- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 7, 2002

Who, me?
CARLISLE, Pa. Told that San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci (below) had supposedly accused him of running up the score in Saturday's 38-7 preseason-opening victory, Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier laughed with the knowing look of a man who has heard that complaint dozens of times over the years.
"I don't think Mooch said that," Spurrier said. "I think he said something about our backups against their starters. I guess [backup receivers] Chris Doering, Darnerien McCants and [No.[ThSp]2 quarterback] Danny Wuerffel are our starters now. We played all of our guys just like they did. But that's OK if [Mariucci] feels that way. I'm sure they'll be excited when we play 'em again [Sept.[ThSp]22 in San Francisco] and we'll be excited, too. That's the one that really counts. If the Niners clobber us out there, they'll say the exhibition game didn't mean anything."

Bruce is back
After missing the first two weeks of training camp (and, conveniently, the trip to Japan), Bruce Smith was back in his accustomed starting right end spot yesterday morning at Biddle Field.
"I feel like a kid who reported about 10 days late to school," quipped the 39-year-old Smith, whose 186 career sacks are just 12 shy of the retired Reggie White's NFL record. "I'm trying to play catch-up. I was just happy to get out there and finally start running around with the guys and do a little hitting, just trying to get back into the flow of things. We're going to be very smart about [not putting too much stress on my surgically repaired knees]."
Smith, never a big believer in preseason games, said he doesn't plan on taking full contact for a week since the season opener is still a month off. The Hall of Fame lock said he wouldn't play in Saturday's preseason game at Carolina and perhaps not until the fourth preseason game on Aug.24 at Tampa Bay. However, neither Spurrier nor defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis ruled out Smith seeing some action against the Panthers.

Prowling for Panthers
Spurrier has backed off the idea of playing quarterback Shane Matthews for almost the entire game at Carolina. The coach said he now plans to have Matthews play the first half with Wuerffel and Sage Rosenfels probably splitting the second half.
Spurrier said that Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis, who barely played in Osaka, likely won't get his uniform very dirty against the Panthers either because "he doesn't need to." Davis didn't practice yesterday because of a stomach bug. Second-round draft choice Ladell Betts ran with the first team.
"The Panthers struggled last year, but they have a new coaching staff and they'll be fired up for the first game," Spurrier said. "They've got a lot to prove as we supposedly did against the Niners [who] didn't have much to play for and that was the reason we got 'em pretty good. Now the Panthers will be trying to get us. They need to sell some tickets. They need to win."

Swamp music
Receiver Chris Doering had four catches for 66 yards against the 49ers in his most extensive NFL action since September 1999 when he was with Denver. Doering, one of six Redskins who played for Spurrier at Florida, said Saturday gave him a happy deja vu feeling.
"It was kind of like we were back in the Swamp (Florida Field) throwing it around like we did in the mid-1990s," Doering said.

Extra points
End LaDairis Jackson, who was credited with four sacks against the 49ers, received the defensive game ball on Saturday. Jackson, who has a definite shot at a backup job with holdover Otis Leverette out four to six weeks with a knee injury, didn't make Seattle's roster as a rookie free agent out of Oregon State last year.
Wuerffel (16 of 25 for 269 yards and three touchdowns), McCants (four catches, 86 yards, two TDs) and wideout Derrius Thompson (three catches, 105 yards, two TDs) received the offensive game balls.

At a glance
Next Carlisle practice: Today, 9:30 a.m.
Weather forecast: Sunny, 79 degrees
Health watch: DT Santana Dotson ruptured his left Achilles' tendon and is likely out for the year. RB Stephen Davis (intestinal virus) didn't practice yesterday. G Rod Jones (knee) left the morning practice early, didn't work in the afternoon and is expected to miss a couple of days. G Alex Sulfsted sprained an ankle against the 49ers and should sit out again tomorrow. G Kipp Vickers (knee) sat out the morning practice. DT Daryl Gardener (back) and OT Reggie Coleman (knee) sat out the afternoon workout. DE Otis Leverette (knee), DE Sean Powell (abdominal strain), OT Wayne Smith (hip) remain out. G David Loverne (elbow) returned to practice.


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