- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 17, 2001

My favorite part of every Redskins week is when Marty Schottenheimer "explains" the team's latest loss. I'm tellin' ya, George "Wet Wash" Marshall, the laundry magnate who founded the franchise, had nothing on Marty "Spin Cycle" Schottenheimer. The man is a master at deflecting attention away from a defeat and making it sound like the club is on the cusp of victory.

Marty after the 30-3 loss to San Diego: "The starting field position I'm anxious to see what it was. Because it's probably the worst [disparity] I've ever witnessed." (Note: The Redskins' average field position was only one yard worse than the Chargers'.)

Marty after the 45-13 loss to Kansas City: "I was delighted with how Tony Banks played." (Note: Banks completed 11 of 27 for 116 yards.)

And those are just some of the highlights.

Schottenheimer was a veritable Ari Fleischer following the Monday Night mishap at Dallas. He told us the Redskins "laid everything on the field." (Including an egg, Marty?) He told us, "We're going to keep growing and developing every day, and we're going to get there." He even whipped out the ol' field position excuse again. Playing in "the shadows of the end zone," he said, "hurt" the offense "early in the game."

(For the record, the Redskins had one series early in the game when they played "in the shadows of the end zone" their first series, which started at the Washington 8. The rest of the first half, they got the ball at the 31, the 20, the Dallas 40 and the Washington 46. And came away empty each time.)

Anyway, if Schottenheimer is going to keep this up for 11 more games, he's obviously going to need some help. (Especially if he's already repeating himself with this field-position nonsense.) So I've come up with some tacks he might want as the losses pile up you know, to steer conversation away from the real issues (e.g. the owner, the coach and the dearth of talent). Keep in mind, these are only suggestions.

• Week 6 Carolina 16, Redskins 9. Spin: "I really liked the way we stretched in pre-game warmups. Did you notice we didn't pull a single hamstring today?"

• Week 7 New York Giants 24, Redskins 6. Spin: "The consistency of this ballclub just amazes me. I mean, scoring in single digits Sunday after Sunday is a lot harder than it looks."

• Week 8 Seattle 27, Redskins 7. Spin: "I was really proud of the way the players kept their concentration when Bonnie Bernstein was reporting from our sideline."

• Week 9 Bye 13, Redskins 2. Spin: "I could have played Banks and gone for the win, but I wanted to give Kent Graham and Sage Rosenfels some work. The main thing is, nobody got hurt."

• Week 10 Denver 30, Redskins 3. Spin: "We're almost there. I can feel it. One of these weeks, an opponent is going to look completely past us, and the losing streak will be over."

• Week 11 Philadelphia 26, Redskins 8. Spin: "Look at it this way: We might be last in the league in offense, but we're first in Schottenheimers."

• Week 12 Dallas 11, Redskins 5. Spin: "When you consider how old our galaxy is, going three months without a victory is just the blink of an eye."

• Week 13 Arizona 3, Redskins 0. Spin: "Granted, this is one of the lowest points in Redskins history, but on the plus side, we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

• Week 14 - Philadelphia 19, Redskins 4. Spin: "People don't realize what a great year our punter, Bryan Barker, is having. We've called on him 247 times now, and his right leg is still attached to his body."

• Week 15 Chicago 32, Redskins 10. Spin: "It might have looked bad to you, but, hey, at least the score wasn't 73-0.

• Week 16 New Orleans 29, Redskins 6. Spin: "Anytime you can get out of the Big Easy without a player being arraigned, you've gotta be happy."

And finally …

• Week 17 Arizona 9, Redskins 3. Spin: "To those who say we're the worst team in the NFL, I would merely point out that the Houston Texans officially join the league this week."

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