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WP:For Bailey, It's a Real Kick in The Head


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Redskins Notebook

For Bailey, It's a Real Kick in The Head

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, December 22, 2003; Page D14

CHICAGO, Dec. 21 -- Washington Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey was selected to his fourth straight NFC Pro Bowl team on Thursday. But he wasn't treated like a Pro Bowler on Sunday by Chicago Bears wide receiver Marty Booker, who beat him for a touchdown and inadvertently hurt him on the same first-quarter play.

Booker out-raced Bailey along the sideline to grab a 59-yard touchdown pass by rookie quarterback, Rex Grossman, in the Bears' 27-24 win. Bailey emerged from the play with a mild concussion and a facial laceration, according to Redskins officials. Fellow cornerback Fred Smoot said that Bailey's face was struck by one of Booker's cleats as Bailey tried to make a diving tackle.

"I think he came down on the back of Booker's heels," Smoot said. "It must be something severe for him to come out of the game."

The Redskins lost safety Ifeanyi Ohalete to a sprained knee and a sprained ankle later in the game, and were short-handed in the secondary when the Bears put together their winning drive late in the fourth quarter. Bailey's injury forced rookie cornerback Ade Jimoh into the rotation with Smoot and Rashad Bauman, and second-year safety Andre Lott replaced Ohalete alongside Matt Bowen.

"That's all we had on defense," Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier said. "That's about all we had left."

Report Unconfirmed

A Miami Dolphins spokesman said he knew of no discussions within the organization about a possible attempt by the team to acquire Spurrier from the Redskins to replace Coach Dave Wannstedt. ESPN reported Sunday that Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga is contemplating offering compensation to the Redskins to inherit the remainder of Spurrier's five-year, $25 million contract.

"There has been no discussion about replacing Dave Wannstedt," said Harvey Greene, the Dolphins' vice president of media relations.

Speculation about Spurrier's future continues to be rampant. He has been linked to college head coaching jobs at Nebraska and North Carolina. A Jacksonville, Fla., radio station reported last week that Spurrier would resign from the Redskins after the season and accept the Nebraska job. Spurrier denied that and repeatedly has said he does not want to coach in college again. He has said he plans to return to the Redskins next year for the third season of his contract. Owner Daniel Snyder said recently he "absolutely" would retain Spurrier next season.

Spurrier refused to discuss Sunday's report.

Samuels Returns

Left tackle Chris Samuels returned to the lineup after missing three games because of a sprained knee ligament.

"I'm disappointed that we lost, but I was happy to make it back this season," Samuels said. "I played all right." . . . The Bears made first downs on nine of their 17 third-down opportunities and both of their fourth-down tries. The Redskins went one for nine on third downs. . . .

The Redskins were upset at the false start called on rookie left guard Derrick Dockery on their fourth-and-inches chance in the fourth quarter. The penalty forced them to punt.

"He said, 'Coach, I didn't move. I didn't move,' Spurrier said. "But they called it on him."

TV replays backed Dockery. . . Wide receiver Laveranues Coles had seven catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns after revealing during the week that he has played most of the season with a stress fracture in his foot that could require offseason surgery.

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compare what Coles has done given his stress fracture to what other so-called leaders on the team have NOT done this season and you will have a fair idea of how far the club needs to go to improve and become a winner again.

in the offseason and camp, Coles was the hardest working WR on the field and has not given any excuses for his performance this season.

he has not complained about the scheme or the coaches or his teammates or the injuries.

and he has not been a constant source of self-promotion as has Champ Bailey who has continued to insist he is the best CB in the NFL, as he keeps getting beaten each week for a big catch.

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