The OT: Redskins Postgame Live Chat

The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, October 18, 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. Redskins editor Cindy Boren was online immediately after Washington's face off with the winless Chiefs at FedEx Field Sunday, Oct. 18 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.

A transcript follows

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Cindy Boren: Well, that was some game. You've seen Toddball and a loss to the Chiefs, who really are dismal. Let's see what's on your minds...


Charlotte: Wow. That's all I can say is Wow. Where do we go from here?

Cindy Boren: Back to Ashburn to prepare for the Eagles on Oct. 26, that's where. Do you start Collins against Philly on MNF? Is Zorn still the coach?


Bowie, Md.: Does anyone really see anything positive about this team at this point? Collins isn't the answer.

Cindy Boren: An offensive line is the start of the answer. It isn't a cure-all, but it's a start.


Arlington, Va.: OK, can we put an end to Toddball? The chatter this week that the Redskins would have been 4-0 with Collins starting was just that; chatter. Collins had one big pass but that was it. The Redskins' problems go deeper than Campbell or Collins and I think today's game shows that. Is there anything that can be done to salvage this season?!?!

Cindy Boren: I believe I've said all along that Toddball isn't the answer. He's a great backup, the guy you go to late in the season for a nice run. But he's not the 11-game answer. And, yes, the problems do go deeper than the QB. At this point, the answer to salvaging the season rests with the owner of the team.


Chicago: Is there any way this team keeps Zorn? Why even wait until the bye week? Shouldn't Snyder just pull the trigger?

Cindy Boren: Does a change this early work? Did it work for St. Louis or Oakland last year?


Anonymous: I want to know where we can sign the get rid of Zorn petition. Any ideas.

Cindy Boren: I'm sure there are plenty online.


Ft. Laurderdale, Fla.: Is there any reason to think that Zorn should keep his job ? Unfortunately, we can't fire the head office (Danny and Vinny)..but shouldn't the rebuilding begin now ?

Cindy Boren: It's very difficult to rebuild this early in the season. This isn't baseball. There just aren't a lot of options. You have to rebuild over time. You have to have a cohesive, long-term plan and stick to it.


Frederick, Md.: Who, of the available coaches would want to come here?

Cindy Boren: There's a lot of money at stake and an owner who has a lot of money to spend and wants very badly to win. Those are pretty persuasive arguments, although perhaps more so for a young, smart unknown rather than a Super Bowl bling-meister.


Washington, D.C.: No words for this.

Cindy Boren: Thanks. (Want to get as many of your comments up here as possible.)


Chatham, N.J.: Its pretty clear that this offense is for the dogs and for the remainder of the year we need to start seeing what we got for next year/ Why not back the truck up and start trading the vets for draft picks next year?

Cindy Boren: If you do that, with the oldest roster in the league, what do you get in return? (Remember, the market for the starting QB wasn't there last spring.) This is a long-term process. An uncapped 2010 would certainly help you redo the roster more quickly.


Fairfax, Va.: I'd prefer a Get Rid of Cerrato petition

Cindy Boren: I'm sure you can find those, as well.


Honolulu, Hawaii: Are the Redskins not the worst team in football? Not only do we often lose to the worst teams in the league, but unlike many of those teams, we aren't even in the midst of rebuilding. The present is bleak, the future is bleak.

Cindy Boren: Have you seen the Oakland Raiders?


Seattle, Wash.: Not so much a question as a rant:

As a long-term fan, it's a real heartbreaker to watch what has happened to this organization. It's really been wrecked by that itty-bitty man who somehow accumulated loads of money. He's taken good people (Zorn among them) and has created an environment in which it seems nearly impossible for them to succeed. He's an almost perfect working definition of managerial dysfunction. As long as he's running this team, there is little to do but recall, with fondness, the Cooke era.

Cindy Boren: I'm here for questions, rants, whatever. Just want to see what you're thinking. Thanks for taking time to write in.


Washington, D.C.: Well here is the good news, I decided to sell my tickets Thursday after I heard the weather, and I did not have to sit through that fiasco.

Do you think Jim Zorn panicked and throw Collins into the fire? That one move, if it didn't work, ended Jim Zorn's head coaching career. He is linked to Campbell, and he just ended the little confidence that he may have had.

Well, at least we know we can start the rebuilding. It is time to find out what you have with the younger team members and find out who has upside for next year.


Cindy Boren: Weren't you a little intrigued, didn't you perk up a bit when Collins came out for the start of the second half? I actually will defend that idea. Why NOT bring Collins in there? Now, if he leads the team to a glorious victory, you know that he's been the answer all along and you've been wrongwrongwrong. But he didn't. At this point, don't you put every single player on notice that his job here is on the line?


London, U.K.: Wow, totally speechless right now. One of the lowest points in franchise history. This was the easy part of the schedule. At this point, they don't win another game all year. Were there empty seats at the game? Only way this team improves is if they hire a real GM and only way that happens is if fans stop showing up.

Cindy Boren: There were a ton of empty seats on a rainy, cold and dismal day. The schedule really toughens up from here on -- how could it not with all six winless at the time they played the Redskins? -- and you have to wonder whether they'll win again.


