Monday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. ET

Redskins Postgame: Washington vs. Detroit

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, October 27, 2008; 11:00 AM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the results of the Redskins-Lions game and the latest news about the team.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: Welcome to the Monday morning chatapalooza, now the sixth after a Redskins win this season. Yes, six. Let's go.


Baltimore: Any word on Santana's hamstring? Based on history, even the slightest discomfort could change things for him big time. Here's hoping he's fine and continues to play at a Pro Bowl level.

Cindy Boren: Nothing yet. It's going to be a quiet day at the park since Zorn declared today "Victory Monday" and gave players the day off. (Shouldn't a proclamation like that apply to all of us in D.C.?) Typically, a few come in for treatment and, last time, the defense opted to meet anyway. I'm not worried yet about Moss's hammies. He'll get an extra day of rest before the Steelers arrive and then he'll have a bye week in which to heal.


Richmond, Va.: I saw Portis tried to scare the HELL out of me yesterday on that run at the end, can you give us some updates on that injury, as well as Moss's injury where he limped off the field. And I see it looks like the Redskins will play to the level of competition all season. I'm 37 and I really do not want a heart attack this early in my life. Will things get better or am I in for a weekly Bayer aspirin. Thanks

Cindy Boren: Perhaps bye week would be a good time to take up meditation (mantra: med-i-um, med-i-um...) or yoga. The injuries yesterday appear to be more of the minor, annoying variety -- ankle for Portis, hammy for Moss. Don't know yet what the outcome will be for Taylor or Samuels. I am more concerned with the second part of your comment, the Redskins' proclivity for playing to the level of their competition. That's very worrisome. They need to be establishing an identity and blowing the bad teams out. At this rate, you're going to need Tums as well as Bayer.


New Orleans: It seems that the bigger story today is Zorn's and Portis's argument rather than that they won the game.

Cindy Boren: The Zorn-Portis dynamic said more about what's going on with the team and how Zorn is working out. He's only eight games into being a head coach and there's still a lot to be seen. We see him interacting as a teacher during practices and he's very much a professor when he talks with the media. But the give-and-take with players is what's evolving. It's even more interesting given how Zorn's predecessor dealt with Portis. Face it, working with superstars is a big thing for all 32 coaches in the league.


Ashburn, Va.:1 - Who was Zorn shouting at in the press room??

2 - How is the MVPs ankle?

Cindy Boren: What we had here was a failure to communicate between a Washington Times reporter and Zorn. It flared up pretty quickly and just as quickly was dealt with. Dan Steinberg has the lowdown on the presser in the bog today and the Times reporter blogged about it, too.

The ankle injury seemed to be fairly minor; we'll get an update today.


Herndon, Va.: How relieved were you to know that it wasn't one of your beat writers that got Zorn so "frustrated" in the presser yesterday? Any chance that they turn it into a Coors Light commercial? It was a good blow-up but still doesn't top Mora's "Playoffs?" or Dennis Green's "They are who we thought they were."

Cindy Boren: I'll just say that I never ever want our reporters to be part of the news and leave it at that. (I confess to feeling relief once, when, during a press conference with Mickey Mantle's doctors after his liver transplant in Texas, a New York reporter asked, "Did he meet the donor?" The doctor replied, "You're a sportswriter, aren't you?" Thankfully, it was not an NY Daily news sportswriter. I could not throw the NY Post scribe under the bus quickly enough.) Zorn may get a suds ad out of it, but Singletary will get one first for yesterday's presser.


Rockville, Md.: Please let baby frog-voice Steinberg know that he's doing a great job. This really is an insatiable fan base and the sports bog has been a great addition to the usual crack reporting done by JLC, JR, LC, SJ, both MWs and the rest of the team. The under-the-radar stuff that Steinberg finds is phenomenal. Do you think the players let their guard down with him a little more because he's not a reporter in the traditional sense? And because he asks ridiculous questions about vomiting and Coach Z's viola chronicles? I'm sure athletes get sick of giving cookie-cutter answers to predictable questions as we are of hearing them. D.C. Sports Bog

Cindy Boren: I luv Dan's stuff, even the vomit chronicles. Why does it work for him? Well, he's sincere; he has a sense of humor; he is very honest about what he doesn't know; he treats these guys like human beings with lives outside fubball; he enables them to act up and gets them on the "blogosphere;" he knows more about cheeses of the world than you can imagine. I think players find all of these things endearing in a non-threatening way. He's also a terrific writer and reporter. Oh, and he slipped me steroids one time in a sports-drink sample someone sent him.


Brasilia, Brazil: Clinton Portis is having a monster year, if there is not an injury (God protect him) he will make the Pro Bowl. I may be getting crazy here, but I'm thinking MVP. What do you think Cindy?

Cindy Boren: You may be putting the "sili" in's a tad early. I'm willing to go only as far as to say that he's absolutely among the top two or three candidates at this point. He has to stay healthy and monstrous and the team has to keep winning.


