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Oct. 19, 2009

No thick skin

by Rose Wynn, Online Sports Editor
The most we can say for the Redskins in the 2009 NFL Season is that they have been lucky. Not only have most of their first competitors hung at the bottom of their divisions, but all the teams had no victories to their name when they played the Redskins.

This should have been a major advantage. Washington fans should have been cheering the definitive home team victories every Sunday and Monday evening, but the Skins have barely squeaked by with two victories. Even these wins have been against teams averaging 17-point losses each game, according to the Washington Post. The Redskins have severely struggled to conquer some of the weakest teams, and despite a few dim glimmers of Washington win potential, they won’t be able to compensate for their losses as the season progresses.

Regardless of the Redskins' 2-4 record, fans are disappointed. Washington’s 16-13 victory over Tampa Bay was fraught with errors and faulty plays. Quarterback Jason Campbell had four turnovers, committed two interceptions and lost a fumble. As a whole, the team was uncomfortable with pass protection and struggled desperately for coherence on offense. Even after four games, wide receiver Malcolm Kelly has only six catches.

To say the least, the team is desperate for success. "We're taking wins any way we can get wins right now," center Casey Rabach said in a Washington Post article.

After their Buccaneer struggle, coach Jim Zorn recognized the offensive line as a key development area. "We must get better offensively all around," he said. "In our blocking, continuing to get open and continuing to be disciplined on offense." Zorn even acknowledged his inability to improve such weak offense by hiring veteran NFL assistant Sherman Lewis to provide helpful hints. The offensive consultant, who worked with the Packers during their Superbowl Championship year in 1996, was appointed to provide welcome assistance and a "fresh set of eyes" to a team in dreadful need, according to the Washington Redskin’s home page. Washington's rank as 27th in the league for scoring may have been part of the stimulus for the decision as well.

Rabach recognized the need for such assistance. "We got a ways to go yet, there’s no doubt about it," he admitted.

But, in all honesty, the Redskins haven’t been all fumble and turnover. "We're progressing, I think," Rabach said. Wide receiver Santana Moss agreed. "I can't say we’re not getting better – we are. It just might not look that way from the way we play at times," he said.

In order to pave the way to success, the Redskins must develop a thick skin in order to tough out their many talented future opponents. Since their road to the playoffs is clogged with struggling offense and sloppy fumbles, the 2009 NFL future for Washington looks bleak. The team will need to be able to tough out their losses and remain determined despite their inevitably tarnished record. While a veteran like Lewis may be able to tempt the Redskins away from their downward spiral, the team’s impending Philadelphia Eagles game in two weeks poses a seemingly insurmountable barrier. Hopefully, a new Washington offense will have developed this tough outer layer to protect themselves from further damage, because no skin means no win.

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  • boot on October 20, 2009 at 9:06 PM
    just to clear something up- zorn did not hire smith, snyder did
    nice article rowz
  • locke on October 23, 2009 at 1:50 PM
    the redskins hav the worst o-line in the entire league. everyone blames the jason campbell and jim zorn but the worst parts of this team are the other position on offense
  • ravensfan001 on November 13, 2009 at 8:20 AM
    Redskins arent having a good year, whats the surprise? they havent had a decent run for the playoffs in years. Lets go ravens!
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