Redskins

No action on Cardinals coach until season ends

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No action on Cardinals coach until season ends

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said a decision on whether Ken Whisenhunt remains as coach will be made after the season.

Bidwill called the team's 58-0 loss at Seattle on Sunday ``unacceptable'' and said he has been evaluating the situation on a week-to-week basis as the losing streak has grown to nine games.

``I think not making a rush decision is the right way to go,'' Bidwill said Monday in his first comments on the matter.

He said he and fans have been ``living and dying with each one of these losses. It's extremely hard to watch.''

``We know we can do better,'' Bidwill said. ``I know that there is a lot of emotion around what happened yesterday but I don't intend to make any decisions based on emotion.''

Bidwill said ``there is plenty of responsibility to spread around'' in the losing streak.

``Obviously, injuries have been a factor but I think even with that we expected a much different season than what we've got going on right now,'' he said.

Bidwill, whose father Bill Bidwill owns the team, runs the franchise. He said finances would not figure in the eventual decision.

``Winning football games and staying focused on what's best for winning football games is what we're going to stay focused on,'' he said.

Whisenhunt is due about $5.5 million in the final year of his contract next year.

The evaluation of the entire organization will be more thorough than usual, Bidwill said, adding that's why it's important to have ``a complete set of facts.''

Earlier Monday, Whisenhunt said he knows only one way to respond in the face of increasing speculation that his sixth season in Arizona may be his last.

``I was a college walk-on, a 12th-round draft pick in the NFL,'' he said, ``so I've always been in situations where you had to fight.''

With three games to play, beginning at home Sunday against Detroit, Whisenhunt said he would ``stick with'' what has been successful in the past.

Whether the players are with him remains to be seen.

In the locker room before the Monday team meeting, defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said he would keep playing hard for defensive coordinator Ray Horton and fellow defensive linemen. But for Whisenhunt? Dockett said, ``No comment.''

Perhaps it's not a surprising answer since Whisenhunt fined Dockett somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 for his behavior at the end of the previous week's game against the New York Jets.

But it's nonetheless revealing about the reality bubbling below the surface in the locker room, where the defense that had been the team's strong point caved to the tune of 493 yards - 284 on the ground - in Seattle in the face of yet another awful show by the Arizona offense.

Whisenhunt once rode a wave of popularity for leading the Cardinals to a stunning run to the Super Bowl following the 2008 season, then got the team to the NFC West title the following year. But Kurt Warner retired and nothing has been the same since.

Whisenhunt knows his job is on the line.

``I control things that I can control,'' he said. ``Like I said, I understand this business. I have a job to do. I feel disappointed that we haven't done it, but my greatest disappointment is for our fans. They've been so good to me and to us. I feel like I've let them down for not being able to do what we want to do, but it's not for lack of effort and it's not from not wanting to do it the right way.''

The 58-0 loss was one point shy of the NFL record for the most one-sided shutout defeat and the franchise's losing streak is its longest since World War II. And that 1944 team, which lost 10 straight, was merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers due to the shortage of players because of the war.

So, how do you pick up the pieces?

``I don't know,'' safety Adrian Wilson said. ``You tell me.''

Whisenhunt said he felt mistakes, not a lack of effort, led to Sunday's debacle. He said that players must rely on professional pride from here on out.

``They've got to understand that they're going to be watched and monitored,'' Whisenhunt said. ``They're going to be on tape, and that's one of the things that when you're evaluating players you look at. You see how they handle those things, so we're going to continue to work. I think that we have enough of the right guys on our team, especially good young guys that want to do it right that are hurting, that it shouldn't be an issue.''

Defensive end Vonnie Holliday, in his 15th NFL season, said players are ``playing for a job, be it here or anywhere else in the National Football League.''

The coach wouldn't say whether John Skelton or rookie Ryan Lindley would start Sunday. The team added a third quarterback on Monday by claiming Brian Hoyer off waivers from Pittsburgh.

Skelton, three games after being benched, returned and threw four interceptions and fumbled the ball away once. Lindley came on and fumbled, too. Two other turnovers came from Patrick Peterson on punt returns.

Overall, Arizona had just two more first downs (10) than it had turnovers (8).

``After a 58-0 loss like that it's hard to come in to work,'' Skelton said. ``But whether we like it or not we're playing those next three games, and I think guys have enough pride to come out and still work and still try to get better for the rest of the year.''

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Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

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Five observations from Redskins preseason victory over the Jets

Here are my five key observations from the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the Jets.

— It was good that the offense clicked well in the series that Alex Smith was in the game. He was a crisp four of six for 48 yards. It wasn’t good that they couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and that Smith exited after that one series. I know there were concerns about Geron Christian being at left tackle instead of Trent Williams and Smith did get hit pretty hard on the first snap of the game. But after the starting offense sat out the preseason opener I think they needed to go for another series or two.

