Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Friday, September 29, 2006

September 29-- Brunell Ready for Jags

Mark Brunell took all the snaps in the Friday practice, while he had no comment on the injured elbow, Joe Gibbs said he looks good and is all set for Sunday’s game with Jacksonville.. He will likely wear a soft patch to try to protect the cut elbow but nothing significant that would limit his throwing motion..
DT Joe Salave’a was held out of the practice for precautionary reasons, he has had a calf injury but remains probable for the game with Jacksonville..

Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 28th-- Portis Talk about Leadership and a near death experience

QB Mark Brunell missed his second day of practice, but did do some throwing after practice and is dealing with a sore elbow.. He remains probable to play and is expected to take part in some portions of the Friday practice.. Brunell had three loose stitches placed in his elbow and thus far there has been no signs of infection which was the initial concern with the injury..

Shawn Springs will not play this weekend still dealing with a strained groin.. he is being called “week to week” by Trainer Bubba Tyer.. He was examined by a specialist in Philadelphia yesterday..

DT Joe Salave’a is doing “fine” and is expected to be ready for the Jaguars game…

When asked if missing Springs has limited the blitz schemes Gregg Williams employs, the defensive coordinator succinctly said, “No.” On injuries as a whole, Williams said “no one wants to hear about injuries, this is professional football, whoever we put out there is going to play physical.”
Williams emphasized how much respect he has for Fred Taylor who he believes if healthy is one of the top backs in the league..

Clinton Portis met the media minus a costume again and it appears as if the dress up show might be a thing of the past.. He said a woman named Erin used to bring costumes for him to wear which helped proliferate the costume show weekly..
He says his shoulder feels fine and that he believes the injury is behind him.. Portis contends he was not rushed back too quickly for Minnesota, that it was a new injury that forced him out of the Dallas game..
Asked about his effect on the offense, he said that Ladell Betts has a lot of talent, but it is his energy and his demeanor that makes a difference.. He believes, as do I, when he is on the field he helps the Skins motivationally.. Randy Thomas said the huddle belongs to Mark Brunell but the sideline is where Portis gets up in people’s faces..
Portis said he was fined in Dallas for coming out of the box on the sideline to congratulate Rock Cartwright on his KO return for a touchdown.. This was while he was discussing the 15 yard penalty he took in Houston for taunting.. He said all he said to the defender was “I told you, you didn’t want to see me.”
Portis was involved in a single car accident when he was 19 years old in Florida.. He was thrown from the car and believes now that he doesn’t take life too seriously because “when you come that close to death, it changes everything.” Portis says he is loose about everything but when he is on the field he wants to win..
Asked about how he became a leader, he credited a number of veteran Broncos, Shannon Sharpe, Ed Mccaffrey, Al Wilson for teaching him how to be a pro.. He also says he has become a patient and better running back then his Denver days.. Asked if he belives he should be considered one of the best backs of all time let alone in the league right now, he said “that is for the media to decide.” He lists Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James as the backs of recent success that he looks up to and considers among the best ever..

TE Chris Cooley cut off his long locks saying he was just tired of it.. He said he felt like he just came back from being out in the woods for a month..

Mark Brunell joined me for a one on one interview that will air during the pre-game show this weekend, he addresses whether he has been treated fairly by the Washington media, what leaving Jacksonville was like and the record setting day in Houston last week.. Portis also is an interview for the pre-game show where he goes into detail about his near death experience..

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

September 27-- Fond memories for Brunell and Leftwich

QB Mark Brunell was held out of practice on Wednesday due to his stitched up elbow.. Joe Gibbs described it as precautionary but said it was not determined whether Brunell would practice Thursday or not.. He is listed as probable..

CB Shawn Springs is doubtful for the Jaguars game.. He went to Philadelphia to visit with Dr. William Meyers to assess his groin injury..

DT Joe Salave’a returned to practice despite a calf injury and is listed as probable..

Brunell’s first game against his former team was a major topic of conversation today.. Brunell said it’s been a long time and it likely would have more emotional meaning if he were to actually be playing the game in Jacksonville.. Brunell has a foundation in Florida, still has a house there and described the city as the place he and his family will “finish up.” Renaldo Wynn gushed about Brunell’s legacy in Jacksonville, how many fans still love him for all the community work he does.. Jack Del Rio said that when Brunell and the team decided it was time to part ways he told the quarterback he hopes that one day he’ll come back to the team and retire his number 8.. Brunell was told of this comment and responded by saying, “Hopefully that won’t happen for a long time.”

His counterpart Byron Leftwich went to HD Woodson High and grew up in SE DC.. He admitted he used to sneak into games at RFK by running by a certain ticket collector who told him if you run, “I can’t chase you.” Leftwich said he never thought he’d be an NGFL quarterback as a kid when he and his friends would play streetball games after the Redskins game.. Once he got to Marshall and saw the success of Chad Pennington, he started to believe it might happen for him too.. Leftwich said he and his family would cry when the Redskins lost games when he was a kid, but now allegiances are changed, “because they have to be.” Asked if he’ll cry if the Redskins lose this week, he said, “Ooh no..”
Leftwich said he has purchased 95 tickets for friends and family for this weekend’s game and commented, “Skins tickets are not cheap!”

Terrell Owens attempted suicide story made the rounds at Redskins Park as well.. Brunell was the first to be extremely cautious about commenting because he spoke to us before Bill Parcells or Terrell Owens spoke.. Joe Gibbs did not want to comment specifically about the situation saying he knows nothing about it, but he did talk openly about dealing with difficult off field situations such as these.. The Redskins had one in camp when rookie O-lineman Kili Lefotu suffered a seizure at the team’s housing facility.. Gibbs called the event “eye opening,” and “nerve racking.” He said all you do is just be concerned that things like this happen, “You don’t know how many times the phones have rung and the person on the other line said ‘You are not going to believe this’ and I say ‘Yes I will.”
Gibbs said the team has been dealing with a number of personal issues throughout this season.. S Sean Taylor left the team last Friday to be at the funeral for an aunt. He made it to Houston on Saturday to be with the team that night.. S Reed Doughty’s wife gave birth to a premature baby in camp, he missed the final pre-season game because of it, but now it appears the situation has stabilized. The family is with him here and Gibbs is helping Doughty find help through Dan Snyder’s connections at Children’s Hospital.. Snyder is on the Board of Directors with the hospital..

