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Jansen Is at Center of Team's Backup Plan

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Starting right tackle Jon Jansen also is the second center on the Washington Redskins' depth chart, offensive line coach Joe Bugel said, with the veteran acclimating well to taking snaps in practices after playing on the exterior of the line his entire NFL career.

Jansen and Bugel discussed the situation, and given the team's depth at tackle and the lack of a proven backup to center Casey Rabach, the coach has worked Jansen into the rotation during this week's organized team activity sessions.

Jansen, whose large frame might cause issues in the interior of the line, is working on snapping the ball, something he did occasionally at the University of Michigan. The Redskins opted not to draft a backup guard in the draft, but did take one offensive lineman to bolster the aging group, selecting tackle Chad Rinehart in the third round. After selecting Rinehart, Coach Jim Zorn and vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato said he likely would work on snapping the ball with the Redskins, but Bugel said that Rinehart is stationed at guard for now and is not in the plans at center.

"Jon has been a backup center in college and we have him working at backup center," Bugel said. "We always want to get the five best guys on the field, so if Rabach got hurt who do you plug in? Right now I'd have to say Jon Jansen."

The Redskins have Stephon Heyer and Todd Wade at tackle and they could spell Jansen should he need to replace Rabach. Center has been a thin spot on the roster and the Redskins could also sign an experienced center before the start of training camp next month.

A Bit Sluggish

The Redskins' transition to a new offense was obvious during the team portion of practice yesterday, with procedural issues and offside penalties bogging down the unit. Zorn knows that such hiccups are to be expected this time of year, but he has trouble stomaching them.

"Every snap counts," Zorn said, "and we can't concentrate for them. We can't line them up. They have to come out of the huddle knowing where they are and knowing where that snap count is."

Zero Contact

Rookie Colt Brennan, rehabbing from hip surgery and hopeful of winning the job as the third quarterback, is taking part in some seven-on-seven drills but cannot yet face contact situations. Zorn said he has been "encouraged" by Brennan's progress and Brennan said he believed he will be 100 percent in four weeks, before the expected start of camp July 20. . . . Cornerback Shawn Springs was absent from the third straight practice, with Zorn joking that the Redskins had issued an "APB" on him. Zorn's attempts to reach Springs, who has been working out on his own in Arizona, have been unsuccessful.

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