Sunday, October 11, 2009

Game 5: Redskins (2-2) at Panthers (0-3)


Out of the box: The Redskins continue a hard walk through an easy schedule as they travel south to play the winless, confused and rested Carolina Panthers, 1pm ET on FOX; 2-2 never looked so bad.

Quick jump to

The Story So Far :: Curly R Aside :: Oppo Research :: Trainer's Table Gameplan :: My Take in 60 Words or Less :: Preview Generalia

The story so far: The Redskins opened the week by hanging a shingle, punter Hunter the Punter Smith strained his groin in against the Buccaneers, and the team was for some odd reason looking for yet another ball carrier, I think this week was the beginning of the middle of the beginning of the end for Clinton Portis in Washington, see below for more detail on that.

The team eventually signed left footed journeyman bartender, construction worker and punter Glenn Pakulak to the practice squad and released receiver Trent Shelton (ibid.), he may be back.

And so the team went along its business of hoping to get better, trying to do more, focusing on improvement, all those aspirational puff pieces you get when a team is struggling and generally coming to grips with winning ugly as a lifestyle and then the bomb dropped.

Consultant. Tuesday the Redskins brought in former Green Bay offensive coordinator Sherm Lewis, something something another set of eyes something something west coast guru. Sherm Lewis, not to be confused with Sherm Smith, Washington's actual offensive coordinator, has no defined portfolio, it is not certain what he will do in practice or with the coaches or on gameday but he got started at it straight away. Sherm Lewis and Jim Zorn both worked for Mike Holmgren though never at the same time.

Whether you think this is a move to prep for Jim Zorn's firing and to elevate defensive coordinator Greg Blache and give his old friend Sherm Lewis a few weeks to get ready to call plays, there are only a few moving parts for a consultant to affect any kind of change. The players need to step up their execution or face the fact that they do not have the talent to compete (op. cit.). Not much a consultant can do about that. If there is anything to be changed it is the head coach's in game management. Jim Zorn must come to grips with the fact that he makes mistakes and takes to long to make decisions while the clock is running, he should go to Sherm Lewis and ask for sincere advice in this area. He also knows he and Jason Campbell are tied together in this barrel going over the falls, if coach Zorn benches Jason or tries to throw him under the bus, it is curtains for both of them.

We then take a moment to spotlight the fact that second year ball catchers Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Fred Davis all ...suck (op. cit.) before moving on to a verbal and physical altercation between tailback Clinton Portis and fullback Mike Sellers

Clinton is apparently frustrated with the quality of Mike's blocking, stemming specifically from the failed fourth down at the end of the game against the Lions, Clinton said Mike did not pick up his blocking assignment then was still unhappy in the Tampa Bay game and asked to have Mike removed. They clashed on Monday and had to be separated, I will be exploring the quality of Mike's blocking, we do not for sure that there is a great deal of frustration with Clinton among Redskins players, he is a diva and other players believe he exploits his relationship with owner Dan Snyder.

After this season you can be pretty certain the quote special unquote relationship between Clinton Portis and Dan Snyder will be good and sour and he will be swept out with the trash. Everyone has had enough of Clinton's non practicing bullshit, I refuse to believe he would not be made a better player by practicing, now that his skills are fading and the coach is going to get shitcanned you an go ahead and put a wrap on the Clinton Portis era. He will not break John Riggins record either.


Curly R aside: It is said that when the end of days comes the world shall turn upside down and everything you know shall be unknown to you. After three weeks portent it came this week to the Redskins. The team hired a consultant to help with the offense, but the guy has been out of football for four years and has no charter or defined role or goals with the team. The defensive coordinator up and abandoned his duties dealing with the media, this of course being the man that represents the only part of the team that is performing, albeit not spectacularly and to make matters worse his underling and replacement was not aware it was going to happen. And then tailback Clinton Portis turns on his lead blocking full back over what Clinton said was poor blocking two games ago. It's cats and dogs, living together. Oh if only the Redskins owner were brave enough to face the fans and media and explain how the margins of bad management have gotten thinner every year to the point where the entire organization looks like a corrupt banana republic government.

The fall of the Redskins has been long and hard to watch, now the team has broken the cloud layer and the ground is in sight and rushing up to meet us. Dan Snyder you have taken the team you loved growing up and destroyed it. How does that feel?


Oppo research: These Panthers are not 0-3 bad, last season with most of the same cast Carolina won twelve games, every team needs to look out for these guys, they can play. They are particularly good at running the ball with two big and fast tailbacks in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, like the Buccaneers last week and also in their NFC South division the Panthers will line up and knock you down.


Trainer's table: Punter Hunter the Punter Smith strained his groin on the first punt of last week's game and was replaced in the game by kicker Shaun Suisham, Hunter's groin did not get better during the week (op. cit.) and he was inactive, in his place the team promoted new punter Glenn Pakulak from the practice squad and released veteran defensive end Renaldo Wynn, Renaldo may be back if Glenn turns out to be a rental.

Second year receiver Malcolm Kelly revealed Wednesday that his right thumb is injured, ligament damage incurred at the start of the game against the Lions, not enough


Gameplan: It is kind of hard to be original in this section now isn't it. We sort of all know the team is struggling on all levels, execution, gameplans, game management, there are so many problems it is hard to separate them, hard to know where to start. If you are looking for a good analysis of what is not working with the west coast offense in Washington, look here.

On offense, protect the ball, keep trying to get some leverage in the run game, quit worrying about the new receivers, just stick with Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and Chris Cooley and make some plays.

On the defensive side of the ball, just keep doing what you are doing, try and get better because for gods sake the schedule gets harder and the defense needs at some point to live up to its billing or throw in the towel. If the Redskins offense was performing the way it should be we would not be having these conversations, here is a stat for you: Washington's defense has held opponents under 27 points 26 games in a row. No other team in the league right now can say that.


My take in 60 words or less: The most dangerous winless team yet, and the Redskins have not yet this season faced a team with a win (op. cit.), the Panthers are not 0-3 awful and are going to open a can of whoopass on someone, everyone cross your fingers that it does not happen today. Raise your hand if you think the Redskins game plan was east to put together this week.


Washington Post interactive gameday, keys to the game, key matchups, Redskins roster. Broadcast coverage, as is the case these days with the Redskins, regional markets only.

Enjoy the game, I am safely ensconced in Orlando Florida, Clan Folsom is making its bold first run to the Magic Kingdom, there are two seven year olds that are going to have their mind blown today, all Redskins fans feel free to drop a comment here during the game, I will not be watching it live but will get comment on my phone, I will have to be satisfied with highlights and then watch it delayed on NFL Game Rewind.

This is a gameday open thread.

NFL helmets from here.