Browsing all articles tagged with Todd Collins
Oct
19

The worst game of all time

So yesterday, I had the joy of going to the Redskins game. I was excited, I had received the tickets as a birthday gift. I know it has not been the greatest season, but they were playing the Chiefs. I mean the Chiefs. Surely, they can’t lose to both the Lions and the Chiefs in the same year right?

This was the third game I have been to in the last four years, going to about one a year. I have to say that this game was disappointing on so many levels. The forecast was calling for rain, but it was clear all day. We didn’t get loss or stuck in traffic on the way to the stadium. We made pretty good time in fact.

The disappointment was  to come. The Stadium was not full at all by kickoff. It looked to be a quarter empty, possibly more. The crowd never got loud on Defense. Some fans would try, but most fans just sat there. Well, sat there and complained and heckled both the Chiefs and the Redskins. The other times I have been to the stadium the visiting offense had false starts or had to burn timeouts because of crowd noise. That was not a problem this time The crowd was almost as loud when the Chiefs were on D.

There was plenty of booing, both the Chiefs and the Redskins. Campbell was booed but so were other players. There was booing at the playcalls, particularly the ones at the end of the the first half. The loudest cheer was probably when Todd Collins entered the game. Which struck me as unfair; is it Campbell’s fault Stephon Heyer was falling down, committing false starts, and only giving Campbell one second to throw? And yeah Campbell overthrew Moss slightly, but Moss had his hands on it he should have caught it. Of course there are other receivers to pass to then Moss and he had to throw the ball away not scramble during a two-minute offense.

But there was plenty to boo about. I cannot recall a game in which the Skins played worse. There offense could get nothing done all day, except for two big plays. And after moving deep into Chiefs’ territory with those big plays they could not get it in the endzone. Special Teams was atrocious with a blocked punt and bad punt returns. The Defense played decent, but let’s be honest – the Chiefs’ receivers dropped plenty of passes. The Skins got in Cassel’s face a few times, and played good bend-but-don’t-break D. But everyone in the stadium wanted to see more aggressive D. There were constantly calls for “Pick 6″! Because the crowd knew the offense was not going to score.

By the time the Skins had ball backed up in their own endzone, down 12-6 with precious little time left in, most of the fans had left. Then Todd Collins was sacked for the saftey on the very first play of that drive. After that we, along with nearly everyone else, also left.

This was a huge disappointment to me on so many levels. The Skins went out there and proved that they are probably the worst team in football. They looked like they did not care, and there did not seem to be any hope for a turnaround any time soon. I have been a Skins fan since I was a kid, and I remember them being bad for many years. I do not remember them ever looking this hopeless, this much of a lost cause.

The Skins were not the only disappointment, the Skins fan were as well. People have every right to stay home from a bad game, to boo and heckle their team but its just sad when a home game does not mean an advantage. FedEx Field is one of the biggest and loudest stadiums in the NFL, and Redskins fans are among the most diehard. But you might have thought the Redskins came into the game losing and 2-4 the way the crowd reacted yesterday.

Obviously, a lot needs to be done to both improve the team and improve the fans’ mood. It looks so hopeless now, I do not really have any suggestions.Here’s hoping we have something to cheer about later this season.

Oct
19

Skins Loss to Chiefs Prompts Major Changes

The Washington Redskins lost to another winless opponent yesterday, dropping one at home to the Kansas City Chiefs 14-6.  I wish I could have said this was a major surprise.  I wasn’t really shocked the Skins lost on Sunday but if you told me the following, I would have thought we were going to win:

  • Clinton Portis would break off the longest run of his entire career with a 78 yard run (15 rushes for 109 yards).
  • The Skins defense would have five sacks, would not allow a touchdown (to a team that scored 20 points against the Dallas Cowboys the previous week), and kept Larry Johnson under 100 yards rushing.
  • The Redskins would only have one turnover committed in the game on a “Hail Mary” pass at the end of the first half.

So, what happened?  How did the Redskins lose this game? In a nutshell:

  • The offense continued to struggle with putting points on the board and did not get in the end zone at all, even going against one of the worst defenses in the league.
  • The wide receivers and quarterbacks of the Redskins could not consistently connect on deep routes even though Thomas, Moss and Randle El looked to be beating coverage.
  • Timeouts were wasted.  Again.
  • The offensive line gave up a safety for the second straight week.
  • Jason Campbell was benched after missing open receivers down field.
  • Instead of going for a 52 or 53 yard field goal, Zorn elects to have Jason Campbell throw it towards (not even in) the endzone.
  • Special teams had problems again this week and surrendered excellent field position after our punt was blocked.

Six points.  That’s it.  The Washington Redskins are now 2-4, sitting at the bottom of the NFC East and are faced with a potentially disastrous matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on national television next Monday night.  Something has to be done, right?  Something’s got to give, something must change.

