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Training Camp Practice Report For July 24

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Redskins.com's training camp reports come to you as action happens at Redskins Park.

7:08 a.m. ET

Five days into training camp, and it's time for the wear and tear of playing football daily to rise up.

Hamstring injuries.

Devin Thomas, the Redskins' top draft pick last April, suffered a pulled hamstring in Thursday morning's practice.

He will be sidelined 10-14 days, team officials said. It's unlikely that he will play in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

"We don't know how he heals yet, this is his first hamstring injury," Jim Zorn said. "So sometimes it might take a little longer. We'll see how fast he can work himself into full speed."

LaRon Landry also has a minor hamstring injury. He watched most of Thursday's practices from the sidelines.

"LaRon has a low strain. I don't think it's going to keep him out that long," Zorn said. "It's not as serious as Devin's [hamstring injury]."

With rookie safety Kareem Moore still rehabbing from off-season knee surgery, the Redskins turned to Shawn Springs and J.T. Tryon to play some safety during 11-on-11 work.

Special teams coordinator Danny Smith said he expects no personnel changes in his return game this season.

That means Rock Cartwright is slated to return kickoffs and Antwaan Randle El remains the punt return specialist.

"Rock obviously is our guy and he had a great season last year, so he will be very, very difficult to beat out in my opinion," Smith said.

Here's the full recap of Thursday's practice sessions at Redskins Park.

8:18 a.m. ET

Another Day

Settling into a routine at Redskins Training Camp. It's a humid morning, and coaches and players are heading out to the practice fields.

It's an open practice for fans. Players are once again wearing full gear, including pads.

Jim Zorn walks out and is greeted by Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network and an NFL Films cameraman.

As players walk by, there is the "click clack" of the cleats.

"I love the sound of cleats," Zorn says to Baldinger.


8:20 a.m. ET

Cooley the Chatterbox

For fans in attendance on Thursday, Chris Cooley may be very talkative during practice.

That's because Redskins.com TV has put a microphone on Cooley's jersey. Cooley's every word will be captured by the team during practice.

The segment is expected to air on one of the Redskins Broadcast Network's shows during the season, possibly Redskins Gameday or Redskins Players Club.

Earlier this training camp, Redskins.com TV put a microphone on Fred Smoot, Anthony Montgomery and Randy Thomas, among others.


8:25 a.m. ET

Durant Brooks

One of three Redskins sixth-round draft picks last April, Durant Brooks considers himself a different breed of NFL punter.

"You get stereotyped as a punter, but I am a little different because all through high school I played both offense and defense," Brooks said. "I have gotten to do the point where I like to do everything. I don't like to go off by myself.

"I am always trying to do things to earn respect. Kickers already get less respect because they are kickers, so I try to earn mine."

Brooks has not experienced any rookie hazing. Apparently Jim Zorn has asked veterans not to haze the rookies so that they focus on football.

"It has really helped me out," Brooks admitted.


8:47 a.m. ET

Special Teams Work

After warm-ups, practice begins with special teams.

On one side of the field, Danny Smith is overseeing punt coverage and blocking drills, with Derrick Frost and Durant Brooks getting their kicks in.

On the other end of the field, assistant special teams coaches are working with wide receivers and cornerbacks to use their speed to fend off blocks.

Byron Westbrook tries to get around Horace Gant and Burl Toler, but Gant gets leverage and pushes the 5-10, 200-pounder out of bounds.


9:08 a.m. ET

D-Line Drills

Defensive line coach John Palermo places two large hula hoops on the ground. He tells the linemen to race around the hoops in a figure eight, reaching down to tap away small white beanbags along the way.

The drill is intended to help the linemen improve their agility and leverage in getting around offensive linemen.

"Keep your eyes up," Palermo yells to Demetric Evans.

"Get your shoulders up," he shouts to Lorenzo Alexander.

The drill certainly aids Jason Taylor and Andre Carter, both speed rushers. Palermo praised newcomer J.T. Mapu for his effort.


9:30 a.m. ET

Kelly's Size

In full gear, Malcolm Kelly looks even taller than his 6-4 frame.

During 11-on-11 work, Todd Collins overthrew Kelly on a short route along the sideline. Leigh Torrence had solid coverage.

Said a fan: "Kelly, you're a real tall dude."


9:35 a.m. ET

Collins's Adjustment

Todd Collins is playing in a new offense for the first time in seven years. Since 2001, he has worked in Al Saunders' offense.

Saunders is in St. Louis now, but Collins stays behind in Washington as Jason Campbell's backup.

Even though he's a 14-year veteran, Collins faces a transition just like everyone else on offense.