The Redskins have turned in the hit on Mark Brunell that was penalized negating a fumble return for a touchdown in the Houston game.. He called that play a learning experience for his team which happens to be the most penalized team in the league through 3 games.. On how to find a way to stop the penalties, Gibbs stole a line from John Riggins when the two were on together for the Joe Gibbs show saying “Outside of the firing line, we haven’t come up with anything yet.”

Carlos Rogers believes the long windmill windup of Byron Leftwich might be an advantage for the corners because it gives them an extra second to realize Left wich has committed to throwing the football in their direction.. The ball does come out quickly though!

Jaguars injury list: DE Marcellus Wiley (groin) doubtful, RB Derrick Wimbush (knee) doubtful, CB Rashean Mathis (knee) questionable, G Chris Naeole (knee) questionable, DT Marcus Stroud (ankle) questionable, All those players missed a portion of the Jags practice Wednesday… S Donovan Darius (back) probable, WR Matt Jones (groin) probable, WR Chad Owens (ribs) probable, DE Paul Spicer (groin) probable

Monday, September 25, 2006

September 25-- Brunell has a stitched up elbow

QB Mark Brunell suffered a laceration on his throwing elbow.. The team had some concern over the propensity for an infection, but they feel the stitches he received will keep it in check.. This is a similar injury that forced Brunell out of action in his final season in Jacksonville.. Brunell is day to day as to whether he will practice later this week..
As for Brunell's performance, Joe Gibbs said he was very proud of how he handled the week of adversity leading into the Houston game and succintly said, "there isn't anything else we can stay about his accuracy."
This is the first game for Brunell against his ex-team, the Jaguars.. Joe Gibbs said he doesn't believe this will be a particualrly emotional moment for his quarterback saying Brunell felt at the time of his signing that it "was time to move on."

DT Joe Salave's said he is hopeful to return to practice on Wednesday, he missed the Texans game with a calf injury..

CB Shawn Springs remains day to day with a groin injury.. Joe Gibbs said he will see if Springs can return to practcie this week and if not, "his odds of playing against jacksonville goes down dramatically."

G Randy Thomas injured his ankle during the Texans game, but according to Gibbs, refused to come out of the game sending the replacement guard back to the sideline.. The injury is not considered serious but a chronic ankle issue.. There is a sist on the top of his foot that can be nagging..

Gibbs talked about the Portis effect on the offense saying that you watch plays and you see guys do certain things and you think, anyone can do that stuff, "but the reality is only a few can."

Gibbs is very concerned about the peanlties.. The Redskins are currently the most penalized team in the league with 30 calls against them in 3 games.. He said he and the coaches have met to discuss the issue asking all of his assistants to talk about anything they had used in terms of finding a way to communicate the need to cut down.. Gibbs said that Dale Lindsay told Gibbs to show all the penalties to the team, not to embarass them but to show the effect it has on the team when a penalty extends or ruins a drive..
Twice the Skins had two holding calls on the same play.. The offense had 8 penalty calls.. Washington has had 5 personal fouls called against them in 3 games.,.

Gibbs credited punter Derrick Frost calling his performance as "outstanding."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

September 24-- Brunell makes history, Portis shines in Skins first win of season

Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts combined for 210 yards rushing as the Redskins got their first win of the year beating Houston 31-15.. This ended a ten game losing streak to AFC teams and got the Skins to 1 and 2 for the season, they remain one game out of first place behind 2-1 Philadelphia..

Mark Brunell broke an NFL record completing 22 consecutive passes to start the Texans game.. The record for consecutive completions over the course of two games is 24.. Rich Gannon held the previous record of 21 completions in a single game..
Brunell called the accomplishment a team record talking about the receivers all being in the right place, the line blocking well and of course the run game opening the door for the throws…
Joe Gibbs said he became aware of the impending record at #21 and then talked to Al Saunders to ensure he called a safe play so that Brunell would have a great shot at getting it.. Many of the players have different takes on when they began to find out they had a shot at it.. Randy Thomas said he looked up at the scoreboard at one point and said “19-19, is this some damn record, we got something going on here, I’m going to tell my kids about this some day.” Chris Samuels said inactive Jim Molinaro told him as early as 14-14 what was happening..
Brunell took some personal satisfaction after the week of severe criticism saying he had to stay positive after hearing a lot of things “I knew were not true.”
Santana Moss said that “I’m always going to stand up for my guy, if Mark was playing shitty, then I have to see what I’m doing wrong to make things better for him.” Moss was one of the most vocal supporters of Brunell last week..

For the third straight week the Redskins gave up points on the opponents opening drive.. After the opening drive score by Houston the sideline was as animated as I have seen it, Joe Gibbs was emphasizing to his team that this scenario was something the team had discussed being that Houston started the Philly game the same way.. Players were openly jawing at the offensive line to be the group that got the Skins going.. Washington proceeded to rattle off 31 straight points to take command, it included a 30 yard touchdown run by Clinton Portis with 1 second remaining in the half.. Joe Gibbs said the plan was for Portis to run a trap play, get as much as he can and call a timeout to set up a field goal.. But he broke it.. Portis turned a shuffle pass into a 74 yard gain which led to the Redskins first score..
Moss said Al Saunders surprised him the night before the game showing the skill position players films of the first two weeks emphasizing the good plays the team had.. He said what they saw was signs that their offense could work if the right guys get the ball in the right place.. For a day it did, but keep in mind the Texans defense ranks dead last in the NFL in 8 different categories including total defense..

The one negative remained the penalties, the team had 124 yards of penalties called against them, twice they had two holding calls on the same play.. The Texans negated a defensive touchdown though with a personal foul of unnecessary roughness on a hit on Brunell.. Brunell said he did not believe this was a cheap shot, but the penalty came because it was so far away from the play..

DT Joe Salave’a was inactive due to a calf injury, he’ll be re-evaluated next week.. RB TJ Duckett was a surprise inactive but Joe Gibbs said the reason was concern over the health of the TE’s.. Gibbs said Chris Cooley and Christian Fauria both had some health issues which forced Gibbs to keep three TE’s active just in case something happened in the game.. He said Duckett took the news well..
QB Mark Brunell entered the press conference with his left hand in a bandage, he said he cut his elbow and that it is nothing serious..
The team reported no injuries after the game.. DE Andre Carter was poked in the eye but was fine, CB Carlos Rogers had a contact lens knocked out, but had it replaced and returned without issue..

Friday, September 22, 2006

September 22-- Salave'a is a game time decision

Springs: The hope is he will be able to return to practice next week.. Gibbs described the injury as something that can become commonplace whne you have the type of abdominal surgery he had.. Apparently, blood can roll down the leg internally as the surgically repaired muscles heal and what can happen whn a person then goes full bore after is what Joe Gibbs called a “pop.” The new strain however is not considered serious..

Joe Salave’a: Did light work in individual drills but did not take part in the team portion of practice.. He is a game time decision for the Houston game with a calf injury.. he remains officially listed as questionable..

When Joe Gibbs was asked about whether his team is playing tight right now or if they are ready he responded by saying he has no idea.. He also went on to say that going on the road is tough “especially in a place like Houston.” He was serious..

Thursday, September 21, 2006

September 21-- Springs out for Texans Game

Gregg Williams said after practice that Shawn Springs would not be playing against the Texans, but his hope is that the corner would be back next week..
Springs underwent an MRI today after he strained his groin, the result of the test showed no major tearing, so the team is calling the injury minor.. But they are going to downgrade him on the injury report to either doubtful or out, as of me writing this, it had no been released yet..

DT Joe Salave’a missed practice for a second straight day with a calf injury, Williams called him “probably doubtful.” The team is calling him questionable.. He remains day to day and we’ll see if he can give it a go in practice on Friday..

WR Santana Moss has been taken off the injury list, he was probable with a hip injury but returned to practice today.. RB Clinton Portis made it through a second straight day of practice with no problems.. He will wear a shoulder harness in the game but says physically he feels ready for contact again.. Portis said last week after the Vikings game that he felt like he had just started camp after the off-season with the soreness he felt in the joint.. He said he knew as of last Wednesday that he wasn’t going to play in Dallas but had held out hope that Joe Gibbs would change his mind, basically admitting to screwing with the media throughout the week..

Jon Jansen spoke about the team’s necessity to get it’s running game going for a variety of reasons, but mainly to have a chance to open up the downfield passing game which has been marred by the cover 2 umbrella tactics of the Vikings and Cowboys.. Asked however what is currently wrong with the run game, all be it without Clinton Portis, Jansen was vague saying it’s a problem here and there.. The issue essentially is that the team recognizes it needs to run the ball better, is facing defenses currently daring them to run and currently can’t do it..

Gregg Williams said he needs to re-evaluate how much he “jacks up” the intensity of his players saying he takes the penalties and issues holding teams deep in their own territory as a lack of technique.. He believes the start to the season is similar to the one of a year ago when the team suffered penalties and wasn’t able to make consistent stops.. Williams said last week though he’d never been part of a game where his defense forced that many dropped passes claiming the physical play is as good as he’s seen from any of his units and praised the play and presence of Sean Taylor for the ability to get into the opposing receiver’s heads…
Williams said Andre Carter is being double teamed 60-70 percent of the pass plays and he said he is happy with the play of the free agent end.. Overall, he believes the pass rush isn’t as bad as it may appear but of course he said the team needs to be able to get more consistent pressure..
On Adam Archuletta: Williams said this will be a year long process to get him comfortable playing within this system, but he said Archuletta has made tremendous strides in terms of communication and comfort level with his teammates and that he expects more improvement as the year progresses..

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

September 20-- Springs has a new groin injury

CB Shawn Springs returned to practice, but early in individual drills, he suffered a mild groin strain to his right leg.. The injury is not related to the surgically repaired abdominal muscle, but it is in the same leg and about 5 inches below the area affected.. Trainers say the team’s hope this week was to have Springs make it through practice with the possibility of him playing a few plays at Houston.. This obviously clouds his availability.. Springs is officially listed as questionable and will be re-evaluated tomorrow..
RB Clinton Portis went through his first full practice since injuring his shoulder in the first pre-season game.. He was described as having a good day and appears like he’ll be ready for the Texans.. He is listed as probable.. Joe Gibbs said if the week works out well with no setbacks he would expect Portis to start..

DT Joe Salave’a (calf) is questionable, he was held out of practice.. WR Santana Moss will be listed as probable.. he took the day off for rest, the team is just calling it precautionary..

Mark Brunell brushed off criticism of his play by admitting that he needs to play better but says the entire offense needs to get better as well.. Joe Gibbs talked about the decision making behind pulling a quarterback and how difficult it is to make that type of decision especially if it is a veteran QB.. Gibbs essentially reiterated that Brunell’s job is no currently in jeopardy saying a move like that would not be best for the team right now and there are things about what’s happening in practice that “people don’t see.”
Santana Moss once again stood up for Brunell calling the QB a winner, “That’s my dude.”
The run game remains a missing piece of the offense as Al Saunders reiterated what numerous players have said in recent days, that teams are playing a deep umbrella against them forcing pass plays to stay in and the run game is necessitated to force the teams out of this.. If this was basketball, essentially teams are running a 2-3 zone and the Skins can’t shoot out of it because they can’t force the D to collapse..

