- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

Right now, the Redskins are an NFL team in name only. And Marty Schottenheimer is less a coach than an interim coach. If Schottenheimer isn't gone at the end of the season, Fred Drasner should go to court and ask for power of attorney over Dan Snyder, because Snyder would have to be nuts to keep his "first real stamp" on the club around after Jan. 6.

It's hard to put into words how horrible the Redskins were yesterday basically because I've used up most of those words to describe their scary-bad performances against San Diego and Green Bay. To lose 45-13 to a Kansas City club that had scored just two touchdowns the first two games is, um, almost grounds for withholding paychecks. Sorry, that's the best I can do.

And this, apparently, is the best the Redskins can do; 30-3, 37-0, 45-13 anybody detect a trend here? The key statistic in their games this season isn't time of possession or turnovers or field position, it's: At what point in the proceedings do their fans turn off the TV (or start heading for the exits)? They probably reached that point yesterday with 10 seconds left in the first half, after the Chiefs drove 70 yards through token resistance it took them just 22 seconds to increase their lead to 28-10. No way were the Redskins going to make up that many points.

Up to then, the FedEx crowd had been remarkably tolerant. In recent years, it would have registered its displeasure at the first opportunity such as when the Redskins, already enjoying their first lead of the season (3-0), failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at the KC 30 late in the first quarter. Its patience certainly would have begun to wear thin by the time Trent Green threw a 24-yard swing pass to Priest Holmes for the second Chiefs score. You just don't see 24-yard swing passes that close to the goal line every day. Not unless the defense is missing a man, that is.

But the Redskins faithful endured these and other indignities without complaint until the 70-yard drive at the end of the half. There was an audible groan from the stands when Holmes took a delayed handoff from Green out of the shotgun formation and ran 27 yards to the Washington 43. Then old friend Chris Thomas, little more than a special teams player during his two-plus years here, caught a 19-yard pass on Fred Smoot and stepped out of bounds.


On the next play, Holmes ran 24 yards, right up the gut, for the TD.

More boos.

Then Ki-Jana Carter dropped the kickoff and played soccer with the ball for a while before falling on it.

Even more boos.

The biggest boos, though, came 10 seconds later, as the Redskins left the field. They might be described as Don't Even Bother To Come Back boos.

But the Redskins did, of course, and things didn't get any better. In fact, they got worse. And afterward, to top it all off, Schottenheimer said, "I don't know what the answers are."

Excuse me, but isn't that what he's being paid $2.5 million a year for to have the answers? And after two minicamps, a six-week quarterback school and the most rigorous training camp in recent memory, shouldn't he have some inkling about what's wrong with this team?

Maybe what he really meant is that he doesn't know where to begin, that the club is springing leaks everywhere. Because that would be pretty close to the truth. Yesterday, without Marco Coleman and LaVar Arrington, the Redskins completely broke down on defense the "strength" of the team in the first two games. In consecutive possessions, the Chiefs drove 70, 64, 60, 70, 75, 52, 63 and 50 yards. I'd love to know how often that's happened in NFL history eight straight drives of 50 yards or longer. Who let the dogs out, indeed.

Bruce Smith summed up the Redskins' performance in three choice words "embarrassing," "disgusting" and "unacceptable." But then he wisely added, "At times like this, the less that's said the better, because a person might fly off the handle and say the wrong things."

OK, Bruce, if you won't fly off the handle, then I'll have to. This simply can't go on. Not one season longer. I don't care how many years are left on Schottenheimer's contract. I don't care how much money he's owed. If Dan Snyder has an ounce of football sense a risky presumption, given what we've seen he'll spend these next 14 weeks figuring out who the next coach of the Redskins is going to be. And the next general manager, too, since Marty wears that hat as well.

Eight years ago we gasped when Jack Kent Cooke got rid of Richie Petitbon after one season. Jack's explanation, you'll recall, was: We made a mistake. We thought this team was going to be good for a few more years. But it's obvious we need to do some serious rebuilding, and Richie really isn't the guy for that.

Well, it's obvious Schottenheimer isn't the guy for this job, either. The Redskins aren't a club on the cusp of the playoffs, as Snyder thought. They're a club on the cusp of oblivion thanks in no small part to Marty's "contributions." Ask yourself: Are the Redskins better off now than they were nine months ago? (Answer: Heck no.)

Let's face it, Snyder made a mistake. Another mistake. No sense in compounding the problem by keeping Schottenheimer around after this season. It's bad enough we can't do anything about the owner.

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