News | Washington Football Team - WashingtonFootball.com

Five Veterans to Watch As Camp Unfolds

18730.jpg



Redskins.com counts down to the start of Redskins Training Camp Presented by RE/MAX. Here are five veterans to keep an eye on--minus Jason Campbell, who everyone will be following anyway--as training camp unfolds.

-- BRANDON LLOYD

Santana Moss led Redskins wide receivers with 55 catches for 790 yards last season. As defenses clamped down on Moss, the team needed a second wide receiver to emerge.

It was hoped Brandon Lloyd could provide a lift, after the team acquired him in a trade from San Francisco. Lloyd struggled in his first year in Washington, catching 23 passes for 365 yards and no touchdowns.

Lloyd essentially gets a do-over in his second year in Washington. He will come in with plenty to prove. He has spent off-season time in the weight room, bulking up nearly 10 pounds. That should help him shed defenders at the line of scrimmage.

-- ROCKY MCINTOSH

Coaches have lauded Rocky McIntosh's work ethic this offseason as he lays claim to the weak-side linebacker job. The Redskins' 2006 second-round draft pick is a new man in 2007, and he hopes his hard work translates into a successful year.

Said assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams: "The things I thought Rocky had hesitancy with last year--such as the coverage elements--he has more than made up for that with his understanding of the game.

"His speed and anticipation of the opponent's offensive concepts have been outstanding."

McIntosh appears more confident on and off the field. But he must fend off a training camp challenge from veteran Lemar Marshall, who will likely push for playing time.

-- CLINTON PORTIS

Clinton Portis doesn't need training camp to be the center of attention. Still, he'll likely be among players followed closely on and off the field.

Portis is coming off an injury-plagued 2006 season in which he struggled through shoulder and hand injuries. In seven games, he rushed for 523 yards and seven touchdowns on 127 carries. He also caught 17 passes for 170 yards.

During the offseason, Portis was also slowed by knee tendonitis.

It is expected that Portis will be full-go when training camp begins on Friday. But how will his surgically repaired shoulder respond to contact?

Coaches will likely take it slow with Portis through training camp, but he'll need to get his carries and prove that his shoulder can withstand some hard hits.

-- SEAN TAYLOR

Sean Taylor earned his first Pro Bowl nod last year, even though he had an up-and-down season in 2006. Taylor led the Redskins' defense in tackles last year with a career-high 129. He also had one interception and three forced fumbles.

The first thing fans will notice is how Taylor has slimmed down from his 2006 playing weight. Taylor weighs 212 pounds now, down from 232 last year.

Speed is the name of the game for Taylor, who will stay at free safety in 2007. Gregg Williams wants Taylor to be more of a ball hawk in the secondary, and he believes the presence of top draft pick LaRon Landry at strong safety will help Taylor.

"Hopefully, we can have a little bit more ball prodiction this way," Williams said. "I think that with Sean's skills, he can go so far to get balls. We had to use him in the box an awful lot last year. He can do anything you want him to do.

"I would like to put Sean Taylor in a position to go and get the ball, and I think LaRon is going to help us do that."

-- TODD WADE

Standing at 6-8 and 314 pounds, Todd Wade will certainly be among the more noticeable offensive linemen. He takes part in his first Redskins training camp and is transitioning to left guard.

Wade has strictly been a tackle in his seven-year NFL career. It's a transition that will be bear watching through training camp.

On the interior, Wade will have to angle his body lower to get better leverage against burly defensive tackles. He'll have to focus on different technique, compared to playing tackle.

If Wade struggles, there is a host of offensive lineman--including promising youngster Will Whitticker and veterans Ross Tucker, Jason Fabini and Taylor Whitley--waiting to take a turn at left guard.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising