Redskins-Dolphins postgame chat with Cindy Boren

Nov 13, 2011

Post blogger Cindy Boren will host a live discussion about the Redskins vs. Dolphins game shortly after it ends Sunday.

Good afternoon. Let's get going on Rex Redux, shall we? 

Does anyone ask The owner of the redskins how does he expect fans to put up with this product game after game year after year.

Well, he isn't exactly taking questions. It would be nice to hear from him with the team at, as Curt Menafee put it, close to being in the Luck sweepstakes. 

that would be unfair to stink. The league has completely caught up to them and it is hard to see how they win another game. No matter. Yet another season where we look forward to the draft before Thanksgiving. Miami stinks but at least played with some pride. The Shanahans will survive because they have guaranteed contracts but they really do not deserve it. The preseason progosticators were correct -- you cannot win in this league without quality quarterback play. That is the lesson of this season. SO who fits better in the vaunted SHanahan system -- Landry or Barkley (assuming we are out of the Luck Derby)?

Now, that's harsh...It's not so much that the league caught up as injuries did and so did the fact that the talent doesn't go very deep. This was never a one-year rebuild. Where they do deserve some criticism is at quarterback. Neither Beck nor Grossman is the answer. That's for sure.

I loved this team since I was a kid. I learned "Hail to the Redskins" in my first music class as a kindergarten student. I have stupidly lined the pockets of the worst owner in sports with countless merchandise purchases out of blind loyalty. I just can't take it anymore. It's soul crushingly embarrassing to know in your bones that somehow even if we won the Luck sweepstakes, he'd turn out to be Ryan Leaf. I'm sorry, I really pains me a great deal to say this, but as long as Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and Dan Snyder are with the Redskins...I can't be.

Really? You're not going to give the Shanahans three years? I think you have to. I have criticisms (Roy Helu not starting?) and often don't like what I see, but you don't bring in a guy like Shanahan and give up this quickly, regardless of whether Zorn had a better record at this stage or not. 

I don't care who your QB is, if you can't beat the dolphins, the coach needs to go. 1 TD in last 3 games, that's on the OC and head coach

The offense is dismal, starting with the play of the line. How does that happen? That's a legitimate question for Shanahan, who's now 0-for-3 on his QB selections (Campbell, McNabb, going into season with Grossman/Beck).

Does it matter whom the Redskins start if they have two poor quarterbacks. It's really as if they don't have a quarterback at all. I am guessing they are working on next season a great deal more than worrying too much about winning games this season.

It does matter. Grossman moved the team far better. Now, it still can't get into the end zone, but at least it got closer. If you're right about looking ahead, well, I hope not. You don't get better by walking away from a season halfway through. You get better by continually trying to win with what you have and experimenting. Even if it doesn't work. Wish I saw more energy, more intensity from these guys.

Cindy -- It's time for an "Occupy FedEx Field" movement now.

This started last week, I think, on Twitter. Maybe "Occupy Ashburn," since they're not at FedEx that often.

Boy, that was stinky.

Let's look at some positives, shall we? Ryan Kerrigan. Leonard Hankerson. There's two.

I didn't expect the team to turn into a top contender this year, but I thought 7-9 or 8-8 was reasonable for Shanahan's 2nd year. Although I think he should at least get one more year, should the team go 3-13 or 4-12, will Shanahan's job be at risk? Snyder didn't hire him to do worse in year #2 than in year #1.

I agree with you. I will be disappointed and extremely concerned if they don't show, at minimum, a one-game improvement over last year. At the moment, that doesn't look possible and, if I'm the owner, I'm letting the coach know what my expectations are. I'd ask to see real signs of growth and improvement by Thanksgiving 2012.

You cannot win games without ever scoring touchdowns. The 'Skins really need to work on their red zone offense.

Touchdowns would be nice, that's for sure. 

Did Grossman not learn anything during his time on the bench?

Rex Grossman is Rex Grossman. You know that. It's not like, all of a sudden, he's going to come in and be Drew Brees or Tom Brady. He's Rex Grossman, for better and for worse.

Does Kyle Shanahan hate his father? That would explain a lot.

I kind of like "the Shanahi" and hope that moniker sticks. I'm sure you're kidding. Right?

Its time to call up that former Jags Qb right? Redzone Rex can't cut it! Gunshy beck can't cut it. Kyle can't call it. Do the shannys really think these 2 qb's are better than mcnabb and JC? At least we scored touchdowns under zorn. Also why are the DB's always 10 yards off? Why does haslett continue to house blitz on 3rd down and get beat?

