Friday, Sept. 21 at Noon ET
Friday, September 21, 2007; 12:00 PM
Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Friday, Sept. 21 at noon ET to take your questions about the Redskins.
The transcript follows.
Read Jason's blog,
Full coverage: Washington Redskins
Jason La Canfora: Hey there, hope everyone is having a great day. Good time to be a Skins fan.
I am guessing the angst factor will be low on this glorious Friday, but then again, what do I know?
Alright, have at me.
San Francisco: Jason,
Young JC is only as good as his O-line allows him to be, and that O-line has lost two starters in two games. The back-ups have at the very least been serviceable, but I am very fearful of another broken whatever.
We need more dirtbags! Who is out there? When will sign him/them?
Jason La Canfora: Hey my man, they wave goodbye to another starting lineman and they're cooked. That's true of all 32 teams - lose 3 starters - especially guys like Thomas - and you are going to be in trouble.
They have done a much better job accumulating veteran back-ups than in years past, but there is always going to be a drop-off and over the 14 games I am sure that will be obvious on some Sundays. I think DeMulling will eventually be starting at RG, but we'll see.
Minor Threat - "Think Again"
Stretch - D.C.: So Jason -- Prior to each chat, do you tape your ankles, perform calisthenics, put your pads and helmet on while listening to Bad Brains to get your pumped up?
What's your pre-game (er, -chat) routine?
Jason La Canfora: Funny you should ask, as I am actually coating my body in olive oil in the media room at The Park as we speak, and chewing on raw meat.
I'm not even going to get into the details of what I do 2 hours before kickoff Sunday. It might get me fired.
Crofton, Md.: I don't feel as if Brandon Lloyd is getting a fair shake. Much has been made about his lack of production, but it's hard to catch the ball if you're not on the field. Is there something going on with him Lloyd that the fans don't know?
Jason La Canfora: Well, he was a starting WR last year and did nothing.
He forced the coaches to try someone else there. Randle El out-produced him.
Lloyd finished the last 3-4 games as the 3 Wr and made zero impact there as well.
Now, when they go 3 wide they use Thrash a lot because he is a superior run blocker and they split Cooley out wide a lot too. Randle El has latched on to some deep balls and shown he can compliment Moss downfield.
The guy has played 17 games never had one game that came close to justifying his contract, let alone show he is even an average NFL receiver.
How many chances to do you get at your job?
He was still on the field 12 plays or so Monday night and yet again did nothing.
Sure, he doesn't get a ton of throws his way now that he's not starting, but he's not starting for a very good reason and Randle El is like 5th in the NFL in third-down receiving and Moss is Moss.
Nirvana - "Beeswax"
20009: Hey Jasno, thanks for chatting today.
Will the Giants use Plaxico to pick on Carlos Rogers on Sunday, and will Carlos actually be in position for a change, if they do?
Jason La Canfora: Pexiglass - as Shannon Sharpe once dubbed him - has not practied all week, so we might not even see him at all.
Toomer has created problems for the Skins in the past, but Plaxico has that size that causes match-up problems.
East End: JLC,
Like the article this morning however, think opponents 3rd down converstion % so far this year has more to do with their awful offense than our D making huge stops. Agree? We gave Philly many a opportunity to win on Monday night.
Thanks for answering my question!
Jason La Canfora:
Good point. But the fact they keep putting teams in third-and-long bodes very well for them, and I think that was a key point to the whole deal. They are still giving up too many third down passes ... but it's been 8 yard-gain when teams need 10. Given the zone they are playing, that's stuff they are very comfortable giving up.
Like I said in there, it's so early in the season and all of this could change in a flash, but so far so good.
Radiohead "Bullet Proof" (a ringing endorsement of Double-G's defense from those scholarly Brits?
Virginia Beach: Hi Jason!
Is it me, or does JC seem like a new Jay Schroeder; Hyper accurate at times, cannon arm, occasionally making just plain bad decisions? Jay worked out pretty well for a few years...
Jason La Canfora: It's just you, dude.
This kid is legit.
