Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 31-- Skins clean out lockers, Archuletta talks with coaches

The Skins cleaned out their lockers after having one final team meeting today.. Those who spoke about the meeting said Joe Gibbs was very encouraging about the future, said some offseason items will change, likely the schedule but he will first study the rest of the league to see how they structure the off-season to best utilize this one for his team.. Gibbs also said he would like to keep his “core” in tact and continues to believe he has the right people to produce a winner come next year..

WR David Patten realizes his age and production make him likely expendable.. he admits the level of talent at WR here potentially will force him to move on but he is hoping that the Skins will allow him to return.. Patten is a likely cap casualty…

Clinton Portis believes there is no impending issue about he and Ladell Betts and how the team may attack their offensive game plan come next year with Betts emergence late this season.. As Portis put, “We’ve been co-existing for 3 years now. I always knew what Ladell could do.” Portis has always been very supportive of Betts even when carried the bulk of the load the first two seasons here.. Portis said he needs 5 more months of rehab before he can return to practice but intends to be 100% healthy for the start of camp next season.. He says he won’t return to the field until he is 100%..

TJ Duckett said he was hoping to get more opportunities this season but he intends to hit the free agent market.. Duckett doesn’t know whether he figures into the Redskins plans after the team resigned Ladell Betts.. The Skins likely will allow Duckett to leave via free agency..

Kicker John Hall said he is working with a bio-mechanical specialist out of Vancouver on a 12 week program to attempt to resurrect his kicking career.. Hall said due to kicking while injured, he has now lost the use of some of his abdominal muscles.. He is well aware of his status as a likely cap cut with Shaun Suisham kicking very well at the end of the season.. Hall thanked the team, he said he will continue to rehab at Redskins Park and hopes for an opportunity here or down the road somewhere else.. Suisham is under contract through next season..
Punter Derrick Frost is a restricted free agent but said he expects to be back with the Redskins next season..

CB Shawn Springs said he doesn’t think much about his cap number and the potential for him either to be a cap release or a restructure candidate.. Springs said he didn’t think it was even a question that he would return next year but he will wait to see if the team determines they need him to do something to help with their cap position.. Springs said he does not need surgery to repair a broken shoulder blade and will rest for 4-5 weeks…

LB Lemar Marshall played injured the entire season, but refused to elaborate on his condition saying “I don’t want to make any excuses. If I was out there I was healthy enough to play.” Marshall went through 2 off-season surgeries a year ago and in recent weeks, coaches have defended his play as partially a result of getting healthy first.. Marshall said he needs no surgery this coming off-season..

C Casey Rabach said he will only need to continue to rest his broken left hand.. he said the New Orleans game where he wore a cast was difficult to adjust to, but the last couple of games he didn’t feel as if it affected his play very much.. The 4 pins placed in the hand will remain and eventually be a permanent part of his hand.. Rabach said he has parked the Harley for good but will continue to ride his ATV, all be it hopefully more safely.. he said the organization was great about the off-season accident he suffered while doing yard work.. Rabach gave me the finger (semi-jokingly) when I brought it up.. he said he was very pleased at how everyone from top to bottom supported him in getting healthy and not concerning themselves with riding ATV’s and how some organizations react to those types of accidents..

T Jon Jansen said he needs 3-4 weeks of rest and his calf should then be healthy again, no surgery needed.. he said the week off helped him, but the final two games ended up getting the muscle into the similar condition before he missed the N.O. game.. Jansen said he is not concerned about wear and tear on his body after 3 years where he has dealt with a variety of injuries.. He called the thumbs and Achilles tear flukes.. He said he doesn’t feel like “I’m getting old or anything.”

S Adam Archuletta said he spoke with all of his coaches and feels as if “a lot of things that needed to be expressed were expressed.” He said he understands he has a big contract and that he may have to return to the Skins next season.. He wouldn’t commit to whether he would want to be back or not.. He also refused comment on how the salary cap may affect whether he is forced to return next season.. Archuletta said one major blessing of the season is that his body feels better then it has in years and that his silver lining is he is more healthy now then he ever was.. He said he never could have envisioned this happening when he signed with the team and has no regrets despite how things turned out this season, but he hopes the learning experience he went through helps him later in his career..
Should the Skins release Archuletta, they would owe 9 million against their cap that they could take next season or spread out over the course of two years, 1.5 in ’07 and 7.5 in ’08, or they could retain him..

Saturday, December 30, 2006

December 30-- Skins end season 5-11 after 34-28 loss to Giants

The Redskins finished the season 5 and 11 after losing the season finale 34-28 to the Giants.. Tiki Barber rushed for a career high 234 yards and three touchdowns in what would have been his last game as a Giant had New York lost.. Gregg Williams blamed bad tackling for Barber’s day saying the Redskins overtacked the box to stop the run yet couldn’t get Barber down..
Jason Campbell led a second half comeback where the Skins trailed by as much as twenty bringing the team within six twice but failed to complete a pass on four straight downs on the Skins final offensive possession with 2 minutes to play..

Ladell Betts failed to go over 100 yards thus he remains tied for the franchise record of 5 straight 100 plus yard rush days.. Rock Cartwright broke Brian Mitchell’s kickoff return record for most return yards in a single season.. he needed 73 coming in.

Campbell was forced to leave the game for a brief period of time after he was hit hard trying to slide on one play.. Many credited Campbell’s toughness for coming back and playing through it..
QB Mark Brunell said he would like to stay in Washington and understands he would have to take a massive pay cut to remain with the team.. He says he plans to take a look at all of his options before deciding what he ultimately will do.. The Skins will release Brunell if he doesn’t restructure his contract..

G Derrick Dockery said he wants to stay in Washington and he hopes his agent and the team can come to terms on a deal before free agency opens..

