- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Joe Gibbs was walking off the field at Redskin Park last week when Pro Bowl receiver Santana Moss sidled up to the coach.

“Santana comes over to me and says, ‘Coach, you need to add something,’ ” Gibbs said. “I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘In the draft, we like the linebacker. We like Rocky.’ ”

That “we” referred to Moss, record-setting running back Clinton Portis and feared safety Sean Taylor, all products of the alma mater of prospective rookie linebacker Rocky McIntosh.

And lo and behold on Saturday, the Redskins gave the New York Jets one of their sixth-round picks this year and their second-rounder next year to move up 18 spots and take McIntosh.

The Redskins, not sold on holdovers Warrick Holdman or Chris Clemons as replacements for departed weak-side starter LaVar Arrington, had to move quickly early in the second round to land McIntosh, the top remaining linebacker on their draft board. Portis, whom Gibbs jokes is the Redskins’ assistant general manager, soon called to offer his congratulations.

Gibbs was kidding when he said the recommendations of Moss, Portis and Taylor were “good enough for us.” But it did help McIntosh that he was from “The U” while the next linebacker drafted, Thomas Howard, played at Texas-El Paso. All three of Washington’s previous first- or second-round selections since Gibbs’ return in 2004 had been from powerhouse programs: Taylor from Miami and cornerback Carlos Rogers and quarterback Jason Campbell from Auburn.

“It is important where you play,” Gibbs said. “Football is a big deal in Miami. They play a tremendous schedule. If you’re taking a look at somebody, if he can play at Miami and be a leader there, chances are he’s going to be very successful up here, too.”

McIntosh already has eclipsed Washington’s other former Hurricanes in one area. He married his college sweetheart, Alessia Carruth, on Wednesday. The others are still bachelors.

“I was having a lot of pressure from the wife,” said McIntosh, who had been engaged for more than a year.

McIntosh wore No. 50 in Miami. Veteran linebacker Khary Campbell has that number in Washington, so the rookie took No. 52, available because center Cory Raymer was cut this winter.

“I’m used to the pressure,” McIntosh said of possibly replacing three-time Pro Bowl pick Arrington. “People can label me whatever they want, but I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to go out there and work. I’ve got a job. I need to go out there and keep it.”

Notes — Both sides in Taylor’s long-pending criminal trial have agreed to another continuance pending a concurrence from new Judge Leonard Glick. The oft-postponed trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Miami. Taylor faces up to 46 years in a Florida prison on three charges of brandishing a firearm and one count of simple battery stemming from an incident June 1. …

The Redskins yesterday agreed to terms with eight undrafted free agents: tight end Buck Ortega, Miami; receiver Derrick Fenner, Maryland; cornerback Chijioke Onyenegecha, Oklahoma; defensive lineman Manaia Brown, Brigham Young; linebacker Spencer Havner, UCLA; offensive lineman Jasper Harvey, San Diego State; cornerback Chris Hawkins, Marshall; and punter David Lonie, California.

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