- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 24, 2007

My impressions from some of the things Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs did — or didn’t — say during an interview on Friday morning.

* It seems the Redskins are open to trading down but not for the sake of picking up picks post-round 2. They want value; they won’t trade for the sake of just picking up extra seletions.

* Gibbs appeared to be disappointed that a deal for LG Derrick Dockery isn’t done. He knows the free-agent guard class isn’t great. I think Dockery is an average player (nothing great) but he’ll still be tough to replace.

* CB Shawn Springs and the Redskins are in a stare-down over reworking his contract. If I’m Springs, I stand firm — he’s still good enough that he can get a solid contract with another team.

* Gibbs has always been a Portis fan but I took him to heart when he sounded excited about Portis’ attitude. He said No. 26 has an I’m-going-to-show-you attitude.

* I don’t see the decision to let players work out on their own as a big deal. I didn’t play it up in my story for Saturday’s paper for that reason. Had Gibbs been concrete in saying training camp will open (name a number) days early, then that would have been news.

AROUND THE COMBINE

* Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage does an interesting thing at the Combine. Following his press conference, Savage was talking with reporters outside the Media Conference Room. But he excused himself to re-enter the room to watch Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn answer questions. Savage has made a practice of doing this the last three years. For the record, Quinn was impressive on the podium.

* The trade rumor making the rounds Friday was Byron Leftwich for Randy Moss with a draft pick or two involved. The deal makes no sense for the Jags. Jack Del Rio — a coach on very thin ice — named Leftwich his 2007 starter on Thursday and Moss’ skills have diminished greatly. The deal makes great sense for the Raiders. If they could get Leftwich, they could possibly trade down and still grab WR Calvin Johnson.

* Good to see Giants coach Tom Coughlin fire back at now-retired RB Tiki Barber for his comments earlier this month about Coughlin being too demanding. Too often a coach takes the high road when a player bickers. But since he knows he’ll never have to coach Barber again, Coughlin teed off.

* It will be interesting to monitor the Lovie Smith/Bears situation. First, he hasn’t received a contract extension. I expect him to get a deal done before the start of training camp because the Bears don’t want a lame-duck coach. The bigger issue for Smith is his staff. Smith’s decision to cut ties with Ron Rivera was stupid and arrogant. Let’s see how the Bears’ defense does without Rivera.


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