***Bonus Post***. I wasn't planning on going to the afternoon session, but I am becoming a junkie I think. Overall, the afternoon practices seem a lot more relaxed. They do not have pads on, and the energy and concentration level in this one was pretty low until the last 20 minutes, where they had some 2 minute drills. The afternoon practice only lasted an hour and 20 minutes (this morning's lasted a full 2 hours).
Man! Talk about attendance, this place was packed! The practice was again on the opposite corner field, but for a while, again, the defense went to the far right field while the offense stayed at the far left field.
I watched some of the defensive line going through what can only be called "hitting" drills. This is where the linemen go through 8 paded cones, hitting each one as hard as they can. Not sure what the purpose of this was but it looked way cool. If we have a boxing match break out, our guys looked very prepared. The CBs were practicing catching, and suffice to say, were not as good as our WRs.
During this time the Offense broke into groups. The running backs took a number of handoffs. Chad Morton participated in this (after taking the morning practice off) and took over his usual #2 spot in the rotation. Also, in a fight for a practice squad spot, Sultan McClough is continually ahead of Gillespie in the rotation. It will be interesting to see how both of these guys fare in the first preseason game. They should get a lot of looks due to Watson and Betts being out.
7 on 7 drills
The QB, RBs and WRs participated against the LBs and DBs for some somewhat relaxed 7 on 7 drills. Ramsey hit some and missed some. In one high energy play, Jesse Armstead almost intercepted a Ramsey pass over the middle about 10 yards out. He should have had it but dropped it. Johnson mostly threw shorter passes and did alright. Danny was probably a little better than Johnson, but not close to Ramsey. The speed of Ramsey's ball is TUNS faster than Danny's. In some cases the receivers dropped some catchable balls as well. Scott Cloman missed one, Coles missed one, Flowers missed one.
2 minute offense: 11 on 11
By far the best and most telling portion of this practice was the two minute offense drills. These started at around the far 35 yard line. Ramsey did the first round of these (until a touchdown was scored) followed by Johnson. They started off pretty lacadasical, but after Coles' first grad, things became pretty serious and tense. They were "hurrying up" as much as possible for a practice to start each play quickly.
Here's the flow of the plays while Ramsey was at the helm.
- 20 Yard completed pass to coles to the left sideline
- Miss to Patrick Johnson over the middle (bad throw, but Johnson was covered, so it might have been an intentional overthrow)
- Short completed out to the left to Zeron Flemister (he caught it right at the sideline and went out of bounds, falling over a water cooler, he looked slightly hurt from this and did not return during this drill).
- Miss to the right to James Johnson (slightly catchable but not an easy catch - not a great throw, and he was well covered).
- 20 yard great catch to Richmond Flowers down the right side.
- Short miss over the middle (too many people to tell who the intended receiver was but I think is was Trung)
- Long Reception down the middle left to Coles. They were on like the 10 yard line then while I was on the opposite side of the field.
- Short miss (did not see the intended receiver)
- Touchdown, Washington Redskins! Rod Gardner, over the middle.
Then Johnson came in...Ugh...
Johnson missed too many times to keep track of, and would have been sacked at least 3 times due to him holding the ball (I think I saw Lavar reading war and peace next to him while waiting for him to deliver the ball). At one point in the middle of the field, he looked like he was on his 6th down. They just were not moving forward. He did have one really nice pass to Flowers though. It will be interesting to see how he does this Saturday. I predict Danny taking over the number 2 spot before the 3rd preseason game unless something really strange occurs.
They wrapped the practice up early at this point, maybe Spurrier was too disgusted to continue, that would have been my reaction too.
My " Moment of Training Camp" came after practice. This morning NOBODY came to sign autographs. I had my son with me again so we were hoping to get something signed. As we came around, Lavar was talking to someone in the tents near the autograph roped area (you know where this is if you have gone - its right near the path the redskins go down if they are going to the main practice field on the front right). People really started begging. Finally Lavar comes down and my son got in good and got him to sign our football.
Smoot then came over. We had gotten him earlier (To his credit he has been signing autographs 3 of the 4 times I have been there) so we didn't bother him. As we were leaving I told my son if I only got one autograph, I would have wanted it to be Lavar. Then we started hearing the crowd yelling, "Champ!". Sure enough Champ was heading to the mob scene (it was a mob scene, easily 8 deep around the players). My son again got in quickly and got Champ's sig! Most Awesome! He had a hard time getting out though, I finally had to ask people to move out of the way to extract him - it was that packed. In short we only got two autographs, but they were the best two we could get!
This article was released on 2003-08-05.
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