Coach Zorn mentioned after practice that we’re entering “the mundane part of the season” — after the big start and before anyone is really in playoff push mode. His point, of course, is that he wants the team not to treat it that way, and he started practice off with a huddle to remind them of just that. “Coach Zorn didn’t want to come out flat, that’s all it was,” Lorenzo Alexander told me afterward. “He was warning us before we got into practice and started off that way — he wanted it to be a good start. I thought it worked.”
Some specific things I noticed today…
- The bad news first: Malcolm Kelly couldn’t work at all today with a swollen knee, and the possibility of putting him on IR is looming larger and larger. Zorn mentioned wanting to give it another firm look, but it didn’t sound good.
- On the flipside, Devin Thomas is continuing to look strong at receiver, regardless of who he’s lined up against. He seems determined, and wholly different from the guy who received so much criticism during training camp.
- I asked Lorenzo Alexander what he saw in practice, and he pointed to the guys who line up across from him. “The offensive line had a little burr,” he said. “That whole squad over there was trying to turn it up a little bit to get the defense going.” Which is a good thing? “Oh, definitely.”
- That description squares with what I saw in drills. The defensive line looked fast and aggressive — Andre Carter especially flashed some real speed — but the offensive line just seemed focused somehow.
- The tight ends were making some flashy catches — Chris Cooley down the middle of the field, and Fred Davis catching an underthrown ball almost accidentally behind the safety’s back.
- Jason Campbell continues to look good, and I continue to be slightly befuddled at how much time we all spent in preseason wondering if Campbell could manage this offense. Zorn had praise for him, saying after practice that Campbell “deserves a lot of credit” and had been “very solid every game.” To explain how important that latter point was, Zorn explained, “The thing I look for in a quarterback is, if he has a good game can he come out and do it again? And again? Oh, and again? And just do it one more time…?”
- Asked what he’s seen from Jason Taylor, Zorn said “I just saw a LITTLE bandage on his calf muscle today. The bandage keeps shrinking, and that’s a good thing. A lot less blood, a lot less oozing.” The assembled media seemed unsure whether he was joking or not, and everyone sort of just moved on from there.
- Shaun Alexander looked strong again in practice. Nothing remarkable, just solid running with nothing tentative about it that I could see.
- Other injury notes: Shawn Springs is a wait and see. Cornelius Griffin may be held out just to give him a chance to heal up a bit. Pete Kendall sat out practice resting his knee. Jason Campbell showed no ill-effects from his groin strain. Fred Smoot is wait and see, but Zorn seemed optimistic.
- Zorn reminisced about being part of the Detroit Lions coaching staff and coming into FedExField to play the Redskins in the playoffs in 2000. “I just remember you hurting us, and after a while it wasn’t that competitive.”