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Not that he was ever clubhouse cancer, but Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis underperformed last year in his role as one of the team’s veteran leaders. A charismatic and engaging personality when things are going his way, Portis knows that he can’t switch between being engaged and disinterested whenever he pleases. Being a leader in the NFL is a full-time job, and Portis is eager to do just that this coming season:
“I made it my goal this preseason to make sure I was never the topic of conversation or headlines about missing practice,” said Portis, whose only missed time came when he sat out a few days with a sprained ankle. “I wanted to show my teammates I was dedicated to getting myself right.”
Though the Redskins likely won’t lean too heavily on Portis this season, he could very well end up toting the ball 250 times or so in Mike Shanahan’s offense. Of course, it wasn’t at all clear that Portis would even be with the Redskins in 2010 after what transpired last season.
“Did I question whether I would be back with the Redskins? Yes,” Portis said. “I know, as far as this town, it’s a bittersweet relationship. On Sundays, they love me. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday when the headlines come out, it’s a lot of hatred. So you get in that bittersweet relationship, it’s like wanting to start over, wanting to start new.”
The Associated Press is reporting that Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb will start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys after recovering from an ankle injury.
Donovan McNabb said Tuesday his sprained ankle isn’t 100 percent, but it won’t keep him from starting the Washington Redskins’ opener Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Yes, I will be starting this weekend,” McNabb told ESPN980. “And I look forward to it.”
In what has to be great news for Redskins fans everywhere, quarterback Donovan McNabb returned to practice today after missing the last two weeks with an ankle injury. According to TBD's Mike Jones, McNabb did not seem limited in any way.
Donovan McNabb is back on the practice field after sitting out the last two weeks with a sprained left ankle. The quarterback showed no ill effects from the ankle injury, and moved well when rolling out for passes.
Mike Shanahan has yet to comment on McNabb's practice, but you have to think this is a good sign for McNabb's chances of being ready for Sunday's season opener against Dallas.
Just when we all thought that the continuing saga of Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan was behind us, the situation has suddenly worsened following the Redskins' final preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
After participating in 89% of the team's defensive plays on Thursday night, three members of the organization told Jason Reid of the Washington Post today that they were disappointed with Haynesworth's performance, along with his effort.
Haynesworth often looked disspirited, according to John Keim, and "failed to adhere to the principles of the new 3-4 scheme," according to two of Reid's sources.
All three sources indicated that Coach Mike Shanahan has lost his patience with the ongoing Haynesworth drama. During practice at Redskins Park Saturday, Haynesworth took part in very few plays, one of the sources said. He was moved back to nose tackle -- he had been working primarily at right end recently -- and removed from the nickel package.
The sources speculated to Reid that Haynesworth will probably not start next Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, and may even be placed on the inactive list for that game. The decision will be Shanahan's.
It's still not clear whether Donovan McNabb's injured ankle will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season against the Cowboys, but for what it's worth, several of McNabb's teammates think he'll be ready.
Via Ryan O'Halloran of Comcast SportsNet:
"He's a fighter," receiver Devin Thomas said. "I'm sure he'll be ready."
Said linebacker Andre Carter: "For each man, when you get hurt, it's your decision. If he can go, he'll go. The Donovan we've known has always played through injuries. He sucks it up and is a tough quarterback."
McNabb has 22 days for that ankle, but Mike Shanahan continues to list him as being day-to-day. He will not play in the preseason game against the Cardinals Thursday.
Malcolm Kelly was finally back on the practice field today after sitting out pretty much the entire preseason with a nagging hamstring problem. The injury wasn't supposed to be this bad, but it was, and Kelly lost a good chunk of the preseason because of it.
How did his hamstring feel in practice today? Well, it depends on who you ask. According to Kelly himself, it felt fine. Via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan.
Malcolm Kelly was pleased with practice today. Said his hamstring ''felt pretty good.'' Looks to be in line for Thursday's game.
Mike Shanahan, however, disagreed, telling people Kelly had a "setback." Via Redskins Insider.
Malcolm Kelly had a setback... Pull... Shanahan will have more info tomorrow. Not good news
Who do we believe?
It is unknown whether it is a bit of gamesmanship on coach Mike Shanahan's part, or true worry, but the head coach of the Washington Redskins now sounds doubtful that quarterback Donovan McNabb will recover from his foot injury in time for the season opener. Both ESPN and the Washingon Post covered a conversation with Shanahan following Friday's win over the New York Jets in which he issued the following statement about the health of McNabb and his ability to start against the Cowboys:
"I really don't know for sure," Shanahan said Sunday. "That's why it's day by day. We'll see how it goes."
This is an obviously worrying development for Redskins fans, as McNabb's health is critical to the team and any chances it has of making the playoffs this year. However, there is as much chance that this is "coachspeak" and McNabb will be ready to play for the opener. Mike Shanahan may want to fool the Dallas Cowboys for as long as he can before opening kickoff.
Donovan McNabb is already a likely scratch from Thursday's final pre-season game against the Cardinals, (UPDATE: McNabb is now officially out for Thursday) and now, it looks like he'll have some company on the bench. Mike Jones reports that back-up quarterback Rex Grossman will also be sitting for the final game of the pre-season:
Grossman said he's not playing vs Arizona. Guess its the Beck and Bartel show.
So far, no official reason has been given for why Grossman will be sitting out, but since Grossman doesn't appear to be injured, the Redskins are presumably trying to avoid losing another quarterback to injury this pre-season. Rick Maese brought up the possibility of such a scenario yesterday on Redskins Insider:
It's not clear how much time Grossman will see next week at Arizona. McNabb is not expected to play, but the Redskins don't want to run the risk of Grossman also suffering an injury. As it is, he says he feels comfortable in his role with the team.
"I feel great right now," Grossman said. "Obviously Donovan's going to be the starter. But if they need me to play, I feel extremely comfortable knowing what [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] wants and in my abilities to run this offense."
Grossman's absence means John Beck and Richard Bartel will have the entire game to make their strongest closing statements before the Redskins make their final cuts.
Donovan McNabb has already been ruled out of Friday's preseason game against the Jets with an ankle injury. Now, he is also pretty close to being ruled out of the team's final preseason game against the Cardinals next Thursday, as coach Mike Shanahan told reporters that chances are "slim" that McNabb will suit up.
However, it's worth noting that this may not be because of his injury. As Mike Jones of TBD notes, Shanahan doesn't like to play his starting quarterback in the team's final preseason game.
Donovan McNabb just used air quotes and stressed the word ''sprain'' when asked what the team told him about his injury. Funny. #Haynesworth
It turns out that Donovan McNabb's banged-up ankle will linger on for at least a week, as coach Mike Shanahan just announced that McNabb will not play in the team's preseason game against the Jets Friday.
Via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan:
Shanahan on McNabb: ''Nothing you can do about it. I don't think he could go if it was a regular season game.'' #Redskins
Rex Grossman will get the start instead.
Shanahan has also ruled fullback Mike Sellers (leg) and wide receiver Malcolm Kelly (hamstring) out for Friday's game. Regarding Kelly, Shanahan added that people shouldn't "count him out" of making the final roster. That just goes to show you how far the former second-round pick has fallen.
After leaving the Redskins' preseason game against the Ravens early with a sprained ankle, Donovan McNabb emerged from Redskins practice today with a walking foot on his left boot. Via Mike Jones of TBD:
Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb was wearing a walking boot on his left foot during locker room availability earlier this morning, and just a bit ago during the open portion of the team's practice, the quarterback was an observer.
