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On The Field For Afternoon (Minicamp) Practice – 5/2

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2009 – 5:31 pm

Practice this afternoon felt quicker, both in duration and in pace. (Easy for me to say — unlike the rookies, I didn’t have to do a 300 yard shuttle and lift weights immediately afterward.) On the fourth practice of minicamp, though, it’s all starting to feel a little more like a well-oiled machine. Just in time to finish up tomorrow, I suppose.

Spent most of my time this afternoon around the defensive backs, but the whole first-team defense is really showing some early signs of swagger — they know they were good last year, and they all seem to believe in the additions of Brian Orakpo (“looking like the real deal,” one player said on the sidelines), Albert Haynesworth, and the re-signing of DeAngelo Hall. Read more »

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Devin Thomas Wears Carolina Blue Shoes

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2009 – 2:58 pm

Devin Thomas was wearing blue shoes at yesterday’s practice, but it wasn’t really his choice.

Some quick backstory, for those of you who haven’t immediately figured it out:

Thomas went to college at Michigan State, a school to which he maintains pretty strong ties — including coming back and helping at their draft-hopefuls’ pro day this year.

The Spartans made it to the finals of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament, where they were matched up against the North Carolina Tar Heels. And long snapper Ethan Albright is as proud a Tar Heel as Thomas is a Spartan.

At the time, Albright was enthusiastically pursuing Thomas with an eye to some sort of embarrassing side bet on the basketball game. Eventually, according to Thomas, the two did connect.

“We got a little side bet,” he told me at the time. “I’m not gonna speak on it right now … but he’s gonna have to wear some green when we win.”

A good plan, except that the Tar Heels pretty much dominated the entire game. Nothing much came of the Thomas/Albright discussions, as near as I could tell. A Tar Heels bumper sticker went up in Thomas’s locker, but nothing more.

Then, a couple days ago, a Redskins Park staffer suggested that I might want to look around back of the building, and bring my camera.
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On The Field For Morning (Minicamp) Practice – 5/2

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2009 – 12:58 pm

The weather for today’s practice started with light rain and moved to a weird, uneasy mugginess. Non-participants included Devin Thomas (sore hamstring), James Thrash (neck), and Santana Moss (hamstring), along with seventh-round draft pick Eddie Williams, among others who were limited.

Far and away the most interesting part of today, though, was the first 2009 appearance of the Quarterback Dodgeball Drill.

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Saturday, May 2: Edwin Williams On His First Practice With The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on May 2, 2009 – 9:50 am

With something like 120 guys in for the first minicamp, it’s easy for certain positions or players to get lost in the shuffle. So one of the things I’m following is the progress of center Edwin Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Maryland.

I had already spoken to him after the first day of physicals and headshots, and I caught up with him again yesterday before lunch, just after his rainy first practice wearing number 50 in the burgundy and gold.

So? One practice in the books. How’d it go?

Williams: “It wasn’t too bad. I got more reps than I expected — that’s obviously a positive thing. Still getting the technique down. Nowhere near where I need to be or where I want to be, but as far as a first day I think it was very productive.”

What is it out there that lets you know if you’re doing well? Especially with the pass rush coming at half-speed….

Williams: “Well, it’s all about effort, man. That’s what it is when you get to this level. Everybody’s talented, everbody has the necessary tools, so it’s about effort. I just try to use the enthusiasm that I’ve had, you know, my whole football career, and just try to be a cut above everybody else, try to execute with the most technique in the best position I can. That’s all I can do.”

Has the rest of the offensive line been welcoming to the new guys?

Williams: “Mostly, yeah, they definitely are, but it’s still that, you know, freshman/senior type thing. But they’re very welcoming, they’re not hazing or anything like that. Of course, this is the first day that I’ve met ’em, so I really don’t know what’s in store.”
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