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THE NEWS TRIBUNE, WA: Ugly Redskins now sitting pretty


Matador36

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http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/story/5445215p-4916070c.html

Ugly Redskins now sitting pretty

JOHN MCGRATH; THE NEWS TRIBUNE

Published: January 8th, 2006 02:30 AM

CHRIS O’MEARA/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Coach Joe Gibbs’ attention to detail is reflected in the Redskins.

TAMPA, Fla. – To watch the Seattle Seahawks’ first playoff opponent in action Saturday was to presume Hawks head coach Mike Holmgren giggled as he jotted notes in front of the TV set.

The Washington Redskins were held to nine first downs (hee-hee!), 25 yards passing (ho-ho!) and 120 yards overall (ha-ha!).

Their best player in an injury-decimated secondary (Sean Taylor) was ejected for committing a flagrant act of stupidity. Their most dependable offensive threat (Clinton Portis), ailing with a bruised shoulder, admits he could use a week or six to heal.

And while their defense scored one touchdown against Tampa Bay and set up another, the biggest impact hit of the day belonged to the grass turf at Raymond James Stadium, responsible for jarring the ball loose after the Buccaneers’ Edell Shepherd appeared to catch a touchdown pass.

OK, so the Redskins won ugly. And for those with a fondness for a finely tuned precision offense balanced by the occasional quick strike downfield, the Skins are ugly.

But the team that’s redefined the notion of Washington Gridlock will bring one distinct edge into Seattle next Saturday: its do-whatever-it-takes-to-stay-alive mettle.

Not since Nov. 27, when they beat the New York Giants, have the Seahawks faced a playoff-caliber opponent more concerned about the final score than minimizing injuries. The Redskins? Since their record fell to 5-6 on that same day, they’ve found themselves starring in their own Survivor series.

Washington was forced to win five of five to qualify as a wild card. It won five of five. Against the Buccaneers, a defense that gave up fewer yards during the regular season than any other team in the league, Washington took a 14-0 first-quarter lead and was forced to make it hold. The lead held.

Had the Redskins advanced to the first round on the kind of cruise- control pace their next opponent has enjoyed for the past month and a half, it’s difficult to envision them stifling four potential game-tying drives in the fourth quarter alone.

“We’ve been in the playoffs for six weeks, only it wasn’t official until today,” said defensive end Phillip Daniels, a 10-year veteran who spent his first four seasons with the Seahawks.

“This game was like those games. All the pressure we’ve faced teaches us how to win, and how to finish.”

The Redskins finished with Cornelius Griffin’s deflection of a Chris Simms pass at the line of scrimmage, which ended up in the hands of linebacker Marcus Washington. It was the second time a tipped pass from Simms led to a pick.

Washington won’t thrill and amuse you, but its players are schooled on the subtleties preached by head coach Joe Gibbs. One of them is hands up on the pass rush.

“They sit there and read your eyes, and they get a finger up,” said Simms. “Both those interceptions could have been 20-yard completions.”

The Skins’ game – taking care of the little details that can lead to monumental shifts in momentum – reflects the philosophy of Gibbs and acclaimed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, whose secondary took the field without injured starting cornerback Shawn Springs, backup cornerback Dimitri Patterson and backup free safety Matt Bowen.

Free safety Taylor eased anxieties about the broken-down backfield when he returned a loose ball for the 51-yard touchdown that put the visitors up 14-0, but then Taylor was lost after a strange encounter with Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman in the third quarter.

Moments after the whistle was blown, Pittman was seen slapping Taylor’s helmet. But a flag was thrown on Taylor, who, according to referee Mike Carey – a credible witness, as he was standing a few feet away – spit at his opponent. Pittman wasn’t penalized for his understandable act of retaliation

“I’m sure it’s something he regrets,” Daniels said of Taylor, who wasn’t talking afterward, but did deny spitting to Williams. “But when somebody goes out, the next man has to step up. The guys did their job.”

As for that three-and-out offense?

“We’ve got to improve,” said quarterback Mark Brunell, who in his 13th NFL season only faintly resembles the once nimble University of Washington star capable of transforming a 15-yard sack into a 15-yard gain.

“We need to do better on third downs,” continued Brunell, who might’ve added the Redskins need to do better on first down and second down, not to mention doing better on run blocking and pass protection and moving the chains and eating the clock.

Then again, if Brunell held court about all his offense couldn’t do Saturday, he’d have remained in Tampa for three days.

“We won in the playoffs,” Brunell said, “and we won on the road. When you do that, you don’t care about numbers, and you don’t care how pretty it was. We got a win.”

The Redskins don’t know how to fatten offensive statistics, and they don’t know how to be pretty. Let’s be frank about his: They frequently appear to be at a philosophical crossroads on how to move the ball 3 yards on a third-and-2 play.

But they know how to win on those days when losing means going home for the winter. And on that count, they are 6-for-6.

Still think Mike Holmgren is giggling?

John McGrath: 253-597-8742, ext. 6154

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Not a bad article. Only umbrage I take is with the authors amnesia concerning the 101 points we put up in the three weeks proceeding this. Our O isn't usually nearly as anemic as yesterday. On the other hand if the Seahawks want to think we're offensively impotent and underestimate us ,well, nothing else would make me happier.

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Matador.......you need to edit this post please..............

10. When posting anything concerning news articles from outside sources, please include a direct link (i.e., URL) to the origination page/site.

Please paste the URL directly atop the post, above a small portion of the article's text (for example, the lead paragraph or a particular sentence or two) . Such a practice provides credibility and attribution to the source of the information, and allows visitors the option to visit the respective websites. You are responsible for the content you post.

If you are posting a published article from a news source, please title your thread in the following format: "SOURCE SHORTFORM: HEADLINE" (Ex. WP: Redskins Sign CB Shawn Springs). Please see our copyright statement:

http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131906

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Matador.......you need to edit this post please..............

10. When posting anything concerning news articles from outside sources, please include a direct link (i.e., URL) to the origination page/site.

Please paste the URL directly atop the post, above a small portion of the article's text (for example, the lead paragraph or a particular sentence or two) . Such a practice provides credibility and attribution to the source of the information, and allows visitors the option to visit the respective websites. You are responsible for the content you post.

If you are posting a published article from a news source, please title your thread in the following format: "SOURCE SHORTFORM: HEADLINE" (Ex. WP: Redskins Sign CB Shawn Springs). Please see our copyright statement:

http://www.extremeskins.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131906

huh?

Isn't that what I did????? The link is on the top and the title says Source/Title

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