The Redskins wrapped up two days of practice on Wednesday, and players and coaches quickly headed off for a weekend of rest and recuperation.
More than anything else, the bye week represents a chance for players to get healthy--as well as clear their heads from the negativity of a disappointing 2-5 start to the season.
The game is as much mental as it is physical, and on Wednesday head coach Joe Gibbs suggested that time away from football could reinvigorate players for the second half of the season.
"You always feel like it's a good time [for a break] when you get to the bye," Gibbs said. "We are at a point where a week, for a number of our guys from a health standpoint, can definitely use it. If I had to pick a place to have a bye, it would be more or less the middle of the season where we are right now."
Added tight end Chris Cooley: "It's definitely a disappointment where we are right now, and we'll be thinking about that all week. And I think the bye week will go quick. We'll be practicing for Dallas before we all know it. It'll be good rest to get a couple days off."
Earlier this week, offensive coaches spent several hours in the film room reviewing every play of the season--from Santana Moss's 23-yard end-around run to open Week 1 vs. Minnesota to Mark Brunell's 5-yard touchdown pass to James Thrash at the end of the Indianapolis game.
"The last two practices, the major focus has been on a review of everything up until now that we have done this year, the corrections that we want to make, and then redefining offensively where we want to go and the things we want to major in," Gibbs said.
The offense is ranked 13th overall in the NFL, seventh in rushing and 20th in passing. In recent weeks, the Redskins have gotten away from running Clinton Portis, who has only 26 carries for 99 yards in the last two games.
On defense, coaches focused on improvement in pass coverage and on the fundamentals. Special teams coordinator Danny Smith ran his players through drills, perhaps believing the old adage that practice makes perfect.
The defense is ranked 26th in the NFL, but has struggled through injuries most of the year. The unit is 16th against the run and 29th against the pass. Yielding big plays have been a continuing problem for the pass defense.
It's expected that players will return next Monday for a practice session at Redskins Park.
-- EVERYONE HEALTHY FOR DALLAS?
|REDSKINS TV: WEEKLY SCHEDULE|
|Date & Time||Broadcast|
|Fri., 4 p.m.||Redskins Generation on WUSA-9, hosted by Sara Walsh|
|Sat., 11:30 a.m.||Redskins Game Plan on WRC-4, hosted by Lindsay Czarniak|
|Sun., 12:30 a.m.||Redskins Late Night on WUSA-9, hosted by Chris Paul|
|Sun., 1:30 a.m.||Joe Gibbs Show on WRC-4, hosted by George Michael, Sonny Jurgensen|
|Sun., 11 a.m.||Redskins Game Day on WUSA-9, hosted by Larry Michael, Ray Brown|