Redskins Camp Preview (ESPN)

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Redskins Camp Preview (ESPN)

Postby riggofan » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:08 am

I'm hoping this hasn't been posted yet...

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/training ... id=2936560


Washington Redskins training camp
Site: Redskins Park
Location: Ashburn, Va.
First practice: July 27
2005 Record: 5-11

Expanded NFL training camp coverage

Three Burning Questions

1. Can Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts flourish by sharing carries in 2007?
Portis missed a lot of time in 2006 due to shoulder and hand injuries. Betts did a great job filling in, averaging 128 rushing yards in the season's last five games after being primarily a third-down back for most of his career. Portis has better running skills both inside and on his patented stretch play, and he is an underrated pass blocker. Betts has improved his shiftiness and moves, and he is an excellent third back as a receiver. Portis gives the Redskins explosive big-play potential, while Betts gives them stability and consistency. It would not be surprising to see more than 2,000 yards rushing from this tandem in 2007. Portis loves running behind Washington's zone-blocking schemes. Offensive coordinator Al Saunders has the challenge of designing an offensive approach that caters to both of these backs.

2. Can the Redskins' first-round draft pick, DS LaRon Landry, impact the defense?
The No. 6 pick overall, Landry is a great addition and gives the Redskins' defense flexibility in its alignment and schemes. Sean Taylor has been playing strong safety, which requires him to play in the box too much, negating his athleticism and range, especially in coverage. In the minicamps, the coaches had Landry at strong safety, since he is comfortable playing in the box as well as covering tight ends and backs. Taylor lined up at free safety, where he can use his speed to make more plays in space. If Landry can handle the strong safety role as a rookie, it not only would give Washington a great safety tandem but also would mean more flexibility for the secondary.

3. Can Todd Wade have success in a move from ROT to LOG?
The Redskins' offensive line played very well in 2006, but the departure of LOG Derrick Dockery in free agency is really a cause for concern. Wade gets the first shot, moving from his natural tackle spot to the inside. Unfortunately, he has had injury problems and has never played guard; plus, at 6-foot-8, he may be too tall to be an inside player. If Wade falters, the Redskins will look to Mike Pucillo, William Whitticker and Taylor Whitley, but none of the three look like 16-game starters. Wade has a chance, because Washington's zone-blocking schemes can hide his limited athleticism. This is a unit that allowed only 19 sacks in 2006 and created plenty of holes in the run game. The last thing the Redskins want to do is upset the chemistry they have created.



The player under the microscope

QB Jason Campbell. He started seven games in 2006, and with a good offseason he is now ready to take over. He has excellent poise and toughness and real leadership skills in the huddle. However, there is room to improve in terms of his completion percentage and accuracy on the deep ball. There is a lot of pressure for this franchise to win now, and a lot of that falls on Campbell's shoulders. If he falters, the only other option is Mark Brunell, and we have been down that road before. With a good offseason and better familiarity with his receivers, Campbell should be an improved quarterback in 2007.


Fantasy take
The Redskins signed Ladell Betts to a large extension in the offseason, meaning he'll be a large part of the running game. How the Redskins split carries between Betts and Clinton Portis -- who must prove he is healthy -- will determine where you need to draft both players.
-- Matthew Berry
• Complete ESPN.com fantasy coverage Breakout player

SS Sean Taylor. How can a player who earned Pro Bowl status last season be in the breakout category? When you watch film, you see a guy who did not play with a lot of confidence, especially in coverage, even though he is a fantastic physical talent. With the selection of LaRon Landry in the first round of this year's draft, the coaches are experimenting with playing Landry at strong safety and Taylor at free safety, where he can make more open-field plays instead of playing in the box too much like he did last year. That could lead to huge production.


Comeback player of the year

WR Santana Moss. He was hindered by a hamstring injury in 2006, and his production dropped almost 700 yards from his huge 2005 season. He still has big-play capabilities, and his signature play is the bubble screen, where he can turn a short catch into a huge play. He should have Steve Smith-like production, but his fellow receivers don't take a lot of attention away, and he must stay healthy to be a big factor. He is now getting a full offseason with Campbell, and that should translate into big numbers in 2007.

Camp battle to watch
LDC Carlos Rogers vs. LDC Fred Smoot
Rogers was the Redskins' top draft pick in 2005, and while he shows flashes of outstanding cover skills, he makes too many mental mistakes and seems to have trouble letting a bad play go. Smoot has elite cover skills, but he is coming off a couple of uneven and troubled years in Minnesota. If he cannot beat out Rogers in the preseason, he likely will play the nickel corner and cover the slot receiver; in this role, his quickness could be a huge attribute. There is also the fact that the other cornerback, Shawn Springs, is 32 years old, and his durability could become a question mark. If this wasn't enough competition, free agent David Macklin is also in the mix. He is a Cover 2 corner with a lot of savvy, and he rarely makes mistakes. Macklin could emerge as the most reliable defender in this group. The coaches have a very interesting puzzle to solve at this position in the summer, but the talent is certainly there.


