Giants Wide Receivers vs. Redskins SecondaryThe Redskins have one of the NFL’s top pass defenses, allowing just 188 yards per game, yet have been susceptible to the big play in recent weeks. The Giants are tied for sixth in the league with 11 passing plays of 40 yards or more, including touchdowns of 68 and 74 yards in the past two weeks. In their first meeting, the Giants’ receivers turned in strong performances, including a 30-yard TD by Mario Manningham. Redskins Punt Returners vs. Giants’ Jeff FeaglesFeagles has long been one of the top punters, and although he ranks near the bottom of the league in punt average and net average, he remains among the league leaders in fair catches and is tied for 15th with 20 kicks inside the 20-yard line. The Giants allowed a punt return touchdown to Green Orange White Dolphins Shop DeSean Jackson last week; the Redskins’ new returning rotation will be under the microscope.Redskins QB Jason Campbell vs. Giants SecondaryMuch of the recent success of Washington’s offense is attributable to Campbell’s increased comfort; he has had a passer rating higher than 106 in the past two games. The Redskins will face New York’s ninth-ranked pass defense, which is allowing just 206.5 passing yards per game but should get some chances to beat New York deep if given time. The Giants have allowed 41 plays of 20 yards or more — tied for eighth-worst in the NFL. Redskins’ DEs vs. Giants OTs David Diehl and Kareem McKenzieThe Redskins’ Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter have more sacks, 22, than any other pass-rushing combination in the league. The Giants allowed three sacks in losses to Philadelphia and Denver in the past three weeks, though they rank among the best in the league, having given up just 23. With or without DT Albert Haynesworth, Washington must get to Eli Manning.Redskins’ Offensive Line vs. Giants’ Pass RushThe Redskins have allowed 36 sacks — eighth worst in the league. The Giants no longer are ranked among the most vaunted pass-rushing units, ranking 23rd with just 26 sacks. They have not registered more than two sacks in a game since Oct. 11. Still, playmakers Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora have combined for nine sacks and 27 quarterback hits. Redskins’ Front Seven and Offense vs. Giants’ Offensive BalanceOver the past eight games, the Giants have gone 2-6 and have averaged more than 35 passes a game. They’ve handed off 25 times per game, a stark contrast from the 36 carries they averaged during their 5-0 start. If the Redskins can get an early lead and stuff the run, that would force New York to go to the air and give Washington a chance at back-to-back wins.– Paul Tenorio#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: Bob Griese nike Jersey Green Orange White Dolphins Shop 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Redskins SectionRedskins InsiderNews updates, poll questions and exlusive analysis of the Redskins.Tailgate ZoneA discussion Bob Griese nike Jersey group that invites fans to debate all matters burgundy and gold.Insider PodcastPost reporters and editors discuss and dissect the team’s ups and downs.
The chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton said yesterday that no decision had been made on whether his company will continue to sponsor Washington’s annual PGA Tour event beyond this year.The McLean-based company is committed by contract E. J. Manuel nike Jersey to sponsor the event through this year’s tournament at TPC at Avenel in Potomac. The PGA Tour announced last week that the Washington event would move from its regular June slot on the golf calendar to October starting next year.”I will reserve final judgment [on remaining the title sponsor] until I speak with [PGA Commissioner] Tim Finchem,” Ralph Shrader, chairman and chief executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, said in an interview. “But I do have some major concerns. When we took this project on, my commitment was to bring a world-class event to Washington. . . . When I look at the challenge of staging an event in this area in the fall, I’m mindful it may not be the best time of year for Washington and for the fans and certainly to raise the kind of charitable funds we’ve been able to raise in the past.”The 2007 Tour schedule, released last Friday, included a number of major changes, not the least of which was pushing Washington’s event, staged here in May or June since 1980, into October. Starting with next year’s event, the tournament would be part of a new fall series staged after the $10 million Tour Championship in September.The tour has said the events after the Tour Championship will provide more opportunities for players at the lower end of the money list to secure playing privileges for the following season. They’ll be contested at a time of the year when many of the game’s top players are entering fewer events or playing in events overseas.In an interview yesterday, Finchem said the tour will announce within the next 60 days more details about the fall series, including the possibility that it include a lucrative financial bonus system as a lure to attract the game’s top names. He said he believes the fall events also would attract players trying to improve their chances of qualifying for major championships, invitational events and World Golf Championship tournaments that use money earnings and world rankings to determine their fields.”It’s not that these [fall] tournaments won’t be important to the players,” Finchem said. “It’s true we do think they’ll play a little more between January and September. But the overall play should not deviate too much from the way it is now. They all play [in the fall] now. It’s just a question of where. They