Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30-- Williams says secondary meetings are not out of the ordinary

Gregg Williams said that the safeties and CB’s not meeting is not unusual in his coaching days, that when he entered the league he was a safeties coach and that he met separately with the safeties, on Buddy Ryan’s staff, the same.. This was the extent of commentary he would give on the Tom Friend article that still has legs but is dying as the days go by..
Asked about Adam Archuletta, Williams gave him the LaVar treatment saying he is in packages and when the packages are called, he’ll play..

WR Santana Moss who is not on the injury list this week says that if he is playing he’s 100% but that doesn’t mean he is “speed racer” out there.. He says he still needs time to get “my legs under me.”

T Jon Jansen (calf) probable, FB Mike Sellars (shoulder) probable both returned to practice after missing Wednesday.. Jansen however remained limited and was not part of all team drills.. WR David Patten (hamstring) also returned to practice and was upgraded to probable..
Those who missed practice: S Troy Vincent (hamstring) questionable, LB Khary Campbell (hamstring) questionable, CB Kenny Wright (knee) was added to the injury list, probable.. CB Shawn Springs (hamstring) is probable, also an addition to the injury list..

ATL injury update: John Abraham and Grady Jackson both have been removed from the injury list so both are set to play..

WR Antwaan Randle-El was used as a scout team quarterback in practice to attempt to somewhat simulate what Michael Vick can do..

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29-- Steve Jackson Speaks

Safeties coach Steve Jackson spoke after practice today and gave a few comments regarding the Tom Friend ESPN article that painted him as someone who at times does not take part in meetings and pouts on the sidelines during games.. Jackson refused to say whether the secondary meets separately or together and if or when that changed, but he did say that “I’ve known Gregg Williams since 1991. I’ve known Jerry Gray since 1992. Jerry is like a big brother to me, Big brothers sometimes have different ways of doing things.” He also intimated that he did not think the article was a major distraction, “How could it be a distraction if we won?”
Jackson said Sean Taylor didn’t have a particularly better game this past week (which he was named NFC defensive player of the week for) saying only that he’s been playing well all year but because the team won, his play stood out..
Jackson covered for Adam Archuletta saying he doesn’t pout about his situation but that he works hard and knows that on any given play he could be called upon to come in (which appears like the last thing any of the defensive coaches want to do)..

Joe Bugel ripped into the offensive line prior to the Carolina game expressing his displeasure with their performance particularly in the run game in previous weeks.. He credited the total package to being able to get more overall plays to run then in previous weeks.. He also credited the play of Jon Jansen (“Who was on one leg”) and Chris Samuels for their play against the Carolina ends…
Bugel admitted that the team went back to a more power oriented run game, some of the staples of the Joe Gibbs offense, so without saying it, it’s easy to start making the assumption that while Al Saunders is running the offense and calling the plays, the style of offense is going back to the Gibbs power run ways…

K Shaun Suisham started what will be a 3 day kicking competition with Nick Novak.. he is only on the practice squad now.. Joe Gibbs said there is a possibility that the team will carry two kickers this weekend, but that would force the team to drop a player on the active roster to make room.. If Novak survives this week, Suisham is not in danger of being released considering his practice squad status..

Injuries: T Jon Jansen (calf) missed practice and is probable, WR David Patten (hamstring) missed practice and is questionable, S Troy Vincent (hamstring) missed practice and is questionable, LB Khary Campbell (hamstring) missed practice and is questionable, FB Mike Sellars (shoulder) missed practice and is probable…
ATL injuries: CB Jason Webster (groin) out, CB Jimmy Williams (ankle) questionable, DE John Abraham (groin) probable, DT Grady Jackson (knee) probable..

RB Ladell Betts told me he is not concerned with his impending free agent status saying his value will not only be determined by the way he plays as the season progresses but how the team plays as well..

QB Jason Campbell said that Doug Williams told him it would be an honor if he wore the number 17 when he was drafted by the Redskins. Campbell wore 17 in college and thought of Williams as a role model growing up.. He said he called Williams when he first came to Washington but said it was Williams who told him to wear it..
When asked if there are similarities between he and Michael Vick, Campbell laughed and said, “We have the same agent.”

RB Warrick Dunn said the criticism Michael Vick receives for his play is not affecting him, but that Vick is always trying to prove people wrong and even when the team was winning riding the arm of Vick some 5, 6 weeks ago, that the Falcons were getting too far away from their strength which is running the football.. Dunn says Vick just needs to be himself and stop listening to anyone who wants to make him a prototypical quarterback, “Because he’s not a prototype.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

November 27-- Gibbs denies source exists, new kicker coming?

Joe Gibbs said he wasn’t sure an “anonymous source” within his team existed when asked about the ESPN article that had quotes ripping Gregg Williams and the defensive coaching staff.. He said the key word was “anonymous” and until we tell him who exactly said anything, he won’t deal with that.. he refused to elaborate if the team is looking into it.. Asked specifically if he thought Tom Friend made the source up, Gibbs said “I’m not saying that.” Although it is what he implied…

Kickers are expected to be worked out at Redskins Park this week likely on Tuesday.. Mike Vanderjagt was released by Dallas, and as of me writing this, there was no word whether he would be part of the session.. Gibbs said there have been no discussions of the team actually replacing Nick Novak who’s kickoffs remain short and his field goal percentage since returning is 50% however when asked if kickers were coming in to work out, Gibbs wouldn’t deny it, but also wouldn’t confirm it..

