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The OT: Redskins Postgame Live Chat, Redskins vs. Cowboys

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The Redskins Writers
of the Washington Post
Sunday, December 27, 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 will be online immediately after Washington's Sunday Night Football face off with the Cowboys on Sun., Dec. 27 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.

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Washington, D.C.: Will Jim Zorn keep his job after the season is over?

Paul Tenorio: No. And it seems increasingly likely that this will be the landing spot for Mike Shanahan. Reports are the former Broncos head coach is not interested in Chicago or Dallas, and he reportedly turned down the Bills. All that points to Washington as the likely destination, and many believe it will occur quickly after Washington season ends next week in San Diego.

Either way, it appears doubtful that Zorn will return for a third season as head coach of the Redskins.

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Washington, D.C.: Why?

Paul Tenorio: Many, many people feel your pain.

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Washington, D.C.: With the current woeful state of the Redskins, with an eye towards trying to save the franchise -- is there ANYONE on this team worth saving in hopes of redemption and/or turning this hapless conglomeration of overpaid losers around? This is as a pathetic an example of poor "everything" as ever I have seen? How can it be fixed given the top-to-bottom inadequacies?

Paul Tenorio: Sure there are some pieces that will be around next year. I will say, though, that it was tough to tell a friend of mine what Redskins jersey to buy for a Christmas gift. The only answer for a name that'll be around and likely be successful for years to come that I could think of was Orakpo.

Otherwise, though, there are some players that are worth building around and worth keeping on the team in the next few years. Orakpo, Fletcher, Jarmon, Carter are the ones that immediately come to mind. Fred Davis has proven worthy of keeping and of course Chris Cooley. You'll see Devin Thomas after he has shown vast improvement. What side of the argument do you land on when it comes to the Jason Campbell issue? He could be another name...

It is possible, though, that there will be a roster overhaul this offseason.

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Manassas, Va.: Can we forfeit the next game?

Paul Tenorio: Hey, at least they get a trip to San Diego out of it. I heard it's nice out there this time of year.

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Rapid City, S.D.: When will we see a Redskins team worth watching again? Three years?

Paul Tenorio: This is the NFL, a league that has shown teams are capable of turning things around quickly -- sometimes needing just one season to go from bad to playoffs. Look at Miami last season, which went from 1-15 to, I believe, AFC East champions.

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Boston: Will there be an adequate pick at the Redskins' slot for a quarterback?

Paul Tenorio: Ugh. I hate these questions. But there are several major quarterback options that are considered first-round talents, Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy come immediately to mind and I know I'm missing a couple other guys. Someone said there are four QBs that might end up going in the first half of the first round, but I have yet to make a phone call to my draft guru to figure things out...

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Best thing I can say about tonight's experience was leaving at halftime and getting home in 45 minutes. How much longer can Dan Snyder maintain a fanbase when the game day experience is so miserable and the team is so mediocre? I actually spent more time commuting to/from the game than watching it.

Paul Tenorio: When the team wins, all is healed. I can promise you that you wouldn't be leaving at halftime if the Redskins were 13-2 or 14-1. The first step is going to come in how this team is (presumably) rebuilt over the next few seasons -- though gripes about the commute out to FedEx are sure to remain.

It's definitely not as easy as hopping on the Metro to RFK like the old days.

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Washington DC: I thought Albert H. aquitted his fat self rather well -- too bad he doesn't play that well every game. Agree or no?

Paul Tenorio: For all the drama that comes along with Haynesworth, there is NO denying his impact in the middle of that defensive line. He showed himself on the two third and 1s and the fourth and 1, getting in on the plays or stuffing the middle so others could make the tackle. The guy is a beast, you can't argue about his play. I think most people argue, however, that the amount of money spent on one player might have been used on multiple players. The Redskins felt, though, that Haynesworth would improve an already good defense and that might put the team over the hump and into the playoffs.

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Manassas, Va.: Why would Mike Shannahan come here?

Paul Tenorio: An owner that has shown he wants to win and will spend however much money to do that...an uncapped year, the tradition of the Redskins franchise. That all adds up. Also, coaches get paid here. A lot.

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Horrific!: What's Zorn's explanation for punting on 4th and 11, then using his timeouts to get the ball back? Was he saving face?

Paul Tenorio: No idea. A lot of people were shaking their heads in the press box about that. Just didn't make any sense...

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Annapolis, Md.: I'm a diehard Redskins fan, but let's be serious. This rivalry has become nothing more than a joke the past 20 years. Best rivalry in the NFL? Please. You want a legit rivalry? Look at what has developed between the Ravens and the Steelers. Two teams that truly HATE one another ...

