Because Redskins fans love arguing with each other, the fault lines for this week’s debate are already becoming clear.
Fan 1 argues that RGIII’s issues — whether health, rust, or self-confidence — are handicapping the Redskins. Fan 2 argues that RGIII does not play safety or cornerback, and thus is not the problem. Fan 1 points out that the Redskins offense has scored zero first-half points this season, and is forcing the defense to stay on the field for interminable lengths. Fan 2 argues that if the defense could get some stops, the offense wouldn’t always be fighting from behind. And on and on and on.
Tony Dungy seemed to provide some ammunition for Fan 1 on Sunday night. Now here comes Mike Ditka, backing up Fan 2.
“They don’t run the same offense they ran a year ago,” Ditka said Monday morning on ESPN Radio. “[San Francisco] didn’t do the same thing last night they did a year ago, either. So evidently everybody’s in people’s ears — you can’t risk the health of these quarterbacks — and probably a lot of that they’re listening to.
“But guys, don’t blame RGIII,” Ditka continued. “Look, their defense in Washington doesn’t even exist. They didn’t even show up in the first half of that game. I mean, they were horrible. Horrible. Now RGIII threw a ball, it hit the guy in the hands, they got an interception. Ok. You pick on him when it’s right to pick on him, but right now, all I see is a kid out there trying to get his team back on track. He’s a great leader, he’s going to play as well as he can. If the defense steps up and plays at all, they’ll have a chance to win.
“It’s a catch-up situation, so all of a sudden, game-planning has nothing to do with it,” Ditka went on. “So you’re out of a game plan, now you’re trying to make things happen, and it makes it hard on the coach to call plays.”