The Redskins

Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 18, 2007; 1:00 PM

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Oct. 18 at 1 p.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: Hey there, hope everyone is doing well. Sure many of you are still brooding over the loss. They gane another one away, but a lot of football remains.

Okay, let's get it going. Ipod working so far, on shuffle as always ("Hagseed" - Pigface). Have at me.


Durham, N.H.: Hi Jason,

I enjoy your reporting and insight -- whether it be your articles or blog/insider -- it's all good.

It seems like Washington has a lot of injuries to hamstrings & groins. Do you think this is just by chance, i.e., having some players who are more susceptible to the injury, or does this speak to a more serious problem like training (stretching, workouts, overtraining)? I know you aren't a doctor, but have you heard anything from 'Skins trainers who think they need to change things up?

NP: Uncle Tupelo -- "I wanna be your dog"

Jason La Canfora: It's certainly been a reality, whether totally fluky or whatever.

with the O Line in particular, they are doing more stretching before and after practice and are definitely evaluating anything else that might help. Brought some specialist dude in to consult them on the muscle problems.

Saw the same thing happen one year when I covered the Caps and they ended up altering their practices at that time as well if I remember correctly.


Gregariousterp: Hey JLC, thanks as always for doing your job well, it's greatly appreciated by the non-troll fans!

Out of curiosity, why hasn't Demulling been placed into the line-up sooner, is he not as athletic as advertised or is there something more sinister? We always like our conspiracies! Thanks!

Jason La Canfora: Thanks to all of you for reading my stuff. I'm just plugging along doing my job, so I'm the one who should be thanking you, and, well, I am.

With Rick, he's needed time to get his feet under him, learn the technique - which is different that he's done in the past though the system is similar to what he ran in Detroit - and Fabini has been here since OTAs and was ready to plug right in.

Jason has held up well the last few weeks after a tough first game. No conspiracies at all. If Jason has to play tackle Sunday - Wade and Rabach say they are playing but it may come down to the wire with both of them - Fabini goes to RT and your boy DeMulling would get the shot at RG.

"She Sells" - Roxy Musix


Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C.: With so many QBs going down and the likes of Testaverde, Rattay, and Ferrotte playing, have other teams been inquiring about Brunnell? Or do the Redskins want to avoid having the same thing happen to them if Campbell goes down (even though Collins is around)?

Jason La Canfora: No inquiries came through (trading deadline was Tuesday, so it's too late now either way). They also like the deep depth, so Skins were not actively pushing him, either.


Rockville: JLC-

I thought we were destined for a Tim Rattay appearance on Sunday. What do you think the odds are that the former grocery bagger plays on Sunday?

Jason La Canfora: I think think it's Mayday Rattay. I don't see anyway Warner can hand off the ball, hold on to the ball, maybe even take a snap with one arm. He's had a hard enough time getting a grip on it with two hands the last 4 years.

The Cards gave it a shot at practice, but I really think it's crazy to expect Warner to be able to do more than throw a ball or two in shotgun or something, even if its the non-throwing elbow.

"Valentine & Garuda" - Frank Black & The Catholics (if you don't own Black Letter Days, the album this is from, you really should rectify that. something for everyone. brilliant country stuff (kinda like honkeytonk Stones stuff).


Brooklyn, N.Y.: Hey bro,

with all the injuries to the o-line, there's no doubt gibbs will be on edge during Friday's presser...You got any questions that will send him over the edge?...we need the angry Joe.

Jason La Canfora: Hmmm. Let me think for a second.

What would send him over the edge and cause a vintage Friday eruption? I'll ask Jerry Coleman and get back to you guys with what he has planned. Also, feel free to send along any suggestions.

Angry Joe rocks by the way. I dig it.

"Paranoid Android" - Radiohead


Herndon, Va.: JLa,

I watched NFL game of the week and they had a lot of sideline shots of B. Lloyd jumping up and down on the sidelines cheering on his guys. What do the players think about this guy?

Also why no comments (not posts) on the blog? I miss your musk.

I get your contrarian nature but what mainstream music do you listen to? Closet JT fan?


