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News & Notes: New-Look D-Line For Blache

It's too soon to determine where Jason Taylor and Andre Carter will play on the defensive line, Greg Blache said on Monday.

Both Taylor and Carter played right defensive end last season. Taylor has the versatility to move to the left side, but Carter has played on the right side most of his career.

Where does Blache, the Redskins' defensive coordinator, envision Taylor lining up? Would he put Carter to the left to make room for Taylor, who leads active players with 117 career sacks?

"You're getting way ahead of the ball game," Blache told reporters. "Let's get him on campus. Let's get him lined up and then we'll start worrying about what we're going to do with him."

Blache coached Phillip Daniels since 1999 when they both were in Chicago, so it was hard for the veteran coach to see his charge go down with a season-ending knee injury on the first day of training camp.

Blache said he was relieved to be able to replace Daniels with Taylor, a six-time Pro Bowler.

"[Taylor] has great tenacity and a great motor," Blache said. "He plays the game with a passion. He's a total football player. He plays the run, he rushes the passer. I just think he'll be a good addition because he fits the type of defensive lineman we look for here."

Taylor has played both sides of the line in the past.

He seemed to indicate that he would ultimately fit in at left end.

"I started in this league as a right end, up until three or four years ago when [Miami coaches] started moving me around," Taylor said. "While [playing left end] would be different than what I have done the majority of my career, I have done plenty of it, and had success.

"I will have to adjust my game, and we will find a way to do it, but it will take some work."

Carter was open to the idea of moving to left end, but that he wanted to do it early in training camp so he could get accustomed to the position.

"It would be the coach's call," Carter said. "I have played left in the past, even though it has been a few years. It would be better to learn now than have to learn it later during the season."

Taylor logged 11 sacks in Miami last season, while Carter had 10.5 in his second season with the Redskins.

Blache said the combination of Taylor and Carter on the field at the same time should be effective.

"It is going to create some problems on offense," Blache said. "One complements the other and I think that it will be a new dimension for us. It is one that we are excited about and we are looking forward to working on.

"Once we get [Taylor] in, we will go to work on it and see what is best for them and us. We will come up with a recipe that will hopefully give us the success that we are looking for."


After Monday's morning practice, defensive line coach John Palermo addressed the Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee injuries and the subsequent Jason Taylor trade.

"[The Daniels injury] kind of blindsided me," he said. "I really got emotionally attached to Phillip in a short period of time. His loss for the season obviously bothers me because he is not only a great football player, but a great man.

"When Alex Buzbee got hurt, his Achilles popped practicing punt protection. I do not know how you explain things like that, but unfortunately they happened and now we have to be able to move forward."

Moving forward means working Taylor into the rotation.

"It is obvious that the better players you have, the better coach you are," Palermo said. "I am still distraught about the injuries to Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee, but we have to move forward. To be able to plug someone in that quickly who is such a good player makes you feel good as a coach."


Fred Smoot returned to practice on Monday morning, one day after suffering what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

Turned out the injury wasn't that serious.

"I'm going to be good," Smoot said. "As long as it doesn't swell up on me, I should be fine."

Jim Zorn marveled at how fast Smoot recovered from the injury.

"I want some of what he has," Zorn said, jokingly. "I have an ankle that has been bothering me for years."


Jim Zorn praised Jason Campbell for his openness to learning from a new head coach.

"He wants to be good, he has real talent, and he is very smart in picking up concepts," Zorn said of Campbell. "Where he wants to improve is playing in a fluid manner and taking command of the line of scrimmage. He really grinds himself when he makes a mistake.

"I need him to push beyond the mistakes and finish drives in practice and in the games."

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