- The Washington Times - Friday, December 27, 2002

Washington Redskins running backs coach Hue Jackson yesterday was promoted to offensive coordinator for next season as coach Steve Spurrier seeks to diversify his overall role.
"Hue's an enthusiastic coach, very organized, very detailed," Spurrier said. "He gets things done. He'll not put in a bunch of new plays without the head coach knowing it."
Meanwhile, running back Stephen Davis will undergo shoulder surgery on Monday and won't play against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. With Davis expected to be released in the offseason, his Redskins career ended on a fumble at Philadelphia on Dec. 15 when he separated his right shoulder. The surgery is considered routine and Davis will be ready for next season.
Spurrier informed Jackson yesterday after deciding around midseason that he needed to get more involved with the defense and special teams next year. Spurrier will continue calling the plays, but Jackson will coordinate more of the weekday preparation to free Spurrier from meetings. Barring defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis leaving for a head coaching job, Spurrier didn't expect any other staff moves.
Jackson continues a quick rise that Spurrier foresees will eventually gain a head coaching job. The second-year pro coach was hired by Marty Schottenheimer last season after 14 years as a college assistant. Jackson was promoted over several long-time Spurrier assistants.
"The X and O part of it is normally the same anywhere you go," Jackson said. "The terminology is different. Once I got that, I was able to better understand what we're doing. By the time we got to training camp it all made sense."
Green enters ring
Cornerback Darrell Green will be inducted into the Ring of Fame at FedEx Field on Sunday as part of pregame ceremonies starting at 12:30 p.m. Previously, only retired players were honored.
Green also will remain on the field after the game to meet fans and appear at halftime for a drawing that benefits his Youth Life Foundation.
Staying or going?
Guard Tre Johnson and linebacker Kevin Mitchell will both start against Dallas as late-season replacements, but neither knows whether he'll return. The unrestricted free agents could come back as role players, but would rather start elsewhere.
Johnson will start his third straight game after he signed on Oct. 22. The 1999 Pro Bowler, who played the last two years with Cleveland, has steadily progressed every week. However, team officials will seek two starting guards over the offseason.
"I can see myself playing ball again for the next couple years," Johnson said. "I could see myself playing here."
Mitchell started 13 games last year before suffering a high ankle sprain. However, he played sparingly this season before Jeremiah Trotter suffered a season-ending injury against Dallas on Nov. 28.
"I know the end's coming, but it won't hit me until the game's over on Sunday," Mitchell said. "I thought I would end my career here, but that hasn't worked out. I want to play more than I have this year. Hopefully, other opportunities will be out there."
Quarterback Shane Matthews also won't return after starting seven games. The former Florida passer said he's trying not to regret coming to Washington for one season.
"In hindsight, you could say maybe I should have gone somewhere else, but I won't second-guess my decision," Matthews said. "But it has been a disappointing year."
Gardner nears 1,000
Receiver Rod Gardner is quietly on the verge of the best single-season marks by a Redskins receiver in recent years. Gardner needs only 53 yards to become the first with 1,000 yards since Michael Westbrook in 1999. Gardner's 66 catches leaves him only nine short of surpassing Henry Ellard (1994) for the most since Art Monk's 86 in 1989. Gardner's eight touchdowns are one short of Westbrook's 1999 mark that was second only to the team record of 12 shared by three players, including Ricky Sanders in 1988.
"Getting 1,000 yards is very important to me," Gardner said. "That will put me over the hump in having a successful season. One thousand yards, 70 catches, 10 touchdowns I want all three."
Champ honored
Cornerback Champ Bailey was named the B.J. Blanchard Good Guy Award winner by the Pro Football Writers Association's local chapter. The annual award honors a player who best cooperates with the media. It was named after the team's receptionist.
"I just try to be professional about everything. That's where it starts," Bailey said. "I like to look at the bright side."
Staff writer David Elfin contributed to this story.

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