- Clinton Portis was back at practice, but Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall were not. Hall was resting a sore knee but is expected to play Monday night; Haynesworth is still nursing an ankle and may be a gametime decision. Cornelius Griffin, Chris Horton, Kareem Moore, and Hunter Smith were also all back at practice and are expected to play.
- The Monday Night Football crew was on the sidelines doing their game prep — Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber — and Gruden’s presence led to all the sarcastic comments you’d expect from the media in attendance. Jaworski was keeping a careful eye on Jason Campbell, whose play he praised early last year, but of whom he was indirectly critical on Friday.
- Head coach Jim Zorn mentioned last night’s report on Chris Samuels, all but confirming the speculation that Samuels will be put on injured reserve at some point next week.
- Possibly the most interesting tidbit from Zorn’s post-practice remarks is that he expects newly-signed tackle Levi Jones to be activated on Monday night. “He’s really been committed,” Zorn said, “and Joe Bugel’s worked overtime with him, along with Casey Rabach, the center and communicator on our offensive line, and he’s come right along.” I talked with Jones about that after practice; that conversation is after the jump.
“Today was a real good day,” Jones told me. “I mean, I feel good about the plays; I’m not worried about gettin’ out there and playin’, I’m just worried about getting’ out there and knowing what TO do. I’ve been starting for seven years, so playing … that’s gonna be second nature to me. But knowing what to do in new schemes, new offense, new technique … well, I got with our center, Casey Rabach, and I’m starting to feel good about that.”
The biggest potential stumbling block for Jones is the difference between the systems used in Cincinnati and here. “If you go to a system that very similar to your old one,” Jones said, “not too much changes. A lot of these coaches come from the same tree, just spread out and branch out, but when you come from a system like Cincinnati to a system like this, it’s completely different. I mean, a lot of the pass schemes and stuff like that are the same, but the techniques are totally different. And if you’re not doing the coach’s techniques, and you’re not getting’ ‘em right out there, if you’re not working on ‘em and trying to get what he’s telling you, you’re not gonna be able to get out there.”
Working at least somewhat in Jones’s favor is something he had all but forgotten: he learned a variant on the Redskins system a long time ago. “That’s the funny thing about it, because all the techniques that they’re trying to get me to do now, and everything that they have going on is what I learned in college. My offensive line coach, Dan Cozzetto, learned under the Joe Bugel offensive line system. So all this stuff, I was doing in college and doing … well, doing well enough to be drafted in the first round, you know?
“Then I get to Cincinnati,” he continued, “and everything changes, and I conform to Cincinnati and Coach [Paul] Alexander and his techniques, and now it’s like I gotta go back there [to the college techniques]. But it ain’t like riding a bike; ‘back there’ is eight years ago.”
If Jones can overcome these mental concerns, his body should hold up … he thinks. “Health feels great,” he said. ” I mean, surprisingly good. Better than I’ve felt in a LONG time. I’m ready to go.”
Tags: levi jones, LeviJones, on the field at practice, OnTheFieldAtPractice
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