On the Field for Practice – 8/31

The first practice of the regular season, on a hot, bright day. Cutting 27 guys (since the start of camp) — more than a quarter of the total — makes a really noticeable difference. For the last week, people have been telling me how different the environment is around here once the season starts, and you could already start to feel that today. Good to see that the rookies have “earned their feathers” and are wearing logo helmets even in practice.

  • The players elected captains today — Jason Campbell and Chris Samuels from the offense, London Fletcher and Cornelius Griffin from the defense, and Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell from special teams. These guys will be captains for the duration of the year. Good thing they didn’t vote yesterday and elect Derrick Frost special teams captain, as that would’ve made for an awkward moment or two in practice.
  • Speaking of the punters, Zorn also claimed that he and special teams coach Danny Smith made the decision to go with Durant Brooks over Frost after meeting for several hours (spread over a few one hour meetings). He cited Brooks’ “continued improvement” as a major factor in the decision, and wondered if the end of the competition had improved Brooks’ kicking, calling his punts today “pretty awesome”.
  • The first team offense was looking sharp again. Jason Campbell seemed to be getting rid of the ball more quickly, notably on one of the last plays of practice, a long completion to Santana Moss down the sideline. And Portis not only looked like he was running well, but was picking up blocks also. No knowing if it’ll translate to gametime, but this practice looked much more like the team of the first two preseason games than of the last two, er, showings.

  • Malcolm Kelly was out doing light work, helping catch passes on drills, and he looked solid there. Coach Zorn called him unlikely to play on Thursday, though, saying that they’re going to try to get his knee right. (He did mention, however, that there is no longer any thought being given to putting Kelly on IR.)
  • Todd Yoder also made a couple of nice plays, reaching out to catch a high pass during 7-on-7 drills, and making another catch-and-run later in practice.
  • Jon Jansen, claiming his “foot is not an issue,” was in at practice, although not at his traditional RT spot. Stephon Heyer is getting the start at RT, and Jansen was getting some work at LG. “It felt good just to be there and going,” he said, acknowledging that he had never played anything other than RT, “Wherever I can line up, I’m gonna line up.”
  • Jason Taylor was out at practice in shorts and a leg wrap, but didn’t participate in any drills. When asked if Taylor would be able to play on Thursday, Zorn said, “Based on today? There’s no way.” There’s nothing structurally wrong, and it’s going to come down to a “pain issue,” according to Zorn.
  • I was worried about Reed Doughty at points during training camp, but he made some plays on Thursday and looked good again today. He was breaking well on the ball while it was in the air, and he wasn’t biting on the fakes that the receivers were showing him. Nice to see.
  • LaRon Landry is starting to look very, very good. He can really cover some ground from the middle of the field, and on two consecutive plays jumped to break up (and nearly intercept) passes on the sideline — a different sideline on each play.
  • As far as the rookies, Justin Tryon and Devin Thomas started the practice working with special teams and seemed to be really putting out some effort. Tryon had an up and down day, occasionally playing too far off the receivers but also closing well to break up a couple of passes, notably one from Colt Brennan to James Thrash. Thomas showed some nice moves to shake coverage, but sometimes didn’t appear to be attacking the ball enough in the air. And Fred Davis looked strong for the scout team, running and catching the ball well.
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18 Responses

  1. Glad to hear that Laron Landry is looking good on the field
    and i wanna see all the rookies contribute this year

  2. good update…Thanks!!

  3. what do you think are the chances Taylor plays this week?

  4. Since you’ve been at every practice, do you think Heyer looks like he’ll do better this year at RT? He makes me nervous after the playoff game last year.

    Also, there’s been some speculation from media people that Devin Thomas doesn’t like contact. From all the practices you’ve seen is there any truth to that? He’s a wide receiver, so of course he may not be into tackling, but does he look scared of contact? I just have a hard time imagining someone going through Div-1A and being timid to a hit.

  5. I read somewhere that one of the “young” wide receivers on our team said he was afraid of getting hit by Laron Landry ….i’m guessing that this is probably Devin Thomas, and if this is true……Vinny Cerrato made a huge mistake in drafting this guy…..I knew we needed size, but we should’ve drafted DeSean Jackson…….He’s starting to emerge as the best WR from this draft class, so far…

  6. Watching all preseason games and also taping them to really evaluate them later, Devin Thomas has one of three issues in my opinion. A rookie that is feeling overwhelmed and has lost his confidence, has not grasped the playbook and concepts or fear of being hit. I will reserve my judgement for now about him, buttttttt as of now from what i see he has been very timid in traffic and returning kicks. Which just might translate to fear, which i really hope is not the case. Devon, if it is fear, do yourself and the team a favor and resign, because you don’t want to have to live with that stigma the rest of your life or either prove us all wrong, Good luck kid, you are in for a long tough haul.

