Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22-- Portis apologizes, so does Samuels

OK, someone explained to Clinton Portis that felonies aren't cool..
But he didn't say so, the Redskins did.. I appreciate the team's quick response to the Portis comments on WAVY-TV essentially saying, everyone hates dog fighting and finds it denounceable.. Knowing Portis, he will address this, he will do so with contrition and he will mainly be sincere..

here's the issue, Portis is immature.. He also is quite the free spirit.. Both admirable and both seemingly understandable.. He's young and open minded. In general, this is a positive, at least from my perspective of wanting to have someone who's willing to speak the truth and their mind.. Among the topics discussed with Portis over the past couple of years: 1) How he pumps himself up (With an Austin Powers like penis pump), 2) What's wrong with the Redskins in '06 (No leaders, he even had to turn his back on Brandon Lloyd) 3) UM brawl with Florida International (this was the school's fault scheduling a game among schools who's players have had off field problems with one another due to proximity of the schools and jealousy of the guys who don't attend UM. This led to a discussion about why guys carry guns and crazy moments athletes in college and in the NFl find themselves in) 4) The characters (lovable and strange, certainly weird)
All of these issues are among things most guys avoid, not Portis, who honestly if was thrown out of football would probably find something to do with his time that would make him happy..

Opinion here, but I believe Portis doesn't think dog fighting is a big deal regardless of the retraction (like I said, he hasn't said anything et, the team's PR staff did). My gut feeling is Portis isn't a bad guy, but apparently he's been exposed to dog fighting and isn't as shocked by it.. Certainly we all have our feelings about how severe a crime may be due to past experience, unfortunately, when you play for an NFL team, everything illegal is a no no to the nth degree, and Portis learned this the hard way..

T Chris Samuels, laughing during the Portis comments (he basically said fighting dogs is Michael Vick's business and none of ours and it's no big deal). He apologized personally after OTA's today.. Not a surprise, I've never heard Samuels say anything remotely controversial.. He's a PR dream..

Bottom line, this will blow over.. If it was a certain other UM player in the locker room, it might be defcon 5 at Redskins Park..

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Beach Blitz and Portis said what?

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that people were tailgating at the Virginia Beach Convention Center yesterday, there may have been about a 1000 people just hanging out upwards of two hours in advance of the Beach Blitz..
I suppose I'm not surprised by anything after seeing people tailagte in the median of Loudon County Parkway at 8AM in preparation for day one of Skins training camp last summer..

The weather sucked, the hotel the station put us up in could have been a shelter for Michael Vick's dogs, and well Virginia Beach isn't exactly Malibu, but it was a nice event..

Clinton Portis went on WAVY TV, a local station in the Norfolk area and was asked about Michael Vick.. Portis called him a good role model and suggested people should mind their own business in regard to dog fighting.. He also said those are Vick's dogs and he can do what he wants with them..
Chris Samuels was conducting the interview as well, and seemed more then a little surprised at the comments..
Portis said where he grew up in Mississippi that he could take anyone to see a dog fight if they wanted..
Someone needs to tell Portis how serious these potential charges are.. His strong personality and unique feelings of personal liberty are certainly admirable, but this isn't about having a stripper pole in your basement.. I'm going to assume someone is going to explain to Portis that dog fighting ain't cool..

Samuels came on my show yesterday and revealed he underwent hernia surgery.. Samuels wasn't sure if he played with the hernia during the season.. He has had other off-seasn procedures as well and claimed himself to be at 80% healthy but has no reason to believe he would miss any of camp.. Asked when was the last time he came out of a season at full strength, he said in 2001..

LB Marcus Washington appears on schedule for a full return to practice for training camp.. He underwent hip surgery this off-season..
WR Santana Moss suffered a slight groin injury during the secnd week of OTA's, this after straining his hamstring during the first week.. The team will be very cautious about him through the rest of the voluntary work..
Portis has knee tendonitis and is going to get it checked out by Dr. James Andrews.. At this point, there is no major concern over what the team is calling a setback to his recovery.. But he didn't have a knee injury, he suffered a subluxation of his shoulder.. How he got a knee injury has yet to be revealed..

