SNIDER: Redskins lose game on coaching sideline

Rick Snider
December 15, 2019 - 5:42 pm
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Redskins coach Bill Callahan lost the game. He shouldn't be considered past season's end to continue as the interim boss after such a debacle.
 
With five minutes remaining in a shootout against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, where neither defense could hold, Callahan opted for a safe 43-yard field goal to lead 27-24 rather than trying to convert a fourth-and-1. Normally, it would be the right move, but a 3-10 season requires a little more daring at the end. Anyone who wants to be a head coach past Dec. 29 should try anything to impress the owner.
 
Callahan played it too conservatively. Rather than try for a touchdown or at least grind the clock a couple more minutes before a field goal, Callahan deferred to the kick. Now the Eagles had plenty of time and lots of momentum after two recent touchdowns and they used it correctly.
 
Philadelphia scored with 26 seconds remaining on a four-yard touchdown reception by receiver Greg Ward over Washington cornerback Josh Norman to lead 31-27. The Eagles would score again on Dwayne Haskins' fumble with no time left in a touchdown that only meant something to gamblers.
 
Callahan's post-game presser was his fastest since taking over for fired Jay Gruden nine games ago. Callahan nearly walked out before the first question when the media wasn't ready for his quick appearance. Instead of his usual long-winded answers, Callahan spit curt answers that often didn't address the question and bolted from the room like someone fleeing from a bad loss.
 
After all, it was a bad loss. The Redskins are 3-11 after playing before 30,000-plus people at FedEx Field. About 80 percent of the fans were Eagles supporters. That's just awful, but the norm nowadays in Landover.
 
The cries for a quality new coach should be louder after Callahan's debacle. They should be even louder for team president Bruce Allen, but now there's a weary sense that the beleaguered exec is going nowhere in owner Dan Snyder's fantasy land. Allen surely blamed the coach for this loss in falling ever farther behind in the worst division ever.
 
Urban Meyer was in Snyder's box as a guest of receiver Terry McLaurin. Indeed, fellow Ohio State alum Haskins didn't know his old coach was there until told by the media post-game. He just smiled.
 
Well, Meyer would be nuts to take the Redskins job when there may be 10 openings leaguewide. Dallas might be one. At most, Meyer got a peek at possible NFC East opponents.
 
Meanwhile, Callahan can only blame himself for botching this game. It was an ugly loss and the coach knew it afterwards.
 
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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