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WT: Absolutely Awful

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Absolutely awful

A second-string quarterback. A fourth-string running back. And a team that seems destined to play backup in the game of life.

This is what Washington Redskins' fans plan their autumns around? This is ridiculous. C-Span probably had higher ratings yesterday. The Redskins slogged around in nasty mid-winter conditions but couldn't put a chill in the Dallas Cowboys, who went up early and didn't have to worry about looking back.

The Monday Morning Quarterback considered getting into a fourth-quarter snowball fight just to get the blood flowing again. The few disheartened fans who lingered took care of it instead. Oh, well. Happy days are just two weeks away. Soon enough it will be the offseason, when the Redskins always go undefeated.

Q: That does it. We're calling DirecTV this week so we can watch some real football games. We always thought we'd look good in Cheeseheads. Any good news for the dozen Redskins fans left in Washington?

A: Yup. Saddam Hussein was captured yesterday in Iraq. Word is he might have information about where the Redskins hid their offense. Seriously, the Redskins' punchless "O" set a world record for tedium in the second half. Fans would have been entertained just as much if they had shifted their gaze and watched the FedEx Field grass grow.

Q: Was there really any chance of Washington beating Dallas, though? The Cowboys are a playoff team and the Redskins are a punchline.

A: Actually, we thought Washington had decent odds. The team has kept a fairly positive attitude in recent weeks; Dallas came in playing like stink-ola; and the rough weather seemed suited for an afternoon in which Rock Cartwright was starting at running back. The X-factor was Tim Hasselbeck's total inability to get anything done on offense. The Redskins played with heart for about three quarters, then realized their efforts were futile.

Q: This has got to do it for Spurrier, right? Can we possibly deal with another season of this?

A: That's up to you. It's a free country, and you're welcome to pick up stamp-collecting or ornithology. In fact, we think we saw a few birds flipped yesterday. As for coach Steve Spurrier, he ain't going anywhere, for the reasons we've discussed ad nauseum, owner Dan Snyder has too much invested, in terms of both money and pride, and the coach has too much cash on the table to walk away.

Q: Give us some hope. What's a scenario that splits up this doomed marriage?

A: Management is starting to turn the screws on Spurrier's assistants, and the coach has shown every sign of remaining loyal. He's got the call, and something's got to give. Management's only method to force change on the staff (and there is a firm belief veteran assistants could turn this club around) is to threaten Spurrier with his job. The coach must decide whether saving a few of his guys is worth scrapping the whole experiment.

Q: What happened to the run defense? The GW Parkway at 3 a.m. offers more congestion.

A: We were disappointed with how the unit came out. To give up such a quick, easy scoring drive was critical in a game in which every touchdown felt like two. Spurrier was right, though, in not blaming the unit for Dallas' 94 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. Think about it: the D was playing from 17 points down for a team with no hope for the playoffs and an offense that wouldn't have scored at a sorority mixer. Sometimes you just wave the white flag.

Q: Did Tim Hasselbeck really have a QB rating of 0.0? We didn't know they made them that low.

A: Hasselbeck endured a disastrous afternoon. The guy doesn't have much zip on his throws to start with, and yesterday's conditions had the ball fluttering every which way out of his hand. Hasselbeck must prove in the final two weeks that yesterday was an aberration.

Q: Will the Redskins at least secure their future and sign one of their stars long-term in the last few weeks?

A: Expect a new deal for LaVar Arrington the same time pigs fly out of agent Carl Poston's you-know-what. Arrington is set to make $15.5 million over the next two years — then become a free agent in the spring of 2006, at age 27, the prime of his career. He could figure on more than a $20 million signing bonus at that point or a one-year franchise number of nearly $15 million. There is virtually no reason for him to accept a new deal. And Washington doesn't want to deal with Champ Bailey without leveraging the franchise tag. The Redskins have some interesting contractual issues to sort out this offseason.

Q: There's still some good guys left, though. What does Bubba Tyer's enshrinement in the Ring of Fame mean?

A: That the Redskins are open-minded enough to include a trainer. Tyer never caught a pass or scored a touchdown for the club, but he was as dedicated and loyal as an employee could be for so many years. He was, indeed, one of the good guys.

Q: We plead guilty to watching the game from the Barcalounger. Did anyone show up for this one? And how come Tony Siragusa is the sideline reporter for every Redskins game?

A: The announced attendance of more than 70,000 seemed pretty accurate. It was a heck of a turnout given the conditions and Washington's season. Of course, more than a few of those spectators came dressed in Cowboys blue. As for the Goose, the Redskins might need to issue a restraining order. He seems to show up every week. Perhaps he wants in on the Funky 4.

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I am beyond the point where I am that concerned about any one player's departure.

If the past several years has shown us anything it is that our high priced talent has a definite capability to disappoint us.

Arrington is a frustrating player. I am beginning to think he is part of the problem. He sulks when coaches want him to play within a scheme, but then when he gets a chance to freelance he looks terrible and gets blown up.

I don't believe #56 is going to live up to his jersey number, at least not unless there is a new sheriff in town, one that can command his respect.

And with his contract being what it is, there may not be enough time left to find out before his cap number requires some action by the club leading to his release.

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You may think that way about #56 but I dissagree with that!

LaVar is our defense at this point, we have 2 gimp old guys running around like old men at the other 2 linebacker spots and the leagues worst front 4 with 11.5 sacks as a whole going into the Dallas game. I think we have some decent players at secondary with Champ and Smoot being outstanding and the safeties.

That front 4 is SAD to say the least and Trotter and Armstead are gimps. This is what has killed us all season and will continue to do so till we get younger and faster at all these spots. Champ and Smoot rock but even they have been made to look bad at times this season with the limp d*ck play of the front 4! I'm thinking a man in a wheel chair could put more pressure on the QB. Speaking of wheel chair? What and the heck is wrong with Trotter this season! And Armstead is well out of prime! These 2 guys should be sat and give some of our younger talent have play time like Pierce.

All these people attacking LaVar is so sick! I mean if I had guys around me like he has I wouldn't even want to go out on the field yet with a sprained knee and ankle this guy goes out there and playes 10 times that of the gimp front 4 + wheel chair bunch. I'm sorry to be so harsh but to attack the one of few Redskins with a heart is lame to say the least.

LaVar, Smoot, Thomas are the type guys we need to build around not attack.

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red, I think you're missing the point. I actually think lavar is really good too. I just don't want to see us destroy our cap over him.

He is simply not a game changer. He is a great player and deserves a pretty penny, but if he keeps balking at our contract offer, then we have to let him walk.


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I am actually tired of all three of the big ticket guys.

What to do with Arrington and Samuels and their big cap numbers is up to the front office.

Antonio Pierce can play out of position, jump offsides and make unsportsmanlike penalties for a lot less money.

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Arrington is a tease.... a freakish athlete with poor football instincts. I'll bet you put a fundamentally sound LB in his place and suddenly the defense tightens. I'm prepared to jettison him along with the rest of the underperforming "me" players.

Armstead may be a lockeroom leader and respected vet, but that's not getting it done between the sideline markers. He's a post June 1st cut.

Trotter is one year removed from a serious knee injury, so his "slow" play has a legitimate excuse. The key is if he's hurting the team from a physical standpoint, why aren't the coaches placing someone else in his position to help out on occasion? Is a 75% Trotter better than 100% Mitchell? If so, coaches blew it in the middle of the defense in terms of talent.

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