Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, October 29, 2007 2:30 PM
Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss Sunday's Redskins/Patriots game and all the latest Redskins news.
A transcript follows.
Pinehurst, N.C.: No tall buildings in this town, only tall pine trees that I can climb and jump from as a depressed skins fan today....a theme that I have heard all morning is to get the loss behind them and fight on -- the problem I have with that is it won't work when Gibbs and company don't appear to be the fighting kind in the first place. They talk about unity and common goals, blah blah blah. Its like Ghandi leading a team into battle and it is getting old. I fear that yesterday's game killed this team but the body is still fumbling around before it gives out. What do you think?
Cindy Boren: Hello, Pinehurst! If you jump from a pine tree, it's going to hurt when you hit the needles on the ground. Besides, you'd miss the Redskins beating the Jets and marching into the end of the season at 8-7 with a playoff berth on the line.
Logan Circle: Were the Redskins in awe of the Patriots yesterday? Aside from London Fletcher they seemed to be afraid of the Patriots.
Cindy Boren: I'm not sure I'd say they were in awe. But they certainly got knocked back on their heels from the get-go and never recovered. The Patriots do that to teams; they shouldn't have been surprised. I'm not sure any team is really capable of adjusting to the things the Pats do, at this point. Let's see if Indy can do it at home Sunday.
Bethesda, Md.: Please stop placing Redskins stories on the front page of the A section on Mondays. Redskins coverage belongs in the Sports section. That's why you have a Sports section. It's where the sporting news of the day belongs. Or Style section which is for entertainment news. After all the NFL and the Redskins are entertainment. Can I, as a private business owner, receive page 1 coverage the same way Dan Snyder's business receives coverage every Monday edition?
Cindy Boren: Depends on what your business is, Bethesda. On 16 given Mondays, one of the biggest news stories in the greater Washington area is the Redskins' game. If they're at home, nearly 100,000 people are there. If they're on the road, fans are at home watching on TV. It impacts people's lives in a broader sense than just in Sports; A1 coverage should reflect that.
Scott Boras: Hi Cindy, I just wanted to but in and say A-Rod is opting out of his contract. Okay, thanks.
Cindy Boren: Thanks, Scott. Yankee fans are going to miss A-Rod's wife and her creative T-shirts.
D.C.: Randall Godfrey said it was an insult to Joe Gibbs when the Patriots kept throwing it deep and going for it on fourth down. I say the way the 'Skins defense played was more of an insult. What's your take?
Cindy Boren: I have to agree with you, D.C. It was an old-fashioned whuppin' and the defense was shredded. The Patriots weren't going to suddenly whip out chessboards and sit down for a little game.
D.C.: Do the 'Skins even watch game film? How could you not know that when Vrabel is lined up as a TE, HE'S NOT KIDDING!!!
Cindy Boren: Hello, again, D.C. Or a different D.C. Are you related to D.C. Comics? Often on Sundays in the office, we have the Patriots game tuned in on one of our dish channels and if there's one thing we've learned, it's that Vrabel is going to get the ball if he's in on offense. Yesterday, we all pointed to him when he came onto the field. Hello, he's going to get the ball. I was as baffled by that lapse as you.
Hello Town: Can or did any reporter ask Joe...isn't it time to hang it up? Or would that be unprofessional?
Cindy Boren: I'm not sure I'd phrase it that way; nor would I ask it in a general media session, but certainly it is legitimate to ask him, again, if he intends to finish out his contract. And please remember that they're 4-3; there's plenty of season left in a very very weak NFC. I would think that Gibbs by now understands a season's ups and downs.
Washington, D.C.: Oh, great, another episode of the navel gazing of The Washington Post on the foibles of the Washington Redskins. Please, they are NOT the biggest story that happened on Sunday, so big that it deserves a color picture above the fold. And I've got a news flash for you: not everyone here in D.C. marks time based on what the 'Skins did on Sunday. Some of us have LIVES.
Cindy Boren: Actually the photo above the fold today was of the Marine Corps Marathon...Hopefully you found something else to read on A1. And congrats on that life thing! Sounds like fun!
