- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2001

One of the Washington Redskins' toughest final cuts became an easy choice to reverse yesterday when the club brought back Eddie Mason, a veteran linebacker and special teams leader.
Mason, who resumes his third season with the Redskins, replaces rookie Donny Green, who had grabbed Mason's roster spot in the preseason's final week. Green was cut after getting out of his coverage lane in Sunday's opening loss at San Diego, allowing Tim Dwight's 84-yard punt return touchdown with 3-1/2 minutes elapsed.
"There were a lot of [final cuts] that were difficult but Eddie in particular," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "[We now want] experience for the kicking game. We just felt it was important to get somebody like Eddie, who's been such a good special teams performer, back in the fold."
Mason worked out Thursday for the Baltimore Ravens before receiving a call from Washington at about 10 p.m. Sunday night. He wasn't totally shocked that the Redskins were interested.
"I told my wife you know how sometimes you just get intuition I was like, 'I've got a feeling they're going to call,' " Mason said. "When I got the call it was mixed emotions, but this is a place where the Lord has called [my family] to be. So we're excited about it."
Schottenheimer, who had kept Green because he liked his potential, said yesterday's cut wasn't meant to send a message to other players.
"We don't need messages," Schottenheimer said. "We need performers."
Mason, 29, returns to basically all of his old duties on special teams, which includes a variety of roles in coverage and protection. He also resumes as Shawn Barber's backup on the weak side.
Also contributing to Dwight's touchdown Sunday was the punt's location. It was supposed to be to the right side of the field but instead went to the middle. Schottenheimer, however, was pleased with the overall performance of punter Bryan Barker, who also had three of his seven punts travel 33 yards or less.

It's no snap

Center Cory Raymer said he still didn't know why there were three fumbles during snaps, including one that rolled under quarterback Tony Banks' legs. Raymer and quarterback Jeff George failed to connect twice as the Redskins fumbled seven times against the Chargers.
"We're both trying to rob the same bank. It's my fault, it's [George's] fault, we don't know. It's both of our fault," Raymer said. "It's back to fundamentals and pee wee football."
Schottenheimer said Raymer remains the starter after regaining the job in the preseason over Mark Fischer. Raymer missed last season with a torn knee ligament, with Fischer replacing him. Schottenheimer considered the bad snaps abnormal.

Brandt doubtful

Guard David Brandt could practice later in the week after suffering a sprained right knee against San Diego, but team sources said he's doubtful against Arizona on Sunday.
Brandt was injured in a pileup in the Redskins' second series but played until the third quarter when his knee stiffened. Brandt felt the knee start to stiffen during halftime and was soon replaced by guard Ben Coleman.
"I have to make sure I can run on it," Brandt said. "I was doing all right. There were some good plays and bad plays. We just need to get used to playing with each other."
Middle linebacker Robert Jones may also miss the Arizona game with a sprained knee after being declared inactive against San Diego.

No excuses

Schottenheimer wouldn't blame replacement referees for the team's woes, saying he doesn't like to discuss officiating after losses. However, the team may send plays to the league for review. Defensive end Bruce Smith said after the game that he received several cheap shots from the Chargers that went unchallenged.
"I saw Bruce take a shot that was totally uncalled for in the first half, and he was irate," Schottenheimer said. "If indeed the league views it as a foul, they'll fine the player."

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