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Defensive goal: Contain Gonzalez
Tony Gonzalez has it all — size (6-feet-5, 251 pounds), speed (runs like a receiver) and numbers (102 catches last year) — and it prompted a six-word scouting report from Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark.
“He’s a pain in the butt,” Clark said of Gonzalez, Kansas City’s Pro Bowl tight end.
Indeed, Gonzalez presents problems for any defense and it will be up to several Redskins defenders to keep him in check Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I have a lot of respect for him, especially in the red zone,” assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. “He’s a threat and very athletic and we have to always be aware of where he’s at.”
The NFC East features tight ends Jeremy Shockey, L.J. Smith and Jason Witten so Williams said, “this isn’t going to all of a sudden shock us when we get in there.”
Tight ends have combined for eight receptions against the Redskins this season. Gonzalez is second on the Chiefs with 16 catches for 129 yards (but no touchdowns).
The natural option for the Redskins is to put safety Sean Taylor on Gonzalez because he matches up with him size- and speed-wise.
“Sean is a good matchup for anybody,” Clark said. “The problem with a team like Kansas City is, do you put Sean on him all game and possibly be exploited in other places?”
Taylor will likely get his fair share of time against Gonzalez, but also expect to see outside linebacker Marcus Washington get the coverage assignment.
“Even on the plays he’s not the primary receiver, you’re taking one of your best players to stop him,” Clark said.
Williams on Arrington
Williams fielded three LaVar Arrington-related questions after practice yesterday.
“Same like he always has,” Williams said when asked about the amount of Arrington’s practice snaps. “He gets his fair share like all the guys on our [second and third teams].”
Williams added Arrington “could” see action against Kansas City and, like coach Joe Gibbs did Wednesday, stressed that the lines of communication have always been open.
“I’m in the classroom every single day,” Williams said. “I communicate it every single day. Again, you guys are making too much out of this because people talk to him every day.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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