NFL review and Redskins News

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, November 2, 2009; 12:30 PM

With the Redskins on a bye, did you spend Sunday cleaning out the gutters? Searching for inner calm? Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren takes your questions about the latest Redskins news and discusses results from around the league.

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Cindy Boren: Hello there. Welcome back from the bye week,which really was a bye five days. The Redskins have made a small move this morning, signing FB Eddie Williams (the seventh-round draft pick) to the active roster (to the spot created when Chris Samuels was placed on IR on Saturday) and added tackle Clint Oldenburg to the practice squad. Practice is at 1. What's on your mind ahead of the tough stretch of games that begins Sunday in Atlanta?


Singapore: Hi Cindy, Being in Singapore I can only listen to ESPN to hear the Redskins and not see them play. Was wondering if Mike Williams is doing a good enough job to be a good backup next year or is he a bust like Chad Rinehart? Thx for answering my question.

Cindy Boren: Singapore -- wow! Thanks for joining me today. Since you're on the other side of the globe, I'll take your question first. I'm not sure I would use the worst "bust" -- it's so harsh -- but the Mike Williams experiment ain't working. He isn't ready to play (he wasn't playing even before he ballooned). He's a great story and there's so much more at stake for him than just playing football. He needs to get healthy so he'll live a long, happy life. When he plays, he isn't great; it seemed to most people that he was the longest of long shots to be able to play in the NFL. The Redskins felt otherwise.


Falls Church VA: Redskins fans are turning in their fan cards

Until the owner makes changes, we would be stupid to financially support this product

Turn in your redskins fan card - details here!

Cindy Boren: Are people really doing this? Just wondering how it's going.


New Orleans: Do you know of any other football organizations, past or present, that censor their fans as the Redskins have done? What do others around the league think about this?

Cindy Boren: Off the top of my head, I don't know of a similar situation. I remember that the league was not thrilled years ago by the idea of photos and film of fans wearing paperbags on their heads and that one of the Park Avenue office's very tippy-top priorities is image. Tough to know what others thing of the Redskins' solution to the problem, though. This 32-member club is pretty tight-lipped.


Fairfax, Va.: So was the O-line working all last week on trying to get some cohesiveness or was everybody sitting around the house trying to drink away their sorrows like the rest of us?

Cindy Boren: They were playing with blocks. Get it?


Fan Card Central: YES! People are doing this. We want to keep the heat on the front office until Vinny has been removed and a strong football person is given the keys.

Cindy Boren: All righty then. Thanks.


Richmond, Va.: Are Dan Snyder and his lackeys (e.g., Donovan, Cerrato) actually so delusional as to believe that the massive and extensively documented fan discontent is primarily a figment of the media's imagination or a product of the widespread reporting on the same????

Cindy Boren: I can't say what Snyder and Cerrato think. Donovan is on the record as saying that.


Bethesda, Md.: Do we know if the Redskins have made any requests of the Falcons in terms of acceptable signs, T-shirts or chants in the Georgia Dome? Will The Danny's fraternal brethren protect him when the Redskins are on the road?

Cindy Boren: I do not believe that teams will adopt new sign restrictions, just because the opponent happens to be the Redskins. I don't see that happening.


Relieved: What a great weekend. Neither the Redskins or Terps lost in football! I could use more positive weekends like this. Unfortunately, they both play this weekend coming up. Hopes are dashed already.

Cindy Boren: Look on the bright side (yeah, I'm Little Miss Merry Sunshine): the Wiz and Cappies could win and then you'd be .500.


Jacksonville, Fla.: In response to the fan card question, yes I am doing it.

I have sent one to Ashburn, USA 9, WJLA-TV, NBC4, WTTG 5, ESPN, and Comcast Sportsnet.

This is not me giving up on the team, but instead hoping that Mr. Snyder realizes "we want change" and that he needs to stop micromanaging and hire a real GM.

Cindy Boren: Thanks for letting me know that.


Washington, DC: Hi Cindy! Although I feel Dan Snyder is a terrible owner, the man can't be this stupid...can he? Do you feel Snyder has a "master plan" to put this Redskins franchise back on track to success that us impatient fans can't see? Or is he really as clueless as we think he is?

Cindy Boren: Stupid he is not. However, it's entirely possible that he is not football smart. I have no idea if there's a master plan, but looking at the last 10 years, it would seem unlikely.


