Redskins Roundup: The injuries are piling up
Yesterday, Redskins owner Dan Snyder went to the great University of Maryland and talked about the changing role of the media in today’s sports culture. He had some interesting things to say about the way Sean Taylor’s death was reported and John Feinstein’s ridiculous controversial remarks about Head Coach Mike Shanahan being a racist because of the way he benched QB Donovan McNabb in the loss to Detroit. He also had this to say about the McNabb contract:
“We were working on a contract extension for probably 10 weeks, yet did we all agree we’d get it done on the bye week? Yes. Did we announce that publicly? No,” Snyder said. “We’re trying not to let the internal workings of the Redskins become media-centric.
“So the general manager had been working on it for the better part of two-and-change months and finally got it done — irrelevant to what happened in terms of the benching the previous week in Detroit.”
Snyder also called the loss to the Eagles embarrassing. Sounds right to me.
And it looks like we can count on Snyder to support going to an 18-game NFL season.
“I don’t want to be like Malcolm [Kelly] and rush it and get out there and then I’ll be out for a while,” Rogers said. “In my situation I’m not going to rush it….I know my body. I won’t put my body in jeopardy just to be out there and then I can’t perform the way I want to perform and put something bad on film. That’s not helping me individually or the team.”
By the way, the film part? Translation: “I’m a free agent after the season.”
TB Clinton Portis [groin] appears to be a game-time decision for the Titans game. I don’t think Portis will help that much as a runner or receiver over what the team is getting from Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams. Where Portis really helps is as a pass-blocker. He’s still the best in the NFL at that and the Redskins offensive line needs all the help it can get. I think there is an excellent chance Torain won’t play on Sunday. He’s missed the second half of the Detroit game and the entire Eagles game, with a bye week in between. Clearly, Torain suffered a serious injury in Detroit — more serious than we’d been led to believe.
Brandon Banks said he has received more reps at receiver in practice, a sign that he might get more time at this spot in games. Considering Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams — the third and fourth receivers — have combined for 12 receptions, would anyone argue?
“I feel I deserve an opportunity and the coaches know that,” Banks said. “I’m getting close to that opportunity.”
He’d likely be used in the screen game or on deep routes. Banks said he’s not afraid to go across the middle, as he did in college.
“Just get the ball in my hands any way so I can go the distance or try to go the distance,” he said.
If the Redskins defense had trouble with a running quarterback like Michael Vick, let’s see how they do with a running quarterback like Vince Young. Injuries have pushed Kerry Collins to the third down emergency quarterback. Rookie Rusty Smith will be Young’s backup on Sunday.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett says DL Albert Haynesworth wasn’t the only member of the defense that played poorly against the Eagles. That’s true, Jim. Also, the game plan sucked.
The Redskins coaching staff isn’t happy with how WR Joey Galloway played against the Eagles. What about the other 8 games, guys? Matt Mosley of ESPN thinks the Shanahans are making a scapegoat of Galloway. That may be true, but it is definitely true that he has stunk the joint out this year. Of course, that’s also on the Shanahans — plenty of us figured the 39-year-old Galloway wouldn’t add much to the offense this year.
Injuries are thinning out the offensive and defensive backfields for the Redskins.
THIS IS BAD: SS Laron Landry does not expect to play against the Titans due to his injured left achilles tendon.
Joseph White of the AP has a great story about how the Redskins are trying to turn around a season poised for disaster:
It’s amazing the Redskins have been able to stay so close to .500, considering they rank so poorly in so many areas. The offense can’t sustain a drive. It has only seven possessions all season that have lasted 10 plays or more, fewest in the NFL.
Donovan McNabb is the league’s lowest-rated quarterback on third down, completing only 42 percent of his passes with a rating of 44.5.
The Redskins went 0 for 10 on third down conversions against the Eagles. They could start 11-for-11 against the Titans and still not catch up to the percentage of 31st-ranked Chicago.
The defense is giving up 415.3 yards per game, on pace to threaten the all-time NFL record for yards allowed in a season. The last two games have been real stinkers — a 37-25 loss to Detroit preceded the debacle against Philadelphia.
For months, players and coaches have talked about the inevitable growing pains they would experience after installing a new offense and defense under new coach Mike Shanahan. Nine games into the season, that line of thinking starts to get a bit tiresome — even if it’s still true.
“People have new offenses all the time,” Kyle Shanahan said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to be as bad as we’re doing.”
Rich Tandler writes that blowouts like the one the Redskins suffered on Monday night do not necessarily destroy a season:
Since 1993, NFL teams have given up 55 or more points 15 times. Two of those games were in the playoffs so the 1999 Jaguars, who lost to the Dolphins 62-7, and the 1995 Lions, 57-37 losers to the Eagles in the first round, were unable to try to do better the next week. Again, the result following the Redskins giving up 59 points on Monday is pending.
Of the other 12 teams giving up 55 or more, 7 of them won their next game while 5 lost.
You don’t have to go back any further than last year to find an example of a team able to recover nicely from a blowout. Last year the Patriots laid a 59-0 beatdown on the Titans, dropping Tennessee to 0-6. Not only did the Titans win their next game after a bye week, they won five in a row.
John Keim has more on Washington’s pathetic third down offense.
Dan Daly writes that nobody was better at getting a struggling NFL team to pull together and play better than Joe Gibbs. Will Mike Shanahan be able to do the same thing?
How a coach handles these situations is telling. Managing crises, after all, is as important as managing games. And the Redskins’ sorry display Monday night, on the heels of the Lions debacle and the McNabb controversy, makes you wonder how good Shanny really is at Stopping the Bleeding. Let’s face it, his club needs to pull things together in a hurry – not just to regain its self-respect but to salvage something of the season. Week 11 is way too early to be wheeling in the crash cart.