Spurrier not going by the book

Many NFL scouts consider receivers in the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 mold, looking at physical characteristics and immediately determining which role the player is most suited to fill.

Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier seems to be the exact opposite, constantly shuffling his group of five capable wideouts.

This week he is bringing Derrius Thompson back into the starting lineup and demoting Kevin Lockett from starter to No. 4, while Rod Gardner (the 2001 draft's 15th overall pick and a prototypical No. 1 wideout) might not start as Chris Doering gets increased work.

Spurrier named Thompson a starter midweek and then said of the other spot: "Either Rod or Chris Doering or all three of them. Depends if we're three wides or two wides. Doering and Derrius Thompson graded out the highest of all the receivers [in last weekend's loss to New Orleans]. We sort of try to start the guys who play a lot like we try to coach them."

Doering wasn't even active Sept. 22 at San Francisco but since has two starts because of three-receiver sets. Lockett had two catches against New Orleans but apparently that wasn't enough. Gardner leads the team with 21 receptions, 331 yards and two touchdowns but lined up second-string in practice Thursday.

"There's not a lot of difference in all those guys," Spurrier said. "Who starts, who doesn't start shouldn't mean a lot. We're just trying to emphasize guys play as close as possible to how we try to coach them up."


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