Covering The Redskins

Location: Bloomfield, CT

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Two early names already available.. Byron Leftwich is going to be traded or released by Jacksonville.. Can we get Seattle on the horn, trade them Brunell and pick up Byron? I'd do it..

WR Keenan McCardell was cut by Houston, he is an interesting choice still for the #5 receiver job which right now would go to Corey Bradford, Ryan Hoag or Burl Toler..

August 31-- Brunell Talks

From the discussions I have had with some team sources, the Mark Brunell trade possibility with Seattle was not started by the Skins.. His agent may have had some discussions with the Seahawks where Brunell might be interested in getting some more incentives in his contract should he be dealt.. He also would be a clear number 2 there and there is no word who the back-up to Jason Campbell is here..
Washington currently is not interested in trading Brunell according to my sources, and at this point, compensation discussed on their end doesn't appear to be high enough for the Redskins to change it's mind..

Joe Gibbs will meet with the media tomorrow and discuss..

August 30-- Brunell was not traded, Campbell is strong in pre-season finale

Joe Gibbs flatly denied a televised report that Mark Brunell had been traded to Seattle for a late round draft pick.. One highly placed source told me after the game the team currently has no interest in trading Brunell..
Jordan Palmer’s first game as a Redskin did not go well solidifying the team’s decision that Brunell and Todd Collins will both likely make the final roster with Palmer likely destined for the practice squad.. Palmer went 2-8, 10 yards and an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the Skins pre-season finale loss to Jacksonville 31-14..The 27 yard score by the Jags on the INT was more yardage then the Skins gained in the second half (21).. Washington managed only 7 plus minutes of possession time and ran 3 plays in the fourth quarter..
Brunell meantime admitted he went into the Jags locker room in the pre-game to catch up with some old teammates and joked that after each series he would take a step toward the wrong sideline.. Brunell made his case for the back-up job going 5-6, 47 yards and throwing a touchdown pass..
Joe Gibbs said no decision on who will be Jason Campbell’s back-up was made as of yet..

Campbell was sharp in his one drive of the game, 5-5 54 yards and a touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle-El.. Campbell said he did a lot of extra stretching on his sore knee prior to the game but said the knee held up fine in the game.. Campbell was hit hard on one play but rebounded with the touchdown strike on the other.. This was Campbell lone touchdown drive of the summer..

RB Clinton Portis did go through pre-game warm-ups but did not suit up for the Skins so he carried the ball zero times this summer.. Gibbs said he remains confident that Portis will start come the season opener but admitted that Ladell Betts likely will play “a bunch” against Miami to ensure Portis can stay fresh and is in the type of physical condition needed for a starting back..
T Chris Samuels also dressed and went through pre-game warm-ups but also did not play.. Gibbs didn’t rule out Stephon Heyer starting the opener against the Dolphins if Samuels is not a full go at practice next week..
Pete Kendall started at left guard and played one series with the starting group, he is likely to be the starter on opening day..
Todd Wade was used as the second team right tackle exemplifying the move back to his natural position, at this point, Wade is not likely even the primary back-up at guard.. Wade had to have his ailing shoulder attended to during the game..

Injuries: LB Dallas Sartz suffered a right hamstring injury.. CB John Eubanks who was fighting for the final CB spot may have lost out after he left the game and was carted off with a hamstring injury.. Numerous players were cramping during the second half, TE Eric Edwards was also carted off the field after the trainers were attending to his cramped calves.. DT Matthias Askew and CB Leigh Torrence both were helped from the field due to cramping.. S Reed Doughty suffered a laceration above his right eye, he needed to be stitched up as if he were in a boxing bout..
T Jon Jansen had his lower back attended to after getting bent back on one play, he didn’t leave the field during the starter’s lone series and the trainers said he will be fine..

A couple quick observations: RB Marcus Mason appears like he is a keeper showing great natural running ability using his quick cutback moves to gain 55 yards on 9 first half carries.. He likely won’t make this team but appears like a string candidate for the practice squad..
Antwaan Randle El talked openly about how the team had a “cockiness” last summer and the team mis-utilized the pre-season.. He said the Skins approached the exhibition season much differently this time around and it appears to have paid off..
Not once did the 11 expected starters for the season opener take a snap during the pre-season.. Randle El said that because it was veterans who missed time, this won’t be as big a deal as people are making it out to be.. Campbell said he believes the team is much farther ahead then they were a summer ago and doesn’t feel the missed time by Portis/Samuels et all will be a major factor in the team’s start to the season..

Cuts need to be made by Saturday at 4PM.. 22 players must be released, on Sunday, 8 eligible practice squaders can be signed.. If you have 9 games of NFL experience, you are not eligible for the practice squad.. Anyone on the practice squad for two seasons also remains ineligible..

OK men..

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28-- Portis, Samuels back at practice, Campbell ready

QB Jason Campbell did take part in nearly all of practice, taking approximately 25 snaps and is expected to start Thursday night in Jacksonville.. Campbell didn’t proclaim himself 100% but says that his knee felt good with the work on the field..

G Pete Kendall is expected to start at LG Thursday night in place of Mike Pucillo.. Kendall has had one practice since being acquired by the team, he said he has spent time in the meeting rooms asking “hundreds of redundant questions.” What is apparent is the Todd Wade experiment at LG appears over, Wade will likely be moved back to a back-up role as a tackle..
T Chris Samuels will not play in Jacksonville although he returned to practice for the first time since spraining his knee in the first week of camp.. Samuels said his conditioning is nowhere near where he wants to be but he is hopeful to be part of the full practices starting next week leading into the season opener against Miami..

RB Clinton Portis had pads on and took part in some plays during team drills for the first time since being sidelined dealing with knee tendonitis.. Portis joked that he wants the coaches to only deem him 98% healthy (poking fun at the Joe Gibbs rule that only players at 100% play) when he gets evaluated for Thursday pre-season finale.. Gibbs did not say whether Portis would play against the Jaguars, Portis meantime in a moment of shear honesty said that “the world forgot about me a year ago. I need to produce this year or I probably will be somewhere else.” I doubt Portis would be released unless there was a major injury issue, however he realizes this is a big season as far as defining his career.. He states he wants to be considered an MVP type player..
Portis’s birthday is on Saturday, asked what his teammates are getting him, Portis said “these are the worst teammates in the world. I never got anything from Santana accept what I won in a card game we weren’t supposed to be playing when we were freshmen. Sean Taylor never gave me anything. Rocky nothing. I even lobbied to bring those guys here.” It was tongue in cheek..

Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams said they released DT Joe Salave’a because they wanted to give him an opportunity to get on another team as early as possible.. The team has been agonizing over this decision for a couple of months.. Williams said Salave’a’s speed was the main issue regarding the decision to release him.. A number of his Redskin teammates were surprised by the move.. I spoke with Kedric Golston today but I didn’t hear a word he said, he spits when he talks and I got sprayed..

Williams said DE Chris Wilson is exhibiting some of the speed former LB Chris Clemons had and thus he is getting a good look at stealing a roster spot as a 3rd down rush end.. Wilson will be getting first dibs with Marcus Washington out due to his dislocated elbow (although Washington was in pads at practice).. Washington is not close to returning full time to the field, Joe Gibbs described the situation as “we’ll see what happens over the next 12 days.”

The welcome home luncheon is tomorrow.. Then we are off to Jacksonville..

OK men..

August 28-- Salave'a comeback is over

The Skins released DT Joe Salave'a as one of the final 4 roster moves to get down to the mandatory 75..
Salave'a struggled with the death of his mother last season and then nagging injuries to his foot and calf.. He was considered a longshot during the off-season to make the roster but then went with Renaldo Wynn to Las Vegas, got involved in a strict training program with a former "World's Strongest Man" competitor..
Salave'a came back and appeared to have made some headway to steal a roster spot, but that ended today..

The team also placed WR Jason McAddeley (hamstring) and G Ross Tucker (neck) on injured reserve..
They waived injured fullback Pete Schmidt..

The Redskins roster now stands at 75, they must release 22 players this weekend to get down to 53..

Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27-- This is what happens when I have a few minutes of free time

Feel free to bid away!!

Stupid: You bet ya.

Ingenious: Quite Possibly..

August 27-- Jeremetrius Butler cut, Campbell says he'll play vs. Jaguars

The Redskins released six players from their active roster, the biggest name was CB Jeremetrius Butler.. Butler was signed as a restricted free agent by the Skins 3 years ago but St. Louis matched.. The next couple of years, Butler was constantly dealing with injuries and this summer he was a free agent.. But Butler had trouble staying on the field during camp with hamstring issues.. So now the 5th CB spot, if there is one on the active roster appears to be a fight between Ade Jimoh and John Eubanks.. Leigh Torrence might have an outside shot as well..
Washington also released WR Todd Pinkston, WR Jereyl Myers, LB Kevin Jones, DE Jamaal Green and DT Bryant Shaw.. The current roster stands at 79 players, all teams must be down to the mandatory 75 by tomorrow at 4PM..
The final roster cuts are due this weekend after the final pre-season game.. The Skins will then have to cut 22 more..

QB Jason Campbell said he threw more today during practice and ruled himself eligible to play Thursday in Jacksonville.. Joe Gibbs was non-committal about Campbell's availability when he met the media but claimed he was hopeful for Jason to get some time with the starters..
Campbell will be followed by Mark Brunell.. Gibbs says he wants Jordan Palmer (who has yet to play this summer) get some snaps so it's possible Todd Collins won't see any action against the Jaguars..
Brunell said his agent never received any phone calls from the Falcons regarding his possible availability this summer.. Brunell was rumored to be a possible quick fix for the Falcons who are knee deep in QB dreck..
Brunell also talked openly about wanting to be a starter in the league, but said, "37 year old quarterbacks, coming off shoulder surgery and being becnhed a year ago. There aren't many doors opening for them." He did say he is dealing with being a back-up in this stage of his career and reiterated he didn't want to be in the same position in a different city..

Joe Gibbs didn't completely rule out Todd Wade playing the left guard position but when I asked him directly about the compeition on his weekly appearance on Redskins Radio from Redskin Park, Gibbs said "I want Pete Kendall to play a lot in there and we have Pucillo." It appears the Wade experiment is over for now, he likely will make the team as a possible guard back-up and definitie reserve for the tackles.. The team figures to keep at least 8 offensive lineman, it would be a mild surpirse is Wade wasn't one of them, but considering the ascention of Stephon Heyer, it's possible.. Gibbs believes Wade is a possibility to play this week after sitting out the last two games with a shoulder injury..

RB Clinton Portis has not been ruled out of the final pre-season game (even though he essentially ruled himself out of it last week).. Portis's workload is going "to be increased" this week.. Being that there is only one practice before the game at JAX, I'd doubt Portis gets any carries, but Gibbs agreed, "It's time for him to get out there."
T Chris Samuels, though expected to do more work on the field other then his jogging routine isn't expected to play versus Jacksonville..
The team is expecting CB Shawn Springs (achilles) to practice this week, he was game time scratch from the pre-season game with the Ravens due to the field conditions and his achilles issue..

Gibbs praised the groundskeepers at Fed Ex Field for the field conditions depsite the nasty weather Saturday night.. The team put in 4 feet of sand undrer the turf to help it irigate quickly and not allow the water to bubble up on the grass.. Fed Ex is consistently one of the best maintained natural playing surfaces in the NFL, at least in my opinion having seen the other venues..

OK men..

Saturday, August 25, 2007

August 25-- Skins and Ravens get rained out

The Redskins-Ravens pre-season game was cancelled just a few minutes into the 3rd quarter after a second major electrical storm came through Landover.. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that because of the threat to the spectators and the players, the league deemed the situation unplayable.. The game was postponed for over an hour due to a wild storm that came through about a half hour before the scheduled 8:07 PM kickoff.. Lights in the stadium went out for a period of time. The crowd that was assembled was asked to leave their seats and take cover in the concourse. So the teams left the field and they waited it out..
At approximately 8:45, the teams came back and started a quick 20 minute re-warmup and kicked off around 9:10PM..

CB Shawn Springs was held out with a minor achilles injury.. he was dressed to go, but the trainers felt it better to hold him out due to the slick conditions and the delays.. RB Rock Cartwright was also held out for similar reasons.. He strained his hamstring prior to the Pittsburgh game.. Held out tonight as well, RB Clinton Portis (knee), QB Jason Campbell (knee) although he did take his most strenuous work since injuring his knee last week during pre-game warmups.. Joe Gibbs said he believes Campbell will play at Jax in the final pre-season game..
T Chris Samuels (knee), Newly acquired LB Randall Godfrey and G Pete Kendall did not play.. LB Marcus Washington (elbow) was out as well..

The Skins offense was lacking a consistent run attack for the 3rd straight game (all be it for a half tonight).. The team's lone touchdown came on a defensive score on the first defensive play of the second half.. Pierson Prioleau and Anthony Trucks converged on Kyle Boller forcing a fumble that landed in the hands of LB Dallas Sartz who scored his first NFL touchdown..
Co-draft pick HB Blades played significant snaps at strong side linebacker during the first half.. He and Khary Campbell shared the role in place of the injured Marcus Washington.. CFL pick up Chris Wilson was used as a pass rush specialist on third downs in the role Marcus would be playing.. Cornelious Griffin started at DT alongside Anthony Montgomery, a shoft from the Kedric Golston/Joe Salave'a duo of the past week..

Todd Collins first pass was a 40 yard play to Santana Moss down the left sideline.. The Skins only managed two field goals rom the starting offensive unit and went 0-6 on third downs.. Mark Brunell only had one series (a 3 and out) before the game was cancelled.. Brunell will be the first quarterback off the bench in Jacksonville whether that be as starter or after Jason Campbell plays..

Injuries: RB Derrick Blaylock (heel), WR Jason McAddeley (hamstring)

What a trainwreck!!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23-- Skins sign Fred Beasley

The Skins inked former 49ers fullback Fred Beasley, an 8 year vet to an undisclosed deal.. He is vying for the primary back-up spot behind Mike Sellars.. Washington released running back Dee Brown to make room..

Also, the first draft pick to be cut is TE Tyler Ecker who was released outright upon completion of the Pete Kendall deal.. Ecker was a 7th round selection out of Michigan, he injured his groin early in camp and never practiced again.. From what I heard, he was running with a strength coach the other day getting closer to a return and all things were looking up..
After the strength coach left, Ecker did some running on his own (against the advice of the particular coach) slipped, fell and re-injured his groin.. Now he's gone..

August 23-- Pete Kendall deal done

The Redskins have completed a trade with the Jets for guard Pete Kendall.. At the time I am writing this, Kendall is in the building and taking a physical, assuming he passes, the deal will be complete.. The compensation is as follows, the Jets will receive a 2008 5th round draft pick unless Kendall plays 80% of the offensive snaps this season.. If he meets that criteria, the Skins will give New York a 2009 4th round pick.. Washington doesn’t have a 4th rounder in 2008 due to the TJ Duckett deal..

One source told me that 3 AFC teams had offers on the table with the Jets, however New York wasn’t going to deal Kendall to a conference foe, thus if they didn’t deal him to the Skins, he wouldn’t have been traded at all.. Kendall wanted out of NY after the team (in his belief) reneged on a promise to renegotiate his contract after last season..
Kendall is not expected to play against Baltimore having not gotten to DC in time for the final practice before the pre-season game.. Joe Gibbs has promised Kendall no starting spot and says the team got him because he is versatile and has shown the ability to start over a long period of time.. He’s a 12 year vet who played for Seattle, Arizona and the last 3 seasons with the Jets..

Todd Collins will start Saturday against Baltimore at quarterback.. Jason Campbell has been ruled out but the staff believes he will be able to return as the starter for the final pre-season game in Jacksonville.. Joe Gibbs says Mark Brunell will be the first off the bench (or the starter if Campbell doesn’t go) in the team’s final pre-season game in Jacksonville and that no decision has been made on who Campbell’s primary back-up will be..

The team is expected to place TE Tyler Ecker on IR with a groin injury to make room on the roster for Kendall, however that move has not been made official at this point..
G Randy Thomas was held out of practice today.. Joe Gibbs said it was just the planned rest day for Thomas.. LB Marcus Washington is out with an elbow injury.. T Chris Samuels is out with a knee injury.. RB Dee Brown has missed the last two days of practice with a personal issue..

The Skins are expected to take a look at veteran FB Fred Beasley.. He was scheduled to come in for a workout..

OK men..

August 23-- Skins solve void at Guard

Pending a physical, the Skins will acquire disgruntled Jets guard Pete Kendall for an undisclosed draft pick.. I'm hearing it's 5th rounder but it may not be next year's 5th rounder...
Kendall has been miffed with the Jets this off-season saying the team reneged on a promise to restructure his deal..

There is other roster news possible today..

We'll have more info on the Kendall deal at Noon.. Tune into Redskins Radio from Redskins park on the new Triple X ESPN radio in DC, ESPN Radio 950 in Richmond and 102.1 FM the Game/The Mighty 1490 in the Tidewater area

August 23-- Skins solve void at Guard

Pending a physical, the Redskins will acquire disgruntled Jets guard Pete Kendall.. The 34 year old is expected to make 2.7 million dollars for this season, he had been fighting with the Jets through the off-season after what he beleived was a reneg on a promise to restructure his contract..
The Skins will send NY a low round draft pick, but it was undetermined at this point (I'm hearing a 5th) but it might not be a next year selection..

Tune in at Noon for Redskins Radio from Redskins Park on Triple X ESPN Radio, 102.1 FM the Game, the Mighty 1490 in Hampton Roads or ESPN Radio 950 in Richmond, we should have more details then..

There is more roster news expected later today..

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22-- Campbell misses again, Portis in no rush

Jason Campbell missed a second straight day of practice, he remains unlikely to play Saturday against the Ravens.. Todd Collins and Mark Brunell alternated reps with the first team so it will remain a surprise as to who will be under center should Campbell ultimately be held out.. Maybe Joe Gibbs will tell us tomorrow, maybe he won’t..
Santana Moss says “I can’t give you a good answer,” as to whether missing Campbell missing the 3rd and likely last prolonged session for the offense this summer would be a setback.. He is a strong believer in the guys who do their job, be where they are supposed to be mantra will ensure this will be fine.. he says watch the game experience they have and you’ll see that it doesn’t take long for them to get on the same page..
What’s become readily apparent is the offense as a unit will not be playing together until the first game..

RB Clinton Portis had on pads, did some light work but remains essentially out of the heavy workload of practice.. I asked him directly, “When are you going to play?” His response was to giggle, “Ask coach Gibbs, September 9th I hope.” Asked if he might play some snaps the final pre-season game against Jacksonville, Portis said “My birthday is on Saturday so I doubt it.” The team continues to maintain that Portis (knee tendonitis) is fine, could play now if he had to and is just resting to ensure his knee feels as good as possible for the real games..

There is no word as to who will start at LG this week.. Todd Wade remains limited and Mike Pucillo is taking the bulk of the first team snaps.. Pucillo said he is working hard regardless of the role. What’s he supposed to say?

LB Dallas Sartz left practice after he had an allergic reaction to an ointment placed on a band aid on his chin.. he was treated and is fine.. TE Tyler Ecker (groin) did not practice..

Gregg Williams said replacing Marcus Washington (elbow, out) will be a combination of players, possible Randall Godfrey who showed up yesterday, Khary Campbell and HB Blades who Williams credited for knowing how to play all 3 LB positions.. As for rush end work that Washington was doing this summer, a couple of young names to watch this weekend are DE Chris Wilson and Alex Buzbee..
Williams also credited LB matt Sinclair with playing well and said you will see some more of Anthony Trucks who was on the practice squad for a period of time last fall.. There is essentially a linebacker tryout going on this weekend against the Ravens..

DT Cornelious Griffin has played few snaps during the pre-season thus far but is expected to get a little more time this weekend against Baltimore.. Williams said he is just trying to limit the amount of punishment on Griffin who has struggled through the past two seasons with various injuries.. Griffin “is back in terms of his strength,” according to Gregg..

T Stephon Heyer shrugged off the criticism of the left side of the offensive line saying he doesn’t read the paper or watch the news and says the coaches have been nothing but positive to him about his performance thus far.. The left side of the O-line has come under heavy criticism after allowing 8 sacks and owning low rush totals through 2 pre-season games.. Jon Jansen stuck up for the unit saying “That some of their mistakes have been pointed out but I have made some too but because I am a 9 year veteran, they aren’t being made a big deal of.” He proclaims that the unit will be fine..

OK men..

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21- Godfrey chose Skins over retirment, Gibbs fuming at Post report

The Redskins release LB Lemar Marshall and signed former Cowboy, Titan and Charger Randall Godfrey.. Marshall was the starting middle linebacker the last two season and led the team in tackles in 2005.. He was replaced by London Fletcher this off-season but figured to be the prime back-up at weak side linebacker and middle linebacker.. The team had been speaking to Godfrey for months and had him high on their wish list during free agency.. But Godfrey, who turned down a one year offer with a pay cut to stay in San Diego moved his family back to Georgia (he played at the University of GA) and was contemplating retirement.. Godfrey said he had offers from the Eagles and Cardinals on the table as well.. It was his 9th grade son who told him to starp it up for this season and play..
Phillip Daniels is a close friend of Godfrey and was lobbying the linebacker to come back.. The D-end said he’s been in touch with Godfrey for the last 3 weeks trying to work on him.. Daniels joked now that he is here, “he owes me 3% commission.”

The team also inked WR Jeryl Myers, a former Arena Football player to replace Mike Espy who went on IR after undergoing season ending knee surgery..

Those who did not practice today: QB Jason Campbell (knee) who did take part in the walk through but not in the full practice.. Joe Gibbs said Campbell has an amazingly low amount of swelling in his knee but would not commit to whether Campbell would be ready to play this weekend against the Ravens.. Popular belief at the Park is Campbell will be held out, but we’ll see.. Gibbs also wouldn’t commit to who would be the starter until Campbell’s status was clarified..
RB Clinton Portis (knee) did some individual work again, he remains unlikely to play this weekend.. T Chris Samuels (knee) did some jogging and agility work but will not play this weekend and said he is not hopeful to be on the field for the pre-season finale against JAX.. Samuels said he remains very optimistic that he will return for the season opener against Miami..
LB Marcus Washington (elbow) was out, WR Jason McAddeley (hamstring) was held out of practice, G Todd Wade (shoulder) did some individual work and did take part in a limited amount of team work.. he is questionable for this weekend and the team has yet to determine who will start at LG if Wade is healthy enough to go.. TE Tyler Ecker (groin) remains out and seems like an IR candidate..

Joe Gibbs said the team has had no discussions regarding the never ending rumored trade talks between the Falcons and Redskins for QB Mark Brunell.. The Falcons know Mike Vick won’t play for them this year and now they have lost DJ Shockley for the season.. The Skins seem unlikely to make a move here but figure to be interested listeners if Atlanta comes calling..

Gibbs was angry about the Washington Post article that criticized the left side of the offensive line saying that the report that Stephon Heyer was having trouble adjusting to some of the techniques was inaccurate. He said he wants “the fans to have all the facts. There are a lot of reasons for giving up sacks but I want people to know Heyer hasn’t given up one.” Gibbs refuses to lay the blame for the glut of sacks through two pre-season games on anyone in particular but did repeat that the QB missed two sight adjustments on plays that caused sacks and one “route was broken off” on a Todd Collins sack.. In my opinion, he’s just trying to be over-protective of his group.. Also, the Redskins really feel like Heyer is a diamond in the rough and do not want to get him to think he is doing anything negative on the field at this point.. Still, Samuels job is not in jeopardy through two weeks of the pre-season and the crux of the article went after the obvious hole at LG.. To that, Gibbs has no particular answer at this point..

OK men..

August 21-- Lemar Marshall Released

The Redskins have released former starting LB Lemar Marshall today and signed former Cowboys vet Randall Godfrey.. Godfrey is an 11 year vet who spent the last 3 years with San Diego..

The team will also place WR Mike Espy on IR after undergoing surgery to repair a torn patella tendon and replace him with WR Jeryl Myers.. Myers has most recently been playing in the arena football league..

Jason Campbell told me yesterday that 15 of the first 17 offensive plays against the Steelers, he did not have headset communication with the sideline.. Pretty impressive considering he converted a 3rd and 12 and a 3rd and 10 on the opening drive.. Campbell is questionable for the game with Baltimore this weekend dealing with a bruised knee..

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 19-- Campbell's knee is doing well

Joe Gibbs said QB jason Campbell is feeling good today, the day after he suffered a knee bruise that ended his night ealy against Pittsburgh.. The team has not given him an MRI yet and they may choose not to unless it starts feeling more sore.. Campbell is currently day to day.. If he does not play next Saturday in the 3rd pre-season game against Baltimore, there has been no decision on who the starting QB will be..
Apparently Todd Collins and Mark Brunell have been alternating reps as the primarty back-up in the off-season into camp and thus it was not a surprise to either when the decision to let Todd go in second this past week was made.. Gibbs called Collins performance through two games impressive..

Marcus Washington has "no inordinate ammount of swelling" in his dislocated elbow.. he is considered week to week at this point but there was no timetable given for his return.. It will all depend how long it takes for the swelling to get out of the joint and for him to regain his strength.. Gibbs did not committ to the replacement for Washington as starting strong side LB.. Khary Campbell came in first last night.. he says Lemar Marshall, HB Blades and Dallas Sartz could all work in that position..
What might be scrapped for the time being is a passing down experiment the team has been working on which moves Phillip Daniels inside and Washington as a rush end..

The injuries of the pre-seaosn will not change the plan the Redskins have stuck to by playing their starting units more.. Joe Gibbs said he wants his offense to get more time on the field in the hope of avodiign a slow start like last summer..

G Todd Wade is expected to be the starter when he returns from a shoulder injury, possibly as early as this week.. Mike Pucillo "did well" accoridng to Gibbs and could win the job should Wade not show improvement in the final two pre-season games..
T Stephon Heyer received praise from Gibbs again this week for his performance filling in for Chris Samuels..

Gibbs reiterated that he would have liked to game plan more for the Steelers if he could have done it over (teams rarely game plan much for opponents in the pre-season) saying the team missed a number of assignments in the game due mainly to the lack of preparation for Pittsburgh..

OK men..

Saturday, August 18, 2007

August 18-- Steelers 12 Redskins 10, Campbell and Washington injured

Jason Campbell was blindsided by a hit directly on his knee during his second series against the Steelers.. He said he just lifted his foot a little as the hit was coming (which he did not see coming) and staved off suffering possible ligament damage.. The knee is structurally sound and Campbell only suffered a bruise.. As for his availability the rest of the pre-season, that will be up to whether it swells or is stiff and sore..
A couple of defensive players I spoke with thought the hit was “dirty.” Not in a sense that he intentionally tried to hurt Campbell, but these guys know about the rules about going low and thought it was out of line.. Brett Keisel apologized to Campbell and told him he didn’t think it was intentional.. Campbell was in the back of the interview room waiting to address the media while Joe Gibbs was talking, when Gibbs finished and walked by Campbell, Gibbs joked “Limp up there now, show them how hurt you are.” It was a sign that the team is relieved that this won’t be a long term deal..

LB Marcus Washington suffered a dislocated elbow when his arm got caught in a weird position between a couple of helmets during a tackle.. He says he believes he will only miss a couple of weeks, that is probably being conservative.. X-rays showed no breaks or bone fragments meaning it was a clean dislocation and the team was able to place it back, however it will be swollen and sore for some time.. Washington will likely have to wear an elbow brace this season..

WR Mike Espy’s knee got caught in the turf while making a cut on a route and he suffered a torn patella tendon.. He will undergo surgery on Sunday and is out for the season.. This makes for an interesting debate on who will become the 5th WR on the roster if the team keeps five.. It’s possible if Corey Bradford (didn’t play vs. Pittsburgh, hamstring) or Todd Pinkston make the team.. Could the Skins just keep their fifth WR on the practice squad and call him up if an injury occurs? Possible will tough decisions coming in the secondary.. Espy was the front runner to make the roster, now, who knows..

The offense continues to struggle running the ball and scoring points.. Brandon Lloyd did score his first touchdown as a Redskin on a pass from Todd Collins.. This was the drive Collins took over from Campbell after he was injured… Collins went 10 for 13 for 74 yards and a touchdown.. He’s now 15-18 this summer leading the team on the only two offensive scores of the summer and appears to be coming closer to solidifying the #2 spot.. Mark Brunnel seemed to have driven the team into field position for a late game winning field goal but procedural penalties and a ghastly offensive pass interference call on Burl Toler ruined a drive that ultimately ended on a Brunnel interception..
No decision has been made on who would start against the Ravens next week if Campbell can’t go..

Others who missed the game, RB Clinton Potis (knee), RB Rock Cartwright (hamstring), G Todd Wade (shoulder), WR James Thrash (ribs), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), DE Jamaal Green (shoulder), CB Ade Jimoh (sick)

S Reed Doughty had a strange reaction to some new eye drops he was using.. TE Todd Yoder noticed during the team breakfast that one of Doughty’s eyes was so dilated you could only see black and not his normal eye color of blue.. The team sent him to a specialist to have it checked out.. He underwent a cat scan and a myriad of tests which showed no neurological issues.. Doughty got to the stadium about ten minutes before game time and played.. He labeled it just a “weird occurrence.”

Gibbs praised the play of Stephon Heyer but reserved judgment on the play of G Mike Pucillo who started in place of the injured Todd Wade.. Wade told me pre-game he expects to be back at practice this week.. It will be interesting to see who the Skins start at LG should that be the case.. The run game however struggled again, a point of emphasis for Gibbs postgame..
DT Cornelious Griffin did not start tonight, likely for more caution as the team is trying to keep him healthy this summer.. Joe Salave’a paired with Kedric Golston.. Shawn Springs and Carlos Rogers were the starting tandem at CB but they shuffled in Fred Smoot early and often..

The Skins have yet to allow a TD this summer, but did lose 12-10 to Pittsburgh.. Jordan Palmer still has not taken a snap for the Redskins..
Jason Campbell converted a 3rd and 12 on the team’s opening drive despite losing headset communications with the sidelines, the team had to use the old fashioned hand signals.. Campbell was having trouble hearing the plays during that drive from there forward as well, still he converted yet another 3rd and long..

OK men..

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16-- Camp closed

Todd Collins will follow Jason Campbell as the number 2 QB in Saturday night’s game against the Steelers.. Joe Gibbs is now contending that the race for back-up QB on this team is open.. Collins was 5-5 last week in Tennessee driving the team to their lone offensive score against the Titans.. Brunell was hurried often taking 3 sacks and generating little yardage.. The starting quarterback job is not in debate..

RB Rock Cartwright was held out of practice today after suffering a pulled hamstring.. He is questionable for the Steelers game.. Asked how he would deal with the RB rotation with Rock possibly out and Portis already sidelined, Joe Gibbs said “everybody is going to get in there (meaning Marcus Mason, Dee Brown and Derrick Blaylock) I would expect Ladell Betts to start and Derrick Blaylock to receive the lions share of the carries with the first team..

G Mike Pucillo is excited for his opportunity to start at LG Saturday night.. There is no word whether Todd Wade will suit up for the team this week and if he does, if he’ll play with the second.. That of course would be quite telling.. Pucillo is used both ways in practice at times and is the team’s back-up center and jumbo package tight end.. If this experiment fails, figure on the Skins to watch the waiver wire following the third pre-season game for help at guard..

Injuries: Held out of practice were: T Chris Samuels (knee), RB Clinton Portis (knee), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), RB Rock Cartwright (hamstring)

Returning to practice after missing some earlier this week: WR Antwaan Randle-El (quad), WR Santana Moss (groin/hamstring/hip), DT Anthony Montgomery (knee)

Todd Pinkston could see some time this week with the interchangeable receiver parts this week due to various injuries to the WR core.. Pinkston spoke about the infamous play where he shied away from a hit against the Skins a few years back on national TV and was ultimately crucified by the media.. he said, “those who saw the film know I lost the ball in the lights and that I don’t shy away from hits.”

Training camp is expected to be broken today, with fewer 2-a-days and using the home facility as the training site, this doesn’t have the feel of year’s past, but it is a benchmark for the summer.. The rookies had to put on a performance for the veterans today, as far as I can tell, it included some impressions of the coaches, but they were tight lipped about what would happen..
Joe Gibbs wouldn’t confirm he was closing down camp today saying “last time I told ya’ll it was closed, you told them and then I had a hotel tore up.”

OK men..

August 16-- New Fantasy Name

I still have a few weeks until the start of the fantasy season at Red Zebra Broadcasting, but I have come to a preliminary conclusion for my new team name..

Last year my team didn't make the playoffs, and when that happens I like to start fresh..

Thanks for the numerous suggestions but ultimately the best I have heard so far came from my pal Gary Carter, producer at Comcast Sports Net..

Ira, one of the noon show producers found the old Washington Federals logo.. Gary walked by us, took one look and yelled out Dave Chappelle style, "I'm Craig James Bitch!"

And so there is it.. The site we use to do the stats for our league offers a team abbreviation.. For that I put SSNAC, an acronym for one of the reader suggestions, "The Super-Smart Noodle Armed Christians."

And there it is: Meet your future Red Zebra champs: "I'm Craig James Bitch" aka "The Super Smart Noodle Armed Christians."

Whoomp there it is.. If you can come up with something better, I'll change it.. Merchandise will never be available..


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 15-- Moss Talks about his abilities and WR's being out

Sean Taylor was a little chippy during the lone night practice of the day at Redskins Park.. He took down one receiver on an out route and elbowed another.. Full contact is not permitted during camp but finally someone was taking a few shots..
The offense remains a work in progress, but for night, it was hard to blame Jason Campbell for not having very much rhythm, during team drills, Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and Clinton Portis all watched.. James Thrash appeared to be limited as well.. Brandon Lloyd and Mike Espy were running the first team routes as the WR’s..

Since camp began there have been few days where the entire receiving core was on the field at the same time during team drills.. Randle El said he is not very concerned because he says all have been practicing at one time or another so it’s not like they haven’t been on the field at all.. Moss admitted that he could understand where Jason Campbell might need the receivers out there to get the offense down from a timing perspective, but he also said, “it isn’t like this is our first rodeo, as long as everyone is out there doing what they are supposed to do, we will be fine.”
Moss wanted to work with Jason Campbell alone this off-season but never got the chance to because he was recovering from groin and hamstring injuries, something that has persisted into the summer.. Moss took the team drills off tonight, it hasn’t been a regular occurrence but it’s happened enough times to know he isn’t 100%. When asked about his health being a factor in his production, in a rare moment of confidence (Moss often plays down his talents) he said, “If you know my history, even when I am not at 100% I’m better then most of these others guys when they are 100%.”
There was one strong moment during 11-11 when Campbell found Mike Espy in the back of the end zone, he made a leaping grab for a touchdown.. The down moment was a poorly throw pass easily picked off by Laron Landry..

First team drills did not include LG Todd Wade.. He did some individual work with the second team.. Wade is dealing with a shoulder injury, if he does not play this weekend, G Mike Pucillo will start, he was running with the first team tonight..

Other injuries: T Chris Samuels (knee) missed practice but was on the field doing some running as he gets closer to a return, he will not play this weekend.. RB Clinton Portis (knee) was held out of practice but did some of the individual RB drills today, an increase in his workload which had been focused mainly on cardio work.. TE Tyler Ecker (groin) was held out.. WR Cory Bradford ran on the side with trainers, he injured his hamstring in practice yesterday.. WR Antwaan Randle El was held out of team drills but did some individual work (quad). He contends he will play this weekend, he suggested it won’t be very much though..
RB Rock Cartwright appeared to have pulled a muscle in his right buttock/upper hamstring and was receiving aid from the trainers after pulling up following a run play..

One practice tomorrow.. The final work before the second pre-season game..

OK men..

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14-- Two-a-days end with punt competition between lines

The Skins finished their final two-a-day practice with a competition between the offensive linemen and defensive linemen, who could catch more punts off the Juggs gun.. The D-line went first and at least seven were caught.. Jon Jansen went first for the O-lineman, made a nice catch and then spiked the ball.. None of his teammates could catch one.. The loser had to run an extra sprint at the end of practice while the D-linemen joined the rest of the team who garbbed slices of watermelon in the training tent..
Phillip Daniels mocked the O-linemen saying all the defensive players were used to playing numerous positions as younger players while the O-lineman had always just been O-linemen..
Joe Gibbs laughed about the bet but in typical fashion was worried about someone getting hurt telling a story when he coached at Arkansas.. he said he told the offensive line to have a backwards race after one practice, one guy suffered a neck injury, the other a hamstring, “I thought I was going to get fired that day.”

