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News & Notes: Suddenly, Redskins' Offense Is Clicking


All of a sudden, the Redskins' offense has become explosive.

You read that right.


In four of the team's last five games, they have scored 24 or more points, including a season-high 34 in Sunday's win over Oakland.

In the last three games, the offense is averaging 29.6 points per game.

After weeks of sputtering--the Redskins averaged just 13.1 points per game the first six weeks of the season--the offense is "getting it," head coach Jim Zorn said.

"I talked about the execution of our plans at the beginning of the year and that we were lacking in some areas," Zorn said. "Now that our plans are being executed, we're successful. We're still putting the same effort into our game-planning as we have before. I just commend our players and coaches for working together."

The Redskins' play-calling has come under scrutiny--offensive consultant Sherman Lewis, offensive coordinator Sherman Smith, assistant Chris Meidt and Zorn are all involved--but it is a collaborative process that appears to be working.

Lewis took over play-calling duties from Zorn in Week 7.

The offensive resurgence is all the more remarkable given how many offensive players are on injured reserve, including Chris Samuels, Chris Cooley, Clinton Portis, Randy Thomas and Ladell Betts.

Youth has emerged in their place.

Fred Davis caught two touchdowns in the win over Oakland, one week after Devin Thomas caught a pair of touchdowns against New Orleans.

Malcolm Kelly has contributed with some clutch catches and Quinton Ganther has shown flashes in the running game.

Veterans have contributed, too. Levi Jones has solidified left tackle with Samuels sidelined and Mike Williams has transitioned to right guard.

"A lot of it is execution, and some of it is a lot of guys playing with more confidence," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "I think the game is starting to slow down a little bit for some of the younger guys who are getting opportunities to play. I think a lot of it is that we do have a balanced [attack]. We've been running the ball pretty successfully, and we do some play action off of it, and you can drop back.


"There are a lot of different things we're doing really well right now that we weren't doing early in the year. And I think that gives us the opportunity to keep defenses on their heels."

Campbell is at the center of the offensive resurgence.

In Week 6, Campbell was benched at halftime of a dismal showing against the Kansas City Chiefs, a game the Redskins would go on to lose 14-6.

Campbell started the next week and, even as offensive linemen succumbed to injury around him, emerged as the quarterback everyone thought he would develop into this year.

The benching proved to be a "defining moment" for Campbell, Zorn said.

"The Kansas City game was the turning point for him where he had to make up his mind about how he was going to play this game," Zorn said. "He has been tough-minded on the line of scrimmage, in and out of the huddle, getting hit and getting back up even when he's injured."

His newfound confidence is showing up in the stats, too.

In the last five games, Campbell has completed 109-of-170 passes for 1,273 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions.

Through 13 games, Campbell has completed 260-of-398 passes for 2,946 yards, 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season.

His 65.3 completion percentage so far would rank second all-time in franchise history, trailing only Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh (who had a 70.3 completion percentage in 1945).

Campbell's future remains uncertain, though.

Depending on how the league's negotiations with the player's union go this winter, Campbell could be either an unrestricted or restricted free agent.

Zorn was asked if Campbell had done enough to warrant being considered the Redskins' franchise quarterback.

"We are right in the middle of the football season and as a head coach I am not going to try and speculate where is in the league as far as a franchise quarterback," Zorn replied. "For this football team, he is playing very well. This is his second year in this offense, and you see glimpses of what this offense can do. He is a big part of that."


Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall are expected to return to practice this week, Jim Zorn said.

Haynesworth has been sidelined three of the last four games due to an ankle injury, while Hall has missed the last three games with a sprained knee.

Haynesworth will likely be limited in practice, though.

"We are going to try to insert him as much as we can and find out towards the end of the week whether he'll be able to go or not," Zorn said.

Hall participated in some individual drills on Monday morning.

"He's going to be worked back into practice and we're going to see if his knee is stable enough to get to play this week," Zorn said.


Mike Sellers, who missed the Raiders game with a thigh injury, could return to practice this week.

Sellers jogged on a treadmill on Monday morning to test his thigh, Jim Zorn said.

"He's questionable right now but we're going to try to get him back into practice," Zorn said.

Sellers was placed by Todd Yoder in the lineup in the Raiders game.

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