Redskins Park Update: Monday

The Redskins needed a receiving tight end. Which is why it didn't matter to them that Byron Chamberlain was a little more than 20 pounds overweight when he showed up to the Vikings facility last week. Or that he sat out four games for taking a banned substance.

All they knew is that he made the Pro Bowl two years ago and they need help at that position. In his defense, Chamberlain also says he's not as out of shape as the Vikings made him out to be (he reportedly had 24 percent bodyfat, too). He has been working out with a personal trainer in Arizona.

The Redskins signed a tight end who defenses must honor. Robert Royal is an all right player, but he rarely gets any separation. If Chamberlain can do that, he'll be a major plus. Defenses will suddenly have to worry about him down the seams on occasion, distracting them from the real weapons.

Coach Steve Spurrier has insisted he'd use the tight ends more if he had a good one. We'll see.

``I don't know if he ever had a tight end with the receiving ability I have,'' Chamberlain said. ``I'm not bragging on myself, but that is what I do. I just hope to be another weapon in the machine. They have guys on the outside who can do things in Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner. I'll be a complement to those guys.''

The Redskins don't lose much in cutting Zeron Flemister. He was a receiving tight end with inconsistent hands. But he was a solid player on special teams, lining up as a blocker on kick returns and sometimes in kick coverage. His size made him a necessity on that unit, where their smallness can be a glaring problem.

. . . For what it's worth, Chamberlain seems like a decent guy.

. . . Spurrier said he'll talk to line coach Kim Helton about more playing time for center/guard Lennie Friedman. Not sure where that will come as left guard Dave Fiore should be ready for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay (according to Spurrier).

Fiore likely would push rookie guard Derrick Dockery back to the bench. Dockery struggled mightily against the Eagles Sunday and would face a harsher test this weekend against the Bucs.

. . . Dockery's teammates are trying to shield him from criticism, not that he would get much considering he'd only played two games. Still, Randy Thomas walked Dockery away from a horde of reporters after the game when the questions became too repetitive. And, today, teammate Trung Canidate pulled Dockery's car about 10 feet from the door of the facility, making it easier for him to leave without talking to the press. Thing is, not many people were going to talk to him anyway. But it's nice to see his teammates looking out for him.

. . . Corner Champ Bailey said he's going to do more contact in practice this week. He felt not doing so the past couple weeks contributed to some sloppiness in his bump-and-run coverage Sunday.

. . . Here's what end Regan Upshaw had to say about his 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Eagles tackle Jon Runyan.

``He got an extra shove on me and I tried to shove him back,'' Upshaw said. ``I didn't think he would fall like that. He's one of the dirtiest guys in the league. He might have faked that one and he got away with it. I didn't him that hard, golly.''

. . . Spurrier said the Redskins won't trim their audibles. And he pointed out that of the 19 false start penalties this season, only seven have come on audibles.


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