Locker room topic No. 1:
Fred Smoot's return to Minnesota. The Redskin corner spent two unhappy seasons with the Vikings, lowlighted by the Love Boat scandal. Not only that, but Smoot did not live up to
expectations. The Vikes used a lot of Cover 2, which obviously meant a
lot of zone. Smoot is best in man coverage; however, he's also played a
lot of C-2 this year. Anyway, Smoot says he's happier now.
where I'm at," he said. "As far as things that happened during the
year, it's made it kind of rough emotionally. But physically I'm happy,
mentally I'm happy. I always have to be a Redskin."
Locker room topic No. 2:
Sean Taylor's honor. There was disappointment
that London Fletcher didn't make the Pro Bowl; there was happiness that
Chris Samuels and Chris Cooley did make it. It can be an awkward time
after the Pro Bowl rosters are set, a mix of joy and disappointment.
But there was only happiness when it came to Taylor making the team.
"It's a great honor to Sean," linebacker London Fletcher said, "a
great tribute. Not only fans but players and coaches thought about
Sean's performance as a player. He was playing some great football for
us and it's a tremendous recognition and well-deserved."
held a large picture, probably a few feet long, of the secondary, a
picture taken two weeks before Sean Taylor was killed. A touching
Smoot said of the Pro Bowl berth, "That means a lot. They still
value the work he put in, even though he's not with us. After his fifth
or sixth game he already bought his ticket to the Pro Bowl from the
plays he had to make."
Joe Gibbs says: "If you look at [Minnesota's] Pro Bowl guys, it's all
the way down the middle. It's rare that you have two tackles that are
pretty solid inside. The middle linebacker flies all over the field and
the safeties. The other thing that makes them real effective is their
corner play on runs. They're definitely a major factor in the runs.
They come off the edges hard."
John Keim analyzes five topics: Taylor, Pro Bowl, Gibbs' Tenure, Rocky, and the Playoffs…