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News & Notes: Archuleta Expected Back

The Redskins expect to retain safety Adam Archuleta, head coach Joe Gibbs said on Friday.

"That's our plan," Gibbs told reporters on Friday from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "That [situation] has not gone how I wanted it to go, but we hope the end result will be much better than what we have gone through so far."

Gibbs's statement ends speculation from media that Archuleta could be released this offseason.

Archuleta, a 6-year veteran, signed with the Redskins last March as an unrestricted free agent. He struggled to make an impact in his first year in Washington.

Archuleta started the Redskins' first seven games at strong safety. Midseason, he was benched in favor of Troy Vincent and Vernon Fox.

Archuleta finished with 50 tackles (39 solo) and one sack on defense. On special teams, he logged 17 tackles on punt and kickoff coverage.

Gibbs suggested that defensive coaches hope to use Archuleta in packages that emphasize his strengths.

"For him going through his first year and everything we went through here, it was tough for everybody on that," Gibbs said. "Our goal is to find a way he can fit in for us and get him to do the things he does well for us."

With the release of Vincent on Thursday, the Redskins could enter the 2007 season with Archuleta and Pierson Prioleau as the strong safeties. Prioleau missed most of last season with a knee injury.

Fox is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but Gibbs indicated that negotiations are going well and that the team hopes to re-sign him.

"I feel real good about getting Vernon Fox back," Gibbs said.

Regarding Vincent's release, Gibbs said: "I talked to Troy after the season and then I talked to him a week ago. He told me, 'Joe, if I'm not going to have a home here let me know early so I can get out there and get going.'

"We talked it over and we thought that, with our situation--we love Troy and nobody is classier than Troy is--it would probably be best for him and best for us to let him go ahead and get going on something."

-- ON COACHING CHANGES

#### -- PORTIS REHAB

Clinton Portis's rehab from shoulder surgery last December will be one of the Redskins' key off-season issues to watch.

Said Joe Gibbs: "Clinton is doing well...Right now he is at the point where he is doing a lot of flexibility stuff and trying to get the full range of motion back. With [shoulder surgery], it takes a while. It's usually a good four months.

"They felt the surgery went great and Clinton said it feels better right now than how it did last year."

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