Farris trying to grab roster spot

Redskins wide receiver impresses Gibbs with 2 TDs in loss to Ravens

Pro Football

September 03, 2005|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Jimmy Farris may have put the Washington Redskins coaching staff in a precarious position.

Farris, a third-year player trying to make the Redskins as a wide receiver, stood out in Washington's 26-20 overtime loss to the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

Farris registered team highs in receptions (four), yards (76) and touchdowns (two). Before that night, he had just two catches for 30 yards in the previous three preseason games.

"I either made it a lot harder or a lot easier," said Farris, 27. "They were either feeling good about me and this solidified it or they kind of felt like, `Well, this guy's a long shot,' and I made it hard for them. You never know."

Farris' performance didn't escape coach Joe Gibbs, who praised Farris in his post-game comments Thursday night.

"He really played well, and those are the kinds of things we need to see," Gibbs said. "We've got some tough decisions there to make."

Farris, who had spent time in San Francisco, New England and Atlanta before joining the Redskins in May, is involved in perhaps the toughest competition on the team.

With Santana Moss, David Patten and James Thrash assured of their status on the roster, Farris, Antonio Brown, Kevin Dyson, Jamin Elliott, Taylor Jacobs and Rich Parson are likely battling for the final two spots in the receiving corps.

Jacobs was thought to be a lock for a roster spot, but a sprained toe suffered in a scrimmage against the Ravens on Aug. 6 has sidelined him for the entire preseason. Brown, a return specialist, had been singled out by Gibbs for his work during the preseason, but dropped three passes Thursday night.

Dyson, a former first-round pick in the 1998 draft who was selected ahead of Randy Moss, has played OK, but admitted that his roster spot is in jeopardy due to his lack of play on special teams.

The punting job might go to Andy Groom, who averaged 46 yards on three punts against the Ravens. Chris Mohr, who was signed on Monday as a possible replacement for Tom Tupa (on injured reserve with a strained back), averaged 40.2 yards on six punts.

Running back Rock Cartwright appears to have a slight edge over rookie Nehemiah Broughton. Cartwright averaged 3.9 yards a carry this preseason (35 rushes for 136 yards), while Broughton averaged 3.1 yards (36 rushes for 113 yards).

In the secondary, Rufus Brown may be on the outs as the Ravens threw to Brown's side often during their comeback. Cornerback Ade Jimoh has struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, but he is a standout on special teams. The status of Eric Joyce and Garnell Wilds is also up for debate.

Among the linebackers, Brandon Barnes, Khary Campbell, Zak Keasey and Robert McCune are battling for the final two spots.

The Redskins have until tonight at 6 to trim their roster to 53 players.

NOTES: Rookie H-back Manuel White may be lost for the season after suffering a broken left leg in Thursday's game. Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer told The Washington Post that White, the team's fourth-round draft choice, will be out for an extended period of time. Considering the severity of the injury and White's difficult transition from fullback to H-back, he may be headed to injured reserve.

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