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A Lone Voice Supports Gibbs

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A Lone Voice Supports Gibbs

You'd think that with 3 Lombardi's that
Gibbs could figure this cap thing out.

For most of last week, the silence was deafening among those in the DC and national sports media willing to defend the Redskins' decisions to trade Laveranues Coles (thus eating the subsequent net $6 million cap hit) and to not up their offers to Antonio Pierce and Fred Smoot. The critics, on the other hand, were out in droves, with Wilbon saying that Gibbs and company were cooking "a meal that's unpalatable", his Post collegue Mike Wise talking about "utter upheaval over one of the worst offseasons in recent franchise history", Dan Daly saying that "the loss of Pierce, Smoot and Coles were power punches directly to Gibbs' midsection", and so on. The national press followed the template established, that the Redskins "organization" or lack thereof really blew it here.

After that died down, the wise voice of one George Solomon, who has been on the staff of Post's sports department forever, came through in his column on Sunday:

The Washington Redskins losing cornerback Fred Smoot to the Minnesota Vikings last week, on the heels of taking a salary cap whack as a result of the Laveranues Coles-for-Santana Moss trade and the recent loss of up-and-coming linebacker Antonio Pierce to the New York Giants, has many fans asking, "Who's in charge of this team?"

And the answer would be Joe Gibbs. Solomon continued:
To those who question whether he can succeed at managing a franchise when his previous role here was mostly coaching, Gibbs must want to ask, 'Do you think running a NASCAR operation the last decade was simply about replacing spark plugs and buying team jackets?'

Gibbs, 64, signed a five-year contract last year at more than $5 million a season to be team president and coach. While his 6-10 team was a major disappointment to him and the fans, one can assume he has learned enough about his players, coaching staff, his boss, the salary cap and front-office personnel to be the right person running the operation.That, of course, is the key question--is Gibbs the right guy? Time will tell, but Solomon leaves with one thought:
Choose a side on this Gibbs stuff, if you must, knowing once the race begins you can't cross the track.Special Signing

The Redskins signed former Buffalo safety Pierson Prioleau to a contract. He'll provide depth at the position behind Sean Taylor and Matt Bowen, but that won't be his primary role. It's no secret that Prioleau (just when I no longer have to write about "Laveranues" along comes another impossible to spell name) was brought on to upgrade Washington's special teams. From the Washington Times:

Prioleau, 27, led the Buffalo Bills in special-teams tackles (30) last season and has experience with three former Bills assistants now on the Redskins' staff: assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams, safeties coach Steve Jackson and special teams coach Danny Smith.

Although the coverage units on special teams don't gather many headlines, coach Joe Gibbs made it a priority to upgrade that area. Last year Smith was forced to piece together units with inexperienced players.

The result was inconsistent play on the kicking units including numerous fouls that could only be characterized as "dumb". Gibbs said that Prioleau was just the first of "three to five" veteran types who would be brought on to bolster the special teams.

This has to make some of the team's returning players, those who don't start but also are liabilites on special teams, a bit nervious. Note to Andre Lott, Rock Cartwright, and Darnerien McCants: Don't go singing any long-term leases around DC; go month to month through August if you can.

Courtney Brown

Back in 2000, the Cleveland Browns had the top pick in the draft and were focused on two Penn State players to choose. One was linebacker Lavar Arrington, the other was defensive end Courtney Brown. The Redskins wanted no part of Brown, clearly preferring Arrington. Playing the draft game to its fullest, Cleveland tried to bait the Redskins into trading up into the number one slot to ensure that they would be able to snare the stud linebacker. The Skins didn't blink, Cleveland took Brown first and Washington got its man.

While Arrington has yet to develop into a consistent monster performer, it's clear that he's been better than his old Nittany Lion teammate through his career. Brown has been bothered by injury and inconsistency to the point where Cleveland released him last week. The Skins brought him in for a visit and a physical on Thursday. While they're was talk that the team wanted to get his signature on a contract before he left town, Brown departed still a free agent.

Said Gibbs, quoted in the Post:
The best way for me to say it is we just had a good visit and [he] took a physical, and kind of went through a process there. We'll just work through the rest of it. I don't think there's anything imminent.This means that Brown came in hoping to get one of those offers the Redskins have made in the past few years, the ones where they bid against themselves and drive the price up so high that he couldn't even think of leaving without signing. Apparently, that didn't happen. Gibbs is not going to break the bank on a player who will be in a regular rotation at defenisve end at best. And if Brown won't come on at his price, well, it will just leave a few more dollars to spend on those special-teams guys.

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus. 

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.