Monday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. ET

Redskins Postgame: Washington vs. the New York Giants

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Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, December 1, 2008; 11:00 AM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about Sunday's loss to the Giants.

A transcript follows.


Cindy Boren: It's the first of December or, as we call it at my house, What've the Skins Got Day. Will this month be like 2005 and 2007 or 2004 and 2006? Is this banged-up gang capable of winning the last four games -- which is probably what it will take -- and getting into the playoffs as a wild card?


Leigh Torrence: Hi, Please ask Janso to stop dropping my name everywhere! He even talks about me at all of the sports bars. I'm kind of getting embarrassed.

Cindy Boren: Get a restraining order.


Honolulu, Hawaii: When is Colt Brennan going to play?

Cindy Boren: Aloha! Not this year. Not unless there are two significant injuries....


Manassas, Va.: I know we've been through this for years now, but I personally believe this offense, or any offense, cannot work with such a poor group of receivers. At the end of the day, I think that's what hurts this team the most. And it hasn't changed in 10-plus years!

Cindy Boren: There's one receiver, Santana Moss, and a bunch of other guys. Certainly I take your point, but even the best receivers aren't worth much if the QB is under pressure and is forced to fling it. Gotta improve the line first, then see which WRs are worth keeping.


Reston, Va.: Last night, Fox 5 DC asked the question "Did the Redskins lay an egg, or are the Giants that good?" My answer: The Redskins laid an egg against Seattle and, yes, the Giants are that good. That said, the Skins have two patsies on their remaining schedule...will 9-7 get them a wild card spot?

Cindy Boren: The Giants really are that good. So are the Steelers and, don't hurt me, maybe the Cowboys if they keep their wits about them. Are you writing off Sunday's game in Baltimore as an L? And the Eagles? I agree that Cincy is a total patsy, but I'm not convinced the Niners won't be playing for Singletary's job by the end of the year. That may not be a guaranteed W. All of this is mute, as one writer used to always write (this is why there are editors), because 9-7 probably won't be good enough this year...not with what is going on the the NFC South. It's possible that the wild cards come from that division and not the vaunted NFC East. Maybe the Skins get lucky and everybody winds up 9-7 with a tiebreaker...but I could see them getting edged out on the 'breaker at 9-7, too.


Washington, D.C.: Good morning Cindy,

Thank you for the chat. Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, 7-9,10-6,8-8,11-5, and whether or not they make the playoff, what changes do you think will be made on this football team in the off season?

Cindy Boren: First, they'll need to re-sign the QB. That should be done without complication.

Then, I'd address the line issues (on offense and defense) and WRs. I'd think there might be some changes on defense, with Marcus Washington and Shawn Springs, to name two.


Alexandria, Va.: It seems obvious that the offensive line is well, offensive. Why waste a draft pick on a punter and not pick up as many linemen as possible? Am I missing something?

Cindy Boren: I'm with you, Alexandria. I was giddy as a ninth-grader when they drafted Chad Rinehart and now I couldn't pick him out of a lineup. My Midwestern roots command that you draft a buncha cornfed, beefy linemen. That whole drafting a punter thing didn't work out, did it?


Cleveland Park, D.C.: Disappointed, but not surprised. Thanks for taking my question(s).

Do you feel like Zorn is too quick (read eager) to shift blame to execution or blown assignment rather than admitting that there might be problems with his offensive scheme. I admit that no competitor likes to concede this, but after 8 weeks of a seemingly inept offense it would seem that it can't all fall on execution, right?

Also, do you think Zorn might be backwards in his sense about fitting players to a certain offense rather than an offense to fit his players?

Your thoughts?

Cindy Boren: I agree that it can't be entirely the players' execution, not when I see perplexing decisions like going for a 42-yard FG on second down with 8 seconds left in the first half. There was time for another play and, with Suisham struggling, picking up another 6 yards might have enabled him to make that kick and tighten the score to 13-10.

As for adapting to personnel, it appears that Zorn did change things somewhat, when he went from the West Coast Offense to the Midwest Coast Offense.

