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'D' Adjusts to New-Look Giants Offense

Gregg Williams admits he is glad not to coach against Tiki Barber anymore.

The now-retired Giants running back wrapped up a Hall of Fame-caliber career last Dec. 30 against the Redskins. Playing in his last regular-season game, Barber rushed for a career-high 234 yards on 23 carries and had touchdown runs of 15, 55 and 50 yards.

Needless to say, it was not a shining moment for the Redskins' defense.

"Tiki's driven us nuts," Williams aid. "You can play so soundly, just like last week against [Brian] Westbrook, but you can't over-coach against athletic talent at times. We missed tackles against Westbrook because he's so talented. We missed tackles against Tiki because he's so talented.

"[The Giants] have done an admirable job replacing Tiki, but it's still not the same."

Brandon Jacobs was supposed to be the primary replacement to Barber this year, but Jacobs suffered a knee injury in Week 1. He is listed as out for the Redskins-Giants game at FedExField this Sunday.

Derrick Ward, a 5-11, 228-pounder, has emerged as the Giants' top rusher early on. He has 179 rushing yards on 28 carries, an impressive 6.4 yards-per-carry average.

The 0-2 Giants have a potent offense. The unit is ranked ninth overall, and sixth in passing offense.

Eli Manning is off to a great start despite a shoulder injury suffered in Week 1. He has completed 44-of-70 passes for 523 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions.

Wide receivers Plaxico Burress (10 catches, 176 yards, 4 TDs) and Amani Toomer (11 catches, 139 yards) and tight end Jeremy Shockey (10 catches, 101 yards) are Manning's top weapons in the passing game.

The Giants have been forced to become an adept passing offense because they have fallen behind early in games, Williams said. They lost 45-35 to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 and 35-13 to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.

Williams expects a balanced Giants offense come Sunday.

"Right now, the score dictates that they pass, because they're playing catch-up," Williams said. "It sometimes skews the numbers, but you can still get yourself and your team in a position to win games and that's what they've been doing. They haven't had any trouble scoring points."

The Redskins defense is currently ranked 16th overall in the NFL, ninth against the run and 18th against the pass.


The Redskins continue to be cautious with Fred Smoot's hamstring injury. The seventh-year cornerback was limited in Thursday's practice.

Smoot's official status for Sunday's game versus the New York Giants will be announced on Friday's injury report.

Smoot sat out last Monday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He suffered the hamstring injury during a Sept. 13 practice.

Smoot admitted that he has never had a hamstring problem before, so he may be uncertain when to push the injury and when to rest it.

Safety Vernon Fox was also limited in Thursday's practice due to a groin injury.

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