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    • By Destino in ES Coverage
         1
      Good afternoon Redskins fans!  I have once again been invited to sit in the relative comfort of the press box and shout my thoughts into the void via this blog.  As you watch the game today and see the rain  pour relentlessly from the heavens, know that I am safe and dry.  Know also that @Spaceman Spiff is out there somewhere, cold and unappreciated, rolling around in the muck trying to capture that perfect picture.  Maybe say a little prayer for his health (or laugh, whatever, I’m not judging you).  Also, be sure not to miss the pictures he posts on this site after each game.     
       
      Before we get into today's Redskins game, I want give some thanks for more positive occurrences in DC sports.  Congrats to the Washington Mystics for winning their first championship.  Congrats go out to the Washington Nationals as well for reaching the world series.  These two teams (along with the Caps) are working hard to change the sports related mood around this town, and we're all happier for it. 
       
      Lets move now into less cheerful topics, namely your Washington Redskins!  Yow know things are going bad, and I mean really dang bad, when your team has gone through three quarterbacks and two coaches and your not even half way through the season.  Today's fresh hell comes in the form of a specter of the our recent past coming to smirk at our misfortune.  Im talking of course of Kyle.  Kyle's spent the week assuring everyone that he isn’t holding a grudge, while very obviously holding a grudge.  “Everything else.”  You know what I’m talking about. 
       
      If all he brought to town were his hurt feelings we wouldn’t have a problem.  Sadly, he’s arrived with an undefeated football team that the NFL says we have to play this week.  This feels entirely unfair. 
       
      My generic key to the game:  Run the ball and stop the run.  The team (spoiler alert: 49ers) that does this today will win.   
       
      Redskins Inactives  
      QB Colt McCoy  
      S Deshazor Everett  
      CB Josh Norman  
      RB Chris THompson  
      LB Josh Harvey-Clemons 
      G Wes Martin  
      TE Vernon Davis  
       
      49ers inactives  
      QB CJ Beathard 
      WR Deebo Samuel  
      CB Ahkello Witherspoon  
      FB Kyle Juszczyk 
      T Mike McGLinchey 
      T Joe Staley 
      DL DJ Jones 
       
      1st Quarter Update
      Redskins 0 – 0 49ers
       
      Callahan wasn’t playing around when he said he wanted to run the ball.  That first drive was all runs, and looked great... right up until they tried to pass the ball.  Hopkins missed the relatively short fied goal, because of course he did.     

      Maybe Quinn isn’t a good choice to be returning punts?  Consider it.    
       
      That second Redskins drive looked more like what we’ve come to expect from this offense.  Run for negative yards, pass dropped, and an unsuccessful screen pass.  A quintessential Redskins three and out. 

      Passing yards this quarter:  Redskins 3. 49ers 9.  Are you not entertained?! 
       
      Half Time Update
      Redskins 0 – 0 49ers 
       
      How happy are you to spend your Sunday afternoon watching this game?  Consider that some people paid money, to sit in a poncho, in the rain, to watch this game. 
       
      It’s now time for those half time adjustments that our beloved skins do so well.  It’s unlikely the second half mirrors the first. 
       
      3rd Quarter Update 
      Redskins 0 – 3 49ers  
       
      Good news, this game will not end in a 0-0 tie.  Those half time adjustments have kicked in as expected and the 49ers have found a way onto the scoreboard in this messy throwback game.  The Redskins have decided to spend the second half collecting holding penalties and sadness.  Mercifully, only one quarter remains. 
       
      End of Game Update 
      Redskins 0 – 9 49ers 
       
      Callahan hasn’t spent much time as head coach, but he’s already proven that his team can waste 2nd half timeouts like a veteran.  It makes little sense to adopt a strategy that shortens the game when your team is losing, and it makes even less sense when your team is short on time outs.  I’m not really sure what the thinking as late in this game.    
       
      Next week Kirk Cousins!   
       
       

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TK

Boswell:The Truth Hurts

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A143-2003Dec14.html

I6568-2000Mar14

The Truth Hurts

By Thomas Boswell

Monday, December 15, 2003; Page D01

Some games give you hope. Others just tell you the truth.

Yesterday at FedEx Field, the utterly opposite truth about the Cowboys and Redskins was on display in a crushing 27-0 Dallas victory -- Washington's worst home shutout defeat since 1951.

Under Bill Parcells, Dallas is improving spectacularly and swiftly, heading to the playoffs just one year after a 5-11 season. The Redskins under Steve Spurrier are steadily regressing, perhaps even collapsing, as their record falls to 5-9. With two games left against teams in the playoff picture, a 5-11 season is now a real probability. Or, as cornerback Fred Smoot put it, "We stunk the place up."

