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Schein 9: How to fix NFC East's problems

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Adam Schein

Adam Schein hosts the "Sirius Blitz" on Sirius NFL Radio from 11-3 ET. He also co-hosts "Loudmouths" on Sports Net New York every weeknight at 6 ET. He is a weekly columnist, files weekly video reports and makes NFL picks "video style" for FOXSports.com.

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Anyone notice the awful weekend for the NFC East? Can anyone find the Tennessee Titans? Dante Wesley makes me sick. We give Daniel Snyder advice, hold Rex Ryan accountable and hand out the hardware in our Tuesday SCHEIN 9.

1. Foaming at the mouth

Washington 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.
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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.
It's easy to scream "fire Zorn." And we are. Zorn should be put out of his inevitable misery today. But Zorn should've never been hired and put in a position where he had no chance to succeed. What the Redskins need to do is rethink everything in the entire football operations department. Because when you wonder out loud who is replacing Lewis as bingo-caller at his senior center in Detroit the day he replaces Zorn as play-caller in the NFL, you are officially the laughingstock of the NFL. Elsewhere in the NFC East ... The Eagles were humiliated by the lowly Raiders. The fact that John Marshall was able to mix up his defenses and overmatch the Eagles' offensive line is a total embarrassment. We wrote after training camp that the Philly offensive line could hold the Eagles back. I never imagined it would be this bad. I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel up front. And just to ask, Andy Reid knows he can call running plays for Brian Westbrook, right? Plus, I was floored how the Eagles defense didn't make game-changing plays. The Giants crashed back to earth in New Orleans. We knew the injuries to Michael Boley, Kenny Phillips, Chris Canty and Aaron Ross would come back to bite the Giants against the Saints. But we didn't know it would look like a Drew Brees seven-on-seven drill in the backyard. And Eli Manning missed some big first-half throws to Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith. Manning also seemed way too emotional to be home in New Orleans. It was un-Manning-like all around. I'm not worried about Eli. But as Brees showed, there is a major difference between the playmaking Phillips and C.C. Brown. The Giants need a better pass rush and more consistency in the back seven against Arizona. But New York is still an elite team with its talent and coaching. One terrible Sunday doesn't change that. The Cowboys were off, which some may count as a win. But whom do you trust this Sunday, Wade Phillips or Mike Smith? How about Tony Romo or Matt Ryan?

2. Rise and Schein

Eddie 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 Millen

The 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. Kerry Collins is done. Vince Young was done last year when he quit on the team. Nate Washington was never worth the money. Chuck Cecil isn't Jim Schwartz. Tennessee misses Schwartz and Albert Haynesworth. And to think they were talking Super Bowl in August. I never bought into Tennessee as a playoff team, but thought they would at least win eight and be competitive.

4. Backseat coaching

Let'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 anatomy

Call 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

Welcome to the club, Rex Ryan. The Jets coach has done a lot of talking, and he will be under the microscope this week now that his team is 3-3 and just completed a "same old Jets" type of meltdown to the Bills. Ryan didn't have his team ready against the Bills, with the Jets looking uninspired in the first quarter. How do the Jets not sack or pressure tomato can Ryan Fitzpatrick and blow up the beatable and inexperienced Bills offensive line? This was supposed to be a game-changing defense, according to Rex. I don't want to hear about point total. The Jets defense didn't get it done. You are supposed to have the 24-hour rule in the NFL, where you get over a loss and stop celebrating a win. The Jets were talking about the Miami debacle all of last week. Plus, Ryan once again had some questionable game strategy, including challenging a play for six yards on special teams in the fourth quarter, giving away a precious timeout. I couldn't believe he declined a penalty in the first quarter to give Buffalo another chance for a first down/touchdown. His game management has been shaky. The Jets' season is on the line in Oakland this weekend. Let's see what Rex has in store.

