- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Redskins are as finished as Mark Brunell’s left arm, the one tied behind the team’s back.

That is neither unkind nor a rush to judgment, considering the body of evidence going on three seasons.

Brunell is managing an offense that has become three yards and a cloud of doubt.

The weary left arm takes precedence over the tender shoulder belonging to Clinton Portis, the one encouraging element because of his place on the sidelines against the Cowboys.

Portis possibly would have made a significant difference in the outcome of the game. If so, that will be his challenge in each contest the rest of the way, an improbable prospect, to be sure.

Football teams rarely exceed the limitations of their quarterbacks, although the Redskins did just that in closing with five consecutive victories last season.

They have that period of excellence to rally around, no doubt necessary in the clutches of the offensive anemia.

Otherwise, the Redskins are consigned to the left arm until further notice.

There are no viable alternatives to the left arm that either floats or skips passes, not the erudite Todd Collins or the neophyte Jason Campbell.

This is subject to change, especially if the Redskins are unable to get well against the Texans, one of the leading get-well teams of the NFL.

Joe Gibbs is not in the mood to make a change, and you can understand the mood.

A change would be a sign of surrender.

Brunell has come to be the football equivalent of a junk-ball pitcher.

As it was said of Stu Miller, Brunell has three speeds: slow, slower and slowest.

In Brunell’s case, that comes out to the dump-off pass, the underneath pass and the dink pass, none intended to spread the defense.

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