Monday, Oct. 13, 11 a.m. ET

Redskins Postgame: Washington vs. Cleveland

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, October 20, 2008; 11:00 AM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the results of the Redskins-Browns game and the latest news about the team.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: Good ugly win looks a whole lot better with a little 5-2 lipstick, eh? Let's go.


Las Vegas: After seeing Shawn Springs miss another game and now it looks like at least two more, what will the Skins say this time when he refuses to renegotiate his contract during the offseason?

Cindy Boren: Good question. He can always argue that he shut down T.O., but given the nightmare that is the Dallas Cowboys (you weep, I know), that argument loses a bit of its power. If I'm the Skins, I focus on getting other players signed up, starting with the QB. (An aside: It's cool the way Zorn refers to players by the abbreviation for their position. It makes me smile.)


Reston, Va.: Do you think there are any concerns at Redskins' Park over their performance in the first half? Good thing for the Skins that Anderson couldn't hit wide open receivers!

Cindy Boren: Given Zorn's smarts, I would think there's some concern. How much of the first-half offensive issues can be attributed to Campbell's balky groin? It tightened up on him and it took him a bit to get loose. The running game is fantastic and Portis looks like a beast, but at some point is that the best/smartest way to go? Give him his 1,800 yards and run his legs off? Didn't Seattle do that with a Mr. Alexander? Against chooch, er, lesser opponents, shouldn't you be developing your offense (as they were earlier)? I realize I'm pointing out Cindy Crawford has a mole here....


Alexandria, Va.: What have you heard regarding how Jason Campbell is feeling? Is the mild injury something that could become a longer term issue, or was it just the muscle cramping up?

Cindy Boren: Hi, Alexandria...Last night, it seemed to be a mild strain. The locker room just opened up and we'll see what he and Zorn say today. God knows, one thing we've learned about Campbell is that he's indestructible (those two knee injuries he's had in his career looked horrific and, despite last year's season-ender for him, it could have been so much worse). My guess is that he'll be just fine.


Silver Spring, Md.: Hi Cindy!

I would just like to say to all of Redskin Nation that if you want to see your Skins in the Pro Bowl then you have to go to your 'puters and vote early and often as much as you can. How do you think the Evil Empire got what 13 in the last Pro Bowl?

Do just what you did in Canton in massive numbers. Let Redskins Nation be heard!

I can think of 8 players right off the top of my head that should be starters... Portis, Campbell, Moss, Cooley, Fletcher, Horton, Samuels, Sellers and I didn't even really try all that hard.

Vote the Redskin Party Line!!!

Cindy Boren: Hi-ho, Silver ... Spring...While I do not condone ballot-box stuffing, I pass this along. And you left off Rogers.


New York, N.Y.: While I am elated that we are winning games, is it alarming to anyone else that we win games by so few points? Washington games are never a blowout. I guess it's nice to be on the edge of your seat for an entire game but I wonder how we will fare in the playoffs. Do we just not have that killer instinct to obliterate the other guy or do we slack off once we are in the lead?

Cindy Boren: The scribes (schlubs to Jasno) and I were talking about that this morning. New coach, new offense and it's the same result...only the players are really the same. I'm perplexed by it and I fear that that is something that won't bite you, given the cupcakes on the schedule. That you can go 12-4, 11-5 and then get smacked early in the playoffs.


South Carolina: Fred Davis end-around play. Explain?

Cindy Boren: Um, yeah. He was really trudging there, wasn't he? Perhaps they were going for the element of surprise, which doesn't really work when the play takes 45 seconds to develop. That page needs to be ripped from the playbook, ripped up and burned.


Durham, N.C.: Besides Clinton Portis, who on this team do you think is having a Pro Bowl season so far (keeping in mind that, as mutual fund experts always say, past performance does not indicate future results)?

Cindy Boren: Oh, man, it's way too early to decide that. Can't we wait till about Week 12? Please? That said, possibilities abound on the D, methinks. Fletcher, Landry, Rogers; on offense Portis, Campbell -- you are evil. You lured me into talking about this. Week 12, check back.


Ovechkin at game?: On a quick cutaway to the stands yesterday, I could have sworn that the camera showed Alex Ovechkin wearing a silly Redskins helmet. I would not put it past him, but did anyone else see this?

Cindy Boren: Congratulations, you are not crazy. Steinberg, natch, has the scoop. Ovechkin rocks the No. 21 shirt....Backstrom was there as was the other Mike Green, who really needs a Mike Green Redskins jersey.


Reston, Va.: How does Zorn keep the Skins from looking beyond next week? I know they said they learned their lesson from their "trap" game loss last week, but it's the Lions.

Cindy Boren: Oh, yeah. I had that same thought. The Lions are dismal, but the game is in Detroit, the Skins were a little sluggish yesterday, Steelers are looming and so is the bye....Too much to think about. Thinking can only hurt the ballclub. But even if they stumble twice, they're 5-4 at the bye and you'd all have taken that back in April.


