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Happy Birthday Sam Huff - Philly blog - Final thoughts.


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Hello my children. I -- today called a diva and offered a pink boa by TK -- enjoy Philly after a night of enjoying Philly. I was a late addition to a table for dinner honoring Sam Huff's birthday. That's a dinner to remember.


Mays, Smith, Andrews, McGynn, Curtis, Schobel, Abiamiri, Feeley.

Redskins Inactives.

Brennen, Springs, Hamilton, Washington, Taylor, Heyer, Rinehart, Jackson.

8:40 a.m., Saturday -- Send text message to hailredskins ***** informing him of firm desire to drink soon. My body purified from a morning bike ride and ready to accept copious amounts of booze.

8:41 a.m., Saturday -- hailredskins ***** immediately writes back he owes me a drink, which I accept to drink with great relish.

11:10 a.m., Saturday -- Car packed for airport trip. Saying goodbye to my three babes. Kiss the wife. Little one snots me. Little one who mom let get into makeup in the morning and was already quite messy. Big girl gives me a huge hug and kiss and begins our goodbye ritual. "Daddy, will you miss me." I will sweet girl. "Daddy, come back soon." I will be back Monday. "Daddy, where are you going." Philadelphia. "Philadelphia (exaggerated voice)." Yes. "Why, daddy?" To watch a football game. Then, with palms lifted and the most exaggerated, sweet face and look of exasperation, "AGAIN?" Yes.

5:30 p.m., Saturday -- In Philly. Going over the itinerary. Enterprise car rental. These guys know how to service people. I get to the door, am offered a water. A place to put my luggage. A personal rep to take care of me. Car upgraded to an SUV in case of serious excursions. I get the map. Get ready to pull out. I text Larry, "Philly sucks." Pulling out of the gate the phone rings. It's Larry. "Yes it does." He's one of us, even if some of you don't believe that. He tells me he has dinner for six at 6:30 p.m. and he's not sure there's room for me. I feign injury and tell him I'll be there soon.

5:55 p.m., Saturday -- Pass the team hotel. Philly's streets are a Rubicks Cube of one-way streets where you can seemingly never turn on the street you need. Irritated I pass my street hitting the end of Market where the Philly Museum is or something. I take a circle around and turn right on Market. I go two more blocks and realize I'm not on Market. I'm on Broad. Disoriented, I begin randomly turning the car hoping for something I recognize.

6:10 p.m., Saturday -- Text Larry I'm lost but close. Philly streets are horrid. Finally find someone who can help me find Market. I call the hotel to see how to park. "We're right on 12th sir." Ok. So I finally see 12th. Can't turn. Have to go to 13th and do a square. Back on 12th. There's parking. But it's barricaded. I am irritated. I see someone wearing a hotel outfit and back the car up, and slam it toward the valet sign. I roll the window down and say, "This place is ****ing insane. Move that damn sign and get someone to park this car."

6:20 p.m., Saturday -- In the hotel lobby. Sonny is walking through. I see Smooty and couple other players milling around. I check in and catch the Maggiano's crew leaving. They are full up. No dinner for the fan tonight. I always get ditched.

6:35 p.m., Saturday -- In the room, changing to find booze and wait for Rick. Phone rings. It's Larry. They have a seat for me. Yeah. I finish dressing and head outside. I am immediately accosted to sign autographs. My disclaimer that I neither coach nor play for the team leaves the fans skeptical and certain I'm just dodging. So I sign a football and helmet with "HOF, Art Mills." Watch for this to be sold on ebay soon.

6:40 p.m., Saturday -- Philly is a mad house. It is amazingly crowded with bodies. Every restaurant overflows. Streets are swarming. Maggiano's is swarming. I work through. One woman at the bar wants to feel my arm. Seriously. Unless I'm playing the position of lard ass, I am NOT this confusing as being a possible player. Find the table. I'm right next to Sam Huff. I have had hit and miss experiences with Sam. Sometimes he is very with it and engaged and others he's just a little out of it. Tonight the man is on fire.

