Banks flips over story calling Petitbon a flop Redskins notebook

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Don't put the blame for the Washington Redskins' lost season on coach Richie Petitbon.

That's the word from linebacker Carl Banks, who made his first appearance at Giants Stadium as a Redskin yesterday after leaving the New York Giants as a free agent.


In the wake of a 20-6 loss to the Giants, Banks said he was upset that USA Today called Petitbon the biggest flop of the season in its mid-year report last week.

"I really took offense. I think that's totally unfair," Banks said. "I think a lot of factors have come into play here. He's not dropping passes. He's not missing tackles. He's got some injuries. I think it was totally unfair to say he's the biggest flop because he's not," Banks said.


Banks added: "He knows what he wants to get done. He has the respect of his players. It's up to the players to realize what our situation is and to get it done. Richie's a very competitive guy. He's putting us in some great positions to make plays. He's calling good defenses for us. It's a situation where we have to execute."

Banks said he had no second thoughts about signing with the Redskins as a free agent.

"Not at all. I believe in this organization. I believe in Richie and the things that he's doing," he said.

He also said the Redskins haven't given up.

"We're a team that's still fighting, a team that hasn't lost confidence in itself. I think it became evident in the second half [when they held the Giants to two field goals]," he said.

He also said he wouldn't compare the Redskins' season to the Giants' two seasons under Ray Handley, who was fired at the end of last year.

"It's totally different. This team has a clue. Under that regime, that team didn't have a clue. Richie's given us some good stuff to work with. As players, we have to pay more attention and realize we can't make a lot of mistakes," he said.

In his first comments on an incident two weeks ago when he screamed at rookie Tom Carter at practice and called him a prima donna, Banks said it wasn't a big deal.


"Tom and I discussed that. It's one of those things. Tom and I are good friends. I respect Tom. I really regret you guys have to see that stuff. But everything's fine. Tom's playing well," he said.

Meggett: Raves for Reeves

Giants running back David Meggett of Towson State, who has thrown a touchdown pass in each of the two games against the Redskins, said he likes playing for coach Dan Reeves.

He said his usual third-down role "gets a little boring," and added, "Now with Dan, he exploits me a little more. I make plays. It's fun."

When he was asked if he'd throw another touchdown pass this year, he said, "Do we have Washington on the schedule again?"

Rypien offers no excuses


Quarterback Mark Rypien had two balls batted, but he wasn't pulled. Petitbon pulled Rypien for a series last week against Indianapolis after he had two balls batted. This time, Petitbon said they weren't Rypien's fault.

Rypien, who completed 22 of 49 for 239 yards with one interception, wouldn't use the team's injuries as an excuse.

"We can sit here and make all sorts of excuses. It's not going to get us a win. It's not going to do us any good moaning about it," Rypien said.

Rypien threw his helmet in the fourth quarter after Desmond Howard couldn't make a sliding catch on third down. Rypien said he hit Howard "right in the chest," but said he wasn't blaming him when he threw the helmet. Rypien said he had his share of mistakes.

"It's just the frustration. It's not any individual in particular. It was just a little bit of everything. [We] have a chance to make a play, you do and someone else doesn't. [We] have a chance to make a play another time and I don't so the whole process [is frustrating]. It's just one thing here and one thing there breaking down," he said.

Comparing this year to the 17-2 Super Bowl season two years ago, Rypien said: "We weren't hurt. We were consistent in everything we did. When we had a chance to make big plays, we made them. You look back on those and you try to emulate what you did, but it's difficult."


When Rypien was asked how he deals with the criticism, he said, "[You've] got a family that loves you. That's more [important] than a lot of the negative things that are said."

And the list grows longer

The newcomers on the Redskins injury report included TE Frank Wycheck (knee), TE James Jenkins (shoulder), DL Jim Wahler (ankle), RB Ricky Ervins (thigh), LB Monte Coleman (hamstring), DB A. J. Johnson (neck), DL Bobby Wilson (knee, hip), CB Darrell Green (hamstring) and OL Ray Brown (groin).