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Redskins Insider: November 30, 2008 - December 6, 2008

GameDay Starts Early This Week

You can prep for the big Redskins-Ravens tilt by checking out this week's episode of "The Jasons," better known as the show about something, on Comcast SportsNet. Also, Jason "Jasno" La Canfora examined the different offensive philosophies of first-year head coches Jim Zorn and John Harbaugh. ... If you're going...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 6, 2008; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
 
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The Week in TCCLs

BTW, it's TGIF for TCCLs... 172 TCCLs - London Fletcher. This dude ain't going down without a fight, and I know it's got nothing to do with his consecutive games streak. No one wants to win more badly, and with his career nearing the end, Fletcher knows there may not...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 5, 2008; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (219)
 
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Springs Doesn't Practice but May Play

Jason Reid reports: Cornerback Shawn Springs (calf) was sidelined again during practice but could play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, Coach Jim Zorn said. Springs has sat out five games because of his calf injury, which he aggravated in Sunday's 23-7 loss to the New York Giants. The 12-year veteran...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Fletcher Improving but Still Game-Time Decision

Jason Reid reports: After middle linebacker London Fletcher (foot) missed practice for the third consecutive day, Jim Zorn said he would be a game-time decision for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens and M&T Bank Stadium. "I think he's a little better than he was last week," Zorn said. "We'll...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Samuels Comes to Campbell's Defense

Jason Reid reports Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels (knee) returned to practice today and expects to start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Samuels, who is confident the Redskins could still qualify for the playoffs despite their 1-3 record in November, expressed disappointment about the intense...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 1:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Portis Again a Game-Time Decision

Jason Reid reports: Running back Clinton Portis (knee, hip and neck) was limited in practice and is expected to be a game-time decision, Coach Jim Zorn said. "I saw Clinton out there running so I expect him to play," he said. "I'm optimistic about Clinton just 'cause he moved around...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Landry Has Calf Injury but Expects to Play

Jason Reid reports: Strong safety LaRon Landry, who was inadvertently struck in the calf during practice Thursday, was held out of practice today for precautionary reasons but is expected to play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. "He's going to be okay," Coach Jim Zorn said. Landry said he took a...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Tuning in Air Vinny

Jason La Canfora writes: With so much swirling in Redskin Nation these days, from the QB bashing to some Z-Man bashing to some Vinny bashing, we thought we'd listen to "Inside The Red Zone" today to get the top exec's take on things. After the caller uprising on Monday's show,...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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An Unrestricted Look at Points

Jason Reid looks at the Redskins' offense and analyzes where the points should come from Sunday night against the Ravens in Baltimore (where it will be v-v-v-v-very c-c-c-c-cold, according to the Capital Weather Gang)....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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The Practice Report

Jason Reid reports: Cornerback Shawn Springs (calf), middle linebacker London Fletcher (foot) and LaRon Landry did not practice. We'll find out what's up with Landry. poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 5, 2008; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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A Follow-Up on Thomas as a Pulling Guard

Wanted to follow up on a post from earlier in the week about right guard Randy Thomas being used to pull much less this season than in years past. I caught up with offensive coordinator Sherman Smith and got more info on the change. Some of it has to do...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 5, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
 
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Scott on Portis and the Ravens' D

Ravens linebacker Bart Scott used to be known for his brash talking and bold antics, but he's toned down his act a bit this season, which happens to be his contract year. I asked him about the Redskins' struggling offense, and thought maybe he'd throw in a zinger or two,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 5, 2008; 7:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Practice One-Liners

Jason Reid reports: Defensive end Andre Carter (foot), middle linebacker London Fletcher (foot) and defensive tackle Kedric Golston (bone spurs) did not practice.... Linebacker Alfred Fincher returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday for personal reasons.... Strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington (high-ankle sprain) is wearing a brace and has already been...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (125)
 
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Portis' Neck Still Stiff

Running back Clinton Portis (knee, hip, neck) watched practice for the second straight day. Portis has continued to experience neck soreness after being injured as he was tackled in Sunday's 23-7 loss to the New York Giants at FedEx Field. "He's still trying to loosen up his stiff neck," Coach...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
 
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Zorn: Springs Likely to Play