Gregg Williams said his defense will treat this offseason like the first one when he came to Washington 3 years ago assessing everything in terms of scheme and personnel.. He says he believes he has the core group of players he could win with and that he hopes that his staff will remain in tact.. Asked directly about why Adam Archuletta played sparingly on defense this year, Williams declined to comment only to say that he hopes Archuletta returns next season.. Williams said there is no quick fix for the defense and that the staff would use the month of January to discuss what they can and will do to get the direction back.. His team barely avoided allowing the most yards in franchise history in a single season..

Injuries: CB Ade Jimoh suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff of the second half and did not return.. LB Warrick Holdman injured his shoulder and di not return.. TE Todd Yoder bruised a knee, S Vernon Fox had a shoulder injury..
DE Phillip Daniels said he will undergo surgery to clean out both ankles later this week.. He will also have a procedure done to repair a torn ligament in his wrist.. Daniels said he kept the severity of his injuries secret through the year..

WR Brandon Lloyd had bronchitis and was inactive for the game.. he ended his first season with 23 catches and no touchdowns..

Asked if Jason Campbell was his starter for next season, Joe Gibbs said Yes..

Asked about the double pass interference call during the game, Williams said “I can’t comment because I don’t want to be fined.”

The players will have a final team meeting tomorrow and then begin their off season.. Joe Gibbs will hold a final press conference on Monday..

Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28-- Archuletta Speaks

S Adam Archuletta speaks.. He said (which I don’t have on tape as it happened as I was making my way to his on and off group session) was that he didn’t appreciate being lied to.. Exactly what he means by that will come forward in the coming days/weeks.. Archuletta said he would discuss his future when “the time is appropriate.” Asked if he was told he would play a different position when he signed then he ultimately was asked to play, Archuletta laughed and said it was not the time to go into any of those subjects.. he also wouldn’t commit to his future here saying he has thought about every aspect of his life over the last 6 months and it will “be a fun process learning from the experience.”

Joe Gibbs joked that if next year is going to be like this year, “I don’t want to sign up for that.” He says he is open to anything different this coming off-season including allowing some players to conduct their own personal workouts, something the team wasn’t particularly in favor of the last two years.. He said he will study what other teams do in the league and is open to anything that he believes would help better prepare the team for 2007..

Gibbs said he is hoping to be able to retain guard Derrick Dockery, the main free agent the Redskins have coming up this offseason.. He also continued to talk about retaining the core.. Obviously the large cap numbers on defense will have a lot of determination on what the make-up of the roster is specifically on the D..
Mark Brunell declined to discuss the future for him saying “we have one game left to play.”

LB Marcus Washington says he will not need surgery for his sprained knee and that after 2-3 more weeks of rehab he should be back to full strength..
Trainers say it will be more like 4-6 weeks and then he will be back..

CB Shawn Springs will have an MRI done to look at his fracture scapula.. It is the same injury he suffered in ’03, what trainers believe is that when it was repaired, there may not have been a good “fiberous union” between the bone, whatever that means.. Anyway, as of now, there doesn’t appear to be necessity for a surgical procedure to fix the injury, only rest.. he would need a couple of months and then he could start lifting weights again.. It’s possible after tests though that surger could be necessitated..

Skins injury report for NYG: No changes except for S Troy Vincent who returned to practice after missing Wednesday sick, he is now off the injury report and will play Saturday night.. LB Khary Campbell was the only player to miss practice on Thursday, he is questionable with a hamstring injury..

Today was the last practice of the season, the final press conference by Gibbs is expected to be on New Year’s Day..

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27-- Springs to IR, future uncertain

The Skins placed cornerback Shawn Springs on injured reserve ending his season.. His future is uncertain with the team due to his injury history and large cap number for next season (Approx. 7.3 Million) he would likely have to restructure to remain on the team.. I am efforting an interview with him tomorrow for the pre-game show to ask what he thinks about his future..
The team also waived Mike Rumph.. He was acquire din the pre-season for WR Taylor Jacobs.. Rumph was inactive for the bulk of the season.. As one team source told me, “All you had to see was the Giants game in NY and you’d have all the answers you need about his playing ability.”
The team signed CB John Eubanks from the practice squad and DB Leigh Torrence who was a free agent for the NYG game..
Two new practice squad players were signed as well, T Calvin Armstrong and WR Ryan Hoag..

Gregg Williams said that this has been a “very long year” for him not going as far as to say the toughest of his career.. he did not want to speculate on the future of Springs or any off-season personnel decisions that Skins will consider, but did say the staff would have to “strip this thing down” schematically to find out what holes are personnel related and what holes are schematically related.. In essence Williams is not throwing his players under the bus for their overall ranking of 30th in the league.. The team is also about to set a new NFL mark for fewest takeaways in a single season, they have 12, the record stands at 15..

Asked what Brandon Lloyd’s role is on the team, Jason Campbell only said “That is between he and the coaching staff.” Campbell called him a very good talent and that he expects things to be different after the offseaosn in terms of working with the receivers.. Lloyd had said on the Monday Night Replay show that he has not had any conversations with the staff regarding his steadily decreasing playing time and that his position coach, “knows as much as I do, which is nothing” about the situation..
Campbell plans to spend time with his receivers in the offseason.. he said Santana Moss has threatened to kidnap him to Miami to work doing the spring before OTA’s begin.. Campbell said he knows how important it is to get together with his receivers to try and build the timing needed to take the offense to a new level..
Al Saunders called the offseason work imperative.. Saunders admitted he has “taken the horns out of the offense” since Campbell has come in.. He needed to run a much more scaled down version of the attack due to experience level and “ability of the players we have.” Saunders said calling the games this year has been vastly different then the way he was calling them in KC and St. Louis, but says he sees a lot of progress in Campbell and the overall unit and expects the versatility to increase dramatically come next season..

