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More Smoot smack..


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and some tidbits from the Dispatch



Sep 06, 2002

SMOOT POINT: Fred Smoot is never shy, never hesitates to say what comes into his mind, and because of that, he gets many opportunities to do so from the press corps.

The cornerback might wonder, though, if he went too far this week.

On Wednesday, Smoot said the Redskins' de fense is so good that all the offense needs to do is score seven points against Arizona, and the Redskins will win.

"That's the attitude you want all your players to have," Arizona coach Dave McGinnis said when apprised of Smoot's comment. "If you don't have that attitude as a defensive player, you shouldn't be out there. I kind of applaud him for having that attitude."

As much as McGinnis, a former defensive coordinator, might admire the attitude, chances are good that he will mention Smoot's statement to the Cardinals' offensive players.

Redskins coach Steve Spurrier has been known to make a few bold statements of his own. However, he didn't seem excited to hear about Smoot's prediction.

"Sometimes Fred doesn't exactly mean what he says," Spurrier said. "Don't quote him on that."

Right coach, no problem.

"Our defense is just like our offense," Spurrier said. "We've got to go play before we've proven anything."

SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE: Normally, the starting quarterback gets at least 90 percent of the work with the first unit during the practices the week leading up to a game. Shane Matthews, the starting quarterback, is taking about 60 percent of the practice snaps with the starters, and Danny Wuerffel, the backup, is getting the rest of the work.

"We want to have them both ready," Spurrier said.

The concern is not Matthews' ability or efficiency. The worry is his durability. Matthews spent two of the past three seasons as one of the starters in Chicago but was unable to hold onto the job because he was knocked out of the lineup with injuries.

With just 196 pounds spread over his 6-3 frame, Matthews looks more like a golfer or a tennis player.

HIS TIME HAS COME: Running back Thomas Jones, a University of Virginia product, will start for the Cardinals on Sunday and every game thereafter, unless he simply can't get the job done. Jones was a first-round draft choice in 2000 and has 753 yards to show for his efforts. He has been unable to hold onto the starting job.

With Michael Pittman now playing in Tampa Bay, the Cardinals plan to rely on Jones this season.

"Any time a back is taken in the first round in this league and he doesn't come right out of the box and produce 1,500 or 1,700 yards, everybody wonders what's wrong," McGinnis said. "He was probably given the job a little too early. Then, through no fault of his own, he wasn't healthy last year.

"I'm not worried about the past two years. He's going to be our featured back this year. He's going to get a lot of carries, which is the only way I think a back can be successful. I see an entirely different back this year. Now, he's got to transfer that onto the field."

HOT TIMES: McGinnis' life never seems to go smoothly. Last season, he was bitten by a scorpion that somehow had made its way into his bedroom. He hasn't had any scorpion problems this year, but other wildlife have played havoc at the McGinnis home.

"Chipmunks ate through the air conditioning lines, and it's 109 degrees at the house," McGinnis said. - Paul Woody

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Dave McGuiness is saddled with the worst organization, worst owner, and at least arguably the worst defensive talent in football. To make matters worse, he's a defensive coach. While he might be blamed for intially accepting such a job, and not improving the situation, the fact is that he doesn't have much to work with.

Smoot is fun to listen to, but I don't like it when players pop off like this. In the end, it doesn't mean all that much if indeed we win the game and the Cards score less than seven. But if we lose, then he/we have basically admitted that we lost to an inferior team.

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