Charlottesville, Va.: Did the Skins really fill Samuels' spot with a fullback? Why oh why can't they sign some oline help? Is Pete Kendall not available?

Cindy Boren: Well, they did add Oldenburg, originally a pick by the Patriots, to the practice squad, so you can cling to that. It would seem that they believe they need horses at running back and are searching for an answer. Plus, they tend to like their draft picks. Kendall isn't a long-term -- long being nine games -- solution.


Richmond, Va.: Looking at the frightening remaining schedule, the December 13 game at Oakland seems to be the only realistic chance the Redskins have to avoid "running the table" in the worst possible way. Can you please show me the path to feeling differently about the rest of this horrible season?

Cindy Boren: Go to the Google machine's maps and you can find the path to the land of So You're Saying There's a Chance. It's a very small place, slim even, but it definitely exists in NFL world. Right now, I'm not so sure about that Oakland game. Ask the Eagles how that works. Stuff happens in the NFC East and maybe they win a game or two there and a game or two elsewhere (Oakland, San Diego?). I think Riggins said they'd finish 6-10. At the moment, that looks as if it would be a monumental accomplishment against this schedule...but then the first seven games smelled like fresh cupcakes.


Washington, DC: In your opinion, is the Zorn Era as disastrous as the Spurrier Era??

Cindy Boren: Depends on whether you argue that Spurrier was given better players. At least Zorn knows his defensive players' names!


Vienna, Va: Let's play Cindy is the GM game. The Skins finish the season with a 2-14 record and have the 2nd pick in the draft. Do you trade down and pick up additional picks? Do you draft a QB? This question brought to you by Sam Bradford's arthroscopic surgeon.

Cindy Boren: Ooooh, someone finally hires me to be a GM! It's difficult to say what I'd do for certain, since I have to find out first if next season is the uncapped-a-palooze it seems destined to be. In any event, I think I'd trade for more picks. I don't think getting a stellar QB would be the answer for this team because it's multitudinous deficiencies. How would Peyton Manning do behind this line?


Is Snyder Stupid?: Actually this is a common phenomenon among sports team owners. They are very "smart" in the fields in which they became wealthy. However, that acumen, contrary to their belief, is NOT the same as being smart as a franchise owner.

That, in my opinion, is the problem. Angelos did this and now so is Snyder. In each case they claimed to want to hire good baseball/football people and let them do their jobs. In each case they inserted themselves into the process and have been unable to keep themselves from interfering.

In each case they initially threw money at the problem (Albert Belle? Really?) but not good judgment. Snyder is still in this phase.

The key lesson that they must learn is this: what works in the field of law, Mr. Angelos, has nothing to do with constructing a winning baseball franchise. What works in IT Mr. Snyder, has nothing to do with constructing a winning football franchise.

As a Ravens fan, I'm grateful, absolutely ecstatic that Bisciotti is the owner. He may not throw money around, but we never need to be ashamed of the owner who really does hire good football people and let them do their jobs.

Cindy Boren: Several years ago, I was with a media group surrounding Steve Bisciotti and he said that very thing. When asked about fubball decisions, he gestured toward Ozzie Newsome and said that, as with his other business, he hires people and lets them do their jobs. He said he bought the team because he likes to sit in good seats with his friends. I'm not saying he's a paragon or that it isn't possible that he's changed, but there is stability and a sense of purpose to the moves that franchise makes.


Dallas: Any news from inside the Redskins?

Other than the fans and press talking about the problems and not being happy about things, it's been very quiet.

Cindy Boren: Hi, Dallas! How's that big screen TV? I can't tell you how it cracks me up every time they show Wade Phillips and Jerry Jones staring at themselves on it. It's very quiet in Ashburn, other than the Eddie Williams (not to be confused with Ed Williams, Mike Willams or the Williams sisters) move.


RE: Zorn VS Spurrier: If Zorn was Spurrier he'd have brought in Steve Largent to play WR.

I think Spurrier said something like "I must be the worst coach in America" after packing it in after two seasons. Any predictions on the Zorn quotes we'll get in December?

Cindy Boren: Do you think Largent has another season left in him? If he does, I guess bringing him in now isn't a possibility after his comments about Zorn, eh? As for Spurrier, I believe he uttered those words via cellphone shortly before parring the 16th hole at a Florida course. I have no idea what Zorn will say, but every word will be fascinating.


