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Redskins Mini-Camp Blog: Friday, May 2

Redskins.com's Mini-Camp Blog comes to you with news and updates from the Redskins Park practice fields.

-- FRIDAY, MAY 2

## 8:45 a.m. ET

Gone Camping

Here it is, Day 1 of Redskins mini-camp, and dozens of players are at Redskins Park getting ready for meetings.

Already there's one noticeable difference: Jim Zorn has scheduled two practices for Friday and Saturday, and one for Sunday morning.

By comparison, Joe Gibbs would hold one practice each day of his mini-camps.

For Zorn, it makes sense. This is the Redskins' only mini-camp of the offseason, and he wants to get players acclimated to the new offense as quickly as possible.


## 8:50 a.m. ET

Jerseys

Quickly, here are the jersey numbers that the draft picks will be wearing at mini-camp.

  • Colt Brennan: No. 5
  • Devin Thomas: No. 11
  • Malcolm Kelly: No. 12
  • Durant Brooks: No. 14
  • Justin "J.T." Tryon: No. 20
  • Kareem Moore: No. 41
  • Chris Horton: No. 48
  • Chad Rinehart: No. 75
  • Fred Davis: No. 86
  • Rob Jackson: No. 98

Now before you rush out and buy a Devin Thomas "11" jersey, please remember that off-season jersey numbers for rookies are often temporary.

As players are released by the end of training camp, jersey numbers will open up. So Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly and others could have an opportunity to change their numbers again. And again. And again.

Of course, many wide receivers these days are wearing No. 11. Two that come to mind: Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Detroit's Roy Williams. So Thomas just might stick with No. 11.


9:05 a.m. ET

Tryouts

The Redskins will have five players participating in mini-camp on a tryout basis. The group includes three tight ends.

Maryland tight end Jason Goode, who participated in the Redskins' local college workout on April 4, is back for another look.

Steven Tate is a defensive back out of Hofstra who also was at the local college workout.

Jay Sonnhalter is a tight end out of East Carolina.

J.T. Mapu is a defensive tackle out of Tennessee.

And the fifth tryout player is someone with the last name of Davis. He's a tight end.

Couldn't be Redskins rookie second-round pick Fred Davis, obviously. Couldn't be fellow rookie Kellen Davis of Michigan State--he was drafted by the Chicago Bears last Sunday. Couldn't be former Maryland Terp Vernon Davis--he's with the San Francisco 49ers.

Hmm. Stay tuned.


10:45 a.m. ET

Here We Go...

En masse, players are heading out onto the Redskins Park practice fields.

We're taling nearly 100 players in all, everyone from Ethan Albright to Todd Yoder.

First two players on the field: punter Durant Brooks and wide receiver Horace Gant.

In case you were wondering, there is no player wearing jersey No. 21.


10:50 a.m. ET

Boatman Released

I was just informed that offensive lineman Shannon Boatman has been released. He did not pass his physical.

Boatman was among 13 undrafted rookies signed by the club last Monday. He played his college ball at Florida State.

And I've finally identified the "Davis": it's Brandon Davis, a tight end out of Northern Illinois.


11:02 a.m. ET

Apologies

When I posted the jersey numbers of players on this blog, I inadvertently posted that rookie safety Kareem Moore was wearing No. 21.

He is wearing No. 41.

This was a typo. A bad error on my part.

My apologies to all.

Now...Back to mini-camp.


11:25 a.m. ET

Special Teams Work

You know that the Redskins are back when you hear special teams coordinator Danny Smith yelling instructions to his charges. As every fan who attends training camp in August knows, Smith's voice carries far.

Jim Zorn spent the early part of the morning practice watching Smith's special teams work. So did Greg Blache. (New assistant coach John Palermo worked with the defensive line.)

Makes sense. Special teams is vitally important, of course. But special teams is where you can find future starters. Most special teams players are running backs, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs, so there's plenty for Blache and Zorn to evaluate.


11:40 a.m. ET

Rogers, McIntosh

Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh are doing light running and drills under the watchful eye of team physical therapist Larry Hess and assistant strength and conditioning coach Bobby Crumper.

Rogers is not expected to participate in any drills or team work. It's possible that McIntosh could do some individual work.

Both are coming off knee ligament surgery last year.


11:40 a.m. ET

Quick Observation During Drills

At the far end of the field, assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel is working his linemen through the blocking dummy. The sounds echo throughout the practice fields.

Looks like rookies must earn their logos. While veterans have the Redskins logo on their helmet, undrafted rookies wear blank, burgundy helmets.

Chris Meidt is managing the quarterbacks early on. Starting with Jason Campbell, then Todd Collins, then Sam Hollenbach and finally Bret Meyer, they're working on fine-tuning their footwork.

Later, quarterbacks gathered at midfield and worked on accuracy. Meidt set up a net with three targets on it and had each of the quarterbacks throw into it from about 10 yards away.

