- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2008

Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache has put Demetric Evans, Chris Wilson, Lorenzo Alexander and Erasmus James on notice - expect to play more Sunday against New Orleans.

Blache said Thursday before practice the coaching staff erred in not using the aforementioned reserve defensive linemen enough last week against the New York Giants.

“We just need to get more snaps to those guys because they’re quality players and they’re good enough to help us and we need to keep our top guys fresher than we have,” he said. “We need to do a little bit better job of that.”

The kickoff temperature is expected to be in the mid-to-high 80s, and this will be the Redskins’ first day game. Throw in the fact New Orleans has a pass-first offense and the need for late-game energy is even more important.

“It will make a lot of sense to make sure guys are giving their all at the end because the Saints are an offense that likes to throw screens, and we’ll be running after guys like Reggie Bush,” Evans said.

Defensive ends Andre Carter (66 out of 69 snaps, not including penalties) and Jason Taylor (55) led the way against the Giants. At tackle, Cornelius Griffin played 51 and Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston 39 and 26, respectively.

That didn’t mean a lot of time for the reserves. Evans had 20 and Alexander 16, but James (three) and Wilson (two) barely saw the field.

“I thought we would rotate a lot more knowing we have guys that can play,” Evans said. “It’s not like we have guys that are inexperienced or didn’t perform well in training camp. If he does rotate more this week, that’s a good thing because it will keep guys fresh down the stretch.”

Evans said there’s an adjustment when the rotation is abnormal.

“It’s hard to get a feel for what the offense is doing,” he said. “If you’re getting two plays, you hope they’re passing downs so you know what they’re going to do. It’s tough to get an idea of what’s going on or get an idea of the scheme and how a certain guy blocks you.”

Last year, Wilson carved a niche as a situational pass rusher and may have found another way to get on the field - as a 6-foot-4, 247-pound defensive tackle. In the fourth quarter of the Giants loss, Wilson lined up opposite guard David Diehl and used a quick spin move to team with a blitzing LaRon Landry for the sack.

“[Diehl] had to be like, ‘What’s he doing here?’” Wilson said.

Wilson, who has four sacks in his last three games (including playoffs), regularly subbed for Phillip Daniels last year on third down. Blache envisions moving Wilson and James inside to tackle on third-and-long situations.

“We’re trying to get some mileage out of both he and Erasmus inside on long yardage situations to get more speed on the field and see if we can create more pressure inside for our unit,” he said.

Vilma sparks Saints

Out of the mix with the New York Jets when coach Eric Mangini switched to a 3-4 defense, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma has moved on to the Saints and shared a team high with nine tackles in his New Orleans debut last week.

Vilma sustained a season-ending knee injury in October, and though he was still rehabilitating, the Saints acquired him for a fourth-round pick in February.

“When it came time to make the decision to acquire him, a lot of it was predicated on the type of work ethic he has,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He’s brought leadership, and he’s a smart player. He works extremely hard at his trade, and that started with his rehab.”

Catching practice

The Redskins’ defensive backs were the last ones off the field following a rapid-fire throw-and-catch drill that featured coach Jim Zorn, equipment assistant Chris Collins and quarterbacks Jason Campbell, Todd Collins and Colt Brennan.

Cornerback Fred Smoot and safeties Justin Hamilton and Chris Horton were the only players not to go 5-for-5 catching the short-range passes. Yes, Carlos Rogers was perfect.

Injury report

Linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring) again was limited in practice Thursday, and Zorn said he likely will be a game-time decision along with linebacker Khary Campbell (thigh).

Tight end Chris Cooley (quad) returned to practice but did not take part in most of the team drills, and safety Kareem Moore (hamstring) remains limited, but three players - defensive end Jason Taylor (knee), Smoot (hip) and receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee) - did everything. Zorn is happy with Kelly’s fitness but wouldn’t commit to playing him Sunday.

Running back Ladell Betts missed the day because of a death in the family, but Zorn expects him back Friday.

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