Whisper Room

When the Redskins signed Jacquez Green, they snagged a blazing receiver who once was the perfect wideout in Steve Spurrier's system. And might be again. After all, his speed remains the same and Spurrier's belief in what Green can do hasn't seem to changed. But the Redskins also got a player with numerous questions. And that could be a problem.

Bucs observers say Tampa Bay coaches questioned Green's work ethic, pointing to that as a reason why his play has slipped in recent years.

Some of the problems stem from how long it took Green, who caught 157 passes in four seasons, to return from a hamstring injury this past season. Some of it likely results from his nonchalant personality. That's a positive if he's producing amid chaos. But it's a negative when he's not.

Then, when he didn't fight for a lot of passes on the field, the negative opinions swelled.

''People questioned whether his heart was even in it,'' a Bucs source said.

Also, Green, coming off a 36-catch season, ripped the offense after a loss in Pittsburgh in which fellow wideout Keyshawn Johnson was seemingly the only featured wideout. Green's role lessened after that outburst, which didn't sit well with Johnson or Bucs coach Tony Dungy.

But, this source said, Green wasn't perceived as a problem in the locker room, aside from this one episode. Maybe it was the coaching he received or the offense. Maybe playing for Spurrier will provide a spark.

Yet, like Redskins receiver Reidel Anthony--another ex-Buc and ex-Gator--Green could ''stand to grow up a little bit'' according to this source.

If that does happen, the Redskins will benefit. Green can be an explosive returner (he scored on four punt returns in college) and a dynamic receiver. He's overcome obstacles, from his size (listed as 5-foot-10) to a horrific knee injury in college.

But he hasn't done it lately. If that doesn't change, the questions will multiply.

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