- The Washington Times - Friday, September 7, 2007

Trent Green started only one season for the Washington Redskins, but nine years later the Miami Dolphins quarterback still knows how important it was to his career.

“If I hadn’t gotten in in ‘98, I had told my wife before I left for camp that I felt my career was over,” said Green, who had thrown one pass in three seasons with the Redskins following stints with San Diego and in the Canadian Football League. “To think they [would bring] in a 29-year-old with no experience when they could go out and get a 22-, 23-year old and pay him quite a bit less money with the same experience level, I felt in ‘98 I would have to get a chance to play.”

Green got his chance in Week 1 when then coach Norv Turner benched Gus Frerotte. He started 14 games that season, finishing with 3,441 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

“We always knew Trent could play if he got the chance,” said Redskins receiver James Thrash, whose first touchdown catch came on a pass from Green in 1998. “And even when he was on the scout team, Trent was a leader, always making sure everyone was lined up properly.”

When healthy, Green has started most of his career since.

His performance has put him in exclusive company. The only quarterbacks with more 4,000-yard seasons than Green’s three (2003-05) are Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Warren Moon and Canton lock Peyton Manning.

And yet Green’s career was in limbo for much of the offseason. He missed eight weeks following a serious concussion last season and didn’t play well when he returned. In response, Kansas City told the 36-year-old Green he was being benched.

“When they told me they wanted to handle my contract differently, my status on the team differently, mentally you check out,” said Green, who will debut as Miami’s starter on Sunday at Washington. “They gave me an opportunity to talk to other teams, and I had gotten a deal done with Miami. When the draft came and went and [a trade] didn’t happen, I talked to [Chiefs general manager Carl Peterson]. He said, ‘This thing may not happen so get ready to play here.’ I said, ‘A lot has been said and done the last few months. This is going to be a mental hurdle.’ ”

But the deal finally went through in June, reuniting him with Cam Cameron, his quarterbacks coach with the Redskins in 1995-96.

“Trent wanted to be here,” Cameron said. “That’s important. We felt we needed to grow in the area of leadership at the quarterback position. … Sometimes people get overly enamored with physical power. You still have to be able to lead.”

Of course, if leadership always trumped the physical part of the game, the NFL would be full of 50-year-old quarterbacks.

“I still see flashes of the same Trent Green,” Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. “Trent understands exactly what Cam wants. He’s been in portions of this offense with Al Saunders, [so] he quickly has gotten acclimated to the system. He’s controlling things.”

Washington to start

Linebackers Marcus Washington (elbow) and Khary Campbell (hamstring) took full practice yesterday, as did running back Clinton Portis (knee) and offensive tackles Chris Samuels (knee) and Todd Wade (shoulder). Only rookie tight end Cody Boyd (neck) didn’t practice.

Williams said he expected Washington to start and announced safety LaRon Landry will be the first rookie to start an opener in his four seasons running the Redskins’ defense.

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