Injuries: LB Khary Campbell’s hamstring injury “could be a concern.” The team will evaluate during the week.. DE Phillip Daniels did not do any more damage to his ailing wrist, he may take some practice time off this week to rest it though.. T Jon Jansen is dealing with a calf injury, he also may be held out of some practice this week, WR Santana Moss was said to have done no more damage to his hamstring and was not listed on the injury report, WR David Patten (hamstring) and S Troy Vincent (hamstring) who both missed the Panthers game will be re-evaluated this week..

Gibbs revised his statements of “Sean Taylor can do anything he wants with the ball” by saying that in the late game situation where Taylor made an interception and had he just kneeled down in the end zone he wouldn’t have risked losing the ball.. Gibbs said it is something they will coach Taylor up on..

The review of the Carolina game was mainly positive with Gibbs happy to see his team play “Redskins Football.” He denied he had any more role on the offensive game planning saying all the coaches meet weekly in terms of producing a game plan and this week was no more different then any other.. Gibbs also said that while he was happy with the result there were a lot of things to work on..

On the team’s decision to review the Steve Smith TD, the play happened on the far side end zone.. I was on the Skins sideline and it was impossible for the coaches to know if he was inbounds or not.. Gibbs said that the play was critical and that he felt it was something that basically had to be challeneged.. The coaches in the box help advise him on that.. Keep in mind the replays they see are only the ones provided by TV and the timely fashion in which the replays are shown are at the discretion of the network..

Gibbs was funny in regard to a question he was asked about potentially wearing suits to games saying that he doesn’t think the game for his temperament is the type of environment for which you wear a suit.. He said he used to admire Tom Landry looking so good at the end of a season when he was “20 pounds overweight, looked like he’d been punched in the gut and overall looked like a dump.”

SI’s Peter King, who had adamantly advocated against Art Monk being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame called Joe Gibbs to discuss his credentials for induction this year.. According to reports, King may change his vote this time around.. Gibbs said they had a long discussion about Monk with Gibbs obviously a huge proponent for his WR to be put in.. We’ll see..

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26-- Amid swirling controversy, Skins put together most complete performance of season in 17-13 win over Carolina

CB Carlos Rogers probably put it best, “maybe there should be another article to come out next week to motivate us some more.” He’s referring to late week ESPN article by Tom Friend that exposed sever internal strife within the Redskins defensive coaching staff.. None of this was evident on Sunday when the Redskins played by all accounts it’s best defensive game of the year defeating Carolina 17-13..
Rogers admitted he had his best game of the season, the secondary was heralded for it’s effort in not giving up any big plays.. The team did use a different philosophy this week then most others by matching up Shawn Springs on Steve Smith and Rogers on Keyshawn Johnson.. The Redskins typically play their corners on one side of the field..
Gregg Williams said he “does not tell tales outside of the classroom” essentially refusing to comment on the ESPN article..
Springs acted as if he was a suspect repeating during one media session that he was not the one who was the snitch.. He also said the player should be man enough to come out and express his feeelings publicly with his name attributed to it, even cracking, “these days, it’s not bad to be T.O.. You get plenty of TV time when you say stupid things.”
Renaldo Wynn called the article a breech of the cardinal rules of football teams, to never ever let a reporter in on some of the issues bothering the team or make public certain issues between coaches..
No one would point out who they think it is.. Everyone admitted that the article was discussed among the players.. Rogers said Gregg Williams never mentioned it during his team meeting on Saturday night.. Joe Gibbs did mention it however calling it symptomatic of what happens when you are a 3 and 7 team and people are looking to find ways to distract you further..
Team front office officials were asked to meet together on Saturday at the request of owner Dan Snyder to discuss the article at an undisclosed location.. The conversation was kept private from me..

So if the article wasn’t motivation for the team’s inspired play, maybe it was the mid week pep talk Gibbs had with the team where he expressed in some harsh tones that he wanted the team to become more physical and go back to the style of offense he was accustomed to winning with, running the ball.. The Redskins rushed for over 100 yards led by Ladell Betts who had his best game of the season.. TJ Duckett had seven carries.. Gibbs in true Gibbs form would not take credit for the speech being a motivating factor saying it was all on the players who stepped up..

Jason Campbell won his first NFL game as a starter leading the team to a fourth quarter comeback win.. The winning touchdown, a 66 yard pass play to Chris Cooley on a 3rd and 8 was part Campbell making up the call on his own.. The communication between the sidelines and Campbell during the huddle went out during the call, and he only heard part of it.. The players knew something was wrong in the huddle but didn’t know the extent of the issue until afterward.. Cooley was the second option on that pass play.. Antwaan randle El was also a second option on Campbell’s first TD pass, a 5 yard score on a 3rd and goal.. Cooley kept telling Campbell prior to the play that “I owe you one,” after dropping a would be big play/touchdown on a drive earlier in the second half..

Injuries: LB Khary Campbell (hamstring), T Jon Jansen (calf), FB Mike Sellars (shoulder) all will be re-evaluated tomorrow, none appear to be serious..

So the Skins move to 4-7 with two more home games left on this homestand.. Atlanta is next..

Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24-- Moss likely to play, Gibbs keeps tenor of team meeting to himself

WR Santana Moss returned to practice, he will be upgraded on the injury report and unless there is a setback, he is expected to play Sunday against Carolina.. WR David Patten (hamstring) is out.. S Troy Vincent (hamstring) is also out for the game..
DE Phillip Daniels (wrist/ankle) took part in practice and is expected to play..
CB Shawn Springs was rested after being part of both the Wednesday and Thursday practices, he is expected to play.. Everyone else on the injury remains the same and all are expected to be available for the Sunday game..

Joe Gibbs wouldn’t comment on anything specific from the Wednesday team meeting.. Whether he got mad, threw tables etc., Gibbs laughed and said “ask anyone around me if I still have that in me. We all have different ways of trying to get a point across. We just need to start playing more physical and getting back to winning football.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22-- Gibbs holds team meeting

The Redskins held a team meeting on Wednesday as Joe Gibbs tried to discuss the roadmap to becoming what the team “is to what we want to be.” Players asked about it said there was nothing terse about it and the message was essentially to “keep working.” Likely, the end result is a more run heavy approach, Gibbs constantly talked about the principles of Redskins football being lost, one of those being that this team has not been run heavy…

WR Santana Moss took part in individual drills but not the team portions of practice.. He says his status is the same as a week ago.. He is listed as questionable (hamstring).
3 starting offensive linemen missed the Wednesday practice: T Jon Jansen (calf) probable, C Casey Rabach (shoulder) probable, T Chris Samuels (knee) probable..
S Troy Vincent (hamstring) questionable, did not practice…
WR David Patten was held out of practice, he is listed as doubtful (hamstring)
DE Phillip Daniels missed practice as well, he has a wrist injury and is wearing an ankle boot, but he is probable as well…

Carolina injury report: C Justin Hartwig (groin) out, RB DeShaun Foster (elbow) questionable, CB Ken Lucas (thigh) questionable, G Mike Wahle (shoulder) questionable..

S Vernon Fox talked openly about finally getting a shot to prove he can be more then a special teams player in the league.. he is hoping the opportunity, playing in front of Adam Archuletta will be his chance to show he can be a part of a defense as well..

WR Santana Moss said he didn’t even want to talk about the struggles of the team and his injury status saying he always looks forward to the next day not back.. This is a similar sentiment from when he didn’t want to relive his great moments from earlier in the season and last year..

There are rumors on linking Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher and Titans coach Jeff Fisher potentially to Washington should Joe Gibbs decide not to come back for a 4th season.. I asked one player about Fisher who said he wouldn’t want him to come here because there is too much of a lack of discipline on the Titans team.. He said Gibbs is a players coach like Fisher, but unlike Gibbs the players make the rules, Gibbs sets the rules and allows his players to enforce them.. Of course Gibbs has yet to even intimate he wouldn’t be back so it is all a moot point anyway..

Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19-- Campbell good, Defense bad in 20-17 loss at Tampa Bay

The Skins defense was dominated by statistically one of the most inefficient offense sin the NFL falling for the fifth time in six games 20-17 at Tampa Bay.. The Buccaneers rushed for over 180 yards, they came into the game averaging 80 yards on the ground per.. The Bucs scored 17 second half points to erase a 7 point deficit.. Tampa had not scored 17 in any game in a month, the last time they scored 20 or more was a win against Philadelphia where they had two defensive touchdowns and a 62 yard field goal..

So Washington fell to 3 and 7.. Joe Gibbs claimed the team is not playing “by certain principles” which was not exactly elaborated on except to say the team needs to rush the ball better and stop the run better..

Jason Campbell’s first start was a success.. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions leading the team on a scoring drive to start the second half and then a two minute offense drive that gave Washington a chance with 30 seconds to go.. Campbell said he was comfortable all day and credited his teammates for supporting him throughout the week and into the game..
The first play call was a go route to Brandon Lloyd which was dropped.. Campbell said he knew the night before that this would be the first play run and that he was throwing it no matter what the coverage but the team got man on man on Lloyd on the outside, it just didn’t connect..

Phillip Daniels said the defensive players have all the intangibles to be the group they were the last two years but players are consistently getting out of position.. He called it “head scratching” and said “When you count on players to be in a spot and then they aren’t there, you wonder what’s going on.” Shawn Springs wouldn’t elaborate on the play of the D other then to say, “We don’t have enough time to go through all of the problem but scratching the surface, we need to stop the run better, stop the pass better and tackle.” That’s everything!

Springs did have an interception, one of two Redskin takeaways, their first in 6 games.. It kept the game tied at 3 at halftime despite Tampa outgaining Washington in the first half 190-63.. On Springs’s interception, QB bruce Gradkowski was trying to change the play at the line of scrimmage but WR Joey Galloway was not paying attention to him or ignoring him to the point where Gradkowski waved his hand in a “forget it” manner then proceeded to throw the ball at Galloway anyway.. Springs jumped the route..

