1. Taylor earns Pro Bowl berth.
Late Redskins safety Sean Taylor earned
a starting berth in the Pro Bowl after voting by coaches, players and
fans was announced today. Taylor deserved the honor and was clearly
having his best season. The longer he's gone, the more I miss watching
him play and the way he impacted games.
2. Samuels, Cooley honored.
Tight end Chris Cooley and left tackle
Chris Samuels both were named as reserves to the Pro Bowl. Cooley made
it for the first time; Samuels did so for the fifth time, and third
year in a row. Cooley has become the Redskins most consistent
offensive player and has put up good numbers – 60 catches, seven
touchdowns – after a slow start. Cooley gets open in clutch situations
and is clearly one of the best runners after the catch. Samuels started
off strong and had a couple spotty games. He had a strong game against
Osi Umenyiora, save for one play. Because of the injuries along the
right side, life changed for Samuels, who was in more one-on-one
blocking as the help usually went to the right side. Samuels is not the
best at his position, but he remains very good and reliable. That
counts for a lot.
3. Joe Gibbs' future.
Gibbs told a couple of us Monday night that he
doesn't want to address his future. But he hasn't changed his thinking
about his intentions, that he intends to return next year. Of course,
he clearly knows that there is wiggle room in using the word intends.
Trust us on that one. However, the feeling after talking to him is that
he would return; that comes from hearing how he talks and his body
language. He won't say anything about an extension, though he has said
that he'll get together with Dan Snyder in the offseason about one.
That might be as much insurance for his assistants as for the idea that
he would return for more than his original five years. Last year, Gibbs
created a stir by talking unclearly about his future – a point he was
reminded of last night. But he still would prefer to wait until after
the season to talk further.
4. Rocky McIntosh.
The second-year linebacker is walking around just
fine, which makes it hard for realize what happened to his knee.
There's a chance that he won't be fully recovered for a year, though
McIntosh said today that he would be fine long before then. Still, the
hard part for the Redskins is that they've now lost three key young
players from their defense for part or all of next year. Taylor
obviously is one. But Carlos Rogers and now McIntosh will miss the
start of training camp and then some. The defense already needed help
in other areas – such as the line – but now they'll need to find a
quality backup linebacker and a corner. Remember, they're probably
going to lose Shawn Springs so, if camp started today, they would have
Fred Smoot and Leigh Torrence as starters.
Minnesota's win Monday night means the Vikes can eliminate
the Redskins with a win Sunday night. But if Washington wins, the
Redskins could earn a spot with a win in the finale over Dallas and a
New Orleans loss in one of the last two games. The fact that Washington
is in this position, given what the Redskins have gone through, is a
major credit to the players and coaches. Gibbs can be knocked for many
things, but filling the locker room with quality guys is among the
things he's done right. Even if the Redskins win only one more game,
they have reason to be proud.
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