D.C. Sports Bogger
Tuesday, December 22, 2009; 11:30 AM
D.C. Sports Bogger Dan Steinberg was online Tues., Dec. 22 to break down the best of the decade in the D.C. sports scene, all your questions about the Redskins Monday Night Football meltdown against the Giants, the surging Caps, the Nats' offseason moves, the Wizards, the latest Atlantic 11 and sports news and your questions and comments about his latest bog posts.
A transcript follows.
Read Dan's daily smorgasborg of the bizarre side of D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
Dan Steinberg: Hello sports fans. So I tried to cancel this chat in advance, seeing as how my daughter's preschool is closed for the week and this is one of my days. But I was told that wasn't possible, since this was our one and only chance to discuss the top 10 decade lists, including best d.c. athletes and best d.c. sports moments of the decade. I haven't gotten to the latter yet (Bruce Allen! Redskins! Stop making news!), but here's my top 5
1. Maryland men's national title
2. Baseball arrives in D.C.
3. George Mason goes to the Final Four
4. Return of Joe Gibbs
5. The Caps late 2008 rise to glory
Anyhow, I'm sure you want to ask questions about why the Redskins cause you such pain in your spleen, but since I agreed to do this for decade's best purposes, you dang better ask me about that. My daughter is sitting in front of the TV for the next hour, and it needs to be worth it.
Former Fansville, Va.: If Bruce Allen is supposed to have complete authority in rebuilding and running the team, what is the over and under on when he 'fires' the owner? Great job, Danny Boy in running the team into the ground, just like you've done with Six Flags.
Dan Steinberg: See, this really doesn't have anything to do with the decade's best.
And I'm sorry, but the Redskins are in MUCH better shape than Six Flags.
Atlanta: One week until the EagleBank bowl. Can you explain why this bowl even exists? Temple vs. UCLA? In DC? I mean seriously...
Dan Steinberg: I've definitely gotten more questions from Atlanta about the EBB than from any other city.
Look, it was supposed to be Army (we have armed forces here) vs. the bottom of the ACC (Virginia, Maryland, UNC, Duke all have tons of local alumni). But the ACC failed to get its 17th place team to qualify, and Army failed to qualify, and you couldn't very well cancel the bowl. Plus, Bill Cosby has done some hilarious interviews, being a Temple guy.
I talked about this on the Slate (ding!) sports podcast this week, but I absolutely loved going to last year's EBB. It's very random, and it doesn't mean anything, and it's in RFK, and you're sort of forced to just sit there and watch two teams play football. Seven thumbs up.
Washington, D.C.: Do you agree with Wise's theory that Zorn ran that bizarre play as payback
Dan Steinberg: No. I love Wise, but no.
Look, they were already losing 24-0 at that point. It's not like that play was the difference between respectability and shame. And that was like the fourth special teams trick play the Skins have called this year, so it's not like it's unprecedented. Heck, it's the second time they've called a trick special teams play at the end of a half when they had to show their formation before a timeout.
And if Zorn really wanted to tank the game, there are better ways than waiting until you're down 24-0 with one play left before halftime.
Poolesville, Maryland: Do you think that Zorn will get another head coaching position or will this be his only one? Maybe he goes to the Browns?
Dan Steinberg: No I don't. He's not young, he was never considered a hot candidate, he hasn't done well on the field, and at this point I think you'd have to say he hasn't done well off of it. Hard to imagine any owner or GM sitting in front of a toasty fire and saying, "the thing we need to go to the next level is Jim Zorn."
But he will definitely work again in this league.
Gloucester, Va.: This may be an odd question, but do you see the Redskins paying more attention to the Native American desire to remove the "Redskins" name from the team with the introduction of Bruce Allen as new Redskins General Manager?
Dan Steinberg: Nope.
Daniel Snyder has been adamant about this. And I've never talked to Bruce Allen, but if anyone is going to have sentimental feelings about the name and the logo, you'd guess it'd be him.
Centreville, Va.: I realized yesterday that LaRon Landry chooses a point in space and flies to that point as fast as he can, disregarding whether or not the ball carrier is even there. Jason Campbell has a similar approach in the passing game. Dan, how can I apply this strategy to my own life?
Dan Steinberg: Hmmmm, that's a tough one. Are you married? If not, maybe you can choose the woman (or man) of your dreams, and begin making plans to marry her (or him), whether or not she (or he) is interested. Maybe it's not an exact parallel, but at least
1) You'd be ignoring facts on the ground, and
2) It would end in humiliation
Alexandria, Va.: Didn't see much of the game last night--but did watch Zorn's comments afterwards. He seemed lost and clueless as usual. Do you get the sense that he's doing anything other than coasting at this point?
Dan Steinberg: I would put it somewhere between "coasting" and "spending 18 hour days and sleeping in the office and dreaming of perfect special teams plays."
I'd think it would be just about impossible to expend maximum drive-yourself-into-the-ground effort in this circumstance. I liken it to a blogger who figured out that the week of Christmas isn't really going to yield bountiful traffic, no matter how wondrous his prose or how hilarious his photos of people at football games dressed like chickens.
Really, we've all been running out the string at a job or at school or something like that, and you just can't pretend that doesn't affect you.
Arlington, Va: So, is there any way to be an optimistic DC baseball and football fan, considering in the past decade, the only real highlights have been "Baseball comes back to DC" and "Gibbs returns to 'Skins?" Or should I just take up fantasy politics or something more DC oriented for the next decade?
Dan Steinberg: Well, I haven't figured out 6-10 yet, but one of the Skins two playoff runs will likely be on there. All things considered, I might argue the Redskins had a better decade than the Wizards. Both teams won one playoff game/series, right? Sure, the Wizards made the postseason more often but it's a lot easier to do that in the NBA. And which team, realistically, could get a title shot first? In the NFL, you can rebuild completely in like two years. In the NBA, that's not happening, and you're not winning a title without a legend.
Out of towner: I was in California in 2002, so from where I was sitting, the Maryland team was a very good college basketball team playing in one of the weakest fields the NCAA has ever seen. I think that was the worst championship game ever. (Mike Davis? Come on.)
I don't say this just to hate on Maryland fans (OK, maybe just a little), but is that really the biggest DC story of the decade?
Again, I wasn't here, so maybe the buzz was huge. But I consider that championship to be like the Rockets winning during the Jordan interregnum. Sure it counts, but should it?
Dan Steinberg: I guess it depends how much you had invested in that. You're right that the final was horrific, but I don't think that diminished the significance. I mean, there had been baseball in D.C. more recently than the Terps had won a national championship, and with a couple of exceptions (Terps women's hoops, D.C. United, Terps men's soccer and field hockey), it was the only real national championship of the decade.
Arlington, Va.: If you have the men's basketball team winning a championship, you should also include the Maryland women who broke through in a reign of the usual suspects such as Tennessee and Connecticut.
Dan Steinberg: Yeah. It wasn't as big a deal then, so it isn't as big a deal now, but yeah.
Fredneck: Do you and Wise ever hang out and do "dude stuff" together?
Dan Steinberg: Watch MMA, you mean? Sure, whenever CBS shows the free shows. We both agree that you shouldn't have to pay to watch men punch each other in the ear, so on the pay per view nights, we usually watch Masterpiece Theater instead.
Washington, D.C.: When Matt Millen is insulting your football decisions ... is that like the ultimate rock bottom
Dan Steinberg: Nah. Just wait until Vinny Cerrato gets on ESPN and starts insulting your football decisions. That's rock bottom.
Good times at RFK!: Having never been to a college bowl game, and finding myself with absolutely nothing to do, I'm off to the glorious RFK and the Eagle Bank Bowl. Heck, I've never been to a college football game (American who doesn't have football). So, I'm giddy with anticipation!
Dan Steinberg: It's my one and only college bowl experience, and I'm not joking when I say it was great. Maybe not worthy of week-in-advance giddiness, but absent a natural disaster, a sleet storm or a 45-12 blowout, I can't see how you'd be disappointed.
Washington, D.C.: Do you think last night's performance could have been a plot by the players to get rid of Zorn?