Many a Parcells team has given its rivals a harsh meeting with NFL reality. But few foes ever got a more bitter taste of their true diminished circumstances than these overmatched Redskins. Two simple numbers told the tale.

Troy Hambrick rushed for 189 yards, tromping over and through a Redskins defensive line that barely offered more resistance than the evening's raw, dank drizzle. The Redskins knew long before this season ever began that the D-line was their weakness. Nothing sufficient was done. Now, the whole league knows it and exploits it.

Meanwhile, Tim Hasselbeck had a 0.0 quarterback rating, tying a record that can never be broken. It's not like the SAT. You don't get points for signing your name.

The Redskins under Spurrier have never had a coherent plan for their backup quarterbacks. Hasselbeck, game but raw, was the victim this time. Against one of the best defenses in the NFL, he threw four interceptions. Those picks were returned for about half as much yardage (25) as Hasselbeck gained with all of his 26 throws (56).

The best that can be said for the Redskins is that they were playing without their starting quarterback and their two top running backs. That's the sum total of excuses. Forgive according to your tastes. Certainly owner Dan Snyder will have to measure out his mercy. This past week, he said Spurrier would "absolutely" be back next year. If the Redskins finish with two more losses this ugly, any owner might be tempted to add "not" to that evaluation.

Since 1981, when Joe Gibbs arrived, Washington had only been shut out at home once in 22 seasons. This, however, was more than a shutout. It was a complete eradication of the Spurrier offense, which only drove inside the Dallas 44-yard line once, and then only for three brief plays. The Redskins committed six turnovers. Star wide receiver Laveranues Coles caught fewer passes (0) than defensive back Ifeanyi Ohalete, who had a three-yard reception on a trick play from punt formation.

For those who want to make the case that Spurrier is many miles away from becoming an elite NFL coach, then this game can serve as their Exhibit A. The Redskins prepared for the same blitz-crazed defense that the Cowboys used to beat them, 21-14, in Dallas in November. "We prepared for them to come after us a lot. We felt we had a lot of answers for that," Hasselbeck said. "But they played us differently than they did last time."

What a shock. Parcells's team switched tactics. The Redskins prepared, primarily, for the last war. Indeed, the Cowboys almost never blitzed. "They have Bill Parcells, so they are very well-prepared," Coles said. "It seems that they are anticipating what you are going to do. When you run a route, it seems like they are waiting for you."

Perhaps the worst omen for the Redskins was when Parcells said publicly, early in the week, that this was "a very, very, very, very important game for us." Four "verys" from the Tuna should send shivers down any back.

"The best team won. . . . They outplayed us in every area, just about. I think we punted the ball pretty well," said Spurrier, straight-faced, but perhaps with a touch of sarcasm under his words. "They kicked our tails pretty good. . . . We had a lot of individual players that played their hearts out, but overall, as a team, we weren't good enough to beat these guys."

Or even come remotely close. On their home field. A year ago, the Redskins were two games better than the Cowboys in the NFC East. Now, they're four games worse. The most conspicuous difference? The Cowboys added Parcells. The Redskins added Coles, kicker John Hall, kick returner Chad Morton and guard Randy Thomas, all standouts on the Jets' playoff team last season. But they also had another year under Spurrier. Just the facts, ma'am.

"People are going to talk about the coaches this week and whatever," said a disgusted Smoot. "But between the Wilsons and the clocks, the game is about the players, not the coaches. . . . We didn't play today. . . . Half the guys did, half the guys didn't. . . . You've got to have a different passion for this [rivalry]. That's Dallas, dawg. I hate 'em."

The Wilsons would, probably, be the Wilson footballs used by the NFL. The clocks would, perhaps, be the scoreboard that keeps the time. Thus, when the Wilsons are put in play and the clocks are started, the players decide the game far more than the coaches. That, at least, is one translation. Smootisms should not be dismissed lightly; eventually, they may be all that is worth remembering from this season.

In recent weeks, the Redskins have had a couple of credible wins and a few competitive defeats against playoff-bound teams. But numbers don't lie. It's a long, long fall from 3-1 to 5-9, especially when at-the-Bears and home-against-the-Eagles is what remains of a brutal schedule.

"They killed us, killed us. It's a disgrace. I would never have expected it," wide receiver Rod Gardner said of a game that was a toss-up to Las Vegas types, especially since Dallas had gotten clobbered in its last two games.

By the final minutes, only a few thousand fans were left at FedEx Field, many of them Cowboys fans, some of them throwing the occasional snowball at the Redskins' bench. "I'm not surprised," Gardner said of the bizarre scene. "If you were up 27-zip, which fans do you think would be left in the stands?"

