- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Random Redskins ruminations and selected other stuff as we head down the homestretch of the NFL season:

•Sunday's loss to Philadelphia dropped Dan Snyder's record as an owner to 32-32 which is pretty funny when you stop and think about it. After all, the reason Dan the Man gave for firing most of the staff in '99, when he took over the team, was that he found Redskin Park awash with "mediocrity."

•Just as a point of reference, Art Modell was 34-19-3 with one NFL championship in his first four seasons as an NFL owner.

•Maybe he was just indecisive being a rookie and all or maybe the holes weren't there, but Ladell Betts sure was slow getting to the line of scrimmage against the Eagles.

•Frankly, I don't know why the Redskins drafted the kid. He just doesn't strike me as a Steve Spurrier kind of back. Someone along the lines of Tiki Barber or Warrick Dunn would seem a better fit for the Fun 'n' Gun.

•Who would have guessed that Chris Doering would be the Last Gators Receiver Standing?

•The Redskins' 12-man defense needs a little work. Duce Staley nearly scored from the 5-yard line against it.

•Spurrier thinks his players could be doing a better job of recovering their own fumbles. They lost all three balls they dropped in Philly, and the Eagles returned one of them 44 yards for a touchdown. To set the Ball Coach's mind at ease, let me just point out that the Redskins are only the sixth-worst team in the league in this department (30 fumbles, 17 lost, 43.3 percent recovery rate). Even more hopeless are the Panthers (31.8 percent), Jets (35.7), Falcons (36.8), Rams (38.5) and Saints (42.9).

•Two of those clubs Atlanta and New Orleans figure to make the playoffs, so it's not necessarily a fatal disease.

•While we're on the subject, three teams have a chance to finish the season with fewer turnovers than games played the Chiefs, Jaguars and 49ers (all of whom have 13 in 14 games). Why am I bringing this up? Because it's a feat that has been accomplished only twice in NFL history by the '90 Giants (14 turnovers) and the '98 Cowboys (15). The Giants, of course, won the Super Bowl that year.

•A decade from now, will Sunday's Redskins-Texans game be remembered as the first meeting between David Carr and Patrick Ramsey?

•Nah, probably not.

•But wouldn't it be nice if it were?

•Found myself thinking of Earl Campbell after watching Stephen Davis separate his shoulder against the Eagles on what could well be his last play as a Redskin. Campbell's career, you may recall, ended in eerily similar fashion with the Saints in 1985. He broke a long run on his second carry of the game (just like Davis), got hit from behind (just like Davis), fumbled (just like Davis) and left the field with an injury (just like Davis).

•Earl's injury was a pulled thigh muscle, though.

•And Stephen, fortunately, will live to run another day.

•Does anyone else find it strange that the Patriots' Troy Brown, a wideout, is averaging fewer yards per catch than the Raiders' Charlie Garner, a running back? Brown has 79 receptions for a 9.4-yard average, while Garner has 83 for a 10.2-yard average.

•Another back, the Chiefs' Priest Holmes, also has a higher per-catch average than Brown (9.6 yards, on 70 receptions).

•If Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington and Daryl Gardener do indeed make the Pro Bowl, Marvin Lewis will have some 'splainin' to do.

•Arrington, by the way, is miffed that Larry Johnson didn't win the Heisman Trophy. Naturally, he's biased they're both Penn Staters, and "I'm close to him and his family," he says. But "come on, now," LaVar argues. "He reached yardage [2,000-plus] that only some of the greatest runners in the game have reached, and he did it in fewer carries [averaging 8 yards an attempt].

"But that's Penn State. It's too much the Joe Paterno show. They never campaign for guys. They don't even put your name on the back of your jersey. No one knows who you are. I think it did college football an injustice to give the award to somebody else. I mean, the trophy [features] a running back holding the ball, right?"

•Spurrier, who as a former winner gets a ballot every year, wouldn't divulge who he voted for. Smart man. Don't want to get your ace linebacker mad at you. Better to direct such emotions at the opposition.

•And finally, only 130 days until the NFL Draft.

And barely more than that until minicamp.

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