On Friday, a number of Redskins, after a private ceremony, visited rescue workers at the Pentagon. This one day after owner Daniel Snyder started a fund for victims by donating $250,000. He has his critics, most well-deserved, but this was no time for anything but praise.
Then, on Sunday, 20 more players as well as Snyder and coach Marty Schottenheimer spent time at the Pentagon again, signing autographs, saying thanks and making people feel good.
''It was definitely moving,'' Redskins end Bruce Smith said. ''To see the Pentagon and to realize the devastation that was caused there and it can't even touch the magnitude of what happened at the World Trade Center. The toll of destruction of those two buildings, people jumping off top floors. For me to take a few hours out to go to the Pentagon and thank those individuals is nothing compared to what the volunteers and the Army and other services are providing.''
Finally, on Tuesday, a number of Redskins were scheduled to visit an area hospital, hoping to boost spirits. If only for a few minutes. But that's their role and they should use it. So far, most of them have.
Safety Keith Lyle stood out among the players for showing his fear and his desire not to play and, Monday, for expressing a wish to resume playing. In short, he felt like the so-called regular people. He showed his heart and, this week and for a while, that will go further in this area than intercepting a pass or two.
Washington is reeling. So many people know someone who lost somebody. And so many people are wiped out from the visions on the TV and from searching debris. Enter the Redskins. Their role is to provide a little respite from the grief. And they did that.
''You see all those people working so diligently to try and resolve things in a positive way,'' Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer said, ''and you realize that this country has a great fabric about it. There's a depth and quality to people in this country that will enable us to come out of this. We appreciated the opportunity to be down there.''
John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.