On the Field for Practice – 11/20

Ironically enough, it looks like commenter Jack’s observation that he’s tired of reading about good practices preceding subpar gameday performance came just about the time I was out on the practice field scratching “looks ragged today” into my notebook.

Practice is generally going to look at least fairly crisp — the quarterback can’t get hit; the first team guys are playing against people who are often practice squad players for a reason; much of what’s being installed is the specific gameplan for this week’s opponent — so often the distinction between crisp and ragged is just a few plays or a general sense of malaise. Today it was a little of both.


  • The most interesting thing today was the set of giant speakers sitting at one end of the practice field to simulate crowd noise. One equipment guy after another warned me that they were loud, but I was still impressed when they finally turned the things on. It’s a more treble-y sound than the bass roar of a live crowd, but it makes conversation in a normal voice completely impossible and even shouting difficult to understand. The fact that the offense can be successful at all in that situation is remarkable to me, and they actually seemed to be running smoother with the noise than they did without it.


  • LaRon Landry asks more questions on the sidelines than any other guy, as far as I’ve noticed — and I want to emphasize that I mean that in a complimentary way. He’s always asking the cornerbacks what they would do in various situations, and why a play turned out the way it did, and if there’s something that should be handled differently. The talk gets highly specialized very quickly, so it’s tough for me to follow, but it’s always interesting to see.


  • The main play that contributed to the ragged feeling mentioned above was a passing play that Coach Zorn canceled before it could get going, correcting the timing and forcing guys to reset and start again. That happens much less frequently than you might expect, so it stood out here.
  • Devin Thomas did not have his best practice of the season, highlighted by a long pass going straight through his hands. Disappointed at missing the catch, Thomas jogged back to the line of scrimmage without bringing the ball, forcing one of the equipment guys to sprint down and get it. This seemed like the sort of thing that might make a bad practice even worse, but everyone joining together to shout at Thomas for leaving the ball actually seemed to rally the group and even boost Thomas a little bit to a few nice catches later on.
  • Malcolm Kelly continues to look good, making catches both short and long. Like everyone else, I really hope we get him involved on Sunday.


  • Injury update is actually good today: everyone was back out on the field except for Marcus Washington. Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels and Antwaan Randle El did not participate, but were taking what Zorn would call “mental reps.” Anthony Montgomery participated, although Zorn characterized him as “a little ginger” out there.
  • And Shawn Springs practiced again, although at one point he got tangled up with Horace Gant and went down, which left me holding my breath. He popped back up, though, and finished out the practice without any noticeable problem.

24 Responses

  1. Wow, you mean Springs took a hit in practice and DIDN’T get hurt?!?!?!?!

    The luck is coming back now, I can feel it!

    Thanks Matt, great job as usual. And don’t forget, if you ever need a break, I’ll gladly come out and hold down the “park” for ya!

  2. We need Malcolm Kelly out there.

    Dude is a flat out playmaker, i’m telling you guys!!

    i see him being a brandon marshall/boldin typeee


  3. Matt, is Zorn the genius behind incorporating the crowd noise during practice?? Is this a new thing? If so its absolutely brilliant!

  4. No, this is a fairly typical thing, I understand. I’m told that Gibbs used to do it just about every Thursday, actually.

  5. def looking forward to seeing kellt on the field sunday making some big plays for us like i know he can

  6. Sorry everyone, i have a Malcolm Kelly man crush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. dont fall in love with malcolm until he actually does something on the field not to be negative

  8. Never Forget to PRAY for the players and coaches of the Redskins.

    God bless them all

  9. So how do Kelly and Thomas rank? Who would be the #3 WR and who the #4, or would it be situation specific? Does Thrash continue to play ahead of them (I strongly hope not)? Thomas plays special teams. Would Kelly in view of his injury history?

  10. With Mr. Randel “I take the most steps to go nowhere” El out, I say keep Devin as 2nd and Kelly as 3rd receiver. James Thrash can hope in when we go 4 wide and special teams.

