STARTING LINEUPS

Who's on first, what's on second… Washington Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer has often said he wouldn't have been hired if the team didn't unsuccessfully run through five kickers last year.

Given kicker Brett Conway was re-signed, it would seem like the same lineup would return. Instead, 12 starters have departed. Thirty new players might make the roster.

Reloading? This is rebuilding no matter Schottenheimer's denials.

"It's exciting. This is a new beginning," Schottenheimer said. "Part of that means different adjustments. We've done that. We've got a good football team. We have some holes, but everybody has those."

The Redskins have retained the nucleus, but there's plenty of holes. Like the interior of the offensive line.

The Redskins were overwhelmed in the middle last year. Now guards TrÈ Johnson and Keith Sims are gone, courtesy of the salary cap cuts. Mookie Moore and Derrick Fletcher will man the middle with veteran Cory Raymer returning after missing last season with a torn knee ligament.

Fullback Larry Centers is also gone for salary cap reasons. The team will use more double-tight end formations with Walter Rasby playing alongside tight end Stephen Alexander. The team will use a fullback on occasion, but only for blocking.

Michael Westbrook is the only recognizable receiver. First-rounder Rod Gardner should get the nod over former Kansas City receiver Kevin Lockett, but watch for fifth-rounder Darnerian McCants.

And can we say the quarterback is new given Jeff George didn't start the season-ender? George started four games last season, but the job is now firmly his after the team decided not to pursue a veteran backup. Instead, Todd Husak will be No. 2.

Then there's the defense where tackle Dana Stubblefield, middle linebacker Derek Smith, safety Mark Carrier and cornerback Deion Sanders won't return. OK, Sanders isn't officially gone yet, but it's coming.

The Redskins have moved end Kenard Lang to tackle, but the 270-pounder must prove his durability, given he's at least 40 pounds too light. Kevin Mitchell was promoted to starting middle linebacker after barely playing last season. David Terrell was moved from cornerback to safety during minicamp. Now the second-year player may have to start if the Redskins don't sign a safety before training camp. And cornerback Darrell Green gets his job back over Sanders, for now. Just watch out for rookie cornerback Fred Smoot by midseason.

Special teams is a total changeover. Returner Winston October, punter Bryan Barker and deep snapper Ethan Albright join Conway. Scorecards, get your scorecards.

Projected Starters

OFFENSE
QB Jeff George
WR Michael Westbrook
WR Rod Gardner
RB Stephen Davis
TE Stephen Alexander
TE Walter Rasby
LT Chris Samuels
LG Mookie Moore
C Cory Raymer
RG Derrick Fletcher
RT Jon Jansen

DEFENSE
LE Marco Coleman
LDT Dan Wilkinson
RDT Kenard Lang
RE Bruce Smith
OLB Shawn Barber
MLB Kevin Mitchell
OLB LaVar Arrington
FS David Terrell
SS Sam Shade
CB Champ Bailey
CB Darrell Green

SPECIALISTS
K Brett Conway
P Bryan Barker
PR/KR Winston October
DS Ethan Albright


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