Spotlight on Spurrier

Well, at least he didn't try to do what the Democrats in Washington did earlier in the week; Steve Spurrier didn't try to put a nice spin on an ugly loss.

"Obviously we threw the ball too much," Spurrier said the day after the Redskins' loss to Jacksonville. "Every time you lose and you throw more than you run, you throw too much. We didn't really plan on it going that way."

"Maybe sometimes I have more confidence in our passing attack than I should have," Spurrier said. "I've seen our guys throw and catch in practice pretty well. We see the coverages they're running, and we think we've got some good plays on, but we're not quite hitting the way I think we're capable.

"So maybe I need to temper my confidence."

Crossing the opponent up is one thing, this was another entirely. After calling about an equal number of runs and passes in Washington's three previous games—two of them wins—this one was all gun and no fun. It doesn't get much more lopsided in favor of the air game than the 15 runs vs. 54 passes (50 attempts and four sacks) that the Redskins ran on Sunday.

What made this even more curious was the fact that the Jags came into the game ranked among the league's worst run defenses, allowing an average of over 140 yards a game.

And, while the Redskins played catch up during the second half, you really can't point to that as a reason for the lopsided ratio of topside calls. After their opening drive, during which the Redskins scored a touchdown, they were either ahead or within a field goal the entire first half. Shane Matthews dropped back to pass on 18 of the 20 plays following his 20-yard touchdown pass to Rod Gardener in the first quarter.

So was it the fact that he was returning to Florida, the state where he enjoyed his legendary success as a player and a coach? Did he have a desire to show the fans in the Sunshine State the full scope of his offensive genius?

The Ballcoach dismissed such assertions with an unconvincing "No, I don't think that had anything to do with it.

When all else fails in explaining away a questionable game plan, blame the weather. The unusual thing here was that the coach was saying that the weather was too good.

"What did have something to do with it was what a beautiful night it was. We've had such perfect weather to throw the ball, it's unbelievable," said Spurrier.

With the possible exception of the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas—where the late November climate could produce everything from mild temperatures to ice storms—Washington will play its remaining games north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Perhaps that will mean that the weather will be better: cold, maybe rainy or snowing.

Redskins weather.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. To get details on this unique book, which chronicles all 925 games the Redskins have ever played, go to http://www.redskinsatoz.com


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