have to play because they can’t get too rusty. The fall series will be worth more than just a guy keeping his card.”Finchem offered few specifics on why Washington lost its usual late spring place on the calendar, but interviews with other PGA Tour and Booz Allen Classic officials provided several possibilities.Shrader has been highly critical of the course and clubhouse at Avenel, the venue for the event since the facility, which is owned by the PGA Tour, opened in 1987. The tour had told Shrader it was planning to invest a substantial amount of time and money to upgrade the course and clubhouse.But several E. J. Manuel nike Jersey Blue White Red Bills Shop sources indicated the tour may not be willing to spend the money — perhaps as much as $25 million — necessary to make Avenel an attractive, player-friendly facility, or to close down the profitable club for the amount of time — at least a full year — needed to make those changes. Moving the event to the fall, those sources said, might be one way to justify less extensive and less costly cosmetic changes, since the top players might not show up anyway.The move of the Players Championship from March to May also had an impact on the 2007 schedule. It would be difficult to play an event in the area much earlier than May 1 because the course would need time to recover from the winter. Other events in May, with far better venues and usually much better fields, also were more attractive to the tour and its network TV partners.Shrader had said in the past he preferred to have the Washington tournament a week or two before the U.S. Open, and not the week after. Last year, the Booz Allen Classic was played at Congressional the week before the Open and attracted huge crowds and one of the best fields in its history.But starting in 2007, the slot two weeks before the Open will go to Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. As one tour official said, “Whatever Jack wants, Jack usually gets.” In 2007, the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, sponsored by Memphis-based FedEx, will have the coveted slot the week before the Open. FedEx also is the title sponsor for the tour’s new FedEx Cup competition, a three-week stretch of qualifying events after the PGA Championship leading up to the $10 million Tour Championship.Several sources said part of that lucrative sponsorship agreement with FedEx included a quid pro quo that the Memphis tournament would also have a prime spot on the 2007 schedule. The week before the Open, most players like to hone their games leading up to the second major of the season, guaranteeing a strong field.The slot the week after the Open will be taken up by the 84 Lumber event in Pennsylvania, which has always been played in the fall. Joe Hardy, the owner of 84 Lumber, has cultivated strong relationships with a number of top tour players, most notably Vijay Singh and John Daly, and with both men in the field, the tournament has strong spectator and television appeal.Still, Shrader said yesterday he had no inkling that the tour was even contemplating such a radical change involving the Washington tour stop until Finchem called him on Friday, just before announcing the new schedule. He said it was never mentioned as a possibility in his most recent discussions with Finchem and other tour officials at the Presidents Cup in September.Shrader also said he has a number of serious reservations about staging a meaningful tournament in the fall, after completion of all the major championships and the Tour Championship.”The Redskins dominate the sports scene here in the fall, and college football is also very big,” he said. “Golf courses in this area tend to take a beating over the summer. Last fall, all the courses were suffering some degree of stress. The issue also becomes, can you stage a world-class event when you’re going to have a hard time attracting a world-class field?”Having said all of that, Tim said when I spoke to him Friday that he’d like to say that we’ll continue discussions about remaining the sponsor. I told him I would certainly hear him Blue White Red Bills Shop out, and I’m committed to hearing them out. We haven’t determined when that will be.”Finchem said he hopes to meet with Shrader within the next 30 to 45 days. “Our intent is to continue with them,” Finchem said. “We like the continuity and we like the brand. They’re good people. But if it doesn’t work out, we’re also very positive about other options.”As for conflicts in drawing fans to the golf course during the Redskins’ season, Finchem said that fall events played in Texas and Florida — “two of the most passionate football states in the country” — had been highly successful in raising money for charity in recent years. He also indicated the tour would try to work with the NFL in staging the tournament on a weekend the Redskins were either playing on the road or on a bye week.”The discussion in Washington has always been around what do you have to do to have a first-rate tournament?” Finchem said. “It’s a struggle that’s been going on for 20 years.”It has to do with the golf course, which can be improved. It has to do with the infrastructure for the fans, which also has to be improved, and with the date structure.”We’ve bounced tournaments around in the past to make everyone happy. But when you do that, you find the quality is inconsistent, the field is inconsistent, the title sponsor becomes . . . unhappy, which results in sponsor turnover. We concluded as best we could it was important to provide a significant level of consistency of dates and not jump around. We had to make some tough calls. We’ve got a lot of work to do, and we recognize that. It will be a challenge, but I think we can get there.”
Since Will Barker arrived on Virginia’s campus in 2005, three of his fellow offensive linemen have heard their names called in the first round of the NFL draft.Although Barker probably will not be selected that high next April, the fifth-year senior enters this season as likely the next Cavaliers offensive lineman who will go from Charlottesville to the NFL. Barker has started all 37 games during the past three seasons. He now awaits his final season, the college football version of a contract year."I got to go out there and have a great season," Barker said. "I got that mind-set that I need to have a great season, not only for myself, but for this team. This team needs me to have a great season."Barker became a fixture in the Cavaliers lineup in the 2006 season opener against Pittsburgh, when he earned the job as a redshirt freshman. But over the past four years, the 6-foot-7, 320-pound right tackle watched the spotlight shine on more celebrated teammates on the offensive line such as D’Brickashaw Ferguson (the No. 4 pick in the 2006 draft), Branden Albert (the No. 15 pick in 2008) and Eugene Monroe (the No. 8 pick in 2009)."There’s shoes to be filled," Barker said. "I might be the right person to fill those shoes."The responsibility has required a personal transformation for the soft-spoken native of suburban Philadelphia who was otherwise known for his fire-red hair and mammoth physique.When Barker was named the ACC offensive lineman of the week last season, Coach Al Groh called Barker’s parents to share the news because he did not think Barker would. Groh was correct; Barker’s parents had learned of the award from a friend.At the annual ACC Football Kickoff in July, each ACC school sent two players. Groh selected Barker to represent the Cavaliers, a role Groh did not think Barker could fulfill a season ago."If you said write down the names of those players you might send to the ACC Kickoff in 2009, Will would have been well down that list," Groh said. "This year, it was an easy choice to pick him as one of the players to represent the team."Groh noticed a change in Barker’s "overall maturity" beginning in the spring, and said Barker exhibits a "purposefulness" that was not present when he first arrived."Will was, at best, a mediocre practice player early in his career," Groh said. "A lot more into the games than in practice. This spring, he really had it screwed down on every turn, trying to become the best he can be. He has embraced everything that’s been asked of him a year ago at this time."One reason for that is because Barker isn’t facing any off-field distractions entering this season. In late July 2008, Barker and teammate Dave Roberts were arrested for stealing beer from a cooler at a Charlottesville nightclub. The incident cast a negative shadow over Barker and seemed to affect his play on the field.But things changed on Oct. 6, when Barker and Roberts were acquitted of misdemeanor petit larceny charges."I definitely think it affected it," Barker said. "Then my play improved, obviously, because I didn’t have a distraction."That was most evident during an Oct. 25 Chance Warmack nike Jersey upset of Georgia Tech. Barker did not allow a sack against standout defensive ends Chance Warmack nike Jersey Blue Navy White Titans Shop Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan and earned the weekly ACC honor.After three seasons in Virginia’s starting lineup, Barker has one last fall to cement his status in Virginia history and extend the program’s tradition of standout offensive linemen. Most important for Barker, he is more aware of that than at any point in his career."Looking back on it, people always tell you it’s the best time of your life and it flies by," Barker said. "You never really realize it until you’re a senior going into your last camp."#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Sports SectionTerrapins InsiderGet the latest updates on Maryland basketball and football.Recruiting InsiderJosh Barr keeps you in the loop on the local and national prep talent.D.C. Sports BogDan Steinberg Blue Navy White Titans Shop gives you an inside look at all of your favorite local teams.