Injuries at practice: RB Clinton Portis was held out (knee), T Chris Samuels was out (knee), TE Tyler Ecker (groin) was out again, G Todd Wade did some limited work (shoulder) but was held out of most of the team drills.. WR Antwaan Randle-El (quad) did individual drills but was held out of team work, DT Anthony Montgomery (knee) was also limited and held out of team work.. WR Cory Bradford suffered a hamstring injury in practice and did not return..
WR Brandon Lloyd returned to practice (shin splints) and had one of the nicer moves after a short catch splitting two defenders receiving oohs from his teammates..

CB Fred Smoot got ribbed by his teammates after dropped a sure fire interception in the end zone during 9-9 drills..

Overheard: Special teams coach Danny Smith to rookie LB Dallas Sartz: “You need so damn much work, get over here.”

The offense ran a couple of no huddle plays during 11-11 drills catching the defense off guard..

One night practice tomorrow..

OK men..

August 14-- AM walk through in, Gregg touts CB depth

The Redskins held a light walk through for their first practice of what is believed to be their final two-a-day of the summer.. The second practice will take place this afternoon at 4PM..

T Chris Samuels was on the field for the first time since suffering a sprained knee but did not take part in any drills and is not expected to play this week.. Clinton Portis was also on the field continuing to rest a sore knee.. He interrupted Gregg Williams weekly press conference by asking Williams if he told Lorenzo Alexander to take his helmet off when he hit a guy (a play that resulted in some stitches), Portis then grabbed one reporter’s hat and threw it on the podium.. It was all in good fun..

I spoke with Alexander today who said he was well aware his helmet came off when a back hit him as he was making his way to the QB.. he said it was just instinct at that point to continue the play.. Williams said he was happy that the damage done to Alexander’s face was as limited as it was, “At first I thought he was going to need 40-50 stitches.” Alexander hasn’t missed any time, he certainly does have a nasty scar that will take some time to heal..
Williams said Alexander is such a good athlete that the team worked him as an offensive lineman in the off-season and now they have him back at DL.. He’s a long shot to make the team (he was a practice squader a year ago) but his play the other day plus the potential versatility makes him one to watch as first cuts come in a couple of weeks…

Rocky McIntosh was said to have graded out very well after the team’s first pre-season game.. McIntosh was here before the coaches on Sunday morning to watch film.. We landed around 3:15AM, he was here before 9AM.. His work ethic and preparation this off-season has been a theme of Williams who says you will see a major improvement in his play this year..
DT Cornelious Griffin played only a few snaps this past weekend and likely will play little as pre-season progresses, Williams said Griffin doesn’t need “all the exhibition car wrecks.” He is much healthier then he was a year ago when he played “injured all year.”
Williams continues to praise Sean Taylor for his help behind the scenes with Laron Landry.. Why Landry is starting quicker then rookies in the past, Williams said unlike McIntosh (who had a knee procedure in his first NFL off-season), Carlos Rogers (who had a knee problem his first NFL off-season) and Sean Taylor (voluntarily skipped voluntary workouts), Landry has worked through the entire off-season and is said to be way ahead of the typical rookie curve..

Williams would not commit to how he would use his CB’s saying Shawn Springs makes the team better when he is on the field no matter in what position.. Springs was used as a nickel corner the past couple of weeks, but figures to be part of the starters as well.. Gregg said that the D-line took too much of the heat for last season’s 31st overall defensive ranking saying the depth at corner should help the unit improve dramatically..

WR Antwaan Randle-El said a quad injury won’t hold him out of this weekend’s game with the Steelers saying he may be back on the field by this afternoon.. Asked about the Bill Cowher rumors about succeeding Joe Gibbs in DC, ARE said Gibbs will be here as long as he wants “until he wants to turn it in.” You’ll hear from him about facing the Steelers for the first time since coming here last off-season..

OK men..

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13-- O-line speaks after rough first game

The Redskins sign former Eagles WR Todd Pinkston and release WR Kyle Brown.. The team also signed DT Matthias Askew, a former 4th round pick of the Bengals.. The team let Vaka Manapuna go who suffered a quad injury last week and wasn’t available to return to practice..

Pinkston is remembered most around here for an alligator arms moment against the Skins on MNF when he was wide open on a deep pass play in the middle of the field but shied away from the ball when he thought Sean Taylor was closer to him then he actually was.. Pinkston did little in practice today and figures to be a longshot to make the team anyway with vet Cory Bradford and second year man Mike Espy still on the roster..

WR Brandon Lloyd continues to miss practice, Joe Gibbs said the shin splints have not calmed down yet but the hope is he may run with the trainers tomorrow trying to get himself back on the field.. Gibbs said the Pinkston signing is not related to Lloyd’s absence from practice.. This soreness started in the middle of the first week of camp and Lloyd failed to play in the scrimmage or first pre-season game..

Others who missed practice today: RB Clinton Portis (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), G Todd Wade (shoulder), WR Antwaan Randle-El (quad). Gibbs said he doesn’t believe this injury is serious.. DT Anthony Montgomery suffered a slight knee strain and was limited in practice..

As for Wade, Joe Bugel said he needs to continue getting reps so he will continue as the team’s starting left guard as long as he can return to practice.. Wade injured his shoulder early in the Tennessee game but played through it.. Today in practice, Mike Pucillo was taking the first teams reps as Wade watched and Bugel said if Wade can’t go, Pucillo will get a look at the spot…
Bugel praised the play of undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer who he said is going to be a very good football player.. As for the overall play of the line, Bugel called certain things unacceptable but said “my team isn’t fickle, there wasn’t one person who watched the film and thought we couldn’t do better.” The Skins averaged 2.3 per rush in the first half against Tennessee.. Bugel and Gibbs both credited the Titans for playing “much faster then us.” The team also allowed 5 sacks after a season where they gave up only 19 a year ago..
The second first half sack which led to a second fumble by Jason Campbell was blamed on Jon Jansen stepping on Randy Thomas’s foot.. This allowed a Titan to run free.. Jansen said he is not overly concerned by the play of the line saying the first game is always just a stepping off point..
Jason Campbell had a quote worth mentioning today “The thing I need to work on is that I hadn’t been hit since last season. I have to work on keeping the football once I’ve been hit. We don’t get hit in practice.” So let the debate over whether the practices are tough enough continue..

OK men..

August 13-- Skins sign Todd Pinkston

The Redskins signed former Eagles receiver Todd Pinkston and released WR Kyle Brown.. Pinkston played for Philly for 6 years, memorable around here for his alligator arms moment on MNF when Sean Taylor nearly hit him on a deep pattern..

The team also dumped injured DL Vaka Manapuna and signed former Bengals 4th round pick Matthias Askew..

August 13-- Fantasy Name Help

So I'm still stuck trying to figure out what my new Fantasy team name should be.. Last year Jockey F**kers didn't make it to our league playoffs. When my team fails, we start anew..

The best I have come up with is

Earth, Wind and Weinstein
I'm Craig James Bitch (Gary Cater CSN) (I have the old Federals Logo for use)
Head Jobs
The Mexican Dogfighters
Super Smart Space Cowboys

Any and all suggestions are apprecaited.. You can comment directly to the blog or e-mail me at


Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 12-- Skins "beat" Titans 14-6

After spending the off-season preaching the importance of winning the pre-season games, it's ironic that not everyone would be feeling like the team won despite the 14-6 victory over Tennessee.. The locker room was releaved by the win despite the starting offense being stifled by the Titans to the tune of 122 first half yards and no points (they did miss one field goal attemptl).

Jason Campbell went 6 for 14, he fumbled the ball twice, the first was a turnover on a blideside blitz.. Campbell took the blame for the play saying he needs to see that, read it and get rid of the ball sooner...
Pas protection was at issue as the Skins gave us 5 sacks, Mark Brunell took 3 of them with the second team that didn't begin play until the 3rd quarter..
Gibbs promised his starters would play longer this summer, the starters went the entire first half even calling some late time outs in the second quarter to try and generate some points..

The Skins scored their two touchdowns at the end of the game, Marcus Mason (G'Town prep) scored on a one yard run after a couple of string pass plays from Todd Collins to Eric Edwards/Pete Schmidt got them down there.. It was the one drive of the game where the Skins got in the Titans red zone..
A fumble was recovered in the end zone on the ensuing drive by Byron Westbrook, another local..

RB Clinton Portis was checked out by Dr. James Andrews while in Nashville, he told me the injury to his knee remains only to be tendonitis, and the team will cotninue to use the same methods in the hopes of clearing it up before the opner.. One team source told me there is little concern Portis won't be ready for Miami, as for playing in the pre-season, that is still up in the air.. Portis will continue to do cardio work and some exercises to strengthen his thigh while taking oral anti-inflammatories..
While we were on the sideline last night, a couple of hecklers yelled out "Hey Portis, how's the dog fighting going." Portis smiled and asked if I had heard that.. I told him he'll never live it down..

