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The Tuesday Morning Reading Room

Your Tuesday Morning reading (and watching) list...

The questions about Jim Zorn's playcalling are, well, pointed, Barry Svrluga writes:

The issue of play-calling is a touchy one in any NFL locker room, and the Redskins almost all said it was up to them to correctly run the plays Zorn calls, not to question them.
"Players think a lot of things," Santana Moss said. "Every player's going to wonder why we didn't call something or why we did. If you [are] a team, you don't sit there and dwell on the fact of, 'We didn't call it.' The coaches give us a chance to make a play, so whatever we call, whatever they dial up, we have to be ready for. We execute it to the best of our ability, whether we score or not. It's never an issue when it comes to what the coach dials up, because he's giving somebody a chance to get it done."
The Redskins, though, have not gotten it done. In those 18 games under Zorn, the Redskins have scored three touchdowns in a game just three times. Ten times, they have scored either one or no offensive touchdowns. Because the players believe they have the talent to score -- "Definitely, man, no question about it," second-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly said -- they continue to be perplexed. Asked whether he would expect the offense to score more given the Redskins' personnel, Sellers -- one of three members of the offense who made last year's Pro Bowl -- mulled it over before saying, "Next question."

How can 140 characters provoke such a headache? Easy, when those 140 characters are typed out on Twitter, in the heat of an angry moment. Robert Henson, who called out fans for booing the team Sunday on his Twitter account, found out the hard way.

But enough about Sunday...there's a game in just a few days and Tracee Hamilton says this one has gone from must win, to Must win to MUST win.

This just in: Dan Steinberg with visuals on the failed timeout.

By Cindy Boren  |  September 22, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
 
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Next: Who Will Win: Redskins or Lions?

Comments

Flounder - our O-line is already bad. Now we have one guy, maybe two, who will be starting that haven't played in the NFL before (or in 4 years).

The Giants game wasn't close. We were lucky to survive the Rams.

Trust me, this line will not get us to the playoffs against the 2nd half schedule we have. It will pretty much be a mirror of last year.

Posted by: Rypien11

Posted by: Rypien11 | September 22, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Just once -- only once -- I'd like to see people stop acting like the sky is falling in. Expectations around here are always weird, and hysteria when those misguided expectations aren't met is equally odd. What did you really think was going to happen? A patched-together offensive line that is barely functional and has always been one injury away from meltdown; 2 second year receivers, one of whom was starting from zeo and the other missed his first year; 2 experienced receivers who should both be in the slot; two very, very good running backs who are too small to get much when they are hit at the line by 2 300-pound guys plus a linebacker or two. Plus, it's ALWAYS taken 3 years to effectively put in a West Coast offense.

This is all by way of saying, give it another year. In the offseason, Vinny can sign some free agents for the line and draft a couple more. And then give them another year to learn how to play together. The key then is keeping Campbell and Portis in one piece. But gutting the team and starting over with a new coach(s), a new QB, a new OL, and a new parking lot attendant is going to lead to more of the same.

Continuity, folks, continuity.

Posted by: groundhogdayguy | September 22, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if I'd call that a 'fact' -- got any verifiable evidence? Otherwise it's just an opinion. Portis doesn't gain a lot of yards downfield, that's true, but that could be partly due to his running style. He's a Denver-type 'one cut' runner taught to make that first cut, then plow straight ahead. It's actually a very effective yards-gobbling method.


Posted by: Samson151 | September 22, 2009 9:38 AM |

This is a great way to pick up yards if you have speed.

The first run in the Giants game should have been an easy TD, but Portis was caught from behind.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 22, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks Tracee Hamilton is a big fat bore?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 22, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Next up on the Daily Show.....Kenny G BLoOOooOOooooows...

Posted by: jmicrodoc | September 22, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

The play calling is bad. This just isn't Redskin football. Its hard to watch, and teams don't have to work that hard to prepare for us because its not that creative, its not aggressive and Zorn refuses to admit you pound the ball and get it out deep. The O-line isn't good but the playing calling makes it easier for the defense to attack.

I watch for fun, I have never been able to predict what a team is going to do except for many games called by Zorn. Lets hear people say it,

ARE THE SKINS HARD TO WATCH WHEN ON OFFENSE?????

Posted by: funbot | September 22, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, you're nuts and about to be ITA. The first part of your argument today was a contradiction. Give it a rest already.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, you're nuts and about to be ITA. The first part of your argument today was a contradiction. Give it a rest already.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:49 AM |

What argument are you talking about.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 22, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I know what Flounder is saying though about Portis, he seems to run into his blockers and knock himself over frequently, and I agree his style is no longer to break away but to get a burst at the line.

BTW, if he keeps going at this pace I think he is on his way to a season low, of 1,100 yards this year, (not counting the year he was injured). Now I think he will put up better numbers then his 70 ypg average in a few games but dont count me as shocked if he only breaks 100 yards in 4-5 games.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 22, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Can't remember your own posts. great.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Talent Evaluator: Why does Ms.Hamilton have to be a big fat bore? very immature on your part if you don't like her writing style then don't read her article's but attacking someone personally is childish and i assume you are over 21, just barely judging by your post.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 22, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Can't remember your own posts. great.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:52 AM |

Not all of them, doing about 10 other things at the same time.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 22, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Ok.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

campbell 42 for 61 with 42.6 1st% comp% 68.9 (5th)
p. manning 42 for 61, 42.6 & 68.9

we're getting there danny boy

WE ARE PSYCHING OURSELVES OUT IN THE REDZONE!!!!

