- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 22, 2009

All the fuss over the Washington Redskins’ continuing red-zone failures would have ended Sunday if fullback Mike Sellers and receiver Devin Thomas had done what they were supposed to do in the end zone: catch the ball.

Each took the blame for failing to hang on to passes from Jason Campbell that could have opened up what turned out to be a 9-7 squeaker over the winless St. Louis Rams.

“I’m one of those guys on the team that when someone messes up, I’m gonna let ‘em know, so I hold myself to a high standard because I do that for everybody else,” said Sellers, one of Washington’s six co-captains. “I should have caught the ball. We won the game, but it still felt like a loss to me.”

Sellers’ drop on second-and-goal at the St. Louis 8 midway through the second quarter came on a gimme, but Thomas’ chance on third-and-goal at the 3 just 10 minutes into the game was much tougher.

“Once I collided with the linebacker [Will Witherspoon], I just tried to find a way to get back open,” Thomas said. “I looked back, and there was a real small window where Jason saw me and I saw him. He threw it, and I didn’t get both hands on the ball. It hit my arm. I definitely should’ve caught the ball. I was sick about it.”

So was coach Jim Zorn, whose offense found the end zone on 14 of its first 24 red-zone penetrations (.583) last season. The Redskins have scored just 11 of 32 times (.344) since, including two of eight this season with one a kneel-down situation against the Rams.

“They really lit up Devin when he came across [the middle],” Zorn said. “As he moved across, Jason stayed with him. He did get some separation, and the ball was coming in hot. Down there when the ball comes in hot, you only have a split second to see it.”

This season’s two touchdowns came on a fake field goal in the opener against the New York Giants and in the hurry-up offense with just 1:42 left in that game, when Campbell hit Chris Cooley for a 17-yard scoring pass. The Redskins were 0-for-5 in the red zone against the Rams.

Campbell might be limited

Ordinarily, any injury to the starting quarterback is big news, but Campbell’s sprained foot was overshadowed by right guard Randy Thomas’ season-ending torn triceps.

Zorn said Campbell might be limited in practice because the foot is swollen. Campbell, who’s expected to start Sunday at Detroit, was unavailable for comment at Redskin Park, but he told FM-106.7 “The Fan”: “I’ll be out for a couple of days but I’ll be ready to go for Sunday.”

Cornerback Fred Smoot, inactive against St. Louis with an injury to his ribs, expects to take at least limited work when the Redskins return to practice Wednesday.

Henson apologizes

Rookie linebacker Robert Henson said he regrets calling fans “dim wits” on Twitter for booing the Redskins during their less than rousing home opener.

“I understand the weight that my words carried and how I offended some fans,” Henson said. “For that again, I apologize. I’ve updated my Twitter because it was the right thing to do. I sincerely apologize to all the fans. I hope to have a long, prosperous career here. I don’t want anybody booing me or being negative towards me.”

Henson declined to discuss the charge he made Sunday night on his Twitter page that fans threw things at him as he stood on the sideline in street clothes. Henson has not been made active in either of the first two games.

Zorn’s clock watcher

Special teams coach Danny Smith frantically restrained Zorn from calling a timeout with Washington facing a fourth-and-1 at the St. Louis 20 with 3:47 to go.

With his view of the 25-second clock blocked, Zorn hadn’t seen he could afford to run it down to leave the Rams with less time to try to rally if the fourth-down play failed.

“[Danny] had looked at the other clock, so [he knew] we had time we could take off the clock,” Zorn said. “He doesn’t have a headset on. I do. You know how he gets going.”

At that point Zorn, who said he didn’t hear Smith, performed an ear-piercing impersonation of the fiery special-teams coach, which prompted quite a bit of laughter from the assembled press corps.

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