Posted on: October 19, 2009 10:57 pm

The captain goes down with the ship

In the nautical community the captain always goes down with the ship, even if the designers didn't build the ship correctly or the first mate is sleeping on duty as the ship careens into an iceburg.

Nfl teams are very similar in this regard.  No matter what the actual problem is the Coach and QB take all the blame.

Due to these tried and true customs Jim Zorn will now manfully remain on the ship while everyone else is scrambling for a lifeboat.

Zorn has made some puzzling coaching decisions.  But Zorn is a likeable and talented coach who may still have a bright future if he can wipe away the stink that the Redskins have smeared on him.

I truly believe that this is a talent issue much more than it is a coaching issue (although why a coach wouldn't attempt a 53 yard field goal on the last play of the first half is beyond me).  It has everything to do with this offensive line.

Last year with a healthy line the Redskins started 6-2, Portis was league MVP, Zorn was rookie coach of the year, and Jason Campbell had not thrown a pick.  Same coaching staff.

Then the best linemen got banged up.  All of a sudden Portis couldn't run, Campbell was hurried into mistakes, and the points dried up.

Washington went into the off season knowing that the line needed an overhaul.  They not only refused to draft anyone, but they refused to resign Pete Kendall, cut John Jansen, and let Jason Fabini go in free agency.

They let go of three very solid players and replaced them with no draft picks and a guy who was out of football for two years in Mike Williams who had to be put through the NFL's version of Biggest Loser just to get fit into an extra large lineman uniform.

Four games into the season guess what happens?  The two best linemen the Redskins had are lost (possibly forever) with injuries.  Now five out of Washington's best players on the line from last year are gone.  They are replaced by a second year former fourth round draft pick with no experience(Rhinehart), a Buffalo Bills castoff who the Redskins did not resign three years ago because he was the worst starting linemen they had(Dockery), a journeyman who has started four career games before this season (Montgomery), and a former first round pick who hasn't payed since 2005(Williams).

Only center Casey Rabach could start on any other NFC East team.  Only Buffalo has a line as bad as the Redskins' line this year.  They have a lot of talent at wideout and running back as well.  They are also 2-4.

Vince Lombardi could not win with this line.

But of course it's all Jim Zorn, Jason Campbell, and Clinton Portis' fault.

The only coaching change that could help Washington this year would be if the Redskins lured away the entire Minnesota Vikings starting line and made them Player/Coaches.

But that's OK.  Blame whomever you want to.  There is plenty to spread around.  JUst realize that any coaching change made this season is similar to putting a band-aide over a severed femoral artery (Sean Taylor RIP).
Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins, Zorn
Posted on: October 19, 2009 12:39 am


In case you missed the title of this article let me state it again: Pa-Thetic.


The Washington Redskins proved today beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have an offense that can not play on an NFL level by losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 14-6.


That’s the Chiefs that hadn’t won a game in nine previous attempts.


That’s the Chiefs that came into this game with the worst defensive unit in the entire NFL statistically.


That’s the Chiefs that lost AT HOME to JaMarcus Russell and the Oakland Raiders.


That’s the Chiefs that made Kevin Kolb look like Donovan McNabb.


That’s the Chiefs that made Miles Austin look like Jerry Rice.


That’s the Chiefs that were the last team to have the ineptitude to lose to the Detroit Lions (that is, until, you know, the Redskins lost to them this year).


That’s the Chiefs that……………well, you get the picture.


I am going through such pains to remind people who this team that the Redskins lost to actually is because their defense didn’t look like Kansas City today.  They looked like an all star team comprised of players from the ’85 Bears and the 2000 Ravens.


Please don’t be angry Chief fans.  I am just stating facts.  I will not write the pathetic line that I have heard over and over from the Redskin locker room that we lost to a team that we should have beaten.


That is a lie and a cop out.  The truth is that the Chiefs deserved to win that game and at this point are a better team.  The Chiefs dominated the Washington offense and deserved to win the game.


Read what I have written carefully.  It is the truth.  The Redskins’ current offensive lineup is not capable of exposing the worst defense in the league.


The sad thing is that a very good defense is going to waste in Washington.  I truly believe that the Washington defensive unit could take at least ten teams in this league to the Super Bowl.  Any team that could score 20 points on a regular basis would win 12-14 games with this defense.


