Tim Johnson has gotten over the soreness of a short, quick training camp and into the routine of life with his new team. "I'm still looking for a house," he said. "I spent all day Tuesday, and when that's over and done with, I'll start feeling at home."

When the Washington Redskins acquired Johnson from the Pittsburgh Steelers three weeks ago, they knew he would have many adjustments, especially in making the transition from a 3-4 defense to Richie Petitbon's 4-3.

That has been as tough as Johnson expected, but the Redskins say he has learned quickly and will at least give them the depth in the defensive line they've so desperately needed. It's unclear how much he'll play in Sunday's opener here against the Phoenix Cardinals, but with the Redskins carrying only six defensive linemen, it's clear everyone will play.

"The first couple of days were tough, but I'm over that," Johnson said. "The reality of getting in shape hit me for awhile, and when I got past that, it was just a matter of learning to play football."

He has played parts of two preseason games, but said: "I'm getting there. The biggest thing is I still have to get comfortable with the defense and being able to react to things instead of thinking about it. It's different, but the more you're out there, the more you learn."

Line coach Torgy Torgeson said: "It's different, but terminology is the biggest thing. That and different technique. He'll be okay." Stokes Holds Up

Fred Stokes made it through his first full week of practice of the preseason and his left shoulder held up. As Johnson was when he reported, Stokes now is in the process of getting over the annual soreness that comes with the first hits of training camp.

He didn't play at all in the four preseason games and it's unclear how much he'll play against the Cardinals. But he believes his shoulder miseries are behind him and that the last round of strengthening exercises has pushed him over the top.

"I'll play as much as I can," he said. "I took all the work out here Wednesday and Thursday {when there was hitting} and it's not even sore." He Rips Them

Mark Rypien's 103.2 career rating against the Cardinals is his highest versus any NFL opponent. Rypien has thrown 10 of his 40 touchdown passes against the Cardinals and gained 1,092 of his 5,498 career yards against them.

He's 3-1 as a starter against the Cardinals and has completed 60.6 percent of his passes. He has thrown three, three, three and four touchdown passes against them and last year he beat them twice. In the first game, he had one of the biggest days of his career, completing 23 of 42 for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He threw scoring passes of 2, 12, 12 and 23 yards. Good Starts, Fast Finishes

Winning opening games must be important if you hope to win the Super Bowl. Of the 24 Super Bowl winners, 21 began their seasons with victories (two had losses, one had a tie).

Eight of last season's 10 playoff teams won their openers. Dallas has the NFC's best opening-day record (22-7-1) and has the all-time record of 17 straight opening day victories. Denver's 18-11-1 is the best in the AFC.

The Patriots and Bears have the longest current streaks (six). The Patriots play the Dolphins; the Bears play the Seahawks.