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News & Notes: Intelligent Design At Work

The Redskins began on-field preparation for the Divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, as players practiced for the first time since the team's 17-10, Wild Card win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Working in seclusion on the practice fields behind Redskins Park, away from the dozens of reporters huddled in the facility's media room, coaches began to install their game plan and implement packages for a Seahawks team that posted a 13-3 record in the regular season.

In the early part of Tuesday's practice, there appeared not to be a wasted moment.

As special teams worked on drills, running backs coach Earnest Byner tossed passes to Clinton Portis. Wied receivers coach Stan Hixon spent time working one-on-one with Taylor Jacobs. Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams had a long conversation with LaVar Arrington.

Well, perhaps there was one wasted moment. During a break, Portis walked over to the group of defensive linemen, listening intently to instructions from defensive coordinator-defensive line coach Greg Blache.

"Oh, here comes the hero," Blache yelled out.

Portis cracked a joke, out of earshot, then walked away leaving Blache and the defensive linemen laughing.

Coming up on the biggest game of their season, the Redskins remain a loose bunch.

And players hope to take that attitude to Qwest Field on Saturday.

Asked about playing tough games on the road, safety Ryan Clark said: "It's fun. I like the crowd. You have guys like Marcus Washington egging the crowd on and getting them hyped up. It's great to go into somebody else's house and take what is theirs. That's big. We have a lot of underdog guys on our team and guys that just work hard. It's not about superstars. We relish in that and thrive in that. We like to go prove people wrong."

Several players, including Jon Jansen and Ray Brown, sat out practice to rest.

Wide receiver James Thrash was at practice, but did not participate. He had a small cast and splint on his hand after undergoing surgery on Monday for a fracture in his thumb. With the splint in place, it's possible that Thrash could play on Saturday. He is listed as questionable.

"We'll just have to wait and see how it goes the rest of the week," head coach Joe Gibbs said.

As expected, cornerback Shawn Springs returned to practice and was full-go after missing the Buccaneers game with a groin injury. He is listed as probable for the Seattle game.


Here's the news you've all been waiting for: the Redskins are expected to wear white-on-white uniforms again for this Saturday's playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. That means the Seahawks have opted to wear their blue jerseys for the game.

Since the game will be played at Qwest Field in Seattle, the Seahawks can wear whatever jersey color they want. It appears they have chosen their blue jerseys.

The Redskins are now 6-0 this season wearing white jerseys and white pants. Overall, they are 8-1 wearing the color combination, with a 2-1 record in the 2003 season. It's unknown if the team ever wore white-on-whites prior to 2003.


During his Monday press conference, Joe Gibbs mentioned that he greeted the owner of a dog named "Gibbs" at Redskins Park upon the team's arrival from Tampa late Saturday night.

"Gibbs" the dog was also at Redskins Park for the team's departure to Tampa on Friday afternoon. snapped a quick picture of "Gibbs" before the buses left.


Since 1990, when the NFL instituted the current playoff format, teams coming off a bye week in the playoffs have a combined record of 49-11.

So Seattle certainly will have the advantage of rest heading into Saturday's game against the Redskins.

"It is tough," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "They have earned the right to sit for a week. That makes it tough on anybody going to play them."

As mentioned in Tuesday's article on Mark Brunell, the last Wild Card team to play road games in the Wild Card round and the Divisional Playoffs and win both times was the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars. Brunell, of course, was the quarterback of that team.

The 1995 Indianapolis Colts also accomplished that feat. No NFC Wild Card team has won consecutive games on the road since 1990.

Four of the last six teams to have won against a bye week opponent in the playoffs have advanced to the Super Bowl: the 1997 Denver Broncos, the 1999 Tennessee Titans, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens and the 2003 Carolina Panthers. The '97 Broncos and 2000 Ravens won the Super Bowl.

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