By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Give the save to Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid.
Amid the confusion on the sideline in the final 14 seconds of the first half Monday night, with the Washington Redskins trailing 6-3 and facing second and goal on the Philadelphia 6-yard line, Coach Joe Gibbs called for the field goal team.
Or did he?
Players milled about while seeking direction, unsure what had been decided. While Gibbs and special teams coach Danny Smith tried to get it together, Reid inexplicably called a timeout that bailed out the Redskins.
Given time to think, Gibbs decided to go for a touchdown. After consecutive false starts by backup guard Jason Fabini backed up the Redskins to the 16-yard line, quarterback Jason Campbell completed a momentum-changing touchdown pass to tight end Chris Cooley.
The Redskins took a 10-6 halftime lead, the Eagles never recovered and Gibbs could smile about it all yesterday.
"There was a lot going on, obviously," Gibbs said. "No timeouts left at that point, it's 14 seconds to go, and in the confusion on the sideline . . . of course, I've got to take responsibility for that. Some guys started out for the field, some guys started off, and you could see the clock ticking.
"I didn't want to get into another situation where we're going to take a delay of game, so I kind of made up my mind, 'Okay, we're going to kick a field goal.' Then, of course, they called a timeout. I had a chance to rethink it and we decided we'd take one shot."Smaller Role, Big Impact
Starting defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin was out of the lineup more than expected, prompting some of his teammates to wonder whether the seven-year veteran injured his hamstring. Although Griffin takes plays off in a rotation, his role wasn't as significant as expected.
Bubba Tyer, the Redskins' director of sports medicine, said Griffin only was tired from chasing Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb.
"He certainly played a huge role for us the last two weeks," Gibbs said of Griffin.Daniels Could Be Back
Defensive end Phillip Daniels said he was able to push off on his sore left foot and plans to practice today. But the veteran, who was inactive Monday, doubted he would participate in full drills immediately. Daniels, now in his 12th season, hopes to play Sunday against the New York Giants at FedEx Field. . . . With his hamstring feeling better before the game, cornerback Fred Smoot thought he could have played against the Eagles, but coaches decided to put him on the inactive list, too. "I'm good now," said Smoot, who also plans to practice today. . . . Cornerback Shawn Springs and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El missed some time with cramps but are expected to be fine.