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  • Redskins Training Camp – Final Day


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    The last day of open practices for the 2005 Washington Redskins training camp was Thursday and it was probably the hottest day yet. There was a full crowd in attendance and apparently it was ‘VIP’ day as there seemed to almost be more people with VIP passes than without. There were a few of the THN brethren in attendance with Portis26, Punu, Jansen Fan (with Jackson) and oafusp all showing up to watch the Skins practice. It was great to finally catch up with Punu (and his brother and his sister).

    But this was the most vanilla practice to-date. So vanilla in fact that Bryson Spinner and Jason Campbell seemed to get as many or more reps in 11-on-11s than Ramsey and Brunell. It was also extremely hot down on the field and the ‘big guys’, the linemen, spent a great deal of time at the water cooler just trying to replenish fluids.

    Injury update: LavarArrington, Carlos Rogers, Phillip Daniels, Shawn Springs, Brandon Noble, Cornelius Griffin, Tony Dixon, and Artrell Hawkins did not practice but Walt Harris, Santana Moss and Dahrran Diedrick did. Renaldo Wynn also returned from his father-in-law’s funeral.

    11-on-11s

    The quarterbacks looked good today, probably their best day yet. By no means were they perfect but they were definitely completing more passes and genuinely looking more comfortable.

    Patrick Ramsey had his best day of camp in my opinion. Not only did he complete more passes but he threw several short passes with good touch, something that has escaped Ramsey a bit in his first few seasons. There were several passes to the flat that were easy passes and unlike in the past, Patrick floated them in as opposed to firing them in.

    Jason Campbell looked really good today as well. He had some great passes both long and short including a 40-yard pass to Jimmy Farris that Farris stretched out for and pulled down. He still made a couple of bad throws, but for the most part he was crisp and accurate. One note though, his passes do tend to have a bit too much loft in them sometimes.

    Jimmy Farris caught several passes Thursday. This late in camp, someone on the bubble like Farris really benefits from days like Thursday. He was noticeable.

    David Patten didn’t do anything today… except get open on pretty much every play he ran. He may not be very big but he plays with an intensity and tenacity that reminds me a lot of Gary Clark. Personally I think he has fortified himself as the number one option in the receiving corps.

    Antonio Brown is definitely pushing for playing time with the offense. He made a few good catches again today, runs crisp routes, and just seems to glide out there. He has all-world speed and it’s a surprise to me that we picked him up on waivers. Perhaps his speed wasn’t as noticeable in the past, but with every touch of the ball he seems to gain confidence and look more and more dangerous.

    Kevin Dyson also had a nice catch today. It’s hard to see Dyson and Darnerien McCants making the team and one of them is going to be a very, very tough cut. It would be nice to see the coaching staff use the preseason games to give both of them a lot of looks and gauge their opinion on that rather than some vanilla practices. McCants hasn’t had a great camp but it’s hard to ignore both his community spirit and his potential. It’s also hard to ignore that he didn’t miss a practice despite having stitches holding half his thumb on while Taylor Jacobs continues to find new maladies to keep him out of the line-up.

    There were a few more running plays and plays for the running backs today. Portis took his first run of the 11-on-11’s outside on a sweep, followed his blocks nicely and turned it on as he rounded the corner and got up field. He may not be getting a lot of work in these open practices but when he does get a chance, he looks ready to play. It also bears mentioning that you could have drove a truck through the lane opened by the linemen on the play (Samuels and Dockery).

    It wasn’t the only Portis run that the offensive linemen were noticeable on. On another run to the right, jon Jansen and Randy Thomas blew up the left side of the defensive line and portis was five yards down field before he even encountered a defender. Pure power running — Joe Gibbs ball.

    Manuel White made a nice grab across the middle. It wasn’t the quality of the catch so much as the fearless attitude going after the ball in traffic.

    Nehemiah Broughton continues to make his mark. His best run of the day came on a play that he appeared to be stacked up on but just kept driving his legs and powered through the would-be tacklers. This kid is strong and it’s easy to see why Earnest Byner was so high on him. Not only will he make this team but he will likely push very hard for some playing time. There’s always a little crunchy to go with the smooth and it would seem to me that Nemo’s great camp may spell the end for Rock Cartwright.

    Dahrann Diedrick also had a nice run today in his first day back at practice. He ran a sweep to the outside, encountered two defenders, put a nice juke on one and then lowered his shoulder on the other as he was hit on the sidelines. He may be a long shot to make the team but he showed a nice mix of speed and power on that one particular run.

    This concludes the 2005 training camp reports, we hope you enjoyed reading them. Hopefully we provided a little bit of insight as opposed to just re-gurgitating a play-by-play of the practices. We’d like to thank all of the THN brethren that made it out to a practice or two: Hailskins666, Amy, JansenFan, NikiH, Jackson, DEHog, DEHog Jr., Jake, SkinsChic, oafusp, NC43Hog, PhotoHog, Punu, portis26, GibbsHog, warmother, ScrewGun (and his kids Tom and Wendy) and Chris Luva Luva. Camp is great but the people are better. Every year we’re amazed at the quality of these brothers and sisters and they alone are worth the long trip down from Canada.

