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Old 08-27-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
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WP Email: 'Dirtbags to be tested tonight'

After right tackle Jon Jansen suffered a torn Achilles tendon to end his season in the first exhibition game, one option was moving left guard Derrick Dockery to Jansen's spot.

It would have forced de facto offensive line coach Joe Bugel to alter his line, plugging in reserve Cory Raymer to start at center, and moving Lennie Friedman to Dockery's spot. However, the Redskins didn't want to disrupt the left side of the offensive line Dockery and left tackle Chris Samuels which has flourished in the preseason. So Bugel inserted Kenyatta Jones at right tackle, next to right guard Randy Thomas.

Jones had been slated to play reserve left guard, pushing Dockery, before the switch. Thomas, one of the league's best right guards, had worked well with Jansen since joining the Redskins before the 2003 season. Now, Thomas must develop a chemistry with Jones. In their first game together against Carolina Aug. 14, Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers collected one sack. Although it was portrayed as being given up by Jones, the sack was largely because of miscommunication by Thomas. The duo have their third game together Friday against the St. Louis Rams. And Thomas believes that they are improving with each snap.

"He's been pretty consistent," Thomas said of Jones. "He did a very good job. He's improving every day, every week. That's a transition he has to get to because he's been playing guard for a while.

"I'm not worried about it. It's coming along. It's not going to take much time. We have no choice but to come together. I see positive signs every day."

How can he judge that?

"Just on footsteps," Thomas responded. "Some sets; getting in the same rhythm, reacting to double teams."

By Nunyo Demasio
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:26 PM   #2
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I agree with not breaking up the line, but I worry about Dockery playing left guard under Gibbs. Dockery is a massive blocker, and can make holes and stop blitzes very well as his technique gets better. But hes not very fact and may not be able to execute the counter trey very well if he has to pull. Thomas is perhaps the best at it of any guard, but Im sure they will keep this in mind when calling plays. Samuels could always run over intead of dockery.
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:36 PM   #3
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At first, I thought the injury to Jansen was catastrophic. So far, it appears the line has adjusted to his loss. Dare I say that sometimes, it's difficult to tell that Jansen isn't there. But it's early, and certainly, opposing defenses have given Thomas and Jones only glimpses of what's yet to come. You can bet that Monte Kiffin will throw things at them on September 12 that they haven't seen all preseason.

Another thing to remember is that Joe Gibbs created the H-back position to deal with Lawrence Taylor. So clearly, he and Bugel have the abilities like no one else in the league to adjust and get the best from the players they've collected on the field. Back in the '92 season, Mo Elewonibi was making his first start against the Eagles' Reggie White after an injury to the starting left tackle (it might have been Ed Simmons). Everyone thought it would be easy pickens' at the QB, but Gibbs gameplanned effectively, lining up a TE at critical points to help Elewonibi, and the Skins won the game 16-12.

I'm not nearly as worried as I was when Jansen went down. He will be missed, but we'll be OK.
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:41 PM   #4
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I think Bugel and Gibbs are more than qualified to compensate for the loss, but I do think our team would have been better with him. Those are some big shoes to fill. Now gibbs might have to use an hback to block instaed of sending him otu to receive a pass. But Jones will continue to get better and hopefully be a great backup for jansen next year.
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:44 PM   #5
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What do you guys think about how they did tonight? I didnt see the first qtr
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