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Van Halen's still alive? -- Locker room quotes.


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So, my first football related post in a week. Last week was a buzz kill of the highest order. Things happened you did not expect. The disappointment is still there. So much of what happened was correctable yet so little appears ever to be corrected.

The Patriots did what no team has done before. They said, "If you want to give us a no coverage zone, we'll take it, all day." They played 11 offensive players on our 9 defenders because Taylor and Landry were not involved, being designed to take away the bomb. It is the offense that is supposed to beat that defense, which is fine. It's not fine we never adjusted to take something else away.

Offensively, the team still fights Saunders. Saunders still fights the team. Gibbs still can't figure out what he wants the team to be. We're years into the system and no one seems to know who we are, but worse, we can't even figure out who we really WANT to be. This game will be the start of a team that shows actual character or the end of this staff and team as we know it.

Now, the blog may commence.

Lloyd is inactive and appears not to have made the trip.

Macklin is inactive. Weird move there.

Inactives: Brunell, Macklin, Washington, Pucillo, Boschetti, Thomas, Sampson, Lloyd.

8:00 a.m., Saturday -- Domestic duties never done. Wife sends me to get maternity clothes from our storage unit. My initial response was, "You gotta be ****ting me." But, no, whew, it's for a friend.

9:00 a.m., Saturday -- Rolling on the floor with my two girls wrestling. The little one, 11 months in a week, starts to enjoy the lunge double fisted slap at daddy's face. Daddy doesn't like it so much, but the giggling is contagious and encourages the rapidly approaching 3-year-old to suggest she'd like to jump on my stomach now. I enjoy the pain :).

Noon, Saturday -- At MSP waiting to fly. Flight delayed due to air traffic in the New York area. Not even sure how this is possible. It's a metropolis with flights. Anyway, will be arriving well after the team gets in.

6:30 p.m., Saturday -- In the glistening town of Newark. I don't realize what a stinking cesspool it is until I get my bag and head out to get a rental when I'm greeted with this disturbing smell of yeast mixed with sour barley. I thought it was a terrible brewery or something. Still don't know what the hell it was. But, seriously, it was awful.

7:30 p.m., Saturday -- Driving to hotel in some town I've never heard of. Northeast has taken our highways and made them tollways. Pulling off at 16W to head to where I'm going. Two black guys are walking through the captive toll waiting cars hawking Van Halen t-shirts. I had no idea those guys were still around. I don't buy a shirt, and believe I witness a bit of sadness in the eyes of the sellers. I mean, honestly, black men and Van Halen do not mix. Ever.

7:45 p.m., Saturday -- Pulling in to hotel. JimmiJo calls me to get arrangements for tomorrow. Tell him I'll buzz him back later. Get into the hotel room and start to ironing.

8:15 p.m., Saturday -- Call JJ back to make arrangements. He'll be coming up Sunday. Trooper he. I head down to the spartan hotel grill for dinner. Larry, Sonny and crew are at a table holding court. I don't want to impose so I head over to my corner table. Springs is there chatting with three women of various hotness.

8:45 p.m., Saturday -- Joined by a couple of the crew in the area. One guy wants to talk to me about hailredskins.com. Says he's a member there and he's heard I hate all things hailredskins.com. I inform him I hate nothing so small and inconsequential :). He is now to be known in my blogs as hailredskins *****.

9 p.m., Saturday -- Finishing dinner. Get with the team crew in the area. Find out Larry is free for the first time on the road, but, he's old now, lacking stamina, and is out of our night out. Six of us pile in to the Impala and roll out to the South City Grill. New Jersey has the fun element of having places on the other side of the road, yet, having no way to get there without driving 15 miles further down the road for the first turnaround.

9:20 p.m., Saturday -- Rolling in to the hopping club, we're pretty encouraged at the traffic in the lot and the building exterior. Inside, though, it's Sprokets. Seriously, the place belongs in Berlin. The eastern side. Yuppy, 30-somethings everywhere. They do NOT sell Miller Lite. I buy everyone the first round, but I tell hailredskins ***** to get his own. I make me laugh every time with that.

10 p.m., Saturday -- Some more folks from the team stop by. I try to espouse the virtues of a non-chick shot, for those inclined to enjoying girlie drinks, by buying a good Woodford Reserve shot, and showing how it's done, Minnesota style. I tell Don Warren my theory that Gibbs won with different QBs and different RBs but he ALWAYS had ONE tight end named Don Warren. Who's our Donnie now? I think he liked it, but he didn't really let on. Said the offensive line was the same. I tell Eric Schaffer he's generally the most well loved of all the front office people by those here at ES. I pitch to him the option of a chat with us as he'd be enjoyed and could really talk about the cap. I think he was interested, but he likes floating under the radar. For the record, on at least five occassions, I was told, "This better not make your damn blog." I'm well read, and, I've totally avoided any of that. I be clever.

11:30 p.m., Saturday -- Head back to the hotel with Mr. Clean, hailredskins ***** and the guy with the best flamer voice I've ever heard. Funny guys. Mr. Clean has a kid now so he's actually starting to know my sleep desire on these trips. His wingman from Philly is in the city so he's getting some rest.

8:30 a.m., Sunday -- JJ calls and is about 30 minutes out. I hit the shower and start heading down.

8:50 a.m., Sunday -- Hook up with JJ and start moving to the game taking the "turnpike" to the stadium. Coming into the parking area I ask where the lot we're in is. She says it's by the bubble. I show some confusion and she adamantly suggests, "You know, the bubble where the field is." I didn't have the heart to tell her I have no effing idea what she's talking about. But I move through.

8:55 a.m., Sunday -- See aforementioned bubble. Turn left. Told if we want the bubble we have to go another way entirely that seems to have nothing to do with where the bubble is, but we do it anyway and we did find the bubble.

9 a.m., Sunday -- JJ asks the security guy if he can take a picture of the stadium, as he's totally frightened to death about last week's experience in New England where he was tackled by aggressive security and forced to individually delete every picture on his card, including some pictures with his wife in the bedroom if you catch my drift. He's allowed.

9:10 a.m., Sunday -- Sportsbogger, Dan Steinberg saunters in behind us, rather unfashionably dressed in brown slacks, a brown sweater hung around his waist, a green, LL Bean Fleece top and a green hat. I tell him he's wearing entirely the wrong colors and offer him some of my clothes when I was smaller and cuter. He mentions the ES tailgate crew wants him to write a correction that the ES tailgate isn't sponsored by ES but by the fans who occupy ES. I confirm they are right and ES can't, and doesn't sponsor the tailgate, but, tell him to ignore you losers. That made him smile, I think :). Much respect to what you guys do here BTW.

9:20 a.m., Sunday -- In the box, which is, as always, not ready. No visible seating card. No cards at the stations yet. We do find our way roughly to where we'll be. Larry and Sonny are chatting it up near the booth. I stand with them a bit to catch up. I tell Larry if we win he gets to tell Snyder he will NOT have dinner in Dallas with him because of superstition and this being the first trip he was not occupied. Talking about the Lloyd situation. Last week. Consensus is what I've already come to. This is the game that tells you all you'll ever need to know about where this team is heading.

9:45 a.m., Sunday -- Food is still not totally available. I'm starving. Chatting up Redskins radio guys, enjoying the internal visuals of nicely, tightly adorned female box employees. There is something of a uniform at play here. One with high boots and a tweed skirt, with a fitting white top. One with fitting dark slacks, undershirt poking out of a dark sweater. Good hiring job by the Jets.

10:00 a.m., Sunday -- Eating with a couple of the guys. Meet a team lawyer who I've only had e-mail experience with when we're about to be sued by someone :).

11 a.m., Sunday -- Going to get a little pudding. Only in New York would the Tapioca be empty while the lovely chocolate pudding still looking nearly untouched.

Noon -- Jets atmosphere is GARBAGE. One hour before kickoff and there may be 200 people in this stadium. They are beaten down worse than us I think.

12:50 p.m., Sunday -- National Anthem just sung. Nicely done by someone in the Navy. Coast Guard helicopter buzzes the stadium at the end. A 1-7 Jets team doesn't get actual jets I suppose. Team coming out now at 12:52. Some Jets reporters near me mocking the Redskins as they run out of the tunnel based on last week's game. That game will stain the team for a long time.

12:57 p.m., Sunday -- The Jets, trying to not be the Giants finally have cheerleaders who double as the flag carrying girls. They only have 10 cheerleaders. Honestly. It's New York. If the were going to have cheerleaders, how can they not have 40. The Jets pressbox has a better array of talent than the 10 cheerleaders who are not in discernable cheerleading outfits either. They are in full body covering football like gear. The end of their little segment is met by a yawn. We miss the Patriots girls already.

Coin flip -- Pennington is still a team captain. Must be awkward for him. It'd be like us sending Brunell out.

Uh, ouch -- That's not what you'd call a great start, huh? 7-0 Jets.

First drive -- Interesting amount of subs first drive. Widly different looks, formations and personnel packages. Little different than the last few weeks. Each play has had a different package. The Jets still seem to know what we'll do. On second down play where they got a hold, they were playing pass. If we ran there, it's probably a 20-yard-gain because they were breaking out at the snap. On third down play before field goal, great defensive coverage. No where to go with that one. 7-3.

