Redskins, Jaguars settling roster in preseason finale

Updated: August 29, 2007, 7:26 PM ET
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville and Washington would like to see a lot more from their first-team offenses in the preseason finale.

But because starters won't play very long, it's probably not going to happen. So the Jaguars (2-1) and Redskins (2-1) will settle for finalizing a few roster spots when they meet Thursday night.

"Guys who still have jobs to secure are going to get a lot of time, a lot of opportunity to make a last impression," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said.

Final roster cuts are Saturday, and the Jaguars have several position battles coming down to the wire.

Charles Sharon and John Broussard are vying for the sixth and final receiver spot. Dee Webb and Bruce Thornton are competing for the fifth cornerback job.

And the third-string running back position is down to LaBrandon Toefield and Alvin Pearman.

"You can't really look at stuff that would make you think about what position you're in," Sharon said. "You just got to go out and play."

Washington's coaching staff will take a close look at the backup safeties, where Omar Stoutmire, Vernon Fox and Reed Doughty are competing for a roster spot.

Starters Sean Taylor and Pierson Prioleau, as well as first-round draft pick LaRon Landry, are locks for the 53-man squad, but at least one more will make the team.

It could be Stoutmire, an 11-year veteran who rejoined the Redskins after playing last season in New Orleans. It could be Fox, who ended up replacing Adam Archuleta midway through last season. Or it could be Doughty, a sixth-round draft pick in 2006 who played mostly on special teams.

"It's hard to play the numbers game, so I don't play that game," Stoutmire said. "I just go out and practice and play the game as hard as I can. If my effort's good enough, I'll be here. If not, I'll move on."

The position battles certainly won't get the most attention Thursday night.

Mark Brunell, the face of the Jaguars for nine years, returns to Jacksonville for the first time as a visiting player. Brunell still has a house in Jacksonville, visits a few times each year and would like to make it his full-time home again once he's retired.

For now, though, Brunell is battling Todd Collins for Washington's No. 2 job behind starter Jason Campbell.

Campbell, meanwhile, is expected to return to the starting lineup after missing last week's game with a bruised knee.

The Redskins would like to see more from Campbell and the first-team offense -- Washington has scored just 37 points in three preseason games -- but Brunell, Collins and rookie Jordan Palmer will get most of the repetitions against the Jaguars.

Jacksonville hasn't been much better on offense, especially with its starters on the field.

Byron Leftwich has produced two touchdowns and a field goal in 14 preseason drives. Against first-team defenses, the Jaguars have scored just one touchdown -- on a drive kept alive by a roughing-the-passer penalty -- punted seven times and didn't convert a fourth down twice.

Leftwich won't play much, though. Neither will backup David Garrard. Quinn Gray will get the longest look as Jacksonville tries to decide whether to keep two or three quarterbacks.

So Gray joins two receivers, two cornerbacks and two running backs -- and Washington's three safeties -- as players with one final chance to make the team.

"We're going to try to isolate them and give them opportunities to compete," Del Rio said. "They're going to get a lot of time."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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