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Redskins Insider: November 23, 2008 - November 29, 2008

'The Jasons:' 2 Dudes Talkin' Football

Presenting ... ta-da! ... the latest episode of "The Jasons" (the highest-rated segment in Comcast SportsNet history ... or not)....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 29, 2008; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Burress, the Forecast and Portis

We're following the ongoing saga of Plaxico Burress. Keep an eye on Mark Maske's news feed on The League for the latest out of New York. (You'll also learn there that Mr. Irrelevant 2008, David Vobora, is scheduled to start for the Rams!) In other developments, the weather forecast for...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 29, 2008; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Moss Fined $5,000

Jason La Canfora reports: Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss was fined $5,000 by the NFL for a personal foul in Washington's victory Sunday over the Seahawks in Seattle, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. His personal foul, for striking cornerback Josh Wilson on the head after a...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
 
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Samuels' Knee 'Still Not Right'

Jason Reid reports: Left tackle Chris Samuels (knee) was limited in practice but could play Sunday against the New York Giants. "He did some stuff, that was good to see, but it's still not right," Zorn said of Samuels, who missed the first two days of practice this week. "He...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Zorn Says Portis Is '50-50'

Jason Reid reports: Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who recently added a rib muscle strain to his array of injuries, is considered only "50-50" to play Sunday against the New York Giants at FedEx Field, Coach Jim Zorn said yesterday. "There's a chance he'll be there," Zorn said after...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Fletcher Says He's a Game-Time Decision

Jason Reid reports: Middle linebacker London Fletcher (sprained foot) did not wear a protective walking boot today but sat out practice for the third consecutive day and said he would be a game-time decision Sunday as the Washington Redskins play host to the New York Giants at FedEx Field. "I'm...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Practice Report (Black Friday Edition)

Barry Svrluga reports: Almost everyone was on the field for the beginning of practice today, although their level of participation was in doubt. Both London Fletcher and Andre Carter appeared without walking boots. Carter participated in some drills with the defensive linemen, then sat out. Fletcher arrived late in cleats...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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New Generation Has Skins Ties

The Hokies-Cavs game at noon tomorrow is going to trigger some memories for Redskins fans what with some players named Grimm, Warren, and Green on the Virginia Tech and Virginia rosters. (Because it's a free country, you can also vote here.)...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 28, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Turkey Week in TCCLs

It's the Gobble Gobble Edition of TCCLs. Enjoy! (And then take a little nap; thanks, triptophan.) 1992 TCCLs - Loyola Dons football. They are the mythical Maryland state champs for 2008. Destroyed the MIAA, played probably the toughest schedule in the region and went 11-0, outscoring teams by, like, 400...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 28, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Giants' Ground Delivery Presents Problem

Stopping the Giants' running game is going to be one of the obvious plots to Sunday's game. I fully expect Greg Blache to dedicate numbers in the box, especially with so many linemen and linebackers beat up, and I also get the sense that LaRon Landry will be around the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 28, 2008; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Time to Feast on NFC East

We should learn a little more about two NFC East teams today as the Turkey Day football marathon rolls on. Dallas and Philly are both in action, and those teams appear to be on divergent paths. Dallas should have little problem with Seattle in the late-afternoon game. The Seahawks don't...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 27, 2008; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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No Plans to Replace S. Alexander

Jim Zorn said the team has no immediate plans to re-sign a running back after releasing Shaun Alexander earlier in the week. The Redskins signed DT Ryan Boschetti to bolster an injury-plagued defensive line, and I asked Zorn if he had plans to re-sign Alexander or another back should the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 27, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Zorn Concerned about Fletcher, Carter

Jim Zorn said he is concerned about middle linebacker London Fletcher's ability to face the Giants Sunday, with starting end Andre Carter still a question as well. Fletcher and Carter are both dealing with foot strains. Starting left tackle Chris Samuels was very limited in practice, but he is scheduled...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 27, 2008; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Thanksgiving Day Practice Roll Call

Barry Svrluga reports from the practice field: Clinton Portis, Marcus Washington, London Fletcher, Kedric Golston and Andre Carter are not taking part in drills. Cornelius Griffith is doing drills to the side. Fletcher was not wearing a boot as he walked inside the facility. He also was limping much, much...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 27, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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The Rock Cartwright Special Teams Report

