The Washington Redskins have re-signed veteran tight end Brian Kozlowski to the 53-man roster, at 6-3 and 265 pounds he has played thirteen seasons in the NFL as a tight end. This is the second year the Redskins have brought in Kozlowski late in the season (signed for the final seven weeks of the 2006 season), and has played for the Redskins the past three seasons and should be familiar with the offense. To make room for Kozlowski, the Redskins released wide receiver Jimmy Farris who was signed last week to replace injured wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Farris became expendable on Tuesday when the team signed first-year wide receiver Anthony Mix to the active roster.
Mix was an undrafted rookie free agent on the Giants practice squad for the 2006 season but played in the first four games of the 2007 season before being moved back to their practice squad. Mix played with quarterback Jason Campbell at Auburn and at 6-5 and 235 pounds; heís the biggest wide-out on the Redskins roster. On Tuesday the Redskins also released backup offensive lineman Rick DeMulling from the active roster and wide receiver Burl Toler from the practice squad. Offensive lineman Calvin Armstrong was re-signed to fill out the practice squad.
A Loss is a Loss, but...
Quarterback Jason Campbell has been pronounced the savior of the Washington Redskins since appearing in starting seven games last year and taking all of the snaps this year. Sunday Campbell started his first game as a pro at Texas Stadium against a team all Redskins hate (even those that donít "hate", hate that team in Texas). Jason had his best game as a pro completing 33 passes on 54 attempts, throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns. The brain trust of genius on the offensive coaching staff, have pretty much turned the youngster loose with a no-huddle offense that was non-existent earlier in the season. It made the Redskins offense unpredictable for the first time all year. His top receivers, wide-out Santana Moss and H-Back Chris Cooley combined for 17 catches and 210 yards (each caught a touchdown), but Campbell also got the ball to his other healthy receivers (Antwaan Randle El and Keenan McCardell combined for 12 catches) and it kept the defense off-balance. Jason Campbell has started sixteen games as a pro with a 78.4% QB rating, and a 21 touchdown to fourteen interception ratio, his win-loss record is 7-9 and he is still growing. He had one very costly mistake on Sunday, allowing cornerback Terence Newman to grab a ball in stride when he tried to force a pass to Randle El when he had an open running lane that may have given the team a first down on third and ten, late in the game. Jason wants to open up the offense but if heís going to be running the show (ala Manning and Brady) heíll have to remember to run the ball every now and then (Clinton Portis had up over 300 yards on the ground in the last two games). Seventeen rushing attempts compared to 54 pass attempts is really all JJG needs to pull in the reigns. The lost this past Sunday drops the Redskins to .500 but Campbell and the offense are showing signs of life, and this was another game that should have been put in the win column. Jason did his part minus the two turnovers, but he has been here long enough to know that if Gibbs says run the ball on third and 3 and Portis only picks up two yards, Gibbs wonít think twice about trying a almost 50 yard field goal on fourth and one with a 7-0 lead (Shaun Suisham missed a 49-yard field goal). Jason has to know he must audible to a pass play to keep his coach out of decisions making issues like this. Above all else Campbell must learn that he will be in a battle every week, and if he gets too far ahead on the scoreboard in any given game, he needs to know the coaches will reel him in, because as Joe Gibbs has said many, many, many times "up here all of these games will come down to the wire"
Another obvious loss coming out of Sundayís game, is the loss of starting safety Sean Taylor the week before. With Taylor out for the first of at least two weeks, the Redskinís allowed Terrell Owens to catch a single game career-high, four touchdowns and totaled eight receptions for 173 yards. Owens touchdowns came on a 31 yard pass down the middle on third and nineteen, a 46 yard pass down the middle on second and thirteen , and a 52 yard pass on the right side on second and ten. Three of the four touchdowns that "T.O." caught were in the areas that Mr. Taylor calls home, and most had middle linebacker London Fletcher trailing him in coverage. Taylor will be out at least another week and the defense canít rely on this inexperienced secondary and a four man pass rush. Terrell made that perfectly clear with his performance in the second half of the game. Unless safeties Reed Doughty and Pierson Prioleau can step it up, itís going to be like having Adam Archuleta back there in coverage. Thatís more like the 2006 season and not the 2005 season rehash that every Redskins fanatic is hoping this year will turn into.
What are the Chances?
