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It Wouldn't Be A Practice Day Without Talking To Fred Smoot

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2009 – 6:09 pm

Shortly after the morning practice, I came upstairs in Redskins Park to the reassuring sight of cornerback Fred Smoot sitting comfortably in the office (i.e. couch) that he borrows from Sonny Jurgensen. Since it sometimes seemed like Smoot provided the most useful, funniest, most insightful bits in my posts from last season, I figured I’d get his thoughts on the crowd at practice, the new defensive backs, and anything else that came up.

Have you ever seen that many guys at a pro practice?

Smoot: “Yeah, I think I did my rookie year with Marty Schottenheimer. He always liked to bring a lot of guys in, but you know. They’re bringing a lot of guys because they want the best, point blank. When you do that, you’ve gotta bring ’em in in bulk.”

It’s been one practice. Did you see anything notable?
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On The Field For Afternoon (Minicamp) Practice – 5/1

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2009 – 5:43 pm

Two down, three more practices to go for this minicamp. The rain cleared for the afternoon session, giving the new guys just the barest taste of what the summer heat and humidity are going to be like. No one seemed to enjoy that very much.

For those of you who weren’t sure after the morning session, yes, Mike Sellers is present and accounted for. That’s him running into the blocking pad of swine-flu fearmonger Clinton Portis this afternoon.

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On The Field For Morning (Minicamp) Practice – 5/1

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2009 – 2:32 pm

You know, it would’ve been a much easier way in to writing about today’s practice if the weather had been beautiful and picturesque. Could’ve had the trite and obvious “spring is a time of new beginnings” metaphor. Instead, we had a drizzle that turned into a steady rain and a hundred-and-something guys on the field making it tough to focus on specific things.

So, yeah, turnout was not a problem today. It was tough to get a precise count, as the rosters aren’t fully accurate and not all the jersey have names on them, but it sure seemed like everyone that was expected was out on the field. Rocky McIntosh was excused for personal reasons, and James Thrash and Santana Moss were very limited, but they were out there. Clinton Portis unsuccessfully tried to use swine flu as a reason to cancel the whole thing.

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Friday, May 1: Meet Edwin Williams

Posted by Matt Terl on May 1, 2009 – 9:11 am

This is Edwin Williams, undrafted free agent center out of Maryland, set to take the practice field today as one of the newest members of your Washington Redskins.

With minicamp finally here, I thought it might be interesting to focus on one undrafted guy as he goes through the NFL experience for the first time, from his arrival yesterday through … whatever happens next. As I reviewed the list of undrafted free agents Williams seemed like a good choice for a few reasons:

First, he plays what might be a position of need: center. It is beyond unlikely — just short of impossible, actuallly — that an undrafted guy could unseat starting center Casey Rabach, nor would anyone here want him to. But there’s no firm backup at the position, which creates a perfect opportunity for Williams. He was a three-year starter at Maryland

Second, he’s a local guy — grew up in D.C. and attended DeMatha before heading around the Beltway to College Park — and that always adds intrigue to a prospect.

And third, since he was a two-time Academic All-ACC guy and had all sort of favorable comments about his attitude and leadership in his pre-draft scouting reports, I figured he’d be the kind of guy who had given some thought to his situation and what he needed to do to make the most of it.

That last one turned out to be an understatment — when I talked to him late yesterday, it almost felt as if he was directly responding to his scouting report. Here’s what they had to say about his draft prospects on NFLDraftScout.com:

On a line that was inconsistent for most of 2008, Williams was one of the more dependable starters. He should be one of the first centers taken, though because that position tends to be less desirable than other spots on the line, he may be a later pick than he’d like.

And here’s what Williams said on the subject yesterday: “I was very optimistic but also very realistic. Because, you know, centers don’t really get drafted a lot — last year I think they drafted four centers. I kinda glanced at the draft, but I didn’t really watch it. I’m not really about — I feel like there’s so much hype around it, but you’ve really just got to come in and do your thing.

“So I didn’t really watch too much,” he continued, “but then I would hear through the grapevine that centers were getting picked up, so at that point I was getting a little more optimistic. But at the end of the day, I didn’t get drafted. At the same time, now I have a great opportunity with the Redskins, a lot of teams told me that they wanted me, and now I’m here ready to get started.

“The draft thing was cool, you know? That was a good weekend. But now it’s time to do the real work.”

So why did you choose the Redskins? Read more »

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