The Redskins are looking for some improvement on teams this week, particularly after their coverage units sagged last week in Seattle. Too often the Seahawks picked up chunks of yards on returns, and the Skins suffered from poor field position for much of the first half. Several of Shaun Suisham's...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 27, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Safety Signed to Practice Squad

The Jasons pass along this announcement from the Redskins: The Redskins signed safety Michael Grant to the practice squad, filling a spot vacated by Matterral Richardson, who was signed by the Houston Texans to their active roster. Grant, a 22-year-old undrafted free agent out of Arkansas, was in training camp...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 27, 2008; 9:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Remembering 21: Santana Moss

Like Clinton Portis, Santana Moss was close to Sean Taylor; the three had ties through the University of Miami. Barry Svrluga spoke with Moss on Wednesday about Taylor. "Honestly, I'm a guy, I'm a firm believer of letting time deal with itself and letting whatever happens happen when that time...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  November 27, 2008; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Remembering 21: Wise Looks Back

Many of you have asked what it was like for reporters and editors covering the tragedy that befell Sean Taylor, who died one year ago this morning. Mike Wise took a deep breath and remembered those wrenching days. A year ago, my plane landed at Dulles Airport after I'd covered...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 27, 2008; 7:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Zorn on, Well, Pretty Much Everything

We're always learning new things about Z-Man (who likes his turkey smoked, by the way) and he touched on a list of topics after practice. The Giants have caught Zorn's attention for the confidence with which they are playing and the way they seem to make little adjustments every game,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 26, 2008; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
 
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Zorn Ruling Only Washington Out

Jim Zorn said the Redskins are ruling out only linebacker Marcus Washington ahead of Sunday's game against the New York Giants, although a bevy of players were unable to participate fully in practice today. The defensive front seven has been the most affected, with middle linebacker London Fletcher the biggest...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 26, 2008; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Manning's Staying Medium

We had a pretty ho-hum conference call with Eli "LBM" Manning today, but I'll pass along a few tidbits. (Also, Coach Tom Coughlin didn't say much about the injuries to RB Brandon Jacobs and WR Plaxico Burress, calling them both "day-to-day" and saying they need "further rehab and healing" to...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 26, 2008; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Remembering 21: Fletcher Looks at Game, Life Differently

London Fletcher and Sean Taylor were teammates on defense for only a season, one shortened by Taylor's death Nov. 27, 2007. Fletcher talked with Jason Reid about his memories of Taylor. On the effect of Taylor's death: "It was just a disbelief. You look at your life differently. You look...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Remembering 21: Portis Reflects

There's more from Clinton Portis, one of Sean Taylor's closest friends on the Redskins, on the death of his teammate. Jason Reid reports. "I mean, it's tough, you know? To think ... that he's actually been gone for a year, a year ago this dark cloud came over our head....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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The Practice Report

Jason Reid reports: Missing from the practice field were London Fletcher, Marcus Washington (obviously), Kedric Golston and Andre Carter....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Blache: Sunday's Game 'a Matter of Will'

Greg Blache flipped the script on us and did his weekly schlub session Wednesday instead of Thursday, so here are some hiighlights a day early. Blache is troubled that his team has yielded 200 yards on the ground in the past five quarters, and attributed some of the perimeter run-defense...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 26, 2008; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Golston Doesn't Rule Out Playing

Jason La Canfora reports: DT Kedric Golston said he isn't ruling out a return to practice later this week or possibly even playing Sunday despite a bone spur. He continues to wear a walking boot but said the pain is dissipating and he is eager for the chance to test...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Skins Expect Boschetti to Play Sunday

Jason La Canfora reports: DT Lorenzo Alexander said that, from what players have heard, newcomer Ryan Boschetti will play Sunday against the New York Giants. Boschetti was just signed yesterday and has not played since preseason, but the Skins are running short of healthy linemen. "The Giants are going to...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Jim Zorn's Face Dances

It's back to work (i.e., practice) at Redskins Park today, but first let's get some face time with the head coach. Dan Steinberg has started what may well become a weekly feature: the Faces of Zorn, taken from his Monday press confabs. Part I was pretty terrific but Part II...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
 
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Remembering 21: A Chat and Coverage

Jason La Canfora will be chatting at 1 p.m. today about the loss of Sean Taylor, how the team has adjusted and what lies ahead for the Redskins. Mike Wise wrote today about how the loss of Taylor has affected Clinton Portis, his best friend on the team. La Canfora...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Manning against the Blitz

As R.I. OGs know by now, I've never been on the Eli Manning (LBM, from here on out) bandwagon. I still think he's prone to putting it up for grabs and breaking down under pressure. Now playing behind that offensive line and having that dominant run game helps an awful...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 26, 2008; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Remembering 21: The Fans' Tribute

Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., was the gathering point for grieving fans after the death of Sean Taylor on Nov. 27, 2007....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 26, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Remembering 21: The Redskins' Tribute

Redskins players spoke of the death of Sean Taylor in a video montage that was shown before the team played the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 2 at FedEx Field....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Boschetti Deal Done

From Jason Reid: Defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti has completed his physical and re-signed with the team....

