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Redskins Insider: August 31, 2008 - September 6, 2008

Smoot Shoots for Home Opener

From Jason Reid Cornerback Fred Smoot is ready to face the New Orleans Saints. Well, almost. Smoot injured his hip in Thursday's 16-7 loss to the New York Giants at Giants Stadium, but he expects to play Sept. 14 in Washington's home opener against the New Orleans Saints, he said...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 5, 2008; 5:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (305)
 
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How Others Saw It and the Spags Affair

Dan Steinberg has the 360 on how others saw last night's game. Of particular interest to you will be Mike Garafalo's take on a certain matter: Okay, I've had about enough of [Vinny Cerrato] and owner Dan Snyder telling the media they didn't offer the job to Spags in February....

By Cindy Boren  |  September 5, 2008; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
 
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Springs, Smoot Should Be Ready for Saints

From Jason La Canfora Three Redskins defensive backs are nursing injuries coming off a Week 1 loss to the New York Giants, but Coach Jim Zorn is optimistic at least two will be available for the Sept. 14 home opener against New Orleans. Corners Shawn Springs (calf) and Fred Smoot...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 5, 2008; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
 
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NFL Executive's Take on the Offense, Defense

Spoke at length to a personnel executive this morning who watched last night's game very closely. He came away with one prevailing thought on both sides of the ball. On defense, he pointed to the run defense, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. "A Greg Blache defense is predicated on...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 5, 2008; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (269)
 
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Lines Still Are Key for Skins

Jason Reid looks ahead. And Jason La Canfora, who is driving, driving, driving, calls in some thoughts as he heads to Redskins Park for Jim Zorn's presser. First, the Unrestricted Reid report -- audio only: And here's JLC's analysis: I'm going to be banging the same drum I have been...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 5, 2008; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (123)
 
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An 0-1 Start for Redskins Is in the Books

Back in the spring, when the gods delivered the NFL schedule, Redskins fans took a deep breath and wondered why the commissioner hates Jim Zorn. Starting with three NFC East games on the road out of the first five seemed daunting then. After last night, it seems even more so...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 5, 2008; 7:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (249)
 
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Final: Giants 16, Redskins 7

From Dan Steinberg: The Redskins defense came up with a stop to begin the fourth quarter, helped by Andre Carter's sack, the team's first of the season. A Giants punt pinned the Redskins at their own 10-yard line, and one first down only prolonged the inevitable: a third-down completion that...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 4, 2008; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (320)
 
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Giants 16, Redskins 7 After Three

From Dan Steinberg Any hope that the Redskins' offense would carry over the momentum from its second-quarter touchdown dissipated after a Santana Moss catch on third down came up inches short of a first down. But the Redskins' defense got its first stop of the game on the ensuing series,...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 9:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (248)
 
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Giants 16, Redskins 7 at the Half

From Dan Steinberg The second quarter began with the Giants again moving the ball, sparked by a 23-yard third-down pass to Sinorice Moss, who got on the stat sheet before his better-known older brother Santana. But the drive ended with two incomplete passes, and the Giants settled for a 25-yard...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 8:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (188)
 
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Giants 10, Redskins 0 (First Quarter)

From Dan Steinberg The Redskins' offense did get a first down. Sure, it was by penalty, when punter Durant Brooks got hammered, but it was a first down. After an enthusiastic pre-game celebration of last year's Super Bowl win, the Giants came out with a nearly perfect opening drive: 11...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 7:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (185)
 
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Taylor Starts at DE (Updated)

Defensive end Jason Taylor is indeed making his 131st consecutive regular-season start tonight....

