Thursday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. ET
Thursday, December 13, 2007; 1:00 PM
Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about the Redskins and the death of Sean Taylor.
The transcript follows.
Read Jason's blog,
Jason La Canfora: Hey Guys, let's get 'er going.
Banking on a bunch of playoff questions here.
Have at me.
Dim Stars - "Rip Off"
Washington, D.C.: Why should the Cowboys come here, to Washington, and play hard against the Redskins when the Cowboys are already in the play offs?
Jason La Canfora: Well, if they have wrapped up home field through the playoffs by then, which I fully expect, then yeah, it might be scuberini time with a bunch of reserves playing.
But trust me, they'll still have to play the game and no team has enough depth on a 45 man game day roster to play all second teammers.
Napa: What does Don Breaux do? I realize he is listed as the offensive coordinator, but, practically, what are his responsibilities as compared to Coach Joe and offensive genius Al Saunders? Thanks this has been bothering me for awhile?
Jason La Canfora: He works on a lot of projects and specific breakdowns on opponents every week. He also helps set the game plans and is in on all the full offensive meetings and coaching meetings.
Basically another set of eyes and ears for the offensive staff, without being tied to a particular position of players.
Upper Marlboro, Md.: Will Joe Gibbs retire after this season? And will Snyder hire a GM?
Jason La Canfora: My gut feeling right now is no on both of those counts, but it's still way too early to say.
I don't see the Gibbs/Snyder/Cerrato trio ever budging on the GM thing, though.
What are the chances of the Redskins making a run at a premier free agent corner back this offseason like DeAngelo Hall or Asante Samuel? Do they have enough cap space to do so?
Jason La Canfora: Their first order of business this offseason - like all others - will be to restructure about a dozen contracts to create some space.
After they do that I imagine they will target 2-3 elite players in free agency/trades.
A corner could be a real possibility/need.
They also need a legit, tall No. 3 WR and another starting DE, to me. They are assuming Rogers is back fully eventually (to think he is going to be himself next season is a stretch after a severe injury like that).
Patti Smith - "Ghost Dance"
Rockville, Md.: Would it be sacrilege to suggest that two of Gibbs' Super Bowl wins are tainted? They were both during strike years -- the first was a shortened season and the second utilized the infamous replacement players.
Jason La Canfora: I think tainted is a strong word.
Now, when his "replacement" players won all 4 games that gave the Skins a huge advantage over a lot of other teams ... yeah, that's a reality and it helped but all teams had a chance to get as much talent as they could.
The other one, everybody played a shortened season.
Also, it's not like those team sneaked in at 8-8 and had a lucky playoff run. They were pretty much eating people alive most of those Super Bowl years.
Bend, Ore.: I've noticed that oftentimes back-up quarterbacks have developed better on-field rapport with some of the back-up WRs. Any chance somebody else steps up with Todd Collins starting? Or have the injuries to the starters pretty much had the back-ups practicing as the starters anyway?
Jason La Canfora: You answered this one yourself boss.
The only guys not really playing now who are healthy - Mix and Farris - don't have any real chemistry with Todd.
Thrash looks like he might return, though, which could help. They're carrying a lot of receivers and I imagine they could make a roster move there next week.
Richmond, Va.: Any sense for how Jason Campbell is reacting to all of the "love" being given to Todd Collins after the Bears game? He doesn't seem like someone who would pay it any mind but one wonders...
Jason La Canfora: Exactly, he's fairly oblivious. And he's also smart enough to know if Todd collapses Sunday in the first quarter people will want to run him out of town.
That's the nature of the position.
Washington, D.C.: How good is the NFL performance enhancing drug testing program? It is hard to look at the size and strength of NFL players and not wonder.
Jason La Canfora: They have generally been ahead of the curve, but I think will be pushed to adopt more stringent regulations as well.
Coming up with some kind of reliable test for HGH would be huge, and could result in a slew of NFL players being caught, but science isn't there yet.
Johnny Thunders - "Tie Me Up"
AL in SJ: Will Jason Campbell be up in the booth with Al Saunders?