By Emilio Garcia-Ruiz  |  November 25, 2008; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (143)
 
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Skins Look to Beef Up D Line

From Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora: The Washington Redskins released running back Shaun Alexander yesterday and were expected to re-sign defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti in an effort to bolster their injury-weakened defensive line, a league source said. The 2005 NFL MVP with the Seattle Seahawks, Alexander signed with the...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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Fletcher's Injury the Top Concern

The Redskins' biggest injury concern ahead of the game against the New York Giants is middle linebacker London Fletcher, someone essentially irreplaceable in this defense. Fletcher is scheduled to get intense treatment much of today, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, for his sprained foot. His teammates...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 25, 2008; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Skins Release S. Alexander, Expect to Sign Boschetti

Jason Reid reports: The Redskins have released running back Shaun Alexander, who signed with the team on Oct. 14. They are expected to re-sign their former defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti, who visited Redskins Park today, although they also are considering other defensive players....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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Skins May Sign a Player This Week

Jason Reid reports: Concerned about injuries along the defensive line, the Redskins are evaluating players who could be signed this week, including former Redskins defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti. The Redskins could be short-handed at the position against the New York Giants on Sunday at FedEx Field. Cornelius Griffin (shoulder) needed...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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Remembering 21: A Writer's View

Jason La Canfora moved to the Redskins beat just in time to cover the 2004 draft in which the team took safety Sean Taylor with the fifth overall pick....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
 
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Remembering 21: Ring of Fame

Jason Reid talks about Sean Taylor, who will be inducted into the Redskins' Ring of Fame in an emotional ceremony before what will be a very important game against the Giants on Sunday at FedEx Field....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 25, 2008; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Remembering 21: Taylor's Greatest Hits

I asked two of the men who worked most closely with Sean Taylor, and who studied a ton of his film, to think back on a couple of his most memorable plays. Both Gregg Williams, the Redskins' former assistant head coach - defense, and safeties coach Steve Jackson pointed to...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 25, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Remembering 21: Gregg Williams

Editor's Note: One year ago tomorrow, Sean Taylor was shot during a break-in at his Miami area home and died the next day. We'll be posting recollections about Taylor's life, his football talent and his death under the category "Remembering 21." Former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was kind enough...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 25, 2008; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Fletcher, Carter MRIs Reveal Sprains

From Jason La Canfora: The Redskins have just released the official word on MRI results for London Fletcher and Andre Carter. According to Coach Jim Zorn, Fletcher has a contusion/sprain of his lower foot. Carter has a sprain of the plantar fascia. Zorn said it is unlikely that either will...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 24, 2008; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (163)
 
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Skns by the Numbers

The Skins now rank 14th in total offense with the running game carrying the load. They are third overall in yards per carry and rushing yards per game, while ranking 21st in passing yards per play and passing yards per game. Jason Campbell continues to lead the NFL in fewest...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Carter 'Optimistic' about Playing Sunday

Defensive end Andre Carter is back at Redskins Park after undergoing an MRI, which he said confirmed a slight tear in his plantar fascia. He is wearing a boot on his right foot, but said he is not ruling out playing this weekend. "I'm optimistic about it," Carter said, noting...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
 
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Zorn's Skins-Seahawks Wrap-Up

Jim Zorn ran the gamut in his meeting with the schlubs, from talking about preprinting a game ball to hand to owner Daniel Snyder after the Seattle game to the state of his offense, so I'll give you a little bit of everything and empty out the ol' notebook. In...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Fletcher, Carter Will Have MRIs

The Redskins are hoping not to be too thin at linebacker and along the defensive line this weekend. Linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) and end Andre Carter (foot) both went for MRIs today, with Coach Jim Zorn not yet apprised of their status. Defensive tackle Kedric Golston was on crutches with...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
 
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Fletcher Wearing a Walking Boot

