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Skins Have Room for Improvement

The Skins are obviously off to a tremendous start, but there's always room for improvement. In the interest of fairness, here are a few areas they need to work on:

The Pass Rush

They rank 30th in the NFL in sacks per pass play. That's not where you want to be. It's long been a problem around here, and Greg Blache is blitzing a whole lot less than Gregg Williams did. Having Jason Taylor miss time hurts, because he should be the top sack guy, and Andre Carter got off to a slot start on the opposite end before having a breakthrough game in Philly.

You look at the other teams at the bottom of the league in sacks/per pass play, and it's the dregs of the league: Houston (28th) Detroit (29th), KC (31st), Cincy (32nd). Those teams have combined for one win. The Skins are asking a ton out of their corners and safeties in coverage, and a little more help in the sack department would make their job a lot easier.

Punting

Durant Brooks has been errati and two poor punts have contributed directly to touchdowns. He had another short, low punt Sunday to another dangerous return guy (first Reggie Bush, then DeSean Jackson), and it could have been very costly. The Redskins rank dead last in gross punting average, and next to last in net punting average. That kind of stuff looms large in the - dare I say it - postseason, and though the rookie has time to curb these things, he needs to improve in the second half of the season.

First Downs

The Skins are still finding themselves in second- and third-and-long more than Zorn would like. Washington is averaging 4.9 yards per first down play, 21st in the NFL. The lack of first-down success is a big part of the reason the Skins are not better overall on third down, though what they did on third down through the final three quarters in Philly was outstanding. Similarly, the Skins defense ranks 21st on first down - giving up an average of 5.23 yards per first-down play - and getting a little better there would lead to more long scenarios for opponents, which in turn should lead to more - voila! - sacks, so I guess we've come full circle.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 6, 2008; 4:56 PM ET
 
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Next: Last Thoughts on Eagles Game

Comments

pfirst

Posted by: isnadd | October 6, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm not feeling so bad about Brooks since Frosty is pooping the bed in GB, but, yeah, this is a problem.

Posted by: Zornado | October 6, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I think sacks are an overrated stat. For example, we might not have gotten a sack on Tony H(r)omo but we hit him a bunch of times. We made him very erratic which, in turn, had the same effect of sacks. I think we have a very underrated pass rush. However, in that same sentiment, I do not think we pressured D-Nabb that much. He had all day to throw BUT our secondary played phenomenal. Hats off to Carlos Rogers & co.

Posted by: merajc86 | October 6, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Punting

Durant Brooks has been errati and two poor punts have contributed directly to touchdowns. He had another short, low punt Sunday to another dangerous return guy (first Reggie Bush, then DeSean Jackson), and it could have been very costly. The Redskins rank dead last in gross punting average, and next to last in net punting average. That kind of stuff looms large in the - dare I say it - postseason, and though the rookie has time to curb these things, he needs to improve in the second half of the season.


JLC, I agree with all of this. My view is that he can and will improve, and that bum rushing him out of town now would be a huge mistake. Too much upside...and he has been as you say, erratic, hot horrible. Brooks neeeds to become CONSISTENT, not better. When he is on, he he excellent.

We cut Brooks, and I'll wager dollars to donuts the packers scoop him in nanoseconds to replace Frosty the Clown.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | October 6, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Andy Reid said Westbrook hurt his ribs on the 8th play of the game. Other than the TD to end the series, the last play where he was the target was the 6th play. Here are plays 6 through 9.

2-10-WAS 47 12:05) 36-B.Westbrook left end to WAS 42 for 5 yards (30-L.Landry).

3-5-WAS 42 (11:25) 86-R.Brown left end to WAS 36 for 6 yards (95-C.Wilson).

1-10-WAS 36 10:37) (Shotgun) 5-D.McNabb pass short middle to 82-L.Smith to WAS 25 for 11 yards (48-C.Horton).

1-10-WAS 25 (9:55) 10-D.Jackson left end to WAS 17 for 8 yards (48-C.Horton).

Maybe Westbrook got hurt blocking?

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sacks, punting, and first down yardage.

Of the range of categories that need attention, these are not bad categories to have.

Improving first down yardage could have the added side benefit of improving second and third down yardage ... to the point of not having to get to fourth down ... another VIOLA! Fewer punts.

