ESPN: Dysfunction junction: Report card time

One of many experimental iterations ...

Lanky Livingston

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A couple of quotes to highlight from this piece:

"I mean, from a comical standpoint, you have to appreciate it."
-- Former Washington Redskins player Tre' Johnson, on team owner Daniel Snyder's management style

Talent
Redskins: Before the final seconds of a home loss to the Chiefs had ticked off the clock, defensive tackle/megabucks free-agent addition Albert Haynesworth left the field … the better to deliver an impassioned locker room speech demanding greater player accountability. Such is Washington's schizophrenic nature. Big names such as Haynesworth, running back Clinton Portis and receiver Santana Moss lead Redskins players and fans alike to believe that the club is a Super Bowl contender, even though basic areas of football competence (offensive line, pass rush, receivers over 6 feet tall who can catch) remain subpar-to-UFL-worthy year after year, thanks to lousy drafting and outright neglect. Look past the splashy offseason moves and inflated self-regard, and Washington has the worst sort of roster: aging, overpriced and shallow. Grade: C-minus



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Henry

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We got the lowest grade on everything but talent. The two most telling lines, IMHO:

At 0-6, the Tennessee Titans are simply lousy -- a well-run, exceedingly normal franchise having a bad season; by contrast, the 2-4 Redskins are downright maladjusted
Redskins: Wealthy kid with every advantage -- brains, pedigree, expensive "tutors" to write term papers for him -- who flunks out of school through sheer, unyielding arrogance. Yet remains rich. So who really cares about failing?

Grade: F-minus
 

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Mike, I don't think you are an idiot. I think we might have that talent at the starting level if we had a QB built mentally for this system (say Jeff Garcia maybe?) but we don't. And now the starters are getting hurt (Thomas, Samuels, Cooley, etc) leaving us playing backups who are subpar, inexperienced or both.

And don't get me wrong, I am not putting this all on Campbell. It isn't his fault he is being forced to play a system he is woefully unsuited for. Nor is it his fault when receivers drop good balls (Moss in the End Zone last night for example). I just see him as the link least able to compensate for the position he is in right now and the fastest fix would be to replace him.

Were I Vinny, I would be on the phone today with Garcia's agent. The team has two weeks to get him up to speed and I would be trying it. With the open receivers we have been shown on tape by countless commentators in the last week or so, one has to believe that a gutsy, accurate QB could make a fast difference here.
 
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Henry

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It goes way beyond talent at this point. This team had no depth at positions where the starters are old and injury-prone. It's been built from the outside in for years on both sides of the ball. The scheme has been changed so many times over the past ten years that the talented players that do exist on this team don't fit with each other or whatever the current system happens to be.

This team is the epitome of a 'bunch of guys.' For the players to start acting like a team, the Redskins need to be built like one. Until then, talent won't get us past the 8-9 wins we see during the 'good' years.
 
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The Burgundy Ghost

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i guess I am one of those idiots who believe we have the talent on the team to win a super bowl. We just dont have the leaders to guide and gel them in to a team...
Not an idiot.....but I think many of us got sucked into the propaganda that the Skins have a great team personnel -wise and this team would be better in year two.

*Many suggested Campbell would have a break out year
Many suggested that our O-line was fine
Many suggested that Portis hasn't lost a step
Many suggested that our young WR/TE corp was coming into their own
Many suggested that with a year under his belt that Zorn would be much better as a HC and playcaller

Many were wrong......

* I use many from some of the local media sources and the Redskins who suggested this, I also assumed some of these as well (Campbell in particular).
 

Lanky Livingston

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i guess I am one of those idiots who believe we have the talent on the team to win a super bowl. We just dont have the leaders to guide and gel them in to a team...
Outside of our front-7 on defense, I just don't see it Mike. I have tried really hard, but I just don't see it. Especially now with the likelihood of Samuels' career being over.
 

China

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The worst part is that it is a waste of a good defense. The defense played well with the exception of giving up those two big plays. Nevertheless, they held the Eagles to field goals on both Cambell's fumble and Randle El's muff. The turnovers directly led to 13 Eagle points. This team could have won 17-14 or even 20-14 if they'd kicked that field goal, if only the offense (and I include Randle El on offense) could get out of it's own way. It's pathetic.

To me it is a number of things.

One, Campbell is a square peg in a round hole. He doesn't have what it takes for this system; can't make the quick reads, throw on time or into tight spaces.

Two, and perhaps most important: a horrible offensive line. The line was mediocre to begin with, but with the loss of Thomas and Samuels it is now terrible. They gave up 6 sacks. Even a good QB would struggle with that line, but with Jason Campbell, who struggles because he is a poor fit, the bad line takes the QB performance from bad to worse.

Three, coaching. Play calling wasn't the issue, at least not the major issue. There may have been a few questionable calls, but even so, the players need to execute, and they're just not doing it. The coaching problems are the lack of fire or energy on offense - too much keeping it medium, mental errors (penalties, missed assignments, running wrong routes, etc.) and getting the most out of the available talent (square pegs - round holes such as Campbell, use of Orakpo, etc. and just coaching well - I'm looking at you Stan Hixon).

I won't get much into management issues, but that is obviously another big one, as it contributes to the lack of talent, especially on the line, and the meddling has undermined the coaches.
 

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I don’t think that we have Super Bowl talent on this team. We have about .500 talent on this team, maybe a bit better if we caught a few breaks. We aren’t 4-12 bad talent wise, but we are sure heading in that direction record wise. Part of the talent equation is being able to bring that little extra something to the table. Coaches can bring that out in a player but it has to be there to begin with.

Let’s take a quick look at out team. Our offensive line is terrible. We have one maybe two guys who would be starting anywhere else in the league. Don’t talk to be about injuries either. We made our own bed on this one. Our WR’s are so-so. Neither of the guys we drafted last year can be considered impact guys at this stage. Out TEs look good at catching the ball. They are shaky when we have to keep then in to protect. Our QB is below average. Nuff said about that. Our RBs are average. On defense our LBs are middle of the road, although I love Fletcher. Orakpo playing SSLB erks me as I feel his talent is somewhat wasted there. Our DBs are good but not spectacular. Our defensive line is deep and talented. That’s about the only position on the field where I like what I see.

To be fair I think most teams have holes they can’t fill every year. The good teams have better players or coaches and thus are able to hide the holes they have better than we can. There aren’t many teams who can just line up and impose their will week after week.

It’s for that reason that I think having an actual plan would be the best tonic for this team. Remember the OJ Anderson year in NY when they won the SB? That team had a good defense and a crap offense. They played ball control offense all the way to the SB. Given limited offensive talent, that’s the best way to win ball games IMO. Marty understood that. Joe Gibbs understood that. That’s why I bristled when we tried to install the Fun n’ Gun here or the WCO for that matter. If you have the right players (mainly at QB and WR) one of those might work. We never had those types of players yet for some reason we expect it to work. We end up blowing around like a fart in a high wind year after year chasing players rather than players who fit our team.

It all has to be part of a larger effort; the right coach (and coaching philosophy), the right players for the system and the right front office to keep the talent in the pipeline (a ringleader). Right now we have problems in all three areas and we can’t gain enough ground in either of the other two to make up for deficiencies in the other, if that makes sense.
 

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Nor is it his fault when receivers drop good balls (Moss in the End Zone last night for example).

This is the second time I have seen this statement and it is wrong. Moss was interfered with. It was a penalty and should have been called. Check out the photo.



Notice the DB's left hand, clearly he was pulling back on Moss' right shoulder as Moss went up for the ball.

The point here is not that Moss' missed the catch or even that the DB interfered with him. My question is why was a fade pattern thrown to Moss in the corner in the first place? Where was Kelly? Lined up on the other side witht the other receivers over 6 ft tall!
 

The Burgundy Ghost

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Well, the refs called a shoddy, shoddy game last night.

no late hit on the Eagles
ticky tack facemask on Fletcher
the PI against the Eagles
plenty of block in the backs/holds not called

the PF that the refs tried to give to the Eagles, when the penalty was against them.

