they don't want to be seen as throwing him under the bus. Brunell is looking at the pass rush, looking to protect himself instaed of standing in till the last second to complete a pass like ALL pro quarterbacks have to. The problem absolutely is not the offensive line. Just look carefully at the line play and the quarterback play of almost any team and you'll see that it's brunell! Look even at the Raiders yesterday. This new quarterback was under tremendous pressure from the Ravens but he stood in, side stepped, completed passes down field. This was his FIRST pro game! IT"S BRUNELL!

Posted by: lynn | September 18, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

You do not forget how to throw over an off season. Brunell does not call the plays nor does he block for himself. With Brunell's arm last year Moss was the #2 receiver in yards. I think that Joe and Danny messed with something that was not broken. It is actually painful to watch them run on 1st & 2nd down - ineffectively - then throw short on 3rd and long. Mark has no control over that at all. They are not even taking shots down the field to keep teams honest. They have two of the fastest players in the league at wide out and they are not being called on?!?!? Brunell, to my knowledge, has no injuries so it is not all him.

Last week, one of the sideline reports said that Brunell missed his vacation time with the family to learn the new playbook. And I believe that they added that he was still not comfortable. Timing, rout recognition and a host of other things play into the offensive woes right now.

Instead of spending 2 mill on an O-coordinator and effective offensive lineman or two would have been better.

As far as what makes me scratch my head it is definitely the defense - what the heck?!?!. There is NO pass rush at all. No pressure. Drew had enough time to bake and icing a cake last night in the pocket. That puts even more pressure on a lacking DB corps. The ONLY bright spot is Taylor. He is a Hitting machine.

They can't fire the 2 million dollar coach, but they can put in plays that utilize the threats that the have. Hopefully somebody points that out in the film room this week.

Posted by: terrell | September 18, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Both lines were punked by the Cowboys and by the Vikings. If that's what the O Line can do in the way of pass protection, they better switch to a mobile QB, because Brunnel can't scramble and can't think fast enough to unload the ball productively and lacks the arm to throw it deep other than with so much air under the ball that every DB in 20 miles has time to get to it before it reaches the WR. I have to pose this question: "Could they be WORSE with Campbell than they have been with Brunnel?" Don't see how -- 0-2 is hard to underperform.

I seem to recall that this O Line once could open holes -- inside. But when every run is stretched out wide? Apparently not. It is time for a return to smash-mouth football between the tackles and keep doing it till play action can work. Even Brunnel can complete an occasional pass if the other team has to bring safeties up to defend the run. Perhaps with other personnel this offense could work. With these guys? Well, it has yet to work even slightly so far. How long should Gibbs be patient? Well, the fans have had enough already -- I'm guessing he'll not go beyond this weekend before going back to what has worked (at least somewhat) with this O Line before.

Posted by: Dolph T | September 18, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If you all keep saying "Jason! Jason! Jason" La Canfora is gonna think you mean him and my life will be difficult.
Seriously, the traditional rational side of me says its awfully early to think of going to JC, but Brunell just isn't getting it done. Again, can they really lose to Houston?

Posted by: Jason's editor | September 18, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Jason, two things need to be answered for:

- What was up with the clock management at the end of the 1st half? With the ball back, more than a minute and a half left on the clock, down only by 7, all of your timeouts, knowing the Boys will get the ball back after the half, why not try to make something happen?

- What happened to the O-line? I counted 3 sacks on Brunell with a pass rush of 3! Jansen got pushed around like a rag-doll and was a penalty magnet. Was this just a bad game for him, or was it a serious mismatch?

Posted by: costa mesa, ca | September 18, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Has it occurred to anyone that the Redskins lost only because they faced a better and, yes, morally superior football organization?

Posted by: Lance Rentzel | September 18, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Point taken Mr. Editor. I hope I started a trend, but I'll leave it to the fans to take it from here.

I'll leave you with two last points though: If we keep losing with Brunell, do we really have anything to lose by getting started on developing Campbell? Secondly, football players seem to be best motivated by negative reinforcement, ie, threats to job security. Brunell stands to gain great motivation if the fans start letting him have it. I'd like to hear Fed Ex alternating from "Jason! Jason!" to "Boo" on every play Brunell is in the game. When he starts throwing deep and connecting for touchdowns the jeers will turn to cheers, and all will be well.

Posted by: procampbell | September 18, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Brunell looks (again) like he can't get it done. The pass rush has gotten to him... even when he does have time, he never gets settled in the pocket and often ends up throwing the ball off his back foot while leaning backwards. It looks like he expects to get hit every play.

The interception was atrocious. He also underthrew / missed Chris Cooley in the first half by at least 8 yards... and then underthrew Santana by at least ten yards in the 2nd half. The looks on Santana and Portis said it all. I think Brunell is in real danger of losing the team's confidence. If that happens, and Gibbs continues to go with him, I shudder to think what might become of this once promising season.

Also, call me cynic, but is anybody else worried that we are seeing the beginning of the end for Clinton Portis as a Redskin? I bet he's due for a huge roster bonus this offseason, and I'm starting to wonder if the front office (and that includes Gibbs) isn't already laying the groundwork for his departure.

Last night, Ladell Betts and TJ Duckett both looked mediocre at best. The line actually run-blocked admirably during the first half, but our runners consistently neglected to run through the available lanes. On third and short in Q1, Betts decides to not follow Sellers' lead block and instead runs sideways and ends up getting smacked behind the line of scrimmage by Roy Williams. A simple cutback in three or four other instances might have produced three or four big gains, and nothing materialized. Portis has that kind of vision and makes those kinds of runs, and I think we desperately need him in there.

I know it's early, but this year the NFC might not wait for the Skins to get their act together to make a playoff run.

Posted by: cmurphyq | September 18, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Jason - it's ANCHORman...not Weatherman...unless I missed something from that snappy little Nicolas Cage flick. Don't think I didn't appreciate the reference though...

Posted by: Tim Kelly | September 18, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I still say that there is too much chicken littling going on. Up until late in the third quarter, it was (like the Vikings game) a good game and within reach. I don't know WHAT Gregg Williams was thinking about taking the pressure off Bledsoe in the second half, but I thought the pressure was good during the first half. I was also surprised how bad Brunell was throwing last night accuracy-wise. I'm thinking the preseason injury (fingers on throwing hand) is flaring up and -- like last year and the year before -- he won't fess up and admit that he's hurt. That said, this game was winnable until they just got tired in the 4th quarter.