Offensive philosophy

Last year, it seemed the offensive philosophies of head coach Joe Gibbs and offensive coordinator Al Saunders clashed, and that is something that must be worked out in 2007. Gibbs prefers a low-risk, power-running game that wears down defenses, while Saunders prefers to utilize complicated schemes with movement and motion, with some elements of trickery and gadget plays. The solution is somewhere in the middle. With Porter and Betts poised to give them that power run game, it will open up the deep passing game and give Saunders the matchups he wants underneath. With a young QB at the helm, the offense will pull back a little bit and become a run-first, pass-second unit. The Redskins will stay with their patented zone-blocking schemes, utilized so well by their offensive line, and they could be a powerful but somewhat unpredictable offense in 2007.


Defensive philosophy

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has a reputation for being an innovator, but in 2006 he seemed to become somewhat predictable and just didn't seem to have the same magic in his defensive calls. He will play man-to-man coverages behind a zone blitz, and he loves to use a lot of line stunts and movement. What he must do better is disguise those blitzes and coverages, but it requires smart players who can execute the plan, and that wasn't always the case last season. Critics will tell you that Williams stayed in a base Cover 2 defense in 2006, with too many blitzes on third down. Offenses seemed to have a better idea of how to attack the Redskins than in the past. Look for Williams to go back to taking more chances in an effort to create turnovers and big plays, and he must get his players to do a better job of buying into his system, which was not always the case last season.

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Postby Irn-Bru » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:20 am

They forgot Jerametrius Butler. He makes the CB position battle even more interesting to follow.
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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:20 am

Smoot will beat out Rogers.

Wade IMO might be the biggest issue we have.
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Postby Cappster » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:47 am

Wade has a chance, because Washington's zone-blocking schemes can hide his limited athleticism


Correct me if I am wrong but aren't OT's considered to be more athletic than OG's? I think Wade will be fine because he has the true "Boss Hog" teaching him the tricks of the trade (sorry site admin, no offense). :wink:

The player under the microscope

QB Jason Campbell. He started seven games in 2006, and with a good offseason he is now ready to take over. He has excellent poise and toughness and real leadership skills in the huddle. However, there is room to improve in terms of his completion percentage and accuracy on the deep ball. There is a lot of pressure for this franchise to win now, and a lot of that falls on Campbell's shoulders. If he falters, the only other option is Mark Brunell, and we have been down that road before. With a good offseason and better familiarity with his receivers, Campbell should be an improved quarterback in 2007.


I thought one of the things Campbell did best last year was throw the deep ball. He also had good accuracy while he was moving around in the pocket. I mean, of course he has room for improvement but he has had all offseason to help get the timing down with WR's.


I also believe that Smoot will beat out Rogers for the starting LCB spot.
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Postby SkinsFreak » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:05 pm

Cappster wrote:
Wade has a chance, because Washington's zone-blocking schemes can hide his limited athleticism


Correct me if I am wrong but aren't OT's considered to be more athletic than OG's? I think Wade will be fine because he has the true "Boss Hog" teaching him the tricks of the trade (sorry site admin, no offense). :wink:


I agree. The zone blocking scheme will make things much easier. "See that guy in front of you? Great, now take that guy and drive him five yards back and put him on the turf." Last year our defensive line said they feared facing Wade more than Jansen in practice. Yes, I know Jansen was still recovering, but Wade can get a nice push as well. The question will be, in my mind anyway, is how well Wade will do at pulling. But on zone blocking plays, I'll bet Portis and Betts will see some nice holes created by Wade and Samuels on the left side.

Cappster wrote:
The player under the microscope

QB Jason Campbell. He started seven games in 2006, and with a good offseason he is now ready to take over. He has excellent poise and toughness and real leadership skills in the huddle. However, there is room to improve in terms of his completion percentage and accuracy on the deep ball. There is a lot of pressure for this franchise to win now, and a lot of that falls on Campbell's shoulders. If he falters, the only other option is Mark Brunell, and we have been down that road before. With a good offseason and better familiarity with his receivers, Campbell should be an improved quarterback in 2007.


I thought one of the things Campbell did best last year was throw the deep ball. He also had good accuracy while he was moving around in the pocket. I mean, of course he has room for improvement but he has had all offseason to help get the timing down with WR's.


Once again, I agree. JC has always had great touch on the deep ball.

Cappster wrote:I also believe that Smoot will beat out Rogers for the starting LCB spot.


Don't agree. I'm a long way from giving up on Rogers. He was the ninth overall pick and I believe the kid has a lot of talent and great closing speed for a CB. Smoot will have to earn a starting position over Rogers and I don't see that happening at first. I think Rogers will start the season, and if he struggles, then we may see Smoot start at LCB. I don't think Rogers will struggle, though. We'll have to wait and see for sure, but I still believe in the guy. I would be surprised if Smoot could walk in and take that spot away from a 1st rounder so soon after his arrival.

I love Smoot and it's actually nice to have all these good CB's on the roster to battle for starting roles and to contribute on nickle and dime packages. Regardless, our secondary should be in good shape this year.