Carlos Rogers said he might join Campbell and Moss for training sessions, but also said he has been invited to work out with Darrell Green and Deion Sanders and expects to take them up on their offer.. Asked if the team should find a way to being Shawn Springs back, Rogers paused and said “He’s a guy who is about to be paid a lot of money and only played a few games this year. If they restructure that would be great, if they don’t we’ll have to work in the new guy.”

Injury Report: Redskins: LB Khary Campbell (hamstring) questionable, T Jon Jansen (calf) probable, C Casey Rabach (hand) probable, S Troy Vincent (general illness) probable.. Only Vincent and Campbell missed practice..

NYG: FB Jim Finn (back) probable, TE Jeremy Shockey (ankle) questionable, OL Rich Seubert (shin) doubtful, all three missed at least a portion of the NYG practice..

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26-- Lloyd doesn't know why he is barely playing

CB Shawn Springs has "a future" with the Redskins according to Joe Gibbs who described Springs as someone who can play other positions besides CB.. Not sure if he meant that Springs could potentially be moved to a safety position or if the team is interested in having him back as a CB or nickel back.. Springs cap number rises over 7 million next year thus he is a likely candidate to renegotiate if he were to stay as a Redskins beyond this season.. He will be placed on IR either tonight or tomorrow with a broken scapula (shoulder Blade) which Gibbs says he has done 3 times now.. Expect a practice squad player to be signed to the active roster for Springs spot..

DE Phillip Daniels is said to be OK after getting hit in the throat and suffering from a scary moment where he was unable to catch his breath.. he's expected to be able to play this weekend..
LB Khary Campbell suffered a hamstring injury in the Rams game and may be held out of practice this week..
FB Mike Sellars has a bruised shoulder but is expected to be OK for the NYG game..
NYG DE Michael Strahan was placed on IR suffering from a foot injury and will miss the regular season finale..

Joe Gibbs said he has never had a special teams group play as well as the one he has right now off of the Rams game.. Vernon Fox blocked a punt and was in on seven consecutive tackles on kickoffs.. Shuan Suisham is now 8-8 and Derrick Frost continued to be very consistent with his punting pinning the Rams numerous times.. A long punt return did however set up the game winning score for St. Louis in overtime..

WR Brandon Lloyd said he is not sure why he was in so few plays this past weekend saying nothing has been said to him since the helmet tossing incident where he was "punished" by Joe Gibbs.. Lloyd said he is of course not happy with his limited playing time but says he isn't going to complain about it and remains ready for however much he is on the field for the final game.. Lloyd said his position coach Stan Hixon, "Knows as much as he does" about the situation and that Hixon has very little to no say about whether Lloyd will figure into portions of the game plan.. Brandon said he remains very happy to be a Washington Redskin and hopes that he will be utilized more in the future..

Gibbs credited Rocky McIntosh for very "aggressive" play during the Rams game.. You can expect to see a lot more of McIntosh in the final game.. With Marcus Washington out for the season, Warrick Holdman was flipped to strong side linebacker for the majority of the Skins defensive plays this past weekend opening the door for McIntosh to play more..

The team is still trying to get the ball downfield more often.. Gibbs said he is surprised with the way the team is running the ball that they are not able to get more big plays down the field.. He did say the Rams surprised them by not blitzing more as they expected, they laid back in coverage forcing Jason Campbell to correctly use the underneath patterns more often.. It led to a big day for Chris Cooley and very little downfield attempts.. Lloyd believes the lack of a downfield attack plays into him not getting many opportunities late in the season..

Gibbs said it is "minblowing" that his team is on the verge of setting the single season record for fewest takeaways this season.. The Skins sit at 12, the record is 15..

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24-- Skins D is torched in St Louis, fall to 5-10 after 37-31 OT loss

The Skins gave up a season high 579 yards losing to the Rams in overtime 37-31.. Stephen Jackson had over 250 yards of offense himself, Marc Bulger threw for 388 yards and four touchdowns overcoming a 14 point second half deficit to stay alive in the playoff race.. Washington falls to 5 and 10.. After not scoring a touchdown in their previous nine trips to the red zone, Washington went 4 for 4 with three rushing touchdowns and a Jason Campbell touchdown pass to Chris Cooley..
The Skins got a Stephen Jackson fumble late in the fourth quarter down 3 and turned it into a long field goal to tie.. The Skins had the game in hand when Ladell Betts ran the ball inside the Rams 20 but fumbled on the play.. St. Louis missed a game winning field goal as time expired forcing overtime.. Betts had his fifth straight 100 plus yard rush day tying a franchise record held by Rob Goode and Clinton Portis.. He can break the record in the season finale against the Giants.. It was only the 6th fumble of the season for Washington, that was tied fro league best entering the game..
Washington got a blocked punt from Vernon Fox and a 52 yard field goal from Shaun Suisham highliting a good day for the specila teams, but in overtime allowed a long punt return by Shawn McDonald that gave the Rams the ball inside Skins territory that led to the game winning TD run by Jackson..

CB Shawn Springs fractured his shoulder in the game’s first drive and did not return, he will be placed on IR ending his season and potentially career in Washington, his cap number is very high next year and he is likely in a position of having to restructure of potentially be released..
DE Phillip Daniels was carted off the field after his throat closed up on him.. He said he has never had something like that happen to him before.. The issue subsided when he started taking some oxygen and he had hoped to return to the game but trainers would not allow him to do so.. He’ll be re-evaluated during the week but says he wants to play against the Giants..
S Vernon Fox suffered a thumb injury.. FB Mike Sellars suffered a shoulder injury..
LB Marcus Washington was placed on IR before the game due to a sprained knee, his roster spot was taken by RB Nehemiah Broughton..

Gregg Williams said one game will not ruin all the progress made in the season’s last month, but a day like this will force him to re-evaluate everything when the season ends.. Williams said the schemes, the players in it, everything will be looked at in the offseason.. The players and Williams gave a lot of credit to the Rams for their play.. Most proclaimed Jackson to be one of the best backs they have faced, Williams also said Marc Bulger’s accuracy was the best he’s seen in quite a while..

Friday, December 22, 2006

December 22-- Marcus Washington out for Rams game

LB Marcus Washington is out for the Rams game with a sprained knee.. He says it happened on the last drive when he attempted to tackle a Saints player and he landed on his knee awkwardly.. He has a sprain and is uncertain whether he would be able to return next week to play the Giants..

Joe Gibbs was asked if Jason Campbell would be the starter next year, Gibbs said he is the starter “period” but added everyone has to earn it but it is the team’s hope that Campbell would be able to get better and the team could build around him..

Everyone else on the injury list is probable.. Jon Jansen said his calf feels great, the O-line is expected to be in tact for the rams game..

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21-- Williams brushes off Archuletta Talk

LB Marcus Washington missed a second day of practice, Gregg Williams said he had a sprained knee, the severity of which was not disclosed.. He remains questionable for Sunday’s game with STL..
Williams has worked back-up Jeff Posey and Warrick Holdman into “packages” should Washington not be able to play.. Rocky McIntosh would likely see much more playing time should Washington be unable to go..

The entire offensive line returned to practice for the first time in a few weeks.. Jon Jansen is dealing with a sore calf and is questionable.. Chris Samuels (knee/wrist) and Casey Rabach (hand) are both probable..

Asked about his return to St. Louis Gregg Williams was asked about Adam Archuletta and how he may be feeling, Williams said Archuletta, “Had a good week of practice and will play.” Asked to clarify whether that meant he would play on defense, Williams only would commit to him playing in the game.. Reading between the lines, he meant not on defense.. Archuletta refused comment this week about his return to St. Louis..

DE Phillip Daniels and WR Santana Moss received the BJ Blanchard award for most helpful to the media.. This is an award that we started a few years back, I do vote on this..

DE Renaldo Wynn said he is hoping that the “core Redskins” are kept together following the season.. He says he understand how volatile the league is and knows that the Redskins have some cap decisions to make but he is hopeful the main group is kept together.. On his own salary status, he says he has great memories here and is hoping to come back to “win a ring.”

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

December 20-- New Rams, Skins Red Zone Attack

T Jon Jansen missed the Wednesday practice with a calf injury, he is listed as questionable.. Joe Gibbs is hopeful he will return by the end of the week to attempt to play against the Rams..
C Casey Rabach was held out of practice with a broken hand, he is probable..
T Chris Samuels is listed with a knee injury, he also has ankle and wrist issues, he was also held out of practice and is listed as probable..

LB Lemar Marshall (knee) probable, also missed practice, Gibbs called his absence precautionary..
LB Marcus Washington is questionable.. he is suffering from some swelling on his knee.. His status will be updated through the week..
WR James Thrash was not at practice to be with his wife for the birth of their child..

Samuels said he was very proud of his 4th pro bowl selection, what he believes makes him a worthy choice is not only his pass blocking ability but his run game prowess.. Joe Bugel said Samuels has been coming on since the end of last year in that department and mentioned that the team is running to the left purposely lately..

Torry Holt admits the Rams don’t have quite the same swagger that was present when the Rams were “The Greatest show on Turf.” He said the new offense installed by Scott Linehan was an adjustment, but it is something the team accepted and is working on to get better.. he believes this offense offers the Rams a better chance to establish a more power run game.. Joe Gibbs said the Rams were one of the offenses that the team studied when they returned to the league three years ago.. he wouldn’t talk specifically about the new philosophy of the Rams now as opposed to then, but said watching them play now (they are ranked 8th in total offense) “I’d believe their players would give it a thumbs up.”

The inability to score touchdowns in the red zone was a hot topic at the Park.. Gibbs continues to maintain players need to make more plays.. Brandon Llooyd was among the playmakers who “want opportunities to make those plays.” It seems both have a point.. Jason Campbell took some of the blame saying he needs to be able to make quicker decisions in the red zone, a continuing adjustment for him as he gains playing experience..

Asked what his favorite Christmas present was, Jason Campbell said he got a go kart when he was nine and proceeded to crash it into a tree.. Asked what his Christmas wish would be, Santana Moss said “To not talk to ya’ll.” (the media) He said he was kidding.. Not really..

Rams injury list: FB Paul Smith (neck) doubtful, DE Victor Adeyanju (forearm) questionable, S Jerome Carter (ankle) questionable, G Adam Timmerman (ribs) questionable, T Alex Barron (toe) probable, RB Stephen Davis (hand) probable, WR Torry Holt (knee) probable, G Richie Incognito (toe) probable, P Matt Turk (neck) probable, LB Will Witherspoon (knee) probable

Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18-- Portis remains the #1 back

T Jon Jansen will continue to rest his torn calf muscle.. The medical staff told Joe Gibbs last week that they had taken the injury as far as it could go.. Jansen said it is his intention to try and play the final two games of the season, he likely will not practice on Wednesday in the hopes of feeling better by the end of the week.. Todd Wade received praise for his effort from Gibbs after the game Sunday in New Orleans..
There were no injuries reported after the game with the Saints..

Gibbs said that Jason Campbell's ability to hit the deep ball is his best attribute and it's the one facet in a quarterback that he believes is the key for a successful quarterback.. He said Campbell is doing very well hitting fades and crossing patterns, he is hoping that once Campbell learns better to set his feet on plays where he is moving out of the pocket, his accuracy will improve and it would be a next step in his progression..

Gibbs said that the production of Ladell Betts will be something that will factor into how the team utilizes it's weapons next season but Gibbs made it clear that Clinton Portis is the #1 RB here and that Betts will serve as his primary backup.. Asked if he would trade Betts, Gibbs said that the team received numerous calls about Betts availability but the Redskins declined to entertain tarde offers.. The bottom line is both backs are expected to be back in DC next year..

