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News & Notes: O-Line Has Flags On Mind

Early Wednesday morning, Redskins players and coaches assembled in the Redskins Park conference room to watch an unpleasant film: a review of the penalties from the team's previous game.

This week, the session went longer than usual.

The Redskins were flagged 12 times for 126 yards in last Sunday's win over the Houston Texans. With 30 penalties for 298 yards, the Redskins are the NFL's most penalized team through the first three weeks of the season.

"We always look at the penalties, whether it's a win or a loss," right tackle Jon Jansen said. "This week is no different. It's obviously just a longer film."

Head coach Joe Gibbs uses the weekly session as a tool for instruction. He goes over the penalties one by one, not as a means to embarrass players, but to explain the rules in detail.

"We started the day with the film and we tried to go through each one of the calls," Gibbs said. "Several of the things that came up, I think we can learn from. We try to put a lot of emphasis into it, including working with our officials here [during practice]."

Meantime, the Redskins' veteran offensive linemen have decided to impose $25-50 fines to each other when they commit penalties such as holding or a false start. The money goes into a pot, and the lineman who turns in the best block of the game gets the kitty.

"With all of the focus on penalties, we're just doing different things to make it fun," left tackle Chris Samuels explained. "We want to stop getting them, so hopefully this will give us a little more incentive to pick up our game."

One caveat: If the team wins, then nobody on the offensive line is fined.

That caveat saved several linemen who were flagged for penalties in the Redskins' 31-15 win over the Houston Texans.

"I like that rule," said Samuels, who was flagged for holding and false start penalties last Sunday.

On one play late in the second quarter, both Samuels and Jansen were flagged for holding. Ultimately, it was Jansen's penalty that was accepted by the Texans, giving Samuels a reprieve.

"We talk to the officials after every penalty to make sure we know what we did wrong and we know how the officials are calling them," Jansen said. "But we have to cut down on those if we want to be a good team. Especially Chris and I--we're the leaders of the team."



Cornerback Shawn Springs was not at Wednesday's practice and his status for Sunday's game against Jacksonville was listed as doubtful on the Redskins' injury report.

Springs had returned to practice last week after missing a month due to abdominal surgery. He suffered a setback when he injured his groin, and it was decided to hold him out of last week's win over the Texans.

Meantime, defensive tackle Joe Salave'a participated in individual drills in Wednesday's practice, but sat out team work as he continues to come back from a calf injury. Salave'a is officially listed as probable for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

"We are encouraged with him," Joe Gibbs said. "He's one tough dude. I think he's getting close."

Added Salave'a: "We're just trying to make sure that [the injury] is moving in the right direction before I go out there in full pads."

Salave'a also sat out the Texans game. Rookie Kedric Golston earned his first NFL start as a result.

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