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redskins.com 8/4 afternoon: Gardner is a beast, Terrell keeps impressing.


Zen-like Todd

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http://www.redskins.com/story.asp?ContentID=11820

Training Camp Report, August 4 Afternoon Practice

08/04/2003

With the second week of training camp underway, Redskin players and coaches seem eager to turn their attention to playing the pre-season games. That opportunity will come next Saturday, Aug. 9, against the Carolina Panthers.

“We’ve been practicing against each other for a week and right now we're just sick of looking at each other,” joked left tackle Chris Samuels. "We're ready to play another team. It’ll be exciting to go down to Carolina to play those guys.”

While the morning practice lasted the full two-hours, this afternoon’s practice went about 90 minutes. The Redskins focused primarily on goal-line offense, red zone passing and punt returns, with Bryan Barker and Brent Bartholomew booming several 50-plus yard kicks.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Monday afternoon’s practice:

Player: Call it the Rod Gardner show. The third-year receiver put on a clinic during red zone passing drills. He hauled in four touchdown passes, one on a 20-yard out pattern and another on a five-yard fade pass from quarterback Rob Johnson.

Play: Safety David Terrell continues to have a strong camp. The fourth-year player closed in on wide receiver Laveranues Coles, who was running a crossing pattern into the end zone, and swatted away a sure touchdown pass. “They tried to sneak it in,” Terrell shouted out, “but no go.”

Quote: “Give me some of what he’s got.” – Cornerback Fred Smoot, yelling out in amazement after Gardner caught his third of four touchdown receptions during red-zone passing drills

Atmosphere: Temperatures heated up in the afternoon practice, but players didn’t seem to mind. The defense, in particular, was enthusiastic, whooping it up after nearly every big play. After practice, quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel and Gibran Hamdan and rookie wide out James Johnson were among players who signed autographs for fans.

Notes: Although Spurrier ended practice about a half-hour early, he had his quarterbacks stay behind for an extra 15 minutes of tutelage...Free agent tight end Wesley Walls, who worked out for coaches at Redskin Park last week, has signed with Green Bay.

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It'll be interesting to see how Terrell's training camp performance carries over into the actual games. I think most of us thought Terrell was a known quantity, and a mediocre, while NFL-level, quantity at that. It sounds like he's finally made the transition to playing in space.

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Originally posted by Yusuf06

Sorry, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Terrell has been the bane of our defensive backfield for the past couple of seasons. If he's really made an improvement I'll be the first to say I was wrong, however I'm just a wee bit skepitcal.

Hello mr. grumpy! It's training camp! That magical time of year when everyone is a believer!

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When you have the No. 5 and No. 6 pass defense in the league you don't really have a bane in the secondary. When you are that good while not being a dominating team rushing the passer it also means something is going on back there that we may not always understand.

I've always been a bit more kind with Terrell than most of you. I turned on him finally after watching Rod Woodson in the playoffs make about 8 plays on the ball and I wanted a safety who made that kind of impact when it seems that Terrell can't make that many in a season.

Still, while no one can pretend Terrell is a playmaker, he HAS been a starter for two years on one of the best pass defenses in football. He made more mistakes last year than the year before as he was used differently and he hurt us a bit more last year than you'd like. I think Marty found out how to use him and that's kind of as a third corner playing the tight end which was a role he did well at in 2001.

I prefer to think of Terrell in a reserve role playing special teams, but, let's not go overboard with our negative assessments of how he's performed. While not spectacular, he's been solid.

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I am also a fan of Terrell on special teams. He was a Kato Serwanga type of player when he started. I also think he played cornerback pretty well when Green wasn't in there several years ago. Safety has been a hard position for him to learn. Perhaps he is coming into his own. He got a 600K contract and a little confidence booster so maybe he's ready for prime time. He's had five different defensive coordinators.

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Originally posted by Yusuf06

Sorry, but I'll have to see it to believe it. Terrell has been the bane of our defensive backfield for the past couple of seasons. If he's really made an improvement I'll be the first to say I was wrong, however I'm just a wee bit skepitcal.

My sentiments, exactly. I hope they're right.

:40oz:

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I don't know art. He's around the ball an aweful lot when big plays happen. I've seen more than a few times when wide recievers have cut across the field that he has gotten in the way of corners trying to make a tackle. I guess what I am saying is that he is occasionally a liability.

He just doesn't have the raw speed. Hopefully, bowen will fill that gap, and terell can hawk the ball more. If bowen keeps stepping up his play then it could help terrell.