London Fletcher had to leave the game last night and went to the locker room for some medical attention, but was not listed on the injury report. Well, he's got a walking boot on his left foot today, so I'm guessing he's going to have to show up on the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
 
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Qwest Field Takes Toll on Sellers, Portis

Dan Steinberg reports: The Redskins got back to their early-season pattern of running Clinton Portis as much as he could handle it. Yesterday's 29 carries equaled a season high, and he's had at least 21 carries in every Redskins win. (Only Michael Turner has more carries this season.) "When we...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 24, 2008; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Skins-Ravens Moved to Sunday Night

The Redskins' Dec. 7 game against the Ravens in Baltimore has been moved to 8:15 on NBC, according to a source....

By Cindy Boren  |  November 24, 2008; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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JZ, Sir Mix-A-Lot and Rush Limbaugh

Since he opted not to go to Seattle, Dan Steinberg had a little time on his hands Sunday and you know what that means: more stuff for the Z Files. Today's installment features Sir Mix-a-Lot, Rush Limbaugh and shorts that only Chris Cooley could love. Steinz also chronicles the return...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 24, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Monday Morning H-Back

There was nothing pretty about that one, right down to Ladell Betts' fumble. But you've got to take it and run. There are some areas of concern, but that's a game the Skins could have lost and the kind of game they have given away in recent years. There were...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 24, 2008; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Moss Puts Incident Behind Him

From Dan Steinberg: Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss tangled with Seattle cornerback Josh Wilson in the second quarter, drawing an 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty after punching Wilson in the face mask with his left hand. In a postgame interview with Comcast SportsNet, Moss said that Wilson had been grabbing his...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 24, 2008; 1:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
 
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Kelly: It Was 'Fun,' 'Exciting'

Barry Svrluga reports: Rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was active for the first time since Oct. 19 against Cleveland and played his largest role yet. Though he only caught two passes for 12 yards -- doubling his production for the season to this point -- Coach Jim Zorn called one...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 23, 2008; 11:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Taylor: New Role Worked Well

Jason Reid reports: Defensive end Jason Taylor thrived in the Miami Dolphins' defensive scheme, which afforded him more freedom to maneuver than he has had in the Redskins' disciplined approach. At least until Sunday. The Redskins permitted Taylor to roam the field in Sunday's 20-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 23, 2008; 10:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Win Keeps Skins in Playoff Picture

Very nice road win for the Skins. Not a lot of style points, but those don't matter much this time of the year. Ladell Betts has a history of coughing it up when he goes for what seems like hours without touching the ball, and putting it on the ground...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 7:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (161)
 
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Skins Take 17-10 Lead

Jim Zorn, showing a lot of guts by going for it on fourth down and then also spreading the field around the goal line, finally got another TD (they havent been getting two offensive TDs in a game with much regularity). Greg Blache was much more aggressive on third downs...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (199)
 
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Skins Down 10-7 at Halftime

Looks like a battle of West Coast teams sticking with the run. Jim Zorn has to go that way with pass protection issues, and it's also effective. Clinton Portis, who has a slight hip sprain and is probable to return, has 69 yards at the half and Maurice Morris has...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
 
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Skins Trail 3-0 after 1 Quarter

The offense looks like it has for most of the last six weeks or so. Jim Zorn has been going more West Coast and wants to go four wide, but his pass-protection problems won't allow it, and he's back to more max protection now. The inability to get into the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
 
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Kelly Is Active, Davis Is Not

Rookie WR Malcolm Kelly is active for the first time in weeks, as expected, with rookie TE Fred Davis getting scratched. The rest of the Redskins' inactives are no surprise -- LB Marcus Washington (ankle) and DT Anthony Montgomery (Achilles') are hurt. OL Chad Rinehart, OL Jason Fabini, DE Erasmus...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 2:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (167)
 
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The Set-Up from Seattle

It's a gorgeous morning here in Seattle, a perfect day. It's in the mid-50s, with a slight breeze. What a town. What a stadium. P Diddy hooked us up with a wonderful night. Amazing food, great conversation and a drink or two thrown in. Nate (from the PDX) and Jeff...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 23, 2008; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Countdown to Kickoff

Finally, it's game day. It seemed like a really long week, even though it was a little shorter with the Sunday night game. Our crew is on the ground in Seattle and there were no emergency calls for bail, so the scribes' night out with blogulars Nate, Diddy and Freak...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 23, 2008; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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