- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 20, 2006

Don’t tell Joe Gibbs it’s only August and losing two preseason games isn’t a reason to be worried. It was the way the Washington Redskins are 0-2 following a uninspired 27-14 loss to the New York Jets last night that had Gibbs doing a slow burn during his press conference.

The offense committed three turnovers, the defense gave up a 23-play scoring drive and 216 rushing yards and the special teams allowed an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 155 total return yards.

“I’m concerned all the way across the board,” Gibbs said. “That’s where I am right now. When we show up and do that kind of stuff at home, I take it real serious. I think our players, do, too. We have to do something about it.”

The Redskins have 22 days — and two more preseason games — to figure things out before the Sept. 11 opener against Minnesota.

The good news? Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin’s right knee injury isn’t considered serious and backup quarterback Todd Collins showed signs of life. And last year, the Redskins also started the preseason 0-2 and reached the second round of the playoffs.

The bad news? Everything, according to Gibbs.

“I’m really concerned — let’s put it that way,” he said. “We need to take a serious, hard look at all of this and I know I have to from my standpoint. I’m sure I haven’t done my job.”

Gibbs didn’t take any solace in a Jason Campbell-led six-play touchdown drive and Collins’ 30-yard touchdown pass to Buck Ortega.

“There will be some positives and I’m sure some guys did some good things — you can analyze it that way,” Gibbs said. “But I’m concerned about the team. We have to play good and we’re not.”

Told of Gibbs’ comments, veteran right tackle Jon Jansen said: “We need to come out with more emotion than I think we did and I’m sure that’s what he’s concerned about.”

The starting offense played three series (all ending in punts) although the offensive line played an additional possession with Campbell, and Chris Cooley played well into the second quarter. Mark Brunell was 3-for-6 for 45 yards, including completions of 28 and 14 yards to Antwaan Randle El.

“We’ve got to find a way to get some first downs and get into a groove,” right guard Randy Thomas said. “We’ve got to make plays. I’m not going to smash the panic button. We’ve just got to perform better.”

Said Brunell:

“We’re concerned with the lack of consistency. If we’re out there for 12 plays, we want 12 good plays. Right now, we’re getting about six. We’re learning a new offense and this is a process.”

Gibbs said he didn’t consider keeping the starting offense on the field so they could find that elusive rhythm.

Most of the starting defense played the entire first half.

“We didn’t do anything to resemble a team that’s improving,” defensive tackle Joe Salave’a said. “It’s a reality check. When you think you’re ready to take on the world, it’s always a humbling experience to be grounded in losing a ballgame.”

The Jets, without expected starting quarterback Chad Pennington and veteran running back Curtis Martin, gained 177 first-half yards.

“They should have never been able to move the ball the way they did,” Salave’a said. “We’ve got to take a quantum leap as far as improvement.”

Playing parts of three quarters, Campbell was 6-for-13 for 83 yards and an interception. Collins bounced back from a struggle at Cincinnati to go 12-for-18 for 114 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Former Redskins first-round draft choice Patrick Ramsey, dealt to New York in the offseason, started for the Jets. He played four series and was 6-for-9 for 33 yards. On his last play of the night, Ramsey got in the way of Redskins defensive end Renaldo Wynn, helping free up receiver Brad Smith, who scored on a 61-yard reverse.

“I thought he did some good things,” Jets coach Eric Mangini said of Ramsey. “Early on, he could have gotten rid of the ball earlier, but I understand exactly what he was thinking based on the protection that should have been picked up.”

The Redskins tied the score with their first touchdown of the preseason. After his first series ended in a careless interception, Campbell hit David Patten for 15 yards and James Thrash for 20 yards on consecutive plays. Rock Cartwright went up the middle on the next snap for a 1-yard touchdown, 8 minutes and 54 seconds before halftime.

The Jets re-took the lead on the ensuing kickoff when Leon Washington roared up the middle of the field for an 87-yard kickoff return.

In the first half, the Jets had kickoff returns of 47 and 87 yards and a 21-yard punt return.

Under the direction of Brooks Bollinger the Jets took a 17-7 halftime lead on Mike Nugent’s 32-yard field goal with three seconds remaining in the half. Bollinger had scrambles of nine and 23 yards during the 11-play, 66-yard scoring drive.

The Jets extended the lead to 20-7 with a 23-play, 76-yard drive that consumed 11:58 of the third quarter clock. Nugent capped the marathon march with a 22-yard field goal. The drive included three third-down conversions and one fourth-down conversion.

Campbell hit Steven Harris for a 21-yard completion to end the third quarter, but running back Nehemiah Broughton — battling for a roster spot — fumbled on the next play. The Jets cashed in with a 5-yard Kellen Clemens-to-Reggie Newhouse touchdown pass to push the lead to 27-7.

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