By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Washington Redskins signed wide receiver Anthony Mix, a college teammate of quarterback Jason Campbell at Auburn, off the New York Giants' practice squad yesterday and released reserve guard Rick DeMulling. At 6 feet 5 and 235 pounds, Mix gives the team a strapping receiver, and he is one of seven wideouts on the roster.
Campbell pushed for the Redskins to consider his friend, and Mix's arrival gives Campbell a receiver as tall as he is. Mix could replace injured wide receiver James Thrash in some of the jumbo packages that Coach Joe Gibbs loves -- such formations often utilize just one wide receiver primarily for run-blocking purposes -- and he could be an intriguing option in the red zone. Mix is raw -- he was undrafted in 2006 and signed with the Giants as a free agent -- but he did play in four games for New York, catching three balls for 39 yards.
Washington has been signing wide receivers throughout the season, looking for a true No. 3 to complement starters Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El, both of whom have been hurting much of the season. Veterans Reche Caldwell and Keenan McCardell were signed as free agents in the opening weeks; Caldwell has been used sparingly and McCardell has played well, but he is nearing the end of his career. With injured wide receiver Brandon Lloyd a strong candidate to depart this offseason, the Redskins continue looking for both short- and long-term options at the position.
DeMulling was signed after a series of injuries struck the offensive line in the opening weeks, but he rarely has been on the field and has been inactive for most games. The Redskins are optimistic that starting right guard Randy Thomas could be back in three weeks or so from a torn triceps suffered in Week 2, which would provide a big boost to the offense.Heyer Steps In, Steps Up
Rookie tackle Stephon Heyer had a strong but unheralded performance Sunday at Dallas, when he was rushed into the game after starting right tackle Todd Wade hurt his knee. Heyer, an undrafted free agent out of Maryland, played essentially the entire second half against a physical and aggressive defense and did fine work against Greg Ellis, Dallas's pass-rushing linebacker.
"He did a real good job," Gibbs said. "That's a tough situation to get thrown in, a young guy getting a chance."
Heyer filled in at right tackle in Week 1 when starter Jon Jansen went down and had his best performance to date against the Cowboys, getting blocking assistance from backs and tight ends on most plays but also fending well for himself at times in one-on-one matchups. The Redskins are cautiously optimistic that Wade, who has a mild knee sprain, will play Sunday, but if he cannot, Heyer would get his first NFL start, Gibbs said.Comings and Goings
Wide receiver Burl Toler was released from the practice squad and tackle Calvin Armstrong was signed. Armstrong was with the Redskins in the preseason and previously had been on the practice squad. . . . Sunday will mark the fifth time in four seasons that Gibbs has faced Tampa Bay since ending his retirement, and the Redskins' fourth trip to Tampa since 2005. "I'd like to talk to our AD [athletic director] about that one," Gibbs joked. "I'd like to get them in a home-and-home."