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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16908-2003Aug3.html

Punting Competition Is a Two-Player Race

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, August 4, 2003; Page D09

The Washington Redskins worked out a young punter yesterday, but Coach Steve Spurrier said he is set to enter the preseason with Bryan Barker and Brent Bartholomew competing for the job.

Team officials watched punter Glenn Pakulak during a workout at Redskins Park. The Redskins are waiting to see whether Barker bounces back from a subpar 2002 season that ended when he suffered a gruesome-looking open nasal fracture during the team's loss at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Club officials also plan to monitor which punters are released by other teams just before the season, seeing if an upgrade is possible. The Redskins attempted to sign Ohio State punter Andy Groom after the draft, but he picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is competing with veteran Tom Tupa.

Of Barker's performance on the practice field in the first week of training camp, Spurrier said yesterday: "He's punted very well so far. But again, he needs to do it in the preseason games."

Keeping Door Open

The Redskins are keeping the lines of communication open with defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson but might reduce their contract offer to him if he receives only minimum-salary proposals from other clubs, sources said.

The Redskins released Wilkinson on Tuesday after he rejected the team's proposal to reduce his salary from $3.5 million to $2 million. The Redskins said they had offered Wilkinson the opportunity to recoup the $1.5 million in lost income with a package of incentives and indicated they were leaving open the door to re-sign him. Agent Brig Owens said he and Wilkinson were not ruling out re-signing with the Redskins but they first would pursue opportunities with other clubs.

Wilkinson visited the Detroit Lions on Friday, and a handful of other teams appear interested.

Cannida Works Out

Club officials are leaving open the possibility of signing veteran defensive tackle James Cannida later in camp. Cannida, who spent last season with the Indianapolis Colts, worked out for the Redskins on Saturday. . . .

Tailback Kenny Watson resumed practicing yesterday and said his mildly sprained knee felt fine. Fellow tailback Ladell Betts remained sidelined by a sprained elbow. . . . .

Safety Matt Bowen continues to be a disruptive force on the practice field even after being rebuked by Spurrier for a jarring hit on tailback Trung Canidate on Wednesday. Bowen leveled tailback Chad Morton with a solid tackle during one full-speed drill yesterday, then scuffled with Canidate briefly at the end of the next play.

'A Better Job'

The Redskins' offense sputtered at times during the opening week of camp, but Spurrier and quarterback Patrick Ramsey pronounced themselves generally pleased yesterday with the unit's progress.

"There are a few things we need to do better," Ramsey said. "But for the most part, we're beginning to understand what is expected of us and what we need to do on each play, and I think we're doing a better job of that here towards the end of the week."

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Safety Matt Bowen continues to be a disruptive force on the practice field even after being rebuked by Spurrier for a jarring hit on tailback Trung Canidate on Wednesday. Bowen leveled tailback Chad Morton with a solid tackle during one full-speed drill yesterday, then scuffled with Canidate briefly at the end of the next play.

Man, I am really starting to like this guy ! ! :cheers:

Let's see how he does in real action !

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Lets just hope our players can survive Bowen throughout the rest of the hitting drills. Then i'll be pleased with him crushing people. He is toughening these guys up a little bit though. And really most injuries dont occur on huge hits, more often than not its on an awkward play when you just cut the wrong way or get pulled over the wrong way. With big hits you usually get lifted into the air which means you cant really tear and ACL or something like that.

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Daaaaamn! Cannida could actualy be an upgrade from BDW. Time to send Danny boy's private jet for him, get him a hooker, whatever it takes to get him in here around the vet min. :D

As for Bowen I was thrilled with his pickup from the start and I love his hard hitting style but that boy needs to be put on a leash until the season starts. This is getting out of hand. eventualy he is going to hurt someone. I don't know about you but if he puts somone like Morton out for the season, I'm gonna be pissed.

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