Sep 26, 2010

Washington Post blogger Cindy Boren will be online immediately following the Redskins' match-up with the Rams to talk about the game.

Hi, gang. Sorry there isn't a little more positive -- okay, anything positive -- to discuss. This feels a lot like the chats of the last few years, doesn't it? The Redskins looked old, their personnel appeared ill-tailored to their schemes (or vice versa). Now, I'm going to caution you that these things take time and maybe there's just a Week 3 dome curse on 'em, but there are a lot of questions to be asked. Among them: What's up with Clinton Portis? Tell me what's on your minds.

Did the Redskins think it was their bye week, and not find out they had a game today until noon Friday?

I'm pretty sure they knew this wasn't the bye week ... boy, dome games really are their kryptonite. What disturbs me is that I see some of the patterns from last week: getting crushed in the second half, for one thing. They were gutsy to come back after getting into a 14-0 hole, but oof, this one was wretched.

Happened to the Skins? It looks like they didn't even show up. It started right off with the kick-off. It can't be the coach because the same thing is happening year after year after year. WHAT CAN BE DONE????

It takes time to get make the changes Shanahan wants. There are some thing that can be done immediately -- you've seen some of the guys they've jettisoned and some they're brought in. But it takes time. Which is unfortunate because you've heard this before. You heard it last year.

If this was JimZorn or (even) Norv Turner,people would be calling for the head of the coaching staff that lost to a rookie quarterback or to St. Louis in general, for not continually blitzing the rookie quarterback. But I guess that Coach Shanahan isn't Jim Zorn or Norv Turner, is he?

I'm pretty sure you have to give Mike Shanahan more than three games! I'm not going to excuse the defense, but you cannot leave them on the field that long. Is there a WR besides Moss? Is there a RB besides Portis? I liked Torain, but they had how many yards in the second half? They missed Trent Williams dreadfully, but shouldn't there be someone in between him and my gramma? Now, for the defense. The 3-4 isn't working well enough...they need a better nose tackle. 

We need to stop running up the middle. and go to the out side. and the big passes are great but on 2nd and 3rd downs, get the 5 yard basic pass done. Why even with a new style of coach, it seems like we are having a lot of same problems. We need the quick 2 second pass completion that surprises the defense.

I won't argue with that. 

WIll Mr Hall keep his mouth shut this coming week after not being able to cover the Rams WORSE receivers? and his tackling was sissy-like. But I doubt he'll be able to keep his mouth shut.

It'll be interesting to hear what he says after last week. He has to step up and say he was dreadful, why he was dreadful and how they're going to fix the problems before the Redskins see Mr. Vick and his team.

Is it fair to question Mike Shanahan's sanity when his first hire was an NFL washout who was toiling in the UFL as his defensive coordinator? Jim Haslett may be the worst defensive coordinator I've ever seen.

Nononono...Jim Haslett is a good coach. Read Barry Svrluga's piece on him on the website. He isn't a defensive washout any more than, say, Gregg Williams is.

You said last week that the Redskins tend to play up or down to the level of their opponent. I think we saw that today regardless of the result. That drives me crazy and I wonder why that is so? Is it Dan Snyder who I want to blame for setting that tone for the whole organization? Taking things for granted? Thoughts?

We've watched this for how many years now? At some point, and this is that point, I think you really have to ask what it is with the mindset of this team. The Sherms come and go, Gibbs and Zorn come and go and the identity remains the same. 

can we fire jim haslett

I knew you guys were gonna be in the mood to fire somebody. 

Yes, the redskins gave up 14 points right away...but the defense wins games in the long run. I haven't seen anything close to a decent defense yet. I had hopes the Redskins could win 6-7 games this year....but I can't see how they can win another one with the schedule they have and this defense. Really pathetic showing against another poor team. It's a rehash of the Detroit Lion game last year....poor coaching to let this happen... Bob...St. Pete, Florida

It takes a village...I think you're wrong about them going winless from here on, but at this point I think my seven wins is overly optimistic.

Wow, the defense did not look very good in DeAngelo Hall's debut as the defensive coordinator. Do you think DeAngelo Hall will be able to work up an answer for his defense when his defense goes against Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson?

If you've watched the Redskins for the last three or four years, you know this much: they play everyone close. Everyone. I was thinking about that this morning and also wondering if they would be looking ahead to Philly. I talked myself out of that...boy, was I wrong. But the MO of these guys, at least the players, is to try to score just a little more than they need to win. Would not surprise me to see em beat Philly.

