Monday, Sept. 29, 2:30 p.m. ET

The Washington Redskins

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, September 29, 2008; 2:30 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET to take your questions about the results of the Redskins-Cowboys game and the upcoming showdown with the Eagles.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: The market may be down, but the Redskins are up after winning in Dallas yesterday. Now...can they continue to roll in Philly? So much to discuss in one little hour. Let's go.


Tucson, Ariz.: The Redskins should have blown the Cowboys out...they actually left points on the field, between the two called back touchdowns and the fade route to 5-9 Santana Moss. The game shouldn't have been as close as it was.

Cindy Boren: Who cares what the scoreboard said? That game felt like a Skins blowout. The Cowboys never really played with any fire and, despite the fact that the Skins were only up by two at the end, did it feel like the Cowboys were going to catch fire to you? Did you sense the stadim or the players really coming to life? It was a very odd game for the 'Boys.


Houston, Texas: WOO HOO!!! That's really all I have to say!

I know it's only week 4, but it's nice to beat the NFL's "best" team - in their house, especially when it's Dallas.

Cindy Boren: The Redskins beat the Titans??? Well, you said "the NFL's best team"....

A lot of people weren't necessarily drinking the Kool-Aid (is there a Cowboys Kool-Aid?). Most of those people were overlooked because they are typing for a living, not yammering on a TV network somewhere. Still, winning in Dallas is huge -- especially for a rookie head coach.

So woo-hoo all you want.


Mclean, Va.: Any updates on Jason Taylor?

Cindy Boren: Who needs Jason Taylor? Oh, all right. The Skins do. He's going to have his stitches taken out in the next day or so. La Canfora reports that Zorn said says he's walking around, but the team has no timetable on his return. Taylor, for those who don't know, had emergency surgery to relieve compartment syndrome in his lower leg last week. It's a somewhat unusual injury, so the team is in uncharted territory. "We truly don't know," Zorn said.


Pikesville, MD: He didn't get a lot of work with the way the offense was running, but Durant Brooks looked a lot better this week than he has in the past.

Cindy Boren: Brooks had a decent game, I thought. I gave him B+ on the day. He had nice hangtime and averaged 46.3 yards with a net of 42.8. Most importantly, he stayed out of the coach's doghouse.


New York, NY: Hi Cindy, thanks for taking my question.

I know that journalists are supposed to be unbiased, but with all the time spent with players do the reporters ever share the same joy a typical fan would feel? I would think that for someone who has had so many one on one conversations with Jason Campbell, that it's refreshing to see him excel now. I guess what I'm asking do reporters ever get excited with a win like yesterday not because they are rooting for the team or player, but because they are rooting for the person under the jersey?

Cindy Boren: A reporter really can't allow himself or herself to feel the same joy. Besides the obvious reasons -- we are paid to observe and report, not to choose sides -- there's the fact that if you're busy celebrating, chances are you're missing something. You really need to have all your senses tuned to what's happening around you and recording that. If you're celebrating a Campbell TD, you might miss Devin Hester's kickoff return for a TD. You also can't allow yourself to root for the people under the jersey because then you're making judgments on who is a good person and who isn't. People are never that simple or easily categorized. That's how you miss stories.

Let's take Jason Campbell as an example. We've chronicled him since the draft and I sent La Canfora to Taylorsville, Miss., to talk to friends and relatives about him. He is very smart, extremely talented and has been very open. Seems like a good kid from a small town (certainly I can relate!), but about all you can allow yourself is to say that it's going to be a fascinating trip with him -- wherever it goes. Frankly, he deserves that objectivity from us and so do you.


Rochester, NY: Does this finally put to rest that Jason Campbell is the Redskins quarterback of the future? He was definitely the best quarterback on the field and to be 4 weeks into the season without one pick is pretty impressive.

Cindy Boren: Where are the fans clamoring for Toddball? The Cult of Colt? I kind of miss beating up on them and typing "no, no, no, a thousand times no" over and over. The synergy between Campbell and Zorn is really fascinating to watch as it improves (finally I see the progression I was looking for in preseason) from quarter to quarter.


Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: I think we can say, will all due honor and respect to Saint Joe, that Zorn has been the Anti-Gibbs 2.0. He's aggressive, passionate and clearly in command. What's the pulse of the team and how they feel about Z-man?

Cindy Boren: I remember when the Yankees dumped Buck Showalter and brought in Joe Torre, whom I'd railed against when he managed the St. Louis Cardinals. Look how that worked out. Sometimes, the change works brilliantly simply because the coachspeak is fresh. And sometimes the wheels wobble. Over those last preseason games and after the opener, there was the possibility that Zorn would lose the team. A stinker against the Saints could have brought chaos. But it didn't happen.


Washington, D.C.: Hi Cindy,

Reading articles today, I noted that not since Goerge Allen in '71 was anyone able to come to Texas Stadium and defeat the Cowboys on his first trip.

If we can beat the Cowboys, how 'bout a Giants rematch coming up soon. Can we beat them?

Cindy Boren: If you can turn back time -- like Superman! -- there will be a rematch soon in the Hoffalands. If not, you'll have to settle for Nov. 30 at FedEx. I think the Skins will split games with the Cowboys and Eagles and lose both to the Giants. I think the NFC East title will come down to about the 157th tiebreaker -- whose coach is taller.


Bend, OR: Just a comment. Let's remember that Campbell is still in his first season in this offense, as great as he's playing, he will throw a pick, he will fumble. Let's not all panic when he has an off game, and start calling for Colt.

Cindy Boren: There will be no calling for Colt. Or Todd. I will not allow it. Tom Boswell could tell you all about the statistical mean and how things even out, but eventually your hair would hurt. So I'll just tell you that I agree. There will be stinkage in a game and Campbell must be given time to work past it.


Derwood, MD: What's there to really talk about? The Skins look great!

Do you think Danny and Vinny are feeling pretty smug right now?

Cindy Boren: Smug? I hope they're feeling happy rather than smug. Many of their offseason decisions look very very smart -- Zorn, Horton, Taylor (despite the injuries). They did a nice job of taking the curveball Joe Gibbs threw them and eventually working it out. But let's remember that it's also now Week 5 and wait to assess the whole season. That's only fair.


Charlottesville, Va: so...if we lose next week, will everyone be calling for JC and Zorns heads? Sorry, I had to.

My real question is, how did Zorn gain confidence in JC in one week (week between the Giants and Saints)?

Cindy Boren: I think Zorn changed his approach a little, added a few plays and formations that Campbell is more comfortable with. He settled down and they started progressing together.


Cincinnati:7-9? Really, 7-9??? Want a mulligan on that prediction or are you sticking to it?

Cindy Boren: I knew someone was going to remind me of that! I also predicted that the stock market would reach record heights. You have to admit I was right about sticking with Jason Campbell.


Cindy Boren: And, on that note, I must depart. Let's meet here next Monday and discuss the game against the Eagles and my 7-9 prediction again. Have a great week.


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