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Veteran Thomas Doesn't Let Rookie's Mistake Slide

By Jason La Canfora and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 6, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, Oct.5 -- Right guard Randy Thomas made his feelings clear to rookie wideout Devin Thomas late in the third quarter of the Washington Redskins' 23-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Leading 16-14, the Redskins needed four yards on third down. Quarterback Jason Campbell completed a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Santana Moss, but Thomas was called for pass interference, and the penalty overturned the first down. Backed up 10 yards, Washington ran another play, failed to gain the first down and punted.

On the sideline, the Thomas-Thomas conversation was very one-sided.

"I was out there, just trying to play hard, and I got too aggressive," said Devin Thomas, the Redskins' top draft pick. "I tried to run block before I was supposed to, and Randy just let me know about it.

"He's a veteran guy, he's passionate, and he just let me know how important it was that we converted that. I caused it to get called back, he expressed that, and I understand that."

Randy Thomas just wanted the rookie to know that "in situations like that, you have to be smart," he said. "Of course, I've made mistakes, it's on film. But you've just go to be smart.

"Sometimes, you get in the tempo of the game, and you're just fired up. I probably shouldn't have did it, but I'm getting old for this game. I need to win games."

Moss Gathers No Catches

Moss entered the game second in the NFL in receiving yards, coming off a huge performance against Dallas. He finished without a catch on Sunday.

Moss received a healthy dose of attention from Philadelphia safeties in the game, with the Eagles committed to not letting the Redskins beat them with the deep ball. That helped open up the underneath patterns for tight end Chris Cooley (eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown), including on Washington's first touchdown of the game.

Unlike Dallas wide receiver Terrell Owens, who grumbled about his role in a loss to Washington in Week 4, Moss was all smiles after the game.

"I couldn't care less about none of that," Moss said. "My whole goal is to do what I can to help this team win. Therefore, that's what I've done."

Tradition Continues

A week after Coach Jim Zorn's postgame "hip, hip, hooray!" chant awakened echoes of George Allen and attracted national attention, he left the victorious huddle at the end of the game, allowing his players to select a celebration themselves. Antwaan Randle El went to the middle of the huddle to perform the task, and then paused, unsure what to say.

"I was like, 'Man, we've got to come up with something to do,' " the wide receiver said a few minutes later. "And then Cooley was like, 'Man, just go ahead and do the 'hip, hip, hooray.' "

Which, bizarrely, Randle El did.

"I think it's good to have a tradition," Cooley said. "Like, it'd be cool if we had a victory song or something fun that we all like."

Zorn laughed when asked about the cheer, saying he had nothing to do with this week's version, although he pointed out that there was at least one "hip, hip, hooray" sign in the stands.

Staff writer Dan Steinberg contributed to this report.

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