Wondering about a player's status? Trying to recall a past game? Want some insight on the Redskins? Redskins.com's Gary Fitzgerald opens up the mailbag on Tuesday and answers fan questions.
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Question: Do you think the Redskins should re-sign Levi Jones [to a long-term contract] if he has a strong showing the rest of the season? With Levi Jones, Derrick Dockery and Casey Rabach, the left side of the line should be okay. Then the Redskins could use the draft to build the right side of the line.
-- Mike J.
Gary: Jones struggled at times against Philadelphia last Sunday, but for the most part he has solidified the left tackle position since being inserted into the lineup on Nov. 15 vs. Denver. The Redskins have scored 20 points in two of the three games he started. Jones, signed to a one-year deal on Oct. 20, could earn a long-term contract with the club if he continues to impress. "I think he realizes this is an audition for him and he's going to play his rear end off," Joe Bugel said. "I like guys like that. He came in and he was no-nonsense." Jones's presence certainly gives the club more options. Even if Jones is brought back, the Redskins are likely to add at least one more offensive lineman next offseason. They could focus on adding a right tackle, depending on how Stephon Heyer fares the rest of the way, or bulk up the interior at guard and center.
Question: Gary, I know that the Redskins are evaluating players and personnel for the future. However my question is not what players should the team keep, trade, or cut, because that's only one part of the equation. To me and many other Redskins fans and football fans alike, the main question is, who is doing the evaluation? We know what Jim Zorn's fate appears to be, but what about Vinny Cerrato's fate?
-- Samuel S.
Gary: This is a frequent question to the Fan Mailbag--perhaps not surprisingly. There's plenty of speculation out there, but all I can say for sure about Zorn's "fate" is that, per Cerrato, he is going to be the head coach of the Redskins through the 2009 season. What about Cerrato? I'm sure there's plenty of speculation out there about his status, too. All I can say is that he is the executive vice president of football operations...until he's not. In Cerrato's favor is that the Redskins' offense improved midseason with Sherman Lewis calling the plays. Plus, the team's 2008 draft picks--Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly and Justin Tryon--are starting to pay dividends. Ultimately, the Redskins have struggled to a 3-8 record this season and it's safe to say that everything is open to reevaluation. My answer to your question? Stay tuned.
Question: I noticed in games that any time the Redskins blitz, it's always an off-the-edge blitz, but mobile QBs such as Tony Romo can step up in the pocket and burn the defense. Is there any reason why we don't run more inside types of blitz schemes?
-- Michael W.
Gary: The Redskins' defense does not blitz often, but when they do, you're right that pressure usually comes from the outside with linebackers Brian Orakpo and Rocky McIntosh and safeties LaRon Landry and Reed Doughty. From the interior, Albert Haynesworth and Cornelius Griffin combine for 650 pounds of space, so simply put there is not much room to blitz into the backfield between them. Haynesworth's role is to provide that strong push up the middle, draw double teams and free up outside pass rushers and blitzers to get to the quarterback.
Question: If the redskins are looking for the quarterback of the future, what are the chances of Colt Brennan seeing some playing time before the end of the season? Why wait until training camp to see where he is at?
-- Troy D.
Gary: Brennan was placed on injured reserve in preseason with hip and hamstring injuries. Once a player is on injured reserve, he is sidelined for the remainder of the season. Brennan can't even practice with the team right now. He won't see the field until mini-camp next offseason, at the earliest.