How can the NFC East Get Its Mojo Back?

This installment of Throwing it out There will appear just before the Redskins play two games in six days, first Monday night at Philadelphia and then the following Sunday hosting the N.Y. Giants. The Burgundy-and-Gold squaring off against the Eagles and Giants reminds us of a time when men were men, Whitney Houston was still a credible recording artist, and the NFC East ruled the Earth. During a glorious stretch from 1987 to 1996, NFC East representatives won seven Super Bowls. Since that time, the division has sent two teams to the BIg Game, both of whom came home with their tails between their legs after a decidedly inglorious loss.
So how can the NFC East be restored to its rightful dominance? You know, besides the teams being taken over by nouveau riche owners who trade away draft picks and spend wildly on free agents. We already know that'll work like a charm.

By Desmond Bieler |  September 9, 2007; 8:00 PM ET
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To put a finer point on it, our division's decline in prominence can be traced to the subtraction of the Phoenix Arizona Cardinals of Glendale in the 2002 realignment.

Any fairly good NFC East team could count on two wins over the whipping-boy Cardinals, and therefore could virtually guarantee a slightly better record than the post-realignment scheduling system affords.

Bring back the Cardinals!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | September 10, 2007 9:02 AM

New York - change head coach

Posted by: Dan Aiken | September 10, 2007 9:37 AM

First of all, where do you get the idea that the NFC East's "dominance" is "rightful"? There is no "right" to that dominance, it has to be earned. None of the NFC East teams is a complete team; they all have significant weaknesses, primarily on defense. The Skins' receiving corps is still weak. The Cowboys "D" didn't exactly shine last night against the less-than-imposing Giants. The Eagles go and lose to Green Bay without a real running game, and suspect receivers. With or without the Cardinals, this is a weak division that needs a major overhaul before it's even considered a halfway decent division. Thankfully, I get to watch a very complete football team, the Patriots, each week. Want to know how to improve? Watch them, and move in that direction!

Posted by: NESkinsFan | September 10, 2007 9:57 AM

WHILE I AM HAPPY FOR MR. NE SKINS FAN, YES NEW ENGLAND IS A GREAT TEAM RIGHT NOW, A LOT OF THAT IS LUCK COMBINED WITH GREAT COACHING, BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE, A TON OF LUCK. ENJOY YOUR TIME IN THE SUN NOW MY FRIEND BECAUSE IF TOM BRADY EVER GETS INJURED OR LEAVES THE TEAM, THE BEANYTOWN BOYS WILL REVERT BACK TO THE PERENIAL LOSERS THAT THEY WERE FOR 35 YEARS BEFORE THIS RUN

Posted by: killsing | September 10, 2007 11:35 AM

I now live in Scottsdale. I think the Cardinals have improved enough we don't want them back.

We'll see if I'm right tonight on MNF.

Posted by: Dave Kane | September 10, 2007 12:29 PM

NESkinsfan, stay on topic and add your arrogant glee about your so-called SUPERIOR team on another thread! I'll admit, your "golden boy" goes all out, that's for sure: throwing footballs on the field and spreading his sperm around with his many girlfriends! R. Harrison's 4 game suspension for using a banned substance: another example to be so proud of your "mighty" team. The question is about the NFC East. Other NFL teams followed the NFC East powerful running game/strong line and that in itself lifted many teams! The Redskins problem at QB has stymied them for years----verdict is still out on young Campbell. Go back to the basics and shine again: run, run, and run some more!

Posted by: 17crickets | September 10, 2007 12:45 PM

In this era of free agency, there will be no dominant division. The players nowadays seem to run to the guaranteed contracts, bigger signing bonus, or bigger audience. All coming down to the almighty dollar. There is no loyalty among players just fans.(unless your jumping on the Dallas bandwagon very other decade)..losers...Anyways...with so many players jumping each year to other teams the it seems free agancy has done what it was expected to do..ie.. create a more competive balance..hence there is no dominant division..If you can manage to pick up a quality Qb, Rb, and WR and sustain no significant injuries or arrests, you may qualify for the dinstinctionof being considered a dominant team.........for awhile

Posted by: Ct skins fan for 25+yrs | September 10, 2007 4:51 PM

The NFC East will ALWAYS be the best, hardest-fought, and most elite Division in the NFL. What other Division had three of four teams in the Playoffs last year? What other Division had won 25% of the Super Bowls through Super Bowl XL?