Off to the side, 20 yards away, wide receivers gathered to work on running out patterns. Last two in line were draft picks Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly. Both looked very fluid running their patterns.


11:50 a.m. ET

Brennan, Moore, Ecker

Sixth-round draft pick Colt Brennan is not participating in any drills or team work after undgoing hip surgery on April 7. He was at mini-camp taking instruction and watching from the sidelines as Jim Zorn and Chris Meidt worked with the QBs.

Brennan was told he had about an 8-10 week recovery and rehab. He could be available to participate in some OTA practices in June.

Safety Kareem Moore, another sixth-round draft pick, reported to Redskins Park on Thursday walking on crutches. Moore underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week. He will not participate in mini-camp.

Moore's availability for Redskins OTA practices in May is also doubtful. Like Brennan, he could be ready to participate in OTA practices in June.

It also appears that second-year tight end Tyler Ecker is not participating in practice due to an undisclosed injury. He is watching the action from the sidelines as well.

That can't be good news for Ecker, who missed all of last season due to a groin injury. Ecker was a seventh-round draft pick in 2007.


12:15 p.m. ET

WRs vs. DBs

Here's a look at the drills for quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs.

The top highlight: Jason Campbell lofted a deep pass to Anthony Mix, who grabbed the ball despite good coverage by John Eubanks, bobbled it, but ultimately hung on. Jim Zorn went downfield to congratulate Mix.

Third-stringer Sam Hollenbach was off target on a couple throws, but he impressed when he connected with James Thrash on a deep pass.

Secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray spent time working with rookie fourth-round pick Justin Tryon, who twice had solid coverage but could not break up a pass play.

Cornerback Bryan Westbrook made a nice play, batting away a pass to a receiver.


12:30 p.m. ET

Short Passes Galore

This is the West Coast offense, folks. During 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 work towards the end of practice, every pass was of the short variety.

That means very few highlights from practices, unfortunately.

Mike Sellers caught a short pass in the flat, then violently turned up-field. Shawn Springs was there, but since there's no tackling at mini-camp, we don't get to see the hard hit.

Rookie Fred Davis caught a pass on a similar route. The 6-4, 247-pounder reminds me of Sellers, actually. He's a bulldozer and he looks tough to tackle.

Antwaan Randle El caught a short pass, then put a quick move on undrafted rookie linebacker Curtis Gatewood. Rookies often have trouble adjusting to the speed of the NFL game, and that was a classic example as Randle El left Gatewood behind.

In 11-on-11 work, Todd Collins threw a pass behind Chris Cooley, right into the arms of tryout defensive back Steven Tate for an interception. That's a great opportunity for a young roster hopeful.

Burl Toler was able to get a hand on an errant Sam Hollenbach pass, but the ball bounced away and into the arms of undrafted safety Kevin Mitchell for an interception.


12:45 p.m. ET

Huge Media Crunch

I guess there's some interest in this Redskins mini-camp. The media on hand seems enormous. Including camera operators, I count about 50 media members.

Confirmed from Jim Zorn that Tyler Ecker has re-aggravated his groin. That's why he's not participating in mini-camp.


3:20 p.m. ET

On his first practice:

"I thought that all the preparation that we have done was executed very well out here. I am very happy with how guys worked and how guys finished, great effort with the ball. The thing that I was really amazed by is some of these guys have only been here a day or two and to come out, line up, not jump off sides, no fumbles, no fumbled snaps; there is kind of a victory just in that. Then, to put the whole practice together the way we did, I thought it was outstanding."

On if he had any butterflies:

"I had no butterflies. I had too many things to think about."

On if practice went like he thought it would:

"Nobody really knew what to expect out there. We tried to explain what to expect and for the most part everybody did exactly right. There will always be little things that we can do to make it more crisp, even setting the ball down, where are we going to be, that takes a little time for everybody to get an idea of how fast we work."

On rookies not having logos on their helmets:

"Yeah, we decided to take those off for several reasons. One, there are names on the back of the jerseys just so we can remember who they are, especially the new coaches. Secondly, I think without the logo there are a couple of things there. One, it tells you who the young guy is. Two, those young guys look at the logo and then they have a sense of something that they want to earn, especially at the end of training camp, earn the right to have that decal on the helmet. Those are the ideas behind it."

On what he thought of the new players:

"I thought the new [players]were outstanding in what they did. Really the new guys were outstanding, but what they did was they learned from the veteran players. I could see them waiting for that veteran to show them how to do it and then they tried to execute in the same manner, full speed, trying to do everything they could to show what they can do, and they did."


3:25 p.m. ET

Some Clinton Portis Quotes

And Clinton Portis spoke to the media after practice. Selected quotes below.