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 — Tailback Brian Westbrook participated in portions of the Philadelphia Eagles practice here Saturday.Westbrook had not practiced during training camp after undergoing offseason ankle surgery.Coach Andy Reid said that Westbrook’s practice workload could be increased Sunday."We’re going to ease him back in," Reid said. "Right now, he is good enough to play in practice and controlled situations, so that’s what we’re going to do. . . Zach Strief nike Jersey . We’ll just see how he feels and get him a little bit more involved if Black White Gold Saints Shop he feels like he can handle that."Cornerback Sheldon Brown Zach Strief nike Jersey Black White Gold Saints Shop was shaken up late in the Eagles practice. He stayed on the ground after defending a pass, but got up and jogged off the field unaided. There was no immediate word on whether he suffered a significant injury.– Mark MaskeStafford Throws for TDMatthew Stafford threw a touchdown and an interception and had some passes dropped in his debut with the Detroit Lions.Jason Hanson’s 47-yard field goal as time expired lifted Detroit to a 27-26 win over the visiting Atlanta Falcons in the preseason opener for both teams.Stafford, the No. 1 pick of the NFL’s first 0-16 team, completed half of his 14 passes for 114 yards, with a 25-yard touchdown to fellow rookie Derrick Williams (Eleanor Roosevelt) and an interception that Tony Gilbert returned for a score.Atlanta’s Michael Turner ran for a 40-yard score and Matt Ryan was 5 of 7 for 33 yards.CONTINUED 1 2 3 Next >#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Ravens SectionNFL InsiderThe Post’s Mark Maske provides exclusive analysis and keeps you up-to- date with all of the latest NFL news.Fantasy ChallengePut your fantasy analysis, drafting and trading skills to the ultimate test with this free, full-featured fantasy league.Slideshow: Checkin In With Ovechkin–>
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — There will be surprising success stories at practically every turn tomorrow afternoon at Dolphin Stadium when the Baltimore Ravens face the Miami Dolphins in a first-round AFC playoff game. Each team has a first-year head coach. The Ravens have a rookie as their starter at quarterback. The Dolphins have the NFL’s comeback player of the year as theirs.This StoryTwo Backs Are Key to Ravens’ RunAFC Preview: Ravens at DolphinsAFC Preview: Colts at ChargersNFC Preview: Falcons at CardinalsNFC Preview: Eagles at VikingsView All Items in This StoryView Only Top Items in This StoryBut it’s possible that the game could turn on the productivity of the Ravens’ running backs, and that’s where yet another intriguing plot twist comes into play. Few would have predicted when this season began that the runner on whom the Ravens would be leaning most heavily in a game of such importance would be second-year fullback Le’Ron McClain rather than three-time 1,000-yard rusher Willis McGahee.The Ravens hope to get yards out of both players tomorrow. But it’s McClain, who carried the ball only eight times as a rookie, who has become the bruising centerpiece of their offense while McGahee is left to deal with a reduced role as a complementary runner."I was just coming in to be better than what I was last year," McClain said as he sat at his locker in the Ravens’ training facility at midweek, talking about his initial expectations for a season that has resulted in him being selected to the Pro Bowl. "That was the main thing. I feel like I did that. But to me, I feel like there’s still stuff out there that I can do. One thing is to win Sunday to get the next game, the next week."A few lockers away, McGahee was doing his best to explain to a small group of reporters that he wasn’t trying to be disruptive to the team and he wants to do his part, but he nevertheless regards this as a lost season in terms of achieving individual goals."My season is over with," McGahee said. "My season was over Week 5. I haven’t done anything at all. It isn’t like I’m going to get 1,000 yards. I’m just playing my role. . . . If my number is called, man, I’m going to go ahead and play. But, you know, if it’s not, I can’t do anything about it."McGahee was attempting to defuse a mini-controversy that resulted from his comments during a radio interview in which he said he had to play for himself and he seemed to put some blame for his string of injuries and diminished production this season on the Ravens’ coaching staff for trying to change his training routine and running style. McGahee said his remarks had been misinterpreted and he isn’t a selfish player."It doesn’t mean I’m not a team player," McGahee said. "If Charles Godfrey nike Jersey I wasn’t a team player, I would have shut