My 2 cents

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Postby BnGhog » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:42 pm

I think in Williams eyes, Rogers is the starter untill proven otherwise. Smoot was brought in for depth.

Im really hoping we see Springs have a good year. If he does not, after refusing to take that pay cut he'll be in a downward spiral.

Did we sign Joey Porter????????
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Postby JansenFan » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:53 pm

BnGhog wrote:Did we sign Joey Porter????????


Apparently, we did, and then converted him to running back.

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Postby HardDawg » Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:52 pm

If Rogers could catch a ball once a game he'd be getting nods for the Pro Bowl. I guess there is a reason he is a DB! He'll do better this year... He got great ability but just needs to play with confidence and CATCH THE DAMN BALL!
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Postby Smithian » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:42 pm

Our game plan has something for Rogers dropping balls.

I still have horrific images of that ball going through his hands verse the Seahawks in the playoffs a couple years ago. I think he had an awful sophomore slump, but I believe in him.

Rogers has more potential than Smoot eventually. I think Rogers could turn into the shutdown CB we need in the future.
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Postby brad7686 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:35 pm

Cappster wrote:
Wade has a chance, because Washington's zone-blocking schemes can hide his limited athleticism


Correct me if I am wrong but aren't OT's considered to be more athletic than OG's? I think Wade will be fine because he has the true "Boss Hog" teaching him the tricks of the trade (sorry site admin, no offense). :wink:

The player under the microscope

QB Jason Campbell. He started seven games in 2006, and with a good offseason he is now ready to take over. He has excellent poise and toughness and real leadership skills in the huddle. However, there is room to improve in terms of his completion percentage and accuracy on the deep ball. There is a lot of pressure for this franchise to win now, and a lot of that falls on Campbell's shoulders. If he falters, the only other option is Mark Brunell, and we have been down that road before. With a good offseason and better familiarity with his receivers, Campbell should be an improved quarterback in 2007.


I thought one of the things Campbell did best last year was throw the deep ball. He also had good accuracy while he was moving around in the pocket. I mean, of course he has room for improvement but he has had all offseason to help get the timing down with WR's.


I also believe that Smoot will beat out Rogers for the starting LCB spot.


Wade is going to have to play with more leverage at guard, and he is a tall guy. That would be my concern. Can't play high against a DT. Campbell does have a great deep ball i think. That analysis of campbell sounds like his draft analysis, so espn is probly just being lazy.
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Postby welch » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:24 am

ESPN:
Offensive philosophy

Last year, it seemed the offensive philosophies of head coach Joe Gibbs and offensive coordinator Al Saunders clashed, and that is something that must be worked out in 2007. Gibbs prefers a low-risk, power-running game that wears down defenses, while Saunders prefers to utilize complicated schemes with movement and motion, with some elements of trickery and gadget plays. The solution is somewhere in the middle. With Porter and Betts poised to give them that power run game, it will open up the deep passing game and give Saunders the matchups he wants underneath. With a young QB at the helm, the offense will pull back a little bit and become a run-first, pass-second unit. The Redskins will stay with their patented zone-blocking schemes, utilized so well by their offensive line, and they could be a powerful but somewhat unpredictable offense in 2007.


Yet another expert who thinks that the Joe Gibbs offense is limited to what the SB 17 Skins did during the playoffs...when Art Monk was out with a broken toe, Joe Washington was limited with a bad knee, and Gibbs had no little except to run John Riggins behind the Hogs (Charlie Brown could not carry the deep passing game).

The writer should stop watching the NFL Films highlights of SB 17, and read Hogs Net for an accurat explantion of the Gibbs offense.

CounterTrey explained it clearly. JansenFan has quoted a technical explanation from a coach who runs the Gibbs offense.

Grind it out?????? No. Simply no.

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Postby Countertrey » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:15 am

How much of an expert does it take to realize that you don't set league scoring records with a power running game alone?

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Postby BnGhog » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:28 am

Am I reading this right. He said thinks the ONLY difference between the two is that Gibbs run the low-risk, power-running game and Saunders uses complicated schemes with movement and motion. If that was the only difference than why would there be a clash in offensive philosophies?? They could just run the Gibbs offence with complicated schemes with movement and motion added to it.

I think he is just writing stuff to fill up lines on the page.
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Postby rick301 » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:51 am

Chris Luva Luva wrote:Smoot will beat out Rogers.


I think this would be a great thing for Roger if it were to happen.

1. It would send a message to him that the best will start and play - which should motivate him further.
2. It sould give him a chance to regroup and analyze how to improve his play.
3. He could learn from a more experienced vet - to hopefully improve his reads and reduce the mental mistakes.

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Postby Chris Luva Luva » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:56 am

Smoot (if he deserves it) should be able to beat Rogers and IMO gives us the best chance opposite of Springs.

IF Springs is healthy and is playing at a high level, it'll be like having Champ and Smoot. Teams tend to avoid Springs/Champ and toss the ball towards SMoot. THe difference between Smoot and Rogers is that Smoot makes the pick and Rogers doesn't.
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