Dan Steinberg: I think the Redskins players are mostly smart enough to realize that they don't need to do any plotting to get rid of Jim Zorn.
At some point, you figure his utter lack of a future with the franchise limits his ability to motivate his team. Maybe that point came last night.
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Not trying to hate on the Terps either, but has a team ever completely pissed away their National Championship like Maryland has? I mean, after winning it all, you would think that they would be lining up the recruits but they have been nothing but mediocre since.
Dan Steinberg: Ehhh, I don't know. That was sort of the inspiration for what became The Post's three-part series on Gary and the Terps last winter, and the reporting was terrific on those stories, but I'm still not convinced. So many national titles are won by teams that already have that incredible pedigree. The Terps weren't really in that class, and maybe they've returned to where they were before, but I don't know if I'd call that [tinkling] away the title.
BCS Ville: Dan, Everytime I hear someone took about College Football, it makes me cringe because it is so bogus that they dont have a playoff. Just to hear the BCS commish say that the playoffs would take away from the bowl experience. Can you honestly say that there is anything to be taken away from the EBB?
Dan Steinberg: No. And I don't mean my praise for the EBB to indicate anything about the BCS. It's an oozing pus-filled sore. But no playoff system is ever going to include 6-6 UCLA, and the EBB and similar bowls could be the equivalent of the CBI in college hoops. Just some randomness to fill a Tuesday afternoon.
Alexandria, Va.: Ok, I'll bite on the decade's top events in D.C. sports. So, the highlight for the Nats was just coming here and it's been downhill ever since? How about Zim's walk off homer on opening day at Nats Park? It's more of a real sports achivement event and not just a press conference. One event that won't make it is the introduction of the Atlantic 11. Seems more like local alumni voting for their alma maters
Dan Steinberg: The Atlantic 11 has been a big success from a pith standpoint. Many of the voters are exceedingly funny. I think you could plausibly argue that the group votes have been disappointing. If Georgetown and some random ACC school will be 1-2 every single week, what's the point. Of course, if William & Mary and Richmond were 1-2, what would be the point? What's the point of the CAA tournament? What's the point of waking up in the morning? But that's a different chat.
As for the Nats, I don't think saying their arrival was the most significant event implies that it's all been downhill ever since. Unless I awarded the time when I took those raviolis out of the pot for my daughter five minutes ago the best moment of the decade, you could say "it's all been downhill ever since" about any top moment. We were without baseball for decades, and then we got a team. Absent a playoff run or some sort of on-field transcendence, that's a hard moment to op.
Annapolis, Md.: Dan 2 Questions -
1. What will happen first - Orioles, Nats, or Redskins to have a winning season
2. Who is the new head coach in 13 days?
Dan Steinberg: Redskins. Easily. NFL teams have winning seasons like every other year. The Nats and Orioles have proven that baseball teams do not behave likewise. I'll bet the Skins are above .500 in 2011.
And I'm too busy transcribing the remarks of Trevor Matich to have anything in the way of a source, but if I were betting, I'd sure dump a lot on the Shanahan circle.
Top 6-10: Here are some ideas: - Georgetown Basketball returns to the land of the relevant - Michael Jordan suits up as a Wizard and sells out the MCI/Verizon Center - Wizards win a playoff series (that was huge when it happened - I was there) - This is hard actually - Didn't DC United win like 4 championships? - Tiger's Golf Tournament coming to Congressional - finally a Tour stop worth paying attention to
Dan Steinberg: Well, I proposed 20 items a few weeks ago, so I have the idea pretty well in my head. The Wizards playoff series is certainly in there. MJ, possibly. Sean Taylor should be reflected in some way. And the Caps need a second item that reflects the ascendance of Ovechkin.
St. Louis, Mo.: Of the players currently on D.C. sports teams, who's your guess for top three for next decade?
Dan Steinberg: Of current players? Off the top of my head, Orakpo, Zimmerman, Strasburg (big maybe, but why not), Ovechkin, Green, Varlamov, Pontius.
Arlington, Va.: I vote for Caps beating Rangers in Game 7 as one of the top moments - being there certainly helped. Rock the Red!