    Hail to the Redskins and to all the THN mob.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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    Redskins Training Camp – Day 6


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    There was an eerie difference as we arrived at Redskin Park today… it wasn’t busy. It was perhaps the least attended training camp practice since the Spurrier era. The skies were overcast and there was a light drizzle but the rain held off and Redskin fans were treated to an afternoon practice with elbow room.

    There were a lot of different special teams drills today. Typically the crowd sees little more than kick or punt returns but today the Redskins spent a fair bit of time on various ST skills and techniques. The first drill was a tackling drill. The ball carrier started behind a man shielded from the tackler’s view, the tackler broke towards the ‘shield’ and then the ball carrier would go left or right when the tackler was almost there and the tackler had to react. Nothing exciting, but obviously Danny Smith felt that the unit needed some tackling work.

    The second drill was just lining up for a kickoff in various configurations and then running up to the line as the kicker simulated the kick-off. Obviously the purpose of this drill was timing. They spent several minutes working on their run-ups and several times Smith got on certain guys for stutter stepping, telling them to “Time it up, time it up.” Again, it wasn’t overly exciting but it was good to see the attention to detail. Danny Smith is an intense coach and was ‘instructing’ the whole time.

    Also of note today was the number of Washington Redskins not practicing due to injuries; Carlos Rogers, Lavar Arrington, Brandon Noble, Shawn Springs, Tony Dixon, Garnell Wilds, Dahrran Diedrick, Santana Moss, Ray Brown, Phillip Daniels. Cornelius Griffin and Walt Harris both practiced this afternoon.

    11-on-11s

    Overall in the 11-on-11’s, the offense wasn’t great. But today it was mostly because the defense was spectacular. It was an average day for the quarterbacks with a few overthrows and a lot more incomplete passes. But Gregg Williams sent a lot of blitzes today, and the defense was buzzing. This defense of Williams’ is so hard to defend and the players seem to really, really enjoy playing in it. Walt Harris came jogging out to pick up a receiver in motion today, broke to the receiver as he took off and then just reversed directions after a few steps and cut back towards the quarterback on a blitz. The offense didn’t pick it up at all and Harris ran unabated to the QB and tapped him to end the play. Harris smiled, Williams smiled… I couldn’t see Gibbs but I bet he wasn’t smiling. The defense practiced with the aggression that they played last year and it was the first practice I’ve noticed them perform so well.

    My favorite moment of the day had to be on a Sean Taylor blitz. Taylor ran a delayed blitz and looked to have an unimpeded path to the quarterback when out of nowhere Jim Molinaro stepped off of his beaten block and just blew Taylor up. I don’t think Taylor ever saw him and he was a little shaken up on the play. I was in awe to see ST go down like a sack of potatoes when he is such a physical, dominating defender. Taylor got up a little limp, but he jogged off and was back out the next time it was his turn, so obviously it was nothing serious. The big second year tackle from Notre Dame continues to impress me and I watched him A LOT today. I didn’t see him get beaten once and further to that, on one play he blew his assignment against Aki Jones and stepped inside when he should have stepped outside, but still recovered and completely nullified Jones. Jonathan Combs also broke a long run up the right side on one instance, and Molinaro completely sealed off his block. He has quick feet for such a big guy – an obviously necessary trait for a left tackle.

    It’s hard to keep it exciting just talking about vanilla plays in 11-on-11s day after day, so I thought today I’d just rank some key performers and performances on the offense with perhaps a few comments.

    Patrick Ramsey – had a much better day than yesterday. He struggled early on and he was still off the mark a few times but he also made some good throws. Perhaps his best play of the day came when he had to step up into the pocket when Walt Harris came through on a blitz. Ramsey looked destined to be sacked but lobbed up a pass that landed right in James Thrash’s lap for about a 35-yard pick-up. It was probably the loudest cheer of the day from the crowd. He also made another nice play on a touch pass to Billy Baber that he lobbed over the hands of the oncoming defender and had very little time to work with.

    Mark Brunell – had an average day. Couple of really bad overthrows but a couple of passes zipped in there as well.

    Jason Campbell – had a good day. He had a couple of bullet passes today including one to Jimmy Farris. He also had another great run when he felt the pocket collapsing and rolled out to his left and ended up taking the ball ten or fifteen yards up the field before a defender forced him out of bounds.

    David Patten – had a good day. He made some good catches and I watched him run crisp pattern after crisp pattern. He did miss a pass or two but you can’t expect him to lay himself out to go get a pass in a vanilla practice. In my mind, he’s been the best receiver at camp so far and he plays a lot tougher than his size.

    Kevin Dyson – didn’t have a great day. He missed a couple of passes that might have been catchable, but in fairness to him, this is probably the first practice that he hasn’t been good.

    Ladell Betts – had a great day. There were a few more runs today, and Betts seemed to have more carries than Clinton Portis. Betts hit the whole hard on every run and Earnest Byner seemed very happy with the work he put in this afternoon. He also made a very ‘tough’ catch underneath on a pass from Ramsey that left Betts a little exposed. Portis had a decent run as well but didn’t see much action as Joe Gibbs is obviously not going to show anything but a vanilla playbook at these open practices. Clinton was sporting a ‘new look’ today with three/quarter length shorts on. What a card.