Dinner, Saturday -- Talking about host of topics. Including the team. Everyone wants me to say I feel bad about this game like last week. They want another 31-13 prediction. So I say we lose 38-6. But, while I don't think this is a gimmie, this game doesn't cause the same fear as last week. We may well lose, but last week I just didn't see how it's possible. This week I do. Sam is really warming up throughout the night. He's telling a host of intimidation stories. Very funny. Talks about doing the Sugar Bowl between Penn State and Alabama and how the partner then was a jerk who was signaling Sam to wrap up talking. Larry was the producer of that broadcast and vouches that Sam basically threatened to throw the play-by-play out of the booth if he ever did that again. He didn't. Apparently Dick Stockton will hold his hand over your mouth in the booth when he doesn't want you to talk. Hearing this, in front of Stockton and the sponsors Sam said if Dick did that to him he'd break his arm. Stockton didn't.

Sam was a riot. Talked with Sonny about how it's possible that Zorn is doing what he's doing when Gibbs struggled for four years to get the team looking as crisp and efficient. Sonny said we have a real coach now. Gibbs was everything, but not a coach. Zorn is calling his own plays, and he was a QB. He's not predictable. Says Sonny. Sam says he can't believe no delay of game penalties. They are both very impressed with Zorn. At the end of dinner Sam, who got a filet, throws down a $20 for his share. We all bust out laughing. I tell Sam this isn't White Castle. hailredskins ***** says this isn't 1960. I end up buying his dinner anyway. It was his birthday. We got him a dessert with candles. A picture exists of this I'll try to acquire. We share the dessert. Sonny's spoon is the only utensil we have by the time it gets to Mr. Clean. He's reluctant to use it, but Sam reminds him he's had worse things in his mouth. Great line.

8:15 p.m., Saturday -- Sam and Sonny test traffic and barely dodge with their lives. We work back to the hotel. Dinners like this are why these trips are so cherished to me. When Tarhog left the site one thing he asked me is why do I do this. What do I get out of it. This is it. This is all it was ever supposed to be for any of us. Living this won't last forever. As long as it does last I will never forget the fun and fantasy of it all for a fan. See I missed two calls from Rick, who's finally checking in as we get back. As we head up, Rick doesn't follow. I find out Rick Walker was given the keys to Doc Walker's room. No confirmation of the rumor that TK walked in to find Doc nude, lathered in Vaseline, or that they shared a man cuddle. Rick gets a new room that isn't my room. Not sure how that works, but I'm sure the team won't like it. Crew gathers back up in the hotel bar.

8:45 p.m., Saturday -- Hotel bar is a cross between a morgue and a cemetery. It is dark and dead. We wanted to watch a little Terps but every channel has the Phillies, which I tell everyone will be a common theme. There was a visibly depressed, reasonably attractive woman sitting off by herself, eyeballing any man she can get to pay attention to her. She was looking for a cuddle. When none in our group responded her head collapsed and she crushed a big mixed drink. She may not be alive today. We hit the streets of Philly determined to walk a direction opposite that which we were informed could house gay bars.

9:15 p.m., Saturday -- Circular walk through the alleys of Philly. Some major event took place down here today as there are tons of street parties. We're going to a bar with "Mc" in the name and an adorable -- from behind -- girl in a cutesy waitress outfit is hanging on to a guy in knickers and suspenders. As with many in Philly, the complete story of the women tends to have a tragic descriptive front side to positive other traits, but, this is where the term "Slutty Seven" is coined. The bar is packed full to bursting. A bad vibe is immediately felt. I'm wearing Skins gear and there's a huge crowd that won't make way for us to work in. We decide to leave but are certain had we stayed you'd be reading about our arrests :).

9:30 p.m., Saturday -- End up in the Hard Rock bar across from our hotel. Somewhat more lively than the hotel bar. Pretty subdued, easy night. Early game. No epic trips to follow. Just drinks and talks.

8:30 a.m., Sunday -- Hit the elevator to head down to the lobby to meet everyone. Randy Thomas is on the elevator. I tell him good luck and to keep making things interesting, which he was quoted as saying as he entered the locker room in Dallas last week. He said thanks and he'd try.

8:35 a.m., Sunday -- See Karl Swanson in the lobby. He and the big guy crew went to New York the previous night. Tom Cruise business is the speculation. Something with entertainment. Meet up with Rick and hailredskins ***** and head to the stadium.

9 a.m., Sunday -- Philly gets a shout out. The lots are very crowded. Tailgating is pretty thoroughly underway. This is a nice atmosphere. This is a nice day. The fans are doing it right and well. The stadium is letting them in to party in the lots LONG before we do at Fed Ex. Way to go Philly as an organization and good work fans. You guys now surpass Seattle as the earliest tailgating of note I've seen.

9:15 a.m., Sunday -- Yum. Omelet station. Philly's food is out in the press box. Full spread. Everything ready. The seating charts are out and done. The name cards are out and done. Philly's media staff is the most efficient and ready of any we've ever seen. This is how a game day should be done. So far Philly does football right. Get omelet and head to table with Sonny. Always with Sonny if I can. More football talk. He's really talking up Zorn. Says it's a whole different atmosphere now. The team is having fun and they believe in what they are doing and it shows. If we win today the national media will be unbearable with us and all over this team as a legitimate contender. Rick gave me a couple of Redskins Legends coins he got from 7-11 in Virginia. I show Sonny's coin to him. He laughs and says something else he never got paid for.

Pre-game chat -- A guy Sonny played against who played middle backer with Cincy, Bill Bergy (I think that's right), asks if I want to hear a story about Sonny. I say yep. He says Sonny was running around the end one day. In unison Bergy and Sonny say, "They should have called delay of game." This story is not new to either. Bergy says, "You know how QBs will hook slide or get down? Well, Sonny lowers his shoulder and hits me right here..." pointing to his stomach. Sonny knocked the crap out of him. He says, "I told myself that's the last time I ever give a quarterback a break."

10:30 a.m., Sunday -- Vinny Cerrato joins table. He's always very reserved around me. Tell him I heard him on Cowherd's show. Sonny says he understand Theismann is going to do Vinny's show soon, which prompts Larry to say, "Then it's the Joe Theismann show, featuring Vinny Cerrato." Joe talks you see.

12:29 p.m., Sunday -- Both teams are out running drills. We're in white pants and burgundy jerseys. Almost gametime baby.

12:45 p.m., Sunday -- Teams off the field. Eagle Cheerleaders have the field with pink pom-poms. They do the breast cancer awareness ribbon formation and I am torn as to whether women with such lovely breasts do honor or harm to the cause.

12:50 p.m., Sunday -- National Anthem by Leslie Barton.

12:52 p.m., Sunday -- Boos. I look up. Skins are entering. Each player introduced gets a crowd, "Sucks." The class of Philly coming through. Funny though, the least loud of all the "sucks" was for Portis. Like they didn't believe. The Redskins are on the Eagle at midfield and the mascot eagle is there. No fight, but there should have been. The Eagles, "Fly, Eagles, Fly," theme is sung. Seriously, queer fellas. Stop it. It's embarrassing.

12:55 p.m., Sunday -- Eagles entry video playing. Nice screens. Every team schools us on the video boards. Rage against the Machine plays them in. Good football song. Dawkins the last defender through the tunnel is the first to greet the offense as they are announced. He apparently needs attention.

1:01 p.m., Sunday -- Philly plays that goofy Rocky lead in to the game where Adrian tells him to win. They mix movie shots and Eagle highlights while playing the driving Rocky music. I am always struck by the fact these people may not realize Rocky IS A MOVIE.

Kickoff -- Eagles ball. This game is critical to them. Important for us, but not critical. The world doesn't collapse if we lose. Handling their early emotion will be key so it's good they get the ball as the crowd will not be as hot unless the Eagles score, and after hits like that, the crowd will be kind of irritated. Skins open in nickel with Doughty and Horton on the field. Spread formation, first play to Westbrook. Pretty smart really. Test that leg. On second down, slot receiver entirely uncovered, but the Eagles run. Third down Eagles play looks broken, but works for the first. Unsure how they can have two guys in the flat and have us cover neither. Rocky with his third mention on the broadcast. Man's a beast. Skins playing single high safety right now. But Eagles are able to run. On third, Eagles with a sweet little misdirection. Nice design. Horton misses the bump allowing Shelton free. Eagles with the double reverse. Lots of action for the Eagles so far. Eagles get Rocky matched on the outside and you know they are going there. Rocky holds up. Our Rocky isn't a movie. That drive was picture perfect though. With a score the Eagles did everything they had to do. Time and misdirection will keep us off balance. 7-0 bad guys.

