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Picking Up the Torch

Writes THN member welch, our local history buff:

“Just have to come back to the only online Redskins home to smile some more.

One game is not a season, as we all said last week, but it sure helps when that game is a win!.

Hail to the Redskins. Remember Gene Brito every time a DE makes a play. I wish Sammy Baugh was in good health, but at least Sonny saw the pass to Moss.

Slingin Sammy, The Little General, Sonny, Billy, Joe T, Doug, the Rypper: I hope we’ve seen the torch picked up.

Flaherty, Lombardi, Old George, Jack, Joe: one game, yes, but maybe, just maybe we’ve seen another torch picked up.

Trying to tone down my enthusiasm, but this is way different than a win by Spurrier. That offense was not fit for the NFL. Richie Petibon, our great defensive coordinator, stopped every Spurrier-like offense in 1991: call it Red Gun, Silver Streak, Run & Shot, Floopdie Whoop or Mouse Davis’s Genius plan, but Petibon and the Redskins proved that it wouldn’t work.

Before the NFC championship game, reporters asked Petibon, “Coach, the Lions scored 45 points on the Cowboys last week. How can you possibly stop them?”

Petibon just said, “Oh, I don’t know, but we probably won’t try what the Cowboys did”. Just for the pleasure of remembering, and explaining to those too young to remember the Gibbs teams, Sir Charles Mann sprinted through the Lion’s right tackle, waved at Barry Sanders, and knocked QB Erik Kramer a few feet in the air…and knocked the ball about five yards away. Redskins recovered, scored on the next play, and the game was over.

Fun to remember.

That’s why we knew that Spurrier’s coaching in the NFL would be no more effective than Spurrier’s quarterbacking. (As Casey Stengel said, you can look it up.)

At the very least, thngs look better with a win than with two losses.

What happened to that “NFL executive” who told the Post that Campbell could only play QB for a Coryell/Gibbs/Saunders offense?”

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Malcolm Kelly progressing

Malcolm Kelly, who came out of college with some injury concerns and came into Redskins training camp out of shape, appears to be working his way out of a slow start. Jason La Canfora reports on the Insider blog:

Zorn expressed excitement about the return of rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who practiced today.

“Good!” Zorn said. “I’ve got great news today. All this rest, and just the specific work he’s been doing in the training room, all the rehab, has really been helping him, bringing him along.

“We’re excited about it. As we work, we’ll get him involved. There’s no way, I don’t think anybody can play both offense, defense and even special teams unless they participate.”

Kelly, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Aug. 4, sat out the preseason because of hamstring and knee problems, so “he needs the work,” Zorn said. “Other guys can get away with just partial practice time, the veterans, but a young player like Malcolm has to be there day in and day out. If he’s 100 percent, or even if he’s close to 100 percent, he’ll get practice reps.”

This is good news for any Redskins fans who noticed that the ‘Skins sent James Thrash down the sidelines as the go-to man at the end of the Giants game. (Really, not even Santana Moss?) Now, I have nothing against James Thrash—in fact, he’s one of my favorite Redskins. But just because I like Rocky McIntosh doesn’t mean I want him on the receiving end of a Hail Mary. If we are in serious need of a downfield play, it’d be nice to have a downfield threat to go with it.

I don’t know whether the fault lies with Jason Campbell’s field-vision or with our receievers’ route-running, but somehow our passing game isn’t showing many signs of life. I was optimistic in April that our youth infusion (Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Fred Davis) would open up our passing playbook beyond WR screens to Moss and QB roll-out passes to Cooley in the flat. I still think there are some exciting possibilities there.

Yet, so far, Devin Thomas is the only player to see action. Kelly’s been out with the knee; Fred Davis was inactive for the Giants game. Our needs are as apparent as ever, so here’s hoping that our young players continue to work their way out of an early bad reputation of being out of shape, sleeping in, and injuries. We need them to.

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