A few Christmas morning nuggets here before finishing the wrapping of the presents under the tree (hey, who says you can't wait until the last minute?)
- I didn't see something about Sundays game that Mort reported last night on ESPN's pregame repeated anywhere in the print editions this morning. If you recall, Brad Childress was complaining that the Vikings should have been allowed an opportunity to get substitutes on and off the field on the Gibbs 12-man challenge play. Mortensen said that the league had reviewed the tapes and had found that the Redskins did not substitute any players between the completion to Santana Moss (and, yes, he did drag his left foot inbounds to make that a legal catch) and the penalty for too many men on the field was the right call. Update: In Childress' press conference yesterday he also stated that the Redskins did not substitute between those plays.
- Wade Phillips is talking bravely about the integrity of the game and wanting to win this game against the Redskins badly. He's not saying, though, that he'll play Sunday's game just as though their playoff survival was on the line. When asked about whether or not specific players would go he was vague, as he should be. No healthy player—or as healthy as any player can be at this point during the season—should know that he will sit out the upcoming game. The mental preparation won't be there and if the backup gets hurt and the starter has to go in, there is the danger of both injury and lapses.
I think that he plays it like the second or third preseason game, with anyone who is banged up at all sitting out and the rest of the starters playing a half. The bottom line is that despite a 13-2 record, Phillips' job is not 100% secure. If Tony Romo gets hurt in the third quarter and the Cowboys experience another one and done, Wade's long-term future in Dallas would not be very secure.
- Joe Gibbs was equally evasive yesterday when asked if Jason Campbell would return as the starting quarterback when his knee was healed should the Redskins make the playoffs. His answer was of the "we'll cross that bridge when he come to it" variety. This also is the proper approach. You don't want Collins to have to focus on keeping his job and you don't want to make a promise to Campbell that you can't keep.
- By the way, where are Gibbs Must Go and the rest of the lynch mob? Have the last three weeks changed your perspective on the job that he's done? Is it a good idea to offer him an extension? I've been critical of Gibbs and I've stated that I didn't think that he could take this team to the next level. I could be proven wrong.