Monday, Jan. 7, 2:30 p.m. ET

Redskins Postgame

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, January 7, 2008; 2:30 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Jan. 7, at 2:30 p.m. ET to discuss Sunday's Redskins/Giants game and all the latest Redskins news.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: Welcome! I thought there for a while Saturday that we'd be talking about the big rematch with Dallas today. Maybe next year...still there's plenty to dissect. Let's go.


Arlington, Va.: In reading The Post today, sounds like the 'Skins will take it easy in free agency. But we obviously have needs including WR, DE and secondary (talk of Briggs confuses me as I think our LBs are solid).

What position do you think 'Skins will make their top priority?

Cindy Boren: The team seems to be taking the same conservative approach they took last offseason. My two cents? In the old days, they would have gone for a WR because that's always a sexy acquisition and they always thought that, since it worked for the Patriots, it would work for them. I think they'll be smart again this offseason, maybe beef up the offensive line. And they do have to get some help in the secondary. That concerns me.


Long time Redskins Fan - Washington DC: I don't want to beat a horse but everything, including the margin of victory and loss relates to Sean Taylor. Chris Collinsworth suggesting Sean Taylor was "looking down from heaven" and Mr. Gibbs said "his guys" didn't think the 21 point margin over Dallas was a coincidence? It's one thing to dedicate your own effort to a fallen teammate, but, if the victory margin wasn't coincidence, was the loss margin merely coincidence? I would have like to see, at the end of the season, that the team came together to win (or try to win) because it's what you do when you're a professional. As John Thompson said, it shouldn't take a death to bring professionals together to play to win.

Cindy Boren: I do see your point. And while I don't want to disparage those who see the spiritual in sports results -- who am I to do that? -- I will say that the 21-point thing didn't resonate as much with me. In a game in which the two most common ways of scoring are 7 and 3 points, 21-point combinations/differentials aren't all that uncommon.



It seems like everyone's expecting Shawn Springs to be gone next year -- will be there be any legitimate effort made to get him to return?

Cindy Boren: It depends on whether his numbers can be made to fit under the salary cap. Maybe they can, to his and the team's satisfaction.


Arlington, Va.: Is there any competitive reason you can't advance a recovered kickoff, or is it that way just because? I don't think I've ever seen that situation before, so just curious.

Cindy Boren: I've asked that question and the only answer I've been given is that the rule exists because the alternative would be to make the most dangerous part of the game even more so. Here's what the rule (no. 4 under kicking) says:

A kickoff is illegal unless it travels 10 yards OR is touched by the receiving team. Once the ball is touched by the receiving team or has gone 10 yards, it is a free ball. Receivers may recover and advance. Kicking team may recover but NOT advance UNLESS receiver had possession and lost the ball.


Arlington, Va.: Hi Cindy,

I was wondering why out of the myriad of columns written about the Redskins/Seahawks game, not one mention was given to the Collins fumble/incomplete pass ruling? The TV announcers thought that it was a fumble, and if the originally ruling on the field had stood, the Redskins would have been in deep trouble early in the game. There was plenty of discussion about the overruled fumble by the Seahawks(some of it implying the Redskins got a tough break).

If I was more of a cynical nature, I might think that the coverage over the last several weeks was leaning a might bit close to being fawning, what with Wilbon's prediction about Dallas quivering with fear over the prospect of facing the Redskins again, Mr. Tony's two sentence dismissal of the Seahawks in his encomium to the 'Skins, and of course Tom Boswell was not to be one-upped when it came to shaking the pom-poms.

Cindy Boren: Too many ifs for me. In the overall outcome of the game, that really had little bearing. You may think the columnists were fawning, but I do know that that's what they legitimately believed, that the team was on a roll and could get one win.


Post game: Cindy,

Do you think they'll ever use a Joe Gibbs press conference for one of those Coors Light commercials?

Cindy Boren: LOL/LMGO-ing on that one! How great would that be? The one from the old Jimmy Johnson presser is my current fave.