Jason La Canfora: Lloyd is a different dude. I'll put that way. He can be the greatest guy in the world and the most charming guy you ever met, and then me could lose his stuff for no reason and go off on a secretary.

As for the no comments on the blog, I'm not sure I follow, but I will admit my musk can be potent and highly effective. So I've got that going for me.

I love a lot of just plain great pop stuff:

Go-Gos, Duran Duran, love Al Green,

Stevie Wonder is all time top 5, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Cheap Trick, I could go on and on my man.

Stay musky San Diego


Bethesda, Md.: It will be very interesting if the Patriots go 16-0 this year and they admitted to breaking the NFL rules in the first game of the season. Asterik?

Jason La Canfora: I can't see 16-0. I'm going to refrain from addressing any undefeated stuff until Week 10. Too early.

Guess I'll be answering a lot of Beli-Cheat questions next week, eh?


ShakeNBake: JLC-

Seems to me that the defense is not blitzing the same number of times we have gotten used to with Gregg W., and the early results seem to be promising. Would you think he changes this up if Rattay is the starter on Sunday?

Jason La Canfora: I think Gregg has done a great job of catering his game plan to the opponent as well as his talent. The synergy there has been pretty awesome.

And, yes, whether One-Eblow Warner or MDR, I think he'll bring the thunder a bit more. I can see No. 30 being deployed off the edge and No. 52 as well.


Chevy Chase, Md.: If you were to choose the Redskins top 3 problems what would they be? Lack of consistent receivers? Too many injuries on the offensive line? Inconsistency in general? Lack of crazy throwbacks like the Eagles' blue and yellow one? Just curious.

Jason La Canfora: Interesting. Off the top of my head the only team with truly offensive throwback jerseys to prosper this season is maybe Pittsburgh. So let's rule that out.

Honestly, with this defense as good as it is, the No. 1, No.2 and No. 3 issue to me is scoring offense. Simple as they.

They can't score 3 TDs in a game - or only very rarely and not consistently save for Dec. 2005. Just doing that and they're 5-0.

Moving the ball is great and all. Get it in the end zone. Been four years now, and it's still not the norm for them to put up 21 on somebody.

"Smoke Two ..." - Sublime


Bill Belichick: How badly am I going to expose Joe Gibbs and his coaching staff this week? You have no good matchups to stop our offense, we've outschemed must better offenses and your situational execution is terrible.

Jason La Canfora: Dang, Bill, I am all with you on the genius tip, bro, but shouldn't you be game planning for Miami this week? They're 0-6 but are you really spending two weeks worrying about/spying on/cheating for the Skins?

You're better than that bro.

"The Wizard" - Sabbath


A good blog topic?: Did the 'Skins miss a significant opportunity by not taking Adrian Peterson over LaRon Landry in last year's draft?

Granted, Landry's been good, but Peterson looks to be phenomenal.

Jason La Canfora: They had to address the D and had two highly paid tailbacks already. Good RBs can be found in the third round a lot of times. This kid looks special but they're already loaded up on big money guys on O (Portis, Moss, Cooley).

To me it was Okoye or Landry, simple as that. looks like they are both going to be very very good. I was a pro-Okoye guy - and he was rookie of the month in september I believe and had some mind-bending numbers by any standard, much less for a teenage tacke.

LaRon looks like a stud as well.


Ashburn, Va.: With the Redskins Defense performing at a high level and with the Offense performing at what would be considered a "sub-par" level, is there any disstention or animosity between the Offense and Defense, specifically between G. Williams and A. Saunders?

You'd think Williams would be "Hey, we're doing our part and you're not"

Anything like that going on behind the scenes that we as fans can't see?

Jason La Canfora: It's only natural for there to be some frustration and head scratching going on. That's part of the deal.

I'll be keeping an eye on the tension level, but it's only human nature to look over and say: "What the ...?" As long as it stays inside meeting rooms, and no one goes off and slugs Al or anything, then it's business as usual.

"Tira Me A Las Aranas" - The Mars Volta


Las Vegas, Nev.: Hey Jason good reporting. Adu's first touches looked pretty good last night Jr. scored a goal!

On to football.

Gimme your Top 5 NFC teams in order please.


