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Redskins Notebook

Coles Is Back in The Flow

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 12, 2003; Page D05

The Washington Redskins have rediscovered wide receiver Laveranues Coles.

Coles had five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks, his first 100-yard receiving performance since beginning the season with three of them in a row.

He has been bothered by a toe injury. But, according to the team's coaches, his drop-off in production in the previous five games mostly was due to opposing defenses putting too much pressure on Patrick Ramsey for the quarterback to find his top receiver down the field.

"That's part of the game," Coles said. "You can't get frustrated because I feel like I wasn't the only person in that situation. Rod [Gardner] was in that situation, and so were the other receivers. You can't look at it like that. Everybody is struggling. We all were struggling as a team. As a player, you try to just stay in a groove and not get frustrated and wish that things get better. It got better for us [sunday]."

Gardner also caught a touchdown pass against the Seahawks and finished with eight receptions for 81 yards. According to Coles, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson had pledged last week to make the two wideouts the centerpieces of the offense again, even while mixing in enough running plays to keep the defense off balance.

"They made an emphasis on that during the week last week," Coles said. "They were going to try to get us involved and keep us involved throughout the game. Coach Jackson told us during the week that it was pretty much going to boil down to us making plays to win the game. Me and Rod took that burden on our shoulders. We knew we were capable of going out and making plays to help us win. . . . We're not resting upon just this one game. There are still teams ahead of us, and we're going to continue to work hard and hopefully things will get better as we go."

Russell's Condition

The Redskins hope defensive tackle Darrell Russell will have a major impact this week. He has played about 20 snaps in each of his first two games with the club, and he said last week that he expected to be ready to play a full game this week.

Said Coach Steve Spurrier: "We need to get him into condition. . . . Hopefully he can play more than 20 plays."

The Redskins could use some help in the middle of their defensive line in Sunday's game at Carolina when they try to slow tailback Stephen Davis. Davis sat out the Panthers' triumph over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, but the Redskins don't expect him to miss a chance to play against his former team.

"They're extremely good, ignited by Stephen Davis," defensive end Bruce Smith said. "If we don't stop the run, it's going to be a long day for us. He's a proven running back. I'm sorry we let him get away, but I'm happy for him about how it's turned out." . . .

Center Jason Andersen, 28, worked out for Redskins officials yesterday but was not immediately signed. Lennie Friedman started against the Seahawks at center in place of the injured Larry Moore, and could remain in the lineup this week. Moore said yesterday that he won't practice today but hopes to practice Thursday.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company

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