Jason Reid reports: Although cornerback Shawn Springs sat out practice again today because of a lingering calf injury, Redskins Coach Jim Zorn expressed hope Springs would play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. "I think Springs will end up going," Zorn said after practice at Redskins Park. "We're trying to rest...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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This Week: the View from B'more

Our colleagues at the Baltimore Sun focused today on the University of Miami connection that runs through Clinton Portis on the Redskins' offense and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on the Ravens' defense. We've added a new component to our Redskins front so that each day you can more easily...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Blache: Ravens Fun to Watch, Not to Play

Jason Reid reports: The Baltimore Ravens rank second in the NFL in total defense, second in passing defense and yield the third-fewest yards rushing. "They have one of the finer defenses in the league, not just this year but for the last, I don't know, five, 10 years," defensive coordinator...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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The Practice Report

Barry Svrluga reports: London Fletcher, Marcus Washington and Fred Smoot are not out for practice. (Smoot has been excused and will return tomorrow.) The following players are limited or not participating: Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels and Shawn Springs....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Blache on Flacco's Development

Jason Reid reports: Defensive coordinator Greg Blache is impressed with Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. "For a young quarterback to come in and do all the things he's done in this league is exceptional," he said before practice at Redskins Park. "His ability to read the coverages, to manage...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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How Clairvoyant Are You?

poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Calling All Baltimore-Area Fans (Updated)

If you are in the B-more area tonight, and I know many of you are from the emails I receive, stop by Federal Hill. I'm going to swing by a promotion that Fox 1370 AM - and my main man Jerry Coleman - are running at Ryleigh's Oyster Bar on...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 4, 2008; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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The Final Flacco Post of the Week

In talking to some of the Redskins about Ravens QB Joe Flacco, a rookie they admittedly had not seen much of prior to watching film this week, one thing has caught their eye more than anything else: His big arm. He's pretty fearless overall and has not flinched when given...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 4, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Landrys' Reunion Will Have to Wait

Redskins safety LaRon Landry started looking forward to the game against the Ravens the moment the schedule came out, looking forward to facing his brother, Dawan, for the first time as a pro. Dawan is a safety for the Ravens, but he suffered a serious spinal injury early in the...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 4, 2008; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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An Unrestricted Preview

With Clinton Portis experiencing whole-body hurt, Ladell Betts may have a bigger role in Sunday's game against Baltimore. Jason Reid previews the game. Thanks to the move to the night slot, the Capital Weather Gang sez it's going to be c-c-c-c-c-cold....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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A Chat and a 3-D Game

Jason "Jasno" La Canfora will be chatting about the topic of this blog and anything else that's on your minds at noon today. That's an hour earlier than usual, so set your alarm clocks. I'm not sure why any one would want to watch the Raiders and Chargers in glorious...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 4, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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The Rock Cartwright Special Teams Report

Back in the early days of training camp, when special teams coach Danny Smith was trying to prepare rookie punter Durant Brooks for the harsh realities of the NFL, he would quiz the youngster on how to react and what to do with the ball should a breakdown occur while...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 4, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The Rabach Link with Baltimore

Redskins center Casey Rabach spent the early part of his career with the Ravens before signing here as a free agent in 2005. Most of his Baltimore teammates from that time are gone, including all of his buddies on the offensive line. Rabach said the only player in that locker...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
 
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Zorn on Cooley

Jim Zorn was asked a bit about right end Chris Cooley's lack of production this season, particularly in the red zone. As Zorn pointed out, no one has really been getting into the end zone in the passing game, but he says that's not for a lack of tryiing. When...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Carter, Portis 'Game-Time Decisions'

Jim Zorn said he expects running back Clinton Portis (neck) and end Andre Carter (foot) to be game-time decisions Sunday night against the Ravens; he is "optimistic" that linebacker London Fletcher will play despite his foot injury. Those three players did not take part in today's practice, nor did corner...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
 
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Harbaugh Reflects on His, Zorn's Success

Ravens Coach John Harbaugh has a bit of a rapport with Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, even calling to congratulate Zorn after his first win. Both men were relatively anonymous position coaches without any coordinating experience when they were hired in the offseason, and both of their teams have exceeded expectations....

