- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Two anticipated announcements regarding Washington Redskins cornerback Darrell Green will become official today: Green will retire at season's end, and he will begin the season as a backup to rookie Fred Smoot.

The news conference for Green's retirement, a gathering known about for several days, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Redskin Park. The heavily speculated news regarding Smoot will come when coach Marty Schottenheimer reveals the winners of several battles for starting positions, team sources said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Redskins yesterday worked out former Kansas City Chiefs return specialist Tamarick Vanover, who recently served two months in federal prison and two of home detention for aiding and abetting the sale of a stolen vehicle.

Schottenheimer had said he would work out Vanover, 27, ever since he learned that the gifted returner had been cleared to return to the NFL. The coach, however, does not expect to sign his former player anytime soon.

"He had a very good workout," Schottenheimer said. "We just don't have a spot. We're happy with what we have in Michael Bates, who is a premier returner, and he plays the coverage side [of special teams]."

Vanover also admitted to financing marijuana and cocaine traffic but was not charged because he cooperated with federal investigators. Schottenheimer believes Vanover is basically a good person who could prove himself if given another chance in the NFL.

The Redskins did make several transactions yesterday, claiming defensive ends David Bowens (Buffalo) and Otis Leverette (Miami) off waivers and waiving defensive end Derrick Ham and defensive tackle Mario Monds.

Bowens, a 1999 fifth-round pick by Denver who recorded 3* sacks for Green Bay last season, becomes a backup right end, Schottenheimer said. Bowens' signing could allow Kenard Lang to return to tackle full-time after seeing some time at end last week. Dorian Boose remains the No. 3 overall end behind Bruce Smith and Marco Coleman.

Leverette, a sixth-round pick by Miami in April, needs to develop before he could see playing time.

Monds, a sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati, becomes the first 2001 draft selection cut by Schottenheimer. He is a strong candidate for the practice squad, provided he does not get picked up off waivers.

The Redskins also signed four players to the five-man practice squad: wide receiver Justin Skaggs, running back Stanley Stephens, offensive lineman Terrance Simmons and linebacker Chaz Murphy.

The club attempted to claim running back Frank Moreau (Kansas City) off waivers but was beaten out by Jacksonville. The Redskins also worked out offensive lineman Calvin Collins and defensive lineman Tyrone Williams but do not expect to sign either in the near future.

The battle between Smoot and Green came down to the rookie's solid performance in the preseason. By showing that he will not make too many mistakes in the short-term, Smoot, 22, gave the club confidence to allow him to begin reaching his sizable potential. Smoot was considered one of the draft's premier corners but he fell into the second round because of questions about his off-field behavior.

Other apparent victors in competitions for starting jobs are undrafted rookie right guard David Brandt, middle linebacker Kevin Mitchell and free safety David Terrell.

Green's announcement is expected to create a farewell tour atmosphere this season, similar to what Baltimore Orioles icon Cal Ripken is experiencing this summer in baseball. Green hopes the attention will allow him to raise funds for his Youth Life Foundation, which educates at-risk children through learning centers.


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