By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Washington Redskins safety Chris Horton is beginning to make a bit of a name for himself around the league with his big plays, and he already has a few friends in the media. Horton struck up a strong relationship with former Redskins and Dallas Cowboys safety James Washington during his college days at UCLA.
Horton credits Washington with helping him focus on football, developing as a person and a player. Horton spent five years at UCLA -- where Washington played safety -- and they became close. A Super Bowl winner with Dallas, Washington has mentioned Horton a few times on his Fox Sports Radio show and is a big supporter of the seventh-round pick.
"I talk to James often," Horton said. "He's been a guy when I first got to UCLA, he kind of took me under his wing. . . . He's a good guy to get some good advice from.
"We talk abut life, football, everything. It's more than just football between us two. Over my five years at UCLA we built a special bond between us that took us outside of football. He'll call me and definitely let me know if I'm stinking it up. He's one of those guys who lets you know exactly how he feels. I hear from him every once in a while, and I know he's there for me anytime I have something I need to ask him."
Washington was a fifth-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in 1988 and was with Dallas from 1990 to '94, then spent 1995, his last year in the league, with the Redskins.Griffin Misses Practice
Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin missed practice and probably will miss more this week with his shoulder injury, and he may not be able to play Sunday against St. Louis. Anthony Montgomery, who has been rotated with Griffin in games, said he expects to get more reps with the starters.
"I'll probably get a lot more reps in Griff's spot in practice," Montgomery said. "Hopefully, he'll be back for the game, and he's a big part of our defense. We have a good rotation going, and I hope he can go."
The Rams are likely to use running back Steven Jackson extensively Sunday, so defensive line play will be vital.
Defensive end Jason Taylor did not practice, and the Redskins are taking every precaution with his calf injury. With the team performing well in his absence, there is no reason to rush his comeback.
Coach Jim Zorn said if Taylor is able to practice today and tomorrow, then he would definitely face the Rams, with his two-week absence not a concern.More Injury News
Cornerback Shawn Springs did not practice but said he expects to be on the field today and to play Sunday.
Safety Reed Doughty (back) and tackle Stephon Heyer (shoulder) also missed practice, and guard Pete Kendall was given a day of rest but will play Sunday.
"He's one of those old warriors," Zorn said of Kendall. "He'll be fine. We just gave him a rest."
Zorn does not have specific timetables yet on the others.Portis Honored
Tailback Clinton Portis, who ran for 145 yards Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles and went over 120 yards for the second straight week on the road against a division opponent, has been named NFC offensive player of the week.