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The Redskins

Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 8, 2007 1:00 PM

Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about the Redskins.

The transcript follows.

Read Jason's blog, Redskins Insider.

Full coverage: Washington Redskins

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Jason La Canfora: Hello all, another dramatic weekend of football to rehash, and, I guess we might as well go ahead and plan for the Philly game to go down the wire as well. They almost all do up here, with this team in particular.

is with me, and I'm ready to go.

Have at me ...

Dead Kennedys - Forward To Death

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Crewe, Va.: Jason,

I love your work on the Redskins. Any chance the Redskins will go 7-9 instead of 9-7?

Jason La Canfora: Thanks so much.

Always a chance, sure. I figured them 8-8 at the start of the season, and going 2-5 would be a collapse in the second half considering they have 4 homes games left.

On the other hand, I don't see many/any of these games as being a definite W. Buffalo is playing much better, Minn is as good running the ball and stopping the run as anyone in football, the 4 division games will be tough. Winning at Tampa is always tough.

Chicago look pretty bad right now, but who knows.

Should be interesting

De La Soul - Change in Speak

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Los Angeles: With all the Redskins players that have hamstring pulls, has Joe Gibbs thought about maybe incorporating yoga to really stretch out those muscles.

Jason La Canfora: They do a lot of stretching stuff with those huge rubber balls - is that a yoga thing? maybe Pilates?

Ray Brown was a huge Pilates guy and he played like 25 years in the trenches as an O Lineman, so who knows.

they have brought in specialists and changes the stretching and warm up routines in their 6-part initiative to eradicate all the muscle pulls but not sure how that will work out for them. problem is guys like Moss, Washington, Smoot are already pretty far along with their strains and it's hard to overcome that midseason.

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Return of Randy Thomas: Jason,

Is there a time-table for Randy Thomas's return? The running attack misses him badly.

Do you think number 77 will suit up for the Dec. 16 clash with the Giants?

Jason La Canfora: Randy is the man. Would be huge for them to get him back anything close to 100 percent.

The 16th would be about right is Randy is able to follow the timetable he wants ... But it will be a weekly issue seeing how much he can rebuild that triceps.

Fishbone - Drunk Skitzo

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Redskins Bar in NYC: Not sure if this was ever answered, but I think I recall recently that someone asked if you knew of a 'Skins bar to watch in Manhattan.

Red Sky Bar

47 E. 29th Street (btween Park and Madison)

$2 beers and 25 cent wings during Gameday.

Pretty cool place that decks itself out with Burgundy and Gold as well as morons like myself in 'Skins jerseys.

Jason La Canfora: There you have it folks.

A very necessary public service announcement.

May I add that if ever in NYC on a Sunday morning, say, before you go watch the Skins, hit Nevada Smith's for an early morning English soccer match.

Even if you hate soccer, the environment in there for a game is wild, usually lots of Brits there and entire supporter sections for some bigger clubs.

It's the next best thing to sitting in the terrace.

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Fairfax, Va.: Campbell doesn't seem to be very accurate with his long bombs. Out of the few that he's thrown, a majority have been incomplete, even though the WR has been open at times. A perfect pass last Sunday would have resulted in a Moss TD.

He hasn't forced me to forget the mad bomber Mark Rypien yet.

Jason La Canfora: Dude, he's played 15 games. Go look at John Elway after 15 games - he looked like Babe Laufenberg at that point in hsi career.

He's not supposed to make you forget a SB winning QB just yet.

He's missed two deep posts to Santana and that one to Lloyd in Green Bay. He has a long way to go, but he is also ahead of the curve in many aspects.

This is a 2-3 year process and at best he's at the midpoint.

Perspective people.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Why is it said that a 10-6 or even a 9-7 record could get a wild card playoff berth in the NFC? The Giants and the Lions have the Wild Cards right now at 6-2. Both would have to go 3-5 to fall to 9-7 and that isn't like to happened. The Redskins could go 10-6 and still not the make the playoffs.

The team really needs a killer instinct and a big wide receiver. It may be too late for either already.

Jason La Canfora: They definitely could be on the outside with 10 wins, especially with two teams in their division already looking good.

The Tampa Bay game is vital. It's a playoff game. That's a huge tiebreaker.

Also, if the Lions slip remember the Skins have a tiebreaker on them already.

I think a few teams will fall off in the second half .. but I also think the Saints are coming on. Very interesting horse race.