There was a good amount of tempered confidence in the locker room today, the team obviously was facing a plethora of sky is falling type questions, but in general handled the situation pretty well.. Joe Bugel put it well saying that “If we were shocked to be 0-2 then we better get over it now.” Adam Archuletta said, “It’s time to stop talking about it and do something about it.”

Ooh yeah, Joe Gibbs tried his best to pump up the Texans as much as possible, calling them the best special teams unit they will have faced along with many more superlatives for a team that is 2 and 16 in it’s last 18.. A number of the players openly admitted they better not take the Texans lightly..

Texans injury report: CB Demarcus Faggins (foot), out. CB Phillip Buchanon (ankle) questionable, C Mike Flanigan (foot) questionable, DE Antwan Peek (groin) questionable, LB Morlon Greenwood (ankle) probable..

Monday, September 18, 2006

September 18-- No one has any answers

Joe Gibbs admits now that he might do the pre-season differently next time around after the results of the exhibition games and first two games of the season.. He continues to describe the situation his team is in as "inconsistent."

Gibbs says he never considered changing quarterbacks during the Dallas game and cotninues to stand behind Mark Brunell saying he is emblematic of the trouble of the entire offensive unit..
Gibbs was asked if Brunell is "getting old quickly" and he did open the door for some reflection on the overall play of the position saying the coaches are looking at everything in terms of finding out what is wrong with the team..

He spent the bulk of the 32 minute press conference saying there are likely a 1000 different things people could point at as the problem that is plauging his team, but he admits he can't put his finger on it and hopes that ultimately the hard work and character of the locker room will ultimately get the team back on track.. He praised the work ethic of Al Saunders saying the offensive coach continues to work late nights trying to figure it all out..
Gibbs was asked specifically about whether too much of the new offense was installed too soon, he suggested that this is possible, but again was not clear on any reasons why his team is failing to find any consistency..

RB Clinton Portis is day to day with his shoulder which is hurting from a second separate injury to the top portion of the joint.. Gibbs cleared up the perception that the two of them are not on the same page saying Portis has been pulling the media's leg about his status weekly.. basically he said he is telling the truth, Portis is playing games with us..
CB Shawn Springs remains day to day as he continues to recover from abdominal surgery..

Other injuries: DT Joe Salave'a suffered a strained calf, day to day, TE Todd Yoder suffered a mild concussion.. WR Antwaan Randle-EL tweaked his right ankle during the closing moments of the Dallas game but is said to be OK.. T Randy Thomas suffered crmaping in his hamstring late in the Dallas game but blamed the humidity and said he is fine..

Gibbs says the team was informed by the NFL that four separate calls in the Minnesota were mistakes and should have not been penalties against Washington.. Gibbs is turning two more plays into the league questioning the calls during the Dallas game.. The coach did express a lot of displeasure with the penalties from the Cowboys game though saying he made the team watch the penalties to get them to understand "the rules" and how much plays like these hurt the team..

Asked about the offensive line, Gibbs called it the strength of their team.. he said the breakdowns in pass protection are not solely on the line but blamed the backs for some of the trouble and the inability to get the WR's in the right position..
Mark Brunell and Brandon Lloyd said they expect teams to continue to play the cover 2 leaving their safeties deep until the team can prove they can run the ball and force the defenses out of this type of coverage.. basically, the team is blaming the lack of an ability to get the ball downfield on coverage and the inability to have a consistent run game...

Friday, September 15, 2006

September 15-- Portis is out, for real this time

RB Clinton Portis did not practice again Friday, Joe Gibbs announced afterward that the team is downgrading his status for the Dallas game as doubtful and furthered the notion Portis will be out by saying “If you don’t practice, you don’t play.” Gibbs wouldn’t officially rule him out but made it sound as close to a done decision as possible..
When told of this, Portis was very surprised.. He said he didn’t practice last week but that didn’t matter in the decision making.. Gibbs pointed out that Portis is dealing with pain in a separate area of his injured shoulder and that soreness has been the reason he’s been out all week.. Portis said the new injury is called “weakness.”
Portis did not say he was out, actually to the contrary, he defiantly said he is taking his pads with him to Dallas and plans to force Gibbs to make him a game time decision.. he also joked he was eating gunpowder all week to strengthen himself and that he’d be willing to do some push ups and pulls ups to show Gibbs he can go..

TE Christian Fauria (ankle) was held out of practice on Friday, but he is expected to be able to go in Dallas..

CB Shawn Springs is out of the Dallas game..

DE Renaldo Wynn made it through the week of practice and is expected to be fine for the Cowboys game..

Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 14-- "You Will either be the foot or the ass"

RB Clinton Portis was held out of practice again today.. he says he did not suffer a setback after the Minnesota game but is dealing with soreness after his first dose of soreness on his sore shoulder.. he said the Vikings took no cheap shots on him and that expects to play on Sunday night.. As for starting, he said he believes that if he is used in a back-up role again that this may be a logical way to look at it with the other backs taking all the reps during the week.. He remains listed as questionable..

CB Shawn Springs ruled himself out of the Dallas game, he officially is doubtful, but did not practice again.. The trainers say he is working very well on weights and agility drills but they do not know when he will be ready to return to the practice field…

TE Christian Fauria rolled his ankle in practice yesterday and was held out today.. Trainers say they expect him to be OK for the game Sunday night.. They say the calf injury he suffered against Minnesota is longer an issue..

Practice squad FB Manuel White had his knee scoped for a meniscus injury in his knee.. He was placed on the practice squad injured list and his practice squad roster spot was given to recently released FB Nehemiah Broughton..

