Heart Felt Effort

Though they played well -- not their best game as some suggest. When you commit 13 penalties, you haven't played your best. But the Redskins certainly showed more spunk offensively and continued to show that they're not going to quit. Credit their character, and the coaches, for that.

Nobody in the locker room used these words: moral victory. And because of that the Redskins have a chance to grow as a team.

Every player we spoke to, from Antonio Pierce sitting slumped in front of his locker, to a testy Patrick Ramsey, refused to say this was anything more than what it was: a tough loss. Had they done otherwise, it would have been disappointing, a sign that coming close, again, was enough. The Redskins have tired of coming close and losing. That's a good sign. Now if only they could do something about it . . .

Greedy: Chris Cooley was never open off the line and with Brian Dawkins playing off him, Patrick Ramsey should not have thrown his way. Ramsey got greedy and it cost him. Ramsey did a solid job executing the game plan, but he's still learning when to take his shots. Another time he tried to loft a pass to Cooley in the end zone, which required a near-perfect throw. He came close, but it fell incomplete. Meanwhile, Clinton Portis was about 10 yards in front of him, with nobody within 10 yards of him. He might have scored on a dumpoff.

Steady: But Ramsey did a decent job of taking what was available most of the night. The best thing the offense did was keep getting first downs -- they finished with 19. If nothing else, that kept giving them a chance to pin Philly deep in its own territory. It's also a sign that things are starting to click offensively.

But: Ramsey still doesn't always see the entire field, missing open guys or throwing late to others, as on the downfield toss to Cooley for a long gain in the fourth quarter. Once, Ramsey threw the ball away out of bounds, not seeing Laveranues Coles standing wide open a few yards in front of the area he had just thrown it.

Tough guy: Coles played after getting a cortisone shot earlier in the week. He took a vicious hit early in the game, but hung onto the ball for a first down. He doesn't make enough downfield plays, but no one's tougher on short routes.

Scary moment: Shawn Springs suffered a big hit on a Donovan McNabb scramble, suffering a concussion. He was taken to the hospital for tests after the game, but he was conscious before even leaving the field and teammates spoke with him afterward. More will be known about his condition today.

Dumb: Mike Sellers' three personal fouls cost Washington 45 yards, preventing the Redskins from having excellent field position (once at midfield). Sellers hits hard, but dumb plays like this make it hard to keep a roster spot for him. There's a reason why he no longer plays on offense.

And dumber: Fred Smoot blamed the officials after losing at Philadelphia, saying they somehow had it in for the Redskins. Nonsense. Now we see it's the Redskins who have it in for themselves. They had 13 more Sunday, giving them 94 for the season.This will be the seventh straight season they'll finish with at least 100 penalties. And at their current pace, they'll finish with 115 penalties.

Best start: Ladell Betts broke off a 70-yard run on the opening kickoff, getting a key block from Sellers, that helped Washington take a 7-0 lead. Chad Morton's job should be in serious jeopardy next season. He's done nothing to warrant continuing as the top returner.

Punting problem: Tom Tupa's low line-drive kicks didn't give his coverage units a good chance to get downfield and cover, leading to long returns. Tupa has been inconsistent in practice of late, too, after starting out very hot.

Have you noticed?: How little Taylor Jacobs has played of late. He played one snap Sunday and appears to have fallen out of favor with the coaches. He works hard, but he just doesn't do much in games.

Did you notice?: James Thrash lining up as a tight end on one snap, a running play. Lining up next to right tackle Ray Brown, he blocked down as Clinton Portis ran to the left side.

Red Socks Nation: Clinton Portis is wearing awfully expensive socks these days. Those red socks he wore last week cost him $5,000, courtesy of a fine by the league. He wore them again last night.

Big plays: The defense's Achilles' heel has been the surrender of big plays. Ryan Clark bit big-time on a play fake that resulted in an 80-yard toss. He also was beaten on an earlier play, but was helped when the Eagle receiver short-armed the throw, pulling back for fear of getting hit it appeared.


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