If you put most "great" teams in OUR division and they would flounder!! Try that on for size!

Go Redskins!

Posted by: James O. | September 10, 2007 6:59 PM

As long as Dan Snyder is owner of the Redskins I'm afraid they will never ever get back to past glories even with Gibbs. Bobby Bethard put Joe Gibbs into the Hall of Fame as a Hall of Fame GENERAL MANAGER. Joe Gibbs is a great Coach but needs a general manager. He thinks he can do it all but he can't Daniel Snyder is and will always be a spoiled REAR END.

40 YEAR SEASON TICKET OWNER AND MEMBER OF REDSKIN BAND FOR 11YEARS and I still route for the skins But Snyder makes me puke .His greed overides all else.

Still "HAIL TO THE REDSKINS' In spite of Danny Boy

Posted by: James R Pond | September 10, 2007 10:05 PM

P.S. I gave up my season tickets after 40 years BECAUSE OF DANNY SNYDER's GREED. Have not gone to a game since he charged for parking at the Ashburn Facility. I suspect DANNY never received a spanking in his life. I sure as hell would like to turn him over my knee and give a good one.

Posted by: James R Pond | September 10, 2007 10:13 PM

Skins will win 8 at most

Posted by: James R Pond | September 10, 2007 10:19 PM

look all things change in time the Nfc dominated the league for years. Teams like the 49ers,Redskins, Cowboys where the cream of the crop. years of losing and stockpiling multiple top draft picks, teams aging, coaches retiring and here we are...Enjoy it while you got it AFC nothing last forever

Posted by: brazo4u | September 10, 2007 11:30 PM

OK, 2 BIG words... FREE AGENCY...

Back in the day, teams were built from the ground up. There were trades and signings, but names like Monk, Green, Manley, Clark..were drafted. Why did Dallas get so good in the 90's?? THE DRAFT from the Walker trade to Minnesota.

Jacoby was signed after not being drafted. Lots of those guys were signed after being released by other teams. They weren't lured to the team with Huge Cap killing contracts.

In the days before the salary cap, Jack Kent Cooke was willing to shell out the dough for people, as well. He let the people run the team who knew how to run the team.. Bobby Beathard, Gibbs, etc.

Posted by: DC Native in Philly | September 11, 2007 12:11 AM

As a true believing Skins fan for 45 years, I beleive most of the fan input into this blog is short sighted and defeatist. Joe Gibbs has class, focus, dedication and a formula for winning that proved successful in 2004-2005 and could very well return the burgandy and gold to contention. Free agency and the salary cap do get in the way. Jason Campbell must live up to the coach's expectations. The defense has been good until last year; it must come back. Portis and Betts are great. Santana can be explosive. Randel El adds razzle dazzle. Above all there is the Redskin tradition that will cause the team to emerge as perennialy as the grass.

Posted by: Tinian Northern Marianas Islands | September 11, 2007 1:05 AM

Who cares about all that. What's up with the little green dots on the quarterback's helmets?

Posted by: tim | September 11, 2007 7:12 AM

Spingarn 13 Redsins 10, they played anotehr 5-11 team last Sunday! They will get hammered next Monday and it is back to Tony Stewart picking up Joe Gibbs in the No. 20 car and doing 190 mph. down 95 to Richmond. It will all be back to square one.

Posted by: Chris Ward | September 11, 2007 8:26 AM

I think the skins has the chance to be a very good football team.As fans we need to give them a fair chance!!!I think if they can win the games they are suppose to win,and learn and get better as the season moves on we will be alright!!We have the personnel on Defence to keep us in most games.Now its up to the offence to do their part!!!!

Posted by: Redskins Fan 34 | September 11, 2007 8:31 AM

Yes, the NFC is with out a doubt one, if not the toughest divisions in football. Think about the teams the NFL kept together after the realignment. There are other great rivalries around the league the NFC North, AFC North, AFC East and AFC West comes to mind. Maybe its because the Philly fans and how they seem to try to intimidate even the football players on the field, or how the Cowoboys and Redskins have been fierce competitors since the 70's, and how the Giants and Skins used to go at it in the 80's with those Parcells coached teams, nothing seems to define smash mouth, grind it out, in-your-face, "my city is better than your city", than the NFC east. My homie James O., who posted earlier, put it on the money with the stats, 25% of Super Bowl games has had an NFC east representative. Surely that is foretelling of how rich in tradition this division is.

