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Schein 9: How to fix NFC East's problems
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1. Foaming at the mouthWashington Redskins, meet rock bottom. So let me get this straight: 24 hours after a demoralizing loss to the winless Chiefs, Washington thinks it is the right thing to do to bench Jim Zorn as the play-caller but leave him as head coach. Only Daniel Snyder can make a powerless Zorn even less respected in his own locker room. And they replace Zorn with Sherman Lewis, who was calling bingo games in September. You can't make this stuff up. If you are going to take away the play-calling duties midway, fire Zorn altogether! Sherman Lewis isn't remotely up to speed on what the Redskins are running and needs to be coached up by the coaches. This all stems from the original decision to hire Zorn. Here's what I penned on FOXSports.com in February 2008 after the hire: It ranks as the single worst hire we've seen in the NFL in years. Zorn has no NFL head coaching experience. He has no NFL coordinator experience. He was plucked by meddlesome owner Daniel Snyder to be the offensive coordinator a few weeks ago. I thought Zorn was a terrible hire as offensive coordinator. When you hire an offensive coordinator before a head coach, that's just plain dumb. When you name that guy the head coach after being turned down by bright men who want to hire their own assistants, that's even worse. This was doomed from the start. Now, I wrote on FOXSports.com in August when I returned from my training camp tour in Washington that I fully believed Mike Shanahan would be the next coach of the 'Skins. And I still think that. And you can factor in Mike Holmgren or Jon Gruden if you want. They would equal instant credibility. But the discussion brings us full circle to the real problem in Washington. His name is Daniel Snyder. The sad thing is, I know Snyder wants to win. He just doesn't know how. Dan, you don't have to shell out big bucks for my advice. It's free. What the Redskins need is a general manager and then for Snyder to lock himself in the closet when it comes to all football matters. This Washington situation is akin to when the Falcons hit rock bottom post-Vick and Bobby Petrino quitting like a coward. The Redskins need to find the next Tom Dimitroff. Current VP Vinny Cerrato is a fine media personality, but not a talent evaluator. There are guys out there who can be the next Dimitroff. Look at the successful teams that build through the draft and interview their top guys. Talk to the Eagles' Tom Heckert, Baltimore's Eric DeCosta, the Colts' Chris Polian, the Giants' Marc Ross or Kevin Abrams, Steve Keim in Arizona or George Kokinis in Cleveland (he's the general manager but doesn't have full autonomy and did a remarkable job in Baltimore). Find someone who isn't on this short list. Spending money haphazardly isn't how you win. It's about the draft, savvy trades and free agency. It's not about trading a second-round pick that could've been spent on a young right tackle or guard for Jason Taylor. Washington has major issues across the board, with legit question marks at every single position. This is not a quick fix.
2. Rise and ScheinEddie Royal was majestic on special teams against the Chargers, with a pair of back-breaking returns for Denver, helping Josh McDaniels and the Broncos improve to 6-0. And the effort of Elvis Dumervil getting to Philip Rivers was sensational. McDaniels and the Broncos are for real. This is a hard-working, confident team that might have just won the AFC West Monday night. Who was that moron who thought Denver was a last-place team during the preseason? Brad Childress put his neck on the line with the play for Brett Favre so late in the game. The Vikes are 6-0. Childress deserves the credit. Bill Belichick reminded all of us on Sunday that the AFC still runs through New England.
3. Hide the women, children and Matt MillenThe Jets' loss to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills was embarrassing. The Eagles' loss in Oakland was worse. But nothing was quite like the Titans' no-show in the snow in New England. This team looks as if it quit. I never thought I'd write that about a Jeff Fisher-coached club. This is an unwatchable disaster.
4. Backseat coachingLet's just call it 'Norv being Norv' when Chargers coach Norv Turner made two mistakes on one third-down play in the first half. How do you put in Darren Sproles instead of LaDainian Tomlinson? And on third down, you need to put the ball in Philip Rivers' hands instead of running up the gut with Sproles! I had no problem with Tom Coughlin trying to put points on the board at the end of the first half. It ended in a turnover and more New Orleans points, but you had to be aggressive in that game. Playing Todd Collins at the half was a no-brainer in Washington. I'd start Jason Campbell in Week 7. I could not believe Brad Childress was so conservative, holding for a field goal on Minnesota's final possession.
5. Schein's anatomyCall it a devastating Week 6 in the NFL for injuries to the Bengals, Jets and Seahawks. Antwan Odom is done for the year. He was having a sensational season sacking and putting pressure on the quarterback. This is a major blow that I don't think Cincy can recover from. Kris Jenkins tore his ACL and is on the Jets' IR. He was the most indispensible player on the team with his ability to dominate in the middle. This completely changes the Jets defense. Lofa Tatupu has a partial tear of his left pectoral muscle. Jim Mora says there is a chance he can return this year. I'd be skeptical of that. Tatupu is the pulse of the Seattle defense.
6. Weekly hot seat
7. My Guys
Schein's Guys and Goats
Who's a Guy and who's a Goat this week? Adam Schein |