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Gibbs Worries About Another Letdown

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 1, 2006

While many of the Washington Redskins have basked this week in the glow of a much-needed victory, Coach Joe Gibbs is grim-faced again.

Gibbs may be happy about the 143 rushing yards his team produced in beating Carolina and that his defense did not give up the big play and made two stellar plays in the secondary, but he wants more.

"What I want to see is us putting games together, because we haven't done that," Gibbs said. "We've put a game in here, and a game in there, but that consistency is what we haven't had."

The only time the Redskins have won back-to-back games was the third and fourth games of the season, when they beat Houston and Jacksonville; those games marked the high points on offense and defense.

On offense, the Redskins racked up 976 yards over those games -- 495 against Houston and 481 against the Jaguars. Against Jacksonville, the Redskins played their most physical game offensively and Clinton Portis had his only 100-yard rushing outing of the season.

But the Redskins have sputtered since. They lost to the New York Giants, Tennessee and Indianapolis leading to the Oct. 29 bye weekend, and lost to Philadelphia after an emotional victory at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

"We talk to our players about it. I think they are real smart. They lived through that and it was a big disappointment," Gibbs said, referring to the 27-3 loss to the Eagles after beating Dallas on Nov. 5. "If you are going to do something up here you are going to have to play extremely hard week after week. That is my concern. That is a challenge for all of us."

Moss Makes Progress

Wide receiver Santana Moss is progressing through the hamstring injury that has hobbled him since the Oct. 22 loss at Indianapolis, according to Gibbs. Moss has played in only two of the last four games.

"The first part of the game he was hesitant. The first time you get out there and are really busting it you are a little hesitant on how hard you can go," Gibbs said. "I talked to him this morning and the last time he did that he was extremely sore, and this week he is not. I think he gained some confidence late in the game."

Moss has nine catches for 49 yards (with a longest gain of 15 yards) over the past five games.

"If I'm playing, I'm 100 percent," Moss said. "When you're 100 percent, it doesn't mean that you'll be Speed Racer. You have to learn the game over again, so I'm still getting my legs under me."

Randle El Mimics Vick

As a stand-in for most opposing quarterbacks, the Redskins use Todd Collins. But the 6-foot-5, immobile Collins isn't quite the appropriate double for Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick, whom the Redskins face this weekend.

For that, receiver Antwaan Randle El stood in during practice.

"I just wanted to give them a look about some of the things he does," Randle El said. "He drops back and does that little crow-hop before making a move. I wanted to show them that. Did I make plays against the defense? Oh, yeah, because that's just me."

Patten Remains Slowed

Wide receiver David Patten has been slowed to a near-halt by a hamstring injury. Patten, who has been inactive for the last seven games (six of them because of the hamstring injury), has one catch this season, a 25-yard reception from Mark Brunell at Houston. Patten has been active for only 13 of the 27 games he has been with the Redskins.

It has been a particularly difficult season for Patten, who at this time last season was upset that he had been placed on injured reserve, a move he believed premature.

"The thing with a hamstring is that if you push it full speed, you're only going to make it worse," Patten said. "But you'll never know if it is completely healthy until you push it, so you have to be very careful. You have to go easy with it even if it starts to feel right. Just because it might feel right to you, [that] doesn't mean it is. You'll only overdo it and lose more time." . . . Kick returner Rock Cartwright, safety Troy Vincent and cornerback Shawn Springs also did not practice.

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