- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Marcus Washington is not bitter even if his teammates are still smarting from the snub.

The linebacker was not named to the Pro Bowl when it was announced several weeks ago. Washington did make it to Hawaii last year, but despite perhaps being the best player on a defense that led the Redskins into this season’s playoffs, he will not make a return trip.

“To me, he is the best linebacker in the league,” safety Ryan Clark said. “It is really a slap in [the] face to him, to me as his friend and to our teammates that he didn’t make it to the Pro Bowl. The greatest thing about him is he didn’t complain. He didn’t go in practice and slack off. He just started making more plays. Ever since that came out, he has been proving he is the best player on the field.”

The sixth-year linebacker from Auburn finished second on the team with 93 tackles (73 solo) and set a career high with four fumble recoveries. He continued wreaking havoc in the playoff win over Tampa Bay by making nine tackles, grabbing an interception and causing a fumble that led to Sean Taylor’s 51-yard touchdown return.

Washington had more tackles (107) last season, but he has more sacks (7.5 to 4.5) and more forced fumbles (3-1) this season.

“Marcus had a better year this year than he did last year,” defensive end Philip Daniels said. “He didn’t make the Pro Bowl this year. It kind of makes you upset.”

Washington has enjoyed his best two seasons as a professional after coming to the Redskins before last season as a free agent. He spent his first four years in Indianapolis.

Does he use the oversight as extra motivation?

“Not a whole lot,” said Washington, a late second-round draft pick (59th overall) by the Colts in 2000. “With so many good players in the league and so few slots, sometimes things happen. You can’t really dwell on it. That is definitely a personal goal. It is a lot more important for our team to do well.”

However, the swift 6-foot-3, 247-pounder admits he was upset with the Pro Bowl’s other selections.

“I am just really disgusted that nobody made it from our defense,” Washington said. “We are almost a no-name defense. We have a lot of guys that have chips on their shoulders. It does a lot for us. It causes us to play harder.”

Sleeping (twice) in Seattle

The Redskins will leave town tomorrow and spend an extra day in Seattle before Saturday’s showdown with the Seahawks. It is a departure from the usual routine of leaving the day before the game.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said it is the first time one of his teams has left town two days before a game on the West Coast.

“The reason why I changed is because we have a lot of coaches here that have done that, and I talked it over with the players, and they were up for it,” Gibbs said. “You’re going to Seattle, and it’s a playoff game, and it’s so far. It’s a little different than going to Arizona [in the regular season].”

Gibbs said the Redskins will have their normal Friday walkthrough at a facility in the Seattle area or at the team hotel. Players said while they rather would stay in their own beds tomorrow night, it is a good idea to leave early so they can get over their jet lag by game time.

“I think that is the reason we are doing it,” offensive tackle Jon Jansen said of the six-hour flight. “Right now, being late in the season with some guys nicked up, that is a long time to be up in the air and stuck on a plane. Guys are going to get stiff. Guys are going to swell. There is a lot of things that happen. So we need a good amount of time to get back on the ground and work those things out.”

Springs ready

Cornerback Shawn Springs practiced yesterday after missing Saturday’s game with a groin injury. Springs, who spent his first seven seasons in Seattle before coming to Washington as a free agent last season, feels rested and ready.

“I moved around well,” he said. “I actually could have played in Tampa if Carlos [Rogers] hadn’t played. It was good for us to get this win. Now I feel fresh like the Seattle receivers [who had last week off].”

Injury update

Receiver James Thrash (broken right thumb) did not practice yesterday and is listed as questionable for Saturday. Thrash watched practice with his arm in a sling. Gibbs said the training staff is trying to design a cast Thrash can wear and still be able to catch and hold the football.

Right guard Ray Brown did not practice after receiving an injection in his knee. Jansen (rest) and left tackle Chris Samuels (ankle) did not practice but are expected to work today. Springs (groin) and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (shoulder) practiced and are listed as probable.

Seahawks linebacker D.D. Lewis (foot), defensive end Joe Tafoya (hamstring) and cornerback Marcus Trufant (back) missed practice and are listed as questionable.

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