The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, October 11, 2009 4:00 PM
Welcome to "The OT", the postgame Redskins chat with the Washington Post's Redskins Insiders on the scene at FedEx Field and around the league. Staff writer Paul Tenorio was online immediately after Washington's face off with the Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday, Oct. 11 to take all of your questions about the game against the reigning NFC South champions, Coach Jim Zorn's job security, the team and how the season is shaping up.
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Longboat Key: No one gave any explanation of why there was no violation of a fair catch, which was clearly signaled. The TV "experts" ignored it although Zorn was clearly gesticulating about the signal while making his challenge.
A sad turn of affairs. We are doomed unless Snyder loses all his money and the team is sold in bankruptcy
Paul Tenorio: The fair catch call really confuses me. How can you legally be able to throw a player into a punt returner without some sort of flag? I feel like that would be the new directive for all special teams coaches to their players.
That play certainly changed the game, and I'm still shaking my head about the call.
Regardless this result is what it is: another indication that the Redskins are still a struggling football team. They don't look good offensively and are depending almost solely on getting set up by defensive turnovers.
Ashburn, VA: How can DeAngelo Hall not tackle Delhomme? They have no heart!
Paul Tenorio: That's one of the final things I tweeted from @HyperSkins at the end of the game. You know the game is on the line, it's you and a quarterback NOT known for running and you can't get him down before the first down marker?
From the replay it also looked like DHall had backside contain and crashed down on the play action before trying to recover.
Another play you shake your head about, but a lot of other things contributed to the loss and not just the one play. The Redskins still would've had to drive a good 50 yards after the punt. Would you give them the benefit of the doubt in cashing in? Not me, I wouldn't.
Konnarock, Va.: How long can the coach last?
Paul Tenorio: This question is one that is going to keep on popping up and really, no one knows. Not with this franchise.
A lot of people around the team in the media think the bye week is when owner Dan Snyder will bid farewell to the Jim Zorn era and work out some sort of interim coaching situation. Then again, you never know. A loss to previously winless Carolina isn't helping Zorn keep the job, and how surprised would you be if it happened tomorrow...or tonight?
The point is, with no results the question is 'when' and not 'if' because this is a franchise not known for patience.
Washington DC: How in the world does an NFL team have a player on its roster like Chad Rinehart. The guy cannot play. What other team in the NFC East has a left tackle like Stephan Heyer? He was knocked back three yards on the safety into the running back. The Redskins have another guard Mike Williams that has not played football in four years? How can anyone expect any coach, any quarterback or any running back to play on this team with such a pitiful offensive line?
Paul Tenorio: This is a fairly accurate statement/question. Jason Campbell takes so much of the blame, and quarterbacks often do, but he rarely had time to even hit his back foot on a five-step or seven-step drop. The offensive line has been the problem for the past few years, and right now it's a nightmare situation. When Chris Samuels went down the only option to fill in was D'Anthony Batiste -- a guy who had not played this season and who has just five games in three seasons under his belt. Not the ideal situation.
Add in the fact that you have an undrafted free agent (Heyer) at right tackle who has struggled in pass protection, Mike Williams (out of the NFL for years and coming off a 100-pound weight loss) on the right side of the line and Chad Rinehart proving he's not there yet...I mean, you really can't expect much of this offense. There's no way a rhythm will develop in the passing game, and of course there's an impact in the run game as well.
Before the season I chatted with JReid about how this o-line was going to be the key to the season and that I fully expected days where Thomas/Samuels got banged up, their age is getting up there. What would the Skins do then, we asked. Well, you see the results.
Tooele, Utah: Has there ever been a team that manages its timeouts worse than the Redskins? Why does Campbell have to take so many timeouts early before the end of the half or game?
Paul Tenorio: Choosing to review that punt return play was a big mistake just because it was obvious on the video that the ball hit Byron Westbrook's leg. Period. Someone upstairs needs to tell Zorn to keep that flag in his pocket and save them a timeout. That was the worst management of a timeout in the game, not Campbell's calls
Charlotte, N.C.: Something big has to change, and NOW. The offensive numbers look ok as long as they aren't compared to a win. JC has a 100+ QB rating, no INT's, a TD. But this offense scares no one, its far from creative or surprising. What do you think has to change? Anything? Think we just go week to week with this pain?
Paul Tenorio: They need a No. 2 receiver that can actually beat 1v1 coverage AND actually catch the ball. They need an offensive line that can protect. They need an explosive home run threat in the backfield.
So...a few things have to change. None bigger than the offensive line, though.