I hate to burst your bubble, but last I heard David Garrard was going to have surgery for a herniated disk (I had forgotten that last week and my have inadvertendly inflated the bubble). So forget that. 

Also hate to remind you that you didn't score THAT many TDs under Zorn...


The Redskins are an obvious train wreck at this point. Given that Miami was supposed to be one of the three softest teams remaining on our schedule (the others being Minnesota and Seattle), are we realistically looking at 3-13 this year?

I went with Miami to win this one after thinking it was a W back in April...I just don't like the lack of interest and emotion with which many of the players are playing. In fairness, the offensive line is a mess, especially without the blocking that Cooley brings, and in the red zone, it's especially apparent. The defense is fired up, but the offense never converts into points. (When Barnes didn't return the pick to the house, I knew they wouldn't score a TD.) At this point, Minnesota and Seattle are toss-ups and, even if one of the other teams is having an off-day, it doesn't feel as if the Redskins can put a game together to win. 

What's the best, non-Redskins related, deal I can get?

I think it's a positive that you're still thinking about food.

This team is not this bad, this was supposed to be a game that the defense dominated. I understand the low scoring on offense because they are enemic, but the defense should be ashamed for letting Miami hang 20 on them. This team plays flat on both sides of the ball and always seem to be out position and this is direct reflection on the coach. The common denominator for all the suprise NFC teams is that they have fiery young coaches that get the most out of their players - the game has passed Shanny bye, do you agree?

You raise a fair point. Fiery guys like the Harbaughs, for instance? That would have involved going in a different direction with the hire and really committing to a looooong rebuild rather than a medium-long rebuild. I think I've said this here before: those Blutarskyesque speeches, used at the right times. work in the NFL. I would love to hear a Shanahan speech.

It was clear the team needed to rebuild this way, and while losses like this are difficult to watch, are you concerned that Shanny or Snyder may not have the stomach to see this thing out?

I think it depends on how this year plays out, but my sense is that that is premature. I don't see Shanahan quitting and I don't see Snyder making a change because ... what do you do next? 

Cindy, enough with the 3 year grace period for Shanahan. Look, I know we weren't going to the SB in the first two years, but this team is _regressing_ versus last year. Personnel is obviously a problem (and a lot goes on shanahan who is a bad talent evaluator and should not be in charge of personnel), but a great coach should at least be competitive with journeymen, and I think it was more than fair to expect at 8-8 (or something close to that) in the 2nd year. Again, losing to top-10 teams like SF or BUF itself is not bad, but when you score 1 TD against the phins. Look at how fast how teams in the nfl goes from5/6 wins to playoffs. come on, how much more time does the shanahan experiment need

Another year. Imagine these guys healthy again, with another successful draft, the return of Jenkins, Hightower...I don't see any alternative to doing it that way. It's one thing for fans to commit and another to actually live it, given all they've gone through. It's tough and I feel for you.

Hi Cindy -- What do you think is the ultimate solution for this team/franchise? It seems that no matter who the coach is, or the QB, you still get basically the same results.

More O linemen and a QB, then linebackers/d-backs. Then you start looking at the coaches. 

How do you explain how bad the defense has become? I understand the O being awful, I really do. Going into the season, everybody knew that the O would suck. But the D? How do you explain the regression week after week? Is there any hope at all?

The D has had some injuries, too, and, face it, there's some age at key spots and the secondary is vulnerable. And some play-calling has been poor. 

A week ago (November 7), the WP published comments from Coach Shanahan at his meeting with the media, when asked about "rebuilding" efforts, Coach Shanahan replied "Well, what do you consider rebuilding?". OK , so if he can't answer that question, how is Coach Shanahan really "rebuilding" the Redskins? What is his real plan, and should fans just wait to buy tickets and watch the game when he is done "rebuilding"? Let's not forget that Redskins fans have been hearing this about rebuilding from various coaches for nearly two decades.

I think he hates the word "rebuilding" because I think he thinks he should win with whatever personnel he has. I think the thing he hates worse than that is talking to the media about rebuilding. I think his real plan is to draft like crazy again and get a QB. Hope he chooses wisely there. And, you're right, fans have heard that for a long time. I think he's aware of that, too. He isn't about to explain to people what he's thinking of feeling, though.

Thank goodness I took the dogs for an extra long walk this morning. Otherwise, another wasted Sunday. Rooting for this team is kind of like waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

You have a lot of company in the sincere pumpkin patch.

