The Nickel Package

Five things to watch in the Redskins-Jaguars game tonight.

1. Jason Campbell's health. Campbell is playing behind a line that has a rookie undrafted free agent at left tackle and instability at left guard (if Pete Kendall starts, it's his first action with his new team). That's not what the coaching staff wants to see protect the franchise. The coaching staff is not unanimous in its confidence that this is the best way to protect Campbell. Some are nervous. Cambpell just needs to survive this game, and then rejoice when Chris Samuels returns next week.

2. The running game. It hasn't done anything and, facing Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, it could have problems again tonight. Don't just blame the line; the tight ends, especially No. 47, have not done the greatest job in blocking. But the line also has not gotten to the linebackers.

3. The bubble guys. Certain guys, like John Eubanks and David Macklin, still have to prove they can help on special teams before they win a roster spot. Macklin has not proven that enough for this staff. And the safety competition could come down between Vernon Fox and Reed Doughty. One game might not change the outcome, but it certainly could have some sway. I'm not sold on Chris Wilson making the roster; he's small and hasn't done anything against front-line players. But maybe a big night will be a sign of progress and earn him a roster spot. I'm curious to see what a guy like LB Anthony Trucks does; he's had a decent camp as has LB Matt Sinclair.

4. Mark Brunell. He needs a big night if he wants to remain in the No. 2 spot behind Campbell. What better place to have one than in his former stadium. Brunell's intangibles might make the difference over Todd Collins because his stats suffer by comparison.

5. The new guys. How much can Kendall really help immediately? If there's one spot on the line that the coaches say can be patched together, it's left guard. So having a veteran such as Kendall there should make a difference, even if it is his first time. And because of his experience, it should help Heyer. We think. Also, fullback Fred Beasley and linebacker Randall Godfrey get their first action.

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