- The Washington Times - Friday, November 11, 2005

Sensing the importance of the game and the need for the players to hear another voice, Washington Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams told several veterans that speaking up wouldn’t be a bad idea before the Redskins faced the Philadelphia Eagles.

Following last Saturday’s walkthrough, Williams gathered the team’s defensive players who have five or more years of experience, a group that includes linebacker LaVar Arrington.

“I talked to them straight forward about leadership and about some of the youth we have here,” Williams said yesterday. “I told them this would probably be a good week going into that ballgame for them to place importance on a division rival, a Sunday night game and where we were in the season, and how it would be a good time for somebody to step up and talk.”

Williams emphasized that whomever spoke up had to be “action-oriented, not talk-oriented.”

“People won’t listen to you unless you’re able to back up what you’re saying,” he said. “Some of the veterans talked Saturday and Sunday in the private meetings and they used the time wisely to help us focus going into that ballgame.

“It’s nice to say it was a meaningful part of our win, but we played very hard in all three phases and it makes [talking] more productive. People may listen even more the next time somebody talks.”

Arrington, in his first start since Week 2, spoke up and then led the Redskins with 10 tackles in the 17-10 win over the Eagles.

Williams has no problem with any Redskins defensive player speaking up, something he can’t say of his previous teams.

“I’ve been on teams where I’ve told guys to shut up and told guys I didn’t want to hear a single thing they had to say,” he said. “We have guys here, when they do say something, because they’re action-oriented, young guys and older guys listen to them. If you don’t back it up, it goes in one ear and out the other.”

Portis outfit update

Running back Clinton Portis continued his outfit craze yesterday with the following ensemble: Black wig, Led Zeppelin T-shirt (he could not name one of the band’s albums), sheriff’s badge, glasses and a small leather bag hanging from his neck. He referred to himself as “Sheriff Gonna Get You.”

“I really like the way Clinton dresses — he has a lot of courage to wear some of the things he does, not only on Thursday, but also when he gets on the plane,” linebacker Marcus Washington said. “He ties some of his pinks and greens together and makes them work.”

Wardrobe fines levied

In other Portis-related clothing news, he and safety Sean Taylor were fined yesterday by the NFL for uniform violations against Philadelphia.

Portis was docked $20,000 for “wearing a tinted eye-shield without league approval, wearing no white in the stockings and wearing black shoes for a second time this year.”

The shoes are a violation because the rest of the team was wearing white shoes.

Taylor was fined $5,000 for “wearing multiple exterior stockings in an unauthorized design.”

Brunell, Daniels return

After sitting out Wednesday’s practice, quarterback Mark Brunell (calf) and defensive end Phillip Daniels (ankle) returned to work yesterday. Taylor (ankle) and fellow safety Omar Stoutmire (hamstring) and defensive tackles Cornelius Griffin (hip) and Joe Salave’a (foot) sat out practice.

Griffin remains questionable for Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay.

“You have to be patient,” he said. “We have a long season to go and I have to make sure I get it better. But I’ll put it like this: It feels better today than it did last week.”

Said Williams: “[Today] will be a telltale day. He’s coming along fast — he’s a fast healer.”

Williams said Taylor is being kept out of practice to give him additional rest.

No ‘P’ word for Gibbs

A couple younger Redskins players admitted early in the week that they’re thinking about the playoffs. But it’s not because coach Joe Gibbs has brought it up during team meetings.

“I always list the things that are important about the game coming up, but you don’t mention that ‘playoff’ word because it’s the middle of the season,” he said. “But you’re conscious that these games are important.

“I love the fact that you can play games that are important. You approach each of these that way and this is probably the danger portion of the schedule because it’s hard for guys to see the end of the tunnel. You sometimes have a harder time focusing the players on how tough each game will be.”

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