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11-- Springs is safe, even though he isn't here

VP of player Ops Vinny Cerrato joined the John Riggins show today on Triple X ESPN radio and said the team sat down with CB Shawn Springs about two months ago and told him that they would not change the parameters of his contract and he would not be released..
The Skins did ask Springs to take a pay cut earlier in the offseason, threatening his release, but Springs didn't budge and the Skins inability to land Dre Bly left them without a number one corner.. With a 7.4 million dollar cap hit for the 32 year old Springs, the Skins are obviously saying they don't believe Carlos Rogers or Fred Smoot can be a number one..

Springs remains in Arizona with his personal trainer.. He said he isn't coming to Skins OTA's until the first week of June missing basically 3 weeks of voluntary work.. Springs was misdiagnosed last summer when he injured his groin in the pre-season.. He ultimately suffered through a sports hernia and gutted through a few games before injuring his shoulder late in the season.. Staying in Arizona is a sign that Springs may not believe that he is 100% certain that he will be a Redskin this fall even though team officials are saying so.. He also is getting himself in shape under his direction in order to ensure his health for the season no matter what happens.. Springs may have only one shot at one more large signing bonus contract after this season..

Sean Taylor has not been returning the phone calls of team management and is also absent from OTA's.. Taylor has been in and out of Redskin park this off-season working on the field and in the classroom.. But he is not responding to the team.. Cerrato says his agent Drew Rosenhaus has not asked for a contract renegotiation.. But there is a possibility Taylor won't be happy after the team spent 10 mil in bonus alone on Adam Archuletta, and will owe a large signing bonus to draft pick LaRon Landry this summer.. Taylor has multiple years left on his contract so the Skins don't have to feel forced into renegotiating anything as of now unless Taylor becomes a problem.. In the past, Taylor has not missed any mandatory Redskin practices and events..

FB Nehemiah Broughton tore an ACL in practice this week, he will likely be placed on IR forcing him to miss the season.. WR Santana Moss strained a hamstring in practice and took it easy the rest of the week..

10 of the rookies who worked out during the rookie camp are going to be signed and likely will be with the team next week..

Sunday, May 06, 2007

May 6-- Rookie Mini-Camp recap

Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach was impressive enough in the 3 day rookie mini camp that he was invited back for OTA’s which start next week.. Hollenbach remains a long shot to make the roster, but if he does enough, could at least be brought into training camp.. The likelihood of him beating out Jordan Palmer and Casey Bramlett remains low, but he’s getting a look..

Typically, some of the players brought to rookie camp like this are sent home after one day because the coaches get concerned about a person who won’t make it getting hurt.. Both Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders emphasized this being the best group they’ve had because no one was out of their league.. The team likely will only keep some 10-15 players from this camp to compete in training camp.. But in general, the coaching staff seems very pleased with the young crop they got a look at..

The team is working on a deal with former Chiefs/Jets RB Derrick Blaylock who was the most notable NFL veteran taking part in the camp.. Blaylock told me, “I don’t fee; like this camp is above me,” despite being a 1000 yard rusher during one of the season’s Priest Holmes got hurt in KC.. Blaylock was lauded by Saunders as a great pass blocker and a consummate pro.. And the team is hoping to get a deal done with him to bring him into camp.. Blaylcok said he hasn’t spoken with his agent about other possible teams interested..

Jordan Palmer says he is “coachable,” and contends he will do whatever the Redskins feel are in his best interest even if that means going to NFL Europe.. Palmer will compete with Todd Collins, Casey Bramlett and possibly Hollenbach for the 3rd QB spot..

QB Mark Brunell is throwing some lob passes, but will not take part in OTA’s and will not throw another major pass until training camp.. Brunell is recovering from labrum surgery..

RB Clinton Portis is expected to return to the Park this week, but he will likely not take part in OTA’s dealing with the recovery from his shoulder surgery.. Saunders was unclear when Portis would be healthy enough to practice..

QB Jason Campbell has been spending most of his weeks this off-season working at Redskins Park, he gets an hour a day on the field with the coaches and 3 hours a day in the film room with Saunders and QB coach Bill Lazor.. Saunders said having all the reps as the starter this spring into summer will make a major difference for Campbell heading into this season..

When pressed about not having most of the other vets around this off-season due to an organizational change in policy for the players who adamantly suggested they needed more rest during the off-season, Saunders said it is conjecture whether this will be helpful for the team.. he didn’t say whether he’d want to have had more opportunity to work with the players but did emphasize the passing game’s choreography can’t be taught in the classroom..

WR Steven Harris, who was on the Redskins practice squad last year tore the ACL in his knee on the first day of mini-camp.. He won’t be able to compete in this summer’s training camp..