Redskins vs. Eagles and NFL wrap up

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, October 26, 2009; 3:00 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. ET to take your questions about the Redskins' Monday night game against the Eagles at FedEx Field, the latest league injuries and all the breaking news in the NFL.

Read more: Full Coverage of the NFL.

Blog: The League


Cindy Boren: Pre-game greetings! Thanks for joining me a little later on Monday. How're you feeling about tonight's game? Will the Sherman-to-Sherman-to-Jason relay work? How did you feel about the vote of confidence Jim Zorn received last week? You've got the angst, I've got the answers. Let's go.


Your City and State: Which should I wear tonight: paper or plastic?

Cindy Boren: Paper is so much better for the environment as well as being less lethal for you. As always, though, don't forget the holes for, in the order of your choosing, seeing, breathing and drinking beer.


Leesburg, Fla.: Hello: Is this season just a buildup to the "uncapped" nature of next year?

Cindy Boren: Everything is just a buildup for the great unknown that will be 2010. While an uncapped (which also means unfloored) year seems like a certainty now, that is by no means guaranteed. Still, some owners are acting as it if will happen. I believe that it will.


Nowhere to go but...: is it possible to go further down the respectability curve? Separate from what happens on the field, what else could the Redskins' front office/ownership do that could top the current scenario? Oh well, Sportscenter got a good "Bingo balls" NFL segment out of it...

Cindy Boren: Never, ever ask if it's possible to sink lower. My experience in New York with the pre-dynasty Yankees teaches me that it is always possible and, often, likely! Really, though, what more can happen here? I guess they could fire all the coaches and replace them with chimps. That would be squirrelly new territory.


Washington, DC: Did the Eagels debacle against Oakland last week expose any weaknesses that the Redskins can exploit tonight? Or was it just a fluke that they lost to Oakland.

Cindy Boren: Oh, come on. You know the Eagles. Every so often, they inexplicably lay an egg and they dropped that one last week in Oakland. A colleague whose name rhymes with Fraske thinks it could happen because of Andy Reid's proclivity for heaving the ball 87 times a day, but I'm don't see it happening again so soon after last week's game.


Arlington, Va.: Why, oh, why did Donovan makes those remarks about the Post? Didn't he know that quote would make the story? The Redskins reps are like Fox News: They spin it their way and no one in their right minds believe them. As Redskins fumble, some fans are saying, 'See ya'

Cindy Boren: I can't say why he chose to say what he did. The most interesting thing to me were the comments by fans and readers. They should be paying attention to those comments.


Office pool suggestion: Percentage of "fans" at tonight's game wearing Eagles gear.

My guess is 20%.

Cindy Boren: I think it'll be in that area, judging by the number of tickets up for sale on websites last week.


Annandale: The paper or plastic question reminded me I need a Halloween costume. Beside the paper bag and a headset and bingo card - what else might I need?

Cindy Boren: A whistle, a stopwatch and a burgundy-and-gold visor and you're good to go. You're a little old, perhaps, but I think people will understand that this is a cry for help and will give you candy.


Columbia, MD: Hi Cindy - Thanks in advance for answering my question. Why is everyone blaming Jim Zorn for the Redskins struggles? Was he not put in a position to fail? At this time last year we were hailing him as second coming to Gibbs and "Good ol' quirky Zorn" and his Hip Hip Horray! What about Campbell missing wide open receivers or Portis not finishing runs, or Haynesworth taking every other play off, or DeAngelo "I can't tackle" Hall? Or the defense not getting off the field on 3rd downs? Whatever plays are called, the players must execute, right?

Cindy Boren: That is an interesting question and a topic I've discussed with friends who are Redskins fans. Why else would you fail to address the biggest deficiency -- as determined by your internal evalutaions -- on your team? Still, it is just impossible to believe that you'd set the roster up that way and do that to your coach. Makes no sense. Seems more likely to be a perfect storm of inattention to the offensive line/poor in-game coaching/injuries and aging among key players/failure to execute for whatever reason. Last year seems like it was 10 years ago.


Alexandria, VA: Can we expect some good Michael Vick razzing?

Cindy Boren: Hasn't that died down a bit, owing to him being pretty much a nonfactor so far? I think he has to have some significant time on the ol' gridiron and actually affect the outcome of some games before he gets razzed.


Just win, baby!: I know the whole Bingo Schtick, but perhaps would a spinning wheel work as a playcalling device?

One of the Sherms could mount a propellor on a beanie marked with certain run/pass plays, and the other Sherm would flick it. Where it stops, nobody knows ...