McNabb's absence was reportedly merely for "precautionary" reasons, but it's something to watch as the season approaches.
Mike Sellers, who also injured himself in the preseason game, did not practice either. Malcolm Kelly, who hasn't practiced all of training camp, also sat out.
There was speculation the other day that the headaches that sidelined Albert Haynesworth for the final three days of Redskins training camp would also keep him out of the team's preseason game against the Ravens. However, Jason Reid of the Washington Post is reporting that Hayesworth should end up taking the field on Saturday.
Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, who sat out practice recently because of problems stemming from heat exhaustion, plans to play in the upcoming preseason game, people familiar with the situation said Friday.
Haynesworth will once again play as the second-team nose tackle, meaning he should see most of his action in the second half.
As it turns out, Albert Haynesworth missed practice today due to a headache, not heat exhaustion. At least that's what Mike Shanahan said.
"I talked to him today, and I thought it was dehydration," Shanahan said. "He felt that his head was bothering him more than it was dehydration. He wasn't feeling good, basically, is what it was. That's why he didn't practice."
Shanahan added that it remains unclear whether Haynesworth would play in Saturday's preseason game against the Ravens. I don't know about you, but it seems odd to me that a headache would keep a player out of practice this long. Maybe it's more serious than I thought, but at face value, it certainly doesn't look good for Haynesworth.
Albert Haynesworth will end Redskins training camp the same way he began it: by not practicing. This time, however, he's not practicing because of heat exhaustion. He left practice early three days ago because of dehydration, and has yet to return, even though today is the last day of training camp.
Via Rich Campbell of the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star:
Haynesworth (dehydration) still not practicing. Curtis Gatewood must re-hydrate faster than 92 b/c he's back.
It certainly seems odd that heat exhaustion would keep Haynesworth out for three straight practices, but perhaps his issues are worse than we thought. We'll keep you posted.
For more, visit Hogs Haven.
He hasn't even been signed a month and he's already getting in trouble. Luckily for the Redskins and their rookie left tackle, it doesn't appear to be too serious.
Offensive lineman Trent Williams, the Redskins' first draft pick this year, is due in Fairfax County traffic court next week for a reckless driving ticket he picked up on the Dulles Toll Road in June, court records show ...
Williams, 22, was pulled over at 1:10 a.m. on Sunday, June 6. He was allegedly going 90 mph in a 55-mile-per-hour zone, according to the ticket written by Fairfax Officer Amanda Bronson, as he headed west on the toll road near the Fairfax County Parkway.
Now technically, Williams wasn't under contract with the Redskins at the time, but he was on his way to an team run off season workout. You may be wondering what made this particular offense "reckless driving" as opposed to just speeding. Here's your answer.
Officers may write tickets for reckless driving, rather than speeding, for anyone driving 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit. In Fairfax, prosecutors will request a day of jail time for every mile over 90 miles per hour, so Williams will not face that. But, if convicted, he probably will have his driver's license suspended for up to six months.
It's not the end of the world, but it isn't something to be proud of either. Hopefully it doesn't affect his performance on the field.
Too early to tell if this is a good thing, but Donvan McNabb stated on Tuesday that he has every intention of making Washington D.C. his home for years to come. The uncertainty of course relates to McNabb’s contract situation. He has just one year remaining on the six-year $100+ million dollar deal he inked with the Eagles. McNabb is confident that things will resolve themselves sooner rather than later.
“I’ll be here with the Redskins for years,” he told NBC Washington’s Dan Hellie. “We’ve both said it, I’ve said it, they’ve said it. I want to be a Redskin. I want to be a Redskin. Just like I was an Eagle for years, I want to be a Redskin. I want to finish my career here. There’s a lot of exciting things that are ahead of us here, there’s a lot of talent here, and I think good things can happen here in Washington.”
On Saturday, the Redskins will play the ravens in their second pre-season game. According to Chris Russell, Devin Thomas will get the opportunity to start at wide receiver.
Devin Thomas says he will get crack with first team as likely starter on sat night
Need a second opinion? How about Grant Paulsen.
Expect to see Devin Thomas get some work with the first string against the Ravens on Saturday.
This is a big year for Devin. Receivers tend to grow considerably from their second to third year, and the Redskins could really use some production opposite Santana Moss. Hopefully, he doesn't disappoint in his tryout on Saturday.
After a series of great practices at training camp, I guess the Redskins were due for a poor one at some point. That point occurred today.
The team reportedly was mixing it up with different snap counts, and several false start penalties resulted. Finally, Mike Shanahan had seen enough. The coach reportedly stopped practice and gathered the team around for a tongue-lashing of sorts.
Frustrated with the Redskins' performance, Coach Mike Shanahan stopped practice to express his feelings to the team Tuesday at Redskins Park.
Coaches and players encircled Shanahan as he delivered his message about remaining focused during the final days of training camp, which ends Thursday. Although Shanahan declined to reveal specifics of what he said, he made things clear to the group.
The players understood the need for Shanahan's sterm words, and practice looked much crisper after the incident. For now, it looks like the Redskins' practice struggles are an anomoly.
The last time Albert Haynesworth sat out Redskins practice, he did so because he hadn't passed his conditioning test. Today, he sat out for part of the time because he got sick, according to Rick Maese of the Washington Post.
Maese was told Haynesworth sat out due to heat exhaustion, but Mike Shanahan denied that, saying he wasn't sure what was wrong with Haynesworth. Either way, it doesn't appear that this is a long-term problem.
Malcolm Kelly's hamstring injury has shown little sign of letting up, and it'll likely cost him another chance to show himself in a preseason game. After missing Friday's game against the Bills, Kelly will likely miss next Saturday's game against the Ravens, according to Mike Shanahan.
Chances are "very very slim" that Kelly plays vs. Baltimore, shanahan says
Considering how many wide receivers are fighting for Kelly's position on the roster, this injury could not have come at a worse time.
Curious as to why only one of the Redskins' three veteran running backs was in action on Friday night? Mike Shanahan and the Washington Post have the answer. The Redskins intend to give Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker one start each in the next three weeks of the preseason. The team will continue to use one starter for extended duty, and then turn the game over to reserves Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.
"It's kind of the only way you can evaluate running backs," Shanahan said. "You just can't put them in for three or four plays and take them out."
According to Grant Paulsen, we should expect to see Johnson get the start on Saturday night against the Ravens, and probably Parker when the team travels up to the Meadowlands for a matchup against the Jets on August 27. Assuming Parker hasn't lost his job to Brian Westbrook by then.
In other news, Mike Shanahan told reporters today that wide receiver Malcolm Kelly won't practice tomorrow, but should be back on Tuesday. He's got his work cut out for him as Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams remain the second string receivers, according to Ryan O'Halloran. Kelly will also have to compete with fellow 2008 draft choice Devin Thomas, who had a touchdown and led the team in receiving on Friday night. Thomas doesn't look like he'll be listed on the third string for much longer.
The best quote of the day though came from Special Teams coach Danny Smith, regarding his kickoff specialist Brandon Banks, as told by the Redskins blog:
"I didn't really teach him much goin' into that game other than the dance at the end of that thing."
The Redskins are already stacked at the running back position, but one more couldn't hurt, right? The Redskins have had an offer out to Brian Westbrook for much of the off season, and now it seems like he may finally be ready to play. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Brian Westbrook's decision about where he wants to play this season will come on Monday.
The suitors that he has visited are St. Louis, Washington and Denver . Green Bay had also expressed interest at one point. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has said since the spring that the Redskins have had an offer out to Westbrook.
Albert Haynesworth continues to be listed as the second-team nose tackle, though he did play on the first team a lot today because Maake Kemoeatu sat out. Despite being in pads for just a week, he will play in the team's preseason opener against the Bills as the second-string nose tackle, according to Comcast SportsNet's Ryan O'Halloran.
Other training camp tidbids:
Add another Redskin to the list of players who will sit out Friday's first preseason game against the Bills due to injury. Mike Shanahan just told reporters that offensive tackle Jammal Brown will sit out because of a hip injury and will receive more treatment next week.
Via John Keim of the Washington Examiner:
Shanahan said jammal brown likely will get a shot to alleviate hip pain. Says he'll return sun or mon.
This means Stephon Heyer will get the start at right tackle, according to Grant Paulsen.
It took him a while to get there, but Albert Haynesworth is finally practicing with the rest of the team, and according to his coach, so far he is doing just fine; from Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
"I think he looked pretty good," Shanahan said after the morning session. "I haven't had a chance to look at [tape of] practice on the defensive side, but what I saw looked pretty good."
He doesn't commit entirely, but Shanahan seems cautiously optimistic about Haynesworth first day with the rest of the team. Reid also gives some insight as to where Haynesworth might be playing on the D-Line when the season gets underway.
Initially, the nine-year veteran will back up first-team nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu. Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will not hand Haynesworth anything. But many within the organization envision Haynesworth, barring injury, eventually being the team's starting right defensive end.
Haynesworth's initial aversion to the 3-4 defense was his potential role at nose tackle, where he would have to draw the vast majority of the attention from the opposing team's central blockers. Playing at end better replicates the traditional defensive tackle position he seemed so attached to playing. So hopefully, this move makes him happy, and keeps him motivated.
Malcolm Kelly's injured hamstring has been a problem all throughout training camp, and it will likely be enough a problem to keep him out of the Redskins' preseason opener. According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, Kelly is not expected to play when the Redskins take on the Bills this Friday.
Mike Shanahan did not confirm this, saying only that Kelly will not play if he cannot practice. However, he did say that Kelly will hopefully be ready to play "next week," adding that Kelly's injury is more serious that the team expected.
This is particularly bad news for Kelly, considering he's currently listed as a third-string receiver on the team's first official depth chart.
Disclaimer: it's early, and this depth chart is subject to change. But it's also hanging on the Redskins' locker room right now, so it's legitimate. It also reveals some interesting surprises to fans who maybe have not tuned in closely to training camp.
Among the interesting surprises:
Jammal Brown participated in some sideline training today, but didn't put on the pads and didn't practice with the team according to multiple reports. Brown has been sidelined for the last five days with a hip injury.
Yep, Malcolm sat out team drills. So did Jammal Brown. Quite inauspicious
Shanahan hopes Jammal Brown will be back in a few days
Shanahan on Brown: It's too early to be concerned.
4. Shanahan said it's too early to be concerned about Brown, citing clean MRI last week. But he's missing valuable practice time with Hicks.
This is obviously troubling for the Redskins, as positional depth is a problem that could plague the team all season. Hopefully, this will only turn out to be a minor setback, and Brown will be back on the field in the next few days.
Now, that Albert Haynesworth has passed his conditioning test, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has broken his silence and has opened up about Haynesworth's role in his 3-4 defense.
According to Rich Campbell, Rick Maese and John Keim, Haslett said today that Haynesworth will start out learning the nose tackle position, which as you may remember, was a point of a contention during the off-season. Haynesworth is finally practicing with the team, but the coaching staff hasn't changed their stance on Haynesworth's position in the defense.
Furthermore, when asked about Haynesworth's spot in the defense, here's what Haslett had to say:
"He really has no say in that."
Ouch!Although Haslett also said Haynesworth will be learning both end spots in the 3-4, it looks like Haynesworth won't be where he wants to be, unless his attitude has softened as of late.
Everything seemed to be happy-go-lucky for Haynesworth and everyone else in Ashburn today, but for now, no one is really sure how long the good times will last.
Washington D.C., the long, national nightmare is finally over. Albert Haynesworth has been cleared to practice after completing his conditioning test this morning. Jason Reid has the details:
On Day 10 of the Haynesworth Watch, the two-time All-Pro on his fourth attempt completed the two, timed 300-yard shuttle runs required by Coach Mike Shanahan in order for him to join in all team activities. Two sources familiar with the results said Haynesworth completed the two sprints in the allotted time of 70 seconds for the first set and 73 on the second with a break in between.
Haynesworth, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and strength coach Ray Wright appeared pleased as they walked off the field together. Asked how Haynesworth fared on the sprints Saturday morning, Wright responded, "Good run." Haslett, who has been prohibited by team officials from speaking with the media until Haynesworth passes the test, gave two thumbs up before entering the complex's main building.
According to Rick Maese, Haynesworth completed the two shuttle runs in 66 and 70 seconds, which means Haynesworth completed both runs with time to spare.
Now that Haynesworth has completed his conditioning test, he can focus on his next challenge: Learning the 3-4 defense. After missing the team's first 15 practices, he has a lot of catching up to do.
Albert Haynesworth once again did not take the conditioning test today, so he will sit out practice for the eighth straight day. At this point, team officials are starting to get very frustrated, considering his knee checked out fine on the MRI.
Via Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
Redskins sources: Frustration with Haynesworth rising in organization because conditioning process occupying too many key people too long. Although team knew he would require individual attention at start of camp, feeling internally is he could/should have passed test by now. Team officials perplexed because he continues to perform well on treadmill. "He was flying" on treadmill Thursday, said one source.
Not that any of this is surprising, but it's interesting to hear. Mike Shanahan will reportedly hold even firmer on his "no pass, no practice" stance, meaning this saga could continue to drag out.
After Chris Cooley was lost to a broken ankle for the remainder of the season in week seven last year, then second year tight end Fred Davis enjoyed somewhat of a coming out party. He registered 31 catches in the second half of the season, and finished with six touchdowns on the season; after only three catches and no scores in his first campaign.
Now, entering his thrid season with the Redskins, Davis is looking to become an even bigger part of the offense, according to Ryan O'Halloran of CSN Washington .
Before: “I was like, ‘If you throw me out there, I’ll make some plays.”
Now: “If I’m given the opportunity, I feel I would dominate.”
But there is one, big, two time pro-bowl, obstacle in his way. But with all the wrinkles, and folds, and creases in the new redskins offensive playbook being installed by Kyle Shanahan, there should be room for both.
“Fred and I both have the goal to be on the field as much as possible,” Cooley said. “We think the two of us benefit this team.”
Said (Tight Ends coach John) Embree: “It will depend on how we match up against the team we’re going against. If there are favorable formations and personal groups, you’ll see it more. Kyle and Mike have always had tight end-friendly offenses.”
Conventional wisdom says that there should be but one tight end on the field at any time. But if Fred Davis emerges as one of the best pass catchers on the team, the coaching Shanahans will surely find a way to utilize him.
Albert Haynesworth has missed the entirety of Redskins training camp to this point, and will continue to miss practice until he passes his conditioning test. A test he has been unable to even attempt recently, because of soreness and inflammation in his knee.
On Thursday, he underwent an MRI test on that knee to make sure that it wasn't a serious injury causing his discomfort. According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, the results of that MRI are in, and it's good news for Haynesworth and the Redskins.
An MRI exam Thursday of Albert Haynesworth's irritated knee revealed no structural damage, and the Redskins are hopeful the Pro Bowl defensive lineman will be at full strength soon, people familiar with the situation said.
Well, that's a relief. But you know what that means, Albert. Time to get back in the saddle and tackle that conditioning test!