The Change

After another pathetic performance by the Redskins offense, Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder met with Jim Zorn Sunday night and according to Zorn, “strongly suggested” that he give up play-calling duties.  This is the “too much on his plate” approach.  It definitely must have been tough on Zorn after being brought in initially as the Offensive Coordinator before he was hired as the Head Coach.  This is also in the context of the organization’s hiring of Sherm Lewis to be that “extra set of eyes” to see if he can fix the offense.  Now Lewis is the one who will be calling the plays.  Sherm Lewis said when he was hired here, he wasn’t “trying to take anyone’s job” and I believe him.  And now he has Zorn’s job of play-calling.

But at this point, is this the answer?  I am not entirely sure if Lewis will have any more success in his calling of the plays than Zorn did with this personnel.  The offensive line might have lost Chris Samuels not just for the season, but for his career after last weeks “stinger” and his narrowing spine problem.  That means that whether Todd Collins gets the start next Monday night or whether it’s Jason Campbell again (which I find more likely) it’s still going to be a bumpy ride.

The Effect

It’s hard to look at this move and not see that Jim Zorn’s days as the Skins Head Coach are numbered.  Whether it’s deserved or not, it’s clear that the fans and Dan Snyder will want change next season (if not much earlier).  There’s an off chance that the Redskins win big Monday night which might buy Zorn more time.  If the Skins wind up winning a few more in the harder part of his schedule he might be able keep it for the remainder of the season.  My view is that if the plan is to fire Zorn after Monday night, just fire him now.  Deal with him like a man, or else just let him do his job.

Stay tuned this week for an examination of who might be the Redskins next head coach if Zorn gets the axe, a comparison of Campbell and much, much more.

Links

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has done a great job collecting thoughts from various media and football persona’s regarding the changes Cerrato has handed down.  Tony Dungy’s take here and everyone else you can think of is here.

Tony Kornheiser talked on his radio show this morning about his conversation with Dan Snyder in the owner’s box and Joe Theismann even came up as an option for a candidate to be the next (interim-only please?) head coach.

Comedian Danny Rouhier examines the futility of the Redskins great draft picks since 1991 and his latest “Redskins Anonymous” meeting.  It’s awesome, I promise.

Your Thoughts

What do you expect the product will be like against Philadelphia on Monday night?

Is the Zorn Era over?

Should it be?

Is Campbell done here?

Sep
3

Skins vs. Jags preview

Well, there’s quite a bit going on right now with the Skins.  Let’s see we’ve got

  • the Washington Post exposé on ticket sales to brokers

    • Jason LaCanfora contributed to this article.  I kind of get the feeling his mood towards helping out with this article would be… I don’t know, ecstatic?  You remember the “tampering” debacle right?  Check out The Player Hater’s Ball for a completely logical and agreeable take on that situation.
  • the WaPo piece on Skins suing grandmother’s (and others) who can’t pay their season tickets.  I know it’s sad, but these folks need to get representation for the breach of contract claim by the Skins.  Reading this article, it sounded like a lot of these six year deals sound sketchy.  When you are getting sued: GET A LAWYER.  And yes, I know many can’t afford one, there are attorneys who will take some of these cases pro-bono.  
  • Dan Snyder is rated as the 8th best owner in the league by Yahoo! Sports.
  • Marcus Mason won’t be picking up the phone when it comes time for roster cuts (nice article by Mike Wise)

Oh yeah and we’ve got the last preseason game against the Jaguars!

Clearly tonight’s main focus is going to be on the performance of backup quarterback wannabes Chase Daniel and Colt Brennan.  Jason Campbell is expected to play a series or two and Todd Collins isn’t going to playing at all.  Brennan is probably behind in this battle because of his interceptions in the red zone (and last week on the goal line that ended in a touchdown for the Pats).  Chase Daniel did well in his limited time when he played two games ago.  

So, what are you looking for if you’re Jim Zorn or the Skins coaching staff?  I would say these four keys are the best way to analyze this qb position.  I’ll grade Colt and Chase on these factors tonight:

Athleticism- Daniel has shown his ability to scramble for first downs and make tough throws this preseason, but Colt has also shown his moxie for eluding the pass rush while working with the 2nd and 3rd team units.  This is important considering the OL’s penchant for injuries and the uncertainty of Vinny Cerrato’s willingness to build this unit through the draft.

Accuracy- Clearly Chase Daniel’s stats are more impressive thus far than Colt’s, but we’ll see how they match up during the course of an almost entire game.

