Billy McMullen May Be the #1 WR On the Seahawks

Preseason fan favorite Billy McMullen has resurfaced, and not as a post-week-one signing for the Redskins as I had idly speculated. Apparently, instead of being the #5 or #6 guy here, McMullen has decided that he’d rather sign on somewhere where guys #1 through #4 are injured, and he can actually get some solid playing time. Even AFTER signing McMullen, the Seahawks are light at the position, currently carrying only three healthy guys.

The fact that McMullen was in training camp with Coach Zorn, who was QB coach in Seattle’s offense before coming here, will probably help him out as he starts with a new team.

Reaction among Skins fans has been surprisingly muted, considering how disappointed everyone seemed that he was let go, although the first commenter to mention it here thinks it will “bite us in the butt” when the team heads to Seattle.

Seahawks fans, on the other hand, are not so convinced.

At the very least, this gives Anthony Brown at Hog Heaven someone else to keep an eye on for his ex-Redskins of the Week.

Saturday, August 9: Gameday, Redskins v. Bills

Start the day with Zach Berman’s profile in the Washington Post of WR Billy McMullen, one the players who has impressed me during training camp.

What’s I found most intriguing about the article was this:

[As a rookie] McMullen’s hands became suspect. As he adjusted to a complicated playbook and the fast pace of the NFL, McMullen struggled in the one aspect of the game most essential to a wide receiver: catching the football.

Watching McMullen over the last few weeks, what he’s impressed me with MOST is his ability to catch the ball away from his body, to reach out and grab it with his hands. (A skill that director of player personnel Scott Campbell lists as hugely important to a top-tier wideout.) So he may well have overcome this particular shortcoming, and it makes him even more interesting to watch through this preseason.

Be sure to check back here throughout the day, as I’ll be posting updates from FedExField this afternoon, as well as in-game observations once the game kicks off at 7:00.

(published at 8:55 a.m.)

Take Heart, Fans, It Feels Empty Without You Guys

Yesterday was the first A.M. practice without fans, and it was a notably different environment.

This used to be your playground....

This used to be your playground....

Look at the vast swaths of land, no longer occupied by mobs of people. Listen to the sounds of practice, without the shouts of “YES SIR!”

“These days before you hit the stretch when you’re playing games, gameplanning, getting days off – those are the dog days. The fans egg you on a lot. They get you fired up a lot quicker,” said WR Billy McMullen.

Fred Davis had a similar take.

Fred Davis grabs a drink during practice.

Fred Davis grabs a drink during practice.

“It’s different not having the fans here. You really have to work to keep the energy up. Coach did a good job motivating us, though – you get a little sluggish waking up every morning at 6:00.”

Sunday, July 27: Back To Business

After the heat, the crowds, and the intensity of yesterday’s scrimmage, we’re back to a more normal practice today. I’ll be down there watching, but here’s a VERY short snip of WR practice, as Billy McMullen, fresh off a strong performance in yesterday’s scrimmage, catches a pass from Derek Devine.

Also, two quick notes for our many Colt Brennan watchers: in team drills a bit later on, Brennan hit one excellent pass in traffic to TE Fred Davis, but then had his next pass tipped and intercepted on a heads-up move by CB Shawn Springs. Ups and downs of rookie season in the NFL, I guess.