- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2001

Washington Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith warned the San Diego Chargers not to challenge him in Sunday's regular-season opener. The sprained shoulder that caused Smith to miss the preseason remains sore, but Smith is confident he can stuff the Chargers' running game.
"They're going to want to test my shoulder, see how healthy I am," Smith said. "I'm looking forward to that opportunity to take on that challenge."
The Redskins expect former Washington coach Norv Turner to present a wide-ranging challenge as San Diego's offensive coordinator. Certainly, Turner may test rookie cornerback Fred Smoot or first-time starting safety David Terrell and middle linebacker Kevin Mitchell. Taking on a certain future Hall of Famer in Smith might seem foolish, but Smith tested his shoulder in contact drills Tuesday for first time since Aug. 9 to determine his effectiveness.
"Knowing him the way I think I do, I think he's going to try to run the ball at us," Smith said. "And I'd like for that to happen. Every single time I put my hand on the ground, I think they're running my way."
Chargers quarterback Doug Flutie believes Smith will be ready despite the injury. The two were Buffalo teammates in 1998, when Flutie learned Smith lives for marquee moments.
"I know Bruce, and there are certain games he really gets up for opening day, Monday night games, other big games," Flutie said. "The next thing you know, he's off and running and he's the Bruce Smith of old. It's going to be a challenge. He might be the greatest pass-rusher ever."
The Redskins don't expect Smith to play every defensive snap with Dorian Boose, who started the preseason games, spelling him. Recently signed end David Bowens may also be activated.
"Bruce is as fine a conditioned athlete as I've seen," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "Because of that, he can probably play more than the norm."

Samuels improved
Offensive tackle Chris Samuels will start after missing two games with a strained back muscle. The second-year veteran ran extra sprints after practice to increase his conditioning after returning to contact drills Tuesday.
"I'm still a little sore, but it's something I'm going to have to tolerate," he said. "It's been pretty frustrating. I really needed to be out there learning the offense. Guys are ragging on me, saying I'm stealing money."
Not that Samuels hasn't been readying for Chargers defensive end Raylee Johnson, who missed last season with a knee injury after recording 10? sacks in 1999.
"I'll just try to hit him as hard as I can on the first couple snaps to tell him I'm healthy," Samuels said.

Roll tape
Linebacker LaVar Arrington can't leave even his own quarterback alone. Arrington nearly shoved a tape recorder up Jeff George's nose during a group interview. George wheeled to chastise the offender before laughing at Arrington.
"Can you answer this question? How's your arm feel, Jeff?" Arrington said before walking away. "You can tell me no [comment], Jeff."
George quickly retorted "Did you ask him about New York?" in reference to Arrington attending the U.S. Open, where his "friend" Serena Williams was playing.

Extra points
Middle linebacker Robert Jones (knee) was the only Redskin listed as questionable against San Diego. Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot), offensive tackle Ross Tucker (hand), defensive tackle Del Cowsette (wrist), safety Martavius Houston (quad), Samuels and Smith are probable… . Cornerback Central McClellion was signed to the practice squad after being released Sunday.


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