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Sizing Up the League through Skins' Prism

Big news around the league this week, with some Skins ramifications/ties.

Matt Millen's firing finally went down, which some around the NFL say will leave ex-Skins corner Martin Mayhew in line to run the franchise, at least in an interim stage. Mayhew has been the assistant GM and senior vice president of the Lions for several years now, and has a strong reputation. He could be a guy to get that organization in line. He has a law degree from Georgetown. Very shrewd dude.

Then how about the Giants suspending Plaxico Burress for two weeks for insubordination? Just when it looked like the G-Men were over their drama-filled recent history, along comes this. Obviously, not the kind of distraction a 3-0, defending champion team would look for, and especially considering they just gave Plax a huge new contract at the start of the season and seemed to be beyond the diva-dom of Tiki, Strahan and Shockey.

Suddenly the NFC East is taking on a different light. Also spoke to a guy who has scouted the Eagles recently as well (yes, I know it's Dallas week, we'll get back to dissecting them later today, promise), and he sees some potential issues there. Yes, they smothered a very bad St. Louis team in the opener, and had a quick start against Dallas in Week 2, but have scored just two touchdowns in the last six quarters.

Donovan McNabb has not looked quite right to this exec since taking a shot to the sternum and Brian Westbrook is nursing an ankle injury - never a good thing for a running back. The offensive line is a little beat up. There are still a lot of things to like about the Eagles - this exec loves the size of their linebackers and secondary, the play of the linebackers in the run game, and it seemed McNabb was back in peak form. But injuries have always dogged McNabb and you wonder how this group will be able to hold up over the long haul.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 25, 2008; 8:20 AM ET
 
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Comments

F Giants
F Eagles
F Cowboys

Just had to get that off my chest...

Posted by: Chris | September 25, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for keeping us updated, bro. Looking forward to your next blog post.

Posted by: Tender Branson | September 25, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Sure -- holes in the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles. But... plenty of holes in the Skins, too. Losing Plax is great, but it won't help the Skins. He'll be back by the time they play again.

And I'd take a gimpy McNabb over a healthy Campbell anyday. Injuries are as big a worry for the Skins as anyone else.

Posted by: Hooey | September 25, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Zebra, nice analysis on the last thread.

Bottom line is we have a cupcake non-division schedule so we better harvest our nuts when we can -- and win those three divisional games at our place late in the season.

I don't think we'll win either of these next two, but I DO think this team will put up a hell of a fight, be exciting to watch, and be strong to the finish. And as I recall that was one of my general hopes for the Zorn era.

Bring. It. On.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | September 25, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

REPOST_________________________


HERE IS MY GLOG

Things Un-noticed

I wanted to re-watch the game since I was at FEDEX, there are just certain things you miss when not watching it on TV. Here are some things I noticed, and hopefully this informs the masses that couldn’t watch or can’t re-watch it.

1) Jason Campbell

He has made great strides over the last 3 games. I would say we are lucky to have him in there, because if Collins, or God forbid Colt were in there, we would easily be 0-3.

JC eyes were my focus, as were his feet. It seems that drill that JZ used that got so much fanfare (throwing blocking pads) has helped JC immensely. His eyes were always down field, he kept his feet moving in the pocket and was reading his progressions.

He also was throwing strikes, on balance, off-balance, off the wrong foot. His one pass to ARE, where he fit it between the defenders to ARE's outside shoulder as ARE was going the other way, was the only place to put it and a spectacular throw. And lets give credit to ARE for adjusting quickly and making that catch.

2) The O line

Zona blitzed 5 or 6 people pretty often from what I could see, and our line blocked them well, giving JC time to do all that stuff I mentioned above.

Last year under Gibbs, we would keep more blockers than were blitzers, and a lot of times we would lose that battle. On sunday, there were numerous times where they had five rushers and we had 5 blockers and kept them at bay. There were times it was 6 on 6, or even 6 blitzers and 5 blockers, and again JC came away unscathed.

They say the odd man blitzer is on the QB, and most of the time JC had his outlet and his check downs in order. That is a main tenet of the WCO, getting the ball out quickly and it seems to keep JC comfortable. Remeber last year how bad he looked without his hot reads etc...

Even times our oline still gave JC time, clogging up the middle so JC wouldnt have to worry about that extra blitzer, handling the odd man situation nicely.