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
 
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Report from the Practice Field

Jason La Canfora reports from the field: London Fletcher, Marcus Washington, Shawn Springs and Chris Samuels are not practicing; Fletcher and Washington are not on the field. Clinton Portis has a helmet, but is not wearing it much and does not appear to be practicing. Pete Kendall is getting his...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
 
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Thomas's Dwindling Pull

When the Redskins' rushing attack was at its best over the past four years, right guard Randy Thomas often was leading the way, pulling to the outside to blow people up in the perimeter rushing game. The Redskins are still running the ball off tackle as often as any team...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Fletcher, Still in Pain, May Not Practice

Jason La Canfora reports: Linebacker London Fletcher said his sprained foot is so painful and swollen that he will not practice today and doubts that he will be on the field tomorow either. "It's still pretty sore," Fletcher said....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Sellers on Offense's Struggles

Jason La Canfora reports: Fullback Mike Sellers is holding court with the media and the state of the offense again is the major topic of the day. He has no solution to the recent stagnation. "If I had the answer, I'd be a rich man," Sellers said, adding that he...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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Archer Replaces Octavien

The Redskins have signed linebacker Brandon Archer to their practice squad, replacing linebacker Steve Octavien, the team announced. Octavien was signed to the Dallas Cowboys' active roster. Archer, who will wear No. 56, is a 6-foot, 230-pound player who spent most of last season on Indianapolis' active roster and practice...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
 
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Brooks May Succeed Frost Again

Jason La Canfora reports: Former Skins punter Durant Brooks will work out today in Green Bay and will be evaluated to fill the vacancy that was created when the team released Derrick Frost. Brooks, the Skins' sixth-round draft pick (168th overall) out of Georgia Tech, beat out Frost for the...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
 
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O Line: Plenty of Pain, Less Gain

Jason Reid takes a look at T.W.O.S.T. (the week's other simmering topic): the Redskins' injury-riddled offensive line....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 3, 2008; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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StarCaps, and the Playoffs

The suspensions handed down by the NFL on Tuesday for use of a banned diruetic that is an ingredient in a weight-loss product called StarCaps could have major ramifications for the wild-card race. Minnesota lost its twin towers of run-stuffing defensive tackles, Pat and Kevin Williams, for the season, while...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 9:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
 
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Final Campbell Post of the Week (That's a Promise)

This will be it on the Jason Campbell subject this week (well, except for this whole faux controversy showing up in TCCLs Friday in one form or another), but I had a few conversations with Campbell on Monday and Tuesday and figured I'd summarize what he had to say Jason...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 3, 2008; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
 
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What's the Problem?

poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 2, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
 
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Who Ya Got?

poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 2, 2008; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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An Unrestricted Look at Campbell

Jason Reid argues that Jason Campbell isn't to blame for all of the Redskins' issues of late....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 2, 2008; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (188)
 
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It's Jason Campbell's Team

This is shaping up to be one of those weeks in which we end up talking a ton about the quarterback even though there are a bevy of more pressing issues. Many of Jason Campbell's teammates are being asked about his leadership skills, whether he has "it" - you know,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 2, 2008; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
 
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Stopping the Ravens' Offense

It'll be very interesting to see how the Redskins line up against Baltimore's passing game. It's hardly their forte, with few weapons, yet Baltimore is putting up strong point totals and rookie Joe Flacco is thriving in the system developed by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Flacco has been as good...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 2, 2008; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Skins by the Numbers

Believe it or not, the Redskins actually moved up in total offense, from 14th to 13th, on the basis of that seven-point performance. The Skins picked up a bunch of yards in garbage time, and moved up. These ratings are based solely on yards, and points don't factor in. The...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 1, 2008; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Zorn Defends Scheme (but Hints at Changes)

Jim Zorn was peppered with several questions about the scheme and his play-calling today (at one point Zorn playfully pretended to pull arrows out of his chest as the inquisition intensified). For the most part, Zorn stuck to his story, pointing to execution and not the principles of his offensive...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 1, 2008; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
 
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There's No Quarterback Controversy

Thirteen weeks into the season, there's a growing contingent of people intent on blaming everything on the quarterback and calling for a backup to play. The same people clamoring for Colt Brennan in August and September are now crying out for Todd Collins. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 1, 2008; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Zorn's Injury Report: Portis 'Really Sore'

Jim Zorn updated the injury situation and it was more of the same. RB Clinton Portis will likely miss practice most of the week, with his neck "really sore." Portis's knee is holding up well, Zorn said, but this saga will play out during the week. Everyone generally figures Portis...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 1, 2008; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
 
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An Unrestricted Look at the Offense

Jason Reid analyzes the Redskins' offense....