— The starting defense was in for two series with mixed results. The first Jets possession ended with a three and out with Daron Payne getting a third-down sack to close out the series. The second time, however, Sam Darnold like a drive that covered 42 yards and resulted in a field goal. The rookie completed passes for 13, six, 11, nine and six yards in the drive and looking every bit like the phenom that Josh Norman talked about in Richmond this week. The starting defense was good against the run, allowing 13 yards on six carries in the two drives.

— It looked like WR Cam Sims’ roster bubble was about to burst in the second quarter when he had a Colt McCoy pass in his arms in the red zone with no defender within a couple of yards of him. But the ball popped up in the air and the Jets’ Doug Middleton accepted the gift interception. But later on, he caught a key third down pass between two defenders. In that same drive he made another catch surrounded by defenders and he held onto it when he hit the ground hard. But the touchdown was called back by an illegal formation penalty. Then on the next to the last play of the game, his 20-yard reception set up the game-winning field goal.

— Tim Settle continues to impress. For a couple of drives in the second quarter the Jets’ offensive starters were up against the Redskins’ second-team defense, including Settle. The rookie manhandled former Redskins center Spencer Long on a few snaps and beat some double teams as well. Settle didn’t just impress against the run. He got a couple of pressures on Darnold and nearly got a sack. They will have to find snaps for him in the rotation if he keeps this up.

— The final word here is on playing time. For the most part, the Jets’ starters played the first half. For the Redskins it was one series for the offense and two for the defense. I have to wonder how ready this team with a new quarterback under center will perform coming out of the gate. They will be playing with fire if they don’t sweep their first two games against the Cardinals and Colts. Gruden is 0-4 in season openers as the Redskins coach. I have to say that I’m skeptical that his method of preparing the team for Week 1 will work.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler.

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Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

Instant analysis: 5 field goals lift Redskins past Jets

LANDOVER, MD — Here is my instant analysis of the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the New York Jets.

— Alex Smith started the game and so did most of the other players who are expected to start Week 1. Rob Kelley was at running back, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson lined up at receiver, and the offensive line was intact — with the exception of Geron Christian playing left tackle. Vernon Davis was the tight end. 

— Smith moved the team efficiently on the first drive, completing four of six passes for 48 yards. He converted one third-and-9 by finding Doctson in a big soft spot in the Jets’ zone for 11 yards. On third-and-goal at the 4, he threw a pass a little behind Trey Quinn; it was catchable but not easy and Quinn couldn’t handle it. A field goal made it 3-0. After that 11-play, 71-yard drive, Smith and most of the rest of the offensive starters left the game. 

— Ten of the 11 regular defenders started the game, the exception being Matt Ioannidis. In his first series in a Redskins uniform, Daron Payne stopped the drive with a sack on third down. After that three-and-out, they weren’t as effective against Sam Darnold on their second possession. The rookie was sharp leading a 12-play, 42-yard field goal drive. 

— The first time Samaje Perine touched the ball, he ran for 30 yards off left tackle, following a nice block from J.P. Holtz, a tight end who was lined up at fullback. Since they released the only fullback on the roster last week, TE as FB is likely to be the plan. Perine then left the game with an ankle injury. He did not return. 

— There were some special teams gaffes in the first half. Dustin Hopkins hit the right upright on a 35-yard field goal try but it went through. On the ensuing kickoff, though, the kick went out of bounds. Later on, Byron Marshall put the ball on the ground on a kickoff return but replay showed it that he was down. So there was one costly miscue and two near-misses. 

— The Redskins backup defensive unit was back on its heels in a second-quarter drive with most of the Jets’ offensive starters in. They ended the drive when Danny Johnson make a good tackle to force a third and one. The Jets went for it and Darnold’s pass was tipped by Deshazor Everett and intercepted by Troy Apke. Tim Settle dominated in the middle, usually matched up against former Redskins center Spencer Long. 

— It was bad news, then good news for rookie WR Cam Sims in the second quarter. First he had a pass in his hands for a first down in the red zone but the ball popped out without him being touched and the pass was picked off. On the Redskins’ next possession he made a nice catch between two defenders for a 27-yard gain on third-and-10. Later in the drive he made a leaping catch in the end zone, but a penalty negated the TD. He has been inconsistent in practice in Richmond and is carrying over. 

— The Redskins had some red zone woes in the first half. The had three shots from there and settled for field goals every time. They also had the situation where Sims had the pass in his hands in the red zone before it popped out for an interception. 

— Long shot Martez Carter got his name on the board with a runs of nine and then 30 yards, showing blazing speed around the corner on both runs. He remains a long shot but speed like that will get you some attention. 

— Third QB Kevin Hogan was able to lead a scoring drive on his first possession but it was done mostly via Carter’s runs and the first application of the new helmet rule in a Redskins’ game this preseason, a flag that went against the Jets. The next two possessions he went two for three for seven yards and the Redskins went three and out both times. 

— The Jets kicked a late field goal to take a 13-12 lead. Hogan had a chance to bring them back and got them into Jets territory. Then Cam Sims made a 20-yard grab to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt. Hopkins hit it as time ran out to give the home team a 15-13 lead. 

— The win doesn’t mean anything but it’s always more fun to win than to lose. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler