Thursday, Nov. 15, 1 p.m. ET

The Redskins

Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2007; 1:00 PM

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Nov. 15 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, glad to be back with you guys.

Whatdya got for me today?

Ice Cube (I'm not even going to attempt to write the titel of this song, but it's a great cut off his first solo album, an all-time classic)


West Chester, Pa.: How far away is Randy Thomas from playing?

Jason La Canfora: Talked to him yesterday and he was being a little weird with me. "They" don't want him to say much. I asked who "They" are, and he just smiled.

Anyway, he says he is on target to this point, but won't say with that target is exactly.

When I said, "2nd-3rd week of December?" he smiled more broadly than before.

So I'll go with that.


Jacksonville, Fla.: Where's Stanley "The Sheriff" Richards when you need him? What's the plan for the Cowboys passing attack?

Jason La Canfora: Man, when the Colts left Baltimore I became a Chargers fan and I remember when they drafred The Sherriff, and thinking he was going to help that secondary down with Gil Byrd. Oh well.

The plan better be to score a lot of points, bro, cause Dallas is going to put some up. No way around it

Jesus And Mary Chain - In a Hole


Charlotte, N.C.: With Lloyd getting hurt are we finally going to get to see Reche Caldwell?

Jason La Canfora: He dressed for the last game, but yeah, he has to play more this week.

They only have 4 healthy WRs and Caldwell is the No. 3 for now while Farris gets up to speed.

This is looking like a lost year for the receivers.

Not good at all.


Baltimore: Jason,

I still feel like the 'Skins have a good chance in this game if they can score 30. Do you think the coaching staff will see things the same way and let Jason be aggressive with a lot of no-huddle?

Jason La Canfora: They had better because Jason Garrett is going to go for the throat more times than not and if you hold Dallas to 28, you're keeping them under their average.

Turn Campbell lose. Stick with the no huddle. Keep it simple, running plays the players love, trim out the motion and stuff that isn't fooling anyway and play football.


Baltimore: How much does it offset the loss of Taylor if they get Marcus back? Increased pass rush can offset weakness in coverage, don't you think?

Jason La Canfora: I don't think it offsets that too much given how deep Sean has played and the areas of the field where he makes an impact are not the same as Marcus.

Now, Marcus is their best pass rusher other than Andre Carter, and putting pressure Romo is absolutely imperative, and if they do that then it makes life bearable for the secondary ... but without Taylor back there won't be alligator arms from TO and Garrett is going to go after the deep stuff repeatedly, no doubt in my mind. Especially with Smoot hobbled

The Stooges - I wanna Be Your Dog


RickyBobbyville, Md.: Jasno,

What is more likely to happen?

A. The 'Skins don't learn their lesson from the Lloyd, Arch, Duckett (3 worst acquisitions in NFL history) moves and make similar deals in the very near future


B. The sun rises in the East tomorrow morning?

Jason La Canfora: How about C:

I get done work early, put the band back together in the Motherland (B-More) and get after it with a vengence befitting a frat boy on homecoming weekend?

I'm hoping for C


The 202: J to the La to the C:

I realize "St. Joe" is more or less untouchable . But at what point do you think it would be appropriate for Mr. Snyder to have a little chat with Joe, and let him know that the current performance of the 'Skins is unacceptable. I honestly think that if Joe was even the tiniest bit afraid for his job that he might start coaching to win, instead of coaching to not lose.

Would a mild scolding from the owner help?

Jason La Canfora: Joe's record speaks for itself. Any other coach with those owner and this thing probably never gets this far. Snyder can say whatever he likes and I wouldn't blame him at all if he did express some concern, but I don't see Joe needing that type of motivation.

The issues here go way beyong just a coach, although coaching surely has been an issue with this regime. This franchise has been broken for a long time.

Frank Zappa - You Didn't Try To Call Me


Arlington, Va.: Jason, so what is Brandon Lloyd's final stat line for 2007... and what is his pay for this breakout season?

Jason La Canfora:2 catches for 14 yards and three bushels of steamy blog love from Steinberg


Danbury, Conn.: Ja-LaC:

All this no-huddle talk is nice and I love finally seeing it prior to the two-minute warning (glad Gibbs and Al finally got my letter), but I'm getting the feeling we won't be seeing it this week because with all the new faces and lack of depth at receiver it might be tough to use too much. That, factored with Dallas being a quick-strike offense and no Sean Taylor means the 'Skins will need to keep their offense on the field as much as possible. Hopefully, though, as Campbell improves (starting with being able to handle a shotgun snap), they utilize it more to change-up tempo and rhythm down the stretch. Thoughts?