Carlos Rogers said he watched the Minn game and is hoping to have a better performance then that hoping “to make my name” as he faces T.O. and the Cowboys.. Shawn Springs was asked what kind of advice he has for Rogers and said that if he were Carlos, he’d be sick and tired of hearing about Owens saying you have to have the mindset that you are going to dominate anyone, no matter who that player may be.. Asked if he thought Rogers is thinking he’ll dominate T.O. Springs said, “two things are going to happen, you are either going to be the foot or the ass.”

Gregg Williams said the team has addressed the week 2 win in Dallas last year from the perspective of never having a letdown.. He said his team had no issue sprinting onto the field after the Skins scored the first TD late that made it 13-7 at Texas Stadium, but it was only possible because the defense continued to play hard even when it looked like the offense would end up doing nothing..
Williams talked about the feel of the game for him and when to use his elaborate blitz schemes.. Drew Bledsoe praised Williams saying you never know when he “is going to throw a fastball” at you.. Williams said “I’m not a person who likes to go to Vegas and spend my money that way.. You want to watch me gamble, watch the Redskins play on third down.” He called it a feel thing as to when to “dial up a fastball.”

Santana Moss said he felt no difference in how he was covered with the addition of Lloyd and Randle-El after the first week.. His role in the offense has changed little, he said all the movement and shifting may be something that is new for many of the receivers, but for him it is not, that he was being shifted around a lot last year.. He said last year as the injuries mounted it became clear he was going to be receiving double coverage, but this year he hopes this won’t be the case, but nothing against the Vikings gave him a hint of how teams are going to try to defend him..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

September 13-- Remembering the Miracle Win

Santana Moss spoke openly about the week 2 game against Dallas last year saying mainly he wants everyone to get over it, mainly because he said he doesn’t like to dwell on anything whether it would be a great moment or a bad season.. He did talk about the community reaction to the game saying fans approached him at gas stations and sent him burgundy and gold roses at the Park (the roses came form a man which Moss thought was, well, you know) and that he realized at that moment what that game and this rivalry means to the team..
I have a one on one interview with Moss that will air on the Pre-Game show this week that expounds more on the topic..

More on the week two miracle win of a season ago: Renaldo Wynn and Jon Jansen both believed that that game turned this matchup into a rivalry again.. Joe Gibbs called it a miracle finish but preferred not to relive it but to move on calling it in the past.. Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe said he got home that night and had received e-mails and phone calls congratulating him on the win only to receive calls the next day from those people apologizing for obviously not staying up to see the end of the game..
Bill Parcells said it was just one many games the Cowboys lost to strange circumstances, but said it didn’t derail his team’s season, that they like the Skins could have been 10-6 to end the season as well had they not lost their season finale..

Injuries: CB Shawn Springs did not practice (abdominal) doubtful, RB Clinton Portis did not take part in team drills and took only limited work in practice.. He is listed as questionable (shoulder), TE Christian Fauria practiced, he is probable (lower leg), DE Renaldo Wynn practiced as well, he also is probable (ankle)
The Cowboys only list one player on their injury report: WR Jamaica Rector (ankle) questionable..

Parcells called these matchups with Gibbs and other great coaches “precious. Unlike the past I know we won’t be doing this forever any more.” Gibbs praised Parcells as well saying he is ingrained as part of his memories of the NFL, even if the results haven’t gone Gibbs way very much (Parcells leads personal series 15-10).. Gibbs did tell the Cowboys media during the conference call that when told Parcells is taking his career on a year to year basis, that he’d be willing to put some money into Parcells retirement fund..

John Hall clarified that he was ready for the kick that was a would be game tying 3 points against Minnesota.. He said he was concerned with the time left on the field and not the downs.. He admitted that he is very disappointed and glad to continue to have the opportunity to remain the kicker and hopes to be more reliable in the future..

Jon Jansen said he has not been contacted by the NFL yet in regard to the comments he made on HBO stating that he believes 15-20 of NFl players use human growth hormone.. he said he looks forward to any conversation that may come of it, but right now he is just focusing on the Cowboys..

Secondary coach Jerry Gray said Carlos Rogers will have to learn from his mistakes in regard to the big pass plays he gave up to the Vikings.. Rogers said he jumped a route he shouldn’t have and that he is putting it behind him and moving on.. He said he looks forward to a matchup with Terrell Owens because it’s “an opportunity to make a name for yourself.”
The D-linemen talked openly about the necessity to get pressure on Drew Bledsoe to help the secondary and potentially force mistakes.. Bledsoe was sacked 7 times by the Skins D in the Redskins win over Dallas last December, he was intercepted three times in Jacksonville last week..

The Redskins placed safety Pierson Prioleau on IR due to impending knee surgery.. They signed training camp cut Curry Burns to take his roster spot..

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 12-- Prioleau Out, Review of Minn loss

S Pierson Prioleau is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL and meniscus damage on the opening kick off of the Minn. game.. The team is looking into options to replace him on the roster.. Potential candidates include training camp cut Curry Burns.. Rookie safety Reed Doughty for now will be the 4th safety..

The team signed TE Todd Yoder formerly of Tampa Bay and Jacksonville and released FB Nehemiah Broughton.. Yoder scored two career TD's.. Both came in a game while with TB against the Skins a few years back..

Other injuries: TE Christian Fauria has a contusion on his calf, he is day to day.. Renaldo Wynn told me he is feeling like he will be ready to play this week.. The team is calling his sprained ankle day to day, the team expects him to be ready.. DE Phillip Daniels suffered a knee bruise, he is fine.. Rb Clinton Portis remains day to day, the team said he is sore but expected to be able to practice later in the week..
CB Shawn Springs worked over the weekend doing some running.. He is still dealing with issues with changing direction and the team is calling him doubtful at this point for Dallas..
Practice squad FB Manuel White suffered a meniscus tear in his knee during the saturday practice.. he is having his knee scoped and will be out for a while..
LB Robert McCune has a mild hamstring strain he is expected to practice with the practice squad later in the week..