Houston: Calm down, all. First of all, the defense is outstanding, thus far, even with the injuries.

Secondly, let's look at the past two years -- Weird Al's system took two years to implement, well, was it ever implemented?

The point is, there will be ups and downs until the Z man gets his feet completely under him, and knows what works with this team.

As long as the wins keep piling up, things will only get better. We can rely on CP and keep adding to the passing game.

Cindy Boren: From the Lone Star state, the voice of reason. Overall, I agree. Zorn is still, for all his ridiculous early success, learning to be a game coach. There will be hiccups and as long as the running game and the defense are clicking, there's time for the rest to evolve.


Washington, D.C.: With the collective bargaining agreement issue having so impact on future contracts, what do you think are the chances of Jason Campbell and Carlos Rodgers signing new contracts during the bye?

Cindy Boren: The labor issue is going to loom significantly, but I'd think the Skins could get something done with those guys fairly easily. But bye week might be overly optimistic.


Washington, D.C.: Braylon Edwards reminded me of Rod Gardner. He just doesn't have good hands. If he had caught those balls thrown at him, then it might have been another loss.

Cindy Boren: If ever there was a dude made for Stick-Um...Those drops were maddening, purely from a football perspective. Then, in traffic and getting drilled, he held on. I agree that there may have been no Kool-Aid for Redskin Nation today if he'd held onto a few of those.


Chicago: What happens to this team if Portis gets injured?

Cindy Boren: Great question (especially since I said that to a co-worker yesterday). The thing that makes Portis so great is the very thing that can get him hurt: he goes all out on every single play in every single game; he is permanently set on 11. I know there was talk yesterday of him being on pace for nearly 1,900 yards (see Boz). Sure, he can do it, but is that smart, for him and for your offense? Don't you want those legs fresh in January? Zorn and the Skins are smart enough to know that. Portis probably does, too, but he isn't the kind of player who's going to dial it back. Unless it's practice...


Accomac, Va.: Why are you adding to the Springs hate? The guy has played in more games than Carlos Rogers and no one expects Carlos to take a pay cut.

The simple fact is that the 'Skins aren't going to get anyone better than Springs for the money that they pay Springs and all the folks complaining about him missing games with injuries ought to realize that he doesn't miss many and that injuries are part of the NFL. Skins would be crazy to let him walk.

Cindy Boren: Hate is too strong a word. It's an evaluation, nothing personal.


Farmington, Conn.: Since everybody seems to want to talk about Portis today, how about some props for the O-Line? Is Portis getting his wish, and playing behind the best O-Line in football? Four straight games of over 120 yards!

Cindy Boren: The offensive line is playing very very well. If you've got a guy gaining over 120 yards, he isn't picking that up -- unless he's invisible -- without a monstrous effort from the behemoths up front. I'm not sure I'd rate it the best offensive line in the game, seemingly since his interview with Barry Svrluga.


Alexandria, Va.: How do you keep from slapping Tony or Michael in the head sometimes? I watch your videos and slap my monitor.

Cindy Boren: They're very litigious people. They'd sue me in a heartbeat if I laid a finger on either of their smooth, shiny heads.


Ovechkin: We saw him post-Rams-game last week at the club level. And he was wearing the same hat!

Cindy Boren: When you've got a good look, you should rock it for all it's worth.


Greenville, N.C.: Will Thomas and Kelly get in shape and learn enough to contribute this year? Which one is more likely to help us in the second half of the season?

Cindy Boren: I'd have to go with Thomas, just on the basis of health. Kelly, just a few minutes ago, told Jason La Canfora he's at about 85 percent...he's hoping to do more, but at some point the team has to move on; that last 15 percent is pretty key and a pretty significant hurdle for him, it seems. I'm not suggesting they cut him, but perhaps placing him on IR and sending him to get healthy would be the way to go.


Bethesda, Md.: What a difference a year makes. I am obviously no judge of NFL talent because I thought the Skins should have moved Carlos Rodgers to safety. I thought he lacked the cover skills to be an effective corner. Boy was I wrong. What an unbelievable season he is turning in.

Cindy Boren: I banish you to the corner for 15 minutes. Shame on you.


Alexandria, Va.: It was good to read Clinton's comments about the Pro Bowl, and just wanting to win, regardless of his stats. What is the biggest reason you think he has gotten this fast start other than the obvious (healthy O line, being healthy himself, etc.)? Am I missing something? Portis Is Hitting His Stride (Post, Oct. 20)

Cindy Boren: Maybe he's just growing up? Maybe it's becoming a father? He seems more focused to me. He's always brought a fierce competitiveness to games (even preseason games, as you will winceingly recall), but the aggression seems channeled. And the other things you mention are clicking, too.


Cindy Boren: It's time to run; the guys are sending updates from the locker room for Redskins Insider. Stay with us on the blog, on D.C. Sports bog and on Twitter (even if it's only so you can tell people, "Not now, I'm twittering.") See you next Monday.


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