Dan Steinberg: Yeah, that was pretty good. Hard to capture the recent Caps phenomenon accurately under our "five words or so" rule.
Bethesda, Maryland: Hey Dan, find your posts and comments on Vinny Cerrato to be hilarious.....anyways, do you see Jason Campbell returning next year? I cant see anyone better than him at this point who we could bring in.
Dan Steinberg: I continue to be a Jason Campbell skeptic, his recent run of fine play notwithstanding. But I've been won over to the argument that there are no plausibly superior alternatives for next year, and the national voices seem to be saying the same thing. So yeah, I guess I'd guess he returns.
Richmond, Va.: What are the odss that the CAA gets more than one bid this year (or any year) to the NCAA tourney?
I'm thinking specifically VCU and W and M, but maybe GMU or someone else?
Dan Steinberg: It requires the same thing it'll always require: two or three teams dominating the regular season, recording impressive Bracket Buster wins, and then hopefully the best of those teams losing a close game in the CAA title game. The early RPI numbers are promising, certainly for the first two teams you mentioned. They'd also be helped by their marquee wins (Oklahoma and Wake Forest) continuing to look good in two months. And of course, W&M gets another big time shot with the Maryland game. Not sure about VCU's upcoming schedule.
Alexandria, Va.: Am I the only one who finds it wierd that the night before the College Football National Championship game that we are treated to Troy-Central Michigan in a bowl game? The night before a game between (what are supposed to be) the best teams in the land and we get this? That really fires me up for the next night.
Dan Steinberg: Well, obviously you haven't entered one of those "weight your confidence" bowl pools. All you have to do is type "33" next to the Central Michigan slot on the form, and suddenly it's the second-most important game of the season.
NPR contributor and smart person Mike Pesca mentioned something the other day that I had never thought of: Why is it called "Series." What's the "series" element of it? Why isn't it just called "Five Bowl Games."
Washington, D.C.: Since it won't be in this decade's list, the day Teddy finally wins a presidents race should be slotted into 2019's best-of-the-decade list right now. Provided it happens, of course.
Dan Steinberg: Against every fiber of my being, I've been converted to the school of thought that says the Teddy gimmick has outlived its usefulness. Sure, keep the race still, but it's dang hard to keep the same routine funny for three years, and I think the time has come.
Scituate, R.I.: Dan,
Would it be a wise move by the Redskins to name a new coach soon after the season to get things in motion for next year?
Dan Steinberg: Yes. They've tried the alternative (wait until everyone else says no, then appoint some dude with spiky hair from across the country), and that didn't work very well. And the new coach is presumably going to be much more involved in personnel than Zorn was.
Silver Spring, Md.: Re: BCS
One of the highlights of the decade was the NHL doing a couple things right after their lockout. One was claiming the early afternoon of New Years Day after it was abandoned by college football. Remember when New Years Day was a big deal for college football? I think the BCS is actually trying to accelerate the end of the bowl era. At some point, the TV event will completely eclipse the at-the-game experience and folks won't care as much about which team 'travels' to the bowl; it will only be about which team draws high ratings.
We won't get a college playoff because it will be so great. We'll get a college playoff because the bowls are running down hill.
Dan Steinberg: I'm not sure about this. I'm no expert on the finances, but if the six BCS conferences can maintain a disproportionate share of that BCS television contract, I don't think your dream scenario will happen.
That said, good call on the NHL. There are a lot of people looking more forward to outdoor hockey than Auburn-Northwestern, or whatever.
Palmetto, Fla.: The quote from Gruden is that he is NOT coaching next year. Mike Holmgren is out of coaching and into 'el-presidente'. Question is, would you think that such a miserble, humiliating game as was played last night would "TURN OFF" any possible future coaches that might think the Redskins are beyond help? - Thanks in advance.
Dan Steinberg: No way. Not a chance. If anything, it HELPS. Think about how much less pressure there is in taking over a team that the entire country has just seen be humiliated. You can more easily justify a complete tear down. You can more easily justify another season of struggles.