At times during training camp, Collins has looked uncertain. It has showed in his performance so far.

In the face of pressure, Collins got rid of the ball by throwing a short pass across the middle. No receiver there.

Rookie safety Chris Horton was, though, and he intercepted the pass and raced the other way.


9:50 a.m. ET

In the Red Zone

Redskins are putting the emphasis on red zone work in the morning practice. In one series of plays, the first-team offense goes against the second-team defense.

Ladell Betts made two nice runs, including a cut-back against the D-line's momentum, to get into the end zone for the score.

In the second series, the second-team offense goes against the first-team defense.

London Fletcher meets Rock Cartwright head-on to stop a run play. Then Marcus Washington tackles Cartwright on 3rd-and-1 play to force fourth down.

Shaun Suisham came on, and his kick sailed through the uprights.

Zorn wanted to do it again, though.

This time, Suisham's kick hit the right goal post, and clunked away. No good.

Grumbles from the crowd.


10:05 a.m. ET

Injury Bug

Missed this earlier: Top draft pick Devin Thomas appeared to strain his hamstring on a play during practice.

More on his status later.

Also, safety LaRon Landry tweaked his hamstring and sat out the late portion of practice.

Rookie safety Kareem Moore is still sitting out practice as he continues to get over off-season knee surgery.

Finally, Chris Wilson had a strained calf muscle and sat out the late portion of practice.


10:15 a.m. ET

1st vs. 1st

Surprisingly, we don't see this too often this camp: the first-team offense lined up against the first-team defense.

Mike Sellers took a handoff and burst right up the middle. Does anybody want to even try tackling the 6-3, 280-pound fullback.

Sellers again, this time on a screen pass. He made a one-handed grab of Jason Campbell's pass, then turned up-field to be met by London Fletcher. Applause from the fans.


10:18 a.m. ET

O-Line In 11-on-11 Work

It's always the best part of practice. Here we go with some 11-on-11 work.

Chad Rinehart, meet Jason Taylor. First play, Rinehart keeps Taylor in front of him for solid protection.

Next play, Rinehart again keeps Taylor in front of him, but this time Taylor makes a quick move two steps in and gets around Rinehart. Taylor was within striking distance of quarterback Derek Devine, but Devine got rid of the ball in time.

With Chris Samuels still recovering from minor off-season elbow surgery, Stephon Heyer is taking all of the reps at first-team left tackle. Heyer is a candidate for most improved Redskin. He was solid going against Andre Carter.

Rock Cartwright took the handoff for a sweep to the right and found plenty of running room. Credit goes to rookie offensive linemen Andrew Crummey and Devin Clark.


10:25 a.m. ET

More 11-on-11 Work

Practice is winding down. Here are a couple more plays from 11-on-11.

Santana Moss catches a screen pass off to the side, and tries to slip through tacklers. Byron Westbrook grabs Moss by the shirttail and keeps him from breaking away.

Jason Campbell's downfield pass to Chris Cooley was slightly under-thrown. But Cooley, covered by linebacker Danny Verdun-Wheeler, pulled up and made the reception.

Todd Collins turned and quickly handed off to Nehemiah Broughton, and then faked another handoff to Marcus Mason. Fooled me. Broughton, at 5-11 and 257 pounds, was shoved to the ground by defensive lineman Kevin Huntley, who is 6-7 and 290 pounds.

Last play of the morning practice: Malcolm Kelly could not hang on to a pass, but Jason Campbell's pass was off the mark and thrown into traffic. Mike Sellers started razzing Sellers as the horn sounded ending practice.


11:15 a.m. ET

Devin Thomas Update

Rookie wide receiver Devin Thomas suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday morning's practice.

Thomas could miss practice time as he recovers from the injury, Jim Zorn said.

The injury happened as he was running down the sideline on a long throw from Jason Campbell.

"When he came down off of that long throw, he pulled his hamstring," Zorn said. "We don't know the extent of it yet. We'll get it calmed down and after we evaluate it what it means for getting him back out there."

Thomas was carted off the field.

For Zorn, it brought back memories of Sunday's practice, when the Redskins lost Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee to season-ending injuries. Thomas's injury does not appear as serious.

"There was nothing I could do," Zorn said. "I said, ?Okay, here it is again.' But fortunately it's a pulled hamstring. He'll be back soon."

Thomas was the Redskins' top selection in last April's NFL Draft. He was taken in the second round, with the 34th overall pick.


11:25 a.m. ET

Billy McMullen

Jim Zorn said after practice that wide receiver Billy McMullen could see a jump in playing time in place of Devin Thomas.

McMullen is a fourth-year wide receiver out of Virginia.