Jets drive -- A Redskins blitz. I didn't recognize it at first, but on that second first down, we actually blitzed. And, we blitzed on third down too. Two plays on one drive. Different game plan? Different team? We'll see. Blitz, badly, on first down. Smoot should have intercepted that one. Keep your feet. No blitz on second with the shuttle pass. Third down will be interesting. Blitz. Landry gets penalty. Damn. Taylor AND Landry on that blitz. Weird play on first down after that. Landry was walked to the far side of the field before the snap where NO ONE was. They ran where he was originially lined up. Tough drive against us. Doing a number of different things from the last few weeks. Smoot talking lots of junk after the fade failure against him. Third third down of the drive. Coverage sack. Man coverage though. 10-3 Jets.

End of the first quarter -- The crowd is pretty dead. Piped music is louder, but when Cooley caught the pass for a first you could HEAR the COOOOOOOOOOL pretty clearly. Nicely done Skins fans.

Jets drive, Number 2 -- Another bad third down penalty. That's two 15-yarders. We should have done a couple of them to Brady :). Another blitz on the second down after that penalty, but ball out quick and Smoot humping the receiver. If he's playing that close, he's going to intercept one soon. Smoot crept up on the play to keep the run option out, but nice play there on third. The Jets are doing a lot of different things offensively and it's working. I almost wonder why we don't do some of that. 17-3 Jets.

Big drive now -- Skins need to put something together. Need it right now to keep the distance within reach. One thing I'd like to see is Portis actually tuck his shirt in. He's done this all year, looking sloppy, like he's been in a war when he's not been. Two runs sets up big third. Cooley rules the galaxy when teams don't double him. Big 21-yard-play and we do what we do everytime we have a big play. Run. Nice if we solified one big play with another attempt. Jets putting a corner on Cooley in the slot on that last third. That's a quick adjustment against him. Suisham's kicks are awfully soft, but good so I'll take it. 17-6.

Wow, some trickeration -- Hey, it's ok not to play so close to the vest sometimes. That's a turnaround type play. And, like every big play we make, all year, the play that comes after is a RUN. You gotta know other teams know this too, don't you? For the first time this year a draw play catch the opposition off balance. They may not have known what we were running for the first play of the game. Portis having a big day at least. Of course, he's probably tired now :). On more than one play in this game, the team has turned to the sidelines with palms upraised. This has always been on plays the Jets stoned us. Happened there on the second and goal play. Sellers turned as if to ask, "Seriously, they know what we're doing." Or maybe because I did I presume they do and presume the players don't like it. On the third down play, they had Portis short which was clearly the primary and no where else to go. 17-9 Jets.

Jets drive -- Three straight blitzes there all pretty effective. We've blitzed a lot more this game than any this year. At least half the time. Smoot is really playing well behind it as they are only going at him and there's not much to get so far. Taylor is way back on this field goal effort to maybe return it if it's short. It was and he looked like he could slip out, but fumbled. End of the half.

Halftime review -- The Redskins came out distinctly different than past games early. Lots of personnel groupings and formations on offense. A pretty heavy dose of blitz calls on defense. None if was remarkably effective, though whatever emphasis the team put on running seems to be working today with 98 yards in the half. We're not passing very effectively and the Jets do have good coverage on us. Defensively we're doing acceptably but they are 4 of 6 on third down with our help. There are opportunities behind the blitz to make a play but none have been yet. In all, this probably is neither the first half you hoped for or dreaded.

We weren't demoralized, even after the first kickoff return. You feared the team might fold after last week, but it's standing reasonably tall. You HOPED the team would be a dynamo after last week, angry and dominating, but, it wasn't that either. On balance you feel the Redskins are generally controlling play, not dominating it, and, of course, we're down by 8, which is telling. The season really is on the line and there's a half left to assure it doesn't end here.

Second half drive -- Some offensive differences perhaps. Intermediate timing routes to ARE. One complete early, one late. Deep in route to Moss after a quick pass to him. More crosses and longer routes now. Suisham is making it, so, we're there, but not where we should be. Not sure about how Suisham is kicking it though. He's kicking it like Hall did toward the end. Seems to be popping it and floating it through when earlier he was driving it. The ball is always so slow and floating. You wonder if that's coaching or if he's hurt. Anyway, 17-12 Jets.

