- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 6, 2005

BALTIMORE — If the Washington Redskins are to re-energize an offense that was anemic in 2004, they’ll have to protect the quarterback much better than they did in yesterday’s scrimmage loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T; Bank Stadium.

The Ravens’ starting defense blitzed the Redskins for four sacks, two by former Washington cornerback Deion Sanders and one each by All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis and Pro Bowl pass rusher Terrell Suggs.

Although the Redskins did rest Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels for much of the 11-on-11 work, the line has been bolstered by the return of right tackle Jon Jansen from last year’s torn Achilles tendon and an upgrade at center with former Raven Casey Rabach.

“Pass protection didn’t look good,” said coach Joe Gibbs, whose offense was the league’s third worst last season in his return to the NFL after an 11-year retirement. “Anytime you don’t do well, it’s a concern. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Left guard Derrick Dockery wasn’t as worried.

“It wasn’t just the line,” Dockery said. “We’ve got to watch the film and see where they got the pass rush from. We’ve got to improve, but I thought the effort was good.”

Defense, Taylor shine

Washington’s defense, third in the league in 2004 despite playing without three injured starters for most of the season, was formidable again yesterday without eight starters.

“That’s the trademark of our defense,” Pro Bowl linebacker Marcus Washington said. “When one guy goes down, another guy goes in and does a good job.”

Safety Sean Taylor didn’t start after skipping the entire offseason program. However, Taylor likely won’t be a backup much longer after breaking up what would have been a touchdown catch by Randy Hymes and dropping running back Tellis Redman with a big hit.

“I saw Sean show up a few times, I’ll say that,” Gibbs said. “He has a way of doing that. He’s a heck of a natural player. Sean has had a very good first week [of training camp], but I’ll leave that up to [the defensive coaches] who starts over there and who plays.”

Washington put in a plug for Taylor to rejoin the starters.

“I always kid Sean that we keep him in a cage and feed him raw meat and on game day, we turn him loose,” Washington said. “He’s a heck of a player, and we’re glad to have him back.”

Injury report

Taylor Jacobs sprained a toe on his left foot. X-rays were negative, but he likely still will have an MRI today. Fellow receiver Darnerien McCants participated in the special teams session but was held out on offense after getting five stitches in his hand Friday.

Cornerback Shawn Springs was in for 7-on-7 drills before resting a sore hamstring. Backup corner Garnell Wilds was helped off the field after suffering leg cramps but is fine. Defensive end Renaldo Wynn was absent because of the death of his father-in-law.

Safety Matt Bowen didn’t start but is healthy.

Let’s do it again

Not only will the Redskins visit the Ravens again Sept.1 for their preseason finale, Gibbs said the teams will scrimmage again next summer in Landover. More than 35,000 fans were on hand yesterday.

Gibbs apologizes

Gibbs ripped Dallas fans during Fan Appreciation Day on Friday, calling them “the ugliest people in the world.” Gibbs was very apologetic yesterday, saying, “I kind of got caught up in things. It didn’t come out like it should have. If anybody took it the wrong way other than a joke, I apologize. … When you make a mistake like that, you ought to own up to it.”

Especially when your team is 1-11 against theirs since 1997.



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