Redskins replay provides no better viewing

Schottenheimer says performance level bad for players and coaches

Pro Football

September 26, 2001|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. -- If having to witness the Washington Redskins get thrashed, 37-0, live and in person Monday night wasn't bad enough for coach Marty Schottenheimer, watching game films yesterday was like being forced to take in an all-day screening of Ishtar.

But while the 1987 Dustin Hoffman-Warren Beatty film lives on in movie infamy, Schottenheimer is hoping that the Redskins' reviews don't get any worse after the thrashing administered by the Packers in Green Bay.

"The performance level, in every regard, starting with me, the staff and the players alike ... has got to get better. As I said [Monday], I'm disappointed in the way we performed," Schottenheimer said yesterday at Redskin Park. "The pieces have not fallen in place the way we would like to think they could or should. Thus, we find ourselves, two weeks in a row, on the short end. The one thing we know for certain is there's a lot of work that needs to be done. We're at that task now."

Schottenheimer, whose team has lost its first two games for the first time in his NFL head coaching career, seemed to have been at a loss to declare where the Redskins are so deficient, because they seem to be bad everywhere.

"It [good play] is happening at times, but it's not happening enough. We're not playing well enough on defense or offense, we're not doing a good enough job in the kicking game and I'm not coaching them well enough," Schottenheimer said. "We're just going to have to keep battling away at the thing, because I'll tell you one thing: We're going to find a way to make it work.

"The worst thing that Marty Schottenheimer can do is, in this circumstance after two regular-season games, abandon the things I believe in. And I will not do that."

The most visible weakness is the offense, where Washington is ranked last in the NFL. The team could only muster 137 net yards Monday, for a paltry 3.1 yards per play, with only eight first downs.

Schottenheimer had good things to say about running back Stephen Davis, who rushed for 65 yards on 13 carries, but pointed to dropped passes, penalties and missed assignments as bugaboos.

Schottenheimer deftly skipped around direct questions about the performance of quarterback Jeff George, who was 15-for-24 for 102 yards and an interception, and would not declare him the starter for Sunday's home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving the door open for former Raven Tony Banks to get the start.

While George's completion percentage Monday was much improved from his 8-for-18 performance against the San Diego Chargers, and his quarterback rating shot up dramatically from 14.8 in the opener to 54.5 Monday night, bringing his overall rating to 34.6, the 10-year veteran looked flustered at times.

"We're not making enough yards in the passing game. Believe me, the timing in the passing game is the hardest thing to get to. The bottom line is we're not making enough first downs and we're not making enough yardage," Schottenheimer said. "You evaluate everything when you're in a situation like this. We all have to look at ourselves."

Fixing the Washington defense, which surrendered 386 total yards Monday, will be a bit more problematical with the injuries the team suffered.

Schottenheimer said X-rays on linebacker LaVar Arrington's knee showed no sprain or ligament tears, and he will not require a magnetic resonance imaging test. Defensive end Marco Coleman's arm is sore, but he should be able to work once the soreness subsides, the coach said.

Still, neither Arrington nor Coleman is expected to play Sunday, and reserve cornerback and special team standout Donovan Greer, who was to have an MRI on his knee, is also not likely to play against the Chiefs. Reserve defensive end David Bowens, who was not active Monday, was cut yesterday.

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