Injuries from last night: DE Jamal Green suffered a shoulder burner, DT Lorenzo Alexander suffered a facial laceration after he made a tackle with his helmet off.. He ended up getting hit in the chin by a Titans player.. LB HB Blades suffered a dislocated finger, he said after he made a tackle his finger looked "like a Z." They popped it back into place and he will receive treatment for it..

Gregg Williams allowed London Fletcher to call the defense last night.. Fletcher played for Williams while the two were in Buffalo, now being reunited Fletcher is considered a key for a defensive resurgence.. Fletcher led the team in tackels in the first half when it was mostly the starters with 6.. The team rotated it's D-line while leaving the back 7 mainly in tact through the first 30 minutes.. Corenlious Griffin played fewer snaps that would be likely.. DT Anthony Montgomery had his knee wrapped but there was no word on any injury that may have occurred..

Al Saunders now knows my name is Bram Weinstein. I'm not sure who he thought I was all through last year when we did numerous interviews.. There's no reason to be miffed though, he thought Larry Michael worked for Comcast SportsNet and not the team..

ok men..

Thursday, August 09, 2007

August 9-- Portis to be examined again

RB Clinton Portis is going to be examined while the team is in Tennessee by Orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.. Joe Gibbs said Portis is “feeling better,” and believes the team is doing the right thing by continuing to rest him (he sat out of practice once again) in the hopes that his sore knee will feel better by the end of the month when the team prepares for their season opener against the Dolphins..

WR Brandon Lloyd was held out of practice (shin splints) and is not expected to play tomorrow in Tennessee.. WR James Thrash was limited in practice, Gibbs he said “he felt a little bit of something.” His status has yet to be determined for the Titans game..

Other guys not in practice: TE Tyler Ecker (groin), T Chris Samuels (knee), DT Vaka Manapuna (quad), Cb Jeremetrius Butler (hamstring).. None are expected to play against the Titans..

During the positional drills Shawn Springs made a remarkable one handed interception with his left hand as the ball was flying over his head and what appeared to be way out of reach.. Springs is in a much better physical position to be healthy then this time a year ago..

I spoke with Gregg Williams today, you will hear the interview on the Redskins pre-game show. Asked about him getting back into head coaching, he says it remains not a priority for him, that he still very much enjoys this group and working under Joe Gibbs.. Williams said you can expect a dramatic increase in team speed on his defense this year, something that has become readily apparent in practice through the first couple of weeks of camp..
I talked to Williams about dealing with the heat this last week and he told me when he first started coaching in Houston, they worked outside and one week the temps were up in the 120’s.. He said the coaching staff had to direct the players backs to a sign that flashed the daily temperature so that the players wouldn’t know what conditions they were running in..

Antwaan Randle-El said he will not be taking the punt return opportunities against the Titans.. John Eubanks and Byron Westbrook have been taking some of the punts in practice and may get a shot tomorrow night..

Joe Bugel said he has been “shocked” by how well undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer has emerged in camp and has a lot of confidence in the tackle performing well in his first NFL game.. Heyer essentially can win himself a job these next couple of weeks if he holds down the fort for Chris Samuels.. Have a bad performance and the team’s worst fears about depth on the O-line could be stark reality.

There is no set amount of time that the starters are expected to play even though Joe Gibbs has talked about opening up the playbook more this summer and getting Jason Campbell and the offense reps.. Gibbs will not reveal his initial game plan for how much time starters receive in pre-season games.. Asked if he feels like he needs to play a lot, Jason Campbell said he knows the offense needs to be on the field to work on their timing that can only be truly practiced against live competition..

Ok men..

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

August 8-- "Stephon Who?"

A large crowd attended the final open practice of training camp, it was fan appreciation night and Joe Gibbs addressed the crowd.. The timing of the practice (7PM) couldn’t have worked out better with unbearable heat in the afternoon, but calmer conditions in the evening..

DT Vaka Manapuna was carted off the field and ultimately left the building in crutches after suffering a quad injury..

Other injuries: RB Clinton Portis (knee) sat out of practice but did more cardio and stretch work then in previous sessions.. He is extremely unlikely to play against Tennessee.. TE Tyler Ecker (groin) was held out.. T Chris Samuels (knee) also missed practice..

FB Mike Sellars (knee) was in pads and participated in practice, he had missed the last couple of sessions.. RB Ladell Betts also appears healthy after suffering a jammed neck earlier this week..

When one of the TV production aides returned from the field she was holding a long microphone with a shaggy gray wind screen.. This according to larry Michael was the original wig used by Clinton Portis when he started doing characters a couple of seasons back.. I know that has nothing to do with anything, but, well, it’s camp and it’s hot and it seemed interesting at the time..

When I asked Renaldo Wynn about how undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer was doing in practice, he said, “Who?” Asked if I should be worried that he doesn’t know the starting LT on the team by name, Wynn laughed and said it’s not unusual for vets to not know all of their teammates this time of year, especially the new ones, “my line is, what’s up dog?” Wynn did say he is not concerned with Heyer because he believes the coaches wouldn’t put the guy in if they didn’t think he could do it.. Obviously the spotlight in on the left side of the O-line in the early part of the game this weekend..

The team was practicing some tip drills in the end zone for potential “Hail Mary” attempts..

OK men..

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August 7--PM practice, Whittacker cut

The team released injured guard Will Whittacker and replaced him on the roster with RB Dee Brown.. Brown has played for Cleveland, Carolina, Pittsburgh and most recently Kansas City.. The Skins got thin at running back when Ladell Betts suffered a Jammed neck/stinger yesterday in practice so the team wanted to have enough RB’s entering this weekend’s pre-season game with Tennessee..
Prior to camp, my sources had told me they wanted to toughen up Whittacker, that he had talent but needed to become more physical.. The high ankle sprain was going to keep him out at least a few weeks, but it was obvious by his immediate release (injury settlement) that Whittacker hadn’t quite lived up to Joe Bugel’s expectations..

The afternoon practice like the morning was shortened due to the threat of a heat index of around 110 degrees.. There was a breeze and in fact it wasn’t as hot as in the morning but the coaching staff had already adjusted so the team only practiced for an hour and skipped their daily walk through.. There is one lone practice tomorrow, the final one open to the public at 7PM.. Gibbs will address the crowd beforehand, the band and cheerleaders will perform as well..

Laron landry is receiving rave reviews from his coaches.. Gregg Williams described him in the run game as a guy who will be all over your back.. Asked about Landry, secondary coach Jerry Gray smiled and simply said, “He’s going to be a good player.” It’s his speed and London Fletcher’s ability to get to the ball that has coaches openly talking about the increase in team speed on defense this year.. The Redskins were a quick team the first two years under Gregg Williams, they appear to have improved their team speed immensely this summer, something to note come Saturday when it goes live in Nashville..

Gray was laughing when asked about the imminent tough decisions he has about the corner and safety positions later this month.. He said if you don’t have tough decisions, you probably aren’t going to be very good.. There are at least two veteran names on the chopping block in the secondary forthcoming if for no other reason then shear roster spot numbers alone..

Injuries: FB Mike Sellars (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), RB Clinton Portis (knee), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), WR Jason McAddley (cramping), DE Bryant Shaw (cramping) were all held out of practice..
Rb Ladell Betts was limited with his neck injury, WR Brandon Lloyd (shin splints) returned after missing the past few practices..

Gibbs said Chris Cooley has been working some at fullback and Mike Sellars (before he got injured) at TE.. The team is hoping FB Pete Schmidt ( who is returning from a bruised shoulder) will ultimately win the back-up FB/TE job.. When the Al Saunders offense was implemented, Cooley went to being more of a traditional tight end the H-back (the reference to the hybrid position under the Gibbs offense). It was an interstsing distinction to have these two working at several spots.. Cooley of course is mainly looked at as a receiving threat, Sellars more of a blocker, but the trading of spots offers some insight into a flexibility the offense is looking to expand on..

OK men

August 7-- Gregg speaks post AM practice

From the AM practice today.. The heat index today was up around 100 degrees this morning and it is supposed to be even hotter this afternoon.. The team once again shortened their work to a little over one hour.. The Skins are being very careful with their team’s exposure to the heat..

Injuries from this morning: TE Tyler Ecker (groin), RB Clinton Portis (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), G Will Whittacker (high ankle sprain), WR Brandon Lloyd (shin splints), FB Mike Sellars (knee), TE Eric Edwards (undisclosed) all were held out of the morning practice…
DT Ryan Boschetti (undisclosed) has been limited working with trainers on the side..
Missing from practice was DL Bryant Shaw, we have not received word whether he was released or if he just missed the work..

During special teams drills today, K Shaun Suisham missed consecutive field goal attempts from about 30-40 yards out, first to the right, then left when coach Danny Smith sped up the unit to rush on the field to kick with an imaginary dwindling clock.. Suisham made his other 5 or so attempts.. There remains no competition at kicker or punter thus far in camp..

Correction from yesterday: The Redskins do not have an open roster spot after releasing QB Casey Bramlett.. If you play in NFL Europe, the league offers a camp exemption for an extra roster spot.. Should that player be released outright, as was the case with Bramlett, you lose the spot entirely..