Twelve games into his career as a head coach, Zorn is about where most figured he'd be in terms of job performance (the team's 7-5 record has far exceeded expectations). He has make mistakes and is learning.


Silver Spring, Md.: If the Skins go down in flames the rest of the way,any chance a Mr. Cowher gets a feel him out phone call?

Cindy Boren: Oh, I hope not. Zorn deserves much better than that. I would hope that the people who hired him are confident that they have a smart guy who deserves the commitment of time.


Jason Campbell: Cindy,

Resign the QB??!! Are you kidding me. JC has done NOTHING since he has been the starting QB of this team. Save for 2 nice wins vs the Cowboys and Eagles -- he has been a below mediocre QB.

I hate the arguments about how "he's been in a different system ever since he graduated." Look at Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan -- these are ROOKIES and they are leading their teams to victories. JC is simply a below average QB who does not have the leadership or fire to lead a team.

COLT in 2009! Change we can believe in. YES WE CAN!!!

Cindy Boren: I sense that Redskins Nation is in a real firing mood today. Call Cowher! Begin the Cult of Colt! You have to give Campbell and Zorn more time -- they're 7-5 (with three losses in the last four games to tough teams). If they finish 7-9, I'm willing to reconsider.


Rockville, Md.: Usually 7-5 would be nice this time of year for the Redskins. However, the way in which we are 7-5 is unsettling. We haven't beaten a quality opponent in a long while, if ever this season and when we should be peaking, we are regressing. I don't see the playoffs in this teams future unless we address our offensive and defensive lines. Watching the Giants be able to rush the passer was something I haven't seen in the Redskins since I was kid...

Cindy Boren: I agree that 7-5 is misleading; a win against the Steelers, Cowboys or Giants at home would have told us so much about where these guys are. In early October, you had to think they'd win one of those. But those are teams that know when it's time to start winning, when to stop with the drama already. This is the time to start looking a little better each week.


Burke, Va.: Listening to Frank Hanrahan on Snyder980 with Vinny Cerrato, it seems to me that Frank blocks better than Jon Jansen . . .

What say you?

Cindy Boren: That's what I'm understanding from the bloggers' posts on Redskins Insider. Today would have been a good day to have come down with laryngitis.


Todd Collins: Receivers not good enough.

Offensive line stinks.

People were saying this last year too.

Then I came in and all those problems went away.

And come on, can the offense look any worse with me at the helm? With JC, it's averaging eight points a game the past month.

Cindy Boren: Toddball? No. That was sooo then, this is sooo now.


Bethesda, Md.: Re-sign the QB? Why? Thank God we haven't given JC a new contract yet. At times he looks good, at times he looks like a rookie. He doesn't go through his reads on a consistent basis and he still doesn't see the whole field. The offense is still having all the same problems it had last year until Todd Collins went in. I like the kid, but the worst thing we can do is give him a huge contract before we're totally convinced he's the guy.

Cindy Boren: Doesn't JC have to be the guy? I agree with your criticisms of him, but I'd give him a chance with a younger, better offensive line.


Tampa, Fla.: How can Zorn and Bugel continue to trot Jansen out there to get abused every week? We have a better option riding the pine. Why can't they see it?

Cindy Boren: Maybe they're not convinced that the guy riding the pine isn't a matador.


Fairfax, Va.: Hi Cindy. Why no hurry-up the last 2 minutes of the game? We had the ball with like 2:18 left. We could have tried to score very quickly, then do an onside kick. We've seen other teams do it and win against the odds. I don't understand why, when you still have 2 minutes left of game time and the ball is in your hands and you're only down 2 scores, why you just give up and say oh well, we lost. Why not at least try?

Cindy Boren: There's never a sense of urgency, a sense that they're gonna maximize their time and put an opponent on his heels. There's a sophistication that's lacking there. Don't you have to put that on the play-caller?


Baltimore: I signed up for Twitter yesterday and went into the WP chat area. When I wrote a message and submitted it, the message would not display on the board. Any ideas on why this is?

