POSITION BATTLES

The Redskins entered training camp with no clear starter at a number of positions. After three preseason games, not much has changed. Here's a breakdown on the remaining position battles entering the preseason finale versus New England.

Middle linebacker: Robert Jones appeared to have closed the gap between he and Kevin Mitchell entering the Cleveland game. But Jones played poorly against the Browns and Mitchell didn't. One clue: Before the Browns game Jones practiced with the first unit. That hasn't been the case this week.

Corner: Darrell Green and Fred Smoot have an edge over Donovan Greer to start opposite Champ Bailey. Smoot is too much of a playmker not to be on the field somewhere. And Greer hasn't shown he's better than Green. The best guess is that Green would start the season opener, but Smoot soon would be the starter.

Right guard: Undrafted rookie free agent David Brandt will start, which says as much about him as it does about the state of the line. If either Mookie Moore or Derrick Fletcher had played well, Brandt would have no shot at starting. Neither did. Veteran Ben Coleman could emerge the victor, however. Coleman said his knees are feeling better. Had he not been hurt early in camp, Coleman would be the starter by now. Still, he must show he's healthy, otherwise the job is Brandt's. Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer said he won't use Matt Campbell or Dave Szott on the right side, mainly because neither is physical enough. Campbell will start at left tackle for Chris Samuels this week. It could be that Schottenheimer is concerned enough about Samuels' strained muscle that he wants to leave Campbell at tackle. Just in case.

Fullback: Donnell Bennett solidified his lead over Bryan Johnson after the Browns' game. Bennett will start this week and, barring a horrific game, will start the season opener.


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