Too much dwelling in the past (last week's agonizing loss)? Too much looking ahead (Philly!)? Bad coaching by Hazlett? A dearth of talent, especially on defense? Or simply the wrong defensive system for this personnel?

You absolutely have to ask if this is the right scheme for these guys. I get that this is a coach who firmly believes that his methods/schemes are superior to personnel (except at key spots) and that it takes time to get going. But, if you're Mike Shanahan and you're not here for the long haul, perhaps you need to rethink that approach in order to have the kind of success you want in the short time. Of course, that isn't going to happen. 

Is there anything in the law that might be the foundation of a lawsuit against the Redskins for impersonating a professional football team?

Ha! I am 100 percent certain that they are a professional football team. They're just not a very good one. (BTW, am awaiting congrats on my Cheeves ...)

Two of the Rams' five wins over their most recent 40 games have come against the Redskins. This is inexcusable to lose to a directionless, talentless organization in this manner. Even teams shooting for 8-8 don't lose to teams of the Rams' ilk. Vent over...time for question: How did Shanahan and Co. get stuck with Haslett as defensive coordinator? This guy was in the UFL last season. A well-respected Shanahan couldn't lure anybody else to be his DC?

The Rams, like the Lions last year, are the kind of team that you come out, hit 'em hard and hit 'em early and then maybe the fourth quarter is garbage time. That never happens with the Redskins.

For all the analysis I've seen about how Redskins fans should have patience, how Rome wasn't built in a day....I'll remind you that the motto for this season was "The Future is Now." They got an old head coach instead of an up and comer. Instead of drafting a QB they got an old veteran. Why shouldn't I expect them to win now? It's been almost two decades since they've "won now." How much more patience do I have to have? Is it even too much to expect that they NOT look like amateurs against the second worst team in the NFL? (I'll give you one guess who the worst is).

I wasn't going to bring up TFIN...but I can't argue with you. I like Mike Shanahan, but you know the direction I'd have gone in. I have looked for Spagnuolo or Sparano (not that those guys have arrived) or the Jeff Fisher of 14 years ago. Speaking of Shanahan, he just did his postgame presser and there no questions on Portis ... oddly.

Even Jim Zorn beat the Rams.


Why does Shanahan seem to refuse to play guys who could actually help his team win? I'm talking about Portis, Dockery, D. Thomas and Haynesworth.

I'd have Haynesworth's, um, bottom out there on the field now. Other teams have to respect him with their schemes...they have to. And I'd count on the guy having enough pride to want to be a force. I know you're all going to tell me differently, so I'll head that off by asking you: is it really working not using Haynesworth?

Jason Campbell beat this team! Jason Campbell beat this team!

More oof.

Why even bother watching or reading about the Skins at this point. Just dust off the columns from the last time the Rams won - against the Skins - since NOTHING has changed on the field.

Nah, there are a bunch of names we'd have to change and the score is different. Oh, and the date at the top of the pages. That wouldn't be right either.

Evening Cindy. It's Deja Vu. I feel like I just watched the Detroit game from last year. Please give me some reason for optimism after this dismal performance. Other than Donovan McNabb, I really don't see any - certainly not on the defensive side of the ball.

It's like we're caught in a bizarro time warp, isn't it? Here's a reason for optimism: the team should be stoked/cranked/eager to redeem itself for a stinkeroo next week. There's always that. (I wouldn't cling too tightly to that hope, though; it's gossamer.) 

I know the skins aren't going to the super bowl or even make the playoffs but is it too much to ask for a victory against a team that has lost 27 of its last 28 games. If I'm not mistaken that one game they did win was against the redskins. I'm sorry but I do not see the genius of Shanhan and Haslett. The defense is worse than last year and Donavan is the pits. I actually feel sorry for Dan Snyder because he has to watch this mess and cannot say a word. I wonder if Direct Tv will let me out of my NFL Sunday Ticket committment.

We'll know a whole lot more next week, won't we? There were plenty of questions about why Andy Reid would trade the QB within the division. Next week will tell us if your "pits" assessment is correct. 

Thats it. I am done. I will no longer pay for direct tv sunday ticket (I live in FL) I will no longer buy any redskins merchandise or anything else. No matter the coaches it all boils down to one thing. This team has been awful since Mr. Cook's team was stolen by Snyder. I have been a Skins fan for 28 years.... NO MORE, tired of wasting my Sundays and money!!!!!!!!

But what if they beat the Iggles?