Roger Goodell attended Redskins training camp yesterday; visiting the owners, and meeting with players to discuss issues pertaining to the collective bargaining agreement, and the looming potential lockout. A meeting that may not have gone as well as the players would have hoped.
According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, the players didn't get all the answers they were hoping for, including Deangelo Hall.
"He's walking around kissing babies, you know, shaking hands, and he just wants to say that the owners are over here, the players are over here and I'm in the middle, I'm for the game," top cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "But to ask him a question about anything, he couldn't answer.
"He couldn't answer this, go check with this, go ask these people, I don't really know. It was a waste of time. We sat there and shot questions at him for 45 minutes, and pushed meetings back and had to be here longer for nothing. A total waste of time."
Perhaps the most stately Redskin, London Fletcher, offers a similar perspective.
"We just wanted more answers to the questions that we had and he really didn't have 'em," said inside linebacker London Fletcher, the Redskins' player representative. "Obviously, some of 'em he didn't even feel like he could answer 'em as part of the negotiations, so to speak. Guys want to hear straight from him as far as what's true and what's not true. Let's not read about it in the media. Let's not have the information come from a second source and things like that.
As London points out, Goodell was somewhat constrained by the negotiations, and couldn't answer all of the questions the players had; even ones that he knew the answers to. But it is understandable why the Redskins players would be frustrated with the lack of openness from the commissioner. Nobody is asking him to give away secrets to the CBA negotiations, but if you know you can't talk about them, why even offer to take questions from the players?
Apparently, Albert Haynesworth's knee pain has finally reached the point where the Redskins are actually concerned. In his post-practice press conference, Mike Shanahan announced the team will give Haynesworth an MRI this afternoon to make sure there's nothing wrong with the knee.
Haynesworth has been doing a few more drills, but still isn't practicing because he has not passed the conditioning test.
More to come...
Once again, Albert Haynesworth will not take Mike Shanahan's conditioning test because of his sore knee. At this point, that's not news. However, I do find this piece of information from Jason Reid of the Washington Post interesting.
Redskins sources III: Working well with Haslett and actually now likes new D, but test still hurdle. Moral of story: Don't mess with Shanny.
That could mean Shanahan has finally won, or it could mean that Haynesworth came to his senses independent of the test. Either way, that has to be a good sign for Redskins fans hoping to see the dominant Albert again.
ASHBURN, V.A. - As the first week of Redskins training camp wrapped up, coach Mike Shanahan decided to throw a bone to some of his veterans who have worked hard in the first week. Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, Santana Moss, London Fletcher, Joey Galloway and Jamaal Brown all were on the sidelines for the majority of the morning practice, and of the six, only Brown was explicitly out due to an injury.
Mike Shanahan had this to say about the decision to rest those guys.
"Yeah, usually guys that we don't have practice after about six days are some of the older veterans. London Fletcher, [Clinton] Portis, [Larry] Johnson, Santana Moss [Joey] Galloway, didn't practice. Some of them pertain to injuries from last year. If a guy has been injured and after six days we feel like we've been pushing the envelope a little bit, we try to give them a little break. They still go through some drill work early and some walkthroughs. They're out on the field but they don't go through all the team reps and it gives some of these younger players an opportunity to see what they can do. I've done that throughout my career with other players and it seems to protect them a little bit."
Brown had an MRI on his hip, which, of course, he had surgery on last year, causing him to miss the entire season. He checked out fine, but decided to sit out anyway. Shanahan said Brown should be OK going forward. Via Paul Tenorio of the Washington Post:
"Doctors say that's typical after a guy has been injured, he is going to be a little bit sore," Shanahan said. "He wanted to go today and I just thought it was best for him, going through the type of surgery he had last year, the type of injury that he had, to take a day's rest. But he was wanting to go so he'll be out there tomorrow ready to go and hopefully there's no setback."
As he walked off the field following practice, Brown was limping slightly but said he felt that he was getting back into football shape and expected some soreness as he re-adjusted after the extended layoff.
There shouldn't be any cause for concern here, but you always have to worry with the lack of depth on that offensive line. Stephon Heyer stepped in for Brown today and was beat a number of times during scrimmage. An injury to Brown could prove to be devastating.
Albert Haynesworth's situation remains as it was before, but there was a funny scene at the end of the evening practice. Haynesworth was once again finishing up his post-practice individual session, and decided to end his media boycott to talk to ESPN's Hannah Storm. As Storm chatted with Haynesworth, the rest of the media watched, waiting to see if they could possibly get anything from Big Albert. (They couldn't).
Eventually, Haynesworth finally left Storm and walked over to the fans. Once he made it clear he wasn't talking to the media, reporters tried to convince fans to ask their questions for them. Once one did, Haynesworth scolded him. As John Keim of the Washington Examiner notes:
The Albert Haynesworth situation has become a circus. After the walk-through this afternoon he stopped and chatted with ESPN's Hannah Storm. Hmmm, wonder why. Anyway (and I happened to be in the media room during all this because of a tight deadline), the media who watched this said it was a bit ridiculous. Said that they were prodding fans to ask Haynesworth questions about his knee. When one fan did, Haynesworth chided him. But he did sign autographs. And then he made his customary walk back to the facility trailed by about 15 media members. I don't knwo if Storm asked him about a 3-4; heard there was some talk about Tennessee. Really, this is getting absurd.
No matter what Albert said to the fans - have had several people familiar w/situation tell me that the knee is not getting better & will be a persistant problem without rest or perhaps more. Problem is he's not getting any rest so swelling/irritation still there.#Redskins
Well that's lovely.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stopped by to talk with the team and then hold court with the media. We already covered Goodell's comments about the Santana Moss situation here, but he also discussed a variety of topics, as described by Keim and others.
Most notably, Goodell said he could potentially intervene in the Haynesworth situation, but only if he could play a "helpful role."
Asked if it's a situation that might require the commissioner's intervention, Goodell said he would assist "if I can play a helpful role..."I think these are issues that teams and players go through all the time," he said in a meeting with reporters Wednesday afternoon. "They
need to get resolved in a way that works for everybody."
"Albert wants to play football and he wants to get out there," he added. "He needs to be able to do that. But he needs to get himself in proper shape to do that."
Goodell also noted that he himself has taken conditioning tests in the past. Asked if he passed, Goodell said, "Oh, yeah. What? Does that surprise you."
This conditioning test thing has officially jumped the shark.
Goodell also discussed the possibility of Washington D.C. hosting a Super Bowl. Via Keim:
New York will become the first outdoor northern city to host the game in 2014.
"We made our big step this year playing the Super Bowl out in the elements," he said. "That's the way the game is intended to be played and it's on the world's biggest stage of New York. Let's see how our experience is in 2014 and go from there."
Along with Goodell, John Madden made an appearance at Redskins Park and held court with some reporters and fans. Madden is a big fan of the Redskins' chances this year, primarily because of the additions of Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan.
Via Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan:
John Madden taking fan questions at #Redskins Park, asked about Skins: ''When you've got a top coach and a top QB, you've got a good shot.
And Madden even attached a percentage total to the Redskins' projected improvement, albeit one that doesn't exactly make sense. Via Rick Maese.
