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News & Notes: Jansen Eyes New Offense

Jon Jansen is as intrigued as everyone else to see the new Redskins' offense in action on game day.

"With the receivers we have outside, if we can get some quick scores, we can force defenses to really think and over-think about what we can do," Jansen said during the Redskins' mini-camp in June. "I think it will open up the inside for us and help make our jobs [in terms of run-blocking] easier.

"[Defenses] can't put eight or nine guys in the box. They can't blitz a whole lot of guys because they may want to stay in coverage. It's going to be interesting to see how teams prepare for us."

Of course, it's new associate head coach-offense Al Saunders and new offensive weapons Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd who are expected to bring a measure of creativity to the Redskins offense.

Randle El and Lloyd join holdovers Santana Moss, Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley as offensive playmakers.

"Any time we can cover about 80 yards a pop, that's exciting," Jansen said.

When it comes to the Redskins' offense, Jansen has not always had reason for an optimistic outlook. The seven-year veteran right tackle arrived in Washington in 1999 and he started all 16 games for one of the top offenses in the NFL. He helped the Redskins to a playoff berth in his rookie campaign.

Since that year, the Redskin' offense has been inconsistent. Last year, the unit finished 11th overall, its highest ranking since the 2000 season.

One question mark for the 2006 Redskins is depth along the line. The Redskins have five solid starters with Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Randy Thomas and Jansen, but the group of reserves is young and inexperienced.

Jim Molinaro, Ndukwe Ikechuke, Kili Lefotu, Jasper Harvey and Jon Alston are among the linemen expected to battle for backup jobs in training camp.

Said Jansen: "We are developing some younger guys, so we have some depth in case some guys have to take a play or two off. I think we are developing that depth, and hopefully when the balls start flying in the preseason, we will see what they have."

Jansen battled through a pair of fractured thumbs last season, but still managed to start all 16 games and two playoff games. He has had surgery this offseason to further help his right thumb heal.

"It's coming along great," Jansen said. "It has been a good offseason for me. I'm just fired up about getting ready for training camp."


How to please all of the Redskins' offensive weapons? Quarterback Todd Collins is confident that the Redskins' new offense will find a way.

With Santana Moss, Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley, the Redskins may actually have more playmakers than the Chiefs. But there are only so many balls to go around.

Collins said the offensive scheme focuses on spreading the ball around. But keeping all of the receivers happy is not as critical as keeping opposing defenses off balance.

"We have some special receivers outside on the perimeter and we will find ways to get them the ball," Collins said. "We won't have to worry week to week about teams knowing what plays we are going to run."

In the coming season, Collins is expected to serve as a backup to starter Mark Brunell. For now, he is imparting his knowledge of Al Saunders's offense to Brunell and second-year player Jason Campbell.

Saunders and Collins previously worked together in Kansas City, where the Chiefs produced the NFL's top-ranked offense the last two seasons.

Asked to comment on his impression of Saunders over the years, Collins replied: "I think he has a great work ethic and no one is going to outwork him. We aren't going to have to worry about him not putting the time in.

"I think he'll do a good job playing us. The only thing we ask, as players, is that our coaches put us in the right position for us to succeed. He does that for us."

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