The Inside Game

When Stephen Davis returned to running back after playing fullback for one season, he talked about how that season made him a better runner. Perhaps the same thing has happened to defensive lineman Kenard Lang.

Lang stood out in a losing effort Sunday, playing mostly defensive end. It's his natural position, but he's spent most of the past two seasons at tackle.

And it appears to have helped, for one large reason: Lang was much more consistent with his leverage. When he was benched at end several years ago, the rap on Lang was that he played too high.

He didn't do that Sunday.

''I thought I did it at end before,'' he said. ''But every once in a while there was a tendency to play too high. [At tackle], it's either stay low or end up in the stands. That's the big thing I got out of going to tackle. I'm using my hands a lot faster.''

But don't get Lang wrong. He wants starter Marco Coleman back at left end. Even if it means returning to tackle.

''When I got back there I was excited,'' he said. ''It was like I was home again. But I want Marco back. He needs to be out there.''

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.

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