Megskin: Cindy, at what point do we consider Jason Taylor a "bust"? Maybe we should consider bringing back Bruce Smith; I hear Ken Harvey's still around as well - heck maybe we can sign Strahan for some just as uninspiring play.

Cindy Boren: Megskin! Always a delight. I hate to use the "b" word with Taylor. He hasn't worked out as planned and what they really need to do is shut him down, get him healthy and hope for six strong games starting, say, Nov. 23. Still, all that said, making the move for him in July was the right thing. You have to think he can get well and give you the old Jason Taylor in the stretch run. For now, let's go with the "d" word -- disappointment.


Baltimore: Coaches who were highly competitive players: I think the dynamic on a team is very different when the head coach is someone who played the pro game with competitive intensity. Zorn did not scorn to call Portis out for the equipment matter. And Mike Singletary, as interim coach of the 49ers, banished a tight end from the field yesterday after he committed a pointless personal foul. I just wonder how highly paid athletes react when someone who has been there gets on their case, as opposed to a coach with little or no pro playing experience. Thanks.

Cindy Boren: It can be very, very effective but, like anything in a coaches' psychological playbook, it can be overused. A lot of the great coaches weren't particularly good players. They're more cerebral, more skilled at other motivational techniques. The problem with getting all emotional and calling people out is that it's very draining and produces diminishing returns eventually. If you're a good, smart coach, you can use the emotional outbursts to your advantage at your chosen times. You must never seem to lose control. Kind of like parenting.


Gainesville, Va.: Cindy,

I think the Redskin's big problem, the reason why their not scoring as much as they should (7th in total offensive yds, 23rd in points) is the lack of a pass rush which generally leads to turnovers (they are 28th in sacks, 18th in interceptions and 29th in fumbles recovered). Even when they blitz they don't get to the QB. Thus no easy, quick touchdowns like Santana's punt return. It probably won't change with the players they have.

Cindy Boren: I agree, Gainesville. Mike and Tony and I discussed this one day last week on Talking Points. Peyton Manning is getting happy feet because the rush is coming right up the middle (particularly when Saturday was out). The Gints won a Super Bowl with a solid rush there. Guy named Jeff Fisher watched tackles rush the passer in a pretty effective Bears defense ages ago and, let's see, how are the Titans winning now? Just watch Albert Haynesworth tonight.


Re: Portis-Zorn Argument: I actually liked to see this. It seems that so many coaches in this league have little control over their teams and simply bow to their superstar divas (see: Phillips, Wade). This is no way to run a team. I'm glad that Zorn will publicly show that he, and not our stud players, is the leader.

Cindy Boren: Here's a quick update from La Canfora, which is on his blog now: Samuels just walked in with his MRI results and was headed to the medical staff to discuss the diagnosis. He seemed to be walking well. Vinny Cerrato, on his radio show, said he thought the injuries to Portis and Moss were manageable and that both could play Monday night. He said that Taylor did undergo a procedure and might be able to play Monday.


Centreville, Va.: Why do they need to blow out the bad teams out? This is the NFL, it doesn't matter how you win, it's if you win.

Cindy Boren:"Blow out" was a poor choice of words. They need to establish domination, gain separation on the scoreboard as well as in the stats. How's that? If they do that, then they don't have to have Portis and Moss and Campbell in the whole way. There's less of a chance of injury and wear and tear. Makes for a better team, one that's better prepared to cope when bad stuff happens as it inevitably does.


Randle El: So, was this Moss punt return thing just a once-in-a-while situation or am I out of a special teams job now?

Cindy Boren: Stay in shape, Antwaan. They're going to need you. Using Moss on teams is very tempting -- and very dangerous.


Ashburn, Va.: Will the injured players (Samuels, Horton, etc.) be back for the Monday night game?

Cindy Boren: Keep an eye on the blog for the answer...Samuels is meeting with the medical personnel now....


Washington, D.C.: I know everyone's still drinking the Kool Aid around town, but let's be honest that until London Fletcher made that tackle to end the game, the result was still in doubt against one of the worst football teams in the league.

Sure the offense looked good in spurts, but I'm still not sold that this team can win a playoff game or any other game that really means something. On paper this team just doesn't have what it takes right now to survive the grind into January. I see a lot of players taking next week off in advance of the bye and falling flat against a more imposing Steelers team. This team is certainly seeing the effect of a softer schedule than a Super Bowl caliber team, granted there haven't been many teams this year from either conference that have shown themselves to be contenders.

Cindy Boren: I think your concern is valid. Let's see how they do against the Steelers. That game is going to speak volumes.


Cindy Boren: Wish I could hang out longer, but I must attend to the blog and other tasks. Next week, with the Monday night game, I'll be chatting here Tuesday at 11 a.m. (election day). It should be a typo-fest, so be sure to join me. Oh, and I didn't mean any of those nice things I said about Steinberg.


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