Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm a fairly level headed fan. I'm certainly not the over-reactionary type who wants everyone fired after game 2. There's things about this game that I have thoughts about, strong thoughts, BUT it was still just game 2. Things can change for the better. Yes, they may stay the same or change for the worse, but let's see how it plays out.

Having said that, I don't remember the last time I was disappointed after a win. I'm sure there's other times, but I really can't remember it. And it really had nothing to do with the players. It was the play calling. My hair's starting to thin -- I really can't afford to be yanking it out in frustration during games.

Here's where I started gashing my hair out, though. This sequence. On Washington's first possession of the third quarter, they had a first and goal from the 7. Again, moved the ball fairly well. But it's goal line! Here's what followed: Portis for no gain, Portis for two yards up the middle and Portis, then, uh, rolling right, looking to pass... First, before the first play at the 7 I said out loud, "Please don't run it again." They ran. I said even louder on 2nd down, "Please don't run it again!" They ran it again. 3rd down, I think the Rams didn't fall for it because they knew it was far too stupid for anyone to call another run. So they seemed ready for it and had Cooley covered. (I don't like writing in all caps, but) WHY DO THEY KEEP RUNNING SO MUCH DOWN AT THE GOAL LINE!!! It's not working. They have Malcolm Kelly, or even Marko Mitchell. Why not try a jump ball against a smaller corner? That's how the Rams scored their one touchdown. It's a tough play for a corner when you have someone that tall who can jump! We didn't even try it! Why?!!!! Aghhhhh!!! (an interesting side note to this: watch the Sonny interview at with Zorn after the game. It was actually a little testy because Sonny took Zorn to task for letting Portis throw it, as opposed to the QB.)

And then the going for it on 4th twice at the end. I think they were bad decisions. The first one worked, the second didn't and our defense bailed us out. But hearing Jason Campbell talk about it afterwards left me baffled. He said that Zorn doesn't like him changing the play down there because of the crowd noise and miscommunication possibly leading to a penalty. Okay, but when you know the play you have won't work, why can't he change it?!!! Campbell said they saw the Rams were overloaded to the left and had too many to block, so it was zero surprise that Portis was stopped for a loss. Zorn said they just beat our O-line. Yes, that's what happens when you have to block more people than you have to block with.

As for Randy Thomas' injury, all offseason everyone harped on not drafting an O-lineman and not getting one in free agency. And all offseason, the front office said they liked what they have. Okay, well we're going to see now, aren't we. I think they were hoping that Thomas, and also Samuels would never get hurt. But that's kind of stupid, isn't it? They're older guys who have been through the wars and are now more prone to injuries... But I'll calm down on this for a moment. I'm willing to see how it plays out. Maybe Rinehart plays great. Let's give him a shot.

I wonder if Pete Kendall will get a call, though. He's no savior, but he's a smart veteran and it makes some sense.

I hate saying this, and I hate thinking this, but I won't be surprised at all if Detroit beats us next week. Last year it took a Santana Moss punt return to win that game... The Lions are desperate for a win. Our best hope is Stafford turning the ball over a few times and our DBs take it back for scores. I really think that will be a necessity for winning that game. I hope I'm wrong. I hope the offense, which has TALENT, and can move the ball, will score. And if I am wrong, I'll absolutely say it. I'll look forward to it, even. I want a win far, far, far more than me being right.

If you see my earlier posts, I rooted pretty hard for Anthony Alridge to make the team, although his fumbling was a problem. But the Skins last year could also move the ball. They got bogged down in the red zone. Sound familiar? They need speed to hit some home runs occasionally. I thought Alridge was the kind of guy who would provide some instant Sproles-like offense. Kind of also like Felix Jones in Dallas, who also had a big fumble tonight, but also had some huge plays and a TD.

For next week, I implore Coach Zorn to let Jason play. Do more hurry up, throw on first and/or second in the red zone. Because what you're doing in the red zone now is not working! And it's getting frustrating.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Only One Week - But please don't waste timeouts!

It's only one week... I know people hate hearing that, but it is. Who at this time last year ever thought the Cardinals would be in the Super Bowl? Even at the end of the season, they squeaked and limped into the playoffs. And the Eagles last year were done mid-season. After the tie with the Bengals, they were toast. Uh huh. It doesn't work that way. Seasons have ebbs and flows.