Teams don't really win in the NFL with a college-style personnel approach, i.e. "going with the hot hand." In college, maybe you can interchange QBs, RBs, etc., on a game-to-game (or even series-to-series) basis, but if you look around the league, winning teams have clear starters at those skill positions. You're right about Helu -- how he doesn't start this week after being so core to the gameplan last week makes no sense. What rationale could they have for this approach? However, it was great to see Hankerson get into the groove (but devastating to see him head to the locker room). And finally -- I am so over Laron Landry's theatrics, like taunting a player he crushed...after a 12 yard gain. He seems so disconnected from the plot. 100% about his bodybuilding and highlight reel hits than team defense.

But there has to be some fire, some emotional investment, in the pros. I know Shanahan likes the RB rotation, but start the guy who was hot the week before, right? Give him something to build on. Landry is playing with fire, but it's not properly directed.

Someone should really pull Landry to the side and explain that all that posturing and gesturing is not necessary when your getting hammered by a 1-7 team. What is his deal?

Maybe he's trying to fire up the defense, but it just seems like he's preening and flexing at all the wrong places and moments.

While Grossman is les mobile than Beck (and neither are good enough to make it happen alone), I think the real issue is that the Redskins line can't run or pass block. Without a running game, they can't operate a passing game in the NFL. They just aren't that good, are they?

Nope. Also, I'll say it again, the loss of Cooley was significant for his blocking ability as well as his pass-catching ability. He helped that side of the line.

I don't care if you have John Elway or Joe Montana in their prime. If a QB spends the game getting sacked, hurried or running for his life, you're not going to get any better results. With the play of the current line, all that drafting a shiny new quarterback would do is ruin him. See Campbell, Jason.

I've wanted them to go after O linemen for about five years now.

excuse only so much. This is simply a bad team, poorly coached. The schedule gets really hard now, and it may be time to pull the plug on worrying about winning and just playing the young guys. Let's see if we have anthying worth keeping. As you point out, Kerrigan is a find, Hankerson was a positive (and then got hurt), amybe a couple of other guys. Let;s see how some young guys respond to an opportunity. WHy not?

There's certainly a dropoff from the better teams -- you see it when you watch other games and it's pretty stark and dramatic. I'd love to see them throw everybody out there and do some wide-open things, but I don't think they have the people to accomplish that. 

Whatever metaphor you want to use..... I simply see no improvement by this team in any phase of the game. We all understand the lack of talent but I expected some better coaching that would make them more competitive. This is an average, at best, coaching staff. Mr. Snyder cannot be happy.

Given what we know about his background as a fan, no, he is not. I'm certain that is true.

Kyle, primarily and Mike ultimately. ALL quarterbacks will throw interceptions, but they also all need help from their receivers. Neither Beck nor Grossman get any. And I can not get on any Hankerson bandwagon as there have been too many plays the past three weeks with him running a wrong route, falling down, etc. A prepared team doesn't have these things happen so often, nor does it have such easy touchdown runs scored against it. So a big finger....pointed at the coaches

I think that's fair. How about some no-huddle plays? Are they capable of that, catching the defense off-guard?

C'mon Redskins fans, you need to suck it up and support your team. I have been a Dol-phan since 1964 and except for the short period around 1972 they have sucked for 40 years and you know what? Each loss hurts but I still love 'em. I was ready to send back all my Dolphins merchandise and granted I don't buy much of it anymore but they are still my team and I still support them week in and out, season after season.....even after the 1-15 one.

Or you could be, say, a Chiefs fan. (Feel free to pummel me if you'd like.)

Shanny's arrogance is amazing. Did he actually believe he could win with these two? Does he really think they are better than Mcnabb, Campbell, or any other undrafted rookie? The #1 problem with this team has been Oline for 4 years and that hasn't been addressed outside of williams. It could be joe montana back there behind this group and it wouldn't matter. Shannys arrogance doesn't help though. Game has passed him by like gibbs 2.0

I think any coach has to have an arrogance, a self-confidence that's just unshakeable. So I'll defend Shanahan for that ... but you may well be right about Gibbs 2.0. We shall see.

I believe we are looking at a 3-13 or at best a 4-12 season. Considering this regression, what positives (other than individual contributors) can you point to going forward? There really don't seem to be any.

At the end of the season, the coaches are going to have 25-30 guys they know they want to keep. Then they'll look for the other 25. And a QB.

