Discuss the Redskins-Broncos game and latest NFL news

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Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, November 16, 2009; 11:30 AM

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

Read more: Full Coverage of the NFL.

Blog: The League

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Cindy Boren: Good morning! Let's get this chat rollin' ... I figure you've got a little extra pep in the fingers today.

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Alexandria, Va.: Saw that Levi Jones played adequately. Will the Redskins now sign him to a $65 million contract??

Cindy Boren: Ha! Not after one game... He played well yesterday, picked up well on the changes Joe Bugel wanted him to make (see D.C. Sportsbogboy) and, in conjunction with a bunch of other things, what was part of an offense that finally clicked pretty well.

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South Hill, Virginia: After watching post game interviews, I got the impression that the O-Line and Sellers don't like Clinton Portis's habit of not practicing and getting preferential treatment. Could it be the improved line play was more the guys giving their all to help Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwrite? If so, lets put Southeast Jerome on the IR.

Cindy Boren: Again, Bogboy has the deets from Sellers's post-game TV appearance, but there does seem to be something going on. Obviously, practicing with the offensive line makes a difference (even though Betts couldn't go last week in practice). Maybe it's psychological, maybe it's muscle memory, maybe it's simply camaraderie and maybe it's more overt than that but there is a tangible result. The biggest question of the week really has to be whether the Redskins are better off without Portis...

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Fort Lee, N.J.: My team bans signs for safety reasons, then lets them back in. I'm worried about eye poking but I like going to the games. What should I do?

Cindy Boren: I would suggest goggles, to be on the safe side -- although you wouldn't be able to sue the team if you got poked in the orb. It'd be fun to see a stadium full of goggle-wearing, sign-wielding fans. Wait a minute ... Geico Redskins goggle day!

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Paris, France: Since I can't see the games over here, I was curious, has Zorn NOT gone for the first down on 4th-and-1 inside the 50? It seems like he always goes for it.

Simms really stunk up the joint, didn't he? Will he win the Raspberry for the Worst Performance by an NFL Quarterback?

But anyway, what a relief. An actual win.

Cindy Boren: The people who say Paris is all cultured and stuff are so wrong. You don't have fubball games on TV and you call that living? You are correct that Chris Simms was dreadful -- his rust had rust on it. If Orton had been healthy, the result might have been different, but that's the way the pointy ball bounces. And yeah, a win is nice especially now that the NFC East seems to be in a bit of disarray. Maybe the Redskins can make a little noise. A lot of people still feel that they won't win again; I don't think they'll win the division or get to the playoffs, but yesterday's game makes you think another win or two is possible. Hope is good.

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Washington, DC: So what do you do with Portis now? The running game is moving along with all the backs except for him and he fails to practice during the week. It looks like the lack of practice time hurts him and the team, but can Zorn or the team really afford to bench him in favor of Betts and the rest?

Cindy Boren: The first thing you do is make sure that he's okay. He's had a couple of concussions and his long-term health is the biggest concern. Now...if he's healthy, Zorn says he'll be the guy. Do you agree with that? I'm not sure I do. Maybe you start him and give him the world's shortest leash...

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Levi Jones: What took so long to sign me? Did everyone have me confused with Levi Strauss??

Cindy Boren: Good question, dude. You were a prime topic of discussion on Redskins Insider from the moment you were cut by the Bengals back in May. In fairness to the Redskins' talent evaluators, no one else had signed you, either. At any rate, good game; let's see if it keeps going.

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Obviously, practicing with the offensive line makes a difference (even though Betts couldn't go last week in practice).: No offense, but that comment makes no sense. If Betts had a great game after not practicing, as compared to Portis, who's run poorly after not practicing, how is practice a factor here? Maybe Betts is just better than Portis right now.

Cindy Boren: More precisely, the fact that Betts had practiced regularly for so long meant that one week off made little difference to him and the line; they'd already put in the work. And, yeah, maybe Betts is better than Portis right now.

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Washington, DC: I've brought my 4 year old son to two Redskins games this year -- the home opener and yesterday's Broncos game. Coincidentally, the Redskins won both of them. How large of a signing bonus should I ask for when negotiating my son's contract with Mr. Snyder?

Cindy Boren: Is your kid playing the offensive line?

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Bend, Ore.: Can shed some more light on the Rogers benching? Is that just punishment for getting beat on a good double-move? Or is there something more to it than that? Who makes that call? Blatche? Gray? Zorn?

Cindy Boren: We intend to find out more about that, but no doubt it was Blache and Gray who made that call (with no disagreement from Zorn). Rogers, who's developing a pretty distasteful body of work, was badly embarrassed yesterday; more visibly so than in any game this year. How does he get out of this doghouse?