Jason La Canfora: Actually, the no huddle simplifies everything and the script of plays JC is calling is usually basic stuff the players work on the most since camp and have a lot of faith in.

The 3 WRs they would use most of the time have all been here since early Sept (I know that's not ideal but not like they all just came off the street Tuesday).

Even if you try to grind it on the ground, trust me, Dallas will throw bombs from their own 5 in the second quarter on first down - they are going to hit on some stuff and get some points. They put up, what, 27 on New England?

With all the injuries to this defense you can't kid yourself and pretend you can win this thing 20-17.

Nine Inch Nails - Head Like a Hole


Rockville, Md.: When Gibbs was being defensive at the press briefing earlier this week and said "What would you do?" when asked about why he called a timeout before the field goal, did anyone in the room shout out, "Take the 5-yard penalty and kick a 28-yard FG instead of a 23-yard FG!"?

Jason La Canfora: At the time a bunch of us were about to, but he was looking at one person in particular who asked that particular question.

later than night myself and Ryan O from the Wash Post spoke further with Coach about the situation and expressed that to him again, but he was steadfast that he thought he did the smart thing. Others in this building, privately, disagree.


Lorton, Va.: Thanks for doing these chats, JLaC.

During the no-huddle sequences, is Campbell given any more freedoms than usual? For example, do they let him call any of the plays according to the defense that the opponent has out there? It seems like, in the past, Campbell has been at his best when the headset goes out and he has to call his own plays...but then again, gotta crawl before you walk -- I'm surprised they even let him do no-huddle.

Jason La Canfora: It's the only time he has real freedom and (save for some 2 minute stuff and the odd run/pass option around the goal line). Other than the first play in no huddle, nothing is scripted. He's calling it at the line, and it's all on him and the players. That's part of the reason they love it so much.


Arlington, Va.: I hope the 'Skins don't pull out the gimmick-plays this week...I'd hate to see Randle El trying to throw a TD when Jason Campbell is our best passer!

Jason La Canfora: Whatever it takes at this point man.

I gadget play or two might be in order. They need points.

I'm not saying a reverse on first down in your own territory, but a could see a CP option pass in a certain situation or something like that.


Stephanie Los(t) Angeles: Hi Jason, I look forward to reading and participating in your chats each week even though I am not a 'Skins fan.

Question about Campbell. Getting a look at him the past few games, at times he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Is he in a holding pattern or will he explode after Gibbs is gone?

Jason La Canfora: Thanks so much, Stephanie, especially from a non Skins fan.

I actually think he is coming along nicely and will blossom even more if the coaches continue to give him more of a vested stake in the offense

Tom Petty - Listen To Her Heart


They: blame the coaches all you want, but ultimately the players are not finishing the game. Why do grown, professional men need their granddaddies to tell them they need a killer instinct? Go out and kill! Do it, it's football!

Jason La Canfora: They are following a game plan and play call, right?

Hey, everyone around here is overpaid and people are underproducing from the owner right down to some guys at the bottom of the roster. I am not debating that.

But you can not convince me that Joe Gibbs came back to coaching to have an operation like this, where you can't win two games in a row and blow second half leads to NFC East teams at home with regularity and continue to blow timeouts and have chaos on the sidelines and suffer horrible penalties and miscues.

It falls on them all.


New Jersey: How does Lloyd's injury affect the 'Skins' ability to cut him after this season?

Jason La Canfora: Not at all.

He's on IR, and probably will never play for them again.

No way I see him getting that $1.8 million roster bonus in June. I think they'll cut him early on before March and just eat the $7.1 million hit all in 2008.

My Bloody Valentine - "Come In Alone"


Roanoke, Va.: Isn't it odd that this week there are no questions pertaining to whether or not JC is capable of being our long-term answer at QB? People need to realize he will have good and bad weeks. But as long as the faith builds in him from the coaching staff and players, he will continue to improve. I got in an argument with a Giants fan at work who said he wouldn't be anything special and I told him I'd take JC 16 games into his career over Eli at the same point. What do you think?

Jason La Canfora: Anyone who has read these chats or reads the blog (redskins insider, if you can find it these days) knows where I have stood on this one since the moment they finally let the kid start.

I am with you, dude.


Anonymous: Why is Al in the booth?

Don't you think it would be more effective if his voice was coming from the field, then after bad drives he could actually talk to JC and the offense together.

I hate the booth, it makes no sense to me.

Jason La Canfora: After watching a few hours of game film this week, I have never been more convinced that I would call a game from the press box as well. The perspective from above is vital to seeing hwo the defense is setting up and I'd rather have some space up there to have my charts in front of me as well.

