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A sign of positive change

Jason Campbell, after completing passes to 10 different receivers, said, "Today we got to see what we can do, what we can be."
Jason Campbell, after completing passes to 10 different receivers, said, "Today we got to see what we can do, what we can be." (John Mcdonnell/the Washington Post)
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By Mike Wise
Monday, November 16, 2009

"We can do this," Phillip Daniels said.

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Do what?

"We did it before."

Really now, we're going there after the first victory in five games for Washington's 3-6 football team?

Running the table, he meant. From miserable to Miami in February, just like that? The insane leap to reeling off a string of wins to make the playoffs, like 2007, already has been made?

"Yeah," Daniels actually said on a Sunday afternoon that surprisingly had been parlayed into Victory Monday.

"We'll see what next week brings," he added, never actually uttering the word "playoffs." "And we know there are no guarantees it carries over. But if we continue what happened today, as a player you have to think that way. You gotta have that attitude."

He wasn't alone in a locker room suddenly rejuvenated, where Ethan Albright, the 15th-year veteran long snapper, remembered 2001.

"I was here when we were 0-5 with Marty," Albright said, referring to Schottenheimer's once woeful team that finished 8-8. "I seen how things can go the other way in a hurry, how one big play becomes another big play, how one win becomes another win, until you just keep goin' "

If you're paying Daniels's and Albright's salary, surely that logic beats, "Today was nice and everything, but I don't think we've got a realistic chance of being any better than 5-11."

Especially when Dallas Week in Washington suddenly matters, when the Redskins prepare in earnest for the Cowboys, who lost to Green Bay, with renewed purpose, on the day Jason Campbell hit 10 different receivers, the running game worked and, stunner of stunners, the offense actually bailed out the defense.

"It is more than a victory in some ways," Campbell said. "Today we got to see what we can do, what we can be."


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