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Things To Watch

People close to Brunell tell me the veteran believes he will be the No. 3 QB this season, but the passers are still waiting to get word from Gibbs. Imagine he'll go ahead and tell them in the next few days, with Sunday fast approaching and all.

The Jason Taylor vs. Chris Samuels battle will be huge. Taylor got the best of him 4 years ago in Miami - albeit in Spurrier's sack-friendly system - and Chris himself knows he's going to been a few weeks to be four-quarters strong and fully conditioned after such a long layoff with the knee sprain. The second half should be interesting for the O Line, especially if it's a muggy day.

I have a feeling if Marcus Washington does play we won't be seeing him with his hand down on third-down just yet. That dislocated elbow is no joke. Rookie Chris Wilson could end up getting the rush end duties in the nickel package and the onus will be on Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher to take care of business in coverage in that package.

I know some people are down on the Skins for keeping so many kids, but I can tell you this. I spoke with people on various teams who were ready to pounce if Reed Doughty, Leigh Torrence or Chris Wilson were cut, for instance. Losing three big locker room guys - Renaldo, Big Joe and Lemar - is a blow, but for the long-term of the franchise I like what they did. (Although I have to say replacing Lemar with a 34-year old is iffy. Godfrey had better be up to speed ASAP with Marcus not 100 percent and Khary Campbell hursing the hamstring problem, because Blades is really a special teamer for now and they might themselves soon in need for a jack-of-all-trade LB in Lemar's mold.

Big weekend for Derrick Frost. He admits that his play slipped late in the preseason and he's shanked a few. They need him going into the season with confidence, because the offense is going to need time to be sharp - especially again Maimi's D - and field position could decide this game.

Marcus Mason has earned the respect of a lot of vets on this team. The Skins might end up looking for another vet. RB if Clinton's issues drag on through the season - I suspect they might - but this kid has done nothing but impress.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 5, 2007; 10:52 AM ET
 
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