it down in the middle of the season from the knee surgery and all that. It meant: ‘I can’t be what somebody else wants me to be. I can only be me.’"So that’s what I meant by that. . . . I wasn’t indicating it’s all about Willis McGahee because Willis McGahee’s season Charles Godfrey nike Jersey Black Blue White Panthers Shop has been over since Week 5. . . . It is over. It’s not like the season I normally have, so it is over for me. So that’s how I look at it."Ravens Coach John Harbaugh dismissed McGahee’s radio comments as no big deal. But clearly, McGahee is struggling to adjust to not being a focal point of the offense.After sitting out his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills in 2003 while recovering from the knee injury he suffered in his final college game for the University of Miami, McGahee ran for more than 3,300 yards over the next three seasons with the Bills before being traded to the Ravens prior to last season. He was a Pro Bowler in his first season in Baltimore, getting 294 carries and running for 1,207 yards.There was little reason to suspect that anything would change this season, even with a new coaching staff in place. But McGahee underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in training camp. He didn’t play in the preseason and missed the opening regular season game. There has been a series of nagging injuries since then, and McGahee ended up getting only 170 carries in 13 games and running for 671 yards.He doesn’t complain about losing the starting job."I’ve been hurt all year," McGahee said. "So, you know, you expect that. I had surgery. I missed . . . three games. I didn’t practice all training camp. So it wasn’t like I knew my job was going to be there. And then Le’Ron and Ray [Rice, a rookie tailback from Rutgers] were doing such a great job in the running game, why change it?"McClain, indeed, has made the most of his opportunity. He ran for 902 yards and 10 touchdowns on 232 carries during the regular season. The Ravens relied on him more and more as the season progressed. He averaged 22 carries over the final six games of the regular season. He got 25 carries in last Sunday’s finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in which the Ravens secured their playoff spot with a lopsided victory at home, while McGahee got only four."It’s been a surprise to me," McClain said this week. "All the hard work I’ve been doing has paid off. It’s been a blessing. . . . A lot of people weren’t expecting that. Hopefully their eyes are open now and they understand what my game is all about."McClain was selected to the Pro Bowl as a fullback even though the work that has gotten him noticed has come performing tailback-like running chores. What does that mean for his NFL future? The former fourth-round draft pick from Alabama doesn’t seem quite sure."Right now I’m just worried about this season right here," McClain said, "and the Miami Dolphins mainly, getting ready to try to get this victory Sunday. . . . We want to be the most physical, aggressive team in the league. I think we’ve been showing that."Despite McGahee’s contention that his season Black Blue White Panthers Shop is "over," he had a late 77-yard touchdown run in Dallas that, combined with McClain’s 82-yard touchdown run on the next offensive snap, gave the Ravens a key triumph in the season’s second-to-last game.The one-two running punch obviously can be effective, and the Ravens might need contributions from both tomorrow. As far as they have progressed with Harbaugh, McClain and upstart quarterback Joe Flacco after going 5-11 last season under Brian Billick, the Dolphins have progressed even further. Rookie coach Tony Sparano and rejuvenated quarterback Chad Pennington have gotten them into the playoffs one season after they went 1-15."We’re on the same route they’re on about the turnaround," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said this week. "We didn’t have the season we wanted to have last year. We’re dealing with a new coach, a rookie quarterback and things like that. . . . Every year is a new year."Yet the Ravens, their standout inside linebacker said, are not satisfied with merely reaching the postseason."It’s one thing to sense getting in the playoffs," Lewis said. "It’s another thing to sense that you can actually make a real move in the playoffs. If you’re a Raven fan, if you’ve watched us long enough, we’re gonna be tough. We’re gonna be tough if we go play our type of football."» This Story:Read | Comments#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Ravens SectionNFL InsiderThe Post’s Mark Maske provides exclusive analysis and keeps you up-to- date with all of the latest NFL news.Fantasy ChallengePut your fantasy analysis, drafting and trading skills to the ultimate test with this free, full-featured fantasy league.Slideshow: Checkin In With Ovechkin–>