It wouldn't have affected the outcome IMO but the NFL better do a better job in calling penalties.....whispers are already out there that they call things to help the Steelers and Patriots.

Every Raven fan I know is convinced the NFL is out to get them.....
yadda, yadda, yadda......
 

servumtuum

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...That’s why I bristled when we tried to install the Fun n’ Gun here or the WCO for that matter. If you have the right players (mainly at QB and WR) one of those might work. We never had those types of players yet for some reason we expect it to work./B] We end up blowing around like a fart in a high wind year after year chasing players rather than players who fit our team


Exactly, HF-this, to me is painful evidence that the Dan&Vinny dog&pony football show is the core issue. The thought of taking a look and seeing if their "Grand Plan" is working never includes the remotest hint of " well, maybe the plan was a mistake."

I've been wondering for a while myself, other than his exposure to it at San Fransisco, what the hell was Vinny thinking in the first place when he thought "Hey let's go WCO."?
 

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only a damn fool would have hired Zorn to be the HC last year.

Zorn worked for Holmgren for 7 years in Seattle and Jim Mora Jr. refused to commit to Zorn for a job in 2009 when Mike retired.

At 54, nobody had Zorn on their radar screen as an up and coming offensive mind, a guy that was destined to be a very effective offensive coordinator.

Teams like NY, NE or Indy would never hire a guy like Zorn that is so clearly unprepared to be the head man.

If Zorn was brought here to be the quarterbacks coach that would have been understandable given his record with Matt Hasselbeck.

If the Redskins had not signed Zorn he probably would have been an assistant to Jim Fassel in the new football league.
 

isle-hawg

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i guess I am one of those idiots who believe we have the talent on the team to win a super bowl. We just dont have the leaders to guide and gel them in to a team...
Mike, thank you for the hospitality and appreciated to see you again last night and meet Sebowski and Old School! Too bad our team let us down again : (

I agree to a point with your above comment. We definatley do have some talent, but we truly need an entirely new (better) OL. It was our downfall last year and is hurting us big time this year.
 

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This is the second time I have seen this statement and it is wrong. Moss was interfered with. It was a penalty and should have been called. Check out the photo.



Notice the DB's left hand, clearly he was pulling back on Moss' right shoulder as Moss went up for the ball.

The point here is not that Moss' missed the catch or even that the DB interfered with him. My question is why was a fade pattern thrown to Moss in the corner in the first place? Where was Kelly? Lined up on the other side witht the other receivers over 6 ft tall!
From this angle it is an interference call, no question. However, on the TV replay, shot from the sideline off the Endzone (right of where the official is standing in this photo), you can clearly see the ball hit Moss in both hands. I'm not talking about finger tips either...it was mostly palm. If he catches it, the blown call makes no difference. Sure, he would have had a better chance without the interference but he makes a hell of a lot of money to catch the ball so I sort of expect it to happen when he gets both hands on it.

As to why it wasn't thrown to Kelly, I can't comment. I do, however, notice that it was thrown and while not perfect was not horrible either. The DB never touched the ball nor do I believe he could have from the angles I have seen so far. Sort of makes you wonder why Zorn had been avoiding it and why Lewis had to be the one to call it, hmmmmm?
 

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Neo, here's the following image I had. It shows exactly what you and Mike were talking about, it hit him dead in the hands and bounced right off. But to his defense, the DB was pulling on him while attempting the catch. I think Moss may have given up on that one thinking he was gonna get the call.

I think what was indicative of the night, there was some progress in certain aspects of the game while they fell part in others. I saw JC have a horrible game in many respects, but that throw was put in a position only the receiver could have caught, something that was suggested he couldn't do. Cooley goes down and Davis stepped up to the plate. Jeremy Jarmon was one heck of a 3rd round selection. Devin Thomas was getting open but then lets the ball hit him in the face mask.

It was like they took 3 steps back and one forward, then 3 steps back then 2 forward. There is talent here, just not where we need it most, the offensive line!
 

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