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Rtd: Skins Notes 9-17


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ROCK'EM, SOCK'EM: Wide receiver James Thrash didn't catch a single pass in the Redskins' season-opening game Sunday against Tampa Bay. But Thrash's impact still was noticeable.

On the 64-yard touchdown run by Clinton Portis, Thrash threw a block on a defensive back that cleared the final obstacle to the end zone.

"Coach [Joe Gibbs] says that no big runs happen without the receivers blocking," Thrash said. "We know how important it is for us to work downfield."

Thrash is the Redskins' No.3 receiver, but he's first in the coaches' hearts when it comes to grading a player who gives an all-out effort on every play, whether it's practice or in a game.

Thrash takes the attitude that he'll do whatever is needed for the team to be successful, especially when it comes to blocking.

"I've always felt comfortable blocking," Thrash said. "For all our receivers, our attitude is to make sure our guy doesn't bring down the running back. No matter how you do it, whether you cut him or block him up top, it doesn't matter, we have to do whatever it takes to get the running back free."

SO, UH, WHICH ONE IS HE? The Redskins face the New York Giants this week, and Giants defensive end Michael Strahan is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. In fact, he holds the league record for sacks in a season at 21.

Redskins right tackle Kenyatta Jones will spend a lot of time tangling with Strahan on Sunday.

"He's just another guy in the NFL," Jones said. "He's one of the greats. I've got to go out and give my best effort. He's a man just like any one of us and we all get paid here, so we all got to go out and play.

"It's going to be what it's going to be. He does what Strahan does. When he tries to dominate, he dominates. He's relentless. I have to be relentless and play every down like it's my last down."

A FINE LINE: Things are a little unsettled in the meeting rooms of the New York Giants these days. Several players filed grievances through the NFLPA over being fined by Giants coach Tom Coughlin for not being "early enough" to meetings.

Redskins defensive end Renaldo Wynn tried to warn the Giants.

"I told the guys I know there to work hard, be on time and come to meetings as early as possible," Wynn said. "I told them it's not going to be a comfortable situation, but try to take some of the stress off yourself and don't be 'that' guy."

"That" guy is the guy who shows up on time or a few minutes late for a meeting. Coughlin apparently has a secret meeting for what "on time" means.

"If a meeting started at 7 o'clock, you needed to be there at 6:50 and 6:55 was even pushing it," Wynn said. "That was [Coughlin's] rule. Either you're there five minutes early or you're late. I always set my clock 10 minutes fast."

Coughlin is known as a disciplinarian, and he has a thing about rules, especially the team's dress code.

"You could not wear white socks with anything," Wynn said. "In the hotel [on road trips], you always had to have on a collared shirt, slacks and shoes. If you were seen outside your room, you better have a collared shirt and slacks and shoes on."

WONDERS NEVER CEASE: Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot is not known for his ability as a tackler or for the massive hits he delivers to receivers. But Smoot was the first award winner of the "Big Hit Stick," which is given to the special-teams player who makes the biggest hit of the game.

The stick resembles something you might have seen in the movie "Lord of the Rings." Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and special-teams coach Danny Smith brought the stick with them from Buffalo, where they coached last season.

Smoot got the award for a block he made on Tampa tight end Dave Moore.

"I started not to hand that out," Gibbs said of the multicolored walking stick that he handed to Smoot. "It looked like it fell into something.

"Smooter is having a lot of fun with it, though." - Paul Woody

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On the blocking...

Suprisingly Dr. Z at CNNSI commended Thrash of blocking Simeon Rice as well as Coles for blocking Barber and then a LB in the same play and he gave game balls to Portis, Smoot and Washington.

My early prediction for week 2

Skins 27 Giants 13

Last week I was pretty close on my predictions:

1. Portis will break a touchdown in his first 5 carries (did it on 1st)

2. Skins win 24-10 (won 16-10)

3. Arrington will have 1-2 sacks and a FF (1 sack, the FF went to Bowen)

4. Portis 115yds, 2TDs (148tyd, 1TD)

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