Monday, December 22: Donovan McNabb Not Impressed With Your “Sweep”

By Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

By Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There are some things that Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is very good at. Playing football, for one. Successfully delivering the tongue-twister “microwaveable bowl” during Chunky Soup commercials, for another.

But he’s much, much less good at determining which games his team should win. After losing to the Redskins in Philly way back in the long-gone days of October, McNabb said, “Not taking anything away from them, but there is no way this team is better than us.”

Leaving aside the complete misunderstanding of the phrase “Not taking anything away from them,” this statement was, well, not correct. Even Eagles blog The 700 Level agrees, sort of:
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Redskins v. Eagles – LaRon Landry Postgame

Photo by Brian Murphy

Photo by Brian Murphy

One of the best things about this bittersweet victory was seeing LaRon Landry finally playing the way we’ve hoped for all year. There are number of possible reasons for his performance — Greg Blache played the defense a montage of their best plays that he described as “emotional and attitudinal Viagra,” for one — but the most likely seems to be his health.

“This season I got out to a very slow start with this hamstring injury,” he said, “and I just tried to fight through the whole season with it. Probably, like, six weeks ago that’s when it really started coming around, so I’m looking forward to next year, and we’ve got one more game.”
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Monday, December 15: A Five Minute Diversion

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Well, as usual on Monday mornings, it’s quiet at the Park so far — quieter than usual, actually, as every single person I’ve bumped into has been morbidly grim after yesterday’s loss.

I’ll have updates over the course of the day — Coach Zorn’s press conference, of course, and any players who come in despite the day off — but so far, I really have nothing new to give you beyond what we all saw. If you want to wallow in depressing postgame quotes, Dan Steinberg has you covered. If you’d like to move back to a more hopeful time, a time before 1:00 yesterday, and learn more (much more) about Clinton Portis, make sure you read Barry Svrluga’s insightful profile from Sunday’s Post. Rich Tandler and Hogs Haven both have thought-out, sad postgame musings, if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Or you could amuse yourself with this YouTube video (warning: contains vulgar language) that ProFootballTalk posted. It’s a Cowboys fan heckling ESPN’s Ed Werder, and if you’ve ever felt like the media deliberately drums up controversy around your team, this guy does something you’ve probably always wanted to do. Yes, he’s a Cowboys fan, but in this case I think we’re all on the same side. If nothing else, it’s a good way to get your mind off this depressing Redskins slide for five minutes or so.

The Play Coach Zorn Did Not Call

zornhoodboots
Honestly, Coach Zorn’s press conference was a little disappointing.

Not from a news perspective — he covered all of that perfectly well. He confirmed that Jason Campbell was his starting quarterback, that Shaun Suisham is still the kicker, and reiterated his “execution” points. He characterized Jason Campbell’s performance as “very average,” but hastened to clarify that he meant that there were a number of highs as well as some lows, and he honestly appeared to still have confidence in Campbell. He seemed at times frustrated, at times optimistic. From that point of view, it was about what you’ve come to expect from a post-loss Jim Zorn press conference.

But it was slightly disappointing from the whole quirky-descriptions-and-unique-verbiage perspective that I’ve come to enjoy this season. In that regard, I think the high point of the press conference came when Zorn was trying to explain that he calls plays that he expects to succeed — something he explained in his characteristically colorful style.

“I don’t say that I want you to run ‘Green Right Two Jet FAILURE’. We don’t have that play in our playbook.”

Which was good to hear, for two reasons: first, because it was legitimately funny, and second, because I’m very glad that he’s not deliberately calling FAILURE plays.

(Edited for clarity 8:45 a.m., December 2.)

More on Executing Assignments

Photo by Brian Murphy

Photo by Brian Murphy

When I listened to the postgame chatter yesterday, I was struck by how much everyone stuck to the “execution” line that Coach Zorn established — and that he restated at the start of today’s press conference (noting, in fact, “I know you all are sick of hearing about that”).

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Redskins v. Giants – Some General Postgame Talk

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Here’s how Coach Zorn answered a question about if the Redskins have the players to be successful:

    “Yes, and I can prove it just based on the video from the game. But it won’t matter what we call if we don’t execute. I’m not saying that everything we call should be successful. I expect it to be successful, that’s why I call the play.”

I heard him say this and thought, hm. I can’t imagine that the players are going to feel good about that. I mean, from a certain point of view, that sounds like he’s blaming the players and not himself. Which just goes to show you that I don’t fully understand the team’s mentality. For example, here’s Clinton Portis answering a similar question.

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Monday, November 17: About Last Night…

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Post-game stuff coming throughout the day (Zorn’s news conference will be at 12:25, as usual), but here’s what you missed if you were watching football without the aid of the internet yesterday.

  • Late last week, I talked to John Madden about his videogame and the difficulty presented by Ethan Albright.
  • The GEICO Caveman was on the sidelines.
  • London Fletcher gets the linebackers fired up with an incomprehensible speech. (Literally incomprehensible, although it’s not his fault — the audio is very muddy.)
  • Quarter by quarter updates:
      1 (my initial reaction to the Darrell Green/Art Monk pregame celebration; excitement over a strong start by the Skins)
      2 (enthusiasm dimming, and a questionable challenge)
      3 (the blog makes its Austrian TV debut)
      4 (depression sets in).
  • And the postgame quotes, a litany of people talking about how they need to execute better.

On the whole, it was a really cheery evening.