The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Monday, December 21, 2009; 11:00 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 embarrassing Monday Night Football loss to the Giants on Mon., Dec. 21 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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Paul Tenorio: The season started with high expectations and fell fall short of expectations, as the Redskins entered tonight a four-win team hoping only to spoil the Giants postseason chances.
Instead, the year got even worse.
Let's chat, though I'm not sure how much you want to relive and rehash about tonight's blowout loss...
Exeter, N.H.: I don't get to watch many Redskins games. I know that Campbell has been taking a beating this year but I am curious to know how tonight compares to previous games.
Paul Tenorio: Tonight was pretty much a good example of what you've seen all season when it comes to pass protection. Jason Campbell is getting sacked often and hit even more. On most pass plays, you look back and see No. 17 peeling himself off the ground.
In the background of the press box, in fact, you hear the stat keepers shouting out when a player gets a quarterback hit, with the players' number. I heard it a ton tonight, though I don't have the exact stat in front of me right now...It's just the norm for Campbell and the offense behind a patchwork offensive line that has been hit hard by injury and had little depth to start the year.
Hampton, Va.: Who was that playing the Giants at FedEx tonight? They looked like one of the local High school teams. That was the worst game I have seen them plan all year and when they really needed to play good. I hope they are as ashamed of their performance as I am.
Paul Tenorio: I don't think you can argue that this is probably the worst loss of the year. It certainly ranks among the ugliest I've seen this season. The Redskins struggled to do much right, couldn't stop New York in the first half and at one point were trailing the Giants 24-0 with minus-two yards rushing and zero first downs. Those are some rough, rough numbers.
Arlington, Va.: Any chance they go ahead and fire Zorn tomorrow?
Paul Tenorio: No use speculating on what could happen with this team. There are plenty of reports out there about what could happen in the future, but the reality is we just don't know what they'd do.
We know this: There are two weeks left in the season and they just hired a new GM who is evaluating the team, including the coaching staff, over the next three games -- including tonight. It didn't start off on a high note.
Cruel and unusual punishment: Why keep Campbell in there when you're down 33 in the 4th? As if he hasn't suffered enough? Bring on Rich Bartel!
Paul Tenorio: It's a good question. People were wondering aloud what he was still doing in there because he had banged up his shoulder and was taking hits all game. But the reality is the Redskins don't have a young QB they are developing right now and Campbell is the guy that's going to be in there down the stretch -- even when they're losing by that much late and struggling to protect.
SE, Washington, D.C.: Well that was fun.
At this stage, what are the arguments for Laron Landry remaining on the field? It seems that every passing touchdown the Skins give up is his fault. Is it really possible that he is their best option at free safety?
Paul Tenorio: Landry is a player with a ton of talent and a ton of potential. He hasn't looked great this year in pass protection, however, and he continues to seek out the big hit instead of the sure tackles.
Despite that, however, coaches believe Landry can be one of the best defensive playmakers on this team and he has shown flashes of it at times during his career, there's no doubt about that. Is he a free safety? Well, he was an all-American at strong safety and was forced to move to FS when Sean Taylor died. He's only had a couple years there. We'll see if he stays there next year or if the Redskins possibly look for a way to move him back closer to the line of scrimmage.
Paul Tenorio: Zorn starts out presser with a huge sigh. "I think I was most surprised going into halftime down as much as we were. ... It got away from us early."
Washington, D.C.: It looks to me like a lot of the hits Campbell takes would be personal fouls on many other QBs in the league. Am I an oversensitive homer, or is he really not get any love from the refs?
Paul Tenorio: Every once in a while there might be a hit that comes late, but it's tough to make that kind of call. He gets hit a ton and every once in a while one might be a bit tardy, but I don't think he's getting really ignored by the refs.
Never Have I Ever: Have you ever seen a team roll over on a lame duck coach as badly as that? IT was obvious from the first drive that they hadn't shown up to play ... and after two weeks of real tough, heartfelt battles? What the heck?
Paul Tenorio: It was definitely night and day from last week's performance against Oakland. The question you have to ask is what makes such a huge difference in the level of play? What made them look so flat this week?
It just seemed like they lacked intensity, and that's what Zorn just said in his press conference.
Paul Tenorio: "It was good defense," Zorn said of the fake FG. "That's what hurt that play."
From FedEx: It's pretty bad when the halftime highlight is Cleveland signing Mike Holgrem.
Paul Tenorio: The first half definitely wasn't pretty. The Redskins struggled to keep the ball on offense and just couldn't stop New York defensively.
Holmgren is a pretty big story, though...right?
Atlanta: It stinks to be Jason Campbell! Vinny's gone, but he left behind the "kick me" sign glued to Jason's jersey.
