Thursday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. ET

The Redskins

Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 13, 2007; 11:00 AM

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the Redskins.

The transcript follows.

Read Jason's blog, Redskins Insider.

Full coverage: Washington Redskins


Jason La Canfora: Sorry for the late start -- server issues over here in washpost land.

Anyway, I'm always good for making it up on the back end.

Have at me.


Northwest, D.C.: McNabb looked rusty last week at Green Bay. Do you think Greg Williams will blitz more to exploit that? Or is his strategy of not getting beaten deep going to be a season-long thing?

Jason La Canfora: They are all about the cover-3 zone this year and not giving up the big play, and unlike Miami, Philly can actually get it deep.

I see Gregg starting this game like the last one -- he will put 8 in the box to deny the run and play a cover-3, morphing into a cover-2 on second and third and long and going cover-1 and cover-0 rarely and only in certain situations.

Good question.


Salisbury, Md.: Does Shawn Springs have a clause in his contract that states if he plays in 80 percent of plays, he gets a $6 million bonus. If that is true, do you think that is the reason he didn't start against the Dolphins?

Jason La Canfora: He does not have any bonus like that at all boss.

I know I am going to get 9 million questions about Springs and it's really hard to give the issue its due in a chat, but in a nutshell from what I gather:

They believed he had an injury issue, he says he's great, they felt like they could get by without him as an every down guy against a weak passing team like Miami with a gimpy QB, but this Monday is a very different test.

Also, they want teams to have to guess about which corners they will face, and the covert ops about the starting corners will probably be an every week thing.

Bottom line, these guys are smart enough to know they need Springs in this game and I think he will be more than a 20 snap guy Monday.

Read the paper this week and I promise the issue will be delved into.

Got the ipon cranking again:

Big Boys "Thin Line" - what an amazing, totally overlooked band


Dupont Circle: Was it me or did Sean Taylor have an off game Sunday? Maybe it was just the lack of crushing hits that threw me off.

Jason La Canfora: He is now playing a deep center field in the middle third of the field, and the Dolphins did not look deep and particularly did not look deep over the middle. they basically stayed away from that quadrant of the field entirely and had some success down the sidelines with chambers.

I expect him to have to be much more active Monday and McNabb will go deep ... and you know Sean will be looking to destroy the WR.


Hartford, Conn.: Jason, thanks for keeping a displaced Redskins fan up to date with the latest team news.

What do you suspect the team's game plan with be for Monday night? With a depleted secondary and a strong linebacker should we expect more attempts down-field? Also the WR screen was a successful staple of the 2006 offense. Can we expect to see more of than as well?

Jason La Canfora: I think they need to pound the ball on offense and stick with their proven winning formula - 40 rushes, 20 passes, with at least 5 legit shots downfield.

As for the screen, it can be dangerous against an all-out blitzing team like Philly. I actually think the backs will be much more involved with catching the ball this week.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Jason! How's your son doing? Haven't heard anything about him lately. I hope all is well.

So is B. Lloyd in the doghouse? Did he have that poor of a game? Santana Moss Didn't fair well (2 dropped passes). Is there any chance B. Lloyd will live up to his contract or are the 'Skins done with him?


Jason La Canfora: Thanks so much for asking. Rocco is doing great, eating baby food now, looking more like a sumo wrestler everyday. Chloe actually started preschool this week, so that was pretty mindblowing dropping her off this morning. amazing how fast all of this happens.

As for Lloyd, please, friend, amigo, let's not ever compare him to Santana, even in passing. Santana has more than earned the right to drop a few. The other guy ...

It's not even a matter of being in the doghouse -- just make a play, one play, a single play every now and then. Don't give up on routes, fight your guts out for a 50-50 ball in the end zone, and then, if you get beat and they pick it off, at least pretend like you have some desire to tackle the guy before he runs 35 yards upfield.

Feel what I'm sayin'?


WDC: Am I reading this right that Derrick Frost averaged 48 yards a punt on 6 punts? Is this the same guy we had last year (knee punt in Jacksonville excluded)?

Jason La Canfora: Dude, he was the truth on Sunday, eh? How about the 64 yarder he boomed out of the end zone that, after the penalty, left Miami on like its 18. Talk about field position.