Washington, D.C.: The fans seem to have lost hope completely here in DC. Yet Snyder always finds a way to instill hope in the fanbase during the offseason. Hiring a flashy head coach signing some high priced free agent stud etc.

The call now is for a GM but I don't think for a second we'll see any front office shakeups this offseason.

So if we have no salary cap and Danny spends $200 million on an overhauled roster and brings in Gruden or someone, do you think that will be enough to buy him some fans back?

Cindy Boren: Of course, it will. Fans don't stray very far. Even without a change in the front office, a loaded team with a coach like Gruden -- you could not look away and you know it.


Cindy as GM: You just disqualified yourself saying you would trade for draft picks. Don't you know you're supposed to pay big bucks for big names that go bust?

Cindy Boren: I'm out already?????? Doh! Maybe I can get a golf game with Spurrier.


Los Angeles, CA: How long before Portis is gone? Seems the Redskins have abandoned the running game. What's the point of getting the FB, when pass-first seems to be the M.O.?

Cindy Boren: At some point, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, an evaluation of and decision on Portis will have to be made, but how can you adequately do so until you see what he's got behind a competent offensive line?


Who's going to win tonight?: Saints or Falcons?

Cindy Boren: I'm going to go with the Saints.


Cut to the chase: It seems Washington's anxiety level came down this weekend and people were able to enjoy themselves. Couldn't this be like a farm subsidy? Can't we just pay the Redskins NOT to play?

Cindy Boren: The NFL isn't soybeans! I'm 87 percent certain that this is not a good suggestion.


A Suggestion...: A Redskins fan attending the game in Atlanta should bring a sign that says "I wouldn't be able to have this sign if this game were at home."

Too Wordy?

Cindy Boren: Way too wordy. Think tabloid headline: succinct and snarky.


Marko Mitchell, Waiting: Cindy if they'd just put me in the darn game I could make an impact as a viable deep threat! Instead I'm on the sidelines watching Desean Jackson with envy in my eyes...

Cindy Boren: Marko, I don't mean to be harsh, but I don't think you're DeSean Jackson. But you deserve a shot.


Washington DC: Couldn't help but laugh yesterday when highlight footage of the Miami game showed Jason Taylor recovering a fumble and running for a TD. He looked, uh, pretty healthy in Dolphin teal.

Cindy Boren: Okay, who here did not see that coming when he returned to them in the offseason? Show of hands. Bueller? Bueller? As Redskins Insider bloggers noted at the time -- typing while simultaneously holding their heads in their hands -- you knew this was going to happen. You. Just. Knew. It.


Do you wonder or know if Snyder: reads the "chats" and have you had anyone from his office comment?

Cindy Boren: I know that some in the Redskins' offices have been offered the opportunity to chat directly here with you and have declined. I think it would be fantastic if Daniel Snyder would do a chat, but I'm not holding my breath until he does.


Charlottesville, VA: Cindy, Levi Jones starting yet?

Cindy Boren: Not yet. But let's see what the week brings.


Vienna, Va: Cindy, do you think Snyder will go after a college coach again ? He strikes me as a owner who wants to prove everyone else wrong.

Cindy Boren: While I agree 100 percent with your second sentence, I don't think he'll go to the colleges again. I think it'll be someone with a ring, but one of those guys will take the gig.


Washington DC: Please cancel my subscription, as I just came back from a trip and NOTHING about the Redskins game in the paper this morning. Are you boycotting them now, or did it "end too late for this edition?"

Ohhhhh, never mind. Keep up the good work.

Cindy Boren: Hahaha! Outstandingly played. I guaranteed you they would not lose yesterday; am I good or what?


Arlington, VA: I miss your video chats with Tony and Mike.

Cindy Boren: Me, too. I loved shooting the, um, breeze with the dudes in Tony's dungeon. Thanks for remembering them.


Absence: Cindy, is it true? Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

Cindy Boren: In most cases, yes. Not this time, though. With the next nine games being decidely tough, it should make the heart grow 'fraider.


Cindy Boren: Sorry, guys, but I have to mosey along now. I'll see you on the Redskins Insider blog and twitter and back up here next Monday. Thanks, as always, for joining me!


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