By Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Redskins free safety Ryan Clark, whose fourth-down interception of a Donovan McNabb pass in the final minutes sealed his team's 17-10 victory Sunday night over the Philadelphia Eagles, quickly got back to reality when he returned home early Monday morning.
"I had to go home and unclog my toilet," he said yesterday.
Clark, a free agent who wasn't even sure he'd have a starting job this season, described the interception, his second of the season, as "wonderful, a beautiful thing." "When I was on the field, I was like, 'Lord, I'd like to make a big play to end the game,' " he said.
But he's trying to keep his and the Redskins' success in perspective.
"You can't get too high," he said yesterday. "I try to stay even and humble about it. I know that the next week, I could also be the guy who gets beat for a touchdown. That's what keeps me light. I'm the same guy who was cut [by the Giants in 2003]. So I have to come out and play harder. . . . I'm the same old kid. I line all those first-round picks up. I'm the free agent who lines them all up."Youngsters, Arrington Shine
Veteran defensive end Renaldo Wynn said he was encouraged by what he saw from some of his younger teammates who got a chance to play on the defensive line Sunday night against the Eagles.
"It was fun seeing the young guys, Aki [Jones] and Nic [Clemons]," he said. "Aki, he was excited. He's saying, 'Is this what it feels like?' The young guys, I told them before the game this was the opportunity of a lifetime for them."
He also was happy that LaVar Arrington, named a team defensive captain, had another decent outing in his first start of the season, leading the team for the second time in his last three games with six tackles.
"The crowd obviously gave him a warm, loud and excellent ovation," he said. "It was exhilarating for him, doing what he does, giving it 100 percent and making plays."
Coach Joe Gibbs also had high praise for Arrington yesterday. "His preparation the last two or three weeks has been excellent, and it's reflected in his play and plays he's made for us," Gibbs said. "We need playmakers. As we look down the road here, it's very inspiring for us. LaVar knows that. He's working extremely hard and it's showing."Griffin Remains Sidelined
Starting defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, placed on the game inactive list against the Eagles with a hip injury, did not sound as if he believes he can play Sunday at Tampa Bay, though Gibbs said he would attempt some light running Wednesday. "It's just week-to-week, day-to-day," Griffin said. "It feels okay just walking, but if I walk too fast . . . I don't want to go out there and re-injure it again. It's just one of those things that takes time." . . . H-back Chris Cooley was among the most relieved players at Redskins Park yesterday. He had fumbled after a 13-yard reception deep in Philadelphia territory in the third quarter, but guard Derrick Dockery fell on the football at the Eagles 6-yard line. Clinton Portis scored the game-winning touchdown on the next play. "I was so happy," Cooley said. "It was a big play for him, a big play for us. It won us the game." . . . The Redskins were waiting to see if place kicker Nick Novak would be claimed on waivers after being cut Saturday to make room for place kicker John Hall, who has recovered from a quadriceps injury. If he clears waivers, the team was contemplating adding Novak, a rookie from Maryland, to the practice squad. . . . Tackle Jon Jansen said he is thinking about ditching the cast on his broken right thumb in practice this week. "I'd like to play the last eight games without any hindrances," said Jansen, who started the regular season with two broken thumbs. . . . Kickoff for the Redskins' game at Tampa Bay Sunday was changed last week from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. . . . The Redskins re-signed former Princeton linebacker Zak Keasey to the practice squad yesterday.