Displaced in San Diego:6-10 or 10-6 after all is said and done?
Cindy Boren: Barring injuries, I still think they'll be 8-7 going into the last game with a playoff berth on the line. They'll win and then lose the first-round playoff game. The NFC is like a dessert cart.
Tysons, Va.: Can the Redskins recover? Or have they been completely stripped of all that was once good and proud about the franchise?
Cindy Boren: Tysons, yes! Of course, they can! The Patriots were who the Redskins thought they were! Frankly, a nice little tilt against the Jets may be just what they need.
Note to Bethesda: When a million people want to read about your business, the WaPo will place it on A-1 to sell papers. That's their business.
Personally, I prefer the 'Skins on A-1. Frankly, I'm getting tired of reading about IEDs.
Cindy Boren: A view from the other side....
Dulles, Va.: Fire Al Saunders. Problem solved. Agree?
Cindy Boren: We're now way, way into the Al Saunders experiment. I'm not ready to pull the plug yet, because I saw what he did in KC.
Worcester, Mass.: Do you feel the Patriots should have stopped trying to score points?
If so, should the Redskins have stopped trying to score points as well?
Maybe both teams should have agreed to put their second strings in and only run running plays?
Cindy Boren: Worcester, Mass! I've actually been to Worcester, Mass. No, I don't think the Patriots should have stopped trying to score. What -- they should run toward the opposite goalposts? I think they could have had their scrubbinis in a little earlier, though. But that doesn't jibe with Belichick's mission to dominate and be the best ever. He's playing for history now and that can be a dangerous thing. If someone smashes his QB or another key starter, he may regret that approach.
Redcoat: Ouch! Could be worse though, could be 0-8.
Who would have thought that the running game which seemed SO good after week 1 would be DOA by week 8?
Cindy Boren: Hey, Redcoat! Did you see the streaker at the game in London? Guy wore nothing but a football, a cap and shoes and socks. The passing game and the running game are both now appearing on milk cartons. Mike Vrabel is more productive than the wide receivers.
But take heart. Just crunching some numbers here and in Gibbs's last three years, the Redskins are 2-5, 4-3 and 2-5 after seven games...
Dulles, Va. (but not the same guy): So who can we fire to make the team better?
Cindy Boren: Maybe a group hug would do the trick.
Gainesville, Va.: Cindy,
Have you ever seen an offense as surgical and precise as that of the Patriots? With the 'Skins in Cover Two, they did what the Lions should have done -- run and pass underneath. The 'Skins were so concerned with Moss and Stallworth (rightly so) that they couldn't deal with the short game. Belichick is a jerk, but that's one great coaching job.
Cindy Boren: It really is a thing of beauty and I'm not just talking about Tom Brady. Of course, Moss was a brilliant acquisition, but the one that really made me take notice was Stallworth. I loved that move. And getting Adalius Thomas. Their defense is aged -- did you see Junior Seau's face? -- but it doesn't matter with that offense. Of course, there's an offense in Indy that no one is talking about and it's pretty darn good, too.
Virginia: Could someone define sportsmanship for me? And would going for it on 4th down in the 4th quarter up 45-0 fall under that definition?
Cindy Boren: Well, the Patriots can't just hand the Redskins the ball. I would argue that running the ball in that situation is more sporting than passing it because at least the clock keeps running. And the second or third string really should have been in then.
Rockville, Md.: Hey Cindy,
Thanks for the chat! As a local Skins' fan, I'm sure I'm not the only one who correctly guessed that there'd be a Sally Jenkins column waiting for me after yesterday's debacle. As an editor, can you give us some insight into how this always seems to happen? The "proof" that she doesn't have a blatant anti-Skins bias that I've constantly heard is that columnists write about what their editors ask them to cover. So, SJ's editor only wants her to report on the Skins when they're humiliated? We haven't heard from her AT ALL this season when we've been respectable...until now, after an abysmal loss. What gives?
