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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gray will remain with Redskins

Thought to be the leading candidate for the vacant head coaching job at the University of Memphis, Jerry Gray instead seems destined to finish out the season as a Washington Redskins assistant coach.

The Commercial-Appeal reported Saturday that the Tigers will hire LSU assistant Larry Porter to replace Tommy West.

ESPN's Joe Schad reported that Gray himself said he will not be getting the job.

"One day it will be the right situation," Gray said, according to Schad's report.

Gray, who is in his fourth season as Washington's secondary coach, has close ties to Fred Smith, a Redskins minority owner, FedEx chief executive and prominent Tigers booster. Gray interviewed for the Memphis job Tuesday.

Reports quickly emerged that he was a top candidate, which sparked a backlash from many close to the Memphis program. Some, including ESPN's Schad, reported that Gray-to-Memphis was already a done deal.

But Porter, a former Memphis player and an accomplished recruiter with stronger ties to the college game, had many supporters and the tide seemed to shift over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Gray danced around talk about the Memphis opening earlier this week with reporters at Redskins Park, trying his best to remain focused on the Redskins' next opponent.

"It's good, in my case, because the distractions are out there," Gray said Wednesday. "We got to really focus in on the Philadelphia Eagles. It is real hard. And to me, with a lot of stuff going on, I think it makes you a better coach."

Injury update

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth sat out the Redskins' 7-6 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday because of an ankle injury, and he is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Eagles.

On Friday, Coach Jim Zorn said Haynesworth's status would be a game-time decision, just as it was a week ago. At this point, however, what's left to play for?

"A lot," Haynesworth said. "Of course, it can get better. It ain't too late. We're still trying to find an identity. You know? You look at the last 10 quarters the offense. . . . You see guys are playing hard and fighting, which is what you want to see."

-- Jason Reid


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