Even if we lose all the rest of our games (a likely scenario), we will not get Lucky. JC will be available next season, now that the Silver & Black have paid a fortune for Palmer. Clearly Coach Gibbs (the last and only decent coach we have had in the past 20 years) saw something in JC. What about a second coming?

I don't see the Shanahans going in that direction. They didn't see anything they liked there, clearly. You have to feel for JC, getting hurt just as things were going better for him. 

Who is in worse shape? Which team will turn things around first? And, finally, is Edsall on thin ice, as he should be?

Redskins will turn things around before the Terps. Edsall gets another season, no?

So is today's three field goal against the pitiful Dolphins defense the performance that finally pushes Danny over the edge and forces Mike to fire Little Shanny?

Doubt it.

Update: Hankerson left the locker room on crutches and has a hip injury, per Kelli Johnson.

You really can't fire Shanahan as coach after two years, but you might be able to take away his player personnel duties. The QB decisions over the past couple of years, the lack of depth on offense, the lack of game-breaking talent on offense, all come back to Shanahan's personnel decisions. Snyder needs to convince Shanahan to turn those duties over to somebody else and focus on coaching; that's what a wise owner would do. Oh, wait...

I actually raised that with someone yesterday. Not sure I see that happening, because it's in the contract Shanahan signed. 

Brings us back to the idea of hiring the coach/GM rather than hiring a GM, who then hires a coach and builds a team. That's usually the best way to build a team, a real franchise. Look at Ozzie Newsome, for instance. 

It still stuns me to note that, after several major QB changes, often involving much money and draft picks, as well as barren attempts to find a working RB combo, it hasn't become decisively clear to Skins fans in general. What connects bad QB play and bad RB productivity together? It's been the offensive line, and it's always been the offensive line. It is insufficient for an OL to merely hold up the rush, as some people seem to associate with proper OL play for the Redskins, these days. Our linemen must prove that they can not only stop defenses from advancing on the RB/QB, but they must be able to open holes and gaps for our quarterbacks to be able to step up and look downfield, and to allow RBs to select a gap and run through at full trot, rather than having to stop, re-evaluate the lanes, and then try to make something happen. Yes, we don't have great QBs in our lineup, nor a game-busting RB. But an improved line will allow an average QB to become a successful average quarterback, and average runningbacks to become performing average running backs. Note that QB's are plentiful during the offseason, as are RBs. But good lineman? Not so much. If there isn't a focus on getting good offensive linemen, the mediocrity will become an enduring cycle. We, as Redskins fans, should have learned this point by now!

How can I argue with such logic? :)

I said this morning - against everyone's else practically - that you had to give Beck one more chance especially against his old team. Eh, the more things change...... So now if Rexy loses the next 3 games, do we get Beck back?

Uh, no. The Beck thing wasn't working. Not sure I see Beck returning without an injury.

why do you stand behind these Shannys ,they staked their reputation on these two QBs,and after all the players they have put on this team,they stand behind nothing that they have done .fire these two do not give them time to try to lie or make win from shanny after Elway says it all ,he is not a man of his word ,so what exactly does that mean stake your reputation,does it mean he would be man enough to man up to his bad choices and stop the lies,and quit or is it just bs like these 2 years they have wasted and called an improvement,only thing to root for here is the dismisal of these two redskin welfare recipients.Stop making excuses for these two sorry exuses.

I don't think I'm making excuses. The team is playing flat, unemotionally, dully and that goes straight to the coaches -- all of them. At this point, the team belongs toh the Shanahans. You can't just lurch to a change now. Had I been in charge of hiring after Zorn/Cerrato, I would have gotten the smartest GM I could find, handed him the checkbook and told him to hire a successful, young coach for the long haul. Then I'd have disappeared for about three years while they fixed the organization. But I don't have that power, so, given that the reality is the Shanahan era, I have to give it time.

Was amazed to see a forward pass at FedEx field last night. Also a touchdown. It was like discovering fire.

[Chuckling audibly.] It was something to behold.

So why does a team like the Baltimore Ravens consistently win games when the Skins consistently need luck just to keep from getting blown out? Long-time Skin fans know it boils down to coaching and the Shanahan family does not measure up. The directional objective, the mission... the vision is an abject failure.

I would also point to Ozzie Newsome, as I mentioned. He's the constant. George Young for the Giants...

Okay, I'm sick of people saying "Even if you had Joe Montana/John Elway/Tom Brady, blah blah blah, if they played behind this offensive line...." You know who's had bad o-lines the last few years? The Packers...Rodgers. The Steelers...Roethlisburger. If you have the right quarterback, they can make plays. If you have two awful ones...well.