Posted by: Maybe Henny Penny or Ducky Lucky | September 18, 2006 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's time to press the panic button yet. I concede Brunell is having a terrible start so far, but last night the pass protection stunk. Second, he's leading a new complex offense which obviously is going to take time to grasp. Third, he almost led the Skins to the Superbowl last year with lesser offensive talent.
I think Jason C is going to be a very good QB, but he's still young, as is the season. The Skins stunk at the beginning of last year before pulling a 6 game win streak.
So let's just take a game at a time...

Posted by: Larry | September 18, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that this all is very famillar. I seem to remember people calling for Steve Spurier's head when they had no pass protection and Ramsey was getting drilled every play. Now, years later the only thing that has changed is the Coach. Do we really need to see Brunell get his neck broke to finally realize the O line is a joke. Samuels is absolutely ridiculous. The penalties are one thing, but the sacks allowed and lack of a running game are unforgiveable.

I think it's time the O line gets fired. Danny should go out and buy himself a nice High school line - can't do much worse.

The only bright spot of this game is that TO did nothing (which is amazing considering the horrible corners we have) and the broken finger - it's almost worth the loss for that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Brunell's struggles mean one of three things to me:

1. The receivers just aren't getting open. Maybe they aren't running crisp routes, maybe the secondary is doing a helluva job covering them. (I doubt this is the reason.)
2. Brunell is scared to make mistakes because he doesn't want to lose his job. He knows INT's most likely mean a benching. He wants to continue to start.
3. Brunell and/or the coaches have little faith in his ability to get the ball downfield. Maybe Brunell himself recognizes his lack of arm strength, so he's afraid to throw one up.

I think they should go to Jason Campbell. Everyone is new to this Al Saunders offense, so why not let the kid grow up in it for a year. If they tank, so what? At least Campbell would have some experience in the offense that he could carry over into next season. Campbell may not lead them to the Super Bowl, but frankly, neither will Brunell.

Posted by: Colin | September 18, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if T.O. did not break his hand??? Scary!!!

Posted by: CC | September 18, 2006 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins are now Zero for their last Seven. Who's zooming' who? The Redskins are actually a pretty bad team with no identity. Maybe its time to question their leadership...

Posted by: LG | September 18, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I've been a supporter of Brunell and been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, it's now plainly obvious he can't get it done anymore and must be sat. Besides, Coach Gibbs is going to have a real problem on his hands when the team returns to play at FedEx and Brunell is showered with boos every time he leaves the field after another feeble third down attempt. He thought two years ago was bad.

Posted by: Jim | September 18, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to not hit the panic button when they looked SO BAD in preseason (yeah, I know Gibbs' history in preseason, but they were abysmal this year) and when you see the normally dependable defense just shut down two games into the season. We should have beaten the Vikings, and last night's game should have at least been close. I get jealous when I watch other teams make deep throws downfield for touchdowns, force opponents to go 3 and out, see running backs consistently gain 6+ yards per carry... heck, even the Giants looked fantastic yesterday next to my Skins. I like St. Joe, I remember watching him as a kid, but it is not lost on me that the Skins have not been to a Super Bowl in half of my lifetime, literally. And they're not going to make it there playing the way they did after these first two games. I'll give them one more week, but if they lose to the no-count Texans, it's time for a radical change. I also don't think that the acquisition of Saunders was that great either - his 700 page playbook has had NO effect. They need to keep it simple, go back to basics, shore up the O-line, teach the young corners to calm down, teach Sean Taylor to not get stupid penalties, light a fire under the safeties' collective rear ends, and get the job done. There are other teams out there doing more with a lot less. The Redskins are too expensive to be playing this poorly.

Posted by: bandwagon blues | September 18, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

When you bring in a co-ordinator with a 700-page playbook, what do you expect in the first year? A super bowl? Let's get realistic with our expectations. How many of us can read (much less memorize) a 700-paged book in a few months and expect to master it? The only change the 2005 Redskins needed was 1 or 2 WR to take the pressure off of Santana. But true to form, we brought in an entirely new offense with a 700-paged playbook. So Brunell's safety valve Cooley (who used to be a TE in college before being told to think H-Back) is now a TE and has to think. Sellers who had 7TD on 12 catches is now a pure blocking FB. Brunell who spent 2004 learning Gibbs offense now has to think: on which page of that 700-paged playbook do I find salvation on 3rd-and-long?

Posted by: Bart | September 18, 2006 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I admit, I am loyal to a fault. So loyal that when I decide on an aging vet QB who won't loose the game, I keep him/her for the duration.

Kickers also. Didn't Hall do much better yesterday? He hit a 40-yarder (39+ a few inches rounded up). I like the Halls also and will remain loyal for the duration.

Posted by: Coach Joe | September 18, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen anything in Jason Campbell that would make one believe that he's going to be a good qb? I'm an Auburn alum and watched him for his 4 years at college. He wasn't anything special until his senior year when he made several clutch throws but mainly handed off to Cadillac W. and Ronnie Brown. The Redskins drafted him in the first round when everyone else expected him to be 4th round material. He obviously hasn't done anything in preseason games or practice to impress the coaches (or fans who actually watch preseason games). The Skins need better play at the qb position, but don't expect it from Campbell. The only thing he's got going for him right now is that he's not Mark Brunell.

Posted by: Not a Brunell fan but what the heck | September 18, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

On Thursday night we suffered through a very weak performance, nationally, at that!
My poor Terps were out of position all night on defense. Woe is us! Who would think there could have been a weaker performance!Well the Redskins managed to be worse than the Terps! Md. subs 3-6 men on every defensive play: no wondfer the continuity is off. The Redskins looked old and slow on both sides of the ball. The quarter back seems to lack an arm and the courage to throw more than 10 yds. or worse yet to loft the ball to the end zone! Time to re-think the quarterback as well as the positioning of the athletes on the field! It looked as though all we were concerned with was Glenn and T.O.! Wow did Dallas make the linebackers look bad!

