Given the unsettled nature of Washington's quarterback position over the last 10 years, the bulk of attention generally focuses there during training camp. But the most heated individual battle of August could be between two kickers, another area of considerable concern recently. The incumbent, John Hall, was pried away from the New York Jets in 2003 but has yet to produce a huge season (he made 73 percent of his field goals last year; 13 NFC kickers made 76 percent or better). He missed most of last season with a series of injuries, a lingering hamstring problem being the most severe.
Swedish journeyman Ola Kimrin struggled, and that's when Jeff Chandler came to town. San Francisco invested a fourth-round pick on Chandler in 2002 -- no small accomplishment for a kicker -- and although he has bounced around the league, he has talent. Chandler went 4 for 4, including one kick from 49 yards, in his Redskins debut last Dec. 18 against the 49ers, and with Hall healthy again, these two will slug it out in the preseason. Cutting Hall would save Washington $1.1 million against the salary cap, but the team is well positioned in that regard this year.
FRESH FACE: Rich Parson
University of Maryland
Who He Is: Parson signed with the Redskins in April after going undrafted. He began his college career at tailback but was converted to wide receiver shortly thereafter, finishing his career at Maryland with 61 catches for 882 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also played special teams.
How He's Doing: Parson is focusing on making the team via special teams and thinks his experience with the Terps should help him win a job.
"As a rookie my mark is going to be on special teams," Parson said. "At Maryland I did everything: kickoff return, kickoff, gunner, punt return. That's the good thing about me -- I'm so versatile. [If] a guy goes down at one position, I can jump in and usually don't miss a beat."
Chances of Making the Roster: To the dismay of Maryland fans, unlikely. Parson was never a consistent starter at wide receiver in College Park, appearing in 11 games as a senior and starting one. While Parson did return kicks, he did not lead the team in either returns or return yards.
"He shouldn't be worried. They knocked everybody else's trial back, so why would they make him come in September? They put Michael Jackson's trial back, and he ain't got a concert any time soon."
Clinton Portis, on Sean Taylor's Sept. 12 trial date
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Days until the Redskins take on the Bears at FedEx Field
ON THE SIDELINES
LaVar Arrington spent much of the morning practice watching from the sidelines and clearly wanted to be a part of the action. Often, he worked behind the play, mimicking the footwork of the linebackers involved in the drill and testing his lateral movement.
Brandon Noble spent the morning encouraging his teammates and appeared to be moving well as he bounced around the field. Coach Joe Gibbs has said Noble is the closest to returning of the injured players.
-- Jason LaCanfora and Daniel Lyght