There's some dropoff between Roethlisburger/Rodgers and Beck/Grossman, for sure. 

I feel like on Twitter and in these chats, you serve as a therapist for the disgruntled Redskins faithful. Misery loves company, so thanks to you and the Post peeps for hanging in there with us.

No, thank you. I enjoy hanging with you guys. I don't root for the Redskins or any team (I long ago outgrew the Chiefs, but allow you to beat me up over them), but having gotten to know alot of you, I fervently hope you get a winner. We need a tweetup!

Philadelphia is also 3-6 but they have actual talent. We expected to stink, excuse me, rebuild, excuse me, reload. Whatever. We have the excuse that out team is very bad. Philadelphia had Super Bowl hopes and they are in the basement with us. So things could be worse.

That's the spirit. Maybe, for one week, the cities could switch teams?

Does the Dan issue Shanahan a couple of ultimatums after the season? A: get a QB and B: playoffs (or at least 9-7). Or else?

I would. But I'd got with 8-8 and leave out that "p" word.

Be honest--do you think Shanahan is doing this just to try for Luck?

Anything is possible, but I don't see a three-game winning streak for the Colts...and I do think they're going to need a young QB. 

I just like that 13 years into the Snyder Era, and the only coach to leave with a winning record is still good ol' Norv Turner.

Good ol' Norv might be on the market again...

first ever 5 game losing streak for shanny. combine this with his first shutout he "saved" for the 'skins, isn't it clear he's lost it. it's not 1999

It is indeed his first five-game streak and his first shutout. I won't tell you that asking the question about whether he's lost it isn't legitimate. It is. Just don't think the answer is apparent yet.

Gibbs 2.0 went to the playoffs his second season. And I'm pretty sure he was older. Soooo....

Good points. 

A little research for you. Go back to the drafts of 2007, 2008 and 2009, which should have produced the core of your team. The Skins got five guys from those drafts, some good players like Landry, Orakpo and Davis, but only five. By comparison, the Ravens got 10 guys, including THREE starting offensive linemen (Grubbs, Yanda and Oher), Flacco, Rice, and five guys who either start or play a lot on defense. It takes time to recover from this.

Thanks! And I'll point out that there've been struggles, as with Oher and Flacco, for the Ravens.

If I'm right, the lockerroom will soon exhibit a coach losing his team. Open questions about who's starting, play calling, whatnot. Once that happens, the season is over and the coach has lost his team. Do you share that fear?

One might argue that that has already happened. There was a buzz that players were more unified behind Grossman than Beck when the switch was made to Beck. Now, maybe it goes back a bit. 

I think your fear is legitimate.

that is to say, after seeing Beck get sacked nine times in a game, the man with the fragile neck will retire before he becomes a Redskin. Not to mention the fact that the Shanahans probably would not permit Manning running the no huddle. Now, back to the cheap red wine.

I threw that out on Twitter a couple of weeks ago...I don't think I ever saw it as anything other than a fantasy, what-if question. For one thing, Manning (if healthy and if available) would want to go where he'd win. He's, what, 36 and coming off serious neck surgery? Is your wine a cheap "burgundy"?

One other comment. I think people would be wiling to buy the "next year" argument more if they haven't deal to with around 20 years, save for three seasons, of losing.

No question about that. This has been a patient fanbase.

just intercepted Eli, oh my!

That figures -- on both Rogers and Eli! And...did someone say Haynesworth blocked a PAT (intentionally, I believe)? 

LOL. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Ok, what would be an equivalent NFL-relatd speech?

There was only one Lombardi, but the speeches that work are the ones that make players feel like it's them against the world. There's a bit of baloney involved, but it works. These guys play once a week and that Ray Lewis pregame screech at his group works. I heard the Redskins today and -- nothing against them -- but it just rang hollow. 

Why should anyone continue to watch the Redskins poor performances? When you can't score it is hard to watch! Why don't they try some trick plays or gimmick plays? They couldn't possibly do any worse.

Some gimmicks, some trickery? Sure. What could it hurt?

I must sign off now; the Red Zone beckons and the cat needs to be fed. Until next Sunday, I'll see you on Twitter and at The Early Lead. Hope your week is a great one.

In This Chat
Cindy Boren
Cindy Boren blogs for The Early Lead and has edited Redskins and NFL coverage for the Post. Follow her at @cindyboren on Twitter.
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