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Bailey receives opportunity to win job

By Jody Foldesy


Cornerback Champ Bailey will be the Washington Redskins' top punt returner in Saturday's preseason game at Tampa Bay despite a finger injury that left him unable to perform the role the past two exhibitions.

Bailey, a two-time Pro Bowl player, is getting his best chance to work outside the defense after years of begging coaches. Although he has seen some time on offense and returns in previous seasons, the club now considers Bailey the top option on punts with Jacquez Green in danger of not making the 53-man roster among a competitive group of wide receivers.

"Obviously we know what Champ Bailey is with the ball in his hands," special teams coach Mike Stock said yesterday. "He's done it at Georgia and he's done it here with some reverses. If he's the primary guy, and he's comfortable catching the ball and making those decisions, then he can be a heck of a weapon for us."

Bailey thus far has one fair catch as a punt returner this preseason, missing the second game with a dislocated pinky and not feeling healthy enough to return punts in Sunday's 35-34 win over Pittsburgh.

For that reason and a paucity of chances for solid returns, the team has been unable to do much evaluation at the spot. The Redskins have an 8.8-yard average on five punt returns with seven fair catches. Green's lone return, a 17-yarder less than three minutes into the opener, remains the best effort.

On kickoff returns the situation is even more uncertain, because each of the contenders — rookie running backs Robert Gillespie and Ladell Betts, second-year running back Kenny Watson and wide receiver Reidel Anthony — either are on the roster bubble and/or have uncertain return potential.

Anthony fielded kickoffs with the first-string unit in yesterday's practice but Stock doesn't consider anyone to be leading the battle.

"I can't [think that way]," Stock said. "I've got to find out who's going to make the team first. We'll know a little more after this ballgame because we've got to [cut from 79 to 65 non-NFL Europe players on Tuesday]. When the dust settles, I'll find out who's left."

Tuthill claimed

The Redskins picked up some insurance in case kicker Brett Conway's injury lingers, claiming James Tuthill off waivers from Houston.

Conway suffered a hip flexor last week, did not play against Pittsburgh and has been ruled out at Tampa Bay. He was on the field yesterday stretching and doing light jogging, and he expects to be ready for the Sept. 8 opener against Arizona.

"As long as they're patient and don't push me, we'll be fine," Conway said. "The last thing we need is a repeat of what happened two years ago."

Conway was referring to the 2000 season, when he tweaked a quadriceps muscle and the Redskins, impatient with his healing, placed him on injured reserve. He healed later in the year and kicked for Oakland and the New York Jets while Washington shuffled through four other kickers. Conway re-signed last season under Marty Schottenheimer.

Tuthill, 26, is a big-bodied (6-foot-2, 250 pounds) kicker who has bounced through San Francisco, Green Bay and Houston since being an undrafted rookie out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in 2000. Club officials said claiming Tuthill, who has not played in a regular-season game, is not a threat to Conway.

"[Conway is] a very accurate kicker, a very strong-legged guy, and it's a matter of us not knowing whether he's going to be healthy enough to start the season," Stock said. "There's been a history with this, of course, not necessarily with this particular muscle, but we're running out of time here."

Fierce Flowers

Pittsburgh safety Lee Flowers continued a war of words with Redskins coach Steve Spurrier started late Sunday when Flowers scoffed at Spurrier's famous offense.

The Steelers' starting defense held Washington scoreless, exiting with a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter. The Redskins didn't score until the third quarter, by which point they trailed 24-0 and both teams were playing reserves.

"Me, personally speaking, I think it's going to be a long season for them offensively," Flowers said in a story published in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm not saying anything that 70,000 people didn't see, I'm not saying anything that everybody in Pittsburgh TV didn't see or Washington TV didn't see. The facts are what they are. When the first group was in and both guys were going at it, it was three plays and out every time."

Extra points

Defensive tackle Del Cowsette will find out tomorrow whether he will be fined for a late hit on Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch. The second-quarter play cut Batch's chin, knocking him from the game shortly after Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington sidelined starter Kordell Stewart with a mild concussion.

Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener and cornerback Darrell Green are making strides with their respective back and neck injuries. Both remain out for Tampa Bay.

The Redskins have the top-ranked offense and passing offense in the NFL this preseason — and the last-ranked rushing offense. Washington's 392.6 passing yards per game is more than 100 yards higher than second-ranked Cleveland (283.5). The Redskins also are No.1 in scoring (36.7 points). Washington's defense is tied for 12th, giving up an average of 293 yards.

Spurrier said the starters would play about a half again this weekend. Rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey, who held out 16 days, still might get into the game. However, Spurrier said, "He doesn't know all the plays yet, so he's really not quite ready."

Redskins salary-cap expert Mark Levin is leaving the club to return to the NFL Players Association. The club has not decided exactly how it will fill Levin's spot, and is considering placing emphasis on other areas of administration. Because the club has completed all its major contract negotiations (except extensions for players like Jon Jansen and Stephen Davis), there will not be a rush to hire or promote someone.

The Redskins are continuing, perhaps indefinitely, their policy of allowing spectators to watch away games on televisions on the club level at FedEx Field. Admission and parking remain free, but fans must register in advance at the team's Web site, www.redskins.com, or by calling 301/276-6910.