Bethesda, Md.: Although Toddball may not be the answer, let us not forget we had six points with him that we didn't with Campbell. I know, but I'm grasping for any silver lining I can.

Cindy Boren: I feel your frustration. Thanks for writing.


Palm Beach, Fla.: What was happening in the first part of the 08 season when the Skins were consistent, balanced and scoring big. Then, Zorn look like a genius. Was it a fluke, or can we identify what factors have changed?

Cindy Boren: The offensive line was healthy? And younger? Portis was a year younger? Zorn was an unknown quantity? No one knew what to expect from him and he caught some people off-guard? I'd start with the offensive line. The team internally determined that the offensive line was the weakest spot and did nothing to shore it up (I don't believe Mike Williams is a diamond in the rough). That's the big one for me.


Atlanta: Cindy

Somebody's job should be on the line with some of the offensive players. We need overhauling but can't that come this year?

Cindy Boren: I understand your instinct. You see this happen with baseball/hoops/pux and you think it can happen in football. It isn't that easy, there isn't that much unsigned talent and there aren't that many games in which to do the turning around. I don't think you're going to get a lot in return value on trades and it'd take a while to get 'em synched up to play together. The possibility of an uncapped year is out there. That's the answer, if there is one.


New York, N.Y.: With the Jarmon pick and the Jason Taylor trade, are we down to just 5 picks in 2010? Can we trade anyone for picks? I can't think of anyone we'd trade that another team would actually want ...

Cindy Boren: Hey, New York. That's what I'm saying. If you can find a willing partner, you can trade those picks, but I don't think you'd get a lot in return because you'd be dealing from desperation.


Washington, D.C.: Collins' 6 points looked no better than any Campbell would have gotten. One long completion and a long run by Portis. Same lack of execution in the red zone. The only good thing that came from Collins going in was to shut-up some of the negativity towards Campbell. It's not the QB that is the problem.

Cindy Boren: Offensive line? Is that what you're saying?


Angryville, Va.: Can you see anything that would prevent a 2-14 season? The defense has some players but they're going to get worn down and beat up as the season goes on and that's all they have. Can you look at any games ahead and foresee a victory anywhere on the horizon?

Cindy Boren: I know it looks that way, but take comfort in this: anything can happen. So there's that. (To quote "Dumb and Dumber:" So you're saying there's a chance ...)


Los Angeles: Utterly speechless. I can't for the life of me figure out how Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder have yet to figure out that football games are won at the line of scrimmage, mainly with the offensive line. This team is on the verge of losing me for good. Dan Snyder has ruined the franchise. I wonder if he even knows how to throw a football. Might be a good place for him to start.

Cindy Boren: Thanks. I guarantee you this: as much as you hate seeing the Redskins lose, the owner does, too.


Carlisle, Penn.: Could the Redskins beat Oakland? Frankly, I'm not sure they could.

Cindy Boren: If it were here, I'd say absolutely it's a Redskins win. Traveling to the West Coast diminished the prospects.


Minneapolis, Minn.: Man, remember when the Redskins won the Super Bowl with a mediocre quarterback (Rypien) and a great offensive line?

Cindy Boren: They did, didn't they?


Anonymous: Collins gets one half and that's his entire season? Come on, he has to get at least one entire game in before anyone decides yay or nay.

Cindy Boren: All righty. Is he your starting QB against Philly? He might be the least mobile QB in the NFL (less mobile than Kurt Warner, even). Is that a good idea?


Clifton, Va.: I want to apologize to ll the Redskin fans out there. The Redskins dismal season is all my sister and brother's fault. They finally got the call and purchased season tickets and look what happened.

Blame them! Anyone have a better excuse?

Cindy Boren: Works for me.


Atlanta: Who right now is the best OL in the nation in college? We are gonna be looking in next years draft for sure. We need four of them ...

Cindy Boren: Just draft one and clone him.


Cleveland: Cindy- You seem a bit brusk in your answers. A bit upset with this team as well?

I don't know if firing Zorn or Cerrato is the answer. We should can both, but will not. Snyder is too stubborn to can his man Vinny.

Cindy Boren: I'm just trying to get as many of your comments up here as I can. I'm neutral where the Redskins are concerned.


Washington, D.C.: Second Most profitable team in the NFL. It begins and ends there for Snyder. Wining or losing is only relevant insofar it impacts revenue.

Cindy Boren: I really don't think he feels that way. I don't know this first hand, but I have it on good authority from people I respect and are in position to know that it kills him to lose. He grew up a Redskins fan and losing eats at him. Now, he has to look at how to fix this.


Anonymous: I arrived in D.C. the day the Redskins last won the Super Bowl. They've not looked like contenders since. Is it my fault?

Cindy Boren: Hmmm....perhaps you are to blame. I arrived in 2000; maybe it's me.


Shepherdstown, W.-Va.: This is what happens when ownership continually goes for the splashy FA signings and ignores the core of the team (the OL). Gibbs had the Hogs and went to three Super Bowls and won three of them. Synder has all but ignored the position in his ten years because, well, offensive line signings just don't get him the attention he so desperately craves. How are the three No. 2 picks from last year working out?

