Redskins Park Update: Thursday

The purchase of Darrell Russell -- he hasn't signed the contract yet, he's just agreed to the deal -- had the blessing of several key defensive players. So says coach Steve Spurrier, though we know some players have privately questioned this move.

Still, others have said they're in favor because Russell deserves a second chance and he can help.

``It's been unfortunate for him,'' Redskins end Renaldo Wynn said. ``From what I know he's been a good guy. Obviously he had some unfortunate situations happen in his life. But everyone is deserving of a second chance.''

``He's one of the best players in the NFL,'' said Redskins end Regan Upshaw, who played one season with Russell in Oakland. ``And he's a grown man. Everyone learns from their mistakes. The true character of a man is how he picks up his boots and walks after something bad has happened in his life. He has his life together now and he's ready to go.''

. . . Redskins coach Steve Spurrier called the signing an ''organizational decision.'' He claims he was all for it, though we know he didn't want players of bad character on the team. In the end, this wasn't his decision. But he also defended it.

``He's not in jail is he?'' Spurrier said. ``And the NFL says he can play. When the NFL says they're eligible to play, they're eligible to play. He's never been convicted of anything except having ecstasy in his system. We feel like after meeting him and getting to know him a little bit he's worthy of a second chance to get his life straightened out. It's not a whole bunch of money. We'll see if he can play ball, get his life straightened out and get back on course.''

One reporter, though, challenged Spurrier's claim that other guys in the NFL had been charged with worse things. The reporter said, ``We're talking 25 felonies.'' Later, Spurrier told someone else he didn't realize it had been that many.

. . . Running back Trung Canidate practiced a little, but is still listed as questionable for Sunday's game with an ankle sprain. Corner Fred Smoot is listed as doubtful because of his sternum injury, but Smoot said later that he felt much better and thought there was a chance he could play.

His backup, Rashad Bauman, was still on crutches, though he termed that a precautionary move.

. . . Spurrier sounded as if he'd elevate Gibran Hamdan to the No. 2 quarterback job, though that's not yet a definite. Spurrier said Tim Hasselbeck knows about as much as you can know about the offense for having been here a week.

Rod Gardner hopes Patrick Ramsey doesn't get hurt.

``It's a little bit scary,'' he said. ``I know Tim isn't experienced and doesn't know the offense too much so it will be rough on him the first time he comes in.''

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