Gotta Give Props

Special nod to Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener. He draws, and can beat, double teams. No one else on the line can say the same thing. Dan Wilkinson can occupy two blockers, but doesn't usually beat them. Gardener also had a sack. See who else we gave props too.

Offensive player of the game: Quarterback Patrick Ramsey. When a rookie making his first appearance completes 20 of 34 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns, this pick is obvious.

Special nod to: Running back Stephen Davis, for playing when he didn't have to after suffering a first-half knee injury. Davis showed his worth and that Washington must do what it can to keep him around.

Defensive player of the game: Linebacker Jessie Armstead. He finished with nine tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and, on the same play, a fumble recovery. Armstead still closes fast and is the only linebacker playing to his potential.

Special nod to: Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener. He draws, and can beat, double teams. No one else on the line can say the same thing. Dan Wilkinson can occupy two blockers, but doesn't usually beat them. Gardener also had a sack.

It's about time: The Redskins used their defensive creativity. Of course, Tennessee's offense is struggling big-time, especially without leading receiver Derrick Mason. That enabled Washington to try different things. And the Redskins went back to some preseason looks, lining up end Ladairis Jackson as a linebacker, sometimes dropping him into coverage. His athleticism is needed along a line devoid of it at the end spots.

It's about time, part II: Bruce Smith finally recorded his first sack of the season, helped largely when Wilkinson forced Steve McNair up the middle. Smith fell on him for the sack, which was initially given to Wilkinson. Smith was once the most feared pass rusher in the game, but he rarely puts pressure on the quarterback anymore. So what does the owner do? Gives him a contract that makes it friendly for him to play next year.

Still worried about: Safety David Terrell's poor angles on deep passes. Tennessee receiver Kevin Dyson missed a certain touchdown pass, saving Terrell from criticism. On a second and six from the Redskins' 26, Dyson got behind the zone. Terrell's angle to cover the play was too flat, a common occurence for him, and the ball floated over his hand. Fortunately, Dyson didn't catch it. We did like Terrell's play against the run, as he walked up often in run support. But we still don't like his angles. It's a good thing Tennessee's wideouts were an unimpressive bunch minus Derrick Mason.

Did you notice: LaVar Arrington using a four-point stance while playing left end? . . . Wilbert Brown at left guard? He entered when David Loverne left with a thigh bruise. . . . Receiver Derrius Thompson's block on defensive end Carlos Hall, helping Stephen Davis to an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter? It did not appear that Thompson, a starter the first three games, had played from scrimmage before this play.

Sad sight: Quarterback Danny Wuerffel walking to the locker room, with a dazed smile, nervously tapping his thigh. Clearly he was happy for Ramsey. Clearly he looked like someone who knew that his best, and perhaps last, chance had passed him by. Say what you want about him as a player--and we don't think he can cut it--but you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer person.

Did you see that?: After Ramsey threw wide and hard to Lockett on the sidelines on his third throw of the game, Wuerffel and Shane Matthews looked at one another and shook their heads. They're not jealous of the rookie, just acknowledging what will still be a learning process. And both players did more than their fair share of guiding Ramsey throughout the game.


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