This whole article is a bunch of bs, they talk about how Green isn't going to make the 53 man roster when everyone knows that is a bunch of bullsh*t! The person that wrote this article is an idiot, they discuss the size and weight of a kicker, a kicker, who the f*ck cares how big a kicker is as long as they can kick, this is so stupid.!!!!!

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The Washington Times has been an anti-Skins paper since Snyder bought the team.

When you go out of your way to criticize the person that turns out to be the high bidder for the team, you should expect some payback.

And Snyder has obliged the Moonies by restricting their access and number of slots in the press box and at PR functions.

This paper is on the outside looking in on the Redskins, which has to be burning them up since the team is the signature franchise in DC.

Yeah, I am a Caps fan and the Wizards have their moments, but let's face it, nobody hops up in the morning to see what these teams have done in the previous 24 hours in the print edition or on the website :)

Meanwhile, Post people get to sit with Snyer in his box at times.

How amusing :laugh:

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Weren't we just talking about Green possibly being cut? WHat has he done in the preseason? I don't recall much. It cant be more than what the other guys have done. I mean, I heard he was having a great camp and that may help him a little, but I dont see him being a commodity that we need on this team. I for one am fine having a lineup of Gardner, Thompson, Doering, McCants, Lockett, and Skaggs.

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Originally posted by blakman211

Weren't we just talking about Green possibly being cut? WHat has he done in the preseason? I don't recall much. It cant be more than what the other guys have done. I mean, I heard he was having a great camp and that may help him a little, but I dont see him being a commodity that we need on this team. I for one am fine having a lineup of Gardner, Thompson, Doering, McCants, Lockett, and Skaggs.

Green hasn't played much at all, due to his injury. If he never steps on the field until Game I, I'd still put him ahead of Anthony, Lockett and Skaggs...I think he would be more of a commodity than the aforementioned threesome.


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Green hasn't played much at all, due to his injury. If he never steps on the field until Game I, I'd still put him ahead of Anthony, Lockett and Skaggs...I think he would be more of a commodity than the aforementioned threesome.


I understand that. BUt suppose Green were to go down to a torn ACL. Then we'd be forced to have a lineup without him. In which case, I would have no problem with Lockett, Anthony or Skaggs coming in and taking his spot. My point is that we are not one Quez Green away from the superbowl.

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let me add just a single serious coment here based on 25_ years of watching preseason games.

veteran players that the coaching staff already have confidence in and a history with often DON'T have to excel in the preseason to keep their roster spots for the regular season :)

Green isn't going to be cut because he brings things to the table the team needs. Green is trying to prove he is a starting caliber go-to receiver, but even if he falls short of that goal, being a guy with 4.3 speed on a team where the other fast WR, Cliff Russell, is already out for the season indicates to me that Green is safe. Thompson has down the field ability as well but McCants and Doering aren't going to stretch a defense. And Gardner is not a consistent deep threat at this point either.

Green is also the best candidate to be the regular punt returner. I don't expect to see Bailey return punts except late in games or when the Redskins are down and need a boost and big play.

Lewis knows Bailey is one of his meal tickets on defense and isn't going to allow Champ to be run down and get nicked being a hero on special teams each Sunday :)

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I read the Times sportspage on the web from time to time and what I see a lot of times is just gratuitous criticism and negative slanting of news that affects the team.

any time the glass could be viewed as half empty or half full, it is half empty for the Times sports writers.

and EVERYTHING is Snyder's fault.

from not getting a guard in July to Gardener's back troubles to whether Danny Wuerffel is going to fall flat on his face as a starter, it is all offered up as evidence the team is poorly managed and coached.

which is funny considering that most teams with new coaches on both sides of the ball are usually given a year or two to implement their systems and acquire more talent.

let's face it, except for the rare change that happens as it did in Dallas when Johnson left or in SF when Walsh left, the new coach that is hired in the NFL RARELY comes in and inherits a lot of talent or a team that is ready to contend.

yet somehow, here in 2002, the Times seems unwilling to give Spurrier more than 3 preseason games before predicting failure.

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I make it a habit to try to read everything I can get my hands on. Or click on. Or overhear. The more news, and the more opposing viewpoints, the better. I figure I'm not learning anything if I agree with everything I read or hear from a certain source.

Then I synthesize what I've read with my own thoughts and observations, and come up with my very own Belief System. One that evolves every day. I think it's working for me insofar as football. And I'm pleased to report (humbly) that I think it's working for me pretty well insofar as Life as well.

And no, I didn't overhear that somewhere. It's my own. :cool:

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I don't think highly of either the Post or the Times as newspapers.

Overall, the quality of the writing is much, much higher at the Times than at the Post. The Post writers meander all over the place and are vague. The Times writers are much more direct.

For national and international news, at least I always know the Times' angle (stone age neanderthal). The Post always has an angle, but it's tough to figure out what it is. And their most important stories are usually "anonymous sources".

For metro news, the Post has definite ideas about everything in this area, and so filters reality through its own fantasies. The Times doesn't really care about local news- consequently its reporting there is much more accurate (though not as extensive).

For sports, except for Boswell and Knott, I prefer the Times. But the Post is more extensive.

And in fairness to the Times on Snyder, Snyder kicked the Times out of the booth before the bad coverage began. The Times was backing Cooke in the bidding (and the Post was backing anyone but Cooke) since the roles were reversed under Cooke, with the Times getting all the scoops. But they weren't negative on Snyder until they got their FedEx eviction notices.

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