If he can come remotely close to keeping that up he is going to be a wealthy young man come March.

shuffle came up with Fishbone - Game of Destruction (an early demo version) and The Smiths - This Charming Man


Anonymous: J

Was the Caldwell signing going to happen anyway or was this done because of B Lloyd's performance against the Dolphins?

How soon do you think until Rechee is the No. 3?

Jason La Canfora: They were looking at this guy the moment he got cut, and as we've written in the blog and in the paper, the Skins have been looking for another decent WR for a long time.

You'll see a lot of these guys signed this week rather than last week because as a "vested veteran" his salary would have been guaranteed had he been signed before Week 1, but after that it's not (why you see Renaldo Wynn and Ade Jimoh find jobs elsewhere this week, for instance, rather than last).

Lloyd had better learn to help himself, fast, because I would not be surprised at all to see Caldwell as the no. 3 sooner rather than later and I would be pretty surprised to see Lloyd here come next season at this rate and with his base salary about to jump

Motley Crue - Looks That Kill - what a killer tune. i might have to listen to this one twice in a row


Charlottesville, Va.: Is Wade's shoulder 100 percent? If not, how much will that affect him, and do you think the team will rotate Heyer in to give him a break?

Jason La Canfora: he's good to go my friend.

will you be drinking bourbon and wearing a sport coat this weekend down there??


Lexington, Va.: What's ARE's role in the offense now? Obviously a No. 2 WR, but I was surprised by his deep threat potential.

Jason La Canfora: that's what they got lloyd for, but if ARE can gain separation and get downfield like that, i would see him running more of those routes and Caldwell you would think could do some underneath stuff as the 3.


DC: Jasno: thanks for acknowledging on your blog that, at least in the case of Montgomery starting at DT last week, the depth chart meant something. That was a stand up thing to do. Here's a stupid question: could you please explain the Cover 3 defense? Thanks

Jason La Canfora: that depth chart is almost always wrong. been that way for a long time (spring was starting right? Brunell was the no. 2 Qb the week before that. as a rule i don't put much stock in it, but it was right on Montgomery.

as for the cover-3, basically it's a zone where the field is divided into thirds with two corners and Grim Reaper in centerfield.

read the Friday paper for a much more detailed explanation (hint, hint). that's of course unless my editors butcher the story and take out all of the inside football stuff (I kid, i kid).

Joe Jackson - Sunday Papers


New York City: I thought Randle El could be a strong No. 2 for the Redskins before the season started and now I'm only reassured. While I'm certain he won't be gaining 160 yards receiving per game, I feel that he has a good rapport with J Camp and can continue to produce big numbers as the offense gets more comfortable throughout the season.

Your thoughts, Jason??

Jason La Canfora: somebody's got to step up and do it and ARE has spunk and plays much bigger and tougher than his size, that's for sure.


Frederick, Md.: Hello Mr. Jason,

What do you think of the 'Skins kicking situation? Do you think Suisham is finally the 'Skins answer? He has only missed one FG as a Skin....and after following the Skins forever, we have only had one kicker since Moseley in my opinion and that was Chip. Do you think we finally have the successor to Chip?

Jason La Canfora: i think you guys might have finally found a new cult hero kicker to champion ... and best of all: He's Canadian!!!


Arlington, Va.: Jason, Rocky has looked great in the preseason and Game 1. Do you think Gregg Williams regrets not playing him more last year.

Jason La Canfora: He just didn't know what he was doing last year and his mind kept his body from doing what it's trained to do.

no shame in needing time to adjust to this level and if he keeps playing like this the skins are going to have a top notch LB for a long time (I still worry about the knees a 'lil bit).


Los Angeles: True or false: Todd Wade will make us forget all about Jon Jansen.

True or false: if it wasn't for his cap-killing signing bonus (great move, front office) B-Lloyd would have been cut by now.

Jason La Canfora: I think that's a double truth


Arlington, Va.: Jason -- can you give any updates with Brandon Lloyd's reaction to the signing up Caldwell. Have the coaches given any indication that Lloyd is most likely not in the teams long term plans or are they in a wait and see mode?