He was a third-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004-07. He also had a stint with the Minnesota Vikings last year.

Philadelphia and Minnesota both run versions of the West Coast offense, so McMullen should have an easy transition to Washington.

"He's good and he's fast," Jim Zorn said. "He understands more than one position and that's a real asset. I think the more that he's been in the league, the more he understands what it takes to stick. He's competing very hard and doing very well."


1:45 p.m. ET

Cerrato On Thomas

Vinny Cerrato was on Redskins Nation on Thursday and said the team expects Devin Thomas to be sidelined for "a couple weeks" due to the hamstring injury.

Thomas could miss the Redskins' Hall of Fame Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 3.

He could be ready by mid-August and available to play on Aug. 9 against Buffalo.

"That's where having the extra preseason game and coming in early helps," Cerrato said. "If he can get back, he should be able to play in four preseason games.


2:45 p.m. ET

Afternoon Session

The team is heading out to practice for afternoon work. It's humid, but not overbearing.

Players are in shoulder pads and shorts. No full gear this time.

Devin Thomas and Chris Wilson are not expected to practice. In the morning session, Thomas suffered a hamstring injury and Wilson suffered a strained calf.

Kareem Moore is also sitting out practice again as he rehabs from off-season knee surgery.


2:55 p.m. ET

No Hazing?

Head coach Jim Zorn has banned the hazing of Redskins rookies, something that was adopted in Seattle where Zorn was an assistant coach the last seven years.

So instead of singing songs at team meetings or getting taped to the goal posts, Zorn wants rookies concentrating on the playbook and getting rest in their down time.

"Early in my career, I saw a very high-round draft pick decide he wasn't going to get hazed," Zorn recollected. "He just would not do it. And he never really was accepted on the football team. He was ostracized, and it made things absolutely miserable. I don't want that to happen."

It appears that, for some Redskins veterans, the hazing has gone underground.

Rookie tight end Fred Davis has had to wait his turn to use the shower after practice. And he has been forced to change seats on the bus in deference to a veteran.

"There hasn't been too much [hazing]," he said. "I was supposed to sing, but I didn't. The veterans have been okay to me, except when I want to take a shower, they make me wait. Or if I'm sitting on the bus, they make me move. "

Zorn is fine with that behavior, though.

"A rookie getting ice for a veteran is not hazing," he said. "That's doing someone a favor."

Asked about Zorn's policy, Davis said with a smile: "[Veterans] can get around it if they want to. When I was at USC, Coach [Pete] Carroll told us not to [haze freshman], but we still did it anyway."


3:10 p.m. ET

Too Much Taylor?

Following his stint on "Dancing With the Stars" earlier this year, Jason Taylor has earned a certain degree of fame outside of football.

After each morning practice, fans--particularly female fans--typically scream out his name, hoping for an autograph or a photo.

Does his presence overshadow some of the other Redskins stars?

"It doesn't distract me and I don't think it distracts anyone else, either," Jim Zorn said. "It's a big thing to have Jason Taylor, a 12-year veteran, come here and become a part of our program. As the initial excitement moves on, we'll all get to work and get going."


3:40 p.m. ET

Yoder, Randle El

After warm-ups, the Redskins spent a half-hour in special teams work. It proved to be uneventful. Trust me on this.

Moving on to 7-on-7 work, Jason Campbell tossed a downfield pass to Todd Yoder, who was wide open. Yoder makes the grab and runs into the end zone.

Later, Antwaan Randle El came across field and grabbed a pass in stride near the sideline. He turned up-field and ran in for a touchdown.


3:55 p.m. ET

Colt Brennan's Turn

Practice is moving swiftly and may be abbreviated. Jim Zorn has promised that the afternoon sessions would be shorter than the morning practices.

Notable play: Leigh Torrence reached in front of Horace Gant to break up a short pass from Todd Collins.

Colt Brennan took a series of reps, against the first-team and second-team defenses.

On his first play, Brennan threw a pass across the middle that was easily intercepted by Marcus Washington, who whooped it up after the play.

Washington again torments Brennan. He gets a hand in front of a short pass to Marcus Mason running across the middle.

Brennan throws a nice deep pass to tight end Rob Goode, who makes the grab. The throw did not have a great deal of zip on it, but it produced results.

Then Brennan tossed a sideline pass to Burl Toler, who made the catch with a defender in front of him and a defender behind him. This throw had real nice touch.


4:10 p.m. ET

Afternoon Practice Over

Jim Zorn ended practice after just an hour and 10 minutes.

With the exception of some red zone drills, it looked like many of the second- and third-team players on offense took the bulk of action in 11-on-11 work.


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