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On The Field For Practice – Finally, Back To Football

Posted by Matt Terl on September 30, 2009 – 4:24 pm

The scheduling of the NFL week is less than ideal for the losing team. Instead of immediately getting back on the practice field, putting the loss — especially a bad, frustrating loss like Sunday’s — behind you, and moving on, you get a couple days to really let it sink in. Monday is all about treatment and position meetings; Tuesday is the players’ day off (and, therefore, the main day for charity events and the like).

It’s not until today, Wednesday, that the guys get to get back to actually playing football.

Today’s practice went through some of the weirdest weather I’ve ever experienced, starting cool and cloudy, then getting very hot when the sun came through, then pouring rain, and finally settling back on the initial cool-and-cloudy.

Not practicing today were Albert Haynesworth, Clinton Portis, Carlos Rogers, and Mike Sellers. Rogers said after practice that he expects to be back, possibly as soon as tomorrow. Portis, during his media session, said that his ankles are fine and that he’s good. And Coach Jim Zorn said that he expects Haynesworth “to improve all week,” and that they’re trying to keep Sellers’ quad loose.

Just a few notes from practice:

  • Campbell stayed after practice and worked with Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas, and Marko Mitchell. Which is good, because Kelly’s performance especially has been hugely frustrating to me as an observer of the team. I saw him work hard in the offseason, excel throughout preseason, and say all the right things the whole time. But none of that changes the fact that — over three games — he has just six catches for 65 yards. Thomas didn’t have quite as impressive an offseason, and Mitchell — despite his preseason success — is a rookie seventh-rounder, and doesn’t have quite the weight of expectations. Hopefully this extra work will help all of those guys, but Kelly’s the one that perplexes me most.
  • Thomas caught a nice long ball from Campbell during the active part of practice as well. Both the throw and catch were solid, but it looked more like a failure by rookie CB Kevin Barnes to get his head around than anything else.
  • Interesting contrast between the scout team, which moved around a lot pre-snap in the style of Tampa Bay, and the actual Redskins offense, which doesn’t use much motion at all. Zorn’s offense has never featured a whole lot of pre-snap motion, but the contrast today was striking.
  • Portis really doesn’t seem particularly worried about his ankles, and says that his calf bruise is what’s keeping him out. Here he is talking at his media session today. “My ankles are much better. The first two weeks I really couldn’t even sit in position to pass block. I think right now, as far as my ankles, I can run around, I can stop, and I can cut. The treatment that I’ve been getting – the new program that I’ve been on – is working great. Right now my ankles don’t have any pain. It’s just unfortunate for me that I’ve got a calf contusion. I think I’ll be fine. There’s going to be wear and tear. This is the NFL, and I’m going to go out and continue to play, and give everything I’ve got.”
  • Similarly, Coach Zorn doesn’t seem worried about his job security. A national reporter from ESPN asked him about his level of worry, and Zorn seemed almost brusque in response. “None. Why would I worry about my job security? We’re three games into the season and I’m working to win.”
  • At one point during practice, Zorn was asking for the ball to be thrown back to him from a downfield play. “I got it,” he said, with the ball in the air; then defensive backs coach Jerry Gray stepped in front of him and and batted the ball away. Once a defensive back, always a defensive back, I guess.

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