The OT: Redskins Postgame Live Chat

The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, November 8, 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 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta Sun., Nov. 8 to take all of your questions about the game, Coach Jim Zorn's job security, the team and how the season is shaping up.

A transcript follows

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Cindy Boren: Hello. You'll note right off the bat that I'm not Paul Tenorio. He has a swim meet today, so I'm stepping up the line of scrimmage in his place. Let us rock and roll.


Bethesda, Md.: Is this the worst Redskins team ever? They sure look like it.

Cindy Boren: Well, the first half was unbearably awful to watch. I was actually envying people who were doing household chores like raking leaves and caulking. The second half was far better...


Olney, Md.: Do I dare ask if there will be a real revolt against Snyder now instead of just trash talk?

Cindy Boren: By "real," I'm guessing you mean empty seats at the stadium or something like that. I have no idea; fans seem to be more upset, more vocal and more cognizant of their power than ever. We'll see if it materializes. Steinberg will be chronicling whatever is happening. You tell us what you're up to.


McLean, Va.: Is it me, or do Betts and Cartwright look like they have more burst than Portis?

How can you explain the improved play of the rush offense in the second half?

Cindy Boren: They certainly looked like they had fresher legs; of course, they're out there to show what they've got, too. They're hungrier and haven't taken the beating that Portis has. Portis just looks like he's out of gas. (That helmet-to-helmet-to-helmet hit, though, was scary.)


Washington D.C.: Seems like a number of the "mouths" on this team (such as Landry, Rogers and Hall) are unwilling to stick their heads in there and tackle. Are they too busy giving out quotes?

Cindy Boren: Those missed tackles on that 58-yard TD scamper were unbelievable. How do you miss those tackles? (Oh, wait; you're diving at the ankles and not going for the tackles.) The whole game turned right there. We've seen missed tackles with this team all season long. Maybe they just need to be re-taught.


12th and K: So bench Portis next week and start Betts? Portis seems to fall if you breath near him ...

Cindy Boren: Ooooh, bench Portis? That would be a tough call, but it might be the smartest thing to do. If he's got a concussion, you want to be careful with that. Kind of gives you an excuse, doesn't it, to see what Betts has, if he can give a spark.


Washington, D.C.: Was the big momentum swing in the game against us the poor tackling by Landry and Hall? Shouldn't these guys be forced to practice tackling drills to infinity after their poor showings with regards to this?

Cindy Boren: Certainly looked that way. The Redskins were in the midst of coming back; you'd have liked their chances if they'd held there. But those missed tackles were just beyond deflating. Seems a little late in the game, so to speak, to practice tackling.


RE: Boycott: Never. Gonna. Work.

Sure, it is a fun idea. But getting people to join a facebook group or to sign an anonymous online petition is much easier then organizing them for any real campaign. But it gives something to do to the mom's-basement-fans, I suppose.

Most fans, while upset, are at terms with the fact that the teams is the Danny's and he will play how he pleases and continue to accumulate wealth via the fans' misery.

So, take up fall golf is my suggestion. That or drinking ...

Cindy Boren: Golf, blecch.


San Antonio, Texas: Seriously, will people stop getting on Campbell's back? I think it is fairly easy to see that he is clearly not the problem on this group of individuals (can't call them a team, because they clearly aren't one)!

Cindy Boren: He may not be the problem, but he isn't the answer, either. Nor is Toddball the answer. I think that much has been settled.


Manassas, Va.: To me, this game showed that, recognizing the lack of talent as an obvious issue, the fault lies with the coach in critical ways. First, personnel do not fit the system. Zorn should have adjusted in the offseason. Second, underperforming individuals should have been benched a long time ago: Portis, Hall, Landry, Moss. Third, the culture has been dominated for years by a "me-first" mentality. Some players, despite lacking talent, give everything to win. Others only care about themselves. Time to clean out the "U" and move forward.