1. Dallas

2. Green Bay

3. Giants

4. Skins

5. Seattle

Jason La Canfora: That little backheel flick was pretty sick. About time my boy got his run. Nice result for the US, although, as someone who believes it's going to more than the current manager to get the program to the next level, it's hard for me to get pumped about it.

Top 5:




Anyone Else - After these 3 I think it's a crapshoot.


New Orleans, La.: Will we see more of Keenan McCardell?

Jason La Canfora: I'd like to see him in more 3 wide sets, and not just in the second half. I think he'll get that shot in coming weeks.


Palisades, D.C.: So, as a long time fan, it seems like my options right now are to either buy plane tickets and book a hotel room for the Super Bowl, or throw myself under a bus. What should I do?

P.S. iPod - "manic Depression," Jimi Hendrix

Jason La Canfora: I'm not sure i have the proper education to answer that question. You want to contact a shrink, or maybe Mike Ditka.

I say save your cash, and by all means, bro, your life, or maybe just go to Vegas.

"All Or Nothing At All" - Sinatra


Springs: Out indefinitely? Who's filling in?

Jason La Canfora: If Shawn is not able to play due to the unfortante situation with his father, then Smoot would start and Torrence would probably feature in more nickel stuff and Macklin would likely be active.


Midland, Tex.: Jason,

Did the Redskins make a play for Chris Chambers? If not, why do you think that is? A big receiver might have helped make the difference in the Green Bay game.

Jason La Canfora: If, after all the draft picks and money they've spent on WRs, they went out and dealt a 2nd round pick for that guy, then I'd suggest the fanbase hire a PI and conduct a complete inquest.

Draft the next Chris Chambers - younger and cheaper and probably more consistent - next year, but don't deal a 2 for another WR. Madness man. Madness

"Mystery Dance" - Elvic Costello


JC: B-Lloyd said on the radio that he dropped that long bomb last week because he was out of rhythm after watching the game from the sideline for the past year and a half. He did say he "needs to make that catch" but I also agree with his reasoning. Just throw him the dang ball and let him legitimately earn or lose our respect.

Jason La Canfora: He's had a ton of chances - all of last season, at New Orleans, JC's first NFL pass in Tampa Bay, the 50-50 ball in Miami in Week 1. He started 14 stinking games last year and has played 20. Give me a break. He got $10 million to make plays and score TDs - he has done neither.


Boise, Idaho: Hey Jason!

Is there any chance that Dan Snyder will ever recognize that the "blind squirrel" approach to personnel selection (both draft and Free Agency) is NOT working, and that the Redskins need major improvements in scouting and a top-notch Personnel Executive (or GM)? The Arch/Lloyd deals and the lower rounds of the most recent draft are proof that Coach Joe and Vinny aren't getting it done.

Jason La Canfora: Doesn't look good for any of that my man. Doubtful at best.


Honolulu, Hawaii: How good is the Arizona front four and backers? Can we get by this week even if the O-Line isn't hitting on all cylinders?

Jason La Canfora: Their secondary has had issues this season (Rolle is not coming along as many had hoped), and though they have a stud safety Adrian Wilson I think they take their shots deep.

"The Size Of Our Love" - Sleater Kinney


Washington: I remember lots of woe about not drafting a D-lineman, but aren't you just a little surprised about only FOUR guys on the line getting it done (admittedly, Cornelius is one of them and Carter is way improved) against Kitna and Favre?

iPod: "Miss Teen USA South Carolina maps Q & A"

Jason La Canfora: They are making me look like an idiot right now. Top notch from those guys.

Now, in my defense they got very old there and I thought Okoye was a star in the making who they plug with Montgomgery/GOlston and have a great rotation for 8 years. And I think LE is still a worry with Daniels often hurt and they are going to need to add a young end at some point here soon, even if Evans becomes a starter next season.

"Rip Off" - Dim Stars


Frederick, Md.: How much better do you think we'd be if we didn't drop the football?

Jason La Canfora: Well, they'd be at one game better in the standings, I can tell you that much. Maybe 2.


