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ES Coverage: 2009 Mini-Camp Day 3 (Final)


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ES Coverage: 2009 Mini-Camp Day 3



The word of the day is rain.

It is raining here in Ashburn, and I mean raining. Temps are in the low 60s, everything is soaked, and we are hoping it slows down a bit by practice.

My name is JimmiJo and I am joined by my partner, Murf. Together we will brave the elements to bring you the best fan coverage of the Redskins that can be had at any price.

So both Murf and me missed yesterday's practices. He with a Caps game to cover, and me with about 13 straight hours of school work, this being the last week of classes for this semester.

The local guys are trickling in and we expect to get going in the next 15. Feel free to ask any questions you got.

Stand by...


Back up from the fields. I've got audio to upload and a write so stand by for that. Unfortunately the weather was very poor and Murf could get no photos.



To listen to comments from Lorenzo Alexander click HERE

To listen to comments from Ladell Betts click HERE

To listen to comments from H.B. Blades click HERE

To listen to comments from Jason Campbell click HERE

To listen to comments from Reed Doughty click HERE

To listen to comments from Cornelius Griffin click HERE

To listen to comments from Stephon Heyer click HERE

To listen to comments from Marcus Mason click HERE

To listen to comments from Coach Olivadotti click HERE

To listen to comments from Brian Orakpo click HERE

To listen to comments from Carlos Rogers click HERE

To listen to comments from Fred Smoot click HERE

To listen to comments from Randy Thomas click HERE


“Coach Gibbs would say this is Redskins’ weather; whether it was 100 or pouring.” – Danny Smith

Today was thoroughly miserable. A steady cold rain fell and having worn no jacket I spent the morning chilled and wet as I watched the team slosh through the drills. I was at least smart enough to bring an umbrella. Murf however, not so much. The last hour of the session found Murf and I huddled under my umbrella trying to take note of the action. At one point it was Murf, me, and Redskins’ Blogger Matt Terl snuggling for warmth.

Not a pretty picture.

Because of the weather Murf could get no pics, having no shroud for his gear. Even if he was equipped there was little to shoot. The football was sloppy and few players actually stood out. The practice consisted of teams, group drills, and then actual practice. I can say that Jason Campbell had a good day. I can also say that unlike Friday, Colt Brennan did not, although he stood out on one play, rolling out to his left and connecting downfield with Fred Davis.

Speaking of Fred Davis he had a good practice today. After observing him slip and drop one, he came right back and made some nice grabs, the aforementioned ball from Brennan one of them.

I stood close to the defensive line and linebackers again today and what’s remarkable is how many bodies both groups had in camp. On d-line there were the guys from last year like Carter, Griffin, Golston, Montgomery, and Alexander, as well as newbie Albert Haynesworth. But there was also Daniels and Buzbee who returned from injury, Wynn from the Giants and Saints, Manapuna from the arena league, as well as a host of tryouts.

The linebackers group likewise had a plethora of bodies. Still here is Fletcher, McIntosh, Blades, and Fincher. But joining them now are Orakpo, Glenn, Henson, and Wilson courtesy of the draft and defensive line. And joining them were a rack of tryouts we will probably not hear of again. I asked Coach Olivadotti about having so many guys to work with in mini-camp and while he didn’t say it, he gave me a look like; “Yea, it’s a bit much.”

I’ll go ahead and point out the obvious: With top free agents and draft picks playing on the line and at ‘backer, the team may have to make some tough choices on who to keep come training camp. Guys that have been here a while may be on the bubble. No worries for now however, with a round of OTAs set for this week, and another two weeks in June to be followed by training camp in late July, there is work for everyone.

I came into this camp interested in the difficulty involved in transitioning from defensive end to linebacker as Orakpo and Wilson are doing and as guys like Andre Carter have done in the past. Orakpo gave a good answer to that question today when he discussed having to “play in space.” Carter told me Friday that a big difference is in having to listen to the middle linebacker for where to go on a play instead of getting after the ball. There is also the responsibility of covering tight ends and backs going out on routes.

It will be interesting to watch how guys like Wilson and Orakpo transition to the position. This is especially true for a guy like Wilson, who I have always joked with that he is too small for end. At 240-something his build is more akin to linebacker. And in this lie questions for guys like H.B. Blades who spent much of last year at strong-side linebacker. Based on Coach Olivadotti’s comments today, it appears the team will be trying different combinations to see what works best for them.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that no matter what, Orakpo makes the team in September.

