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Breaking Down the 53-Man Roster: Offense

The Redskins entered the 2006 season with few roster spots open on the offensive side of the ball. Despite some uncertainty at running back midway through training camp, a closer look at the offensive roster indicates that there were few surprises:

-- Quarterback

#### -- Running Back

When the Redskins acquired T.J. Duckett in a trade in mid-August, the running back position was all of a sudden in a bit of turmoil.

It shouldn't have been.

Clinton Portis remains the franchise back and, if healthy, he will get the bulk of carries. Duckett is a wide-bodied back who can bulldoze through the defense and pick up first downs in short yardage situations.

Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright were initially confused and upset about the Duckett acquisition, but both players have a significant role on this team.

Betts will continue to back up Portis and serve as a kickoff return specialist along-side James Thrash. (Antwaan Randle El is expected to return punts, but not kickoffs.) Cartwright is a valuable special teams leader on punt and kickoff coverage.

-- Fullback

#### -- Wide Receiver

The Redskins will carry five wide receivers on the roster--veterans all.

Santana Moss, Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, David Patten and James Thrash have impressive, even dynamic speed. Despite a lack of size, they will put pressure on defensive backs, especially when they line up in three and four wide receiver sets.

Thrash was the only question mark among the five, but he solidified his roster spot due to his ability to return kickoffs.

Jimmy Farris did not make the final roster for the second year in a row, but if he remains unsigned, he could be called back should an injury occur. Farris improved his versatility by working on kickoff returns last offseason.

Rookie Mike Espy and first-year receiver Steven Harris impressed during preseason, leading the offense in receptions in two games. Espy and Harris joined the Redskins' practice squad.

-- Offensive Tackle

#### -- Tight End

With no receivers over 6-0 in height, Chris Cooley and Christian Fauria could play key roles in the passing game.

Cooley emerged as a significant weapon last season, catching 71 passes for 774 yards. In two NFL seasons, he has caught 13 touchdowns. Fauria is a dependable 11-year veteran.

Buck Ortega was a long-shot to make the roster, but the former University of Miami tight end impressed in preseason. He caught a touchdown pass from Todd Collins in the Redskins' preseason game against the New York Jets on Aug. 19.

Don't be surprised if Mike Sellers also shifts to tight end at times. Sellers has the versatility to play both positions.

-- Kicker

Despite struggling through injuries the last two seasons, John Hall has the coach's confidence. He enters his fourth season as the Redskins' kicker.

Hall's sole focus will be field goals, with Derrick Frost taking over on kickoffs.

Frost will serve as the holder on field goals. Ethan Albright returns for his sixth season as long snapper.

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