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Gibbs Flags Penalty Problem

The number of penalty flags called on the Redskins have become an increasing concern for head coach Joe Gibbs and something that coaches plan to address in the coming week of practice.

The Redskins were flagged seven times for 75 yards in Sunday's 17-10 win over the Detroit Lions. Among the penalties was a personal foul and taunting calls Fred Smoot, an unnecessary roughness call on Antonio Pierce for a late hit out of bounds and a taunting call on Clinton Portis.

For the second game in a row, a Redskins touchdown was called back due to a penalty. In Sunday's game against Detroit, tight end Robert Royal caught a touchdown pass on 4th and 1, but it was called back after right tackle Ray Brown was flagged for a false start.

Two weeks ago, in the Green Bay game, Clinton Portis's 43-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter was called back due to an illegal motion call on James Thrash.

"Penalties are a real concern for me," Gibbs said. "The thing we talked about at the beginning of the season, in the NFL there are certain things the referees are going to watch. If you hit anybody out of bounds, you run the risk a real penalty. Our guys know that. We can't be doing that. And then we get a couple of taunting penalties."

With the Redskins playing close games every week, the significance of a penalty, whether it's a 5-yarder or a 15-yarder, can be a determining factor in a game.

"We have to fight for every yard," Gibbs said. "That's the kind of football team we have right now. Penalties will just kill you. Our guys have to be smart. Those are things you just can't do."

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