Madden used a percentage to note the difference McNabb makes to Redskins: "120 percent"
Special Teams coach Danny Smith is always a fun quote, and he showed that again today when he held court with reporters following practice. Matt Terl at Redskins Blog summarized his remarks, but to pair them down even further: punter Josh Bidwell great, kicker Graham Gano good, long snapper Nick Sundberg bad. Actually, very bad:
"There's a lot of guys that can go out and do this when nobody's around, but execution under pressure... And that's the same for the long snapper. When he and I are alone working stuff, he's beautiful. Let's see what happens when somebody's trying to beat his brains in. Execution under pressure. If he can handle those things he's got a chance, and if he can't, he doesn't, and we'll make that decision based on the preseason."
The funny thing is that this isn't real pressure. Just wait until Sundberg tries this stuff in a game.
Once again, Albert Haynesworth did not take his conditioning test Wednesday morning, marking the fifth straight day he has sat out because of knee pain. The Redskins didn't even bother to schedule Haynesworth to take the test today, according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
The Redskins did not schedule a test for Wednesday morning and have none currently scheduled, one of the team sources said. Apparently, the feeling among the medical/training staff is that it simply doesn't make sense to move forward until Haynesworth believes he is capable of going at full speed again.
The two team sources told Reid they do not expect Haynesworth to take the test in the next couple days.
This is a huge year for third-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, but once again, it appears he's falling behind. He's been victimized again by the injury bug, not practicing today because of an injured hamstring. Worse, it appears Kelly might be out for a little while, according to Mike Shanahan.
Via Comcast SportsNet's Ryan O'Halloran.
Malcolm Kelly (hamstring) also did not practice. Shanahan says not close to returning but hedged by saying it could be only a few days.
Kelly tried playing on his hamstring injury earlier in camp, but it's only made it worse. With so many other receivers in the mix, and without much of a pedigree to hang his hat on, Kelly runs the risk of being left behind and maybe even cut from the team.
Another day has passed, and once again, Albert Haynesworth is not practicing with the team. He again decided to rest his sore knee instead of taking the conditioning test, according to Jason Reid.
There is concern that Haynesworth will never be able to pass the test, and while Mike Shanahan did leave the door open for Haynesworth to practice even without passing it, he's reportedly still sure that he's doing the right thing by subjecting Haynesworth this way.
Although Shanahan on Monday said he may consider letting Haynesworth practice at some point if he continues to fail the test, he is nowhere close to changing his stance on what Haynesworth _ who skipped all but one day of Shanahan's first offseason program _ must do to return to work on a full-time basis, people familiar with Shanahan's thinking said. Shanahan is confident he is taking the correct stance with Haynesworth in an effort to help the two-time all-pro maximize his ability and production for the team.
But Haynesworth never has fared well in these types of conditioning tests, he told friends recently. Unless Haynesworth's knee heals soon and he quickly passes the test, it appears the process could drag on for some time.
Regime change in the NFL usually means wholesale changes in how both the offense and defense are coordinated. That appears to be the case with the Redskins now that Mike Shanahan has been hired and has brought along Jim Haslett to coordinate his defense. One significant change that Haslett appears to be interested in implementing is bringing the hard-hitting LaRon Landry closer to the line of scrimmage from his strong safety position:
SS LaRon Landry is probably the happiest defender in camp. Landry is being used closer to the line of scrimmage this season, much as he was for half of his rookie year in ‘07. Landry can be more aggressive in the new scheme and should be a factor against the run and on the blitz. The past two years, his job was mainly to stop big plays deep.
Read the other interesting camp notes about the ‘Skins and their rivals in the NFC East, and of course, don’t forget to check in at Hogs Haven for regular camp updates, analysis and fan discussion.
Could Mike Shanahan's stance towards Albert Haynesworth be softening? Following the team's practice this morning, Shanahan once again spoke on the status of the beleaguered defensive tackle and the possibility of Haynesworth taking the field for the Redskins. Jason Reid has the story:
Albert Haynesworth eventually may be permitted to practice with the Redskins even if he does not pass his conditioning test, Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday after the morning practice session at Redskins Park.
However, Shanahan reiterated that Haynesworth was not out practicing with the team because of his lack of conditioning:
"That's one of the reasons he's not out there practicing with the team," Shanahan said. "You've got to be in certain shape to go through a practice. And that knee after three sprints, or back and forth, couldn't go any further. Hopefully, with treatment, it gets better and he gets in football shape and is out there ready to play with his teammates.
So it appears that Haynesworth punishment is not yet quite over, according to Shanahan. Eventually, Haynesworth might be able to practice, but he has to get in shape first.
Albert Haynesworth made another attempt to pass the conditioning test today, but stopped due to irritation in his knee. John Keim of the Washington Examiner has the update:
Albert haynesworth ran 3 25-yard shuttles this morning before he had to stop.
Obviously, this recurring problem can do nothing but hamper Haynesworth's chances of getting onto the field for the Redskins. Hopefully, Shanahan will give Haynesworth a day off to rest the knee tomorrow, and the quest to pass the conditioning test can resume on Wednesday.
(Mike Prada is on a train, but sent this update via e-mail)
Once again, Albert Haynesworth did not fail his conditioning test. Once again, though, that's because he didn't attempt it.
For the third straight day, Haynesworth did not take the conditioning test before practice due to a sore knee, according to our partners at CSN Washington.
Haynesworth will likely once again do side work as the rest of the team practices. It's still unclear whether he will attempt the test tomorrow.
Until then,he'll stick to the sidelines.
Trent Williams Draws Comparisons To Chris Samuels
The last time the Redskins drafted an offensive tackle in the first round, he turned out to be a ten-year starter and six-year Pro Bowler. If Trent Williams can do the same, Washington's offensive line just might be in pretty good shape.
John Keim of the Washington Examiner won't be surprised if this turns out to be the case. He had this to say about Trent Williams this morning:
I really, really like how strong his base is and how well he uses his arms. I remember when Chris Samuels first came to camp and you could just tell the kid would be good because his fundamentals and skills were just different. Williams is the same way. We don’t know how well he’ll prepare, but that’s the only question I have at this point. In terms of talent, he’s legit.
Battle For LOLB Position Heats Up
Andre Carter had a career year in 2009 as the right defensive end, recording a career high in tackles with 62, and adding 11 sacks. With the Redskins switching to a 3-4 defense though, and Brian Orakpo being a lock to start at right outside linebacker, Carter was predicted by many to be either cut or traded.
The former seventh overall draft pick had something different in mind though. After playing exclusively on the second team defense for the initial three days of camp, Carter split time with Lorenzo Alexander at left outside linebacker with the first team today. According to Rich Campbell of Fredericksburg.com, Carter hasn't looked out of place so far.
Carter will have to answer questions about his abilities in pass coverage, and he did exceptionally well on one play this morning. Carter dropped from the line of scrimmage when TE Fred Davis released and drove hard to undercut the route after Davis stopped. Carter dove and broke up the pass. Well done.
Devin Thomas Is Probably Better Than Your Average Third String Receiver
In their third year in the league, the forever connected Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly have been lining up as the third string wide receivers. On a team that only expects to keep five or six receivers, but has almost a dozen in camp, Thomas and Kelly cannot expect to just skate by as they apparently have done the previous two seasons.
Kelly's chances to make the team this season may be running out as he continues to miss time with a hamstring injury. But Devin Thomas has been impressive the past two days, and is looking to make a move up the depth chart according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
His nifty catch on a go route, against tight coverage, was the highlight of 11-on-11 drills. Thomas, who may be battling Kelly for a spot on the opening 53-man roster, demonstrated improved concentration overall.
Coach Mike Shanahan noticed.
"Nice catch he had, especially on that big go route," Shanahan said. "He's had a couple good days."
Thomas was Santana Moss's most frequent partner in the starting lineup last season, but has been behind Joey Galloway and Roydel Williams on the depth chart so far this summer. Look for that to change shortly.
You May Want To Get To Know Ryan Torain
All the talk this offseason has been about the vast collection of veteran Pro Bowl running backs on the Redskins roster. There's been much debate on the rankings of Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker, as well as whether or not the team should continue to pursue adding Brian Westbrook.
The name that you don't often hear though is Ryan Torain. The third year pro had one touchdown and 69 yards on just 15 carries under Mike Shanahan in Denver in 2008, but according to Rich Campbell, he might not be far behind the veterans on the depth chart.
On one run today, he looked to run between the center and left guard, but the hole quickly closed. In one natural motion, he shifted left one gap—like if you hit “L1” for all you Madden Playstation players out there—and sprinted through for a nice gain...
Maybe I’m not noticing Parker enough, but he’s not standing out at all. And when it comes time to discuss who makes the team, consider that Torain contributes on special teams.
Torain has also been one of the many players to get a shot at returning kicks. If he can make an impact on special teams, Torain's chances of staying with the team might not be so slim.
For the fourth day in a row, Albert Haynesworth will not be practicing with his teammates, and for the second day in a row, it will be due to swelling in his knee.
Jason Reid reports that Haynesworth is hoping to be ready to take his conditioning test again on Monday.
Though Haynesworth is not taking the field with his teammates, he's still doing what he can to reduce his learning curve with the 3-4 defense. Joseph White has details on how Haynesworth has tried to learn about the defense:
After Sunday's practice was over, Haynesworth emerged for what has become a daily ritual. He spent about 15 minutes walking through plays with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and defensive line coach Jacob Burney, learning the nuances of the team's new 3-4 defense.
According to Reid, Haynesworth is learning most of those nuances at right end, rather than nose tackle. If nothing else, both Haynesworth and the coaching staff appear to be willing to make some concessions in order to make things work. Hopefully Haynesworth's knee can get with the program soon.
The best case scenario at this point would be for Albert to pass his conditioning test on Monday and begin the process of getting a true feel for what goes being a part of the 3-4 defense. But given the delays and complications that have marred training camp -- and if we're being honest, the off-season as a whole, -- I wouldn't count on it happening soon.
The third day of Washington Redskins training camp had several interesting storylines, and not every one of them involved Albert Haynesworth. Here's our summary of the day's media reports from Ashburn.
Santana Moss Is A Big Fan Of Kyle Shanahan
The biggest benefactor of Kyle Shanahan's offensive system might be veteran wide out Santana Moss. While Moss was stuck lining up in the same spot every play under Jim Zorn, he had to be salivating watching film of Andre Johnson in Shanahan's system the past few seasons, and he looks to be the leading candidate to earn strong receiving numbers for the Redskins in 2010.
Moss told Paul Tenorio of the Washington Post how thrilled he is about what Kyle Shanahan brings to the team.
Moss said he was excited about the capability of the offense and its ability to mix things up to confuse defenses. Moss said the scheme prevents defenses from being able to predict what's coming based on formations or splits. "We have a solution for everything that they going to bring to us," he said.
NFL observers might not necessarily agree with Moss going on to compare himself to Johnson and Reggie Bush, but it's nice to see that he's confident.
The Afternoon Jog-Through
Two-a-day practices don't necessarily mean that the team will be going all-out full-speed twice a day. Mike Shanahan introduced today the concept of the "jog-through". This afternoon, the players lined up in their regular positions, ran through several plays, but did it at a reduced speed.
According to Rick Maese of the Washington Post, these drills were described by Shanahan as "a chance for players to walk through plays without getting lost in a pace that's too fast."
Albert Haynesworth Joins The Team
A surprising participant (or maybe "observer" is a better word") in both sessions today was Albert Haynesworth. He can't practice until he passes his conditioning test, and didn't take the test today due to some swelling in his knee, but Haynesworth is at least starting to join the team for certain activities. Mike Shanahan confirmed to Paul Tenorio this morning that Haynesworth has been attending three to four hours of meetings each day, and joined the team for 30 minutes in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to learn more about his role and the defensive terminology.
I'm not sure whether we should be reading anything into this or not, but the follow tweet from Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan has to raise some eyebrows:
Haynesworth learning plays from up close. Just heard him tell a coach: ''The nose is easy stuff."
LaRon Landry Likes Hitting People
Chris Cooley took exception to a few particularly strong challenges from LaRon Landry in practice today. Now let's not go feeling bad for Cooley. He can handle the pain. But this is practice. We're talkin' about practice!
Cooley told John Keim of the Washington Examiner his side of the story.
"LaRon likes to go into the full tackling mode. He’s in scrimmage mode all the time. We talked in the locker room and he said, ‘Why are you giving me a hard time.’ I said, ‘You’re the only one who tackles. If you’re going to tackle I’ll give you a hard time about it. You have to deal with that.’ You know what you’re getting out of 30. He’s not making us worse, he’s making us better. He loves playing the game. He’s an extreme competitor and you can’t ask for more than that out of a guy. It’s never fun to get tackled on the second day of camp, but it’s football.”
Jeremy Jarmon Gains 20 Pounds
And it's no cause for concern. The team asked him to do it!
Jeremy Jarmon was originally preparing to enter camp as a linebacker, but according to Paul Tenorio of the Washington Post, he was asked to gain weight in order to play as a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme this season instead.
"It's going well, getting used to carrying my new weight," Jarmon said. "I'm up to 295 [pounds] now so just got to get used to that. It's the heaviest I've ever played at, it's going to help me, and I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help my team."
Graham Gano Is Legit
The Redskins don't necessarily want to have to rely on their kicker to win games this year. But if they do, it's fairly safe to say that they'll be in good hands. Er, a good leg.
Grant Paulsen tweeted Gano's unofficial results for the day.
Graham Gano just put on a kicking clinic. He was unofficially 19x20 overall, 16x17 from 38 and 3x3 from 40 yds out
New details are emerging about why Albert Haynesworth did not attempt to complete his conditioning test today. According to tweets from several beat reporters, Haynesworth chose not to participate due to swelling and inflammation in his knee.
Albert Haynesworth didn't take test per a suggestion by team doctor's because of an irritated knee. #Redskins
Haynesworth has swelling in knee. Shanahan not sure if he can take test tomorrow.
Shanahan says Haynesworth knee was irritated this AM and doc recommended he not take test today.
Albert Haynesworth has swelling in his knee, so he did not take conditioning test on Saturday. Uncertain if Haynesworth will take test Sun.
The key, I believe, comes in Paulsen's tweet when he mentions that the Redskins' team doctor suggested that Albert not attempt the test this morning. That should put to rest any thoughts that this is a power move from Albert's camp after failing the first two tests. Though the severity of Albert's knee swelling/inflamation is not yet clear, it does appear to be serious enough to keep him off the practice field for today, if not possibly longer.
For the first time, Albert Haynesworth did not fail his conditioning test. Yippee, right?
Actually, it's because he didn't even take it. According to Rick Maese of the Washington Post, Haynesworth wanted to rest his legs today.
Albert Haynesworth did not take his conditioning test Saturday morning and will miss his third day of practice. Haynesworth had run the sprinting drill for two straight days -- and failed in both attempts -- and is apparently resting his legs today.
He is expected to tackle the test again Sunday. Coaches had said Friday that Haynesworth would take his third crack at the test on Saturday morning, but coaches and team officials were apparently privy to the decision to wait until Sunday.
Therefore, Haynesworth is not practicing for the third straight day.
