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News & Notes: Young Emerges At Fullback

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A year ago, Darrel Young was a Redskins roster hopeful as a linebacker.

Now he's a roster hopeful as a fullback.

And with Mike Sellers sidelined with a knee injury, Young could be in line to earn a preseason start this Friday night against the New York Jets.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Young said he had not been told if he would start.

He is listed as No. 2 on the depth chart behind Sellers, although the most current depth chart released by the team does not include new fullback Carey Davis.

"It would be an honor [to start]," said Young, who hails from Amityville, N.Y. "Making a home start – it would be a dream come true."

Young, 5-11 and 246 pounds, has opened eyes in training camp and in the Redskins' first two preseason games.

He had several nice blocks on run plays and caught one pass out of the backfield in the Bills game.

"He has had a chance to play quite a bit, and I thought he did a good job for a guy who hasn't played a whole lot of fullback in his career," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "I thought he gave some great effort. He's a good football player."

Young played linebacker in college at Villanova. Last year he briefly had a spot on the Redskins' practice squad as a linebacker.

What prompted the move to fullback?

"Just the way he hit," Shanahan replied. "We needed some fullbacks on the roster and we felt since he had good hands he would be an ideal candidate. I think it was a good transition for him."

Young said that last year coaches around the NFL – including Kyle Shanahan – had talked to his agent about playing fullback.

"It didn't come as a total surprise," he said. "I was excited about it. We had 14 linebackers on the roster at one time and one fullback. It's an opportunity, that's how I look at it."


-- GROSSMAN READY FOR PRESEASON START

With Donovan McNabb sidelined for Friday's preseason game against the New York Jets due to an ankle injury, Rex Grossman is expected to get the start at quarterback.

"It's a great opportunity for me," he said. "I'm going to take advantage of it."

Grossman has played in both of the Redskins' preseason games. He has completed 25-of-39 passes for 335 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He has been sacked three times, however.

Asked what he expects of himself in the Jets game, Grossman replied: "I just want to play smart and run the offense. It sounds simple, but the goal is to just play smart, go where the defense takes me, and run the offense the way [offensive coordinator] Kyle Shanahan wants me to."

Shanahan said he wanted to see more consistency from Grossman.

"Rex has dome some good things," Shanahan said. "My main thing with Rex is, if there's a bad play, I don't want him to make it a worse play. He was in a couple of bad situations last week where he had no answer with the ball and in the protection they were bringing more than we had.

"I just wanted him to get out [of the pass rush]. I just wanted him to throw it away instead of trying to make a play where he could have thrown an interception."

Shanahan reiterated that the coaches are confident in Grossman, who has had his share of ups and downs in eight years in the NFL.

"Without a doubt we're confident in Rex," Shanahan said. "He wouldn't be here if we weren't. We have to feel that way about our backup or we would have to find a new backup. Rex has played in a Super Bowl, he has a lot of experience and he has only gotten better."


-- CARRIKER: MORE TURNOVERS NEEDED

Defensive end Adam Carriker says he continues to feel comfortable playing in the Redskins' 3-4 defense.

After two preseason games, it's time to start converting more big plays, he adds.

"I would say we need to get more turnovers," Carriker said. "We had four caused fumbles [last week against the Baltimore Ravens] and we only got one of them. If we get two or three more of them, that could have been a big difference in the game."

Carriker views the Jets game as a "great test."

The Jets come into the game with a confident head coach in Rex Ryan and plenty of hype as preseason favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

"It's the third preseason game and [starters] are going to play the most," Carriker said. "They're a very good team. It's very good for us to get us ready for the regular season."

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