Posted by: Larry | September 18, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Looks like procambell had a productive lunch break. You got a lot of reading to do Jason (La Canfora) What's the attitude like in the locker room? Portis didn't seemed thrilled last night (except for Rock's runback, sweet!) And Moss was flailing his arm in the 4th quarter after the CBs let him run free down the side line knowing full well Brunell wasn't going to throw the ball downfield. Are our boys in burgundy starting to turn on eachother? Looking forward to your update tonight. Help us out Jason (La Canfora), we are a fickle bunch.

Posted by: Dorf | September 18, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Problem with the defense:
No Lavar and no Ryan Clark = no identity and no attitude. Shawn Springs can help when he gets back, but this defense has no soul.

Posted by: Lavar Clark | September 18, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

All the kvetching aside (and by all means, all of us 'Skins fans have every right to be frustrated)...Cooley's hair was amazing last night. That 'fro has a life of its own.

Posted by: P Diddy | September 18, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Two games. They lost two games to mediocre teams. Man, you guys are quick to pull the trigger on a QB change. Brunell looked ineffective last year when Randy Thomas went down and they couldn't run the ball. Now, he's looking ineffective when Portis is out and they can't run the ball. See a pattern.

For the 'Skins to win, they have to run the ball. Winning time of possession makes the defense better. Scoring once in a while so the other team can't just pound the ball, force you to bring your safeties up in run support, and then throw over you helps a lot. Not to mention that, if you can run well, the other guys have to bring those safeties who sat back there playing center field last night up in run support and you can get the ball down field.

Get the running game going and you'll see a lot better team.

Posted by: Chuck D | September 18, 2006 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I got a kick out of someone saying the 'Skins lost to a morally superior team...sounds to me that poster is DRINKING HGH instead of injecting it... 'Skins lost to the better team last night, pure and simple...but honestly? That isn't saying much...

Posted by: Fred | September 18, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Time to put Jason in, no question. Brunell throws more passes to Gibbs and company on the sidelines than he does to Moss. Jason has plenty of poise and talent to get the job done. the question is whether he understands the playbook. i'm with the others on this one, i'd rather lose with campbell then watch brunell throw to the sidelines, dirt, linemens' helmets, etc... stay class!

Posted by: Ron Burgandy | September 18, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Blame Bugel:
The offensive line continues to be bad. What happened to the genius of Bugel? He ain't looking too good right now.

Be critical of Gibbs:
It's time to stop giving him a pass. We have blind faith in him, which I think enables him to have blind faith in Brunnel, Bugel, etc. You don't fire the guy, but let's at least give him the criticism he deserves. I think the media in DC refrains from this too much.

Play Jason:
We suck with Brunnel, we might as well suck without him, and maybe give Jason some experience. At least he'll be able to move better in/out of the pocket to avoid the rush that will inevitably go through our offensive line. Hopefully the experience of touring the fields of the NFL face first won't hurt him too badly.

What is the cap hit for releasing FA aquisitions that haven't worked? Let's say someone like Andre Carter or Archuletta never play well. What's the cap hit next year?

One final question: does our performance this year, particularly from our FA class, invalidate the Redskin offseason theory? We have the Patriot version: through the draft. And the Redskin version: dump the draft, buy free agents. This might be the biggest criticism of the Gibb's era.

Posted by: sting | September 18, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs keeps Brunell in because he is Christian..They pray together and hope Jesus can block.

Posted by: Paul | September 18, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Boys - Lets all take a deep breath and R-E-L-A-X...I personally guarantee the dreadskins lose by a field goal next week at Houston, Jason Campbell starts the following week (with Sean Springs finally coming back) and the Skins finally get their win. I have been into the future and the Skins finish 4-12 this year. Gibbs decides to trade away our first round pick next year (number 4 overall)for kicker Sean Souchem of the cowboys and then retires.

Posted by: kevin dunne @ MCM | September 18, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What does drinking HGH do? did you mean GHB?

Posted by: Curious | September 18, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

No, no wait... I know how to fix the problem - have our injured players get healthy, have the O-line block, D-line rush, and QB throw to open receivers.

Face it folks - The Danny is unwilling to hire an outstanding GM,leading to overpaid players and a mediocre team. We are now stuck with this. For years. It can't be fixed so long as The Danny refuses to give a GM power.

Posted by: wholigan | September 18, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm really getting sick of Joe Gibbs' lame excuses. I cherish the memories of the glory years just like everyone else and of course we all love Coach Joe. That being said it's starting to sound like a broken record with all of the same lame quotes. I know that the Skins are "all in this together". I also know that it "starts with Coach Joe". Everyone also know that "they're going to have to fight their way out of this".
Enough with the coachspeak Coach Joe. The offense stinks and it has to start with Mark Brunell. I know it was his birthday and he's a "smart" veteran who says all of the right things. He's more immobile than Drew Bledsoe and hiss passes have less velocity now than good 'ol Danny Wuerffel. It's time for Coach Joe to take a gamble and tell Brunell to have a seat. Jason Campbell may not be a whole lot more successful right off but ca he is the QB of the Redskins future and honestly....can it get much worse? -Matt Bowman from Manassas VA

Posted by: Matt Bowman | September 18, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

SEVEN LOSSES IN A ROW!!!

Posted by: Rob | September 18, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This team is sorry. I hate saying it. I am a lifetime fan, and have always loved Gibbs. But he has made many head scratching moves, like trading away picks, overspending on other team's trash---see Archuleta, Carter, Lloyd---this year's version.
If he is really where the buck stops, then we have to start to question his management skills. At this point, I don't think Danny or Vinny are too blame, they just follow Joe's lead. We are deficient in too many areas to discuss, but ponder this: Dennis Green arrived in crappy Arizona around the same time as Gibbs, part II. He was considered for this job, but passed over for Gibbs. Without a unlimited budget, and a tightwad owner, what has Dennis Green done? Look at that roster, and the players he has added, it is impressive. Which team looks primed for the future and which one looks primed for perpetual disappointment? Not a sermon, just a thought.

Posted by: Kevin K | September 18, 2006 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Who was the idiot who suggested that the receivers are not getting open? What, the redskins are the only team that has receivers that can't get open? Such a statement defies all logic, particularly in lieu of the speed of Moss, El, and Lloyd. Please think before writing.

The redskins won last year despite Brunell's performance. He is terrible. There is no way Gibbs can justify keeping Brunnel at the helm, unless, of course, they have one thing in common: they're both washed up. It's time to give this team a chance to win by putting in someone else (I don't care who). And if Campbell has all the tools to be a great QB, then let's seem 'em. Eli and Big Ben didn't have to wait to be great.

Posted by: Zardsfan1 | September 18, 2006 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Joe Gibbs returned to coach the Skins. After the Marty/Ole Ball Coach nonsense, Gibbs returning was like being a kid and having your folks finally come pick you up from a weekend at your great aunt's house that smelled of cheese. But the time for rescue has passed--resuscitation is what's needed now. Joe needs to crank up the current, rub the paddles together and yell "clear!" The offense looks like it's playing its game waist deep in pudding and the defense has made Brad Johnson and Bledsoe look like Steve Young clones. Here's my beef--instead of trying to throw Campbell into the deep end of the pool (which may or may not be filled by the time he lands), how about we get a D that retires some of these other clowns who should be selling Humvees or real estate or bagging groceries again. (Sean Taylor exemption follows) Hit somebody, anybody and make them never want to be hit by you again. Tackle like your intention really IS to limit forward progress. Let's turn the ball over to the offense with decent position and then when Portis gives you a legitimate running threat to give the receivers a couple more steps, let Brunell put on the show I think he's still got left in him. Bottom line, we're talking about a QB who on his worst day not too long ago could easily out gun a couple of hacks like Johnson and Bledsoe. In the words of the great American poet, "Shake yer a**, show me what yer workin' with."

Posted by: LusinUpSandyBaby | September 18, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kevin K: We are in complete disarray. What is baffling to me is the head scratching from the coaching staff. All the money they make and no one has an answer, including Gibbs? Are you kidding. I also will echo the comments on the free agent class: almost ALL are busts and are not worthy of one dime spent on them. Same old Snyder.

Posted by: JasonB | September 18, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Where to start?
Pitifull: yeah thats a good start
problem #1 no pass rush, everyone in the nfl has seen that even slight pressure on bledsoe causes him to squeal like a little girl, and make stupid mistakes. Last nights game just proved it more when what little rush the redskins brought caused bledsoe to go back to old habbits. Why didn't Greg Williams spot that?
#2 Brunell, poor guy ran for his life most of the game, when someone did manage to get open the ball was terribly under or over thrown.
#3 Wake up 9-7 or 10-6 might not even get a wildcard spot in this division this year.
#4 what this offense needs is the hogs or a reincarnation of them, to get a hold of the line, and maybe some power running by a 250 lb aquisition (TJ Duckett) to get some control of the line.

Posted by: Mr. Reality | September 18, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Joe Gibbs and George W share a common trait - the inability to admit a mistake. Once upon a time, we had a QB named Patrick Ramsey who took hits for Spurrier and showed promise to be the Skins QB for many years. Gibbs took over the team and promptly traded for Brunell WITHOUT WORKING HIM OUT. Would you buy a house without a house inspection. Then Gibbs destroyed Ramsey's confidence by(a) proclaiming Patrick was his man(after Ramsey had re-claimed the starter's job) only to (b) bench him after one quarter in the opener. Gibbs never had any intention of sticking with Ramsey - he just wasn't man enough to say it of follow through. What's happening now is that the chickens are coming home to roost - great receivers and Bumnell can't hit - both of them should take their Bibles and go home.

Posted by: bsterritt | September 18, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I feel like, up here, we're playin' our guts out, and we've got a great core group, and we can fight to get out of this thing and it starts with me. And I can't imagine a better group of guys to go 0-16 with and sully my hall of fame career. Oh, and our fans, they're the greatest fans in the world, yeeeeheee heeea hahahaha!

Posted by: Joe Gibbs | September 18, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I got to read this late (stupid job), so my apologies if I am beating a dead horse. Here is an early morning epiphany I had, and emailed to some of my likewise depressed buddies:

I'm not a doomsayer, nor am I am Brunell-hater, but nobody looked comfortable out there, and Brunell looked like a deer in headlights most of the time.

It really looks like this is another learning curve, ala 2004. If this is true, then logic begs me to ask the question: if we are learning this new offense for the future, why are we learning it with Brunell at the helm? Why doesn't Campbell get in there and learn it with the guys he's supposed to be leading for the next few years?

I will always have respect for Brunell and what he did last season, but the guy is 36. If we've got another 6, 8, 16 week learning period (however long it takes), I don't want our 37 year old QB to be the one with it "down pat." I realize that some feel that Brunell deserves one more shot (against Houston) before the call for a change, but Houston is like having training wheels in the NFL. Campbell could use the experience. Honestly, if Brunell, an experienced veteran, needs a year to get comfortable, are we dooming ourselves to an extra year of mediocrity when Campbell needs the same grace/learning period?

We need Clinton back, if for nothing else, for his swagger. And we need Springs back... bad. Mostly, I think we need to TROUNCE Houston.

Posted by: Bucktown Skins Fan | September 18, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Where was Cruise? AZt least the night would have been saved for all of us die hard Skins fans if we could have seen Tom Crusie again.

huh?

Posted by: X.Hog | September 18, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ah, it does my Cowboy-loving heart good to observe that the Redskin Nation's high point yesterday was Lavar Arrington leaving the Giants/iggles game early with an injury. Further delight, for this week anyway, derives from the fact that it's your fanbase, not mine, discussing the relative demerits of the aging, immobile QB. By all means! Start Jason Campbell, and I will check back to record the time that it dawns on the Redskins that they have massively squandered a high draft pick to obtain the Next Quincy Carter! Bravo!

Massive credit for the Lance Rentzel reference, that was classic. If you didn't get it, I dub you, as maliciously as possible, "Bandwagon Fan".

Enjoy your victory over Houston, many horrible beatings are in store subsequently.

Posted by: Harvey Martin's Funeral Wreath | September 18, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't it two years ago when everyone booed Brunell and cheered when Ramsey came on - only to find that he wasn't much if any better.

Any money on that happening again with Jason?

Posted by: Bruce | September 18, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Brunell cannot throw a "dart" unless given a 7-step drop, and a few seconds to adequately set his feet, dig in his hind leg into the grass, and a clear-as-day throwing lane. Younger, less experienced QB's like Eli Manning have strong enough arms to deliver a crisp pass even on a three-step drop. You can see how frustrated Moss is with the QB situation. I'll bet he and Portis spend all Fri-Sat night at the clubs drinking away the sorrows of having Brunell as QB.

My prediction for season: Skins will beat a hapless Texans team. Offense will struggle to score 2-3 TD's. Gibbs will use this win as a reason to stay the course with Brunell, even though it's clear he cannot throw the ball over the middle or down the field with any accuracy. Jason Campbell's first start will have to wait until Brunell gets hurt later in the yr. Skins will finish 9-7.

Posted by: Fortune Teller | September 18, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Harvey Martin's Summer's Eve, or whatever your stupid name is, shut your pie hole. Go chat with your little cowgirl friends. Your opinions are irrelavent f-stick.

Posted by: Kevin K | September 18, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

As a "REAL" Reskins fan, I have to state the realities, because it seems no one wants to hear it! We our not a "super bowl" team we are a 10-6 team at best. FACE IT!

It's a shame that so many fans are quick to pull then gun on Brunell, when put to the test won 6 straight last season.

Brunell is not the soul to blame, indeed he played poorly, but with our best offensive weapon sidelined this changed everything. Anyone who watched Gibbs football knows he doesn't care about the pass. HE RUNS. PERIOD.

I believe if a healthy Portis was in the line-up, we wouldn't be so quick to "pull the gun" on Brunell.

Case and point: Eagles, Donovan played awesome and the TEAM still lost! Do you think they'll pull him?

It's simple, we beat ourselves (as a TEAM), and can anyone say penalties. 11 for 112 yards. Don't forget 2-14 3rd down conversions. As a team Redskins did not show up mentally at all and until we do I don't care if you put Peyton back there we still won't win!

Posted by: DR The True Skins Fan | September 18, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we're bad right now, but we'll improve over the coming weeks. It's a new system, and the team and the coaches haven't adjusted to each other yet. We've seen this pattern last year and in Marty's year when a dead offense suddenly revived.

Saunders isn't playing to his team's strengths - or, he isn't playing people who play to his strengths. We're investing fewer people in pass protection, we're not establishing the run as we have in the past - and, as a result, we're exposing Brunell's weaknesses.

But there is time to work things out. We're heading into the least critical part of our schedule. If there's a time to struggle, it's right now. Between now and the next Dallas game (11/5), there's only one division game, 4 AFC opponents, and a bye.

Too early to say how it'll all play out, but I'll be patient.

Posted by: Phil | September 18, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I know Coach Joe and Brunell have a spiritual bond, but I think this maybe clouding Coach Joe's judgement. I know Saunders, Moss, Cooley, and especially Lloyd have to be super frustrated with Brunell. The Danny can't do anything about it, b/c Coach Joe is a stubborn man, and would threaten to quit if forced into benching Brunell. Danny is frothing at the mouth to put Campbell in, like the rest of us, but is standing by his coach's decisions.

On the defensive side of the ball, Greg Williams needs to give his players the ability to audible to different calls once the offense figures out the skins are blitzing. So many time the skins will show their blitz, the QB will audible to neutralize it, and the skins run the same blitz anyways, and thus never reach the QB. Also, will someone ever teach Sean Taylor how to cover an opposing player? He absolutely gets torched in coverage situations. Sure he can create big plays, but he gives up much more in pass coverage. last night he was responsible for 2 TD passes against the D. btw, I think Archuleta should be given a pay-raise. He looks good when he frequently arrives on the scene a split second after the play has been completed and dives on the pile. He just has a nose for the ball. Too bad he also *nose* crap about making an impact on D.

Posted by: Redskin truths | September 18, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Feel the love. Here's relevant for you: given six sacks by the Redskin O-line to the Cowboys' platoon of 23 year olds (plus Greg Ellis), what's the over/under for broken bones to Redskin QBs when you play the Giants in three weeks? Put me at over on three-and-a-half, side bet on "all ribs".

May I recommend that your hygiene products may best be forwarded to your offensive tackles? I suspect that they will need that "fresh" feeling far more than myself.

Posted by: Harvey Martin's Funeral Wreath | September 18, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

As a redskins diehard fan, I absolutely despise the redskins fans on this blog (and elsewhere). The lack of patience out of you guys makes me sick to my stomach. Realize this: You are NOT true Redskins fans. Anyone who calls for Joe Gibbs head 2 weeks into a season after he took us to the playoffs, should renounce their status as a Redskins fan. We do NOT need you. Go to Dallas or Philly or New York.

If Gibbs had listened to you idiots after the 2004 season, we would never have made the playoffs last year because Ramsey would've been the quarterback, not Brunell. Who turned out to be right on that one, skins fans or Gibbs?

Seriously, anyone who is calling for a complete overhaul of the Redskins after week 2 should turn in your season tickets and return your redskins gear to the store you bought it at, we don't want you as fans anymore.

FAIRWEATHER IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: SHUT UP PEOPLE | September 18, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

im trying to maintain faith and see this from gibbs perspective but thats fading fast...perhaps brunnell is just not comfortable with the new playbook and is trying not to make mistakes downfield because of it...but not doing anything is worse than making mistakes downfield...our defense never was that good even when it was good (not like Baltimore or Chicago that could win with defense alone)...he'd better get his sheot together next week in houston or they really should make a change...i just fear that he is lackluster again next week but they eek out a win and he stays in charge...there are a lot of things going wrong but its becoming clear he doesnt have any confidence in his ability to get the ball downfield...the last offensive play of the game should be evidence enough...4th and 7 down by 17 and you still wont throw it down the field...who cares if it gets picked off...throw the freagin' ball...receivers are going out down the field...its not the play calling that has him dumping it off...he is opting to it...sure the run would open things up but you still need to be able to funtion without it when need be...attacking and failing is better than sitting back and getting killed...

same thing on the defense...i know our secondary is suspect but its better to attack and blitz and force the other QB and team to beat you rather than sitting back and letting them beat you...especially one that is prone to mistakes with pressure...WTF!!!!!

to me its the same start as last year...sure we were 2-0 but we hadn't done anything offensively...well except brunell hucked the ball down field with his eyes close as far as he could...twice into double coverage...and whoa...moss scores two TDs...there's a novel idea!!!!

throw the freagin' ball!!!

Posted by: seattle deadskin | September 18, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

If we lose this game to Houston because Brunell can't seem to find a receiver five yards beyond the line of scrimmage, then yeah, I'm all for bringing in Campbell (or Collins even at this point), because so far it has been excruciatingly painful to watch the product the've put out there these past two weeks. We also need a healthy Portis and Springs back obviously. I'm going to reserve judgement on the Defense just because they're on the field 70% of the time. If the Offensive Offense could put a few drives together, I don't think you would see them collapse at the end of games. Let's face it, if it were not for the D,with how well they performed last year till now, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.....for now. I also wouldn't mind seeing Coach Gibbs bring back some of what worked from last seasons play book, giving the guys a little something familiar to work with.

Posted by: RedskinD | September 18, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If I am the skins GM (position currently vacant) I offer up Brunell, Archuleta, and Andre Carter to Atlanta for Michael Vick's latest stool sample and some cash.

I take the cash and buy some blow, which I then sprinkle in various parts of Fed-Ex field. Finally I drag Lawrence Taylor's rehabbed carcass out on gameday, strap him on a helmet and a jockstrap (nothing else really, except a painted 56 on his back) and let him roam the field. I don't try and strap any such positional label on him, or limit him purely to any one side of the ball. . . No, just let him roam as the rest of the team plays the game. Just see what happens.

Posted by: Skins GM | September 18, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This is Gibbs team. Go back to 2004. It took Gibbs 8 weeks to sit Brunell then when Ramsey was there. Brunell's rating was in the 40s then. all Gibss cares about is interceptions. if it not an interception, there's an excuse out there. watchin the offensive line, they appear to be frustrated with Brunell. They did not help him up one time. Brunell has little pocket presence. the lin has no idea where he is, and Brunell moves into sacks as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Couple things for the true fan. Last year's win streak was counterfeit. Beating the Eagles twice (once without T.O. and once without T.O. AND McNabb), St. Louis without Bulger, Faulk, or Isacc Bruce, Arizona, barely, and the topper: Brunell's 83 passing yards in the playoff win vs. Bucs. Nothing to build on there, just a little luck, which is now running out. Penalties are based on lack of discipline, and common sense. Don't bellyache about how if we could just cut those nagging late hits and pass interference penalties, we'd be ok. Did you watch the db's dry hump the Cowboy receivers last night? Nice technique fellas.

Posted by: Kevin K | September 18, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Brunell may be good enough when Portis is in the back field healthy. Portis on the sideline, Brunell looks like he has no confidence to compete.

Where is that Competiton? Campbell I say it is time, he has the arm to stretch the great recievers to push harder and be faster, he can run and is a big guy to boot.

I agree with a few posts above, I could take a beating from Dallas knowing the new leader of the offense is making his debut.

Sorry Mark, it is time to be a good mentor and step out of the way.

Posted by: Rico111 | September 18, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

In response to "True redskins fan" or whatever he/she called him/herself: Nobody is calling for Gibbs' head. We are calling for Brunell's @ss instead. The win streak at the end of last season was in-spite of Brunell. We actually could have beaten Seattle if not for Brunell. he cannot convert a third down pass unless it's a 2 yd out pattern.

What you don't understand is that if Brunell played better, the D and the O-line would feed off his improved play and the team would be enthused. Right now they are downtrodden and haven't seen any improvement from the QB position for the past 3 years. Thus, they probably lack some motivation. A "true fan" would be able to assess the team and know its strengths and weaknesses from watching them play and knowing football. You blindly accept that Redkins and its players can do no wrong. It's kind of an enviable viewpoint I admit, and I guess ignorance is bliss. Instead of hating the 0-2 start, you are relishing in the bask of a 2-0 season in your bizzarro world. How is the weather in that part of the world?

Posted by: Not a "true fan" I guess | September 18, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Think about it? The Texans are licking their chops about the Skins coming to town. I believe the Texans will blitz Brunell since they believe he can't make the long pass.

Posted by: CC | September 18, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It is really simple. We need another person at the QB postion.

Posted by: Toxicatom | September 18, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

i can't wait until Brunell shines later this year and all you barnos can't remember why you questioned Gibbs in the first place. Redskins fans have the shortest memory of any fans on the face of the earth. They don't know the meaning of the word "patience".

Posted by: Barno | September 18, 2006 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs had no Heart Burn booting Ramsey last year around this time!! Joe!! It is time again, Jason is ready and so are your wonderful fans.

Posted by: Rico111 | September 18, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"patience"!!! No that is Dan Snyder's problem:)

Allstar teams never win superbowls! You have to build through the draft.

Posted by: CC | September 18, 2006 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Last night was ugly. No two ways about it. We can talk Brunell/Campbell and line play all we want. What matters is W-L.

I can't believe I'm going to entertain this thought, but lets say the Skins actually make it to the postseason. With two losses already, how many more can they afford? 4 more? 6 more?

Let's reasonably say the Skins lose 4 more games, which is a serious reach based on recent performance. They end up 10-6. What will that get you? Most probably a first round playoff game (probably not at home) and then a road run through the rest of the playoffs. The Steelers did it last year, so anything is possible, right?

(that was sarcasm -- I'm not seriously comparing the 05 Steelers and the 06 Redskins)

My point? With 2 losses already, there is no way to reasonably think we can get a first round home game and absolutely no way to think that we can get home field throughout the postseason. So why try to gloss this thing over? Get Campbell in there, let him take his lumps this year and lets see what happens.

Does anyone here really think this is a team with the ability to get to and win the Super Bowl this year?

Posted by: Ali Haji Shank | September 18, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I've read comments on how bad the 'O' line is or was.Brunell got sacked 6 times, 4 of which where due to his inability to escape. As far as the 'D' goes, the Cowboys recievers dropped so many balls because they feared for thier lives! Oh and that's a good thing.Only one thing needs to change right now and that's who is playing quarterback.

Posted by: tylerbafan | September 18, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Brunell will shine later this year, why because his legs will get stronger and he will be more mobile after more hapless sidestepping in the pocket? Most people want Campbell because at least if he makes mistakes, we blame them on youth and inexperience. If the 0-line is going to protect the QB, then let Campbell run--we know he can do that right? Is it too complex to tell him: run if you are pressured, if you have to throw it away, it's ok, don't force it, unless you are going deep with it. Throw it deep, see what happens, those high priced guys just may make a play.

