- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Coming off a strong performance against Indianapolis, Washington's offensive line could get Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels and right guard Brenden Stai back for Sunday's game at Seattle.

The makeshift line fared well against the Colts, allowing just one sack and helping the Redskins rack up 370 yards, their third-most of the last two seasons. And now Samuels, who missed the first game of his three-year career with a sprained ankle, and Stai who had started 77 straight before sitting out the past two with knee tendinitis, could be back.

"I'm very hopeful that Chris and Brenden will both play this week," offensive line coach Kim Helton said. "How much they work as we go through the week will dictate what happens on Sunday. Hopefully, we'll have some nice problems having Brenden and Chris back and we'll be into 'who plays now?'"

While Samuels would surely reclaim his spot from Alex Sulfsted, the situation at the guards is more complicated. Current right guard Wilbert Brown would return to reserve duty if Stai is healthy. However, there's also Tre Johnson to consider. A Pro Bowl guard for Washington in 1999, Johnson was re-signed Oct.21 after he was cut by Cleveland on Aug.31. He missed all but seven games in 2000 and 2001. He played on third downs in relief of Brown against the Colts while veteran backup Kipp Vickers spelled left guard David Loverne.

Helton said that in his three decades of coaching he never before rotated guards. He declined to say what he'll do when Johnson is ready to start, likely in two or three weeks. Johnson has played both spots during his nine seasons, while eight-year veteran Stai has manned only the right side. Each is a much more proven commodity than first-year starter Loverne. Coach Steve Spurrier expects Johnson to play between 20 and 30 snaps against the Seahawks, about twice as many as he did against the Colts.

"We knew we were getting a very, physical athletic guy who had played at a very high level," Helton said. "Our only concern was Tre's conditioning, getting him in football shape."

Johnson was happy with his first regular season game action in more than a year.

"It was a lot of fun," Johnson said. "Coach Helton was kind enough to rotate me in there at a nice, moderate pace. Ball ain't hard for me."

Green's pep talk

Cornerback Darrell Green, the only current Redskin named to Washington's 70th anniversary team, spoke to his teammates before the game about the importance of the franchise's history.

"Darrell said a lot of inspirational things," defensive end Renaldo Wynn said. "He brought up the 70 greatest, how it affected us and [how] we could be the 50 greatest guys on that field that night. He was pretty emotional looking back on his [record] 20 years with the Redskins."

Extra points

Spurrier said he wished he hadn't waited so long to play receiver Darnerien McCants, who caught three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in his first extensive action. Spurrier said McCants will join starters Rod Gardner and Derrius Thompson in seeing the most time this week. After holding Indianapolis to just 258 yards, Washington's Pro Bowl-laden defense moved into the top 10 for the first time. The Redskins rank eighth, having allowed an average of 310.7 yards. The kickoff for Washington's next home game, Nov.24 against St. Louis, has been moved from 4:15 to 1p.m. Danny Wuerffel said the shoulder he sprained in his Oct.5 start at Tennessee is slowly improving, but he's not sure when he'll be healthy enough to challenge rookie Patrick Ramsey for the No.2 quarterback job.

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