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Not to change the subject, but I think the season changed when Nate dug up the stat of D Brees through 23 games compared to J Campbell and if Campbell won that game, hey would have the same record through their 1st 23 games. Goog job finding that one……

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 6, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

You are what your record says you are. This stuff can be improved on during the season, but it ain't an absolute issue that needs to be corrected immediately.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 6, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon and Korn givin us some love. Got us #2 in power rankings behing NYG (I agree)

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon and Kornheiser just agreed: best team in football is the Giants; second best is the Redskins.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 6, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Korn needs to fire his makeup artist. Hes rockin the Al Davis look.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

it also needs to be said that Jason Taylor and Marcus Washington need to get healthy for the skins pass rush to be at it's best.

the skins have also played some great pass protection teams in NY/NO/AZ/DAL/PHI

all of them are good pass protectors,we get just enough pressure for our coverage to be effective. hopefully with Jason Taylor getting healthier along with Marcus Washington,we'll be able to put the opposing QB in the dirt a little more.

Posted by: RonBurgandy | October 6, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll take the Donovan approach here and say: Those guys aren't better than us. I think we can beat the Giants!

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 6, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The d-line hasn't gotten many sacks with a 4 man rush (so why not just rush 3?). But the LBs and DBs are playing very well and the 4 man line has been money against the run in the last 4 games. Plus they've also been good against screens and draws. And we've played some good RBs (Bush, Edge, etc). Not sure how we rank in tipped passes, but I'm thinking pretty well. All in all, the line is doing things well except getting sacks. If the lack of a rush hasn't hurt us against Warner, mcnabb, romo and Brees, I'm not going to be too worried.

As for first downs. I suspect the first game of the season weighs heavily on that stat. But the Skins also run more than most teams meaning they are likely to get less yards per play. But they are also going to get 2nd and 7 or 3rd and 4 -- not a lot of 3rd and 10's.

As for the punter, that's a problem. As it was with the last guy. But defending against the punt return is a big problem. Two return TDs in 5 weeks is not good.

I'd add pass protection to the list as an area of concern, though its not a major problem.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 6, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Durant Brooks has been 'errati' . . . is this Latin?
Errata = one shank
Erratos = one shank and one short
Errati = shanks, shorts and poor hangtime

I agree that these are good problems to have.
The yardage one would be my biggest concern as it can lead to too many 3 and outs.
Sacks - well if we're getting pressure which we need more of I'm willing to see fewer sacks. Yesterday btw really highlighted McNabbs low throwing. How many batted downs were there?


TE - True Citi or Wells may sue me over the name change but they may also want to 'buy' me for $60 billion . . . here is where I would insert jokes about my valuable assets . . .

Posted by: sfskin | October 6, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

On pass protection, Campbell's been sacked 8 times, which is middle of the road for QBs at this point

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

JLC scrappin the bottom of the barrel here...

The Eagles lead the league in sacks. Anyone check their record lately?

First down average? We are 4th in Time of Possession, so Id not knock the offense too much.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Well Zornacopia has started. Wife works res for a major hotel chain. She had several calls today from Skins fans looking to book hotel rooms for the game that should not be mentioned yet. One guys was positive his favorite team was going to be here. I guess the bandwagon is starting to roll.

BTW, all rooms within 50+ miles of Tampa are already sold out. Also, people already have dibs on my extra rooms so don't bother asking me either :)

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

TE - True Citi or Wells may sue me over the name change but they may also want to 'buy' me for $60 billion . . . here is where I would insert jokes about my valuable assets . . .

Posted by: sfskin | October 6, 2008 5:43 PM

Feel free to change your name to Wachovia whenever you want, but counsel has urged me to remind you that you will be responsible for the cost of the 60,000 unsold Redskins Insider jerseys printed with your name across the top.

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey don't beat on JLC too much, remember stats are for geeky looking guys who wear glasses...

Oops oh well...

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Noooone! how much u think tix are gonna go for there?

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 6, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The offense showed a zornacopia of plays yesterday that the Eagles had to defend.

The Redskins are taking DC by storm, it's a real zornado out there.

Me so zorny, I love Redskins long time.

Apologies to whoever I stole the words from!

