After bouncing back from a 5-6 record to win their final five games last season and end a five-year playoff drought, the Redskins were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender this year. But at 0-2, the Redskins are looking more like the last place team that they are.
The Redskins certainly expected to be more explosive in new associate head coach Al Saunders' offensive scheme, the NFL's most productive the past five years with the Kansas City Chiefs. Still, with new receivers Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El added to a skill position group that includes Pro Bowl receiver Santana Moss, emerging tight end Chris Cooley and franchise record-setting runner Portis, the Redskins have reached the end zone once in two games.
"It can't get any worse," Moss said. "It has to get better."
Added Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, "We're definitely concerned. We're expected to score a lot of points and it hasn't happened yet. There are some new things in the offense. We learned the scheme throughout the (offseason) so we really have no excuses."
Guard Randy Thomas said the Redskins are used to the predicament in which they find themselves.
"Last year, we had a lot of pressure on us," Thomas said of Washington's 5-6 record as December 2005 began. "Our backs were against the wall. Now we have pressure again. We've got to respond. We can't go 0-3."
Quotes and Notes
--Mark Brunell turned 36 on Monday and is rated 14th among NFC passers, but he's not losing his job as the Redskins' starting quarterback.
"Certainly the quarterback is going to get more focus," coach Joe Gibbs said. "But he's just a part of it and right now, we're not being productive."
Gibbs is committed to Brunell, whom he acquired from Jacksonville in one of the Hall of Fame coach's first moves upon returning to Washington in 2004. Veteran Todd Collins, one of Brunell's backups, hasn't started a game since 1997. The other, youngster Jason Campbell, hasn't played a down.
--Cornerback Shawn Springs, sidelined since having abdominal surgery on Aug. 15, plans to be on the field when the Redskins return to practice tomorrow.
"Each week I get a little closer to where I want to be," Springs said. "The biggest thing is I can do all the movements. I can't do them as quick as I want."
Springs doesn't expect to play until Washington returns home against Jacksonville on Oct. 1.
--Center Casey Rabach said the Redskins have various feelings about their sputtering start.
"Some guys are confused," Rabach said. "Some guys wanted to go home and kick the dog. We've just got to find that swagger that we had and start playing ball like we know we can."