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Rabach Faces a Test In Browns' Rogers


As the New York Giants learned on Monday Night, massive nose tackle Shaun Rogers of the Cleveland Browns is a force to be reckoned with.


Rogers, the eight-year veteran out of Texas, is listed at 6-4 and 350 pounds. He's certainly one of the biggest players in the NFL, if not the biggest.

In the Browns' 35-14 win on Monday Night, Rogers had two tackles and a hit on Eli Manning. But he was able to clog things up enough so as to help keep the Giants from getting rolling.

"Shaun was active both in the running game and the passing game," Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel said. "He was able to get a push, and get to the quarterback and pressure the guy."

For the season, Rogers has 24 tackles and two sacks.

The heart and soul of Cleveland's 3-4 defensive figures to be a problem for the Redskins on Week 7. The Browns are at FedExField on Sunday at 4:15 p.m., marking that franchise's first trip to Washington since 1991.

If the Redskins are able to turn things around following last week's disappointing 19-17 home loss to previously-winless St. Louis, Rogers will have to be controlled.

At the point of attack center Casey Rabach and guards Pete Kendall and Randy Thomas will have to come up with outstanding efforts.

How the Redskins deal with Rogers certainly will be a key to the Week 7 outcome.

So far, Rabach has been having a solid season.

The Redskins offensive linemen have been at the top of their game the last three weeks, helping Clinton Portis take over the NFL's rushing lead with 643 yards through six games.

Even though things didn't go the Redskins' way when they fell to the Giants 16-7 in the opener, Rabach maintained that staying the course was the best advice.

Just about seven weeks later, that's still true.

Said Rabach: "Everything that went wrong in that game was definitely fixable. We're all buying into the system, and we'll go from there."

The Redskins' 6-4, 288-pound center added: "What it comes down to is players making plays. The coaches are putting us in a lot of good situations, so when the opportunity is there we need to capitalize on it."




Since coming to the Redskins in 2005, Rabach has been an anchor of the offensive line for position coach Joe Bugel.

He has started 53 of 54 games, missing just the 2007 Arizona-Washington game at FedExField.

As far as 2008, Rabach is once again firmly established as the starter at center and as the player who starts things off for Jason Campbell and the offensive line as a whole.

Considering how often Redskins offensive linemen have gone down with injuries in recent years, Rabach's consistency seems that much more impressive.

With Rabach instigating the offense at center, the Redskins made the postseason in both 2005 and 2007. A year ago, he worked with Campbell until the quarterback was injured in Week 14 versus the Bears.

That injury meant that the Redskins would turn to veteran Todd Collins for the stretch run, so Rabach had to make the corresponding adjustment. He did that just about seamlessly.

"Casey is like another quarterback out there," Campbell has said. "When it comes to the offensive line, he makes sure all of the guys are in the right place at the right time."

This Sunday, being in the right place will be a real challenge for the interior players on the Redskins' offensive line.

Shaun Rogers can't be overlooked, literally or figuratively.

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