- The Washington Times - Friday, January 7, 2005

Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Don Breaux acknowledged yesterday that the offense grew too conservative in the just-completed season and said the focus heading into the 2005 season will be to “let ‘er rip.”

Breaux’s comments came as coach Joe Gibbs and his staff continued picking apart the organization in four days of meetings. During a break, Breaux described a series of early-season turnovers as “disconcerting” and said they made the Redskins reluctant to attack downfield.

“We had to battle back from that,” Breaux said. “You put an emphasis on it. At times, maybe guys get too conscious of trying to protect the ball. Maybe you get a little conservative, and you have a good defense, so maybe you try to play to your defense.

“We’re at the point where we know to get where we want to go, we’ve got to let ‘er fly. We’ve got to have confidence that we can attack offensively. We’ll work very hard on that mind-set with our players.”

In repeated conversations during the season, Gibbs saw it differently. He stressed that Washington was taking plenty of deep shots, that the problem was some element of the offense breaking down in each instance before the ball was thrown deep.

The Redskins finished with only 34 plays of 20 or more yards, including runs. That won’t be nearly enough in the upcoming season, according to Breaux. The offensive coordinator said the goal is to have “a minimum of five or six a game, and on a good day upwards to 10.”

“We’ve always been able to get what we call ‘chunks,’ ” Breaux said, referring to the staff’s first go-round in Washington. “To get where you want to go in your passing game, you’ve got to get plus-20 [yard] plays. We certainly have to improve the amount of plus-20 plays.”

Gibbs should elaborate on that theme today when the meetings conclude. He departed Redskin Park yesterday evening and declined comment until today’s scheduled meeting with reporters.

Notes — A trial date of May 6 was set for the case between former Redskins safety Ifeanyi Ohalete and running back Clinton Portis. Ohalete has charged Portis with failing to pay $20,000 he contractually agreed to pay for Ohalete’s uniform No. 26. The case will be heard at Prince George’s County District Court in Upper Marlboro. Attorney John Steren, who is representing Ohalete, didn’t comment on legal strategy but did say Ohalete plans to attend the hearing. …

The Redskins signed a pair of players to the offseason roster, tight end Jabari Holloway and center Josh Warner.

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