- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2008

Derrick Frost has been the Washington Redskins‘ punter since September 2005, but he went into Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Bills with his job in jeopardy.

The Redskins drafted a punter for the first time in 15 years in April, and sixth-rounder Durant Brooks averaged 46.0 yards gross in last week’s preseason win against the Indianapolis Colts.

So as special teams coach Danny Smith said, last night’s game was “very important for Derrick.”

But Frost prevailed when he last faced a challenge in 2006 from Australian David Lonie.

“From a competitive standpoint, it was hard to sit there and watch someone else do all the punting,” Frost said. “I know what I’m capable of doing, and if I do that, I don’t think the decision will take that long to make. I’m a gamer. I’ve shown I’m good enough to play in this league.

“There are things I can bring to this team that he can’t - directional punting. I have the ability to stop people from scoring [with a tackle] when there’s a breakdown in coverage, and I pride myself on my consistency as a holder.”

Frost had three pooch punts of 32, 31 and 32 yards - all three resulted in fair catches inside the 20-yard-line.

Bills rookie Leodis McKelvin had returned his fourth boot, which traveled 40 yards, 45 yards. Frost missed an open-field tackle on McKelvin.

Fox, others missing

Several players were absent from the lineup Saturday night as expected.

Among the key contributors who didn’t play were safety LaRon Landry, cornerback Carlos Rogers, linebacker Rocky McIntosh, offensive tackles Stephon Heyer and Todd Wade and rookie wide receivers Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly. Safety Vernon Fox wasn’t with the team because of personal reasons.

Rookie safety Chris Horton - who missed three days of practice with an undisclosed illness - didn’t play.

Fox was slated to start in Landry’s place, but the Redskins’ makeshift secondary included Shawn Springs at free safety and Fred Smoot in place of Rogers.

Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El left the game with a right arm injury. The X-ray was negative, but Randle El’s arm was wrapped while he sat on the sideline. Fellow wideout Anthony Mix left with bruised ribs, and the X-ray also was negative.

A future in Toronto?

Buffalo will play its first preseason “home” game Thursday at Rogers Centre in Toronto - the first of eight games (five regular season and three preseason) the Bills will play north of the border.

“I try to follow the Canadian media, so I heard all the rumors, and when it actually happened, I was hoping we would get to play the exhibition game up there,” said Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham, a Wallaceburg, Ontario, native.

There has been speculation that given the projected success of the games in Toronto and Buffalo’s declining financial situation, this could become a permanent move.

Suisham’s hometown is close to Detroit, so there were many Lions fans in his area. The NFL is popular throughout the country, but some Canadians worry about the move’s potential impact on the CFL.

“Now that I’ve been playing football for a number of years, I’ve become more of a fan of football in general,” Suisham said. “Growing up I wasn’t an avid CFL fan, but I am a fan of it now. I think it is a great league. There is definitely a strong NFL presence in southern Ontario. That’s beyond me, though. I don’t know [about the potential impact].”

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