- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins, 0-2 and without a touchdown, cut quarterback Jeff George today.

Handcuffed in an offense that didn't suit him, George failed to lead the offense to a single point in 6 1/2 quarters of play. The Redskins (0-2) have been outscored 67-3, with the field goal coming with backup Tony Banks on the field in the opener against San Diego.

George's 34.6 quarterback rating ranks last in the NFL. In two games, he completed 23 of 42 passes for 168 yards and three interceptions. He was also sacked six times.

The Redskins are without a touchdown two games into a season for the first time in the franchise's 69-year history.

George was the NFL's No. 1 pick in 1990 out of Illinois but has had a troubled career. Although blessed with a strong arm, he is just 46-78 as a starter with five teams.

Controversy has followed him everywhere, reaching its peak when he argued with Atlanta coach June Jones on the sideline during a game in 1996. The Falcons suspended George, then cut him.

And in the Redskins' season opener against the Chargers on Sept. 9, George and coach Marty Schottenheimer had an animated sideline discussion after Schottenheimer yanked George for Banks. George had four turnovers in that game two fumbles and two interceptions and refused to speak to reporters for 11 days afterward.

Schottenheimer kept George as his starter for Monday night's game against the Green Bay Packers. The Redskins lost 37-0, with George playing the entire game, completing 15 of 24 for 102 yards and one interception.

Schottenheimer gave an indication yesterday of what was to come when he said he was considering starting Banks in Sunday's home opener against Kansas City.

George's teammates indicated they were losing faith in their quarterback.

“There's got to be some changes,'' defensive end Bruce Smith said yesterday. “By no means am I pointing fingers, but we can't survive on an average of 1.5 points per game.''

It had been long obvious that George's strong-arm, downfield game just wasn't compatible with Schottenheimer's quick-drop, short-pass West Coast offense. George worked all spring and summer to learn the offense, but he never looked comfortable. It also didn't help that he missed nearly all of training camp with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder.

Schottenheimer, 0-2 for the first time in his 16-year coaching career, said he wasn't ready to radically change the offense to feature a downfield passing game.

Some of George's attempts to dump the ball for short gains have looked awkward. In both games, the first two drives were killed when a third-down pass was completed short of the first-down marker.

Schottenheimer said part of the blame for those plays lay with the quarterback.

“The bottom line is we're not making enough first downs,'' Schottenheimer said Tuesday. “We're not making enough yardage.''

George was drafted by Indianapolis and played with the Colts from 1990-93. He was in Atlanta from 1994-96, then spent two seasons with Oakland and one with Minnesota before joining the Redskins last year as Brad Johnson's backup.

George, 33, started five games last year, going 1-4. He became the undisputed starter when Johnson signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay during the offseason.

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