Gregarious: Hey JLC, thanks as always for the great coverage, and congrats on finally having some help! How long do you think it will be before Demulling gets any PT, will we see any RC this weekend, and what's the over/under for the wide receiver getting cut during the season (I'm sure there's not even a line for if he ever makes another reception as a Redskin...)? Thanks!
Jason La Canfora: I think that coming out of the bye week DeMulling will have a chance to start pushing for more PT. Doubt he would play this week given how late he was signed in the week, though they could dress him as a backup.
As for the WR - I don't see anything remotely coming until after the season. He'd have to really flake out to force their hand.
TV On The Radio - "Poppy"
Ann Arbor, Mich.: Hey Jason,
Was bummed when you left the Freep, but then quite happy when you became the beat writer for the 'Skins ... I was born and bred in DC. Anyway, what's with the green dots on the backs of the QB helmets this season?
Keep up the good writing ..love the blog!
Jason La Canfora: Thanks partner. Had a blast in Detroit and was actually looking to buy a house and find myself a nice midwestern gal at the very moment the Post came after me.
turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me - thanks George Solomon, you rock - but met a ton of great people in Motown and several lifelong friends.
As for the green dots, it is to indicate a player wearing a helmet with a radio frequency headset inside from what I have been told.
And no matter how bad the Wolverines might stink, Ann Arbor remains an awesome town. wouldn't mind raising my kids in a place like that at all.
Anonymous: Any idea what the Redskins are giving to DeMulling? Vet minimum for two years?
Jason La Canfora:1 year vet min, no bonus.
hes a 7 year guy so that's a $720,000 base (going off the top of my head here) so he'll get a prorated portion of that based on how many weeks he's here.
Baltimore: In reference to McNabb's comments. I am a Black man very familiar with Philly. I think he is spot on when it comes to Philly media and fans. Philly can be a very very racist place, especially the type of people that populate their fan base. Do you think that its easier for Black QB's in Washington because of Doug Williams?
Jason La Canfora: Not sure of if it's easier here than there, but I watched Donovan's interview again last night and I still can't really figure out what people are freaking about.
I have known Donovan since college - we were in Syracuse together and my brother used to DJ for him sometimes when Donovan would MC at parties a lil bit - and he is a completely straight up dude.
He's not prone to hyperbole or BS. He says what he thinks, and he is a bright indivdual. I am not sure about who is racist and who is not, and frankly, I don't think that's what Donovan was trying to say as much as just to point out that race is still an issue and consideration in many arenas in this country and in his line of work as well.
I think there are racist individuals in all walks of life, and unfortunately one's color is often brought into play in various aspects of public life.
Leadbelly - "I've Got a Pretty Flower"
East End: JLC,
How do we game plan for Shockey? Think we'll shadow him with a linebacker all day? Can Landry run with him maybe? Think Taylor will wear Jeremy's torso home as a hat after the game?
Jason La Canfora: In the past MArcus has done a lot of work on him, and the good thing this year is that the Skins have much better options than in years past. If one match-up isn't working they can chaneg it.
Rocky, London and LaRon could all get a shot at him whether coming off the line or in the slot.
Daft Punk "Alive"
Washington, D.C.: Despite the positives that Jason Campbell has displayed against Philly, his bungling of the deep pass to a wide open Santana Moss strikes me not as a "rookie mistake" (which one COULD say about his INT). It strikes me as the kind of mistake elite quarterbacks just don't make -- whether college or pro, rookie or veteran. Have you heard any discussion along these lines?
Jason La Canfora: I see people over-throw deep routes in every game I watch.
I'm not saying Jason is going to be Joe Montana, but he has a chance to run his record to 5-5 this Sunday and is making big plays when need be.
How many balls has Santana dropped this season already (at least 4 I know that)? How about Cooley?
Cooley dropped an easy 45 yard pass right off the bat the other night. People make mistakes. Young players especially.
The very good ones get better each week and continue to grow and this kid makes strides each week.
Florida: Angst factor low? You're kidding, right? The last time my angst factor concerning the Skins was low was 1991. If this team comes out flat or complacent, they will lose to the Giants. Mark my words.