    Nehemiah Broughton – made a couple of good runs today. The rookies always seem to ‘try’ a little harder out there and today Nemo’s effort resulted in a couple of solid gains. He also worked on kick returns in special teams drills and there is no doubt in my mind that there is a position on this team for the kid.

    Other notes from today… Lavar Arrington passed his physical with flying colors. He also spent considerable time signing autographs after practice and laughing it up with the crowd. He always seems in good spirits but today he was exceptionally charismatic.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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    Redskins Training Camp – Day 5


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    Descending on Redskin Park today, it seemed impossible that the heavens wouldn’t open. Dark and overcast for most of the practice, it was surprising that it held off until practice closed. This seemed to keep the crowd to a dull roar but with six or seven bus loads of camp kids there, it was still pretty busy. We met Portis26 and GibbsHog today, and it was GibbsHog’s birthday. He got a nice autograph on his Lavar jersey which likely made a nice birthday present. It’s always great to meet people from the THN family and I just wanted to thank them for tracking us down. Good guys, as are most-to-all of the brothers we meet.

    11-on-11’s

    We were not sharp at all today, there were lots of overthrows by all of the quarterbacks. The team seemed a little down, maybe because of the poor showing at the scrimmage on Saturday. The practice was crisp as guys scurried from drill to drill, but the results were not. Here are some individual observations:

    David Patten made a couple of nice catches today. He made one particular over the shoulder ‘blind’ catch in heavy traffic right in front of us. I was surprised to see him actually come down with the ball. It’s surprising just how small our receiving corps is this year. In my mind, Patten has put in the best performance so far at TC.

    While he didn’t do anything spectacular, Nehemiah Broughtonm looks awfully comfortable out there. Someone told me today that on draft day Earnest Byner was freaking out in the war room that the ‘Redskins had left it too late’ and weren’t going to get the bruising back from The Citadel. It seems to me that not only does the 7th rounder have a shot at making the roster but at actually contributing offensively as well as on special teams. He’s strong and he is running with patience, something that a Joe Gibbs’ offense requires. Rock Cartwright’s days as a Redskin may be coming to a close.

    Clinton Portis shows flashes of brilliance which is sort of surprising because the Redskins just aren’t doing much running in the 11-on-11s. I’m sure this is because it’s an open practice and they’re keeping their running game work for the closed practices, but the RBs just aren’t getting much work. Regardless, it seems most times that CP touches the ball, he just squirts out of a seemingly impossible hole and breaks into the second tier of the defense. He looks ready despite the fact that there is little to base it on.

    Jim Molinaro is doing well. While many pegged Mark Wilson as the offensive lineman to watch, from my observations I think Molinaro has the inside track. Molinaro seems to be further along and has the added advantage of being able to play inside. He’s also huge and as big as he is, he looks like he could carry at least another ten or fifteen pounds. Depending on how many offensive linemen the Skins decide to keep, Wilson could be on the bubble.

    Cory Raymer practiced today. If that seems insignificant then you didn’t see him go down on Saturday as it looked like it could be much worse. He didn’t show any signs of an injury today that I could see, so it was great to see one of THN’s favorite Redskins back on the field. Presumably it was just a cramp but I’ll try to get a word with Cory tomorrow and find out for sure.

    On the defensive side of the ball, it’s hard to think about Sean Taylor’s off-field problems when he’s on the field. So fluid, so quick. On one particular Red Zone play he broke the wrong way on a pump fake, but quickly corrected himself and still had time to get back to the receiver despite having taken at least 3 steps the wrong way. He got back into position so quickly that the receiver didn’t get dialed up because by the time that the quarterback checked to him, he was blanketed. He’s just far too quick for a guy his size. Fans who haven’t been to camp before and seen him up close just marvel at his sheer physicality.

    Marcus Washington continues to impress me as well, and for multiple reasons. On the field, not only is he continuing to stand alone as the Redskins’ best linebacker, but he also seems to be taking this defense under his wing. Granted Lavar is still on the sidelines, but Marcus seems to be the one calling the shots out there. Off the field, he’s the last guy to go into Redskin Park every day. Not only does he stay out the longest, he seems bound and determined to make sure that he gets every fan that is looking for his autograph. Very giving, and seemingly very appreciative of the fan’s support.

    Matt Bowen has also impressed me. Not any particular play but just his overall motor. The guy never stops. He puts his all in to each and every down at practice and it has to be infectious to his teammates. After all, we all saw what happened to Trung Canidate when he WASN’T practicing with the intensity that Bowo was. He’s actually practicing on the second unit and Ryan Clark is with the first unit, but I’m not sure it will stay that way. It seems to be spurning Bowen on as well.

    Quick Hitters:

    Walt Harris practiced today for the first time since last Monday; a welcome return considering the rash of injuries in the secondary. I had a chance to speak with him briefly after practice and he said that he felt good, but that he was just easing into things today.

