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Austin Emerges In Wide Receiver Competition

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Wide receiver Terrence Austin is making a strong case to be on the Redskins' 53-man roster.

In the Redskins' 34-31 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Austin caught five passes for 71 yards and one touchdown.

Two of his catches were on key third down plays and both were part of a 97-yard touchdown drive that gave the Redskins a 28-21 lead at the end of the third quarter.

In three preseason games this year, Austin has 10 catches for 140 yards and one touchdown. He has also averaged 10.8 yards on six punt returns, with a long of 29 yards.

With 11 wide receivers on the Redskins' preseason roster, Austin understands the competition is tough.

Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong seem assured of a roster spot and it would be a surprise if third-round draft pick Leonard Hankerson were released.

Depending on if the Redskins keep five or six wide receivers, Austin is competing with Donte Stallworth, Brandon Banks, Niles Paul, Malcolm Kelly and Aldrick Robinson for one or two roster spots.

"My main thing is, I've been trying to be consistent this whole preseason," Austin said. "That was one of my main goals. I think I accomplished that [in the Ravens game]."

Austin joined the Redskins in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of UCLA. He spent the first 11 games of last season on the Redskins' practice squad. He signed with the active roster for the final five games of the season and he caught three passes for 47 yards and returned one kickoff for 15 yards.

Now with a full year under his belt, Austin believes he is more comfortable with the Redskins' offense.

So does Mike Shanahan.

"Terrence has a better feel of the system in his second year," Shanahan said. "He has a better feel of coverages and a better feel for running routes. He's a little undersized, but you can't tell by the way he plays. I'm very pleased with his play."

Said Austin: "I feel real good with the offense. I think I've got it down pretty well. It's just all about getting repetitions, and I've been getting a lot of that in practice and I've been successful with it, and I think I know it very well now."

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