Joe Gibbs said he doesn't "live in the world of hindsight." He believes the team did what they believed was right during the pre-season and it had no carryover into the season..
He said the team is going to turn in two plays to the league for review.. They do not believe the Sean Taylor hit that was called a personal foul should have been flagged.. As for the other call that the team is turning in, Joe Gibbs wasn't sure which one it was laughing as he explained to us that he hadn't seen it but Gregg Williams was upset about something..

Clinton Portis's role for the Dallas game is undetermined, Gibbs said the team will be cautious with him this week and see how much work he takes this week..

Joe Gibbs professed his support for John Hall saying that the team is certain that he is a reliable kicker that they need..

Overall, he described the Minn game as inconsistent all around.. True..

Monday, September 11, 2006

Vikings 19 Redskins 16, Skins fall to 0-1

The Redskins offense disappeared in the second half scoring 3 points and 105 total yards.. Still a missed 48 yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds by John Hall ended up the difference in a 19-16 opening night loss to Minnesota..
The Skins were outgained 321 to 266.. Washington also blew a seven point first half lead, and four point halftime lead in the defeat.. It was Washington’s first loss in a season opener in 5 years.. It was their first loss in a home opener since 2001 when they lost to Kansas City.. It was Washington’s first season opening loss at home since 1999 when they fell to Dallas.. The Skins and Cowboys play next week in Dallas, both teams are 0-1..

Clinton Portis did play carrying the ball 10 times for 39 yards and the Skins lone touchdown.. Portis said he did not feel like his shoulder was hurt any worse by the action.. The offense sputtered in the red zone as Washington settled for 4 field goal attempts making 3..
Minnesota botched the snap on an extra point and also had a long miss by kicker Ryan Longwell..

Injuries: S Pierson Prioleau suffered an ACL injury to his right knee, he will have an MRI on Tuesday, if it is torn he done for the season.. The injury occurred on the opening kickoff and appeared to not be contact related.. DE Phillip Daniels suffered a bruised knee but returned to the game.. Daniels said he got cut low and took a helmet directly on his kneecap.. He said his leg went numb from it so he took some time off the field, but said although painful, he doesn’t believe the injury is serious.. TE Christian Fauria suffered a bruised lower leg and will be re-evaluated later in the week..

Two costly penalties allowed the Vikings to cap off a game winning drive that started from their two yard line.. The first was a personal foul on Sean Taylor.. Taylor spoke after the game and did not blame the refs for a bad call. There was mixed reaction to this call with a number of players questioning why a similar play by a Vikings safety on Brandon Lloyd didn’t receive a similar penalty.. Others like Marcus Washington said he was excited about Taylor’s intensity but on some plays, we “have to be a little smarter.” Taylor said he’s just a player and that a call like that shouldn’t be the reason the team lost a game or not.. he also was called for a 15 yard face mask, but Taylor said he doesn’t believe he grabbed the face mask..

WR Antawn Randle-El caught a 5 yard pass on 3rd and 6 that got the Skins to the Vikings 30 and set up the game ending missed field goal.. Randle-El said he believed he was the recipient of a bad spot saying he stretched the ball out as he was tackled and believed it should have been enough to give Washington a first down.. Joe Gibbs said he believes the 48 yard FG was definitely in John Hall’s range and was “one of those things” in regard to the miss..

Chris Cooley was held to negative 3 yards receiving, the leader pass catcher was Santana Moss with only 4 yards on two grabs.. He did have a touchdown broken up on a hit by Darren Sharper.. Randle-El stood out with 5 catches for 34 yards and 3 punt returns for 38 yards, one a long of 15..

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 8th-- Portis is Out, Marcus Barks before games

RB Clinton Portis ruled himself out of the Vikings game saying he has been told to not risk the season on coming back too fast.. He says he is actually ahead of schedule, that initially he and the team were pointing to returning by week 3-4, but now the Cowboys game isn’t out of the question.. But Portis left some doubt as to whether he’ll be ready for Dallas.. He said he hopes to be back, but we’ll see next week if he can handle some contact.. Portis was in pads again for practice, but he was limited avoiding contact on his shoulder.. he also appears to be in the initial stages of growing a Mohawk.. Take that Riggo!

DE Renaldo Wynn was able to make it through the entire Friday practice, he said his ankle reacted better then yesterday.. He says he is pushing himself to try to make it for the opener “because I am a competitor” but he remains in question to play.. Gregg Williams said he expects to have all his D-linemen for the game..
Williams said one of the two rookies Kedric Golston or Anthony Montgomery will be active for the game, one will be inactive but he said the decision on which one has yet to be made.. The team typically rotates all it’s linemen during the game..

The injury report remains unchanged: Portis is listed as questionable, Wynn-Probable, Shawn Springs- as doubtful as doubtful can be..

Gregg Williams revealed that before one game last season, Marcus Washington got up at 6AM and started running down the halls of the team hotel barking.. Williams said he hopes most players don’t get too amped up but doesn’t particularly worry about Washington.. Washington himself said he has a hard time controlling his energy the day of games..
Williams was asked what he would do if a player kissed him the way Joey Porter did to Bill Cowher last night during the Pittsburgh-Miami game, he responded by saying “Unless someone wants a groin injury, I don’t think they would do that, besides I think they’d rather run me over then kiss me.”

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Septmeber 7-- Portis All But Out for Opener

Clinton Portis took a few plays of practice in pads, although for the amount of time we spent on the field, he was not wearing pads and did not come off the field in pads.. He sounded resigned to sitting out the season opener saying he doesn’t know how to play a limited role and isn’t interested in getting back on the field until he is 100 percent and certain his body can take the hits without his shoulder popping out again.. He described his status as 75% right now.. He didn’t wear a costume but joked he was the “Injured Man” this week.. Joe Gibbs called Portis day to day and didn’t rule out using Clinton in a limited role if he is able to suit up for the Monday Night opener.. Portis made it sound as if he’d rather be safe and wait another week… The injury report continues to list him as questionable..

CB Shawn Springs did not practice again, he said he’ll be ready to play, “when I can run.” He remains doubtful for the MNF opener..

DE Renaldo Wynn returned to practice, but did not make it through the entire session.. he came off the field with his sprained ankle iced.. He said it wasn’t a step back for him, and that he remains hopeful to be on the field on Monday Night.. he is listed as probable..

T Jon Jansen spoke openly about his comments to HBO regarding HGH use in the NFL.. He said this wasn’t the first time he had talked about it in public, saying he and Jody Foldesy wrote about it in a weekly column a couple of seasons back for the Washington Times, but obviously the national forum garnered more attention about this.. Jansen says he has no regret about putting himself out there, that he received no real reaction about his comments from coaches and players and said he’d talk about it all day if I wanted.. He said the most important thing to him is that the players don’t get regarded as a “joke” if they are found to be juiced.. Jansen did back off the estimates he made on “Costas Now” saying he believes a small number of players are using performance enhancing drugs (On the show he said 15-20%, not a small number at all).. he also said he was approached by someone trying to get him onto the drugs when he injured his Achilles tendon two seasons ago but declined.. I asked him directly about the Redskins locker room saying it would be easy to insinuate that he knew of Skins using.. His response was that he has never seen drug use and he says that a number of players who have come from different teams have openly talked about teammates they had using.. DT Dana Stubblefield, a former Skin was profiled on the Costas Now piece as well admitting to usage..
Joe Gibbs said “what we are talking about here is running your life or your career. You have to ask yourself why you would do it.” He praised the random testing system of the NFL and when asked about the draft, said a number of players draft stock drops, there are a number of reasons for that..
The Team brought in a specialist to talk with the players early in camp where this person went over every supplement available and the dangers of using them..

Gibbs said he is getting more comfortable with the handing over of the play calling to Al Saunders.. Decisions whether to kick or go for it on a 4th down remain Gibbs’s to make.. He says that two people are working on potential replay options from the booth with him.. As for the Saunders offense, Gibbs said he likes what he sees in practice and is hopeful things will look better then in the pre-season on Monday Night..

Shawn Springs zinged former Skin Fred Smoot saying that he and Smoot became good friends and that they “are going into business together, starting a cruise line that will leave out of Miami called the Love Boat.”
Vinny Cerrato said the reason Smoot isn’t here is because he priced himself out of what the Skins thought he was worth.. He said once the Vikings came forward with their offer, the Redskins were no longer interested..

As for RB, Cerrato said the team was offered Ron Dayne by the Broncos weeks ago and they turned that down.. Asked whether he had any buyers remorse for trading a 3rd round pick for TJ Duckett when Dayne and Najeh Davenport were both outright released over the weekend, Cerrato said neither of the two “are even close” to Duckett..

Vikings QB Brad Johnson appreciates the memories he had playing in Washington saying he loved being with Norv Turner and was happy about how his teammates and the fans treated him.. You can figure out the one part of the building he left out that he remains resentful about.. he said things have worked out well for him and so he holds no hard feelings but he did admit he’d like to get more due then he has from critics who’ve never spoken about him amongst some of the better QB’s to play..

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

September 5-- Rocky's no Sissy

RB Clinton Portis rehabbed but did not practice today still dealing with a shoulder injury.. Joe Gibbs called his status day to day..
CB Shawn Springs did not practice as well.. He described his status as a work in progress..
DE Renaldo Wynn missed practice as well with a sprained ankle.. He says he remains hopeful that he will be able to play on Monday night.. Portis will not play unless he practices as some point in time during the week..
Back at practice today was DE Phillip Daniels (back) and DT Cornelious Griffin (knee), both appear as if they will be ready for the Monday night opener..
Practice squad LB Robert McCune was out of practice as well with a hamstring injury..

The Redskins signed former Dolphins and Texans tackle Todd Wade and released G Ike Ndwuke.. Ndwuke could potentially be resigned to the practice squad if he clears waivers… Wade is a 7 year veteran, a former second round and is 6’8”.. Joe Gibbs said no one cut a Tackle of note during the releases over the weekend which made the team move forward with signing Wade.. Wade worked out for the team a few weeks back and admittedly was looking for a team where he could compete for a starting position.. He said time had run out and it was time to sign with someone..

Jason Campbell said he believes the coaching staff has shown trust in him in regard to the back-up plan which allows fro Campbell to the starter should Mark Brunell suffer an injury that would last beyond a game..

LB Rocky McIntosh answered a question about how confident he is heading into the season by saying that “I’m far from being a sissy.” I will be following up with Gregg Williams at some point to see where “Sissy” might have crept into his mindset… Warrick Holdman admitted he just played bad last year and that he wanted to prove to his coaches that he is much better then this.. Holdman is expected to see the bulk fo the snaps at weak side linebacker..

Mark Brunell said that it doesn’t matter if “you have the greatest plays in the history of the NFL, it’s all about execution.” Brunell has now expressed concern over the team’s ability to execute the playbook for the second time this week.. No one in the locker room seems to be overly concerned with the state of the offense following the pre-season, but what they’ve hidden does get unleashed for the first time and now the players have to prove they can run it.. Santana Moss predicted a better showing now that what the team is doing during the week will ultimately be used in a game..

The Skins have an off day tomorrow, back at practice on Thursday..

Monday, September 04, 2006

September 4-- The Depth Chart at QB reads 2 and 2A

The back-up plan is intriguing.. If Mark Brunell were to get injured in a game and someone needed to come in and finish the game, Todd Collins is the one who comes in.. If Brunell suffers an injury that would force him out of the next scheduled start, Jason Campbell would get the week to prepare and would start the game..
I can’t believe he did what we actually speculated he might do.. That might be a first!
Gibbs admitted he has never made this decision before in regard to his quarterback depth chart..