Don't do anything differently then any other 'zone'. Keep taking your FG's the TD's will come.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 22, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

If your talking about Portis, he is a power back now he has no speed left.

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Talent Evaluator: Why does Ms.Hamilton have to be a big fat bore? very immature on your part if you don't like her writing style then don't read her article's but attacking someone personally is childish and i assume you are over 21, just barely judging by your post.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 22, 2009 9:52 AM

If you don't like my posts then don't read them, but attacking someone personally is childish and i assume you're almost 21, but not quite.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 22, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Don't really know any other way to explain the play calling down there.

Posted by: will_ga | September 22, 2009 9:31 AM

Zorn is all about being balanced. He's so committed to that philosophy that it could cost him his job. For the season, in the red zone the skins have run the ball 14 times and thrown it 10 times. Of the 10 passes one was a half back pass from CP. It may have worked except it was obviously a passing down, and CP ran right (the majority of red zone rushes have been to the left). That play had no chance IMO. One other was a shuttle pass which had a shot if Rabbach didn't get stoned at LOS.

Posted by: TWISI | September 22, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abu

Posted by: TWISI | September 22, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Heyer - I can only remember the one play against the Giants where I think it was second and goal from the 5 and he missed his asignment allowing Tuck to tackle Portis for a 3 yard loss. It was a huge play in that game. If you remember, the TV was showing Zorn screaming at him when he walked off the field (although the brilliant announcers said he was yelling at somebody else). I think that play and the fact that we never run right demonstrates that Heyer isn't the answer and we will be seeing BMW in short order."

That was one play, and it was huge (it was a 6-yard loss on the first play after Hall's interception, setting up 2nd and 16). The other play that stands out was when Campbell got in his face after Heyer's man planted Campbell on the ground against St. Louis (Campbell got the ball away, it wasn't a sack). Those are the two plays I can remember Heyer really blowing. Other than that (and the lack of faith in running behind his side), I thought he's been relatively consistent, at least in pass-pro.

Posted by: psps23 | September 22, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

ITA.

..have a meeting anyway.

Posted by: DikShuttle | September 22, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

My issue with Zorn is that he's not playing off his tendencies in the red zone. Naked boot legs. Counter runs, etc should be a part of the game plan IMO.

Posted by: TWISI | September 22, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Beep Beep

Posted by: Flounder21 | September 22, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

i agree with you Henson, we won a tough NFL game to a team we lost to last year, against a coach who knows us very well.

Are Redskins fans really reduced to the point of only understanding TD's and not appreciating Defense, hard nosed, disciplined, grinding, ball possesion, NFC East, Gibbs style football...

apparently so. Three FG's beats a TD every time. Keep taking those FG's Zorny the TD's will come.

give up and you will succeed. By the way Sonny if you were the QB they'd bench you for Kilmer, where's the support????

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 22, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2009/09/despressed-browns-fans-respond-to-broncos-loss-on-twitter/

As bad a taste as the Rams game left, it could be worse. Be glad we aren't Browns fans.

Posted by: will_ga | September 22, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

psps23, fair enough. Maybe I shouldn't be drawing conclusions based on what I can see in a televised broadcast. Sorry my facts were off, my memory isn't what it used to be (a warning to fellow binge drinkers). Surely the coaching staff is reviewing every play on film and we'll find out soon enough their thoughts on his performance.

Posted by: CTSkins | September 22, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Not sure I understand this business about "dialing up" plays.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 22, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

As bad a taste as the Rams game left, it could be worse. Be glad we aren't Browns fans.

Posted by: will_ga

Thank you for the perspective. It's good to be reminded that every year we fail, it could still be a LOT worse. At least we can go into every game with some shred of optimism. For some teams optimism is lunacy and depression is status quo

Posted by: REXskins | September 22, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The Cooley TD was NOT against a Prevent defense. The Giants couldn't run the Prevent Defense because they had too many injuries in the Secondary. How many times do I have to say it?

Posted by: Veretax | September 22, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

No! Heyer has not been bad at all this season that play in NY(the Portis run play that resulted in a loss)after the Hall interception was a dumb play call by Zorn,should have taken a shot in the end zone with Kelly or even Marko Mitchell(remember him!)Zorn's problem is he outsmart's himself, micro manages the offense i would let Sherman Smith gameplan the O for a week and call the game that Sunday and see what happens i mean how much worse could it get?

Posted by: dargregmag | September 22, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

As a Redskin fan going back to the glory days at RFK I am embarrassed by the fans lackadasical attitude on game days. Too many white collar geeks who don't know a thing about football.

If you look around the league you see passion and enthusiasm at every other stadium except FEDEX, regardless of how the team is playing!!!!!!!!

Posted by: TheBeatDontStop | September 22, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

groundhogdayguy wrote "This is all by way of saying, give it another year. In the offseason, Vinny can sign some free agents for the line and draft a couple more. And then give them another year to learn how to play together. "

___________________________________________

All of those are nice platitudes about how to build a football team. Too bad exactly none of them are applicable to the current Redskins.
Continuity: This team has gone through 6 head coaches in the Snyderatto tenure. If they legitimately wanted continuity they could have hired Gregg williams.

Offensive Line Building: This team has not used an early round draft pick on an offensive lineman in forever.

Building a Franchise: We currently have the oldest franchise in the league, with 150 million being spent in the offseason on two players. As it is every year, the owner expects to win the superbowl.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/sports/redskinspreview09/index.html

Considering he charges an absolute premium price for what used to be an elite franchise, perhaps forgive the fans for the justifable negativity at what will clearly be another long futile lost season, with nothing to build towards in sight

Posted by: jbanks979 | September 22, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

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