Another question I have is whether the team will sign any of the tryout receivers that were here in camp, specifically D.J. Hackett and Kelley Washington. Both of these guys have played in the league and in the case of Hackett, he was a guy the team had brought in to look at as a free agent prior to the 2008 season. Both appeared to play well in camp as far as I could tell, but as I reported Friday, Keith Eloi stood out the most for me (not so much today).

Offensive line is another area that bears watching. There are questions on right-tackle as well as on the health of Samuels and Thomas. For now Stephon Heyer is the starter on the right side of the line. However, Vinny Cerrato has touted former stay-at-home Oilman Mike Williams so much that I half expect him to win the job once he drops the additional 40 lbs needed to get to his playing weight of 370 lbs.

Yes, I said 370. I caught my first glimpse of Williams today and all I can say is the brother is big.

I spoke to Stephon Heyer for a bit and it is remarkable how much his attitude and outlook has changed. This guy was a bit reserved in the past. Now he is outgoing and talkative. It appears that as far as he is concerned he is the starter and will be opening day. All things being equal I gotta root for the Maryland guy.

In speaking to Randy Thomas I got the sense that the surgery went well but that he is not where he needs to be to play. No worries as he has plenty of time to rehab prior to training camp. I asked him about Derrick Dockery returning and he seemed happy to have Doc back. I mentioned to him that the run game seemed to be more dynamic when Doc was here before and he nodded in agreement.

I know a lot of guys want to know how camp went for the other draft picks and youngsters. For the most part none stood out. I would say that Kevin Barnes had a rough camp and is learning what it is like to cover on this level. I saw him get beat his share. Chase Daniels throws a hard, clunky ball. His footwork is not great and he will need to work on it to be a pro-caliber quarterback. Glenn and Henson did absolutely nothing remarkable that I noticed. In the case of Glenn, his best moment so far in the league was being welcomed by me to the NFL on our conference call following being drafted. Since then he has been caught in a lie and injured with a hammy.

Finally, it was nice to see and speak with Reed Doughty today. As you can hear in the audio, he says he is fully recovered from his surgery. Reed was the very first guy I interviewed four years ago when I started doing this here thing. Since it was immediately after the first practice on the first day of rookie camp (Gibbs used to have two mini-camps, one for rookies and one for veterans), I’m pretty sure that I was the first guy to interview him.

Hard to believe this is my fourth mini-camp covering the team. I remember a day a little over four years ago when my phone rang and a guy named Art was on the line asking me if I was interested in coming out to help cover camp. After quickly stammering yes and hardly able to take instructions from him, I hung up the phone and screamed excitedly. I then ran to tell my wife who upon hearing the news turned about three shades of green with envy and could barely mutter words of congratulation. Her being a big fan I’m not sure she spoke to me for the rest of the day.

Some days the sun just seems to smile down upon you…

Ok my friends, we are going to put a bow on this camp and call it done. Murf and/or I will try to get a day or two of OTAs in, but I can tell you I won’t be able to until June.

From Redskins Park, this is JimmiJo, signing off.


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if it's at all possible.....how about some pics and info on the 2 "change of pace" KR/RB's the skins brought in (Alridge and Dorsey)......and as much info on the WR's (other than Kelley and Thomas) and OL and DL as you can......thank you much....:)

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oh.....and pass this on to Coach Zorn if you can........please take a look at QB Chase Clement from Rice i think he would fit perfectly in his West Coast system.......and RB/FB Jorvorski Lane from Texas A&M i think he could be the short yardage back this team desperately needs......he reminds me of a bigger Laron McLain from the Ravens.........thank you

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Thanks for all of the updates and thanks for braving the weather while the rest of us stay dry and warm. Are you allowed to take pictures (even low quality ones), or does Murf get sensitive about anyone else with a camera? If you did (bring a camera), would he compare and brag that his was bigger and better? The camera I mean.:silly:

Tell Murf I say thanks for all of the pictures as well.


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I second this motion, that would be great having Davis play FB on passing downs...

I'd like to see them pull the FB out and demonstrate these TE sets that they wouldn't shut up about last season (when they drafted Davis).

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...The last hour of the session found Murf and I huddled under my umbrella trying to take note of the action. At one point it was Murf, me, and Redskins’ Blogger Matt Terl snuggling for warmth.

Not a pretty picture.

Yeah, but it would have been classic if somebody had snapped it. :silly:

Excellent write-up JJ. Thanks again :cheers:

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JimmiJo and Murf- do I detect a new appreciation for Matt and his umbrella?

:cool: :cloud9:

Not sure about that, but I suspect you will have an appreciation for the piece I will publish later tonight on a player you kinda like...

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