MC5 - High School

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Reisterstown, Md.: Do you see the Redskins keeping this team in tact if they fall short of the playoffs? Springs, Portis , Lloyd, etc.

Jason La Canfora: No team stays in tact anymore no matter what, especially this one with the way they structure contracts and back load them. It's time to pay the piper on a lot of the class of 2004 and no way they all come back. Guys like Springs, Marcus, Portis, Griffin all know this. they're savvy guys and there will be another round of trying to restructure 10 guys or so again this offseason, same as always.

Lloyd and Brunell are likely gone no matter what, though, and 20 - 25 percent of the team generally changes every year.

NOFX - The Death Of John Smith

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Washington, DC: What's the latest on Marcus Washington, Santana Moss, and Fred Smoot? Will they be able to play thus Sunday? Thanks.

Jason La Canfora: The way they talk about Moss, he's going to play no matter what. And they need Smoot; problem is I am not sure Smoot can handle 60 snaps at this point given the way that hamstring has been barking. If he starts not sure he will be able to finish the game. That situations not getting better any time soon.

Marcus could be a game time decision again.

Still early in the week; we should know more in 24 hours.

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Brunswick, Md.: Jason, if you listen to local sports talk radio, you would think the Redskins were 2-6 based on the level of angst heard by the hosts and callers.

But I'm encouraged since Portis and the offensive line seems to both be coming around at the same time. The quarterback is decent and the defense is excellent. Plus, Joe Gibbs historically has owned December (i.e., 2005).

What is your take? How do you see the Redskins doing in the second half?

Jason La Canfora: My take?

Read more.

Turn off the radio and turn on the iPod.

Doc Walker's show is tight though. I enjoy listening to it on the way to The Park. funny stuff and he comes correct.

The rest of it, well, take it for what it's worth.

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Brooklyn, N.Y.: Jason

Please tell me the Redskins will draft a big receiver with their first pick in the draft?

Jason La Canfora: No such promise my man.

They have a ton of assets sunk in WR already.

Going to need a DE, OL, CB as well.

Way too early to see how the draft shapes up but I do think they need to use a first-day pick on a WR soon.

JFA - Skateboard

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Los Angeles: Jason, I think you do a great job, keep it up. I do have an issue with all of the praise that is heaped on Jason Campbell. To my untrained eye, I have never been impressed with him particularly his deep throws which are supposed to be his forte. After watching the Jets game, I was immediately impressed with their QB and it was his second start. I just see another Patrick Ramsey scenario with the Redskins personnel people being enamored with a strong inaccurate arm. Until we get a real star QB, this team will always be middle of the pack. Just my 2 cents.

Jason La Canfora: Wow, Ramsey?

The kid wins Sunday and he is 8-8.

He hit what, 6 or 8 passes over 30 yards in the first 4 weeks. Moss and Randle El both get hurt, the coaching staff is intent on being in the top 5 in the NFL in rushing attempts. JC has things to work on, but he's also not the master of his domain.

He attempted fewer passes thru 7 games this season than he did in 7 last year. That's not exactly letting him air it out.

It all comes with reps.

I think he will be a very good QB for a long time. Not saying he will be a Brady or BBM, but a good anchor for the franchise for a long time.

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'Nother Skins Bar in NYC: Dorrian's on the Upper East Side (2nd Ave and 84th). All Skins fans and they play Hail to the Redskins after scores. Also happens to be famous as the place where Robert Chambers spent the evening he became the Preppie Murderer.

Jason La Canfora: Wow. That's some backstory

REM - Drive

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Will from Rockville: Would the Redskins be 5-3 if Mark Brunell was the starting quarterback?

Jason La Canfora: I don't think so.

There was a plenty big sample size on the Brunell era. I like Mark a ton but he'd be the first to admit the consensus is he is not a starting QB anymore.

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Blogoriffic: Still taking Campbell over Romo?

Jason La Canfora: Funny, was thinking about that the other day.

But I'll stick with it. What the hell.

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Baltimore: Jason,

I rack my brain during the week trying to figure out what could be wrong with the Redskins offense ( I know, I need to get a life!) Doc Walker mentioned something Monday morning on his radio show that makes sense: he wanted to know "what the heck to do these guys do in practice all week?" Exactly! What DO they do in practice? How can they not find a way to get someone open and make a meaningful play. I watch garbage teams execute in the passing game week in and week out. Are these teams more talented, better coached, better prepared? At this point you can't convince me that coaching isn't the big problem here. Your thoughts?

