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  • Thu., Aug. 17, 2017 1:20 PM - 2:00 PM EDT Jay Gruden At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talk to the media at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

Marcus Mason Tries Again

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 6:16 pm

I refer to running back Marcus Mason as a fan-favorite a lot, but calling him that does him something of a disservice. The local-guy-made-good didn’t just impress the fans last preseason; he led the league in preseason rush yards and stood out to his teammates, too.

Especially the Redskins other preseason star and fan-favorite: when you ask Colt Brennan about Marcus Mason, the superlatives just start flowing. “He’s a natural football player,” Brennan tells me, “a natural baller . I can’t tell you how many times in the preseason last year it was so nice to have him, because he would make good plays, make good runs. You only get so many chances when you’re young, and you’ve got a running back like that, gaining extra yards, picking up first downs for you, doing the little things.

“My second touchdown pass was to him,” Brennan continues, barely pausing for breath. “He got me a ton of extra live reps, because he was able to extend our drives. We really had a great combination of run and pass with him in the games. He played unbelievable last year in the preseason, and he’s done just as well this year, and I think everybody knows that he’s a great football player.”

Asking Mason about Mason earns a slightly less effusive answer, although almost any answer would’ve been less effusive than Brennan’s.

“I’m doing pretty well,” he says when asked about this latest chance. “I’ve picked up on the offense pretty fast. Last year I was out trying to learn it and I was worried about whether I’m going the right way or if I’m not, now I’m comfortable and ready to have fun.” Read more »

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Afternoon Practice – The QB Trashcan Challenge Is A Bit Of A Letdown

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 5:48 pm

This afternoon’s practice is the first one of 2009 training camp that’s felt routine. The guys came out, did their position drills, did their full group work, and wrapped up. It seemed like an efficient, clockwork practice. (Not that it was quick or easy. At an hour and 45 minutes in muggy, post-rain heat, guys were clearly getting tired even just in shells.)

Out of practice this afternoon: Lorenzo Alexander, Alfred Fincher, Santana Moss, Rueben Riley, Carlos Rogers, J.D. Skolnitsky, Devin Thomas, and Eddie Williams. Again, I get the feeling that most of these guys are being handled cautiously, and would be available if they were fully needed.

Cornelius Griffin
, Albert Haynesworth, and Malcolm Kelly did their now-traditional light second-practice work, and even Randy Thomas and Mike Williams were able to get a little light work in.

My vote for best practice performance of the day — and his best performance thus far in training camp: Antwaan Randle El. He’s been something of … not a forgotten man, as such, but an afterthought at the wide receiver position. We’ve been spending a lot of time monitoring how Kelly and Thomas are doing and wondering who’s going to emerge at the fifth receiver position, all while pretty much ignoring Randle El’s camp.

This afternoon he made a few nice catches — getting ahead of DeAngelo Hall and a safety to pull in a perfect pass on one — and just generally looked like a guy determined to show that he could still compete. Also, a guy electing to pull his shorts up very, very high. “You’re as goofy as those shorts,” Devin Thomas told him, as Randle El whooped it up after a catch.

Biggest letdown of the day? The quarterbacks and their trashcan competition. Read more »

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Morning Practice – Fun Drills, Zorn Hats, And Clicky The Internet Safety Robot

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 11:44 am

I haven’t been using Twitter all that long, but apparently it’s become pretty snugly integrated into my life. Because when it suddenly stopped working about twenty minutes into practice, I was completely freaked out. Here, then, are some vaguely (not really) twitter-esque notes from a rainy, overcast practice.

There were still absentees from practice — Lorenzo Alexander, Rueben Riley, Carlos Rogers, J.D. Skolnitsky, Randy Thomas, Eddie Williams, and Mike Williams — but with Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas, Anothony Montgomery, and Stephon Heyer returning, it still felt like the injury list was much more manageable than yesterday.

On the negative side, Heyer was limited in what he could do, Devin Thomas’s hamstring flared up, and Santana Moss was experiencing some hamstring discomfort and had to be iced after practice. (Coach Jim Zorn re-emphasized that Thomas’s hamstring is not a huge cause for concern. “He has a little knot in his hamstring.” he said. “It’s not pulled, it’s just sore; and based on what happened to him last year he’s a little nervous to work through it and I don’t want him to pull it either, so we’re just being cautious with him.”)

Thomas looked solid while he was in, albeit slightly rusty. He was moving smoothly, caught most of what came his way, and — as you can see in the picture above — was doing well in special teams punt coverage drills also.

Rogers talked after practice about how frustrated he is not to be contributing — “I hate it,” he said. “Sitting out here is worse than just practicing. Everybody complains about the sun, and says it’s hot, but sitting over there watching is really hurting.” Read more »

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Thursday, August 6: Twitter Forecast

Posted by Matt Terl on August 6, 2009 – 8:03 am

The TV weatherman this morning was standing in front of an hour-by-hour chart of the day, and every hour was covered with angry, terrifying rainclouds. Given the usual accuracy rate of TV weathermen, there’s a reasonable chance that today will be beautiful. But if it’s not, and if this is one of those rare times when the weatherman actually predicts the weather, my Twitter updates from practice will be limited. (In a related topics, if anyone can recommend a reliable waterproof case for the iPhone, let me know.)

If my Twittering is curtailed, I’ll still be back with a post-practice update. But until then, here are some of Intern Jake’s training camp videos from Redskins Rule to give you your morning practice fix.

One of my favorites, the linemen 1-on-1 drill:

Read more »

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