- The Washington Times - Friday, August 3, 2001

CARLISLE, Pa. Sliding from defensive end to tackle was a matter of simple economics to Kenard Lang. The Washington Redskin could hit the free agent jackpot next year by playing both positions well.
"Do I want to sit on the bench and lose money or get in the starting lineup and make some money? That was a no-brainer," Lang said. "If I play well, I can back up my dump truck to any facility and tell them to bring out the money with the guard. But if I sat on the bench, I'd be on the corner asking for pennies."
Whether Lang can play tackle at 280 pounds is one of the Redskins' bigger concerns. The 1997 first-rounder began splitting time last year after losing his starting end job. Although Lang is 45 pounds lighter than fellow tackle Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson and 20 to 70 pounds lighter than opposing guards, the Redskins hope he can effectively replace salary cap victim Dana Stubblefield. Coach Marty Schottenheimer likened Lang to Kansas City defensive tackle Dan Williams, a Pro Bowl choice who weighs 290 pounds.
"Kenard's quickness offsets [that] he doesn't weigh 320 pounds," Schottenheimer said.
Not that Lang hasn't tried to gain weight. He claims that eating with Wilkinson during training camp meals should fatten him up. It's an odd couple pairing because Wilkinson watches his weight.
"Me and Big Daddy have [weight] problems," Lang said. "He said he wanted a salad. I get a little salad with carrots and cheese. Big Daddy gets salad, potato salad, macaroni salad. I put fat-free ranch dressing on mine. He put on regular ranch dressing. I said 'This is going backwards. It should be the other way around.' He eats a little more. I try to catch up with him, but I get sick."
At least Lang hasn't used food to compensate for the anxiety over moving inside. He would prefer playing end after gaining seven sacks in 1998 and six in 1999 before right end Bruce Smith's signing last year sent Marco Coleman to Lang's left end spot. This could be a temporary move, especially if Lang changes teams or Coleman or Smith don't return next year.
Former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan thought Lang was too lackadaisical. The Orlando native is one of the more popular Redskins for his "the more you laugh, the more you live" philosophy that masks his aggressiveness. Lang once said an opponent "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane." He oversaw the one-time locker room "Dawg Pound" and could trade barbs with former teammate Brian Mitchell over which had the prettier hair. Few people can successfully argue with Mitchell, but Lang's hairstyle that ranges from cornrows to simply crazy silenced even him.
Lang was benched briefly in 1999 until he regained the job with improved play, but his refusal to shelve his carefree lifestyle often irks coaches. Too bad they can't see the way Lang looks at Coleman in the huddle.
"Sometimes I go in the huddle, I look at Marco and start crying and get jealous," Lang said. "I want to blow him out of the way. But I know the whole line. I can play from right end to left end."
Lang worked on his abdominal and lower back muscles during the offseason to gain more leverage against bigger players. He's spending camp gaining chemistry with Smith on his right and Wilkinson on his left.
"I have to get used to Bruce's tendencies I already know Marco's," Lang said.
Offensive tackle Chris Samuels believes Lang can make the switch but has to rely more on technique than speed.
"He just has to read the blocks and be quick," Samuels said. "Everybody out there is about equal talent."
Lang claimed Wilkinson is showing him being a "stinker" is a good thing. Too bad he couldn't suppress the smile that undermined the joke.
"Big Daddy said don't wear deodorant," Lang said. "My coach used to tell me how you feel is how you play. But Big Daddy is the opposite. He goes out there and you see flies and everything smelling. I'm like, 'What is this?' But he makes plays."

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