On the Field for Practice – 11/13

You wouldn’t think the weather forecast could completely reconfigure the day for an entire football team, but there you go. A steady, very cold rain today moved practice up to 11:15, which merged it with what is usually the morning it’s-not-a-walkthrough walkthrough, which led to it running straight into open locker room. So it’s been something of a crazy morning for just about everyone. Also, wet.


  • In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll admit that I was not, in fact, on the field for ALL of practice. Between practice running long and my one hooded jacket being more water-resistant than waterPROOF, I came up about 45 minutes short and soaking wet. Still, I was out there long enough that James Thrash called me a soldier and Marc Dress called me an idiot, so there’s that.


  • Coach Zorn (pictured above in rain gear and hood), perhaps predictably, took an optimistic view of the day, calling the rain “A positive for us — as fall continues it’s going to get colder.” That would be a textbook definition of looking on the bright side.
  • Clinton Portis was not outside at practice, and Zorn said there had been “no change today” for him. Ladell Betts (Zorn: “Betts looked good today”) and Shaun Alexander both ran hard, and someone also commented that Rock Cartwright was really working hard. Obviously, you’d like to have the NFL MVP candidate ready for game time, but if he can’t go, the potential three-headed backup monster looks prepared to do well at Dallas (and to devastate fantasy owners nationwide).
  • It’s time for the Good News/Bad News Bullet Point, starring Malcolm Kelly. Good news: Malcolm Kelly was indeed practicing again. Bad news: Devin Thomas was not, sidelined by a stomach bug of some sort. (Although Zorn noted that “Devin’s probably mad at me, because I made him come out and watch practice.) Good news: Kelly again looked crisp catching the ball and running afterward. Bad news: Zorn thinks it’s unlikely he’s going to be active against Dallas, as he’s just not prepared yet. There is no further good news on this subject.
  • Santana Moss, to my relatively untrained eye, looks good. Every muscle in my body was tightening up in the cold and the wet, so it seemed potentially rough for a guy coming off a hamstring injury, but he showed no immediately visible signs of discomfort or limitations.


  • The Z Shades, that hit of the summer, were back out, now repurposed as Zbrellas. Not entirely unexpectedly, this led to them being further repurposed as props for pranks, as players were constantly trying to drench one another with water that had pooled atop the shade. I didn’t see anyone get fully caught, although there were a few close calls.


  • After practice, I asked Lorenzo Alexander about working that kind of weather. “It’s nasty,” he said. “It’s just sloppy. Anytime it’s cold you gotta warm up, you’re stiff — especially this time of the year, you’re already sore so it really takes some time to get going.” Despite that, though, everyone seemed to be going full speed. I was full of compliments about yesterday’s practice — and in fact overheard people today describing yesterday’s session as “the best I’ve seen in more than five years” — and today looked just as energized.


  • One more thing I learned today: the team’s coaches wear comfortable socks. I managed to get a pair from the equipment room to replace my own — which were soaked literally through — and I’m completely enthralled by the level of spongy cushioniness. Even soaking wet outside, though, it’s important to maintain perspective, because I guarantee that there was at least one person out there vastly more uncomfortable than I was. This guy:



26 Responses

  1. That picture of Andre Carter is priceless. Matt, it really looks like you have gelled with this team. I stop short of calling you “one of the guys” but it seems like these players have become very comfortable with you, which is extremely important for getting the fans good inside information. Do you have any plans for the offseason? Next season? You should keep in touch with those guys and try to keep us posted a bit. You are the luckiest man in D.C.

  2. What is “that guy” doing up there?

  3. Matt, you can’t leave us hanging like ‘that guy!’ Who’s up there and what are they doing? Filming practice I’d guess, but it’s hard to tell. Great blog as always, btw. Also, any word on what the team has done to help correct the communication system problems?

  4. Matt, I dunno if Zorn is influencing you or you are naturally positive yourself- but thanks for the continued “bright side” approach to your blog! See- no freezing feet, no “spongy cushioniness”.

  5. Yes, sorry for not clarifying — that guy is one of the three elevated cameras that films all of practice for the coaches and scouts to review. Also, he is presumably very, very cold, and/or wearing much better gear than I was.

  6. Sounds like things are going as well as could be expected considering the banged up nature of the team. I guess we’re going with the no-news is good news philosophy when it comes to JC’s performance?

  7. I hope kelly is activated this week. Outside of moss and randle el no other reciever is doing anything.

  8. It’s Dallas week!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for Sunday.

    Guessing Taylor was full-go today?

    Great pics today. Good news about Kelly, but he needs to get out there on game day. Period.

  9. Whats up with Erasmus these days? Is he making any impact, even at practice?

  10. P.S. I never noticed the little smiley face up there to the right of General Information…I like him. :)

  11. How “prepared” does Kelly have to be to go catch a fade once we get in the red zone?

  12. The rain will slow down the cowboy offense and give our ground game a good chance to control the game, plus good practice for Seattle. It always rains when the skins come to town, Go Skins, punch the Cowboys while they are down!!!!

  13. As always, thanks for the update. Saunday can’t come soon enough. And then we have to wait until 8:15. Uuugggh!

  14. Matt, is there any way with Portis and Betts not active, that kelly could be active regardless???

    that’s what i’d like to see. even if it were just for the red zone i wanna see my boy out there

    lets go malcolm

    tear it up


  15. great post! one of the best “on the field practice” posts i’ve read!

    showed your blog to some non-redskin-fan friends and they were thoroughly jealous of the in-depth coverage.

  16. I wish Zorn would take the handcuffs off Malcolm. I thought he was against rookie hazing. Let the freaking guy go now that he’s healthy.

  17. Yeah i gotta agree Zorn didnt wanna put him on IR but now doesnt wanna activate him this week i mean give me a break everybody says how good he is looking at practice y not play him in the game he has to do atleast as much as thomas is doing for us if he isnt activated i really have to question Zorns reasoning

  18. YOU GUYS BLOW! Dallas is gonna kick your ass on Sunday. Now go somewhere and cry about it ;o)

  19. You’re gonna get a cold…

  20. As far as Zach’s initial question, it’s certainly a possibility — that’s almost exactly what happened the last time Zorn assured us early that Malcolm was going to be inactive. We’ll see.

  21. Keep it up Matt, I love the practice reports! I honestly feel I’m more intune with how the team is really doing. That Pittsburgh game wasn’t a shock after some of your reports, just how everyone seemed to be drained after the long stretch.

  22. Matt,

    You ought to hit them up for some rain gear!!

    Thanks for your coverage. Very much appreciated!!

  23. man, stop complaining and just do your job!!!

    every other word was “I was soaked, I was soaked”……….

  24. kyu must be a dallas gnome

  25. Lets see some James Thrash this week!

  26. kyu in japanese translates to the number “9”.

    Romo is #9…gnome breath.

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