Tuesday afternoon and it's a scorcher here in Ashburn. I arrived a little early figuring that the good weather would bring people out in droves. It proved sound judgement as this afternoon was far and away the most heavily attended practice.
Unfortunately, the players all came out without their pads on which meant that we were going to be treated to a fairly low octane practice.
I sat by the offensive linemen for the first 15 minutes, but there was very little that you could determine in terms of physicality and strength. The linemen just did some light impact drills and worked on a few of their pulls. They split into a left half and a right half, with Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas and Larry Moore composing the left half and Jon Jansen, Dave Fiore, and Lennie Friedman making up the right. The backups all lined up as defenders and coach Helton went through the drills. Not much of note here except to say again that Derrick Dockery is absolutely massive. I stood about two feet from him today and he is a beast. Samuels gave us a great photo today. Folks when you're down here looking for photos and autographs, yelling Mr. Samuels as opposed to hey Chris will go a long way.
The next segment of the practice involved some trick plays. John Hall was lining up to kick a few field goals and then they were huttting directly to him for him to squib into the 'coffin corner'. There were a couple of really good ones with one going about on the one. he only kicked one field goal while they were lined up and he was good from 36 with at least 10 yeards to spare.
I was thinking that this practice was going to have no value in terms of assessing play, but then the horn sounded and the offense lined up to do some passing drills. I had moved to the quieter end of the field when the action was at the other end (when there wasn't really any action going on). It ended up being a great vantage point for the passing drills and I was able to watch P-Ram and the receivers again quite closely. It would be repetitive to say much more than Coles and McCants were awesome again. I didn't see either one of them drop a single ball. Jacobs and Russell continued beating the second stringers with their speed and looked very comfortable out there considering their inexperience.
Richmond Flowers is making a real strong bid to make this team early in camp. The only ball he didn't catch today was on a bad throw and he still nearly caught it. He catches EVERYTHING. He has become my new dark horse guy that I'm going to be really pulling for to make this squad. He could take Patrick Johnson's spot if he can show the kind of hands in some game time action as he's showed at practice.
Much to my delight, Rod Gardner also finally had a great practice. It was the first practice that he has been noticeable and he made some great grabs this afternoon. he also made a couple of tough grabs in traffic across the middle.
I think the most important part about the entire session was that it was very easy to gauge how the receivers were playing because darn near every ball was on the money. Ramsey has been awesome. I'd like to not be so gushy about it but I've watched about 10 hours of football with a lot of different (really nice) people. We have all been amazed with P-Ram's accuracy and confidence, and you better catch the ball in front of you or it's going to sting. It's only practice and drills aren't the same as having d-linemen that want to crush you, but consistently throwing the ball well is encouraging nevertheless. The offense was developing a swagger this afternoon because they really put together some nice looking plays.
Practice was finished at about 6:00pm today, a little early to get out of the sweltering heat. I grabbed a few autographs and then I interviewed Jake Russell. Jake is a 15 year old lad that I met at camp that everybody knows. The reason everybody knows Jake? Because he knows all of them. There isn't a Redskin player Jake doesn't know (no matter how new) and I've really enjoyed talking to him and his mother Terry for the few days that we have been at camp. I will post the interview when I get back from camp as time here is short with 6-7 hours of practice to watch and an hour or two doing up reports.
That is it for the afternoon wrap, hopefully tomorrow morning's practice will afford me a better look at the offensive line.
This article was released on 2003-07-29.
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