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.

Q: What's the mood?

John Keim: We'll know better tomorrow when the players return after the day off...But Monday at least a few were p-od, especially LaVar. There have been teams in the past where they didn't seem to take losing this bad.

Q: any consensus on what happened in overtime? where did the defense go wrong?

John Keim: A couple missed tackles. Also, another time there was trouble getting the call in and some confusion, which led to one of Tiki's long runs. And LaVar admitted after the game that he had blown that bootleg to the H-back. Those were the types of mistakes that drove Marvin nuts about LaVar. But give Arrington credit: he took the blame, as he should.

Q: Is Taylor Jacobs ready to play and if so, will he be insertedT as the #3 receiver?

John Keim: He was cleared today by one doctor, but still awaiting the results of one last test. It looks like he'll play.I doubt he'd be the No. 3 given how much time he's missed and how McCants has played at times. McCants gives them a nice target in the red zone, almost giving them what a tight end gives other teams.

Q: What's with the Dalton deactivation?

John Keim: Good question. That surprised me, too, and to be honest I haven't talked to anyone yet about that. I've been trying to get the D-line coach, but he was in meetings most of today. Will find out tomorrow; it's on my list....

Q: John how serious is the team taking the amount of penalties. Are the players and coaches both taking it seriously? Also has any thought gone toward doing what Gibbs did and bring in a ref at practice?

John Keim: They had refs at practice this summer. Not as much as Norv and Marty did, however. They're taking it serious. But I don't know if it will change until players tell J.Trotter that that was a stupid penalty. Or until they tell McCants that was a boneheaded move. The players almost need to police it at this point. Spurrier might talk about it, but that clearly hasn't helped. Fining isn't the answer. I think the players need to be embarrassed by either their peers or the coaches. If they play this dumb the rest of the season, they'll blow this season. They have a chance for a fun year, but not with all these stupid penalties.

Q: So which players can step up and be the leaders when dealing with penalties? Do you see Janson or Lavar doing it. After all Janson had I think 4 penalties on him.

John Keim: That's the problem: it's everyone. Even Bruce has had a few offsides penalties. But to me that's not nearly as bad as the other ones. Bruce is trying to get a jump to make a play, Trotter and McCants made boneheaded decisions...I think guys like Bruce and Armstead and Coles and Jansen need to say things. I wouldn't expect the penalties to continue with Jansen.

Q: On the issue of emotion, this year I've been happy to see the fire we've been lacking for a while. But in the 1st half it seemed that we were so emotionally charged that we made too many errors, letting things get out of hand. Do you think there could be work on keeping that fire while maintaining focus on winning the game?

John Keim: I wouldn't want them to lose any of that fire. I think that's what'll make them good in the end. But they just need to play smarter. McCants' penalty wasn't about being too UP, so to speak. It was just dumb. And Trotter's came late in the first half. To me, the biggest thing is being accountable to your teammates. When they tell you it's unacceptable, that's when it starts to end.

Q: Was the pass to Foss that set up the game-winning FG the result of one of those freelance plays by Laver that wouldn't have been allowed under Lewis?

Q: Has anything been said about kick return blocking? This team doesn't seem to set up the wedge very well. So you know if we'll do anything to improve on that?

Q: So basically John you seem to be saying we need some one to be the veteran leader , who is respected enough to have other players listen to them.

John Keim: Rich, Yes that's the one I was talking about. Marvin would have chewed him out big time for that one. What Armstead did the week before was a calculated risk. What Arrington did was a high-risk gamble. It was poor recognition.

John Keim: WarpathWest...The kick return blockers and Morton are still getting in sync. They're not used to his dashing style, they're more used to Betts' straight-ahead.Also, teams have done a good job crossing up their blocking by managing to get linebackers running into receivers or running backs. That's a mismatch...Morton is frustrated but he's too good not to break one soon.

John Keim: Berrym, yes, that's what I'm saying. They have players who are respected, but they need a guy on the field who's not afraid to say: that was stupid. I think Armstead is that guy on defense. Everyone respects Jessie and he's not afraid to speak his mind.

Q: Haven't heard much about Randy Thomas--That's usually good for an o-lineman, how's he doing?

John Keim: He seems to be doing OK. He's gotten a bit steadier each week. You're right: it's always good when you don't hear someone's number called. About the only thing he did wrong the other night was step on Ramsey's foot as he backed away from center.

Q: I read somewhere that alot of the poor pass protection and running stalemates have been attributed to the audible calls at the line of scrimmage and not everyone being on the same page as far as blocking schemes go. Us that being worked on Is that being worked on?

