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Who says Redskins.com is all peaches and cream :).

http://www.redskins.com/news/newsDetail.jsp?id=29101

ExtremeSkins Fan View: You First, Coach

By Arthur Mills

ExtremeSkins.com

September 11, 2007

Okay, we won, so I bet you're expecting my happy dance.

Sorry, but, I can't give it to you. Not yet. Not now. I've spent the months after our dismal, largely uncompetitive 5-11 season trying to figure out how to trust a team that seemed to betray themselves and the rest of us a year ago.

I want to believe in them again. I want to believe they care enough about each other to display the type of chemistry needed to be a winner, not only this year, but for years to come.

Before I can do that, I need Coach Joe Gibbs to do it again first.

I'm not talking about what he says. I'm talking about a first down field goal from 39 yards out in overtime. That overtime drive was a classic Riggo drill. It was "brutiful."

Third and 4 from the 31. Gibbs gave this team the identity it started to find in 2005 and wanted back last year. Clinton Portis to the right for 9. There it is. It was a fading memory live. You don't make that call to make the next one.

Field goal. Gibbs giveth. Gibbs taketh away.

At halftime, trailing by four after an unconventional, gutsy call by Dolphins first-year coach Cam Cameron, I wrote we are, as a team, what we've too long been. We are an inconsistent bunch incapable of stringing enough good plays together to really emerge as a team.

You grow frustrated with the halting, hit-and-miss element this team has as defining traits. On both sides of the ball, the only consistent thing about us is our ability to consistently make a mistake that puts the game in jeopardy.

We miss the open receiver. That receiver drops easy first downs. Our corner makes an ill-timed, silly illegal contact. Someone slips. Someone holds. Someone misses a key block. We lose critical yards. We get into field goal position to win games and go backward. Always at the worst possible time.

This team scares the hell out of me. You are conditioned as a fan through years of bad play to expect the worst.

Gibbs doesn't have the luxury of feeling the same way. Or, more appropriately, he can feel exactly that way. He just has to stop showing it.

I'm sitting on my couch, petting my dog and eating chips with a nice Mexican dip. What I think doesn't matter. My lack of trust is meaningless. In the rare case anyone on the team reads my doubts in a message board post, they might even use it to feel disrespected and want to prove me wrong. When I bow my head praying for the worst not to happen, no one can see it.

A team takes on the identity of the coach of the team. Not mine. So, they shouldn't be so similar.

When asked why he'd put his trust in Shaun Suisham rather than Clinton Portis and one of the league's best offensive lines, Gibbs told us the truth. He has seen this team get into that position before and do something so mind numbingly stupid as to cost it an opportunity to win.

He has seen a change in NFL officials of the day different than his previous coaching experience where they involve themselves in the outcome of the game with mysterious calls they've no business making. You can almost empathize with the once-bitten-twice-shy coaching method at play.

Gibbs isn't wrong about what he's seen. He's just wrong to act on it.

Even just two more dive plays before kicking would have finished what that drive started. It would have made the outcome feel different for me, and, I suspect, for at least a few members of the team. That drive was a statement drive. Just two more dive plays for no yards ends that game with the feeling you just took it into your hands and willed yourself to a win. You can build on that.

Instead, by kicking on first down and the reasoning as to why that was done took the swelling physical dominance and turned it into, "Hey, can you believe we haven't screwed it up yet?" You can't build on that.

A football team feeds off the stimulus it receives. It develops an US vs. THEM mentality when they see doubt expressed about them and they believe they are more capable than they are viewed. This team is rightfully doubted. It is brimming with the desire to put the doubters in their places.

That can't happen as long as Gibbs is one of the primary doubters. Gibbs' fear of the mistake merely assures we will always be so tentative and uncertain mistakes of the sort Gibbs would seek to avoid are actually more likely.

Every game Gibbs makes decisions based on the mistakes of the past rather than the team of the present prevents us from getting back to the future.

Deep down, I bet coach knows this too.

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"Instead, by kicking on first down and the reasoning as to why that was done took the swelling physical dominance and turned it into, "Hey, can you believe we haven't screwed it up yet?" You can't build on that."

Hmmm, never thought about it that way before. The difference in mentality between FG on first and FG on 3rd/4th is definitely there. We need a balance between aggression and consveratism.

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Did Art Czaban write that? :silly:

Seriously, your last paragraph says it all......letting the mistakes of the past affect you to that degree. Its amazing that we couldn't trust our own players to perform two simple runs to get to 3rd down, or maybe Gibbs was more untrusting of the refs?

In any event, good read Mr. Mills! On to Philly.....................

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Daggone it Art, I had just about argued myself out of feeling like that after reading some stuff on here. I.e., it's been a long time since we've had confidence in a kicker to just say, go out and win it. With Jansen going out and Heyer in there, not that you don't have confidence, but being a rookie and being thrust into that position, easy enough to make a mistake in a situation like that. I had TALKED myself out of feeling like it was a letdown to go for a FG on 1st and 10.

::grumble::

Daggone it... why did you have to go do that. :D

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I don't think two more dive plays would have added any sort of sense of finality.

I disagreed with his decision to kick it on first down, but only because a 40 yard field goal in overtime is about 10x as nervewracking to me as a 35 yarder. Once he made it, however, it made no difference to me.

So I see where you're coming from, and I agree with you for the most part, but at the same time there's the undeniable argument that a win is a win, regardless of how its earned. Say we go 5-1 with a bunch of ugly winns patched together. That will become the identity of our football team. We may be penalized, and we may play boneheaded at times, but we come out on top. Is that not a desireable image, or are we getting picky about the way we win football games as well?