With the Redskins at .500 and six games to play, the Hog Wire took a look at the Redskins situation as it pertains to the Redskins making it to the 2007 post season. Going into week twelve the Redskins are among nine teams that are .500 or better with only six playoff spots available. Four teams will make the post season as Division Champs, currently holding those slots are the Seattle Seahawks in the West (6-4), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the South (6-4), the Green Bay Packers in the North (10-1) and the team the Redskins lost to this past weekend leads the East at 10-1. That leaves two wild card spots and five teams in the running (Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, and our Redskins). The New York Giants (7-3) and the Detroit Lions (6-5) currently hold those two spots. The Giants hold a two game advantage on Washington in the won-loss column but must host the Redskins in mid-December, after traveling to Chicago and Philly and close out the season against the Patriots. The Redskins hold the tie-breaker over the Lions who must still face both 10-1 teams and they have lost three in a row. The Redskins also hold the tie-breakers over the Cardinals (head to head) and the Eagles (conference record), while Philadelphia must face the division leaders, the Seahawks, Giants and Patriots over the next 30 days, Arizona has the likes of the 49ers (2-8), Saints (4-6) Falcons (3-7) and Rams (2-8) remaining on their schedule. So after much review the Hog Wire has come to the conclusion that this team might want to start winning some games if they want to have any chance of playing in the post season. This conclusion could be considered a cop-out but itís the only real option when you look at where the team is at this point of the season.
Letís go through the process anyway, teams that are a game behind the Redskins (Bears, Panthers, Vikings, and Saints) can come into play based on the outcome of games over the next few weeks and two of those teams are on Washingtonís upcoming schedule. Week twelve may have some impact on the post-season participants with match-ups like the Packers at the Lions (Packers win drops the Lions (6-5) to even with Washington), the Vikings at the Giants (someone has to lose, it would pretty much put Minnesota (4-7) out of the picture or allow the Skins to gain a game on NY), and the Patriots should push the Eagles below the .500 mark this weekend.
Washington holds three tie-breakers and still may require help from another team(s) to get into the playoff, but helping themselves by winning might lower the burden on whatever team(s) they may have to rely on down the road. The only way to ensure a spot in the playoff this year is by winning games within the division in late November and December. Well, itís late November folks.
The Redskins will travel to Raymond James Stadium Sunday to the [url=http://www.buccaneers.com/matchup/matchup.html] Tampa Bay Buccaneers [/url] (6-4) they are coming off a 31-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and have a two-game lead in the NFC South. The kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm. For those not in the area you can follow the game [url=http://www.thehogs.net/washington-redskins/gameday.php]online[/url]. The Buccaneers will be led by quarterback Jeff Garcia (96.6 QB rating, 2126 yards, 11 Touchdowns, and 3 Interceptions) and Middle Linebacker Barrett Ruud (83 Tackles, 61 Solo/22 Assists and three fumbles). They are ranked nineteenth in points scored with an average of 19.5 points per game and the defense is ranked fifth in points allowed, giving up a average of only 15.1 points per game.
Complete Tale of the Tapes:
Total Offense: Washington is ranked 16th with 315.9 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 17th with 326.6ypg.
Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 8th with 132.1 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 14th with 113 ypg.
Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 19th with 183.8 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 15th with 213.6ypg.
Total Defense: Washington is ranked 16th giving up 318.2 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 5th with 286.2 ypg.
Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 10th giving up 99.9 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 18th with 113.2 ypg.
Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 23rd giving up 218.3 yards per game and Tampa Bay ranks 3rd with 173.3 ypg.
DT Cornelius Griffin (hamstring) is listed as Questionable
Griffin did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
WR James Thrash (high ankle sprain) is listed as Questionable
Thrash did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday
FB Mike Sellers (Back) is listed as Questionable
Sellers did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
WR Santana Moss (Groin) is listed as Probable
Moss did not practice on Wednesday but practice fully on Thursday.
RT Todd Wade (Knee) is listed as Probable
Wade did not practice on Wednesday but practice fully on Thursday
WR Antwaan Randle El (Hamstring) is listed as Probable
Randle El continues did not practice on Wednesday but took limited work on Thursday.
LG Pete Kendall (Knee) is listed as Probable
Kendall did not practice on Wednesday but practice fully on Thursday.
RG Randy Thomas (torn triceps muscle) is listed as Out
Thomas is back on the practice field doing light work and should return in mid December
S Sean Taylor (knee) is listed as Out
Taylor has a Grade II right knee sprain and is expected to be out at least another week.
The following players are done for the 2007 season:
FB Broughton, Nehemiah (Knee)
TE Ecker, Tyler (Groin)
WR Espy, Mike (Knee)
WR Harris, Steven (Knee)
WR McAddley, Jason (Hamstring)
OL Tucker, Ross (Neck)
OT Jansen, Jon (Ankle)
CB Rogers, Carlos (Neck)
WR Lloyd, Brandon (fractured clavicle)