On the Field for Practice – 11/12

Cold and gray today, and the trees are mostly bare all of a sudden. Don’t really know when that happened. Anyhow, a good energetic practice today, with lots of yelling, a little hitting, and a sense of genuine enthusiasm.


  • No point in burying the lede on this one: Clinton Portis was kept inside for treatment today, and wasn’t even out on the practice field. Coach Zorn afterward assured everyone that Portis “actually felt better today” and that he’s a gametime decision, but the practical upshot was: he wasn’t out there. (Zorn added, somewhat saracastically, “Today he could straighten his leg, so we were ‘hip hip hooraying’.”)
  • Ladell Betts, however, was back out, practicing with the running backs. He looked better than I expected — I had forgotten, during his injury, what a strong (what Zorn would probably call “violent”) runner he is — but Coach Zorn said after practice that he was still lacking burst. Betts, Shaun Alexander and Rock Cartwright all took some snaps with the first team.
  • Alexander, incidentally, continues to look good, and not at all reticent to hit the hole or even block — he was getting as into the diving block drill (above) as anyone. Zorn described his play as “improved,” noting that “The way we we play is a little different than what we asked him to do in Seattle.”
  • CAPTURED ON FILM: DeAngelo Hall totally cancer-ifying the fragile relationship among the cornerbacks!


  • Wait, my bad. That’s actually the cornerbacks whooping it up on the sidelines of practice, Hall right along with them. He seems to fit right in, and certainly hasn’t dampened anyone’s spirits. At one point Greg Blache said something to him — I couldn’t quite make out what — that led to Fred Smoot literally jumping in the air and shouting with laughter.
  • I didn’t notice too much of Hall’s play, however, and I did see him get beaten once by Devin Thomas. Zorn was full of compliments for Hall after practice, though, including one soundbite that he clearly, based on his delivery, meant extremely favorably: “He looks like our other corners.”
  • LaRon Landry had a lively practice. One play started with someone shouting at Devin Aromashodu — portraying Terrell Owens — “Show us something, T.O.!” Aromadshodu did, making a nice move to shake the coverage and a jumping catch on the sidelines … which ended abruptly as he was tackled by Landry. Zorn shouted, “Save it for the game!” and someone on the sidelines yelled “30, what are you DOING?” Landry took the blame (“It’s on me — I was going for the ball!”) and came back and broke up the next play cleanly. He also made a nice interception, earning him an emphatic high-five from Coach Zorn.


  • Also back at practice: Malcolm Kelly. As I watched him run his routes, I was reminded of how impressive he seemed at training camp, and Fred Smoot echoed my thoughts afterward. “He looked good — really good. He ain’t looked that good since the summer,” he said. Kelly has this loping long stride that looks completely different from anyone else out there; hopefully he’ll get to break it out in the game this week.
  • Tight ends looked good, as usual. Chris Cooley drew compliments from Coach Bugel on his blocking, and Fred Davis made a nice catch-and-run as himself and another portraying Jason Witten.
  • Todd Collins participated fully as the second quarterback, and trainer Bubba Tyer assured me that although a ruptured eardrum sounds horrifying, it heals up just fine. Sorry to disappoint the eager Colt Brennan emailers, but good to see Collins back out there.
  • Other injury updates:
    • Shawn Springs is expected to practice tomorrow, Friday latest, and to play in the game Sunday.
    • Jason Taylor participated fully in practice, knocking down a pass and looking as quick as I’ve ever seen him.
    • Marcus Washington is getting his strength back and did not participate.
    • Santana Moss participated a bit, but he was another one Coach Zorn mentioned as lacking burst.
  • One other amusing Zorn story from after practice. A reporter — I couldn’t see who — tried to ask Zorn about Taylor and the Cowboys’ Zack Thomas, without using any names for whatever reason. The question went something like “Can you imagine having to play against someone who is your wife’s brother and your best friend and used to be your teammate?” Zorn looked at him for a second, laughed, and said, “I can’t even think about what that means.”