Germantown, Md.: First, thanks for all the great WP and football coverage this year.

If Coach Gibbs steps down as head coach, which I don't see happening, would you expect that he would concurrently step down as team president? I just can't see him being the administrator of the team or the de facto general manager.

Cindy Boren: I think the current situation will continue next year. Perhaps for a year or two beyond that. At the moment -- remember, he discusses all of this with his family after the season and then decides -- I don't see him going back to North Carolina.


Downtown: Seattle D: small and fast. Washington O: Big and strong. So why run outside and throw flat passes that do nothing but play into their hands? Why not send Portis up the middle behind Sellers a few times to tighten up that D? Oh, and why didn't the running backs coach last week tell Portis to stop juking and hit a hole? Juking (as we all saw) does nothing more than give that fast D time to catch him. And they did.

Once again, I think coaching (Saunders) failed the players. Except for Moss quitting.

Cindy Boren: To me, the offensive line is where the battle was lost. Everything fell apart from there. Seattle did a nice job -- particularly Patrick Kerney -- of running over the Redskins' offensive line. For most of the game, their approach was "Okay, Todd Collins, beat us." It worked quite well, except for a stretch in which the Seahawks let up and the Redskins stormed back.


Burke, Va.: If the Skins really want to honor the memory of Sean Taylor, perhaps they shouldn't hang every event on his memory, claim that the GOOD stuff is somehow related (I guess the bad stuffs not, after all). There's a really fine line between honor and respect on the one hand, and plain maudlin silliness on the other hand, and they're starting to walk right up to that line, if not over it. For once, Dan Snyder handled a situation perfectly -- the immediate aftermath -- and some of the players' and coaches' comments afterward have bordered on the bizarre.

Cindy Boren: I think they were all just trying to get through an unprecedented, horrible time the best they could. Everyone handles loss differently and, suddenly, athletes (some of whom aren't the most articulate people in the world, particularly when it comes to discussing emotions) were asked to quantify their feelings and the enormity of their loss. Tough spot for anyone to be in.


D.C. Seattle Fan: Only Redskins fans would be talking about a missed field goal in a 35-14 game, even if you make the field goal you are down 21-17 after the next Seattle possession and still have to throw deep where Mr. Trufant will still be waiting. Give the Seahawks due for dominating that game, save for 3 minutes in the second half.

Cindy Boren: I think I just did. I liked what they did defensively.


Advancing: Not being able to advance a loose kickoff ball is the same principle as a "muff" when the punt returner drops the ball.

One reason is that there's usually no one behind the guy who muffs a ball, so it would be an automatic TD.

Another is that the other team never had "possession" of the ball, so it's not the same as a turnover.

Cindy Boren: Imagine how wild it would be. Might be fun.


Washington, D.C.: Let's just admit that the 'skins benefited from some NBA-style favoritism from the officials the past two weeks. Wade Phillips and Mike Holmgren had to burn three challenges on OBVIOUS blown calls in the Redskins' favor (all of which were successfully overturned). Tack on Collins's empty hand "incomplete pass," the atrocious pass interference call that kept the Redskins' first TD drive alive, and in the Cowboys game, Springs and Hamlin made the exact same play on the ball, Springs gets an INT while Hamlin gets called for PI.

As "magical" as this run was, the Redskins simply aren't that good and the league obviously wanted to perpetuate the story.

Cindy Boren: The officiating was horrendous. I don't see the conspiracy -- and I adore a good "second spitter on the gravelly road" conspiracy theory as much as the next dope -- though. Now, if Brett Favre stops the Patriots' in the Super Bowl, then I'll believe the NFL is dictating storylines.


Downtown: Completely agree with you about their D line charging hard. All the more reason to hit the middle a few times. Instead, and this seemed to happen a lot over the season, Saunders seems to want to call his plays no matter what, instead of adjusting to hit the D's weak spots. Or maybe he's just "taking what they give us" ... which good teams don't do, they dictate. Alas.

