Redskins Park Update: Wednesday

Redskins end Bruce Smith finally made it official, saying he planned to retire after this season. Not that he'd be welcomed back even if he wanted to return. Save for owner Dan Snyder, there's not much support for a Smith return.<br><br> But he doesn't want to come back anyway.

"Those are my intentions, unless there's some unusual circumstance that comes into play,'' Smith said.  "This is more than likely the final three of my career.''

Smith said he's content, and happy, with his decision -- which is the least surprising announcement of the season. After all, at age 40 and having been coaxed into another season, this was expected. Maybe that's why Smith said he felt joy at this decision, coming on the heels of setting the NFL's all-time sack record in Sunday's win over the Giants.

"It's been a long ride, a long haul,'' Smith said." But I'm not focused on that too much. We have a game to prepare for, a very important game. Some may write it off as being meaningless, but it's not meaningless to my teammates and not to me and this organization.''

. . . Washington's injury report: RB Ladell Betts (arm) is doubtful; RB Trung Canidate (ankle), WR Taylor Jacobs (foot), S Andre Lott (ankle) and LT Chris Samuels (knee) are questionable; LB LaVar Arrington (knee), FB Rock Cartwright (ankle), RB Chad Morton (ankle), DE Bruce Smith (hand/knee) and LB Jeremiah Trotter (knee) are probable.

Though Samuels and Canidate are listed as questionable, it's highly unlikely that they will play. Those two, along with Jacobs, did not practice yesterday. Morton, Sultan McCullough and John Simon could split time at running back on Sunday.

. . . Don't make too big a deal out of Redskins owner Dan Snyder saying Steve Spurrier  "absolutely'' will return as Washington's coach. There's still the matter of assistant coaches that needs to be resolved -- scapegoats will be made out here, deserved or not (the front office is widely known to be upset with them. After all, if they don't blame the coaches and Spurrier returns, then this season would have been their fault for leaving too many gaping holes on the defensive line and at running back).

And until that matter is fixed, there's nothing certain about Spurrier's return.

In some ways, Snyder and Spurrier are keeping a bad marriage together for the sake of the kids. Snyder doesn't want to pay Spurrier $15 million and Spurrier isn't about to walk away now. But it's become clear that each would rather be paired with someone else.

While the players crave continuity, we've heard from too many who say the problems now go beyond instability. And if other problems aren't corrected, then simply having the same head coach for the third straight year won't be enough.

I also wonder what would happen if George Edwards is fired and a coach such as Gregg Williams takes over. There's already enough distrust in this building that Spurrier doesn't need another guy perceived as favorable to the front office.

That's why this thing is not over. Not yet. Spurrier may end up coming back, but too many issues remain to be so positive about his return.

. . . Note to subscribers: I've had numerous problems this year posting responses on the message board. Most of the time I get disconnected whenver I do so. Therefore, if you have a question for me, please e-mail me at: jwkeim@aol.com. Don't ever be shy about sending me a question.

Breaking Burgundy Top Stories