Monday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. ET

Redskins Postgame: Washington vs. Cincinnati

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Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, December 15, 2008; 11:00 AM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about Sunday's Redskins-Bengals game.

The transcript follows.

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Cindy Boren: I should have known, back in Week 8, that it was an omen when my Redskins media guide suddenly fell apart. The loss in Cincy leave us with plenty to talk about. Let's go.

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Clinton Portis: I'd like to take this opportunity to say that my dropped pass in the waning moments of the fourth quarter wasn't my fault. Sure, the pass was right in my hands and I had lead blockers. But it wasn't my fault that I dropped it. It was our genius head coach.

Hey, check out my gold shoes!

Cindy Boren: Your gold shoes could use some polish. I know Portis is banged up, he's tired and he has a lot of miles on him, but yesterday was the day for him to step up. Yesterday was the day a guy who's one of the faces of the franchise says, "I'll carry you, guys." He did it a year ago this time. He didn't do it yesterday, did he?

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Alexandria, Va.: To me, the Santana Moss/shoe incident was a tipping point. I can no longer support a team made of players who think that that's how you play the game. I've heard no comments from Moss, other players or the coaching staff about this, which I figure is because there is no way in the world that it can be justified, right?

Cindy Boren: It seems to me that maybe it's a good idea to wait to do that until your team is up by maybe two touchdowns....Dan Steinberg just posted some player comments on that on the Sports Bog. Here's one quote from Moss:

"As far as the penalty, when I found that it was a penalty, I told Coach Zorn that, hey, I didn't mean to put us in that situation, I didn't know that it was gonna hurt, but I should have known better. We're in someone else's house, they're looking for anything. So therefore I've got to be better with that, know the rules a little better, but other than that, that really is nothing. That's petty, as far as what we have done to date as far as trying to give ourselves a chance to win."

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New York, N.Y.: Do you think that Dan Snyder is likely to maintain ownership of the Redskins the the next 30 years?

Cindy Boren: He will own them until he tires of owning them or is so broke he's wearing nothing but a barrel. So...yes.

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Rockville, Md.: At the start of the season if you told me this team would be 8-8 or 9-7 I'd have been pleasantly surprised. However, it is how we got here that is disconcerting. Usually teams that miss the playoffs look towards something positive...there is nothing positive from starting 6-2 and ending up like this.

Cindy Boren: I agree. The worst thing that can happen is to see a team spiral downward over the last half of the season. A fan wants to see an arc of improvement over the last eight games, solid reasons for hope for the next season. I had a fear earlier in the season that this group of players had put together its four-game winning streak at the wrong time, but hoped I was wrong.

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Manassas, Va.: Cindy,

What a heartless performance yesterday. No leadership, no big plays, predictable offense, average defense. If you could fix one thing first, what would it be?

Cindy Boren: I'd bring back Leigh Torrence. (Sorry, that was a little joke for bloggers/Twitterers.) If I could change one thing, I'd make like a cannibal and light a fire under these guys. I'd go old-timey and rant and rave. Probably wouldn't work, though...

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Bill C., Pittsburgh: Any chance I could possibly squeeze, say, $10 million for 5 years from Mr. Snyder? If so, hey, where do I sign?

(I have to warn you, though - this is basically a cash grab and nothing more. I've already got my Lombardi, so what the heck?)

Cindy Boren: Dear Bill C: From where I sit, you can get, say, $10 million for 5 years from a lot of owner dudes/dudettes in the NFL. You're in a seller's market and there are about to be, potentially, a dozen openings in the league. Choose carefully, wise one...

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Washington, D.C.: Fact: The Redskins average margin of victory in their 7 wins is LESS THAN 5 POINTS! And the variance in those margins is very even -- that is, they didn't blow out a single opponent all year.

Let's face it, this is a very average football team and their record could be a lot worse than 7-7 right now. We have to start thinking objectively on what needs to be fixed for the long term.

Cindy Boren: I would not disagree with that. All spring and summer, I felt 7-9 was very likely, was unceremoniously silenced by that 6-2 streak, then returned to 8-8/7-9. It's mystifying that these guys can't win more than four or five in a row and can't crush anybody. The contrast really was starkly apparent to me when they played the Ravens. It was eye-opening. They looked like a Division II team against Div. I-A.

