Redskins Insider: Week 3 vs. the Lions and Team News

Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 25, 2009; 11:00 AM

Jason Reid, Washington Post staff writer and Redskins Insider blogger, was online Friday, Sep. 25 to discuss this weekend's Redskins trip to Detroit to take on the Lions, and take all your questions about the team's roster and plans for the season.

A Transcript follows.

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Columbus, Ohio: Hi Jason ...

Its been discussed all week, but at what point does Snyder pull the trigger on Z-man? I think he deserves to finish the season, but will Snyder get itchy and move to a Gruden, Cowher, or Shanahan sooner? Would it be after several more losses, .500 at midseason, or what?

Either way, I think it would be disastrous for this young quarterback to go through yet another new offense and coordinator. Yet the fans in D.C. deserve a team that wins consistently. Your thoughts?

Jason Reid: Well, let's see what happens this week. A victory over the Lions, regardless of how many points the Redskins score, would put them at 2-1 with Tampa Bay at FedEx next week. Things would calm down a little if they're 2-1. As for Campbell, let's wait and see as well. Be well.


Alexandria, Va.: It seems the fans want Zorn gone.

The media reports his job may be on the line this weekend and doesn't point out the insanity of it all.

Zorn is 9-9 as a head coach in the toughest division in the NFL.

He gets criticized by the fans and media for not putting up points -- something neither Gibbs or Saunders could do with JC under center as well. At least JC is showing improvement in other areas under Zorn.

Seriously, have we all turned into a nation of Snyders? Only in Washington would a coach's job be on the line right now.

And talk about a disaster. What happens when Snyder does fire Zorn? People forget he was the best Snyder could get last time around. Coaches have shown they'd rather coach in St. Louis and Detroit than in DC. Think about that.

And the blame can't all go on Snyder. Again, Zorn is 9-9 and the fans want him gone and the media doesn't seem to be against it either.

We get what we deserve, Redskin fans.

Jason Reid: Well, I can't speak for everyone in the media, let alone everyone at The Post, but I don't want him gone. I hope Zorn has the job for a long, long time, because it makes my life easier. Also, I think he's a pretty good guy. As for Snyder, well, no comment.


Portland, Me.: Jason - I'm a 30 year fan and have stayed positive for many bad years since Snyder bought the team, but it has been difficult. I'm on the edge of totally losing all hope - Tell me what to feel positive about and I'll reconsider. Something ... anything!

Jason Reid: That's a tough one. And I'm not kidding. Sorry, dude, I just can't think of anything to feel really positive about this team/organization. Obviously, though, that's just my opinion.


Prince Frederick, Md.: Has it escaped everyone's attention that when the Redskins were 6-2 last year, it was when no one had pattern for Jim Zorn? In the second half of the season, when teams started to figure out his tendencies, they went down hill and has not yet recovered. Zorn did not adjust to the other teams adjustments on him.

He still has not adjusted. He runs to the left, (overload the left) he throws to his top receiver down the sideline (double team him on the sideline and let the sideline be the third cover man). Zorn needs to make adjustments.

Until this last game I thought it was Jason Campbell, but the first have of last season he had all-pro numbers, but when he kept doing the same thing, everyone caught on. When Campbell goes to his next team, with a coach that will make adjustments and not just stick to the same thing and not handcuff the quarterback, he will again return to his all pro production.

Jason Reid: There's some truth in what you're saying, but I think the offensive line is a biiger problem.


Chantilly, Va.: Jason:

Many "experts" are picking the Lions. If the unthinkable does happen, is there a decent chance Zorn is told not to get on the plane back to D.C.?

Jason Reid: I sure hope not. How would he get home?


Clifton, Va.: How will the ladies on the Redskins like Sellers and his buds handle the media criticism after they lose to the Lions? And then the Bucs the next week?

Have you heard anything about Danny wanting a new stadium to compete with Jerry?

The problems with the Redskins start at the top and flow down. You can't win with this ownership!

Jason Reid: In order:

1) Not sure;

2) Of course he does;

3) Totally agree.


Brooklyn, N.Y.: Why is there not more focus from Snyder and Co. to shore up the offensive line? It seems that all our offensive potential is wasted without adding some real depth there.

Jason Reid: I'm sure they will address the offensive line after this season. Of course, that doesn't help much now. They had so much cap money tied up in the line, they chose to roll the dice on Randy Thomas. That didnt work out so well.