So Albert Haynesworth has been struggling to run 300-yard shuttles in under 70 seconds, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been putting in plenty of effort during the first two days of training camp. Multiple media comments have allowed us to discern that Haynesworth has most likely been the first to arrive and the last to leave Redskins practice each of the past two days.
The hard working Chris Russell told us last night that Haynesworth was still at the facility at least until 8:36 PM, long after many other players had departed.
And now for the second day in a row, we have reports from Rick Maese among others that Haynesworth took to the field after regular practice had ended to work with defensive line coach Jacob Burney on positioning drills.
Of course Haynesworth wasn't in the best of moods when he was done for the night. Via Rich Campbell:
Leaving the field, Haynesworth was asked if he thought the team is messing with him: "I really don't give a s***," he said
ASHBURN, V.A. - Amid questions and rumors about the nature of the conditioning "test" Albert Haynesworth has failed in each of the last two days, the team made Strength and Conditioning Coach Ray Wright available to the media to clarify some things about the examination.
Wright confirmed that the "test" is a set of two 300-yard shuttle runs in 25-yard increments (i.e. 25-yards up, 25-yards back six times). An offensive or defensive linemen needs to finish the first set in under 70 seconds, then gets a three and a half minute break before having to do it again in 73 seconds. On Thursday, Haynesworth passed the first segment, then took a 10-minute break instead of the three-minute break.
"What happened the other day was, he didn’t have to do three [reps]," Wright said. "He ran the first rep, and then he had to use the restroom. You get three and a half minutes. He was gone for close to 10. So I gave Albert the option to run it again. My suggestion was just to wait until the morning. He wanted to run it again, so we ran it again [and failed]."
Wright said that Haynesworth ran the first set in 71 seconds today and therefore did not get a chance to attempt the second rep. He will take the test again tomorrow morning.
Wright also clarified why Haynesworth is the only player on the team that has to take the "test."
"It’s actually not a test for everybody on the team. The guys that were under 50 percent [participation in OTAs] were notified that they got to get over 50 percent, or there’s a test. I think Andre Carter was close, Rocky McIntosh was close, so we let them know. [Now], they’re over 50 percent. But our team is so high – we’re 90.4-percent [participation] as a team – so nobody was in danger of having to do a test," he said.
However, when asked whether this was then a "Haynesworth test," Wright said "No, it’s not a Haynesworth test. It’s a test for anybody under 50 percent attendance or less. He was the only guy."
Mike Shanahan talked briefly about the test as well, calling it a "minimal" test that his players go through "all the time."
"Our guys go through this all the time. This is not even a big test. This is something we do every day," he said. "Most people can do this test in their sleep, so it’s not as big as it may sounds."
Yesterday, DeAngelo Hall said he didn't think a lot of people who were here even at 100 percent could pass the test. However, defensive lineman Phillip Daniels disagreed, saying he thinks that "everybody that's been here" could have passed.
" But you have to train for it," he said. "You have to know it’s coming, and you have to train for it. I don’t know how long he knew before he got here that he had to do that test, but he’ll pass it. I have confidence in him.
Daniels added that he felt the test gets harder each day because of the wear and tear on your body. However, Wright disagreed.
"What [Albert’s] doing is learning how to run it," he said. "There’s a pace you have, a certain kind of tempo you have to have for each 25 yards. I expect him to pass it pretty soon. I don’t know when, I can’t give you tomorrow or two days, but once he familiarizes himself with it, I think he’ll pass."
Wright closed by saying that he thinks Haynesworth "might have" been able to pass the test on Thursday if he didn't take a 10-minute bathroom break, reiterating that's the only reason he had to start over.
"He could have gone and ate a hamburger," Wright said, "[as long as] he came back within 3.5 minutes."
(I know, I know, a fitting choice of words).
For those of you who were hoping to hear that Albert Haynesworth would be practicing with the first unit today, well today is not your day. Reports are coming out of Redskins park that Haynesworth has failed his conditioning test for the second straight day, and has been seen sitting in his car sans uniform.
Albert Haynesworth will not be practicing again this morning. He's apparently failed the conditioning test for a second day in a row.
No sign of Haynesworth as AM practice begins. Also, not full pads as expected.
And for your calming all caps-lock reporting via LaVar Arrington:
WELL SO MUCH FOR PERSONAL TRAINERS DURING THE OFF SEASON! IM HEARING BIG ALBERT FAILED AGAIN!STAY TUNED
Obviously, the war of wills continues in Redskins Park. The question remains, how many days of punishment does Haynesworth's sitting out OTAs merit? And at what point is this detrimental to the team?
For Albert Haynesworth stuff, go here.
ASHBURN, V.A. - It only took one day for fans to be greeted with a couple of surprises as the Redskins lined up for their first 11 on 11 drill in training camp.
Those surprises? One was that the team's first unit included 38-year old Joey Galloway - and not Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly - as the second wide receiver. The other was that Lorenzo Alexander lined up as one of the outside linebackers, and Andre Carter, a team leader coming off one of the best seasons of his career, was relegated to the nickel package.
Galloway was brought in as a low-cost signing this summer, and at 38, his career is probably coming to a close, so his inclusion on the first team was a mild surprise. But the absence of Carter on the first-unit defense was more striking, because it was a switch to a 3-4 that prompted Carter to leave the 49ers for the Redskins. Carter is an outstanding 4-3 defensive lineman, but he may be a potential casualty to the team's decision to switch to the 3-4.
Then again, it was just the first practice, and both Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb admitted it wasn't nearly as intense as future practices. Shanahan said cut practice short by 10 minutes because he was worried about the wet playing surface.
"It's hard to evaluate a day like this. We go through a whole day of meetings then we come out here for an hour and change to practice flying around. I think things will start to be competitive more tomorrow and as the days continue on. We look forward for tomorrow," McNabb said.
More training camp notes:
Speaking of Kelly, it didn't appear as if he would even take the field today because of a hamstring problem. However, Kelly did participate in every drill, though there were a couple times where he seemed to be favoring the injury.
"I didn't really think I was going to practice today, [but] I came out today and I was running full speed and stuff like that," he said.
Kelly said the injury felt much better today than yesterday and isn't concerned "because if I was going to be out a week, maybe I would be concerned but I'm not concerned."
Shanahan said he didn't see much of Kelly, but said Kelly wanted to "push through" his hamstring injury
One of the first questions Clinton Portis was asked today was about how he's made bold proclamations in the past and what might be on his mind right now. Portis' answer was simple.
"Having fun," he said.
Portis spent most of the practice with the first unit and looked to be in much better physical condition than he's been in the past. He's fully recovered from a concussion he suffered last season and feels rejuvinated by the presence of his former coach. So much so that he placed the credit on Shanahan when asked about the effect McNabb has on the vibe around Redskins Park.
"I wouldn't say that it was Donovan that rubbed off on guys. I think it was the organization," Portis said immediately. "With Coach Shanahan coming in setting the rules, everybody abiding by the same rules, I think that it has players buying in."
But of course, no Portis media session is complete without a dig at his critics.
"With myself having a concussion which was an unfortunate situation, it was like all of a sudden I disappeared off the face of the earth due to a concussion," he said. "Everybody felt like I fell off, [and then], you really see people's true opinions. Everybody wrote me off, everybody felt like I was over and done with, but I had a concussion, I recovered, I'm back, I'm healthy and I'm looking forward to helping this team win."
Welcome back, CP.
This is a post for another time, but it's worth noting that Chris Cooley and Fred Davis both lined up together on the first team. It'll be an interesting challenge to see whether the two will be able to play together next season, especially considering they have similar skill sets.