Posted by: Kevin K | September 18, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

How much later in the year? 4 preseason and 2 regular, that's six games and all the practice??

4 more games 5? Look at the schedule, see the teams we will play? Look at how advanced they are right now to us........not a good picture is it?

Posted by: Rico111 | September 18, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Toxicatom is right. What this team needs is not an overhauling. Just needs a new QB in the form of Jason Campbell. He won't know the offense or be able to read defenses as well as Brunell. he will throw more picks. However, he will move the ball downfield more and creat some big plays. I'd rather see the skins lose while giving our "future" more experience, rather than giving our decrepit "past" another chance to remind me that we never should have signed him.

Posted by: solution is simple | September 18, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The 'Skins are right now in the bottom 5 in the league. If things were to end like this how bad is it gonna get when you can't rebuild because you (Mr. Snyder/Mr. Gibbs) traded all your draft picks away?
go Jags!

Posted by: go Jags! | September 18, 2006 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Kevin K,

I say your right on point, Campbell may bring a bit of the old School Yard Feeling back to the Skins. Just take a look at the Niners yesterday, a who is that at QB and Walt Harris looking like a Pro Bowler at Corner!!

Washington needs to find that commaraderie amoung the players agian, that Swagger they have lost.

They all look disenchanted!

Posted by: Rico111 | September 18, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

go jags, How many Superbowls have you guys won?...........hmmmmm that's what I thought, have the Jags ever made the Super Bowl??

Posted by: Anonymous | September 18, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs said this preseason, Campbell is for real, Gibbs said we will see him this year, Gibbs Knows and thats all I need to know.

I think it is time, Gibbs on the other hand is still holding out hope in Brunell but I bet not for long.

It may be time for Williams to use Rocky McIntire in the linebacker position. He looks like a hitter and sure layed the perfect text book tackles on two kick off returns.

Posted by: Rico111 | September 18, 2006 5:04 PM | Report abuse

If you watch some of the game in slow-mo, you can actually see Sean Taylor pistol whipping T.O. on a couple of those vicious hits.
Go Skins

Posted by: Brendan Hamilton | September 18, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Whee, I'm still tired from all that running last night. Goshdurn if my legs aren't still a little shakey and my arm feels like a wet noodle as well.

Now I know you all are little upset, but I think, no...I just KNOW, if we all hold hands and send up a big prayer to our lord Jesus, that we can make it through all this and get to the playoffs after all.

It worked last season didn't it? I mean, didn't I throw almost 1500 yards to Santana? Imagine what we could have done if we had gotten a real QB?

Posted by: Mark Brunell | September 18, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Barno: How much patience should we have for Brunell? He's not getting any younger?

I don't see how he can get stronger physically as the year goes on. That runs completely counter to what we've seen from him the past two seasons.

Honestly, if this offense is going to take some time to implement before its totally effective, why not let Campbell play? Let him grow in Saunders' system. That would make sense to me. If the Skins play the string out with Brunell, it doesn't help the future of this team. Just throw Campbell in there and tell him to learn the offense from week to week. Maybe by next season, he'll have it mastered.

Posted by: Colin | September 18, 2006 5:30 PM | Report abuse

someone remind me why we play preseason games...oh yeah its so owners can make more money...

too bad no one saw it as a opportunity to pratice and make perfect the playbooks...

i guess thats what this coaching staff figures the first 4 games of the regular season are for...only two more to go!!!

so glad we didnt show anything in the preseason...that really helped things!!!

Posted by: seattle deadskin | September 18, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Random thoughts: Am I the only person that now really misses Antonio Pierce, Fred Smoot, and Walt Harris? Pierce really seemed to understand Gregg Williams' defense, and helped other players out with position. Why didn't we have just keep Smoot, whatever the cost, since money is never an object. Think about Springs and Smoot starting, with Rogers and Walt Harris, as the nickels. Now that would have been decent!

By the way, San Francisco sucks right? They have sucked since Steve Young left. Why would a suck team give up on such a physical specimen? Mr. 4% bodyfat, who can't even run around a broke down Flozell Adams. He brings nothing, and probably never will, as does Lloyd, Lloyd, null and void. Sorry ass choices, plain and simple.

Posted by: Kevin K | September 18, 2006 6:03 PM | Report abuse

how is lloyd null n' void if he never gets thrown to? and has anyone ever noticed that no matter how many times brunell doesn't convert he never gets pissed off. the guy looks confused and ninety percent of the time, scared the other ten. spice it up, put jason campbell in. besides, i hear he plays a mean jazz flute. stay classy!

Posted by: Ron Burgandy | September 18, 2006 6:29 PM | Report abuse

A 40+ yard interception is pretty much the same as a 40+ yard punt right? Maybe a few details in there, but the end result is the same...

and am I the only one that sweats Rock Cartwright? Maybe we could trade Duckett to the Texans for a 2nd round pick? Rock needs the rock.

Posted by: Dorf | September 18, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh im all over the Pierce and Smoot comments there KK...ill even raise you LaVar (even though i guess the coaches didnt like his attitude...but i just cant see letting that guy go to a team in our division...and you knew that was going to happen) and Brad Johnson...what i wouldnt give to have had Brad J at QB all these years...not a great QB but a leader who minimizes mistakes and isnt afraid to throw the ball down field...would have made the Marty ball or ol' ball coach days more fruitful...

yeah i just cant see giving up guys you know you need...Pierce and Smoot...Springs is solid but Seattle let him go cause he wasnt the real deal...now his is our #1...my seattle friends are still laughing about that one...

Posted by: seattle deadskin | September 18, 2006 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Paul: "Jesus blocking" - He-larry-us
Skins GM - Graphic, but equally chuckular

Folks, everyone here is irate not just because the skins look horrid, but because you saw how efficient and explosive they were last year. We all have expectations based on what we saw - correct? We had no reason to think that they would not pick up where they left off. In essence we are disappointed in the plodding and bungling on offense we see now. It is inconceivable how we got to this horrendous play after we got teased last year.

What has changed (besides the Portis injury)? The playbook/ o-coordinator.