Jason La Canfora: It is the clssic trap game, eh?
Columbia, S.C.: I know you had said that many people you had spoken with around the league really liked Keydrick Vincent. Any idea why they went with DeMulling instead? Was it his ability to pull and make blocks in space? Vincent's conditioning?
Jason La Canfora: The Skins are becoming more and more of a zone blocking team and DeMulling is very adept at that, is better in space, more athletic overall and played in Indy and Detroit, where they do a lot of that stuff.
Vincent is more of a powerful straight ahead guy, but in the end they wanted someone who they could at least to do some pulling with and some of the stuff that Randy Thomas makes look so easy.
Kensington, Md.: In any of the press conferences, has Gibbs been asked (and answered) who is in charge of clock management? It doesn't seem they like they have been sure who it is, so it would be nice to know that's been handled.
And man, their winning makes me so nervous. I don't remember being so nervous last year. It's really funny because I'm just on pins and needles all week.
Jason La Canfora: It's all on him my man. He's deciding when to go for it, when to attempt field goals, when to use timeouts, when to challenge replays, when to
NYC, NY: I've seen this movie before. Two games in the Skins start feeling good about themselves, with a reeling Giants team next up...and end up getting stopmed.
This is a huge opportunity to be three games up on the Giants and stay at least two up on the Eagles. Is the team taking the Giants seriously?
Jason La Canfora: I think the critical beatdown a reeling Giants team put in the Skins twice last season will keep the Redskins from having a collective braincramp this Sunday.
Again, I think ... No one knows for sure until we get out there.
Pixies - "Monkey Gone To Heaven"
Lorton, Virginia: Yo, J-Lac,
DG is in the house, brother!
Seriously, the Giants game Sunday is a trap game, and more importantly, is a game that represents the Skins at a crossroads.
To me, the difference between 3-0 and 2-1 is a big deal, because last year the Skins went 1-5 in the division. In 2005, they were 5-1 in the division and made the playoffs.
My modest hope this year was for them to be 3-3 in division play. A 2-0 start in division is a big deal, considering a lot of people--and I mean a lot-- didn't expect a win at Philly.
But playing a desperate 0-2 team is going to make it tough, but JC and company will pull it out.
Keep you the good work, Boss Playa'.
Jason La Canfora: Thanks dude. Don't have much to add here. Love the enthusiasm.
Houston: What happened with Dallas Sartz? Was this a wise draft choice?
Jason La Canfora: No. He got cut and was banged up a lot. even if healthy he wasn't going to make it, though.
Bowie, Md.: I've noticed that no one is talking about Jason Campbell's inability to throw a proper timing route. Two of his three interceptions have come from him hesitating to throw before the reciever makes his break. This could come back to haunt us when we play better defenses.
Jason La Canfora: Man, people are down on this kid, eh? I have a hard time believing that.
Like I've written, he still needs to speed everything up and his accuracy on intermediate routes in particular needs work.
He is a work in progress who is managing to play well and win some games alone the way. Not sure what more people could expect.
it's not like they were winning a whole lotta games and Super Bowls before he came around.
MC5 - "Shakin' Street"
Bangkok, Thailand: Jasno, All of the 'Skins three opponents have yet to win a game (Dolphins, Eagles, and Giants). Do any of these teams win this week?
Jason La Canfora: I think the Eagles get it gone.
Bangkok is in the house!!
Alexandria, Va.: Jason,
What do you think about LaVar Arrington joining the Redskins postgame show on Comcast? Should be interesting hearing his comments on the Dan Snyder interview which will air on his debut...
Jason La Canfora: First I've heard of LaVar. Hear he is down to like 230 pounds and doesn't look anything like he used to.
Will be interesting. He could be a top-notch analyst/personality if he put his mind to it.
Midland, Tex.: The Redskins seem to be figuring some things out when it comes to personnel decisions. When do you think they will figure out that they need a big, speedy, possession type receiver to compliment the new Smurfs?
