Redskins

Skins’ Downward Slide Welcomes ‘The Circus’ for Extended Stay

by Chris 'Blue Shorts' Lingebach
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Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches his team warm up before the start of their game against the San Francisco 49ers. (credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins watches his team warm up before the start of their game against the San Francisco 49ers. (credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSC) - Monday night’s 27-6 loss to the 49ers offered a glimpse into the direction the Redskins’ season ultimately could be heading – trending downward, not optimistically upward – and the difficult conversations which could be on the horizon.

And Tuesday morning brought a taste of those conversations, which will persist, until either a sign of good faith is gestured toward Mike Shanahan, definitive action is taken to remove him from power, or the team starts winning, and at this point, it’s scary how improbable the latter outcome seems.

The Junkies, always vocal and rarely in agreement, represented every stance that could possibly be taken in an offseason that’s sure to be wrought with upheaval.

“He had eight months where he didn’t really work on his football,” EB said. “He had eight months really where he was just running around, jumping off boxes, doing jumping jacks and pools and treadmills. He didn’t play football for eight months. He got worse!”

“Last year, RGIII in 2012, and we knew that this was gonna be an outlier, but in a full season, he threw five interceptions,” JP said. “He has now thrown an interception in nine out of eleven games.”

“And he fumbles,” Cakes added. “He fumbles at least once in every game.”

JP: Let’s be real. His completion percentage has come down this year, and I told you last year it was fraudulent, because he throws so many screens, and even Jon Gruden pointed it out last night. The amount of screen passes they throw, and last year, they worked tremendously, Pierre Garcon still turns a lot of those sideways passes into first downs. But of course your completion percentage is going to be okay when half your passes are sideways passes to a receiver. I mean, it’s just too much. This offense is not working anymore! The running game, it came into the game number one, and they have found a way to run the football the last couple of seasons, but it’s not translating into wins this year.

EB: See you’re basically saying it’s scheme-related. I think Robert’s just not executing the scheme as well as he could.

JP: So do you think that they could go back to last year’s offense? And actually be successful?

EB: I think they need to tweak it, but I think Robert’s actually just playing poorly.

JP: And if Robert’s going to be your franchise quarterback for the next decade, and that’s what everybody hopes and everybody expects, he does need to become more adept in the pocket, and they might actually be hurting him by running so much of this read-option and sideways passes stuff.

Lurch: It’s a hard position to play, man, and he’s still learning the position. You heard Steve Young and Trent Dilfer talk about it, it takes years for these guys to master it.

He has regressed, but, yea, I mean I think not having the offseason certainly hurt him, but he just doesn’t have the overall talent around him. His offensive line is not good. He’s got one legitimate receiver. I mean, he’s got to get other guys to help him out. I can’t put the entire load on him. I can’t.

JP: If you just talk about him. What’s in his best interest? Last year’s type of offense, or a new coach who completely changes everything?

EB: Yea but Mike Shanahan doesn’t strictly run last year’s offense. That was unique to him. Mike Shanahan runs a pro-style offense. They tried to cater it to him last year. They can blossom it. They can expand it.

JP: Okay, I agree with that, but I’m just over bringing him back because I think there are just too many elements. They run all that backfield confusion to try and have one or two guys open. I would rather see a quarterback, I think, to be successful in this league, have much more traditional offensive looks with three and four receivers downfield.

What is the circus exactly?

Some might describe it as the moment opinions become so varied, it’s conceivable a consensus can be reached on what should happen next.

Others may describe it as the moment tension idles so high, an incessant media barrage pressuring for some kind of change begins to permeate the fan base, reaching a fever pitch, and, although no consensus can be reached on exactly what should happen, everyone seems to agree that something should happen.

Merriam-Webster primarily describes it as “a situation or event that is very busy, lively, and confusing and that attracts a lot of attention.”

Whatever it is, and whatever you want to call it, everyone agrees it’s back in town, has been for over a week, and if something doesn’t change, and this downward spiral continues, it could be scheduled for an extended run here in the nation’s capital.

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