-DB

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DB,

Two years ago no one made many plays against us and the key reason for that was Terrell who was excellent, especially after Marty changed the scheme to suit the guys we had. There's no doubt that Terrell did make some mistakes last year and they hurt us. But, to me, he has been consistently solid enough to limit major exploits against us as witnessed by just how generally solid we are as a pass defense.

My biggest complaint with Terrell remains how rarely he makes a big positive play by knocking a ball away or intercepting the ball or making a big, well-timed hit. Largely, Terrell is invisible on the field and in many ways that's ok because it means he's not getting picked on, but in other ways it's bad because as a roaming safety he should simply show up more around the ball.

I realize there's a great deal of animosity against Terrell here and that's all well and good. What I'd like to get through to people though is that we've had an EXCELLENT pass defense with him in there. If I have the choice of being a Top 5 pass defense with him in there or not being a Top 5 pass defense, then I'll keep playing him. In the end I'm rooting for Ohalete and Bowen, but, Terrell certainly hasn't been a guy that's crushed our chances back there.

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Originally posted by CrankyTodd

and rookie wide out James Johnson were among players who signed autographs for fans.

now there's an autograph that's bound to command top dollar....

Billy : "Hey guys, check out my James Johnson autograph I got last week."

Tommy : "Hey, I seen him. He took my order at Burger King today. He messed up my Whopper Meal order, but it was okay, cuz he said it was his first day on the job. He said somethin about playin football the day before and havin to clean out his locker."

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I said earlier that I hoped Terrell does manage to step up as it would allow Bowen to play SS which has been a really glaring weakness for us in coverage over the past few years. Speaking of which, I suppose since our pass defense was so good, you'd rather we kept Shade too. Saying we had a top 5 pass defense so don't change anything is a little shortsighted. Yes we were pretty good overall in pass defense. However most of that was due to very good corner play which was often mitigated by fair to poor safety play.

Sorry, but an upgrade to our S tandem was in order and saying "well we had a top 5 pass defense last season" just won't change that. Whether it comes by Terrell improving or Ohalete and Bowen starting I don't care. I just don't want to go into games again knowing that any team with a High School calibre TE is probably going to light us up.

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Yusuf,

My statement isn't that we had a top five pass defense last season and therefore no need to upgrade safety was required. In fact, I thought I wrote I turned pretty harshly on Terrell when watching another free safety make plays and it bothered me that ours made so few.

My statement, though, is that the statement that Terrell has been the bane of the defensive backfield the past couple of seasons may serve one's guttural needs at expression, but it lacks any real thought. Again, two years ago Terrell was rather good as the whole defense turned into one of the best we've seen here in years. Despite his struggles at times a year ago, struggles shared by many defenders with Lewis, we were still especially productive as a defense in terms of pass coverage.

Terrell was used to cover the tight end in 2001 once Shade's limitations in coverage were fully discovered and we had a great stretch with him in that role. Last year the defense had a different feel, obviously, and Terrell struggled and didn't cover the tight end very often, as Shade was again exposed until he was hurt.

Our pass defense improved as Shade left, so, I don't necessarily want him back there. It simply doesn't ring as a true statement to me that a pass defense among the best in the league actually has a true bane among the group. It's especially troublesome to see that when even if one were to believe a bane existed, it would probably have been Shade rather than Terrell.

In any case, the point remains, and I'll say it again in the hope of being more clear. An upgrade at safety is a great thing to want and it was even in order. But, we don't have any idea with Bowen if we've actually upgraded the safety spot and, if I have a choice of being a Top 5 pass defense with Terrell or not being one without him, I'll keep playing him.

I'd be stunned if you don't agree with every word of that.

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I'm not sure the stats support this (which doesn't really matter) but I think part of the reason our pass defense has rated as high as it has recently is in part due to the fact that teams have been able to run against us consistently. Ever since Ritchie Pettibon was DC it seems like.

Our biggest problem as I see it is piss poor tackling. From D-line to LB to all secondary positions. Safeties should be some of the best tacklers on a team (or maybe I'm still to hung up on Kenny Houston) and we have suffered through poor safety play for quite a while. I for one don't care who starts as long as he can tackle. Not just hit.

Now that everybody knows the system better, I hope tackling gets the most emphasis in camp/preseason. The entire defense.

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If Terrell can get with bowen and learns to tackle and hit the weights that would be great since some Rb's might get through our soft Dline. .....but to have bowen who is like a 4th LB with our trio and if Terrel can tackle hard we can stop a lot of plays from becoming big ones that seemed to sink us last year

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