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EXTREMESKINS TRAINING CAMP COVERAGE: Day 4 (AM Session -UPDATED 1:23 PM)


Tarhog

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EXTREME COVERAGE: Redskins Training Camp

Day4a 013.jpg

DAY FOUR - 8/3/06

AUDIO

Click HERE to hear comments by Adam Archuleta

Click HERE to hear comments by Philippe Gardent (Head-Butter)

Click HERE to hear comments by Joe Salave'a

Click HERE to hear comments by Andre Carter

Click HERE to hear comments by Buck Ortega

Click HERE to hear comments by Jimmy Farris

Click HERE to hear comments by Reed Doughty

Click HERE to hear comments by Marcus Washington

:helmet:

PHOTOS

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #1

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #2

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #3

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #4

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #5

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #6

Click HERE to see Training Camp Day Four (AM) Pics #7

:helmet:

MURF'S TAKE

Well, it’s much more enjoyable when practice starts at 8:30 a.m., as opposed to 4 p.m. It was noticeable cooler when I arrived to Redskins Park. And here’s the kicker – halfway through practice is was already muggy and nasty again. John commented on his camera lens fogging up when we headed down to the field because of how muggy it was.

Very first thing I notice once I hit the sidelines is two Redskins wearing baseball caps – Carlos Rogers and Ethan Albright. Rogers sat out of practice with a strained back (I believe that’s what they said). Albright is just a long snapper that doesn’t really do much else. Everyone was also happy to see Joe Salave’a back too. His spirits seemed remarkably high for someone who just lost a loved one.

Today was similar to the other days, in that they went from stretching to individual drills to offense versus defense. Really, there’s only so many different things you can say about it. On day one I ended up focusing on wide receivers, so today I wanted to pay more attention to the rookies and younger guys. My mindset was that everyone talks about Chris Cooley or Sean Taylor or Clint Portis, so today I tried to pay more attention to some of the lesser known guys like Buck Ortega, Reed Doughty and Jimmy Farris.

Today was the first time I really noticed Ortega. He gets downfield quickly (for a tight end at least) and seems to have good hands. On one play in particular he hauled in a deep bomb from Jason Campbell for a huge gain. The ball was perfectly placed and Ortega caught it right in stride.

Couldn’t help but notice the quarterbacks. Brunell looked sharper than day one, but still had a couple passes I’m sure he would have liked back. He still looks to be working himself back into a rhythm and towards the end of practice connected with his intermediate routes much more often.

Midway through the 11 on 11 drills Brunell floated a ball forcing Antwaan Randle El to change up his route. The new receiver made a quick stop, fully extended and snagged a highlight-worthy catch that earned cheers from both offensive and defensive players alike on the sidelines.

On the very next snap Brunell made up for it though when he zipped a perfect pass to Santana Moss who was double covered. the ball was about waist high and in a spot where only Moss could make a play on it. And he did. Nice pass, and an even nicer reception.

Todd Collins looked sharper than I’ve seen him during minicamp or day one of training camp. But John and I can’t help but notice he doesn’t really ever throw a deep ball. We keep waiting to see how his accuracy is downfield, and he continues to do three-step drops. By the end of 11 on 11 drills the defense seemed to catch onto that a little bit and it looked like they changed their strategy. On one play in particular Ryan Boschetti broke free and got to Collins in a hurry. The QB tried to make something happen, but Boschetti batted the ball away. Great individual effort on the play for Ryan.

Besides Boschetti, the one player who I kept noticing on defense was Renaldo Wynn. He consistently got off that corner quickly and applied pressure in the backfield. Kenny Wright also made a few more plays than I expected.

There was one play where I thought safety Curry Burns might lose his life. Jason Campbell swung the ball out to Mike Sellars who turned and picked up steam as he headed downfield. The nearest person was Burns, a good 15 yards away. Let’s just say that if it were a game situation and Burns had to try and make that open-field tackle it wouldn’t have been pretty.

The most I got to see of Rocky McIntosh was during special teams. He seemed to be in the right place, and he wasn’t getting screamed at by the always vocal Danny Smith, so I would guess that Rocky was happy with his performance today. You can tell this heat is getting to him though – as soon as he came off the field he was heading for the shade and downing lots of fluids.

All in all, it was a smooth practice that went by much quicker than Monday’s session. On final note – I saw several people hoping to hear news on the punting situation. There’s not really much to report. They didn’t really do too much other than practicing holding the ball for field goals. There weren’t any actual punts this morning. I’ll continue to keep an eye on them though.

TARHOG'S TAKE

It was great getting to see guys in Burgundy and Gold again. First pleasant surprise this morning was finding the Redskin’s had re-done the media room. Wireless internet access, a new bathroom, new phones, and even some nice player photos on the wall. Very nice setup. And one of the few places in America where you can get a cold soda for 25 cents. I had the chance to say ‘hey’ to Howard Bryant before practice got going, and compliment him on a great interview he gave on baseball, the Hall of Fame, and steroids on Sporting News Radio yesterday. He is a very nice guy.

Themurf strolled in a few minutes later and, as always, it was great to see him. This being my first day at Training Camp, I was credential-less, so it took me a bit to get hooked up and down to the field. I worked my way down to the field to watch and get some photo’s of individual drills. They gave us quite a bit of time this morning to shoot, although there were several segments they asked us to turn our cameras off for ;), and of course, they didn’t allow us to take photo’s of the 11 on 11’s, for understandable reasons. In fact, its quite tough to see what they’re doing then except for when the actions coming towards you, since the players line up to obstruct your view.

As part of the individual drills, I got to watch a segment where Coach Saunders worked with just the QBs and Wide Recievers. It was very interesting to watch as the animated Saunders would call a play, line up everyone in the appropriate position, describe what they should expect the imaginary defensive backs opposing them to do, and then briefed the receivers on what he expected them to be able to exploit as a result. And then the QB would snap the ball, they’d do a half-speed run through of the play (Saunders running right along with the wideouts), and he’d critique them afterwards. Saunders is a DETAIL guy, and I mean down to the most minute aspect of every play. Occasionally, he’d shout out ‘you’ve got pressure!’ and force the quarterback to get rid of the ball. He’d even walk up to the receiver (as I saw him do with James Thrash up close) and quiz them ‘What does it mean if we call ___________ instead of ____________?’, and he expected an answer. The offense may not be entirely comfortable yet with Saunder’s version of this offense, but school is in session. These drills were the best opportunity for me to observe the quarterbacks this morning, as they spent the first 30-45 minutes as distant from the media as possible on a far corner of a distant field. I watched Brunell very closely and saw nothing to indicate he feels any lingering effects from the broken finger. He looks to be throwing the ball comfortably and without hesitation and to have good control.

Then it was time to put our cameras away for the 11 on 11 drills. With almost the entire team lined up, an assistant would go up and down the line holding up a white board so the entire team would know what play was being run, even if they weren’t participating. I liked the way our backs looked during this session. Ladell Betts looks quick, confident, and versatile, and he’s getting a lot of time catching balls out of the backfield. He’s clearly caught Saunder’s eye and deserves the praise he’s getting. Rock Cartwright also made a couple of nice catches. And I got a great look at Manuel White busting through the center of the line to within a few feet of the goal line, with Al Saunders screaming all the while ‘Get it in!!!!! Get it in!!!!’. Even though its just training camp, guys really are swarming to the ball on defense. Portis got absolutely mauled on a gang-tackle midway through 11 on 11’s.

And in sharp contrast to the old Steve Spurrier days where offensive playmakers routinely got hung out to dry, on almost every play there appears to be max blocking being setup to try and spring the ballcarrier. Of course, some guys just don’t need blockers – a point made emphatically on one play where Mike Sellars took a shovel pass from Brunell and took off down the field like a demon from hell. I can’t imagine having to be a safety or cornerback who has to take him down at full speed to save a touchdown. He looks amazing. The backup defensive backs also got a lot of work this morning. Kenny Wright stood out, sniffing out a sideline pass, and nearly made a spectacular interception. Finally, Chris Cooley made a beautiful ‘cover of Sports Illustrated’ over the shoulder grab of a Todd Collin’s bomb as practice drew to a close.

As the players left the field today, I made it a point to get to Joe Salave’a first. He’s one of my favorite Redskins, and I wanted to see how he was handling what has to be an excruciatingly tender mix of sadness and joy given recent events in his personal life. He didn’t dodge questions, was extremely upbeat, and clearly glad to be back. I saw the toughness in his face and answers today that made me love him as a blood and guts player last season. When the microphones were off, I told him that the fans were thinking about him. He is a consummate class act. I also got the chance to speak to Andre Carter, a gentle giant who is as personable in spirit as he is fearsome in appearance. We are fortunate to have a guy with his character and playing ability – he’s got lockerroom leader written all over him. He may well turn out to be our biggest off-season acquisition when all is said and done this season.

One funny note....one of the Redskin's staff ambled over to us towards the end of practice, looked seriously at us, and asked 'So, what makes you guys so extreme?'

themurf, not missing a beat, says 'Have you ever seen Bum Fights? Its a lot like that....'

I'm not sure exactly what that meant, but it was pretty funny :laugh:

We’ll be back out there this evening guys! :cheers:

:helmet:
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Wow---impressive. I go to sleep reading skins news and I wake up to see our man at redskins park is already there!

99% of reporters are there because they are paid to be there. No other reason. And they still don't provide the type of coverage that a bunch of unknown, often under-appreciated volunteers perform - using their "vacation" time no less - to provide online strangers the type of information they feel Redskins fans want and deserve; and they only know this because they are fans themselves.

There's a big difference between going to camp to observe and take it all in... and going to camp and absorbing and documenting every detail to pass along as much coherent and informative information... and then spending hours AFTER CAMP getting the stuff all up as quickly as humanly possible.... while the other visitors of camp get to go home and chill out.

These guys don't get enough credit. If you've got any kind of integrity... show your appreciation any chance you get.

Cheers JimmiJo, Brian, Tarhog and murf.

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These guys don't get enough credit. If you've got any kind of integrity... show your appreciation any chance you get.

Cheers JimmiJo, Brian, Tarhog and murf.

I second that! Good work guys, you are much appreciated. :applause: Any info on Christian Fauria? No one has even mentioned his name since Camp started.

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These guys don't get enough credit. If you've got any kind of integrity... show your appreciation any chance you get.

Cheers JimmiJo, Brian, Tarhog and murf.

I agree, I read a lot of articles and if they were not posted in the stadium I would have posted them in breaking news as the sole submissions. Great stuff.

I'm going to hate it tomorrow when I have to go back to early shift and won't get to see the good stuff till late afternoon.

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Early reports were that Jason Campbell was still not looking ready (at least for #2 on the depth chart). I saw you mention him a couple of times in your report. Is he turning things around and looking better in drills/11 on 11s?

Thanks for all the good work.

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Early reports were that Jason Campbell was still not looking ready (at least for #2 on the depth chart). I saw you mention him a couple of times in your report. Is he turning things around and looking better in drills/11 on 11s?

Thanks for all the good work.

Campbell looked good, but a chunk of what he did today was with third stringers (as they continue to alternate Campbell and Collins). It's tough to judge him when you know the guys running the routes for him aren't making the team. He mostly did three-step drops and looked good today. John even got a photo or two of Campbell tucking the ball and running with it.

I would say worry more about him during preseason than how he did during the first week of preseason. Marcus Washington even said to me in an interview today that after OTAs, minicamp and now training camp the guys just want to line up against someone in different uniforms.

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I would say worry more about him during preseason than how he did during the first week of preseason. Marcus Washington even said to me in an interview today that after OTAs, minicamp and now training camp the guys just want to line up against someone in different uniforms.

I think Washington and the rest of the defense just want to start hitting people for real. :laugh:

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