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20036: Can I throw my shoes at the offensive line?

Cindy Boren: Only if you polish them first.

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Virginia Beach, Va.: What do you think about bringing in a football "czar" like the Dolphins did with Bill Parcells...someone like Bill Cowher?

Cindy Boren: I support that idea, but not necessarily Bill Cowher. I'd bring in someone with a lower profile, someone more wonkish and ready to work 22 hours a day. Nothing against Cowher's work ethic, but I'd get somebody smart and hungry.

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Tarbro, N.C.: Is it even possible to get the necessary talent in one offseason to hope to be competitive if we give this staff one more year?

Cindy Boren: Sure, it's possible. A smart draft, a couple of key free agents, a trade here or there....teams have done it.

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Reston, Va.: Let's forget Snyder getting rid of Zorn -- do you think Zorn wants to come back? If it was me, I'd high tail it back to Seattle if the opportunity presented itself.

Cindy Boren: I don't think that's in Zorn's DNA. The guy made the NFL out of Cal Poly-Pomona and is one of only, what, eight guys in the Seahawks' Ring of Honor. He knew as well as anyone that installing the WCO is a two-three year enterprise. Worst thing that could have happened to him was 6-2. I don't see him hopping onto the bike and riding off to the Great Northwest.

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Washington, D.C.: I imagine defensive lineman around the league begin to salivate profusely when they see they have the Redskins on their schedule! It seems like on every running play, the line is pushed back 2 yards into the Redskins backfield! The Redskins O-line makes every defensive lineman on the other side of the ball look like a Pro Bowler! How about doing the opposite the Redskins usually do and trade some vet O-line players (e.g., Samuels) for draft picks and then usse those draft picks on OL players. Maybe in 2-3 years we might have a team to be proud of.

Cindy Boren: I'm not sure that you'd get that much for them, would you? This draft is going to have a bunch of good linemen, that's for sure.

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Who Said Fire Zorn?!?: Have there been any credible sources to suggest Zorn would be dropped after the season?

Everything I've read sounds like speculation based on nothing more than ownership's prior conduct. If insiders are suggesting he could get the hook, that's one thing, but if bloggers are making this stuff up just to stir the pot, it seems irresponsible. How do we tell?

Cindy Boren: We are not hearing anything like that from the sources we talk to. I know the use of the "s" word will set certain Redskins observers off, but we actually do talk to everyone -- at Redskins Park and around the league. The offseason (which is really the season and begins Dec. 29) is traditionally the time Post reporters use most of their cellphone minutes. I can't say where other journalists get their information. All I know is what we're learning in our calls.

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Rockville, Md.: That one highlight of Jason Taylor's back in week 2 when he sacked Brees was awesome! I'm sure when the Dolphins are selecting a player in April's draft that would have belonged to us, we will open that great memory of Taylor rushing past his competition and getting to the QB. I mean, wouldn't every team gladly give up one draft pick for one sack?

Cindy Boren: I understand your outrage, your bitterness. Have you met Megskin, a fan and chat regular who declared Mr. Taylor a bust way back when others would only say "disappointment"? Your pain should be tempered by the fact that there was no way to know way back on July 20 that he'd get hurt and, for the first time in his career. Still...one sack...one draft pick that you KNOW is going to torture, torment and tease Redskins Nation.

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Bowie, Md.: Since the season is over, let's look to the offseason! I think the Skins would be wise to consider trading Cooley for a couple of high draft picks. Fred Davis looked solid yesterday when they actually got him on the field. Plus, those picks could turn into linemen (or, knowing Vinny, 2 more WRs).

What do you think? Is trading Cooley a reasonable thought?

Cindy Boren: Actually, you've got it wrong. This was the offseason. The season begins Dec. 29. Cooley for a couple of high draft picks? Hmmm....I'm not sure I'd do that. But I'd start making calls and shopping players, see what moves I could "bundle." Bring in some new, hungry people.

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Vinny Hater: It's becoming increasingly apparent that Vinny botched the draft. Failed to see the need. Any chance he's on the hot seat?

Cindy Boren: Depends on whether you think he made any of those decisions by himself, in a cocoon. I rather doubt that he did and so I doubt that the seat is hot.

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re: Portis : Sure Clinton didn't play well yesterday (the dropped pass was BAD), but he's playing behind the same terrible O-line that seems to excuse all of Jason Campbell's errors. How many times yesterday did the offensive line completely collapse around him? The answer is "a lot."

Cindy Boren: True; that offensive line was a sieve. But is Portis slowed not just by their ineffectiveness and his injuries but also because he got too many yards too early in the season? Lots of factors at work.

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Done: I am done as a Redskin fan - until Vinny and Danny both go. Which isn't likely, obviously. This team is going nowhere. Fast. And the future is, well, there isn't much of a future as the pattern over the last 10 years continues. And why won't it? Nothing to contradict the status quo at this time. You know what? In retrospect, maybe Joe Gibbs actually did a greater coaching job this past go around than his first stint under the JKC.

Cindy Boren: But what if they win the next two and are thisclose to getting a wild card?

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DC: You know, if Colt Brennan had been playing, there's no way Sellers would have fumbled that ball. Colt would willed the ball into the end zone.

Colt Brennan's hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

Colt Brennan can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

Colt Brennan can divide by zero.

Colt Brennan built Rome in a day.

But unfortunately, Colt Brennan can't win a football game for the Washington Redskins. Some things are just impossible.

Cindy Boren: Colt Brennan!

No.

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Washington, D.C.: So...how terrible does the decision to not pursue Brett Favre look now? I have no idea why the team wouldn't have wanted to improve their QB situation given what a below average QB Jason Campbell is.

Vinny decides to trade for BUST Jason Taylor, but lets a Hall of Fame QB in Brett Favre get away ... all to "protect the feelings" of a heartless and gutless below medium QB.

With Vinny and Danny running the show -- this team will never be consistently good. But as long as average rakes in billions of dollars for Danny -- why should he care?!

Cindy Boren: Brett Favre!

No.

(Are you certain he would have come here, to play behind that line?)

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Worcester, Mass.: Not a question.

I totally agree with Boswell's column - for a number of years, through a number of coaching changes, the Redskins team has had a locker room culture that makes them think they are the most talented team in the league.

The Cowboys and Chargers seem to have this too.

The Steeler, the Patriot, and the Colt players always seem to give credit when the other team beats them & are always talking about how they can learn and improve.

washingtonpost.com: Positive To a Fault (Post, Dec. 15)

Cindy Boren: Boz often makes my hair hurt because he's so dang smart (like when he explained how the interceptionless/turnoverless steak would be balanced out over the course of the season). For my money, he hit the nail on the ol' head today.

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Tired Fan: Cindy, I follow this with passion all year long...and have enjoyed the freshness of Zorn's new era hear. Hopefully they stick with him and give him a chance to make it work. But after yesterday's seamingly effortless performance, I find it very hard to care even the slightest bit about this team for the rest of the year. Can you provide some inpiration for a tired fan? I need some "coaching up" to even turn on the game next week.... something positive...

Cindy Boren: Tired, I've found that coffee really is my only friend. This team needs some key new players, an infusion of spirited, no-bull guys who aren't merely happy to be here. Don't get me wrong; this is a locker room that consists of what seem to be good guys. But there hasn't been a team in the history of sports that hasn't needed a shakeup after a bit.

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Rockville, Md.: Cindy - if you had to bet on it, which of these individuals will be gone from this organization first: Zorn or Campbell?

Cindy Boren: If one goes, shouldn't both? Is there any point to giving JC another coach and system? And doesn't Zorn deserve more than a year to implement the WCO? Don't tell me you bring in Cowher and Colt...

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Cindy Boren: My time here is up and I didn't get to give a shoutout to those Twittering West Coast Redskins fans who get up at 9 for this confab. Have a great day, don't swap the Kool-Aid for hemlock and let's meet up here next week. Thanks -- see you on the blog and Twitter.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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