Keim Time: Chat Transcript

Another great reason to join WarpathInsiders.com, is the live interaction with Warpath Editor John Keim. John answers your questions, and puts what is going on at Redskins Park in a perspective the fan can understand. This will be a weekly chat for subscribers every Tuesday evening.

John Keim: Hello. Small gathering, but I'll take questions when you're ready.

Monkster: Are they hard at work beefing up the pass rush? Doug seems easy to rattle.

John Keim: I agree. But they'll have to blitz to get pressure consistently. I'm not sold yet on the line's ability to rush the passer. They have some quickness with Regan, Bruce and Peppi in at the same time. But it's a problem area...Thing is, the Falcons don't have many people who can make them pay. Champ should be able to cover Price. I worry about Crumpler.

UNMfan: John, how is the team feeling heading into Atlanta week? Any sense of overconfidence?

John Keim: No, no sense of overconfidence. When you've made the playoffs once since 1992, that's not an issue. At least not in the second game. They realize this is a golden opportunity. They also know it will be hard to win on the road. That slays any thoughts of overconfidence. But I'd say the players are very, very upbeat.

UNMfan: Excellent!

UNMfan: Silly question: who do you think is the funniest guy on the team?

John Keim: Not silly at all. Smoot's funny, mainly because he never shuts up. When he sat out with heat symptoms this camp, I'd look at him on the sidelines, hear him say something and watch all the players around him laugh..Gardner's funny, too-- when you can understand him (very Southern accent). Jansen has a very dry sense of humor, which I like.

Stephan: Actually for you it was a wet sense of humor John

John Keim: Very good!

UNMfan: That was a funny story...

John Keim: And I got a new cell phone out of it. Not bad.

UNMfan: ha ha

Monkster: Sonny J gently chided SOS this week for their snap count being too predictable. Can they fix this in a noisy Falcon arena?

UNMfan: (That's interesting...)

Stephan: and you sold the old one to some jansen cravzed fan on ebay fo r400 bucks right?

John Keim: I hope so. Usually in a dome you're not always going on snap counts, more on the ball's movement, etc... But that's a good point and one Sonny would pick up on...

John Keim: That's a good idea, Stephan.

Stephan: I want half

John Keim: of the phone, or the cash?

Rat Boy: Have him sign the phone with a sharpie first John.

SteelCity: Tampa uses cover 2 a lot, Skins have some good DB's .. woulkd they play cover 2 more since they see the success other teams have in using in ?

UNMfan: Don't our guys kind of stink in zone coverage?

John Keim: Not necessarily. Belichick made that defense famous with the Giants and Dungy had a lot of success with it before, too. So it's not new. And the Redskins have had success playing other defenses. Also, minus a pass rush, I think you need to change things up more in the secondary...

John Keim: I like them better in man, too.

John Keim: But you can play man in cover 2.

berrym: John thanks for coming in always good to talk. Is there any concern from the coaches on Ramsey's great 1st half and poor 2nd half last week?

Stephan: good question berry

John Keim: No concern. His first half was so good and they liked how he responded at the end of the game. Good players come through when needed; that's what he did. He could have done a few things better, but the protection wasn't great, either. But they also know to be prepared for up and down halves from him; he's still growing.

dj_stouty: Spurrier indicated that the coaches knew Betts would get more carries, since his running style fit best against the Jets. In your opinion, has the coaching staff decided if Trung or Betts is more likely to get the majority of the carries against a 3-4 defense like the Falcons has?

John Keim: They'll go by feel and who has the hot hand (or foot, so to speak!). Dallas had success using quick backs and power backs at times the other day. I prefer Betts' decisive style over Trung's and I think that style always works best no matter who you're facing.

Stephan: John will Terrell see any playing time Sunday or is he as good as gone?

John Keim: He might be active, but this could be his last chance. The coaching staff has given him a few reprieves, but the front office thinks he's had enough chances. As much as I like David (one of then nicest guys on the team), I would agree.

berrym: On the same note about RBs is there any indication that Betts or Trung are getting along.Trung seemed very down about not getting more time. Also Trungs pass blocking didn't look that great last game any concerns there?

John Keim: Good point, Berry. Against a 3-4, pass protection is vital. It's usually harder than against a 4-3 because of all the different guys they can send. ...The players say they're getting along and I have no reason to doubt it. Yes, Trung seemed disappointed with his amount of carries, but he should have been. I have no problems with that.

John Keim: It's harder for a back, I should say. More to read.

UNMfan: A little change of direction: Has the atmosphere at the 'Skins' offices changed much since the firing of that Outreach/Relations lady that caused such an uproar a few months ago?

John Keim: A little bit. I will say, some players remain stung by it (including Champ). He's not moping, but for some they just don't like the way people are treated. From my end not much has changed. Snyder has tried to reach out a little more to the media and even hosted us for an off-the-record dinner a week ago.

powerpro: hey John, Did Smoot have anything to say about that one play, and does he realise this is his make or break year?

John Keim: As for Smoot, not much was made of that play (the catch by Conway, I assume). Smoot realizes this is a big year for him. He lifted more weights and studied more, so he says. But he still has problems with double moves and was guarding against that vs. Conway, it looked like. Played him cautiously.

berrym: How has Snyder's relationship been with Spurrier since the Danny W. cut? Any tension there?

John Keim: I haven't seen them do a lot of fraternizing in a while. That's not Spurrier's style (I saw Dan and Marty interact much, much more). The word around the league is that Spurrier isn't happy coaching in the NFL, but he's also used to winning. If they win, that'll make him happy.

Monkster: I was impressed with Scott Cloman in preseason. Is he continuing to do well in practice?

John Keim: We can no longer watch practice, except for the first 20 minutes, so it's hard to say. Cloman did well in practices this summer and is a good practice squader. But he didn't make enough plays nor is he fast enough, which is why he was cut. I like him. Good guy. Hard working.

Rich: Hi, John. Is the DL going to continue to rotate in the middle or is anyone emerging there?

John Keim: They'll continue to rotate. I think Dalton will be more of a factor once he learns the defense better. I liked his quickness against Jacksonville and his leverage was good. I want to see more of him.

powerpro: You say the word around the league is that Spurrier isn't happy coaching in the NFL, that worries me a wee bit, have you seen any evidence of it, or is it just a rumour?

Rich: What's Flemister's injury status? Might this give Royal the chance he needs?

John Keim: Spurrier doesn't always look happy. But, again, he's used to being on top. I think some of it is rumor, some of it isn't. I can't imagine he'd bolt if they were winning so I wouldn't worry about it yet.

John Keim: Flemister is not expected to play, but that could change later in the week. He says he'll be ready. Royal will get more action, obviously. he did pretty well against the Jets, with two nice catches. Kevin Ware would be promoted off the practice squad.

berrym: Any insider news about Champ? You have said before that Champ may not want to be in DC any more. How bad does our FO want him back and how much do you really think Champ wants to stay?

Rich: Back to the TE's, so if Zeron is out on Sunday, a TE will be activated from the practice squad? Who might be let go to make room?

John Keim: I think the FO wants him back, to a point. I'm not sure they're convinced it's best to pay one player that much money....My sense is that Champ wants to go. He hasn't told me that, but others who have talked to him have indicated as much. Tired of losing; tired of the atmosphere. This is a different situation than what Jansen went through. Then, you always knew the player wanted to stay...But there's always a way for this to work: meet the demands, or come close. That hasn't happened yet.

John Keim: Kevin Ware would be activated. Not sure who would be cut.

Monkster: ny news behind the new of the Lawyer Milloy tampering bruhaha?

John Keim: Not really. I think that'll be tough because Milloy now denies it and the Redskins deny it.

Rich: How about Barker? He seemed to revert to his '02 form after saving his job with one good preseason game. How much rope does he have?

John Keim: Not much. He had very little rope in the preseason. Another game like that and I'd be surprised if someone else isn't at least brought in for a midweek workout. He's not on thick ice.

John Keim: I know the coaches were very, very upset with his first preseason game and one said they didn't want to live through last year again. If that sentiment applies in the preseason, it certainly applies after one regular season game.

Monkster: Are there any good alternates out there (punters)?

John Keim: To be honest, I haven't formulated a list. I know special teams coach Mike Stock liked Andy Groom at one point. I know I'll be hearing more about this as the week goes on.

berrym: On a side note what have the players especially Ramsey been saying about Lisa G's post game interview? I know she is fellow media and all but boy did she sound goofy?

John Keim: I haven't heard much about it, though a few of us were laughing about it today. I like watching her with the sound turned down.

Rich: Chris Samuels hasn't looked like the Pro-Bowler he was in '01 last year and in this first game. Is there any concern about him?

John Keim: Not yet. He only allowed one sack the other night. Abraham moved around quite a bit and beat Jansen one time and came up the middle on a stunt another time. Samuels finished strong in '02 and was beat up in the first half of last season...If he has problems against lesser ends, I'd worry. But Abraham is an underrated player. Very dangerous end.

powerpro: About Ramseys footwork, how much of an emphasis has been put on it, Rippen seemed to do pretty good without

John Keim: They focused a lot on it and always have. I'll say this: one QB who ignored footwork was Jeff George. 'Nuff said. In this offense, when it's based on timing, you must have good footwork so it doesn't screw up the timing with receivers. Also, the more comfy you are in the offense, the more other things settle down and come naturally. I think that's happening with his footwork, too.

berrym: After watching the lst game is this team better,worse or about where you thought it would be from a talent and ability point of view?

John Keim: I think they're still what I thought they were. The Jets are different minus Pennington. I thought the DT's played better than expected, but they also did what they had done in the final three preseason games. Nothing really surprised me or caused me to change my mind. I still think they're in that cluster of teams with a chance to make the playoffs, but they must show a pass rush at some point.

John Keim: And Barker must punt better. Little things like bad punts will hurt them.. I did like the way the defense responded to being put in bad situations..

Monkster: Is Snyder a loner within the owner's ranks, or does he have some allies?

John Keim: Dan has a few allies. he's close to Denver's Pat Bowlen, for one. I don't get the sense that Dan is ultra populer, but I wouldn't expect that. Dan is almost by nature a loner and uncomfortable in certain settings.

berrym: I liked our defensive response as well, but against good offenses and we would have been toast. IMHO. That worries me a bit.

John Keim: I would agree. But they did stop a good back in Curtis Martin (who looked slower than usual). That's why the pass rush will become vital against a Kerry Collins, etc..

Rich: Taglibue talked about the possibility of an 18-game regular season and two exhibitions. Any talk around Redskins Park about that and what's your view on whether it might happen or not.

John Keim: I doubt it will happen any time soon. They'd have to work out new contracts with the players' and the union. But the players would be all for it. So would I. I love the season and having to watch four exhibition games becomes boring. I also don't like how much they charge fans for these games.

John Keim: Got time for a couple more questions!

powerpro: who, if any of the players are as passionate about beating the Cowgirls as we are?

John Keim: Chris Samuels. No one hates them more than he does.

berrym: Alot has been made about SonnyJ and Snyder being tight. How much influence does Sonny have with Dan S.?

powerpro: he's my man then

John Keim: I think Sonny has more influence than any other broadcaster in the league. He's as much a sounding board as anything and someone for dan to talk to. Vinny obviously has the most say, however.

berrym: John the one thing about the FNG is that it seems to have problems with the blitz. Does Spurrer recognize this and have you seen him make any adjustments?

John Keim: Nothing gets a rise out of Spurrier more than questions about that. Against the Jets they seemed to use shorter drops in the first half and were more balanced. That's when his offense works best--when the pass sets up the run, but when it's almost 50-50.

Rich: Vinny gets a lot of heat from the media and, particularly, the fans on the board here. Do you think it's justified or is he good at his job, in your opinion?

John Keim: As for Vinny, his rep around the league isn't so great. But he's like a lot of people: he's made some good moves and some bad. This past offseason went well, though Joe Mendes had something to do with that, too. I think the next couple years will make or break Vinny. He's finally the only one in control in the front office; all the decisions, good or bad, are on him. Vinny is good at scouting talent.

John Keim: By the way, Vinny is much more relaxed than he's ever been here and I think that will help. I wouldn't give up on him yet.

John Keim: Got time for one more.....

berrym: Are you saying keeping a balance is one adjustment you have seen? Also doesn't the shorter drop take away the long pass Spurrier loves?es?

John Keim: They had similar games a year ago--look at the Rams win...Yes, the shorter drops take away some of that. But it keeps his QB healthy. When he takes 5-7 step drops all the time, he gets killed. Spurrier learned that lesson against the Saints.

Monkster: Many, many thanks John...you made my evening. And thanks Stephan, I plan to join Insider

John Keim: Gotta go. Thanks for the good questions. You guys always help me think of things from a different point of view. Keep them coming! And spread the word about the chats so we can have even more show up next week!


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