Playing from behind -- We did well each time we took a punch from Dallas. A three and out or our first turnover would be bad, bad omens. Eagles play their player video basically asking the fans not to rape or murder anyone, please. Only stadium in the league the team has to beg the fans not to launch a nuke. Eagles get clean rusher. Not good. Moss drops. Had he caught and broke that tackle, it's a TD. Third and 10. LOUD crowd. Eagles don't blitz. Hold perfectly in man coverage. Ug.

Eagles ball -- Clear clip on the return. No worries. Still, the Eagles are a buzz saw right now. Uh, wait. No clip? No foul? UG. UG. UG. 14-0. Though the game isn't as important to us, an embarrassing, set back loss is bad. And, please, this Fly, Eagles, Fly garbage is outrageous.

Composure -- Second possession. Do we throw our first interception in panic? Do we lose a fumble? Does it snowball out of control? Or do we get things reigned in and controlled. And when you want control, you hand off to Portis. Keep on schedule. Against Dallas when we were on schedule we controlled the game. Big first down. Portis. Half roll, Thrash breaks open on a deep corner but Campbell doesn't throw. Eagles in man right now. Aggressive. Jimmy Johnson told an Eagles broadcaster to stop the Redskins you stop Moss and Cooley. They are man all over the field right now. Great coverage. Moss with bracket coverage. Different plan than the Cowboys had. It's working.

Eagles up 14 -- Here is when you can break a team's will if you put another TD on them. Ug. Too easy for a first. Flag for a first. They are spreading us and eating us. Carter makes what is our second good defensive play of the game. Could be key. Second is broken. Long yardage on third. You make a stop here, or you get run out of the building. Deep in. Skins confused defensively. Doing anything they want. 12 men on us. Figures. We are confused. Eagles have us unsure where to go. Lots of substitution problems on the sideline. Fletcher keeps a TD from happening. Philly is 4 of 4 on third. They make a mistake there. They tightened up the formation and still got a guy open, but finally didn't have us spinning. Whew. Miss. Philly reporter yells out, "Andy, he can't make them from that far anymore."

First and 10 from our 40 -- Big change of position. Momentum can be ours if we take it here. Roll out drop by Cooley. Eagles are not confused by Zorn. Nothing is open. Portis can run though. End of first. Cooley involved. Then, again. Moving. Then, a bonk. Bleh. 14-3.

Eagles on the move -- All day to throw. 22-yard-gain. Just not our day right now. We'd prefer they keep running at this rate. Eagles had 9 first down in Q1. We had 1. Lopsided. ROGERS, CATCH THE BALL. Rogers had that slant perfectly. Chance to change the entire game. At least it's third. Nice pass, but, out of bounds. A break. And maybe we're starting to get a feel again. But, that feel starts at the one. Great punt.

Skins down deep -- A 99-yard drive changes how this game looks, don't

you think? Portis with a key run. This is a play we can do anything on. Including a one-yard dive. Portis with a leisurely first down run. Getting the edge on them now. They had two safeties back. Eagles No. 1 rush defense. Haven't played us yet, have they? Eagles have nine in the box and we do play action. Too easy. Damn. Little screen to make third possible. GREAT PLAY. That hook was thrown WELL early. Long before the break. Great timing and throw. Clutch on third. If Portis would not fall down once he could go even further once. Offense out of sync with the snap and play. Eagles are getting pressure and controlling how we can attack them right now. 14-6. Don't let them score please.

Eagles two minute drill -- Penalty. Wow. They ain't perfect. We are in man across the field. Nothing easy. Second and 15. Come on defense. Make a stop. Get your offense a chance. Nice. Clock ticking. Let it run. Third and 15. You don't deserve it if you mess this up. Westbrook is VERY smart. Stays inbounds. Fourth down. Yes. Safe pass on first. Safe, easy pass.