Fan from Fairfax, Va.: Instead of all this doom and gloom (after a win!) let's focus on the chance for some young talent to step up on the offensive line. What is your feel on who will get the nod at right guard this week - Montgomery or Rinehart? I know many fans want Rinehart because the Redskins drafted him in the third round in 2008, but it sounds like Montgomery has really impressed coaches this year and he's a local kid, so at least that gives you a great story!

Jason Reid: The better story will be if Jason Campbell remains healthy the whole season behind this line.


Boston: What is the feeling on Edwin Williams? Could he emerge at right guard later in the season?

Jason Reid: I don't see that working out this year.


Suffolk, Va.: Jason,

If, and I know it's early, but if Zorn and Campbell are given their walking papers at the end of the year how long will it take to "rebuild"? Thanks

Jason Reid: Rebuild? Rebuild what? They've made the playoffs three times in Snyder's 10 seasons as owner. We're not exactly talking about the Packers of the '60s.


Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: Third down, has been an issue for the defense. Also, big receivers have been an issue. What approach will they take against Calvin Johnson over the top? Hall was awful against Randy Moss in the preseason.

Jason Reid: A little Carlos Rogers (their best cover corner in press-man defense), a lot of zone and some praying.


Washington, D.C.: I'm trying to get cheap tickets to some of the November and December games. When do you think the Redskins' season will have sufficiently collapsed that people will start dumping their tickets? A loss at Detroit will definitely speed up the process. Is that a realistic possibility?


Jason Reid: They scored nine points against the Rams. Anything is possible with these guys.


Yorktown Heights, N.Y.: Hi Jason,

I was glad to see your post about balking at talk radio conversations. I think there needs to be lots more balking at talk radio conversations.

Here's my question: What are the chances that Zorn rolls the dice and calls a game with five wide receiver sets and long passes all day long? My understanding is that Detroit's pass defense is the weakest part of their team. Do you think Zorn realizes now that he's got to play these cupcake games like college games since the fans and Danny are operating like the BCS and wins aren't enough?


Jason Reid: I LOVE the BCS line! I think he will try to open it up. I think they'll win. As for style points, will guys drop touchdown pass agian this week?


Arlington, Va.: Mayor -

I love our defense, I like our special teams. For the most part, I like our personel on offense.

Would you say the offensive problems are tied to:

1. Playcalling

2. Execution of the players

3. Lack of talent in the players

Or some combination of those?

Jason Reid: Some combination. I don't think it's all Zorn. Remember, they haven't been very productive on offense for a long time. Joe Gibbs couldn't get the offense rolling in his second stint.


Brooklyn, N.Y.: It seems that socialism is all the talk now a days in Washington, but unfortunately it doesn't spread to the Redskins. How come no one has organized a push for public ownership of the Redskins a la' Green Bay? How can we get this movement started?

Jason Reid: Don't know. But it's an interesting concept.


Tampa, Fla.: Hi, Jason. I think it's interesting how so many people have criticized Zorn for his play calling, time management, low scoring games, etc.

I'd be willing to say that things were actually much worse when Gibbs was most recently the coach. No one would even be talking about any of this now if Sellers or Thomas didn't drop touchdown passes or if Moss didn't fumble and kill a great drive. Jason Campbell and Zorn have no control over that stuff. Thoughts?

Jason Reid: Always good to rap with an educated fan. I think you're right on the money.


Atlanta: Whats good Jason? I think you are doing great work. I love your honesty.

My comment is this: If Redskins fans are honest with themselves they will realize that the Redskins have had a bunch of individual talent for quite a while. But it is the composition of that talent that has always been ill-conceived. Management operates on a week-to-week, year-to-year basis ... constantly turning over the roster to try to patch any needs that have manifestied themselves recently. As a result we don't have an identity, on defense or offense. (i.e. Rex Ryan's attacking, or Mike Tomlin's toughness) I feel like the Redskins need an identity more that anything. Thoughts?

Jason Reid: A lot of truth to what you're saying, my friend.


Annapolis, Md.: Jason,

I completely disagree with you and Mike Wise. If the Redskins lose at Detroit, Zorn will be fired! You have referred to the stat several times that the Redskins are 3-7 in their last 10 games, but the Redskins have averaged 12.6 points per game during that 10 game stretch. Would any GM or owner in the NFL put up with 12.6 points per game?