Posted by: nex2no1 | September 11, 2007 9:09 AM

Tim, the green dots are only on the QB's helmets. The NFL instituted this after Michael Vick would line up sometimes as a WR, and since only the QB could have a radio, this was considered unfair and the team with two radios on the field would be penalized. There you go.

Posted by: bryan2369 | September 11, 2007 10:06 AM

The mojo has never really left. Even in the down years there was always some good football games being played in the NFC East. But to become the elite division it once was at least where the Redskins are concerned we must first get a GM. I know Gibbs in the team president but he is no good at finding talent. Remember Desmond Howard. I would also fire V. Cerrato and his staff. They have done a very poor job of identifying talent. I could do a better job. Also stay away from signing big money free agents, look at Brandon Lloyd. He is such a waist of money. Keep your draft picks and build for your future. Believe me when the other teams in the division see us stock piling talent they will want to keep up again.

Posted by: price14u | September 11, 2007 10:24 AM

Pro football stopped being real football in the late 90's. This is when the NFL, NFL players association, owners, players and refs changed the game for the worst! It is now a show, not a sport, that is driven by revenue!
The NFC East was the last great division of Professional Football!

Posted by: chazz | September 11, 2007 10:39 AM

1st!

Posted by: Cindy Boren | September 11, 2007 10:57 AM

Global warming is to blame for the NFC East's decline. In the past, when winters were colder, the teams from the south and west would fall apart when they had to play a winter game in an East Coast, outdoor stadium. Now, when some team from the West or South or heaven forbid, a dome stadium, comes here in December it is no different than October in temperature. Just put on a layer of polypropylene, and you are all set. So, actually, global warming and Under Armour have ruined the NFC East.

Posted by: Dusty | September 11, 2007 11:01 AM

1st!

Posted by: Cindy Boren | September 11, 2007 10:57 AM

Certainly would not have expected a lame 1st from you, Cyn. Maybe you are bored and need something to do. I would be happy to come down to WaPo building and occupy your time

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | September 11, 2007 11:02 AM

Between free-agency and the salary cap you can't sustain a dominant team. Depending on how you structure contracts and bonuses, you might get upwards of 3-5 years out of a good squad. Just when the developing players finally get really good, contracts expire and they jump ship. Can't blame them really, football is, at it's core a business for both the owners and the players. Having a good GM who can keep a pipeline of "under the radar" type players on the bench and practice squad definitely increases the odds of sustaining a good team. But the reality is, that level of talent at the GM position is a rare commodity. Add the injury card to the mix and team performance year-over-year becomes even more of a crap-shoot. Teams that build their entire system around a single player may be good for a while, assuming it works, but lose that one player and you're done, a la the Falcons. I am not sure that you will ever see a dominant division or the extended single-team dominance that occurred in the 70s and 80s again. Free-agency and the cap have succeeded at their objectives: leveling the playing field across markets and ensuring that on any given Sunday, anyone really can win a game.

Posted by: anita | September 11, 2007 11:58 AM

The NFC East will come back when the people running the teams in the division get their collective heads out of their rear ends.

We know why the Skins and the Cowboys aren't good enough, the owners. As someone else said, until each of those teams embrace the kind of structure that wins games in this league: GM picks the talent, coach coaches the talent, then those teams will never be better than mediocre.

In New York its the coach, who will be gone after this year, and the GM hasn't proven himself yet.

The Eagles are the only team that knows what its doing, but Andy Reid seems to be one of those coaches that get you into the playoffs and not through them. Not sure who the right coach would be to win them a Super Bowl. And with the Eagles drafting John Beck that says to me that Andy Reid is there for the long haul. So we will see with the Eagles.

Posted by: George Templeton | September 11, 2007 11:59 AM

Nate, Cyn, blog cheating... tsk tsk

Flag on the Pl... nevermind

Posted by: Zebra | September 11, 2007 12:19 PM

This is lame. I wish the Washington Post would just Throw Out "Throwing it Out There."

