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By - Jason Reid
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Haynesworth plans to play Saturday

Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who sat out practice recently because of problems stemming from heat exhaustion, plans to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, people familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Haynesworth was sidelined the last three days of training camp because he was feeling ill. But the two-time Pro Bowler felt better Friday, team sources said, and probably will play in the second half Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field.

Haynesworth, currently the team's second-team nose tackle, also is expected to work at right defensive end against Baltimore. The lone defensive lineman in Washington's "fast-nickel" package, Haynesworth is becoming more comfortable in the Redskins' overall defensive scheme, the sources said.

The Redskins open the regular season Sept. 12 against their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, at FedEx Field.

McNabb, Cooley click

Quarterback Donovan McNabb seems to be developing a good rapport with tight end Chris Cooley, who sat out more than half the 2009 season after fracturing his ankle in Week 7.

Cooley had three receptions for 33 yards - including a 19-yard gain - in the 42-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills. "We definitely have a good relationship," Cooley said. "He'll ask me what I think about routes. I want to know where he's expecting me to be.

"We got out of the huddle on a couple of plays [against Buffalo] and he looks at me and says, 'Hey. Be smart Cooley.' And I think, 'Yeah, I know what he wants. I know what he means by that.' So we'll continue to grow in that kind of partnership. And he'll grow with all the receivers as well."

Although it was only a preseason game, the two-time Pro Bowler worked the middle of the field as well as he has throughout his productive career.

Teamed with McNabb, Cooley believes he could have a stellar season.

"I was expecting between like 135 and 140 [receptions], but 150 . . . that'd be awesome," Cooley joked. "And maybe like 1,800 yards. No, but it could be a good season for me. I'm excited to get back. I'm very critical of myself.

"I do a lot of things that I like right now, but I've done a lot of things that I'm upset with. I walk off the field every day thinking, 'If I had four or five plays back or to do over, I would have been happy with my day.' Hopefully, I can get to the point where it's closer to perfect."

Fletcher honored

For the third consecutive year, veteran inside linebacker London Fletcher was recognized as the Redskins' defensive player of the year during the team's Welcome Home Luncheon.

Fletcher, beginning his 13th season in the league and fourth with Washington, is the Redskins' emotional leader. The durable player led the Redskins to their third consecutive top-10 finish defensively. He was named to his first Pro Bowl.

"I'm truly proud each and every week when I get to go out there and play for the Washington Redskins," Fletcher said in the ballroom of the Tysons Corner Ritz-Carlton.

Center Casey Rabach was named the team's top offensive player and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was given the special teams award.

"I guarantee you next year, there will not be an offensive lineman up here," Rabach said. "We've got so many playmakers."

- Jason Reid


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