After a loss to Detroit this year and bad loses down the stretch with a playoff spot on the line to Cincinnati and San Francisco, Zorn has proved he cannot get it done! Stats do not lie!

My question then is when they do fire Zorn during the season, who would take over?

Thanks and have a great weekend.

Jason Reid: You could be right. Regardless of what Snyder says to people, only he really knows what's in his mind. As far as possible replacements, interim or otherwise, I'm not going to get into that. Zorn still has the job. I think it would be irresponsible for me to engage in that type of speculation right now. I'll adjust if something


The Great Southwest: Great article on Montgomery, Jason; good job on the backstory. If the Redskins are only going to activate seven linemen on Sunday, I assume one of the reserves will be Montgomery/Rinehart. Is Mike Williams likely to be the other? Or could Bugel promote someone else? Redskins' Montgomery Lets His Play Do the Talking (Washington Post, Sep. 25)

Jason Reid: Actually, Paul Tenorio wrote the piece on Montgomery. And you're right, he did a great job. As for the actives, it would be whoever loses the right guard battle and Mike Williams, I think.


New York, N.Y.: Mayor - I know you haven't been here for the entire Snyder tenure, but as a 29 year-old fan who went to the game last week, I noticed more negative feelings and thinking than ever.

Normally, I consider Redskins fans to be a fairly optimistic bunch, but there was definitely a different, more pessimistic feel at FedEx last week - even before the game started.

Is there word around Redskins Park or in the media about the fans' mindset being worse than ever? It feels like we've hit a tipping point.

Jason Reid: Only in my third season covering the team, but I've had some of the oldtimers tell me the same thing. For what it's worth.


Los Angeles: How great was that NFL Films video on Jason Campbell and Zorn? JC showed fire -- something you never see on TV -- and Zorn seemed to be having fun and in control. It was a big change from Gibbs 2.0, when the sidelines were full of confused old men.

Jason Reid: Totally agree. I think it was pretty cool.


Redskins Fan in NYC: Hey Jason,

Any idea why Campbell never threw a fade to Malcolm Kelly with over 10 plays inside the 10?


Jason Reid: Great question. Zorn needed to have that play call in for Kelly down there. I think he will in the future. I'd like him to try Marko Mitchell on that route down there as well. He runs great fade routes.


South Hill, Va.: Love your work on the Insider. In your opinion, is there any way Jim Zorn keeps his job next year, regardless of making the playoffs, if there is no salary cap? I can see our roster being two deep at every position with pro-bowlers. Snyder would do everything in his power to get the best NFL coach period, regardless of the cost in draft picks or money. Without a salary cap, this would be Snyder's only chance to "buy" a Super Bowl.

Jason Reid: I don't know about Zorn or the potential of an uncapped year. As far as trying to buy a Super Bowl, how well has that worked our for Snyder to this point? It doesn't matter how much money you have to spend. You still have to know how to pick the players. Know what I mean?


Englewood, Fla.: If the Redskins lose this week, blame it on the fans and the media. I can only hope that the players and coaches do not listen to all the negativity. How is a coach suppose to coach with the media asking if he thinks he will have a job on Monday?

Jason Reid: That's crazy. The fans and the media aren't on the field. If the Redskins lose, it will have nothing to do with the fans and the media. As for Zorn, he's paid to coach. Regardless of the questions he receives, he still has to do his job.


Montgomery Village, Md.: Jason

Has the fan base reached the "tipping point" with The Danny? There has been bubbling criticism for a few years , but now it seems to be much more intense. He was approaching this point before he brought back Joe the Messiah, but when that failed and he completely botched the hiring of a replacement, the slow bubbling seemed to intensify.

Was it suing the little old lady that has now made fans more openly hostile towards him?

Jason Reid: I can't really judge it. But the fans do seem upset.


Jim Zorn: Me call a fade?


Have you seen my man Jason Campbell throw a fade? We tried it twice in preseason and I'm still laughing about where the ball went.

We'll score some points -- JC and I will figure it out.

But a fade?


Jason Reid: He has a big arm, but he's not great on the fade route. It's definitely a touch pass. Good observation.


Miami: Jason,

I have enjoyed the Insider a lot since you have taken over, however what gives with the ... "I have nothing real positive to spin on this team."

I know it is what it is ... the team has been mediocre for a long long time, but was just surprised by your comment earlier on. Thoughts?

