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After Rout, Trying To Hash Things Out

By Les Carpenter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007

The first few days after the blowout were solemn ones for the Redskins. Losing 52-7 has a way of doing that to a team. So there were a few more meetings than usual, more discussions between players and coaches and, as quarterback Jason Campbell said, "a recommitment."

It started Monday with the usual team address Coach Joe Gibbs makes in the auditorium at Redskins Park, when the coach reminded the players that the game was just one of 16 in a long season and that opportunity still lingered. On Tuesday and yesterday, players and coaches spent more time in groups talking about their goals and where things may have gone wrong.

"It's not a big deal, it happens three to four times a year," one veteran, who requested anonymity, said yesterday. "It wasn't any kind of turning-point situation."

Last November, in the midst of a season falling apart, Gibbs called a team meeting in which he promised a return to "Redskins football." After that, the wide-open offense of the earlier part of the season was pared down to a more conservative running attack and seemed to change the culture of the team for the final few weeks of the year. This week's talks, the players said, were nothing like that.

"A lot of times it's just us finishing plays or finishing out drives," Campbell said. "What can we do mentally to stop doing those types of things? Whether it's jumping offsides, whether it's overthrowing a pass or whether it's dropping a pass or fumbling the football. Whatever it is we have to correct all those things and put it behind us.

"It's time for us to start playing like an NFL offense."

In 2005, the Redskins had a similar series of meetings after a 36-0 loss to the Giants. They won the next week and then lost the next three.

"We can't let one game define our season," defensive end Phillip Daniels said.

Coles Expected to Play

Former Redskins wide receiver Laveranues Coles, back with the Jets, suffered a concussion in New York's loss to Buffalo last Sunday. Still, Jets Coach Eric Mangini said he expects Coles to play Sunday even though Coles did not practice Wednesday.

"With a guy like Laveranues, who is so tough, you have to be careful and make sure you go through the same process that you would go through with every other player," Mangini said. "We will go through the process and look at him throughout the course of the week and evaluate him when we get a lot closer to the game."

Injury Update

Redskins running back Rock Cartwright, who missed last weekend's game with an injured quadriceps, practiced fully and is expected to play against the Jets. Cornerback Fred Smoot, who did not dress against New England because of a lingering hamstring injury, also took part in the full practice and should play Sunday. Tight end Todd Yoder, who has a sprained ankle, missed part of practice. . . .

Cartwright handed out T-shirts with the message, "When you are winning fight like you are losing." It was a reminder, he said, that the team needs to play with the same hunger as one with a losing record.

Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.

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