The OT: Redskins postgame live chat, Redskins vs. Broncos

The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, November 15, 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. Staff writer Paul Tenorio was online immediately after Washington's win against the Broncos at FedEx Field Sun., Nov. 15 to take all of your questions about the game, Coach Jim Zorn's job security, and what the Redskins can hope for from the rest of the season.

A transcript follows

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Bowie, Md.: No. 1: If this Jason Campbell thing doesn't work out, it's good to know we got Hunter the Punter as a potential franchise QB.

No. 2: Uhhhhhh.....Clinton who?

No. 3: I don't want to hear anything about how now we're going to have a worse draft position (we'll waste it anyway), it feels good to get a dubya baby!


Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, this seems to be an appropriate enough way to start this thing out after the Redskins pull out a 27-17 win here at FedEx Field.

We'll start with punter Hunter Smith, who has proven to be a huge offensive weapon for the Redskins. Seriously, though, Smith had a touchdown run in the season opener and then threw a perfect pass to Mike Sellers that really gave the Redskins a ton of momentum in this game. To think, he was nearly put on injured reserve and had he not been able to punt well in practice at the end of the week that play may never have happened.

Clinton Who...interesting. No doubt the run game looked great today, and Ladell Betts was especially impressive. He ran hard toward the end of the game and his 18-yard carry on the game-tying drive was big. You also had to like the touchdown run, really reaching to get into the end zone. It'll be interesting to see what the Redskins do as Portis gets healthy. The O-line also seemed to get a lot more push today, too.


Arlington, Va.: Did I really just see what I thought I saw? A win, and it wasn't ugly like the other two. The way our offense was playing, would it have still happened if Denver hadn't been stuck with a less than impressive backup QB in the second half?

Paul Tenorio: Yes, I think a lot of Redskins fans are rubbing their eyes right now after that game. The offense showed an ability to move the ball on the ground, connected on some nice pass plays and pounded the ball into the end zone when they needed a score at the end of the game. Pretty much what fans had been hoping for all season long and had not seen.

Kyle Orton leaving the game definitely was a boost for the Redskins. Orton was a perfect 4-for-4 in the first quarter including those two long touchdown passes. The defense did shut things down from the second quarter on, and one interesting move was the benching of Carlos Rogers. We'll definitely be following up on that one.


Moab, Utah: I'm sorry, is this some kind of JOKE???

The Redskins scoring 27 points and winning a game???

Were the Broncos that bad???

Paul Tenorio: The Redskins did everything they needed to do to come back and win this game despite giving up those two big plays. The defense turned in some timely turnovers, the special teams came up with a huge play, and the offense managed the game and put together some very strong drives.

After winning six straight to open the year, Denver has now dropped three in a row and there are concerns about this team getting exposed right now.

Doesn't matter how bad Denver might be, though. The Redskins needed this win ... against anyone.


Rockville, Md.: Do we need to bench Portis for the rest of the season? We seem to be a much better team with Betts and Cartwright handling the running duties.

Paul Tenorio: This is one of the most intriguing questions moving forward after this game. The team already expressed that they will be very cautious with Portis' concussion and after seeing Betts, who has practiced all season long, have the day he had...I think a lot of people want to see what he can do back there full-time.

Remember, Portis is getting paid a ton of money to be the starting running back ...


Austin, Texas: Now that the Redskins run game has exploded for close to 150 yards, I assume people will conclude we are better off without Portis. But how much credit should the new guys, Levi and Rhino, get? I did not see the game but this must be satisfying for Rhino.

Paul Tenorio: You have to give a ton of credit to Betts for his performance, but the offensive line did look like they were getting way more push than they had been in past games. How much a bigger guard in Rhino had to do with that? I don't know. Levi Jones held his own at left tackle considering he was out on the street a month ago. But yes, you have to give credit to the o-line.


Austin, Texas: What was the deal with Carlos Rogers?

Paul Tenorio: We're not sure, but it's a big question to ask right now. Rogers got burned on that first touchdown pass and after being yanked was on the sideline without a helmet the remainder of the game. Smoot and Tryon got a ton of playing time and performed well (Smoot was a lot better at cornerback than he was at free safety early in the game).

I'm listening to Zorn's presser now and will update you if he says anything, but stay tuned to Redskins Insider for news on that as well.


Tampa, Fla.: Was it really advisable to let Haynesworth go back in the game considering his injury history?

Paul Tenorio: I don't know if there was anyone that was going to be able to stop Haynesworth from going back in there if he wanted to go. He looked like he rolled an ankle and then re-aggravated it after going back out there, but yeah, I imagine it would be tough to tell Haynesworth, "no," if he wanted to go back in.


