The OT: Redskins Postgame Live Chat

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The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, September 13, 2009; 7:00 PM

Welcome to the inaugural edition of "The OT", the postgame Redskins chat with the Washington Post's Redskins Insiders on the scene at FedEx Field and around the league. Reporter Paul Tenorio was online immediately after Washington's season opener on Sunday, Sep. 13 to take all of your questions about the game against the Giants, the team and how the season is shaping up.

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Kirkuk Airbase, Iraq: Wow, the starting quarterback position has to be up for grabs after this performance right? Campbell wasn't under any real duress and the guy never looked comfortable from the very first snap. I just don't think JC is a playoff caliber qb.

Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, let's try to do this for about 30 minutes, though it may be a bit shorter so I can get down to the locker room for quotes.

We've had a lot of stuff like this come in, with many people talking about Collins over Campbell and questioning whether Campbell is a starter. To me, you can't really place all the blame on Campbell. He wasn't great tonight, but there are a ton of other areas I'd be more worried about first before QB. The secondary was scary bad in the first half and not great overall, the line didn't get enough pressure on Manning...

Campbell still looks like he needs to get rid of the ball quicker at time, but I don't think he had the most time in the world today, either ... though many of you do.

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Manassas, Va.: Why is it that Snyder can buy the best players and we look like we don't care? The defense was awful today. The offense was non-exsistant?

Paul Tenorio: I was most surprised by the defense. Considering it was No. 4 in the league last year, I just cant believe they allowed the Giants to move the ball the way they did.

The secondary was giving huge cushions in coverage, and the tackling was even worse. Props to guys like London Fletcher, who was all over the place, and Lorenzo Alexander but otherwise I'm worried about what I saw from Haynesworth and DHall, two guys that got major money this offseason.

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Germantown, Md.: Does anyone on the offense have the cajones to play in the nfl? As a loooong time Redskins fan I have to say I am sick and tired of our weak, ineffective, anemic offense ... It's been years since we've had a team that could actually score some points. I'm sick of this - sick! Fire all of them and get some high schoolers out there, at least they'll fight and act like men.

My question: Where's the pride?

Paul Tenorio: There was very little positive to take away from the offense today.

Portis seemed to lack burst other than his first run of the game, Campbell needed to get rid of the ball more quickly at times and the receivers were non-existent other than Randle El and Cooley.

Only positive that I saw today was that Randle El should be much more effective in the slot, as most people thought he would be. He finished with 7 catches for 98 yards, I believe.

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Washington, D.C.: It looks to me that the Redskins lack physical strength. The Giants run faster, hit sooner, and push the Redskins where they want them. This doesn't seem like a team that is equal to the task of playing in the NFC East.

Paul Tenorio: One thing that stood out to me is that the guys that were really flying around and making plays were for the most part blue-collar dudes that don't make the big bucks.

London Fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander...even Reed Doughty got in on the action.

For all the hope about the Redskins pass rush, there was very little pressure, especially early on. Haynesworth didn't provide the type of push you'd imagine for the most part, and Orakpo didn't stand out as he had in the preseason.

The fact is, the Redskins DO have to be more physical. Some of this two-hand touch, arm tackling nonsense just has to go. It had many in the press box, and I'm sure at home, shaking their heads.

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Albertville, Ala.: I only recently moved to Alabama from Northern Virginia. What is wrong with the secondary?

Paul Tenorio: This isn't something that's really surprising though, is it? It's not like the secondary looked great in the preseason. Before the game when I was chatting with columnist extraordinaire Tracee Hamilton, we were saying how little we could take away from the preseason. The only thing that stood out was how the secondary hadn't been that impressive.

And I think today says it all. The Giants have a wide receiver corps with very few to no proven commodities. And yet they pretty much had a field day against the Skins defensive backs. Hall's play was especially worrisome.

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College Park, Md.: I'd be interested to get your reaction to the play calling today. It seemed to me to be very similar to last year.

Paul Tenorio: You're right. One thing that stood out to me -- and I'll have to go back and look at the DVR -- but it felt like every first down was a Clinton Portis run for little to no gain.

I expected the Redskins to go to the air early and try to get Campbell in a rhythm. Instead, they had just one pass on the first drive (a dump off screen to Cooley), then none on the second (when they were backed up on the 3) before finally going to the air.

Considering the Giants were banged up in the secondary, that is one major question that comes out of today. Why not look to pass more and in different situations?

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Hagerstown Md.: The better Redskins' teams of decades ago always made adjustments and improved ... Zorn and Blache don't seem to do this and their game plans seem too tentative. Am I off here?