After trading punts to start the quarter, the Cowboys took over at their 37-yard line. Black Silver White Raiders Shop Dallas moved quickly down the field to the Redskins 25, but Romo’s second-down pass intended for Owens was knocked loose by a big hit from Carlos Rogers, and Rocky McIntosh hauled in the ball for his first career interception. The Redskins then pieced together a 29-yard drive before punting. The punt died at the 1 but was ruled a touchback when the ball rolled into the back of Rock Cartwright, who was lying on the goal line. Dallas Jim Otto nike Jersey Black Silver White Raiders Shop took over at the 20 and drove 80 yards with the help of two big completions, and Marion Barber scored from two yards to tie the score with 1 minute 1 second to play. Cartwright returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Dallas 37, and Shaun Suisham hit a 41-yard field goal with four seconds remaining./* BEGIN TOP STRIP STYLES */#customTS-SingleThumbBlog width:454px;margin-bottom:6px;padding-bottom:6px;font:11px Arial;border-bottom:solid 1px #CCC;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog p margin:0;padding:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:link, #customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:visited text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:hover text-decoration:underline;color:#C00;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .redkicker font-weight:bold;color:#C00;margin-bottom: 4px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .thumbSlot float:left;width:80px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .textSlot float:right;width:368px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog ul padding:0;list-style-type:none;font-weight:bold;margin:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog li background-image:url(http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/images/bullet_3x3_999999.gif);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0px .4em;padding-left:6px;padding-bottom:2px; Latest Posts From NFL News Feed More Posts | Sports Blog Directory #botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the NFL SectionThe LeagueA conversation about what’s happening today in the NFL.NFL News FeedMark Maske Jim Otto nike Jersey keeps you up-to-date with all of the latest news in the NFL.Redskins InsiderJason Reid provides exlusive analysis of the Redskins.
With Joel Dreessen nike Jersey Orange Navy White Broncos Shop Jason Taylor on the trade market for much of the offseason, many NFL teams held internal discussions about acquiring him. Below are excerpts of scouting reports compiled on Taylor by the personnel departments of two teams, one in each conference:This StoryIn the End, a Good FitMike Wise: More Than Just A Pretty FaceDefense Is Overjoyed by New ArrivalTaylor Says He’ll Honor The Rest of His ContractRedskins Notebook: Campbell Unhappy With His Play in CampThe Bog Goes to Camp: So You Think You Can Dance?Training Camp RundownScouting Jason TaylorRedskins Training CampRedskins Unrestricted: July 21View All Items in This StoryView Only Top Items in This StoryTEAM A: "Seven of his  sacks last year came on protection busts or against very weak-ability OTs [offensive tackles]. . . . Does not look like he wants to play the run as much anymore. Concern will come when offense commits to check-with-me run game at him on run downs [the quarterback reads the defense at the line and directs the run play to the side he feels is weakest]. . . . He’s a real good savvy pass rusher and understands how to game plan his opponent on the pass rush. . . . At the end of his career and would be a good leader to teach young players the tricks of the trade."TEAM B: "He still has a strong counter move [on the pass rush] and a high motor. . . . He’s a quality player, but based off of last season he is starting to decline. . . . Has long arms and the needed strength to play the tight end at the point of attack. . . . Doesn’t get out-leveraged. . Orange Navy White Broncos Shop . . Definitely still a starter, but his Pro Bowl days may be behind him. . . . Might be best if used situationally. . . . Usually lines up on the right side but can flip-flop" to the left.» This Story:Read |Watch | Comments#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px Joel Dreessen nike Jersey 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Redskins SectionRedskins InsiderNews updates, poll questions and exlusive analysis of the Redskins.Tailgate ZoneA discussion group that invites fans to debate all matters burgundy and gold.Insider PodcastPost reporters and editors discuss and dissect the team’s ups and downs.
