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For Redskins, It's Time for 'Byes'

Some players are off to spend time with their families. Some will pay attention to business pursuits on hold since the start of the season. Others will just lie back in a recliner and relax for a few days.

It's time for "byes" at Redskins Park as players head off for a mid-season break. The team held its final practice of the week on Wednesday afternoon. Moments afterwards, players darted off the field, showered and dressed, and raced to the parking lot with airplane tickets stuffed in their back pockets.

What about the coaches?

They'll be "locked away" at Redskins Park studying film and preparing for the next 10 games, head coach Joe Gibbs said.

"We're going to keep working here," Gibbs said. "I'll probably try to see my grandbabies over the weekend and watch them play soccer."

Defensive tackle Brandon Noble plans to drive up to State College on Saturday to watch Penn State (his alma mater) take on Iowa in a college football matchup. But most players expect to take a break from football for a few days.

Offensive lineman Derrick Dockery is flying to Texas to "hang out with my family, relax and just have a good time." Cornerback Fred Smoot is flying to Mississippi to spend time with family and friends--and, of course, take in some of his mom's homemade cooking.

"I'm going to relax and get away from football," running back Clinton Portis said, preferring to be vague with his plans. "I'm not going to be around a television, I can tell you that."

For several Redskins, the work continues. Tight end Fred Baxter, who signed with the team on Tuesday, said he would spend the weekend working out and reviewing the playbook.

"I'll be doing some work at home," Baxter said.

Players like Mike Barrow, LaVar Arrington and Phillip Daniels will continue to rehabilitate from injuries.

Arrington has missed the last four games--and he feels like he's had four byes already this season.

"I'm just going to continue to get my body ready," he said. "That's my main focus. I wish I were playing and having a great year, but that's not the case. I don't have time to go on vacation. I have to rehab so I can get back to playing on Sunday.]"

For Gibbs, the bye week is coming at a good time for the team.

"It's perfect for us," he said. "We have a lot of guys with injuries. I am going to give the guys a long break from here, let them get away. We have a big 10-game push and I told the players it's probably going to be just like the first six. It's going to come down to the last quarter and the last play. We're going to have to battle all year long."

Players will have off from Thursday through Sunday. The team will hold its next practice on Monday, heading into the Oct. 31 game against Green Bay at FedExField.

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