- The Washington Times - Friday, December 7, 2001

Jocularity filled the Washington Redskins' locker room yesterday.

There were the regular checkers and dominos games during lunch time at Redskin Park. Defensive end Dorian Boose sang commentary while players watched Jerry Springer on an overhead television.

Players traded barbs. Cornerback Darrell Green reminisced. Coach Marty Schottenheimer talked of cold weather games. The Redskins have spent much more time simply hanging around each other during the midday break than past years. Instead of units being segregated in the lunch, weight or training rooms, offensive and defensive players mingle in the locker room.

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One corner found defensive end Kenard Lang discussing his newest hairstyle that has ranged from Don Kingish to a royal mess. This time Lang has "I Buddy Lee" in little golden blocks hanging from his locks that symbolize the doll Buddy Lee in jeans commercials.

"Buddy Lee is my man," Lang said.

Lang also has "K Lang" and random letters hanging from his hair that he joked was a spelling lesson for cornerback Fred Smoot.

"It's like Scrabble so Smoot can learn how to spell words," Lang said. "The other day I taught him how to spell cat and bat. It was difficult. He was Prop 40 for three years, then on academic probation for one year."

Countered Smoot: "All the words in the back of his head are misspelled. He tried to spell blitz and forget the l."

Smoot lay across the bench, head buried in a towel in a fruitless quest for rest. The long season wears on rookies, and Smoot seemed weary.

"I try to give him a nap everyday," cornerback Darrell Green said jokingly.

Smoot yawned and arose, looking to his mentor for direction.

"Get your coloring books and notebooks," Green said. "No, put your stuff in the locker and we'll go out to recess."

Safety Keith Lyle grabbed Green from behind and laughed about once coming to the latter's house when Lyle attended Marshall High School in Falls Church. Lyle approached Green in his driveway and said he would play in the NFL one day. The two talked for hours. Sure enough, Lyle joined the Redskins in August after six seasons in St. Louis.

"I did return that bike I stole from the house," Lyle said.

Replied Green: "He's the reason why we have three German shepherds now."

Guard Dave Szott's locker used to be crowded on Thursdays last season, when it was used by cornerback Deion Sanders but is currently an abandoned corner. "Prime Time" now reportedly hangs his clothes in a 4,000-square foot walk-in closet. Szott didn't even find the burgundy outfit Sanders wore to his June 2000 signing.

"There were no hats, no gold, no money," Szott said. "I would have thought he'd leave something."

The springlike weather prompted a productive practice. It also proved enticing to Lang. The Orlando, Fla., native is an unrestricted free agent next year, and practicing in warm weather over the season's final month has him eager to re-sign.

"I love it here. The community's beautiful. The people are beautiful," Lang said. "It's nearly 70 degrees. It's Florida weather, so it's meant for me to stay here."

Pro Bowl voting

Linebacker LaVar Arrington is the leading NFC outside linebacker for the Pro Bowl among fan voting with 77,960. Fans, coaches and players each have one-third vote in the balloting. The latter two groups vote on Dec. 26-27, with fans continuing through month's end on nfl.com. Already the 26.6 million votes are 7.6 million more than last year's final ballot. The Pro Bowl is Feb. 9.

"I'm flattered," Arrington said.

Said coach Marty Schottenheimer: "I love LaVar's energy. He has a great passion for this game. All we have to do is harness it."

Health watch

Tight end Stephen Alexander said he'll miss two to four weeks with a broken ankle after further review by non-team doctors of an MRI on Monday.

Guard Ben Coleman (quad), tight end Walter Rasby (ankle) and guard Matt Campbell (kneecap) practiced, but Campbell is still probably out for a third straight game.

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