- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009

All week, Washington Redskins coaches and players have stressed the importance of Friday’s game against New England and said it will serve as the final measuring stick of the preseason.

Quarterback Jason Campbell has his doubts.

“We said that going against the Carolina Panthers last year, and we got thumped big time [47-3]; we couldn’t do anything,” he said. “And we start the season 6-2.”

But Campbell does acknowledge it’s time for the first-team offense to get into end zone after the unit’s five drives together have produced four punts and a field goal.

The Redskins’ starters are expected to play at least the first half.

“You definitely want to come out and play hard because we’re going against one of the premier teams in the NFL and it’s a great test to see what we can do,” Campbell said.

One of the reasons Campbell hasn’t produced great numbers is that he hasn’t played a lot - 29 snaps in two games.

Among the 22 quarterbacks who entered camp as starters and have played two games, Campbell’s four completions are the fewest and his 13 attempts are tied for the fewest with the Giants’ Eli Manning.

Baltimore’s Joe Flacco (17-for-33), Dallas’ Tony Romo (22-for-30), Denver’s Kyle Orton (27-for-42) and even New England’s Tom Brady (14-for-23) have played much more than Campbell.

Although his numbers don’t suggest it, offensive assistant Chris Meidt said Campbell has “had a tremendous camp. It hasn’t translated to the five drives he’s had, but in terms of camp, yeah, I’ve been really pleased.”

Coach Jim Zorn said it’s “very imperative” that the first-team offense scores a touchdown.

“But if you would have asked me the first week, I would have given you the same answer,” he said. “It’s not like I’m stressing about not getting into the end zone, yet that’s what our goal is every time we put our offense on the field. I would have loved to score 15 touchdowns already.”

Everything’s a concern

Zorn was asked what his chief worries were following four weeks of practices.

“It’s all a concern,” he said.

Zorn cited two areas in particular: offensive line reserves and which defensive linemen won’t make the cut.

“Who are the guys that are going to step in and be a part of the offensive line group when it’s all said and done? I don’t know that answer yet, so that’s a concern for me,” he said. “On defense, we’re really pretty good with our group of defensive [linemen], and there’s going to be somebody who washes out of that group because we can’t keep them all. That decision concerns me.”

Rogers, Cartwright out

Cornerback Carlos Rogers (left calf) and running back Rock Cartwright (groin) have been ruled out for the Patriots game. Right tackle Mike Williams (ankle) remains questionable.

Cartwright hopes to play against Jacksonville, but Rogers might be on the shelf until the Sept. 13 opener against the Giants.

“[Rogers’ injury] is not a setback,” Zorn said. “He’s gimping around because there is still a little tenderness, and I don’t want it to become a setback. I don’t think it’s going to be a season long deal. But my only concern is that he’s not getting the reps and the looks he needs.”

Kickers’ roles switch

Dave Rayner will handle the first half and Shaun Suisham the second half, a switch from the first two games. Suisham has attempted the only kick in a game this preseason - a field goal last week.

“They’re even. They really are,” special teams coach Danny Smith said. “Their stats in practice and stuff are almost identical, and we’ll see if something happens in the game.”

Without Cartwright on kickoff returns, Smith’s available group includes Devin Thomas, who caught kicks early in Wednesday’s practice. Dominique Dorsey is first up on punt returns, followed by Marques Hagans and Anthony Alridge.

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