RB Clinton Portis did not come to Tampa with the team but was in Florida and then arrived at the game.. he was escorted through the crowd in the first half and when reaching the field did not have the proper credentials to join his teammates on the sideline.. The team rectified the situation and outfitted him so he could cross into the team only area..

The only injury reported was to safety Troy Vincent who strained his left hamstring and did not return.. S Sean Taylor missed a couple of plays after tweaking his right hamstring but returned.. WR Brandon Lloyd left the game on a couple of occasions after hits, but returned..
WR Santana Moss was a game day inactive due to his hamstring injury.. TB had three defensive starters inactive, DE Simeon Rice, DT Ellis Wyms and LB Shelton Quarles..
TB came into the game having not converted a 3rd down in the second half of any of their last 3 games..
Washington now starts a 3 game homestand with Carolina this weekend.. This crowd should be interesting..

Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17-- Moss likely out for TB game

WR Santana Moss missed practice for a third straight day and is very unlikely to play against TB.. he said he should have treated last Friday as he did this week but shutting it down more.. He says playing the Philly game, he was not himself and although he hasn’t suffered any setback to his injury, it needs more time.. Joe Gibbs said he is leaving open a slight hope Moss will feel better by game time..

TE Christian Fauria will not play against TB dealing with an ankle injury that kept him out of practice all week.. Everyone else should be a go..

Joe Gibbs said the football world will miss former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler who died at the age of 77 today.. Jon Jansen said it is a huge loss for the Michigan family and hoped that it will have a motivating effect on the team as they face Ohio State tomorrow..

Jason Campbell appears relaxed and ready for his first start, he credited his teammates for being supportive all week.. The team has been messing with him during every interview session constantly kidding him and listening to what he says.. Like everything else, he has taken it all in stride.. Moss said Campbell looks great in practice and that he is a lot calmer then he was earlier in the week.. Gibbs said he has no advice for Campbell other then to be himself..

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16-- Sean Taylor's Penalties, TJ's playing time

The Redskins had a shortened practice in extremely rainy conditions.. Joe Gibbs is against working inside (not that the Skins have a facility to do that anyway) because he believes you practice outside because you play outside terming this “Redskins weather.”
Gregg Williams said he was impressed by the way Jason Campbell played in the practice today but called it a better defensive day..

Williams talked about Sean Taylor and his penalties saying he’s been trying for years to speed players up not slow them down and the last thing he wants to do is force Taylor to go slower.. He defended the penalty that occurred five yards out of bounds saying Taylor was trying to pull off.. On Taylor’s coverage skills, he says the safety still has some things to work on saying his “eyes” need to be in the right place on certain occasions and admitted he was beat on the long touchdown pass, but says that in general he is happy with Taylor’s play also saying he couldn’t do any more on run support..

On the lack of turnovers, Williams said they sniffed out an early play by the Eagles where Marcus Washington jumped a route but didn’t get the interception.. Williams told Washington to make that play if he saw a certain formation and to blame him after the game if they were beat with something else, but unfortunately he didn’t make the catch.. Williams continues to preach patience, that the turnovers will come and was mad about the missed call near the Skins goal line on what appeared to be a fumble…

RB TJ Duckett said he never complained about playing time because there wouldn’t have been a point and he is glad his opportunity is finally going to come to play.. Duckett is the primary back-up heading into the Tampa game which means the bulk of the carries will go to Ladell Betts.. Duckett may have a number of carries dependent on situation.. if the Skins are in short yardage or goal line situations, expect Duckett to get more attempts then if they are not in those situations.. Duckett was used in practice in goal line and short yardage during practice a week ago after the team couldn’t punch it in against Dallas..

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15-- Portis done, both QB's speak

As reported first by Triple X ESPN radio, Clinton Portis was placed on injured reserve today which ends his season.. Portis said he was weighing whether he would undergo shoulder surgery but the team is adamant he will have a procedure done..
The team will wait a few weeks to let his surgically repaired hand to heal before having him undergo a procedure that the team describes as something that will strengthen the joint, but he will need 4-5 months of rehab before he can get back on the field.. Portis had his other shoulder fixed when he injured it in high school..
The team has signed tight end Brian Kozlowski to replace Portis on the roster..

Kozlowski played with the team the last two seasons, is described as a good chemistry player and is going to be potentially active this weekend because TE Christian Fauria missed practice, he is wearing a boot on his injured ankle, is listed as questionable and Joe Gibbs believes he may have to miss this game..

