Jansen Could Be Back in Starting Lineup
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Jon Jansen could start at right tackle Sunday against Philadelphia, Coach Jim Zorn said, after Stephon Heyer aggravated his shoulder injury during a field goal attempt against Dallas.
Heyer was activated but did not participate on offense in Sunday's 26-24 victory, while Jansen had a strong showing after struggling in pass protection during the preseason.
The Redskins' ability to run to the right side was helped by Jansen's aggressive run blocking, and Zorn said he also was impressed with the veteran's steadiness against Dallas's vaunted pass rush. Heyer will be reevaluated later in the week, Zorn said, with the decision on who will start against Philadelphia perhaps coming on game day.
"He had a very strong outing," Zorn said of Jansen. "It will be a very tough decision."
Jansen, the longest-serving Redskin, received kudos from his teammates as well. "I think he played outstanding," quarterback Jason Campbell said.
The Redskins came close to committing their first turnover of the season Sunday when Campbell and Ladell Betts botched the exchange on a draw play. Campbell joked the call was a quarterback draw -- he ended up grabbing the ball out of midair after Betts took off too soon.
"He saw the hole open up so wide that he was ready to go," Campbell said. "And I said, 'Ladell, you can't leave the ball.' And once we couldn't exchange the ball, one thing I tried to do is follow him to the hole. By the time I got to the hole, the hole had shut down."
It resulted in a busted play, and a six-yard gain on second and 16 from the Dallas 16, but could have been much worse.
Washington has not turned the ball over all season on offense. Campbell fumbled 13 times last season, losing eight, in 13 starts. Washington is tied for the NFL lead with a plus-6 turnover margin.
"We focus on it every day in practice," Campbell said. "We really emphasize. Our defense [does] a good job of trying to knock the ball out of our hands when we are practicing to make us aware of it."
The Redskins' only turnover was a fumbled punt return by Antwaan Randle El. The Giants and Dolphins are the only other teams in the league with one giveaway; Miami and New York have played three games, however. They had byes last week.
Get to Work
Zorn essentially gave the Redskins yesterday off. Middle linebacker London Fletcher, however, put out the word he expected his defensive teammates to be at Redskins Park to review film and sort out some mistakes. Fletcher expressed his expectation that players come in on their own to watch the game tapes, and they obliged.
"I just wanted to make sure defensively, we got that film watched," Fletcher said. "In wins you can overlook a lot of mistakes that were made that could cost you down the road, and we had our fair share of mistakes as good as we played. We need to end the halves better and also start the third quarter. Those are areas we're struggling with."
Rookie Chris Horton, who had another big interception but also blew coverage on the touchdown pass to Jason Witten, was among those who heeded Fletcher's call. Horton was yanked from the base package after that touchdown, with Reed Doughty regaining his spot. Horton was called upon in a three-safety set, and he made the interception by covering Witten on the inside, then peeling outside into his zone responsibilities to jump an outside route to Miles Austin.
"You want to see those three to four plays in which you could have made the play," Horton said.
Jason Taylor, who underwent emergency surgery to relieve compartment syndrome in his calf last week, was scheduled to have the stitches removed yesterday. Zorn said Taylor is walking around but has no firm timetable on a return. "We truly don't know," Zorn said. . . .
Cornerback Shawn Springs, who left the game with a calf strain, remained in Texas to be with his family. Springs's father, Ron, is in a coma in a Dallas area hospital with little medical chance of a recovery. Shawn Springs will be back for practice tomorrow and reassessed then. . . . Guard Randy Thomas suffered a turf toe. "We don't know the extent," Zorn said. . . .
Cornerback Fred Smoot entered the game with a hip problem and was dazed after being struck in the head. Smoot said he experienced headaches Sunday night but felt much better when he woke up. His hip is less of a concern now as well, Smoot said. "Hopefully, this week I can actually practice every day," Smoot said. . . . Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly is still recovering from an ankle injury and hopes to try to practice fully Saturday. He stayed in the Washington area over the weekend to continue his recovery -- and came down with a bug.