Joe Gibbs: Hey Jason,

I just wanted to tell the fans... we really need 'em UP HERE. The Cardinals are a dag-gum good football team, and really we're gonna have to fight our guts out to squeak away with a victory in the last second. I see it being a hard fought football game with a lot of stories... some real heroic performances.

Jason La Canfora: It's going to take every swinging soul.


New Orleans, La.: What has Gibb's emphasized over this week? Finishing games, reducing turnovers, catching the ball consistently?

Jason La Canfora: All of the above.


Bill Belichick: Miami who? We're sending our practice squad to face the fish this week. I'm looking forward to embarassing yet another coach/franchise.

Jason La Canfora: Godspeed you evil genius.


Fort Collins, Colo.: Hi Jason,

Quick question about Cooley...How were the Pack able to neutralize him in the second half? I know that he stayed in to help Heyer on the right side, but I also heard that they put Al Harris on him in the second half. If this is true, why weren't any of our wideouts able to get open in the second half against the Green Bay defensive backs?

Jason La Canfora: After Santana left the game - Harris had blanketed him - the Pack definitely was no longer willing to let Cooley abuse safeties. Also, like you said he had to block a whole lot more and the scope of the entire offense shrunk with so little time for JC to operate.

Also, he fooled them twice for big gains after lining up wide of the tackle, engaging, then releasing quickly into the flat (28 yard pass down the 6 and again later), but Green Bay seemed to adjust to that as the game went on.


When they only need to get one yard: why put in Betts? He can't seem to do it. We were yelling at the TV, don't put in Betts, don't put in Betts, don't put in Betts... and they did. I guess coach couldn't hear us. Don't get me wrong, I like Betts. But don't put him in when we just need one. It doesn't work.

NP: in my mind I'm humming "Blue Skies" for some reason.

Jason La Canfora: I think that they have to find a healthier rotation between these guys, because right now it's not working for either of them and the production is way down.

You can't have a guy sit for 90 minutes then all of a sudden put the ball back in his hands with the game on the line.

I think Ladell is being miscast in this 3:1, Portis to Betts, rotation.

"The Way Young Lovers Do" - Van Morrison


Big Receivers: Even though this kind of shapes up to be a slam dunk for the Skins with their defense and the Card's QB woes, this secondary seems to struggle against big receivers. Any concerns there?

Also, C. Rogers has looked just horrible, especially in the two losses. Is there anyone outside of Smoot/Springs that could challenge him for playing time?

Jason La Canfora: Carlos is clearly the No. 1 CB to the coaches (Springs and Smoot rotate on one side but Carlos is entrenched on the other).

They are going to try to smack the daylights out of Fitzgerald, I can tell you that much. The game plan emphasizes that he does not respond well to physical contact and I have a feeling The Grim Reaper will play over the top on him in Cover-2 a bit and try to lay a licking on him.


20010:4th and 2, and they dont hand it to Sellers.

Short yardage has been a problem with Gibbs 2.0/Saunders. I simply dont get why they didnt give The Beast the ball in that situation.

In that same category, why not use more planned sneaks/roll outs for Campbell?

Jason La Canfora: No argument here.

Actually, if we ever reached a point where the Skins either clinched a particular playoff spot or were eliminated from contention, I propose a sociological experiment whereby Manimal/Manbeast/SoulEater gets the ball on every offensive play, with at least 35 carries being the mandatory minimum.

Sure, he would tire out in the second half, but he would take a lot of swinging souls on the other side down with him.

"Fields of Marigold" - Frank Black (Ipod loving him today).


Anonymous: The D-line is simply younger and active this year. i think the Giants game stil showed they are not great run stoppers. Not like Tiki came out of retirement, but they did pound the ball when needed. With that, do the Redskins notice just how weak the NFC is this year? the giants, whom they gave the game to, is probably the second best. Dallas, which is more hype than their actual quality, is another.

Jason La Canfora: They notice, that's why the Giants and Pack loss hurt so much. NFC is there for the taking.


Jason La Canfora: Guys, I know I stink for doing this, but practice just ended a half hour early so I have to run.

I'll make it up next week and as always fire away on email - - or on the redskins insider, and I'll answer every email i get.

Thanks as always and have a great weekend.



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