This obviously has major implications in the passing game, as JC found the open guy more times than not which produced positive yards.

3) Thomas' negated TD

As others probably have mentioned, it was an Unnecessary Roughness penalty not unsportsmanlike conduct, and it was valid.

CP and Dockett, while the play was still live BTW, were jawing at each other and Heyer came in from the blind side and blasted Dockett. Deserved penalty.

On the flip side, the play clock did not run out on Warner and the whistle blew as the pass was in the air. Our D didnt quit, they got beat, and the play should have stood.

That penalty seemed to deflate Zona, and Warner got frustrated and never regained composure.

So lets just say we were lucky there, because that would have been a huge momentum swing from which we may not have recovered.

4) Zona's dirty play

This was obvious on almost every tackle, especially with CP. The tackle that really got CP riled up was the tackle out of bounds during the 4th where the MLB grabbed CP around the throat and whipped him out of bounds, bending him backwards.

Zorn ran up the middle on the next play, and after CP was down, Dockett flew in, maybe unable to stop, but he certainly led with the helmet, almost hammering it down on the back of CP's head.

That is where CP got in his face and Heyer was standing right there to interject for his RB. Good for Heyer for sticking up for CP on the TD pass to Thomas, just wished he had done it at a different time.

Other than that, it was easy to see from watching that there was an effort to put an elbow in every players throat after the tackle. Very obvious when watching it, I would be sending the tape in if I were the skins.

5) Dline play

Something was wrong with Carter in this game. The camera did not have him on focus very often, but when they did he was getting tossed like a rag doll.

The Zona left tackle used Carters leverage, or lack thereof, to throw him off balance. On one running play, Carter had contain and just dove inside (where the D Tackles were which makes no sense) as the back scampered outside.

Another time, the LT just let Carter get off balance and threw him to the ground. It reminded me of that form of Martial Arts where you use the other persons momentum against them. And i think Carter studies Martial Arts.... again something is wrong.

Golston is a beast, and should be Vinnys shining Draft pick for years to come. He beat double teams a lot with great hand movement, reminded me of Griff when he was beasting out for us a couple years ago.

6) Doughty TD coverage

Wish I could find a better camera angle for this, because it may have been Landry's fault.

Springs released Fitz into the deep secondary, and it seemed that they were playing bracket with Landry and Doughty. Landry had the left side of the deep half (the side Fitz ended up on to catch the TD) and Doughty had the right.

As Fitz came across the deep middle, he was edging to Doughtys right side, and Laron jumped to underneath coverage and Doughty should have had over top to that side. Similarly, if Fitz was going deep left, Landry should cover deep and Doughty should have underneath.

So Landry bit on the shoulder move to Doughty’s deep half and left Doughty having to make up for that mistake and cover Laron’s right side deep half.

Maybe I am wrong about what the coverage was, maybe Doughty was always responsible for deep in any bracket situation, although that really doesn’t make sense since Laron is the faster of the two.

7) Predictions

We ‘escaped’ with a win Sunday. I guess you could play the ‘what if’ game all day long, but our win wasn’t as convincing as it first seemed. Zorn has a knack for 4th quarter play calling, but we have yet to put together a full 4 quarters.

We have Dallas this week, and their Offense and Defense is much more dynamic than Arizona’s. I think we will have trouble with them and see a double-digit loss.

But that is not all doom and gloom. If our 2-quarter lapses stop happening, we would have beat Zona easily, which would have changed the entire way the game shakes out and my prediction for this week. But, this really is to be expected with a Rook head coach, feeling his way through the play calling as well as our new offense that we seem to be slowly getting good at or comfortable with.

So while I see a loss to Dallas and possibly Philly, I still think we have a pretty good team, and the flashes of great football we have shown are encouraging considering all of the ‘new’ factors mentioned above.

Anyway, just one Zebra’s opinion.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 7:38 AM

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Also, is it me or has Row Williams gotten slimmer? Or is that a new guy with 31 on? Why did he change his number?

Posted by: 4th is a PC | September 25, 2008 6:42 AM

He's lost weight chasing all those WR's down the field.


Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 25, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Also to add onto my observations


- Rocky was a beast all game. his run support is much better than pass coverage.

I am hoping Marcus plays better than last week, b/c he should be covering Witten and will need to be on point.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

In my award-winning analysis of yesterday, I neglected to add one B. Kilmer to my list of all time most irritating Redskins from a Boys perspective. It was galling to have that guy complete passes on the Boys, given that half of his throws looked like he had punted them.

Posted by: Darrell Dallas | September 25, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

JLC stop POSTING- You are fired

Posted by: You suck | September 25, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I was out of town for the Arizona game and my DVR crapped the bed.

Is there anywhere (pay or not) that I could get a copy of the replay?

Posted by: Henry Hog | September 25, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Zebra thanks for the recap I was at the game to couldnt find a peplay of the game anywhere since then. I am fine with Heyer taking that penalty, One of my problems with Heyer is his seemingly lack of intesity and sometimes urgency. CP said they were playing dirty all day and took Heyers back after the games in the presser defending what Heyer did so I will to. Doughty getting beat by Fitz isnt terrible hes been schooled by much worse. I feel that this team is really on par with where we were last year, then we should have been 3-0 with that 2nd half collapse against NY. This year it was NY again. I feel the diffrence is JC play overall is better, mainly his ball protection- no fumbels or int on him or the offense as a whole is just huge. And the fact that he is spreeading the ball around so well. The running game is similar to last years howver I see more burts from portis, hes gotten off to a quick start, sometimes it takes huim a while particularly getting to the end zone no prob this year. Think we can be competitive with D on offense we just need to man up on the line and win it in the trenches.

Posted by: Stu | September 25, 2008 8:36 AM

Posted by: STU | September 25, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Yes Henry;

I got a bit torrent download. I searched for Skins vs Card Torrent. You downlaod the file.

Then you need a program like U Torrent to 'get' the file.

Basically many people upload the same file and it is broken into parts. Then you download the parts from different people (there were 258 parts) and then the program peices them back together like a puzzle.

Not sure of the legality, think it is a loophole where you cant bust everyone.. but if you have copyrighted material on your PC... watch out for the po po!'

Depending upon what type of file it is (MP4 in my case) you need a program to play it. Real, Windows Media and others wouldnt play it. I got WinAmp and it played it fine.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

From the DC Sports Blog:

"I think they began to play dirty," Portis said. "They cheap-shotted Randy [Thomas] early on in the game unnecessarily, then they were getting away with some things, you know, the extra pushing. And I think one time Santana got tackled, if you see the guy get up he kneed Santana in the face when he was still on the ground. They brought all the extra activity to the game that wasn't needed, so we just let them know, we CAN play the same way.

"We really want to do it within the rules, and I think you seen Stephon [Heyer] lay [Darnell] Docket out, wipe him off his feet, and the ref want to throw a flag. I think it was a legit call, but oh, that's unnecessary. But they do unnecessary stuff, and they never said anything about it. Like [Dockett] tackling me and pulling my helmet, or jerking my head back: that's unnecessary, because if I get hurt or I took a cheap shot at you and one of us mess up the other's career, then it's like, 'Oh, he tried that intentionally.' But all game you been pulling face masks and doing the extra stuff after the play, so I think the refs just need to pay attention to that."

Who ever said the Cardinals were taking cheap shots was apparently correct.

Just curious, had something along the lines of what is happening with Plax in NY, happened here in DC, would it have been bigger news??

Posted by: Greg | September 25, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Just curious, had something along the lines of what is happening with Plax in NY, happened here in DC, would it have been bigger news??

Only if the midget was writing about it!!!

Posted by: I love step stools!!! | September 25, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Along with that Henry;

you need to ensure there are SEEDS for the torrent... basically the people who have the whole thing and are sharing it. Their file is broken down, seeds, and then it is 'grown' into a full functioning file using U torrent.

The particular site that got me the fiel required a free login. U torrent was as was WinAmp.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Must be nice to forfeit 235K...Plax is a great player but has complete pooh for brains.

Posted by: rich20ssu | September 25, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see JLA on Washington Post live yesterday. They asked him about the call to the league office he said he could not comment on it that his sport editor had already said all there was to say about it.

Posted by: wstclair | September 25, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I say F the Eagles & F the Cowpukes
we'll go up in there house like it's our house.

Posted by: Tender Viddles | September 25, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

F Giants
F Eagles
F Cowboys

Just had to get that off my chest...

Posted by: Chris | September 25, 2008 8:18 AM

That must have been eating you up inside, Ive got to try that
F Giants
F Eagles
F Cowboys
Wow that does feel good

Posted by: SAK | September 25, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In an attempt to move the conversation towards the football team commonly known as the Washington Redskins:

The young offensive linemen had a surprisingly good set of one on one pass rushing drills. At various points Chad Rinehart, Justin Geisinger, and Devin Clark each made a surprisingly good play.

That said, the pass rushers look fired up. Demetric Evans, Rob Jackson, and Erasmus James all clearly know that Jason Taylor’s injury opens the door for one of them to impress, and drills were becoming somewhat heated as a result.

Good news hopefully about the DE's, and their ability to contribute this weekend.

Posted by: Greg | September 25, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Anyone sles seen Santanas stats against the Girls. 33 passes 602 yards and 4 TD,s in six games. Run the play, 89 Coboy Killer and itll be all good. UNnfortunatley Roy is out, Moss loves makin that dirty Bit*H look like a chump.

Posted by: Stu | September 25, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Zebra,

Damn, dude. That was a killer recap. You belong somewhere else analyzing sh*t. ESPN or heck, take Wilbon's place. He's an idiot.

So you're saying that the delay of game penalty was in fact, NOT, a delay of game and that Warner got the play off before the clock expired? Are we talking milliseconds or was the clock clearly NOT on zero? FOX never bothered to show us whether it was or not.

Posted by: Tender Branson | September 25, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Tender;

i had the fox broadcast... I didnt see a play clock. i was just going on Goose and Moose (what a gayer name combo huh?)

thanks for the good words. I could have gone one forever about ever little minutiae, but I had to digress for your alls sake.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I am hoping Marcus plays better than last week, b/c he should be covering Witten and will need to be on point.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 8:32 AM

I hate to say this, b/c Marcus has been one of the few bright spots for the Skins over recent years, but I think he's done. All the hip and hammy injuries have gotten to him. LB is such a wear-you-down position and he doesn't have the explosiveness he used to. Sadly, his Pro-Bowl caliber days are behind him and I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing a little more of Khary and Fincher.

Posted by: p1funk | September 25, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Anybody see JLA on Washington Post live yesterday. They asked him about the call to the league office he said he could not comment on it that his sport editor had already said all there was to say about it.

Posted by: wstclair | September 25, 2008 8:57 AM

Translation: "My sports editor chewed me out for being such a petty muckraking numbskull and threatened to fire me if I go there ever again in my life."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I think the Plaxico story is pretty big already....but hey when you win Super Bowls and have the rings you get the benefit of the doubt..

Thats my main point in all this skins haters, JLC, national media blah blah blah...until the Skins can win consistently and shut people up with their play- Snyder, petty fueds, their off season moves will all be dissected ad neausium. When your the top three most valuable sports teams in all of sports, have a idiosyncratic owner, but fail to win regularly and with out a championship you carry a heavy target.

Posted by: chrIS lArry | September 25, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Gotta feeling I am out of luck here, but figured if anyone could help me it would be one of you guys. I am travelling to Europe next month (will be in Mannheim Germany on the day of the Rams game on Oct 12) and wanted to know if anyone has been able to access Skins games over there. Is there a local bar with NFL access?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by: drbatchelor | September 25, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Zebra,

Assuming C. Rinehardt is going to replace the old man Pete Kendall, if you had to draft an O-Lineman next year, whom would it be you had in mind to groom as the replacement ? Thomas, Rabach or Samuels. Who out of those 3 has the least amount of good years left in them ?

Posted by: Tender Vittles | September 25, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Tender;

i had the fox broadcast... I didnt see a play clock. i was just going on Goose and Moose (what a gayer name combo huh?)

thanks for the good words. I could have gone one forever about ever little minutiae, but I had to digress for your alls sake.

Posted by: Zebra | September 25, 2008 9:18 AM

This seems like such a simple call to review. If it had really happened before the play clock ran out, wouldn't Whisenhunt have thrown the red flag? I understand being leery of challenging close calls, but a clear call (especially on a TD) should be easy for the coaches.

Posted by: drbatchelor | September 25, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

drbatchelor,

The NFL allows you to pay to watch the games via web streaming internationally (though not in USA which chaps my azz) so if your connected with a foreign ID you maybe able to get order that service...

Posted by: chrIS lArry | September 25, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I mean foreign IP....

Posted by: chrIS lArry | September 25, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Don't think that would be reviewable. A delay of game call technically means no play happened. No play means nothing to review.

