Redskins Park Update: Thursday

The Redskins might not be with their starting guards. Or they might be. At this point it's too early to tell. Left guard Dave Fiore has practiced this week, but he was limited today because of soreness in his right knee. Meanwhile, right guard Randy Thomas was also limited today because of a sore knee.

The Redskins clearly hope they can both play. Rookie Derrick Dockery would start for one of them and it's likely Brad Bedell would start if both can't play. Yikes. The last thing you want is for inexperienced starters going against Tampa Bay's tackles with Warren Sapp and Anthony McFarland.

. . . The Redskins' offensive players say they needed to hold their players-only meeting Wednesday, if only to rally around one another and to also hold themselves accountable for their actions. Here's a funny, thing, however: receiver Laveranues Coles blames himself for not making more plays to help the team. It's true; he told coach Steve Spurrier exactly that the other day.

``I'm pretty sure other guys feel that way,'' Coles said, meaning others don't feel they've done enough. ``Coach said to assess yourself and see what you can do better to help this team and I pointed out that there's more than one or two plays where I could have helped the team get ahead or be better. Until I'm to that level where coach is satisfied with me and I'm definitely satisfied with myself, then I've still got a long way to go.''

This from a guy on the verge of catching at least five passes for the 19th straight game, which would be the longest such streak since 1970. Only Green Bay's Sterling Sharpe and Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith have matched Coles' string of 18 straight since that time.

. . . As for the War of the Words: the edge goes to entertainment. Both players love the spotlight and this puts them right in the middle of it. Which is why no one I talked to on the Redskins took it seriously.

``It's OK in pro football,'' Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said. ``I don't think in college you should do that. But our game is a little different. There's more freedom of speech in the pros than in college or the high school ranks. It's no distraction. It was just a little conversation during the week by a couple of guys.''

``Both of them are just having a good time,'' safety Matt Bowen said. ``They're both good with the media. It's fun. It brings excitement to the game.''

. . . By the way, the NFL has told Sapp he can't go through another team's stretching lines before a game, as he did against the Colts. This season the NFL has stationed officials on the field 50 minutes before kickoff to ward off pregame incidents. Teams could draw a 15-yard penalty if they get involved in a fracas before the game. Hence the warning to Sapp.

. . . For those who took part in the Champ Bailey chat: He told me today he enjoyed it and I heard the same thing from his agent. For those who didn't take part: too bad. These opportunities aren't available often. But there might be another shot later in the season.


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