OH, NO -- I'm in the press box wanting to scream. Why is Landry in MAN coverage with NO help to his side against a receiver? We hardly let corners do that here. You can see the Jets can't believe it. Clemens is looking this way as if he's waiting for it to disappear. He does a double move and has it. That's a touchdown. WHEW. Why would we EVER do that. I just don't get it. And if you do it you can't let Landry think he can jump it, which he did. Wow, that's a break. Now a huge third down and a BIG blitz by Landry. Still coverage made the sack possible, but Landry really got to tee off. An actual stop. Nice.

After the stop -- Good blitz there by the Jets. Moss had man coverage. If there's time there, that looks like it would break free for a big TD. Mr. Smooth Campbell jogs down for a huge play and another first down. That'll pad the running game stats. Now, after a big play, we will run. Bet. It worked, but you just knew it would happen. Another smash on Campbell and a late INT. Damn. Buzz kill again. Since we can't score TDs, we need those field goal opportunities.

Jets ball again -- They haven't really tried to establish the run, so, two runs in a row is a surprise for us. A late blitz by Landry and Clemens has Springs twisted around on a timing route. That's a throw you just shouldn't miss. Two breaks this half. The team has Landry bouncing around covering a ton of ground. Not totally sure he knows what he's doing or we're some mad scientists but you watch him and he's all over the field. Another huge third opportunity. Quick blitz pressure, but, the right play was on. So, now you're on midfield. They are 5 of 8 on third down. Here's yet another chance. And, just enough again. Very frustrating. Reverse and Landry blows it. He slams inside losing contain. Almost got back to make a play, but, hosed it. You're seeing Landry a lot today but I'm not sure he's playing great. Rocky's in trouble with his coverage. The game is slipping away. We need to make a play like they just made against us on defense. Maybe they'll make it for us. Holding on the edge. 1st and 20, play develops nicely but good recovery. Smoot is dominating on the edge, considering they only really have looked at Springs once when Clemens missed earlier this drive. Now, the biggest play of the day. Great play by the defense. Close call. Two feet were down. VERY, very close play.

Test of character -- Gut check time. Win it. Here. Do not run. Do not run. Ok, quick slant, I'll take it. They haven't really stopped us yet. It's this drive you put pressure back on them by taking the lead. It has to be completed. It's second and one. This is, for me, three down territory. THIS, for me is the bomb. Second and one. BOMB. Jets are playing pass. Base set. Balanced. Portis run and big play. Starting to wear the bad guys down it appears. Still, five trips down here. Four field goals. Have to complete it. Run. Run. Run. TD. The team actually only looks like it's good when it gets on a running roll. As much as I don't believe it, maybe that's what they are. 20-17. GOOD GUYS.

Jets response -- Spread the field, short against Springs. Short third down play now. Jets with a fast sub and snap and sneak. Generous spot. Miscommunication for the Jets on first. GREAT play call. POOR execution. That's the third play Clemens missed that Pennington wouldn't have this game. On third, good pressure, good play on the back side by Landry to assure it's incomplete.

First and 10 from our 3 -- 9:24 left. This is the kind of game the Redskins we now know go three and out so the opposition has good field position and another chance. Is that what we are today? Alexander in where Pucillo would be normally blocking. Solid gain. Portis. Ok gain. Short yardage. First down run. Nice way to maintain. If this is your personality, this is your personality. Jets are going to jump the run. This is one play action away from being over, but, we bring in a passing formation, but run downhill with Betts. Portis from shutgun. Kick. This is what we are, I suppose. The Pats are going for it on fourth down, in shot gun, passing up by six touchdowns. The Redskins are six running plays from the 3. It's not bad to be that, but, it means you have to make almost no mistakes to really win. And, it's clearly what we are. Every time we feel endangered and are on the verge of losing everything, we revert to a 50 run, 20 pass team. Not sure that can be sustained, but, again, it's the only time the whole team seems to think it has a chance.

Jets again -- Another blitz. Another. Then, Landry drops right into the primary zone where Clemens wanted to go. A drop and another third. Damn team. Nine of 14 for the Jets on third now. And only against us does a team even think about running on first down in this situation. I know the Jets don't think they have to panic, but seriously, what the hell. And another third down. Team is playing well enough for two downs, but another bad game on third. It's a problem. Jets are now 11 of 16 on third downs. It's unbelievable really. If you're blitzing, JUMP something. If you're not, don't have your end get pinned down leaving the QB the edge ALL the time. It's crazy. Another third down. From the 11. Crazy. At least we have overtime, huh? 20-20. GROWL.

