- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2004

Mark Brunell is accepting blame for the Washington Redskins’ struggles on offense.

Asked yesterday how much of the Redskins’ inconsistent offensive play falls on his shoulders, Brunell said, “All of it.”

The veteran quarterback has presided over an attack that ranks a respectable 17th in the NFL but has been plagued by turnovers and mistakes during a three-game losing streak. Brunell, who has completed 55.6 percent of his passes and has a 79.5 quarterback rating, has no problem taking responsibility for it.

“It goes with the position, unfortunately,” he said. “I certainly can play better — all the guys would tell you that. It starts with the guy behind the center.”

The Redskins face a difficult task in trying to turn their offense around against Baltimore on Sunday night, but Brunell has a long history of success against the Ravens.

In 12 games against Baltimore while playing for Jacksonville, Brunell threw for 3,395 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has surpassed the 300-yard passing mark seven times.

Most of that success, though, came years ago, when Brunell led the Jaguars to seven straight victories over the Ravens. He has lost his last five meetings with Baltimore and doesn’t believe his past performances will have any impact on Sunday night’s game.

“If that had anything to do with this week, I could use it. But it doesn’t,” Brunell said. “This is a different team, different situation. They’re a different team. One thing I do go into this game with is a lot of respect for [the Ravens].”

LaVar, two others out

Despite his long-shot hopes of returning from knee surgery to play this week, linebacker LaVar Arrington has been declared out for Sunday’s game. It will be the third straight game Arrington has missed since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Sept.21 to repair a torn meniscus.

Also out this week are linebacker Mike Barrow, who has yet to play this season because of a partially torn tendon in his left knee, and defensive end Phillip Daniels, who will miss his third straight game with a pulled groin.

Daniels, who hopes to return next week against Chicago, recently made an unusual discovery that he believes helps explain the rash of injuries he has sustained to the left side of his body since joining the Redskins this offseason.

“I just happened to go see a chiropractor, and they told me my left leg is shorter than my right,” Daniels said. “That could be the reason I’ve had a lot of my injuries on my left side. … I always used to wonder why when I was walking on a level surface, I would trip with my right leg.”

Daniels said he has begun wearing a lift under his left heel to help even his legs out.

Safety school

Sunday’s game marks the first time college teammates Ed Reed and Sean Taylor will play against each other. The two former University of Miami safeties both were first-round picks, Reed with the Ravens in 2002 and Taylor with the Redskins this year.

Though he was only a freshman at Miami when Reed was a senior, Taylor learned plenty from his elder classmate and has tried to mold his game after the Ravens’ Pro Bowl player.

“[He’s] one of those guys you always looked up to, and now he’s on the other side of the field playing against you,” Taylor said. “It’ll be special.”

Taylor, who is in line to make his third straight start, has had a few moments in the early stages of his pro career, but he has yet to make the big plays he did during an impressive preseason.

Asked how close he is to reaching that potential, he replied, “I don’t know. That’s like saying how close are you to winning the lottery? … It’s a progression. As long as I’m taking steps in the right direction, I’m all right. Success is never something that happens overnight.”

Extra points

Kick returner Chad Morton, who missed last week’s game with a sprained knee, returned to practice yesterday and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game. Safety Andre Lott (hamstring) is questionable, while cornerback Shawn Springs (ankle), tackle Ray Brown (hamstring) and defensive end Ron Warner (ankle) are all probable. …

The Redskins signed linebacker Brandon Barnes, who spent training camp with the Ravens, and released linebacker Michael Brown. The club also swapped linebackers on the practice squad, releasing Steve Josue and adding Billy Strother. …

Michelle Tessier, the Redskins’ director of public relations, resigned yesterday.

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