WR Santana Moss missed a portion of practice, he is dealing with a sore hamstring and is questionable.. T Jon Jansen missed a portion of practice (probable) with a calf injury, CB Shawn Springs is probable (hamstring/groin) he was given a rest day from practice, trainers described his situation as Springs needing a day off during the week as he did a week ago but they think it is better for that rest day to come earlier in the week..
S Sean Taylor was held out of practice, he had his wisdom teeth removed…

TB injury list: CB Juran Boldin (hip), T Anthony Davis (ankle), T Donald Penn (foot), RB Michael Pittman (shoulder), LB Shelton Quarles (knee/ankle), DE Simeon Rice (shoulder), DT Ellis Wyms (ankle) all are listed as questionable…

Jason Campbell said the “shock” of being named the starting quarterback is behind him and he is starting to accept the new role.. he says all of his teammates including Mark Brunell have been extremely supportive.. many of the players were messing with Campbell during his media session.. it’s safe to say that while everyone is apprehensive about expectations for Campbell’s first game, everyone was happy for him and seemingly rallying around him..

Mark Brunell spoke for what could be the last time for a while to us ending his session with reporters by mockingly saying “Nice talking to you guys this year.” He opened by somewhat joking, “Lets get this beating started.”
Brunell said he does not want to let anyone think he is saying that he believes he is a scapegoat and he thanks all his teammates for their support through the decision that was made.. he said now is not the time to talk about his future, all he is worried about right now is being the back-up for Jason Campbell..

Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13-- Jason Campbell era begins

Jason Campbell has been named starting quarterback for the Redskins.. he will take his first regular season snap in his first regular season start Sunday against Tampa Bay.. Campbell said he was shocked at the decision and has mixed emotions crediting Mark Brunell for being a mentor for him..
Joe Gibbs said Brunell took the news like a “gentleman” but said he didn’t agree with the move.. He also said Todd Collins who now falls on the depth chart to #3 that he also didn’t agree with the decision but “understood.”
Gibbs says that he made this decision on his own, that he was not influenced by any kind of marketing decision by the front office.. With a 3 game homestand on the horizon and the fans clamoring for the change, it would be an easy assumption to make that the other side of the building was hoping for the shift at this position as well, but Gibbs claims no one but he and his coaches had input on the move…
Gibbs seemed almost pained in discussing the change, he pointed out quickly that he does not believe the reason his team is 3-6 is because of the play of Mark Brunell.. Asked what Brunell’s future was with the Redskins, Gibbs essentially said “You never know, but maybe being the number 2 will give him a chance to get a breath of fresh air.”
Asked directly if this is Campbell’s job for the rest of the season, Gibbs was non-committal.. Even Campbell said he was told only that this is his job, no promises have been made beyond the next game…Campbell has been relaying plays during practice to Mark Brunell to continue his familiarity of the offense.. Campbell states his extra work after practice in recent weeks with quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor have made him much more ready for this start then he would have been two months ago..
Asked if there are any other personnel changes coming, Gibbs said no, but did say he wants Rocky McIntosh to play, but he’s been saying that for weeks.
Gibbs again described Adam Archuletta as an important part of his team reminding everyone he is a captain on punt units, but Archuletta barely played on defense in Phialdelphia, Gibbs blamed that on “packages” that weren’t used against the Eagles.. This is exactly what happened with LaVar Arrington a season ago..

RB Clinton Portis has surgery on a broken bone near the ring finger of his right hand.. he had three pins place din the bone and he will be out at least 3 weeks, likely a month..
Joe Gibbs called TJ Duckett’s two carries on Sunday a “good experience.” Expect Ladell Betts to start on Sunday with Duckett being the primary back-up..

DE Phillip Daniels has a sprained wrist and will be limited in practice this week.. WR Santana Moss has a sore hamstring following the Eagles game, he also will be limited in practice this week.. T Jon Jansen continues treatment for a sore calf.. T Chris Samuels has a “sore leg.”

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12-- Skins embarrassed by Eagles 27-3

The Redskins fell to 3-6 and 1-3 in the NFC East after a 27-3 loss in rainy Philadelphia.. The Skins have now gone five weeks without causing a turnover and fell to -3 in the turnover ratio after an interception by Sheldon Brown was returned for a touchdown in the game..
The Skins held the ball for 20 minute in the first half but only managed 3 points.. Philadelphia had a one play scoring drive, 84 yards from Donovan McNabb to Donte Stallworth and on their next possession scored on a 4 play drive that included a bizarre fumble/lateral play that went out of the hands of Reggie Brown into Correll Buckhalter’s for a touchdown..

Washington had over 200 yards of offense in the first half practically matching the Eagles except on the scoreboard where they trailed 17-3..
The Skins have now lost 3 road division games by a combined 57 points scoring 16 points total in the 3.. With the Eagles and Cowboys wins, Washington is now two games behind both in the NFC East standings are for all intents and purposes can only make the playoffs with a 7 game run to end the season coupled with at least 3 losses from Dallas and the Eagles..

RB Clinton Portis broke a bone on his ring finger on his right hand.. He will undergo surgery and will have a couple of screws placed in it, he will be out for at least 3 weeks and likely a month..
DE Phillip Daniels had x-rays taken on an injured forearm but they were negative, he returned to the game..

With the absence of Portis, the Skins gave 2 carries to TJ Duckett, his first touches in over five weeks..

QB Todd Collins was warming up to come into the game with nine minutes to play, but the Redskins never got the ball back.. Joe Gibbs said he would evaluate everything and did not close the door on a possible quarterback change this week..

Santana Moss succinctly said it was the team’s fault for their 3-6 record.. Everyone credited the Eagles for “beating us today.”

The Skins are at Tampa Bay next week before returning home for a 3 game homestand..

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10-- Moss upgraded

Everyone practiced with the exception of Shawn Springs who was held out for rest and he wasn’t added to the injury report.. Santana Moss is doing well and is likely to play on Sunday with his status upgraded to probable.. He still remains a game time decision, he will be worked out on the field and his status will be determined then..
TE Christian Fauria returned to practice and was upgraded to probable..

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9-- Moss looks ready, Portis's Mom being sued

WR Santana Moss returned to practice full time, he remains questionable to play on Sunday but appears likely that he will.. he quantified his hamstring as at 85%.. If there is no setback tomorrow, he will likely play..
WR Brandon Lloyd was held out of practice with a groin injury, he is now listed as probable..
TE Christian Fauria missed a second straight practice (ankle) he remains questionable..
QB Mark Brunell returned to practice after resting on Wednesday, everyone else participated and the status of all the players on the injury report have remained the same..

Clinton Portis’s Mom got into a fight with some rowdy Philly fans last year when the Skins clinched a playoff berth at the Linc.. Portis said that hie Mom is now being sued “out of greed.” He says his Mom will attend the game there this weekend and that he is not dissuading her from going..
Portis admits to being beat up badly this year and that the wear and tear of the amount of carries he’s had over the last two years is not hel[ping.. That being said, he says he will fight through whatever to play and that he will do anything he is called upon to do.. he says he is not a selfish player saying if the team wanted to use TJ Duckett or Ladell Betts more on short yardage plays he would welcome it.. Portis says the best rush game the team had was against JAX and that at times his rush offense shows nothing..

Randy Thomas called the goal line offense of a week ago “spotty” He said using Duckett on short yardage could be a positive move..

Gregg Williams wouldn’t discuss in detail the demotion of safety Adam Archuletta, but we discussed it a little on Sunday and the team is hoping to find more success with Archuletta as a player who plays closer to the line of scrimmage, more of a linebacker then safety..
Williams believes the lack of a takeaway (it’s been four games) has resulted in the ranking of his defense being so low (30th).. he also says the team addresses the play of the 3rd quarter every week and that he hopes sooner or later the team will start making the plays to get off to a better second half start.. The team has been outscored 43-0 in the last four 3rd quarters combined..

Portis and Moss both spoke to me directly about the issues at the University of Miami in the wake of the murder of a defensive lineman and the fight that occurred a few weeks back.. Their interviews will air tomorrow night on the Friday Football Frenzy if you are interested in promoting..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8-- Moss might be a go in Philly

Injuries: WR Santana Moss did limited work in practice but Joe Gibbs called his progression a “step up.” It appears as if Moss has a legitimate shot to play this weekend against Philadelphia, he is listed as questionable (hamstring)
TE Christian Fauria was held out of practice (ankle) and is questionable..
WR David Patten returned to practice, he is probable with a hamstring injury
CB Carlos Rogers practiced (thumb) probable..
T Jon Jansen was limited in practice (calf) probable.. Joe Gibbs said he doesn’t believe the injury is any worse then it was last week when Jansen was forced to ice his right calf in between each offensive series..
TE Chris Cooley practiced (shoulder) probable.. he says he has a high tolerance for pain..
QB Mark Brunell is not on the injury list but did not practice to “rest.”

Eagles injury list: DT Mike Patterson (hand) probable, CB Lito Sheppard (hand/ankle) probable, RB Brian Westbrook (ankle/knee) probable None of these players missed Wednesdays practice for Philadelphia..

Joe Gibbs joked that because he hasn’t found an answer for his team’s inability to play better in the 3rd quarter that he might start stopping practice and announcing, “It is now the 3rd quarter.” The Redskins have been outscored 43-0 in the last 4 4th quarters combined..

The Redskins defense now ranks 30th in the NFL.. Marcus Washington and Gibbs both agreed that the team showed some signs of improvement this past weekend despite giving up nearly 400 yards of offense and dropping in the rankings from 26th to 30th.. The Eagles are the league’s number one ranked offense but they do it predominantly through the air.. Gibbs said if he had the same personnel namely Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook he would probably run his offense the same way because that is “their strength.”

Mark Brunell could not come up with what he believes the identity of the offense is when asked.. he said last week was a confidence builder and he believes the offense is “getting better.” Whether the team will become more run oriented as they were a week ago and in their run at the end of last season is something to watch.. Chris Cooley said the total comfort of the offense for everyone has led to more productive moments for him and that he doesn’t feel as if he has had better games per se the last few weeks..

Gibbs talked openly that he would like to see the league drop the inactive rule and allow teams to keep all 53 players on Sundays active and at a team’s disposal.. he said an initiative might be in order after the season and he doesn’t know why the current rule stands that you must deactivate 7 players and announce who a 3rd quarterback is.. I agree.. It’s a silly rule that only hurts teams when they have injury issues like the Skins had at WR..

Eagles safety Brian Dawkins said he talks to his former teammate Troy Vincent just about every day calling him a big brother and said he is missed by the Eagles.. Dawkins believes his locker room, though not the same as a couple of years back in terms of the core personnel has the same ability to be the dominant team in the East.. The Eagles are currently on a 3 game losing streak, they had a four game losing streak last season during the TO/McNabb circus season, prior to that, they hadn’t had a four game slide since Andy Reid’s first season as head coach back in the late 90’s.. This will be the 3rd time the Redskins have faced a team coming off their bye week in 9 games..

Monday, November 06, 2006

November 6-- Gibbs explains a lot

Joe Gibbs opened the day after Dallas win press conference with a 9 minute diatribe defending the structure and his role in the organization.. He was not asked specifically about anything nor took questions during this, then opened up the presser for questions about the win over the Cowboys..

Gibbs defended how the team is structured saying that when he came in he felt the structure with him at the top, no GM, is right and he cotninues to believe the group decisions system that includes Vinny Cerrato, Louis Riddick, Dan Snyder etc. is the right way to go.. he also defended the team's draft strategy saying that the draft is important to them and then he defended the free agent acquisitions over the past few seasons..

He also reiterated that if there are issues with the team in terms of success that all the blame should be put on him.. He also said Dan Snyder does nothing but support the team and Gibb's decisions...

Injuries: Jon Jansen has a pulled calf, but played through it, Christian Fauria suffered an ankle injury in pre-game warmups but played with it, Chris Cooley suffered a severe shoulder bruise but played with it, Antwaan RandleEl had his heel flare up but played with it, Lemar Marshall played through a sore ankle..
WR Santana Moss will be re-evaluated later in the week, Brandon Lloyd said he believes Moss will play this weekend, we shall see if he can practice on Wednesday.. Joe Gibbs said Moss had a good workout and that there is blood at the bottom of the hamstring that needs to go away..

Asked if Sean Taylor could conceivably be used on offense, Joe Gibbs said the injury situation in the secondaru prevents any inclination of Taylor being used as a two way player, but that Gibbs has no reservations about using special talented players as two way players.. Taylor practiced as a goal line WR a year ago..

Gibbs said the main reason he did not use TJ Duckett on the goal line situation is "how I feel about Clinton." Essentially, Gibbs is loyal to his players and he was hoping to get Clinton to score.. That said, Gibbs said it is something he would consider doing in the future... So, maybe we'll see Duckett play.. The back is an insurance policy the team has decided not to cash in on..

Gibbs credited the effort of Andre Carter on earlier field goal attempts by the Cowboys that led to the eventual block of the Vanderjagt attempt late in the game Sunday.. He says Carter's push created a shift by the Cowboys concerned about Carter's presence.. This in turn opened the door for Troy Vincent and the breakdowns on the outside of the protection..
He said Nick Novak was told to adhere to the ten second rule, essentially if you miss a field goal, don't look over to the sideline for ten seconds because you don't want to hear what everyone has to say.. Gibbs said he said nothing to Novak after his late game miss saying he'd only make him more nervous..
On the sideline before the final kick, the press ran to the other side of the field after the block and return, this left little room for Derrick Frost and Nick Novak to get in a final practice kick before taking the field.. Frost screamed at everyone to get out of the way in more colorful terms and played the role of good traffic cop getting in the final practice before the winning kick..

On the drive leading up to Novak's miss with a half minute to play, Gibbs said he agreed with the play calling and said the final run was a safe standard play the team runs but Dallas sent a blitzer from a different place then they accounted for.. He also reiterated he does not call any of the plays..

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 5-- Skins score bizarre win over Cowboys 22-19

In what turned out to be a ho-hum affair the Redskins beat the Cowboys 22-19 on a Nick Novak 47 yard field goal with no time on the clock..
Novak had missed a 49 yard attempt 30 second of game time earlier which started a bizarre turn of events as the game came to a dramatic conclusion.. Tony Romo hit Jason Witten for a 28 yard pass play to get the ball to the Redskins 17 with 6 seconds left setting up a game winning field goal attempt for Mike Vanderjagt from 35 yards out..
Troy Vincent, who didn’t know until the night before the game that he was even on kick block units was the second man from the edge.. Players said in the huddle before the kick that Vincent was telling everyone to just keep believing and a number of players like Marcus Washington and Phillip Daniels said they basically had a feeling that they were somehow going to block the kick.. Vincent did, Sean taylor recovered it and weaved his way across the 50, add a 15 yard personal foul for a face mask and Novak got an extra play with no time on the clock to win it and he did..
So the Skins move to 3-5 and won their first conference and division game of the season..

There were no injuries reported for Washington.. T Jon Jansen said his right calf was “sore” during the game but he made it through.. Jansen was having his calf iced in between series but said it did not limit him..

S Adam Archuletta was benched in favor of Vincent who said he had been practicing with the ones since the bye week began.. Players credited Vincent’s communication skills for positioning the team as the main reason he was able to adapt and for the team’s “better “ defensive effort this week as opposed to earlier in the season.. Gregg Williams described Archuletta now more as a hybrid safety/linebacker utilizing his skills more so at the point of attack then in the back end.. Williams didn’t talk about it as a demotion per se, but more of placing Archuletta in a better spot to make plays he is proficient at..