Skins under a minute -- There's time and time outs. Pass on first. If it's incomplete, you run on second to make them burn. ARE drops it. Likely now going to back off. Eagles have three time outs. Need them to burn some. Eagles burn one. Interesting. Third and three. Chess match. Nice play. First down. Perfect. Still time. Nice try to Cooley. Needs a big play here to have any point hopes. Two little plays. MILD hopes. Nothing yet to Moss. Eagles have him bracketed. Someone has to emerge as an option down the field to free him up. More little, then Cooley in the middle. LONG chance, but possible. Suisham has been ok this year. This makes him great. 14-9. YES.

Halftime review -- Eagles came out like the team that needed it most. They owned us. Controlled both sides of the ball. Had us guessing and uncertain. They were dominating. Controlling everything. And the score is 14-9. We stayed in the game. We kept running. We never got urgent or outside of ourselves. We made a couple of key stops. We made a couple of key plays. The Eagles are still controlling our passing game, but we stayed true to our identity and game plan. In years past this is the kind of game we push people around and leave other teams there to hurt us. Now the Eagles are that team, except, as the second quarter went on we started to match them. Started to pull the game from them a little. This first drive can be a back breaker for them. If they give up a touchdown to us, they may start to crumble and panic themselves.

Campbell breaks record -- Campbell broke a 1983 Theismann record of 161 consecutive passes without an interception in the first half. He's now gone 165 consecutive passes without an interception. Hell of a thing. Still no turnovers. This team is poised to be somebody. We wound up with MORE total yards than the Eagles. Where it was 9 to 1 first downs for them in the first quarter, it was 9 to 1 for us in the second. Offense now has a chance to establish itself and Portis starts with a solid run. And play action for beauty to Cooley. So far this is Cooley's offense. No pressure for really the first time all game. ARE alligator arms it. Still nothing to Moss. Eagles have 0 coverage. Nothing back. 11 men in the box. And we run a sweep that does nada. Could have used something there. Would have been good to put pressure on them.

Eagles first of second -- ALL day. We are in deep safety coverage. Eagles seem to have anything they want. Miss. Run on second with us having 8 in the box. Neither team is clicking on offense now. HUGE third down. And WRECKED. Defense is starting to get a read on the Eagles offense. Each team with a possession and we gain 5 yards in field position.

Skins down five -- Ugly first to Kelly. Ugly second to Portis. PRETTY third to ARE. Wide open. PORTIS running over bodies. Get OUT of the man's way. Portis for a smooth 8. This is just a bit of alright. It seems like Q1s bugs are gone. Quick screen. 12 more yards. Skins have the Eagles on their heels a little. Watch blitz here. Johnson responds to uncertainty with aggression. Single safety for Eagles. And Zorn does some trickery. Lovely. Zorn may be for real. ARE is smart with the ball on those plays. Though tricky they are safe. ARE can run, has multiple options. He doesn't force it. Cooley is carrying the passing game. Skins are taking control. Like against the Pokes, Skins just seem to have it going. Crowd was dead before that touchdown. McNabb now needs to save them. Stupid replay here. Touchdown. 16-14.

Eagles response -- Down for the first time. Can they respond. Westbrook is their Cooley and it gives them a good gain. On second, we step up, making things difficult for them. We are in DEEP double safeties and the Eagles lob a flair. Westbrook can't make it. Our Cooley is better than their Westbrook today.

Skins for the knock down -- As with the Cowboys last week, this is the drive the Skins have a chance to hurt the Eagles and knock them down and put them on the serious uphill climb. Here is the kill shot we went for in Dallas. Eagles showing highlight videos now to amp up the crowd which may start cheering for the Phillies soon. Eagles with 8 in the box. We sweep right, which is rare for us. Doesn't work. So, do it again. It does. Zorn does that. Something fails, he goes right back to it. Teams don't seem to expect it. Eagles jump the Kelly slant. Campbell makes an almost great play to ARE. Draw to Betts fails. Tough third. Crowd will be into this one. Lucky call goes our way. Probably a real contact, but garbage. Moss with a great block. Press box calling it a clip. Moss in single coverage, but we run. Another third. Devin Thomas comes in waving arms like an Eagle. Skins 7 for 12 on third. Penalty may be on Thomas. It is. He's killing us with that. Also a garbage call, two made now on this drive, one each way. God, Brooks sucks.

