I know most of you probably don't want to think about the debacle against Carolina, but the good news is that disaster may be the ass-booting the team needs to get back on track. It also occasioned the return of Post Game Heroes' phenomenally done Redskins game reviews. We've all gushed about the good work done at PGH which has also received high marks from a number of people, to quote one:
Post Game Heroes does some phenomenal breakdowns of games that blow what most mainstream media writers do out of the water.
And that's true, indeed they are some of the best reviews I've ever seen and continue to be today. I'm told via email that Dillweed has returned and intends to remain returned each and every week of the season. His game breakdowns against Carolina can be found here and here for offense and defense respectively. You'll need to go read both for full content, but I'll happily repeat his criticism of the offensive line. They bombed. Although no one was particularly good, both Jansen and Kendall were especially bad. Dillweed on Pete Kendall:
Started out looking confused...even flat out missing blocks due to lack of hustle. But later on he stepped it up with solid lead run blocking. Unfortunetly just when he was hitting his stride, JC and Betts coughed up the ball.
Kendall was 1/4 on +/- which Dillweed figures by watching the offensive linemen individually and determining whether they deserve high or low marks for their performance. He was equally down on Jansen (0/3), emphasis added:
Picked up where he left off last season against Miami. As far as the run game goes, we might be better off with Stephon Heyer. As far as the pass game goes...I don't know what we do with our RT position. Hopefully I'm wrong about Jansen being way past his prime and it was just lax pre-season preperation that did him in.
After starting 80 straight games for the 'Skins Jansen has since played just 32 in the last four seasons. He missed all of 2004 and virtually all of last year. In his last four years as a Redskin, Jansen has completed a full season just once, in 2006. At 32 Jansen is the 11th oldest player currently on the roster.
I hope Dillweed is wrong. There has hardly been a more quintessentially Redskin kind of guy than Jansen over the past decade, save maybe Chris Samuels -- Jansen is entering his 10th season as a 'Skin. Favorite memories are sparce for an offensive linemen and, really, the greatest offensive linemen are the ones you never hear about ("X just got beat there, John"), though I still fondly recall him playing through one broken thumb and one fractured thumb. Quite well, I might add.
Jansen gone clubbin'
Dillweed's offensive breakdown is likewise a real gift as he goes play by play explaining why and how fail happens. I'm already worried I've pilfered too much of his post, so let me just close with his blitz breakdown:
|1st and 10||Rocky and Campbell (Fletch on the delay)||Completed pass for 20 yards|
|2nd and Goal||Campbell and Doughty||Sack by Golston and Doughty|
|2nd and 10||Rocky and Campbell||Run for -1 yards|
|1st and 10||Rocky and Campbell||Pass for 16 yards|
|1st and 5||Fletch and Rocky||Pass for a 24 yard touchdown.|
In other words we blitzed 5 out of 31 plays (that Dillweed saw) which is ~16 percent of the time. And we sucked at it; average gain was something like 11 yards a play for Carolina.
Looking forward, and a gameday open thread plus a potential game preview is pending here, NFL.com has their Redskins season preview up. It's mostly boilerplate new coach, new scene, etc. They characterize Campbell's coming season thus:
On the hot seat
Quarterback Jason Campbell. If the Redskins don't get off to a fast start, there will be calls for Todd Collins, who was superlative in the final three-and-a-half regular-season games (5 TDs, 0 interceptions, 106.4 passer rating) last season after Campbell was lost with an injury.
And that is true. Jason Campbell is approaching the NFL's age of majority. A 4th year quarterback needs to show more marked improvement from day one to the present in order to keep his status as an NFL starter. And while I think Campbell is absolutely capable of doing so, the fact remains that he has to go out there and do it. There can be no more excuses about coordinator musical chairs. Reasonable milestones would be to maintain an above 60 completion % and improve those yards per pass to 7.0 or higher. More importantly he needs to start finishing games and absolutely must put the quietus on costly fumbles and picks.
Finally... a friend of mine called me a while back to let me know that I'd reached the pinnacle of modern existence; I was found via google. He had forgotten the URL for this space and decided to find it himself by simply entering my name into the world's largest search engine. It worked and, for now at least, my name is identifiable through a google search with the fine work done by Football Guys. I recently received an email from them and they managed to tie down John Keim of the Examiner (which is also the host of Mark Newgent's excellent blog). Their lede:
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom interviews John Keim, Redskins beat writer from the Washington Examiner and Warpath Insiders. Topics Include: is this a make or break year for Santana Moss, is the QB of the future, plus more!, does make this team and will they carry 4 RBs, the 2008 outlook for
Answers and commentary are available on the podcast here, though I imagine they will have a written transcript up at some point. Enjoy.
More posts will be forthcoming later, as I have some catching up to do.