Keim Time Chat Transcript

While the transcripts are usually for subscribers only, we wanted non subscribers to get a glimpse at the interaction subscribers have 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.

Q: Pleaese tell us about the ambience--seems like there is ALOT of pride and trust in each other for the first time in what seems like forever

John Keim: Not sure if there's more pride, but i think there is a little more trust. I think there's more chemistry--these guys genuinely seem to like one another and that matters on the field. But it also helps to have a consistent kicker. Without that, and LColes, the trust stuff wouldn't matter.

Q: Hey John, what is the mind set of the team following two close tight wins in which Ramsey was basically leveled with regularity. is there a REAL effort being shown to fix our horrid pass blocking?

John Keim: Yes. Samuels was p'od yesterday about it. But they also believe the problems are fixable and attribute much of sunday's woes to crowd noise (though that excuse is wearing thin with them). Only two of the six sacks were allowed by the line, the others were by the backs. they sometimes didn't hear that the play had called, etc...But, yes, it is a concern.

Q: Well, I assume you were there. You know it was loud. I know I was impressed with the noise their crowd was making.

John Keim: It was loud and I believe that contributed to the problems. I also believe Spurrier's play calling early on was part of the problems, too. Way too many deep drops. I was complaining about that most of the first half! Pass protection requires more than just the linemen to help. And they didn't always get it.Not sure Trung is a big help in blitz pickups, either.

Q: should we be worried about Ramseys shoulder?

Q: What specific adjustments did they make to shore up the O line in the second half--I thought the Falcons were going to kill Patrick John Keim: No. Saw Patrick today and he said he's fine, feeling much better (see story on home page)...As for adjustments, they went to more three-step drops and quick hitters, like the receiver screen. They sometimes kept the tight end in, too. And they ran more, using Trung's speed on the edge. All of that helped slow the rush.

Q: It seems that Spurriers Achilles heel this year so far was the protection schemes.

Q: whats Taylor Jacobs status? John Keim: DGM: I would agree. Keep hearing people around the league say they're too easy to beat. But, again, I think much of it can be tamed with proper play calling.... As for Taylor, we still don't know and won't know probably until later this week. He had a tube stuck down into his body to check out his pancreas last friday. he doesn't need surgery, but he's not been cleared yet.

Q: John, what is YOUR feeling on Champ Bailey. Do YOU think he wants to stay here for the right offer, or is he prepared to turn us down no matter what? Also, do YOU think he is worth the contract he is seeking? (18 million bonus, etc)

John Keim: Good questions. I haven't gotten the feeling that he really wants to stay. I know he's frustrated by a lot of things like losing, the way people are treated in the organization. But I also think if they matched his price he'd probably stay. Is he worth it? That's tough to say. He sure was Sunday when he took out a 10 mill wideout. I know the Redskins would be a bit concerned paying that much to one player. My gut feeling is no, not for 18 mill. But a few mill lower and I'd say yes. Problem with the first offer is that it was too split up.

Q: hey John has the Coaching staff shown any concern over the lack of pass rush? It's pretty apparent that we could be in for some long days if that doesn't change some. have they started looking fdor new ways to get to the QB?

John Keim: It's not as big a concern as pass protection, but i agree it is a problem. Bruce Smith seems think it isn't, saying QBs are getting rid of the ball faster. Don't think I buy that. Really, the only way they can help is by blitzing. I have a feeling this will be a season-long problem.

John Keim: But it's something we'll be asking more of this week....

Q: okay...... Hey John, is Spurrier planing on keeping a TE and/or RB back in more to help the pass blocking? Is Betts gonna see more playing time because he's a better pass blocker?

John Keim: He did that more during the rally Sunday. I'm not sure betts will play more because of that, though it would be a good idea. Spurrier really liked what Trung did the other day. Betts also gave up a sack in pass pro, too. But I'll cut the backs some slack because they never heard the audibles. Sometimes, they're thinking run and the play had been changed to a pass.

Q: Are there any specific hot reads for a blitz that all the offense has to be aware of, or does Ramsey have to call it?

John Keim: Good question and I'll find out more about that wed and thursday--had planned to talk to the backs more about their role, etc. Sometimes Patrick calls it, other times the line can call it. The center calls it out, too. And the backs will have their own keys. The problem against a 3-4 at times was the backs were lined up behind the right tackle and the LB from the other side was coming.

Q: How would you grade Fiore so far, and is there any thought as to bringing in Dockery?

John Keim: Fiore has been OK. Better as a run blocker--he and Samuels have done well in that area. (Samuels has more false starts). But he hasn't looked good in pass protection. The problem with bringing in Dockery, to me, is that he struggled with recognition in the preseason. That would only get harder for him now. He needs to sit and learn first. So, no, I haven't heard any talk about him yet. I know that Fiore and OL coach Kim Helton had a long discussion last week,it looked like they were going over some fundamentals. Fiore did not always look pleased...

Q:Hi John, the weekly Barker update question: should he look to buy a house in the DC area or should he still be on a week to week rental?

John Keim: Punters should never buy... But he's safe for now.

Q: I thought he had a great game on Sunday

John Keim: He did. And the Redskins thought so, too. Very accurate punts and I thought that was missing last year. His direction was poor in 2002, much better Sunday.

Q: What happened on Hall's miss?

John Keim: Horrible snap threw off the timing and Hall just hit it low.

Q:How about Morton? Is the lack of anything near a big return due to lack of blocking or Chad not seeing things that might be there?

John Keim: It looks to me like blocking. The nice thing about sitting high up is that you can see what's opening. And what isn't. And I haven't seen many openings. The falcons cover guys did a great job staying in their lanes. The blocking must get much, much better. Look for a story on that in next week's Warpath.

Q: John, we seem to have one of the better, maybe the best back 7 on defense in the league right now. How long can we expect then to cover for a so-so pass rush? Is someone on that DL (Zellner, Upshaw) gonna step it up?

John Keim: I'm not optimistic about the rush, though it looks like this week the Giants can be exploited on the edges (especially if Petitgout is still out, which i don't think he will be). I think the rush can get a little better and it doesn't need to be great. Remember, Upshaw didn't get much work in this summer and he should improve as the season goes on. But here's the thing: the best rusher is 40 years old. That's not good. The pressure will come from timely blitzes, etc.

Q: Was the safety a called delayed blitz, or Armstead just reacting to the play?

John Keim: Armstead reacting to the play. He saw a similar play in the second quarter and made a mental note. When the guard slid to the right to help out, he had his opening. It was a calculated risk. And he knew he had to get there before Johnson threw to the man he was supposed to have (Dunn).

Q: That's an excellent play in that case

John Keim: Such plays stem in part from the extra freedom they have under George Edwards. .... That was an 11-year veteran play. I love Jessie. He adds much more than people realize, i think.

Q:Toomer and Hilliard this week. Is our secondary up for that? And what can we expectr from Collins?

John Keim: It's a good matchup, but the one who needs to be stopped is Shockey, despite what we saw last night...As for Collins, he can be pressured into mistakes. If they give him time, he'll pick them apart. He's not the most accurate passer, but he can get hot and he does have weapons. Forcing him to move a little bit will be the key.

Q: Sorry I was late to the chat. What's your take on the Giants' reaction to the loss to Dallas? Will they be extra fired up for us, or will it work to our advantage?

John Keim: Hard to say. But the Giants react well to adversity. Here's the thing: Dallas exploited some weaknesses, especially along the line. And they moved the ball on NY, using misdirection runs and plays...My feeling is this: any team that loses to Dallas is capable of losing two in a row.

John Keim: Got time for two more!

Q: Skins did a pretty good job adjusting to Crumpler Sunday. Do you think Shockey will present that much of a problem and why?

John Keim: He's a bit faster. Also, Shockey has more talent around him, making him a bigger threat. Peerless Price was the only other threat to worry about and Champ took care of him, allowing Ohalete and Armstead to double Crumpler at times. Harder to do that against Shockey.

Q: THere was talk at the end of last season that Ohalete was taking risks, and consequently was getting burned. And even after we got Bowen, it appears that our initial preference was to draft Doss - not a vote of confidence for him. Has Iffy come around, and are the coaches happier with his play?

John Keim: So far, yes. Ohalete realized he had to take fewer risks. In his mind he's a playmaker, but there's a difference between making plays and blowing them. He's toned that down, but I still worry about him on some play-action bootlegs, etc...But, for now, they seem happy. Bowen has really helped, too, because he doesn't let anyone get past him and he hits hard, even on incompletions. Good pickup....

John Keim: Thanks everyone! As usual, good questions. You have no idea how much your questions help me think about things and sometimes even lead to story ideas! Keep them coming and we'll talk next week!

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