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WP: Team Still Seeking Defensive Line Help


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Redskins Notebook

Team Still Seeking Defensive Line Help

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 24, 2003; Page E12

The Washington Redskins were in trade discussions with several teams yesterday. The New Orleans Saints remained interested in attempting to acquire one of their backup tailbacks, and the Redskins continued to search for help for the middle of their defensive line.

The Saints need a backup for tailback Deuce McAllister. They talked to the Redskins last week about acquiring Ladell Betts or Kenny Watson in a deal for a defensive tackle, either starter Grady Jackson or top reserve Kenny Smith. But the Redskins didn't want to part with either running back and instead traded a draft choice to New Orleans on Wednesday to obtain another backup defensive tackle, Martin Chase.

The Redskins remained intent upon keeping Betts and Watson unless they receive an overwhelming trade offer, sources said yesterday. Club officials said late last week that the team planned to keep four tailbacks -- Trung Canidate, Betts, Watson and Chad Morton. Coach Steve Spurrier entered training camp saying the Redskins probably would keep three, but softened on that stance.

Betts, as a second-round draft pick last year, has far more trade value than Watson, a former undrafted free agent. But the Saints probably wouldn't part with another defensive tackle. The Saints also mentioned acquiring cornerback Fred Smoot last week, but the Redskins were adamant they wouldn't part with him.

The Denver Broncos remained interested in trading defensive tackle Lional Dalton to the Redskins. The two teams had a deal virtually completed more than a week ago, but it got put on hold and the Redskins passed on Tuesday when told by the Broncos that Dalton's agent, Marvin Demoff, had lined up a trade with another team for a fifth-round draft selection and a $1 million salary for Dalton.

No deal was made, though, and the Broncos continued to shop Dalton late in the week. Demoff urged the Redskins to reenter the chase Thursday. The Redskins wanted to trade the Broncos a conditional draft choice -- meaning Denver would get the pick only if Dalton makes the season-opening roster -- and wanted Dalton to reduce his salary from $1.6 million to $600,000.

The Redskins also were in discussions with the Detroit Lions, sources said, but the details were not immediately clear. The Lions shopped defensive tackle Shaun Rogers during the offseason.

A New View for Hue

The Redskins shifted offensive coordinator Hue Jackson from the sideline to the coaches' box last night. The Redskins thought he could help Spurrier more from the box. . . . The Redskins will have to make a quick turnaround, with only two days of practices -- between an off day today and a travel day Wednesday -- before Thursday's preseason finale at Jacksonville. They open the regular season a week later against the New York Jets at FedEx Field.

NFL teams must make the first of two rounds of roster cuts by Tuesday, when clubs must be down to 65 players apiece. . . .

The Baltimore Ravens started rookie Kyle Boller at quarterback last night, a strong indication that they are giving the first-round draft selection a chance to beat out Chris Redman. . . .

Redskins defensive end Regan Upshaw was scheduled to make his first appearance of the exhibition season last night after missing the first two games to rest his surgically repaired knee. The Redskins signed Upshaw as a free agent in the offseason to be their starter at right end. But veteran Bruce Smith made his second straight start at that spot last night, with Upshaw backing him up.

The two should split playing time during the regular season, though, and both could be on the field -- with Upshaw shifting to left end -- in pass-rushing situations. Even if Smith is not a starter when the regular season arrives, he likely would be given the same courtesy given to cornerback Darrell Green last season and be introduced with the starters before games.

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I agree that McCullough has given us some options at RB. Sonny last night indicated that Sultan has looked even better in camp than he has in the preseason games and his judgment was the team was not going to let him go.

When asked how they will find room for #22 with 3 backs already in front of him on the roster, Jurgensen noted that these players were here NOW but won't all necessarily be in two weeks :)

Take that for what it's worth, but ole #9 spends a lot of time with Snyder and Cerrato :laugh:

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Sultan's still a very raw talent. I like him and would prefer to keep him, but how much can he contribute to us this year. At least Watson is a special teams contributor, even if he never carries the ball.

SM's the kind of player who develops a "nagging groin injury" and gets put on IR for a year . . .

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RTerps, that may be the math that the front office uses to justify a trade of him. Just remember that right now, Betts is the only guy on the roster who can both run consistently between the tackles and who can also break a big play. Everyone else can either do one or the other, not both. I'm hesitant to give him up for that reason.

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Originally posted by redman

RTerps, that may be the math that the front office uses to justify a trade of him. Just remember that right now, Betts is the only guy on the roster who can both run consistently between the tackles and who can also break a big play. Everyone else can either do one or the other, not both. I'm hesitant to give him up for that reason.

Agreed. Betts is the only "power back"/short yardage RB that we have (I said RB Blondie, not FB ;) )

I am really not opposed to trading any back on the roster not named Canidate or Morton but if we could get something for Watson, id pull the trigger. The guy deserves to be on a team that isnt as stacked as we are at RB.

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Even though his runs didn't produce significant yardage last night, it's clear that Betts is a strong, elusive RB. My prediction:

We keep 4 RB's:





Watson (perhaps along with a low round draft pick) will be traded for a respectable, better than average, run stuffing DT.

At least, I hope this is the way it turns out. Like most of you, I really like Watson but we're stong enough at RB to allow him to go elsewhere in return for a DT.

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I like all our RB's, but one has to go in a trade in order to keep McCullough, who has rare speed and too much potential.

McCullough may not be used too much this year, but we could put him back there on kickoffs with Morton and he could be used on kickoff and punt coverage teams. Yeah I know he hasn't played coverage before, but most backup players in the NFL have to learn to play special teams, so that is nothing new. :)


From what I have read in their newspapers, DT Shaun Rogers has his weight down, and they were pleased with him now. I doubt that he is still on the trading block, unless we make them an offer they can't refuse. Luther Ellis is hurt, so I am wondering who the Skins were talking to them about in a trade? Their RB's did fairly well last night, but we could still send Watson there for a pick.

New Orleans:

Kijana Carter did fairly well last night, considering that he has only been in camp for a few days. He had 32 yards on 8 carries or a 4.0 average. New Orleans still might send us a pick for Watson, but I doubt that they are so deep at DT that they can afford to trade us another defensive tackle.

So our best bet might still be Lional Dalton. :)

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Well, I'm glad the team isn't satisfied with our performance last night and is still trying to upgrade our weakest position.

I'd rather see Betts traded than Watson. The size difference between the two is minimal, and I've yet to see the "hard running" Betts is suppose to possess. Watson beat him out last year, and he beat him out again this year by default.

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I would trade Betts, Watson can do everything he can, possibly better. And Watson is cheaper. I know Betts what a 2nd rounder but if Watson is better who the hell cares. Everyone is talking about Betts like he's some power guy but i dont see it. He doesnt get low when he runs through the holes allowing him to be knocked back, if anyone noticed the way Trung, Kenny, and Sultan put their head down and go. Betts kinda dances around too, he doesnt have that great of vision. The one thing i see in him is he does seems to be a good pass catcher. Dont get me wrong i like Ladell but Watson is a more proven guy. He had a couple 100 yard games last year while Betts only had that one. Also Watson with the significant amount of time he saw last year did not fumble a single time. Plus Betts has a higher trade value so do it. Betts for Shaun Rogers, well Betts and a draft pick i guess they would want???

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i think it is very wise to continue investigating possible upgrades at the DT position. we still could use some help getting a pass rush or push up the middle. having to move Wynn and Zellner to tackle on 3rd down tells the whole story.

it also looks like to me that the skins are going to get their money's worth out of the minimum waged Peppi. he looks decent.

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very true about Watson's muffed catch in dallas, it should count as an int for him. he could be the only RB in the league with an INT in his stats. Actually it was just as bad as a fumble right there. I was worried for him after that about his confidence but he turned out fine. But Betts fumbled going into the endzone. From what i have seen of both of them except for that fluke catch Watson protects the ball as well as anyone in the league. Betts kinda gets Davis on us and as he's going down will kinda reach the ball out form his chest to try and get an extra lunge foward ends up fumbling. Like McCullough did that last night but he's allowed an error because he's a rookie UDFA and has played so well. Like Sonney said that can be fixed on him cause he's young and its not a habit yet.

I like all the RB's but if one had to go i think the one ive been least impressed with is Betts. I dont understand why he runs almost standing straight up all the time. It confuses me. Sultan cant be cut because he deserves to make this team more than anyone else trying out. And since Watson and Betts are about equal and Watson is cheaper and Betts has a higher trade value, i think its a no brainer to trade Betts.

I dont know much about this Rogers guy though except that he is apparently very good. Would they take Betts for him straight up, or do we need to throw more in there, if we do what round draft pick would it take???

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Originally posted by inmate running the asylum


Watson may not have had a fumble, but that dink pass he flubbed in the Dallas game that turned into an interception and cost us the game was some gaff. :(

Don't get me wrong though, I like Watson and all the RB's. But I want to see us keep McCullough, so Betts or Watson has to go in a trade in my book. :)

that was a stupid risky call by SS.....reminded me of the play to end the first half in the SB (Theismann sideline pass).....not that Watson didn't screw up...he did...but never should have been called.

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