Gregg Williams made his weekly appearance in front of reporters, some snippets of his 20 plus minute presser included lauding first round pick Laron Landry who he says has “wowed his teammates” with his speed and ability to cover the field.. Asked if Landry is ahead of the curve for most rookies, Williams said because teams are allotted more time in the off-season to work with their respective teams, he believes Landry is closer to being on the field then in past years.. Of course this didn’t apply to Sean Taylor or Rocky McIntosh, but I digress… They need and want Landry to play and play early this year..

On Pierson Prioleau, Williams believes his rehab from a torn ACL is going very well, he believes Prioleau has a future as a coach if he wants it after his playing career is over..

On DT Anthony Montgomery (who the coaches have been raving about through the off-season) Williams says he “had to learn how to work last year.” Montgomery has shed a lot of the weight that made him appear pudgy last season.. Currently he sits behind Cornelious Griffin and Kedric Golston on the depth chart..

On the rookie LB’s Dallas Sartz and HB Blades: Williams believes Blades has a shot to be a valuable special teamer but he has to learn how to “push himself.” Blades has been the rookie receiving the most friendly fire from Williams this summer, a sign the team thinks they have something in him.. sartz missed much of the first week with a hamstring injury, Williams said he has a “lot of catching up to do.”

On DT Joe Salave’a who is becoming a great story in camp returning healthy and becoming a more likely possibility to be a back-up this season, Williams said “his mind and body are back together.” Salave’a admitted the passing of his mother affected him last season.. The injuries to his calf and foot relegated him to the sideline and it appeared as if his career might be over.. But he is back and hoping to stick it out at least one more time..

The defensive coaching staff work with the offensive coaching staff in terms of dealing with young players and their respective games.. Williams said it is the responsibility of the entire staff to help each other.. Greg Blatche and Joe Bugel have what Williams calls a great working relationship where, in the instance a young player is forced into action (like this weekend with Stephon Heyer at LT) that Blatche and his veteran D-lineman are helping the coaches pinpoint what the inexperienced player needs to work on and vice versa.

Asked if camp is not very “hard,” Williams said this year’s camp is much more work heavy then last year.. The full contact hitting of camp remains relatively non-existent to which Williams cites a team policy of limiting “pile-ups.” But he says the overall contact is much more prevalent then a season ago.. There are two widening schools of thought on full contact at training camp, many like the Skins are starting off with limited contact in an effort to prevent injuries only to toughen practices as the season goes along.. Full pads were not uncommon during regular season practices last season.. Others like the Eagles run very contact heavy camp and go lighter as the season begins.. It’s an interesting split considering the past featured very hard camps with numerous two-a-days and the inevitable fights..

On returning to Tennessee where Williams was the defensive coordinator with the Titans (this is the 3rd or 4th time he has gone back) Gregg says it’s nice to do so, he calls Jeff Fisher one of his best friends and he said he hopes (“because we are still pretty young in this game”) that the two will coach against one another.. Rarely since coming to Washington has Williams openly mentioned his desire to be a head coach again often deferring to working under Joe Gibbs as a great spot for him.. He will be a head coach again, the question is how soon..

OK men, afternoon practice gets going soon..

Monday, August 06, 2007

August 6-- Bramlett Cut, Heyer Stepping Up

QB Casey Bramlett was released. He was the World Bowl MVP in the final year of NFL Europa but he was 5th on the depth chart and in need of injuries just to get pre-season reps with the Skins.. So the team is down to four quarterbacks on the roster.. I'm guessing the team will go with a kicker to compete with Shaun Suisham in camp, but there has been no word at the time I'm writing this that this will be the case..

G Will Whitacker was carted off the field in the lone afternoon practuce.. He suffered a high ankle sprain, he'll obviously be out for some time..
WR Brandon Lloyd missed practice, he has shin splints and is day to day.
G Jason Fabini was held out of practice with a groin injury, he is day to day..
CB Jeremetrius Butler was running on the side but held out of full contact (hamstring), day to day..
WR Mike Espy (knee) ran on the side and is "getting better," according to trainers. He is said to be close to returning..
TE Tyler Ecker (groin) remains out
FB Mike Sellars suffered a bone bruise in practice and tweaked his knee but did complete practice, day to day..
RB Ladell Betts suffered a jammed neck after getting hit by Marcus Washington during one on one drills, he is undergoing X-rays tonight..
FB Pete Schmidt returned to practice after suffering a bruised shoulder last week, he is expected to do more work tomorrow, he is not a full go yet..
T Chris Samuels is said to be progressing well but remains out of practice..
RB Clinton Portis remains out of practice with tendonitis in his knee, I'm not expecting to see much of him this week..

G Randy Thomas was back at practice today, asked if he was 100% after missing a good portion of last week with knee soreness, he responded "I'll never be 100%." Thomas however says he wants to and expects to play in as much of the pre-season as possible because "Jason needs me and the offensive line needs me."

DT Joe Salave'a is a bit of a surprise to be back at camp and looking string working mainly with the second team unit in practice.. Salave'a was injured for much of last season dealing with calf issues and plantar facitis (I have no idea how to spell it).. Salave'a and Renaldo Wynn went to Las vegas together this off-season to work out knowing both of their careers are in their respective twillights. Salave'a said he had to fight the mental demons that his body might not be able to do this anymore and has dedicated himself to what he calls a "special team."

Undrafted rookie Stephon Heyer out of Maryland was named the likely starter for the Tennessee pre-season game this weekend after Gibbs said he performed well in the scrimmage against Baltimore.. Samuels won't play this weekend and this is Heyer's opportunity to solidify himself as a potential prime back-up at tackle..

The tempo of the practice was a little faster then in recent days with drills moving quickly.. The ammount of full contact remains relatively limited.. Two practices tomorrow..

Saturday, August 04, 2007

August 4-- Redskins-Ravens Scrimmage

The Redskins rested the bulk of their offensive unit during the actual scrimmage section of the glorified practice with the Ravens in Baltimore.. Jason Campbell was used predominantly in 7-7 drills but did not take a single snap during 11-11.. The Ravens also rested the bulk of their starting defense during this section of the scrimmage as well.. The only starter on offense who was on the field for 11-11 was LG Todd Wade who has admitted through the first week of camp that he is struggling with the transition from guard to tackle.. Joe Gibbs was hedging on whether Wade would ultimately be the starter come September saying it was good for him to get the extra reps against the Ravens and that sooner or later the team will have to make a decision whether Wade is the right guy for the position..
Wade, who said he lost 17 pounds on Wednesday and Thursday and ultimately was held out of Friday’s walk through said he got his weight back with IV’s and Gatorade.. he also said coaches were going to pull him out after the first set of 11-11 drills but he asked to go back in saying he felt like he needed the work..

The only touchdown by the Skins during 11-11 drills was produced by draft pick Jordan Palmer who connected with receiver Burl Toler.. Asked about the quarterback position, Gibbs reiterated that it is likely the team will make a decision regarding the depth at the position.. The team is currently carrying five quarterbacks, one more then most teams.. It is likely either Casey Bramlett or Jordan Palmer will be released early in the pre-season to open the roster for someone who has a better shot of making the final roster..

WR Brandon Lloyd did not take part in the scrimmage, he is dealing with shin splints..

RB Clinton Portis underwent an MRI and it showed tendonitis in his knee.. Joe Gibbs (like Portis) said if the scrimmage were a regular season game, he would have played, but because it isn’t and there is no real game in the near future, the team will continue to rest him.. This week will likel be like last week for Portis, little to no practice, focusing more on cardio work, he also is taking anti-inflammatory medication.. Gibbs describes Portis as day to day..

RB Marcus Mason is a major long shot to make the roster, but he and Derrick Blaylock saw a lot of reps in B’more.. When asked about Mason, Gibbs said he “is a player we have liked from the beginning.”

There was a light crowd in Baltimore.. The lower bowl wasn’t even close to being filled.. The Ravens were charging $10-$25 bucks per ticket and it was 100 degrees outside.. The on field temperature was up to 121..

OK men,,

Friday, August 03, 2007

August 3-- Injury update for scrimmage in B'more

The following players will not participate in tomorrow's scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium:

CB Jerametrius Butler (Hamstring)
TE Tyler Ecker (Groin)
WR Mike Espy (Knee)
RB Clinton Portis (Knee)
T Chris Samuels (Knee)
LB Dallas Sartz (Hamstring)
FB Pete Schmitt (Shoulder)

August 3-- Jansen/Rabach have a special relationship

A day after I am touting DL Jared Clauss as “one to watch” during the summer, the team releases him to bring back DT Vaka Manapuna.. Shows how much I know!

Guys who were injured and out today: G Randy Thomas left the field then returned, he participated in few drills.. I am not expecting him t participate in tomorrow’s scrimmage with Baltimore..

RB Clinton Portis remained out (knee), T Chris Samuels was out (knee), TE Tyler Ecker was out (groin), WR Mike Espy was out (knee), FB Pete Schmidt appears close to returning to practice but remains limited (shoulder), WR Carl Berman was out (hamstring), LB Dallas Sartz was out (hamstring), both of those players were running on the side with trainers..