    Darnerien McCants seemed to be in great spirits today… laughing and joking with the crowd and genuinely having a good time. Hopefully this is a sign of Darnerien shaking the doldrums that have ‘highlighted’ his 2005 Camp so far.

    Derrick Dockery was kind enough to spend a couple of quick moments with us after practice as well. We spoke briefly about his brother (who is an OL at Texas U this year) and it brought a big smile to the big guy’s face. I asked him who could eat more and he assured me that it was him. He told me that he loved to eat and could likely eat more than just about anybody. Then I mentioned Randy Thomas and he backed off and gave RT his just dues. Great guy, great smile… and man is he a big fellah.

    Get all your daily coverage of Washington Redskins training camp right here at THN.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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    Redskins Training Camp – Day 4


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    Besides the heat and humidity, it was a mild day at Redskins Park, home of training camp for the Washington Redskins. The heat was stifling Thursday, as several thousand people showed up to watch the fourth day of Washington Redskins training camp.

    The highlight of the practices continues to be the 11-on-11 drills. The wide receivers have had many opportunities to make the crowd ooh and ahh, and today they did not disappoint.

    Veteran wide receiver Kevin Dyson had an outstanding practice on Thursday. He appears to be settling into the offense quite nicely, and the quarterbacks seem to become more and more comfortable with Dyson at each practice.

    The best combination however, has been Ramsey-to-Patten. The two seem to have an excellent rapport with each other, perhaps giving Ramsey a big play target other than Cooley. Patten seems to be doing his part as well, catching everything close to him, including a circus catch today, when a ball expected to arrive to his left almost bounced off his helmet. He leaned back, almost as if doing the limbo, and caught the ball without ever slowing down.

    Antonio Brown continued to impress today, as he practices with the offense as much as he practices punt returns. Also starting to impress, is former Gator Taylor Jacobs. Jacobs has an excellent shot at the third receiver spot, as his play continues to improve.

    Quick Hitters

    Warrick Holdman gets the fan-friendly award today, as he spent thirty to forty five minutes signing autographs in the hot sun.

    Antonio Brown is working out with all the quarterbacks, but one trend that seems to be emerging is that whenever Ramsey and Brown are in, they usually call a fly pattern and try to go over the top. Could this be foreshadowing?

    Jason Campbell is already showing the signs of becoming an excellent NFL quarterback. He possesses a smooth throwing motion and appears (at least in practice) to make good decisions on what to do with the football.

    The defense forced Patrick Ramsey out of the pocket on one particular play, and Ramsey took off running. It was not a spectacular, look-out-its-Michael-Vick run, but it was likely as close as Redskins fans can expect from Ramsey.

    Tomorrow is Fan Appreciation Day at Redskins training camp. Practice will start first, followed by a performance from the Redskin Cheerleaders and the world famous Washington Redskins Marching Band. Oh yes, and of course there is the autographs.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey

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    Redskins Training Camp – Day 3


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    Well the Redskins first morning practice of 2005 Training Camp offered little relief from the heat.It was a beautiful, hot, sunny morning when the Redskins took the field at 8:15am. Carlos Rogers was still not on the field, but otherwise, all players seemd to be in attendance. Lavar Arrington and Brandon Noble still aren’t particpating, but both were on hand to observe and cheer on their teammates. Even Mike Sellers returned to the field on Wednesday after crumpling into a heap and grasping at his hamstring yesterday, as he was apparently just suffering from cramps.

    As has become the norm for the last two camps, the defense broke off from the main field and went to conduct their individual drills on the far field. With them being basically unviewable, the only time to catch how the defense looks is in 7 on 7 or 11 on 11 drills.

    Special Teams were in full view in front of the fans as usual. It’s obvious that the Redskins don’t mind the fans or anybody else watching special teams as that is the bulk of what there has been to watch in the first few days of camp. Just a couple of quick observations… Tom Tupa is still pounding his punts… there were several times yesterday and today where he skied punts higher than the tower crane lift that the Redskins have set up to shoot their personal video footage (probably 50 feet). There’s no doubt that Antonio Brown will see a lot more field time this year as he continues to field punts and kickoffs (see later notes in 11-on-11 for more on AB). One other word of note, whether for sheer practice numbers or for actual work put in, Shawn Springs has spent some time with the special teams unit receiving punts.

    11-on-11 Notes:

    Jason Campbell – like him… dislike him, this kid can play. He towers over the other quarterbacks and looks to have great poise. This was the fan’s first opportunity to see Campbell in 11-on-11’s and while it’s just preseason, he certainly showed some promise. Probably the most notable aspect of Campbell’s game is his willingness to tuck the ball away and take off with it. Several times in the drills when there was pressure coming at Campbell from the outside, he took off with the ball. This is something that Redskin fans have not seen for a while. Further to that, not only does he run with the ball but he does not give up on the pass. On one particular play, Campbell was forced out of the pocket and though he took off running, he never took his eyes off of the intended receiver and as soon as he had broken containment, he lobbed a pass into the flat on a dead run. The receiver ended up catching the ball out of bounds, but it was great to see such fluidity from the Redskins quarterback position.

    Antonio Brown – just continues to make plays and impress. He is getting a lot of reps with the offense and it seems obvious that the Redskins would like to get Antonio invloved more in the offense. While he made several nice plays today, perhaps the nicest was on a simple hitch. Because of Brown’s speed, the CB covering him on the play (Springs I believe) sat back from the line about 10 yards to give himself a little cushion. Brown ran about a two-yard hitch, turned and caught the ball, and then proceeded to juke the cornerback out of his shorts. Brown was never touched as he beat him and took off down the sidelines on what would have been a score. His speed is phenomenal but he makes cutbacks that no Redskin, with the exception of Clinton Portis, can make.

    Clinton Portis – looks sharp. There were several runs today where he ran into a pack only to squirt out one side and take it outside and down the sidelines. There are still times where he appears to be moving faster than most of the offense, but he does seem to be doing a better job of waiting for blocks to develop. The Redskins offense will be counting on CP to shoulder the load, and it appears that he has come to camp eager to improve upon last year’s 1300-plus-yard performance.

    Sean Taylor – problems or no problems, this kid can still ball. It’s hard to believe that he looks even bigger out there, but he does. Sprinting in step with the team’s fastest receivers, blitzing around tackles like they weren’t even there, it’s obvious that while Taylor may not have been where he should be practicing with the Redskins in the offseason, he definitely has been working out hard, and he definitely came to play football. If all of the off-field distractions could go away, all Redskins’ fans would be left with is a phenomenal football player.

    Marcus Washington – is fast becoming many Skins’ fans favorite player, and for good reason. He is flying around the field and making plays, and it seems apparent that he is poised for yet another great year. On the flip side, he continues to dedicate as much or more time to the fans than anyone after pracice. It’s great to see a true leader emerging from this defense that wondered where the leadership would come from with both Antonio Pierce and Fred Smoot departing.

    Patrick Ramsey – looked sharp today. His passes were crisp and he has been more decisive though he continues to shuffle his feet a lot in the pocket. The Redskins seem to be working on the long pass a lot more this offseason and Patrick has easily been the best of the quarterback bunch in that respect. He also seems to be having a lot of fun out there.

    After practice, nearly all of the non-starting offensive lineman stayed on the field to work with Coach Bugel… even the ‘senior guy’ Ray Brown. Dale Lindsey also worked out with many of the linebackers after most of the team had headed into the dressing room.

    More to come tomorrow, so stay tuned.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Coward

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    Redskins Training Camp – Day 1


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    THN was out in full force for day 1 of 2005 Washington Redskins training camp and it was typical Joe Gibbs. After a multitude of individual drills, the team lined up in 7-on 7 and 11-on-11 drills to entertain the crowd.

    Position Battles

    Quarterback: The most noticeable thing about the quarterback battle, aside from the absence of first round pick Jason Campbell who is finalizing his contract, was the vast improvement over the quarterback play from last years training camp.

    Patrick Ramsey and Mark Brunell and Patrick Ramsey looked sharp — sharper than at any point during the portion of training camp open to the public in 2004. Brunell seemed to be able to hit his target on a consistent basis and Ramsey seems not only to have continued to improve his rapport with H-back Chris Cooley, but also to have developed a chemistry with the newly acquired David Patton as well.

    Bryson Spinner had a decent day, but clearly has not had time to fully absorb the offensive set. He did provide a flash of athleticism rarely seen in a Joe Gibbs quarterback, as he turned a broken play into a 5-yard game with his quick feet.

    Wide Receiver: As I stated previously, Ramsey and Patton seemed to have found a groove early in their time together. Ramsey seemed to find Patton open in the end zone all afternoon. THN favorite Darnerien McCants also had a pretty good day, using his size and physicality to make some big catches.

    While Kevin Dyson and Taylor Jacobs both had a rather inauspicious showing today, undrafted rookie Rich Parson and the former Carolina Panther Nathan Black performed well. Black, after missing the first few weeks, finished the NFL – Europe season strong with the Rhein Fire, and his football shape stood out on special teams and receiving drills.

    On a special note, no player epitomizes the Washington Redskins quite like James Thrash. Thrash entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1997, and has turned his hard work and dedication into quite an NFL career. Unfortunately, the most dependable player on the roster missed the first day’s practice due to the death of his father. He is excused from practice indefinitely, in order to grieve with his family. THN would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to the Thrash family in this time of mourning.

    Center: The offensive line removed themselves to the far back corner of the practice field to run individual drills, and did not really make an appearance until the full team drills took place towards the end of practice. From the little data THN was able to gather from these drills, both Raymer and Rabach seemed equally adept at setting protection packages at the line, and both protected the quarterback equally well.

    Middle Linebacker: The drills the Redskins chose to run today were not very conducive to judging the participants of this battle. One telling sign in how this battle is going however is that Lemar Marshall spent a lot of time in the middle during the team drills at the end of practice.

