- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2000

History's top two defensive ends are meeting again Sunday.
Each is debuting with a new team: Reggie White with the Carolina Panthers, Bruce Smith with the Washington Redskins. Together the prolific pass-rushers have 363 sacks and 24 Pro Bowl appearances. White, 38, is the NFL's all-time leader with 192 sacks. Smith, 37, is second with 171.
The two rarely have met, despite sharing Hall of Fame credentials. White, who was retired last season, has spent his career in the NFC (Philadelphia, 1985-92; Green Bay, 1993-98), while Smith played for the AFC's Buffalo Bills (1985-99) before being released in the offseason.
The pair's first meeting came in 1985, when White registered one sack in a 21-17 Eagles victory. Other meetings came in 1987, '90, '94 (when Smith sat out because of a shoulder injury) and '97.
The pair has succeeded with vastly different styles. Smith (6-foot-4, 279 pounds) races around opposing blockers. White (6-5, 300) simply overwhelms them.
Redskins defensive end N.D. Kalu re-signed with Washington in part because he wanted to learn from Smith.
"I feel I can somewhat attempt to do the things he does," Kalu said yesterday. "I figure if I try to do them the entire year, maybe I can get the technique down half as good as he does it."
But the 267-pound Kalu knows he could never copy White.
"Reggie does that hump move, which is straight power," Kalu said. "No matter how many times I watch that on film, there's no way I'll be able to do that. I'd probably throw my shoulder out."
In a related note, Sunday's matchup also involves two of the NFL's three active leaders in interceptions: Carolina's Eugene Robinson (56) and Washington's Darrell Green (50).

Davis talks start

The Redskins began negotiating with running back Stephen Davis, their franchise player, to extend the one-year, $3.532 million contract he signed in July, league sources said. No substantive progress was made, but the sides still hope to complete a deal before Sunday.
If the extension misses the deadline, any new incentives for this season would be considered likely to be earned, and therefore count against the 2000 salary cap. However, the Redskins likely will buy cap room because the extension should include a large signing bonus and a small 2000 salary.
The new signing bonus is the key issue. Davis was seeking a $10 million bonus before he signed the one-year deal, which included a $1 million bonus. It is not clear whether Davis now wants more upfront money, but agent Steve Weinberg has made reference to Eddie George's recent deal from the Tennessee Titans, which included $14 million in signing bonuses.
Davis' current contract allows him to escape the franchise tag if he rushes for 800 yards (or meets one of several other triggers). It also grants him a $2 million payout if he makes one touchdown reception (or meets one of several other triggers).

Extra points

Running back Skip Hicks (knee) and fullback Mike Sellers (shoulder) are questionable for Sunday's game. Hicks did not practice, working out on the side, while Sellers participated in individual drills. Starting linebacker Shawn Barber (knee), starting defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson (knee), tight end James Jenkins (back) and running back Chad Dukes (knee) are probable. All practiced… .
Carolina guard James Dexter (triceps) and linebacker Hannibal Navies (knee) are out. Defensive end Chuck Smith (knee) and running back Natrone Means (knee) are probable. Means, if healthy, is expected to back up starter Tshimanga Biakabutuka… .
The Redskins finished the preseason with the NFL's best rush defense (74.8 yards) and total defense (267.5). They finished fourth in pass defense and tied for first with Baltimore in scoring defense (43 total points).

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