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Redskins fail to answer the calls

Offense continues to struggle; Cooley breaks his right ankle

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Television cameras showed new play-caller Sherman Lewis scanning his sheet for something that could help to jump-start the Washington Redskins' moribund offense against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Coach Jim Zorn probably could have told Lewis the answers he sought were not on paper.

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Although Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, were hopeful that Lewis's calls could provide a spark, it again was clear that the Redskins have much bigger issues on offense than who selects the plays as the Philadelphia Eagles raced to a big halftime lead and cruised to a 27-17 victory at FedEx Field.

The absences of injured left tackle Chris Samuels and right guard Randy Thomas contributed to another disappointing night for the Redskins and many in a crowd of 88,241 on Washington's last game before the bye week. In addition to those injuries, Washington played most of the final three quarters without Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley, who broke his right ankle in the second quarter.

"He's got a break in his ankle," Zorn said after the game. "It's on the inner side of his tibia. I haven't seen the X-rays yet, but we're quite certain it's broke or fractured in some way. He'll be out for a while. I don't know that it's a season-ending injury yet. I can't say that."

Campbell finished the game completing 29 of 43 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He had one interception and fumbled the ball once. Campbell was sacked six times. Clinton Portis had 43 yards on 14 carries.

On Cerrato's recommendation, Snyder stripped Zorn of play-calling duties after last week's loss to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs. But with Lewis -- who came out of retirement three weeks ago to join Washington as an offensive consultant -- in charge of the plays against the Eagles, Washington (2-5) was often overmatched against the Eagles (4-2).

"Guys got to understand the game plan," Redskins defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin said afterward. "Doesn't matter who calls the plays, doesn't matter what's called. You got to block somebody. You got to move somebody off the line of scrimmage -- on both sides of the ball."

The Redskins were unable to contain dynamic Philadelphia wide receiver-punt returner DeSean Jackson. The second-year player had a 67-yard touchdown run and a 57-yard touchdown reception in the first two quarters as the Eagles moved to a 17-0 lead and led 27-10 at halftime.

The Redskins had the only second-half touchdown, a one-yard pass from Campbell to tight end Fred Davis with 1 minute 38 seconds to go in the game.

"I have no idea, no idea," DeAngelo Hall said, when asked what needs to change. "Different day, same results."

For the second time in as many games, Campbell struggled in the first half and the Redskins were booed off the field going into the locker room at halftime. The Eagles turned three Redskins' turnovers -- including two by Campbell -- into 13 points.

But unlike at halftime of the 14-6 loss to the Chiefs the previous week, Zorn did not make a change at quarterback. He decided to stick with Campbell instead of again turning to longtime backup Todd Collins.

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