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Alexandria, Va.: I get Levi Jones confused with Levi Johnston!

Cindy Boren: Bada BING!

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Washington, D.C.: Is the Jones, Dockery, Rabach, Rinehart, Heyer combo the enduring offensive line for the remainder of the season based on yesterday's performance? And it looks like Betts and the young receivers may be poised to take over the responsibilities with Randel El and Portis departing in a salary dump next year, uncapped or not. What do the "experts" think?

Cindy Boren: Barring injury, that's the line. At this point, no one knows what next year will bring. Cap or no cap, this team needs to know who can play and who can't. The reality is that they are 3-6; I'd play everybody and see who's got what it takes. Let's see if the second-year players can contribute regularly. There's plenty of time to see who's decent and use that to start putting together your team for next year.

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Southern MD: Didn't you just know that Belichick was going to go for it? As soon as they came up short, I said "He's actually going to snap that ball!" Of course, I remember a certain ball coach doing the same thing against the Pats in 2003. Even though we didn't make it, we won (the last game the Pats lost that year, if I remember correctly).

By the way, are you married? If not, do you like Northern Italian food?

Cindy Boren: That was a pretty jaw-dropping moment for Belichick, whose Mensa membership card was revoked on the spot. Of course, his team made a rare mental error that prompted them to waste a timeout and helped put him in that position, but still...The only other thing that occurred to me is that next time, the Pats will win.

Couldn't quite read those last two questions...there's some garble...

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Fairfax, Va.: How much of the credit for the win can go to Zorn if any? If the Redskins pull a miracle season and actually improve to a winning record by the end of the season, any chance Snyder will keep him or is he done no matter what?

Cindy Boren: The credit most likely goes to the Shermans. If the Redskins go 6-1...who knows what would happen? Let's wait 'til the Redskins are playing to either finish 8-8 or 9-7 to discuss that.

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Washington, D.C.: There's been a lot of criticism of Albert Haynesworth in the media, but nobody is talking about both Orakpo and Carter being in the top 10 in NFL in sacks. Should big Al get some credit for lack of double teams on these two pass rushers?

Cindy Boren: Absolutely. I make jokes about Haynesworth (a few weeks ago: "he went to the sideline and fell; the sideline was placed on IR"), but he changes things and makes opponents much more honest. Orakpo and Carter are having great seasons, but I don't think they'd have the numbers have without AH.

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Arlington, Va.: What was the biggest reason for yesterdays stellar running game, 1) a fresh, healthy running back, 2) improved offensive line play or 3) coaches actually sticking with and utilizing a power run game? Id say all of the above of course to varying degrees.

Oh and I am tired of hearing excuses for the Broncos, "if only Orton had not been hurt". As if they are the only team with injuries.

Cindy Boren: All of the above; see, you don't need me to tell you that. But, if I had to pick, I'd go with 1. The team had a fresh, healthy, MOTIVATED RB. Sorry, but losing Orton really was significant. It took the big play out of the equation for the Broncos; they'd have been better off with Phil Simms at QB.

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Sterling, Va: Do you agree that once Payton Manning got the ball that he would have won the game even if he had to go 70 yards?

Cindy Boren: I'm not so sure about that. I looked at his previous seven drives and only two had ended in TDs. One ended in an INT and the rest in punts. I'm no hoodie-wearing genius -- altho I'm pretty dang smart if I do say so myself -- but shouldn't you play that percentage? Your punter is punting well, pin the Colts back and take your chances (granted, this is Peyton Manning we're talking about; the dude is money)?

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Washington DC: Now that the Redskins are so close to being back to their glory days, should they trade some future 1st round draft choices for another aging running back?

Cindy Boren: Your sarcasm is amusing. Obviously, it is born of pain.

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Bench Clinton and the other starters!: The young/new guys played so much more inspiring football.

Let them play! At this point in the season, it can't hurt.

Ladell was strong.

Cindy Boren: "What could it hurt" should be the team motto the rest of the way.

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Bristow, Va.: Do you feel, as I do, that the REDSKINS, will win the Super Bowl?

Cindy Boren: I feel strongly that they will win the Super Bowl again. At some point. In some year. In some year not numbered 2010.

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Washington DC: Do you think the Redskins could win the division with a 10-6 record, or just the wild-card?

Cindy Boren: Oh, dear. Check back with me here on Monday. Let's see what Dallas week brings. Until then, enjoy the Kool-Aid. It's delicious and refreshing. Maybe there'll be more for us to drink next week. Zorn's presser is up now and I must scoot. See you on Twitter and the blog until our next chat. Thanks again for joining me! You guys rule.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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