- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

Man in the middle

Dominant observation from recent days of camp: recently signed defensive tackle Daryl Gardener is a beast.

The former Miami Dolphins standout towers over fellow starters on defense, making linebackers look like Division III scatbacks and even Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson seem like he needs a second helping at the cafeteria.

"I knew he was a big, tall man, but when I saw him personally, he was like skying over people," end Renaldo Wynn said. "When you guys were interviewing him [Tuesday] his head was sticking over the crowd. He's like a giant, like a big, grizzly bear."

The roster lists Gardener at 6-foot-6, 295 pounds. He's every bit the 6-6, but the 295 pounds must mean from the waist up. Actually, he said, that was his weight when the Dolphins cut him last month. Now he's about 307, hoping to slim down to 300 by season's start.

Tomorrow Gardener will see his first game action as a Redskin. It should be fun to watch if his work in this week's practices running through the line, batting down passes with both hands translates to game performance.

"That's nothing," he said. "I did that every year while I was in Miami. It's Miami's loss, Washington's gain."


AskRoss

Linebacker Kevin Mitchell used to play nose tackle at Syracuse and tried to tell Jon Jansen so, but the offensive tackle wouldn't believe him. Mitchell's proof?

Ask Ross.

Ross is Ross Tucker, the Redskins' second-year guard out of Princeton. Tucker is nearly a decade younger than Mitchell, but Jansen said there's a good reason "Tuck" would know.

"Tuck knows everything," Jansen said.

Actually, only everything about football, Tucker said. A sports trivia nut, he admits to reading Sports Illustrated the way his dad pores over the Wall Street Journal.


The mummy

The Redskins looked like they ran out of athletic tape after the morning practice when veterans adhered rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey to the goalpost. Fortunately, according to primary culprit Jansen, they would be OK in the afternoon.

"Luckily it's a special teams practice," said a smiling Jansen. "We've got some more [tape] coming in for the game. We'll just ship it down to Carolina."

Asked if there was any pent-up frustration from Ramsey's 16-day holdout, Jansen replied: "That's the Japan trip right there."


Late switch

Coach Steve Spurrier is so competitive that it sometimes gets in the way of practice, defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis explained with a laugh. Recently Lewis didn't like his defense on a particular play. So he asked Spurrier to run the same play. When Spurrier saw the defensive alignment, he forgot Lewis' instructions and audibled to a play that would beat the scheme.


Data

Today's practice: 9:30 a.m.

Injuries: CB Champ Bailey (dislocated finger) and RG Kipp Vickers (urinary blockage) won't play against Carolina tomorrow. TE Zeron Flemister (sore calf) and QB Danny Wuerffel (elbow) practiced.


Jody Foldesy and Rick Snider

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