Redskins Park Update - Thursday

One reason for the line's problems? The late audibles. From what we hear the plays are getting to quarterback Patrick Ramsey too late, keeping the players in the huddle too long. And when Ramsey audibles with five seconds left on the clock, that doesn't leave enough time for the linemen to make their adjustments. Which leads to problems.

Tight end Zeron Flemister said he'll play Sunday after missing the past two games with a strained Achilles. Flemister practiced Wednesday and Thursday, testing his foot with lots of cuts. He's a bit out of shape, he said. But he's fit enough to play.

. . . Left guard Dave Fiore (right knee) said he expects to play, but we'll see how much. At the very least, rookie guard Derrick Dockery will see some time. This will be a tough assignment for a rookie: the Patriots change their fronts often and love blitzing up the middle. That means he must have excellent recognition.

. . . Also, look for middle linebacker Kevin Mitchell to play some in place of Trotter. The latter rested his knee in practice today and the Redskins want to make sure he doesn't get slowed down too much because of the knee. Trotter estimates he's about 75-80 percent of where he thinks he should be, coming off the surgery last season.

. . . The Redskins returners are confident that they'll break one on a kickoff soon. So says returner Chad Morton, who noticed improved blocking this past game. But what he needs are more end-over-end kicks that he can return up the gut, getting behind the wedge and bouncing one way or another. Then again, what returner wouldn't want that?

. . . Ex-Redskin Joe Theismann apparently was highly critical of the Redskins on the Jim Rome show the other night. He also took shots at tackle Jon Jansen for his false starts. Let's just say Theismann's critique didn't go over too well at Redskins Park.

. . . At one point during practice Wednesday, coach Steve Spurrier playfully hit Trotter in the head and asked, ``What are you going to do, hit me back?'' Trotter declined. Remember, he retaliated against the Giants and was busted.

. . . End Bruce Smith did not practice today. But he was irked when the defensive linemen didn't have to perform a drill that's usually rigorous.

. . . Defensive end Regan Upshaw looked quick doing some footwork drills -- dashing around bags, prompting line coach Robert Nunn to say, ``This is almost October, but you're looking like July!''

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