- The Washington Times - Friday, April 13, 2001

The Washington Redskins have nearly finalized an agreement to return to Carlisle, Pa., where they held training camp at Dickinson College from 1963 to 1994, according to sources close to talks.

Barring a last-minute breakdown in negotiations, the Redskins will announce Tuesday that Dickinson is the choice over William & Mary, the University of Richmond, Gettysburg College, Bowie State University and Hampden-Sydney University.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer would say only that the team was close to a deal following a two-month search. However, sources said the Dickinson contract was virtually sealed after recent visits by Redskins president Steve Baldacci and Schottenheimer. Sources at the four other colleges said there have been no substantial negotiations with the Redskins for several weeks.

Dickinson sources said the Redskins recently offered to create a new baseball/softball complex in return for similar fields near campus. There's also a football field used by the Redskins when they previously trained at Dickinson. The Redskins are expected to train from July 28 to Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, the Redskins remain prime-time favorites with four night games scheduled this season. Washington plays road games against the Green Bay Packers (Sept. 24) and Dallas Cowboys (Oct. 15) on Monday nights, with Sunday night games at home against the New York Giants (Oct. 7) and on the road against the New Orleans Saints (Dec. 30).

It's the second straight nighttime quartet for Washington despite an 8-8 record last season. Schottenheimer said the Redskins will justify their national exposure.

"I think we'll be entertaining, we'll be competitive," he said. "I don't have any doubt of that. Monday night is exciting. Sunday night is exciting. Players recognize their peers will be observing them. In a perfect world, I'd like to have them all at home, but we have to earn them."

Overall, the schedule makers provided a potential quick start and avoided any overwhelming hurdles for the Redskins. Washington opens Sept. 9 at San Diego, where former coach Norv Turner is now the Chargers' offensive coordinator. The home opener is Sept. 16 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Chargers were 1-15 last year and the Cardinals 3-13, but Schottenheimer wouldn't offer confidence of a 2-0 start.

"We all know these things can turn around that fast in this league," he said, snapping his fingers.

Schottenheimer also downplayed facing the Kansas City Chiefs, whom he coached from 1989 to 1998, in the preseason opener Aug. 12. Mostly, Schottenheimer offered little opinion on the schedule.

"There's no way of knowing at this time of the offseason exactly how it will unfold," Schottenheimer said. "It really isn't a matter who you play, but how you play them. That's driven by injuries."

The Baltimore Ravens also will play four night games, including their first Monday nighter since they moved from Cleveland in 1995, against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 17 in Baltimore. The Super Bowl champions visit the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 12 in an AFC playoff rematch. Baltimore also visits Tampa Bay in a special edition of "Monday Night Football" two nights earlier on Saturday, Dec. 29, and Pittsburgh on Sunday night, Dec. 16.

The Ravens were expected to play several national night games as the defending champion. That Baltimore doesn't play the opening Monday night game amounted to a snub, given that 10 of the last 11 Super Bowl winners opened in prime time. Still, Baltimore finally gains some respect after playing no national games last season.

"With the Super Bowl title comes more national recognition," Ravens owner Art Modell said. "I'm very pleased to have five of our 16 games scheduled for national television, plus we have the preseason game at the New York Jets [Aug. 18] on nationwide TV. I like the schedule. There's good balance to it."

Ravens coach Brian Billick didn't see the schedule as overwhelming.

"Part of the challenge of being the defending champion is adjusting to a tougher schedule with different routines," he said. "I like opening at home with our fans helping us get off to a good start. There are tough stretches, particularly in November, which is part of a string of eight games with six on the road. I do like finishing with three of four at PSINet [Stadium]."

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