Aside from that,
1) The amount of money we're talking about is enough to assuage just about any worries about success, and
2) These very successful coaches always think they can succeed where others have failed, and
3) Two weeks ago, the Redskins were one chumpy kicker away from beating one of the best teams in the NFL.
Look, it's fun and easy to ridicule them for what happened last night, but they're not THAT bad. They're just not. The offensive line is atrocious, and there are issues all over the field, but most NFL teams have issues at this time of year. Look at the meltdown in Minnesota, and they're possibly in line for a first-round bye. If we can dismiss what should have been a win over the Saints, I think we can also dismiss last night. It was the first time in nearly two years under Zorn that they've just been blown away, and I really don't think they're as bad as they looked.
Boise, Idaho: So are you going to have a post about the fight today?
Dan Steinberg: Another one? I already did late last night. My time today is exceedingly scarce. But maybe, I guess.
Bowie, Md.: You know what? I can respect standing up for yourself, and being willing to take anyone on. But Jacobs clearly instigated the fight, and threw at least one punch (I thought he threw two), and he knows it. For him to say, when asked point blank, that he didn't, is lame and pathetic. Own up to what you did.
I'm not blaming the game on the refs or anything, but to call only Haynesworth for a penalty in that sequence was outrageous. If anything, both guys should have been flagged and tossed for throwing punches.
Dan Steinberg: Jacobs was kind of laughing and smiling when he said he didn't throw a punch. And later he said he'd take any fine he gets. I didn't really understand his tactic, but he also preceded it by saying he wasn't going to talk to the media (right when he started talking to the media). I don't know the guy at all, so I can't really interpret what he was going for.
I though the call on Haynesworth was extraordinarily ridiculous, but not surprising in the least.
Caps Bandwagon - Arlington, Va. to Washington, D.C.: There is still room. Climb aboard. You won't be fleeced for money and you'll actually have fun and smile.
Dan Steinberg: That's fine, and I expect it to load up real nice come January. I think Sept-Dec will always be Skins-first around here, but people are increasingly desperate for a winner, and with the Wizards floundering, the Caps will be the marquee attraction for at least four months.
Seattle, Wash.: On Sunday I thought my Seahawks were the worst team in the NFL. Monday night I realized we weren't. Thanks for the Christmas gift!
Dan Steinberg: Neither are. If we're going to be all bottom line, "you are what your record says you are," then the Lions and Rams and Chiefs and Bucs are all well below the Skins. If we're not going to be all bottom line, then the Skins played the NFC's best team closer than every other team than the Cowboys. And if you're going to bring up head-to-head, well, the Skins crushed the Raiders, who beat the Broncos, who also lost to the Skins.
I'm for real on this. You can say the Redskins' performance was the worst of Monday Night Football this season. You can say it was an embarrassing and dreadful display of incompetence. But I will not let you say the Redskins (or the Seahawks) are the worst team in the NFL.
Bethesda, Md.: Dan-o,
I'm sure the ratio of Redskins-Caps questions is around 85-1.
But let me ask: why are people paying attention to a dog of a team when the best player in the world is down the street on a legit contender?
Rhetorical question. But I want these morons to understand THE REDSKINS ARE NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!
Dan Steinberg: This is all perfectly true. The thing about the Skins around here is it's the drama, the soap opera, the weekly story line. Hockey is like that in some markets, but it isn't here. If it were, we'd have had a rollicking city-wide debate about David Koci and Bruce Boudreau and Mike Green, among many other similar possibilities this fall.
I can fill up my silly blog by doing nothing but listening to sports talk radio interviews about the Redskins. It's that weird infrastructure of noise that makes the Skins a part of the civic discussion. That's what the Caps need for this ratio to switch.
Western Alexandria, Va.: The downside of the Winter Classic is that the NHL prevented any other games on New Year's, killing the traditional Caps home game.
Dan Steinberg: See, I should have known the Caps traditionally played on NYear's. I didn't.
Albert Snyder: So Albert Haynesworth is of the mindset that, by gum, they've got fantastic players and all they need is a rip-roaring coach to get them to play well.
Seriously? One of the relative constants on this team during Snyder's tenure is the key players on the team. The revolving door that is the coach's office is a laughingstock in the league.
