- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 29, 2001

It's understandable that Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith didn't want anything to do with guard Mookie Moore yesterday when Smith returned to practice for the first time in three weeks.
After all, Moore is the one who inadvertently caused Smith's sprained shoulder.
"Stay away from me," Smith said jokingly.
Smith practiced for the first time since Aug. 9, when Moore lunged at him during a block and caused the injury. Smith worked only a handful of plays during non-contact drills yesterday after he spent Monday hitting dummies.
Smith is still unsure whether he'll play in the season opener at San Diego on Sept. 9 after missing every preseason game, including tomorrow's finale at New England. For now, Smith is slowly increasing his workload.
"We're not trying to take one step forward and two steps behind because of swelling," Smith said. "It gets sore, but that's expected."
Coach Marty Schottenheimer expects Smith to be limited at best against the Chargers. However, he'll wait for Smith's workouts next week before determining his readiness.

Four released
Receiver Derek Dorris, running back Jamaal Dinkins, safety Jason Kaiser and linebacker Anthony Sessions were cut to reach the 67-player limit that includes two NFL Europe exemptions. Dinkins (shoulder) received an injury settlement; Kaiser (abdominal) and Sessions (shoulder) also are expected to get payoffs by tomorrow.
The Redskins must release another 14 players by Sunday. Schottenheimer expects to cut several players Saturday, but won't reach the final 53-player limit until Sunday.
Quarterback Todd Husak is the top name expected to be released during the final cuts. The second-year quarterback lost the No. 2 job to Tony Banks. Fourth-rounder Sage Rosenfels will be the third quarterback, according to team sources.
Husak didn't play against Cleveland and may miss the New England game. He completed seven of 16 passes for 59 yards with two interceptions against Kansas City and Atlanta earlier in the preseason.
"I hope things are meant to work out here," Husak said. "I think I've worked hard enough to show how much I care about this organization, but if they don't want me here I'm not going to let it destroy me. I know I'm a good quarterback and can do some things in this league."
Meanwhile, Schottenheimer said he'll begin regular tryouts of free agents next week as background information, but doesn't expect much roster tinkering after the cutdown.

Third-down back?
Rookie running back Kenny Watson has the edge to become the third down back over Ki-Jana Carter and Michael Bates. The free agent has been one of the preseason sleepers, catching three passes for 31 yards along with 12 carries for 48 yards. That versatility, plus solid blocking by the 210-pounder, gives him more than just a roster spot.
"You need a guy who can run routes. I think that's where Kenny Watson factors," Schottenheimer said. "You need a guy that can pass protect and Kenny's given us evidence he can do it. He's not reluctant to go up in there and hit 300-pound defensive linemen in the rib cage. He's very quick footed with good vision. You get Kenny in space and he'll give linebackers problems."
A Penn State kick returner who gained 724 combined yards in 1999, Watson caught 16 passes for 275 yards with seven carries for 31 yards last season. He was a training camp favorite among fans in Carlisle, Pa., after growing up nearby. His locker is currently among temporary ones in the middle of the locker room, but Watson will soon relocate to a permanent wall unit.
"You get into the mood where you feel like you belong here and want to prove it to everybody," he said. "I'm not afraid to take on hits."
Bates will return kicks and punts, but has practiced regularly with receivers and running backs. Despite no carries or receptions in the first three preseason games, Schottenheimer likes Bates' speed for third-and-long situations.
"If they can find a way to give a guy that makes plays the ball, why not?" Bates said. "Those situations are only one play away from breaking it."

Extra points
Quarterback Jeff George may play less than one half against New England. Tony Banks will follow, but Schottenheimer was unsure how long Banks would play and whether a third passer will be used. Schottenheimer said Banks is "50 percent ahead of last week," but hasn't learned more plays… . Schottenheimer isn't worried about the chance of replacement refs at New England, saying, "We've got our own problems. I'm not worrying about them."


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide