- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Had Troy Vincent not knifed through an opening in the Dallas line to block Mike Vanderjagt’s field goal, had Sean Taylor not scooped up the ball and returned it 30 yards and had Nick Novak not made his 47-yard kick Sunday to give the Washington Redskins victory, we’re guessing the mailbag would have been jampacked today.

But the Redskins did show they have a pulse by outlasting the Cowboys 22-19. And so for at least one week, the e-mails calling for Mark Brunell’s benching, Dan Snyder’s sale of the team and everything in between have been put on hold.

Q: Am I wrong, but aren’t the Eagles the third team coming off a bye week the Redskins have faced this season? Is that unusual, and is anybody else in the league facing this circumstance? — Pam Rodgers

A: You’re right. Philadelphia joins the Giants and Indianapolis as teams that took the previous weekend off before playing host to the Redskins. It is unusual this season, and only Dallas plays three teams coming off their bye weekend (Baltimore plays three teams post-bye, but the Ravens-Saints game featured both teams coming off byes the previous week). But the Redskins are the only team to face three road games against teams that have had time to rest.

Q: I saw that, against Indianapolis, Khary Campbell had seven tackles [in place of] Lemar Marshall. If Campbell did so well, why can’t we make him the middle linebacker and move Lemar back to outside linebacker, where he excelled two years ago when we still had Antonio Pierce? — Dave Labanow

A: Marshall returned from his ankle injury to play against Dallas and recorded the Redskins’ first safety since September 2003. Campbell was pretty decent against the Colts, but the Redskins figure their best option right now is to keep Marshall in the middle. The coaches trust Marshall to get players in the right spots, and making a change in midseason would require a big transition.

I’ve maintained since he signed with the Giants that losing Pierce was be a mistake. A linebacker trio of Marshall, Pierce and Marcus Washington would be formidable.

Q: What was or is the purpose of the Redskins OTAs (organized team activities) over the summer that had 98 percent participation? What were they doing, and didn’t these highly paid coaches, including the CEO (Gibbs), see the glaring holes on the offensive and defensive lines? Didn’t they see Adam Archuleta was two or three steps slow, and didn’t they see Andre Carter could not rush the passer? — Steve

A: It’s impossible to know for real what goes on during the OTAs that run from late spring to early summer, usually three days a week. The practices are closed to the media. Contact drills aren’t allowed, so they’re basically walk-through exercises. But it would be interesting to get the coaching staff hooked up with some truth serum to see what their initial impressions were of Carter and Archuleta. As for the offense, Mark Brunell missed much of the OTAs and all of minicamp because of a broken finger.

Q: One playoff season and Dan Snyder upped the season ticket and parking prices. The upper deck at FedEx is empty, and it’s impossible to unload a ticket. How many folks plan on renewing their season tickets, and how long until we see single-game sales at FedEx? — Kathi Daylor

A: For the Tennessee game last month, the upper deck had an alarmingly high number of empty seats, which suggested: 1) Fans from outside the immediate D.C. area figured Titans-Redskins wasn’t worth the trip and 2) They couldn’t get rid of those tickets. The upper deck had only a few pockets of no-shows against the Cowboys.

As for single-game sales, don’t expect it any time soon unless the NFL for some reason mandates that a certain number of seats can be single-game only. According to the Redskins, there are more than 150,000 names on the season-ticket waiting list, and only 1 to 2 percent of the season tickets become available each year.

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