Skins Notes: Tupa Booted Out, Coles Speaks Out

Ashburn, VA 08.30.05--Change is afoot at the punter spot, Ernest Byner coaches up Clinton Portis and ex-Redskin Coles speaks up about Dan Snyder.

. . . The Redskins placed punter Tom Tupa on injured reserve today and probably will explore an injury settlement at some point, allowing Tupa to sign elsewhere.

Tupa hurt his back warming up for the Bengals' game, saying he felt ''something jam together.'' He took shots to help, but they didn't do anything.

. . . Meanwhile, new punter Chris Mohr was unimpressive during his first few kicks in practice, at least those that we could watch. Looked more like a golfer using a lob wedge, knocking them high but short. Of course, it didn't help that Andy Groom did the same when trying to directional punt.

. . . As the special teams units perform, running backs coach Earnest Byner works with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. It gives you a close-up look as to how they work on things. For instance, the backs were running routes (though Betts walked his because of his ankle injury).

On one route, Byner told the backs the defender were ''baiting them inside.'' So the backs must cut inside the defender. But the first time Portis did this, he ran about six yards inside.

''If he's baiting you, they've probably got someone there,'' Byner told him.

Next play, Portis ran about two yards inside, earning praise from Byner.

That's the kind of stuff I love seeing.

. . . Safety Matt Bowen won't play Thursday.

. . . No surprise: linebackers coach Dale Lindsey said only two starting jobs have been clinched -- in the middle with Lemar Marshall and on the outside with Marcus Washington. That means LaVar Arrington can still reclaim his old job before the opener.

. . . Former receiver Laveranues Coles had this to say about his dealings with Redskins owner Dan Snyder:

"Well, all I can say about that situation is, things come to the surface," Coles told the Associated Press. "That situation really put things in perspective for me to get an opportunity to see just how people can be. And how evil people can be. I called him back and I said, 'Mr. Snyder, I've never done anything to you. Nothing negative. I always respected you. I've thanked you over and over' because he changed my life.

"Had he not been the person to take me from one level to the next, things might have gone a little differently. I gave him a pass. I left it at that. I respect him, he's a very brilliant guy, and everything he's done with the organization. "But the respect level with him threatening me is gone from there. If I ever saw him on the street, it wouldn't be a, 'Hey, how you doing?' It would be a wave, if that, maybe not even acknowledge the fact that he's there. Because I would never threaten what anybody does for a living for no reason at all."

Coles also claimed the Redskins used his toe as a cover-up, blaming it for getting rid of him. In reality, he was close to agreeing to surgery at one point so I doubt the Redskins were making anything up.

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