Paul Tenorio: A lot of people feel that way. I think Redskins fans will always look at the Cowboys as their top rivals, though you do hear a lot of Dallas fans argue that they feel more about the Giants and Eagles than Redskins. Again, it's all about having two winning teams play each other and fight things out. Wonder if having George Allen's son back in the franchise will add anything to that rivalry...

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Somerville, Mass.: Given that the offensive line needs to be overhauled, doesn't it makes sense to hang on to Campbell for a little while longer? Bringing in a superstar as a quarterback makes no sense unless there is an offensive line to protect him; given that Campbell has a reasonably good arm, maybe he could stay next season while we work on building the line. Ganther too, for that matter ... what do you think?

Paul Tenorio: I feel that way about Campbell, I really do. I think it's easy to argue that there are several things that should rank above QB on the 'need-to-fix' list. As for Ganther...I mean, the Redskins finished with 43 yards rushing today. That's not going to get it done.

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Washington, D.C.: Wouldn't it have been better to wait until after the season was over -- when we were finally out of it -- before announcing changes (e.g., Cerrato et al.) to the team, media and public? What a downer. (We had been playing well, despite our losses.) And how demoralizing ...

Paul Tenorio: The Redskins were playing good football for the most part and that's why it caught some people, including myself, off guard when they decided to make the changes. It certainly has been a different team since the shake up and you have to believe that the players just couldn't handle another huge dose of off-field drama.

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St. Louis, Missouri: It's ironic the Redskins will end their season and likely the coaching career of Jim Zorn next week, against the first coach Dan Snyder ran out of D.C.

Paul Tenorio: Hadn't even thought of that. And Norv has the Chargers playing like maybe the best team in football right now.

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White Lake, Mich.: Do you think Jason Campbell is gone? I have a feeling we would be better served to spend our efforts in many other offensive positions than QB. Will he have a choice?

Paul Tenorio: Jason Campbell will be a restricted free agent, which means Washington has the right to match any offer he gets and also that if they tender him a contract they would receive picks as compensation if another team signed him. If they offer him $3.64 million they would get a first and third round pick. We'll see if they choose to do that.

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Washington, D.C.: Wow, another depressing loss. Watching this game made me realize how many holes this team has to fill to be competitive again. The offensive line alone should only have 3-4 carryovers from this year's team (Dockery, Rabach, Rhino, and maybe Heyer).

Where would you start? What are the first five positions you look to upgrade?

Paul Tenorio: On-field play has indicated that there are definitely a few positions that could be on the list for upgrades. Right tackle, left tackle, running back would probably be the top three. You could see more though.

Also, messed up on that last number about Campbell. The offer would have to be $3.268 million for the first- and third- compensation.

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Novi, Mich.: Hi Paul,

Can't wait until next Sunday around 7:15 p.m. when this season will finally die. I've never seen such a mediocre quarterback like Jason Campbell receive so much support and excuses for his shortcomings by the local media in my 50 years of following football. Never. The only ones who seem to shed a bit of truth about his liabilities are some of the broadcasters in the booth.

I wonder if the media will be as forgiving to Colt Brennan, Todd Collins, or whoever takes the snaps next year as it has been for Campbell. I rather doubt it. Your thoughts and feelings?

Paul Tenorio: Well, I've kind of been on the Campbell bus. I just don't think he's been given a true chance to show what he can do. Certainly not this year. And yet his numbers have continued to improve every year he's been in as a starter. That's one of the arguments for. My colleague Dan Steinberg has made a compelling argument against Campbell, showing his numbers in the final few minutes and while trailing. Check out the DC Sports Bog for that post, though you'll have to dig for it...

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Washington, D.C.: Why do the Redskin fans consider Dallas their chief rival and not Philadelphia or the NY Giants? They've played the Eagles and Giants since the 1930's and Dallas since 1960. Especially since Dallas owns Washington winning 60 percent of the games in 100 games. Then again, the Giants own them historically also.

Good question I think, and I await a good answer. Thanks

Paul Tenorio: The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry goes back to the George Allen days. He instilled a hate in his team about playing the Cowboys and it started the rivalry. The rest is history. Someone can send in something more detailed, if they want...

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Rancho Cucamong, Calif.: Is JC-17 afraid to actually take a shot downfield?

Paul Tenorio: He just doesn't have time to do it. On one play he pump faked in the game, then turned to look down field and took one step and got crushed for a sack. When you have an offensive line that can't protect on seven step drops it becomes increasingly difficult to look for the deep ball...

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Paul Tenorio: Okay guys, I'm going to run down to the locker room and try to help out with quotes. I'll see you next week after San Diego and we can chat longer as we reflect on the season as a whole and also on what the future brings. Perhaps we'll know more about the direction of this franchise by then...

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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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