Cindy Boren: This is all Sally's fault. I KNEW it! :)
I did ask Sally to cover this game for the simple reason that we like to rotate our columnists. Because they're smart and gifted, we like getting a fresh take on games. Really, I didn't say, "Hmmmm, I think they'll lose in Foxborough" and dial Sally's number. Boswell was on baseball, Wise was running the Marine Corps Marathon (5:20 on a knee filled with cortisone), Wilbon is in Denver...So, you see, there was some logic employed. I promise Sally isn't a jinx.
Not D.C., but: Who is going to take charge of this team? Who is the spark plug?
Anyone? Ferris? Anyone?
Cindy Boren: THAT is the million-dollar question. I think it has to be Jason Campbell on offense; London Fletcher on defense.
Streaker in London: You asked if we saw the streaker and noted: "Guy wore nothing but a football, a cap and shoes and socks."
FOX mentioned it but would not show it, for obvious reasons. The real question is -- were the socks on his feet, or...??????
Cindy Boren: The socks were on his feet. The football, as our writer Kevin Sullivan said, covered his end zone.
Greencastle, Ind.: Any idea how Patriots' victims do the week after their drubbings? They're not exactly extracting "moral victories" from these beat-downs.
Cindy Boren: Let's see, Greencastle. Cleveland has done pretty well after losing to New England (of course, they played 'em close -- losing by 17). They've won two, beating Miami and St. Louis.
Washington, D.C.: Is it time to start to move beyond Clinton Portis? It seems obvious to me that he doesn't have the explosion he once had and can no longer break tackles. He seems much to easy to bring down. I know they don't really have any other real options but Betts can't be any worse. Is it time to feature Betts?
Cindy Boren: I think the time for that has indeed come.
Silver Spring, Md.: Joe Gibbs is a genius! Realizing that his injury-ridden team had no chance against the Patriots, he purposely lets them run up the score. Flash forward three months from now, the Redskins have gotten healthier, stronger and better every week. They sneak into the playoffs as a wild card and run the board through the NFC Championships. Then, on Feb. 3, 2008, the 'Skins find themselves in Atlanta facing -- the Patriots who, because of yesterday's debacle, are oh so over confident and the 'Skins spank them in the Super Bowl. It truly is a brilliant strategy. I mean, come on, no team could really play that poorly except on purpose right?
Cindy Boren: Genius, Silver Spring, genius! And everyone should be able to nab great ducats, since the game is in Arizona. Otherwise, I can see this happening.
Novi, Mich.: Do you really think the 'Skins will play an "A" game this weekend against the Jets? After the shellacking we got this weekend, I'm really concerned about the team's psyche. I know the Jets are only 1-7 and have QB issues, but after the Giants meltdown and near loss to the Cardinals, going against a weakling and a vindictive L. Coles looking to prove a point, I think we could be in for a bad afternoon.
Cindy Boren: There may be a vindictive Laveranues Coles, but he's likely to be catching passes from some guy named Clemens, a very funny writer but not such a hot QB. Maybe the 'Skins get angry, give the ball to Betts and run it the way they did in that winning streak two years ago.
Redskin Fan in DE: The last game of the season is against the Cowboys. No way we win that game. As much as I'd like to share your optimism, I've watched the Redskins first 7 games. They are staring 6-10 in the face. But 8-8 is a possibility. Playoffs? Won't make it.
Cindy Boren: But the game is in FedEx. Maybe the Cowboys are resting up....
D.C.: How come no one was complaining that the '98 Vikings, '99 Rams or '06 Colts were running up the score?
Cindy Boren: True. Of course, those Rams were coached by Vermeil. It's Belichick's personality and attitude.
Richmond, Va.: I had a friend at work who went to Las Vegas in August. For fun, and for my husband (a devoted fan), I asked him to make a modest bet that the Redskins would win at least 7 games. They've got 8 games left. Can they win three more?
Cindy Boren: I'm out of here, but I have to answer this one. You betcha they can win three more!
Thanks a bunch for making this fun. See you next Monday and on the blogs!
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