By Cindy Boren  |  December 1, 2008; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
 
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Fletcher Back in Boot: 'I'm Hurting'

Barry Svrluga reports: Middle linebacker London Fletcher was back in a boot to protect his injured left foot a day after he recorded a team-high 11 tackles in the Redskins' 23-7 loss to the Giants. "I'm hurting," Fletcher said. "It's not as much pain, but it's a significant amount of...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 1, 2008; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
 
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Montgomery Putting Injury Behind Him

Jason Reid reports: Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery fared well in his return to the lineup Sunday against the New York Giants after sitting out recently because of a right Achillies' injury. "It felt good just to be back out there," said Montgomery, who had a sack in the game. "I...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 1, 2008; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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A Necklace, a Chat and a Poll

Were you wondering about Jim Zorn's neckwear during his postgame presser yesterday? You weren't the only one. Dan Steinberg lives to delve into such matters. In addition to the necklace, there are plenty of other issues to discuss today; I'll be chatting at 11 a.m. poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  December 1, 2008; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (135)
 
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Monday Morning H-Back

What happened Sunday was fairly huge to me in this regard - for large chunks of the game the Skins took away New York's two greatest strengths, the run game and the pass rush, and still got dominated. The Giants couldn't run at all for three quarters but still held...

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 1, 2008; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
 
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Will They or Won't They?

Time for you to look ahead to Dec. 29 ... poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 30, 2008; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (351)
 
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Skins Drop to 7-5

The Redskins play some pretty poor offensive football at home, don't they? This was a bad match-up and once they fell behind in the second half and couldn't run the ball, it was ugly. They couldn't get into position to flex what strengths they do have on offense. Defensively, they...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
 
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Skins Down by 13 after 3

You've got the think the Skins' D will wilt a little here late, with the GIants holding the ball most of the game and the offense unable to score, again. Chris Wilson's offsides penalty was pretty huge - he just jumped - and while Jason Campbell's INT was essentially like...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (193)
 
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A Close One at the Half

Well, we've got ourselves a ballgame now and the Skins fought back and won that quarter, but man, Suisham has to make that field goal. That's three straight games in which he has had a miss that was within range. With the offense this starved for points, that can't happen....

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (206)
 
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Portis Is Back

After jamming his neck, Clinton Portis was back in the game....

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
 
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Giants Lead 10-0 after 1 Quarter

The Redskins look very flat in all aspects of play. It reminded me right away of the game last year right after Sean Taylor died - the Buffalo game. They are making mental errors and just don't seem to be there. (Special teams blunder by Justin Tryon on the punt,...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (133)
 
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Remembering 21: The Taylor Ceremony (Updated)

Compiled from Jason La Canfora's on-site reporting: The Washington Redskins inducted the late Sean Taylor into their Ring of Fame at FedEx Field Sunday, adding his name to the list of the franchise's best-ever players. The Redskins held a ceremony before the game against the New York Giants and replaced...

By Cindy Boren  |  November 30, 2008; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (204)
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Fletcher, Carter Will Start

The Redskins are scratching the usual suspects, along with DT Kedric Golston, who has an ankle injury (Anthony Montgomery will start in his place), and LB Marcus Washington (ankle), with H.B. Blades starting in his place. TE Fred Davis, DE Erasmus James, DE Rob Jackson, OL Chad Rinehart, OL Jason...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Tarp Just Coming Off; Carter, Fletcher Tests

One end zone is now exposed to the elements, and end Andre Carter is running on the sidelines with the trainers watching. Carter (foot) is hoping to play. Carter has all of his lower body pads on and just a T-shirt up top, and just headed back to the locker...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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NFC East Weather

It's a wet, chilly morning at FedEx Field my friends. The tarp is still covering the field, for now, and the cheerleaders are practicing indoors. The rain is pretty steady and, judging from the sound of it pelting my parka on the walk in, there may be a little hail...

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 30, 2008; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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