Remember, Portis is getting paid a ton of money to be the starting running back ... : So what? A lot of people on the team are getting paid tons of money but aren't producing either ... Carlos Rogers ring a bell?

Paul Tenorio: Rogers is in the last year of his contract and seeking a new one -- and saw the Redskins give DeAngelo Hall and not him huge money this offseason. Portis is the franchise player on this team making millions of dollars (and I believe is due $7 mil guaranteed more next year ...) big difference between the two.


Happytown: Is Josh McDaniel this year's Jim Zorn?

Paul Tenorio: Kind of similar starts. Remember, this Denver team collapsed in 2008 as well. They've certainly got to be worried about what's happening in Denver right now because this Redskins team has not looked good in the last four games and they were able to put up 27 points today.


Woodbridge, Va.: While I appreciate Zorn's willingness to go for it on fourth down, do they have a different play than stretch run on 4th and 1? Maybe sneak it, go up the middle? Fall forward for 1 yard?

Paul Tenorio: This call was one I disagreed with during the game. The Redskins should've taken the three at the time and tied the game. Instead they went for it. Then, it looked like Campbell checked out of a QB sneak because the linebackers were lined up over the 'A' gap. Not a great decision. The Redskins only needed a yard and he really only had to fall over Rabach in the middle there. There was definitely some moaning and groaning after the audible ... but in the end it didn't come back to bite the Redskins.


Springfield Va.: If the Redskins run the table, will Zorn/Cerrato still keep their jobs?

Paul Tenorio: I think the Redskins would need at least a first-round playoff win to save jobs. But one win (against a Denver team that is falling apart) does not a season make. The Redskins are still 3-6. Let's not talk about running the table just yet.


Ecstaticville: Do the Redskins still control their own destiny?

10-6 playoff berth, baby!

Paul Tenorio: Oh boy.


Execution: So, maybe it is the execution. The Redskins seemed to run that same stretch play they've been running all year for zero to negative two yards, and it actually worked more often than not today.

Paul Tenorio: Yep, the execution all the way around was better. In his presser, Zorn was praising the blocking at the second level as well as the work of the o-line. And as we've said here, Betts/Cartwright showed more burst than Portis had this year.

Again, it's just one win though. The Redskins need to show they can do this consistently, and that means next week against a division opponent on the road.


Springfield, Va.: Will the Redskins maybe keep Jones at right tackle next year?

Paul Tenorio: Maybe at left tackle? Who knows. The Redskins are the only NFL team that has not taken an offensive lineman in the first two rounds since 2001. If Jones plays well, would you be surprised to see Washington extend him and skip a vital o-lineman in the draft? I wouldn't.

This o-line still should be the focus of the offseason, but with this team you never know.


Alabamastan: What's changed with these guys in the last six quarters of ball? Could the Bingo Caller actually be having an impact?

Paul Tenorio: Maybe it was Sherm Lewis, maybe it was Buges getting fired up in the locker room and getting in the face of the linemen and making them accountable for their poor play. Maybe it was Ladell Betts running the ball effectively?

Whatever is working, the Redskins need to show they can continue it against tough, physical, division opponents. Dallas is going to be a big test for a team that will actually enter a game with some positivity and momentum after a win. Again, they're 3-6 ... not to be negative after a win, but let's just wait and see.


Brooklyn, N.Y.: Are we to believe Rogers didn't give it 100 percent because he doesn't like his contract?

Paul Tenorio: Um, no. He's playing for a new contract...he needs to play well to earn the money he wants.


Springfield, Va.: Bigger need: left tackle, right tackle, right guard, or quarterback? Maybe backup halfback, cornerback, or, dare I say it another wide receiver?

Paul Tenorio: The Redskins biggest needs are across the offensive line before anything else. In my opinion, needs at quarterback and running back and wide receiver and ANYWHERE ELSE is secondary to the lack of quality starters and depth on the line.


Springfield, Va.: With Rodgers stinking it up, what are the chances that we see our fourth rounder corner (I think his name was Kevin Barnes) come in? Is that guy a bust or a legitimate prospect?

Paul Tenorio: Barnes was inactive today. You'll see what you saw for the majority of today's game -- Smoot and Tryon.


Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, I'm going to run down to the locker room and try to help out with some notes. Stay tuned to Redskins Insider and for updates ...

After four consecutive losses, I'm sure it'll be a much more enjoyable locker room atmosphere and I'm sure the fans will finally get a chance to enjoy the rest of their Sunday.

Thanks and see you next week after Dallas ...


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