A better analogy (for gamers), if John Madden football instructions went from 10-15 pages to 120 would you not scratch your head in befuddlement? If the x-button performed 15 functions instead of 3 would it not take even the most diehard Madden fan a while to remember what button to press?!?? You may eventually come to like the new features, but what was wrong with the regular configuration? Same thing this season. 700 pages folks, c'mon...

Based on what we saw last year there are expectations. None of the key contributors are in the same play making role. They all - Brunell, Moss, the O-line, the COACHES - look lost. The offense was one receiver and on O-lineman away from domination. Then they blow it up - for what?!?!? Unfortunately troops this was a call made by Joe. This is where you must look.

I am not calling for his head, I don't want to gut the team I just wish he had left the system in place that they had last year. Expectations were too high to implement this now.

Posted by: Terrell | September 18, 2006 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Carter may only have 4% body fat, but the problem is that all the fat is in-between his ears. Trying to bull-rush Flozell Adams is what a "rookie" numb-nut DE would do. Carter should have more explosive moves mastered by now. Btw, what's with his 1920's 4-pt stance all the time??

I like Saunder's offense, because it includes more stretch plays and some draws, and will fit Portis beautifully. Problem is that Brunell undermines the explosiveness of the rest of the players by his inability to throw more than 5 yds forward. Somehow he hasn't grasped the mathematical concept that a 15 yd horizontal pass gains less yards from scrimmage than a 5 yd forward pass or 8 yard slant pass.

The quick WR's we have cannot do much with a 4 yd sideline pattern. They, however, could make some moves after the catch if given the opportunity to catch a pass in the middle of the field while running a pattern.

Posted by: Brunell should be backup | September 18, 2006 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Brunnell sucks point blank.!!!!!!!!!! The O-Line can only do so much, when you are looking at the rush instead of receivers then you are going to get sacked. Two many times he thinks the rush is there and if he would have waited a second, Santana, Randall, Brandon, Chris are open.
Al Sanders sucks point blank!!!!!!!!!! 700 pages, ok how about 40 pages of things that work. Dallas linbackers are big and slow, why not make the those linebackers cover Cooley and the backs out of the backfield since you are going to go down the field.
Greg Williams sucks point blank!!!!!! Hey dummy Drew Bledsoe hates to be pressured up the middle, Why are you pressuring from the sides and why back off. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia all pressure defenses, who believe in their systems. If you are going be aggressive be aggressive with whatever players you have. If you going to be a bend don't break defense then be that.

Now we know why Al and Greg aren't head coaches by now.

Mr. Snyder put a stop payment on the payroll this week and let's see if things change because the only person that earned it this week are Sean(I Know U Hear Me Coming)Taylor, Rock Cartwright and get this Shank Frost

Posted by: Don Redskin | September 18, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Hi Jason,
Seems everyone has summarized our anger pretty well, but can you help us by giving some insight on how skinz park is responding. I mean, we expected growing pains, but it doesn't make sense that units like the O-line, which is the same as last year but healthier, are going backward. And is there trouble brewing between Portis and Gibbs?
Can you get us some straight answers? Try Cooley as a source- surely he's frustrated and ready to share with his friend JLC.
Thanks.

Posted by: Justin | September 18, 2006 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line is we need Campbell's arm strength and mobility. The defense will have to back off and that will open up the running game.

Posted by: Ohio Redskin | September 18, 2006 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with SHUT UP PEOPLE - most of you are just EVIL.....and it's even worse on ExtremeSkins.com. Last night two insane people said they wanted Brunell to die (on his birthday no less). Those people should be LOCKED UP with the key thrown away forever - or have the wish they made for Brunell on them instead.

Yes, we lost. Yes, out team looks bad - but it was pretty much universal. Not just the QB. And you all are fair weather fans.

I was looking forward to a great season - and I do not feel that will happen now but I still love the Skins and will support them.

PS: I did get really angry with Gibbs for the way he treated Ramsey - will never forgive him for the way it was done. But I don't blame the players for that.

Posted by: Rainesmaker | September 18, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Dallas didn't rely on 1 or 2 offensive weapons. It sent out a squad of people to catch and/or run. The Redskins O line has to continue the trench action longer than other lines.

Brunel looks creaky and reminds me of Koy Detmar with those little hops. If Gibs isn't going to pass, he could put the largest, fastest defense guy in at Q back to do a hand-off. At least he could move. That assumes the C QB exchange is done appropriately.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2006 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I forgot this in my above post- the Redskins looked like an upper bracket youth/JV football team that is just getting the hang of offensive plays that involve passing.

It's harder for kids/teens to master passing offensively and defensively than dealing with the run. They lose if another team can pass/receive. This is why you see some kids end up as HS QB V or JV as freshmen.

The NFL is a job and Gibbs sticking with Brunell is like a parent coach who wants his kid to be a QB.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2006 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps it's premature, but I am comfortable making a declaration. It's really more of an urgent request. The Redskins front office needs to implement a strict policy.

NO MORE FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS FROM SAN FRANCISCO.

Just don't do it anymore. Ever. Vinny, you hear where I'm coming from here? Think of this as the first of several guidelines to take to heart. No more ex-49ers. Period.

I'm just saying.

Posted by: I'm Just Saying | September 19, 2006 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Its clear. Look at kansas city when saunders came in for the 2003 season. The fans in kansas city wanted trent greens head and referred to him as Tr"int". They also posted a 6-10 record , even while Trent knew the offense from st. louis. So as much as people would like to deny it, this is a rebuilding year, where it is known that this offense takes at least 2 years to master. The only question arises, play brunell the rest of the season during rebuilding? and then have campbell next year, which would mean rebuilding during his first year of play.

Posted by: mcolef4 | September 19, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

And to add to my previous post, i think its the coaching staff, who didn't get the team ready for this season and left them out to dry during the preseason. I mean come on, the 49ers and browns are making our offense look like a high school offense. And from what i watched, sean taylor is the only guy who comes to play on sundays wearing burgundy and gold.

Posted by: mcolef4 | September 19, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Keep the Mustaine references coming... I hope the line "I sneak in my own house... a crawl into bed and I know if I wake her I will wake up... Dead..." is true this weekend as the Redskins come back to Texas. Woe to the Texans if the wake Diana!

Posted by: Steve | September 20, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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