Eagles again -- Too many possessions. Eagles in a tough third after lackluster plays. Third down Fletcher is trailing but gets him. Huge play. Westbrook with a good ankle may still be running. ARE with a good return and clear penalty on the eagles. Nice. The game's right there boys. Officials don't even need to talk here other than to decide if we get 15 or 30 yards.

Skins in Philly territory -- Eagles jumping those sweeps now. Keeping us off schedule. Keeping us with long yardage. But each time they hurt us, Portis comes up huge. And HUGER. Portis is running like a dream. Tough, fast. Decisive. Beautiful. He's taking the player of the game from Cooley right on this drive. Third down. Portis has 21 career 100 yard games with the Skins now. Philly writers now taunting Eagles. I think I may have an erection. Let me find a slutty seven to check. 23-14.

Philly at the 9 -- Philly is hurting. They are down deep. Westbrook isn't carrying them. McNabb is off. Do they have the champion spirit to score here and keep it close/interesting. Or do they get put away by our defense. Rogers on Jackson in the slot. Third down. Always make them eat downs and clock. Phillies homered I think. Updates constant. Skins are now thoroughly killing the Eagles. 342 total yards to 168. But, first down. Eagles still alive. Dump to Westbrook. Rocky breaks down the wrong angle giving a first. Portis is now third all time with 38 rushing touchdowns. Third in franchise history. Brown with a catch then stupid play by us. Damn. That's big. Eagles aren't dead yet. Third and 1 from the 2. MASSIVE play by Andre Carter. Blows it up. FOURTH down. Eagles need the points. Get them. 23-17.

Skins down deep -- Eagles responded a drive ago to the same situation. Skins now win the game with points on this drive. We leave it out there by not giving any. Skins go to Portis. As they should. But not enough to make it easy. Second down. Clock ticking. It's not been easy today at all, but we've fought through. Eagles again with 0 coverage. Coming up on third and causing Jason to call timeout. They had whatever we were doing sniffed. A first down here starts getting the Eagles to use time outs. Anything else gives them time and ability to take this from us. Campbell pulls it down, makes the play. This one now gets hard for the Eagles. Going down to the field now. Wish me luck.

On elevator down to field -- We see the third and one play where Zorn pulls out a portion of his balls on the throw. I see it float out of bounds. Philly radio announcers piped in the elevator saying we did them a favor. Stopped the clock. I'm walking next to Kelly Johnson. Worried about that whole punt and time thing. I tell her if we lose she has to sing Hail to the Redskins the rest of the season. If we win, she's off the hook. She laughed, after initially looking worried that I was talking to her. First, she likely knows I'm the media hater. Second, she may have heard I drool over her every week in these blogs.

Walking the catacombs -- The crowd is going nuts. I'm like, "They are loud for a punt. Wait. They are dead quiet. Did we go for it?" No way the people around me say. We finally get to a small television set and there arre 15 people there shaking their heads. We say, "Did he go for it?" They answer, "Yeah." We say, "Did they get it." They say, "Yeah, pushed the whole line back." After the third and one miss you'd think the man nuts were gone, but, no, they came out bigger on fourth. That's an unconventional play. Probably the wrong play. But, dammit, when it works, it's beautiful.

Near the locker room during kneel downs -- They won't let us on the field until the players are off so we do not see anything going on, but feel the feet of people leaving up the stairs. Then a group of men in suits surrounding Dan Snyder pop around the corner. They are allowed. Vinny leads the way down the tunnel. Snyder begins pumping his fist. Screaming, "Yeah. Yeah." The man was fired up. He stayed near the edge of the tunnel. Just as the teams were shaking hands he turns around. Comes back up. Screaming, "Yeah. 4-1. In Philly. In Dallas." Full throated. You'll see this in the UnWise Mike and Dan Steinberg Post articles too as they were with me commenting, "We get better stuff here than going on the field." Here you get player raw. Players coming back in. Happy. Smiles everywhere. Chris Samuels comes off kind of late screaming to fans in the stands, "It ain't to late to be a Redskins fan." Wise and Steinberg ask me what I had us down for at this point. I said 1-4. 5-11 on the season. Wise cracks, "And you work for the team." I say, "I don't work for them. I drink a lot the night before and hang out." He laughs and says he knows.

