What's the Washington Redskins' Problem on the Field?

Troy MarineCorrespondent INovember 19, 2008

After starting out 6–2, the Washington Redskins looked poised to possibly win the division and challenge the New York Giants for NFC dominance. Wow, a lot of things have changed in the last two weeks! 


Where do I begin? 


Let’s start with the offensive line, which, for some reason, has forgotten how to pass protect. They have given up 10 sacks in the last two games. Jon Jansen looks like a statue on passing downs. 


Where’s Stephon Heyer, who was starting in the beginning of the season, until he was injured?  He has been active the last two games, and hasn’t seen the field. 


I thought the “West Coast Offense” was a “pass first to set up the run” scheme, which means you need to be able to pass protect.  The Redskins haven’t been doing a good job in that area, and it’s a big reason why they sit at 6–4 now and on the verge of missing the playoffs.


The mental mistakes need to stop. They are 11 weeks into the season and guys have been practicing where they’re supposed to be, and what they’re supposed to be doing, for four months now. 


If Devin Thomas doesn’t know when he’s supposed to be on the field (he has looked like a “deer in headlights” for most of the year), put him on the bench and keep him there. Offensive pass interference here, illegal formation there—these bad penalties always seem to happen when they are driving the ball—a.k.a. momentum killers!


Can the defensive line get any pressure on the quarterback?? What happened to that great pass rush they would have with Jason Taylor and Andre Carter on the ends? I understand Taylor has been injured most of the season, but he looked healthy Sunday night, and I don’t think he touched Tony Romo.


As a matter of fact, I don’t think any defensive players touched Romo. They haven’t put much pressure on any quarterback this year. Fifteen sacks in 10 games isn’t going to do it. 


Do we ever blitz anymore? Where’s the coaches’ confidence in our cornerbacks to cover man-to-man? We constantly give the quarterbacks in this league plenty of time to throw the ball, and eventually, it’s going to hurt us.


Now it looks like we can’t stop the run either. Were we so worried about Romo throwing the ball on us that we forgot they had a pretty good running back, too? There’s no excuse for them running the ball 10 out of the last 11 plays in that game, and us not be able to get a stop with six minutes left. 


This is a sure recipe for disaster against teams on our upcoming schedule like the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers, who have all combined, as a team, for more than 950 yards rushing each. 


Maybe the quarterback can try to be a leader sometimes. If someone on the offense does something wrong, well damn it, tell them they did. All the great quarterback’s in the past like Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, and Joe Montana did and all the great ones now like Peyton Manning and Brett Favre still do. 


If Jason Campbell wants to be in this class someday, he needs to not be afraid of calling someone out if they screw up, that’s why he’s the quarterback. Make your teammates accountable for their actions. They will respect you more if you do, especially when you back it up.


After another disappointing loss on prime-time television to the rival Dallas Cowboys, I think the only bright spot for the Redskins was Clinton Portis. Portis battled through sprained knee ligaments to rush for 68 yards on 15 carries, after sitting on the sidelines during practices all week, and with the possibility of injuring the knee further.


I think if he was healthy (he looked very timid on most of his runs), the game would have been different, but at least he gave it a run. 


He’s been banged up and playing all season, and he has carried this team on his back for most of it. It’s time for some other so-called “veterans” to step-up and take this team to the next level. Play with some heart, some urgency, something. I don’t see much of either in the Redskins.


It’s time for the coaching staff to trust the offense and defense again, like it did in great wins at Dallas and Philadelphia. They need to believe that they will do the right thing like they have been practicing for all year. Call the plays that you want to and not the plays that you think will prevent a turnover. The time is now, not when we need to win on the last game of the season.


This team has so much talent. They could be so special if they would just focus a little bit more and win those one-on-one battles in the trenches. Don’t make stupid mistakes. Just execute one more play here or there. This team is not that far off from being a great team.


I know my opinion doesn’t matter, and they could care less what I have to say. Who am I? But, if the Redskins were listening, I would challenge them to be perfect the rest of the way. Much like they were last year, when they won four straight down the stretch to get into the playoffs, after the tragic death of Sean Taylor.


This team can do it. They always play better when their backs are against the wall,   something I think Joe Gibbs instilled in them the fours years he was here. This is something Coach Jim Zorn will need to continue to build upon if this team is going to go anywhere this year.


They have six games left. All six games are must-wins if they plan to make the playoffs, starting with a tough game at the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday (FOX-4:15 PM), a place the Redskins haven’t enjoyed too much in recent years.


The NFC is a log jam right now, with eight teams vying for two wild-card spots, and it’s starting to look like only one team from the NFC East will get one of those.


It should be an interesting six weeks. I think the ‘Skins can get it done, but will they?


If they don’t, well, I’m sure the Bill Cowher talk will start again.