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News & Notes: Molinaro Faces Knee Scope

Quarterback Mark Brunell and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd sat out Tuesday afternoon's practice with minor injuries, but it is offensive lineman Jim Molinaro who is the team's most pressing concern.

Molinaro is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, which he injured during a Monday afternoon practice.

The team will update Molinaro's condition and his status after the surgery. He will almost certainly be sidelined for this Sunday's preseason opener at Cincinnati.

Molinaro was making a bid for a backup job at offensive tackle this training camp. The third-year pro was seeing the bulk of action behind Chris Samuels at left tackle. He has the versatility to play the right side, as well as guard.

With Molinaro sidelined, coaches will audition some young linemen.

"We have some guys who are going to get their chance," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "We moved some guys around after the way they played last week, and we felt good about that."

Tyson Walter will get the first look at backup left tackle in Sunday's preseason game, assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel said.

Said Bugel: "When Molinaro went down, everyone was playing left tackle. All of a sudden, Tyson Walter, when we watched him on film, showed he could play center, left guard and left tackle. And the young kids will get a closer look. I think you will see the cream of the crop."

Chris Pino, an undrafted rookie from San Diego State, will get a look at backup right tackle, Bugel said. Linemate Jasper Harvey will also get a closer look, but he is more of a guard.

"We've been lucky in the past with undrafted free agents," Bugel said. "Jasper Harvey and Chris Pino are two free agents who have grown in the system. They come in and work real hard.

"The vets are helping out, too. Jon Jansen likes Pino and Randy Thomas helps Jasper. When guys like Jansen and Randy take a liking to you, they can really give you some good tips."



It started last week when Mark Brunell held a media session after the team's first training camp practice.

"The expectations are high outside this building, but they are probably higher inside the building with the team and with our staff," Brunell said. "With the Redskins family, we expect good things and anything short of going all the way would honestly be a disappointment."

Reporters, looking to stir things up, picked up on Brunell's comments. Shortly thereafter, it seemed every Redskins player was asked about his expectations for the coming season.

Said Shawn Springs: "That's the way every team thinks every year. That's nothing different from any other team. New York's thinking the same thing, Philadelphia's thinking the same thing, Dallas is thinking the same thing. We all think like that."

Springs added with a smile: "For me, I just want to take it one game at a time."

During his post-practice media session on Monday, head coach Joe Gibbs bristled with a radio reporter who compared Brunell's comments to a prediction.

"That's not what Mark said," Gibbs said, raising his voice. "Nobody has made any predictions around here about what we're going to do. What Mark said was, 'We're really confident and anything less than [a Super Bowl] would obviously be a disappointment.' That's not saying we're going to do something.

"I don't think anybody here feels like we make predictions or anything else. We've got a lot to prove because we couldn't even win our division last year. We've got a lot in front of us. I don't think there is anybody on the football team or in the organization predicting anything. I'm always cautious on that.

"If you ask any player, I think they're optimistic--and that's good because I think a bunch of them have been around. Certainly Mark has been around. But we also know that a lot of things can happen to a football team. We've got an extremely tough schedule and a tough division."

The Redskins are coming off an active offseason that included several high-profile acquisitions, including Antwaan Randle El, Brandon Lloyd, Andre Carter and Adam Archuleta. Last year, the team made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, but its postseason run ended in the NFC Divisional Playoffs round.


Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder issued the following statement on the selection of Roger Goodell as the new NFL commisioner:

"Replacing Paul was not easy, and I think we've done a great job in selecting Roger. The NFL is a complex business. Finding the right person keep it on course was critical, and we did it. Roger is the right choice."

Goodell replaces Paul Tagliabue, who resigned his position earlier this year.

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