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Reed Doughty Goes To IR Somewhat Satisfied

Posted by Matt Terl on December 30, 2009 – 3:53 pm

The Redskins moved Reed Doughty to injured reserve today with a high ankle sprain, ending his season with one game left to play. This may seem like only a small step up from last season, when he went on injured reserve with a back injury with ten games left to play, but Doughty doesn’t see it that way.

“I’m thankful I got to play as long as I did [this season],” he said. “I’m healthy and an ankle injury is NOT my back, so I’m thankful for that.”

Here’s the other thing Doughty can be thankful for: he’s quietly had a very good year.
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Revisiting That Positive Sequence With Chris Wilson

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2009 – 12:10 pm

After the second quarter of last night’s debaclicious game, I described a three play sequence that represented — to me — the most consistent stretch of positive Redskins performance of the entire evening:

  1. Chris Wilson sniffs out and shuts down a Cowboys reverse for a 13-yard loss.
  2. Reed Doughty intercepts a tipped Tony Romo pass.
  3. The Redskins overturn an apparent Jason Campbell fumble via a successful replay challenge.

After the game, I was able to get a little bit of follow-up to two of these. (There really wasn’t much to say about the replay challenge, and the fact that I’m listing it as a positive play grows more and more depressing by the minute.)

Anyhow, Doughty hobbled into the postgame locker room wearing a walking boot on his sprained ankle — an injury that looked much, much worse when it occurred — and shook his head. “Well, this has been a great season,” he said, grimacing. “Finally get my first career interception and wind up writhing in pain on the field.”

If you’re scoring at home, one of my positive moments was a replay challenge; the other was described sarcastically by the main guy involved.

Fortunately, Chris Wilson’s play was legitimately positive, and he was willing to describe it in more detail.
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Secret Santa With The Defensive Backs

Posted by Matt Terl on December 24, 2009 – 3:01 pm

I’ve been involved in some Secret Santa gift exchanges before and made out pretty well, I think. An orange-shaped lump of chocolate one time, an Amazon gift certificate another. Solid workplace gifts.

The Redskins defensive backs their Secret Santa on a slightly different level. (“Nah, nah,” LaRon Landry said. “No secrets, just a gift exchange. We drew names.” Whatever.)

Reed Doughty was sitting in front of his locker today, already changed after practice into his usual everyday-guy jeans-T-shirt-sweatshirt-sneakers combo, a Gucci bag sitting incongruously next to him. “Should’ve put your name into the defensive back secret santa pool,” he explained. “Fred Smoot had me, so I got my first pair of Gucci shoes.”

I asked if Gucci shoes weren’t a little steep for the usual twenty-bucks-max Secret Santa. “Yeah, I can be a little frugal at times, so when I found out that Fred was giving me these, I was, like, whoa.” But Doughty found out in time to adjust his gift for Doug Dutch.
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Friday Notes, Links, And An Update To The Side Dishes Thing

Posted by Matt Terl on November 27, 2009 – 2:19 pm

A few quick notes on this exciting Black Friday:

  • Per head coach Jim Zorn, DeAngelo Hall is out for Sunday’s game against the Eagle. Benched CB Carlos Rogers will get the start in his place. Albert Haynesworth is a gametime decision, Todd Yoder and H.B. Blades are questionable, and Mike Sellers was limited after being kicked during practice but should be okay by gametime. Mike Williams is expected to be available, but Edwin Williams will get the start at right guard.
  • That list, of course, does not include Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley, who have already been declared out for Sunday.
  • An URGENT UPDATE to my Thanksgiving side dishes post: Reed Doughty asked me to let the world know that his mother told him in no uncertain terms that she did NOT make Stove Top stuffing at Thanksgiving. “Sorry, mom,” Doughty said.
  • Two more links on the second anniversary of Sean Taylor‘s passing: the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ethan Skolnick talked to Santana Moss about Taylor, and the Free Lance-Star’s Rich Campbell asked a few of the guys about it as well.
  • Also, because some people apparently missed in on Twitter on Wednesday, the team has signed quarterback Richard Bartel to the active roster from the Jacksonville practice squad, released practice squad QB Andre’ Woodson, and filled his spot on the squad with FB Jonathan Evans (who spent some time with the team in preseason).

Photo of Stove Top — NOT the Official Stuffing Of Reed Doughty — from Wikimedia Commons at

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Reed Doughty and Chris Horton: The Depth Chart Switch And That Penalty From Last Week

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 6:40 pm

Things have been pretty good for Reed Doughty this season, and he knows it. Every time I’ve spoken to him, he’s emphasized just how much better he feels, how much smoother he’s playing, what a difference this is from the start of last season.

Here’s what he had to say on Monday about his steadily-increasing role in the defense: “Whatever coach wants, whatever he feels is necessary at that point. I’m focused on special teams and I’m playing third down; if he says, hey, you’re up with first defense, I’m up with first defense. That’s just how I play it.”