Jason La Canfora: the fact they have been bringing in any WR with a pulse for the last 3 months is about all you need to know. that and the fact that he has been a huge bust to this point.

look, he'll be on the roster - barring him doing crazy stupid - and will have a chance to show what he can do, but if not they'll move on. that's the way it goes.

look at this way, they'll probably get at least one more year of "service" out of him than Archuleta or Fauria or Duckett.


Sierra Vista, AZ: What do you expect outta JC this week? He had a rough one against Miami, but is that due to the above average defense or what?

Jason La Canfora: I think they really need to control the ball on the ground.

JC is going to face a stacked line and if he makes the kind of astute reads on his hots like he did to Cooley on third-and-7 in OT they'll be in good shape.

tough task for a young QB. this is a work in progress

Jeff Buckley - Lilac Wine - greatest voice of his generation, without a doubt. no debate.


Mount Rainier, Md.: So, for those of us without cable, are we just out of luck on Monday night? I would go out to a bar or a friend's house, but I've got a 5-year-old I'm home alone with.

Jason La Canfora: dude, bring the kid along. no better time than now to get it going.

but seriously, i think it's on ABC-7 locally.


Damascus, Md.: Hey Jason,

Do you see any similarities between what's going on with Shawn Springs and what happened with LaVar Arrington?

Jason La Canfora: we'll have to see. if this thing drags on to epic proportions, to the point where you have to wonder if the player's issues with his contract and the owner are spilling over into football decisions, then we'll go there when need be.

there certainly has been a pattern though, eh, of he said/he said (Pierce, Champ, Coles, Archuleta, am I forgetting anyone?)

Fugazi - Glue Man - local boys make good


Bethesda, Md.: Has there been a bigger WR blunder signing/trade than Brandon Lloyd in the past few years?

Jason La Canfora: wow, you guys are all over this one.

the fact that they gave up multiple draft picks, and then gave him a huge contract on top that when he had a track record does not look good.

but again, there are 15 games left this season, so let's see what happens before we call it the biggest blunder ever/recent history/etc.

I agree that it does not look good and frankly I'd be surprised about it getting a whole lot better, but, heck, I'm wrong all the time (just ask the depth chart guy), so let's let it play out at least a few more weeks.


Chicago: J La Cantreporta,

Felt like I needed to give props to the guy last week that mentioned for online radio. I had never heard of it before, and now I'm a junkie. Great great great Web site! I've found so many awesome bands that I had never heard of before based on my inputs.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw in a non-football related comment and advertise the site again for people that may have missed it last week. It's a can't-miss for music fans.

Cheers, bro. And thanks for all the great work you do!

Jason La Canfora: Chi-town, all thanks to you.

If/when I ever get at least a small sliver of my life back I will be all over that site.



Alex, Va: Jason,

Jeff Buckley = musical legend lost.

I love Dream Brother, Grace, and Mojo Pin. Great music.

As for the Skinnies, is LJ Smith healthy for Monday night? I am afraid of the McNabb, Westbrook, and Smith combo with only eight in the box.

Jason La Canfora: no injury report on them this week yet, as both teams do not return to practice until today (everything pushed back a day with a Monday game).

think if it is at all possible he will be a go and it will be interest to see what kind of problems a TE of that ilk provides for Rocky/Marcus or whoever is on him.

Jeff Buckley "Grace" is definitely on my all time top 10 list.

Blind Mellon - Tones of Home (holy bleep. i don't think I've heard this since college. bee girl video aside, this is a quality album


Philadelphia, Pa.: What are the thoughts around the league regarding Mike Sellers? He seems to improve every year. Is he in the top 10 FB discussion?

Jason La Canfora: he's a stud and people around the league know it.

most overlooked huge move of the offseason was getting him extended last year (happened at the start of free agency, so there were like 20 things going on that same day (Smoot and Fletcher signing, dock leaving, Leonard Davis' massive body in the building, etc.

trust me the skins know how good he is.


Inside your I-Pod: Kanye, 50 Cent or Kenny Chesney?

Jason La Canfora: Kanye's first one but that's it.

50 cent's never done nothing for me and i love country, but real country - hank Jr and Sr, waylon, Willie, cash


Re: Buckley : If he is the male voice of the generation, who is the female? (I'll go with Neko Case).

Actually football question, do you see the carries between Betts and Portis keeping the current ratio, or will it start swinging more in one direction soon?

