IN THEIR WORDS: KENARD LANG

It took a while, but Redskins tackle Kenard Lang has adjusted to life as a tackle. Now he hopes that he's started to grasp the nuances of the position--which should result in improved play. Marty Schottenheimer has raved about Lang, but there are times when Lang still gets shoved around. Give him credit for this: he never quits. Notice how many plays he makes downfield compared to other linemen? There's a reason.

Here are Lang's thoughts on his talent, what he's adapting to at tackle and facing Green Bay on Monday: ''If I don't use my skills, the long arms and hands and the quickness, I'll get balled down in there. This week we're playing Green Bay and they like cheese. I'll get limberger cheese and rub it all on me. They'll look at me like, 'Oh, you're terrible.' Then I'll get Big Daddy and rub him down with limberger, too. He'll have a heck of a game. ''I'd say my reaction time is getting better, as far as feeling blocks and recognizing plays. At end, I could look at a formation and tell what gaps they're going to run at me. At tackle I might see someone's feet go in motion and that can help me out with what I need to do. ''I notice a difference, big time. You won't see me get caught up in the trash, or some situation where I could have had a tackle for a loss but instead the guy got a two or three yard gain. It helps me get to the ball quicker and it makes it a lot easier than when you're not 100 percent sure. ''I read the guard to see which way his head moves. The guard might head fake and duck down, which means a trap is coming or the guard and tackle go flat like they're trying to scrape off me and go to the linebackers. ''Instead of two or three blocks at end, I've got to worry about four or five at tackle. Maybe a little more. But a lot of guys down there are not as quick. They might be bigger, but I've got to use what I have. ''I've got confidence in myself that I could do it all along. I'd make plays in spot situations last year. I'm doing well, but I'm not surprised in my ability. ''[Making plays downfield] is just feel. If I know the ball is going that way and I feel the guard pushing, then I know all his weight is going that way so I just spin quick and come back around. ''It's my inner drive. I have the opportunity now. In the past, like last year, I'd get my little spot play. Now I'm in there fulltime. I know all eyes are on me and they're going to look at me. They're trying to put the microscope on me and check out everything I do. So if I do well, I'll make them eat their words. That's what I'm trying to do. ''I don't [watch guys like me]. I watch guys who use the same techniques and go from there. The techniques aren't different going from end to tackle, but things happen just a little faster than it does on the edge. I'm right over the ball so once the ball moves I'm gone. That half a second I have on that guard works wonders big time. ''Green Bay's guards are stronger. They're like a little brute and they try to drive you and outmuscle you. My main thing is my technique and getting my leverage and using my arms. If I do that I'll play pretty good on Monday. I'm excited about Monday night. ''No one respects us anyway because we have a whole new staff and the problems we went through last year and in the offseason. We have to take a stand to win our first game and get a good taste in our mouths. Right now we have a sour taste. We've got to get that winning taste back in our mouths. ''It's a matter of us doing it. Talk is cheap. Like last year, before the season started, people said, 'Super Bowl, Super Bowl.' We looked like a Mercedes Benz on paper and drove like a Yugo. We were horrible. This year we have the mindset that we have to prove ourselves eveyr game. We're the underdog in every game.'' John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.

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