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A Homecoming--And More--For Rabach

Casey Rabach's first NFL game at Lambeau Field has been a long time coming.

Rabach has been to Lambeau Field many times as a fan, but he will play in his first-ever NFL game at the historic stadium on Sunday.

Rabach grew up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., about a 40-minute drive from Green Bay.

Yes, he was a Packers fan growing up.

Yes, he has been inundated with ticket requests from friends and family this week.

Rabach counts among his most cherished fan memories the Packers' 1996 season when they won Super Bowl XXXI.

"I was definitely a diehard fan," Rabach said. "When you're there, you can kind of get a feel for how much that team means to that community. You go to church on Sundays and half the people in there are wearing their Green Bay Packers gear because they're going to the game or going home to watch the game on TV."

Rabach attended the University of Wisconsin, where he was a line-mate of current Packers offensive tackle Mark Tauscher in 1999.

Rabach was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2002 and spent three seasons playing in spot duty and learning the NFL craft. He signed with the Redskins as a free agent in March 2005 and has been a starter ever since.

This season, Rabach has become a dependable leader on a Redskins offensive line that has had its share of injuries, particularly to the right where both Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas are sidelined.

At center, Rabach continues to make the offensive line calls and adjustments at the line of scrimmage. He has developed a solid rapport with Jason Campbell, who makes his 12th NFL start on Sunday.

"Casey is like another quarterback out there," Campbell said. "When it comes to the offensive line, he makes sure all of the guys are in the right place at the right time."

Rabach will certainly focus on his assignments on Sunday, but he will also take a moment to soak in the atmosphere of Lambeau Field.

"It's a pretty amazing place," he said. "It's like a college atmosphere. There's not a lot going on up in that part of Wisconsin, so everybody comes out on game days even if they don't have a ticket.

"People will come out and tailgate, even move their whole living room out there, fire up the generator and watch the game in the parking lot. So it's fun. The history and the tradition just adds to that lore."

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