Monday, Nov. 12, 2:30 p.m. ET

Redskins Post-Game

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, November 12, 2007; 2:30 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss Sunday's Redskins/Eagles game and all the latest Redskins news.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: Hi there! There's lots of leftovers from yesterday's loss at FedEx as well as a huge NFC East game looming in Dallas.


Rockville, Md.: Cindy: we all remember the infamous Snyder tirades against Norv Turner, culminating with the mid-season firing. Wouldn't it be fair to say, however, that four years into Gibbs II, Norv was certainly no worse than Gibbs, and perhaps, even better in terms of developing game plans more in keeping with the times?

Cindy Boren: I think you raise a fair point, Rockville. Time makes Turner look a little better here, but, in San Diego, don't forget that just a few weeks ago they were chanting Marty Schottenheimer's name. You're definitely right that Norv is a coaching lifer; Gibbs is not.


Anonymous: Why doesn't the offense use sweeps or screen passes when in the red zone?

Cindy Boren: I agree. I don't get the conservative play calling in the red zone. Screens and sweeps aren't exactly out there in terms of imaginative plays; why are they off the table? They seem to work for other teams....


Harpers Ferry, W.V.: Please tell me that this is some cruel joke. There is no way a team can give away two division games at home in the 4th quarter. I am disgusted.

Cindy Boren: The football gods do seem to be saying, "A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." I would add something about one of those teams being inferior, too, to your description.


A Redskin among the Green Of Eagle Country: Let's just get this question out of the way now...

Is it time for Mr. Gibbs to go? As Tom Boswell wrote today... the killer instinct and the half time adjustments are just gone. Gibbs seems to be coaching not to win but not to lose. Am I misreading this?

Cindy Boren: I don't think you are misreading this. I've staunchly defended Gibbs -- it's so unusual to be the voice of reason! -- and I'll continue to do so for a while longer (even though yesterday's game was one of the most poorly coached I've seen in a while). The Redskins are in the thick of things in the NFC playoff picture. I see no reason to think that'll change before the third week of December. They should hover around .500 and that's good enough.


Clinton, Md.: Cindy

A bruising, yet accurate piece by Boswell in today's Washington Post on Joe Gibbs. Clearly, this team has a conservative style of play. There seems to be no urgency to any of their actions. Coach Gibbs always says "we expect every game to be close and hard fought." Who thinks like that? If you build a team to think that every game will be close, they begin to play like that and and coaches begin to coach that way. Do you think New England, Dallas or even the Giants think like that? Do you agree with Boswell that a critical analysis is in order on Coach Gibbs and the entire coaching staff (all of whom are older than 60 years old, with the exception of Ernest Byner and a couple of others)?

Cindy Boren: Thanks, Clinton. Boz has the experience and the perspective to write a piece like that. I think it's always time for a critical analysis...but especially now. I'm not sure it's time to dial Bill Cowher's cell phone, but there's a clear breakdown in the management of the game. I'm not sure it can be fixed at this point in the season, but it can be minimized. I can tell you for sure Bill Belichick doesn't expect close games.


Frederick, Md.: Do you think Coach Gibbs's return has tarnished his Hall of Fame career?

Cindy Boren: I honestly don't think so. That was then, this is now...unfortunately!


Fairfax, Va.: I'm so tired of reporters and fans blaming the Redskins' woes on the play calling. play calling, play calling, play calling, all I hear about is play calling.

it's not the play calling. it's the players. The players on the other team are better. In sports, as in life, the team with the better players almost always wins. If the Redskins want to win, get better players and then, nine times out of ten it won't matter what play is called, because the team with the better players will win.

So enough with the play calling. I don't want to hear any more about the play calling.

Cindy Boren: So you're saying the Redskins don't have talent? I can't agree with that. They may not have much depth, but there are talented players...some of whom aren't even injured!


Heartbroken in Harrisonburg: Why do the Redskins break my heart every game and every season?

Cindy Boren: Because baseball is designed to do that to you. Oh, wait. This is football.


San Diego: If Gibbs were to call it quits at the end of the season, who would Cindy Boren hire to coach the team? Please don't say Gregg Williams

Cindy Boren: Ooooooh, since I will never, ever get the chance to hire an NFL coach, I cannot pass up this opportunity. Let's see...Norv has a job (for now)....Marty is available! Seriously, I keep hearing the name of Bill Cowher. It would be intriguing to watch that play out at Redskins Park, but I'm not sure he can recapture the magic and I don't think he'd be given the kind of time the Rooneys gave him. I'd find the next smart, young coach. The next Tony Dungy. The next Jon Gruden. The next Jeff Fisher.