Posted by: Ed Hochuli | September 25, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

thanks, cl

I will have my laptop and my hotel has wireless service, so hopefully I can connect into that.

Posted by: drbatchelor | September 25, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Don't think that would be reviewable. A delay of game call technically means no play happened. No play means nothing to review.

Posted by: Ed Hochuli | September 25, 2008 9:36 AM

Got it....similar to your call against the Chargers where the inadvertent whistle negates anything that occurs after the whistle is blown.

I would still think the coaches would be making a bigger deal about it. Seems like Warner was the only one who objected to the call.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 25, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Tender, I'll take a stab at the draft stuff, regarding the line. I agree, that you let Kendall walk after this year, and you insert Rhino in his place. I think by the end of this year, there should be a general consensus as to if Heyer can handle the RT spot or not, my personal feeling is that he can, but what do I know. Based on that conclusion is where you go draft wise, to me at least. If you think he's legit, then I think you draft a huge Guard to replace Thomas after next year. There are a couple of huge cats coming out, Loadholt, being one of them. Size, and youth, both lines is a priority.

Posted by: Greg | September 25, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

You are correct sir, exactly like that call of mine. Make no mistake - I know the rules, I just enforce them a little differently than everyone else. It's these biceps of mine, you see. My "guns" if you will. No one messes with The Hoch...

Posted by: Ed Hochuli | September 25, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Thomas, Rabach or Samuels. Who out of those 3 has the least amount of good years left in them ?

Posted by: Tender Vittles | September 25, 2008 9:30 AM
----------------------------------------
I think you have to go with Thomas. He seems to be more susceptable to injury than Rabach. I've never been a fan of Samuels and I think he'd be better at fending off the speed rush if he took off that stupid neck attachment, but he is still the best o-lineman we have. It is encouraging that we have found quality undrafted free agent linemen like the old days with Joe Jacoby. Heyer has great potential if he can stay healthy (please not another Tre Johnson!). Rhinehart seems to have a set of brass bull nuts and thats the kind of mindset that will help put up big rushing yards.

Posted by: riggins44 | September 25, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Damn, it just won't stop!

Replace this knucklehead...PLEASE!!!!!

Posted by: Fire JLC! | September 25, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Greg,

Agreed I think Thomas is the next lineman to be replaced.

Chad will replace Kendall after this season.

I say you trade back out of the first round try to pick up as many picks as possible and go all O-Line and D_line, and hoepfully you find a couple starters and some good backups.

Posted by: Flounder | September 25, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It would have to be Thomas, Samuals we will find will be irreplacable through a draft. It very hard to find a surefire LT in the draft when there is one there gonna go early , very early Jake Long #1 overall pick early.

Posted by: Stu | September 25, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Flounder, I have to agree with you there. Teams are not built on high first round "superstar" picks. Trading down and looking for diamonds that have slipped down the board but whose talents translate well into the por game is the way to go. We need less Desmond Howards and more Stephon Heyeresque players. Good, solid guys whom you can rely on but are also economical. Good call.

Posted by: riggins44 | September 25, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

oops! Pro game.

Posted by: riggins44 | September 25, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Zebra,

It's been a tough week for your fellow striped one Mr. Hochuli so way to carry the flag. Nice analysis. I agree with most of what you say, but I am pretty sure the whistled had blown before they snapped it.

Now, onto this weekend. I think that P1funk is sadly corect about 53. We'll see over the next couple weeks, if he can't play and play well in these two divisional tilts, that doesn't bode well. Alfred Fincher, anyone?

I think the key to this game for us will be turnovers and special teams. If we can beat them in both these areas - a considerable task considering their punter's leg is made of rubber and Nick Folke is no joke - then we have a chance. We will simply not shut down their offense, so getting at least a plus one in the turnover differential is essential. This figures to be a reasonable endeavor given that we are four to the good so far this year. If we will win those two battles, I say we may narrowly win the war 24-23...if JC throws his first pick, we don't force Romo into some bad throws and we don't contain Pacman/Felix on returns, I say we lose 31-20. Way to take a firm stance huh??!

HTTR, 3 days!!

Posted by: Notorious LMG | September 25, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't have said it better Flounder. Time to reverse the trend and get more picks. "Say it with me Vinny - more picks, good. Less picks, bad." It's not integral calculus, Cabanna Boy!

Posted by: Notorious LMG | September 25, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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