The OT: Redskins Postgame Live Chat

The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Tuesday, October 27, 2009; 12:00 AM

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 Monday night face off with the Eagles at FedEx Field Mon., Oct. 26 to take all of your questions about the game, Coach Jim Zorn's job security, the team and how the season is shaping up.

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Washington, D.C.: Does Joe Bugel keep his job as the offensive line coach?

Paul Tenorio: Hey guys. Well, that was another tough loss for Washington and a lot that went wrong. I figure we'll start here.

Look, Joe Bugel is as respected a coach as they come. Looking at this offensive line, though, and what he has to work with I'd challenge any coach to come in here and win and get the unit to play effectively. This is a line that one NFL exec called the worst in the league, and Jason Campbell got hammered today.

Granted he wasn't great in the first half -- the fumble when he was scrambling was bad, he's got to learn to protect the ball when he runs -- but I don't think you put it all on him either.


San Diego, Calif.: "Jaws" said the Redskins need an attitude adjustment and I couldn't agree more. They need a coaching change, if for nothing else than to shake things up. Jim Zorn is not a master motivator and the Redskins should just put him out of of his misery. Your thoughts?

Paul Tenorio: At a certain point, though, shouldn't you be able to motivate yourself? I mean, you are paid a ton of money to play football and you're getting embarrassed out there at times.

A couple players have said to me that they think this team needs to stop talking about accountability after the fact and start motivating themselves before the game. After the last game, players like Chris Wilson said something to the effect of we lost last week, remember that before you step on the field this week.

Yes, a coach can be a great motivator. And yes, maybe a coaching change could spark something. But at what point do you look at the players and say, 'what gives?'


Hoboken, N.J.: Any word on Cooley?

Paul Tenorio: A team source texted me to say that that all he knew was that it was a right ankle injury, but we are trying to figure things out. The rumors don't sound good, though, and it's not good that he left on a cart and never came back to the sideline.

Stay tuned here and we'll update you if we hear anything. We think Zorn is going to address it in his postgame comments.


Centreville, Va.: What is wrong with the Redskins? Play calling? Execution? Quarterback? What?

Paul Tenorio: A lot is wrong with the Redskins. Their o-line play, their lack of execution and, today, the turnovers. To me the turning point of the game was Antwaan Randle El's fumble on the punt return. The Redskins had just scored, the defense was fired up and making plays and the crowd was really getting into it. Momentum was on the Redskins side, players looked fired up on the sideline and ready to capitalize and then...woosh...the air got sucked right out of the building.

Speaking of things wrong with the Redskins, the punt return situation needs to be fixed. Even if it's a rotation of Moss and DeAngelo Hall all game I think that's a better option than Randle El. Agree?


Washington D.C.: How many years will it take to build the o-line?

Paul Tenorio: Well, it depends on how the Redskins approach things. In my opinion, there is no other option but to draft a starting left tackle in the first round in next April's draft. Period. You have to. And for that matter there next three picks should be the offensive line.

But can you really sit back and say the Redskins won't be more likely to draft a quarterback to replace Campbell? I mean, they went after two different guys this past offseason.

With an uncapped year all bets are off, but the Skins can possibly shore things up in a couple years if they're smart. Draft someone in the first round, another in the second or third and go find a free agent that can play inside while looking for quality young depth late in the draft.

Realistically, though, this team is a bit away from feeling like they have a solid young core of a line that'll be around for a number of years a la Samuels/Jansen.


Falls Church, Va.: For all the talk about a fan revolt, it appeared to be a pretty full stadium. Looks like Skins fans just can't help themselves.

Paul Tenorio: Yea I think the number was 88,000-plus. For all the talk from fans about wanting change and not being happy with how things are run, loyalty runs deep and they show up. I can't blame them. I grew up in this area, many of my family and friends are fans and for all the negative of this season I was still getting texts and messages telling me how much they were "hurting" while watching this game.

The attendance shows the same thing. You can hurt, you can be angry, but in the end the support is still there enough to put 88,000 butts in seats.

At least this week.


RE: Randle El Fumble: Boy, out of all the times that we as fans WANTED to see Randle El do his patented fair-catch call, that was it.

Paul Tenorio: I had complained out loud on the previous return about how Randle El now had 10 fair catches on the year and that they needed a big return. And then that happened and Steinberg turned to me and, rubbing it into my face, said, 'If he had fair caught it that wouldn't have happened.'

Yep, yep. Okay. one was within 15 yards. I mean, that situation has me shaking my head.


Manassas, Va.: Ok. So someone else called the plays. Same Result!

Paul Tenorio: That is literally almost the exact words Jim Zorn just said to start his presser.

Also, he talked about the lack of pass protection and how much that impacted the offense negatively. We're waiting to hear if he says anything about Cooley.


Lansing, Mich.: Do you think that the biggest thing the Redskins should address in the draft and in free agency is the offensive line?

Paul Tenorio: 100 percent yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes.


N.C.: What was the mood of the fans at the end of the game?

Paul Tenorio: They left without about five minutes left after the botched snap on fourth and goal. During the game they were actually a more positive crowd than many expected, and like I said at one point they were loud and helping build momentum before that punt return fumble.


Washington, D.C.: Any chance the Redskins run the table and go 11-5?

Paul Tenorio: Uh, no, I don't see that happening.