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Last time SB was here tickets went for 2-4 times face value depending on day and location

But it is illegal to scalp tickets here so there were a lot of arrests going on too

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Feel free to change your name to Wachovia whenever you want, but counsel has urged me to remind you that you will be responsible for the cost of the 60,000 unsold Redskins Insider jerseys printed with your name across the top.

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse
----------------------------------------

Im not sure why we are talking Wachovia here, but while we are, I got so lucky:

bought at 3.40 right before Wells Fargo said they would buy for 7.00, sold at 6.90.

Todays tank took care of the proceeds, but I felt great over the weekend...

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Even worse news is that crappy hotel rooms are going for $350-550 a night with a 2-3 night minimum

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Even worse news is that crappy hotel rooms are going for $350-$550 a night with a 2-3 night minimum

Nice Hyatt or Hilton $750-$1000

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Even worse news is that crappy hotel rooms are going for $350-$550 a night with a 2-3 night minimum

Nice Hyatt or Hilton $750-$1000

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

msw, sfskin said she was changing her name to Wachovia ... something about getting paid ... then something about Chad [insert name] in Cincinnati ... then I forgot what we were talking about ... don't you get in trouble for a short sale like that? or is it only when its above a certain percentage of the company?

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the forgot to feed the hamster
Posting is crwaling sooo slowly

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

OK that's was weird

Posted by: noonefromtampa | October 6, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

don't you get in trouble for a short sale like that? or is it only when its above a certain percentage of the company?

Posted by: dcsween | October 6, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse
--------------------------------------

Nah, the deal was strictly a stock exchange, where Wachovia holders simply get Wells Fargo shares at a fixed conversion rate equivalent (at the time) to 7 a share. Nothing shady about it at all.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Chokey McShank was not the answers. Check his numbers in Green Bay, still lame.

Zorn is correct, give the rookie some time to develop.

Posted by: Alan4 | October 6, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if you guys saw this, but Michael Westbrook broke 2 ribs in yesterday's game, although he stayed in and finished the game.

That can't be good for Philly.

Posted by: Alan4 | October 6, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

BRIAN Westbrook. (Having bad flashbacks of a former Skins WR!)

Posted by: Alan4 | October 6, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

+++Sacks, punting, and first down yardage.

Of the range of categories that need attention, these are not bad categories to have.+++

I agree on the sack stats being deceivibng,

By rushing four and pressuring, they can keep seven back and it appears to be working.

The pressure has been pretty good, considering the last two lines they went against.

Having fresh bodies rushing, and moving guys around is another technique that works.

A team'ss Right tackle may have to block Evans one play, chris Wilson the next, and either James or Carter on the third.

If a defensive player has a matchup advantage, he can relay that to Blache and stay put.

Philly's Cole, on the other hand, had to bang heads against Samuels all game long and was ineffective,.

If they blitzed a lot, sure, a few times they'll get to the QB, but on others, someone will be wide open downfield.

To counter that, Landry might be playing much deeper, and less effective against the run.

If it ain't broke....

Posted by: TheCork | October 6, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Think I may have messed up posting the first time, so here goes again:

1) over a season, the total number of sacks reflects the pass coverage more than the rush. The QB has to wait an extra second and gets nabbed.

2) about half the time, it's the def. tackles who collapse the interior blocking and push the QB into the ends, resulting in a sack.

3) the blockers get blamed for sacks, but most QBs have a bad habit (even at the NFL level) of responding to the rush by stepping up into the pocket. That puts them way too close to the defender & makes them easy to grab.

4) good pressure on the QB usually results in a higher number of interceptions during the season, not sacks.

5) the punting game is a serious problem. Brooks has a great leg and gets the ball off quickly, but those returns are going to cost the Skins a game, and possibly soon. Only defense is that the Skins had the same problem last year. How come other teams can find good punters to sign?

6) Maybe we'll see a variation on the spread soon. Ronnie Brown isn't the only RB who can operate it. What about Randle El? He's a natural runner. Be good to use for a first down or TD situation.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 6, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"Sacks" are huge,they give O coordinators something to think about when game planning, they lead to hurries by qb"s and can even make you keep extra protection(rb,te) which means less recievers on passing downs "Sacks" give db's a breather on passing downs and make a receiver cut off his designed route leading to more oppourtunities for interceptions as the season progresses Blache and his staff
will have to find creative ways to put pressure on oppossing signal callers and take the heat off the secondary.

