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News & Notes: Zorn Gets 'A Real Lift' From Victory


Moments after the Redskins defeated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Jim Zorn walked off FedExField, pumped his fist and let out a deep breath.

This was how he remembered victory.

After three consecutive defeats raised all sorts of questions, Zorn felt an emotional lift from the Redskins' 10-3 win over the Eagles at FedExField.

It was hard not to get emotional the way the game transpired.

Clinton Portis scored on a 1-yard touchdown and the Redskins' defense shut down the Eagles most of the day. The game came down to the last play, and the defense stepped up again as LaRon Landry and Fred Smoot leveled wide receiver Reggie Brown at the goal line, keeping him out of the end zone.

"Playing as hard and as long as we did for the whole game, and then coming out with a win, everybody can take a deep breath," Zorn said. "So this is an opportunity to sort of breathe out.

"It's still not satisfying from the standpoint of the overall picture of having that spell in there where we lost so many. But my spirits were lifted because our players didn't give up on the season. They didn't give up by just playing a couple more games half-heartedly and then heading to the offseason.

"Personally, it was a big game for me to see our team and know the resiliency and toughness that our players showed during the game."

Even though playoffs are out of the equation, the Redskins go into the season finale this Sunday--against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park--with a measure of confidence.

To that end, Zorn does not want to hand over starting assignments to rookies or young players like Malcolm Kelly or Chad Rinehart.

"I'm not going to experiment that way on the last game when we have a chance to go 9-7," Zorn said. "I think that's what we're here for. We can experiment during preseason. We can get these guys a little more ready during the offseason where we can have a better evaluation of those younger guys.

"We're going to stick with our group. Barring injury, it will be a similar group with the same type of attitude and preparation as they had this week."


Lorenzo Alexander suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday and he could miss this week's season finale against the 49ers.

The injury occurred as Alexander was chasing down Eagles running back Brian Westbrook on a 47-yard pass in the third quarter.

Jim Zorn said Alexander was "doubtful" for the 49ers game on Dec. 28.

It's possible the Redskins could place Alexander on injured reserve and replace him with a player signed from the practice squad.

Alexander not only plays defensive tackle, but he also comes in as a blocking tight end in short yardage situations. So the Redskins could have two positions to fill if Alexander is deactivated.

Three other defensive linemen are also slowed by injuries.

Cornelius Griffin was able to play against the Eagles despite a painful abdominal strain, but Kedric Golston sat out due to an ankle injury.

Jason Taylor suffered bruised ribs on the last play of the Eagles game, but the injury was not believed to be significant, Zorn said.

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