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 11, 2007 12:31 PM

Dr. Evil stole our Mojo! But Coach Gibbs is groovy baby! He's a winner and we will get it back. First off yes, FREE AGENCY has leveled the playing field. So now we have a fairly equal distribution of talent.
That is why the Snyder plan will work. Get the best coaches and pay them insanely. You might have an off year, but look at the rest of the NFC east right now. The Cowgirls will self distruct between TO and Romo and Wade(are you kiddin me) Phillips. Tiki will bring down the Giants from the NBC Studios if Eli and Couglin don't do it first. Philly the city of Crybaby Donovan. I think we are positioned nicely for some SMASHMOUTH Mojo
Yeah baby Yeah!

Posted by: Vinchenzo | September 11, 2007 12:42 PM

The Redskins did nothing spectacular on Sunday against the Dolphins. They did what any decent, 8 win team should do and that is win at home in the opening game. To be honest the Skins should view this as a lost. Really? Yes, the Redskins were handed the game by Miami who buttered fingered receivers should be ashamed for making Trent Green look bad, a penalty laced game full of false start infractions, and the defense once again failing to put any significant pressure on Trent Green (A. Carter had one sack) or making plays on the ball to force turnovers (McIntosh FF, Springs rec. fum). The learning curve is still steep for Jason Campbell, the defensive line is still having issues pressuring the quarterback, and options at wide receiver are scarce. Now the skins must figure out what to do with injured RT Jon Jansen. I must say that it was very distrubing to see an incomparable guy like Jansen go down like that. There is however, if I dare say, a lighter side to the dark cloud. With Jansen potentially going on IR the skins could maybe sign Doug Gabriel or Reche Caldwell both who in my opinion are 3x better than the current 3rd receiver, who only seems to care about acrobatic catches and signing a record deal. The Redskins while taking care of business at home still leave a lot of questions to be answered.

Posted by: nex2no1 | September 11, 2007 1:04 PM

i'm the reason why rogers and smoot both stayed on the field, while the dolphins kept throwing pass after pass after pass...
meanwhile, my best corner SHAWN SPRINGS was reduced to watching this exhibition unfold FROM THE SIDELINES.

i'm the reason why the redskin's "D" won't live up to the hype.

i'm the reason why the redskins RUIN individualistic defensive players (and keep others from wanting to come here).

i'm the reason why walt harris left, and then became a pro bowl cornerback with the 49ers.

i'm the reason why we were playing ARENA FOOTBALL castoffs at cornerback last year (and getting smoked on every other play).

i'm the reason why the redskins miss the playoffs this year.

any questions?


Posted by: Double G's Ego | September 11, 2007 1:31 PM

Who cares about all that. What's up with the little green dots on the quarterback's helmets?

Thats what my inquiring mind wants to know...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 3:14 PM

On topic - I think the NFC East could use some young, innovative coached instead of the dinosaurs current coaching here.

As far as players go, Antwann Randel El was the most exciting player in the division in week 1.

Watching a player giving his all like McIntosh and Cooley did was a fine beginning for the year, but seeing play like Smoot and Rogers at the corners makes the whole defense look clueless.

Posted by: Alex, VA | September 11, 2007 4:26 PM

"Thankfully, I get to watch a very complete football team, the Patriots, each week. Want to know how to improve? Watch them, and move in that direction!"

Dan Snyder, get some employees with video cameras to steal signals and tune those Motorolas to the opponents headset frequency. haaa!

Posted by: Big Rich | September 11, 2007 6:42 PM

Pay attention. The green dot means "that helmet has a radio in it!". You can only have one on the field at a time?

GM! GM! GM! a great GM picked Joe Gibbs!

Posted by: depo | September 11, 2007 9:20 PM

as an earlier scribe noted, the skins cannot cover the spread against Annacostia H.S. they are a wreck and even Jesus Joe cannot put that dog and pony show together. i am sick of the stinch and watching these clowns play sloppy thug ball and act like they are the 75 Steelers. prediction, Tony Stewart does pick up Jesus Joe after the Eagles game and takes him straight to Daytona. he can only take so much. 13 pts. on Miami!

Posted by: Bob Bowman | September 11, 2007 10:06 PM

Some observations:

- Sports are cyclical. the AFC is in a period of dominance just as they were in the 70's. They probably have a run of 3-5 more years before the balance of power begins to shift back to the NFC. That doesn't mean that you won't see winning performances by NFC teams, it just means you won't see dominance on the level we saw previously.

- The prior run of dominance in the NFC East coincided with the simultaneous rise to power of three of the greatest coaches in NFL history - Gibbs, Parcells and Johnson. The likelihood of that happening again is extremely slim.

- Winning in today's NFL is hard. It's even harder when you don't have a winning organizational philosophy to guide you. As many prior posters have pointed out, the NFC East is currently dominated by owners who value style over substance. That means the odds of sustained excellence is much lower than under prior regimes.

Posted by: MNSkin54 | September 11, 2007 11:45 PM

As long as there's a "level playing field" and owners who are bigger prima donnas than some of the most egotistic players. there will be no more dynasties. Dominance will be cyclical, and all we fans can do is bite the bullet when moronic decisions are made. We can scream and yell at the TV, blog furiously, and if we're lucky, scream and yell at the game, but it isn't going to do much good. Why not? The suggestion box has a big "File 13" sign on it. Let's face it, guys, fans are about 50 feet below the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to opinions that do any good!

That said, I've been a Skins fan since 1963 when my family moved to the DC area. I've been gone from there since 1974, but I'm still a Skins fan, and always will be, though I seldom get to see Skins games. When you live 3000 miles away, Monday night games, those involving west coast teams, and those shown on NFL TV are the only games it's even possible to see, unless you're rich enough to be able to afford those high-priced sports packages the cable and satellite companies offer. (I'm not.) I'll still keep singing "Hail to the Redskins" every chance I get!

Posted by: FudgyBear | September 12, 2007 2:29 AM

How to get back on top:

When the NFC East was great, all 4 teams were good running teams, but this is now a passing league. We need to improve our passing games and we'll get back on top - at least in the NFC.

Posted by: Ajay Gupta | September 12, 2007 12:17 PM

When the NFC East was great there were only three great teams and two teams that had their thumb up their @$$. I don't buy the whole, the AFC is great thing. Okay they have the top 3-4 teams, maybe. But lets face it the worst teams in the league are also in the AFC, Chiefs, Oakland, Browns.

Posted by: 35332 | September 12, 2007 1:11 PM

Name any 3 teams in the NFC that are worse then those three.

Posted by: 35332 | September 12, 2007 1:13 PM

I think this Throwing It Out There feature could use a wee bit more oversight, some kind of gentle prodding maybe, from WashPo.

You guys made it clear when you started that you were primarily looking for funny stuff, like the Style Invitational but more sportsy. Or was I wrong on that?

I just don't think the funny stuff has quite been at the forefront the past few weeks; a lot of the commenters seem to be taking your introductions at face value and not as exhortations to sarcastic silliness.

Anyhow, please don't take this as a suggestion that you stop this feature. There's something inherently funny about having just one topic a week, and I do enjoy that. But somehow ratcheting up the funny factor... that's the trick.

Thanks!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | September 12, 2007 1:34 PM

Wonder how? Easy. Cheat. Right PAT fan?
How desperate is that? How many SB trophies are because of it? First time right? Sure. No wonder Brady looks so good, they know what defense is being called.

Posted by: Skinsrule | September 12, 2007 1:42 PM

as a NY Giants fan, I await the days when the 'our' division becomes the 'Beasts of the East' again. However, I don't think this will happen until 3 changes are made:

1. Jints need a football coach who can win important games-in and out of the division.

2. 'Skins need a GM-not a racquetball diva and a spendthrift owner willing to indulge him.

3. Hate, no HATE the Cowgirls!

Posted by: htownmmm | September 12, 2007 1:49 PM

Dominance is cyclical. Right now the AFC has most of the better teams but that will eventually change. In all sports the pendulum swings.

The problem with the NFC East is that the teams aren't complete. Dallas? Average across the board. NY? Good defense, sorry quarterbacking and not-so-special teams. Philly? Mediocre runners, receivers and return teams. Washington? Don't get me started. Last year everything except the running game fell apart. The Redskins did get younger and faster on defense and special teams so that should help. But the three-headed management style - Joe/Vinny/Danny - seems . . . cumbersome and short-sighted. They need a GM who is willing to plan long-term; and two of their three heads - coach and owner - are committed to the short term goal of winning now. Not a good combination.