Posted by: dargregmag | October 6, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'll say it.

Danny, Vinny nice job on the coach selection, it looks like guys found a winner.

(there it was an un-natural act, but I feel better now)

Posted by: Stumped1 | October 6, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I loved the one replay where (was it Evans?) jumps up to block McNabb's pass and it hits him on the shoulder.

Posted by: cmecyclist | October 6, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

My problem with Brooks is that if he does put short, and he's the guy that has to tackle, he looks like he hesitates. At least Frosty could nail the return guy if he had to.

Posted by: Xlnt | October 6, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Packers are having a Chokey McShank Watch.

Notes: Frost avoids release point
Punter apparently to get another shot
By TOM SILVERSTEIN

Posted: Sept. 29, 2008

Green Bay - It appears Green Bay Packers punter Derrick Frost will get another chance.

Though Frost is coming off two poor games, coach Mike McCarthy gave no indication that he intended to make a change. McCarthy didn't make any excuses for Frost's performance in the 30-21 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, but he said it was indicative of the way things went for the entire special teams unit.

"We need to punt the ball better, we need to punt-protect the ball better," McCarthy said Monday. "The punt protection was not what it was supposed to look like. We've been very strong on special teams maybe the first two contests, but the last two weeks, this is probably as bad a performance as we've had on special teams in some time here."

On five punts, Frost averaged 38 yards gross and 30.2 net.

The worst punt came in the fourth quarter with the Packers backed up in their territory with a 21-20 lead. The ball was low, traveled just 38 yards and was returned 19 yards to the Green Bay 36. The Buccaneers drove just 30 yards for the go-ahead field goal....

Posted by: Alan4 | October 6, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Zorn was asked several times if veteran Jon Jansen has played well enough to regain his starting job in Heyer's absence, and the coach wouldn't go there. He continues to praise Heyer's pass-protection ability and said he would take the decision down through the week as he assesses Heyer's health. The running game has been more powerful and diverse with Jansen playing, and the longtime starter has been solid in pass protection as well, but Zorn seems to prefer Heyer.

"He wasn't being punished, we just felt like Stephon Heyer was the guy that could give us more solid protection in the passing game," Zorn said. "And I still think that."
____________________

I'm reading this as dis-information for Skins opponents.

Posted by: Xlnt | October 6, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

We do not want our punter making tackles

Posted by: edvar | October 6, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

We do not want our punter making tackles

Posted by: edvar | October 6, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Something funny I just noticed. Look up in the URL address for this blog entry. I think even JLa knows he is digging down to find a potential problem...

Posted by: Club320 | October 6, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

We do not want our punter making tackles

Posted by: edvar | October 6, 2008 8:35 PM

Maybe I'm old-fashioned but my feeling is that if the other 10 guys don't get the job done then, yeah, the punter should make a play. Either that or someone should come off the bench.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 6, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota has nothing tonight. I can't believe Brad Childress will be around much longer.

Amazing that all the rookie head coaches have their teams doing well: Zorn plus new guys in Miami, Baltimore, and Atlanta. This was supposed to be a weak class, but all of them are making solid strides.

Gonna be a lot of turnover in head coaches after this season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 6, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Ugh...again with the Ferrotte head butt...

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Gonna be a lot of turnover in head coaches after this season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 6, 2008 9:07 PM

And if these rookie HCs keep winning this year, the Owners may go with unproven guys again over retreads. This is after all a copy cat league.

Though I did hear someone talking that Fassell would be good in Oakland.

Posted by: Curzon417 | October 6, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Regarding being ranked so low in the sacks dep't, part of getting a lot of sacks is forcing opponents into passing mode. Close games with low scores give the opponent a chance to continue to try the run. Except for the Dallas game, where we played prevent D in their last drive, I don't think we have been forcing the other guys to pass. Though I didn't see NO or Philthy or Cards, not on the tube here. And, no, I don't buy NFL net, ok?
Neil in Durango

Posted by: neilbourjaily | October 6, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The headbutt was painful to watch... Gus may not have improved our 90s fortunes, but we'll never know.

And no one will do ok in Oakland until Al Davis kicks.

Much credit to Gibbs for taking Danny Boy and pointing him away from that direction, at least for now.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

this game is wild....

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

neilbourjaily,

Philly had 58 yards on 18 attempts
Dallas had 44 yards on 11 attempts

Our D is pretty much making teams one dimensional even tho the score is close.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | October 6, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

the blog, on the other hand, is not...

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Gonna be a lot of turnover in head coaches after this season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 6, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

And, subsequently, talent_evaluators.

Okay raffle time. What time is it when Kornheiser first mentions how long this game is going to be? I got 10:06, right before the half.

Posted by: SMACK1 | October 6, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Article on T.O.

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29599&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2008&week=REG5&override=true

Money quote:

"It was frustrating out there, but I kept with it. My teammates stuck with it. ... God used me today for his glory. Reality is where glory resides. That's all I've got to say."

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 10:00 PM | Report abuse

First they said, JC was too slow and to dumb to run the offense.

Then they said Colt Brennan was the QB for this team...

Zorn was in over his head after the Giants game and he'd be gone by midseason.

Oh yeah...Santana Moss is not a true #1 receiver

Vinny Cerrato can't evaluate talent

JC is ok but he hasn't brought us for a win from behind

Portis is selfish.

Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh won' be back until November

They said this team would be 1-4 at this point.

Yeah, they beat Dallas, but "this is the letdown week".

We shoulda never traded Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis.

They said, "nice goin' Vinny you screwed up another draft"

This "O-Line" is too old.

We have no depth...

"I've got Washington as the worst team in that division"

Oh yeah..they said...Get Bill Cowher in here.

ALL THIS NAYSAYING, ARM CHAIR GM's, FO BASHING, SECOND- GUESSING.....

I can truly say that almost all of us were wrong. Nobody saw this coming after the Giants game. Yeah, we're only 5 games in, but this team is rollin' for now.

Winning forgives all sins...

HAIL

Posted by: rickyroge | October 6, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

When considering these stats, I think it's important to also consider the competition the Skins have faced while putting up those stats. The Punting issue isn't all on Brooks, the coverage was terrible on the Jackson return.

But the others, sacks, playing against very good offenses will slow down the sack total, the question is: how do the offenses we have faced thus far rank in sacks allowed?

And the defenses we have faced, the same question should be asked in regards to the first down yardage.

I will be looking into some of these myself for an article I'm writing, I'll post them when I finish it.

Posted by: craig2 | October 6, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

OMG ed Hercules just gave the funniest explanation to a fumble

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

omg!!!

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I need a bye

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

LOL u guys hear what kurt warner said??? LOL that dude belongs on a compound somewhere

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

what did he say?

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Brees - 3rd best four sacks all year(10th most attempts all year, 148)

Romo - tied for 3rd four sacks all year(fifth most attempts all year, 162)

Eli M - tied for 5th five sacks all year(15th most attempts all year, 132)

McNabb - tied for 20th 10 sacks all year(third most attempts by any QB all year, 175)

Warner - 28th 12 sacks all year(second most attempts by any QB, 183)

So 3 of the 5 QBs are among the very best at getting rid of the ball, and the other two are pretty good as well when one considers the sacks per attempt.

And just an FYI, JC is tied for 14th with 8 sacks all year, and the 8th most attempts, 158.

Posted by: craig2 | October 6, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Cl, sorry can't type...my stupid phones acting up and no access to computer

He said "it was my fault that boldin got hurt" cuz he threw too high and he texted his wife that he was retiring but when boldin got out of the hospital kw changed his mind about retiring

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

why did tito take out lester?

Posted by: dealer1 | October 6, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

wow...this is the vikes team the nfc was supposed to fear?

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, looks like our punt coverage is not too bad...compared to the Vikings! Bush, two returns for TDs.

Posted by: Curzon417 | October 6, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the wall may have found Frerotte this time.

Posted by: SMACK1 | October 6, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

wow gus!

Posted by: chrislarry | October 6, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Zeke takes Ricky's test from Posted by: rickyroge | October 6, 2008 10:12 PM:

First they said, JC was too slow and to dumb to run the offense.
NOT ME. I've felt JC would be a top 10 QB, but I did wonder if he was a good fit for pure WCO. Zorn adapted the offense to fit JC's skills better.