7. My Guys

Schein's Guys and Goats

ALTTEXT Who's a Guy and who's a Goat this week? Adam Schein breaks it down.
Louis Murphy: The Raiders receiver sprinted down the field, exerting maximum effort on a block to spring Zach Miller for an 86-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. That's what the Raiders need every week! Tom Brady: So Bill Belichick reminded his team that the Patriots were the only offense not to complete a pass over 30 yards. Tom Brady took it to heart and tossed five touchdowns in the second quarter. Brady had six touchdowns and 380 yards in the Pats' 59-0 pasting of the Titans, before leaving in the third quarter to make snow angels. Drew Brees: There was a stretch in the first half when the Saints quarterback completed 15 straight passes. Brees threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns. And this was against the undefeated Giants! Matt Schaub: The Texans quarterback was outstanding, throwing for four touchdowns and 392 yards in the Houston upset special in Cincy. Mike Smith: The Falcons don't have great personnel on defense, but their hard work and fundamentals are a direct result of their excellent head coach. The Falcons' run defense was sensational in a big win against the Bears.

8. My Goats

Dante Wesley: The Panthers special-teamer made a bush-league hit on Tampa's Clifton Smith when the returner was defenseless. I yelled on Monday morning on Sirius that the league should suspend him. I am glad it did. Jeff Fisher: The Titans are 0-6. The effort was pathetic against New England. They looked totally uninterested in playing football. The coach takes responsibility. Mark Sanchez: I don't want to hear about the cold weather. Sanchez was just dreadful against the Bills, tossing five picks. And his body language was terrible during the game, looking as if he didn't want to be there. Orlando Pace: How does a future Hall of Famer get called for a false start on a fourth-and-1 on the final drive with Jay Cutler and the Bears trying to tie the game in Atlanta? Steve Hauschka: When you are in a dome and you have an opportunity to win a game for Joe Flacco and Ray Rice from 44 yards out, you absolutely have to make that kick at the gun.

Three and out

1. Speaking on Sirius NFL Radio on Monday, Matt Schaub was very pleased with the play of the entire offense — the line, running attack, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels — in the statement win against the Bengals. And Schaub agrees with me on the statement Houston can make against a physical, sound club when the Niners come to town on Sunday. Houston has already lost to the Jets and Jags at home. Houston needs to protect home field to get over .500 and become legit and respected. 2. The Vikings are 6-0, and Brett Favre rightly gets the credit. Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen get due pub as well. But don't overlook the play of big Kevin Williams in the middle of the defense. He had a couple of sacks against Joe Flacco on Sunday. The Minnesota defensive line should be very effective against the Pittsburgh offensive line this Sunday on FOX. 3. Arizona usually isn't a great road team — which is why I give Ken Whisenhunt and Kurt Warner a ton of credit for sucking the life out of the Seahawks early on Sunday, en route to a loud blowout win. You can watch Schein and Chris Carlin on Loud Mouths, weeknights at 6 EST on SNY (DIRECT-TV 639). You can listen to Schein and Rich Gannon on the Sirius Blitz, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST on Sirius NFL Radio 124. Join Schein on NFL Sundays for the Sirius NFL Tailgate show from 9 a.m. to noon EST on Sirius NFL Radio and immediately after the Jets games on SNY for Jets Postgame Live. Adam Schein has joined the Twitter craze. Follow his work on FOXSports.com, SNY, and Sirius NFL Radio at twitter.com/AdamSchein. E-mail Schein at adamjschein@hotmail.com.
Tagged: Falcons, Bills, Bears, Cowboys, Titans, Raiders, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Ravens, Cardinals, Texans, Brett Favre, Todd Collins, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Steve Smith Sr., Adrian Peterson, Brian Westbrook, Andre Johnson, Tony Romo, Clifton Smith, Matt Schaub, Eli Manning, Jared Allen, Jason Campbell, C.C. Brown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Canty, Michael Boley, Nate Washington, Vince Young, Jay Cutler, Owen Daniels, Domenik Hixon, Aaron Ross, Zach Miller, Joe Flacco, Kenny Phillips, Ray Rice, Matt Ryan

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