NFL review and Redskins News

Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, November 9, 2009; 11:30 AM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren took your questions about the Redskins-Falcons game and discusses results from around the league.

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Washington Freedom Ad: Every Skins fan should go buy today's newspaper! Half- page ad in the Sports section for the Washington Freedom, women's pro soccer team.

Among the "freedoms" one can enjoy at their games:

"Freedom of Speech and Self Expression, Including the right to Create Signs and Banners and Bring Them into the Stadium!"

"Full Media Access and Welcoming of All Coverage, Positive or Hostile!"

"You Will Not Be Sued if for Some Reason You Must Default on Your Payments ..."

Brilliant. And funny.

I DO wish the commentators yesterday both in Atlanta and in the Fox and CBS studios would stop saying Snyder apologized to the fans. He didn't (and won't). He said, "We're just apologetic." The non-apology apology.

Cindy Boren: Good morning! Sorry I'm a smidge late; let's go. I'm starting with this great note...which I stopped reading after the first sentence. Yes, every fan should buy today's newspaper! Seriously, the ad is great; kudos to the Freedom (which I always shout in my best "Braveheart" voice), although I should warn them that this probably means TomKat isn't coming to any of their games.


Denver: Cindy, With Betts giving the ground game some life do you think they might put Portis on the shelf for awhile to heal up from both the concussion (they should do this regardless) and his other assorted injuries? Or is that decision coming from above Zorn?

It'd be nice if Portis was healthy enough to practice after all.

Cindy Boren: I don't care how serious Portis' concussion is, he should not play this Sunday. It was serious enough that he has no memory of the play; to me, that warrants sitting him for at least one game. Now, there can be plenty of debate about whether he should be benched, period. I say, sit him for his own good this week and see how Betts plays. It's serendipitous timing and if he gets Wally Pipped, so be it.


Comme,NT: At this point would anyone blame Campbell for saying he's too injured to keep playing? Every time he gets hit it just lowers his value in the offseason.

Cindy Boren: That's never going to happen. Campbell is blessed with a great body. Remember when he had the knee injury two years ago? It looked for all the world as if it were catastrophic and it turned out to be "only" a dislocation. Add to that the fact that the kid wants to play; you could see it on his face when he got yanked for Toddball II. Now, for the second part of your comment. How high is his value? The team tried pretty energetically to trade him in the offseason and got no takers. I don't think teams are queueing up for him. Might be best for him to stay here as a backup...


Tampa, Fla. Hi, Cindy. Granted our defense wasn't helping the situation, but it was kind of interesting watching what a legit NFL running back is capable of....Turner rarely went down on the first hit, made solid cuts and showed bursts of speed. None of these skills is shown by Portis. It's almost the exact opposite. How long are we going to ride the fact that he can block well? He also seems to be a malcontent. Please tell me this will be his last year in D.C. Thank you.

Cindy Boren: The Portis situation is one that must be addressed. He might be able to block, he seems disinclined to do so. He doesn't practice and consequently is not executing plays with precision. At this stage of his career, he needs to do that to be successful. He can't just turn on the burners the way he used to. You're getting into the part of the schedule now where you're going to see players and teams with real talent and the contrast, as with Michael Turner, is going to be stark each week.


Oakton, VA: Are the Redskins now plucky underdogs or loveable losers?

Cindy Boren: Is there a "plucky losers" category? Glad to hear you're even talking in terms of loveableness because, folks, there's half a season to go. Half. A. Season.


Washington, D.C.: The Kansas City Chiefs have released troubled running back Larry Johnson. I hope Snyder pays him $98 million and brings him to Washington. What do you think?

Cindy Boren: Ugh. They should want no part of LJ. On another matter, take a quick look at the video of yesterday's melee involving DeAngelo Hall. Zapruder, er, Steinberg breaks it down.


Chevy Chase, Md.: Old news: Snyder needs to sell the team or hire a new VP & GM and let them run the Football Operations without his input.

About tonight...

PIT is 5-2 and DEN is 6-1. The game is in Denver at Mile High Stadium. Why is PIT favored by 3? Who do you think is going to win and why?

Cindy Boren: Who am I, Jimmy the Greek??? I'm suddenly running a sports book??? I think the sense among the geniuses that figure odds is that, while it's tough to play in Denver what with it being mile high and all, the Broncos are a bit of a fraud. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, seems to be rounding into form nicely. It should be a great game to watch, though. Hope Ryan Clark resists the urge to play there, don't you?


Arlington, Va.: Hopefully when the commissioner reviews the video of the fight, he suspends Mr. Hall for a couple of games! Hall can't tackle, can't cover and has been a cancer in the locker room everywhere he has played.

Cindy Boren: Oh, this is more of a hatred-of-Hall thing rather than a reaction to the melee, right? Whenever any one criticizes Hall, they're often quickly reminded that he was obtained for his big-play ability rather than for his tackling technique. This makes me shake my head because this is, um, tackle fubball.


