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Redskins-Bills: 4 Players to Watch Presented by Papa John's

140114.jpg looks at some of the key players to keep an eye on during Friday's Redskins-Bills preseason game at FedExField.

"Redskins-Bills: 4 Players to Watch" is presented by Papa John's.

Every Monday, fans can order a large cheese pizza for only $9.99, plus for each touchdown that the Redskins score, fans get one free topping. And with a Redskins victory, fans get double the toppings.


Running back Clinton Portis returns after missing the last nine games of 2009 due to a concussion.

It's a new landscape for Portis, who is beginning his ninth NFL season and seventh in Washington. He faces competition for playing time from Larry Johnson, Willie Parker and Ryan Torain.

Has the competition made him better?

Head coach Mike Shanahan thinks so.

"I've been very impressed with how Clinton has handled himself," Shanahan said. "He was in excellent shape coming into camp. He's very natural at running the ball. He picks things up very quickly. He's football smart. And he's physical."

Portis is down to 218 pounds and it's expected that the Redskins' new zone blocking scheme will allow him to use his speed more.




"I do feel like I'm in better shape," he said on the first day of training camp. "Coming in and having the opportunity to be here all offseason, having the opportunity to recover, I feel great."


Through the offseason and into training camp, wide receiver Anthony Armstrong has been a surprising standout.

At one point during mini-camp, he was working with the first-team offense due to injuries to other receivers.

Can it translate to games? That's the question facing Armstrong, 5-11 and 185 pounds, this preseason.

"He has done a great job," Mike Shanahan said. "He is making plays, especially for a person who has not made a lot of plays in the NFL. He has been into camp and he has been impressive.

"His consistency is something that he has to work on, but as you can see he has big play ability and hopefully he can keep on getting better."

Armstrong, a first-year player, is competing with Joey Galloway, Bobby Wade, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and a host of other receivers for a roster spot.


Perhaps no other player has benefited from the Redskins' new defense than Carlos Rogers.

He finds himself with a lot of responsibility. He could do everything from covering the No. 1 receiver to working in the slot.

That's how much coaches think of Rogers' skills, despite his struggles with double-moves last year.

"Carlos worked extremely hard in the offseason to pick up our defense," Mike Shanahan said, "both at the cornerback position and in the inside position in our nickel defense. He is strong and physical and can match up against anybody."

Rogers, regarded as a tough, sound tackler, may be asked to blitz from the cornerback position. That's something that coaches have not asked him to do in years past.

"He's a tough individual and I think he could be a great blitzer," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said.


One of training camp's closely watched position battles appears settled.

Kareem Moore, a third-year free safety, has taken the bulk of reps with the first-team defense ahead of Reed Doughty.

He has been a standout in camp, posting several interceptions and finding a way to be involved in every play.

"Kareem's a ball magnet," Jim Haslett said. "He's a good tackler and he's always around the ball. That's the kind of guy you like in the back end – guys that can make interceptions."

Moore, the only true free safety on the roster, could play a big role on the Redskins' defense in 2010.

"I'm more comfortable," he said. "Going out there, being confident making calls, whether it's to the secondary or the linebackers – I'm just playing to my capabilities."

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