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.
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.