Jason Reid: I guess I could have lied, but that's not how I roll. Given the state of the organization, the roster and the people running this show, I don't see a lot to feel positive about. But I think I wrote it was just my opinion. Maybe other people look at it differently. But he asked for my opinion. You know what I mean?


Brooklyn, N.Y.: You seem pretty deflated, defeated and pessimistic so far. What are you most impressed by/excited about going into this weekend, if anything? Personally, I think the offensive line looks a lot better than last year, the pass rush seems promising, and Kelly could be a legitimate threat.

Jason Reid: I like Malcolm Kelly. He's a good, hard-working young dude. And he gets it. He could be a real player if his knee holds up.


Englewood, Fla.: I think we do have good players. We need improvement on the offensive line, but do you think we just need to give some of these young players a chance.

Could it just be a lack of trust on Zorn's part? I bet some of these young players could leave our team and if given the chance be superstars on another team.

Jason Reid: There's always that chance.


Baltimore: Firing Zorn mid-season makes no sense at all if the reason is dissatisfaction with the offense because there is no confidence that anyone else on that staff would do any better.

Jason Reid: I agree. But if you fire your head coach during the season, you're not really in it for this season. It's all about the future.


Alexandria, Va.: What are the chances in your opinion that Tim Tebow wears burgundy and gold next year?

Jason Reid: From what I've heard, Alridge will be up this week and Marcus Mason down.


Charleston, S.C.: Tell me if this sounds crazy? I see the Redskins falling between 7-9 and 9-7, either way probably missing the playoffs due to a collapse of the offensive line. This will lead to Snyder firing Zorn and will bring in one of the big name coaches. Jason Campbell will probably be out the door as well with the Redskins wasting a first round pick on the next star QB, probably Tebow, and using free agency to rebuild their offensive line.

Maybe I'm crazy or is this just what we can expect since Snyder took over as owner?

Jason Reid: I could see some of that going down.


New York, N.Y.: Obviously it was a different offensive scheme under Al Saunders, but do you think it's fair to point out that Todd Collins was more productive in throwing the ball downfield in four games than Campbell has been in almost his entire time as a starter?

It's difficult not to notice how gunshy he seems to be.

Jason Reid: Collins was good down the stretch in 2007. No doubt about it. Of course, as you noted, it was a different system.


Bonifay, Fla.: Is there any value in anyone who might line up in a receiver position (other than Moss and Cooley) that could be traded, perhaps Monday, for offensive line help? I'm not sure any of the rest of these are worth (to be PC) "a bucket of warm spit."

Jason Reid: I don't see that as a possibility.


Washington, D.C.: Simple question: What's the problem with using 265 lbs of Mike Sellers when we get to the 5 yard line? For the last 3-4 years we have watched the Redskins struggle to get in the end zone. Give it to Mike and let him carry some folk in.

Jason Reid: Nothing in theory. But for some reason, Sellers isn't as great down there as you would think.


Moab, Utah: Belichick's first season was 6-10 followed by an 0-2 start and two 7-9 seasons. He then had an 11-5 season followed by 5-11 with Cleveland. His first year with New England was 5-11. So he started out 20-28 and 41-45 before he starts really winning.

Now I'm not saying that Zorn is or is not the next Belichick, nor am I saying that we have to wait seven seasons for Zorn to start winning but man, it seems no one has any patience anymore. People are spoiled by the Miami and Baltimore turnarounds - but those are the exceptions, not what normally happens.

Jason Reid: Zorn will not get that amount of time.


Concord, N.C.: You and the previous writer who worked the Redskins beat have mentioned how recent Cerrato draft picks seem to have the inside track when roster positions are up in the air. If Rinehart starts on Sunday, do you think it will be because he's actually outperformed Montgomery or because Cerrato is still trying to justify his questionable 2008 draft.

Jason Reid: In my opinion, it will reflect badly on the front office if Rinehart does not start.


New York, N.Y.: What's your evaluation of Haynesworth thus far? I think he's been pretty good. Orakpo, however - sheesh, I sure haven't heard his number called very much.

Jason Reid: Haynesworth has been good, especially against the run. I know Redskins officials made a big deal about his 8.5 sacks last year, but that may never happen again. As for Orakpo, he's not a linebacker. He has a bright future as a hand-down rush end, though.

That's it for me, everyone. Practice will end soon and I've got work to do. Thanks for joining us again. Same time next week. Be safe.


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