SPORTS

Washington Redskins new starters taking over since Shanahan's arrival

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"His arm was a little sore today," Shanahan said Tuesday. "I could see it. He didn't quite have the zip on it that he normally has."

Chris Cooley and Brian Orakpo are two of only six starters that are still around. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

Grossman arrived at camp Tuesday and signed a one-year contract. He will begin practice Thursday.

Ryan Torain (742 yards in 2010) emerged last year as a possible successor to Portis at running back, but a hamstring injury kept Torain out of four games last year and added to questions about his durability. Tim Hightower, acquired in a trade with Arizona, could give Torain a break on third down and step in if Torain gets hurt again.

The offensive line has its five starters, but no one's calling it a fearsome fivesome. Trent Williams needs to put his rookie growing pains behind him and establish himself as a left tackle worthy of his status as a No. 4 overall draft pick in 2010. Right tackle Jammal Brown needs to stay healthy. Free agent Chris Chester fills a need at right guard and appears a good fit for the zone blocking scheme. Kory Lichtensteiger (left guard) and Will Montgomery (center) need to have a good camp to establish themselves.

The reliable Moss, who had a career-high 93 catches last season, is back at receiver, but who's the other starter? New Donte' Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney will push Anthony Armstrong for the job in what should be a compelling competition throughout the preseason.

Many passes will also go to Cooley, who remains one of the best tight ends around. The Redskins also need to find a way to get his backup, Fred Davis, into the game more often.

There are fewer question marks on defense. Barry Cofield is an upgrade at nose tackle, the position Haynesworth refused to play. The Redskins might have overpaid a bit for defensive end Stephen Bowen, but it's a spot that needed addressing. Adam Carriker returns as the other defensive end.

Pro Bowl linebacker Orakpo will now have first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan on the other side to spread the pass rush around, although Kerrigan could've used a regular non-lockout offseason to make the adjustment from defensive end. Fletcher captains the defense again, and second-year Perry Riley has the inside track to be the other inside linebacker.

Hall and free agent signing Josh Wilson are a serviceable starting duo at cornerback. Landry and another new face, O.J. Atogwe, should make the Redskins strong at safety.

But there's still a long way to go before the regular season opener Sept. 11. No telling what the depth chart will look like then.

"I feel like we've done a fantastic job rebuilding," Cooley said. "This is a new face, a completely, completely new face of this team."

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