Finally in the locker room -- After a long wait, throng of media allowed in. As you all know, I like locker room watching. I like the feel. Remember last week I said things didn't seem too high. Today they weren't too high either, but, they were obviously, clearly as happy as I can ever remember them being. All the players wore smiles. They each greeted reporters and those trying to talk to them with a smile. They all were happy to talk. Happy with themselves. Happy with their situation. You could almost worry, if they lose next week, that they felt they accomplished something. Felt they arrived, but, that wasn't the sense I got. I got the impression they KNEW this was a step beyond any they've taken recently. It was following up a big win with another. Something this team has not done well. I asked Santana about no catches but 4-1 and he smiled and said, "Oh, 4-1, no doubt. We have so many weapons, there's no need to force it to me." I told Clinton to quit hurting people. He smiled and said what I think was, "No doubt." And, "Thanks." I talked with Khary Campbell about Redskins.com following him this week and whether it always should. And I spoke about what magic there is in this team that Gibbs couldn't bring about. I asked a few players about this and none flat out said anything terrible, but all said a variant of, "Coach Zorn just lets us play." There are rules, but not too many. There is sharp design, but not over thinking. Zorn will call something they just put in. Andre Carte r said the players have actually spoken among themselves about that very question. How can Zorn be doing this when Gibbs couldn't. No one knows. They are just happy to be here.

They are eager for the fans to bring them some passion next week. Next week is an "easy" win. A win past Redskin teams stumble on. They expect you not to let them stumble. This team may have found some magic in that old QB coach they found. It may be a ride we've just begun. We'll know for sure at 7-1 though :).

Post-game thoughts: I will never be one to say I told you so when thinking back to what this team is doing. I didn't think so. I always knew what the talent on this roster COULD do. This is what it always COULD do. The Eagles came out on fire. They destroyed our defense in Q1. They destroyed our offense in Q1. The game was theirs. But, we kept at it. We began taking it. We kept making key critical play, after key critical play. Someone kept stepping up. Zorn kept stepping up trusting his guys. On the game you could just feel us taking it from them. We were more physical. Stronger. More perfect. We made the key tackle two yards short of a first. We made the key first. We did the things teams that can be great do. Five games without a turnover. Continually making a play out of nothing. Continually calling the right play in key situations.

We held a top offense to 254 yards total offense after a blitz of a first quarter. Remember that quote so many of you hate about Greg Blache, that sacks don't matter? Seems he was right. The Redskins rarely blitz, but are more aggressive than we've ever seen them. They play TIGHT man coverage. QBs have no space to throw. They can't hold the ball forever. And since McNabb won't run anymore, we just swallow them up and wear them down. We will see sacks increase as teams adjust to how aggressively we play defense in that man scheme, when they try to see if someone breaks free and they start getting hit.

There's almost nothing you can say about how this team is playing other than it is playing entirely splendidly on offense and defense with just enough good special teams to offset the horrid punt coverage we've had. We have games now we "should" win. We should roll. If we do that is one hell of a fun thing we'll start watching.

May be conversing now but may add more.

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Hello my children. I -- today called a diva and offered a pink boa by TK -- enjoy Philly after a night of enjoying Philly.

I said burgundy & gold boa, but that's what happens when you've enjoyed enjoying Philly. :silly:

But in all seriousness, it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so you could get away with the pink if you wanted. :)

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Hey Art...

Just like to say a BIG THANKS to you and TK for the coverage!!

Your blog make me feel like I'm there.

BTW, what's the mood of the team? Quietly confident or can you get a gauge on that?