Then they said Colt Brennan was the QB for this team...
NOT ME

Zorn was in over his head after the Giants game and he'd be gone by midseason.
NOT ME. Said game 2 would tell us a lot more about this team than game 1.

Oh yeah...Santana Moss is not a true #1 receiver
HALF CREDIT, Moss is #1 when healthy, but health has been a big issue

Vinny Cerrato can't evaluate talent
NOT ME. I did say he didn't draft the right mix of people. Too many TE, not enough line, for example. I look at talent evaluating as an 'odds' thing and very few people are exceptional at it.

JC is ok but he hasn't brought us for a win from behind
NOT ME. Been optimistic about JC all along, taking my cue from SJ9 who said the comeback win is one of the last pieces QBs figure out.

Portis is selfish.
GOT ME. Thought Portis plays his heart out on Sundays, but needed to be a better teammate.

Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh won' be back until November
GOT ME. From the description of the injuries, I guessed Rocky would come back at some point and that Rogers career was at risk. Clearly both are playing very well

They said this team would be 1-4 at this point.
NOT ME. Called 10-6, hoped for 3-2 at this point

Yeah, they beat Dallas, but "this is the letdown week".
NOT ME

We shoulda never traded Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis.
NOT ME. Champ had to go, bridges had been burnt. We did overpay a bit for CP with the added pick

They said, "nice goin' Vinny you screwed up another draft"
HALF CREDIT. I've held the Skins actually draft pretty well in terms of talent. But the other part is they gave away too many picks cheaply and have not drafted in positions of need.

This "O-Line" is too old.
NOT ME. The o-line IS aging. But I do think they have needed to draft people because there will be a lot of turnover there in the next few years and it takes 2 years for a lineman to develop. If the odds a drafted OL will work out to be an NFL starter is 50/50 (and I don't think its that high), there need to be a lot of picks to bring people along to fill for retirements, injuries and guys leaving.

We have no depth...
HALF CREDIT. I like our depth at most positions, but not WR, OL especially

"I've got Washington as the worst team in that division"
NOT ME. At 10-6, I figured we'd go to the playoffs

Oh yeah..they said...Get Bill Cowher in here.
NOT ME. figured the Chin was unlikely to work for the Spaghetti Gang.


My basic comment prior to the start of the season were the Skins had above average talent in every group except WRs, where they were average, if healthy. Moss and ARE were acceptable, but the #3 WR would be a problem. WRs have exceeded my expectations.

As for coaching, Zorn was an unknown, so I had no idea how he would work out. Complete mystery to me as a HC. I did think GG was the best hire and that Zorn was clearly not among mgmts top choices for HC. Felt if GG was in charge, we'd be expected to win 11 or more, given last year's close.

As for the Spaghetti Gang, I've been critical. Have not liked the approach to drafts (not enough picks along the lines and LB) and the cap management (until this year). Keeping all the rookies seems an unlikely coincidence, roughly 50% of draft picks do nothing in this league.

I was more optimistic than most, due to the return of so many starters from last year's team, which was really good. Still, this team is playing at a level beyond anything I felt were rational expectations.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 6, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

'What about Randle El? He's a natural runner.'

Have you seen the guy return punts?

Posted by: Dorf | October 6, 2008 11:49 PM | Report abuse

"Skins have room for improvement"

Don't we all...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 7, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Next year's draft... they need to get a return specialist.

Other than that, I think the team is perfect.

Although I do miss seeing Elisabeth Hasselbeck in between plays. Draft someone with a bombshell wife.

Posted by: Dorf | October 7, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Bombshell wife? How about if we draft Chris Cooley?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 7, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Bombshell wife? How about if we draft Chris Cooley?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 7, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Dorf--Someone with a bombshell wife? Hows about we draft Chris Cooley?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 7, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

How many 20-21 year olds have a bombshell wife come on dorf, there college boys most are not married yet.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 7, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

So -- I have a slightly different take on the "room for improvement" question.