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Very well written, but I still agree with the call...If you think you can win the game right then and there, take the field goal. Everything is in hindsight. If he had run more plays and got a turnover or penalty to take us out of range and Miami wins off of that, youd be writing a totally diffrent article. People are making such a big fuss about this, just think if we had lost the game because of a turnover or penalty...Geez people would want Gibbs head on a silver platter.

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Gibbs' move has a silver lining, though.

Suisham proved that in addition to making the routine kicks we can count on him to make a pressure kick at some distance to win a game for us :)

After our history the past few years with kickers, you have to smile over this development.

Given the close games the Redskins are likely to play in 2007 with a solid defense and an offense with a young quarterback still learning, Suisham may be the difference in 3-4 games.

Nice to think that we now have a chance to win those :)

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Great article!

That article hit the nail on the head, thats exactly how I feel. I still view this as a 6-10 team, and Sunday's performance did not improve that.

We went through 6 months of offseason and 2 weeks before the real bullets start flying we trade for our starting LG...scratching head

Greg Williams has forgotten how to dial up a blitz package that works, with 27 packages, you would think one of them could get one guy coming unblocked.

We still have pass rush issues against the right handed version of noodle arm Brunell, what are the McNabb's and the Romo sits to pee's going to do to us twice this year? Not that they are scramblers, but they can move out of the pocket.

Portis runs about 4 plays per quarter and Betts the other 4, who is making 50 million here?

Moss caught a case of the drops and Brandon should be wearing street clothes and working in a local night club as wide reciever impersonator.

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Daggone it Art, I had just about argued myself out of feeling like that after reading some stuff on here. I.e., it's been a long time since we've had confidence in a kicker to just say, go out and win it. With Jansen going out and Heyer in there, not that you don't have confidence, but being a rookie and being thrust into that position, easy enough to make a mistake in a situation like that. I had TALKED myself out of feeling like it was a letdown to go for a FG on 1st and 10.

::grumble::

Daggone it... why did you have to go do that. :D

Exactly how I feel.

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The call was kind of iffy , I think he should ran it 2 more times , but I'm ok with kicking it when he did , its opening day and with all the rust on the players , bad luck of the crappy call at the worst time (like the one against the ravens last night) , then I think its fine , just look at how confident our kicker is now~, and how he proved he CAN make the big kick ~! .... Now if this was week 8 or so then yea I would feel different , at least , I think I would =O

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I don't think two more dive plays would have added any sort of sense of finality.

I disagreed with his decision to kick it on first down, but only because a 40 yard field goal in overtime is about 10x as nervewracking to me as a 35 yarder. Once he made it, however, it made no difference to me.

So I see where you're coming from, and I agree with you for the most part, but at the same time there's the undeniable argument that a win is a win, regardless of how its earned. Say we go 5-1 with a bunch of ugly winns patched together. That will become the identity of our football team. We may be penalized, and we may play boneheaded at times, but we come out on top. Is that not a desireable image, or are we getting picky about the way we win football games as well?

I don't think we're at the point where we have the privilege of being picky in how we win lol...

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With us gashing them for 8 yards a touch, I totally wanted to run it into the endzone.

THAT would have been great. :)

Either way, a win's a win. On to Philly.

That was my reaction, too. "We're averaging (IMO) about 8 yards per carry. Their D is sucking wind. They're barely standing up. Go hurry-up. Next huddle, tell the team 'We're going to keep running it up the middle until we get a TD, or 4th down. No more huddles this drive.' Heck, I wouldn't have been surprised to see the Fish call a time out just to give their D a chance to catch their breath."

We had an opportunity to walk out of that stadium saying "Well, it took a while, but we showed them who the real Men were", instead of "Boy, I'm glad we won the coin toss."

But still, maybe we'll get that moral victory Monday Night.

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I....I.....I'm stunned.

I agree with Art...completely and 100 percent.

I feel like in some ways that my work here is done.

On the other hand, I feel strangely empty inside.

This is going to take some time to get used to. I think I need to go to the desert for a few weeks, smoke some peyote, talk to shaman and try to retrieve the balance in my soul.

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Cali,

It's not really about making fans happy. I'm willing to guarantee there are a number of players in that locker room who utterly hated how the game ended, despite the win. I'd almost go so far as to say this reasonably controversial statement. The team was actually HARMED, as a unit, MORE by winning like that than they would have been losing with Rabach having a hold, or Portis fumbling.

This is a team we'll ask to power out victory again and again and when called upon to do it, deep down, they can't help but wonder if the guy asking them even thinks they can without messing it up. It's a culture of play. Right now our culture is one of fearing the big negative rather than expecting the big positive. It's that transition that will mean everything for us.

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again, Suisham looks like the real deal. and in a league where the scores are 16-13 and 20-17 each week, his emergence could give us an extra 1-2 wins this season we might not have been able to count on, even in 2005 when we were 10-6.

for all those people that look at the 16-13 game against Miami and point to the negatives let me remind you that the Eagles LOST 16-13 and made a BOATLOAD of mental and physical mistakes in their game against the Packers :D

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I....I.....I'm stunned.

I agree with Art...completely and 100 percent.

I feel like in some ways that my work here is done.

On the other hand' date=' I feel strangely empty inside.

This is going to take some time to get used to. I think I need to go to the desert for a few weeks, smoke some peyote, talk to shaman and try to retrieve the balance in my soul.[/quote']

Let us know when you "get it"

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