- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Aging gracefully
CARLISLE, Pa. Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington doesn't believe coach Steve Spurrier is only a few months younger than predecessor Marty Schottenheimer. After all, Spurrier looks much younger than his 57 years while Schottenheimer's gray hair made him appear quite older.
Maybe it's Spurrier's less militaristic tone that gives him a better rapport with players than Schottenheimer, whose locked dorm doors and excessive rules found few friends in the locker room.
"Coach Spurrier is probably the closest thing to a player that is a coach. He has the same type of swagger we have. The same type of personality," Arrington said. "A lot of coaches are set apart from us. Sometimes you don't feel like you can talk to your head coach, but you really see [Spurrier] as a person. That creates all the difference. You communicate realistically with your coach and not kissing up or trying to be the coach's pet. You almost see him as a player-coach. He's competitive like we are. He's not so old we can't relate to him and not so young where we can't respect his wisdom."

Hurry on up
The last days of camp always bring rumors of breaking early. Former coach Joe Gibbs often ended camp a day early so players wouldn't trash the dorms. Former coach Norv Turner was mixed, ending some early and once breaking three days ahead after persistent rain. However, Schottenheimer stayed until the very end last summer, refusing to even move the afternoon practice to the morning to depart a few hours early.
The Redskins are supposed to practice Thursday at 4p.m. Some players believe camp will break following tomorrow's afternoon practice while others claim the team may remain until Friday morning. That means come either today or tomorrow for the 9:30a.m. and 4p.m. practices with Thursday uncertain. Given the Redskins will probably train next year at Redskin Park, these could be the final days in Carlisle.

"SportsCenter" time
Sure enough, receiver Kevin Lockett's goalpost collision during a 22-yard touchdown catch against Carolina on Saturday was an ESPN highlight staple. But what was Lockett thinking when he took on the big metal with his right shoulder?
"I was so fixed on the ball," he said. "I knew I was getting close, but you make sure you catch the ball and get your feet in. I knew I hit [the goalpost] because it hurt pretty good."

Extra points
How far down the depth chart is quarterback Patrick Ramsey after reporting 16 days late? He played cornerback on some drills yesterday.
The best sign of camp by fans came in three large pieces for linebackers Jessie Armstead, Jeremiah Trotter and LaVar Arrington, respectively "D.C. Wrecking Crew: The Hitman, Terminator, Lethal Assassin."

At a glance
Today's practices: 9:30 a.m., 4 p.m.
Weather: 92 degrees, sunny
Injuries: LT Chris Samuels (knee) will miss at least two games. CB Mark Washington is doubtful against Pittsburgh on Sunday. LB Antonio Pierce (ankle) and WR Jacquez Green (ribs) didn't practice yesterday.
Rick Snider


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