- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2001

The Washington Redskins sure seemed to be facing defensive end Courtney Brown in last week's preseason win over the Cleveland Browns, but that wasn't Brown posting 1-1/2 sacks in the game's first half.
Brown, Cleveland's right end and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 draft, was sidelined with a knee injury. Starting in his place was unheralded Tyrone Rogers, who went undrafted in 1999 and weighs less than 240 pounds.
Rogers' sharp performance came against backup left tackle Matt Campbell, who was filling in for Chris Samuels (rib). A seventh-year veteran with 58 starts, Campbell struggled, but that might have been expected after he spent much of training camp and most of the past four seasons at left guard.
Tonight, in the preseason finale at New England, the situation grows more significant. Samuels remains sidelined, starting quarterback Jeff George is slated to go about a half more than the traditional quarter in a final preseason game and Campbell will be facing 1996 Pro Bowl pick Willie McGinest, an end far more skilled and experienced than Rogers.
"I'm still not quite settled in [at tackle], a lot of my techniques, a lot of the nuances," Campbell said yesterday. "I feel pretty comfortable. It's just one of those things: It's such a drastic change going from guard to tackle. It's been awhile since I've really had some extensive reps [at the position]."
Campbell, 29, is still adjusting to the more open nature of blocking on the edge, rather than the straightforward technique on the interior. He believes he did well overall against Rogers but knows he has a real test in McGinest, who recorded 15 sacks the past two seasons.
"It's a great challenge," Campbell said. "Willie McGinest is a [natural] linebacker who pass-rushes, a quick guy who's got good strength, good change of direction. So you've got to prepare for more than an end with a single [talent] a big guy who power-rushes, or a little guy who speed-rushes. McGinest has the capabilities of doing both."
Samuels said he probably will return for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener at San Diego, though he admitted that the strained muscle in his side might not be 100 percent by then.
When Samuels returns, Campbell might not regain his starting left guard role, which he held the first two preseason games. Veteran Dave Szott played well at left guard last week, and Schottenheimer has dropped plans to move either Szott or Campbell to right guard, wanting a bigger, stronger player at that spot.
Right guard is the biggest concern on a line full of questions. The leading candidate to start there is Ben Coleman, who returned to action only last week after missing much of camp with swollen knees. And Coleman spent his first week back at tackle.
Schottenheimer said Coleman's knees are "vastly improved," but the ninth-year veteran will be a backup tonight when the Redskins start their third different right guard of the preseason. Undrafted rookie David Brandt is slated for first-string duty against the Patriots, after Mookie Moore and Derrick Fletcher split duties in the first three games.
"[The line] is unsettled," Schottenheimer said. "The problem is we were wishing some guys would step up, and that hasn't really happened. We've had the injury to Coleman, and that really set us back. But as I've said from the beginning, this is a journey. We'll just keep working day-by-day."
Notes As expected, Samuels, cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) and defensive end Bruce Smith (shoulder) will miss tonight's game. Running back Stephen Davis, who has practiced all week after rehabilitating his sprained toes, is expected to play. George, who missed the first two preseason games with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, has experienced no setbacks… .
Schottenheimer will determine his starting cornerbacks prior to the game. The likely starters are Darrell Green and Fred Smoot, who team sources say are the only serious candidates to earn the position across from Bailey. But it remains possible Donovan Greer could start the final exhibition… .
Specialist Michael Bates remains the top punt returner, with wide receiver Kevin Lockett the No. 2 option. Green also remains a candidate to return punts, but Smoot essentially has been ruled out, with Schottenheimer wanting the rookie to concentrate on his defensive position.


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