On the Field for Practice – 10/16

Today felt like one of those practices that was more about who was missing than who was there, which is never a particularly good sign.

  • The defensive backfield is a casualty tent at this point. Limited or not practicing at all today were Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, and Chris Horton, and Shawn Springs tweaked his calf toward the end of practice and was being looked at immediately afterward. That would be the top three cornerbacks and the starting strong safety, if you’re scoring at home — and the guy who was the starting strong safety at the season opener is on injured reserve. Coach Zorn said after practice that he fully expects Horton and Rogers to play, but not having them in at practice on a Thursday is a worrisome sign. Smoot he considers the most doubtful of the injured guys. At least Cleveland doesn’t have an incredibly talented young receiver who needs careful covering or anything like that.
  • Jason Taylor sat out of practice with swelling in his calf. Clinton Portis sat out of practice, and Coach Zorn said that Portis might sit out tomorrow as well, although he’s expected to practice on Saturday and play on Sunday. Chris Samuels sat out of practice to rest his ankle, but is expected to play. All three of those guys are former Pro Bowlers, and you hate seeing guys like that miss practice. “It’s a real concern,” Zorn said. “You’ve gotta have the example being out there.”
  • There WERE also a few guys who actually, you know, ran around on the field and did things. The one who stood out the most to me was LaRon Landry, who broke up four separate passes that I noticed, two of them intended for Fred Davis (including the airborne gem above). So at least the one starting DB left standing at the end of practice acquitted himself well.
  • A new word for the Zorn Lexicon: the offensive line was described as “salty”. I’ll get their opinion on this development as soon as I can.

  • Shawn Springs looked good while he was in, covering well as always but also being effective jamming receivers on the line in one on one drills; he notably hammered Malcolm Kelly, which is especially impressive given Kelly’s size.
  • Kelly did make a few nice catches, though, once he got off the line, prompting Antwaan Randle El to jog over to him and say, “When you figure out how to use that big frame of yours, you’ll be” something inaudible, presumably synonymous with “really good” or something like it.
  • Shaun Alexander is fitting in nicely, carrying the ball well as far as I can tell. It’s tough for me to judge running drills, because so much of what makes a running back great is what he does in full contact. That said, Alexander definitely looks more like Shaun Alexander in the 37, even if it is a reminder about the depressing end to Reed Doughty’s season.

  • It’s somewhat amusing to remember how focused we all were on Jason Campbell in preseason, on his delivery time, his field vision, everything, given how well he’s played so far this season. He looked good again today, moving around and making quick decisions, and I kept hearing Coach Zorn compliment various parts of his game — “Nice throw!” or “THAT’S the read!” and stuff like that. What a difference six interception-free weeks make.
  • O-line vs. D-line drills were enjoyably violent as always. “I thought the offensive line had a great practice today,” said Jon Jansen afterward. The backup O-line was especially impressive, with Andrew Crummey and Devin Clark both having surprisingly effective outings. Hopefully we won’t need to see them do it in a game this year, but it’s good to know that they’re showing some flashes.


14 Responses

  1. Your Landry pic above is the best you’ve ever posted from practice. Pics like that are the best reminders how absolutely insane these athletes have become.

  2. I see Barry Svrluga in the Zorn pic! The folks over on the Nats Journal (Washington Post) miss Barry.

    Shaun looks much better in 37. Poor Reed, can’t even keep hold of his number.

  3. Is Malcolm Kelly going to be active on sunday?

  4. Haven’t heard yet. Coach Zorn says they’re watching his knee and pushing his knee to improve, so we’ll see.

  5. did you get my email regarding the comment Braylon Edwards made?

  6. Moe–

    I think it was Reed’s choice to give up his number? Do you think Shaun came in and the team was like, “oh it’s Shaun Alexander, let’s take Reed’s number” No. The guy is hurt. He obviously worked something out with Shaun so he could have the number. You might read the D.C. Sports blog to:

    But who knows, in two weeks Reed could have 37 again…

  7. nice read Matt

  8. sorry don’t know how to do links, but I believe I’ve heard Jim Grobe (Head coach for Wake Forest) use the term salty before


  9. listen, I know this is a reach, but please tell Jim Zorn to install the Wildcat offense now.

    With the addition of Shawn Alexander and with Betts returning, and the athleticism of Jason Campbell and Chris Samuels we can really get some extra points from teams not prepared to deal with this offense.

    Please. We’ll win 2 extra games plus a playoff game – maybe the Superbowl because of it.

    Talk Soon,

    Mike Long

    P.S. The Dolphins are averaging over 10 yards a play and 1 touchdown out of every 5 plays with the Wildcat. Please run it.

  10. Clinton Portis = Adrian Peterson = injury prone.

    They are great tough runners. Too tough. They run too hard and get beat up. It’s hard to fault that type of player.

    I Hope Portis can have a complete season cause he is awesome.

  11. what would it take to get marcus mason back. Tha guy was solid and could do everything Betts could do.

  12. i’m still laughing at your performance against the rams. You Are Who We Thought You Were. Yes, I’m a Cowboys fan and a Ram season ticket holder and i gotta tell you that the loss to the rams was pathetic. it’s football every week ya gotta play the game. i’m being polite here unlike your skins fans who live on the cowboys site.

  13. Yo TW. Go back to your Cowboys site and write about the Brown’s innihilation of the “Girls.” Actually, Al Saunders was the Redskin’s Offensive Coach last year, and with a two week bye week, prepared a desperate team to play the game of the year. even though the skins outplayed the Rams (e.g., 360 yards to 200 yards, 22 first downs to 8), it took 3 giveaways for them to beat us by a last second field goal. I guarantee that the Rams would have beaten the Girls as badly as the skins beat them.

  14. I’m sick of hearing about Marcus Mason. The guy is on the Ravens practice squad for a reason. We didn’t get rid of Barry Sanders. The guy ran good in preseason which every HB does. Starting defenses will eat this guy up. I’ll tell everyone who you can give credit to him running so well is our offensive line.

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