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By Ishita Singh
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF

39

Days until the Redskins play the New York Giants on Sept. 13 in East Rutherford, N.J.

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TODAY'S SCHEDULE

When: 8:30 a.m. (open to the public); 3 p.m.

Where: Redskins Park, Ashburn.

Admission, Parking: Free.

Updates: 703-726-7411.

SUMMER LONG SHOTS Dave Rayner

Place kicker Dave Rayner, who signed with the Redskins in early February, thinks his chances of making Washington's 53-man roster are pretty good, even though the Redskins already have Shaun Suisham, who has been kicking for the team since 2006.

Rayner, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2005, played for five NFL teams before signing with the Redskins. In 2006, he was the full-time place kicker for the Green Bay Packers, appearing in all 16 games and finishing the season with a field goal percentage of 74.3. He has made 42 of 59 career attempts, he has made 42, good for a percentage of 71.2, compared to Suisham's 77.9. But Suisham struggled toward the end of last season, so he and Rayner will compete for the job.

"For everything I've heard, it's just a straight-up competition, so whoever kicks the best wins," Rayner said. "Shaun's obviously a good kicker, and I mean he's here for a reason, so it's going to be a good competition."

Rayner said that he felt good in practice. So far, the kickers, punter Hunter Smith and long snapper Ethan Albright have worked separately from the rest of the special teams unit, but Wednesday will be the first day that everyone practices together.

"I've kicked really well," Rayner said of his performance thus far. "My timing was good. It's a great opportunity so I'm excited to just get in there and start kicking a little bit" with the team.

Even though he has bounced around the league, Rayner was impressed with the Redskins and their fans.


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