The Washington Times - September 22, 2009, 12:00PM

So far, so quiet on the Redskins front today but we still have two radio appearances — Jim Zorn at 12:25 p.m. and Clinton Portis at 3:05 p.m. — that could make things interesting. At least Robert Henson has stopped tweeting his true feelings.

I posted the playing time totals last night on the blog and here are some loose ends and other observations.


* Yes, that was DT Lorenzo Alexander nearly blocking a St. Louis punt on Sunday. He said he blocked punts in high school and college, but hasn’t yet in the NFL.

“We overloaded a side and they slid the protection and one of their guys didn’t get the call I guess and I was able to get through the hole,” he said. “I was just a step too slow. It would have been a big play.”

* Zorn contended he’ll feel comfortable running Portis to the right side even without RG Randy Thomas.

“I’m not going to try and put into my mind that I can only go left now,” he said. “Here’s why: The right side of the line, when you’re running left, they’re just as important. It’s all about them working together as a unit, not necessarily the side you’re running.”

* Zorn should consider using WR Santana Moss more in the slot. He got man coverage in that situation against the Rams. When wide man Devin Thomas ran off his corner, that left Moss one-on-one and Campbell found him for the catch.

* On one blitz, the Redskins rushed seven players, including all three linebackers. But St. Louis kept eight players in protection.

*The Redskins went empty backfield on just three plays.

* The decision to have Portis throw on third-and-goal from the 5 in the third quarter continues to puzzle. The Redskins ran on first and second downs (gaining two yards) so the Rams had to be expecting some kind of trickery when Portis ran right. He threw incomplete.

“It wasn’t a grab-bag,” Zorn said. “We had been running edge runs with Clinton on the goal-line and I thought, ‘OK, here it is.’ And Clinton had thrown touchdown passes before. When we came off the line of scrimmage, we came off backing up and when they saw it, they just played it right down the line and the safety knew it would be a pass.”

The concern for Redskins fans is that Zorn felt the need to use the trick play against the Rams. The fake field goal last week? Fine, it was against the best team in the division. But if you don’t trust your quarterback to make a throw in that situation, then the Redskins are in trouble. Those kinds of trick plays should be saved for games against better teams.

*Kickoff coverage team: Suisham, Sellers, Westbrook, Moore, Cartwright, Alexander, Doughty, Blades, Thomas, Tryon and Wilson.

*Kickoff return team: Cartwright (replaced by Thomas later) and Betts bad deep. Second group (two,  two-man wedges) were Sellers, Wilson, Alexander and Yoder. First line was Doughty, McIntosh, Davis, Blades and Moore.

*Punt coverage: Smith, Albright, Cartwright, Westbrook, Tryon, Horton, Blades, Doughty, Moore, Sellers and Yoder.

*Punt return: Randle El, Westbrook, Tryon, Moore, Alexander, Doughty, Cartwright, Thomas, Blades, Landry and Davis.

— Ryan O’Halloran