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Redskins trying to tackle problems with front line Injuries, holdout leave holes to fill on offense


CARLISLE, Pa. -- Jim Lachey is holding out.

Ed Simmons is coming back from a knee injury.

Mark Adickes is out with a back injury.

Russ Grimm has retired and is now an assistant coach.

The result is that the Redskins have yet to get four of the five players who played tackle last year in the lineup in the exhibition games.

Joe Jacoby, the starting right tackle, who jammed his elbow in last night's practice but is expected to stay in the lineup, is the only holdover from last year's tackle contingent who's seen action this year.

Which explains why the Redskins are scrambling as they prepare for the season opener Sept. 7 at Dallas.

The one thing Gibbs has ruled out is asking Grimm to come out of retirement.

He just laughed yesterday when he was asked about the possibility. "No, that's not an option," he said.

Adickes doesn't seem likely to be back any time soon, either, because the disc in his back is responding very slowly to treatment.

Simmons is back practicing, but he hasn't been able to play yet.

Gibbs also doesn't sound optimistic about getting Lachey back soon.

The agents for Lachey and rookie Desmond Howard, Jeff Moorad and Leigh Steinberg, spent Monday and Tuesday negotiating with general manager Charley Casserly and didn't get any of them signed.

Gibbs said he's talked frequently with both Lachey and cornerback Darrell Green and he's not getting good vibes.

"I just know in talking to them you get a feeling, hey, 'are they coming in or are they sitting out.' I'd say they're sitting out," Gibbs said.

It'll still be a surprise if they don't sign before the start of the regular season, but it's uncertain how soon they'll be ready to play.

A. J. Johnson has been doing a good job in place of Green, but the Redskins still have a problem at Lachey's left tackle slot.

That's why their plans to flip-flop Raleigh McKenzie and Ray Brown will get a good test in Saturday's exhibition game against the Los Angeles Raiders.

Since Brown has played well against the run at left tackle, but struggled against the pass, the Redskins are hoping that McKenzie can handle the left tackle slot. They also think Brown will be more effective at left guard.

The Redskins were still reluctant to move McKenzie.

"You hate to do it because he was playing so well inside," offensive line coach Jim Hanifan said.

But Brown is the first to admit that he had problems with his pass protection and was letting the defensive linemen get too many shots at the quarterback.

Not only have the Redskins given up six sacks in the three exhibition games, but they've allowed the quarterbacks to get hit virtually every time they release the ball.

"I know there's room for improvement," said Brown, a former Plan B free agent who spent most of the last two years on the injured reserve list.

Brown isn't unhappy about moving to guard, which was supposed to be his position this year until the team had so many problems.

"You want to make a contributon," he said.

In the first three exhibition games, the Redskins' line, which allowed only nine sacks all last year, didn't do a good job of holding the opponents out.

They'll find out Saturday if the line switches make a difference.

NOTES: The Redskins will have their final practice at camp today, which means Gibbs was lecturing the players yesterday about ending their old tradition of trashing the dorms the final night of camp. "I'm in charge of the practice the next day [today]. If they tear the dorm up, we'll have some wind sprints and stuff. I'm not worried about it. It's called [a] threat," Gibbs said. . . The Redskins signed free agent linebacker-long snapper Dave Clark and released WR Victor Cahoon. The Redskins are thin at linebacker because Ravin Caldwell has a knee injury and they haven't been happy with John Brandes' long snapping.

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