- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2003

Linebacker Jessie Armstead had just played in the New York Giants’ Monday night game at Denver. He got back to his high-rise apartment on the Hoboken, N.J., waterfront about 8 a.m. Tuesday and went to sleep on the couch.

A half-hour later, he awoke to a changed world.

On yesterday’s second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the current Washington Redskins linebacker recalled watching the second World Trade Center tower collapse from his apartment across the Hudson River.

“The lady … was beating on my door, telling me they were blowing up the city,” Armstead said. “I didn’t know. She was just hollering. I opened my windows up, and finally my eyes focused because I was asleep. I realized when I saw that second one fall.

“It really didn’t dawn on me at the time — there’s people in that building. Everything started clicking. All those people downstairs hugging and crying. It hits you — a lot of lives had been lost.”

Things got stranger when Armstead went back to work at Giants Stadium.

“You see all the cars in the parking lot for the people who used to commute,” Armstead said.

“You realize that those 100, 200 cars were for people who passed away in the World Trade Center.”

Two years later, Armstead remains affected.

“Everything seemed like it changed all of a sudden,” he said. “It was a sad day.”

Lighter Rock

Fullback Rock Cartwright is trying to add some weight after dropping about 15 pounds off his already smallish frame during the offseason.

“I was working out twice a day and eating the right stuff,” Cartwright explained. “Before I was eating all that fried food. The weight just came off. … Now I’m struggling to put it back on.”

The 5-foot-7 Kansas State product is up to about 230 pounds after playing at nearly 240 as a rookie and going all the way down to 223 for his weigh-in for this year’s media guide. To compare, running back Ladell Betts is listed at 222; last year Stephen Davis was at 230.

Added weight will help Cartwright as a blocker, though he focuses more on leverage.

“A couple of times I [was overpowered] in the preseason,” he said. “But it’s not too bad, because I’m under a lot of guys. The guy who’s lower is going to win, basically. So as long as I stay low, drive my feet and block, I should be OK.”

Coach Steve Spurrier uses Cartwright as a backup fullback, an occasional short-yardage tailback and an all-around contributor on special teams. The coach isn’t concerned about him holding up.

“He’s stocky; he’s sturdy,” Spurrier said. “[Starting fullback] Bryan [Johnson] plays in there a lot also. We’re in one-back set a lot anyway. So he shouldn’t get worn out alternating at fullback and playing all the special teams.”

Terrell not angry

Safety David Terrell shrugged off being inactive last week and said he has gotten indications from his reps in practice that he might be in uniform Sunday at Atlanta.

The starting free safety job belonged to Terrell for the first two preseason games, but he was burned for a deep pass against New England, and coaches demoted him.

Since 2000, Terrell had played in every game, and since 2001 he had started each. But his background — sitting out 1998 and spending 1999 on the Redskins’ practice squad — helped him handle not dressing last week.

“It’s tough of course,” Terrell said. “This is the first time in the past three years I’ve been inactive. So it was different for me, but at the same time … there’s no way I could possibly get upset. I’m a guy who’s coming in from the practice squad or having no job at all. My ego’s nowhere up there to where I’d be upset about the situation.

“I was upset with myself more than anything. I think I had a poor preseason. But there’s no ill feeling toward the coach or the organization.”

Extra points

Tight end Zeron Flemister was ruled out of the Falcons game with a strained Achilles’ tendon. He remained in a walking boot yesterday. Rookie Kevin Ware will be signed from the practice squad, but Spurrier was unsure who would be cut to make room on the 53-man roster. …

Terrell said he wasn’t told he was inactive until about an hour and a half before the game. Finding out about inactives so late was a frustration among players last year. Spurrier said yesterday that most players are being told of their status well before the game.

“One or two [found out late],” Spurrier said. “Good point. Maybe we need to let them know the night before. … We try to tell them a little before that.” … The Redskins haven’t opened a season 2-0 since 1991, the year they went on to win Super Bowl XXVI.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide