Out of the box: The big day is here, time to bang old rust and dust off the Redskins new offense and don't forget the Geritol as the Eagles come to Washington for Monday Night Football, 8:30 pm on ESPN, no dress rehearsals on this stage.
Quick jump to
The story so far: Mercy.
Has there ever been a week as eventful as this one for the Redskins in October? Jim Zorn stripped of playcalling duties and Vinny Cerrato handing them to Sherman Lewis. The decision to route playcalls from Sherman Lewis to coach Zorn to the quarterback, then the decision not to put the head coach in the loop and instead route the calls through offensive coordinator Sherman Smith (ibid.).
Could we stop here a moment to remember that Jim Zorn was first hired to be offensive coordinator, the guy that calls plays? And just as his ascent to the head coaching position came in stages, so too does his descent to ex-Redskins coach.
Although coach Zorn will no longer get to call plays, likely the facet of the game where he thinks he can have the largest impact, for better or for worse, he still gets to pick the starting quarterback, and decided on Jason Campbell who by the way is having a career year, his passer rating has gone up every year he has been a pro.
Meanwhle tailback Clinton Portis joined the chorus of Redskins players that think, that actually believe the media is the problem with their performance this season. Or is it perhaps a problem with the perception of Washington's performance this season? Does the team really want or realistically expect rosy coverage of a big fat smelly turd?
In other player news we also said what is likely the last goodbye to tailback Marcus Mason (op. cit.), a casualty of the need for someone to go in the aftermath of the Chiefs debacle. The team replaced Marcus with 25 year old Quentin Ganther, late of Tennessee and a guy I have never heard of. Thank you for the training camp excitement Marcus, I still think you would have been good for this team.
And outside the rainy windowsills of Ashburn, Washington still seethes, wondering in impotent rage how people with nothing to do IN LIFE but manage a football team could screw it up so bad. At this point there are high school teams better managed than the Redskins. The answer remains so obvious and yet so far away, that owner Dan Snyder needs to hire a detached general manager and let that person run the football team.
What does it all add up to? A fan base that is fleeing for more engaging fall activities.
Curly R aside: I agree with Ron Jaworski, the playcalling is not the problem, Jim Zorn may have had a hard time adjusting to changing conditions since the 6-2 start to last season and needs to look at his habits, and coach Zorn has game management problems but so does Andy Reid and that team works around it. Switching from Jim Zorn calling the plays to a complete stranger can lead to complete FAIL, your mileage may vary.
Curly R aside continues: And speaking of that Chiefs game, when exactly did coach Zorn make the decision to bench Jason Campbell? At the postgame press conference coach Zorn said he made the decision late in the second quarter, giving Jason one more drive to make something happen. Unnamed players though contradict that position, saying that coach Zorn first mentioned it in the first quarter (op. cit.). I guess it does not really matter and the notion may have surfaced before it became an idea. With so much significance attached to the benching of a starting NFL quarterback inquiring minds want to know.
Oppo research: It is the Eagles, what do you need to know? Donovan McNabb's performance continues to be a concern, keeping the succession plan from Dono to ??? in the headlines. On the ground Brian Westbrook seems not to be himself any longer, he is still a workhorse, he has been the thing that kills the Redskins, if he is losing it that is good for Washington. For this week the Eagles are down two linebackers, that should open underneath routes, Wilbert Montgomery just gave Sherman Lewis some free advice: if Jeremiah Trotter is the field then Jason Campbell should be audibling into a tight end drag route.
Trainer's table: Two weeks after his injury in game five against the Panthers and left tackle Chris Samuels still had not seen the specialists he needs to assess the severity of his neck injury and whether the stenosis condition he has will affect his career, by Wednesday he had finally gone out to California to see someone. More and more it is looking like Chris will be done for the year and likely for a career. The search for a starting quality left tackle begins, the candidates on roster now are Stephon Heyer and 30 year old Levi Jones (ibid., op. cit.), who missed six games last year in Cincinnati with injuries, I like those options less and less.
Tailback Clinton Portis missed Wednesday practice with a variety of ailments in his right leg (ibid.), he is expected to go tonight.
Punter Hunter the Punter Smith is ready to come back and become the one good player we have, as such rent a punter Glenn Pakulak was released (ibid.).
Gameplan: The Eagles will be pissed after losing to the Raiders last week and this will be Phildelphia's second road game in a row, these two teams know each other very well. The Redskins are going to try and do something, I just do not know what yet. Sherman Lewis, meet the Philadelphia Eagles.
My take in 60 words or less: I am not sure if I have ever been less motivated to attend a Redskins game. This one is for the streak.
Washington Post interactive gameday, keys to the game, key matchups, Redskins roster. SkinsCast weather, fifties and little chance of rain, it will be a good night to sit in the stands and wear black. Broadcast coverage is national, this is Monday Night Football bitches.
Other previews: Rich Tandler at Real Redskins, Mark Newgent at Redskins Examiner, both of whom I will share a beverage with before the game. The guys over at Covers.com asked me and Derek Sarley from IgglesBlog to weigh in on this game with the point spread in mind, in case you were wondering the consensus is Washington plus seven, yes the Redskins are a home dog tonight.
Enjoy the game, such as it is, I will be at the stadium tonight with lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery, tonight will be our 20th of the past 21 Redskins-Eagles games regardless of venue, a streak covering eleven years, three stadiums and five Redskins head coaches. This will be my 18th straight Redskins-Eagles game.
This is a gameday open thread.
NFL helmet logos from here.