Oregon: Why is Portis so slow? Was he hurt? He seems to have lost a lot of his speed.
Paul Tenorio: Portis runs hard despite some of the injuries he's racked up in the past few years, but obviously he's not a big threat to break one -- just look at his numbers in Washington. I think his longest run with the Redskins was his first ever -- a 60-plus touchdown versus Tampa Bay.
The Redskins have five running backs on the roster and have auditioned two other free agent guys in the past two weeks. Think they might be looking for something, too?
Devin Thomas: I dropped a ball that hit me in the hands that could have won the game. Am I still a developing talent or am I officially a bust?
Paul Tenorio: Whew...it's getting to the point where you have to start seeing results. You've had enough time to get used to NFL speed, etc., and at some point you're going to need to produce or get out.
That drop was big. Big, big, big. The Redskins need a receiver (besides Moss) that can make that catch.
Coaches Box: What do you think my thoughts are? -Sherman Lewis
Paul Tenorio: [Insert bingo joke here.]
Washington, DC: Do you honestly think that anything worse could happen with a new quarterback and coach? It is inexcusable to burn all the timeouts every week. I also do not believe there are not receivers open. Campbell took far too many sacks.
Paul Tenorio: I'm sorry maybe I just missed it, but it's not like Campbell was chilling in the pocket with tons of time looking at open receivers downfield and not throwing the ball.
He has no protection and was getting abused all game, sacked, pressured, hurried, hit. That changes the way a quarterback plays the rest of the game. Campbell is going to get happy feet, he's going to look to get the ball out of his hand quickly and not wait to go deep into progressions because he probably has little faith he has the time to get there.
Guys, the finger needs to start being pointed at the offensive line at least as much as it is at Campbell.
Lancaster, PA: At what point do we declare the Jason Campbell era over? He just doesn't have it. I'd rather lose with Daniels QBing. At least we'd find out if he was any good.
Paul Tenorio: Yet, the inbox is full of questions/comments like this...
Baltimore: Excuse me, but didn't Cerrato draft receivers who can't catch a ball thrown right into their hands (Thomas down the sideline) or find the first down stake? But won't Campbell get the blame, despite the awful offensive line?
Paul Tenorio: Yes, yes and yes.
Angryville, VA: Less than 60 yards rushing against a team that came in giving up 182 yards per game on the ground? Blowing a 15 point 2nd half lead? Thomas dropping a long pass? Are there any worse ways to win?
Zorn may be a helluva guy, but 4-10 in his last 14, not looking too good dude.
Paul Tenorio: Yea, the rushing stats are troublesome. Going through the stats every week early on as I work on the Gameday key match-ups you point to numbers like Carolina's rush defense and immediately give the Redskins/Portis the "edge" in the match-up. But at some point the Redskins have to show they actually can really grind it out and do damage in the run game. Right now, not one part of the offense is scaring anybody in the NFL.
Yes, it was an ugly, ugly loss. Yes, Zorn is in trouble, as he has been for a while now.
Montclair, VA: I'm glad people are talking about the offensive line. It's clear that Zorn is on his last legs, simply because that's how this franchise operates, but why is there so much focus on Campbell and Zorn when the line is the problem?
It's also disappointing that Campbell never tossed to Cooley, breaking his streak. You'd think in some of those clutch positions, Cooley could have pulled them out of it.
Paul Tenorio: Tough to see Chris Cooley's impressive streak of games with a catch come to an end, and surprising because he is one of the only consistent performers on this team and the safety blanket for Campbell. I would bet that he probably had to stay in and block/chip a whole lot more with D'Anthony Batiste in at left tackle and that probably contributed to the lack of catches.
Gilbert, AZ: Do the Reskins have any heart at all? Or... do we have a bunch of paycheck players pretending to be a team?
Paul Tenorio: My thinking is this: Eventually you want a team that is built around homegrown players who care about the franchise and create the core of a team. There are very few of those that I can think of on this team...Campbell, Landry...
Guys like Golston/Montgomery are good examples, and sure free agents like London Fletcher can be big additions. But I still think letting guys like Ryan Clark and Antonio Pierce leave ends up hurting a franchise badly. Until this team really starts to build its own identity from within (starting with the offensive line), I think they're going to struggle to consistently win.
Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, thanks for coming in for another postgame OT chat. See you next week after Kansas City at home. Wonder what the line will be on that one? Especially with KC taking Dallas to overtime right now...
Keep your eyes on Redskins Insider this week as we keep you up to date on what's going on out at Redskins Park...because again, with this team you never know.
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