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Location: Bristol, CT

This blog is focussed on the psychology of sports: The games, the participants and the fans who watch.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26-- Bugel talks on eve of camp

Redskins Lunch with me and Larry Michael returned to Redskins park today on the eve of training camp, we opened the show with a visit from Assistant Head coach Joe Bugel who says jokingly "I don't want to have to change Nascar tires." He of course was amusingly discussing the prospect of the gang going all their own way if the Skins don't bounce back from a 5-11 season.. Bugel also said the team is focussing very hard on winning games in the pre-season and won't be hiding anything this summer as they try to get off to a much faster start then last year when they went 0-6 including the 4 exhibition games..

Bugel on his OL: Calls Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen great tackles.. He said the team will not be pushing G Randy Thomas particularly hard this summer as he is coming off of a knee scope but at least he is past the broken leg ("The guy made every practice with a rod in his leg last year")
As for LG: Bugel calls the Todd Wade experiment a "project." He said Wade's focus this off-season was to be somewhere where he could start, that opportunity was here for him but only as a guard barring an injury to one of the tackles..
Bugel said he thinks the depth on the line is much better then a year ago, the team added veterans Jason Fabini and Ross Tucker, still the experiment at LG could be a sore spot.. Young up and comer Will Whittacker better get tougher if he wants a shot to steal the position or win a back-up slot, Bugel made that very clear..

Safety position preview: The hope the Skins defensively have for Sean Taylor is to find a way to give him opportunities to get his hands on the ball, that would suggest that they may move Laron Landry up closer to the line in the hopes of getting Taylor is some positions to make interceptions.. Easier said then done, a pass rush would be a significant help on all fronts..
Landry figures to ultimately win the starting job due to his versatility as a blitzer.. The team wanted Adam Archuletta to play this hybrid role of blitzer and cover guy, but Archuletta failed in the latter, it ultimately was a misjudgement of his ability to play the role, the team believes Landry will be a perfect fit for their aggressive scheme, he just needs to sign and get here..
Pierson Prioleau is coming off a torn ACL suffered on the opening kickoff of the first game.. He is back to as close to 100% as he's going to be.. He's a stalwart on special teams and is a likely starter is Landry is late getting to camp or is slow learning his responsibilities..
Omar Stoutmire returns after one year in New Orleans.. he is a likely back-up.. Reed Doughty made the team as a late round pick a year ago and finally showed one of his pateneted hits late in the season on a teams play.. The sheer numbers at the position suggest he'll need help to keep his job..Vernon Fox resigned here as well, he was the main starter after the benching of Archuellta and injury to Prioleau.. Again, a special teams standout, but again limited in coverage skills although he held his own.. It would be interesting to see how he performs with a better pass rush whether it be from the line or in some form of combination with blitz schemes..

This will ultimately be one of the most hotly contested spots on the roster, Taylor and Landry are obvious locks.. Prioleau is in as long as he can show he hasn't lost a step, if he has, he will have a hard time beating everyone else out.. I like Fox's chances over Stoutmire's because of special teams.. Although both are likely to make it if Prioleau can't be his old self.. Doughty is probably a numbers casualty.. This position is stacked with viable options..
Right now, I'd go with Taylo, Landry, Prioleau and Fox, but if either of the other two are on the roster heading into week 1, it wouldn't be a surprise..

Camp tomorrow!

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