For heartbroken: who asked: "Why do the Redskins break my heart every game and every season?"

Um, because you keep expecting them to be a good team? Try having more realistic expectations.

Cindy Boren: Let's have a group cyberhug.


Richmond, Va.: Can we finally admit that this is a mediocre-to-poor team, that only has two quality wins and a QB that can't hit an open receiver further than 15 yards from the line of scrimmage?

Cindy Boren: Mediocre-to-poor? Closer to mediocre, methinks. They're a B-minus, C-plus team...If you divide the NFL into thirds, I think they're at the bottom of the middle group.


Oak Hill 20171: It is a game. There is no us, we, etc., unless you strap on the uni.

This place is TOO MUCH held hostage by the Redskins. Radio coverage three hours before the game, three hours after the game, three hours the next morning. Newspaper coverage of all aspects of the game -- stories and sidebars -- and multiple columnists.

Some of us are Skins fans -- but not fanatics! I like it when they win but I do not grieve if they lose.

Say it is a game.

Breathe is just a game.

Get fired up over something that matters -- homelessness and hunger come to mind.

Never mind, fanaticism is your escape from the real world.

It is just a game.....

Cindy Boren: But Oak Hill, this puts a roof over my head and food in my cat's bowl! The NFL season is short and intense. It leads to obsessive fans. Sports is our refuge from the problems of the world.


Springfield, Va.: I disagree with your assessment that the team has talented players. Can you name one Redskin who other teams have to game plan for? Both lines are average at best. They don't have a pass rusher. When James Thrash and Keenan McCardell are your deep threats -- you have a problem. Clinton Portis has a long run of maybe 25 yards. This team needs playmakers.

Cindy Boren: You're right about the lines and the lack of a pass rusher. But the secondary is loaded and the wide receivers not named Thrash and McCardell are very talented. The problem is...they're all injured. The secondary is missing Rogers and, probably, Taylor; there's no pass rush to compensate. Moss is hurt again.


Princeton, N.J.: Do you think it is obvious that the Eagles are an inferior team? A few breaks, a couple of caught punts and they could easily be 6-3.

Cindy Boren: Coming off preseason games, I thought this group of Iggles could make one last run at a division title. McNabb looks slow and it appears increasingly likely he'll be gone after the season. They certainly could be 5-4, rather than 4-5...


Capitol Hill: Is there any way for Gibbs to concede clock/game management decisions to someone who knows what he's doing?

The timeout with 2:08 left in the first half shows that he is utterly clueless. It also seems like every time the 'Skins come up short on 3rd and inches, they have to call a timeout before deciding what to do on 4th down. How about planning for 4th down when you make the 3rd down call? Doesn't really seem that difficult. There are 31 other coaches in the NFL (most of whom make less than our two coordinators, let alone Gibbs) who can do that. I used to feel that the injury to Randy Thomas was the biggest reason the 'Skins haven't been able to put away games. Now I think it is the confusion and ineptitude on the sidelines.

Cindy Boren: I don't see how he could. Someone has to be the Big Kahuna on the sidelines. I think that's part of the Redskins' problem. The disconnect in getting the right plays called seems bad enough; it would only complicate matters to have someone else managing the clock.


Arlington, Va.: Isn't it ironic that in the NFC East, the best current QB (not the most talented, but the best) is not the No. 1 overall pick, the No. 2 overall pick, nor the other first-round pick, but the undrafted free agent?

Cindy Boren: You see irony, I see a really smart talent evaluator.


Raleigh, N.C.: Hi Cindy,

Does ANY other team in the league have more injuries than the Redskins?

Jansen, Thomas, Moss, Randle El, Thrash, Washington, Rogers, Smoot, Taylor, Griffin, Daniels. Throw in Portis not being 100 percent until last week and that's more than HALF our offensive and more than HALF our defensive starters out with injuries this year!!

Can't blame the coaches for that.

Cindy Boren: It really is brutal. And the problem is that the team had great first-team talent; it was lacking in depth. That's showing.


Not dead yet: Cindy: I'm not a 'Skins fan so view this as an impartial comment, but this team is still not dead, despite their level of play. The Lions play the Giants this week, which means that even with a loss to the Cowboys, the 'Skins are going to be only a game behind in the race for the second wild card spot. I don't think they're a playoff team but it seems no matter how poorly they play, they can't drop enough to fall out of contention.