Gibbs said he and Al Saunders have been on the same page throughout the change back to the power run offense the Skins have exhibited the last few weeks.. He maintains saunders calls all the plays and that that system works fine for him and will not be adjusted..

Sean Taylor and Andre Carter received particular praise for their performances in the Saints game.. G Randy Thomas received the Ed Block courage award for the Skins..
Gibbs also praised the job by Derrick Frost and Shuan Suisham.. Suisham has made 7 straight field goals.. Frost had a punting average over 43 yards against New Orleans...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17-- Skins pound the ball, defense resurfaces in 16-10 win over Saints

The Redskins limited the league’s top ranked offense to 270 yards and 10 points beating the Saints 16-10 in New Orleans.. Reggie Bush finished with only 14 yards rushing, New Orleans ended up with only 71 on the ground.. The Skins never trailed in the game scoring the game’s first 10 points.. Drew Brees finished with just over 200 yards passing, the bulk of which came in the second half.. he had no touchdown passes and one INT, the first of the season for Carlos Rogers..

After the game, the cornerbacks decided to have a small media ban refusing to talk about their play based somewhat on the criticism they have received in recent weeks.. Still, Rogers did talk to me on the field after the game and did do one TV interview..

Asked where the defense had been this season, Marcus Washington said “I thought you can answer that for me.” He said the team played smart and didn’t try to do anything but their jobs and it worked out..

Gregg Williams credited the tackling, which he believes was the main issue with the large amounts of yardage allowed in previous games.. He also said that Mark Brunell gave his unit a very accurate view of how decisive Drew Brees would be in practice saying when they got to the game it was as if they had worked on Brees himself through the week..

Andre Carter also likened his recent play to being “in the zone.” He said it’s not that he is anymore comfortable then he was earlier in the week, plays are coming to him and he is making them..

Ladell Betts finished with 119 yards rushing, his fourth straight 100 plus yard rush day, the franchise record for consecutive 100 plus yard rush days is 5.. Betts said he is in the zone right and credited the O-line for their blocking prowess.. Todd Wade played every snap at right tackle for Jon Jansen who was inactive with a calf injury.. Jansen intends to attempt to return to practice this week and play the final two games of the season..

WR David Patten was a healthy scratch..

A number of players said playing well and winning was proof they would not be the type of team that would give up on a season even with the playoffs out of reach..

Rookie safety Reed Doughty had the hit of the game on special teams.. On the plane down to New Orleans, we watched the Vince Papale story “Invincible.” Fitting…

There were no injuries reported.. The Skins are at St. Louis next week, their final road game of the season.. Washington won there a season ago during their five game season ending win streak that propelled them to the playoffs…

Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15-- Jansen likely to miss Saints game

T Jon Jansen has been downgraded to doubtful after missing his third straight practice, he will be re-evaluated tomorrow to see if he will even make the trip to New Orleans.. If he can’t play, Todd Wade will start in his place..
Wade hasn’t played in a game since week 9 at Indy when he was with the Texans a season ago.. He tore the MCL in his knee in two spots.. Wade said he wears a knee brace now only for piece of mind.. he says he rarely even has to ice the knee and he’s excited to get an opportunity to show this team and the rest of the league that he can still play and is healthy.. Wade started some 50 games at tackle in the league prior to the injury..
Jansen is not shutting himself down, Joe Gibbs said Jansen told him if he cannot play this weekend, he will be likely to be able to return for the St. Louis game..

C Casey Rabach returned to practice with a broken hand and was upgraded to probable for the game..

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14-- Janse tore his calf 5 weeks ago

T Jon Jansen (calf/thumb) and C Casey Rabach (broken hand) both missed practice for a second straight, both are listed as questionable for the game against NO..
Jansen says the thumb injury is not a big deal, that he can easily play with it using a protective cast, but the calf, which he tore before the Dallas gets progressively more painful each week, still he contends he plans of gutting out the final three weeks and playing.. Asked if he is a motivation for other players, he said "I think I'm more of a pain in the ass. They see me playing with this, it's hard for them to sit out with some bumps and bruises."

WR Santana Moss missed practice, he was sick and was sent home, he is probable..

Offensive coordinator Al Saunders worked for 15 years for KC owner Lamar Hunt, who passed away last night from complications from cancer.. Saunders called him an incredible sportsman and an even better person..

Gregg Williams says he believes this team has the playmakers on defense to get more turnovers, it's just his team is not seizing opportunities.. He said Carlos Rogers has played better the last five weeks and his consistent drops of INT's is something he works on very hard.. He said Rogers play has been aided by the return of Shawn Springs and that the opponent's passing game on the edge has been altered with the better play of the CB's.. The Redskins have only gotten 10 takeaways this year, the fewest by any team is 15.. Two of the Skins turnovers caused came via special teams..

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 13-- Gibbs says I'm not the GM, likely nobody will be

C Casey Rabach missed practice with a broken hand.. he will be fitted with a cast later this week and it remains his and Joe Gibbs intention for him to play against the Saints..
T Jon Jansen (calf/broken thumb) was also held out of practice, the goal is the same as last week, rest him with the hope of him being ready for Sunday..
They are the only two Redskins on the weekly injury report, both are listed as questionable..

NO injury report: WR Joe Horn (groin) questionable, TE Mark Campbell (knee) questionable, S Omar Stoutmire (knee) questionable, RB Aaron Stecker (hamstring) questionable

Joe Gibbs was asked about a hoax that was started on Sirius Satellite radio last night when a caller to a talk show said Gibbs was in a car accident.. He joked, “the report was wrong, it was a lot of people were hoping I was in a car accident.” Wry death humor is typically not the Gibbs m.o. but I have him credit for putting a happy face on a scary story..

