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Saunders' Schemes Attracting Talent




In late January, Joe Gibbs brought in Al Saunders to jump start the Redskins' offense in 2006. That move was described in some circles as a "coup" for the team. This week, Redskins fans learned more about what a masterstroke it was for the organization to add Saunders.

Sure, key offensive additions Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd opted to come Washington's way out of financial and career considerations. But they also came because they want to play in Saunders' offense.

He, of course, was the maestro who composed the offensive fireworks for Kansas City and St. Louis in recent years.

On Monday at Redskins Park, Randle El and Lloyd did nothing to hide the fact that they have a keen interest in seeing where they might fit in to what Saunders orchestrates for the Redskins of 2006.

In fact, Lloyd--a young man who deals with the media like Fred Smoot once did--characterized Saunders as a "genius" when it comes to offensive imagination.

On his move to become a Redskin, Randle El, fresh off the Steelers' win in Super Bowl XL, said: "I'm certainly excited about the opportunity to be here, after talking with coach Gibbs and coach Saunders about the direction we're going in, in terms of the offense and what's expected of me.

"I think the biggest thing is, you have to make sure you're doing your part as a player not only on the field but off the field. You have to get both things in order."

Asked why he chose Washington over staying with Pittsburgh or signing with Chicago, Randle El said getting a chance to play in Saunders' schemes was a key factor.

He added: "Taking the numbers out of it you, go back to the opportunity to be in an offense with coach Saunders, who's been with Kansas City and put up an incredible amount of numbers.

"If we get an offense like that, which we really feel we can, and you have a defense playing the way that Washington does, we have a good chance."

For the purpose of full disclosure, Randle El went on to mention: "Of getting to the Super Bowl."

Lloyd will have former 49er Andre Carter as one of his new teammates and he played with Redskins running back Ladell Betts in high school in Blue Springs, Missouri.

The 24-year-old wide receiver said he's not nervous about where he might fit in on a team that has Pro Bowler Santana Moss and newcomer Randle El among other established players.

Added Lloyd: "No, not at all, especially with coach Saunders being the offensive coordinator. I think it'll be a pretty good rendition of the greatest show on turf. I think we'll do a pretty good job of trying to bring that back to life.

"I talked to Santana the other day and Clinton Portis, too. They're just excited. I'm bringing more character into the locker room. One thing they said was, 'Go in there and be yourself.' I feel I play my best when I'm having fun and that's what I'm going to do."

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