    Break out with some 3 wr 2 te 1 rb formations and we will do GREAT this sunday.

    The key will be in having an explosive offense right from the beginning and then keeping that momentum for the rest of the season. If Kelly and/or Thomas have a big game, it WILL make life SOOO much easier for Portis, Moss and JC.


  11. Lets hope we see alot of balls thrown to Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly this sunday..i was glad to see we finally threw to Devin Thomas lask week more than once!!

  12. With Randle El hurt has DeAngelo Hall been returning punts or simulating them or doing something?? I hope so!!

  13. Randle El, stay out u fool.

    He needs to be traded/cut this offseason. He does nothing for this team except be a somewhat decent widereciever which we don’t need him to be. Thomas and Kelly will be fine.


  14. You guys randel is a asset no matter what you wanna think with his knowlegde leadership and he has a ring does one of only two on the team so he knows what it takes to win with that said he is not a # 2 receiver we need devin and kelly in there devin is a beast and he will be dominate when we get him right

  15. How is Jason Taylor doing? Is he close to full speed?

  16. Matt, thanks for the mention. You tell me. I’m i over the top with my comments. I’m concerned about the line, the lack of O , campbells reads and inability to blitz but some posters think i should just swallow those feelings and vote, vote, vote for all the redskins to make the probowl. And I’ll ask a straight question “How much of a leash does campbell have before Collins gets a nod? Thats to anyone. Thanks

  17. Get Kelly/Thomas to rotate at #2 and move El back to the slot where he belongs. Get Kelly/Thomas involved deep and throw underneath to El where he’ll have room to make a move after the catch.

  18. Jack, I don’t think Campbells really on a leash. The kids strong and has an awesome arm, and Zorn is working with that to turn him into something great. You gotta understand that a quarterback is extremely limited when he’s being pressured and sacked all the time. That ruins any momentum in a drive, and he can’t hit the deeper routes. Obviously it’s going to take a little extra time for deeper routes to come in the picture, we just gotta consistantly give him that time. Even a few extra seconds is huge. We’ll get it figured out

  19. Man we need to run some more shotgun! Regardless if Zorn is a fan of it or not! We gotta improvise man, help the quarterback out a lil’! Give him a extra second or two, the line is old and slackin in pass protection, we can’t run Portis into the ground man sheesh! Callin for Heyer to be put back in man!

  20. Austin, I dont know if thats possible..seconds in football are an eternity. to give campbell more time they have to keep rb’s and te’s in to block. i think collins is quicker to the draw and more confident in his reads. i’m not ready to pull campbell but this is 4 or 5 games now that the o has struggled. And zorn has said it himself, you cant wait for the wr to get open cause then its already to late….like the shotgun idea but dont know if its enough…

  21. Jack, Collins was more confident in his reads in AL SAUNDERS SYSTEM. this system is just as new to him as it is to JC. JC is not on any leash at all. it’s not his fault he gets sacked once every drive recently.

    is anybody else noticing that when we have to take a timeout to talk about a play, when we come back and run the play after the timeout it always seems to be something bad happening? usually a sack, or throwing a ball waaay short of the 1st down. it pisses me off b/c a timeout should be used to make sure those things DON’T happen.

  22. Jack, I agree with you. (I’ve only watched 3 games here in hawaii). I remember reading and hearing Zorns comments at the start of the season. At that time he wanted Campbell to be quicker on his decisions when getting rid of the ball, or throwing to a reciever. He seems to have improved, but under pressure he looks slow.
    Zorn likes his size, arm strength, and athletic ability. I think we are all waiting for him to take it to the next level. He just has to speed up his game…but it’s not quite happening.
    I think Coach Zorns concern about the speed of his play at the start of the season is probably still a concern now.

  23. I just wanna see more devin we need more passes to this guy he can be a beast out there if we can get him the freakin ball

  24. i’ve always been a Campbell supporter but someone has to give…either qb step up his game or the line step up theres…so we can the ball to playmakers….

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