Paul Tenorio: I don't think tentative is the worst word to use with this offense. You get the feeling sometimes that everyone on the offense doesn't really trust each other yet. I saw Campbell get out of his progressions and flinch when he saw a blitzing defender (who was picked up by an o-lineman) but you could see he felt as though he was about to get hit before finally looking back downfield.

Campbell was most comfortable hitting those quick slants and inside routes to Cooley and Randle El, and its troublesome that they can't do enough on the outside with Moss/Thomas/Kelly/whoever.

Blache and his defense will make adjustments as the game goes, and for as much as they allowed the Giants to move up and down the field they would shut things down in the red zone.

But if you're a Redskins fan there is a lot to be worried about after today.

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Anonymous: I think the thing that I am mostly frustrated at is just the amount of mental mistakes today on both sides of the ball. There is no reason why that game could not have been won if it werent for errors at key moments.

Sure it was early, but Randle El going down and taking away both momentum and field goal position? Just not necessary, throw it away. Your thoughts?

Paul Tenorio: That Randle El call was a big play for a couple reasons. I didn't like the call in the situation ... you just had a huge gain on the ground and you have a chance to capitalize ... do you go with trickeration?

And you're absolutely right, I think Randle El has to throw that ball away.

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Morgantown, W. Va.: What is the point of Dan Snyder spending $100 million on Haynesworth when he did absolutely nothing on defense today? Fletcher and McIntosh made the key plays; why not spend that money building our offensive line so our offense can make good on the turnovers forced by the defense..

Paul Tenorio: Again, a lot of people are sending in stuff about Haynesworth, and it was something a lot of people were noting during the game as well. Boy, it seemed like he was walking off the field and taking a knee A TON didn't it?

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Takoma Park, NW, Washington, D.C.: It seems like the typical Redskins. Stupid mistakes cost the team the game. The difference ends up being that sack that the Giants ran for a touchdown in the second quarter. Burning two timeouts in the third quarter also proved to be painful.

The bottom line is that, had the team not burned the timeout or the crucial sack in the second quarter not happened, the game would have been much closer.

But I just don't understand why the Redskins just, for whatever reason, can't get it together.

Paul Tenorio: This game looked a lot closer in the final score than it felt during the actual contest. But the Redskins didn't impress at all during last year's season opener and then went 6-2 in the first half.

Playing away to a division opponent to start the season isn't easy, but I do think this game only spotlighted the things this team has to worry about.

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Alexandria, Va.: It seems even the coaching staff has no confidence in Campbell's ability to convert passes consistently -- choosing to give up on third down and run the ball against nine men in the box rather than try to complete a pass. Do you think he will get one more game to turn things around, or will Zorn pull the plug on this fruitless experiment?

Paul Tenorio: I do not see Todd Collins starting next week, no.

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Washington, D.C.: If the Redskins lose next week, Zorn is gone isn't he?

Paul Tenorio: Umm...no, I think he'll get more time than that. Then again, you never know with this team.

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Chantilly, Va.: Okay, does anyone really think Campbell adds any value being on the field? Other than throwing one ball beyond 15 yeards (to Cooley, which was a good catch considering the ball was behind him) ... Campbell was absolutely terrible, including throwing the ball when he was several yards past line of scrimmage ... does he see the field? Does he have the intelligence to play quarterback? Has he really gotten this far on nothing but physically-based potential?

Finally, why even have receivers if you won't throw any passes beyond the first yard marker ...

Paul Tenorio: A lot of people are worried about or writing in about the team's lack of deep passes. A lot goes into that, including pass protection. I don't think anyone feels confident calling those plays right now, and until the Redskins show they can protect on those types of long-developing plays you'll probably see a ton of short stuff to Cooley/Randle El like you did today.

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Beltsville, Md.: Eli's numbers are very similar to Campbell's. But Eli looked way more relaxed while Campbell was running for his life. Why? Because the Giants actually have an offensive line. We don't. It's that simple.

Paul Tenorio: I tend to lean more in this direction than the majority of the comments and questions, who are putting this mainly on the shoulders of Campbell and not the o-line.

Alright guys, I'm going to have to call it a night. A lot to think about after today's game. I'm headed down to the locker room now and I'll try to get some answers from the wide receivers about what they thought about today...and maybe we can answer some of those questions about the lack of a deep threat or 15+-yard receptions.

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Bangkok, Thailand: Maybe Haynesworth is the second coming of Dana Stubblefield? We can hope he isn't, but honestly?

Paul Tenorio: Just thought I'd allow this one more comment, since I just got a couple in a row saying the same type of stuff ...

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