- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2007

Marcus Washington is always on the move. He shimmies on the field between plays, bobs his head during interviews and generally just can’t sit still.

So having to stay off his feet following surgery in January to fix his left hip was tougher for the Washington Redskins linebacker than playing most of 2006 with the bad hip. If Washington hadn’t injured the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee with two games left, his consecutive games streak would be intact at 66. The two absences equaled the total of his first six seasons.

“To not go in those last two games, it kind of leaves a nasty taste in your mouth,” the standout strong side linebacker said Tuesday as his teammates began 14 days of on-field work. “I’ve been sitting out a while, not really doing a whole lot. Everybody’s kind of revived and ready to start fresh and you still can’t go, it’s kind of tough. But when you have an injury like that, you’ve just got to be patient. I know the best thing I can do now is relax and just kind of coach from the sidelines.”

Washington said he first injured the hip before the Week 4 game with Jacksonville. He never let on publicly as he sank from 71/2 sacks during the Redskins’ 2005 playoff season to 21/2 last year.

“One day I was stretching pretty hard after a pretty tough practice and it felt like my hip was kind of out of place,” Washington said. “I got adjusted and it still felt kind of funny. Then I guess in the Jacksonville game I got pushed a funny way, and from that point on it really kind of bothered me a lot. It got a little better as the season went on, but I still didn’t have a lot of my flexibility.”

With the damaged cartilage cleaned out and the bone spurs shaved, Washington said his hip feels good. He has been performing water exercises and riding a bike and an elliptical trainer for weeks, but he just resumed running last week and isn’t supposed to return to action before the June 15-17 minicamp.

Once the 2004 Pro Bowl pick is back on the field, the Redskins plan to use him more often with his hand down in passing situations.

“We want to rush Marcus more,” coach Joe Gibbs said.

That’s fine with Washington, a defensive end as a senior at Auburn before switching to linebacker with Indianapolis, where he played his first four NFL seasons. Washington recorded a career-high eight sacks in 2001, his first year as a starter.

“I like being aggressive, I like attacking,” Washington said with a grin. “It won’t be so much re-routing guys and more of just reading the quarterback and going. When I first came into the league, I did more rushing than anything. I’m excited. I’m going to have to shake some of the rust off and really work that part of my game. It’s going to be fun because you get to kind of cut it loose a little bit.”

Notes — The Redskins’ rookie pool is $3.4 million, the bulk of which will go to safety LaRon Landry, who went sixth in last month’s draft, 137 spots ahead of Washington’s next choice, linebacker Dallas Sartz. Under NFL rules, the rookies aren’t allowed to return to Redskin Park until Wednesday. …

After today’s session, the Redskins will practice Tuesday through Thursday for two weeks and again the week of June 4 before wrapping up their OTA days on June 12 and 13.

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