Camp Report: Tuesday

The Redskins liked what they saw of defensive tackle Daryl Gardener today. And they saw something out of him that they had not seen enough of this summer. Defensive line coach Ricky Hunley said he was most pleased when Gardener knocked one of the guards back five yards during a morning drill, which hasn't happened from the right tackle spot the past two weeks.

Gardener did not work out in the afternoon as the Redskins try to give his back a break. But he looked fit and in decent shape.

''It's been a tough journey,'' Gardener said. ''But it's the Dolphins loss and the Redskins gain.''

FYI: Gardener claims he was a Redskins fan as a kid. He was born in Baltimore and lived there for about four years. His immediate family now lives in Baltimore.

. . . The Redskins returned to practice trying to shake off jet lag, but clinging to the good feelings produced from Saturday's 38-7 win over San Francisco. But that didn't result in an improved effort by the offense.

Actually, a few things remained the same: Shane Matthews looked the best of the three quarterbacks. In the afternoon practice Matthews connected for several scoring throws in red zone work. He drilled a slant to receiver Rod Gardner for one score, hit Chris Doering in the back of the end zone for another one. Later, Matthews rolled right and threw off his back foot to Justin Skaggs in the back middle of the end zone.

But the quarterbacks combined for at least six interceptions in today's workouts. There's a reason says receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr.

''I'm telling you, don't underestimate how strong our defense is,'' he said. ''I looked out there today and I'm like, 'What do you want me to do?' It's tough going out there against them. It's hard for us to be awesome in practice every day.''

. . . Matthews will only play the first half against Carolina with Sage Rosenfels and Danny Wuerffel splitting time in the second half.

. . . Bad sign: during sprints following the afternoon workout, defensive line coach Ricky Hunley finished ahead of tackle Dan Wilkinson at least twice.

. . . Here's a guess on the punt returner's job: Jacquez Green will win it. Green looks more comfortable fielding punts than Champ Bailey and Fred Smoot. That was evident again this afternoon. Once, Smoot started back on a punt, then tried to come up but slipped. Another time Bailey raced up out of control, couldn't stop and had the ball bounce off his pads. Meanwhile, Green reads punts better, gathers himself and catches the ball. The coaches can trust that he'll catch the ball.

. . . Jeremiah Trotter seems to do something good in coverage once a day. If not more. Today, he picked off a Sage Rosenfels pass in the end zone, making a leaping grab.

. . . Tight end Walter Rasby liked the sprints. As he was running one down and back the length of the field, Rasby said, 'Shoot, I run this [stuff] for fun, man! For fun!'' Rasby stayed after practice to work on his hands, catching passes shot out of a ball machine for about 15-20 minutes.

. . . Del Cowsette worked at end in a three-man alignment, something the Redskins used on occasion versus San Francisco.  In this set, they used lineman Ladairis Jackson as a linebacker. Saturday, he rushed around left end. Today, he dropped into pas coverage. By the way, DL coach Ricky Hunley said only one other player on the team could fill this role: linebacker LaVar Arrington.

. . . Ross Tucker lined up again at right guard and also played some left guard today with Rod Jones sidelined for a couple days with a knee injury. Tucker likely will start at right guard Saturday.

. . . The race for backup tackle is on between Cowsette and Donovan Arp. Cowsette provides more of a pass rush; Arp is better against the run.



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