When we argue about Mark Brunell's arm the terrorists win
Looks like Curly R is not the only major media outlet taking a few days off. Except for the Sunday enterprise piece on the free agents, the WaPo has been light on Redskins. I posted up the bye week 5 Questions with Pride of Detroit, then blew town for some Division III football, then onto a bizarre scene in which I attended a Halloween costume party where I didn't know anyone but it didn't matter since everyone was in costume*, and finally a fraternity party featuring a reunion gig by a band from my time that was undergrads in costume in the front, 40 year old alumni in fleece in the back. Students were drinking Milwaukee's Best Light Ice so it is with regret that I report standards in college continue to erode.
Redskinsland is torn apart. Relentless media campaigns tout and smear the Jason Campbell Now and Stay the Short Course camps. Meanwhile civil war rages between the coaches and players. High-priced free agents Adam Archuleta and Andre Carter spend long stretches of game against best offense on bench. In retaliation, players lose. Here is the free agent summary companion to La Canfora's enterprise piece. It's ugly in that she-looked-good-last-night-at-2am kind of way.
So watching that debacle in Indianapolis, Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El weren't arguing, they were keeping each other 'cool.' So cool that they had to be separated. And why do you think Derrick Frost ripped off his helmet and earned a 15-yard penalty on a kickoff that was already moved back to the 20 due to Antwaan's antics after the punt return?
The team thought it could take a free kick, but was wrong.Imaginary exchange:
Derrick: boy I sure am ready to free kick the hell out of this ball. We can pull this one out.
Ref: hey dumbass, this is a kickoff, not a free kick. You guys really can't coach your way out of a paper bag.
Derrick: now I rip off my helmet indignantly.
After the Colts game, Howard Bryant captured the frustration the players had in losing, but not the angst the fans have in the underachieving. A number of Redskins bloggers have written about this in the off week and I'll detail it in a Waiver Wire tonight or tomorrow. Particularly telling to me in this piece was Joe Gibbs' apparent defense of Santana Moss's head-butt of the Colts' Jason David that cost 15 yards and Nick Novak to miss a field goal that would have tied the game at 10 apiece:
"You say head-butting? Let me tell you something. He got hit directly from behind," Gibbs said of Moss. "He's lucky he's not hurt. That guy cheap-shotted him right in the back of the head, okay?"The Joe Gibbs I remember would have made this about keeping your head, not using it as a weapon.
Continuing the bye week cavalcade, Howard reminds us the Redskins were 5-6 before they were 10-6 last season. Skin Patrol beat Howard by two days with his take on this, so be sure you read both. And as if to ensure controversy continues to swirl, Mark sat while Jason took all the first team snaps Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. If there's a message about who's the starter, someone is not getting it. Jason Campbell:
"I don't know if it means anything, but it's just good to get out there and be on the field,"...
The Cowboys looked bad in the first half, dominated on the road in the second. They come to Washington, and the Redskins better be ready. My attitude will improve through this week.
Happy Halloween. Tonight I'll be Qui-Gon Jinn trick or treating with my four year old twin boys Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker.
* Here are the costumes from the party where we didn't know anyone: an Agent Cooper / Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic combo, Bizarro Superman and his girlfriend the naughty Girl Scout, the vampire Lestat, a Lady Merlin and foppish King Arthur in a Zach from Saved by the Bell wig, a trio of French mimes who thankfully did not actually talk, crazy hat lady and a guy who may or may not actually have been gay in the whole leather underpants, chaps, vest, collar and biker hat.
Threatdown Generator here. Mark Brunell detail from UPI photo by Mark Goldman.