Seems like a pretty good classroom.
Jason La Canfora: Highly doubtful.
Al is overloaded with info and under the gun calling plays and you usually want as few distractions around as possible.
Class is in session 5 days a week around here anyway, with meetings, film and all.
Herndon, Va.: What about Anthony Mix as the No. 3 tall WR?
Jason La Canfora: He's a project at best. Should be given every chance during OTAs and training camp, but to bank on that would be a stretch.
And with Lloyd likely gone, and Moss and ARE hobbled much of this season, to me they need at least one more real deep threat, as well as a tall, athletic possession WR.
Richmond, Va.: Jason,
Do you think the Giants will blitz a lot? And will the 'Skins have to give Heyer help pass blocking? If so, will it be Cooley? I don't think they can throw effectively without Cooley in the mix.
Jason La Canfora: I think we'll see a ton of 2 TE and jumbo stuff - they threw out of the tackle eligible stuff more with Collins last week - because they need to get Cooley in routes. He is the best/only real pass catching weapon they have going right now.
The Giants are going to attack Collins, no doubt about it.
If the snow really falls and the footing is horrible, it could lessen some of that rush, but everyone here is bracing for it.
Heyer vs. Strahan is a big matchup, obviously.
De La Soul - "Who Do U Worship" (just a skit, hate when the iPod shuffle does this)
Fairfax, Va.: If the Redskins go 3-0 and make the playoffs, who starts at QB against Seattle, Collins or Campbell?
Jason La Canfora: Jason will not be ready by then. It's gotta be Todd at that point barring a medical miracle from Jason.
Salt Lake City: If the Redskins somehow make it to the playoffs, make it to the Super Bowl, AND somehow beat New England, is that not the greatest comeback story in NFL history, and a great plot for a future sports movie?
Considering all the adversity they would have overcome, I would think so...
Jason La Canfora: Ummmm. Sure.
It would no doubt be about the craziest thing I can imagine at this point.
D.C.: Jason, please ask all the true believers to take a breath. Being under .500 with three to go and a backup QB does not equal a 9-7 finish and a wild card berth. Get on with your Christmas shopping. The Fed needs our help.
Jason La Canfora: Figured this would be a good follow-up post, so as to represent both sides of this whole playoff debate.
Smelling footballs: What's up with that? Is Todd really as quirky as everyone is saying or just a joke?
Jason La Canfora: Definitely a quirky dude. He vehemently denies this finger smelling business, but who knows.
Todd has a great sense of humor and cracks me up.
Sublime - "Don't Push"
Glasgow, Scotland: Couple of questions
Has Wade/Heyer done enough this season to suggest that they could take Jansen's spot next year and how much has Jansen been missed?
Will the 'Skins trade/release Portis in the offseason and go with Betts as the featured back next season?
Will Springs be back next year?
Score for Sunday?
Nice job on the coverage of Sean Taylor's funeral. As a Redskins fan of 25 years it was a big shock over here as well.
Any truth in a rumor over here that ESPN is looking at getting involved in the English premier league coverage in the next couple of years to hit the American sports market?
Jason La Canfora: Damn, dude, I love the European contingent but that's about 10 questions in one. (thanks for the shout out, though).
Okay, Jansen's contract extensive is huge and cutting him would be crazy now. Also, neither of those guys has run away with the job by any means. Heyer has held up okay but has a long way to go before proving he's a starter. Very good find for now, regardless.
I think Gibbs is too much of a Portis guy to end it entirely. Setting up as a very tricky renegotiation and if Portis doesn't play ball with them, then maybe he walks. But it's also clear that if Gibbs is still the head coach he vastly prefers Portis to Betts and does not consider Betts a feature back (though others on his staff would disagree).
Springs - No very, very doubtful.
Score - 24-17 Giants
As for that rumor, that would be awesome. I hope ESPN does get the EPL. I know the network is expanding its soccer coverage on the whole, and that's awesome news to me.
X - "Real Child Of Hell"
Washington, D.C.: I see the 'Skins signed QB Jason Fife to the practice squad. Is their 6th round pick, Baby Brother Palmer, that bad that they won't even put him on the practice squad? Thanks.