"I'm not very good at excuses," said Spurrier. "They played on the same field we did."

But at a much higher level.

Asked when he last coached a team that was shut out, Spurrier said, "At Duke when we played Rutgers at the Meadowlands."

How long ago?

"1987," said Spurrier, his grim mood momentarily broken by an involuntary smirk of disbelief.

Yes, 1987 -- so long ago. Parcells was coaching the Giants then in their glory years. But it was the Redskins who won the Super Bowl.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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For those who want to make the case that Spurrier is many miles away from becoming an elite NFL coach, then this game can serve as their Exhibit A. The Redskins prepared for the same blitz-crazed defense that the Cowboys used to beat them, 21-14, in Dallas in November. "We prepared for them to come after us a lot. We felt we had a lot of answers for that," Hasselbeck said. "But they played us differently than they did last time."

What a shock. Parcells's team switched tactics. The Redskins prepared, primarily, for the last war. Indeed, the Cowboys almost never blitzed. "They have Bill Parcells, so they are very well-prepared," Coles said. "It seems that they are anticipating what you are going to do. When you run a route, it seems like they are waiting for you."

____________________________________________________

does anything else need to be said? :(

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Originally posted by bulldog

For those who want to make the case that Spurrier is many miles away from becoming an elite NFL coach, then this game can serve as their Exhibit A.

Yeah but if Spurrier is the coach in 2004, we'll have continuity. :laugh: :doh: (sarcasm dripping)

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Spurrier is gone after this season, no matter what Snyder says. We need a GM now and a good assistant like Johnson from the Eagles to come in here and get things going. Maybe the defensive coach from Tampa would work out.

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Wow does anybody know that this is Spurrier second year. I think that the most telling thing here is that the Skins don't have an identity yet. To me the Cowboys out caoched us yesterday. For such a sound defense, Rock cartwright had 94 yards bfore the fourth quarter. Run the ball Spurrier, stop giving haters the ammo they need.

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The Cowboys outcoached us? Huh?

They ran the damn ball 45 times against the worst defensive line in football. In a rainstorm on a muddy field, they ran the ball 45 times. How is that outcoaching us? Ask the average ****tail waitress in a sports bar how to win that game, and that's what she'd come up with.

What did Spurrier come up with? 27 passes, 26 runs. Genius!

Yeah, the Skins were behind... blah blah blah... but I think they averaged 4.5 yards a carry against Dallas. Why not force the ball down their throats? It was working. Spurrier sees his untested street free agent QB struggling, and his raw FB tearing things up, so what does he do?

Yeah, he throws. Sigh.

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The 15 million dollar arm-wrestling match between Spurrier and Snyder continues.

Snyder: "Spurrier will be back next year"

Spurrier: "Shutout at home against the Cowboys. Your move..."

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It should be written in all future Skins coaches' contracts that losing twice to the Cowboys means immediate dismissal. We'll have someone clean out your desk and dump the contents on your lawn.

By the way, anyone remember how Spurrier was going to make Dallas our Vanderbilt? Guess who's Vandy now, Steve?

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Originally posted by Reaganaut

Maybe the defensive coach from Tampa would work out.

Monty Kiffen is the man that I would love to see as our HC, well next to Gibbs, but we'll leave that alone for now.

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well i'm tired of having a new coach every year. we need to stick with the guy till he quits.

Sure... why didn't we try that with Norv? Or Petitbone? Or Schotty? You stick with something if it works.

Imagine you buy a new car. It breaks down. You take it to back and get another, but it breaks down. And it happens again. Finally you say, "I'm tired of having a new car every week! I'm just going to stick with this broken car!"

Sounds good, but you still can't go anywhere.

If you're serious about giving Spurrier 3 years, you'd look for some improvement. He's 2 years into his 3 years, and this team is going backwards. There's no improvement. The offensive line is leaky. The starting QB is shell-shocked and physically and mentally broken. The RBs are weak or broken or both. The receivers can't get open. And that's just the offense -- his strong suit!

Can anyone imagine a scenario where this team competes for a playoff spot next year? Take this scenario: Snyder signs two top DEs and a top DT in the offseason. The rest of the team and coaching staff returns intact. (OK, it's a ridiculous scenario, but play along). Is the team better? Marginally so. I'd argue they'd probably be 8-6 right now instead of 5-9. They certainly wouldn't have won yesterday, and they'd be trailing the wildcard pack.

But take this scenario: either Spurrier grows a backbone or the Skins hire a coach with one. The new coach (Spurrier II) fires up the players the way Marvin did in Cincy or Bill did in Dallas. That's worth 4 or 5 wins to me -- and we're sitting in serious playoff contention.

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