In each of their three games this season, the Washington Redskins have found at least one opposing cornerback to pick on mercilessly. Today it was New York Jets cornerback Ray Mickens who was victimized by his former college teammate at Texas A&M, Redskins wide receiver Albert Connell.
"I know his tendencies," Connell said.
"I know how he plays. . . . He just couldn't hold me. I was wondering when we were going to get started, because I felt all day I was open."
Connell set up a second-quarter touchdown with a leaping 34-yard catch at the Jets 11-yard line, a play that Redskins quarterback Brad Johnson later called the biggest of Connell's NFL career. The Redskins went back to Connell in the fourth quarter, getting four catches from him and two pass-interference calls against Mickens (plus a third that was declined) on their two touchdown drives in the period.
Johnson said he had spent most of the afternoon looking for wideout Michael Westbrook because the Redskins believed Westbrook was too big and too strong for the Jets' defensive backs.
"We weren't trying to exclude anyone," Johnson said.
" . . . I have 10 guys telling me every play they are open."
It wasn't Johnson's biggest game of the season. But he again avoided major mistakes, and still hasn't thrown an interception this season.
"There's no question we're growing up, but [Johnson] has been grown up a long time," Coach Norv Turner said.
Green Picks Up Record
Cornerback Darrell Green's first-half interception was the first of his career at Giants Stadium. It also gave him at least one interception in 17 seasons, an NFL record. . . .
Owner Daniel M. Snyder addressed the Redskins players in the locker room after the game.
"That shows the team he cares and he wants to be involved," running back Stephen Davis said.
". . . He just told us, 'Good job.' "
Asked whether Snyder was elated following the win, Davis said: "He's always pumped up." . . .
Davis was distraught about his near-fumble in the closing moments, which officials ruled came after he already was down.
"That play messed my whole day up," Davis said.
"I'm upset about it. I was down, but the ball still came out. I'm very disappointed about that." . . .
The Redskins last beat the Giants and Jets on the road in the same season in 1972.
Coleman's Big Impact
Defensive end Ndukwe Kalu points to the acquisition of free agent Marco Coleman as a major factor in lifting the play of the Redskins' defensive line.
"Personally, Marco Coleman is the best defensive end I've ever seen," Kalu said.
"And Kenard [Lang]--you saw what he did. It's effort. Everybody is stepping it up."
Coleman said his main message to his teammates since joining the team is stressing consistency. He said he also sees great potential in Lang, who had three sacks and forced a fumble.
"All those things people have said he hasn't been doing, I see Kenard doing those things," Coleman said.
"He can rush the passer. He plays the run well. He's a ballplayer. The biggest thing I've told him is, 'You're from the University of Miami. Act like it! Make big plays! That's what you're supposed to do: make big plays.' "