For the second straight year, the Pro Bowl announcement produced disappointment at Redskins Park. And a defense that once again is ranked in the top 10 felt the brunt of that disappointment, getting no players in the Pro Bowl.
But left off the roster was linebacker Marcus Washington, who instead is a second alternate, and corner Shawn Springs. If anyone from the defense deserved to be on the roster, players say, it was these two.
‘‘Overall it was a disappointment for us,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ‘‘We had players who had excellent years. I don't know. We have to make it go our way.''
‘‘Sometimes things happen that you don't understand,'' said Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington, ‘‘like Roy Jones losing in the Olympics Seoul, Sam Bowie going before Michael Jordan [in the draft]. Some things make you go, ‘How did that happen?' ‘‘
By most accounts, Washington had a better season than 2004, when he did make the team. He has two more sacks and two more forced fumbles than he did in 16 games last season. Plus he's the unquestioned leader of a defense that has resided in the top 10 all season. Chicago's Lance Briggs and Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks were the outside 'backers on the team.
Last year, the Redskins didn't have much of a beef, considering they were 5-9 when the berths were announced. This time, they're 8-6 and fighting for the playoffs.
'‘I guess this week we just have to go out there and play mad,'' end Phillip Daniels said.