Receivers running a fade pattern

Players couldn't find way to exploit Raiders' porous pass defense

Redskins Notebook From The Cover

Pro football

November 22, 2005|By EDWARD LEE | EDWARD LEE,SUN REPORTER

ASHBURN, Va. -- Everywhere Santana Moss turned, his path was blocked and he had little room to breathe.

And that was just Moss' experience with the media yesterday.

A day after the Washington Redskins (5-5) suffered their fifth defeat in the past seven games with a 16-13 loss to an Oakland Raiders team that had lost five of its previous eight road games, questions about the lack of offense continued to swirl at Redskins Park.

Much of the scrutiny centered on the ineffectiveness of the wide receivers against a team (4-6) that had surrendered an average of 218.6 passing yards.

Moss, who was double-covered for most of the contest, caught just four passes for 53 yards. David Patten and James Thrash were nursing injuries, and Taylor Jacobs had three catches for 17 yards.

Moss said he hadn't seen a defense roll a safety in his direction since the 36-0 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 30.

"Those guys aren't stupid. This is the NFL," he said. "I just heard it from one of the players who said he talked to someone on the [Raiders] and he said they just knew everything. They scouted us well, and they just knew that on this down, we were going to do this or we have the potential to do this."

Sunday's game was the fourth straight in which a Washington wide-out did not gain 100 yards or score a touchdown. Moss, who had four 100-yard games and five touchdowns in the first six games, has 19 catches for 245 yards and no scores since.

His teammates have fared worse. Patten caught 22 passes for 217 yards and did not score a touchdown before the team placed him on injured reserve on Friday after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Jacobs had two catches for 33 yards before Sunday, while Thrash caught 13 passes for 153 yards before his injury on Sunday.

"We lost two receivers in one week," said coach Joe Gibbs, who added that it would be "tough" for Thrash to play in Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers (6-4). "What it caused us to do yesterday was change up some of our packages. ... It did cause us some problems and limited some of the things we could do."

Yesterday, the organization sent rookie Rich Parson (Maryland) back to the practice squad to make room for Jimmy Farris, who caught two touchdown passes in the team's final preseason game against the Ravens before being released. Gibbs said the Redskins would work out a few more receivers this week.

Sellers out

H-back Mike Sellers will not play against the Chargers after suffering a hairline fracture in one of his ribs on Sunday, but Gibbs said Sellers could return as early as the Dec. 4 game in St. Louis.

Sellers, who declined to talk to reporters, suffered the injury when Raiders linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba speared him in the back during punt return coverage in the fourth quarter.

Gibbs said Sellers re-inserted himself back into the game on another punt return and was promptly penalized 10 yards for retaliating against Ekejiuba.

"You can't put yourself before the team," Gibbs said. "I think he was so geared up that it did cost us."

In other injury news, Gibbs said defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin (hip flexor) and running back Ladell Betts (sprained medial collateral ligament) are day-to-day, and their status for the game against San Diego is unknown.

Gibbs to make case

Gibbs said he planned to send film to the league offices in New York showing that Oakland running back LaMont Jordan had fumbled the ball at the Redskins' 1-yard line at the two-minute mark and should not have been ruled down by contact by the officials.

"Down by contact to me, I think you've got to kind of look at that and say what does that mean?" Gibbs said. "Hopefully, when we turn it in and everything, there'll be a full review of it."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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