Jason La Canfora: i think it'll change by the game and as Clinton's conditioning improves and if he stays in good health then he will have those 25 carry days sooner rather than later, i imagine.

to me 40 is the magic number, regardless of how they get there.


Washington, D.C.: For those of us who don't have cable, I think Monday's game is on Channel 20, not Channel 7.

Jason La Canfora: cool, thanks for the update. my fellow schlubs in the media room here told me 7 'cause of the whole Capital Cities thing, but who knows

Richard Hell & The Voidoids - "Going, Going, Gone" - for all you kids out thre, go and get anything by Hell or the Voidoids or The Heartbreakers you can get your hands on. you can hear the orgins on punk right here. some groundbreaking stuff


Baltimore: Jasno,

Out of curiosity have you been in touch with the NFL executives who told you Heyer couldn't play? Have they changed their tune at all since Sunday? That was against live NFL action and Heyer was effective.

Jason La Canfora: actually spoke to a few of them this week who said the skins would be complete nuts to make this kid their starter and that picking him over wade would be mind-numbingly shocking.


DC: Will Stoutmire be in a Skins uniform this weekend?

Jason La Canfora: i believe so, but again, no practice yet so have to see how fox and prioleau work out. i would not be surprised if Omar ends up sticking over fox at some point (i was surprised they chose Vernon over him for the final 53).

- Hollering - d boone, rip. jam econo


Frederick, Md.: Hey Cantforya, love the chats. I understand the Skins did not show much offensively last week but was that more due to the offense or the Dolphins stellar defense?

Also, please tell me Santana has been working on catching this week. I think he dropped 3 or 4 balls last week that hit him right in the hands.

Jason La Canfora: i think the dolphins d is going to fall off this year. only week 1 but they look older and slower and were up in years last year.

think the RBs needed more carries to get in the flow - that's where it all starts my friends, not to keep beating that horse - and once Big Al fed them with more regularity they got it going.

Velvet Underground - Stephanie Says


Will from Rockville: Let's say you are Gregg Williams or Al Saunders going into week 8's game against the Patriots. What do you do with your signals and signs to avoid the Pats' cheating?

Jason La Canfora: well, i can think of one universal, one-finger sign that might tell the guy in the hoodie what i really think ...

actually he and Double-G are pretty tight from what I hear.

hope the NFL goes after the Pats with the vigor it uses to enforce player conduct. that's pathetic and that franchise should be above that crap.


Seattle: Any thoughts from St. Joe on the Patriots' video taping incident?

Jason La Canfora: dang, just answered that one. what a coinkidink


Yorktown, Va.: How is Marcus Washington? Does he feel okay about his elbow after having some real game action...or is this injury going to hinder him?

Jason La Canfora: it's something he's going to have to work through for a while. not 100 percent but with that brace he can get through a game.

definitely worth keeping an eye on

Circle Jerks - Murder The Disturbed (tongue in cheek, i promise, please no emails.)


20010: What did the Skins do not so well against the 'Fins that they HAVE to do better against the Iggles to win?

Jason La Canfora: defend passes to the RB - LBs dropped too deep in their zone coverage a few too many times

beware of the 20 yard seam downfield between LBs and DBs

catch the damn ball when the other team throws it directly into your hands with the game on the line

WRs had too many drops

JC can't lock in to one target too often

..sorry for the delay for Andy Reid on the conference call and had to listen for a second. man, dull stuff.

okay, heard enough back to the shuffle - New Order - Age of Consent


Love For the O-Line: Jason,

Is the O-Line getting the love that they deserve? They have played exceptionally last year and when Jansen went out last week, Heyer stepped in and held his own. I'm not referencing them to the Hogs, but does this O-Line deserve an identity again? A couple of years ago they were called the "Dirtbags." What do you think of their performance? What name would you give to the O-Line?

Jason La Canfora: They have a lot of heart and guts on that unit

did not get nearly enough made over what he did last week given how much time he missed.

started blowing me away last year and he was great again sunday.

randy is a stud

is going to be very good here

think wade is going to open a lot of eyes and be better in pass protection than many would expect


Syracuse, N.Y.: Jason,

I love Joe Gibbs but I am just not buying the excuses being given on the Springs situation. From what I have been reading Springs himself was not actually told of the supposed "plan" to play him at nickel because of an injury that Springs received treatment for over 5 days before.

Why not talk to the player at least? And don't we as Herm Edwards says, "Play to win the games"? With only 16 games in the NFL season should we really be saving Springs for later? Is there any other team in the NFL that employs this "save them for later" strategy on the first game of the season? Isn't that reserved for teams that are up 2 games or more in their division and waiting for the playoffs on the last week of the season?

Why do I ask so many questions?

Thanks JC keep up the good work.

Jason La Canfora: there should be much more proactive communication around here between coaches and players on so many issues.

it's a constant problem and frankly, I'm sick of it because it always leads to these silly he said/he said stories that keep us from actually writing about football and make is gossipy.

it's part of the business and happens everywhere but it gets chronic around here sometimes


Annapolis, Md.: Yo JaLa,

Thanks for the chat, as always. It appears that rumors of Clinton Portis's demise were greatly exaggerated. This week against the Iggles, what's your call? Better numbers than last week or worse?

Jason La Canfora: these guys pounded the ball pretty good on in the second Philly game last year if I remember correctly.

hey, Clinton definitely surprised me last week. amazing way to start the season. staying healthy will be the test over the long haul but he's a dude who doesn't want to be counted out that's for sure.


Capitol Hill: I was trying to find a job, but then I found a job. Heaven knows I'm miserable now. Great tune.

Any of these teams with their eyes on Marcus Mason in the NFC East? I've been liking Mason and got edgy when he got put into a position of roster vulnerability. I mean, he must have more of a special teams game in him than Fabini, right?

Jason La Canfora: Fabini is here as an emergency guard and that's it

had an NFC guy and an AFC say they really like mason yesterday.

if he's still on the practice squad Monday and a RB or two gets hurt this weekend, he might get some sniffs

Murphy's Law - Cavity Creeps - wow, that brings back some Gen-X memories


Salt Lake city, UT: Hey JLC, this the guy you've talked to on E-mail that is in the Air Force and stuck in Utah. First of all I'm glad to hear that Rocco is doing well. My Son will be 5 in Oct so I know exactly what you mean when you talk about how time flys.

Anyway, Back in 04 we really had no major downfield threat. Then in 05, week 2 in Dallas that threat became one of the best in the league. After that game we started shooting downfield quite often. Last year it seems we reverted back to 04 form. Do you feel that last weeks game could be this years catalyst for the long ball? You have to admit, those were beautiful passes!

Jason La Canfora: hey brother, great to hear from you. that is awesome about your family and, most of all, thanks for all you do for us. you have my complete respect.

JC can throw the deep ball better than anyone they've had around here in a long time. in fact, if you talk to scouts many think he throws the deep ball with more touch and accuracy than the intermediate stuff (where things float on him sometimes).

they should finally have that real vertical element to their game, which is huge.


Berkeley, Calif.: Hi Jason,

I was forced to miss the game last Sunday, but, despite the win, a very noticeable pall has come over my Redskins-dedicated friends as well as our blog community. Why is this?

No one is saying it openly, but I sense from fans, and maybe the team itself, that the offense started about where they left off last year and this is not a good thing.

Your thoughts? Are the 25 (of 26) ESPN experts who predicted another weak year for our team looking about right?

Jason La Canfora: that game exactly as i thought it would. no surprises.

the defense is going to have to hold the offense up for a while and i think they are going to be hit and miss on offense a lot this season given Jason's youth, etc.

think this is who they are right now and no shame in that. they just can't get too cute and think they're something they're not.

Atari Teenage Riot - Burn Berlin Burn


Redskins Nation!!!: Real simple...can we beat Philly in Philly on the big stage??? For some reason the Iggles don't scare me too much, and I actually like our chances. Big division implications so early in the year...I'm already sweatin!!! Thanks for all of your great coverage!!!

Jason La Canfora: This is going to be tough but by no means impossible.

They certainly have a shot

Guns N' Roses - You're Crazy


Jason La Canfora: hey guys, my time is up. gotta run to open locker room and do some work.

it's been fun as always. sorry for those i did not get to, but you can always find me on the blog - redskins insider - and on my email -

enjoy the game and have a great weekend.



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