Jason La Canfora: They've dabbled with possibilities (McCardell this summer, etc.) and it's clear they want short fast dudes, but I agree completely. Eventually they need to add that dimension and it would be huge for a big QB like JC.
Van Morrison "Beside You"
Washington, D.C.: I don't recognize any of these songs.
Jason La Canfora: That's what record stores are for.
I've just got the ipod on shuffle.
Richmond, Va.: Tell me that the 'Skins retro jerseys won't be anywhere near as ugly as those AWFUL Steelers retro jerseys!
Jason La Canfora: Nah, these have a lot of mustard to them but not like some of those old-achool 1930s Steelers jobs.
It's the 1971 unis round here.
Paris, France: JLC
Nice work!! Who will finally be the third wide receiver to catch a pass?? Is Caldwell ready to play?
Jason La Canfora: Reche needs to get a guy who is working on special teams before he gets active and he is doing more and more teams in practice.
Thrash was in a lot of 3 wide sets Monday and though they often run out of a lot of that stuff - or throw a screen to Moss- I think he'll get a ball his way this Sunday.
Rockville, Md.: Guys, please lay off Jason Campbell! The guy is fun to watch...even if he overthrows an occasional deep pass or has a timing route issue, he is far better than anyone else we have at QB! This is a fun player to watch and I am honored he is on our team!
Jason La Canfora: Bro, no argument from me.
Port St Lucie, Fla.: Jason,
I think the d-line is still going to have trouble pressureing the qb. How do the coaches feel about Chris Smith? Any DE's out there worth taking a look at. I see this as a major flaw on our defense.
Jason La Canfora: They failed to do anything to upgrade with proven players at D Line, and left DE in particular, and it is definitely an area that will be watched closely every week.
You aren't going to find any real help there at this time of year.
Demetric had a nice game Monday and I would actually rotate him with Phillip more even if/when Daniels is healthy.
Phillip is always hurt more or less and that's no surprise now. But keeping Griff as fit as possible is the No. 1 key to that defense, I believe.
West Chester, Pa.: Do you see Portis and Betts getting more work this week than they did against the Eagles? And do they share the load as they did against Miami or does Portis get most of the carries again this week?
Jason La Canfora: I think if Clinton stays healthy he becomes more of the feature back.
Ladell is much better catching balls out of the backfield though, so they need to keep that element in play as well and work him in.
Having these two in form in the 4th qtr is a huge weapon.
Roxy Music "Nightingale"
Jefferson Memorial: JLC,
What are the chances LaVar the commentator gets out of position, interrupting his co-hosts while putting the show "on his shoulders" and the whole thing comes crumbling down?
Jason La Canfora: Well done.
Better yet, what are the odds that he coughs one time into the mic by accident and then gets banished to the parking lot to pick up trash off camera the rest of the season?
Seattle, Wa.: J- You going to catch the Genesis concert right after the game at MCI this weekend?
Will Yoder have more catches and yds this year than the receiver?
What about Marshall Faulk and all his catches/yds under Saunders...Betts had the one nice screen...will we see more RB catch and run as we work our way into this offense... as Portis said we are NOT clicking yet?
Jason La Canfora: Not a huge Genesis guy (like some of their weird stuff with Peter Gabriel and nothing really after abacab) and doubt I'll be leaving FedEx til 10 or so anway ... and I get to shows about once a year now with the two babies at home. So i guess that's a longwinded no on that one.
Wow, if Yoder outproduces him that'll be someting.
I bet Bram before the season that Patten would catch a TD pass before the wr, and also threw in Reno Mahe and BJ Sams hitting paydirt before him as well. Now, Sams is out for the year and Mahe was cut - but he's back now.
I think Bram's in trouble on this one.
Devo "Jocko __" (don't think I can write the other word, even if it's used in a totally ironic fashion in this case
Philadelphia: Jasno, keep up the stellar work! Wanted to mention how wonderful living amongst the collective depression that is Iggles fans after Monday's HUGE win. As far as JC is concerned, give him time. He looks like a keeper. My question, do you expect the 'Skins to adopt a pass first game plan this week? The Giants pass D looks bad.