Does getting paid $100 million to phone it in over a few games make one delusional?
Dan Steinberg: I don't think Albert is delusional. I think you can question his fitness and his injury-proneness, but I think he's a very smart and perceptive guy. Zorn has no leverage to inspire the team right now. If there was any thought he might be back next year, that died with the Cerrato/Allen switcheroo. It's not like Zorn is the first laidback, lame duck coach who proved to be a mad motivator.
Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C.: Whatever happened to that possible Nyjer Morgan-Washington Capitals connection? Has he been sighted at any games yet? Have the Caps invited him to come practice with them or anything?
I need something to hold me over until the Jason Marquis press conference this afternoon.
Dan Steinberg: You know, that's a good question. A lot of the Nats players who live out of town (which is just about all of them) pop in for a few days to do community events for the team, and then are gone. Somehow that link has never officially happened. I know Nyjer was here for a Kidney disease fundraiser, and I saw him walking in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade.
Arlington, Va.: Was it my imagination or was Jim Zorn almost jovial in his postgame interview? Is that the face of someone who has just snapped? Or someone who is cashing a check because they know whether they play good or bad, they are gone at the end of the year.
Oh sorry, about that Top 10, what are your top 10 moments of the Zorn era. That dumb gadget play last night may take over "Hip Hip Hooray" for me.
Dan Steinberg: Zorn has never really gone the anger route in his postgame interviews. I think we've seen the odd joviality from him before following nasty losses. He's really a different kind of guy, extremely un-NFL-head-coach-like, both in victory and in defeat.
Not sure on top 10 moments, but it's certainly odd that by far the most convincing win of the Zorn era came exactly seven days before by far the most convincing loss.
McLean, Va.: FedEx game day (or night) experience:
- Two hours to get to the stadium (the last 45 of which were on exit ramp and parking lots) - Parking attendants are no better than mannequins with orange vests. They parked people in behind and in front of me. - Cold fries: $5. Sprite: $5. Beer (not that I had one) $8. - Fans are drunk, rude (Giants fans were nicer). - "Big" screen is from 1983 - 1.5 hours to get home - Please, please, please -- no more Burgundy on Burgundy (or white on white for that matter). Makes the team look like a WAC team (and we played like one) - Product on the field is barely approaching NFL caliber.
Had to vent, sorry.
Dan Steinberg: Other than that, how was the game, Mr. McLean.
As fun as these experiences sound, they can't touch the guy I heard from who waited in line 15 minutes for hot chocolate, was told they were out, waited 10 more minutes, and was finally handed a cup of hot water and a packet of Swiss Miss. That's called awesome.
New York, N.Y.: To those hating on the U-Md. Championship: Yes, it was a big deal. It was the only significant championship in the area the entire decade. The championship run also was a helluva story. Len Bias, Terps worked over by the NCAA, Gary Williams comes back to resuscitate his alma mater, Juan Dixon (a player nobody wanted with a tough life story), etc. Even if you weren't a Terps fan, it was a great story.
Dan Steinberg: I agree. I guess I'm biased, because those Terps games became group events for my circle of friends at the time, in a way nothing since has. Of course, even if Caps playoff games were like that, I wouldn't know, since I'm at the games taking photos of sillily dressed fans and eating free popcorn.
Laurel, Md.: Do you know why WTTG-5 didn't show the Ravens game Sunday after the time was moved? Their web site listed that game in the 4:00-7:00 block and it was on my Comcast box listing. But they showed Philadelphia-San Francisco.
This ticks me off, because I live 20 miles from Ravens Stadium, but being in Prince George's County, Comcast doesn't carry Baltimore stations (like 45, which did carry the Ravens).
Dan Steinberg: I have no idea, but I wanted to watch Ravens-Bears (for fantasy football purposes) and was subjected to Philly-San Fran. Seemed odd for me, in Montgomery, and it seems odder for you. Wish I had a better answer.
On the other hand, if I had to watch Ray Rice do virtually nothing for my fantasy team in a complete blowout of the Bears....well, maybe it was for the best.
Fushezzi, Md.: Which of the following three will have more fans in attendance next Sunday night:
Dan Steinberg: Wale will be last. I'm pretty sure about that.
