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Fredricksburg.com - R'Skins have good reason to get pass-happy


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'Skins have good reason to get pass-happy

GRANT PAULSEN: Redskins find it's better to receive

Date published: 7/2/2006

WHEN THE NFL SEASON opens in September, the Washington Redskins won't have any problems catching passes. A couple of seasons ago, the Redskins had a group of receivers that offered more questions than answers; now, they're considered one of the NFL's elite.

The only foreseeable problems might be keeping everybody happy and spreading the ball around.

The Redskins can thank stability for their new-found strength and depth at receiver. It wasn't long ago that "Redskins" and "stability" were antonyms. But Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs has changed that. Players are no longer asking to be traded away.

Take the last two offseasons, for example.

Last summer, in the wake of a disappointing 6-10 campaign, Washington's top two receivers (Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner) demanded trades. Gibbs and his staff met their demands.

Conversely, when the Redskins open training camp at the team's headquarters on July 30, the team's top four receivers from last season will be back. Joining them will be two new starting-caliber pass-catchers, both acquired this offseason.

Second-year Redskin Santana Moss remains the go-to option. The former New York Jet is coming off a record-breaking first season in D.C. and the first Pro Bowl selection of his five-year NFL career. A year ago the former Miami Hurricane caught 84 passes for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns, establishing himself as one of the game's most lethal route-runners.

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In the midst of the WR talk, Chris Cooley is being forgotten. Hopefully the reason for his solid production is more in line with Jason Witten than Freddie Jones, if you guys understand the comparisons.

Either way, I hope Brunell doesn't decide this is the year to get old. I have confidence in him, but a lot is riding on the passing game.

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