Jason La Canfora: I am sticking to my mantra - run the ball 40 times each week if at possible.
Killeen, Tex.: Lifelong 'Skins fan and U.S. Army soldier just back from Iraq...been down optimistic road too many years to count but D looks stout in spite of not having lockdown corners and a unsettled offense has made strides...once the bye week passes and the possibility of a undefeated September looms can this team embrace the winning tone set in 2005 and still play solid football if they hit a bump or two before Dallas?
Jason La Canfora: Thanks for participating and for all you do. Wish you all the best and great to have you back in the USA.
As for the Skins, we're going to find out my man, cause they will definitely hit a few bumps in the next 3-4 weeks, that's just life in the NFL.
I have a gut feeling that the Detroit and Arizona games are going to be a lot more like that Miami game than people might think. I see both going either way.
Los Angeles: I can't see the pass patterns on TV here in LA, so maybe you can help me out with a more detailed explanation of what you're seeing in person. What is B Lloyd doing out there? I've seen him in the huddle, but in two games I've counted three balls thrown his way (1 catch). Seriously, is he walking through his routes? How can anyone play that much and be a total of a non-factor? I just want to understand. Thanks.
Jason La Canfora: Sometimes he does not gain separation. Sometiems he breaks off his routes. Sometimes he is simply not open or he is open but not the primary option and the ball goes elsewhere.
No one set thing, and, obviously, since he no longer starts, he simply is not on the field as much, either.
Sade "No Ordinary Love" (Live)
Grim Reaper: I was killing time watching some Sean Taylor highlights on YouTube last night (at least the ones that the NFL hasn't had removed). A few years ago, it was pretty obvious he was meant to rough up TO during the Philly game. Was that a special defense drawn up just for that game? Is he still in that role with this year's defense? Is that something he might do Sunday against Plexiglass (or Shockey)? Something Williams has lined up for the Dallas game?
Jason La Canfora: With the Reaper, I don't think it needs to be said or schemed - if you come into his zone and he has a chance to take your head off, he's going to try like hell to do just that.
teams threw at him much more last year in a Cover-2 scheme, but the Skins are playing more Cover-3 and few balls have gone deep down the middle yet.
Also, the LBs as a unit can cover much, much better than the unit last year. That's another huge factor against that 30-40 pass to the TE down the seam that killed the Skins in Cover-2 last year but that we've yet to really see this year.
Alex. Va. : Jasno,
I completely agree with you Re: McNabb. I watched the interview the other night and saw a very calm, well reasoned explanation of why he believes there is extra pressure on black QB's. No rant, or axe to grind, just a "Hey it's there, I deal with it." But when you add football and race to the 24-hour sports world of talk radio, ESPN, blogs by crazed fans and media wannabes There you go. It is the same way in non-sports journalism, anymore. Feed the info beast, we will check for accuracy later, maybe.
Jason La Canfora: I am with you. Very well put.
He was answering a question in a matter-of-fact fashion and I found it very reasonable and didn't come as a surprise to me at all.
Everyone obviously has their opinion on this and mine is simply that I guess I missed how this was some crazy controversial situation.
Herndon, Va.: ENOUGH with the music comments!
Jason La Canfora: sorry bro, it's my chat and i'll ipod if i want to
New York: Hey Jason is the Shawn Springs saga officially over? Or will Smoot play more this week?
Jason La Canfora: smoot's hammy is acting up again and he couldn't practice fulle yesterday. if he does dress i can't see him starting and I think as long as they feel like Shawn is fully fit, he's the man.
Bethesda, Md.: Randy Thomas - is it viewed as feasible that he can come back, or long-shot wishful thinking?
Jason La Canfora: I think it may be a bit of a longshot, but it's a gamble I'd be willing to take as well, at least for 6 weeks until he's out of that cast/splint and the doctors can get a better feel of exactly how he is recovering and an exact timetable for return.
Frederick, Md.: We're all loyal followers of your coverage so I'm interested in your position...
Who wins the game and by how much?
How many wings can you eat at one sitting?
Jason La Canfora:
I think the Skins win big (but I'm wrong all the time). If I'm in a survivor pool I'm seriously debating playing the Skins card this weekend.
Wings, eh? I am more of a deviled eggs guy when it comes to competitive eating. Can put down a large cheesesteak, 10 beers and 13 devileds before the stomach gets the best of me. (and it's been well documented)
Minutmen - "If Reagan Played Disco"
wow, and ipod goes right back to Mike Watt and Co. for "More Joy"
Coral Springs, Fla.: Love the blog. During Gibbs 2, the 'Skins have had big let downs after big wins. In '05 after our big Monday night win in Dallas, they lost the next two. In '06 when they upset Dallas and Jacksonville in dramatic fashion, they got killed the following game. Do you think there is any danger of a let down here? This is arguably a must-win game for the Giants more so than the 'Skins.
Jason La Canfora: You are right, this has been their MO and they've lost a lot of games at home that are hard to explain (Tenn 06, Oak 05, Bal 04).
They need to get over that stuff and string some 3-4 game streaks together. it's a step as a franchise they need to make (that 5 game run in 2005 is an anomoly at this point but maybe not for long).
Voidoids - "New Pleasure"
No Dirty Laundry: After two games, there are many things that are looking up for the Redskins: a bend/don't break defense, an offense coming together, and the rise of a young quarterback.
But one of the things that has struck me after two games, and that I haven't heard commented on, is the lack of penalties this team is taking.
Previously, there always seem to be holding call, a pass interference call, or a stupid personal foul that either stopped 'Skins drives or continued the opponents. But on Monday, other than the delay of game and a couple of false starts, I can't remember any other penalties against the Skins.
Are you guys seeing the same thing? If so, who gets the credit for it? Is it everyone is more mature, more comfortable with the system? Did the coaches crack heads in the off season? Or is it leadership on the field?
Jason La Canfora: Great point. Last year the Skins were again among the most penalized and the defense was like 4th overall in most penalties.
The procedural stuff near the goal line has to stop ASAP, but other than that it has been very positive.
Maiden - "The Evil That Men Do"
Oakland: You catch Antonio Pierce's stunt with the airhorn? How bush league. Not to overreact to one bad day in the locker room, but where did that come from? Is he not as good a dude was we might have thought, or are the Giants that big a trainwreck?
Jason La Canfora: Nah, I missed it. Did he do it in someone's ear? If so that's weak (Had a drunken Croatian do that to me in a jam-packed subway car back from the Olympicstad in Berlin at the World Cup after Brazil/Croatia last summer and ended up damn-near in the hospital from it).
AP was a great dude to cover, a straight shooter and up front guy and someone I still stay in touch with.
I'll have to gather more info on this one.
Mephiskapheles Town: Anyway is there a noticeable difference around camp now that they have won some games? Was it more pensive in the preseason? Are they talking trash about how bad the Giants are when the media isn't around?
Rank and File Rank and File..Step IT!
Jason La Canfora: Way to bring the ska. I love Bumblebee Tuna.
I think there is a guarded optimism to them, but they seem to realize that they ain't done nuthin yet.
Nobody's going off on the G-men 'cause they know this team has their number. That stuff Tiki pulled on them at home last Dec was pathetic. you can't let that happen at home to a division rival. even with barber gone, they know the giants have had their way them for the most part.
that should keep them from falling through the trap ... I think
Operation Ivy - "Unity"
Richmond, Va.: Will Carlos Rogers ever warrant his 9th overall selection in the draft? Is it just me or are his hands made of lead?
Jason La Canfora: He looks better this year but still needs to be a playmaker. He could have ended that game on the one 4th down throw and he miss-timed jumping the route. Now, McNabb threw a riffle shot there, but still. I agree, his hands have to get better and once he grabs one INT I think his confidence will kick in.
Jason La Canfora: Wow, that hour went fast. Thanks for all the questions and sorry for the ones I could not get to, but practice is going to end soon and I need to get out there.
You can always email me at - firstname.lastname@example.org - or find me on the blog, Redskins Insider.
Hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy the game.
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