With five games coming against quality opponents, I can't see how we're going to be better than 3-8.

Cindy Boren: The 2008 picks are not working out, but that was a rhetorical question. You can't fool me. I don't understand why OL are boring, but that appears to be the case with the ownership. Why would you build a palace with sub-code concrete for a foundation? In what world does that make sense?


Minneapolis, Minn.: It may be painful, but isn't losing right now the best possible scenario for Redskins fans? It's the only thing that is going to force the front office to do any serious introspection.

A 7-9 or 8-8 season would just lead them to trade away more draft picks and sign another big name, effectively treading water for another season while masquerading as your daddy's Redskins.

By the way, Raiders up 7-3 against Philly. I'm starting to get excited for this cream of the crap matchup in week 14.

Cindy Boren: It might be but no one wants to see 2-14. That's not a wakeup call, it's a 911 call. But perhaps you're right and that's what's needed.


Former D.C., still a Redskins fan in N.Y.: How likely do you think it is that Campbell will play next game?

Cindy Boren: That's the poll question on the Redskins Insider blog right now. Don't you have to start Campbell? I've mentioned my concerns about Collins...what do you do -- go to the wildcat with Randle El on every play? Hmmmm...I kind of like that idea.


New York, N.Y.: Hi Cindy, Thanks for playing the role of sports editor/therapist. This is sad, but a long time coming. And I am not one of those who believes that Gibbs had this ship in the right direction. Many of the same problems existed when he was there too. This organization lacks a plan and a focus. Snyder is doing to the Skins what Angelos did to the Orioles.... is their a rehab for owners?

Cindy Boren: Happy to be here. Maybe there should be a reprogramming center, a la "A Clockwork Orange." A real change of philosophy and approach is needed.


District Heights: Is it just me, or does Deangelo Hall not deserve his contract. Two weeks straight he has made brick-through-the -televsion plays. I can accept losing because I know this team is not that good. I can't accept lackadaisical play and poor/no effort. I have no idea how I should feel at this point. Anger, digust, sadness....?

Cindy Boren: This is DeAngelo Hall. There's not a person in the league -- or in Ashburn -- who didn't know of both sides.


Silver Spring: When is the trading deadline? Lets trade those great 2nd round receivers we got 2yrs ago for some good offensive lineman NOW!

Cindy Boren: The trading deadline is Tuesday, but who do you see taking these wide receivers? Do you really think you'd get value for them?


Amissville, Va.: Cindy, you're good.

Cindy Boren: Thanks...I think!


Cleveland: Cindy- Maybe my hometown is snake-bitten. The Redskins are horrible (and have been for over a decade), Nats/Expos are dreadful. Wiz can't stay healthy to win deep into the playoffs. Caps tease us and may be the best of the bunch.

Let's not even talk about the Terps and Hokies in football. When was the last time Georgetown or Maryland won a national championship?

Cindy Boren: People always forget D.C. respect! Maryland men won the title in 2002 and the women in 2006, so I can't believe the city is jinxed. And of course there are the Caps. When did the jinx kick in? What was the catalyst, given the Bullets and Redskins' Super Bowl titles?


Princeton Jct., N.J.: Remember Collins hasnt taken a snap in along time...and he has not worked with the first team. Give hima break. Even in the loss, he looks a lot more comfortable back there than Campbell. Yes there are other problems, but Collins still gives us a better chance than Jason.

Cindy Boren: Part of why he looked good might have had something to do with the fact the Cheeves have the worst defense in the NFL. KC might actually be 33rd in the NFL, it's so bad.


Fairfax, Va.: Fortunately, this isn't a one sport town anymore. There is another organization that has it together, has a long term plan, and has stuck to it. Let's go Caps!

Cindy Boren: Don't forget that not so long ago the NHL had a lockout and was in dire straits. None of the teams looked so great. Also, it's easier to do a quick turnaround in hockey.


Anonymous: Cindy:

Is anyone working on a indepth analysis of the Redskins organization with an emphasis on how decisions are made?

Cindy Boren: It's a pretty tightly run organization, one that isn't very coming on the process behind its decision-making. Remember, Jim Zorn did the introductory presser with Haynesworth.


Arlington, Va.: In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "Ha Ha!"

Cindy Boren: Nelson Muntz! The situation is more dire than I believed at first.


Two points from today's game: 1) It doesn't matter who's at QB if you can't protect him when he throws the ball.

2) The defense puts up very good stats but causes no turnovers. The difference between a good defense and a great one, to me, is when the defense makes big plays that cause turnovers and produce points. The Skins are just a good defense.

Cindy Boren: Those are great points to wrap this up with. As great as the defense can look, it isn't coming up with momentum-changing plays. Orakpo looks fantastic, when used properly, but there's no commitment to that. And Haynesworth really has to get into better shape, as great as he is, for his long-term longevity beyond fubball.

I'm sorry to say I must sign off now and do some editing. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back here tomorrow (at 11:30) for a full hour or longer. Please rejoin me then.


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