The five hottest issues at Redskins Park this week
- Can't live without Shawn Springs, can't live with him: The Washington Redskins' defense was generally at its best when cornerback Shawn Springs was in the lineup. There was a big dropoff when Kenny Wright had to start in his place, especially since that would force the likes of Mike Rumph or Ade Jimoh into the nickel back positions. However, there are questions as to whether or not Springs will be return in the same capacity in 2007 or if he'll be back at all. Springs stated just eight games due to a groin injury early in the season and a broken shoulder blade late. He will take up $7.4 million of the team's '07 cap dollars and that's a lot for a guy who has an injury bug problem. The team may ask him to move to safety. Gregg Williams has addressed that possibility in theory on several occasions and he has stated that it may be a good way for Springs to extend his career in Washington.
- New Digs? FedEx Field is just 10 years old but there already is talk of the Redskins moving back into the District of Columbia. According to an article in the Washington Post Daniel Snyder has had some talks with DC officials about the possibility of building a new football stadium where RFK Stadium currently stands. There are no details of what the building would look like but one would have to think that it would have to be a considerable upgrade over FedEx to justify abandoning a stadium that has lived out about a third of the normal life of such a facility. Think retractable roof, making it suitable for Super Bowls and Final Fours.
- When was Brunell's arm injured? Mark Brunell had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Redskins.com reported that the injury occurred during the second game of the season. Since Brunell is a left-handed quarterback many wondered what in the world Joe Gibbs was doing starting a quarterback with such an injury in his throwing arm for as long as he did. As it turns out it was a miscommunication between the team's head of sports medicine Bubba Tyer and the PR department. The injury actually happened in the second game against Dallas, on November 5, not in the second game of the season, which also was against the Cowboys. Brunell started just one more game with the injury before Jason Campbell took the reigns.
- No help wanted: In contrast to last year when some assistant coaches were hot properties around Redskins Park there doesn't seem to be much of a possibility of any of the team's assistant coaches getting hired away by other teams. There are still four head coaching vacancies out there but Williams' phone is not ringing in the wake of the considerable loss of luster in his resume after being the "guru" behind the NFL's second-worst defense. It was reported that the Raiders were seriously considering Al Saunders when they had an opening last year but the fact that they have an opening again this year would cause him to rebuff any interest there may be from Al Davis. There is a possibility that some assistants will be offered coordinator jobs when the other vacancies are filled but nobody seems to want to raid the staff of a 5-11 team.
- Easing up? The offseason program at Redskins Park may be altered. The players have expressed a desire to be able to lift weights and to other conditioning at places other Ashburn. They say it's a matter of getting away for a while to mentally recover from the season and of being able to tailor their workouts to their individual needs. Of course, they can now as such workouts are technically voluntary but Gibbs strongly encourages participation. The offseason schedule and how much participation will be emphasized is something that Gibbs and his staff are evaluating right now. They have to weight the players' concerns against the fact that nobody was complaining when the Redskins had virtually the same program in '05 and they were still playing a year ago this weekend.