Jason La Canfora: I can't convince you my man. I think game plan, approach, game day management, personnel decisions all have a huge hand in all of this.

To suggest coaching and management have nothing to do with a perpetually bad offense is folly.

REM - West Of The Field (weird, 2 straight REM on shuffle)

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Kensington, Md.: Hey Jason, why don't the Redskins try throwing it more down field or taking more shots in the middle for more than 5 yards? You see the Patriots using Wes Welker in the slot and Moss as a deep threat and it seems to be working well.

Jason La Canfora: I think the Skins lack any sort of slot presence along the line of Welker.

Moss has the closest skill set, but the Skins wont have their No 1 WR getting killed by LBs for 8-9 yard gains like that kid does. He takes a beat and makes tough yards that really make that offense go.

Skins need a legit No. 3 target and have for a while now.

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Richmond, VA: Jason - Not sure which I enjoy more, your work covering the Skins (I just love news that IS filtered) or these chats to see what's on your iPod.

My question is, if Lloyd isn't in the doghouse, then why do we have Caldwell and McCardell? How far in the doghouse, in your filtered view, is Receiver, The and since McCardell showed he has a little something more in the tank, can we expect to see him against the Beagles?

Jason La Canfora: Hey boss, thanks.

I am still stunned McCardell did not see the field more last week.

Receiver, The, could be inactive again. I wouldn't be surprised. They could use someone with speed on the outside with Moss and ARE slowed, but he's been such a bust, I could also see him getting TOed the rest of the way.

Johnny Thunders - Alone In a Crowd

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Anonymous: Just wanted to let everyone know I wore a Darrell Green jersey into the Meadowlands last Sunday. We sang Hail To The Redskins.

Jason La Canfora: Godspeed my friend.

What about to the Linc?

Those people can be animals up there.

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Greer in Georgia: JLC,

Have you checked out what David Patten is doing in New Orleans? His statistical performance is better than Moss and is almost identical to A.R.E. Why did he ride the bench when he was here? Secondly, what does this say about the coaching and front office staffs and their ginormous ineptitude regarding WR Laughable Lloyd?

Patten has 24 catches, 422 yards, 17.6 average, 1TD, 7 catches for 20+, 2 for 40+. Over the hill?

Oh, and Redskin fans, we have to revolt about the white jerseys. Seriously, white at home and white on the road? Who are they, Charlie's Angels?

Jason La Canfora: I bet Bram Weinstein before the season that Patten would catch a TD before Receiver, The.

Paydirt baby. Paydirt.

Patten could be of use in the slot and over the middle in a true spread offense, obviously. The Skins don't do that nearly as much as the Saints and he was also hurt pretty much the entire time he was here.

Clearly he has something left, though.

Black Flag - Annihilate

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Art Monk: Saw your insider blog where 3 rings locks down HOF credentials for Schilling. You have some inside info there?

Just wondering...

Jason La Canfora: I'm saying that when he wins his 3rd with the Sox in 2008 - giving him 4 for his career - he's in.

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Chantilly, Va,: Thanks for your work covering the Skins, Jasno.

I've been a big believer in Campbell from day one. He appears to have all the necessary tools: huge arm, big kid, mobile, smart, humble. All young QBs not named Marino need time, but, I've noticed something that's been bothering me lately and I'm wondering if you agree: the kid just doesn't seem particularly accurate. It seems like guys are always reaching back, or jumping to snag errant throws. Reading the field and making good decisions can come with time and experience, but can accuracy? Is it just a matter of Soupy relaxing more and being more sure of his reads?

Jason La Canfora: He needs to improve on his accuracy all around, definitely. He wants to be around 62-63 percent all the time.

But he also improved from like 53 to 59 percent in his 7 games this year compared to last year. He's getting there.

Also been pressured a whole lot more this season behind that reshaped O line, and also had a bunch more drops this year than last year. So you've got to figure that in there, too.

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Livingston, N.J.: Could you give us your assessment of the decision to bring Fred Smoot back? I know he's had some injuries so far, but it seems like a good pick-up for the 'Skins this year. Do you think there are any parallels with Jeremiah Trotter of the Eagles -- he plays well for the Eagles, gets picked up as a free agent by the 'Skins, doesn't do well with the Skins, and perform well again for the Eagles when they pick up as a free agent for a second stint.