Cindy Boren: So much easier saidthan done. How could Zorn have adjusted personnel when he isn't the one picking personnel? And how do you bench some of the highest-paid players on the team, ones who are particular favorites of the owner? I'm not absolving Zorn by any means, but he is in kind of a pickle.


Las Vegas, Nev.: We're living the NFL version of The Steinbrenner Effect, which poisoned the Yankees for 16 years before King George realized that, despite his passion for winning, he knew nothing about baseball, and finally hired pros and got out of their way.

Snyder's ego is writing checks that his football acumen can't cash. Until he has an epiphany similar to George's, the Redskins have no chance to recruit a legitimate executive to replace Vinny Cerrato. No credible GM or accomplished head coach will come to work for Snyder right now. You saw Bill Cowher laughing hysterically last week at Sterling Sharpe's brown-bag routine. Why would a guy like Cowher, who came from an exemplary organization, even consider setting up shop in this dysfunction, chaotic outfit? He'll get paid by whomever hires him, so it's not about the money. It's about having a chance to win, and any knowledgeable NFL observer knows that the Redskins, under the current regime, have absolutely no chance to win more than a few games per year, year after year.

Cindy Boren: I'm not sure there's a question in there! Nonetheless, as a veteran of the Steinbrenner years, both good and bad, I see similarities as well. Steinbrenner did eventually get it right again, you know. So there is that.


Anonymous: Is it (past) time for Zorn to go? They looked so abysmal in the first half, it was an embarrassment to watch. How could they be so flat after a bye week. That isn't on The Danny or Cerrato, that is on the coach. Yea, they played something resembling professional football in the third quarter, but if that is the best Zorn can do to start a game, then he is coaching at the wrong level.

Cindy Boren: Again, I'm not giving Zorn a pass, but I think they seemed to be knocked back on their heels at the outset, perhaps because the Falcons were so much better than the opponents from Week 2 through 7. The Redskins hadn't really played a team of any kind of decency since the opener.


Germantown, Md.: So, at least Feinstein benefits from this "Season in the Toilet," right? Plenty of material to salvage a book out of it still ...

Cindy Boren: There has never been a situation in the history of the world out of which Feinstein cannot get a book.


Washington, D.C.: Why do they insist on putting Randle-El back there to return punts?

He is looking worse and worse each week.

Hall looked no better, but they have to make a change there don't they?

Cindy Boren: It was weird last week when they pondered making the change and then did not do so today. I would make that change in a heartbeat.


Olney, Md.: Since Moss (I think it was him) spouted off last week about "real" fans not giving up on them - suppose we ask them to tackle and catch the ball so we would not give up on them? If they would really give it the million $$ try (that they are paid) then maybe we would come back.

Currently, the Redskins are depleted and empty.

Cindy Boren: Thanks, Olney.


Anonymous: Is it over? Is it safe to come out now?

Cindy Boren: No, I think you're gonna need to stay there until Jan. 4.


Moravia, N.Y.: So it is obvious that no matter what happens the Redskins score 17 points. The question then becomes are there any teams on the schedule who can be held to less than 17 points?

Cindy Boren: Maybe Oakland? That's the only one I spy.


Portland, Ore.: When was the last time the Redskins scored more than 17 points?

Cindy Boren: 24 in the 27-24 loss to San Francisco in the final last year? I'll take that one for $400, Alex.


Little Rock, Ark.: Isn't it true that we have one of the oldest rosters in the NFL? They look like it getting beat, poor tackling, poor running, poor blocking. A complete revamp is the only answer.

Cindy Boren: The oldest, yes. Or, if you prefer, most senior. My guess that your wish will come true starting Jan. 4.


Zornville, Wash.: The Redskins,unfortunately, have been much more entertaining off field and on field. That being said, any interesting signs or shirts in the stands that wouldn't be allowed in Landover?

Cindy Boren: There were tons of signs and shirts and Dan Steinberg will have the rundown on the DC Sports Bog and in the paper. On that note, I must sign off. I'll be back here chatting at 11:30 tomorrow morning; please join me. Until then, see you on the blog and on twitter.


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