Williams was reminded of the Music City Miracle, saying after that he thought the Titans couldn’t be beat, and it was a prevailing thought in the locker room, he as the players hope this outcome will have a similar effect..
The players held a players only meeting earlier in the week where the tenor of conversation was about saving the season, forgetting what happened in the past 7 weeks and essentially making sure everyone is on the same page as they move forward…
Should the Skins win next week and Dallas lose, Washington would be in second place in the NFC East..

Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3-- Moss is out

WR Santana Moss will be downgraded on the injury report and is not expected to play against the Cowboys.. Joe Gibbs essentially ruled him out and Moss said he is not tested enough to be able to go out on Sunday and do the things he’s used to doing..

T Jon Jansen left practice early for the second straight day with a calf injury, he is listed as probable and he and the team are calling it precautionary..

WR David Patten missed practice with hamstring and thigh injuries.. He is questionable for Sunday..

The team will not activate a practice squad receiver even if Patten and Moss are both out..

DE Phillip Daniels was fined five thousand dollars for his hit on Peyton Manning in the first half despite no penalty being thrown..

In a bizarre locker room moment, Josh (from Redskins dot com) and I approached Brandon Lloyd to talk about Moss being out.. When we asked him for a minute of his time he stared at us like we'd just asked him for his wallet.. Very uncomfortable moment, it lasted a good ten seconds then he finally said No by blaming the fact that he didn't have a shirt on (good excuse) and that he'd have to talk to everyone else (bad excuse).. Really weird..

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2nd-- Homework assignments given by Gregg Williams

WR Santana Moss missed practice again, he remains questionable for Sunday's game with Dallas..
WR Brandon Lloyd was limited in practice (shoulder)
T Jon Jansen was also held out of some of the drills in practice with a calf injury..

The rest of the injury report remains the same..

Clinton Portis said he hasn't felt like Clinton Portis all season not because he has been dealing with injuries since the first pre-season game but because he is a limited part of the game plan.. Portis says his health isn't a factor when he gets the ball the ammount of times he got in Houston and against Jacksonville.,. He says the recent ankle injury will not hinder him during the Cowboys game..

Gregg Williams gave his team homework assignments during the bye week which he says was turned in on time with minor spelling errors.. That was his way of making a joke..
He thought the work his team was asked to do ended up giving an honest assessment from his players about their performance.. he says he is very happy to have all his regulars back for the first time this season and he hopes it will help.. As for the pass rush, he says the issues have been far ranging, some from being limited due to secondary injuries, and partly because of players issues at the point of attack.. As for the lack of turnovers, he says sooner or later we will be asking him how the floodgates got opened like last year.. he says that teams have been using more max protection against his D concerned about what they can do when they show limited protections..

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 1-- Moss questionable for Sunday

WR Santana Moss missed practice and is questionable with a hamstring injury.. Joe Gibbs intimated that he thought Moss would have a chance to rejoin the team later in the week for practice but Moss was less optimistic saying it doesn;t feel any better then it did a few days ago and that he doesn't want to risk missing a long period of time by pushing it too hard.. He currently says he can't run..

RB Clinton Portis (ankle) did practice and is listed as probable.. Gibbs believes he will be ready to play Sunday..

WR David Patten was held out of practice with hamstring and thigh injuries.. If he can't go, the Skins would be down to 3 WR's for the Cowboys game..
QB Mark Brunell did return to practice, he was minorly limited with a rib cage injury but is listed as probable and is expected to play against Dallas..
LB Lemar Marshall was also back at practice after missing the Colts game with a high ankle sprain, he is listed as probable..
Other Skins injuries: WR Antwaan Randle-El (heel) probable, T Chris Samuels ( lower leg) probable, CB Carlos Rogers (thumb) probable..

Dallas injury list: Rb Tyson Thompson (ankle) out, DE Jason Hatcher (ankle) doubtful..

The hiring of Ray Brown is not to add a coach to the staff.. Brown is being brought in as Gibbs describes it as a sounding board for some of the younger players.. he's more of a consultant and player relations guy then decision maker..

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said about 20 teams inquired about him following the draft four years ago but the Redskins were not one of them.. Romo says he was not surprised he got a shot to play.. Bill Parcells said the decision left him with a lot of doubt evenjoking that if he could buy insurance for quarterback changes, he would purchase some.. Parcells talked openly about his feelings about being in the game still saying "it's hard to describe but it gets in your blood. But losing now is harder then it was earlier in my career and winning is more of a relief then anything." Gibbs when asked to share his feelings didn''t give similar insight..

Marcus Washington said we should forget about last year's run, that this is a different team and hanging onto what the team did a year ago as proof they can turn around the season this go around is not worthwhile thinking about.. Mark Brunell said the team has brought it up, but agreed with Washington that last year is last year..
There was no anger or snippyness from the locker room as it seemed like a normal week in the locker room.. Everyone talks about the sense of urgency, but the feeling certainly isn;t tangible..
Washington believes the team needs to take on a better attitude, not to get down during games which he has noticed and that everyone needs to come out and play four quarters instead of "2."