I think that most statistics can be misleading, particularly early in the season. But one interesting metric is the ranking of an offense or defense between total offense/defense and scoring offense/defense. That is, if you're 13th in total defense (as we are), then you should be somewhere around there in scoring defense (as we are, exactly at 13). This controls for some of the aberrations of a schedule (like where we've played all top-ten offenses). On offense, we are #6 in total offense, but #17 in scoring offense. That means we're scoring less than we should be given the overall effectiveness of the offense. "Settling for field goals" is a bit of a problem right now; I doubt that we can continue this for the whole season without suffering at some point along the line.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I knew it wouldn't be long before you would start back with your negative feelings for this team. You really just need to move the F on!

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 7, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So -- I have a slightly different take on the "room for improvement" question.

I think that most statistics can be misleading, particularly early in the season. But one interesting metric is the ranking of an offense or defense between total offense/defense and scoring offense/defense. That is, if you're 13th in total defense (as we are), then you should be somewhere around there in scoring defense (as we are, exactly at 13). This controls for some of the aberrations of a schedule (like where we've played all top-ten offenses). On offense, we are #6 in total offense, but #17 in scoring offense. That means we're scoring less than we should be given the overall effectiveness of the offense. "Settling for field goals" is a bit of a problem right now; I doubt that we can continue this for the whole season without suffering at some point along the line.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

beep beep. move on over. despite a quiet day at redskins park, we'll have some stuff for you.

Posted by: CindyBoren | October 7, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

So -- I have a slightly different take on the "room for improvement" question.

I think that most statistics can be misleading, particularly early in the season. But one interesting metric is the ranking of an offense or defense between total offense/defense and scoring offense/defense. That is, if you're 13th in total defense (as we are), then you should be somewhere around there in scoring defense (as we are, exactly at 13). This controls for some of the aberrations of a schedule (like where we've played all top-ten offenses). On offense, we are #6 in total offense, but #17 in scoring offense. That means we're scoring less than we should be given the overall effectiveness of the offense. "Settling for field goals" is a bit of a problem right now; I doubt that we can continue this for the whole season without suffering at some point along the line.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I knew it wouldn't be long before you would start back with your negative feelings for this team. You really just need to move the F on!

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 7, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

So -- I have a slightly different take on the "room for improvement" question.

I think that most statistics can be misleading, particularly early in the season. But one interesting metric is the ranking of an offense or defense between total offense/defense and scoring offense/defense. That is, if you're 13th in total defense (as we are), then you should be somewhere around there in scoring defense (as we are, exactly at 13). This controls for some of the aberrations of a schedule (like where we've played all top-ten offenses). On offense, we are #6 in total offense, but #17 in scoring offense. That means we're scoring less than we should be given the overall effectiveness of the offense. "Settling for field goals" is a bit of a problem right now; I doubt that we can continue this for the whole season without suffering at some point along the line.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

So -- I have a slightly different take on the "room for improvement" question.

I think that most statistics can be misleading, particularly early in the season. But one interesting metric is the ranking of an offense or defense between total offense/defense and scoring offense/defense. That is, if you're 13th in total defense (as we are), then you should be somewhere around there in scoring defense (as we are, exactly at 13). This controls for some of the aberrations of a schedule (like where we've played all top-ten offenses). On offense, we are #6 in total offense, but #17 in scoring offense. That means we're scoring less than we should be given the overall effectiveness of the offense. "Settling for field goals" is a bit of a problem right now; I doubt that we can continue this for the whole season without suffering at some point along the line.

Posted by: daggar | October 7, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

beep beep. move on over. despite a quiet day at redskins park, we'll have some stuff for you.

Posted by: CindyBoren | October 7, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Sacks and Defense

The sacks will come ... Just realize who we have played over the past 5 weeks and what weapons we had to stop. All 5 teams are in the top 10 in offense. If you commit to many players to get pressure on the QB it would have gotten ugly.Also in this stretch of weak teams we play... I can almost promise a huge spike in sacks and turnovers. Just as the Giants and Eagles have had due to lack competition.

Posted by: joh375 | October 7, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Sacks and Defense

The sacks will come ... Just realize who we have played over the past 5 weeks and what weapons we had to stop. All 5 teams are in the top 10 in offense. If you commit to many players to get pressure on the QB it would have gotten ugly.Also in this stretch of weak teams we play... I can almost promise a huge spike in sacks and turnovers. Just as the Giants and Eagles have had due to lack competition.

Posted by: joh375 | October 7, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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