Archuleta Given a Lesser Role, Sits Out on Defense
Monday, November 13, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 12 -- A week after getting beat on the pass play that nearly set up a game-losing field goal against the Dallas Cowboys, safety Adam Archuleta did not play in any defensive series during Sunday's 27-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Archuleta played on special teams, both on kickoffs and punt coverage, and was credited with one special teams tackle, but for the first time this season he did not play a prominent role on defense.
Archuleta has struggled. Last week against the Cowboys, Archuleta lost his starting role for the first time this season to safety Troy Vincent, who wound up saving the game by blocking a field goal attempt with four seconds left. After the game, assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said he had planned on using Archuleta close to the line in six defensive back sets to maximize Archuleta's abilities as a run stopper.
But on an afternoon when the Eagles rushed 34 times for 145 yards, including 113 yards on 22 carries by Brian Westbrook, Archuleta never got on the field in any of Williams's packages. After the game, Archuleta was not available to comment.
It took a rout for it to happen, but with the Redskins trailing 27-3 with 6 minutes 4 seconds remaining in the third quarter, running back T.J. Duckett was on the field for the first time in weeks.
Duckett took his first handoff in two months 12 yards and then came out of the game. On the Redskins' final series of the game, with 13:09 remaining, Duckett rushed for four yards and then caught a pass for a three-yard loss.
"I'm just fortunate to be on this team and be able to play football," Duckett said. "You can't complain about anything, whether it's one play, or 100 plays, or anything. Whatever. You just go, you prepare, and when you get your opportunity you run hard. That's just my philosophy."
Entering a lost game simply continued a bizarre odyssey for Duckett, who like some of the Redskins' other high-profile signings has come to symbolize a team of big names without big production. Even when Clinton Portis left the game in the first quarter with a broken bone in his right hand, Duckett remained on the bench while Ladell Betts received the majority of the carries in his absence.
Still, Duckett was on the field, which could be considered progress for him, as he hadn't carried the football since Sept. 17 at Dallas, when he rushed five times for 24 yards.
"You just play football. You just go and play the game," he said. "And at the end of the game you take a shower, brush off the dirt and see what happens."
In last week's win against Dallas, enough odd things happened -- along with 153 yards in Cowboys penalties -- to propel the Redskins to a big win. Against Philadelphia, there were no bounces on which to rely.
On third and 15 from the Philadelphia 45 and the Redskins trailing 10-0, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb dropped back to pass with plenty of time, evading defensive end Phillip Daniels. McNabb threw a 20-yard pass to Reggie Brown, who spun and appeared to have the ball knocked out of his hands by Shawn Springs.
Then things got weird.
The ball popped right into the waiting arms of running back Correll Buckhalter, who dashed 37 yards for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead. . . .
Rookie Kedric Golston started in place of defensive tackle Joe Salave'a, marking the first time this season Salave'a was healthy and did not start. Golston gradually has been given more playing time at tackle as Salave'a has been slowed by injuries. . . .
In addition to Portis, Daniels had a bruised right forearm.