- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

One day after the replay review that went the wrong way, the Washington Redskins were even more adamant the game-winning two-point conversion run by Tampa Bay’s Mike Alstott should have been disallowed, upholding what they believe should have been a 35-34 victory.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said the team has video showing Alstott was on the ground six inches shy of the goal line.

“He didn’t get in,” defensive end Phillip Daniels said. “I saw his elbow hit before the line, and that’s all I needed to see. They only showed the [replay] angle from the left side. They needed to show the middle end zone angle. When he hit, the ball hadn’t made it across yet.”

Gibbs, of course, is turning that play in to the league for review along with the offside call on the blocked extra-point try that set up Alstott’s “did he or didn’t he?” play.

“The center kinda picked the ball up, and we felt like we kind of got off right on the money,” said Gibbs, who doesn’t regret taking special teams coach Danny Smith’s advice to go for the block that would have prevented overtime. “You can play for overtime, but … I kind of like to go for it and be aggressive. In this case, you can say that it bit us.”

Gibbs also sent to Park Avenue the plays on which Simeon Rice picked off Mark Brunell’s pass because Juran Bolden had grabbed the jersey of intended receiver Santana Moss and the play on which the officials wouldn’t let him challenge Joey Galloway’s 34-yard catch because they had ruled — incorrectly, the Redskins believe — the receiver had been forced out of bounds by Pierson Prioleau.

All of this hasn’t lessened Gibbs’ support for replay.

“If we didn’t have it, I’d really be concerned,” Gibbs said. “At least this way, if it’s something that’s obvious, we’re going to get an overturn.”

Gibbs said the league admitted that center Casey Rabach shouldn’t have been called for holding late in the fourth quarter two weeks ago against Philadelphia. That penalty wiped out a first down that could have put the game away for Washington.

Bobbling Brunell

In his 12th NFL season, Brunell still has trouble holding on to the ball when sacked. Brunell has fumbled on five of the 12 sacks he suffered during the past five games.

“Your quarterbacks are always the guys who turn the ball over because they’re not used to running with it, and most of them aren’t in a position where they’re defending themselves,” Gibbs said. “Mark really moves and tries to get out of there. We need to eliminate the turnover thing, [but] there’s nobody else that I would want in there.”

Brunell is disappointed by his fumbles.

“I have to tuck it away,” he said. “Many times, you can sense when somebody is coming at you, and in that case, you’re looking to throw and the ball is exposed. But you have to do whatever you can to get that thing in your body, and you hope it doesn’t come out.”

Big plays again

Despite the Redskins allowing five “explosion” pass plays of at least 24 yards to a weak Bucs offense a week after surrendering four such plays to the Eagles, Gibbs isn’t going to ask defensive boss Gregg Williams to ratchet down the blitzes that can leave holes in the coverage.

“Our deal is to be aggressive,” Gibbs said. “You try to go within reason. … We need to stay aggressive.”

Injury update

A day after returning a kickoff return for a touchdown and catching a pass for a touchdown for the first time in his four-year career, running back Ladell Betts was added to the injury list with a sprained MCL. James Thrash would be Washington’s primary kickoff returner if Betts can’t play Sunday against Oakland, and Rock Cartwright would become Clinton Portis’ backup.

Gibbs said Sean Taylor is more likely to play than defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, who has missed all but two snaps of the last three games with a hip flexor. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer described Taylor’s injury as a mild high ankle sprain. Backup defensive tackle Cedric Killings has missed the last four games with a similar injury.

Staff writer Ryan O’Halloran contributed to this article.

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