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Arrival of Caldwell Could Pose a Challenge to Lloyd

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 14, 2007

The arrival of wide receiver Reche Caldwell this week could be construed as a challenge to struggling former starter Brandon Lloyd, although Lloyd says he is not taking it that way. Lloyd, who was acquired for two draft picks in 2006 and signed to an extension, was held without a catch again Sunday and has yet to score a touchdown with the Washington Redskins.

Caldwell, who is bigger than Lloyd and started for New England last year, could become one of the top three wide receivers soon, behind Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El (who had a career-best game Sunday). Lloyd failed to make an impact Sunday as the third wide receiver and some have questioned his effort in trying to prevent an interception in the end zone late in the game on a ball that quarterback Jason Campbell said he did not expect to get picked off.

The Redskins have been seeking to improve their receiving depth for months, and Caldwell is by far the best wideout they saw.

"Any move that's made is for the betterment of the team," Lloyd said of Caldwell's arrival. As to his productivity, Lloyd said, "I can only put up production with the opportunities given to me, that's it." When asked if he had a desire to ask that more passes be thrown his way, Lloyd said no. He also said he required no clarification as to how the signing may affect his role. "I'm an established guy, too," he said.

Lloyd has just 23 catches for 365 yards in 16 games for Washington, and has been held without a catch four times and limited to two or fewer receptions in 14 games. He has topped 50 receiving yards in a game just once. The Redskins are carrying six wide receivers now -- more than the norm.

Caldwell said the Redskins' abundance of wide receivers was not a deterrent to signing with them. ("I took it as a challenge," he said.) Caldwell is unsure if he can get acclimated in time to play Monday. "It depends on how quickly he picks it up," Coach Joe Gibbs said.

Little Brother's Role

Rookie practice squad cornerback Byron Westbrook is spending this week imitating his older brother, Brian, Philadelphia's Pro Bowl tailback, on Washington's scout team. The Westbrooks, both DeMatha products, speak frequently and, though Brian will not be active, Monday's game will be special for them.

"It's a unique chance to see him play from the field perspective," said Byron, who plans to drive up for the game. "Being out here emulating him at practice is pretty cool as well. I'll try to do some of his moves -- stay low, get to the ground fast."

Brian Westbrook said he was proud his brother could advance from Division III Salisbury to the NFL. "It's a very big jump and he did a great job of doing that and working his butt off to get in that position," Brian Westbrook said in a conference call yesterday.

Extra Points

Safeties Vernon Fox (hamstring) and Pierson Prioleau (groin) and starting end Phillip Daniels (foot sprain) were unable to practice fully yesterday. Daniels said he is not sure how his foot will withstand weight during a game. "If it bothers me, I'll let my teammates take over, but I want to play Monday night," he said. . . . Tight end Chris Cooley is being chided by teammates for depositing his recent $9 million signing bonus check at a drive-through lane of a Leesburg bank. Cooley said the transaction did not surprise the teller. "She just took a little bit longer to come back out," he said.

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