- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 26, 2001

Southern Cal safety Ifeanyi Ohalete may start after suffering a broken ankle last season. Louisiana State offensive tackle Trey Langley tore two knee ligaments last year. McNeese State linebacker Jauron Dailey moves from defensive end.

Quarterback Jeff George may throw to receiver Michael Westbrook today when the Washington Redskins open their limited training camp, but it's the newcomers whom coach Marty Schottenheimer will be watching.

The Redskins could have 30 new players come the regular season, and Schottenheimer expects a handful of rookies to make the team in addition to the five draft picks. Some may even play significant roles. Rookies get three days at Redskin Park to impress Schottenheimer before being joined by the veterans Sunday at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and it could make the difference for several prospects.

"Some guys won't get as many reps as you would like, but you have to take advantage of the repetitions you get because ultimately you'll be thrown into the fray," Schottenheimer said. "The kids here have to understand you have to spend time away from the practice field with this. Four or five guys will make this team because of their ability to contribute on the [special teams] and set a tone."

The Redskins will have 48 of 83 players report early, with quarterbacks and those who ended last season on injured reserve joining the rookies. The team's top three draft picks receiver Rod Gardner (first round), cornerback Fred Smoot (second) and quarterback Sage Rosenfels (fourth) haven't signed, though.

Certainly, Gardner and Smoot are expected to play regularly this season. Fifth-round receiver Darnerien McCants could be the fourth target and special teamer, while sixth-round defensive tackle Mario Monds gets a chance as the top backup. Rosenfels probably will become the No. 3 quarterback.

But Ohalete, Langley and Dailey could be sleepers. There also are Michigan center David Brant, Texas A&M; linebacker Cornelius Anthony, Nebraska guard Jason Schwab and Pittsburgh receiver Latef Grim.

The team doesn't have a rookie scrimmage this year, so the preseason games will be the barometer. How quickly can the newcomers absorb a playbook the size of the Yellow Pages? It's often more important than physical ability.

"Details, details, details," Schottenheimer said. "Ultimately, that will be the thing of whether you're able to win the battle one-on-one. Once we get some time in live competition, then I'll have a better feel for them."

Mostly, Schottenheimer wants to see the mental toughness that has marked his teams during a 15-year coaching career. While many veterans worry training camp will be more grueling than past years, Schottenheimer believes the true challenge will be mental.

"My reputation is probably not based on fact that I'm a tough taskmaster, but we've got work to do there's no short cuts," he said. "If you don't want to go to work, you ought to go to that TV show 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' If you embark on something, embark on something that you're unsure that you can get done and all of sudden find you can. I think that serves you well."

Maybe keeping the rookies away from the veterans isn't a bad thing. After all, Schottenheimer remembered his first camp as a player.

"I always thought those veteran players that were taking me out to drink were my buddies," he said, "but there may have been some whose motive was 'Hey, let's keep him away from what he's supposed to be doing,' and maybe that will enhance their opportunity to be on the team."

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