John Keim analyzes five topics: Taylor, Pro Bowl, Gibbs' Tenure, Rocky, and the Playoffs.
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.
"I love 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."
Smoot also held a large picture, probably a few feet long, of the secondary, a picture taken two weeks before Sean Taylor was killed. A touching sight.
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."
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