    Quick Hitters

    Safety Net: Sean Taylor appeared to be genuinely happy to be at Redskins Park. The buzz around camp was that the whole experience in south Florida has been an eye-opening experience. Taylor, who appears to be at least 10 pounds heavier and every bit as fast, forced a fumble and intercepted a deflected pass during team drills.

    It is also of note, that no one signed autographs after practice longer than Sean Taylor. Taylor seems to be trying to make peace with the fans after a tumultuous offseason, and judging by the reaction of the fans, it is fair to say that at least the fans in attendance loved every minute of it.

    Big Hit Bowo: Matt Bowen made a bone-crushing hit on Chris Cooley in the end zone of today’s practice. Of course, Cooley hopped up, slapped his hands together and lamented about the dropped ball, but there is no denying that the cause of the dropped pass was all Bowen. Based on the start he had last season, the Bowo’s return in the secondary could make for some exciting football.

    Speaking of Cooley: Chris spent this offseason working on two things: blocking and increasing his speed. While his blocking technique was not showcased today, his speed work appears to have paid off, as well as an offseason gelling with quarterback Patrick Ramsey. Ramsey seemed to be able to find Cooley on any given play, and other than the pass broken up by Bowen, Cooley caught everything thrown in his direction.

    The Antonio Brown Phenomenon: Antonio Brown was the talk of Redskins mini-camp, with his impressive speed and shifty running style. If you have not seen this guy in person, you have no idea what you are missing. In what could easily be labeled the play of the day, Brown received a punt and just embarrassed a pursuing linebacker with a cutback that seemed to defy the law of physics. If Brown were wearing a shiny black trench coat, one would have sworn it was a scene from the Matrix movies.

    Finding Nemo: Nemo Broughton displayed the tough, bruising style that enamored the Redskins prior to the draft. Broughton repeatedly bounced off of defenders, who seemed to hit him harder every play. If Broughton was brought in for the “Gerald Riggs” role to complement the cut-and-go style of Clinton Portis, opposing teams may be in deep trouble.

    Achilles Watch: Jon Jansen showed no sign of the injury that ended last season before it began. Jansen seemed to be able to move in any direction without limitation, and appears to be back in top form already. This could be the year the Jansen finally makes the move from under-appreciated, under-rated pillar of strength to Pro Bowl Tackle.

    New Fashion Trend: Everyone who saw it loved it. No, it was not the shaved head of kicker John Hall, who typically looks ore like a professional surfer than a place kicker. While that surely did not go unnoticed, the talk of the day started as soon as the quarterbacks stepped out on the field in their shiny gold jerseys with burgundy numbers. Dan Snyder, if you are reading this, do not pass up on this merchandising opportunity.

    Notably Absent: Unable to practice today due to injury recovery were LaVar Arrington and Brandon Noble. Jason Campbell and Carlos Rogers were absent today, pending the completion of contract negotiations, although reports indicate at the time of this writing that Jason Campbell has signed his rookie deal. James Thrash is excused, tending to personal business.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey

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    Battlefield Ashburn: Redskins Training Camp


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    As the Washington Redskins ready for their second training camp under Hall of Fame coach, Joe Gibbs, we here at THN will be highlighting what we feel are the battles to watch at camp. Position battles are to be expected on a team that is still looking to transform itself into a team that Redskins fans have yearned for since Coach Gibbs last tenure ended, some twelve years ago.

    The Undercard

    Kicker: Jeff Chandler v. John Hall
    This battle may not be determined on the field, as it appears that the Chandler may be the one asked to put the ball between the pipes when called upon. Accuracy may be a push, but Hall holds a slight advantage on leg strength, making this an intriguing battle. The dark horse in this battle could be Hall’s recovery from his injury-plagued 2004 season. If his leg is even questionable, Hall may find himself following his “Jetskins” brothers (Coles and Morton) out of Redskins Park.

    Punter: Tom Tupa v. Andy Groom
    Despite the differences in age and experience, these two punters have much in common. One could call this competition the “Battle of the Buckeyes”, as both Tupa and Groom played at Ohio State. Both punters also came into the NFL during a Bush Administration; George Bush Sr. was coming into office when Tupa came into the NFL while Groom is in his third year. Groom, known for his booming leg in college, has found out just how difficult it is to make it as a punter in the NFL, no matter how talented he may be. Tupa is a grizzled veteran, and can also serve as the emergency quarterback.

    TE/H-back: Robert Royal v. Chris Cooley v. Mike Sellers
    This is the first of our battles in which all involved could remain on the roster after camp unless their play is such that the team’s hand is forced. Royal (a Spurrier holdover) needs to step up his play and show that his potential can be realized. Injuries have slowed him early in his career and now is the time for him to bring it all to the table. Cooley did nothing but impress last season (as a rookie), whether it be his soft hands or his blocking, he may have exceeded even his own lofty expectations. More of the same will be expected from him this season. Sellers returns for another season and could be used as the H-back and in short yardage situations.