  7. Why do you think GB signed Frost before clearing waivers…..maybe they wanted a proven veteran who had a “pretty awesome” preseason and career.
    Doesn’t seem odd that all the draft picks made the team? Vinny must be already looking out for his job.

  8. is that you frosty?

  9. If Vinny boy was honest, he would of let Frost go weeks ago. Honesty goes a long way in any lockerroom. Too bad, Zorn is stuck with a GM that can’t be trusted.

  10. Devin Thomas wasnt the one that said he was scared. That was Malcolm Kelly. He just said that because he thought that LaRon Landry was a “headhunter”. I doubt that any of these guys are scared of getting hit. If you want to know someone who is scared of getting hit, his name is Terry Glenn. Sean Taylor scared the daylights out of him.

  11. Have to say the thing I can’t stand the absolute most about the current culture of Redskins fans is the proclivity of some to adpot the obviously negative tone of some of the local DC press towards Vinny and the FO. The Skins have one of the most transparent organizations in football. On redskins.com you can see almost every interview that ends up twisted in the paper in it’s full, unedited length. Don’t judge Vinny on the insight of pundits who have agendas and seek to make a PTI or Around the Horn type career move by trying to garner attention by being saucy and spunky rather than simply reporting and offering worthwhile insight. Why not watch and read the available media on the Skins’ amazing website (go visit some other websites – not one tenth as open or dynamic) and make decisions for yourself then rejoin the conversation.

    And seriously – Vinny can’t be trusted? Really? You know what goes on inside the Park? This is being said over a punter? Who was average? Having no idea at all if Vinny was even involved in the decision or if he was to what extent? And more than that – to say he’s looking out for his job by keeping draft picks on one hand – then as most will say on the other hand that he’s got a job for life because he’s Snyder’s boy? Pick an insult and stick with it please. He gets bashed for ignoring the draft and now he gets bashed for drafting players and putting them on the roster? Please.

    Don’t be a lemming and let some pundit whose only validation in life comes from being ‘right’ and being an ‘authority’ with more knowledge than the people he/she writes about lead you by the nose. Time to get behind Vinny and the FO IMO. And remember, the team is in transition. Is JC the man? Can Zorn become a top tier HC and OC? Can the team find stars to replace aging vets? A lot to watch and follow and I for one am glad Vinny is at the helm.

  12. Thomas has not looked afraid to me. He has seemed tentative in his cuts at times, but it hasn’t looked to me like it was because he was afraid of being hit. After Zorn called him out for his conditioning (the first time), he seemed incredibly angry in all the right ways — at himself, not Coach Zorn — and I thought he picked up his intensity at that point.

    In fact, if you look back through the On The Field At Practice posts, I thought he actually looked pretty impressive for a long stretch of practices. He hasn’t translated it to gameday yet, but the ability and desire are definitely there.

  13. Hey Gnome, Trust starts with being honest to players and fans. Also, if Vinny is so good, why did he pick such poor players?
    I guess time will tell, but one way GMs justify their jobs is to keep their draft choices even if they are a bust.

  14. Well said Gnome!

    HTTR!

  15. In defense for Vinny…. The draft is a crap shoot. There are plenty of first round picks driving trucks and buses. He finally had a complete draft to make selections and the verdict is out until game 4.

    Hail to the ‘skins

  16. There is one player I haven’t seen much from but I guess the coaches think he will improve….Tryon…..

    I felt Jacksonville was going after him the entire first half and he couldn’t do anything to stop it……I guess we’re strugling at CB

    If this guy doesn’t step up we should cut him and get Lynch, he’s a veteran and would be a good back-up S

  17. Frost was just announced as the new punter for Green Bay. Hey Gnome, maybe I do know more than you think.

  18. Echo that Gnome. It’s time to stop spreading discontent just for the sake of it. It’s the beginning of the year, have a positive thought or two.

    I’m not really sure what these people know or don’t know about a football front office. Stop the doom and gloom speculation, for pete’s sake and cheer for your team.

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