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Gibbs Has Not Made Decision On Kicker

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 2, 2006

Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs ended practice yesterday without resolving the team's kicking situation, days after signing Shaun Suisham to compete with incumbent place kicker Nick Novak.

Novak has struggled with his field goal accuracy and short kickoffs, prompting Gibbs to consider alternatives. Since signing with the Redskins on Oct. 11, Novak has made 5 of 10 field goals.

When the Redskins signed Suisham on Tuesday, Gibbs said he was unsure of his plan. His options were to let the two kickers compete during the week and cut one, or keep two kickers and use one for kickoffs and the other for field goals. Gibbs said it was an unorthodox approach for him, but not out of the realm of possibility.

He attributed the high winds yesterday as one reason he did not make a decision.

Novak went 1 for 2 in last Sunday's 17-13 win over the Carolina Panthers. Novak has impressed Gibbs by making two game-winning field goals during his short Redskins career -- one this year against Dallas and another last season against Seattle -- but has annoyed him with short kickoffs.

Suisham had been out of football for three weeks before signing with Washington.

"I don't feel any anxiety or anything, because it's not my decision," Suisham said. "It's out of my hands. I feel like I kicked well." Novak had no comment.

Golston Still Improving

Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said he was impressed with rookie defensive tackle Kedric Golston, who has replaced Joe Salave'a as a starter.

Williams cited Golston's "comfort level of knowing how we want him to play and then getting used to the speed of the game. That only comes with the experience of being on the field and playing in live competition. He is a powerful man.

"It has been nice to see him push himself through most walls that rookies hit," Williams added. "They hit that wall usually in late October and early November. He has been able to push right through there because he is still improving."

Khary Campbell Is Out

Reserve linebacker and special teams captain Khary Campbell will miss tomorrow's game against Atlanta with a strained right hamstring.

"It's one of those things where you can feel it when you walk," he said. "If you can feel it then, you know what it's going to be full speed. I just figure we'll get a win, and then get healthy for the homestretch."

Safety Troy Vincent was listed as questionable on yesterday's injury report with a hamstring injury.

"If I can't do what I do at a Saturday walk-through, there's no reason to be a game-time decision. I want to avoid that," Vincent said. "If not, we need to get somebody else ready to play, especially mentally. It's better for the team and for the individual if he knows ahead of time he needs to get himself in the mind-set to play."

Vincent injured his hamstring in the Redskins' 20-17 loss at Tampa on Nov. 19. He did not play in last Sunday's 17-13 win over the Panthers.

"I can do everything I need to do, but I haven't done it at full speed," Vincent said. "The thing about a hamstring is that when you let it go at full speed, it either stays, or it goes."

Wide receiver David Patten, who has been inactive for seven games with hamstring and quadriceps injuries, was listed as probable for tomorrow's game. Patten said he did not test the hamstring last week. Right tackle Jon Jansen, fullback Mike Sellers, cornerbacks Kenny Wright and Shawn Springs were all listed as probable.

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