CARLISLE, PA., AUG. 9 -- Raleigh McKenzie will be patient. He knows this probably is his year to become a full-time Hog and that when the Redskins open the regular season against the Phoenix Cardinals, he's likely to be in there at left guard.
But for now, veteran Russ Grimm, whom Coach Joe Gibbs projects as a part-time player, a sort of "coach on the field," will start at left guard in Saturday's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons in Chapel Hill, N.C.
McKenzie, 27, doesn't mind. He respects Grimm and what he has contributed to the Redskins. He also knows he'll play.
"I think this is the year for me," he said. "I'm headed toward 30 years old and it's time to get in there. I really want to blossom the next three years. I know I can play this game."
McKenzie may be the eventual starter at left guard, but he has worked at center and at right guard in this camp. So where he lines up during the regular season probably will depend on where help is needed.
"It really doesn't matter," he said. "You'd like to get in one place and start, but you have to do what's asked of you. I came in here with the idea of being real consistent and showing the coaches I belong in there. I think I'm playing well and want to keep it up." Rocker on the Sideline
Defensive tackle Tracy Rocker missed a second straight day of practice with a strained biceps tendon. He spent part of the day in the weight room, part of it jogging on the track and part of it watching his teammates practice.
"This is tough," he said. "I'm used to practicing and I'm one that believes you play like you practice. I definitely don't want to miss much time. At the same time, this is one of those injuries that is going to need some time to heal." . . .
The injury list for Saturday's game is a long one. Definitely out are quarterback Jeff Rutledge (shoulder), linebacker Jon Leverenz (back), tight end John Brandes (knee), defensive end Fred Stokes (shoulder), cornerback Brian Davis (quadriceps), Rocker and cornerback D'Juan Francisco (hamstring). Sanders Update
Ricky Sanders's twice-delayed hearing in Houston is now scheduled for Aug. 24, the day before the team's preseason game at Cleveland. Sanders is not expected to miss the game.
He has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in connection with a May 1 incident in the parking lot of a Houston bar. Information on the case is expected to be sent to a Harris County grand jury next week.