- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

The Redskins scored a touchdown yesterday.

That qualifies as progress in the place formerly known as Raljon.

Marty Schottenheimer has promised to look at the film, preferably with his thumb and index finger pressed against his nose.

"I have to look at this tape and evaluate it," Schottenheimer said.

Schottenheimer has $10 million not to question his decision to come out of retirement. That leaves the rest of Washington to work on that one.

There are at least three Schottenheimers in the employ of the Boy Owner. There is only one Pepper Rodgers.

If it is all the same to everyone else, Bill Arnsparger would like to leave his name out of it.

The Redskins are a vague impression of a football team. They do wear the requisite equipment. They look pretty shabby after that.

The Redskins were down by only 11 points late in the first half, which is good for them. The Chiefs then put together a three-play, 70-yard touchdown drive in 22 seconds. It involved two running plays and a 19-yard pass completion from Trent Green to Chris Thomas, two former members of the Redskins organization only too pleased to be where there is a trace of life.

The Redskins could have used a Priest at that point, specifically Priest Holmes, No. 31 of the Chiefs, who was permitted to be Gale Sayers.

The Redskins apparently have an aversion to tackling the person with the football, which undermines their ability to be competitive. The Redskins would not be so inept if this were flag football or touch football. But in the NFL, you are required to tackle the person with the football, and the harder, the better.

Teams rarely have to study the game tape to learn that. Be quiet out there. Schottenheimer is trying to teach. He is a teacher, after all, as he likes to put it. He either is a crummy teacher or he has the worst pupils in the NFL.

The Terry Robiskie Era is looking better all the time. At least he won one game out of three. The Redskins are on pace to have a mercy rule put in place. They have been outscored 112-16 in three games.

Schottenheimer released the starting quarterback last week. He may go after one of the starting defensive tackles this week, assuming two defensive tackles were used against the Chiefs. You couldn't be certain by the gaping holes up the middle. Dick Vermeil could have picked the ball boy to run through them. Your grandmother, too.

The Redskins are having a hard time adjusting to the terminology in Schottenheimer's system. He must speak in tongues. In Schottenheimer's lingo, red means go, green means stop, and yellow means the other team is leading by 30 points in the fourth quarter.

The Redskins are subscribing to the Ed Wood theory of incompetency, which is: If you're going to be bad, you might as well make it memorable. The Redskins can't block, they can't tackle, and they are only 50-50 on the pregame coin toss.

Brett Conway did make two field goal attempts. That's just great. One season too late, the Redskins have a reliable place-kicker. Eddie Murray, who did not have the leg to kick beyond extra-point range, would fit perfectly with this bunch.

The Redskins have no quit in them in the first quarter. The last three quarters are usually negotiable. They call this entertainment, seeing so many players assume the fetal position. Newborns complete the fetal position for free at the maternity ward.

"I don't know what the answers are," Schottenheimer said. "But I will find out."

The coach has no answers three games into the season, which is about three games too many.

To be fair, the Redskins did make a couple of tackles in the fourth quarter, witnessed by a couple of stragglers, ushers and birds nibbling on the leftovers in the stands.

Schottenheimer said he is not planning to make further changes, either with the personnel, coaching staff or philosophy, which is a signal to follow the cause of Michael Jordan and Jaromir Jagr.

"We've got our football team in place," Schottenheimer said, issuing a warning to the bagheads in the stands.

The bagheads and like-minded held their boos until late in the second quarter, exercising remarkable strength and patience.

This is not a football team, really. This is a homecoming opponent. Is it too late to schedule Duke?

In a positive development, there are only 13 mismatches to go.



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