Gibbs talked openly about the front office structure of the team again saying he likes the current format of which the team selects players.. Gibbs refused to call himself the GM, saying by title being the Team President, he expects to receive the criticism for decisions made in the offseason, some he finally characterized as mistakes that will be re-evaluated in the coming offseason.. Again, he did not close the door on hiring a GM, but he says he likes the selection by committee format used currently by the team and hinted he would prefer to stick with this plan on picking people.. Essentially, it sounds as if unless Dan Snyder asks for Gibbs to hire a true GM, there will not be that kind of addition this offseason..
The team also has some decisions to make regarding the free agent crop of 2004, Shawn Springs, Cornelious Griffin, marcus Washington, mark Brunell among others have explosive base salaries coming in 2007 forcing the team into decisions about their future.. Gibbs said he is hopeful to keep the core together and the team will do it’s best to keep “performers” on the squad..

Santana Moss thought it was strange when asked to comment on Gibbs saying that the two coordinators the Redskins currently have would be retained for next year.. he said “I didn’t even know that was in question.” On the offense, he like many of his teammates talked about the team starting to figure out how best to use the personnel, how the re-working of the run game will ultimately get the passing game going.. As for the Saunders offense, he likened it to your favorite food. “You don’t try something and then say forget it, you try it again, and then it becomes your favorite.”

Jason Campbell said his progression as a QB now includes throwing some routes before WR’s make their breaks.. He said this is only on some throws and he is still getting used to the core of WR’s the team has.. He said the game is slowing down tremendously for him and is very excited about Saunders coming back so he won’t have to learn a new offense for the 7th time in seven years..
Campbell’s community was struck by tornados during Hurricane Katrina.. He said homes were not destroyed but that the town was without power for a month.. His parents stayed in Washington with him because his mother is diabetic and needs to eat on a set schedule.. His Dad returned soon after the disaster to help the community fix it’s problems..
This obviously is the first time he is playing in the Superdome (about an hour and a half from where he grew up in Mississippi) as a pro and is excited to return home.. This also is the first time he is playing there since the Sugar Bowl when he was the MVP of the game and finished off’s Auburn’s unbeaten 2004 season..
Saints coach Sean Payton said the team does not actively discuss the ramifications of Hurricane Katrina any longer, but admits it was a motivating force for his group as the season began.. He openly discussed the work that is far from done in restoring the region, but says football takes precedence in their locker room now but admits, “When you leave the building, Katrina is discussed daily.”

Monday, December 11, 2006

December 11-- Lloyd was "punished", calls helmet toss a mistake

WR Brandon Lloyd admitted to "making a mistake" last week by throwing his helmet in the Atlanta game.. he says he should have explained himself better but he got too defensive when his character was questioned.. he says if he could do over last week, he would have made it clear that he made a mistake.. The result was a "punishment" which turned into a demotion for Lloyd as the number 2 receiver.. Joe Gibbs never labelled the chance a punishment.. Lloyd said he has no idea if the change in the depth chart is permanent for the season.. He also said he is on the same page with the coach, there is no issue between he and Joe and he hopes this issue can be put behind him..
Antwaan Randle-El ended up having one of his best offensive performances of the season with 6 catches for 85 yards.. Lloyd said he wouldn't have agreed with the move if "the team didn't have so many playmakers." He says he is not a selfish player and believes the team has enough playmakers to warrant any such change..

C Casey Rabach has a couple of pins inserted into his broken left hand.. Rabach said he intends to play with the injury.. T Jon Jansen was not expected to play against Philly according to Joe Gibbs due to a progressively worsening calf muscle condition, but Jansen returned to practice on Friday and ensured the coach he'd be ready to go.. Jansen will likely rest much of week and will be monitored through the week..
Gibbs said no "experimenting" will be done with other players despite the team's 4-9 record.. he says the team plays to win every game and players who can play will no matter their injury status..

Gibbs was asked whether the coordinators Gregg Williams and Al Saunders will return next year.. he was taken back by the questions and said he didn't think it was worth answering but ultimately clarified that the the team intends to bring back it's coaching staff in tact..
Gibbs described the coming offseason as one with a lot of questioning to deal with.. he did hint the team will not be actively trying to radically change the roster saying he believes he has the right people in the locker room to turn it around..
How the offseason is dealt with in terms of when the team comes to camp, etc. will be re-evaluated..

Audibles have been added to the Redskins offense.. The team was not using them earlier in the season, but Brandon Lloyd said that a couple of the plays where Jason Campbell made good reads, Campbell changed the plays at the line.. Campbell was receving some "interesting" looks being a young QB and Lloyd said it was Campbell who had asked for the change in terms of having audibles..

Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 10-- Skins dominate Eagles but lose anyway 21-19

The Redskins fell to 4-9 after losing at home to Philadelphia 21-19.. The Skins fell behind 21-3 mainly due to two first half turnovers, one interception by Michael Lewis returned for a touchdown.. Washington also committed 11 penalties including an illegla substitution on a 3rd and goal from the 3 in the fourth quarter down 5..
Jim Molinaro had come in because C Casey Rabach broke his hand, hed hadn't been in before in this situation and didn't know that he could leave the game after reporting eligible when the team made package changes for the 3rd and goal play.. The Skins settled for a field goasl and never got the ball back..

Rabach said he intends to play with the broken hand unless he needs surgery.. No other injuries were reported..

WR Brandon Lloyd was demoted from the #2 WR spot and replaced by Antwaan Randle-El who had 6 catches including a touchdown.. Lloyd said he was told of the chnage by Joe Gibbs on Tuesday and even went so far as to say it was a "good move." Lloyd did not play in the first two series of the game and only had one catch, a trick play catching a long pass from Randle-El..

Ladell Betts followed a career high in rush yardage a week ago with a new career high against Philly, over 170 yards. The Skins rushed for over 200 yards and outgained the Eagles by over 200 yards yet lost the game..
The Skins pitched a second half shutout for the first time this season..
Washington is officially out of the playoff race..

Friday, December 08, 2006

December 8-- Betts Gets contract extension

The Skins inked RB Ladell Betts to a contract extension, the terms of which have not currently been disclosed.. Betts said the team realized as the season was progressing that you need two tailbacks.. He said he is comfortable here and that he was very happy to stay without testing the open market.. Earlier he had said he wanted the opportunity to be a starter somewhere but in terms of comfort level and relationship with Clinton Portis, he felt like this was the place for him to stay..
Clinton Portis said he was very happy for Betts.. He’s been openly supportive of Betts since he came here and has the green light to take himself out of a game and put Betts in at any time..
Portis said he will be out 5 more months as he rehabs a shoulder that he knew when he injured it would inevitably need surgery to repair it.. Portis had a similar injury at the end of his high school career, it was the right shoulder, this time it’s his left and he said he has not had a problem since with the repaired one.. Portis believes he won’t be able to practice again likely until training camp, making the Betts signing even more urgent.. This likely means TJ Duckett will be allowed to leave via free agency after the seaon.. The team ultimately will have given up a 3rd round draft pick for a player with minimal carries..

Jon Jansen returned to practice today and said he intends to play Sunday against Philadelphia.. He has been dealing with a strained calf that he admits is getting worse every week.. But he says the only way it can get better is with rest and he won’t do that until after the season.. Surgery is not going to be necessary to fix it.. Asked if he is forcing himself to play, Jansen said “No, I like to play and I’ll do whatever I can to be ready and I’ll be ready this week.”

The injury report is unchanged, everyone on it is probable..

Joe Gibbs was asked to clarify comments he made to the Washington Post where he said he would consider a GM come next season.. he said “I would do anything that would be in the best interest of the Redskins and if Dan decided that is something we should consider then I will.” He also defended much of the construction of the team and still believes how the team is structured is the right way.. he did admit some of the moves, “didn’t work outas we would have liked,” but there was no inclination that he intends to bring a true GM here, that would only happen if Dan Snyder says he believes the team should make such a move..

Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7-- Williams talk about his principles

Everyone on the Redskins injury report is now probable after upgrading LB Khary Campbell and corner Kenny Wright.. Both returned to practice after missing yesterday..
Jon Jansen (calf), Casey Rabach (shin) and Todd Yoder (thigh) all missed practice..

Gregg Williams said of his ailing secondary, ‘They all practiced today, of course they all practiced last week as well…”
Williams talked about “Redskins Principles’ in regard to the defense and said the team abides by similar physical aspects of the game that Joe Gibbs preaches to his offense.. Williams believes the point of attack and tackling at the two keys to his success of the past.. Asked if his players have strayed away from those principles, Williams said No and said he still believes it’s a few plays here and there that are making the difference in the games…

Santana Moss said he is feeling close to being back to what he was before he suffered a hamstring injury.. he weighed in on Brandon Lloyd saying whatever happened in the coaches’ office has been settled and it’s not something that has been lingering over the team in the locker room.. Moss also said Jason Campbell is playing well but that he is “dealing with what he has.” It was saying the offense is paired down, but Moss says he is happy to have the experience with him now so the they can begin to build something toward next season…

Eagles injury update: S Michael Lewis (concussion) upgraded to probable.. S Quetin Mikell (foot) and QB Jeff Garcia (neck) were both taken off the injury report…

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 6-- Lloyd will play Sunday, Sellars smacks Campbell in balls

Meetings with Brandon Lloyd and coach Joe Gibbs ended with them “being on the same page.” Lloyd did not apologize for throwing his helmet last week in a group media session and went so far as to say “I have never regretted anything I have done.” He said Gibbs told him to continue to be himself and said his personality is the one he’s had since he was 5 years and old and if he thought it was a problem he would have changed it 20 years ago.. Lloyd also said he thinks he has the right attitude for “a winning team.” Neither would disclose the tenor of the discussions..
One player did tell me that Lloyd apologized to his teammates before practice and that everyone shook his hand and all is behind them..
Gibbs said Lloyd will definitely be playing this weekend…
Jason Campbell responded to Lloyd’s hope of getting more chances and he said that he will continue to go through his progressions and will throw to the open guy.. He won’t change just because someone is “begging.”

Gibbs said the team is “working hard” on a potential deal to re-up with Ladell Betts before he hits the open market in February.. Betts said he is not interested in discussing his contract status and he’ll wait to see how everything works out.. The Redskins do not have a recent history of providing new deals for players up for free agency in season.. Gibbs said he learned early when he was here that Betts was more then the 3rd down halfback he envisioned him.. The shift to a power rush offense has also helped Betts in his case.. he is in fact on pace for a 1000 yard season, a would be first in his career…

T Jon Jansen was held out of practice and will likely rest through the work week to try and treat an aggravated calf muscle.. Jansen has played with the injury for upwards of a month and places an ice bag on the calf in between every series.. The injury is not in danger of becoming owrse, but it is painful and likely is not going to get better as the season wears on.. He is listed as probable.
C Casey Rabach also missed practice, he was kicked in the shin in the game against Atlanta and it was very swollen.. He is expected to be OK and is also probable..
TE Todd Yoder (quad) probable, CB Kenny Wright (knee) questionable both missed practice…
LB Khary Campbell (hamstring) is questionable, S Troy Vincent (hamstring) probable, DE Phillip Daniels (wrist) probable..

Eagles injury list: CB Rodderick Hood (hamstring) questionable, DE Darren Howard (knee) questionable, S Michael Lewis (concussion) questionable, LB Shawn Barber (knee) probable, QB Jeff Garcia (neck) probable, CB Williams James (knee) probable, LB Matt McCoy (shoulder/elbow) probable, S Quentin Mikell (foot) probable, LB Jason Short (knee) probable, RB Brian Westbrook (knee/toe) probable.. Hood, Howard and Lewis were the three on the list who actually missed practice on Wednesday..

The Skins signed DL Jamal Green, a 2003 4th round pick out of Miami who has played in a handful of games for the Eagles and Bears to the practice squad taking the spot vacated by Shaun Suisham..