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (193)
 
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Inactives

Basically, the draft class is not suiting up tonight: CB Shawn Springs is hurt (calf) as is rookie S Kareem Moore (hamstring) and second-round pick WR Malcolm Kelly (knee). The rest are healthy scratches, to use a hockey term. Draft pick TE Fred Davis, T/G Chad Rinehart, DE Rob Jackson...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 4, 2008; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Campbell Says He's Ready for Next Step

From Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora in New Jersey: Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell believes this is his time. After his first full season as a starter was cut short because of a knee injury, Campbell looked toward the 2008 season with anticipation. He plans to be more vocal...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Springs Out; Taylor May Play (Updated)

Just got some short but important emails from JLC: 1. Shawn Springs -- who was listed as probable with a calf injury -- is out tonight, a team source says. This news means rookie cornerback-kick returner Justin Tryon is virtually certain to play tonight, after a very rough preseason. 2....

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 4, 2008; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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More on Springs

From Jason Reid: Cornerback Shawn Springs, who suffered a bruised calf after being kicked in practice this week, will not play tonight, a league source said. Springs, who still was in significant pain Thursday afternoon, has limited mobility because of the injury, the source said. Springs, Carlos Rogers and Fred...

By Emilio Garcia-Ruiz  |  September 4, 2008; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Pregame Update: Injury Thoughts

I'm not sure the Skins are going to be able to get too many snaps out of DE Jason Taylor and CB Shawn Springs tonight. Taylor is coming off two weeks out and just getting used to his knee brace -- with a long season ahead, I'm not sure you...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 4, 2008; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
 
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Will Pierce Still Have Skins' Number?

Jason La Canfora wanted to share a few more thoughts as he made his way to the Hoffalands.... It'll be interesting to see how Antonio Pierce factors into the game. Ever since he migrated north, he has seemed to know exactly what the Skins would do at all times. You'd...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Redskins - Giants: Who Will Win?

You asked for it, you got it -- a post for predictions on tonight's game. And a Jason La Canfora chat is upcoming. Also, I should add that the D.C. Sports Bog is all Redskins, all day today. Dan looks back at previous season openers and also asks "Is Losing...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 4, 2008; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Redskins Unrestricted: Gameday Preview

Jason Reid sets up the big event tonight: not John McCain's speech, but the NFL opener, featuring the Redskins out in the swamps of Jersey. Speaking of the RNC vs. the NFL on TV tonight, The League asks an interesting question today: which will be better television, the game or...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 4, 2008; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (134)
 
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Sizing Up Cerrato

Cindy linked to it already, but I wanted to make sure all the RI faithful saw the Jasons' piece on Vinny Cerrato today. The story recounts the Cerrato era so far in Washington and raises a few questuions about his performance. It also gives credit -- for instance, for the...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 4, 2008; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
 
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The Game Within The Game

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Redskins offensive line is gonna be under fire tonight. The game could be won or lost right there, and the match-up of Giants end Justin Tuck vs. Skins RT Stephon Heyer will be a fascinating game within the game....

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 4, 2008; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
 
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T-Minus 12 Hours...

Good morning....Jason La Canfora will have a game-within-the-game piece for you shortly...Meanwhile, tonight's game poses some intriguing possibilities apart from fubball for the final night of the Republican Convention. What if, for example, the game goes to overtime? Or quadruple overtime? Thankfully, one girl won't be making an appearance. She's,...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 4, 2008; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Thrash Helps a Local Team Out

James Thrash seems to be about as good a person as you'll find. He knows my kids' names, though we don't chat nearly as often as we should, and asks about them all the time. He's just plain good people. And Tuesday, after practice, he did his part to try...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 3, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (197)
 
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Redskins Unrestricted: Will Taylor Play?

In today's installment, Jason Reid sizes up Jason Taylor's chances of playing against the Giants in Thursday night's season opener in New York. Jason also touches on other injury situations, and plays comments from Jason Campbell on his mindset going into the season....

By Jon DeNunzio  |  September 3, 2008; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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D Tackles: Nose vs. Three Technique

A lot of people just kind of figure that defensive tackles are all the same. When they watch the Redskins they know there are two of them down there in the middle of the muckity-muck, and that's about it. But in reality the duties are different in the Skins system....

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 3, 2008; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (158)
 
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Woman Dies After Crash at Samuels' House

From Matt Zapotosky of our Metro desk: A New Jersey woman who crashed an all-terrain vehicle into a tree at the Charles County home of a member of the Washington Redskins died Sunday, authorities said yesterday. Lashana N. Wilson, 24, an acquaintance of offensive tackle Chris Samuels's, was at his...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 3, 2008; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (105)
 
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How the Giants Might Attack

The Redskins are expecting the Giants to try to spread them Thursday, and as always the corners will carry a heavy burden with the Skins favoring press-man coverage. Players are bracing for a lot of Cover-1, and the Giants countering that with four-man sets. "Our players are prepared to handle...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 3, 2008; 7:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Jerry Coleman Rides Again

He's not around to torment Coach Joe anymore, but my boy Jerry Coleman, formerly of 980, is now rocking the mic back in Baltimore. He's the sports director at 1370-AM, a new all-sports station coming next week. Coleman is an all-time favorite of mine and sorely missed around The Park....

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 2, 2008; 10:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Unrestricted: The Big Game

Jason Reid breaks down Jim Zorn's big decisions. X-rays of Shawn Springs' leg (which swelled after he was kicked in practice Monday) were negative and the team said he has a bruised calf. He's likely to be a game-time decision Thursday, a la Jason Taylor....

By Cindy Boren  |  September 2, 2008; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (240)
 
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Of Tweets and Twitter (But Not Twits)

Timeout to make sure all the gamefaces, like such as, are on with the opener looming. You can follow Redskins Insider on Twitter (RedskinsInsider) even though no one really understands what it is and is more than a little embarrassed when I yell, "I have to tweet that," in the...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 2, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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Springs Has X-Ray; Taylor Gives It a Go

Jason La Canfora calls in a quick post-practice update: Shawn Springs was not on the field; he was kicked in the shin yesterday and is having what Jim Zorn said were precautionary X-rays. Results aren't available yet, but it appears that he is okay. Jason Taylor tried several knee braces...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 2, 2008; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
 
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We've Gone Too Long Without a Sellers Post (Update 4)

Fullback Mike Sellers is a beast and has a diverse skillset. He is able to lead block, get out into space and catch balls, and carry the ball on occasion (though he has some struggled in short-yardage spots in spot duty there). A few years back he was a dynamic...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 2, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
 
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James Hopes to Contribute Thursday

Defensive end Erasmus James has been through enough knee injuries to know when he feels absolutely 100 percent. He's not there quite yet, but believes he is getting close. James played in the final two preseason games in a limited role and is ready to see some action Thursday against...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 2, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Don't Sleep On Demetric Evans

I've been very high on Demetric Evans all camp, and it's looking more and more like he will get a chance to play a whole lot Thursday night. With Jason Taylor not able to practice thus far, Evans is getting his snaps with the starters at left end, and I...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 2, 2008; 9:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Skins Not In Foxworth Hunt

Got a bunch of emails on this through the day and evening so figured I'd just put it out there. The Skins are not pursuing Dominique Foxworth, the Denver CB who is a Baltimore native and went to Maryland. The Broncos are shopping him, and given his roots I got...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 1, 2008; 8:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
 
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Blache Has Eye on Gustav; Injury, Defense Updates

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache is a New Orleans native, with lots of family still in the area (he has six kids and several grandchildren, many of whom remain in Louisiana) and was obviously concerned about Hurrican Gustav. Blache was checking the weather radar online and trying to contact family before...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 1, 2008; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Kendall Scouts Giants' Line

Jason Reid writes: The New York Giants' defensive line played a major role in the team's third Super Bowl title last season. But the unit will have a different look Thursday when the Redskins and Giants kick off the NFL's schedule at Giants Stadium. In June, seven-time Pro Bowl defensive...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 1, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Landry Joined by Louisiana Family (Update 1)

Because of Hurricane Gustav, many of safety LaRon Landry's family members are staying with him in Virginia and at the Baltimore home of his brother, Dawan, a Ravens safety. "A lot of my family and my relatives are at my house right now," Landry told Jason Reid. "Some came in...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 1, 2008; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Montgomery Doesn't Expect To Start

Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery said he expects to be on the sidelines when the Redskins face the Giants on Thursday. Montgomery played behind Kedric Golston in their rookie season - 2006 - then rose to be the starting nose tackle last year, but Golston held the job throughout the season....

