- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 25, 2008

Although Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache hasn’t fully decided, he said he is leaning toward returning next season.

That’s a lot different from a year ago when Blache, then the defensive line coach, decided to retire. But he changed his mind after he was promoted to replace Gregg Williams.

“To be quite candid, this time of year is never a good time to make a decision when you’re tired,” Blache said. “And that’s what I did last year. I made a decision. It’s better for me to wait, but right now, yeah, I’m up for it.

“It’s been fun. It’s easy to come to work every day. When you come to work and you trust guys that they’re gonna line up and compete and you can trust them with each other and for each other, that’s what this business is all about.”

First-year Redskins coach Jim Zorn welcomed the news.

“I don’t really believe I would have been able to do the things I needed to do on offense if Greg wasn’t such an outstanding leader [and] motivator of that group on defense.”

Blache, who turns 60 in March, is in his 21st NFL season and his fifth with the Redskins. He called himself a “dinosaur” based on the kind of me-first players that tend to populate the league.

“I’m from a different age. A lot things that happen in this game is not to my liking,” Blache said. “But if I have a group like I do, it makes it so much easier and more fun to come to work every day.”

Going into Sunday’s regular-season finale in San Francisco, the Redskins have the fourth-ranked defense, allowing just 284.1 yards a game.

Something to kick about

Punter Ryan Plackemeier, whose future with the Redskins might have been questionable a month ago, was named NFC special teams player of the week.

Plackemeier figured prominently in Sunday’s 10-3 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. In eight punts, he pinned the Eagles inside the 20-yard line five times. In the fourth quarter alone, as the Redskins clung to a seven-point lead, his punts forced Philadelphia to begin drives at its 9, 3, 10, 20 and 9-yard lines.

An All-American at Wake Forest, Plackemeier signed Oct. 14 after the team cut sixth-round draft choice Durant Brooks. Plackemeier, who played with the Seahawks in 2006 and 2007, was released by Seattle after the opener this year.

It took a while to find his rhythm - he had an especially poor game against his old team a month ago - and there was some discussion that he was punting to keep his job.

“I think I’ve improved every week,” Plackemeier said. “I think I had some good games. I had some bad punts in some of those games that stood out, especially in losses. Seattle was a disaster. I was way too excited for that, I think. … But in every one of those games I can think of one punt I wanted back.”

Injury report

Defensive tackle Lorenzo Alexander (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

Despite assorted injuries, running back Clinton Portis practiced Wednesday. So did offensive tackle Jon Jansen, who missed the last two games with a knee injury. He’s expected to play Sunday.

Linebacker London Fletcher (sprained foot) sat out but also should play. Zorn said he expects Kedric Golston to return after the defensive tackle missed the Eagles game with bone spurs in his foot.

Guard Pete Kendall (knee) and kicker Shaun Suisham (not injury related) didn’t practice, but both are expected to play.

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