Now with 100% more Jason Campbell
The Redskins are taking the week off but the staff of The Curly R never sleeps.
You think this is bad this ain't bad: It's almost funny to go back and look at the Redskins on the bye last season which occurred the first weekend in November. No matter the level of concern registered this year the Redskins are in a better place this season and let us keep that in mind as we evaluate the team at the break.
The Redskins are 2-1 at the bye, winning small against the Dolphins and Eagles and losing small against the Giants. In all three cases the game could have gone either way. Now as a proponent of 'system' football one could make the case that by the fourth year of a coaching regime expecially one with so much control as Joe Gibbs is alleged to have that if you have to see games come down to the wire then you are winning them.
Last season the Redskins played 10 games that ended in a difference of seven points or less, winning four and losing six though to be fair one of those wins was the magical win at home against the Cowboys where the Mike Vanderjagt kick was blocked by Troy Vincent, Sean Taylor recovered and then was facemasked by Kyle Kosier then Nick Novak got to make a long kick on an untimed play, that just doesn't figure into how you win games.
So far this season two of three games have ended in a differential of seven points or less, 16-13 and 24-17 with the third an eight point diff. If the team is going to play it this close they need win them.
It's his team: Jason Campbell is to my way of thinking a good quarterback and showing signs of improvement though statistically you can't tell, his completion percentage in seven starts in 2006 (53.1%) is nearly identical through three games so far this year (52.4%). Still, watching Jason work under pressure and find receivers open for long gains is refreshing considering how in recent seasons when the Redskins need to score defenses would just collapse into a short zone because there were no long options.
Tom Boswell has a good column on the painful but positive growth of Jason Campbell. I think we'll keep him around for a while.
I don't know nothing I just work here: Oh shit here come the backfield controversy. After Clinton Portis bobbled the handoff in the Giants game he did not carry the ball again as the team rushed down to try and tie the game. Ladell Betts got the carries and could not score twice from the one yard line. After the game Joe Gibbs insisted there was no issue with Clinton but he seemed a little over explainey in so doing.
Then Clinton went on the air (with audio link) on WTEM SportsTalk 980's John Thompson show with former Redskin Brian Mitchell and practically popped a vein insisting he's a 'team player,' it was Joe Gibbs' call to keep Ladell in there and besides he and Ladell are interchangeable and for someone that insisted he doesn't read papers or follow the media narrative on him and the team he pretty well tried to settle a score with Brian for being such a critic of Clinton's, at one point pretty much shouting at Brian.*
For the record I do not think Brian is a 'critic' as much an insightful analyst with playing experience. It's fair to ask Clinton if he understands why 'people' would wonder why the franchise back that cost the team so much (Champ Bailey and a second round choice in trade then 50 million over eight years in contract) was not in the game at the end and not expect a tirade in response. George Solomon, thy legacy is the conventional wisdom of Washington DC sports.
Clinton's salad days in Washington are over and he will probably be gone next year. Hat tip to Ryan Wilson at Redskins AOL Fanhouse.
Bumps bruises: The injury bug is already getting to the team and I wonder if it's not really worse than the team says. The Redskins have good depth everywhere except offensive and defensive lines but all these starters with questionables after three games bodes ill: WR Santana Moss, DT Cornelius Griffin, LB Rocky McIntosh, LB Marcus Washington, Fred Smoot.
This is what you get with a veteran team.
HALO stands for Help Assist Lloyd Out: And speaking of injuries and receivers, where is Brandon Lloyd? He has no catches for no yards so far this season and is barely on the field, usually in the same packages as James Thrash meaning they are run sets.
Oh yeah, he's at home playing video games. And he wonders why people think he is out of touch. Lack of heart is about to swallow another NFL career as the Redskins have signed Reche Caldwell as Santana insurance and appear ready to sign 37 year old Keenan McCardell tomorrow as Reche Caldwell insurance. Brandon Lloyd, man he's just pissing it all away...
It's a new line every week: The offensive line will be interesting to see after the bye. Center Casey Rabach is the last man standing with every position to his left and right facing some serious challenge and now the only other original starter is the guy that sat out the entire preseason with injury. The offensive line is a team's heart and the team cannot afford much more adversity.
Tampa-2 explained: A hat tip to Master4Caster at Running Redskins for linking up to Matt Bowen's Washington Examiner column. I read Matt's column every week on the Metro and this is a particularly enlightening one, everything you ever wanted to know about Tampa-2 but were afraid to ask.
Not getting it: Dan Snyder finally gave an interview, to former WRC NBC channel 4 sports anchor George Michael who actually led a question with
But they're saying you want to control the media by having your own InternetLOL your own internets. George was at one time an innovator with the original sports clip show The Sports Machine and now he is just an old guy that can't open his email.
It was amusing to me that the real media with their 26 year old reporters reported on Dan Snyder's grand Redskins media strategy, one component of which is trashing the media that ensures people care about the team. It's not really shooting yourself in the foot as much as dropping an anvil on it again and again.
Noise about noise: ESPN linked up to our piece on the Redskins possibly piping in crowd noise over the PA system at the Giants game. The original source is a Redskins bulletin board (ExtremeSkins), I heard it on Sirius NFL Radio then saw it on Redskins AOL Fanhouse then I wrote about it then an ESPN blog picked it up. If it's true I hope they stop it not only because it's against the rules, lame and unsportsmanlike, it's annoying, a football game is noisy enough without fake noise.
Department of Hospitality: Finally, apparently the Redskins charge the opposing team 25 thousand dollars if they want to use a luxury suite during a game and also charge the press and opposing team to park. The Redskins Stadium press box has no free internet and no wireless at all. See also Not Getting It.
Redskins come back to practice tomorrow (Monday) and the news will resume its flow then it's thirteen straight weeks of football if not more.
Heroic picture of Jason Campbell: Joe Murphy / Getty Images from here.