- The Washington Times - Monday, October 8, 2001

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Bruce Smith's game lasted all of one play. Washington's certain Hall of Fame right defensive end suffered a dislocated right shoulder trying to tackle New York running back Ron Dayne as the Redskins fell to 0-4 with a 23-9 loss to the defending NFC champion Giants yesterday at Giants Stadium.
"Dayne cut back outside and I reached for him and tried to bring him down," said the 38-year-old Smith, who has missed just four games since 1991. "Trying to arm-tackle him, I pulled my shoulder out of the socket. It was frustrating calling home to let my family know that I was OK and my 7-year-old son [Alston] was crying worrying about me. And it was frustrating watching us play without our bookends [himself and injured Pro Bowl left end Marco Coleman] because the Giants were ripe for the picking and we couldn't take advantage of it. The effort was phenomenal, but we couldn't get any pressure on [New York quarterback] Kerry Collins."
The Redskins' only sack of Collins came on a safety blitz by Keith Lyle. That gave Washington four sacks this season compared to 13 (four by Coleman and three by Smith) after four games last year. Smith's spot was taken by Tyrone Williams, whom Washington signed on Sept. 26 after Coleman dislocated an elbow against Green Bay. Either Williams or ex-New York Jet Dorian Boose who served a one-game NFL suspension yesterday will start next Monday at Dallas.
"I know it's going to take Bruce a long time to heal because he has some old bones," said defensive tackle Kenard Lang. "Actually, I'm surprised he has bones. I thought there was nothing but dust up there."
The 28-year-old Williams played briefly for Chicago in 1997 and Philadelphia in 1999 before seeing action in 10 games for Kansas City last season.
"I'm pretty familiar with the defense, having been in Kansas City last year with [Washington defensive coordinator] Kurt Schottenheimer, so I could come in and catch on quicker than most guys," said Williams, who had two tackles while playing extensively for the second straight game. "I'm not even trying to fill Bruce's shoes. I'm just trying to step in and be accountable for doing my job."
Said Lang, "We looked at Ty and said, 'It's time for you to step up.' He came in and did his job. Bruce is a Hall of Famer, but we didn't miss a beat."
The good news on the injury front for the Redskins is that strong side linebacker LaVar Arrington was back from a sprained knee.
Having already lost Smith, Coleman (for at least two more games) and weak side linebacker Shawn Barber (on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament) though, the Redskins' defensive perimeter might have taken another blow when Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey sprained his left ankle before halftime. Bailey didn't leave the game, but he's concerned.
"You play with a lot of injuries," said Bailey, who's yet to miss a game during his three seasons. "You never know how bad it is. If it gets any worse it's something I have to worry about."
What's more, strong safety Sam Shade aggravated a bruised left triceps that he had injured the previous Sunday against Kansas City. Shade did end one Giants' series, picking off Collins' pass for Greg Comella at the New York 40. It was the eighth interception of Shade's seven-year career, his fifth in three years with the Redskins.

Conway nails 3
Kicker Brett Conway converted field goals of 55, 41 and 35 yards. Conway's career-best 55-yarder with 11:25 remaining in the second quarter tied the game at 6-6 and came amid the swirling winds that caused flags in the upper deck to go one way and those on the uprights to go another way. Conway's field goal was the third longest in team history.
"All I needed to do was get it up in the air," Conway said. "I knew I had the distance. The less they rotate the farther they go."
Coach Marty Schottenheimer nixed a possible 57-yard attempt early in the third quarter with Washington trailing 9-6. He wanted to pin New York deep in its territory and hoped the defense would hold. Instead, New York drove to Washington's 28 before safety Keith Lyle's fourth-down sack.
"We try a particular style of punt that's like a knuckleball and I was hoping maybe they'd mishandle it and at the very least we'd have good field position," Schottenheimer said.
Conway conceded the 57-yarder would have been a difficult kick, especially because of poor field conditions that caused many players to fall.
"To make two in a row, the odds are against you," he said. "It's one of the worst places in the league to kick and the field conditions were horrible. A lot of places it was just dirt."

Lang enjoys career day
Redskins defensive tackle Kenard Lang made a career-high 13 tackles, one more than the personal-best 12 recorded by linebacker LaVar Arrington. In fact, Lang's 11 solo stops exceeded the 1997 first-round draft pick's previous career solo/assist mark by one.
"Kenard played a hell of a game," defensive end Bruce Smith said.
"We never gave up," Lang said of the undermanned defense which was on the field for 38:31 of the 60 minutes and was starting former practice squad members Jerry DeLoach and David Terrell and undrafted rookie Antonio Pierce even before Smith went down. "We kept giving the offense the ball back, giving them chances. That's our job."

Keeping the ball
Redskins rookie safety Ifeanyi Ohalete recorded his first career interception, picking off Kerry Collins' pass for Ike Hilliard at the Washington 21 with 4:58 remaining and the Giants only leading 16-9.
"A lot of people probably thought the ball was overthrown, but I got a good break on the ball," said Ohalete, who kept it as a souvenir.

Rookie mistake
When Ki-Jana Carter partially blocked Rodney Williams' punt from the New York 20 in the first quarter with the game tied 3-3, it seemed Washington had gotten a big break. However, rookie Central McClellion went for the ball and immediately fumbled. Emmanuel McDaniel recovered for New York at the Giants' 44.
"I thought the ball had hit Ifeayni [Ohalete], so I went for it and once I caught it, I got hit from behind and lost it," said McClellion, who was promoted from the practice squad before last week's home opener.

Hits and misses
Top draft choice Rod Gardner, who scored Washington's only touchdown of the season on a 26-yard catch last week against Kansas City, came up with the Redskins' longest play of the year, a 52-yard grab in the fourth quarter yesterday. But the rookie wideout from Clemson also fumbled at the New York 31 (after a 16-yard catch) with the game tied 6-6 and 2:30 to go in the first half.
"I make two good plays and then one bad one," said Gardner, who has caught 12 passes so far but also has had a couple of bad drops. "I was looking upfield, but I didn't see the guy [linebacker Michael Barrow] coming. I've got to eliminate those mistakes. I'm a rookie, but that's no excuse."

No knowledge of bombs
The bombing of Afghanistan began 20 or 30 minutes before kickoff. Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer knew about it because he was told by officials that the game's start might be delayed. Kickoff wasn't postponed, though, and Schottenheimer never told the players what was going on.
"I didn't think it was necessary to put that on the players," Schottenheimer said.

What injury?
Second-year linebacker LaVar Arrington played one of the most complete games of his young career despite the lingering effects of a Grade II MCL sprain suffered two weeks ago at Green Bay. Normally such an injury would have a player out 2-4 weeks, but Arrington played virtually the entire game and finished with a career-high 12 tackles.
Arrington said his motivation was the season-ending ACL tear linebacker Shawn Barber suffered last week. The two have become close friends and Arrington is determined to make enough plays for both from now until the end of the season.
"I told you earlier in the week: Everybody got to pay for my man being out," Arrington said. "I wasn't just joking around. I'm trying to knock everybody out. I'm sore right now. I think everybody's got to pay. When I hit them, I hit them for Shawn."
Meanwhile, Arrington believed he suffered no setback in the healing of his MCL.

Extra points
Running back Kenny Watson, center Mark Fischer, linebacker Donte Curry, offensive tackle Ross Tucker, defensive tackle Donovan Arpand, defensive end Marco Coleman were inactive.
David Elfin, Rick Snider and Jody Foldesy

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