    Quarterback: Jason Campbell v. Mark Brunell
    With Coach Gibbs naming Ramsey as the starter (and providing that Ramsey gives him no reason to change) the Redskins should have some stability in a position that hasn’t seen it in years. Campbell comes into his first NFL camp with a great deal of focus on him after being taken by the team with their second first round pick. A pick that cost the team future draft picks. The team has made no secrets about how high they are on the Auburn grad and some have questioned how soon he will unseat the incumbent as the starter. Brunell will need to return to Pro Bowl form to keep his spot as backup but it appears to be just a matter of time before Campbell passes him on the depth chart. Brunell’s greatest contribution to the team could be his tutelage of the young quarterbacks.

    Feature Bouts

    Linebacker: LaVar Arrington v. Redskins F.O. v. Knee
    Arrington is expected to return from the knee injury that cost him the 2004 season. The question remains as to how well he will play on that knee as well as how he performs under the Gregg Williams system that excelled last season without Arrington. Arrington also has entrenched himself in a battle with the front office over the grievance filed regarding the signing bonus he feels he is due. How that plays out may be an underlying factor for Arrington’s performance, attitude and role on the team.

    Tackle: Jon Jansen v. Achilles Tendon
    The Rock is back. He has reported that the tendon is healed and he had no problems following a physical mini-camp that provided an excellent test for the injured area. Jansen’s return to the line could be bigger than any of the free agent signings or drafted players. Both Clinton Portis and Patrick Ramsey should be the immediate benefactors to Jansen’s return to work.

    Center: Cory Raymer v. Casey Rabach
    On the surface, this battle may not in fact be one. While Raymer performed well last season after replacing Lennie Friedman in the starting line-up in week 3, there’s no denying that Rabach was brought in from Baltimore to strengthen the center position. With the loss of Jansen at the beginning of last season, the entire line played at least one man bigger to try and cope with that loss. This season — provided they stay healthy — the line should be the strongest in years and both Raymer and Rabach will be integral parts of the line.

    Wide receivers: Kevin Dyson v. Taylor Jacobs v. Santana Moss v. David Patten
    With Rod Gardner out of the mix, the duties of catching passes and spreading the field falls on the second coming of the “Smurfs”. It remains to be seen how this group will adjust to the new offense being brought in by Gibbs and Musgrave, especially considering that there is no true-cut number 1 on the roster. The biggest issue last season was the lack of separation and the team’s inability to spread the field. This season could be the same as well as lack of a physical receiver. It could end up being a wide out by committee but then again, Moss and Patten have the experience and could play themselves into the starting role.

    Editor’s Note: Following the posting of this story, a thread will be started in the Training Camp forum to extract feedback from theHogs.net members as too which battles said members would like the staff to take specific interest in while reporting from camp.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Les Barnhart

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    New Player Profiles: Brock Forsey


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    THN will be profiling over a dozen players in the weeks leading up to the Washington Redskins 2005 Training Camp. As with any modern-day NFL offseason, many new faces have come to town. Up next in the previews is offseason UFA pick-up, running back Brock Forsey.

    Number: 39
    Position: RB
    Height: 5’11”
    Weight: 208
    School: Boise State
    Major: Social Science
    Hometown: Meridian, ID
    Birthday: 02/11/1980

    How Acquired: Forsey is a two-year vet signed in May 2005, after playing the 2004 season with the Dolphins and the 2003 season with the Bears.

    Professional Career: The Chicago Bears drafted Forsey in the 6th round of the 2003 NFL Draft. That season, Brock played in nine games (two starts) and finished the season with 50 carries for 191 yards, including a career best 134 yards on 27 carries and two receptions for 27 yards vs. Arizona on November 30th.

    After being traded to the Miami Dolphins the following season as part of a package deal for Adewale Ogunleye, Forsey had 19 carriers for 53 yards as a reserve on Miami’s anemic offense and added one special team tackle.

    Collegiate Career: As a senior, Brock led the nation in scoring and was named WAC Offensive Player of the Year. A former walk-on, Brock concluded his Boise State career as the second leading rusher in school history (4,045 yards on a school record 813 carries). He was also the third player in school history to score 400 points, while racking up 6,670 all-purpose yards and 50 rushing touchdowns

    Brock started 35 of 49 games and on top of his rushing accomplishments caught 101 passes for 1,175 yards (18 TDs) and returned 63 kickoffs for 1,450 yards. He was a three-time all-Western Athletic Conference performer and ran for 100-plus yards in 19 games.

    High School Career: As a senior at Centennial High School in Meridian, Idaho, Brock rushed for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns, leading his team to a state championship. He earned first-team all-state honors as a junior and a senior. He also lettered in baseball.

    Outlook: Forsey joins a strong running back corp that includes Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright, as well as Dahrran Diedrick, who played in NFL –Europe last season and undrafted rookie Jonathan Combs. He knows he’s competing for a backup role and must make a good impression on Coaches Joe Gibbs and Earnest Byner as well as Danny Smith, the Redskins Special Teams Coach.

    He should compete with Cartwright and others for playing time on kick and punt return coverage units. Gibbs made a point to mention that Forsey was a quality special teams addition at his signing. Brock is optimistic and is refreshingly appreciative of his opportunity with the Redskins. It’ll be fun to watch his efforts in making the club in camp and during the pre-season.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Frank Hastings

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    New Player Profiles: Kevin Dyson


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    THN will be profiling over a dozen players in the weeks leading up to the Washington Redskins 2005 Training Camp. Up next in the previews is offseason UFA pick-up, wide receiver Kevin Dyson.

    Number: 18
    Position: WR
    Height: 6’2″
    Weight. 212
    School: University of Utah
    Major:
    Hometown: Logan, Utah
    Birthday: 06/23/1975
    Newcomer Kevin Dyson at mini-Camp

    How Acquired: Dyson was signed by the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent on June 6th, 2005.

    Professional Career: Dyson was selected by the Tennessee Titans (then known as the Tennessee Oilers) in the 1st round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He is best known for being the recipient of Frank Wycheck’s lateral in the waning seconds of the 1999 AFC Wild Card game versus the Buffalo Bills. That play, which resulted in a 75-yard touchdown, will forever be remembered as the “Music City Miracle”.

    Dyson also caught the potentially game-winning pass from Steve McNair in Super Bowl XXXIV. Dyson ended up one yard shy of the endzone after being wrapped up by Rams linebacker Mike Jones with as time expired.

    Dyson played with Tennessee until 2002. During his 5 seasons in Tennessee, he totaled 176 catches, 2,310 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. While in Tennessee, Kevin also played with his brother, Andre, who is now a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks.

    He went on to sign with the Carolina Panthers prior to the 2003 season. He appeared in his second Super Bowl with Carolina against the New England Patriots. Due to a torn Achilles suffered during mini-camp, he only caught two passes during the regular season.

    After the Panthers decided not to re-sign Dyson following the 2003 season, he went on to sign with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers released the 6-year veteran prior to the start of the 2004 season though and he did not play at all in 2004.

    Collegiate Career: From 1994-1997, Kevin was a three-year starter for the Utes. He holds Utah’s all-time reception record (192), is second with 2,726 receiving yards, and ranks fourth with 18 touchdown receptions. Dyson was redshirted as a true freshman in 1993. He was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection and was Utah’s offensive MVP during his junior season in 1996.

    High School Career: Dyson was an all-state selection at defensive back and also played receiver for Clearfield High School in Clearfield, Utah. He also earned all-area and honorable mention all state as a basketball player for the Falcons.

    Outlook: Dyson is a talented and speedy receiver who has been plagued by injuries. He has only played in one game since the end of the 2002 season. He hopes to catch on with the Redskins; a position that already has a full stable of talented players. Dyson will have to battle the likes of Santana Moss, David Patten, Darnerien McCants, Taylor Jacobs, and James Thrash in training camp in order to make the squad.

    If his health holds up, Dyson’s hopes may be realized, and the veteran receiver may find himself a home in Washington.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell

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    New Player Profiles: Tony Dixon


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    THN will be profiling over a dozen players in the weeks leading up to the Washington Redskins 2005 Training Camp. Up next in the previews is offseason UFA pick-up, safety Tony Dixon.

    Number: 29
    Position: S
    Height: 6’1″
    Weight: 213
    School: Alabama
    Major: Business Management (graduated 12/00)
    Hometown:
    Birthday: 06/18/1979

    How Acquired: Tony Dixon joined the Washington Redskins on June 18, 2005 as an unrestricted free agent. Dixon reportedly signed a one-year deal for the league minimum $540,000 base salary.

    Professional Career: Dixon has spent his entire four-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. While in Dallas, Dixon appeared in 56 games, starting 15 games at both safety positions. During that time, he recorded 90 tackles (56 solo), six sacks, 10 pass deflections and one interception. In 2004 – a season in which Dixon made 7 of his 15 career starts — he had 25 tackles (15 solo), three sacks, four pass breakups and his two forced fumbles tied him with Terrence Newman and Keith Davis for the most on the team. He also collected 49 tackles as a standout on special teams, leading the Cowboys with 20 special team tackles in 2003. The Cowboys acquired Dixon in the second round (56th overall) of the 2001 NFL draft.

    Collegiate Career: Dixon was a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide. As a senior, he finished third on the team in tackles (90) and had two interceptions at free safety. During his junior year, he split time between strong and free safety. That year the Tide went 10-3 and won the SEC title.

    High School Career: Dixon played both ways for the Pickens County High School Tornadoes. He was a four-year starter and also lettered in basketball and baseball, earning all-state football honors as a senior. That year he rushed for 1,450 yards and 18 scores, passed for two more and caught yet another. After graduating with an advanced diploma and finishing fourth in his class, Dixon became the first athlete from Pickens to sign a Division 1 scholarship.

    Outlook: Contrary to ESPN / Pasquarelli reporting, Dixon’s signing had nothing to do with Taylor’s legal troubles. Dixon was signed to fill a spot on special teams. Barring injury, Dixon should be able to be a standout special teamer. Dixon will also add experience, intelligence and depth to the Redskin secondary. He’s a solid tackler and run defender and blitzes very well. His experience at both safety positions will allow Gregg Williams to get creative when deciding how best to use him.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Frank Hastings

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