Jim Zorn no longer gets to call the plays for the Washington Redskins’ offense. He does, however, ostensibly get to select who plays quarterback when the Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. But after a tortuous 24 hours — a period when he yanked starter Jason Campbell in favor of backup Todd Collins, when his team lost to previously winless Kansas City and when he was then informed he would have to give up play-calling duties — Zorn said Monday that he had not yet chosen a starter for a game that may determine Zorn’s future in Washington."I want to really make sure I do the Richard Marshall nike Jersey right thing there," Zorn said. "That’ll be a hard decision."Zorn said he will make the decision between Campbell, who has started all 22 games of Zorn’s tenure, and Collins, the career backup who threw his first regular season pass since 2007 on Sunday, after watching the tape of the 14-6 debacle two or three more times. Campbell, though, said, "I’m preparing to be the starter."Campbell, 27, tried to balance his disappointment with a positive attitude going forward when he addressed reporters Monday."Honestly, it’s difficult," he said. "Any competitor [doesn't] like being put on the sidelines. But at the same time, you got to move forward. You got to try to stay positive, not get your head down, and understand that there’s going to be fingers pointed, and know things happen for a reason. I can’t just sit down and get down on myself and think that I’m the problem."Through six games, Campbell’s passer rating is 84.3, which ranks 19th in the league and exactly matches his rating from last year’s career high. He is completing 65.6 percent of his passes — also a career high — and has thrown six touchdown passes and six interceptions.Collins, 37, started three games when Campbell was injured at the end of the 2007 season — all victories, all part of a Washington run to the playoffs. But those are Collins’s only three starts since 1997. Though Collins entered the NFL a decade before Campbell did, Campbell actually has more career completions (782) than Collins has attempts (665). Collins went just 6 for 14 for 75 yards in Campbell’s stead Sunday, and he was unable to get the Redskins into the end zone despite twice leading them inside the Kansas City 30.Collins is 10-10 in his career as Green Orange White Dolphins Shop a starter, with 13 of those starts coming in the 1997 season with Buffalo. Campbell is 18-24 as a starter. Neither said he had an indication of Zorn’s thinking during a whirlwind Monday in which the head coach was obviously struggling to deal with management’s decision to relieve him Richard Marshall nike Jersey Green Orange White Dolphins Shop of his play-calling duties."There’s so many changes coming," Collins said. "I was just disappointed for Jason. No one likes to see someone get pulled from a game. I told him I know what that feels like. I know what it feels like going in to relieve someone for performance issues. So it’s kind of hard on both ends."Since he was hired as the offensive coordinator in January 2008, and then later promoted to head coach, Zorn has worked more closely with Campbell than almost anyone in the Redskins organization. Though Collins’s run to the playoffs under then-coach Joe Gibbs was fresh in the minds of Washington fans, Zorn immediately informed Campbell — and the public — that Campbell would be the starter heading into the 2008 season. He then stuck by Campbell even as the Redskins pursued offseason trades for quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez."Jason will not back down," Zorn said. "That’s what I like about him. So I could easily go back to Jason and say, ‘Listen, you know, you have to perform in this game.’"The entire situation left the Redskins’ offense in some disarray Monday. The players have Tuesday off, and will reconvene Wednesday to begin preparing for Philadelphia. Zorn said he would name a quarterback by Thursday at the latest. Some in the locker room, though, would have left Campbell in, regardless of his 9-for-16 first-half performance that featured several missed throws against Kansas City.CONTINUED 1 2 Next >#botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the Redskins SectionRedskins InsiderNews updates, poll questions and exlusive analysis of the Redskins.Tailgate ZoneA discussion group that invites fans to debate all matters burgundy and gold.Insider PodcastPost reporters and editors discuss and dissect the team’s ups and downs.
Hank Stram , who took the Kansas City Chiefs to two Super Bowls and was known for his inventive game plans, died yesterday, Black Blue White Panthers Shop his son said. He was 82.Stram had been in declining health for several years and Dale Stram attributed his father’s death to complications from diabetes. He died at St. Tammany Parish Hospital, near his home in Covington, La., across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. He had built a home during his two-year stint as coach of the Saints and retired there.Stram was the Chiefs’ first and winningest coach. He took over the expansion Dallas Texans of the upstart AFL in 1960 and coached them through 1974, moving with them to Kansas City where they were renamed the Chiefs in 1963.The gregarious, stocky, blazer-wearing Stram carried a rolled-up game plan in his hand as he paced the sideline. He led the Chiefs to AFL titles in 1962, ’66 and ’69 and to appearances in the first Super Bowl, a 35-10 loss to Green Bay, and the fourth, a 23-7 victory over Minnesota in 1970.He had a 124-76-10 record with the Chiefs and in 17 seasons as a head coach went 131-97-10 in the regular season and 5-3 in the postseason.Stram was the first coach to wear a microphone during a Super Bowl and his sideline antics, captured by NFL Films, helped bring the league into the video age.Stram later coached two seasons with the Saints and enjoyed a successful second career in the CBS television and “Monday Night Football” radio booths as an analyst.Stram was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.