Redskins Report

Champ Bailey

While waiting for Marvin Lewis to decide Redskins coach Steve Spurrier dropped a big one on his radio show Monday, saying he'd consider having Champ Bailey play fulltime on offense--if Bailey so desired.

Spurrier's reasoning wasn't bad: Bailey is a difference maker and, when he came out, many scouts considered him worthy of a first-round pick as a receiver. And Spurrier said because Bailey has only intercepted three passes, he hasn't made a huge difference on defense.

But Bailey said he's not going to give up playing corner, which he'd have to do to play receiver under Spurrier.

''I guess I don't have a shot then,'' Bailey said. ''Defense is what I'm best at and it's what I want to keep playing. I know I could be just as good on offense, but I wouldn't just give it up and go play offense. I would like to be given an opportunity to play both.''

Thing is, a scout we talked to said Bailey would probably be a decent receiver. But he's nowhere strong enough to be an elite one (he's already an elite corner). Bailey is much slighter than even Derrius Thompson and is not nearly as strong as Rod Gardner.

This scout said Bailey would struggle against press coverage until he's either stronger or more physical.

And remember this: Richie Petitbon used to credit Darrell Green for the success of his defenses. Green could shut down the opposition's top receiver and allow Petitbon to be more creative in his schemes. That's why Bailey is an impact corner, whether or not Spurrier realizes that.

. . . Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener is not shy about voicing his opinion. And, in his opinion this whole Marvin Lewis saga is distracting.

''It is a distraction,'' Redskins tackle Daryl Gardener said. ''Put it out there. We're trying to win games and now we're talking about a coach that's leaving that people feel they can play for. We just have to keep playing no matter what the situation is. Yes I'm disappointed but what happens will happen. If he has to go then good luck; if he stays then I'll be the happiest individual around here.''

. . . Trying to guess what Lewis will do? So are we. After talking to numerous people, it sounds as if Lewis is trying to determine what NFL jobs will open up and if he would be a candidate. Those around the league we've talked to say the time is right for a minority candidate--but others say there's no way Lewis would be considered.

It all leads to a confusing wait. Donnie Henderson, the Ravens' secondary coach, is ticketed to be Lewis' defensive coordinator. But even he told people today he doesn't know what Lewis will do.

We do know that Michigan State has made the offer more attractive, but making it sweeter at the end of the deal, enticing him to stay rather than making it punitive for him to leave early for the NFL.

Stay tuned.

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