On if he is excited about the new additions to the team:

"We are real excited. I don't think there were many dropped balls today. The balls that were tipped, you saw the defensive backs diving after them and getting to them. For the first practice, I think it was great tempo and a great day."

On how Coach Zorn runs practice:

"It was cleaner and faster, but it was more up-tempo. You are going to get your work done, it's just you're going to get it done at a faster pace."

On if Coach Zorn seemed nervous:

"No, he is used to this. He came in and looked forward to this challenge and getting this team and this organization to a conference championship. That is our main goal right now."

On if it was strange not seeing former head coach Joe Gibbs on the field:

"It was, but at the same time Coach Gibbs is doing great right now. I get to watch him on NASCAR. I am trying to get him to let me come down and drive before the season starts. It is great for what he is doing. I think him stepping away, family issues and all--a lot of guys figured it would be hard to replace him. But I think Coach Zorn was a great pick to come in and do that."


3:35 p.m. ET

Second Practice Coming Up

The Redskins' second practice of Friday starts up in about 10 minutes.

Players are heading out onto the field right now and preparing for stretch and warm-ups.

It's a warm day--approaching the 80s--and some of the coaches have changed into shorts for the afternoon practice.


3:40 p.m. ET

Jansen Update

Right tackle Jon Jansen spoke to media after practice and said his injured ankle felt fine after working through drills.

"It feels great," he said. "I was real excited about how it handled today."

Jansen suffered a fractured dislocated ankle injury in Week 1 last year.

Not surprisingly, Jansen missed the camaraderie of his teammates while he rehabbed the injury.

"This is what I love," he said. "I love to play football. It has been a long time."


3:42 p.m. ET

QB Rollouts

All four quarterbacks--Jason Campbell, Todd Collins, Sam Hollenbach and Bret Meyer--are practicing roll-outs under the watchful eye of Chris Meidt. They drop back and roll left, all in perfect rhythm.

Zorn likes his quarterbacks to be in constant motion, so look for Campbell to use his mobility as a passer. It should be a very effective weapon, especially against aggressive defenses.

Meyer, by the way, is a rookie out of Iowa State. He struggled in the morning practice.


3:42 p.m. ET

Interception Drills

The Redskins have practiced interception drills for years. At Friday's mini-camp, the defense practiced blocking on interception returns.

A pass was thrown high for a cornerback to grab, and then defenders quickly moved in front to block for him.

Reminds me of London Fletcher's interception return for a touchdown last season against the Arizona Cardinals, a pivotal play in the Redskins' 21-19 win.

On that play, Fletcher ran 27 yards to the end zone and had a convoy of teammates blocking for him as he crossed the goal line. Shawn Springs leveled a punishing block on Kurt Warner to finish it off.


4:12 p.m. ET

Subdued Practice Early On

The afternoon practice was subdued early on, workmanlike in tone. For most of the session, the offense and defense worked on opposite fields.

On offense, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly lined up on opposite sides on one play. This was a blocking drill, and Thomas and Kelly shoved their defender as Eric Shelton raced through a hole.

Secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray proved everyone's an equal in his eyes. He offered instruction to fifth-year safety Eddie Jackson, a player fighting for a Redskins roster spot, after Jackson was beaten on a pass. A play later, he pulled aside starting safety LaRon Landry for instruction after Landry was late in pass coverage.

And let the trash talking begin: after one set of plays, Mike Sellers started verbally jabbing with Marcus Washington. "I can go at this all day," Sellers yelled.


4:39 p.m. ET

9-on-9 Work

First play, Jason Campbell dropped back to pass...without the ball. It was a fumbled snap between Campbell and Casey Rabach, and the play was quickly called dead.

Next play, Campbell threw a crisp pass 15 yards downfield to Chris Cooley, who caught the ball in stride in a nicely designed play.

Next play, Campbell escaped pressure from Andre Carter, who worked his way around solid blocking by Chris Samuels. Campbell picked up a few yards before the play was called dead.


5:15 p.m. ET

Defense Dominates

In the morning session, the offense mostly looked sharp in 11-on-11 work. In the afternoon, the defense stepped up.

Matt Sinclair got it going by stepping in front of Todd Collins's short pass across the middle for an interception.

John Eubanks intercepted a Sam Hollenbach pass, drawing howls of approval from Fred Smoot. One play later, Eubanks nearly intercepted another Hollenbach pass, but the ball slipped from his grasp.

Rookie Chris Horton made a nice play, batting away a pass to Antwaan Randle El.

Shawn Springs pulled in an interception of Jason Campbell, and then raced across field looking for blockers. He tossed the ball to Fred Smoot who was running alongside him. That upset Jim Zorn, who yelled, "Don't do that, don't do that. Don't mess around."

The offense did make some plays, of course. Devin Thomas caught a short pass and put a move on Reed Doughty. Upset at himself, Doughty chased down Thomas as the play ended.

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