Looking for an Edge

Who said this? "They want to get Laveranues Coles the football as often as they can. A lot of things are designed specifically for him to get the football. It's like the other guys are just running decoy routes."

No, it wasn't someone who has caught a few minutes of a couple of Redskins games this season on TV while channel surfing, although that is the level of Redskins acumen needed to come up with this observation.

Here's a hint; it was the same person who said this:

"You've got to put pressure on the quarterback. There are a lot of weak points in the protection scheme. You get to the quarterback, you can disrupt everything"

This is not the wisdom of someone whose only exposure to football is when he wanders by the TV's at Best Buy on Sunday afternoons when he's out shopping with his wife, even though that is the level of football sophistication needed to come up with this. They are the observations of Wilbert Brown, a guard who was a Redskin a week ago. Cut to make room for another tight end, Brown was claimed by New England on Monday. Much has been made about New England potentially gaining an edge due to "insider" information provided by Brown. If his statements here are any indication, the Redskins have nothing to worry about.

Remember the last time an opponent was supposed to have key inside information about the Redskins? You have to go back just two weeks, to when they faced the Atlanta Falcons and quarterback Doug Johnson, a former player for Steve Spurrier at Florida. The TV announcers made a big deal about how Johnson had told the defensive coaches that when a Spurrier quarterback used his hands in the process of making an audible it meant that the play would be a pass.

The pattern held during the first half as Atlanta jumped to a big lead. The announcers were almost giddy as they described how Patrick Ramsey was tipping the plays with his audibles. As the game wore on, though, Ramsey called audibles to pass plays with his hands still under center and gestured wildly with his hands while changing running plays at the line. The Redskins rallied from a 17-0 deficit to win the game.

So much for the insider's edge.

To be sure, the level of football knowledge here is sufficient to know that Brown knows a lot more than he stated in the few paragraphs he spouted off to the press. While he wasn't a very effective player, he sat in on meetings about Spurrier's offense for a year and two months and certainly something that could be of value to the Patriots sunk in during that time. The question is, how valuable? They could change audible schemes. Any tendencies in particular situations or any weakness a particular player on the line might have are on tape and were in the process of being charted and indexed long before Brown joined the Patriots on Tuesday. Although Wilbert Brown started nine games for the Redskins last year, he was never a factor in any game. It's unlikely that he'll be one this week, either.

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