G Todd Wade was held out of the lone session after he lost upwards of 17 pounds in two days.. he needed to be rehydrated but should be available for tomorrow’s scrimmage.. Wade told me that at one point he was weighing in at 298 pounds, he came to camp at 322..

Wade admitted the move to LG is a big deal, he is still working on learning the new leverage techniques.. he said his hands are an important part of learning the new position, that without proper hand placement, he will have a hard time stopping an inside rush..

Joe Gibbs praised the Ravens defense and said he looks forward to the challenge of the scrimmage, he also chided the media saying he wouldn’t reveal who they were playing or how much everyone would play because all we would do “is write nasty things.” But he continued, “Ya’ll probably write nasty things anyway.”

Two standout plays during 7-7 drills: Ade Jimoh picks off Jason Campbell as he jumped a crossing pattern.. Campbell came back with a 40 yard TD strike to Chris Cooley who was running down the middle of the field..

The next part is a little X rated so please read with care..

In what had to be one of the more ridiculous moments of the summer, Larry Michael and I interviewed Jon jansen and Casey rabach on the field after practice, while neither would comment on the large RV they are renting which is parked in the back of the lot at Redskins park.. They go in there together in between practices and do undesirable things..

Rabach has a penchant for showing off his nuts in the locker room and did so while we were talking to them.. Larry asked about Rabach’s “brain,” to which he explained how much work he has put into increasing the size of his ballsack.. Jansen agreed that Rabach has one of the largest ballsacks he’s ever seen.. Rabach also was mooning the Fox Morning Show live shot yesterday, which apparently could be seen visibly but from a long distance and you’d have to have known what you were looking for.. Rabach and Jansen admit they are always looking for ways to get their ass on TV..

OK men, see you in Baltimore hun..

Thursday, August 02, 2007

August 2-- Campbell tells ARE to get bigger ears

Clinton Portis says he had to play today he could.. He contends, “I don’t have an injury. My knee gets a little sore when I cut on it so we are playing it safe.” Portis is hoping not to have to deal with weekly tendonitis issues during the season so he believes the best course of action is to remain out of practice this week.. Asked if he would participate in the team’s first pre-season game in Tennessee, he said he had no idea.. Believe it or not, Portis said he misses practice, even though on the first day of camp when he was asked about “being one of those guys who likes hard practices,” Portis joked, “I don’t think we’ve met, you have me confused, I’m Clinton Portis.”

Jason Campbell fired back at Antwaan Randle-El, who yesterday admitted the offense had trouble understanding what Campbell was talking about in the huddle last fall.. ARE told one story where Campbell was trying to say “Falcon,” but it was coming out as “Balco.” When relayed the story today, Campbell said Randle-El has small ears, he needs to get bigger ones so he can hear.. Campbell also pointed out, “This is my offense now, they need to learn my language!”
Campbell said last year that Steve McNair was a mentor to him before he got the starting job, a day away from the scrimmage, Jason said he hasn’t had a chance to talk to McNair yet this camp but took his advice from the off-season which was to enjoy yourself and not get too caught up in the pressure of being a starting QB..
I asked Jason if McNair had similar issues with communicating early in his career, Campbell quickly responded, “He’s from a smaller town then me, I know we speak the same language.”
Check this Campbell video out if you haven’t seen it yet, great camera trick.. Campbell wouldn’t admit it was staged..

I spoke to Mark Brunell for the first time this summer today.. He was beyond laudatory about Campbell this summer saying that he and Jason have begun a pretty good relationship off the field.. He admits he would love to start, (“Who wouldn’t, I’m sure Todd Collins wants to start too.”) but has seemingly come to terms with the decision to go with Campbell and openly is trying his best to help Campbell in his progression.. Just opinion here, but I think Brunell deserves a lot of praise for handling the situation with about as much grace as could possibly be expected.. I’d be stunned if they made a move should Atlanta call this summer, but I suppose you never know..

I haven’t seen any video yet (if it exists) of the Warrick Holdman injury but it didn’t sound good.. Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels both said they were sending prayers to the former Skins linebacker who was rushed by ambulance to a Denver hospital after suffering a neck injury during Broncos practice..

Injuries for the Skins today: held out were RB Clinton Portis (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), FB Pete Schmidt (shoulder), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), WR Carl Berman (hamstring), LB Dallas Sartz (hamstring) he's running on the side, WR Mike Espy, (knee)

Marcus Washington took part in full practice, Randy Thomas upped his work, he's still dealing with a sore knee..

OK men..

August 2-- A little Fantasy help please

Hey all--

With some time to kill before the lone practice of the day, I was trying to come up with a new name for my fantasy football team.. I misse dthe playoffs in my work league last year and when I miss the playoffs, I like to change it up.. So far, however, I can't come up with a suitable name, so I figure (while I am asking for trouble) I could use some suggestions.. You can e-mail me directly at or post a comment on the blog.. Thanks..
My name over the last couple of years was Jockey Fu**ers.. I'm a big horse racing fan..

So far I've got these in mind. And they all suck..

The Steaming Poo-Yahs
The Mexican Dogfighters
Earth, Wind and Weinstein
The Fog (ex name of my youth basketball team)
The Sea Dogs
Lil B and the Fo Shizzles
Count Bramula

Obviously I need your help.. Skins update coming after the afternoon session..

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1PM-- Night Practice, No K/P competition

The Skins held their first night practice of camp.. Players described the session as more spirited.. The Skins continue to implement a policy of no full tackling.. Contact was as heavy as typical long full pad practices, but there has yet to be a full scrimmage-esque session..

Jon Jansen said he is very impressed by the play thus far of Stephon Heyer who continued to take the bulk of the first team snaps at LT..

The play of the night was a throw back pass from Ladell Betts to Jason Campbell who made a leaping catch between players.. Asked if he could be a reciver, Joe Gibbs said, “Uhh, No.”
CB John Eubanks had a nice 1 handed interception during 11-11 drills..

Of names to keep an eye on this summer, DL Jared Clauss who was used prominently in the 9-9 drills.. On one particular play, Clauss beat G Will Whitacker badly for a would be sack.. There figures to be an open spot for a rookie or free agent at DE.. Clauss is certainly one to watch along with undrafted rookie Alex Buzbee out of G’town..

LB Marcus Washington did participate in the night practice after resting his sore hip in the morning session..

Those who sat out of the night session: RB Clinton Portis (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), G Randy Thomas (knee), FB Pete Schmidt (shoulder), TE Tyler Ecker (groin), WR Carl Berman (hamstring), WR Mike Espy (knee)

Asked if Danny Smith is happy with only one punter (Derrick Frost) and one kicker (Shaun Suisham) in camp right now, Joe Gibbs said “He better be happy about them, or I am going to kill him.” Gibbs said the injuries at FB and TE forced the team’s hand at making a roster move.. The curious part was removing the one bit of competition at kicker and punter.. If health returns to those positions, it is possible you will see someone come in to compete with Suisham or Frost..

OK men..

August 1-- Randle El says Campbell in "Country."

RB Clinton Portis was held out of practice this morning and likely won’t practice this evening.. he is not expected to take part in the scrimmage this weekend either.. Trainer Bubba Tyer says Portis is suffering from some soreness in his knee, still dealing with patella tendonitis that plagued him during the OTA’s.. The team is tailoring his workouts differently working on strength and conditioning drills but keeping him out of full practice because the cutting and shifting is causing him discomfort.. Tyer believes Portis will miss days not weeks and the team is just taking a cautious approach with him..

T Chris Samuels was said to be doing good, very little swelling in his sprained knee.. He won’t practice this week or perform in the scrimmage, the timeline of four weeks has not be altered yet..

LB Dallas Sartz has a strained hamstring but upped his work in the morning practice.. FB Pete Schmidt did not tear his rotator cuff, he only has a bruised shoulder and is day to day..

G Randy Thomas did well in returning to portions of practice, they are “gradually getting him back in.”

LB Marcus Washington “felt something” in his hip the other day so the team is going to not have him participate in both practices when the team holds 2-a-days.. He did not participate in the morning session but is expected to go in the evening practice.. Washington said he does not have an issue practicing since the injury occurred early in the season but practicing at times can be tough.. He says he is not concerned with being healthy for the season, the team and he are just being careful now.. As far as the shift to rush end for passing downs, he said he is learning from Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels etc and that when he has questions, he asks.. Washington played rush end at Auburn so he is just “getting the rust off.”

WR Mike Espy is still being held out with a bruised knee, he can’t run and will be held out at least a few more days.. WR Carl Berman also missed practice with a hamstring strain, he is day to day..

WR Santana Moss was held out of portions of the morning practice.. He is dealing with leg soreness, he has some hip flexor issues.. Groin and hamstring pain was what Moss dealt with during the offseason.. This issue right now is that he feels like he is compensating due to the discomfort.. Like the rest of the players we have discussed the team will take a more cautious approach and not allow him to aggravate anything..

WR Antwaan Randle El was asked about Jason Campbell in the huddle last year and he said the team had a really hard time understanding him, he was calling one shift called “Falcon,” “Balco.” That was in his first start against Tampa.. Randle-El said the players were teasing Campbell throughout the off-season about knowing how to say the calls and learning how to drop his country Drawl…

S Laron Landry has a good moment in camp this morning intercepting a Campbell pass during 7 on 7 drills..

OK men.,,