It's another impossible situation. The city always empties out for the holidays, and the Cowboys have a national fan base and are playing for the playoffs, and the Skins are playing for nothing and have just been humiliated. No, all those factors won't stop me from making obnoxious comments about the ratio of Cowboys fans there, but it's just an impossible situation for Skins fans to be in.
Wichita Falls, Texas: My 21-year-old son, a lifelong Redskins fan, deployed to Iraq this week, just in time for Christmas. To boost his morale, I urged him to get up at 4:30 a.m. his time and catch the game on the Armed Forces Network. What can I possibly say or do to make it up to him?
Dan Steinberg: Oooof. I've got nothing for you. Maybe it can make being in Iraq and NOT watching the Skins feel like a good time?
Best wishes to your son. Send him some cold french fries and a $5 Sprite.
Look on the bright side: The worst thing that could have happened last night would have been for the Redskins to upset the Giants. For example, if the Redskins' offense had played as well last night as they did in their near upset of the Saints, it might have camouflaged some of this team's glaring needs. Last off-season Vinny Cerrato deluded himself into thinking that the offensive line did not need more attention than he gave it, so he spent a lot of cap money on the defense. This season the Redskins and their fans paid the price for that decision. But at least after the beating Jason Campbell took last night there is no way Bruce Allen will think the o-line doesn't need major attention. I hate to say it, but the worse the Redskins play in the final two games of the season, the better it will help Bruce Allen assess the team's needs.
Dan Steinberg: I don't think this is a ridiculous perspective.
Also, if Zorn won the final four games of his tenure, on the heels of those strong showings against the 'Boys, Eagles and Saints, and then got canned anyhow, part of Daniel Snyder's everlasting resume was gonna be "he fired Jim Zorn when he finished strong and had just won four straight games against legit competition." At least we won't hear that trope now.
Herndon, Va.: Mr. Bog:
I know Jason Campbell is not a quitter, and will go out to play until he can't move, but why, why, would he be left in so long last night, as battered as he was? He could have won a "non-support case" versus his offensive line in any court in the country.
Dan Steinberg: I asked the same question to Paul Tenorio, who somehow manages to know everything about the NFL. He pointed out that putting an aging Todd Collins out there to get battered wouldn't really serve much point, either. So I decided they should have wildcatted with ARE down the stretch. Or just let Hunter Smith throw on every play.
Section 127, Row 13: Dan ... it was great to meet you last night at the game although not the performance we were expecting after the last couple of games when they played well, despite the W-L record. Still, we know that ... "Change Is Good" ... and it will take time.
Dan Steinberg: There were some great fan shirts/posters last night. If I wasn't doing this chat, I would post them. Instead, I'll communicate one on one with the random people whose hands I shook last night. So, thanks section 127, Row 13. Great meeting you, too.
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina: Why am I not seeing Jeremy Jarmon in on defence much? I see Rob Jackson sometimes but I saw Renaldo Wynn in a lot. Shouldn't the Redskins be playing the young guys just to see what they've got and get them some game time?
Dan Steinberg: ACL tear. Done for the year.
The District: I think Zorn should run the fake punt play every down until it works. How long would it take for completion?
Dan Steinberg: Unless there's some sort of "players didn't execute it correctly" angle that I'm missing, I'm pretty sure you might die first.
Bowie, Md.: Where do I get my "Fire Bruce Allen" t-shirt?
Dan Steinberg: Now that's a great question. And here's another question: What is everyone doing with their anti-Vinny Cerrato shirts, posters, leg warmers, ear muffs, coffee mugs, bumper stickers and decorative placemats?
And on that, note, I'm going to go rescue my daughter, who is comatose in the other room while talking to herself about something or other. I guess she's making like Jim Zorn.
Thanks for all the questions, although an outrageously low number of them were about the top 10 decade lists. I'm pretty sure the chat will be off next week, and then back on the first Tuesday of January, by which point the Zorn Era will likely have ended. Hopefully with one more "maroon and black" reference, but maybe that's being greedy. Enjoy the holidays, everyone.
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