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Left? Right? Carter Welcomes the Versatility

When you think ahead to what Jason Taylor and Andre Carter can mean to Greg Blache's defense in 2008, recall 1985.

That's because 23 years ago, the Redskins had the best one-two punch in team history from the defensive end positions.

Dexter Manley produced 15 sacks that season and Charles Mann was right behind with 14.5.

Taylor and Carter as a defensive end pair won't see a fully significant game until Sept. 4 at Giants Stadium, of course.

Taking into account their track records, and assuming both players can stay healthy, they would appear to be able to put together seasons that approximate what Manley and Mann did in 1985.

In training camp and early in the preseason, Carter has come to like the idea that he and Taylor will be switching sides from time to time as the situation dictates.

Carter has always played at right defensive end (opposite the left tackle). With Taylor on board, he will play both right and left defensive end.

"There's a philosophy to it," said Carter, who led the Redskins with 10.5 sacks a year ago. "It allows us to be more diverse as ends and as players in general. It opens things up from a pass rush perspective.

"Usually the game plan of the opponent is this guy is on the left and this guy is on the right. We won't run to this guy's side, but we will run to this guy's side. When it comes to passing, we'll chip this guy, but we don't need to chip this guy.

"Now, by flipping sides, it opens things up. Usually, an offensive tackle will study an opponent and say, 'This is the only guy I have to go up against for four quarters.'

"Now his head is swimming because not only does he have to go against one guy, he has to go against two guys. The tackle has to change his footwork, his hand placement and things like that. It provides more opportunities for us to catch him off his guard."

What it amounts to is that Carter feels his chances of making plays (as well as Taylor's chances) are enhanced when an opposing offensive tackle has more to concern himself with.

In Taylor, you're talking about the NFL's active sack leader, with 117.

Carter's father, Ruben, watched a several practices at Redskins Park last week, keeping a close eye on his son.

Ruben Carter, the former Redskins defensive assistant, was one of the key figures on Denver's "Orange Crush" defense of the '[70s. He faced Jim Zorn and the Seahawks regularly.

Ruben Carter, who now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., continues to give Andre emotional support, but he doesn't go into X's and O's with his son anymore. That's up to Greg Blache and John Palermo.

"He's just a very proud father, enjoying seeing his son working," Andre said.

Of course, all Redskins defensive players are adjusting to the defense of Blache, after having become accustomed to the Gregg Williams way of taking on an opponent.

In terms of pass rushing, Carter likes Blache's approach.

"Gregg Williams loves the blitz, and sometimes he tries to trick the opponent," Carter said. "Greg Blache blitzes, but there's not as much trickery involved. You just have to know your assignment, know your technique and just execute. He likes to simplify things."

Carter (12.5) and Taylor (18.5) both had their best sack years in 2002, when Carter was in San Francisco and Taylor in Miami. The Redskins hope that having Carter and Taylor on the same defensive line will baffle offenses off both edges in 2008.

Like Dexter and Charles Mann did back in 1985.

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