Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, November 5, 2007 2:30 PM
Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss Sunday's Redskins/Jets game and all the latest Redskins news.
A transcript follows.
Raleigh, N.C.: Does Gibbs deserve some credit for sticking to the game plan this week? Seems like we could have gone pass-happy and ended up with a bunch of sacks and turnovers and lost big. Some love for the old coach?
Cindy Boren: Hey there! Sorry, I'm getting a late start...On the phone with Wilbon. I think Gibbs does deserve some credit. I keep hearing people questioning whether he should be fired....The team is 5-3. That's what matters
To me, it seems like the big stories to cover this week are a critical piece about the wide receivers -- or lack thereof -- and a feel-good piece about Suisham. Also, some more stuff about Reid's house as being a "drug emporium."
But, I'm just a talent evaluator, not an editor. How do you go about choosing the stories to be covered?
Cindy Boren: Hello, Talent! Nice to see you here. I can tell you there will be a piece on the wide receivers -- lots of issues, from injuries to personnel. I'm not sure what more to write about Andy Reid's Rite-Aid (I do think the judge was out of line to say that publicly...). He is going to coach again this week and beyond. As for how we determine what to cover, we look at what issues arise out of each week's game, as well as what turns up in our reporting each day (talking to sources/players). And of course we have long-range plans. Which usually get overtaken by events.
Washington, D.C. : Are the Skins going to continue looking at their DB options?
They obviously missed Rogers in the game and I think that they still need to find someone to step in as the 3rd CB.
I am partial to activating Westbrook for the coming game and giving him a shot, not to mention it may be a bit of a mind game against his brother on the field.
Cindy Boren: That's a pretty good idea about Westbrook, Washington....
Gaithersburg, Md.: Cindy -- A lot of talk in prior weeks about the need for player leadership to emerge -- with speculation about Fletcher on defense and Campbell on offense ... but with this win, has the center of gravity turned back to Portis? If so, is that a good thing? What is your sense of player leadership on the team? Thanks!
Cindy Boren: My sense of leadership is that it was somewhat lacking. On defense, London Fletcher really had stepped up. But on offense, I think that remains a developmental issue for Campbell. I do think the center of gravity has turned back to Portis and I think that's fine, as long as he can sustain it. Let's see if he can have another game like Sunday's against a team with a really tough run defense.
Redcoat, Va.: Hi Cindy -
Do the Redskins get props for getting out of Meadowlands with a win or brickbats for leaving it so close?
Cindy Boren: A win is a win is a win. The Redskins don't need to worry about whether these are suitable for the Hirshhorn. The Meadowlands is a tough place to play, even when the opponent isn't the Giants. Sure, the game never should have gotten to OT, but 5-3 in this NFC is a good place to be.
Boston: Cindy, what is the story with Moss this year? Is there an injury that we haven't been told about? Why hasn't he, or ARE, been able to have more of an impact on games this year?
Cindy Boren: I don't think they're hiding anything. Their injuries are nagging and, let's face it, both Moss (the one not named Randy) and ARE are in their seventh and sixth seasons, respectively. That takes a toll.
Washington, D.C.: Have you ever seen an organization as petty as the Redskins in regards to how they treat players? From the way they handled LaVar Arrington, Adam Archuleta and now Brandon Lloyd? Why sit a healthy player at a position where you're weak? Now they may have totally lost him and it hurts them on the field and financially. Nothing will change until the management structure changes. I thought Snyder was a business whiz...why is it taking him so long to figure this out?
He needs to look across town at the Verizon Center and see what can happen when you bring in a legitimate personnel guy. Though the Wizards are 0 and 3 to start, they have a good mix of veteran and hungry young players that you haven't overpaid and they've made the playoffs the last three years.
Cindy Boren: You're talking to someone who spent a loooong part of her career in NYC, dealing with coverage of the New York Yankees, so I react with a little less surprise and outrage at some moves. I do agree that some of these, though, qualify as cutting off your nose to spite your face.
RE: Boston: What do you think it will take for Saunders/Gibbs to actually run a 25-yard crossing route?
Cindy Boren: Some sort of communication malfunction in Jason Campbell's helmet?
Rockville, Md.: Hi Cindy: would you say the 'Skins 5-3 record is a reflection of a good team that can't quite seem to hit its stride, or a mediocre team that caught just enough breaks to rack up those five wins?
Cindy Boren: Probably the latter. I think they're in the top half of the league, but they aren't elite. Maybe they catch fire over the last eight, but, as I do every week, I refigure my predictions and I still have them at 8-7 going into the finale.
Kensington, Md.: Why don't the 'Skins do quick slant routes with Santana or Randle El? It seems to me when the corners are playing back there is an easy 5-plus yard pickup with such a play. They always run the WR screen pass which doesn't generate any forward motion like a quick slant would. Argh, it just bugs me.
Cindy Boren: I'd like to see them try that, mostly just because I think a little experimentation couldn't hurt. Quick slants might help with a dinged-up offensive line.
Lloydsville, Ark.: Do you think the Redskins might suit up Brandon Lloyd as a cheerleader so that the team might get some use out of him?
Cindy Boren: Or perhaps he could hand out Gatorade on the sidelines.
Edgewater, Md.: Any word on what Dungy was trying to say to Belichick during their handshake when Belichick obviously away and blew him off?
Cindy Boren: Sweet nothings? Maybe a quick "I love you?" Neither is exactly a quotesmith, so I'd be stunned if it weren't some sort of coachspeak platitude.
