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Redskins Ready For Monday Night's Stage


Growing up, Jason Campbell would always get in trouble staying up late to watch Monday Night Football.

He'll have no such worries now.

Campbell leads the Redskins offense in Monday night's NFC East matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles.

It is the first Monday Night Football contest of Campbell's career. In a sense, it is Campbell's introduction to a national audience.

"We're all excited," Campbell said. "It's a lifetime opportunity to get the chance to play on Monday night. The whole world is watching. To have the opportunity to go out there and perform in front of all your friends and family, it means a lot."

Will he feel any added pressure?

It's likely, but Campbell has shown that he can be unflappable in most pressure situations.

"I just want to go out there and play within myself, not try to put any extra emphasis on it because it's a Monday night game," he said. "I just want to continue to work and not try to go out there and force the issue or force to make plays because I know everyone is watching."

Running back Clinton Portis has already played in his share of Monday night games, including last year's season opener against Minnesota at FedExField. He scored a touchdown in that game, although the Redskins lost 19-16.

"Growing up, you wish for these nights," Portis said. "You are always in the backyard, and if it is basketball, it is that 3-2-1 buzzer beater. If you are playing football,l it is making that game winning catch on the big stage.

"Monday night is a big stage. We have Philly, Monday night, in Philly. It has always been a tough place for us to play, so for us to get where we have to go, this is a big step for us."

Added head coach Joe Gibbs, no stranger to Monday Night Football contests: "I think any time you play on a Monday night, everybody knows that it's a huge sport night. It's a huge crowd.

"I think the players get a kick out of it. They like the fact that they get to play in front of a lot of people. I think everybody is always alert for what a Monday night game means."

Heading into Monday's game against the Eagles, the Redskins are 25-29 playing on Monday Night Football.

The Redskins' last victory on Monday Night Football came in 2005 against Dallas. In one of the most memorable games in recent Redskins history, the Redskins scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to edge the Cowboys by a 14-13 score at Texas Stadium.

The Redskins and Eagles have played four times on Monday Night Football. The Redskins have won twice and the Eagles have won twice.

Most recently, the Eagles defeated the Redskins 37-7 on Monday Night Football in Week 2 of the 2002 season.

Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams isn't one to worry in the face of Monday night pressure.

He says he gets more anxious watching his children play sports.

"You enjoy the stage that it is on, but we work so hard and prepare so soundly that you just want to get out there and watch the guys play," Williams said. "I'm really calm on game days. I'm not anxious or anything on game day because I know how much work and preparation we put into it.

"I get more nervous watching my own kids play because I don't coach them."

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