Anonymous: As an old-school Redskins fan that realizes the Super Bowl is not an annual trip, I could live with the team that played the 3rd quarter. How do we bottle that group and release them each week.

Cindy Boren: Actually, the Super Bowl can be an annual trip if you've got the time and the dough. Oh, wait, you mean as a participant...To your other point, the rest of the season would be considerably easier on the ol' orbs if that second-half team showed up every week. I have no idea how you bottle it, but the first move would be starting Betts this week.


Garden City NY: Cindy, what exactly is "rock bottom" for us?

Cindy Boren: You should never ask that question because there's no such thing as rock bottom although, granted, you can kinda see it from here if you squint a little.


Silver Spring, Md.: Why not more Marko Mitchell?

How did Levi Jones look yesterday?

Cindy Boren: Why not more Marko Mitchell indeed? I've actually agreed with the Marko boosters and was glad to see him get out there. Can't tell you how Jones looked because I'd have to comb through our photographers' thousands of unedited pix.


How do we get out of Afghanistan?: Should be easier than fixing the Redskins.

Cindy Boren: Look at how bad teams quickly turn it around in the NFL. It can happen with smart planning and perceptive player acquisition.


Kensington, Md.: What was more embarrassing on Turners 58-yard touchdown run, Landry diving under him while missing the tackle or Hall kind of giving him the bull fighter wave over his shoulder while doing the same?

Cindy Boren: I'm gonna have to go with Landry, although that's a tough call. Landry went for the guy's legs; horrible, horrible mistake. Sure, he's playing out of position, but how does he not know the basics of tackling. Hall? Well, you kind of expect that. This is DeAngelo Hall.


Upper NW: So Cindy, let's imagine that the Redskins are able to beat the Broncos on Sunday by a whopping score of 9-7.

Do you think the fans will be booing the team off the field again? I know I won't.

Cindy Boren: I have no idea if there'll be booing. Let's take the baby step first of seeing whether the team gets a W, by whatever score.


Post-continental: I thought I'd give you a break here....

Who would have thought last winter that the ONLY area that isn't a problem are the kickers!!!???

Suisham hasn't missed this year. Actually, I saw that he turned the corner during last year's Cincy game. I think I was the only fan who thought he was going to be an accurate kicker.

I return you back to your regularly scheduled moaning and groaning.....

Cindy Boren: Thanks so much! I'm here for you guys every single Monday and it's nice that someone has concern for me for a change. Sniff, sniff. (I know; cry me a river.) Yeah, the kicking game is sound. Suisham held onto the gig after being challenged in camp and, well, now he's the MVP. Gulp.


Dear Carolyn, I mean Cindy: My team and I have been together for many years. Early on we had some great times and even went on some super trips. Lately though, my team hasn't done what it needed to do to take care of itself. It is unable to get up for our games anymore and I am constantly left feeling unsatisfied. It tells me its embarrassed for me, but when I tell it that it needs to change its ways it gets angry at me and blames me for its inability to perform. I don't want to leave it and I could never be with another team (though I think Indy and New Orleans are -HOT-). What is a loyal fan to do when our team can't put up a winning score anymore?

Stuckwithaloser in Washington

Cindy Boren: Advice columnists, not even Carolyn, ever say this, but ... go ahead and cheat! Indy and N'Awlins are hawt, as is New England. I mean, it's not like you're going to go out with Dallas. Your team will always be here (I think); you can come back. In fact, I think it's healthy if you have an alternate team in case of stinkage by the home team, but that's just me.


Houston, TX: I only saw a couple of replays of the scrum on the sidelines, but my quick take was that Hall is right; the Falcons coach sure did look like he was going after him.

Am I wrong?

Cindy Boren: Look at the Zapruder, er, Steinberg breakdown and you'll have your answer.

Sorry, I had to break for a second. Zorn is speaking now and he says that Chris Horton will miss 4-6 weeks with a toe injury and may have to go on IR if he requires surgery. Mike Williams will be out for a few weeks with a ligament tear in his ankle. Portis still has a headache and Zorn is of the opinion that he's doubtful for this week.


Gainesville, Va: Hello Cindy,

Thanks for taking my question. How long do you think Campbell has this season given the punishment he is enduring and do you think this is his last season? And do you see Betts taking more balls given his performance and the status of Clinton Portis. Thank you.

Cindy Boren: I don't think there's much of an alternative to Campbell, so he's likely to be there. As for running back, there's more news from the Zorn presser. He said the team has discussed Larry Johnson and that he'll have to know more before he decides. Also, Mike Williams will be out a couple of weeks and Levi Jones will be the starting LT on Sunday.


True Believer, VA: OK, Skins ... time to win out and make the playoffs!

Cindy Boren: Um, yeah. Sure, it could happen. Anybody got Jeff Gillooly's phone number? With that, I must amble on over to the Redskins Insider blog and twitter feed. We've got lots of news to report, so join us there. See you here next week; thanks for joining me!


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