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TSN- I hate all this Coleman talk.

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A serious problem could be developing on the defensive line.

The love affair with Marco Coleman seems to be at an end, and the team is more interested in lowering his salary cap figure than in having him start next season.

Coleman has his pride and is not interested in taking a significant pay cut. He seems more inclined to let the team release him.

If Coleman leaves and Bruce Smith is turned into a part-time player, the team will have to find two defensive ends instead of one.

Renaldo Wynn was signed with the hope of playing him at end, but unless the team finds a legitimate NFL defensive tackle in the free agent market, Wynn could be stuck on the inside.

Dan Wilkinson still has several good seasons in him, but he is not a one-man wrecking crew.

The team hopes to sign Sam Adams, but what the team hopes for and what actually happens are not always the same.

Unless such players as Del Cowsette, Donovan Arp, Sean Powell and Carl Powell develop very quickly and show abilities they have yet to display in the NFL, it is difficult to see where the team will find a pass rush from its front four.

It is also far from clear that any of those players would be effective at keeping blockers off Jeremiah Trotter and LaVar Arrington. . . .

The rookie who has the chance to make the quickest contribution next season might be wide receiver Cliff Russell.

So far, he has shown good speed and good hands. He gets in and out of his cuts well, and the coaching staff thinks he has a chance to be a big-time player.

Russell will have to continue to improve on the initial flashes he showed at minicamp. He also will have to stay healthy. Injuries hampered several seasons for Russell at Utah.

One reason Steve Spurrier likes Russell is that Spurrier wants a deep threat. Most of the passing plays the team will run will have a deep route in the equation, and the quarterbacks will check deep first.

If nothing is there, the pass will go to an intermediate receiver or to someone underneath.

Spurrier's philosophy is that throwing the ball downfield, even if it is incomplete, forces the defense to defend the deep route on every play. That opens up other things. . . .

Shane Matthews passed his first test as the team's newest quarterback, if not with flying colors, at least in capable colors.

For a player who had been away from Spurrier's offense for 10 years, Matthews picked things up quickly, and he should improve dramatically between now and the start of training camp.

If all goes well, Matthews should give the team a chance to score enough points to stay in most games.


The team wants to upgrade these spots, which is not great news for Sam Shade and David Terrell.

Both had solid seasons last year, but Marvin Lewis seems to want more out of the free and strong safety spots than "solid". Actually, Lewis thinks of the safety spots as interchangeable, not as free and strong.

Shade is an interesting player. He is particularly strong in run support, but has his shortcomings in the passing game. He plays extremely hard and is capable of making big plays in run support or on a safety blitz.

He is good enough that he might prove to Lewis that he is capable of keeping his starting job.

A factor the team should not overlook is Shade's value in the locker room. He is a cool customer on a team that often seems to run so hot it is in danger of overheating. Shade's unflappable demeanor is an asset.

Terrell also is an interesting player. In some ways, he is more valuable to the team as a backup safety than as a starter. Terrell can play either safety spot as well as cornerback.

He is surprisingly effective against the run and has proven to be a sure tackler at the line. He is so versatile that he is almost a 'monster' type defensive back instead of a traditional free safety.

He is also a very capable special teams performer. What hurts him at safety is the lack of big plays, both in terms of interceptions and bone-jarring tackles that set a tone for the defense.

The team continues to scour the free-agent market for help at safety. But some help might be on hand already.

Ifeanyi Ohalete is a big hitter, now has a year's experience and might be ready to challenge for more playing time.

The team hopes Andre Lott will turn out to be a find, but the fifth-round draft choice from Tennessee has a lot to learn in a short amount of time.

Why do I feel like I am living a lie? I still believe that Coleman will be willing to help out the teams cap situation and the D-line will be fine. Now I just feel stupid. However, my boy Ifeanyi Ohalete is stepping up!

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I guess the real question is, 'Do we NEED to get that 3.5 million back?'

If the answer is 'No' then we should probably bite the bullet and just drive on through the season with what we have.

The draft still bums me out.

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I don't see the Skins upgrading at safety. Shade was fine and Terrell improved every game. You'd have to imagine he'll do so in leaps and bounds with Marvin at the D helm. And Iffy is a great sub to be able to rotate in against teams like the Rams.

I hope we don't lose Coleman. We've gotta be able to find some middle ground. It's a soft cap in renegotiating ability, and we should hold onto Marco for continuity's sake - plus Bruce is one year from being done. We should keep a handle on all the D linemen we can; they are not a cheap commodity.

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Coleman is replaceable. Yes, he has been a solid player, but he started to show cracks last season.

The key for the Redskins may be to concentrate on DL and G and forego efforts to improve S and WR with outside help.

After June 1, players will become available but we will have to move fast.

We need the extra cap dollars to secure the line positions and I think in trying to prioritize the inability of the team to lure Rod Woodson or Corey Harris is going to cause us to shelve the project at S for another season.

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In addresing the saftey situation i get very angry when people talk bad about Shade. He is the best run stopping saftey in the NFC. Have you ever seen him get driven backwards. He dosent play the pass that well but with Arrington, Armstead, and Trotter you have LBs who cover really well. As for the other saftey i dont care as long as Terrell is not starting becuase he does not excel at any one thing.

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I agree and disagree. while there might be better DEs than him and yes he did begin to show cracks, as you say, who do we replace him with? I say keep him. If we need to cut Marco IOT get Sam Adams well...........OK, then we still need to get a DE. I wouldn't feel comfortable going into the season with Wynn and Bruce as our only DEs. Maybe I just don't know who is available.....is there anybody?


We don't need Jackson at WR, that's a luxury we can't afford.

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one point to ponder is that we are almost completely ignoring the possibility that even ONE of the younger/unheralded players we have on the DL or OL can contribute in 2002.

remember that last season we got unexpected contributions from players like Antonio Pierce at linebacker, Kato Serwanga on special teams, KiJana Carter at running back, etc...................

at the beginning of the season who knew these players would play as well as they did?

if the front office and coaching staff are worth a d***, we should get some surprise performances.

unfortunately, it seems I can talk to other team's fans and get a good amount of optimism that their younger players and picks are going to make a difference, but not among Skins fans.

Here, perhaps, by experience, it seems to solidify a spot we always have to look to free agency and the open market to go get a veteran.

We are NEVER going to win a Super Bowl doing things that way.

Yes, a Trotter or Wynn can plug a spot and make a difference, but these kinds of signings are the 'icing on the cake', not the meat and potatoes. :)

The meat and potatoes is finding the first or second year DE or DT, WR or OG who can come in and contribute at $300K a year.

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My point exactly BD.

I keep hearing we need another vet WR when we have J Green, Lockett, Gardner, and Anthony.

I just cant believe we are going to ignore the kids like Skaggs, D Mac, and Derrius Thompson to increase the cap situation with another name guy instead of having faith with what we already have.

Leverette or some other kid may be capable of being the RDE on running downs and with kids like Brandt and Tucker among the rest I just cant see why they cant man the LG spot. If mookie has an excellent season I'm gonna be p1ssed and it will point to the fact that using an OC at the O line coaches spot and leting Grim go was points out another short coming of Marty.

I think it has been a blessing that those saeties signed elsewhere because it gives the current guys on te roster a chance to shine this year andI believe they will contribute greatly to the success on defense.

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