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 1, 2008; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The Education Of Devin Thomas

Rookie receiver Devin Thomas, Washington's top draft pick, is trying to make up for some lost time this week, but with just a few days before the season opener Thursday it's going to be difficult. Thomas has struggled to grasp the offense and missed some time with a hamstring injury,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 1, 2008; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Roster Ramblings

With such a whirlwind of news the past two days, we haven't really had a chance to breakdown the roster as I would have hoped. So here are a few thoughts and observations... The Secondary: It's young. Real young. Reed Doughty, entering his third season, is the most experienced safety....

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 1, 2008; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Aromashodu Signs; Frost Goes to Frozen Tundra

Jason La Canfora is en route to Redskins Park and phones with these updates: For the second year in a row, the team has signed a former wide receiver who played with quarterback Jason Campbell at Auburn and former punter Derrick Frost has signed with the Green Bay Packers. They've...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 1, 2008; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
 
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Frost Sends a Message

Punter Derrick Frost sent this email this evening to thank fans and the organization. He was cut from the team Saturday: "I very much appreciate the opportunity to put in greater perspective my comments in response to being released by the Redskins yesterday. As much as I regret them, the...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 31, 2008; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (224)
 
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Jansen on Demotion; Kelly Doubtful

Jon Jansen, the longest serving player in the organization, was as standup as can be about losing his job to Stephon Heyer, speaking immediately after practice. Jansen, who practiced fully and said his sprained foot is no longer an issue, clearly does not agree with the decision, but showed restraint...

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 31, 2008; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
 
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Thomas on Transition to Heyer

With the demotion of longtime starting right tackle Jon Jansen, second-year tackle Stephon Heyer will line up next to right guard Randy Thomas in the season opener. Thomas and Jansen have started together for five seasons, which makes the situation difficult for Thomas, but he has a job to do...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 31, 2008; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Washington Ready To Go; Brooks Speaks

Linebacker Marcus Washington was jumping around the locker room like his old self, shouting and singing. It was already pretty clear that he was not too worried about the hip problem that led to him sitting out a few games, but this was final confirmation. Washington said he is ready...

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 31, 2008; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Randle El Expects to Start (Updated)

Despite having a broken bone in his left hand, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El expects to start in the opener against the Giants, Jason Reid reports. "It's doing good," said Randle El, who plans to wear a protective brace in the game. "We're going to protect it as much as...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 31, 2008; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Mason Signs With Ravens (Updated)

Marcus Mason (Georgetown Prep) has been signed to Baltimore's practice squad, according to his agent, Chad Wiestling. Mason could have been re-signed to Washington's squad, where he was last year, but with Baltimroe carrying just two RBs (one a rookie, Ray Rice, and the other injured starter Willis McGahee, who...

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 31, 2008; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Heyer to Start; Practice Squad Set (Updated)

Stephon Heyer will start Thursday against the New York Giants in the regular-season opener at Giants Stadium. Heyer just spoke with Jason La Canfora and confirmed that he will start ahead of Jon Jansen on the offensive line. Heyer said he learned from his experience starting last season and feels...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 31, 2008; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Practice Squad Takes Shape

Jason La Canfora calls this in: The eight-man practice squad has not been announced, but the Skins have lockers set up for Andrew Crummey, Curtis Gatewood, Matteral Richardson, Devin Clark and Horace Gant. TE Tyler Ecker worked out for the team today and told me he is being signed to...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 31, 2008; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Defensive Musings (AKA Mulling the Nickel)

One of the things I'll be watching in Week 1, particularly if the Redskins don't have end Jason Taylor, and, at least on paper, are back to their original pass rush woes, will be how much nickel defense they play. To me, you've got to play to your strengths, which...

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 31, 2008; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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