Decision-making- This has been Colt’s downfall so far this season.  Forcing passes he may have made last preseason have turned out as interceptions this year.  Taking a sack on third down that pushes Suisham’s ever decreasing range is also not going to help him win this spot.  Look for passes thrown away if receivers are too well covered.  I know it’s not pretty and may end up like Campbell’s 1 for 7 against Pittsburgh, but that’s probably better than a pick 6 for these two qb’s to get a spot.

Coachability/Adaptability- This one will probably not be able to analyzed that much from the game.  But here’s the situation, obviously Collins goes into the game if ever something happens to Campbell.  Colt or Chase are unlikely to see the field this year in the regular season unless calamity  or conscientious development occurs.  That means that the coaches are looking for someone to groom and develop in the Zorn system.  Colt/Chase doesn’t need to have everything sorted at this point, but must be able to have the above mentioned 3 factors plus the patience and humility to be “coached up” (sorry for the Spurrier phrase).  Colt appears to be making strides toward this direction after previously being thought of as having too much “swagger” (personally, I don’t like how Reid classifies it as swagger.  I mean really can one have too much swag?  No, it’s impossible. Swag does not equal arrogance.  Swag=confidence.)

Also Look For…

Marcus Mason or Aldridge to make plays and force the coaches to figure out a way to keep them.

A Punt Returner who gets more than 6 yards.

Marko Mitchell to close out a stellar preseason and work his way into the lineup (possibly supplanting Thomas as the number 4 eventually?  Yeah, I said it!).

How BIG MIKE WILLIAMS performs tonight, playing in his first preseason game (finally!  I am excited to see him play though, for real.)

Your Thoughts

What will you be looking for tonight from the Skins?

Who do you think will be the Skins backup QB behind Collins? Are you a member of Church of Chase or the Cult of Colt?

 

ALSO DON’T FORGET WE’RE ON TWITTER: http://twitter.com/dcsportsjam

Aug
27

Steelers vs. Skins Notes and Training Camp News

On Saturday night the Skins beat the Steelers, 17-13.  The starting offense scored a field goal with a Shaun Suisham chip shot while Chase Daniel threw two TD passes.  Here are some things I noticed from the second preseason game, broken down per unit:

Starting Offensive Unit-   The sky might not be falling after all.  The offensive line was impressive in their time on the field for the second consecutive preseason matchup.  While there probably has been less game-planning by their opponents, the Skins have faced two of the top defensive teams in the league and Campbell has yet to feel major pressure.  Not only that, but the Skins ground game was successful on their first drive.  Portis had 5 rushes for 26 yards (5.2 yards/carry) and Rock Cartwright had that sweet punt fake run as well.  The O-line appears to be “gelling” and with Heyer now solidifying the RT spot, the focus is now on who the backups will be.  Jason Reid of the Redskins Insider thinks big Mike Williams will be a backup this year for sure, but he hasn’t been in a preseason game yet, so I’m not so sure.

Starting Defensive Unit- Orakpo is going to be a freaking beast.  That’s all I can say about him that really summarizes his play.  He lifted a 304 lb. offensive lineman off the ground on one play while rushing Charlie Batch.  He consistently got to the Steelers backfield and was seen wherever the ball was.  I can’t wait to see him play (especially against the Cowboys) this season.  The whole defense played pretty well, including DeAngelo Hall (even with that bogus penalty for unnecessary roughness called on him on the first drive).  

Special Teams- The kicking position is still unsettled, but Dominique Dorsey had some shifty moves as a punt returner.  

Other units & Notes: Todd Collins looked great with the exception of an interception (which I think was actually Devin Thomas’ fault for not going after the ball on a slant route).  Collins has grasped the Zorn offense and played well enough in the two preseason games to be the No. 2 QB this year.  That’s it.  Game over for that spot.

Marcus Mason played well again, but he’s got to figure out the special teams thing so he can make this roster.  I really hope he does because he’s got great speed that the Skins could use as an alternating look between Betts and Portis.  Reed Doughty has been looking really solid, both in tackling and in coverage.  

Chase Daniel appears to be beating Colt Brennan right now for the final QB slot (I would say due to his play in these preseason games and not because of Colt’s out of control “swagger”).  Somehow Colt has taken a step back from last year’s amazing preseason performance, even with a year under Zorn and his system.  Watch for Colt to improve against the Patriots this week.  If he doesn’t, I don’t think he’s got much longer in Washington (again, hard to believe with how well he did last year, but Chase looked great when he scrambled and threw those two touchdowns).  

Marko Mitchell, the 7th round pick from Nevada looks like a stud.  He’s making plays every day in practice and so far, in every preseason game.  Chase Daniel and Mitchell was the connection for the second touchdown of the night for the Skins.  I honestly can’t remember  the last time the Redskins even attempted a lob/fade in the back of the endzone.  Seriously, when was the last time that even happened?  Michael Westbrook?  Alvin Harper?  Cerrato may have a serious knack for picking the 7th rounders that make an impact.  Mitchell will most likely not only make the roster but get some time this year.  Yeah, I said it.