Jason La Canfora: Well, Trotter played at a Pro Bowl level there and helped get them to the Super Bowl, so I'm not ready to go near that comparison just yet.

Fred is definitely an upgrade over guys like Rumph and Wright from last year, but we'll see how he fares as a starter for a 2-3 year period, because with the contract they gave him they were preparing for Springs to be gone.

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Weymouth, Mass.: Every time Keenan McCardell has come into the game he makes catches. There have been plenty of dropped passes. With a banged up receiving corps, why are they not using him more in the passing game. I will be honest, I had my doubts when they signed him. He produces, so why is he not being played?

Jason La Canfora: It boggled my mind.

Ask about it a lot and always hear the same old stuff - yeah, we have to get him more involved, he's made some plays for us ...

then he's on the bench behind Thrash. He's practicing hard and is willing to go over the middle to make plays. Worked well with JC in those two games where they actually played him.

One of many mysteries around here

Rocket From The Crypt - Misbeaten

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Re: Lloyd: I don't have the stats in front of me, and I'll admit he's been a bust relative to his contract, but I am just a bit curious-- what does his catches-to-thrown to ratio look like? As far as I can remember, he barely ever even gets the ball near him, so maybe that makes it harder to make a play.

Not defending him, so please don't unleash the anti-Lloyd fury, but this has always bothered me. (This may also explain why no WRs have TDs this season).

Jason La Canfora: He had a potential TD thrown to him on Jason's first NFL pass at TB last year.

He blew a bomb to him at New Orleans last year.

He gave up on a possible TD pass to him in Week 1 vs. Miami.

He didn't get to the bomb in Green Bay (slightly overthrown but some $10 million WRs make that catch).

He's had his chances.

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Charleston, S.C.: JLC,

I hope all of the running after JC throws INTs (that were just bad luck not a terrible decision on his part) ends soon. That stat you gave this morning was pretty disturbing, 37 rushes and 9 passes after the 2 INTs, especially in the AZ game where we couldn't get anything going. So my question is this, as much as everyone says they like to use the run to set up the pass, will the do it consistently at some point this year? With a safety out and one that's been banged up all year I really hope they take some shots. Remember how wide open Moss was late in that MNF game earlier in Philly?

Jason La Canfora: I think they have to go play action a lot and take some shots.

Dawkins is beat up like you say and Condidine is on IR.

The Eagles have been great stopping the run (3.6 per carry against them).

Spread them some and try to make it happen.

I'm not saying 40 passes or anything like that, but a concerted effort to get it down field, even if it's 25 yard stuff in a seam behind the LBs in Cover-2. Something.

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Richmond, Va.: Earlier in the week you talked about the props due to the Redskins defense after last week's victory over the Jets. In this chat, and numerous times over the season, you've praised JC's ability and urged the doubter to be patient with the young quarterback. Is there no limit to you pro-Redskin bias?

Jason La Canfora: Wow. That's rich.

Thanks so much for posting this, because most weeks I spend half of this hour answering questions about what a Skins hater I am.

Can you post your question/statement on a billboard off of I-95 near Arena Drive or something? I need a good PR person. You've got the job if you want it.

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Philadelphia: JASON

I'm surprised JC does not roll out more to give him more time. When he was rolling right he threw touchdowns to Cooley and Sellers. Now he is in the drop back mode until 3rd down?. Did anyone ask Gibbs if they practiced more this week on the red zone woes?.

Jason La Canfora: He's had big problems rolling left, but I agree, drifting right serves him well. It was a go-to in the red zone early in the year.

Basehead - Ode To My Favorite Beer

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Southern MD: JLC: Do you love Cooley like I love Cooley? Every week he does something great and my brother and I go wild! Gotta love #47!

Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry (on my shuffle)

Jason La Canfora: Judging by that tune on your iPod and the exclamation points, I am going to guess that, no, I don't love Cooley the way you love Cooley, 'cuz I'm thinking you may be of the opposite sex, and perhaps a bit younger than I.

So, I guess my answer is no. Sorry to be a bummer. I do share a great love of 80s headbanger music with Chris and admire the way he plays, if that counts for anything. he appreciates a good night out, and god knows I do, not that I get out anymore.

JFA - Teen Idol

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Logan Circle: Thanks for the tip on Red Sky.

