A bitterly cold, windy day in Ashburn as the guys headed out to the practice field and got back to work.
- I think the most encouraging thing I saw, in what seemed like an intense, crisp practice, was Jason Campbell‘s performance. I mentioned on Friday that practice seemed ragged and that Campbell had missed a few passes. Today was pretty much the opposite — Campbell was casually chucking the ball all over the field, hitting the long passes that never materialized on Sunday night and checking down to the outlet receivers when that was the correct move. As always, it’s foolish to predict too much from a single practice session, but this looked much more like the Jason Campbell we’d grown accustomed to over the first eight games than the one from the last two. (A very good thing, since he spent much of those two games on his back and the QB isn’t touched during practice.)
- He also managed to get a few good completions to Malcolm Kelly, and Zorn was full of praise for the tall rookie after practice, raving about his “burst off the line” and how he catches “vicinity passes” and makes “something that would be spectacular for somebody else” into a routine play. Which is great, but will be even better if he could do it in a game situation.
- It might be a little easier to find a spot for him, as Antwaan Randle El did not practice today with what Coach Zorn called a “low ankle sprain.” Zorn noted that Randle El had earned the day off and “been a real workman this whole year,” but also said that he’s “got to continue to improve” if he wants to play. I didn’t see him much, but he definitely looked a bit stiff at the very least.
- Also making a nice catch today: Byron Westbrook, lined up on the scout team offense, reaching out to make a one-handed grab over his defender.
- This picture looks relatively unremarkable. “Hey, it’s Mike Sellers,” you might say, “running at practice.” And, technically, that’s true. But what it actually is is Mike Sellers running a pass route at just about full speed, directly at where I was standing on the sidelines. Which means that what it feels like is a 6-3, 245 pound taxicab thundering straight at me with no chance of turning. Sellers has impressively nimble feet, and can make much sharper cuts than you might imagine, fortunately for me.
- Colt Brennan and Todd Collins are both enjoying the prep to face Zorn’s former team. “It’s a lot more fun,” says Brennan, “because there are a lot of similar plays, so it feels like you’re actually getting reps in our offense.” Collins agreed: “We stole a few reps there today. It felt good.”
- Injury update: Chris Samuels, Pete Kendall, and Clinton Portis were all rested today, although all are currently expected to play Sunday. Anthony Montgomery was getting some running in. And Zorn smiled after practice and introduced “a new defensive back out there named Shawn Springs,” who fully practiced for the first time in what seemed like ages.