As a transplanted Washingtonian who's lived in Brookline, MA for the past 10 years and has viewed the Patriots rise, I have to tell NESkinsFan not to gloat too much.

This too shall pass.

Posted by: Grendel | September 12, 2007 3:28 PM

Out of the top four richest franchises in the NFL, three our from the NFC East. Wanna get the mojo back? Get rid of the salary cap.

Posted by: your average fifth grader | September 12, 2007 3:33 PM

NEskinsfan:
"Thankfully, I get to watch a very complete football team, the Patriots, each week. Want to know how to improve? Watch them, and move in that direction!" Maybe others teams should learn to cheat like the Pats as well...

Posted by: jojo | September 12, 2007 6:42 PM

Anyhow, please don't take this as a suggestion that you stop this feature. There's something inherently funny about having just one topic a week, and I do enjoy that. But somehow ratcheting up the funny factor... that's the trick.

Thanks!

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | September 12, 2007 01:34 PM

Someone told me that funny stuff is happening over on Redskin Insider. I checked and it is funny!

Posted by: Chris Rock | September 12, 2007 6:57 PM

Thanks to all the posters here, even Cindy "1st!" Boren.
Nate makes a good point; we are hoping the tone of this blog-thing tends toward the humorous. But we welcome all viewpoints, from the serious to the silly -- the important thing is getting a good amount of feedback from our beloved readers, and eliciting posts that make some substantive contribution to the discussion. And yes, silly can still be substantive.

Posted by: Des Bieler | September 12, 2007 9:25 PM

Sticking to the point, the NFC East is not unlike the NFC in general. The tide shifted to the AFC after the Giants, the Redskins, the 49ers, and the Cowboys (and I think in that order) had spent their assets. And of course, one year of Green Bay and almost another. After that came two years of Denver and how can we downplay New England? The issue is winning. Players want to be paid. So does every working man. But if you're going to get paid, why not do it where you can win? Don't forget that most successful AFC teams have coaches who were somehow associated with the above teams prior to their current positions, or at the very least, were associated with the NFC of old.

What does it take? Strong defense and near flawless offensive execution. What team in the NFC has proved that on a fairly consistent basis? Philadelphia. What don't they have? The edge. They don't have the post-season coaching and the confidence to take them over the hump. Don't get me wrong. I hate the Eagles. I'm a lifelong 'Skins fan. But I also understand that the organization grossly underestimated free agency under Charley Casserly and that cost them dearly. Gibbs knew free agency would end their reign, thus the abrupt retirement of Gibbs I. But that's no excuse. Free agency affected every team in the NFL and that's all water under the bridge.

The NFC East lost Parcells, it lost Gibbs, quite frankly Philly wasn't anything until Andy Reid, so that's one in the Plus column, and it lost Johnson. The Cardinals were an embarrassment, so that argument doesn't stand up to a six-year-old's questions.

The issue is whether or not your team is willing to adopt an organizational commitment to a philosophy and a willingness to culture it and see it through. It's not about who spends the most money. Dallas has tried that and failed. The Redskins have tried that and failed worse. New York has as well. It's about setting expectations based on a consistent philosophy and sticking to it. The only team in the NFC East to do that over the last ten years is Philadelphia; and oddly, they don't have the bank of a Dallas, New York or Washington.

You want to see a return to the "glory days"? Formulate a plan based on performance - not fantasy football; not Pepsi endorsements, not private jets and helicopter rides to the field on Sunday, but on-the-field performance. And then cultivate your team to that plan, no matter if it takes one year, five years or ten years. Chances are, within three years of doing so, your team is a fixture in the playoffs and you're talking nothing less than Super Bowl every year (and not getting laughed at). I think the Eagles know that. I think Gibbs has started to realize that, but we'll only know by what happens during the next off-season.

Now, getting off the topic...

As for the Redskins and their prospects this year? They looked good defensively except for the fact that Fred Smoot was getting picked on badly - and lost most every one-on-one battle - all game. Suggestion: You might not like Shawn Springs's attitude about the pay cut, but you signed the contract, so honor it. He's clearly the best corner on that team, and if you continue to put Smoot out there with Rogers, you're going to lose to the first team that actually has a decent wide receiver. Offensively, do what you're doing. Split the load on the ground game to keep CP fresh, and Betts hungry; and give JC a chance to grow into the QB spot and get comfortable (and tell him to get a shorter release throwing the ball).

