Great Scott, He's Got A Chance

He did everything he was supposed to do. He set up the corner with an inside move, he dashed back to the outside and he raced past him, hauling in a touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.

It's only a start for receiver Gari Scott. But it was a good one. And it's why he's at least caused the Redskins to wonder what they have in the second-year wideout. He'll get his second chance to show what he can do when the Redskins host Carolina on Saturday in their second preseason game.

Realistically, he's a longshot as it appears the Redskins have at least five receivers ahead of him in Laveranues Coles, Rod Gardner, James Thrash, Darnerien McCants and Taylor Jacobs. Then again, Jacobs is constantly hurt and McCants has been inconsistent with his hands.

Still, if the 6-foot, 200-pound Scott makes the roster it will be because of special teams play. He holds the record for all-time punt return yards at Michigan State. But with Chad Morton handling punts and kickoffs, Scott will have to show a lot.

''The kid has a chance,'' special teams coach Danny Smith said. ''He's working hard. We have to give him some opportunities. He's a real professional, has good hands, good instincts, good vision. He has a lot of qualities that he can be effective with.''

If nothing else, he can show another team that he belongs. And he can show that he's healthy, something that hasn't been the case for a while. A former fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2000, Scott had ankle surgery in 2002, causing him to miss the season, and knee surgery before training camp in 2003. His only game experience came in 2001 when he caught two passes for 26 yards.

''This year I'm 100 percent and I feel great,'' Scott said. ''I've learned a lot sitting out. I've learned about life and about respect for the game. I'm excited, but there are four games left so I know I have a long way to go.''

But he's already come a long way after missing the past two seasons.

''I want to show them I'm a hard worker,'' he said. ''And that I can give them a total game at receiver. I want to show them I can block. By me being out, I became a student of the game.''

Whether or not that makes him anything other than a longshot remains to be seen. But he's studied the game enough to know that there's one way to impress the coaches -- make plays. And that's what he did in the preseason opener.


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