George withdraws after switch to Banks

Schottenheimer delays decision on starting QB

Redskins notebook

September 10, 2001|By Glae Thien | Glae Thien,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SAN DIEGO -- Washington Redskins quarterback Jeff George wouldn't comment on a budding controversy over his starting job after he was pulled in the third quarter of a 30-3 loss to the San Diego Chargers yesterday. In fact, he didn't say anything at all in departing the locker room after the season opener.

After he was replaced by former Raven Tony Banks with the Redskins trailing 20-0, George had an animated discussion with Washington coach Mary Schottenheimer. But Schottenheimer refuted that it was a heated exchange.

"Jeff was doing everything possible within the framework of the offense," said Schottenheimer, who delayed a decision on next week's starting quarterback. "I just felt the way it was, it was time to take a shot."

Said Banks: "I consider myself a starter in this league, no matter what happens. I know what my ability is and I know when it comes to delivering the football, I'm second to none. But this is Jeff George's team and it's going to stay that way until someone tells me otherwise."

Dandy debut overshadowed

Rookie cornerback Fred Smoot had an interception and a fumble recovery on the day he started in place of Darrell Green, who is retiring after this season. But the outcome didn't leave Smoot in a mood to celebrate.

"It's all about winning," said Smoot, a second-round draft choice from Mississippi State. "There's no personal gain in this."

The Redskins named Green one of their four captains along with Michael Bates, Jon Jansen and Marco Coleman.

Schottenheimer stats

Schottenheimer dropped to 15-10 all-time against San Diego. Against the Chargers, he went 2-1 with Cleveland (1984-88) and 13-8 with Kansas City (1989-98).

Of the 53 players on the Washington roster, 29 made their Redskins debut under Schottenheimer.

This was the Redskins' first loss to San Diego in seven meetings all-time.

New team, lesser role

Redskins guard Ben Coleman started all 16 games for the Chargers last season, but he couldn't make the opening lineup for Washington. Instead, undrafted rookie David Brandt got the nod ahead at right guard.

OK without Wiley

The Chargers dominated without defensive end Marcellus Wiley, a free-agent pickup from Buffalo, who was sidelined on Thursday because of a stress fracture in his left foot. He is expected to be out three to four weeks.

Al Fontenot, who took Wiley's place, started in all 30 of his appearances for the Chargers over the previous two seasons.

Getting their kicks

Brett Conway, the first of five kickers employed by the Redskins last season, converted his only field-goal attempt, a 40-yarder.

Chargers newcomer Wade Richey connected on all three of his attempts, including a long of 48 yards.

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