I can't tell as I'm not down on the field or with the team much. But from the people around the team the attitude seems entirely different how they describe the team and the attitude of the team. Sonny, especially, seemed skeptical and reserved about Gibbs and Williams. With Zorn and Blache he seems very confident and seems to believe they have it right. They describe the team as loose and allowed to play with some freedom and fun, which, under Gibbs, the atmosphere was so tight. Every play, every game was the epic battle of creation.

Now it's different. The atmosphere is fun and the players are responding. It was fun under Spurrier too, but the players didn't think the system would work. Now they believe in the atmosphere AND the system.

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Dominated so far. Going to have to turn it around.

So far this game reminds me quite a bit of the Jets game from last year. Dominated in the first half but we just keep coming back and kick a field goal.

- lets hope it has the same result :applause:

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Its official now... Art is REQUIRED BY MAN-LAW to attend all future Skins/NFC East games! You are the Extremeskins 'luckycharm'.

I am envious as heck, and glad for you guys that you've been able to enjoy these WHODATHUNKIT-wins live. Enjoy and keep up the great work, guys!

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Its official now... Art is REQUIRED BY MAN-LAW to attend all future Skins/NFC East games! You are the Extremeskins 'luckycharm'.

I am envious as heck, and glad for you guys that you've been able to enjoy these WHODATHUNKIT-wins live. Enjoy and keep up the great work, guys!

Ye of little faith. I told you all to BELIEVE. :)

And for the record, Art & I are now 2-0 in Philly. :D

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Its official now... Art is REQUIRED BY MAN-LAW to attend all future Skins/NFC East games! You are the Extremeskins 'luckycharm'.

I am envious as heck, and glad for you guys that you've been able to enjoy these WHODATHUNKIT-wins live. Enjoy and keep up the great work, guys!

A Yeti sighting. :)

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Great write up Art. It's good to hear that everyone seems to believe in Zorn, even before this game.

I keep thinking about why it didn't work out with Gibbs this time, have been for a couple years now actually. It just seemed that he couldn't make the ballsy call anymore when the team needed it and that is mainly the difference. Look at how the players love Zorn.

All I can come up with is that Gibbs always had the team totally prepared for the game (and it shows now, no turnovers) but come gameday he just couldn't make the quick decisions anymore and probably just defaulted to safe calls that stalled the offense over and over.

A comparison I remember thinking of when Gibbs came back a few years ago is this: When I was a kid I always hated riding in a car with my grandfather, who was 60-65 at the time, because he always drove 50MPH where the speed limit was 55. He would yell at the other drivers for driving too fast and always almost caused accidents because he wouldn't drive the speed limit when he knew that everyone else was going 15-20 MPH over it. The thing is, my mom remembers him 25-30 years earlier when he used to drive like a nut and yell at other drivers for being in his way. He had obviously lost some of his confidence (or balls as you credited Zorn with still possessing) when he got older which happens when you get old and think more slowly and can't see everything around you as well.

Anyway, I don't think that what Zorn has accomplished so far would have happened if it hadn't been for the attention to detail and discipline set up here by Gibbs over the past 4 years. IMO Gibbs could do everything except the fast paced job of being a head coach on the sidelines and that is what Zorn has been able to do very well. Let's hope the league doesn't catch up with him and that he can add new ideas over time to keep teams guessing. So far so good though.

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Its official now... Art is REQUIRED BY MAN-LAW to attend all future Skins/NFC East games! You are the Extremeskins 'luckycharm'.

I am envious as heck, and glad for you guys that you've been able to enjoy these WHODATHUNKIT-wins live. Enjoy and keep up the great work, guys!


Great job, Art. You tell us what we want to know - not just facts, but emotions, theories, thoughts, - not just yours - but the feelings from the ones we care about (lol) - those being of the players, the insiders such as Sonny, Sam, even the owner. I hang on every keystroke.


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Great job, Art. You tell us what we want to know - not just facts, but emotions, theories, thoughts, - not just yours - but the feelings from the ones we care about (lol) - those being of the players, the insiders such as Sonny, Sam, even the owner. I hang on every keystroke.


Sheesh, Mark. Are you angling for a mod position or something? You've been too nice lately.

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