Cindy Boren: Or bring in Vanna White as an assistant coach. Of course, she'd have to change her name to Sherm.


Lanham, Md.: Cindy - Why not throw the ball to Cooley more often? He is clearly the best offensive weapon on the team this year. Does Sherm have a lucky Bingo page just for Cooley tonight? No touches against Carolina and 5 catches for 60 yards last week against KC. He needs to be targeted more often. Why does Campbell not throw to him? Not very many linebackers match up against him.

Cindy Boren: Let me see...if I had a big Pro Bowl tight end, I'd be getting the ball to him somehow someway. And I'd be calling his number about every other play. I've watched games all fall and asked, "um, where's Cooley?" Of course, this wouldn't be very imaginative and I'd be out of a job, but I'd sure be using him more than the Redskins are.


Odenton: Why should I even bother watching the game?

Cindy Boren: Unless you've got the "It's Garry Shandling's Show" boxed set, there's really nothing else worth watching on the tube. Trust me.


South Riding, VA: I posed this question to Jason Reid last week and was wondering if you felt the same way and/or had heard the same things.

I asked if either Jon Runyan or Pete Kendall were still looking for work and if so, why hadn't the Redskins looked to them. Jason's answer was that they (the team) didn't think that either of them could play.

Granted, the fact that both are still looking for work (if that is the case) is somewhat telling, but last I checked, the line as it stands is hardly Hogs 2.0 and I don't understand how anyone can think that Mike Williams and/or Stephon Heyer are that much better than Runyan would be at RT. Or that Chad Rinehart is a clear upgrade over Kendall. Why not bring those guys in to at least look at them? Are they hoping to bring in another running back to sit on the bench instead?

Then again, I'm not paid to evaluate football talent - I'm happy to take potshots at management from afar for free.

Cindy Boren: Just between us, Jason Reid is completely crazy....but not on this matter. There are 31 other teams, some of whom need offensive line help, too, and they aren't queueing up to sign these guys. Kendall was really in bad shape last year and couldn't practice regularly. I get that management may have a point about him. However, Mike Williams? Really???!!! Stephon Heyer isn't the answer and Chad Rinehart appears to be a bust. I think it is entirely possible that they IR Chris Samuels this week and bring in another player. Levi Jones should be active tonight and we'll see what he's got in the tank.


Chappaqua, New York: If the Eagles are good for laying one egg a season, are these Redskins capable of putting together one good win at some point this year?

Cindy Boren: Define "good." A win with 30 points scored? A win of any margin over a team with a winning record? Anything is possible, but if it happens it may not be so much the Redskins having a good solid game as it is the other team taking a knee or having an off day.


Laughable, N.C.: I for one am happy that the Redskins didn't lose yesterday. Wait, they play tonight? (drumroll)

Actually, I am hoping Sherm Lewis will do well in the play calling capacity. If he does, I know Vinny and Dan will think they are geniuses. Being short sighted as they are however, they've neglected to see the true implications of a Lewis success:

If a 67-year-old man working bingo games at the senior center can come off the street and call plays better than the head coach you've hired, you still look like fools.

It really should be a no-win for Vinny, I just don't know that Dan sees it that way.

Cindy Boren: Thanks for your perspective, Laughable!


22202: Over/under on the number of bingo references during today's telecast? I say the word bingo will be mentioned at least 8 times.

Cindy Boren: I'll say 4. Isn't everyone tired of it by now?


Any Gruden/Snyder sightings?: Did the Post stake out Gruden's hotel yesterday to see if he and Danny Boy got together? It'll be interesting to see how far Gruden goes in criticizing S. Lewis since they were on the Packers staff together under Holmgren.

Cindy Boren: Are you kidding? I spent all weekend wearing a trenchcoat and croughing behind a potted plant in the hotel lobby. I got bupkes. So I'm going to have to listen to Gruden's commentary tonight. He opted not to address employment possibilities in the nation's capital in a MNF lunch ESPN sponsored.


Leesburg, VA: Cindy,

With regards to the "Where's Cooley?" Question...

It's my understanding that, with the demise of the Offensive Line, they're simply leaving him in to block for almost every single play.

Cindy Boren: You are correct. I would go to quick passes over the middle, get the QB to unload the ball to him before the offensive line leaks like a sieve. Or, perhaps, go to Cooley out of the shotgun. The QB seems to have some comfort in that formation.


20%?: That's charitable. We're talking about a team that was 6-2 last year when they played a road game at FedEx vs. Pittsburgh. I think the floor for Eagles fans is 25-30%. And that's the FLOOR.

