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Afternoon Practice – Portis Has Some Fun

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 5:08 pm

Blazing hot practice this afternoon, firmly into the dog days of summer. Malcolm Kelly was back on the field as a full go, somehow wearing tights despite the heat. (The cornerbacks were far crazier, though, most of them wearing long sleeves as well as tights.)

The biggest news of practice was probably Randy Thomas‘s return, albeit in a limited fashion, a development that Coach Jim Zorn called “encouraging.” Carlos Rogers, Devin Thomas, and Mike Williams were also limited. Santana Moss and Kevin Barnes were out but on the sidelines, and Anthony Alridge was having his toe examined during practice.

The general takeaway from the afternoon session was that although the defense is still ahead of the offense, the gap is closing a little bit. Jason Campbell had nice passes to Antwaan Randle El and Marques Hagans, and there was just a tiny bit more swagger to the offense than there had been to this point.

For me, though, the most interesting bit of practice was Clinton Portis. Read more »

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Bruce Smith Shows Some Love To The Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 12:17 pm

Bruce Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame last night, the first Hall of Fame induction since Redskins Night last year. And while it’s likely that nothing will ever touch the levels of Redskins Mania of last year, Smith — who finished his career with (a better-than-I-remembered) four years as a Redskin — did manage to bring some burgundy and gold love to the podium in Canton in 2009.

Here’s the video of his moving induction speech; the Redskins bit starts around 5:19.


The crowning achievement in my career in terms of statistics occurred when I broke the NFL All-Time sack record while playing for the Washington Redskins. This record of 200 sacks sets the benchmarks for all aspiring pass rushers. To Dan Snyder, I will forever treasure the special relationship that you and I forged when you extended the opportunity for me to play for the Washington Redskins, I am honored by your presence here today. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to play for a team with such a rich heritage.

Bruce Smith will always be most closely identified with the Buffalo Bills, and understandably so, but it was nice to have the Redskins connection recognized as well, especially with such effusive praise. Read more »

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Morning Practice – Throwing To The Wrong Guys

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 11:41 am

This morning’s practice was relatively light and short — no pads, just shorts and shells, and over in less than 90 minutes. Which was good, because the heat was coming up fast.

Many of the previously injured players returned to at least do some light work with their position groups, including J.D. Skolnitsky, Carlos Rogers, Malcolm Kelly, Mike Williams, Randy Thomas, and Devin Thomas. Not practicing were Jeremy Bridges, who we knew about, and speedster Anthony Alridge, who has an injured toe. And rookie Kevin Barnes hyperextended his knee yesterday and was forced to take things very slowly today.

Today, according to Coach Jim Zorn, “was a skills practice. We had a lot of drill work. Our quarterbacks, except for that 7-on-7, really did a lot of servicing and we served both offense and defense. We threw to linebackers, defensive backs, just trying to get the idea of quarterback ball speed and interceptions.”

Well, the ball speed thing definitely worked out okay — on one occasion, Todd Collins nearly took off Lendy Holmes‘ head with a pass. But today’s drills mean, essentially, that the quarterbacks spent an awful lot of time this morning throwing to the wrong guys.

So I asked Jason Campbell if that sort of thing worries him at all. Read more »

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Sunday, August 9: Fred Smoot, Disciplinarian

Posted by Matt Terl on August 9, 2009 – 8:24 am

Seventh-round draft pick WR Marko Mitchell was one of the offensive bright spots during yesterday’s scrimmage, catching three passes for 32 yards. And he was characteristically humble about this. “I think I did a good job out there,” he said, “think I could’ve done a little bit more.”

He also was one of the bravest guys on the field, not because he took a whole lot of big hits — although he did — but because he made one of the most ambitious decisions any player on a football field can make: he started yapping with Fred Smoot. Read more »

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