- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier gets no grace period in his first workout today. Cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Fred Smoot plan to silence the "Fun 'N' Gun."
The three-day minicamp at Redskin Park is centered around the incoming coach employing the powerful Florida offense using former Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel and receivers Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering. Indeed, the San Francisco and Dallas coaching staffs already are watching Florida game films readying for the coming matchups.
But Bailey and Smoot don't expect it to work in practice. One of the NFL's top tandems, Bailey comes off two straight Pro Bowls and Smoot from an impressive rookie season. Both played in the SEC and know their former nemesis' style.
"It's going to be them or me, and most of the time I think it will be me," Bailey said. "I'm not worried about it. I've played against these guys in college. I can deal with it."
Said Smoot: "We'll get them. It's him or me."
Meanwhile, recent offers to receiver Michael Westbrook, Baltimore strong safety Corey Harris and Detroit guard Tony Semple were rejected, according to NFL sources. However, negotiations continue with the trio.
Westbrook doesn't seemingly fit into the new offensive style, but the team hoped to get him cheap after the free agent gained little interest leaguewide. Harris could replace safety Sam Shade if the Redskins raise their offer from little more than the minimum. Semple is considering several other teams after Washington offered a modest deal.
This week's session is a modest version of training camp or even the post-draft minicamp on April 25. Only 55 players are expected with none of the team's 17 unrestricted free agents re-signed. That leaves openings throughout the team. There's barely enough guards for an offensive line drill and just two quarterbacks.
But the early minicamp, permitted because a new coach receives an extra session, is also about acclimation to the fourth coach and third staff in three years. Some players met Spurrier and their position coaches for the first time yesterday when attending a team dinner and meetings. Transition has become the norm since owner Dan Snyder's July 1999 arrival and creating chemistry has been difficult.
"I just want to get to know my teammates. That means more than anything," Bailey said. "You can assemble the talent, but if you don't know your teammates it's not working."
Quarterback Dameyune Craig won't participate after undergoing foot surgery last season, but will attend classroom sessions. Craig will compete for a backup role after spending last year with Carolina.
"Every chance I've got I've always proven people wrong," Craig said. "[Spurrier] told me I was a natural passer who makes things happen when things break down. … I know he'll push me. He talks a lot, but he backs it up."
Notes The Redskins signed running back Chris Barnes. The 2001 fifth-rounder was waived by Baltimore after rushing for 1,131 yards as a senior at New Mexico.
Former Washington returner Michael Bates signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with Carolina. He played five years in Carolina before spending last season with Washington.
Free agent running back Errict Rhett is seeking a tryout. The former Florida star gained 4,163 yards under Spurrier, but missed the last two seasons following foot problems.


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