- The Washington Times - Monday, August 20, 2001

CARLISLE, Pa. The Washington Redskins are considering signing former Kansas City Chiefs guard Dave Szott to help stabilize the right side of their offensive line.

Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer said he "absolutely" would sign Szott if he is convinced of Szott's desire to play. Szott played 11 seasons with the Chiefs, including nine under Schottenheimer. However, Szott didn't re-sign with the Chiefs and moved his family to Morristown, N.J., last year so that his 6-year-old son, Shane, could attend a special school for children with cerebral palsy.

The Redskins have played both Mookie Moore and Derrick Fletcher at right guard, but neither has clearly earned the job. A mistake by Moore led to a blocked field goal in the Redskins' 27-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Friday.

Schottenheimer said he would have signed Szott in the offseason if he had wanted to play. Szott missed 15 games in both 2000 and 1998 because of a torn biceps muscle in each arm and considered retirement after last season. Szott, 33, started 136 games for the Chiefs and easily could be plugged into the Redskins lineup. Szott called Schottenheimer last week to inquire about playing for the Redskins.

"He knows this offense and can step in there right away," Schottenheimer said. "From a standpoint of knowing what to do, there would be no hesitancy at all."

The Redskins have struggled to replace Pro Bowl guard Tre Johnson and Keith Sims, who were released in the offseason for salary cap reasons. The offensive line's problems have been complicated by injuries: Guard Ben Coleman missed nearly three weeks because of a swollen knee and returned to practice only yesterday, and left guard Matt Campbell was forced to replace injured left tackle Chris Samuels.

Coleman played at left tackle and guard during the light workout at Biddle Field. However, today's workout will be a better test of whether he can play with pain. Schottenheimer has been eager for Coleman to return and hasn't ruled him out of a spot as a starter. Coleman said the pain has greatly subsided, but he still is not sure he is ready to play.

"It makes me more uncomfortable than anything else," Coleman said. "It's something I can deal with as long as it's not intense. When it was inflamed, it was pretty intense."

Samuels joined running back Stephen Davis (sprained toes) on the sidelines. Schottenheimer was not sure whether Samuels would play against the Cleveland Browns on Friday. A decision is expected by Thursday.

Schottenheimer remained concerned about the blocked field goal and a blocked extra point against the Falcons. Schottenheimer did not single out Moore for the blocked field goal, but the guard created a gap when he advanced on a block instead of holding his position. In a rare flash of emotion during the post-game news conference, Schottenheimer threatened to release the guilty player. He cooled off after reviewing game films.

"My job is to keep teaching them and if they don't do it right … then we have to make a change," he said. "The protection unit has to be secure. If you [block] aggressively instead of setting back and down and the [center] doesn't go aggressively, there's an automatic crease created."

Meanwhile, quarterback Jeff George won't practice until tomorrow, leaving him questionable against Cleveland. George threw lightly on the side and even donned his helmet to hand off during a non-contact drill. He will throw lightly today before firmly testing his right shoulder, which has been plagued by tendinitis for most of camp, during practice tomorrow.

Backup quarterback Tony Banks worked on short passes during seven-on-seven drills that included an interception by safety Martavius Houston.

"[Banks is] not afraid to throw it, but he has a lot of catching up to do," Schottenheimer said.


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