Germantown, Md.: Cindy-
The playcalling/coaching for this team has been nothing short of cowardly on offense. What factors do you believe play into Coach Gibbs 'taking such a "Too scared to take a chance" current strategy?
Also, are other teams, players, front offices openly talking about how predictable the offense has become?
Cindy Boren: I think everyone is a little mystified at the dynamic that has kept this team on Chapter 1 of the Al Saunders playbook. They'll tell you they have a decimated offensive line, ailing wide receivers, a young QB.....Hey, at least they haven't brought Brunell in.
Silver Spring, Md.: It had to make Jason Campbell feel much better watching Peyton Manning have the ball knocked out of his hands twice by the Patriots yesterday. I am not sure if the Patriots will go undefeated or even win the Super Bowl, but they do look very good right now. The Redskins 52-7 lost to them may be the most respectable 52-7 lost in the history of football.
Cindy Boren: Yeah, there was nothing wrong with that loss. I'd like to see the Pats go undefeated just because I'm so tired of the Dolphins quaffing the bubbly when someone gets knocked off. I may reserve the right to revise this statement, but I keep looking to that game in Baltimore as the real test for the Pats (until the finale, when anything can happen, in the Meadowlands). The Ravens defense may not be what it was, but they'll be beyond jacked to protect their house.
Danby, Vt.: Glad to have you at a better hour. Your takes are the best.
Question: Campbell seems to consistently overthrow receivers. Can coaching correct this? If so, why the continued problem?
Cindy Boren: Vermont! Luv the cheddar, the leaves, the syrup ... I've spent a lot of time in Dorset. Anyway, I don't get Campbell's throws. They were better yesterday, but they do tend to sail on the shorter wideouts.
Logan Circle: I'm going to be in New York City the day of the Redskins/Cowboys game. I heard there was a bar in Manhattan owned by a Redskins fan who showed all their games. Do any of the chatters know anything about it? Thanks.
Cindy Boren: You should also post this question on the Redskins Insider. Chris Larry is a New Yorker who can help you here.
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.: I've noticed that our offense has a few things in common with Saunders's offense in KC. Most of the production comes from running backs and a talented TE. Unfortunately, we don't have the O line that Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson ran behind, and Cooley is getting to be, but is not quite Tony G. What do you think?
Cindy Boren: I think you're right, Yorktown. Cooley is very good, but he isn't Tony G, yet. And the line isn't up to KC's from those days.
SU: The Redskins are 5-3
Did the rest of the fans forget last year, we only had 5 wins?
Horay for the 'Skins.
Cindy Boren: Gotta agree, SU. Kudos to 'em for winning five, but the going gets really tough now.
A win is a win is a win is a win, but there is so much wrong with this football team to think we can win more then a few more games to end the season...and for Gibbs to use the word euphoria to describe his feelings afterward. Is this man completely clueless or what? Do think he would get fired after the season if his name wasn't Joe Gibbs?
Cindy Boren: Firing Joe Gibbs!? I think the season would have had to have fallen apart (worse than last year's 5-11) for that to be a consideration.
Fairfax, Va.: Hi Cindy: Did you see the Dexter Manley interview yesterday? He suggested the Redskins should have gone after Tank Johnson when he was available. What's your take on signing "thugs" if they can help your team? Gibbs used to do this and it worked well.
Cindy Boren: I heard about it. Signing a thug -- particularly if he's a talented guy who needs a fresh start -- can be a great move. Of course, you also have to be a coach who's no-nonsense enough to pull that off.
The Hirshorn: "Cindy Boren: ...I don't get Campbell's throws."
Neither do his receivers!
Cindy Boren: Bada-BING!
Gaithersburg, Md.: I think everyone needs to stop calling Gibbs conservative after that onside kick yesterday. Now that really took some guts.
Cindy Boren: Interesting that they noticed the tendency on game film and worked on it all week in practice. It was gutsy -- and also very well rehearsed.
Dik in tha 305: Kudos Cindy on the new blog format. I have noticed less trolls and more good ol' Redskins chat threads on the blog.
Are there any indications that the receiving corps and Campbell are getting closer? Do they spend any time together socially? Does Jason take extra reps with any of the current crop?
It seems to me that you'd want these players connecting more than just in practice or on the field, but to know each other enough to guess where the ball is going to be and when.
How have other QB/receiver relationships developed in 'Skins history?
Cindy Boren: We're getting to the point in the season at which the QB and his WRs should have "ESPN," as Magic Johnson put it. It's been 43 quarters and a couple of OTs since they're scored!
Pestamistic Homer: Okay, I know that everyone is impressed by Jason Campbell and how far he has come along, but I have a feeling that bothers me, and I hate to say, but this feeling makes me think he is, at best, going to be an average QB. Everyone in the Redskins camp talks about his ability to throw the deep ball, but, from what he has shown this year, he either misses the receiver completely or the receiver has to make an adjustment to get to the ball. Also it seems like he over-throws a large part of his short and mid-range passes. I know everyone says he is young and still developing so I have hope that I am wrong or that I am just a pessimistic 'Skins fan. But can you blame me after living through the last 15 years of QB's here!
Cindy Boren: It's too early to give up on him, Homer. Enjoy a refreshing glass of Kool-Aid. You'll feel better.
Laurel, Md.: Why do the Redskins always start out strong, and allow the other team to win or come so close. In which this causes them to go into overtime. This has always been very upsetting for me as well as some of their other fans. I believe when they start out strong, they need to learn to maintain the lead.
Cindy Boren: They just want to make sure you keep watching the game and don't go out to rake leaves.
Cindy Boren: Time to run! Thanks for taking time to chat! I'll see you next Monday.
Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.