Sunday, September 17, 2006

Redskins Play Unscheduled Throwback Game
On Football Night in America, the Redskins played like it was throwback night without the cool jerseys, combining the very worst of the Norv Turner and Steve Spurrier eras in an embarassing loss to the Cowboys. Maybe some of the 700 pages in Al Saunders playbook are tribute to Norv, because this offensive effort brought back nauseating memories of the worst of Norv's offenses -- a whole lot of nothing, led by an incompetent quarterback. In two games, Brunell has shown that the concerns about the arm strength of the aging quarterback were legitimate. He has no ability to get the ball deep, all of his passes are short, and he doesn't throw any long passes. Which means that he's coming up short even on his short passes. The talents of Santana Moss and Antwan Randle El are wasted. And Brandon Lloyd's name has barely been uttered in either game. Hopefully the move to DC is at least working for his hip hop career.

Last week, the Redskins played penalty-free early in the game, but caught up quickly when the game was on the line late. This week, they committed them early and often, just like under the ol' ball coach, Steve Spurrier. Get Joe Gibbs a visor. Eleven accepted penalties for 117 yards says it all.

Two constant choruses are that Saunders' offense takes a long time to master (or even to be competent with, apparently) and Shawn Springs is hurt. Given the relative success of last year, I'm not sure of the wisdom in converting to an offense that may take a season for the players to execute. More and more, though, I'm thinking Saunders' famous 700-page playbook is just how many pages it takes to try to cover for an inept quarterback.

As far as Springs, given his history of injury, the fact that he was hurt at the end of last year, and his age, I am not sure it's a great idea to be so reliant on him.

I watched most of this game on NBC, which was much better than the ESPN Monday night broadcast, although I don't really see the necessity of the four-person halftime crew. Madden and Michaels, though, are about the best.

I listened, or tried to listen, to the very beginning and the very end of the game on the radio. I had it on 730AM, and the reception, while driving down 110 in Arlington, was very much like the Redskins' offense -- shaky to non-existent. I know that Dan Snyder and John Riggins say that the games are on three different stations, and that we should use different ones depending on the time of day. What kind of crap is that? I don't know if Tom Cruise knows anything about radio reception. If not, maybe Snyder can hire that McGyver guy to rig something up.

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