Word came down after the game today that Jim Zorn has been relieved of his play calling duties.  While I am glad that some form of reprimand was carried out somewhere on this team I have little faith that it will make a difference.


At this point there are too many areas to point fingers at.  The Head Coach is probably the right place to start, but anyone who thinks that the problems end there is delusional.


I really considered going down the entire Redskins organization from the owner, personnel, coaching staff, roster to the practice squad and listing who I would get rid of and why.


I still may at some point this year, but for now let me state the obvious.


The season is over and the time to rebuild the offense is upon us.


Yes we are 2-4.  Yes we have a long season in front of us.  Yes miracles do happen every day on the lifetime network.


Get real people.  This offensive unit peaked in 2005, had a slight rebound in 2007, and had a total meltdown in 2008.  This unit is not one piece away.  Its best players are entering the twilight of their career.  Two of them may already never play again in Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas.


If this team wants to do anything productive to build towards future success it will go young and bench the veterans.  Who cares if it looks ugly?  How much worse could this offense do than six points against the Chiefs?


If Colt Brennan hadn’t been put on IR and Chase Daniels hadn’t left I would say go with one of them.  As it is we might as well play Campbell, because Todd Collins is not the future and proved today that he has lost so much mobility and arm strength that he can’t physically make 35% of the plays that most QB’s are required to make.


The O-line is already playing the young guys due to injury, so not much change will happen there.


Santana Moss is one of my favorite players.  But he is getting older and is not a part of a successful future for this team.  Bench him and Randle-El and play the young guys.  At least then they can be evaluated and we can see if they should be part of this rebuilding phase or not.


Chris Cooley is still young and can be a part of this team’s future.  Keep him in.  But also give Fred Davis a chance to show what he can do (besides fumble).


Clinton Portis has been the heart and soul of this team for six years.  This isn’t really his fault.  He is still the best option the Redskins have.  But he is getting older and will not be around long enough to endure a two-three year overhaul.


Therefore, he must sit down next to Ladell Betts and let Marcus Mason and Aldridge show if they should be considered as part of the future of this franchise. 


As far as Rock Cartwright is concerned, I would release him tomorrow.  He will never be a vital player and his on field strutting and off field comments are not needed in any way.  The Skins should cut him so that they don’t have to keep releasing Renaldo Wynn every week to make room for a substitute punter.


I know it hurts, but Redskin fans have to look at this situation objectively.


Will a coaching change during this season turn this team around?


Are Portis, Moss, Randle-El, Collins, Betts, Samuels, Thomas, and Cartwright players that are young enough to endure a rebuilding process or good enough to change the direction of this season.


The answer of course is no.


The season is lost.  It’s evaluation time.  Let’s find out who has a future and who doesn’t.


P.S.-If I were Dan Snyder and I really loved the Redskins I would sell the team immediately and try to buy a rival franchise.  With one move he could help the Redskins and destroy a rival team at the same time.  Jerry Jones seems to be doing that already in Dallas, so Snyder should focus on acquiring either the Giants or the Eagles.

Posted on: September 29, 2009 9:55 pm

Redskin fans must be realistic

Every fan in Redskin nation had every right to want every coach and player fired, the team sold, relocated, and renamed, and FedEx Field burned to the ground last Sunday.

But now that we have had a chance to cool off a little let's honestly look at our choices.

No interim coach has ever made a deep playoff run in the NFL.  I'm not sure if any have even made the playoffs (let me know if one has).

On the opposite note, there have been many coaches that have lost two out of their first three games and went on to turn their season around and win a Superbowl.  The most recent example is Tom Coughlin and the Giants two years ago.  He was just as ridiculed and despised by Giants fans early in that season as Zorn is this year by Redskins fans.

Now he has a key to the city.

I'm not saying that Zorn is likely to turn this team around, I'm just reminding people of the reality of the Redskins' situation.  If you are going to fire someone you better have a better person waiting to replace him.

Firing Zorn would effectively kill the season.  Let's not be too hasty.  After the next three weeks we will all see if Zorn should be fired or not.  Until then keep your expectations low but hold on to what is left of your optimism.
Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com