Now a comment for Jason. Do you listen to any music from this century?

Jason La Canfora: Sure. Love babyshambles, radiohead, interpol a ton of stuff. im just on shuffle here and there like 11,000 songs on this thing so it's out of my hands

problem is I lack the fundage to buy a lot of new stuff with 2 kids now and frankly don't have the time/energy to seek stuff out like I did when before we had two babies at home. I know, I suck. But like 18 years from now when the kids are in college I'll catch up and be the hippest 50 year old loser around, so I've got that going for me

Refused - Protest Song '68

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Lanham: Will the Redskins finally focus on covering the running back out of the backfield this week since it is Brian Westbrook? I think the Redskins D has done an awful job against RBs in the pass this year.

Jason La Canfora: Great question.

check out tomorrow's paper. Writing a bug piece on this, particularly how it pertains to Rocky McIntosh, who had problems in coverage against the Jets.

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A Win Is A Win (SF, CA): Hey JLC, love the chats. Here in SF believe you me we would be happy with any wins on EITHER side of the bay.

My question is about the Iggles. Are they as bad as everyone is saying this year? I only saw the Skins game, haven't seen any others, but I have to think McNabb will do something special in a division game, if only to entertain the traveling fans.

Jason La Canfora: McNabb is looking a little more mobile lately and Westbrook seems healthy again.

They run D is legit.

Not sure they have any talent to spread the field deep - especially against this Cover-2 (that Curtis guy is fast but seems real hit or miss).

I think it's a close game like all of the others. Could go either way.

To me Westbrook is the key by far. If he's hot and the Eagles score 24 points or so, look out, because that's usually too much for the Skins offense to match.

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Oakton, Va.: Jason -- you said earlier that the Redskins have 20-25 percent turnover -- is that the league average as well? Do the more successful teams like the Pats and Colts have lower turnover and therefore able to build team continuity?

Jason La Canfora: I think it's pretty standard that on a 53 man roster 10 guys or so are gone every year just due to the natural churn of the sport - contacts, cap, injuries, age.

Gibbs talks about it all the time as kind of being the way it goes and it strikes me as on point.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - No No No

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Charlotte, NC: Did someone just compare JC to P-Ramsey? Are these people watching the games, and did they go through the P-Ramsey experience with the rest of us? I like the guy as a backup, but P-Ram looked like a deer in the headlights half the time, and took way too many sacks. JC has a big time arm, is loaded with poise, and can make plays with his feet. He also never looks defeated, and seems to have the respect of his team-and from he offensive line especially. This guy looks like the real deal. If only Gibbs would open up the offense to him. Then they may actually scare some people.

Jason La Canfora: I'm with you bro.

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Re: Cooley:"opposite sex and considerably younger"

LOLOL...Yes and No...Female and 50!

If we go way back, then Art Monk was my main squeeze.

Open Arms - Journey

Jason La Canfora: Well, I got it half right, that's not too bad, eh?

Mike Wise walks around signing Journey all the time.

"Separate Ways" may be the greatest video of all time.

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B. Cower from Raleigh: Coach Joe has looked dazed and confused the past few games (especially against the Pats.) IF the 'Skins make the playoffs, does that open the door for Gibbs to leave the sidelines? He can walk out the front door saying, "We made the playoffs in two of the last four years. I've rightsized the ship. Mission accompished." What do you think?

Jason La Canfora: I think if they make the playoffs it'll be his call completely as to what he does in the future.

As I always point out, his health and the health of his family will be the biggest issues in any decision, as always.

I think he wants to see out his 5 year deal.

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Goldsboro N.C.: Hi Jason

I read an article in SI.com that rated the top 32 NFL franchises for fans. It was based on cost, parking, food, tailgating, traffic, etc. Fed Ex Field was ranked in the bottom 5 of this survey. I went to Fed Ex Field for the first time last year to see the Redskins play the Falcons. Other than the traffic and parking it was a fantastic experience. Is Fed Ex Field really that bad compared to other NFL stadiums? My experience:PRICELESS

Jason La Canfora: Many people would say it's impossible to get in and get out and lacks the amenities people expect from a stadium in this era.

It's an individual thing so everyone will have their own thoughts on it. That's what makes this country great, eh?

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Jason La Canfora: Dang, got to run. Skins cut practice short and have to head down to do interviews.

Hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the game.

Cheers.

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