MOVEMENT ON THE LINE

We told you it was coming, and it happened on Saturday when Coach Dave Wannstedt announced that Jamie Nails is moving into the starting lineup at left guard and Mark Dixon is being switched to left tackle.<P>

"This is not an experiment. Jamie Nails deserves to be in the lineup and Mark Dixon does, too. We're just fortunate that Mark is a good enough athlete and knowledgeable and experienced enough that he can play left tackle. We have a good group of guys, but you can only play five.

"It's my job to make sure that I am being as fair about it as I can be and that I'm giving the right guys opportunities."

Wannstedt had been praising the work of Nails throughout training camp, so the announcement didn't come as a major surprise, particulary after Wannstedt said on Friday the left tackle spot was one where he needed to take a long, hard look.

Nails started 16 games for the Buffalo Bills in the 2000 season but was out of football last year after being released by the Dolphins prior to the start of the regular season.

As for Dixon, he hasn't played left tackle since 1997 when he was a member of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

When asked whether he thought the switch would be difficult to deal with for Brent Smith and Marcus Spriggs, who had been competing for the starting left tackle job, Wannstedt answered: "I hope not. Because if they're sour, I told them then it will affect their performance, and if it affects their performance they won't be here. I don't expect that. We've got quality guys. Disappointment? A little bit, maybe. But we're all watching the same film. I think as a head coach you have to be consistent."


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