Bowen Progressing

Safety Matt Bowen watched the Redskins' defense flourish after he, and others, were injured in 2004. So don't expect him to seek sympathy after losing two starters. It's not gonna happen.

''Whenever there was an adverse situation last year, someone stepped up and the defense didn't miss a beat,'' Bowen said. ''That's the way we have to look at it this year.''

There's no other way to look at it for Bowen, coming off knee surgery. He's expected to be 100 percent for training camp and is holding out hope of doing some drills in minicamp. He said the trainers have told him he's probably ahead of schedule.

''It's a process,'' he said. ''You start running straight ahead, get more speed and confidence and strength and then your lateral movement comes. I'll hit the field running at training camp 100 percent. I know I feel better every Monday than the previous Monday. That's a good sign. I should come back a better player than I was last year.''

Before getting hurt in Week 5, Bowen was playing well, with two sacks. He became an effective blitzer in Gregg Williams' scheme.

And he watched as one replacement after another performed well. That's why losing Fred Smoot and Antonio Pierce hasn't dampened his enthusiasm for the season.

''When you're trying to build something, and we're building a pretty good defense,'' Bowen said, ''you want to keep guys together. But that happens. Guys move on. We'll be fine. Yeah, Fred won't be here, but we have Walt Harris here and Shawn Springs is an excellent player. And we have some young guys who can step up and play. At linebacker we have a lot of guys who can play.''

Bowen wasn't just busy rehabbing this offseason: he got married on Feb. 26th.

NOTE:

The Redskins re-signed kicker Jeff Chandler Monday. Chandler is expected to challenge incumbent John Hall, who missed most of last season with various leg injuries.

Chandler kicked for Washington in the final three games. He made all four field goal attempts, including a 49-yarder. He also spent two games with Carolina, but made only one of four field goals for the Panthers.

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