- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2006

Troy Vincent’s successful transition to strong safety after 13-plus seasons and five Pro Bowl seasons at cornerback has gotten Washington Redskins teammate Shawn Springs thinking.

Vincent, then 33, made the switch late in the 2004 season in Buffalo. Springs, a Pro Bowl corner for Seattle in 1998 and an alternate for the Redskins in 2004, will be 32 next season.

“I think I could make that move,” Springs said. “I would love to do it. I could play another two or three years at corner and then move to safety for another two years. It would depend on whether [the Redskins] would want me to do it.”

While Springs had a veteran’s day off yesterday because he had been going so hard since returning from pelvic injuries four weeks ago, everyone else practiced. That included backup tight end Christian Fauria, who had sat out the previous two days with a sprained left ankle, and starting receiver Santana Moss, who increased his workload to include deep routes. Both should play tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Coach Joe Gibbs said that he was surprised about Fauria being able to take so much work and that Moss recovered so quickly this week after not being on the field the previous two weeks because of a strained left hamstring.

“Every day I went up the ladder and did more running, more strenuous things to see where it was at,” Moss said. “I’m glad I made it through these three days without any setbacks. It’s getting back up to strength on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean you’re fully healed. It means you’re going on the right pace.”

The difference maker?

Was it just a coincidence that the Redskins ended their three-game losing streak as soon as left defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin returned from a hip injury? Probably not. During Griffin’s three years in Washington, the Redskins are 1-7 when he doesn’t play or doesn’t make it past the first series, 18-14 when he plays extensively.

“There’s no magic, just doing my job,” said Griffin, who recorded his first sack and was credited with nine tackles, equaling his most during the past two years.

Said assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams: “Cornelius is an impact-type player. You don’t see a lot of tackles that are around the ball that much as he is. He does create those negative yardage plays that puts the offense on their heels and lets the defense tee off. We’re a better team when he’s on the field.”

Happy to contribute

James Thrash, who made the Redskins as an undrafted rookie out of Missouri Southern in 1997 after being cut by the Eagles, worked his way up to starter by 2000. Thrash then signed with the Eagles as a free agent and started for them the next three years before returning to Washington in 2004. Thrash caught 25 passes in his first 19 games back, but added just eight more catches in the next 16 games through the Oct. 15 loss to Tennessee.

However, Thrash caught two passes, including a late 18-yard touchdown equaling his total of the past three years the following week at Indianapolis. And last Sunday against Dallas with Pro Bowl starter Santana Moss and fellow receiver David Patten both inactive with strained hamstrings, Thrash caught three passes for 52 yards. It was his most productive day on offense since he had five catches for 81 yards in the 2004 finale against Minnesota.

“I really appreciate my role on special teams, but I’m a receiver and any time I get chance to get out there and contribute in any way, catching balls or blocking, it’s awesome,” Thrash said. “It was definitely fun to be out there.”


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