Today, that’s pretty much what the coach said, elevating Doughty to starter in place of second-year safety Chris Horton.

“Reed’s playing as good of football as he’s ever played for us right now,” defensive coordinator Greg Blache said (between long paragraphs of throwing himself under the bus). “He’s got experience, he’s very savvy player. So we always thought those guys were 1 and 1. One guy has a little bit better athleticism, another guy’s got a little bit more in experience and recognition, and it was just a decision that we made.”

Horton and Doughty are close — the two are always together around the edges of the practice field, almost always talking with the elaborate hand motions that go with describing plays and coverages — and this will do little to change that relationship. Read more »

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Greg Blache Throws Self Under Bus, Implies More Attacking From Defense

Posted by Matt Terl on October 1, 2009 – 1:54 pm

Big day for defensive coordinator Greg Blache‘s media availability, and not just for clever turns of phrase. First of all, he announced that Reed Doughty will be replacing Chris Horton in the starting lineup.

“Reed’s actually played better the last couple of weeks,” Blache said, “and Chris has struggled a little bit. You know, he had a play last week with bad eyes and got the interference call; he had an incident the week before … and it’s not that we’re down on him. But the fact that you have a guy in Reed that’s so close to him, it gives you an opportunity to get a guy that gives Chris a chance to catch his breath, refocus, come back strong. It’s a long season, and at the same time it gives Reed a chance to get out on the field more and give us an opportunity to make some plays.”
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What Happened On Byron Westbrook's Punt Coverage

Posted by Matt Terl on September 17, 2009 – 4:45 pm

It’s been mentioned more than once that the Redskins had only four offensive plays in the first quarter of Sunday’s game in New Jersey. What hasn’t been discussed as much is what happened at the end of those four plays. It shows up pretty simply in the play-by-play: (5:04) 3-H.Smith punts 38 yards to end zone, Center-67-E.Albright, Touchback.

The person who is most clearly eliminated in that description is CB Byron Westbrook, who seemed to be in position to down the ball when it bounced at the 2-yard line, mistimed his jump, was still resettling from his jump when the ball landed again at about the 2-foot line, and was unable to stop the ball from rolling into the endzone.

It was a bummer of a play for Westbrook, playing in his first game on the active roster after spending last season on the practice squad. The move to the active roster was a big deal for Westbrook. “It was a goal that I set out for myself before the season,” he told me, “and I definitely accomplished it, but it was just one of the many goals that I set for myself, so now I’ve gotta continue making plays on special teams.”

And he did contribute a couple tackles on kick and punt coverage; unfortunately, the more memorable special teams play was the one he didn’t make on that first punt.

“I just mistimed my jump,” Westbrook said simply. “As a punt goes down — and the football is already oddly shaped — you’ve just gotta judge the jump. I didn’t expect the ball to go up that high, and so when I did jump, I just mistimed it. Those plays are gonna be there all year, so next time I’ll make the play, make it happen.”

What interested me was how some of the other special teams aces on the team would respond to this. Would they sympathize with Westbrook? Criticize him? Mock him outright?
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Stephon Heyer Knows How To Make An Entrance

Posted by Matt Terl on September 1, 2009 – 4:23 pm

As I mentioned when the Mike Sellers incident reared its head, I was on the sidelines for pregame introductions at the game Friday night. I missed the Sellers’s troubles with the flag because he was out of sight. I did not miss Stephon Heyer‘s introduction, but I didn’t register it as particularly significant.

Here’s what I saw at the time: when the whole team jogged out ahead of individual introductions, rookie offensive lineman Scott Burley had two helmets, one of which he brandished at the sky as he ran out. Then the offense was introduced, Heyer jogged out helmetless, pointing at the stands. I figured he had given his helmet to his fellow ex-Terrapin and didn’t really follow-up on it.

When Rocky McIntosh twittered about it today, that made me officially 0-for-2 on following up on interesting pregame events. Here’s McIntosh:

I forgot did anybody happen to catch stephon heyer player intro at the beginning of da patriots game??This guts confidence is threw the roof […] No helmet , dancing wowow get it Stephon his swagger is at a all time high nobody in the locker room can talk about him

So with that in mind, I caught up with Heyer as he came off the practice field and asked why Burley had carried his helmet into the game.

“Nope,” he said. “That’s wrong.”

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Wednesday, March 11: Reed Doughty Re-Signs

Posted by Matt Terl on March 11, 2009 – 11:02 am

As first reported last night by David Elfin of The Washington Times, the Redskins have re-signed safety Reed Doughty, presumably to compete for a spot with the first team defense.

There were two ways to look at Doughty’s 2008 season. From one perspective, it was a never-ending sequence of bad luck events — a stomach illness keeping him out of the Saints game and opening the door for rookie Chris Horton to shine; Horton eventually taking over the starting spot; Doughty’s season ending on injured reserve; his subsequent back surgery. Not good.

But then there’s the other perspective — the one where Doughty is the luckiest guy on the team. Read more »

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