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Collins: Speaking From Experience

All Redskins fans are well aware that veteran quarterback Todd Collins has worked under Al Saunders since 2001. That covers five seasons in Kansas City and this one preseason with the Redskins.

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Earlier this week, Saunders' defended the Redskins' struggling offense this preseason, saying things will come together eventually in time for Sept. 11. Saunders says there's a process in place and that things will be OK when the real games come.

Collins' take?

The 6-4, 228-pound 11-year veteran out of Michigan says you'll see a different approach when the Minnesota Vikings come to FedExField.

"We've been preparing for the Vikings all spring and all training camp," Collins added. "The plays we'll run in that game will be familiar. And I'm confident in the personnel and the attitudes we have here. We'll be able to push through any shortcomings we may have as a team."

A winless preseason came to a halt Thursday as the Redskins fell to Baltimore at FedExField 17-10. That left the Redskins at 0-4 in the preseason.

Locked in a back-and-forth competition with Jason Campbell to win the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Mark Brunell, Collins was one of few bright spots as the Redskins faced off against their close neighbor.

Collins earned praise from head coach Joe Gibbs on Monday.

"He's got guts," Gibbs said of Collins. "I thought he did a very good job with the young guys in there. He seized the moment and you like to see that from your players."

Gibbs said that he is not ready to announce the backup to Brunell, but he did say: "I feel real good about our quarterbacks."

Collins was 13-of-22 for 201 yards and a QB rating of 104.5 in his best showing with his new club. Collins hooked up with Steven Harris, the first-year player out of Arkansas, on a 54-yard completion.

With 3:06 left in the preseason, Collins found rookie Mike Espy on a four-yard scoring pitch to account for the lone Redskins' TD of the night.

For young players trying to make a roster spot, it was a final chance to impress. NFL clubs have to cut down to 53 by tomorrow.

Late in the game Collins, who began his NFL career at Buffalo in 1995, was out on the field with a group of youngsters. As he said after the game, he enjoyed those surroundings.

"I always like playing with the young guys," Collins explained. "They're full of energy and they're giving it all to make a roster spot. These guys are constantly looking to make the big play. As a quarterback, you like playing with those type of players."

Collins added: "It's an exciting offense. Having played in it for five years and coming here now, I know how explosive it can be."

With the preseason now out of the way, talk about the potential of Saunders' schemes are on the verge of getting their real test against Minnesota. The Redskins are hoping that one day very soon, a preseason of just 27 points in four games is seen as an inaccurate indicator.

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