Gibbs joked about how the quarterback position, even the back-up is a big deal in Washington, he started the press conference talking about the subject without being questioned about it.. Gibbs praised Campbell’s work ethic and said he’s done everything they have asked, working overtime to get the new offense down..
As for Collins, they remain very confident in him in a pinch hit situation..

The D-line decisions were among the toughest of the roster cuts.. The team released veterans Nic Clemons and Cedric Killings in favor of draft picks Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery.. Gibbs said he spoke personally to the two players who were released and said that it came down to a competitive situation and that these players make the Redskins better..

Asked if his roster is now set after making no moves following cuts, Gibbs said that “I am never in a position to say we will stand pat. I am comfortable with our roster though.”

Injuries: DT Cornelious Griffin (knee) will return to practice tomorrow, same goes for DE Phillip Daniels (back).. DE Renaldo Wynn is questionable to practice tomorrow, Gibbs believes he could be back by Thursday if not tomorrow.. He has a sprained ankle..
RB Clinton Portis and CB Shawn Springs remain question marks this week.. Gibbs said Portis will not play versus Minnesota if he cannot make it back to practice and prove he is healthy.. Springs has been running the last couple of days and Portis has worked out as well through the holiday weekend.. Practicing is a decision Gibbs said he will leave up to the players as they know their health best..

Saturday, September 02, 2006

September 2-- Skins make 21 cuts

All of these players were released..

DB Julian Battle
DB Curry Burns
DL Nic Clemons
WR Mike Espy
DB John Eubanks
WR Jimmy Farris
OL Spencer Folau
RB A.J. Harris
WR Steven Harris
OL Jasper Harvey
LB Spencer Havner
DL Cedric Killings
OL Kili Lefotu
DL Vaka Manupuna
LB Robert McCune
DB Christian Morton
TE Buck Ortega
OL Chris Pino
WR Richard Smith
DL Joe Sykes
FB Manuel White

That's the list.. So Nehemiah Broughton beat out last year's 4th round pick Manuel White for the back-up FB job.. Both rookie draft picks at DT Anthony Montgomery and kedric Golston made the team, veteran Cedric Killings was released..7th round pick OL Kili Lefotu who had a seizure during camp due to sleep apnea was released as well.. 6th rounder S Reed Doughty makes it.. Veteran T Spencer Folau did not make the team.. The back-ups on the O-line currently are Jim Molinaro, Tyson Walter, Ike Ndwuke and Mike Puccillo..
5th rounder in '05 Robert McCune was released, the team was happy with Warrick Holdman's work at MLB during the ravens game.. he isn't expected to see much time there.. McCune also missed the game with a hamstring strain.. The team only keeps two TE's releasing former University of Miami TE Buck Ortega..
Veteran DE Nic Clemons was released as well, he's release is a bit of a surprise condiering the injuries to the postion, but it suggests that both Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn will be ready for opening night..
Veteran Julian Battle lost out at CB to newly acquired Mike Rumph and Kenny Wright.. The team kept five corners as they likely will be without Shawn Springs for the opener..

The Redskins will have a 9 man practice squad.. LB Pillippe Gardent does not count toward the maximum 8 as part of an international program allowing teams to keep a player from another country..
WR Mike Espy is a very likely candidate to remain on the practice squad.. OG Jasper Harvey and T Chris Pino are distinct possibilities as well.. The practice squad gets named tomorrow after all the released players clear waivers..
The team has expressed interest in watching the waiver wires for help paryicularly on the offensive line..

Friday, September 01, 2006

September 1-- No Cuts, No Decision on Back-up QB yet

The Redskins have not and will not make any cuts until the 6PM deadline on saturday when they have to cut the roster down to 53 players.. The team doesn't want to give any teams any longer then necessary to evaluate their players.. Washington can resign 8 eligible players to their practice squad after they clear waivers on Sunday..
Joe Gibbs said the team will be scanning the waiver wires, the particular need is depth on the offensive line..
When told that New England had already made their cuts, Gibbs laughed and said, "Good, now we have more time to check out their guys."

There is no news on who won the back-up quarterback job.. Gibbs said he would not disclose who the primary back-up is until he speaks with both Todd Collins and Jason Campbell personally.. He spoke glowingly after Collins performance in the Baltimore game and descibed this summer as a growth experience for Campbell leading me to speculate that Collins has the job..
Campbell was supposed to play more then he did during the Ravens game but he suffered a mild hamstring injury and was pulled..

Derrick Frost will be the punter and kickoff man for the opener against Minnesota.. Gibbs said the day of competition from the new punter woke something up in Frost.. the team was very happy with his performance in the Baltimore game as well..

Despite missing badly in the B'more game, having a kick blocked at New England and being wide on two attempts in the Ravens scrimmage, John Hall is "still our guy" according to Gibbs.. The team has no plans to sign any potentially available kickers.. Hall;, for now will only handle field goals..

Rookie safety Reed Doughty missed the Ravens game because his wife gave birth to a child prematurely.. There apparently were some complications with the child but as of today, according to Gibbs things have stabilized and Doughty will be returning to the team some time this weekend.. he was in Colorado with his family.. Obviously, his absence has no bearing on whether he would make the team or not.. Doughty is a bubble player..

With the exception of Clinton Portis and Shawn Springs, Gibbs is fairly certain all the players who missed the Ravens game will be ready for the seaosn opener.. There is uncertainty whether Portis will return to practice next week, Gibbs said it is up to him and how he feels.. The plan is not to have Portis wear anything in the game to support or protect his shoulder, however he likely will wear some form of device in practice to ensure he doesn't re-aggravate it..
Springs is the least likely of the two to be ready for Minnesota but the team is not currently ruling him out..

Other then cuts, the team is off until Tuesday when they begin practice in earnest for the Vikings..