Cindy Boren: Al Saunders seems to be a mad scientist, concocting offensive schemes without regard to the defense. "Oh, look at what I have on page 392 of the playbook. It would have been cool if it had worked."


Reston, Va.: Only an idiot (or a Seahawks fan) would see that game as a dominating performance. Check the stats, check the time of possession -- it was a very even game in many ways. Take away the two gift INT/TDs at the end and add the missed field goal and you have a 4-point game. Sounds pretty close to me. Yes, the Seahawks defense played great for much of the game, but they came close to letting it get away. And there was nothing special about the Seahawks offense, as usual.

So, Cindy, how bad do the Packers crush the Seahawks by this weekend?

Cindy Boren: I wouldn't say the performance overall was dominating. The Redskins' offensive line was dominated. The Seahawks defense did let the game get away, but they pretty quickly got it back. Stats show it was close. I would not pick against the Packers in Green Bay.


RE: some of the players' and coaches' comments afterward have bordered on the bizarre.: I guess I'd think the same thing, except that I lost a friend at age 29, and I remember saying some bizarre things after her death. It take awhile to deal with the unexpected loss of a good friend at a young age, and sometimes it's easy to grasp at anything to take some of the hurt away.

I don't mind all the talk about Taylor.

Cindy Boren: My experience is grief is that you just do whatever you must to get through the immediate impact and then, sneaky thing that it is, it can sneak up on you six, seven, eight months later. I think next September is going to bring a whole new wave for the Redskins. In some ways, the loss will be much more concrete -- and final -- for them then.


RE: Only Redskins fans would be talking about a missed field goal in a 35-14 game: Many times in games like this we can see the loss of momentum turning point. Missing the field goal had consequences beyond missing 3 points.

Cindy Boren: They were in trouble when they didn't score a TD there. But it was a real deflater to not get three.


Denver: After the game this weekend, I think we can all agree there should be no QB controversy at the beginning of next season. Todd Collins filled in admirably the last weeks of the season, but he showed why he has been a career backup on Saturday. I am not trying to knock him after how well he did starting the last 4 weeks, but let's be honest with ourselves here.

On a more positive note, I can't help but be proud of the way the 'Skins rounded out the season. They really showed a lot of heart and made be proud to be a fan again. Hopefully they can carry some of this momentum into next season (like the Packers did this year).

Cindy Boren: I agree with your first point. The chat gang knows that; we've discussed it at length here.

But I disagree with the second. I don't see how this four-game string is something can be built on. The franchise QB wasn't in there, nor were a lot of the starters. It was built almost purely on emotion. I'm not sure it goes forward.


Just good enough to break your heart: That's how I felt about the Redskins during that awful four-game stretch of blown leads and last-minute losses. Turns out that is a pretty good summation of what happened in Seattle.

They went from inept and getting overwhelmed to winning, then they blew their chance to score following the turnover on the kick off and the wheels promptly fell off.

For next season, I fear a defensive backfield that will get torched if they release Springs and rely on a rehabbed Rogers. Yikes.

Cindy Boren: The secondary is of primary importance in the offseason.


Laurel, Md.: Is building a stadium like Qwest effectively cheating?

Cindy Boren: Depends on what your definition of "cheating" is, I suppose. Since the league allowed it, it wasn't against the rules. Remember Red Auerbach's Celtics? He never air conditioned the visitors' locker room in the old Boston Garden. The water in the showers was cold. No one said a home opponent has to be hospitable.


Gaithersburg, Md.: I for one am happy that the Redskins got kicked out of the playoffs, because now the front page of The Washington Post will be Redskins-free. Keep the sports on the Sports Page! (This goes for the ga-ga Tiger Woods front-page coverage too.)

Cindy Boren: No! We refuse! Sometimes, it must be on page 1. But I love that you argue this with me.


Cindy Boren: And with that, I must move along to make plans for the rest of the NFL playoffs. Enjoy the games and keep joining Redskins Insider and DC Sports Bog as the Redskins' offseason kicks off.


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