STOP 'ERRING' IT OUT: Last week, Washington's offense had seven plays of 20 yards or more, but that was overshadowed by three turnovers -- including quarterback Patrick Ramsey's two interceptions in the red zone. In two preseason games, the Redskins have committed seven turnovers. Although Coach Joe Gibbs's emphasis on downfield passes this season means a higher risk of mistakes, his overall philosophy has not changed and that means protecting the ball is of utmost importance.
QUARTERBACK MINUTES: Conspiracy theorists viewed Gibbs's decision to leave Mark Brunell in the entire second half last week as an indication that he is preparing to have Brunell become a starter again early in the season. Gibbs had intended to play each quarterback, including rookie Jason Campbell, about a third of the game, but said he changed because he wanted the offense to get into a rhythm. Also, Gibbs pointed out that Ramsey played the entire first half -- more than his allotted time. The plan tonight reverts to each quarterback playing one-third of the game.
HERRRRRE'S LAVAR: Linebacker LaVar Arrington will play for the first time since last season, when he missed 12 games with a bone bruise. The Redskins have been extremely careful with his return and it will be intriguing to see how Arrington fits into Gregg Williams's virtually starless defense. Arrington may get most of his snaps while lined up as a defensive end in pass-rush situations. Warrick Holdman has filled in at starting weakside linebacker. But Arrington's playmaking ability has been sorely lacking on the unit.
CLINTON'S CARRIES: Clinton Portis has participated in only one offensive series and has only one rushing attempt in two games. Although Portis has a reputation for practicing as little as possible, he agrees with Gibbs that he needs more carries tonight. After this game, the Redskins have one exhibition left, and Gibbs will limit his starters' minutes in the finale against Baltimore.
SPICING UP THE OFFENSE: Gibbs keeps his plans for the offense close to the vest, but has used a three-receiver set more regularly than last season, and the shotgun has been shown more often than expected. (But does that mean it will be used less in the regular season?) Because the third exhibition comes closer to the regular season, fans should get their best peek yet at Gibbs's tweaked system.
-- Nunyo Demasio