From the locker room today, Mike Sellars is the clown of the group always messing with his teammates and always interrupting interview sessions.. Today he back handed Campbell in the nuts when Campbell’s weekly session began.. Jason took it in stride.. Sellars also pulled down Ladell Betts’s pants twice during interviews.. he was then asked by one reporter “Do you have to pull a mans pants down twice to keep the locker room happy?” Eeewww..

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4-- Gibbs's Future, Lloyd's helmet toss in debate

Joe Gibbs was asked about his future as coach beyond this season. Previously when he'd been asked this question, he said without a doubt he was here to fufill the full 5 year committment.. This time he said he wasn't going to talk about his future because he didn't want it to become "a mess," in terms of it being a constant source of conversation through the final month of the season. I then asked him directly if he had changed his thought process in terms of being here for 5 years and he answered it with the same vague sentiments..
This subject was left this way for a few minutes, Gibbs was ultimately asked to revisit it and he said that it was his "intention" to be the coach next season..
I repeated this on the John Riggins Show at 5:40 PM, 20 minutes after the press conference ended.. Apparently after 6PM, Gibbs re-entered the press room to clarify his statements saying that nothing has changed and that he "intends" to be the Redskins head coach next season..

Gibbs said he is expecting to see his team play hard for the final 4 games of the season, and that "a lot of the answers" we are looking for will be determined by the way the team plays as the season comes to an end.. The question is whether how the team plays will determine if Gibbs will revisit his future as coach..
Gibbs went out of his way to credit the effort of his team against Atlanta saying DE Andre Carter would have been NFC defensive player of the week if his team had won.. He also credited the play of C Casey Rabach and RB Rock Cartwright..
Gibbs also asked everyone to reserve judgment of his team until the season ends..

WR Brandon Lloyd met with Gibbs on Monday to discuss the helmet tossing incident.. Gibbs said the two were to meet again tomorrow and when asked if Lloyd would play this coming weekend, Gibbs said that "is something we are going to discuss." He said he told the reciever some things he'd like for him to think about tonight as they move forward..
Lloyd meantime did not apologize for the play saying everyone should just move on.. He also said it was out of frustration and that he is getting upset about his number being called in the first half and not later in the game.. He said he just wants the opportunity to make some plays for the team and he doesn't know why the team doesn't try to go to him in the second halves of games..
Asked if he thought he was being made an example of, Lloyd stopped short of accusing the organization of that, but did point out other players on the team have received personal fouls.. How this exonerates his actions is unknown..

Shaun Suisham has won the kicking job.. The team released Nick Novak and resigned DL Ryan Boschetti..

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3-- Falcons erase 14-nothing deficit, win 24-14, send Skins to 4-8

The Redskins can finish no better then 8-8 after falling to 4-8 losing at home to Atlanta 24-14.. Washington blew a 14-nothing lead.. After scoring on their first two drives, the Skins were held without a point or the rest of the contest.. Ladell Betts had a career high 155 yards rushing and the team amassed over 170 on the ground, but the Falcons, who entered with the league’s best rush offense ran it for 256.. Rookie Jerious Norwood broke it open with a 69 yard touchdown run early in the 4th quarter..

Jason Campbell had his first rough day as a quarterback making a poor interception trying to get away from a sack in the third by just tossing it into the hands of a defensive lineman.. That turnover led to a 3rd quarter Falcons score and their first lead.. Campbell was intercepted a second time and should have had a third pick if DeAngelo Hall didn’t drop one.. Al saunders said he remains very confident in the play of Campbell..

The Redskins also were discombobulated late in the game where they had two drives needing ten points.. One time Campbell was trying to make line calls, when his directions were not being adhered to, he called for a huddle.. On the last drive, the team botched a goal to go attempt from inside the five yard line, spiking the ball on first down, running on a 3rd and two, and then throwing an incompletion to effectively end the game..

WR Brandon Lloyd received a 15 yard penalty for throwing his helmet while walking off the field on the second to last drive.. He did not return to the game and Joe Gibbs said he and Lloyd would talk about the play.. Lloyd said he was “just frustrated and that it wasn’t a sign of him being an individual.” On the previous drive he and Antwaan Randle El got into what appeared to be an argument on the sideline.. Randle El had to be restrained by teammates.. Mark Brunell came over to a steaming Lloyd who was standing by himself at the end of the sideline and lightened him up.. Lloyd and Randle El appeared to have had some words in a previous game this season but when asked about it, Lloyd said they weren’t arguing, but just “pumping each other up.”

Injuries: C Casey Rabach (shoulder), DT Joe Salavea (sprained right knee), DT Cornelious Griffin (shoulder), CB Kenny Wright (sprained knee), TE Todd Yoder (bruised quad) all returned to the game after suffering injuries and all will be re-evaluated on Monday..

CB Shawn Springs was not active after his hamstring felt sore during a morning workout.. Springs missed Thursdays practice but returned on Friday after suffering the injury initially on Wednesday.. He was listed as probable coming into the game..

WR David Patten was inactive, he was upgraded to probable on Thursday with a hamstring..

S Troy Vincent missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury..

The team released DT Ryan Boschetti to make room for K Shaun Suisham who was utilized on kickoffs and all field goals and extra points.. Nick Novak remained on the roster for the game and Joe Gibbs said no decision has been made yet on the future of the position.. Suisham’s kickoffs all landed inside the five yard line and his one field goal attempt, from 50 yards was wide left..

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1st-- No kicker news yet

Joe Gibbs said no announcement has been regarding the kicker yet saying that all options remain open so the team could release a player and carry two kickers or they could choose just to keep Novak or release Novak and bring up Shuan Suisham from the practice squad.. A decision is expected later today..

LB Khary Campbell has been ruled out of the Falcons game with hamstring injury.. The rest of the injury report remains the same..