Also, Zorn on pass pro and lack of being able to call seven-step drops:

"It was just a lack of being able to physically protecting, not in numbers, and it wasn't just one guy..."


Paul Tenorio: Zorn on Chris Cooley's injury: "I can tell you this for sure he's got a break in his ankle. It's on the inner side of his tibia, it's right on the end there. I haven't seen the X-ray myself but we're quite certain it's broke or fractured in some way and we'll make a better diagnosis tomorrow but he'll be out for a while until this thing can heal up. I dont know if it's a season-ending injury."


Bethesda, MD: I have been a fan of the Washington Redskins for as long as I can remember (I am 20 years old), and that's a lot of bad memories. Give me some reasons to keep watching...

Paul Tenorio: You've been a fan for 20 years. You're from Bethesda. It's your home team...

Uh, they have some nice young D-linemen in Jarmon and Orakpo.

I mean, you have to hope this thing gets turned around in the next three or four years. That's what you have to do if you're a fan. I think this offseason will say a lot about the direction of this franchise.


Fred Davis Fan Club: Fred did everything in the passing game but catch that 1 handed almost TD at the end. How was his blocking?

Paul Tenorio: Well, for parts of it I didn't see him so that's a good thing, but then he also got absolutely bowled over on one play in which Campbell got crushed. So, he's still got room to grow, let's put it that way.


Indianapolis, Ind.: By taking a left tackle in the first round next year and a right tackle in the second, the redskins can get a decent right guard in free agency and that line would look pretty decent within two years. Dockery is still young and Rabach is not the worst center. Agreed?

Paul Tenorio: Yes, you'd think they'd be able to find some pieces through the draft but it's hit or miss you never know what you're going to get. I mean, look at Chad Rinehart. A third round pick last year, he was inactive much of his rookie season, started as an inactive this year, got one start when Randy Thomas went down, was benched, and today was inactive while newly-signed Levi Jones was active.

Also, Rabach's contract is up, I believe, at the end of this year.

But they should pay attention early to the o-line in the draft and in free agency if they hope to see improvements on offense.


Colorado Springs, Colo.: I agree we need offensive line help, but if we don't draft a quarterback who plays QB next year?

Paul Tenorio: Well, you could always re-sign Jason Campbell. Dare I say Colt Brennan?

No, there will be some veterans I'm sure that will be on the market that might be able to come in for a year and hold down the fort if the front office chooses not to stick with Campbell. I say put a line in front of the guy and let him be in an offense for a third-straight year but then again I don't think you can say the Skins will be running a WCO next season.

Anyway, isn't it Week 7? Should we be talking free agency right now?


Odenton, Md.: I know Halloween is coming up on Saturday, did Sherm Lewis come to FedEx Field disguised as Jim Zorn or Al Saunders??? Man, his playbook looked EERILY familiar....

Paul Tenorio: The playbook wasn't going to change with the play-caller. The only thing that changed was the guy making the selections from the playbook.


Dubai: Are Danny and Vinnie going to stick to their word and keep Zorn until the end of the season, or are they going to fire him before that? Why didn't they just get him a lawn chair? After all, he didn't have a lot to do during the game.

Paul Tenorio: This is an interesting question and one no one but Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder have the answer to. You'd have to think they didn't come out with an endorsement for no reason, but you never know.


Bowie, Md.: Have to give big ups to Redskins fans. Me, I would've sold my tickets for coin (and that's something I NEVER would've said even 3 games ago). But it didn't seem like there were more Eagles fans there than usual, and the fans even seemed fired up and positive up until the point the Redskins play just killed any spirit they might have had.

Good to see the loyalty though (even if it might reinforce in Snyder's mind that he's still doing okay).

Paul Tenorio: Yep, it's true. I heard a few in the press box say they were surprised/impressed by turnout/attitude.


Rockville, Md.: Paul - do you see any major moves made during the bye week(s)? Whether it's management, coaching or players?

Paul Tenorio: Before the endorsement from Vinny I think a lot of people expected a coaching change to happen during the bye week. now, I'm not sure much happens at all. I think guys like Levi Jones have a chance to get more familiar with the offense and maybe can challenge Stephon Heyer for a job. Sherm Lewis certainly will continue playing catch-up in learning the personnel, playbook, etc. And maybe it'll be good for a lot of these players to get away.

But big-time changes? Nah, not sure on that. The only big-time change that would actually be considered major is a new head coach.


Philadelphia: Redskins fan here - take away the two Desean Jackson plays, and the D actually played pretty well, right?

Paul Tenorio: Yea they were pretty good, though that second DeSean Jackson touchdown was BAD. I mean, it was third and 23! How do you let that happen?

Andre Carter is having one heck of a year, though, and Haynesworth continues to be a disruptive force.


Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, I appreciate you all coming out to the chat. After some high expectations entering the season the Redskins go into the bye at 2-5 and with TONS of problems/questions/etc., and after season-ending injuries to Randy Thomas and Chris Samuels a struggling offense just lost its best weapon - Chris Cooley.

The bye week probably is needed for a lot of people, even the fans and the beat writers. Wait, what? We don't get a bye week?

As I always say, keep it locked in here to and Redskins Insider. We'll be hitting you with updates and stories this week and trying to hold it down during the bye. See you back here in a few weeks!


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