Vivid - "Best of Jenna"
Jason La Canfora: Yep, he was that bad. Trust me, for them not to even sign him now - after being their draft picks - speaks volumes.
Gotta luv the best ofs. She is a legend.
Olympia, Wash.: Jasno,
Has anyone on the team commented about the projected snowy weather on Sunday night? Have they communicated any adjustments or expectations?
Jason La Canfora: I'm figuring out how the heck I am going to be able to drive up and back ... other than that, nah. I am totally self-engulfed on this weather issue myself.
Guess I'm going Amtrack. That 3:20 am out of downtown Newark is going to something to behold.
Los Angeles: Todd is going to get crushed on Sunday so has anybody seen Brunnell throw a pass this year?
Anne Murray - Snowbird
Jason La Canfora: No one has actually seen it but there are unconfirmed reports that in passing the ball around with his kids in the backyard there is considerably more zip on the ball.
Wrote about Driver 8 in the paper today.
Ipod pulled up another Patti Smith song. I'm skipping
Radiohead - "Fake Plastic Trees"
Anonymous: How does it work for you on Sunday. Do you get to sit in a booth if its snowing or do you tough it out with the rest of the fans?
Jason La Canfora: If it snows then I get a snow day declared, the editors decide to run AP wire copy and I head to the upper deck to get blotto ... At least that's my plan until someone stops me.
Washington, D.C.: Coaches, players take on Reed? Looks better playing run support and Landry as FS. Followed your stories on him...glad he's getting a chance to play!
Jason La Canfora: Yeah, talking to some scouts about Reed who says he reminds them of, Adam Archuleta. Now before you guys attack me and blow up my inbox, they are not ripping on him, just pointing out how blitzing, reading the run are more his strength and in coverage there are some issues.
Reed is great on teams, has a knack for big hits, is fearless. Always a place for that guy on your team. But they may want to find someone else for a starting job next season with Reed in more nickel and dime packages.
Rockville, Md.: What is the word on Randy Thomas for this week? Is he going to go?
Jason La Canfora: He was placed on IR this morning. Season over.
Check the blog - redskins insider - for details.
Charleston, S.C.: JLC,
Since you want to talk about playoffs, who else do we need to lose this weekend? We don't really need the Vikings to lose because we'll need to beat them, which leaves both teams with the same record and us with a head-to-head tiebreaker. I know we need the Saints to lose at least one. What team is the biggest challenge down the stretch and who is ours? I say probably the Vikes.
Jason La Canfora: Well, the Cards/Saints game is the big conundrum.
Saints need to lose a game for the Skins to get in at 9-7 no matter what ... but Cards have an easy sked and if they win this one they could get to 9-7, which forces the Skins to need to win all 3.
But then again the Saints probably wont lose every game here on out so they probably need to get to 9 wins anyway.
Its tough road to climb for the skins with two teams to pass.
NOFX - "Shut Up Already"
Upper Mayberry: A tall No. 3 wide receiver? Don't they need a tall No. 1 or No. 2? It's not an accident that the Skins only have one WR TD. Moss and Randle El just can't get it done in the red zone.
Jason La Canfora: I think with a better complimentary part they could be better. But I also think to continue to count on one of those two to have a 1,200 yards 10 TD season might be folly.
Hey, I call for them to upgrade with two WRs and let the best men win.
Bogota, Colombia: Hey, what does this IR move mean for Randy Thomas' future with the 'Skins? Is he coming back next year? Do we want him back? Thanks for the info. Consistently the best.
Jason La Canfora: Bogota. Wow. First time Colombia represented here.
Which futbol team do you support there?
Anyway, IR ends his season but Randy can play next season and expects to be okay for offseason workouts in the spring. He'll rest the injury for a while and get another MRI to assess any other damage.
Trust me, everyone here badly wants him and Randy wants to be here. His loss has crippled the running game.
Reston, Va.: Do we really have a legit shot at making the playoffs, I tend to think that we do a lot of dreaming around here?
Jason La Canfora: They will need help and will also need to do something they have not done in 2 years - win 4 games in a row (including the one they already won vs. the bears).
Hard to call it legit, but it is possible.
New Bomb Turks - "If I Only Could" (wow, that was fitting)
Wiliamsburg, Va.: With so many NFL players having died the past seven months, will the teams affected be given compensatory draft picks? If so, which round would the Redskins get an extra pick?
Just wondering, not trying to be disrespectful as we are all still grieving a bit. Thanks for all your steadfastness!
Jason La Canfora: No sir, never heard anything about that and don't see that happening at all.
SW DC: JLC -
I'm not sure if you have another chat scheduled before the end of the year but I just had to say thanks for a great year of chatting...your insights on our beloved Redskins makes loving them easy.
Christmas Music - ahhhh!!!
Jason La Canfora: Thank you Jody. You're the best.
I imagine we will be on for next Thursday at the same time, but I'll let you know if that changes on the blog.
Violent Femmes - "Add It Up"
Richmond, Va.: Can the Redskins win one more game?
Jason La Canfora: Sure they can. This is the NFC we're talking about.
Baltimore: Any chance Westbrook gets the spot if Eubanks cant go?
Jason La Canfora: I would think they would go with Macklin.
Eubanks still hobbling around here with the boot on his foot.
D.C.: Why were the 'Skins playing for the future (Jason Campbell) when Todd Collins gives them the best chance to win now? This team, at its cost, was built to win now, not 2-3 years from now. Todd knows the offense, looked fluid, and his timing was great. Also, the playbook wasn't limited unlike with Jason in the game.
Jason La Canfora: Wow, the Todd Collins posse is fierce.
He had a nice half of football against a 5 win team. But all 32 teams were also content not to have him start a game for them for 10 years - including his boy Al Saunders - so that says something too.
I like Todd a ton and he is a great story and I wish him all the best. And he's a fellow BoSox guy, so you know I'm rolling with him.
But the idea that he is somehow immediately the best QB on the team and able to take a mediocre team to the playoffs cracks me up.
Will from Rockville: Any hope that Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora or Plaxico Burress appears on the Mitchell Report and gets banned from the NFL for life? Hey, a Redskins fan can dream right?
Jason La Canfora: Get out the white out, get your hands on a copy of that bad boy and get cooking on an art project.
Fax it to Goodell. Maybe he'll fall for it and suspend those dudes.
Why should the Cowboys come here, to Washington, and play hard against the Redskins when the Cowboys are already in the play offs: Because it's a rivalry?
Jason La Canfora: Like I said, they're going to show up ... But if they have everything locked up I wouldn't expect to see a ton of TO and Romo.
The rivalry is nice and all, but it's been a long time since both teams were competing for a Super Bowl at the same time and Dallas has high hopes to get there this year.
The Cars - "Shake It Up"
SU: Will the nasty weather that is predicted for Sunday's game help out the NYG or the 'Skins?
The Giants, dating back to the Tiki days, have always run on us, and I see snow/rain being the hardest thing to deal with.
Jason La Canfora: I think it could maybe benefit the Skins.
Might slow down the speed on the edge the Giants have. Might hurt new York's passing game.
Could be tough sledding all around.
Re: Redskins movie: There's already been a great movie based on the Redskins. "The Replacements" was based on the 1987 Redskins' replacement players. It starred Keanu Reeves and the lovely Brooke Langston, with cameos by Pat Summerall and John Madden.
Jason La Canfora: great movie?
That's a stretch. Barely watchable? Maybe. Provocation for punching Keanu in the face? Certainly (he peaked at Break Point. What an unintentional classic that was. Swayze's finest hour, except for Road House, of course).
Look, that movie was film in my hometown and brought a bunch of money into the local economy and I think my uncle Al sold some suits to some of the dudes in the film ... but that was crap
Dolly Parton - "Joshua"
Evanston, Ill.: I know people come down pretty hard on the whole lack of a GM thing, but it seems to me like Gibbs has done a pretty good job these last few years. Archuleta and Lloyd were obvious busts, but he got us a QB with potential, Cooley, Macintosh, Moss, ARE, Landry, etc. Is it possible that Gibbs stays on as GM after he steps down from coaching?
Jason La Canfora: Dude, he gave up Coles, Champ Bailey and a 2nd round pick for Moss and Portis.
He gave up a 4th for Kendall, two picks for Lloyd, two picks for TJ Duckett, a 2nd round for Brunell.
they gave up a lot to trade up for Cooley, Campbell and McIntosh when most if not all could have been on the board lower. Patten was a bust here. Fauria too.
Rabach signing was great. And the stuff on defense, that's mostly the domain of the defensive coaches and scouts and personnel department making recommendation and Gibbs and Snyder signing off on it.
Odenton, Md.: On your blog you often refer to the NFC as inferior (I think you used the word putrid recently). Are you aware that the NFC has a winning record against the AFC this year? Granted, the AFC has the best team (by far) in New England, but it also has the worst team (by far) in Miami. Don't you think there's a strong indication of parity between the conferences?
Jason La Canfora: How badly did the Redskins beat Miami at home in Week 1?
How badly did they beat the Jets?
Let's take it back to the WWF. Battle royale. Throw all 32 teams in, and trust me, of the last 10 teams remaining in that ring, at least 7 are from the AFC.
New England, Pitt, Indy, Jax might be 4 of the 5 best teams in the NFL.
anyway, just my opinion
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "No Chump Love Sucker"
Upper Marlboro, Md. (a different one): I'll be GM and only require about $350k per year. Even with my limited knowledge of the footsball I can't do any worse...
Jason La Canfora: Send in your resume brother.
But don't sell yourself short. No one comes here for under a mil.
Bogota, Colombia: Well, I'm actually American but I support Santa Fe. Just like the Redskins. Have won championships in ancient history, are consistently just hopeful enough that the fan base thinks maybe this will be the year, but always end up disappointing. Maybe the Danny can come down here and buy them too. No salary cap in the Colombian league as far as I know.
Jason La Canfora: Hey, Danny got to buy my beloved Leeds United first.
Only a matter of time before he buys an EPL team. Just guessing here, but I see it happening in the next 5 years.
Virginia: Did you just say the Giants are going to win??
Jason La Canfora: I believe so. Someone asked me to predict a score so I did.
I have no strong feeling either way. I think this game, like almost all the Skins play, is a toss up.
The Stones - "Little T&A"
Rockville: Don't be so dismissive of the Bears. Their win total is a function of who is taking the snaps. Which brings us to the fact that Jason Campbell couldn't do a thing against that 5 win team before being injured. Is it possible that Todd Collins's experience and familiarity with the offense makes him at least the equal of Jason Campbell given his inexperience (mistakes)? Didn't his quick decisions with the ball negate the O-lines ineffectiveness up to that point?
Jason La Canfora: Let's see Todd make his first start in 10 years before leaping to conclusions one way or the other.
That's all I'm saying.
Fairfax, Va.: Do you think the steroids report being released in baseball will have any impact on the NFL to have an accounting of their own? They seem to have largely gotten a pass compared to baseball, despite some high-profile players testing positive.
Jason La Canfora: I hope so, and I agree they kinda skate on this stuff.
I think when you see guys as huge as they are in the NFL maybe there is an unspoken assumption that there may be some sort of drug culture involved and also, the NFL had a rampant steroid problem back in the day and to its credit took measures to intervene.
Now, in the year 2007, could they do more? I think so.
Boston:"If it snows then I get a snowday declared, the editors decide to run AP wire copy and I head to the upper deck to get blotto ... At least that's my plan until someone stops me"
This was pure comedy gold.....
Jason La Canfora: Thanks. Jerry Coleman actually wrote that response for me. Half the stuff on the blog comes either from him or his masseuse, Tonette.
Jason La Canfora: Well guys, practice just ended early. Gotta run.
Thanks as always and you can check out the blog - redskins insider - or always shoot me an email as well - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week.
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