This team has a boatload of issues, but Where's Al? ain't one of them. He talks to Jason at the half and can relay message to him during the game. Also, that's what the QB Coach is for and Bill Lazor has done a great job with Jason. I think the more bright young coaches they add to this mix - like Lazor and Olivadotti - the better.


Number 79 reporting eligible: JLC:

Sometimes it looks like the red zone drill is being run by someone who graduated from the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good, and Want To Do Other Stuff Too. Who's responsible inside the 20, Saunders? Gibbs? Campbell?

Jason La Canfora: Gibbs loves that jumbo package and thinks it is one of their best formations.

I like it a lot too, but once inside the 10 with all those bodies at the line, and the lack of space, makes it awwful hard to get those outside runs and turn the corner and get in the end zone.

I think you can them spread teams more with 3-4 wide near the goal line - that's when you see teams hitting with the draw plays (Dallas ran a few great ones on film) - and then go run/pass. But that's just me. I'm no football genius like Mouthpiece Larry Michael or anything like that.

Liz Phair - Mesmerizing


Jumbo Package, Ashburn, Va.: JaLaC,

You are about the same age as me so I am going to take you back to the '80's. Remember Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo, released in 1987? Remeber how you could only run one of 4 plays? Well, instead of Al Saunders vaunted 700 page playbook, I think Gibbs is using the plays from Tecmo!

Seriously, Randle El was a great player at Indiana, a star quarterback. Why don't they have him line up at QB on goal line situations? I guess that play wouldn't would take far too long to call it in.


Receiver, The's Clavicle

Jason La Canfora: Techno bowl was the sh...... stuff

lost many a quarter at the arcade to that game.

I think it's a look they could show now and again. Sure.

Clavicle, The. Ouch. That's harsh.


Asheville, N.C.: Isn't it proof that Washington's already throwing in the towel on this season when the staff promotes practice squad players to the roster, then plays one or more ahead of veteran players, as in the case of David Macklin? I mean, what, do they save money in his case when he doesn't start or play?

Jason La Canfora: They like speedier guys who can also thrive on teams and I don't blame them for that one bit. Macklin has not looked good and other are outperforming him who also have a future here - Eubanks and Torrence.

David is there for cover but you want your 4th and 5th corners to be key guys and teams; Torrence already is and Eubanks could be.

Electric Six - "I Invented The Night"


Washington, D.C.: Could part of the Redskins' problem be there are too many cooks in the kitchen? Bad timeouts, bad play calling, bad conditioning ... Seems that in Gibbs I the Redskins were a "team," and now they are an "organization." Is that oversimplification? Gibbs II surely is not taking charge of things, he is letting them be, and waiting until after yet another failure to excuse it by talking about "we're all in this together" and how "hard the guys work," etc., but just excuses, no progress. No excuses in NE, or even in Indy or Pittsburgh or Dallas. No excuses, just progress.

Jason La Canfora: I think that in general TMCITK is an issue around here, but in this case Joe divested himself of a ton of other responsibilites so that he could focus on these specific game-day duties ... yet the problems persist.


Washington, D.C.: Are the chickens coming home to roost for the Redskins in so far as cap management is concerned? They blew so much money last year on three free agents, of which two were complete wash-outs (Archuleta and Lloyd) one became a role player with a core player's salary (Randle El). With little money to spend on more than a few quality reserve players due to cap constraints, is it any wonder the team is struggling to cope with so many injuries to key players?

Jason La Canfora: They'll always just keep frontloading renegotiations with new signing bonuses - turning base salary to cap and prorating it out - so I wouldn't sweat it. Biggest problem is most of the players they tap just don't turn out well - not nearly as well as they figured they would - and make more money than others would give them.

Give them credit, the owner will always spend millions cash over cap to keep the whole thing going. But I'd also ask you this, how many millions does he make off the team on top of what he spends, and just where has this process of 10 renegotiations gotten them? How many home playoff games/Yet it keeps going.

Placebo - "Plasticine"


Richmond, Va.: Hello J, love your honesty and candor. If you were the GM of the Redskins, what would you address first?

Oasis -- "Champagne Supernova"

Jason La Canfora: First thing I'd do is hire a real GM, 'cuz I wouldn't know what the hell i was doing.

Actually, I'd hire Larry Michael to run the entire thing, sit back, and count those rings, baby.


Anonymous: Every commentator suggests that before the game we will see pressure by the Redskins.

Well it never happens, will it happen, because cover 2 is going to end up the same way it did against the Pats.

Score will be 49 to 10

Jason La Canfora: Could be.

If you blitz these guys, it's no sure thing. Romo is crazy good at stepping up away from prussre or killign you outside the pocket.

Also, Dallas might be second to Philly in terms of setting up the screen. Watched Barber do some impressive stuff on screen vs. the blitz on film against New England and Philly and the Giants.

Dallas will spread you, take a bunch of shots, then go "tank" - their version of a jumbo package - with 1 WR (TO often) and then send that WR on a fly route and take a shot out of that, too.

I'm telling you, this at worst the second-best offense in the NFL.

NOFX - "Lori Meyers"


Coral Springs, Fla.: Jason:

Love the blog. Any chance Landry gets slotted to play free safety and center fielder now that Taylor is gone. Isn't Prioleau a better run stopper anyway?

Jason La Canfora: I think they will toggle between the two.

They may need Landry to attack Romo sometimes, but they will also need some sort of physical deterrent deep in the backfield in the shell to intimidate against the long pass.


New York, N.Y.: After 9 games, the 1984 Redskins (11-5) had a record


After 9 games, the 1985 Redskins (10-6) had a record

of.... 5-4

After 9 games, the 1988 Redskins (7-9) had a record of....


After 9 games, the 1989 Redskins (10-6) had a record

of.... 4-5

After 9 games, the 1990 Redskins (10-6) had a record

of.... 5-4

The hyper-sensitive, 24/7 media coverage causes wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth after any loss.

Redskins fans should relax and remember there are 7 games left in a weak NFC.


Jason La Canfora: I agree that a lot can still happen .. but I also believe this team is not nearly talented enough, healthy enough or run smoothly enough to overcome continually blowing games to NFC teams.

They lose this game and they are 3-4 against the NFC; that's a problem.


RFK Stadium, Sec. 415: J-man,

The real problem with the Skins is lack of talent and the main reason is Snyder as GM. Think about this, since 2004 the Skins have traded Champ Bailey and 10 high draft picks (rounds 1-4) for the following:

Portis, Campbell, McIntosh, Lloyd, Brunell and Duckett.

Jason La Canfora: There's a lot of knowledge in that 400 Section, bro.

I'm rolling with you.


Anonymous: I can honestly say that although the Redskins lost last Sunday, I didn't walk away disgusted like usual. They resembled a football team -- minus the penalties and inept coaching (par for the course) they moved the ball on offense and let JC play ball -- the coaches finally released the chains. Now to my question: If Gibbs steps down after the season, and I think it's time, do you think Snyder keeps his promise and elevates GWilliams, or does he go in another direction? Have you heard any rumors at the park about this being Gibbs's last year?

Jason La Canfora: I think it would not be a slam dunk that Gregg takes over for a lot of reasons. I think they would look at all the usual suspects - Cowher, Carroll, Grimm - and maybe would go with an up-and-comer like Grimm, but that's just a total guess under the scenario you presented.

Minutemen - "Fascist"


Sacramento, Calif.: Hello, from the West Coast. I was curious about the philosophy of the organization, starting with Snyder, Cerrato, Gibbs, et al. Now more than ever, it seems evident that the 'Skins need depth due to the extreme amount of injuries. With years of giving away draft picks for nothing (Lloyd, Duckett, Candidate, Morton, and extra picks for Brunell, Portis, McIntosh, Cooley and Campbell) has the organization realized that depth is BY FAR their No. 1 need? Please, tell me that their is internal rumblings that this offseason will be different and young depth via draft picks will be the TOP priority. Thanks.

Jason La Canfora: Well, they already traded a 4th next yeat for Kendall, because they never found a young good depth O Lineman since this regime took over. They aren't trading away as many, but as long as they continue to not deal from a position of strength and are chasing older, expensive players to fill voids, it's going to be problematic, I think.

New Order - "1963"


Baltimore: Moss continued to play after the injury during the Jets game? Do you think his frustration with his performance (and Campbell's annoying tendency to overthrow him deep) are a factor in his slow recovery?

Jason La Canfora: Nah, I think the hamstring was an issue even coming into camp and it's bothered him on and off for years. I don't think he has been right for quite some time and missing the offseason was a big deal.

He's a guy who is very in tune with his body and when something is off it can play on you. Now the heel thing comes along. Not good. I worry this will amount to a lost seasoon for him.


Jason La Canfora: Hey guys, practice just ended, sorry I have to run. As always you can catch me on the blog and on email -

Also, I screwed up - they already are without the 4th this yr becasue of Duckett, and the 4th will be in 09 for Kendall.

Anyway, enjoy Dallas Week.



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