Oh, and Haynesworth going hockey is a good thing - he might not be a bad investment!
Eli to Jason after the game - "If my life was like that, I'd go back to New Orleans and be a gumbo cook!"
Paul Tenorio: Zorn said he planned on starting Collins in the second half because Campbell's shoulder was hurting him so badly. Campbell felt warmed up, though, before start of half and went in. "Go until you can't go anymore," Zorn told him. Any more shots and he would have been pulled, Zorn said, but Campbell played the whole way. "Jason was tough again. He really mentally and physically tried to stay in there and do the best he could."
New Jersey: What was Zorn thinking at the end of the first half?
Paul Tenorio: Not sure about that call. The Redskins had been unable to really protect the quarterback, then gave the punter just one blocker against several Giants pass rushers on a fake field goal attempt. Smith could've been hurt on the play, but the Redskins have had success on fakes and they probably thought they had another successful play drawn up.
Washington, D.C.: Jason got hit a lot tonight, but he's holding onto the ball too long also and should know that people are breathing down his neck. He has zero field awareness of the rush.
Paul Tenorio: I just dont think he has any time to let anything develop. There were few plays you could really say he held the ball too long. The rush was there so quickly. I disagree with the idea that Campbell was at fault at all or much for the pressure he was under tonight.
Fairfax, Va.: DO you think today Jon Gruden will be happy not to worry about coaching Redskins or Bruce Allen holding his head down thinking why did i did this to myself?
Paul Tenorio: There are 32 NFL head coaching jobs. 32. That's it. There are even fewer GM positions as some franchises don't even employ one.
The expectation of anyone taking over an NFL team that is struggling is that there will be some rebuilding. That likely includes this team, though Allen also talked in his press conference about some of the pieces this team already has when it comes to a foundation.
Night and day: Last week they played Oakland. Enough said.
Paul Tenorio: True. Though Oakland just went out and beat a pretty good Denver team yesterday.
Sone Mountain: I've been a Zorn supporter, but after tonight, I'm ready to roll the dice. He failed to get the team up, he started the game (or Sherm(s) did) with Jason's feet glued to the ground. Nah - it may be time to call this horse dead and make wholesale changes.
I'll still stick with Campbell, I've never seen a tougher QB and I doubt my god, Joe Montana would do any better with the pressure that Jason's seen.
Paul Tenorio: If you're a Campbell supporter or not, if you think he needs to go or stay, I don't think anyone can question his toughness. The guy just keeps getting up and I think that earns him a ton of respect around the league and on his team.
San Francisco: Who started the fight, Jacobs or Hall?
Paul Tenorio: Football games get chippy. Both guys went after each other, and guys from both teams crossed the line. I haven't seen the tape enough to give you an answer on who started it. I'm sure the league will handle the fines, though.
Columbia, Md.: If you're Allen looking at the upcoming draft, what positions do you go for?
Paul Tenorio: There's certainly some areas of need on this team, with many people feeling upgrades are needed on the offensive line, at running back and possibly at quarterback as well. I'm sure the Redskins will do a full evaluation of the team when the season is over and they'll move to fix the spots that need upgrades.
Westford, Mass.: What happened to Devin Thomas, is he hurt?
Paul Tenorio: Sprained ankle. He came back in the game, but will get x-rays.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Is there any aspect of this team-on both offense AND the much-praised D-that doesn't have to be rebuilt to be competent? My vote: NO. At times, Campbell looks like the only guy worth keeping next year.
Paul Tenorio: Sure, there are some players around whom the Redskins will certainly build. A few names come immediately to mind Orakpo, Fletcher...there are others who I could name but I get what you're saying.
Phoenix, Ariz.: What now?
Paul Tenorio: There are two weeks left. You sit and watch and evaluate and then when the season ends...you sit and watch which direction this team chooses to go. Will they blow things up completely? Do they keep the solid core of the roster? What happens in the coaching search?
Trust me, the Redskins season won't be ending when they walk off the field for the final time in San Diego. There are plenty of questions that will be answered after that.
Thanks everyone for joining me on this chat. Tough game to watch, and yet we had plenty of good questions. Stay tuned to washingtonpost.com and the Redskins Insider blog as we work to update you on plenty of stuff from the locker room.
"Though Oakland just went out and beat a pretty good Denver team yesterday.": Washington beat Denver, so that means Denver is not "pretty good". (Denver is 2-6 in the last 8 games btw, more proof they are not "pretty good".)
Paul Tenorio: True.
Fairfax, Va.: With the all the new changes coming next year what is your best guess when the Redskins will be competitive?
Paul Tenorio: In the NFL you never know. It's wait and see...there are plenty of example of one-year turnarounds, and examples of years of struggling and rebuilding...
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