20 Responses

  1. Sounds good Matt, great job as usual. I am starting to wonder if Portis’ injury isn’t a bit of a blessing in disguise. Gives him even more of a break, he was on his way to an awfully heavy load.

    If Betts can get back, I am VERY confident in our running game, without Betts, I am much less confident, but still feel like thay can do what they need to do on Sunday, and probably next week too.

  2. YEAH BABY!!!

    anyone else think that malcolm kelly could be the second coming of brandon marshall??? big, athletic, amazing hands. Him and Moss together could finally be the lethal combination we’ve all hoped for.

    Here’s to Kelly having a big day against dallas.

    Hopefully! :D

  3. Everything sounds a lot more optimistic on the injury front. I hope CP heals up well enough to play against the Cowboys. I am very happy to see Malcome Kelly out there. Hopefully he will be able to play. I hope Moss heals up too. If Moss and CP play along with Malcom Kelly Springs and Taylor.. I feel a whole lot better than I felt at the beginning of the week.

  4. Thanks for the thourough update and nice pictures. You definitely have a sweet gig going. Sounds like the team is pumped up for Dallas. You didn’t mention J.C. Situation normal there I suppose?

  5. Portis and Moss are our 2 best playmakers. Simply put, the Offense will be hurting without them (or if they are not at full strength). In that event, I believe the game against Dallas will most likely be a defensive struggle.

  6. Thanks for the reports- can’t wait to see the game with the Cowboys in da HOUSE!
    Go Redskins!

  7. Is Malcolm Kelly going to be activated this week or what? Does this mean that his knee is responding well?

  8. I am willing to bet Kelly’s knee starts to swell again toward the end of the week and Moss has a setback with his hamstring. It’s just Redskins Law.

  9. I like reading material like this more than anything you’d find in the post. Keep it up, always amusing and insightful.

  10. we definitely need the Kelly & Thomas to provide
    some “chain moving” catches, if not why not
    include Fred Davis on a few pass plays, he’s got
    nimble fee & hands. Put him out as a slot reciever for
    the 5-8 yd range, just the way Art Monk was used.
    hey its just any idea.

  11. I say we rest both CP and Moss.

    Let the rookies get involved. Play alot of 2 TE sets. Let Alexander start and change the game plan up on them.

    Hell, even some some wildcat formations with Randle El!

    We need 26 and 89 for the stretch run, can’t afford to have them get hurt even more.

  12. What! This is the stretch run. We need this game big time! Everyone is close in the East. By the way has anyone else noticed there seems to be a few interceptions in practice every day??

  13. M. Kelly must have really impressed coaches because they are truly patient with him and not making a quick decision w/IR. I’m excited to hopefully get a real look at him during this stretch run…if his knee holds up.

  14. Good report. Enjoyed it more than anything on ESPN or Washington Post!

  15. I had to laugh when I went out to the Cowboys official website and 2 headline articles (out of 6) were on Portis, his injury and whether or not he’ll play.

    I love the blog, by the way. It’s my top NFL website, definitely.

  16. Lets hope we see alot of balls thrown to devin thomas and malcom kelly not James thrash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I like the way all this sounds very over-whelming seems like yesterdays practice went well, lets hope and see what happens this weekend and lets hope that todays practice goes well and our players get healthier and pumped for this sunday nite



  18. I love the blog and read it everyday, especially the practice post. I like the mayor’s idea to sit CP and moss and give the Cowgirls an unexpexted look, plus I’d like to see more of davis too. Cooley and Davis running routes would help keep the safeties/LB busy which would keep the girls from blitzing on passing downs and we could slide in a few runs too.

  19. I don’t really listen to the guys on around the horn very often, but they thought Zorn saying Portis is 50/50 was just to throw off the cowboys, and by looking at their website it looks like it might have. Who knows though the only person on that show with a brain is Marrioti.

  20. You Go ‘Dallas Cowboys beat Foreskins’! It’s a shame that the nation’s capitol’s team cannot be ‘America’s Team’! BUT – DATS D’ WAY IT IS!!! Even Zorn was a COWBOY once (and a fan)! You guys will lose! Cowboys 33 Redskins 17!!!!!

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