- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2008

After losing his job to Stephon Heyer at the end of preseason because of pass protection issues, offensive tackle Jon Jansen played in the Arizona game last week when Heyer suffered a sprained left shoulder. When the injury failed to improve, Jansen started in Heyer’s place and played the entire game Sunday.

Now it’s possible that Jansen, a 10-year veteran who had started since his rookie year (when healthy), might remain a starter. Heyer played briefly on special teams against the Cowboys and “tweaked” the injury, Redskins coach Jim Zorn said Monday. But he also said Jansen played well.

“Jon stepped in and did a fine job,” Zorn said. “Very aggressive. Excellent on the run. No mental errors at all. He got walked back [by the defender], but for the most part, I think his pass protection improved. Very strong. very strong outing.

“It’ll be a very tough decision. But it has to be, with all the elements involved. But I’m not gonna make that decision [now].”

Zorn said defensive end Jason Taylor, who underwent emergency calf surgery last week and missed the Cowboys game “is on his way back. He was walking around. I don’t know where he’s at yet.”

Cornerback Shawn Springs, who blanketed Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens in the first half before leaving the game, is suffering from a strained left calf. Springs stayed in Dallas to be with his father, former Cowboys running back Ron Springs, who has been in a coma for nearly a year.

Also, starting guard Randy Thomas “got a little turf toe,” Zorn said.

Zorn said he’ll know more when the team gathers for practice on Wednesday.

“But we didn’t have any major issues,” he said. “We have some sore guys.”

Campbell more mobile

Quarterback Jason Campbell is doing a lot of things better than he did last year, including moving around. The 6-5 Campbell, listed at 233 pounds, has shown surprising elusiveness in the pocket, and will even take off and run on occasion.

He and wide receiver Santana Moss both laughed when talking about Campbell’s perceived lack of mobility in the past.

“He’d say, ‘I’m not sure if you’re an African-American quarterback,’” Campbell said. “I’d say, ‘Why’s that?’ ‘Because you stay in the pocket and try to throw all the time.’”

Said Moss: “That’s just stuff we do. But, honestly, the quote-unquote black quarterbacks, they all run. And that was just something I was getting on him about. … Man, he used to take some hits. And I’m, like, ‘Jason, you’ve got to run some time.’”

Campbell said he has lost 10 or 12 pounds, which also helps. He and Moss agreed that Campbell has benefited from some unusual drills Zorn has introduced, like hurling blocking bags from all angles at the quarterbacks.

“They’re doing those ‘Matrix’ kind of moves out there with bags and stuff,” Moss said. “They’re maneuvering and getting through and letting the bags hit them and still throwing the ball. It comes up in the game and you see him making play after play and guys are on him, hanging on him, pulling on him. He’s just being phenomenal right now.”

“I definitely feel different,” Campbell said. “A lot of it has to do with the drills we have in practice. You have to step in the pocket and move your shoulders and avoid the rush. You can’t take those things for granted, because they come up in the game.”

Channeling George Allen

After Sunday’s 26-24 win, Zorn led the players in a rousing series of the old cheer, “hip-hip-hooray,” which isn’t a common occurrence anymore.

Zorn said his former Seahawks coach Chuck Knox brought it with him to Seattle.

“And I thought, ‘You know, this is very old school,’ I mean, hip-hip-hooray? C’mon,” Zorn said. “But it kind of fired me up. And I thought when we were doing this, ‘What’s wrong with old school?’

“I just enjoyed the enthusiasm that Chuck Knox had when he led that cheer,” he added. “I sort of just carried the banner, if you will.”

Zorn said he dusted it off just once as an Seattle assistant, when the Seahawks beat Carolina in the 2005 NFC championship game to advance to Super Bowl XL.

“It’s kind of a special cheer for special games,” Zorn said.

When a media member mentioned it was a staple of Redskins coaching legend George Allen, Zorn was clearly pleased.

“I heard that,” Zorn said. “I couldn’t believe that!”

Pick-free

The Redskins have thrown 251 consecutive passes during their last nine regular-seasons games without an interception. Campbell has an ongoing streak of 146 while Todd Collins, who played after Campbell was hurt last December, threw 105 passes without being intercepted (although he was picked off twice in the playoff loss at Seattle).

cStaff writer David Elfin contributed to this article.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide