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WP: Morton Has Good Chance of Playing


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Redskins Notebook

Morton Has Good Chance of Playing

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 14, 2003; Page D03


Kick returner Chad Morton tested his sprained ankle during yesterday's practice and said he thinks he'll be able to play for the Washington Redskins in Sunday's game at Carolina.

"It was pretty good," Morton said. "It was a little sore but I was able to run around a little bit."

Morton sat out the Redskins' win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday after hurting himself the previous week at Dallas. Wide receiver Patrick Johnson took over as the primary kick returner, but Coach Steve Spurrier said he's hopeful of having Morton back against the Panthers.

"Chad was running around pretty well," Spurrier said. "He's got a good chance to make it."

Six players -- cornerbacks Fred Smoot and Rashad Bauman, safety Andre Lott, defensive tackle Jermaine Haley, center Larry Moore and tailback Ladell Betts -- sat out yesterday's practice. Smoot still is bothered by soreness from the fractured sternum that he suffered a month ago, but the Redskins expect him to be in the lineup for a third straight game.

Spurrier said he also expects safety Matt Bowen, who suffered a concussion against Seattle, to play Sunday. Fullback Bryan Johnson suffered a mild concussion Sunday, and Spurrier said that the team is trying to fit him with a special helmet that would limit the effects of blows to the head.

Dockery Has to Learn Fast

Rookie Derrick Dockery struggled through some mistake-filled performances after taking over for veteran Dave Fiore as the Redskins' starter at left guard in the fourth game of the season. The coaches contemplated using Lennie Friedman to at least split playing time with Dockery, if not replace him. But they remained confident that Dockery, the club's third-round draft pick in April out of Texas, eventually would be a first-rate NFL starter, and they have been rewarded with improved play by the rookie lately.

"I feel a lot better," Dockery said yesterday. "I feel I'm getting better and everything is going along. I'm making progress. I just need to continue. Once you reach a certain level of playing, the rookie stuff is over. . . . They pay you to do a job, and you've got to get it done. That's my mind-set."

With Fiore on injured reserve and Friedman playing center in place of Moore, who is sidelined by a sprained foot, the Redskins are hoping that Dockery holds up. Opposing defenses likely will keep testing him by lining up their best tackle across from him instead of across from right guard Randy Thomas. The Dallas Cowboys matched La'Roi Glover with him often, Dockery said, and the Panthers probably will put Kris Jenkins, a Maryland product who reached the Pro Bowl last season, to work against him regularly.

"They're one of the best in the league," Dockery said of Carolina's defensive line. "They're a very explosive, powerful, quick group of guys. They were one of the top defenses last year and still are. It's going to be a tough challenge." . . .

With Johnson hampered by the effects of his concussion, Rock Cartwright has practiced mostly at fullback this week, Spurrier said, but that hasn't decreased the chances that Cartwright will get plenty of playing time at tailback Sunday. "He's capable of playing a lot at tailback, whether he starts [at that position] or not," Spurrier said . . . . Backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, who's entering his third game with the club, now has learned almost all of the offense, according to Spurrier.

"He's throwing a lot of good balls," Spurrier said. "If he had to play, we feel confident he'd play well." . . .

The Redskins cut short practice by about half an hour yesterday because of the high winds in the area.

"That was in the top three coldest practice days I've ever been involved with," Spurrier said. "The wind was blowing about 40 miles an hour."

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Originally posted by bulldog

the Redskins need to find a 250 pound fullback and blocking tight end in the offseason. not glamorous positions or expensive ones to fill, perhaps, but when you don't have players there you can count on it really affects the productivity of your offense :(

Yeah, the journeyman Bryan Johnson has got to go.

Plus, when TE Walter Rasby rode off into the sunset... there went our best blocker. :laugh:

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Hopefully its morton we are talking about and not he hate me on kickoffs

Dockery taking his lumps now can only make that spot a strength in the future.

Still whats up with TreJ?

I see him doing commentary on comcast but are his knees shot to the point that he is retiring?

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Originally posted by freakofthenorth

Their pass rush is not aggressive. They don't blitz that much. They get it done w/ their front-four.

Balance is the only way to beat this D.

So your saying that only blitzing constitutes a pass rush? I'm saying take advantage of there aggresive lineman with Morton. Screens, draws up the gut, stuff like that.

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