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In Cincy, Tough Outing For Defensive Backs

It's obvious that the Redskins' defensive secondary needs work heading into Week 2 of the preseason and the New York Jets.




Redskins coaches have five days to get ready for the preseason home opener. You can bet patching up cover schemes in the defensive secondary will be at the top of the list of priorities.

In the Redskins' 19-3 loss at Cincinnati Sunday night, cover skills were lacking on various fronts. Veteran Kenny Wright struggled in his first game as a Redskin, rookie Reed Doughty was caught out of position in his NFL debut and newcomers John Eubanks and Ben Emanuel yielded a third-quarter TD.

All of this, and Cincinnati didn't have Carson Palmer available or Chad Johnson involved.

"I'd say," Joe Gibbs admitted, "that for us, it's really hard to find many positives."

Bengals quarterbacks Anthony Wright and Doug Johnson combined to go 20-of-30 for 229 yards and two TDs.

Looking at their corners, the Redskins enter the 2006 season with Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers as the one-two punch. That sounds like a solid plan but finding depth at the position may be a difficult task.

"For the veteran players," Springs said late Sunday night, "we wanted to get out here against Cincinnati tonight and get a lot of work in and get our timing down.

"But at the same time, it's important that we get some of the young guys out there on the field. We need to see who can play. We need depth on this defense if we're heading toward being a good team."

Wright, Ade Jimoh, Christian Morton and Dimitri Patterson have been in the mix at cornerback for months. Of that group, Morton came up with the most promising effort in Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday evening. Jimoh didn't make the trip because of a chest injury.

Springs has his own injury concerns. He has played through soreness in his pelvic area, according to Gibbs. Team doctors are sending him to a specialist this week to determine if it's something more serious.

Springs has not missed any practice time and he played in the first quarter of Sunday's game at Cincinnati. Any long-term injury to Springs would certainly impact the Redskins' secondary.

Regarding the preseason opener, Springs said: "Cincinnati was a good test for us. They're a playoff team, an 11-5 team. There are some positives we can take away from this but basically we know we have to come out against the Jets and put on a better showing."

He didn't speak specifically about the defensive backs as a group but he could have.

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