Now, having said that, you don't want to see bad trends continue. I'll be playing closely to these trends against the Rams.

Let me explain. I think the Skins have talent, and I think they play hard. They're main shortcoming last week (besides shoddy tackling) was mistakes and decision making. Why were the corners giving such a cushion? Does that ever seem to work? Why were so many run plays called on 1st and 2nd when the passing game in the middle of the field was showing success? To me, both of those were bad decisions. And they contributed to the loss.

As for mistakes, the players in their mid week interviews alluded to these. Good, they're aware of them. Of course that does no good if they keep continuing them -- or just as bad, make new mistakes each week (while correcting last week's mistakes.) Mistakes get you beat, especially against good football teams.

One thing I'll pay very close attention to this week is the timeouts. To waste 2 timeouts because the play clock is running down is inexcusable (especially on a 3rd down when you don't get the 1st down). Timeouts are like diamonds -- cherish and protect them! If the Skins had all 3 timeouts at the end of the Giants game, they could have gotten the ball back (as long as the Giants didn't get a first down). But since they only had one, all New York had to do was run out the clock. FRUSTRATING! All because two timeouts were wasted... Whose fault is that? Is the play not getting into Jason fast enough? Are the players not getting into the huddle or lining up quickly enough? Is someone lined up incorrectly? I don't know, but it can't continue. Would they have beaten the Giants if they got the ball back? No way to know, but wouldn't you like for them to have the opportunity at least?

On a side note, I am so glad the video interviews posted at finally have moved the Verizon Fios commercial that I had to watch all preseason, 4 million times, to the end of the segment... Because of that commercial, I hate Verizon Fios. I will never use Verizon Fios. If Verizon Fios was the only way to watch any TV or videos ever again, I would go back to reading books (well, maybe comic books.) This is a note to any advertiser -- insist that your commercials are not overplayed, and that people have the option to not watch it. On my computer, there was no way to fast forward past the commercial, which had me pulling my hair out and screaming for all 30 seconds of the spot. Since they moved the commercial to the back end, maybe someone finally figured it out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First game wrap-up - stupidity rules the day

You can have all the talent in the world, but if you play stupidly, you'll lose more than you'll win. That sums a up a lot of the Skins-Giants game for me. That, and bad tackling. But I'm more afraid of stupid decisions.

Let me first say, I like Coach Zorn and want to see him succeed. And I like Jason Campbell and want to see him succeed... Having said that, I was disappointed in them the first game, more Coach Zorn than Campbell. Jason made some bad decisions -- especially that awful interception when he was already over the line of scrimmage, and his not stepping up into the pocket when he had the ball stripped. But, my bigger disappointment is with Zorn. I thought he called a horrible game. The one thing that was working was the passing game over the middle. When the Patriots beat the Skins 52-7, it seemed like they kept marching down the field with the same plays. We didn't stop it, so they didn't stop doing it... But Zorn vastly underutilized this, and didn't make the Giants stop it first before moving onto other things that may have opened up because of it... I lost count how many times he called runs on 1st and 2nd and then failing on 3rd to get a first. Sooo frustrating!

I also hated his call for the Randle El trick play. It wasn't a necessary time for that. We hit them with a big running play. We were close to field goal range. Keep running or do play action! And it bothers me that he's defending it.

Randle El had a great game, but he made a stupid decision when he took that huge sack. Momentum killer.

I think more than anything, stupidity lost the game -- against a very, very good team in their stadium. But if you play stupid against the Rams and Detroit, they'll probably beat the Skins, too. That's how it works.

Stupidty list:

1) Wasted timeouts (alignment problems -- smart teams don't do this).

2) The Randle El pass was a stupid call and a stupid decision by Randle El. We just had a huge run, trickery wasn't needed there.

3) Jason Campbell -- not stepping up in the pocket when Osi stripped him. And the interception when he was over the line of scrimmage. Just run it!

4) Santana Moss -- punching a guy. He got lucky the other guy fought back. It's an emotional game but stupid penalties get you losses.

5) Portis: On one important drive, Portis could have had a first down if he kept running straight forward and plowed over someone. He has a bad habit of heading sideways and trying to outrun someone, but he's not as fast as he used to be and he gets tackled. This time it made it 3rd and 2 and the Skins didn't get the first down.

6) Play calling: It seemed like we could pass on them. Too many runs (on 1st and 2nd down) that went for 2 yards.

7) Landry: 15 yard penalties are killers, espcially against good teams.

8) Snap count penalties drawing offsides - maybe Manning should just be credited for his instead, but how come the Skins never seem to draw cadence offside infractions?

Now onto the other parts of the game:

1) DeAngelo Hall was awful, especially his tackling. Landry was the main reason for his interception. He has to do better.

2) If the secondary doesn't improve, they're in trouble all season.

3) I didn't see much of a pass rush. They played, arguably, the best O-Line in the league, but they'll never beat a team like the Giants unless they get a pass rush.

4) Some teams just match up well with other teams. In Gibbs I in the late 80s, it seemed like we usually lost to the Parcells Giants, but beat the Buddy Ryan Eagles, who in turn usually beat the Giants... If we beat the Eagles twice again, then maybe it's late 80s deja vu.

5) I think they played better than they did last year against the Giants in the first game (yeah, I'm stretching).

6) As for Haynseworth -- he's played one game, and the first game of the season. There seems to be far too many "Is he worth the contract?" stories written and blog comments today. That's idiotic. He'll get his wind and play more of each game. First games, in the heat, usually have less participation from big guys. So he needed a few breathers. Judge him at the end of the season. If he's healthy, I strongly believe he'll make a difference on this team, and we'll start seeing it soon.

Positives: It's week one against a very good team in their home stadium. The season is not over. I didn't think Jason played well, but he didn't throw 4 picks like that whiny little bitch Cutler.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I haven't updated in a while. My real life has kept me too busy, but I've followed the Anthony Alridge roller coaster ride very carefully. I thought he may have been in, but then the fumble... I like Mason, I just think Alridge is more what the Skins need right now... Mason is a better overall back, but not the change of pace home run hitter that I thought we needed... Hopefully, Alridge will be on the practice squad, and not be claimed by anyone else, and maybe even get on the roster later in the year.

Why was I so high on Alridge, even though he seems to definitely be a bit of a fumbler. Because you can teach a guy to hold on to the ball (a la Tiki Barber), but you can't teach 4.3 speed... But, you know, guys who fumble usually end up in the stands next to me.

I like going qith 2 qbs only, especially if Chase is on the practice squad. I think Randle El could be an emergency guy for one game, if needed. Good move. Right now, it means that Westbrook is the 6th corner. I have a feeling that might change, unless Carlos Rogers calf problem doesn't improve ... or Westbrook is such a demon on special teams that he's a necessity...

A little surprised that Robert Henson made the team over Cody Glenn. Not based on anything I saw, just based on the coverage. He didn't get a lot of playing time, and made some mistakes... I thought Cody Glenn, or even undrafted Darrel Young, might make it ahead of him... But there's always surprises, aren't there... Y'know, if they had a TV show of the meeting room when they make the final cuts (debating each player), wouldn't that be ratings gold in the DC market? I don't live back east anymore, but I'd watch it on satellite! Someone please make that happen.

Anyway, here's the final cuts, courtesy of

Robbie Agnone TE Undrafted Rookie
Anthony Alridge RB First-year Player
Jeremy Bridges G/T 7-year Vet
Scott Burley T Undrafted Rookie
Alex Buzbee DE First-year Player
Chase Daniel QB Undrafted Rookie
Antonio Dixon DT Undrafted Rookie
Dominique Dorsey RB First-year Player
Doug Dutch CB Undrafted Rookie
Keith Eloi WR Undrafted Rookie
Cody Glenn LB 2009 5th-Round Draft Pick
D.J. Hackett WR 6-Year Vet
Lendy Holmes S Undrafted Rookie
Rob Jackson DE 2008 7th-Round Draft Pick
Dave Rayner K 4-year Vet
Rueben Riley G First-year Player
Trent Shelton WR First-year Player
J.D. Skolnitsky DE Undrafted Rookie
Robert Thomas LB 8-year Vet
Eddie Williams FB 2009 7th-Round Draft Pick
Darrel Young LB Undrafted Rookie