Cindy Boren: Timeout for Twitter! I don't claim to be an expert...are you at Redskins Insider? If you shoot a "tweet," (snicker, snicker) I'll see it and follow you and you should be set up. We're all still figuring this out. It's more fun than blogging.

(BTW, the guy who runs the chats is trying to push Derek Anderson off on the Skins....)


Cindy Boren: "Doesn't JC have to be the guy?": That's troubling. That says to me that the Skins are in such a hole, they've made their bed, now they must sleep in it. Maybe with a younger line he'd be better, maybe. But does a younger line make you finally see a wide open Cooley (I was at the game, happened on three separate occasions) or make you not underthrow a double covered ARE downfield for a fist down pick?

Cindy Boren: Well, they kind of are, aren't they? Build the line, bring in WRs and see what happens. It's not like you're going to just go out and get a great QB. (Cue the Toddball and Cult of Colt questions....)


Washington, D.C.: Let's hope next weeks 8:30 nationally televised game on NBC is the LAST national TV game the Skins play for many years to come. They can't seem to play when the spotlight is on them - they choke like dogs. We've seen it the last 2 years when they were "honoring" Sean Taylor.

This team should be embarrassed by how they desecrated ST's memory yesterday!

Cindy Boren: "Choke like dogs" is so about, "don't play up to their potential." It is unfortunate; fans ask when they'll get respect from the national media, they get a prime time game and bad things happen.

As for desecrating Taylor's memory, I would not go that far.


Spotsylvania, Va.: Have we determined yet that the owner and his GM pick do not understand that fifteen wide receivers are useless, if the offensive line is being allowed to grow old as fans keep on waiting for the ownership to gain football smarts? Pity that fans can not fire the owner.

Cindy Boren: See what I mean? People are in a firing mood today.


Mt. Lebanon, Pa.: In case you didn't notice it, it was a very bad day for home teams yesterday. Go look.

But a very good day for the Steelers who, if memory serves, were the first team to defeat the Redskins to set up this current woeful series, a few of these games at home. Karma?

Perhaps a change of venue is in order for Washington.. like a new stadium. Ideas along this line?

Cindy Boren: I believe in karma, but not necessarily in this instance. I think a new stadium is a terrific idea. Right next to RFK? Would that work for you? The Skins need a new crib along the lines of the Cowboys' and the Giants' and even the Eagles'. Unfortunately, this isn't 2001 and the economy is, um, struggling.


Overhaul, NE: Any chance of getting rid of both kickers? How much better would a healthy Brooks be right now?

Cindy Boren: Again with the firing. I don't think Brooks would be the answer....they do need to fix Suisham. Now.


Herndon, Va.: Besides "mute point," I had a friend who insisted on saying "fiat accomple" (spelling probably off), but it came "fee-at" as in the Italian car company. An editor couldn't help there.

Cindy Boren: Another writer always wrote "Viola!" for "Voila!"


Montclair, VA: Is Devin Thomas going to receive more playing time now that he has a TD?

Cindy Boren: Hope so. I'd like to see more of the trickery and gadget plays myself. They don't work repeatedly, but they're a nice mix and keep defenses honest.


Suitland, Md.: After the Redskins scored on a reverse, why didn't they run some more reverses? They were having problems running because of the Giants' pursuit, and the reverse worked for the same reason.

Cindy Boren: Agreed. Why not employ the deception plays? And you've got a guy, Randle El, who was a QB at one time...


Boston: I'm sure people are going to be frustrated with the Skins and call for heads, but the reality is they are a decent football team capable of having a non losing season, but just not good enough yet to be one of the top teams in the league. At this point the best they can do against good football teams is give a good fight in a losing effort.

Cindy Boren: The last four results would seem to indicate that there's some validity to your comment. It would be nice if they quickly returned to being a nice football teams capable of some upsets.


Cindy Boren: My time is up. Thanks, as always, for joining me here. Keep and eye on the blog and Twitter for updates. See you next Monday.


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