Cindy Boren: We'll soon see, won't we? This could be very interesting. Be sure to tweet your in-game experiences and photos.


DC: Regarding your first chat response in which you advised the poster not to forget to cut holes in his paper bag so he could see--I thought the idea of wearing a bag over one's head to a football game was to convey to ownership that the team isn't worth watching. Shouldn't these bag people just stumble around the concourse or have someone to lean on? If they're gonna wear a bag as a protest, they shouldn't get to actually see the game.

Cindy Boren: See, I thought the idea was to convey anonymity. You have to be able to see how much money you're handing the beer vendor, among other things. It would be kinda funny to see 70000 people in paperbags with no holes bumping into each other. And, really, could it make Beltway traffic any worse?


Re: Cooley: Why not put a fullback or Fred Davis on the line, and line up Cooley as a WR. He certainly can't do worse than our receivers currently...

Cindy Boren: Not a bad idea, either. If only the team had some more tight ends...oh, wait....


Arlington, Va.: Over/under on how many times they'll show Snyder's box on TV...

Cindy Boren: They should have a little inset, with a camera focused on it the whole game...but they won't.


Clinton, Md.: Why is everyone ragging on Sherman Lewis? Did he ask for the job, and then come in to disrupt the team? I just don't get it!

Cindy Boren: He's a convenient lightning rod...he's a very qualified, very smart man who, in another era, would have had a shot at being a head coach. He's culpable in that he took the gig; you take the dough, with whatever possibility lies down the road, you have to take the heat.


New Orleans: In your opinion, who will be the starting QB next season?

Cindy Boren: Who knows? Will they draft someone? Will they make a trade or sign a free agent? I do not, however, think it will be Jason Campbell of Taylorsville, Miss.


Vin, NY: Why should The Vinny's pronouncement that Zorn will finish out the year be considered any differently than a vote of confidence? The highway of the NFL is littered with coaches who were given a mid-season Trailways ticket out of town weeks after getting a vote of confidence. Am I missing something? Was this possibly the biggest non-story of the weekend?

Go Phillies!

Cindy Boren: One has to report it, particularly given that there'd been nothing but silence from management for so long. You have to report it straight, too. I think anyone who has followed sports for any length of times knows that votes of confidence often mean nothing. In fact, when Steinbrenner used to do it, it meant only one thing: prepare the coach-is-fired story. I'm not impugning Redskins management here; it's just a fact of life across the board in sports.


Starting QB next year: Who knows? In two years it'll be Brett Favre for a gazillion dollars.

Cindy Boren: Gack. Please, anything but Hamlet in a helmet. Maybe the cult of Colt will be in full bloom?


Columbia, Maryland: The best thing about this game is that nothing at all about it will appear in my Washington Post tomorrow morning. I'm sure there will be some articles on Wednesday, but by then no one will care at all.

I've gotten to the point with your Redskins coverage where last Monday I just deposited the whole thing unread into my recycling bin. Are you sure that gloating at the pain felt by fans of your local team is a great strategy for selling newspapers? How's it working out for you folks so far?

Cindy Boren: First, let me say thank you for buying the paper. We appreciate the fact that you give us your money.

Now. We're not gloating, really. The deal with this job is this: win or lose, we have to cover the team and it is expected that we will do it to the same depth either way. It's so much better a ride when they're winning. The readers are happy -- they still beat us up just as badly (rightly so!) when we make an error or miss a story, but there's a level of happiness across the city. I know you guys from the blog, twitter and these chats; there may be problems with the team, but we do not gloat at your pain. I've said it before: you guys deserve a winner.


Next week is bye week: So we won't have a chat. Can you tell us your Halloween costume?

Cindy Boren: I always wear the same Halloween costume. I dress up as Fawn Leibowitz, post-kiln explosion.


Herndon, Va.: Who is more likely to eat a hot dog on the sideline, Donovan McNabb or Jim Zorn?

I say Zorn because he'll have less to do, whereas McNabb will have to open up a 38-point lead before he can enjoy one. Plus, McNabb's not used to prices FedEx field, while Zorn is.

Cindy Boren: I say Zorn, too. Might as well enjoy the game!


Atlanta: How long do you think it will be before a delay of game penalty is called on the Skins tonight due to "relay issues"?

Cindy Boren: Third series of downs.

And now I must prepare for the game. I need a nice cuppa coffee and some sugar.

Thanks for joining me here! See you in the interim on twitter and the Redskins Insider blog.


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