As for the almighty Patriots, I think the video tape speaks huge volumes. Quite frankly, I have to wonder why you would video tape defensive signals against a team unless you're using that video tape during that game. Yes, I understand that it will give you an advantage the next time you play that team, but it seems to me there is more to this story. I would have to believe that that video made it's way up to the offensive coordinator in the booth or someone to analyze, disseminate and relay that information to the booth. Otherwise, all it would take is a guy in the stands with a cell phone to call in the defensive alignments. You want to prop the Pats up? Go ahead. But it starts to raise serious questions and take the mystery of how a team with no wide receivers and no running back can put up such good offensive numbers and win the Super Bowl.

As I stated earlier, it comes down to near flawless offensive execution. How can you do that with personnel that a division III college wouldn't take as walk ons?

But getting back to my loyalties, I wish the 'Skins all the best and a playoff appearance would certainly be a pleasant surprise. But quite frankly, after last year, I'd just be happy with NFC East-quality mediocrity.

Posted by: pgs | September 13, 2007 2:04 AM

Dominanace for any team is based on three things:

Good Offensive Line
Strong Running Game
Smart Defensive scheme that focus on takeaways
and last but not least Good old fashion Luck. Over the last few we simply ran out of luck . Go Skins

Posted by: MARedskins | September 13, 2007 8:06 AM

The Redskins don't have enough MOJO to win me any free toppings on my Pizza on Monday's, which is aggravating. For every touchdown scored....looks like plain chesse for the forseable future.

The reality is Gibbs II (success from the Skins might get the division back to some of its former Glory) is missing three things that characterized his first coaching run;

(1 Half-Time Adjustments = close wins. I don't know if its the shorter half time period or what, for the most part Gibbs II teams get worse in 2nd half and 4th quarter and rarely win close games. He does not make adjustments at half anymore, I think he and his asst. head coach defense are stubborn and inflexible in many cases.

(2) Where's the beef? Consistent offensive line production resulted in high scoring offense, pounding running game to get the lead and then taking shots on vetical passes. The Redskins just can score over 20 points anymore. It's aggravating. Are the quarters shorter than they used to be? I know the time in-between plays is shorter.

(3) Defense has garbage defensive ends and d-line. Manley, Geathers, Mann, Wilbur Marshall, the Redskins under Gibbs I had powerful players on defense that actually beat people and sacked and pressured the quarterback consistently. Richie Pettibone was a gambler on calling the blitz. Gambling equals big plays one way or the other and results in TURNOVERS! Who have we had in Gibbs II or even before? This team and this division lets the Simeon Rices, Sapps, Peppers, all the Defensive line game changers go to other teams. Therefore they give up long drives with no turnovers that force too much pressure on the offense, which sits on its hands on the sidelines for long stretches of dinks and dunks and no turnovers.

Posted by: DTC | September 13, 2007 9:09 AM

between Crocodile Smoot and Carlos Ole Rogers, I wouldn't expect too much defensively unless they can get to the qb. You either need a pass rush or coverage, if you have neither, you might as well wear a gimp suit.

Posted by: mh | September 13, 2007 9:12 AM

ps

Now would be a good time to cut Lloyd.

Posted by: mh | September 13, 2007 9:17 AM

Thank you TV...You destroy everything you touch with over exposer...17 college games on Sat. plus Thurs and Fri...NFL on Sun,Mon,thurs.some saturdays...we become numb to the talking heads in the broadcast booths and the uninspired play on the field...The glory days are gone forever, the business of professional football and it's farm system the NCAA has eclipsed the fact that it is only a game intended to gratify the victors and entertain the spectators...Too bad, it was good while it lasted...Enter the next TV perversion, NASCAR...And it looks like the PGA is next.

Posted by: Dave Shineman | September 14, 2007 10:05 AM

For the Eagles, how about shoring up special teams? They brought back Reno "911" Mahe to actually hold onto the ball; now all they need is someone who can catch the ball and get the offense decent field position on punt returns.

What's Brian Mitchell doing these days?

Posted by: AB | September 14, 2007 1:28 PM

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