Week 16: Initial Thoughts (Cowboys 17, Redskins 0)
What I’m thinking after last night’s 17-0 loss to Dallas:
*What is there really left to say about this team from a pure football perspective? Anyone (and, to be clear, it should be all of you) hoping that Bruce Allen spends his first season overhauling the offensive line can take solace in the fact that his first two games have provided overwhelming evidence that such changes are necessary. The Redskins went 0-6 in the division, and it’s no coincidence that the three other NFC East teams have better offensive lines. Enough about the line, though. It’s a broken record and has been for weeks now.
*QB Jason Campbell’s toughness is beyond impressive. It’s a gross understatement to so say that his determination and willingness keep fighting for his team are admirable. If the Redskins decide to keep Campbell, they must establish the quarterback-friendly environment he deserves. Heck, they must do that no matter who the quarterback is.
*DT Albert Haynesworth’s rant to the Washington Post on Friday was damaging. For weeks this team could at least claim that it stayed together and kept most of its problems private. Now he comes off looking selfish and petulant. To say on Friday that a team lacks leadership and then say after the game that he has no interest in being a leader, well, that seems a bit hypocritical. He was obviously talking about coaching leadership on Friday, but players have some leadership responsibilities, too. It comes with his contract and his talent. And if you’re not going to lead in a positive way, at least stay neutral.
*After Haynesworth kept his starting spot last night, the Redskins appear to have another player that will receive special treatment from upstairs. The rub is that the Redskins knew what they were getting when they signed Haynesworth last February to a record contract that included $41 million guaranteed. His former employer, the Tennessee Titans, made only a token attempt to resign him. Why do you think they didn’t go after him harder? It speaks volumes.
*You can argue about Haynesworth’s character issues and how the team should handle them, but there’s no denying that he’s a dominant force when playing with full effort. It will be interesting to see how a new defensive staff would use him. After Haynesworth’s comments, any new defensive coordinator seemingly would have to get his stamp of approval. They can’t have this mess recurring down the road. It’s a problem.
*Safety LaRon Landry’s role on this team going forward will be one of the leading personnel issues of the offseason. He played a lot of strong safety last night, and a new defensive staff would have to decide how they want to use him. It’s unrealistic to expect him to excel at strong safety in these last few games after he played at free safety for years. Unfortunately this all stems from Sean Taylor’s murder. It’s a bitter reality.
*WR Malcolm Kelly didn’t exactly shine in his spot start. Of course, no one on offense did, so you can’t single him out. It’s way too soon to give up on Kelly, though. He and coaches said all along that this was effectively his rookie season. I’ll buy that to an extent. The pressure to produce will rightfully increase next season.
*The Redskins’ longest rush last night was eight yards. Eight. No running back averaged more than three yards per carry. Just throwing that out there.
*How about Dallas’ Shaun Suisham connecting on a field goal from the EXACT spot on the field from which he missed against New Orleans. That’s incredible! You can’t make this stuff up.
…what are you all thinking at this point? I’m interested to know. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.