Cindy Boren: They should thank the football gods every single day that they're in the NFC.


Falls Church, Va.: Were there dogs in the Redskins locker room? If so, I couldn't tell if they were being kicked, or they were choking.

Cindy Boren: After the Michael Vick mess, I'm not going anywhere the dog analogy. Woof.


Salem, N.J.: Up by 2 in the 4th quarter....1st and goal on the 3 and they can't get a touchdown. What happened?

Cindy Boren: They failed to cross the imaginary plane of the goal line? For whatever reason, they seem to change their philosophy inside the red zone.


Tampa, Fla.: What huge NFC East game looming in Dallas? Please, Washington couldn't beat a 2-year-old in a race.

Cindy Boren: It's an enormous game! Bigger than big! Huger than huge! I don't like the Redskins' chances, but I've seen strange things happen in the NFC East.


SU: Why does Joe Gibbs use that jumbo package only in the red zone. He doesn't use that formation on his own 30 or 40 or anywhere else on the field but when he gets down inside the 10.

JC is playing his best game but then they go to jumbo and everyone and their mother knows what's coming. It doesn't work, and is the worst package and call in the history of the league.

Cindy Boren: Jumbo, rhymes with Dumbo. I don't like it, either.


Richmond, Va.: Is there any chance that Dan Snyder sees that the coaching staff of multiple millionaires is just not working out?

Long-Suffering Fan.

Cindy Boren: Sure, there's always a chance...But what does Dan Snyder do next? If bringing back Joe Gibbs doesn't work -- and you have to give him props for making that happen -- where does he go from there?


Random College Library: This loss hurts more than the GB, NYG, and Pats games combined. We would have the same record as the Lions and have the tiebreaker. The season is all but over. They just don't have the attitude of kicking them when there down, and that has to start from Gibbs.

Today is my birthday though so I'm in a better mood then I would be if it wasn't.

Cindy Boren: Happy birthday, Random! Maybe next Monday, we'll be discussing the big upset in Dallas...A killer instinct is mandatory, I agree.


Falls Church, Va.: There were a number of real bright spots yesterday especially the overall play by Jason Campbell. But with all the penalties the 'Skins made it was difficult for me to imagine a different outcome than we saw.

Cindy Boren: They were whistled 11 times for 74 yards -- and that false start on the 2 was particularly horrific. That CANNOT happen.


Falls Church, Va.: Can you please give any update on the injuries to Sean Taylor and James Thrash?

Cindy Boren: I haven't heard yet, but keep checking the Redskins Insider and our home page.


New York, N.Y.: I'm getting real sick an tired of the same 'ol song. I've been in Gibbs's corner for years since his return, but I've crossed the line in the sand. He's got to go. The 'Skins need someone who can fire them up, and this guy isn't getting it done anymore. We do have him to thank for Campbell, and ultimately he should stay on in the organization, but he's got to go. Time to start the Cowher '08 application process?

Cindy Boren: Again, I have reservations about Cowher. I think he's the new Flavor of the Month. Everyone keeps mentioning him as the guy who will fix everything. Remember that the Rooneys gave him forever in Pittsburgh. I'd go with a young, unheralded name. But I realize that's counter to the Way of the Danny.


Richmond, Va.: Did the 'Skins intentionally allow Philly to score that last touchdown so we could get the ball back and still have a chance to tie with a TD and 2 point conversion? Of course, the commentators didn't pick up on it but that seemed to be the case. If it was intentional it was a brilliant decision by Gibbs even though we ended up losing. If we had stopped them there they would have kicked a field goal and we would have been down by 4 with about 30 seconds left and no timeouts. We had a much better chance to tie with over 2 minutes left down by 8 but we blew that opportunity too. Can't give Gibbs too much credit though because if he had managed our TOs better we wouldn't have been in that position to begin with.

Cindy Boren: Yes, indeed they did. Did you see Williams and Gibbs talking right before the play? Later, Gregg Williams told us that he told Fletcher and Prioleau, "If they're not smart enough to take a knee, let them score." It was a very smart, spur-of-the-moment decision.


Leesburg, Va.: I was at the game yesterday and one thing that sticks out in my mind most is the number of times I heard "number 79 reporting as eligible." I don't think any team runs a jumbo package as much as the Redskins. Have you spoken to any other teams who think this is a major flaw of their offensive philosophy? We want to run the ball but no other team advertises it so regularly.

Cindy Boren: No more mumbo jumbo. We've agreed on that much today. Thanks for chatting; see you here again next Monday.


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