Pre-overtime thoughts -- I really don't know a lot of things. Would it kill us to throw the ball with 10 seconds left? Yes, I know it's not going to work, but, why the heck not? The Jets let their young QB throw 40 times in his first start. We throw 21 times. I know that's what we think we want to be, but, every game will be close because we never put a ton of pressure on the opposition. Jets get the ball. Just a pain in the butt that it comes to this. We play close to the vest. They make enough plays on third. If they have a NORMAL game on third down this game is long over. But, they don't. And we're in overtime. Let's see if we can hold them and win this puppy.

There it was -- Shaky defense, then offense. Run, run, first down. Alexander there. And, touchdown. Miss. But, at least we went to it. It's there whenever we want it. It's a shame we don't take more chances like that. Portis is, today, playing like a man possessed. The comfort blanket for them is to simply pound it down people's throats. I actually find the style appealing, but, I think we've proven how limiting it can be. Bad spot. Fourth down. I'd challenge the spot honestly :). I'm surprised we're kicking. Suisham makes it by a yard. Not sure what happened to his distance, but, hey, it's a crazy world. Win.

That's two wins in three weeks and 5-3 for a record and I'm not sure it feels good.

Locker room interviews:





Rock Best part, this was said in front of Portis.

I don't do locker room stuff when we lose, because I don't like being fun and playful after a loss. After a win, even one as iffy as this, I don't mind. This team needs to find an enthusiasm it doesn't always have. If it believes it's a team that has to run six times off the goal line in the fourth quarter up by 3, then that's what it has to be in its head to win. I don't have to think it's the greatest way to be great, but, as long as they think it helps them to win, then that's enough.

The Redskins still seem to me to be a team led by a man who believes he's got average players who can win only if the other team makes more mistakes. Tonight he was right. The Jets made more mistakes, more missed throws, more drops, more ill-timed penalties and the like than we did and we won. It doesn't inspire the fan base to believe the team can walk over even a scrub team, but maybe that's not what we're destined to be.

One thing I do believe though is this team THINKS it's this power running monster. It may not always believe Williams or Gibbs or Saunders, but it DOES believe Portis. If Portis has TWO more, in a row, games over 120 yards or so, this team will start to swell in belief and maybe be interesting. For now, we're 5-3. It's enough.

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Excellent post, Art (like you need validation from me).

We would have lost last week regardless, but the coaching has gotten downright unnerving.

On defense, our genius coordinator refused to budge off a gameplan that was getting shredded (yes, I know, there probably wasn't any plan that would have absolutely shut down NE, but don't you have to at least TRY something else when Plan A is clearly not working at all?).

On offense, Saunders was brought in to open things up. Instead, he's been handcuffed and while Gibbs' own strategy fails, the answer always seems to be to try even MORE of that plan.

Losing faith.

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Lloyd finally gets in with the offense last week and now, we make him inactive? Is this coaching staff TRYING to make sure Lloyd sucks? LOL!

According to Bubbas JLC thread, Lloyd missed a team meeting and that is the reason he isn't there. He brought it on himself. Is this the first time the news media has scooped Extremeskins? :silly:

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Nice bit there about the kids Art, be glad you have girls.

I thought everyone was aware what a chancre Newark is, it's world famous on a negative scale and the consensus opinion is that that smell is yeast-as-in-yeast infection, you may need to be detox'd.

Looking forward to more witty prose today, let's hope it turns out well for us all.

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11 a.m., Sunday -- Going to get a little pudding. Only in New York would the Tapioca be empty while the lovely chocolate pudding still looking nearly untouched.

Lumps in your pudding ties in with being able to taste the air in that part of New Jersey. That's why the Tapioca is gone.................

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Well I think the Jason Campbell experement is over. I think it is pretty obvious that he is not an NFL QB, funny EVERY talent evaluator said he was a low round prospect at best and considering his wunderlic intelligenc test suggested that if he lost 2 more brain cells he would be a talking monkey. We can only hope that Jordan Palmer has something, when you look at his college numbers each year from hsi fresman to senior year his yards and completion % went up while his TD to INT ratio decreased. Jason Campbell has shown zero improvment and he never will, he just does not possess the mential capacity to play the position at the NFL level.

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Well I think the Jason Campbell experement is over. I think it is pretty obvious that he is not an NFL QB, funny EVERY talent evaluator said he was a low round prospect at best and considering his wunderlic intelligenc test suggested that if he lost 2 more brain cells he would be a talking monkey. We can only hope that Jordan Palmer has something, when you look at his college numbers each year from hsi fresman to senior year his yards and completion % went up while his TD to INT ratio decreased. Jason Campbell has shown zero improvment and he never will, he just does not possess the mential capacity to play the position at the NFL level.

Uh... yeah?

How does it feel to make such a misguided post?

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