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Yahoo Sports: Training Camp Preview Washington Redskins


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Training Camp Preview: Washington Redskins

by Ted Carlson - Associate Editor, Fanball.com

Sunday, July 20, 2003

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=fanball-trainingcampprevieww&prov=fanball&type=fantasy

We have now wrapped up our team-by-team training camp tour and are switching gears to individual players. Check back with Fanball.com on July 21 for our first of 32 Spotlight Players.

Notable Offseason Moves: There are some teams that only make a few offseason moves – maybe add a veteran wide receiver, bolster depth on the defensive line, or sign a hopeful kick returner from the CFL. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Redskins and generous owner Daniel Snyder.

For starters, the Redskins tried to buy the New York Jets. That particular plan feel through, but the team did manage to extract four main offensive weapons away from New York. Wide receiver Laveranues Coles, kicker John Hall, guard Randy Thomas, and running back/kick returner Chad Morton all turned off the Jets for hefty new contracts with the Redskins.

These former Jets represent a mere four of the team's 18 offseason singings, and the other significant additions on offense include quarterback Rob Johnson, guard Dave Fiore, and wide receiver Patrick Johnson. In yet further acquisition news, Washington traded a fourth-round pick to the Rams in exchange for backup running back Trung Canidate. Want more? The Redskins also used their second-round draft pick on Florida wideout Taylor Jacobs.

A team can’t add so many players without subtracting a few as well. Running back Stephen Davis happily shed himself of Washington’s pass-happy offense and relocated to Carolina. Backup quarterback Shane Matthews was shown the door, and he briefly joined Tampa Bay before ending up in Cincinnati. Also, second-leading receiver Derrius Thompson took his 773 yards and four scores south to Miami.

On the other side of the ball, the Redskins lost long-time cornerback Darrell Green to retirement, and defensive tackle Daryl Gardner (Broncos) and end Carl Powell (Bengals) opted to work elsewhere. However, the biggest loss may be that of defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, who grabbed the vacant head job in Cincinnati. Lewis led the Redskins' defense to fifth in the NFL in yards against in 2002, and linebackers’ coach George Edwards is now faced with trying to continue that success.

Position Battles: Spurrier's offense would not feel right unless there was at least one battle heading into training camp, and the running back melee steps up the challenge. Canidate, Ladell Betts, Kenny Watson, and Chad Morton are in a four-man fight for playing time, and there's only a vague idea of how this position will play out.

We do know that Morton will make the team as a kick returner. He is also in the running for third-down duty. After that, we enter a bit of shaky ground. If all goes well, Canidate would be the starter. His speed fits Spurrier’s system, and many think he’ll flourish after finalyl emerging from Marshall Faulk’s shadow. However, we all know that Trung has a propensity for mistakes, and Spurrier has a huge doghouse. Betts, last year’s second-round pick, and Watson, a favorite of many Redskins’ personnel, will receive chance to unseat Canidate for the top spot.

“We pretty much give everyone opportunities around here," Spurrier explained to the Washington Post in May. "Obviously, somebody's got to start first, so Trung's in there first. But we've got a lot of preseason games, a lot of ball to play, so we'll see how it works out."

Spurrier then told the Post on July 16, “I've got a feeling that we'll probably play two or three as we go, which a lot of teams do. There's nothing wrong with that. Ladell Betts, Trung [Canidate], Chad Morton, and Kenny [Watson], they all do a lot of good things...It will sort of work its way out, who plays the most at tailback."

Can you feel a headache coming on? We’re mentally preparing for a preseason that sees Canidate, Betts, and Watson each get a shot at the job, and the season may not bring any increased clarity. This mess has “backfield-by-committee” written all over it.

We are happy to report that Coles, Rod Gardner, and Jacobs are virtually locked into the top three receiving spots. Johnson, Darnerian McCants, and Clifford Russell will fight below them on the depth chart. At quarterback, Spurrier has settled on Patrick Ramsey to lead his squad. Of course, Rob Johnson always looks good in practice and adds a bit of intrigue if Ramsey struggles early.

Keep an Eye On: Ramsey radiated positive vibes during the Redskins’ minicamps, and we’re hoping that upward trend continues into training camp and the regular season. Washington has surrounded their 2002 first-round pick with a ton of talent, and he’s in the right position and system to achieve notable fantasy value.

Coles and Gardner both stepped up their numbers last season and are ready for huge things. Coles appears to have the bigger fantasy value, but we don’t expect Gardner to sit back and play second fiddle to the $35 million dollar man. Will Ramsey choose a favorite? Will the two receivers blossom together and destroy the opposition? Or will they jealously bicker and destroy each other? Or will Ramsey’s potential ineptitude squash both of their values?

The running back situation outlined above bears watching. With guards Fiore and Thomas bolstering the offensive line, there’s room for fantasy success if one of the backs secures a firm hold on the starting job. In addition, we'll have to see if Spurrier is willing to give a running back enough carries and catches for him to be a significant fantasy player.

Enjoy reading this biased little turn of an article...

For starters, the Redskins tried to buy the New York Jets. That particular plan feel through
:rolleyes:
The running back situation outlined above bears watching. With guards Fiore and Thomas bolstering the offensive line, there’s room for fantasy success if one of the backs secures a firm hold on the starting job. In addition, we'll have to see if Spurrier is willing to give a running back enough carries and catches for him to be a significant fantasy player.

Wasn't Spurrier's run to pass ratio about 50/50?

This has to be one of the worst articles I've read on the Skins. I mean come on. How biased can you get? I always thought journalism was supposed to give information in an unbiased fashion. :puke:

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Dude I don't think they were being biased. The Jets thing was just a joke and I thought it was pretty funny. The other thing isn't about Spurrier's run to pass ratio, it's about whether one particular runningback will get enough carries or if they will split carries between the RBs too much.

I liked this part

"Will Ramsey choose a favorite? Will the two receivers blossom together and destroy the opposition? Or will they jealously bicker and destroy each other? Or will Ramsey’s potential ineptitude squash both of their values?"

Lol it just sounds like something you would hear at the end of part 1 of a 2 part show. I expected to read..."find out next time on Washington Redskins football".

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When did the deal to keep our Farm club fall thru? Is there a deal in place for the Bills to claim them? :rolleyes:

Too much talent is a good thing to have.

I wouldnt hand Jacob the 3 WR just yet. DMac may just surprise us all but hopefully we will keep all six guys

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Originally posted by Johnny Punani

Enjoy reading this biased little turn of an article...

Wasn't Spurrier's run to pass ratio about 50/50?

This has to be one of the worst articles I've read on the Skins. I mean come on. How biased can you get? I always thought journalism was supposed to give information in an unbiased fashion. :puke:

If anything this was biased towards the Redskins.

Keep an Eye On: Ramsey radiated positive vibes during the Redskins’ minicamps, and we’re hoping that upward trend continues into training camp and the regular season.

That sounds like a pretty pro-Skins statement to me.

And no, SS threw the ball much more than he ran it last year. I don't know the ratio, but it weren't 50:50.

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