Posted on: September 13, 2009 11:49 pm

Equal blame all around

As a Redskin fan I would like to say that this game was truly maddening to watch.

While the offense certainly was the worse of the three major units today many people must share the blame.

First of all, I hate criticizing Greg Blache because his defensive schemes usually keep the Redskins in games, and this game was no exception.  But I feel that Blache made a critical strategy error early in this game that cost the Redskins ten points before they made any adjustment.

Everyone with any football acumen knew that the biggest question mark for the Giants coming into this game was their lack of experienced receivers.  Everyone also knew that Peyton Manning was one of their greatest strengths.

So it really infuriated me when I saw the Redskins laying back in a VERY soft zone and only rushing four at Manning to start the game.  The obvious results were that the Redskins got zero pressure, Manning had all day to dissect the defense, and the DB's gave such a cushion to the receivers that seven yard button hooks and slant routs were easily completed.

I am from the school that demands a young player to prove he is worthy of respect before you give it to him.

Blache should have sent extra rushers at Manning to force him into his hot reads and played bump and run man coverage on the young Giant receivers.

Instead Blatche treated these guys like they were Plaxico Burress and backed so far off the line that Manning could play pitch and catch on underneath routes all the way down the field.

It looked like the Redskins were playing prevent for the first three defensive series.

When Blache finally made the obvious adjustments he turned it over to the offense to make boneheaded plays.

Antwann Randle El has been running the reverse option for many years now.  He has been told countless times to throw the ball away if the easy play doesn't present itself.  So why did he give up an unneeded and very costly eleven yards when every instinct and coaching lecture was screaming in his ear to throw it away?

And while we are on the subject, can we stop running that play.  My grandmother is 88 years old, and even she knows that if Randle El gets a reverse that he is looking to pass the ball.  Trick plays are worthless once they lose the element of surprise.

Now we come to

I defended him all last year and into the off-season.  I felt he took too much of the blame for the Redskins' collapse last year.  But if he plays another game like he did today I may have to stop fending off the masses and let them eat him alive.

Campbell made two truly horrific plays in this game.  The first was when he threaded an interception after he had run a good four yards beyond the line of scrimmage.  That was inexcusable.

The second blunder was due to poor mechanics. 
Campbell was given a perfect pocket in which to throw, but instead of stepping up into it Campbell chose to plant his feet, pump fake, and then attempt a long wind up.  If he takes two steps forward he has a twenty yard completion.  By forgetting his technique he cost the Redskins seven points.

I won't rag on DeAngelo Hall too much, since he did make a great heads up play later in the game, but if I see him do his Deion Sanders impression the next time he has to tackle a receiver in the open field I will start a petition to ship his butt back to

It is very clear what the pros and cons are of the decision to keep Hall and jettison Springs.  Hall will make the "WOW" plays.  Springs will make the solid tackles.  I hope the wows make up for the whiffs this year.

This list would not be complete without mentioning Jim Zorn's name.  His play calling was very conservative and predictable.  I wish that he would recognize the fact that
Campbell seems to respond favorably to the hurry up offense.  I wish he would let him run it on more occasions than just end of game scenarios.

As disgusted as I am by this game, the world is not over.  The Redskins have a very favorable schedule ahead in the early goings.  There is still time to right the ship.  But I implore Zorn and Blache to seriously reconsider some of their strategies for this year.  This may very well be their last chance to do so in a Redskins uniform.

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 27, 2009 6:49 pm

A few thoughts on the NFC East prognostications

The Eagles proved last year that the NFC East is the best division in football.  They went to the NFC Finals despite going 2-4 in the division and getting swept by last placed Washington.  If that doesn't prove parity I don't know what does.

The Eagles are the hardest team to figure out this season.  I could see them win the East with their talent, but I could also see them finish last due to chemistry issues and injury concerns.

The Giants are probably the safest bet this year.  Even if the recievers don't pan out I have a hard time imagining them going any worse than 10-6 or 9-7.  Their reserve linemen are better than most team's starters.  They are good where it counts: in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Dallas has been totally overlooked this year, and I can't figure out why.  Does the loss of TO really mean that much?  This is the same team minus two significant players that everyone expected to win it all last year.  Maybe the experts are just afraid to get burned again.  If the defense can improve Dallas will be very good.  The offense will not miss TO.  Their season's success or failure lies with their defense.

The Redskins have the least pressure and most upside of any of these teams.  No one in the media has predicted anything better than a battle for third place, with most placing them squarely in the cellar.  There are no expectations, which could be a very good thing.  The defense should be superb, and Jason Campbell will be playing with a chip on his shoulder during a contract season.  That could go one of two ways, but if the line holds up I think Campbell has the skills to play smart, winning football.

As always with the Redskins, the difference between 8-8 and 10-6 is the ability of the offense to score 20 points a game.  If they can manage that the defense will do the rest.

Injuries play a huge role for every team.  But in the case of the NFC East I think that injuries will be the deciding factor in this very skilled, very even division.  As always, the last man standing will win.
Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com