Thursday, September 28, 2006

Al Saunders Explains

Here's a few nuggets from Deputy Head Coach Al Saunders statement on

  • "Right now, defenses are doing a real good job of neutralizing the tight ends role and we've had to keep them in on pass protection to help our tackles on occasion.
  • "We anticipate more five-man protections, but we haven't been able to do that yet. I think as we do some other things and we progress, the offense will be able to open up more.
  • "Also, the depth of the [quarterback] drops and the timing of the [receiver] routes are not quite at the level where we want them to be, so we have cut back on some of the four and five receiver routes."

Translation: not a lot of deep routes against Jacksonville.

It looks more and more like the Redskins will not cash in their policy from Duckett insurance. TJ did not suit up for the Houston game and I'm hearing suggestions of the same for Jacksonville. Maybe he serves his purpose by sitting. Ladell Betts ran pretty well in Houston.

Mark Brunell is listed as probable for the Jaguars game. He considers himself as "day-to-day" as a result of the stitches in his throwing elbow. He did not practice Wednesday and there are radio reports that he missed Thursday's practice too. If that's the case, then he shouldn't play. That was the standard Coach-in-chief Gibbs used in deactivating Clinton Portis for the Dallas game. Portis missed Thursday practice before the Cowboys game. Fairness aside, timing patterns are an issue with the passing game, so there's a real question mark (question Mark! Get it?) about the Brunell's ability to step in without reps, especially against a D like Jacksonville. Note -- I'm not a Brunell basher.

What's really interesting, in a Twilight Zone sorta way, is that it's Todd Collins practicing with the first team, not Jason Campbell. What gives? While Brunell isn't out, this seems like the scenario where Campbell would be prepped to play. Gibbs is saying they are preparing as though Brunell will start, but Collins might have to finish the game.

So what is it we are not hearing about Campbell? Normally it's preferable to keep real player evaluations private between coach and player. This, however, is becoming an issue. Somebody owes us a frank answer, or this is just going to become a big distraction.

Personal gripe - I have Terrell Owens on both my fantasy teams. Now, I'm trying to get receivers like Bernard Berrian on my rosters as insurance policies. I dropped a running back to make room, so for a week or two my roster is overweighted with receivers. I once wrote that intangibles have no weight on fantasy teams. Well, I guess they do!

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