John Keim: Part of that stemmed from the Atlanta game when the backs couldn't hear the audibles. That didn't seem to be a problem the other night.

Q: I saw Ramsey getting dressed after the game and he was moving pretty slowly. Will he be able to stand up if he keeps getting hit like he has been?

John Keim: No. But he's so tough he'll take the pounding for a while...It was better Sunday than against the Falcons. But he can only take so much pounding.

Q: I didn't hear anything from Hall either. Did he have any thing to say about his misses?

John Keim: Not really. I think people cut him slack because he'd been so good before Sunday. Also, the penalties took him off he hook so after the game that's all the reporters wanted to ask about.... 18:10:01 Q: Warpath has a good point--alot of the problems with penalties and poor blocking seem to be coming on the audible calls. Have they been addressing this in practice?

John Keim: They always work on audible calls etc., in practice. Again, most of those problems occured in Atlanta. They did a better job of that against New York...But, I agree, they still need to get better with this and they would agree as well.

Q: Did anyone find it odd that the Pats claimed Wilbert Brown?

John Keim: To me, that's the biggest example of a team wanting to grill someone for info... Can't imagine why they'd want him for anything else.

Q: Joe Gibbs remarked today that in a situation like the Skins are in there is little a coach needs to do because the loss hammers the point to the players more than anything. Do you think Spurrier sees it the same way? 18:16:05 John Keim: I'd say he does. He talked about it to the players, but it also seems that he believes these guys are pros and it's up to them to be accountable to one another. That's how the Gibbs' teams were.

Q: John, did the defense have any trouble communicating or getting plays i in the 1st half of the game?

John Keim: Didn't hear anything about that. But Arrington said that there are times when a guy might be lined up wrong and doesn't make the proper adjustment. Or someone else must tell him. That's where the communication part comes into play...

Q: I heard Spurrier say Ramsey yelled at him on the sideline during the game, but he didn't say why PR was upset. Do you know?

John Keim: No. But I know that stuff happens every so often. Patrick is a nice guy, but he's ultra-competitive, too.

Q: On a fashion note, do you have any idea what we'll be wearing against New England? :)

John Keim: I assume all-white again...Not sure what I'll wear yet!

Q: Assuming Taylor Jacobs does return to the fold, would you anticipate some 4 and 5 receiver packages and a stronger vertical game?

Q: John against a hard blitzing agressive defense like NE do you see us using shorter drops for Ramsey and going with more protection?

John Keim: WW: Yes. I would expect that. I know Steve wants to keep five receivers active this week...

John Keim: Berrym: Yes, that'swhat they should do. New England will blitz them like crazy up the middle...I kept grumbling during the Atlanta game because they kept using long drops. The way to beat them is to use short drops and get it out quick, and hit them with draws and counters. Then hit them deep.

Q: How is Fred Smoot doing?

John Keim: Same us usual. Not sure what that means, though....

Q: concussion wise

John Keim: No, I mean not sure what same as usual means for Smoot. He's very unusual....he seems OK

Q: I also view NE as a good test for Ramsey in reading defenses because they hide what they are doing pretty well. Do you think Ramsey is up for this challenge?

John Keim: Yes. He will get confused at times because Belichick is a strong defensive mind...But Ramsey excels at hanging in there and staying strong-minded. Even if he struggles he's capable of rallying this team with a hot quarter....He'll need that quality Sunday.

John Keim: Got time for two more!!

Q: That 2 point conversion was a thing of beauty--they really have worked around his mobility issues well.

Q: Who do you think our best blocking back is, and do you think we're suffering in that department?

John Keim: Yes they have. Patrick also does a great job at keeping his eyes downfield as he slides in the pocket. That's been evident from his first game...

John Keim: Bryan Johnson does an OK job in that area, but he's small for a blocking back. They could do better, but the running game has worked well so far....

John Keim: One more??

Q: A couple of times this secondary has given up big plays on blitzes. Are they getting on some of these guys not not lett receivers get behind them?

Q: and thanks for your time John, this has been awesome! :)

John Keim: In some cases the coaches won't say much because the player knows what they did wrong. Like in Bailey's case, he just got beat. But when it's Jimoh's play against Atlanta, that's when they get on them....

Q: Thanks again to John and Stephan

John Keim: Ok, guys. My pleasure and thanks for the good questions as usual...Doggmatica, sorry we missed you. See you guys next week!


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories