Redskins Begin 2005 Campaign
By: Dan Hines 
Posted: 2005-06-17
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Washington Redskins took the field today for the first of their three days of mini-camp. It is the first mandatory camp for all players. After calisthenics, the players broke out into their respective units.

The offensive line, working under the constant eye of offensive line coach Joe Bugel, worked on their stance, firing off the line and even managed to get in some time on the sled. Jon Jansen was sharp and showed no effect of the Achilles heel injury that sidelined him for the entire 2004 season.

The receivers displayed their quick feet and hands in multiple receiver drills. With the addition of David Patten, Santana Moss and Kevin Dyson the Redskins now have what they consider to be a legitimate deep threat. It was easy to see why watching them run in the drills.

On the defensive side, the defensive backs worked on interception returns. Defensive line coach Greg Blache had the defensive line working on getting off the ball and getting by the offensive linemen.

The quarterbacks worked on footwork and drop backs under new coach Bill Musgrave.

Special teams coach Danny Smith pulled out the volleyballs for the special teams drills. Under the watchful eye of a NFL referee the special teamers attempted to keep the volleyball from going in the endzone, simulating a touchback. While the newbie’s struggled, James Thrash show the technique he used that helped him garner special teams player of the week last season. Also of note in the special teams drills was that Darnerien McCants was participating. McCants didn't participate in special teams drills in 2004 training camp and his lack of special teams play has often been hinted at as a possible reason for his lack of regular playing time.

Off The Field

Easily the “buzz’ of the day was the return of tackle Jon Jansen and the speed of the Redskins new receivers. Head coach Joe Gibbs said that he was glad to have all players in camp, and quickly noted that during the non-voluntary workouts this off-season, the team had a 96% participation rate. Gibbs called it the best he has ever seen in his coaching career.

After practice in his interview session, Jansen said that while he feels 100% back from the injury, he won’t be fully back until he puts on the pads and makes his first contact at training camp. He went on to say that he missed the physicalness of the game and can't wait to provide the emotion and leadership he feels he brings to the game. Jansen fully expects the Redskins to be in the playoffs and said making it to the Superbowl this year would be extra special for him, with the Superbowl being played in his hometown of Detroit.

Clinton Portis called Santana Moss the fastest receiver in the NFL in his press conference. Portis said that when Moss is teamed with Patten, Dyson and Jacobs, they make up the fastest set of receivers in the league. Portis joked that the Redskins could put all four receivers on the field and have them all run deep and give him the ball on a draw. When told of Portis’ comments Moss said “we may not be the fastest but when you watch us you can see why people say that.”

Shawn Springs spoke with the media after practice as well, and was also quick to praise receivers David Patten and Santana Moss, saying that he’s been challenged more by these two then by any others in recent camps. When asked about the departure of cornerback Fred Smoot, Springs had nothing but good things to say about the former Redskin, calling him a great player and good friend. Springs mostly joked about Smoot saying that Smoot has called him and told him he’s been playing receiver in Minnesota and is going to smoke Springs when they play. Springs countered by telling Smoot he should give him half his signing bonus because he had his best year opposite him. When asked for a funny story about Smoot, Springs remembered asking Smoot how big a signing bonus he got, Smoot didn’t respond instead he showed Springs his new necklace complete with a gold medallion in the shape of Mississippi! Springs called him “Austin Powers” and “country as hell”

Patrick Ramsey seemed excited about the installation of the shotgun in the offense. Ramsey says he feels more comfortable with the offense and credits it to the playing time he got during the 2004 season. Ramsey likes the pass protection scheme in this offense and feels it will give him the time needed to get the ball down the field this year. Gibbs and Ramsey were quick to point out that the offense lacked the big play last year, and with the new additions on offense coupled with a sold running game, hope to change that this season.

On the Sidelines

Not participating in practice today were Lavar Arrington (knee), Michael Barrow (knee), Brandon Noble (knee) and Chris Cooley (hamstring). Also not in attendance today was safety Sean Taylor obviously, who was excused from mini camp for personal reasons. When pressed by the media for comments about Taylor, Shawn Springs put things in perspective saying that he was not worried about Sean Taylor the football player; however, he is concerned for a friend, and a member of the family. Springs also called Taylor a special player.
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