I understand the coaches are trying to mask personnel liabilities, but their decisions and scheme seem to be enhancing them. Every button Haslett pushes seems to be the wrong one

Or is it the personnel? 

Most Redskins games and games in the NFL in general turn on a handful of plays (the last two Skins games being obvious examples). This game defies the rule. I'm in a sate of shock and all I can think is..What happened? Help me digest this loss and identify what we should have done differently.

I wish I could tell you that it was one or two factors that led to this loss. It's the lack of depth at WR and RB, the offensive line, the defense's struggles in the 3-4 (Carter, the linebackers, the secondary). Here's a positive: I still think Orakpo is the bomb.

Hey Cindy, Now that the Redskins offense seems to have found a reasonable level of competence with McNabb, how long before someone catches on to the ironic storyline of the Redskins D? They have been the heart of this team for years, and just when the offense gets going - wouldn't you know it - the D all of a sudden can't stop anyone. I mean they were rated last going into this game I believe, before giving up an additional thirty to the Rams? Yikes. How much blame can be laid at the feet of Haslett's "new look" D? The old look D wasn't particularly exciting, but jeez. At least they could hand the ball back to the offense every once and a while.

But the defense couldn't hand the ball to anyone the last few years. They weren't forcing turnovers; they were stopping people, though. They were intimidating. Most of these guys are another year older and the 3-4 is not a good fit.

Why does the Post need 70-8 writes to analyze this team? The players are not very good, that's why the Redskins lose. Outside of Orakpo, would any other teams want any Washington players starting for them? I doubt it very much.

Because there are a ton of things to analyze and Redskins fans want to read every single bit of material we can supply. NFL teams consist of 53 active players and each one plays a role and has a story.

our schedule is brutal going forward, was this a bad game or indication of how bad the team is?

The early schedule last year looked like it was Georgetown Cupcake product. And the Skins stumbled through it. This part looks dreadful and, while I tend to agree that it's going to go badly, that's the thing about this team: they may play these teams over this stretch tough.

I'm tired of seeing the redskins best players on the sideline (# 26, 11 & 92). Lifelong redskins fan finally ready to sign off after 35 years. Not sure what Shanahan is doing. There is no way #35 is a better receiver - split wide out at the goal line - than Devin Thomas. This makes no sense to see these players on the sideline while the skins get their teeth kicked in. Thoughts?

I know one thing: if I were the head coach and was watching that gackfest, I'd have been playing everybody...and their siblings.

Why did the Redskins abandon the running game in the second half? Portis and Torain had 45 yards apiece in the first half and then zilch in the second.

It made no sense to me whatsoever.

Why can't the Skins get a GREAT coach, and draft AWESOME talent? ------------------- For over a decade, we have been waiting for the Skins to be competitive. But, it appears we have now become the laughing stock of the NFL.

Nah. Are you familiar with the Raiders of Oakland?

All I hear is about is Jim Haslett's "exotic" and "complex" defensive schemes, and how aggressive his wonderful defenses are. Obviously something is wrong with the defense, with Houston racking up 500 yards and a 3rd-game QB slicing the secondary up like butter. Is it the coordinator or the players to blame for the last two pathetic showings?

Houston is a really good team. I watched 'em today and I'm very impressed. The Rams, though, (shudder) are not impressive. I don't think you can pin it on either the coordinator or the players. I think everyone owns a piece of this hideousness.

"Boardwalk Empire", "Dexter", or Sunday Night Football? You have to pick 2 out of 3.

If those are my choices, I'd roll with Dexter and SNF...I'm DVRing Boardwalk for the February blizzards. Why wasn't Mad Men in that list? That's how I'm rolling.

What's really sad is if the Redskins hadn't gotten some lucky turnovers, it wouldn't have been only a 14-point deficit. With the Eagles and Packers coming up, it's going to be a long couple of weeks!

May the force be with you!

Chris Cooley and Fred Davis seemed to be an after thought after the first quarter. Why?

That was another question I was asking myself. Out loud. Update: Shanahan said his plan all along was to use Portis on third down. I like that plan, but why wouldn't you abandon it when it didn't work?


Is this the point at which I remind you it's only Week 3? And that alcohol isn't the answer, but it'll help?

Till Snyder sells I am done spending my money on the Skins! This was a pathetic display!

I've heard this in the past from my good friends on Twitter and the RI and Early Lead blogs. Until your team beats my Cheeves' record for futility, you have to hang in there.

I love Santana, but he has lost a step. The others are a disgrace and out to hang up their cleats. Why can't we draft and/or trade to get the next Randy Moss or someone of that caliber.

There has been a moment each week this season when I've gotten a tweet about Brandon Lloyd's contributions out west this season...

In my humble opinion . . . I mean, pass-pass-pass when you're down less than a touchdown with plenty of time to go?

It was not an imaginative offensive game plan, but -- I can type these words in my sleep -- the offensive line isn't very good minus Trent Williams.

I understand the whole "It's only 3 games" argument. But, with all due respect, it's a little ridiculous in this context. I'm not expecting Super Bowl, but the Redskins should look like a professional team, and should not get dominated by a team that's won, what, once in the last 28 games. They looked completely ill-prepared to play against a team that's just not that good. Shanahan deserves to be taking some heat for this one, it was pathetic.

The coach bears an enormous amount of responsibility for this one. He admitted as much in his postgame comments. Now, what does he do about it?

it seems Haslet has put players in positions to fail....Andre Carter & Brian Orakpo are not linebackers. Never have been never will be. You see these areas in the flat being exploited by offenses. Not playing Haynesworth, probably your best defender over petty in-fighting, you see why this team loses. Why does the coach= Haslett feel like his scheme is superior to the talents of his players?

Agree on Carter and Orakpo. I think Haslett's going to be asked that question this week. He'd better be. I know they love the notion of moving guys around in the 3-4 and giving offenses different looks and disguising what they're doing...can't they tweak the 3-4 to fit the talent a little better? Isn't there a compromise here that'll work?

"Cindy Boren writes: If you've watched the Redskins for the last three or four years, you know this much: they play everyone close." Close? They were dominated. They lost 30-16!!! This is not like last year against the Lions where they were in it until the end. They were worked up and down the field

Forget the score; they should have had 2-3 TDs instead of FGs. The fact is that they take their foot off the throat of poor teams and don't put 'em away when they have the chance. They came back on the Rams after trailing and there was a spot at which they needed to hit the accelerator and didn't. They never do that. They never crush a team. They settle for FGs and then, next thing you know, they've lost momentum and the game.

I really dont like when you say Cheeves.....Always the snarkey quip with you and its tired and old

I'm sorry, I feel your pain. But the Chiefs have been dreadful for 40 years (minus one). Tell me about futility.


Got about $2 billion laying around? Check the sofa for change.

Do you think that the Redskins are curse?

No! There's no such thing as curses. Werewolves, yes. Gremlins, sure. But not curses.

You can't tell me that at this point Devin Thomas cannot help this team. Roydell Williams?? Come on!

I'm not sure they could help, but could they hurt?

People. Eaaaaaasy. We're three weeks into a new regime run by 2 guys with a track record. Can we take a breath and let this play out?

Deep breaths. That's what I mean when I say it's Week 3 ... there are 14 weeks (13 games) left. A looonnng way to go.

Hey Cindy, what's the deal with the O-line? Why is Ulrich Von Lichtenstein masquerading as a guard when Dock it there? And please tell me what on earth happened to this defense that has been top ten for years?!

Ulrich Von Lichtenstein! I want to know what's up with Dockery, too. Why is the offensive line always something we're discussing year after year?

Can the negative fans please wait until we are 1-5 to write off the team and the season. Can we be real fans and stand behind the team please?

Good point. Thanks.

Just reading this thread demonstrates one fundamental problem with the Redskins. Who else but the Skins are so arrogant to believe that after going 4-12 last year, and 1-1 this year, that they are still so superior to the Rams. The Skins are one of the worst teams in the NFL, have been for years. Until the Skins can demonstrate their ability to win for a full season, we should never again talk about "trap games" " inferior franchises", etc. Just look at the numbers, the Skins are literally one of the worst 5 or 6 franchises in the NFL over the past 10 years. Noone is inferior to the Skins.

The Raiders certainly are. 

I don't think that this game should count because it was played indoors. Football is an outdoor game. Indoor stadiums should be illegal!

Oh, I like that idea. 

Can we petition Shanahan to change the Defense back to a 4-3? It not, the he will be forced to fire haslett. He may have to fire haslett if he keep getting out coached!

You can try. Heaven knows you've all been pretty vocal about it up here.

It's time for me to scoot along. Thanks for joining me; I'm sorry there wasn't a little more positive to discuss. I'll see you on The Early Lead; there's gonna be a lot more to talk about this week. We'll have another chat in the morning; Tracee Hamilton is up at 9:30.

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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