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Sept. 28, 2004

Brunell, Skins' offense a major disiappointment

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
With their 1-2 start, the Redskins once again are a disappointment out of the gate. One of their most glaring problems may be at quarterback. Mark Brunell was given a six-year, $40 million contract by Dan Snyder, an awful lot of years and money for a 33-year-old QB who had been squeezed out of Jacksonville in favor of Byron Leftwich. Now, he’s the starter here, and what a mistake that signing may turn out to be.

The offense has put up no more than 18 points in any of the three games this year, and Brunell, save for a nice run at the end of the game last night, has been one of the key reasons why. Against Dallas, Washington’s offense was horrid in the first half, while Brunell was just 6-14, a putrid 2-10 in the first quarter.

With the team in last place with horrendous offensive point totals the first three games, it’s fair to ponder how Washington plans to, and if they even can, put up big point totals to beat teams like the Packers, Eagles and Vikings this year. Brunell played with a sore hamstring, and that was valiant, but he seems like he is scared to stand in the pocket for more than two seconds all season long. Michael Vick, he is not. He had such happy feet last night, one might wonder if they’re on Zoloft.

And really, it’s not fair just to pick on Brunell. Laveranues Coles, the big free-agent pickup from 2003, has had an inexplicable inability (say that five times fast) to catch even the best passes. There were multiple drops in the first half last night by the normally solid receiver, ones that killed any noise from the crowd, and blew apart drives.

Still, though, there were numerous throws against Dallas by Brunell that must have left Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel scratching their heads. Brunell seemed to have major trouble noticing the rush, and on numerous occasions overthrew his receiver by at least ten yards. This play was not an aberration, either. In the Redskins’ lone win of the season, during Week One against Tampa Bay, Brunell threw for just 126 yards. 126!

His arm and confidence in the pocket has been worse than one would expect out of the starting quarterback from some small Division I-A college, like Eastern Carolina (I didn’t even know there was an East Carolina). These past three weeks he has taken a drop in stature that even Oscar de la Hoya would envy.

Another tidbit worth noting is that 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde and 34-year-old Kurt Warner, two other free agents, quarterback the Cowboys and Giants, the two teams that have beaten Washington. The Redskins, who took Brunell instead, could have snatched one of these two up. Brunell likely would be benched, but everyone remembers Week Two’s three-interception debacle by Patrick Ramsey.

Cleveland is next for Washington, a key game early in the year. 13 games is a lot of time to right the ship, but if the offense continues to struggle like it has, the S.S. Redskins is in danger of capsizing.

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  • giants fan on September 28, 2004
    though i am a giants fan, the redskins offense cannot be considered a complete disappointment.

    a. Clinton Portis, aside from his Week 2 disaster, went over 100 yards in both Week 1 and Week 3.

    b. Rod Gardner caught 2 TDs against the Cowboys, going for over 160 yards.

    c. The injury to RT Jon Jansen, a Pro Bowl caliber tackle, has left the Redskins with a starting lineman who is 41 years old. Give Brunell a break. He's going to get leveled alot this year from the right side, guaranteed.

    Besides that, the Giants are the surprise of the year and could be headed to... wait nevermind. No one in this division can beat the eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles. Have you seen their weapons?

    But I digress. Redskins: guaranteed 4th place finish, a game or two behind my g-men.

    I'm out to the tune of "Hail to the Chief."

    Oh, and cut down on the cheesy Sportscenter-esque catchphrases. They should only be used sparingly.
  • hail to the redskins on September 30, 2004
    youre wrong the giants aresome booty and clinton had 67 in week 2
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