Aug
16

"It's Just Preseason"

Yes, it’s just preseason.  That’s what I had to continually affirm to myself once the game started and the Skins were down 6-0 to the Ravens starters.  I had to keep telling myself that it was “just preseason” when we ended up losing 23-0 and weren’t in field goal range one freaking time.  As far as those top 5 things went, well, some of them we saw and some we did not.  Let’s do a quick recap…

5. Offensive Line Play- For the most part, the offensive line did pretty well, I guess.  There were no huge holes for the running backs but seeing as everyone this offseason is predicting Campbell’s decapitation by week 3, they didn’t do that bad.  In fact, Campbell said he was pleased with their play (Of course what’s he going to say?  He’s no Clinton Portis).

Campbell actually picked out Rinehart and said he was impressed with his play.

4. Just for kicks. This was probably the most frustrating thing of the whole night. We saw one kickoff, no field goals and clearly no PAT’s.  It’s going to be tough (again, though it shouldn’t be) for coaches to determine a winner of a kicking competition when nobody freaking kicks in the games.  Our offense the whole way through was completely incompetent, not even in field goal range at the end of a drive.  Fred Davis fumbled a way a possible scoring drive or two on his own.

3. Cult of Colt vs. Toddball- Round 1 goes to Todd Collins.  Colt had the majority of time against the Ravens but failed to impress like he did last year.  He actually looked pretty uncomfortable with the backup line play. I know there were a few times he had open receivers and opted to scramble for a 5 or 6 yard scramble instead of making the toss.  Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Todd Collins

8 for 11   70 yards      72.7% Comp.%      O TD  O INT                    Rating 89.2

Colt Brennan

4 for 12   43 yards    33.3 % Comp. %       O TD    1 INT                   Rating 10.1

Colt had 3 rushes for 13 yards as well.

Colt’s pick, I didn’t think was entirely his fault.  The receiver definitely could have caught it though it wasn’t placed perfectly.  Collins definitely seemed more comfortable than a year ago (though still looked skittish in the pocket).  I expect that Collins will get more time against the Steelers this week and we’ll probably see more of Chase Daniel as well.

2. Who’s going to be Z-Man’s Z Receiver? Statistics can do part of the talking here:

Kelly- 3 catches, 25 yards, long of 13

Thomas- 1 catch, 12 yards, long of 12

Honestly, I was just glad they played a whole game and didn’t break, rip, tear or pull anything.  But beyond that, I can see the optimism surrounding these guys.  They have great size and seem like if they start putting things together they can use some of their speed to really infuse some life into this offense.  Kelly had a great grab he plucked from the air on a slant route in the middle of the field.  But then he ran the route a bit short on another play costing the Skins a first down.  Thomas had a good play but also seemed to be out of place on a WR screen from Collins.  Right now?  Edge goes to Kelly.

Fred Davis had some good moments right before he fumbled it…twice

1. Orakpo’s debut- One of the only highlights of the night was seeing Orakpo blow by the Ravens O-line.  Yes, Michael Oher (the guy Baltimore picked in the first round that we could have had) played well.  But in this game he was a waning candle compared to the brightness of Orakpo’s debut.  Did not have a sack but showed good pursuit from end.  His impact at LB (which is probably more significant) was unnoticeable, which makes sense since he’s still learning that position.  Actually, the whole defensive line throughout the night played well consistently breaking through the Ravens line and hurrying throws of Flacco, Smith and Beck.

Other Skins highlights and low-lights

Hagans did little to impress Zorn in this game as a punt returning option.  At one point I think I caught Zorn telling Hagans after another fair catch, “Do you want this job as a punt returner for us??”

Jeremy Jarmon had a batted down pass and broke through the line a few times.  He had a great debut as a Skin and paired with Orakpo, I think Vinny could get a bunch of people off his back for a little while (unless the offensive line explodes like everyone is screaming it will).  Jarmon has great size and speed, looks like a real smart pick.

Our secondary secondary had a really really rough night.  Tryon got burned on every freaking slant route.  Theismann blamed it on size but I don’t think that was really the issue.  If Tryon was bigger and in the same place, the Ravens receivers would still have been burning him.  His position was off every time.  Barnes also had a bad night.  He got burned for a touchdown, not sure if he thought Doughty was there in support but he wasn’t.

Also, Betts was given a Bettis jersey for the night.  I hope this is the only thing in common we have with the Nationals this year.  The Papa Johns segment DURING THE GAME WAS RIDICULOUSLY LONG, too.

What were your thoughts about the game?  What do you expect to see from the Skins against the Steelers this week?