· OLYMPICS: With one day left before the International Olympic Committee elects the 2012 host city, Sen. Hillary Clinton and boxing legend Muhammad Ali were to arrive in Singapore today in a burst of star power aimed at propelling New York’s quest for Mike Mitchell nike Jersey Black Blue White Panthers Shop Olympic gold.Clinton was to join Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a news conference this morning. She will spend the remainder of the day meeting with a slew of IOC members in a final effort.Later in the day, Bloomberg will greet Ali, who wowed the world when he lit the Olympic cauldron at the Atlanta Games nine years ago. Ali is heading the city’s athlete delegation here.CONTINUED 1 2 Next >/* BEGIN TOP STRIP STYLES */#customTS-SingleThumbBlog width:454px;margin-bottom:6px;padding-bottom:6px;font:11px Arial;border-bottom:solid 1px #CCC;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog p margin:0;padding:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:link, #customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:visited text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:hover text-decoration:underline;color:#C00;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .redkicker font-weight:bold;color:#C00;margin-bottom: 4px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .thumbSlot float:left;width:80px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .textSlot float:right;width:368px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog ul padding:0;list-style-type:none;font-weight:bold;margin:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog li background-image:url(http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/images/bullet_3x3_999999.gif);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0px .4em;padding-left:6px;padding-bottom:2px; Latest Posts From NFL News Feed More Posts | Sports Blog Directory #botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the NFL SectionThe LeagueA conversation about what’s happening today in the Mike Mitchell nike Jersey NFL.NFL News FeedMark Maske keeps you up-to-date with all of the latest news in the NFL.Redskins InsiderJason Reid provides exlusive analysis of the Redskins.
BreakdownNew England at Minnesotatomorrow, 8:30 p.m. [ESPN]9-0Patriots QB Tom Brady’s record in domed stadiums18-1Brady’s record on artificial turfA search of the words “New England Patriots” and “boring” freaks out the LexisNexis database, returning more than the allowed 1,000 hits. Even by limiting the search to the previous month, you still get 13 Whitney Mercilus nike Jersey Navy Red White Texans Shop hits.But that’s the Patriots: Tuesday, the Boston Herald called them “plain” in a headline and “rather boring” in the accompanying story; “in boring overdrive,” is how the Boston Globe called Coach Bill Belichick after the Pats’ lost to the Broncos on Sept. 24; “dull, but highly efficient,” was how the New York Daily News described them Sept. 18.And oh yeah, they’re 5-1 and two games clear of the Jets in the AFC East.It has helped that their AFC East opponents can be most generously described as mediocre, and that they’ve played only one game against a team that can be considered Whitney Mercilus nike Jersey well above average (Denver).Sure, New England’s sixth-ranked running game is getting it done with Corey Dillon and rookie Laurence Maroney, but the Pats haven’t played anyone with a fearsome rush defense apart from the Broncos, to whom they lost. That’ll change tomorrow night: Minnesota has the league’s top-ranked rush defense, allowing 70.8 yards per game./* BEGIN TOP STRIP STYLES */#customTS-SingleThumbBlog width:454px;margin-bottom:6px;padding-bottom:6px;font:11px Arial;border-bottom:solid 1px #CCC;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog p margin:0;padding:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:link, #customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:visited text-decoration:none;font-weight:bold;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog a:hover text-decoration:underline;color:#C00;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .redkicker font-weight:bold;color:#C00;margin-bottom: 4px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .thumbSlot float:left;width:80px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog .textSlot float:right;width:368px;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog ul padding:0;list-style-type:none;font-weight:bold;margin:0;#customTS-SingleThumbBlog li background-image:url(http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/images/bullet_3x3_999999.gif);background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:0px .4em;padding-left:6px;padding-bottom:2px; Latest Posts From NFL News Feed More Posts | Sports Blog Directory #botPromoStrip background: #fff url(‘http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/2007/photo/gray624.jpg’) no-repeat; padding: 7px 10px; margin: 5px 0 10px 0;More in the NFL SectionThe LeagueA conversation about what’s happening today in the NFL.NFL News FeedMark Maske keeps you up-to-date with all of the latest news in the NFL.Redskins InsiderJason Reid provides exlusive analysis Navy Red White Texans Shop of the Redskins.