- The Washington Times - Monday, November 29, 2004

Joe Gibbs, who presided over a then-NFL record scoring machine in 1983, now is directing the Redskins’ lowest-scoring team since the franchise moved to Washington in 1937 — including the era of single-platoon football.

“I wouldn’t have dreamed that,” Gibbs said yesterday. “I take it personally. That’s my responsibility. I’m the one that needs to score points and get things done.”

After losing 16-7 in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Washington has scored an NFL-low 138 points, an average of about 12.5 a game. The 1938 Redskins averaged a little less than 13.5 points a game.

No other team has less than 164 points this season. The Redskins are on pace for just 201 points, which easily would be their fewest in a 16-game season. Only 11 NFL teams have scored less than 201 points since the schedule expanded to 16 games in 1978.

Left tackle Chris Samuels said the fault lies with the players.

“Gibbs’ system is proven to work on this level,” Samuels said. “We just need to do a better job of executing it.”

But Gibbs, who won three Super Bowls and led the Redskins to the playoffs eight times from 1981 to 1992, doesn’t see his Hall of Fame resume as protection from criticism for his dismal offense.

“The fact that we’ve been real productive before, does that count anything this year? No,” Gibbs said. “The past buys you nothing.

“I have been treated better than anybody in the world by the press here. I probably deserved to be ripped beyond belief.”

Benching quarterback Mark Brunell 21/2 games ago certainly wasn’t the magic bullet for the offense, which has scored just 23 points since. The Redskins are 24th in rushing, 30th in passing and 30th overall. The only one of the 12 offensive categories in which Washington is as high as 17th is sacks per pass play.

Daniels back; Coles OK

Defensive end Phillip Daniels, who missed the past three games and six of the past nine with a groin injury, will return to practice tomorrow. Demetric Evans, who had been starting in Daniels’ place, has a mild sprained ankle but will be available for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. The bruised hip that receiver Laveranues Coles suffered in Pittsburgh won’t keep him from playing Sunday, either.

However, Gibbs said rookie offensive tackle Mark Wilson, who was solid in his first start, “got a little bit of a knee.” The coach expects Wilson back by the end of the week. If he’s not, Gibbs said veteran Lennie Friedman would play right guard for the injured Randy Thomas (hamstring), with Ray Brown moving back to right tackle.

Defensive tackle Jermaine Haley, who missed the Steelers’ game with a sprained knee, should take some individual work tomorrow.

Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin and kicker John Hall, both of whom returned from injuries in Pittsburgh, came through the game fine.

LaVar Arrington has missed nine straight games following knee surgery. Although the knee is stronger, he still has pain. However, the Pro Bowl linebacker isn’t planning on shutting it down for the season despite the Redskins’ 3-8 record.

“I haven’t given up on the year,” Arrington said. “My teammates are out there, and I’m dedicated to trying to get back.”

Taylor on docket

Rookie safety Sean Taylor will be in Fairfax County traffic court tomorrow morning to face a charge of driving under the influence stemming from a traffic stop in the early morning of Oct. 28. The NFL will not fine Taylor for his penalized late hit on Eagles receiver Terrell Owens during the Nov. 21 loss in Philadelphia.

Back in form

Washington’s defense allowed just 207 yards in Pittsburgh, ending its streak of surrendering at least 300 yards at four games in a row. The 207 yards were the third fewest given up by the Redskins this season. Washington remains second overall and eighth in scoring defense. The Redskins are in the top 10 in all 12 defensive categories.

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