- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

The college credentials of Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier appeared sufficient to impress the club's veterans yesterday as he oversaw his first NFL practice.
"I think his resume speaks for itself," said defensive end Bruce Smith, an 11-time Pro Bowl selection. "Naturally we're in the pros now, but … I just look forward to the opportunity to play for him. It's great to see him come in with his attitude and his energetic spirit."
Said cornerback Champ Bailey, a two-time Pro Bowl pick: "I respect him for what he's done. He's been a winner everywhere he's been. I don't expect that to stop here."
Spurrier, for his part, downplayed the idea of trying to win over veterans, saying, "Players are pretty much all the same. Some are a little more mature."

Cowsette out
Defensive tackle Delbert Cowsette underwent wrist surgery Monday to repair an injury from last season that never quite healed. He is expected to return for training camp, but the Redskins are thin at defensive tackle in the meantime.
Cowsette, 24, made 10 tackles in fairly regular appearances as a reserve last season and has a chance to start after free agent Kenard Lang signed with the Cleveland Browns. Lining up at first-string yesterday was Donovan Arp, 24, who was acquired from the Tennessee Titans' practice squad last season. Steve Martin remains a free-agent possibility; it appears unlikely he'll return to the New York Jets.
Meanwhile, young running back Stanley Stephens is expected to retire after being diagnosed with a heart murmur. Cornerback Donovan Greer was on hand but did not participate as he continues to rehabilitate a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Wide receiver Reidel Anthony suffered a hip flexor but is expected to practice today. Quarterback Dameyune Craig participated despite a lingering foot injury.

Shuffling numbers
Quarterback Danny Wuerffel, after wearing No.17 in the morning practice, became the first Redskin since Joe Theismann (1974-85) to wear No.7. Theismann is the club's all-time leading passer and winner of Super Bowl XVII.
Former equipment manager Jay Brunetti once kept certain jerseys out of circulation Theismann's and seven others, while Sammy Baugh's No.33 is retired but Spurrier allowed Wuerffel to wear No.7.
"I believe you shouldn't retire numbers," Spurrier said. "You should retire jerseys and put it up at the stadium. I would hope that former players would like to see their number out there again."
Four Redskins practiced in different numbers than they will wear in games linebacker LaVar Arrington (No.11 instead of No.56) and wide receivers Kevin Lockett (No.3 vs. No.83), Jacquez Green (No.10 vs. No.80) and Anthony (No.15 vs. No.84).
In each case the player's preferred number cannot be worn in a game under NFL rules.


Fischer, Mason practice
Two of the Redskins' unrestricted free agents, center Mark Fischer and linebacker Eddie Mason, worked out after signing agreements that protect them in case of injury. Both are looking for modest contracts as reserves and would like to stay in Washington.
"I can't read their minds, but would suppose that the only thing that's scaring them away is [my torn ACL from last season]," Fischer said. "Maybe by them seeing me run around out there with little effort, I can prove to them that it's going to be all right."
Fischer could increase his odds by proving he can play guard, where the Redskins still need two starters. Ross Tucker, 23, and Alex Sulfsted, 24, lined up first-string. The club continues to consider Detroit Lions free agent Tony Semple, who could start on the left side.

Extra points
Cornerback Darrell Green was an excused absentee. … Cornerback Champ Bailey was among the punt returners. … Right tackle Jon Jansen did some long-snapping. Long snapper Ethan Albright remains on the roster but is expected to be released.


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