Devin Thomas Likes Long Drives In Virginia

Posted by Matt Terl on June 4, 2009 – 4:25 pm

Over at the NFC Beast blog on, Matt Mosley has an excellent phone interview with second-year wide receiver Devin Thomas. Thomas has been largely absent from my coverage of this week’s OTAs, but Mosley more than picks up the slack here.

Want to know how Thomas felt about Jason Campbell’s offseason? That’s covered.

I pretty much talked to him through the entire thing. And we just kept working hard together. When things got boiling [with the pursuit of Jay Cutler], I sent him a text to let him know I was with him. He’s a self-motivator, and his mind he was still the Redskins quarterback. That wasn’t changing unless they were going to ship him off — and it never happened. People have been playing my abilities, too. Jason and I will have the same little grudge this season. We’ll have a little chip on our shoulder, so we’ll want to showcase what we’ve been working on.

What does he like to do to relax? That’s there as well. Read more »

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The Continuing Saga Of DeAngelo Hall's Madden Ranking

Posted by Matt Terl on June 4, 2009 – 4:10 pm

When “news” “broke” about DeAngelo Hall‘s precipitous dip in the rankings on EA Sports’ upcoming Madden 10 videogame, I figured it would be good for a quick, mildly amusing post. I’d get a quote or two from Hall, link back to the Ethan Albright thing, and that would be it until — hopefully — midway through the season, when we would all look back and marvel at how inaccurate those rankings had proved to be.

Well, not exactly. The original story had Hall being ranked a (ridiculously, insultingly low) 68, but EA Sports Community Manager Will Kinsler set me straight on that via Twitter (he’s @raczilla) last night:

Heads up. @dhall23 ‘s rating is 79 in Madden this year, not 68. And that’s with new stretched out ratings….

Fair enough. Was the 68 reported incorrectly, or was the ranking changed? Read more »

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On The Field For Some Entertaining Drills

Posted by Matt Terl on June 4, 2009 – 2:47 pm

Well, I jinxed it just a little bit. On this dreary, overcast day — the last of this four-day batch of OTAs — Malcolm Kelly was noticeably limited in practice. Coach Zorn, however, does not feel jinxed, and he remains optimistic: “He’s been limited in these last couple days because of getting him right back into it,” he said after practice. “We want to be smart with what he is doing as well, but he will be practicing next week just the same as he did this week.”

I certainly hope so.

Zorn was also optimistic about where the team is, following this week of OTAs. “I think we are better than last year, or coming into last year,” he said. “There were a lot more question marks. I’ll give you an example, [Chad] Rinehart wasn’t ready to accept the full responsibility of what he is already accepting this time. We did move Jon Jansen on, so we do have a clearer picture of the competition at right tackle. We’ve got legitimate guys working at left tackle to back up Chris Samuels. We’ve got [Derrick] Dockery in there and he has kept pace with what we were doing last year with Pete Kendall. We are in better shape, no question.” So that was good to hear.

On the field today, though, the most interesting things to watch were two drills.

The first was the QB net drill. This is one of those things that never seems to get old for me. I suspect that’s because it’s so straightforward: QB drops back to pass, Coach Zorn shouts out which hole in the net the ball should go through, and either the throw is a success or a failure. Not much gray area there.

And the star of today’s QB net drill? Read more »

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Here It Is: The Fan Schedule For Training Camp

Posted by Matt Terl on June 4, 2009 – 11:30 am

I’ll have more details as the dates get closer, but the team has announced that the following training camp practices will be open to the public. (Please keep in mind that all dates and times are subject to change.)

  • Thursday, July 30 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Friday, July 31 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Saturday, August 1 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Sunday, August 2 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Tuesday, August 4 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Wednesday, August 5 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Thursday, August 6 – 8:30 a.m. Practice
  • Saturday, August 8 – Fan Appreciation Day and Intra-Squad Scrimmage.

These practices are open to the public free of charge. Parking lots will open approximately 90 minutes prior to the scheduled start of practice and gates will open approximately one hour prior to the start of each practice. At Fan Appreciation Day, individual Drills will begin at 1:20 p.m. and the scrimmage will start at 2 p.m.

Like I said, more details to come, but there’s the information you need to start planning your summer around Redskins practices. Read more »

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Thursday, June 4: Coach John Palermo Talks Haynesworth, Orakpo, Versatility

Posted by Matt Terl on June 4, 2009 – 10:46 am

Back to the defensive side of the ball, as I continue talking to the coaching staff around Redskins Park. (In case you missed them, here are offensive assistant Chris Meidt, safeties coach Steve Jackson, and tight ends coach Scott Wachenheim.)

Defensive line coach John Palermo took over coaching the defensive line for the Redskins last year after thirty decorated years coaching in the college ranks. He spent the offseason getting prepared to work with his group of lineman … only to have two of them go down at the same position on the first day of training camp, leading directly to the ill-fated trade for Jason Taylor.

I talked to Coach Palermo about making that transition, about working with this year’s new acquisition, Albert Haynesworth, about rookie draft pick Brian Orakpo, and about the sudden premium being placed on versatility along the defensive line, which I started by describing as “arguably the deepest position group on the team.”

Palermo thought that was understating the matter.

“I don’t think there’s any argument to it,” he said. “We do have a pretty deep group, with the addition of Albert Haynesworth at the tackle position. That leaves us with [Cornelius Griffin, as the other starter], with [Anthony] Montgomery and [Kedric] Golston, as well as the capabilities of Lorenzo [Alexander] being able to play end and tackle and also Philip [Daniels] being able to play end and tackle. So I think it does give us a group that’s pretty deep and talented.”

How do you fit all of those guys into the lineup? Read more »

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