- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier is prepared to enter his first season with former Florida Gators Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel as his top two quarterbacks, assuming the Redskins can complete a trade for Matthews.
"If that happens, I'm going to feel very comfortable," Spurrier said last night. "Now all those media types might disagree, but I'll feel very comfortable."
Spurrier, the former Gators coach, indicated he would not seek a big-name veteran quarterback if he obtains Matthews, currently the Chicago Bears' backup. However, Spurrier said he will attempt to bring one more passer to training camp, preferably a "veteran guy with maybe three to nine years" of NFL experience.
Meanwhile, free agent offensive lineman Leon Searcy will visit the Redskins tomorrow, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. Searcy, 32, a District native and Pro Bowl tackle for Jacksonville in 1999, apparently will be looked at for a guard position, where both Redskins starters are unrestricted free agents.
Searcy signed a six-year, $31.5million deal with the Baltimore Ravens last season but injured his triceps in training camp and spent all year on injured reserve. He also missed all of 2000 with a quadriceps injury suffered in training camp.
Rosenhaus added that defensive tackle Kenard Lang, one of 17 unrestricted Redskins free agents, visited the Cleveland Browns last night. Rosenhaus expected negotiations to begin late in the evening.
Spurrier also could select a quarterback in next month's draft, where the Redskins have the 18th pick in the first round. Oregon's Joey Harrington might fall to Washington in the first round or Spurrier might select from a group in the second round that could include Tulane's Patrick Ramsey, Illinois' Kurt Kittner or LSU's Rohan Davey.
Several well-known veterans have been available in recent days in free agency or through a potential trade. But Washington has expressed little interest in any of them, so far generally sticking to the conservative offseason plan outlined by vice president of personnel Joe Mendes.
The Redskins' attempts to trade for Matthews have bogged down since Spurrier revealed his desire for the former Gators star last week. Friday was the first day Washington could have made a trade, but it also was the first day of free agency and the second day of the NFL Scouting Combine, and few deals got done around the league.
Now there are indications that Chicago has little urgency to complete a deal, which initially looked like it would involve a late-round conditional draft pick. The Bears now might hold on to Matthews until the Redskins are willing to offer more compensation.
But Matthews' agent, Steve Mandell, believes the only thing holding up a trade has been the hectic NFL schedule.
"We should see something starting to happen in the next few days, I think, with everybody getting back from the combine," Mandell said.
Even if Spurrier gets Matthews, the coach won't satisfy critics in the media and among league personnel types who believe he can't win in the NFL with his former Gators. But Spurrier, choosing his words carefully, expressed confidence that his offensive system can be productive in the pros.
"The Washington Redskins hired me for my track record with quarterbacks, offense and winning," Spurrier said. "Hopefully that's something I'm capable of doing here."
Already Spurrier has traded for Wuerffel, the Heisman Trophy-winning passer who helped him capture the 1996 national title, and signed free-agent receivers Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering. However, none of those players have approached their college production in the pros.
Spurrier acknowledged that his pickups came partly in response to the salary cap, a constraint to which he is still adjusting. Wuerffel, Anthony and Doering have stripped little from Washington's cap total, which stands at about $1.7million below the $71.1million limit.
The Redskins need to be careful with their cap space, because they have just 13 starters under contract.
"If we have to spend a lot of money on positions besides quarterbacks and wide receivers, that's fine with me," Spurrier said.

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