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WT- Terrell making push to be starter


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Terrell making push to be starter

By Jody Foldesy



Two interceptions only a few plays apart yesterday punctuated just how well Washington Redskins safety David Terrell is playing in training camp.

Generally expected to be a backup to newcomer Matt Bowen and returning starter Ifeanyi Ohalete, Terrell has assumed front-runner status in one of camp's few competitions to start, positioning himself to retain the starting job he held the past two seasons.

Terrell's performance has shifted Bowen to strong safety, though the difference between strong and free safety in George Edwards' defense is slight. Generally, Bowen does a bit more run support, and Terrell more often plays the deep part of the field.

Redskins coaches have felt for some time that Bowen could man either spot, considering his great straight-line speed and hard-hitting ability (the latter on display, of course, Wednesday when he popped running back Trung Canidate).

However, it's a bit of an upset that Terrell is running first-string ahead of Ohalete, who had been expected to be the starting strong safety. Some NFL and team personnel people last year felt Terrell might have maxed out his skills, but in this camp club officials have seen a big improvement.

"This year I'm recognizing things a lot quicker," Terrell said. "I'm going to be better with my tackling. Just coverage in general. Just experience alone. Playing the past two or three years in this defense — and last year it was the same defense — it gives us a chance to grow within the system."

Bowen also has been impressed.

"I can't say enough good things about him, and I'm not trying to kiss [up] or anything," Bowen said. "I've thought so far he's played great. You could tell today that he's a ballhawk. And I think we complement each other very well. We play two different styles. David's more free-range; he's great in the deep middle of the field."

In fitting with Edwards' desire for versatility, Terrell said he is trying to adapt some of Bowen's physical play.

"You see a guy make a good hit, that entices me to try to do the same thing," Terrell said. "That's one part of my game that I've been working on, to be a more physical tackler, and not just be known as a coverage safety."

For Terrell to retain the spot, he must continue his play in preseason games.

"He's done a good job," Edwards said. "He had a great offseason, worked hard, and so have all of them. They've all worked hard. Right now we're using different combinations and working different combinations in. We're in a competitive and evaluation stage right now, and we'll see how things go."

LaVar still out

Linebacker LaVar Arrington missed both practices following Thursday's mild concussion. He and team officials reiterated that there was nothing to worry about, but Arrington's concussions get a bit more scrutiny because he had three in 2000 and 2001.

Arrington wasn't on hand at the afternoon practice, having been taken back to National Conference Center for evaluations, but after the morning practice he said he could have participated.

"I'm fine to go," said Arrington, who will be re-evaluated today. "I actually wanted to go this morning. They told me to scale down. I said, 'There's no word like that in my vocabulary. I have a chip on my shoulder that will last until I retire.' So they said, 'Well, since you put it that way, we'll just watch you observe practice today.' "

Cornerback Fred Smoot continued to be limited by heat illness. He did some work in the morning practice but was back on the sideline in the afternoon. Fullback Rock Cartwright was held out for heat illness, and fullback Bryan Johnson got overheated during practice.

Washington's issues with the heat have received far less attention than those in Jacksonville, where two players went down on the field. Here this week, linebacker Kevin Mitchell went down on the field and Smoot, according to Mitchell, went down in the shower.

Several players said their camp battles with the heat haven't changed from before Korey Stringer's death in 2001 to now. Mitchell opined that the media probably didn't pay enough attention to heat issues before Stringer's death and now probably treats it as too much of a hot-button issue.

Sixteen players in total missed the afternoon workout. One new multi-day injury is wide receiver Darnerien McCants' strained hamstring. He injured it stretching and said he won't test it again until Monday. Also, running back Kenny Watson suffered a mild knee sprain.

Extra points

Tight end Wesley Walls completed his visit to Green Bay, and the Packers apparently were very interested. Walls, who could win the Redskins' starting job, will choose among Washington, Tampa Bay and Green Bay today or tomorrow, NFL sources said. ...

Defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, cut Tuesday by the Redskins, visited Detroit, but no deal was imminent. Agent Brig Owens said Wilkinson had another visit scheduled in coming days and one or two possibilities next week. ...

Defensive lineman Jace Saylor, re-signed to fill Wilkinson's roster spot, was on hand for both practices. ... Much of the afternoon practice was moved off the primary field, which is getting a bit worn. There isn't much difference for players but the deep fields do not accommodate spectators well.

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training camp is for the emergence of surprise performers. it happens every year. rookies who start. older vets that come in and have more left than anyone thought.

that's one of the reasons we shouldn't prejudge the DL too much before we see them play together in the preseason.

Is Jermaine Haley really going to cost the Redskins at DT vs. Dan Wilkinson?

Terrell was always a guy that had the physical skills to be an NFL player, he just never seemed to adjust from playing corner to playing safety, the guy was not fluid.

he was switched in 2001, maybe now 2 years later it is his time :)

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It would be interesting if this is true. Playing the Gints with Shockey was something of a worry to me as I have been wondering if Iffy was truly up to the task. If Terrell is good enough to play FS, being able to move Bowen to SS would make a huge difference in that game.

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As I was reminding you guys one year ago when we were (once again) lamenting our talent at safety, Terrell went to FS when Mark Carrier was cut as a favor to Marty, and in light of that did well in 2001. Last year he seemed to not improve. This is nothing but good that he's apparently rededicated himself to football and is showing that he might be a legit NFL FS after all.

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not really RT Terps, because the roster of skill players on that offense has changed so much over the past 2 seasons :)

the defenders have a new #1 qb this preseason from last, new running backs, new wide receivers and new interior linemen.

while I am sure the plays being run are ones out of the playbook from last season, I am also sure that Coles, Canidate and Co. run them quite differently from the players they are replacing :D

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"I can't say enough good things about him, and I'm not trying to kiss [up] or anything," Bowen said.

Bowen's no jack[up]. He knows that Terrell's been working his [up] off this offseason.

If Terrell is really that much improved and Bowen lives up to his promise we could have a really kick-[up] secondary this year.

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I was at Friday morning's practice, and he did more than just two interceptions - he was everywhere - broke up alot of passes and seems like maybe the added pressure of competition has put some fire in him. I was almost ready for him to be released in the off season, but I'm beginning to think he could be ONE of our surprises this year.

Maybe he's just now learning that safety position that Marty through him into two years ago.

After what I saw, I wont be disappointed if its him as the starter, or possibley a rotation if him and Iffy.

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