I talked to Davis after practice, and he said he's very excited to be a part of new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's offense because of its ability to incorporate two tight end sets. That's why he's not concerned about Cooley coming back and lessening his impact, even though he said that fans who got on him in the past didn't see how he had to sit behind Cooley.
"You have to tune out them, because sometimes, those fans are wrong," Davis said, adding that the biggest difference in his game last year was just getting the opportunity to show his skills.
For his part, Cooley deemed this experiment "an unbelievable opportunity."
"I think it's an unbelievable opportunity for both of us and this football team," Cooley said. "There's not a lot of teams that have a great starting tight end, and I think right now, we have two. It really gives us an opportunity to run the ball, because we can both block, running routes, catching the ball. It could be huge for both of us."
The thing to remember, as Cooley notes, is that Kyle Shanahan could line those two up together anywhere on the field, whether it's on the line, in the slot or in the backfield. And, as Santana Moss notes, the nice thing about Shanahan's offense is its flexibility.
"He runs schemes that are not always so finely stitched," Moss said. "Sometimes, you get an offense where a guy has something written and he says 'This is what I want you to do,' even though he knows defenses in this day and age are going to play differently. He's one of those guys that has [the play] written, but he'll also say, 'Hey, if you can make something out of it differently, let's do it, because we want to make a play out of it, we don't want to just throw it into coverage.' He's one of those guys that's very flexible on how you get open, as long as you and the quarterback are on the same page."
The craziest part of today might have been the fact that nobody asked Mike Shanahan any questions about McNabb. Something about Albert Haynesworth will do that to you.
Anyway, McNabb of course comes here after taking his wide receivers out to Arizona to train with him last week. He mostly answered questions about the trip in a series of cliches, but did credit the youthful energy of the team here.
"Just from being around the guys, it's an energizing bunch. Obviously they're young, but still, we have a lot of great athletes that are just ready to explode. Given the opportunity and the offensive and defensive scheme, you give them that opportunity to be able to make a lot of plays for you in the game," he said.
Moss said that what makes McNabb great is his ability to see the other wide receiver options in a given play.
"The good quarterbacks look backside and say 'That third read might be first read.' That's what separates offenses in this leauge. You look at some guys and you ask 'Well, how did he get that many yards.' But he didn't get all those yards from being first read all the time. He got it because when defenses were in off coverage and gave him a mismatch, that offense had a good quarterback and knew where to find him. I feel like that's what Donovan brings us," Moss said.
At the same time, McNabb is learning a new offense, something he's ready to admit.
"A lot of times, 'West Coast Offense' gets thrown around, but this isn't the West Coast offense. But it's an opportunity for me to learn something new," he said.
The result today was a couple wobbly throws during the scrimmage. At one point, a couple fans were even calling for Jason Campbell of all people. When asked about that, McNabb took things in stride.
"I've been connecting with the fans the last couple weeks. We're very close," he joked.
ASHBURN, V.A. - Mike Shanahan knew he had to address the Albert Haynesworth situation, but after a while, even he got tired of it. About four minutes into the questioning, even he snapped a bit.
"Let's get on with it. I think we covered Albert enough."
Shanahan's message was clear, though, from the earlier line of questioning. He will gladly welcome Haynesworth back into the fold and let him run through a normal practice, but he has to pass that conditioning test first.
"We will test him every day to see if he can pass it, and if not, he'll get some good cardiovascular endurance with the strength coach, both on the treadmill and on the field," Shanahan said.
Instead of practicing, Haynesworth spent the majority of the time on the sidelines working with Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett and Defensive Lineman Coach Jacob Burney. He spent some time on a treadmill and went over the Redskins' defensive terminology, Shanahan said. If Haynesworth fails the test again, he will again stay on the sidelines.
"[The test]" keeps a guy from getting hurt," Shanahan said. "I don't want to put a guy out there and have him get hurt, and suddenly there's a setback for two weeks. It just doesn't make sense."
Shanahan declined to reveal the details of the test, but he did say it's a standard conditioning drill that every lineman on the team went through at some point during the OTA program, though it's unclear whether they were actually timed while doing so. Shanahan said that anyone who completed a certain percentage of OTA practices did not have to be tested on the drill prior to training camp.
When asked whether it was safe to admit that it's a "pretty tough test" for a big guy, Shanahan simply said that every other lineman on the team "passed the test."
Fellow linemen Andre Carter and Kendrick Golston said they did not take the test, though they did run through the drill.
But Haynesworth has a (sort of) supporter in DeAngelo Hall. Hall said he didn't think a lot of the players on the roster could have passed the test Shanahan administered.
"I was telling somebody that I don't think a lot of us guys that were even here 100-percent could have even passed it. That's what conditioning tests are, that's what conditioning tests are for. Some of them are unattainable," Hall said.
When asked whether he was surprised that Haynesworth failed, Hall said he wasn't.
"Some guys are made to do conditioning tests like that, and some guys aren't," he said.
Regardless, Shanahan said he has high hopes for Haynesworth this season and expects him to meet those hopes once he passes the test.
"Obviously, you'd like him to be in the type of shape most of our players are in, but the bottom line is we're going to get him in shape," he said. "He's going to be on our football team and he's going to play at the level we'd like him to play."
Albert Haynesworth has in fact failed his conditioning test. We are now starting to receive some information as to why that may have been the case (other than the fact that he might not be in very good shape, of course), via Rick Maese.
Haynesworth had to take bathroom break midway thru test and had to start from beginning. Too tired.
So basically, because he had to use the enormous boys' room, he had to take a conditioning test and a half. More, from the Washington Post's Jason Reid.
So now what?
Well, Haynesworth, who skipped all but one day of Shanahan's first offseason program, must work with the training staff until he is able to complete the test. Several players said Haynesworth clearly is in much better shape than he was at this time last season.
No word yet on when he will be able to re-take the test.
After conflicting reports emerged about Haynesworth's conditioning test results this morning, we were waiting on the third report to confirm wether or not Haynesworth had in fact failed it. Well, it's in, and it comes from CSN's Kelli Johnson.
Just confirmed Albert Haynesworth failed his conditioning test! If he wouldve worked out w/team in offseason, he wouldn't have had 2 take it
This is disappointing because coming into camp, we had heard reports that Haynesworth had lost upwards of 40 pounds since he left Redskins mini-camp.
It's the second part of that tweet that should really upset Redskins fans. If he had just wanted to play during mini-camp, then he wouldn't have had to go through this process at all.
He will be unable to practice with the team until he passes his conditioning test.
Albert Haynesworth reported to Redskins training camp yesterday, but before he could take the field, he had to pass a conditioning test this morning. There are conflicting reports beginning to emerge on how he did. The first, from the Washington Post's Jason Reid.
Hearing that Albert Haynesworth "killed it" during his conditioning test, according to one team source. Still waiting for official word.
For a very brief moment, Redskins fans rejoiced rejoiced. But then came this, a second report from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.
Sources tell me haynesworth did NOT pass his conditioning test 2day. He made it thru 1st part but not 2nd and prob won't be allowed 2 practice w the team in team drills
As both gentleman said, these tweets were based on sources, and the team itself has not said anything about the results of the test. We'll wait on that report before we form an opinion on Haynesworth's fitness.
Malcolm Kelly will have to miss some time in training camp due to a hamstring injury suffered during Donovan McNabb’s “hell week” practice sessions. The injury is likely to hold Kelly out of camp for a few days, but it isn’t considered serious.
From Redskins Insider:
Kelly experienced tightness in his hamstring during one of the workouts, the sources said. He immediately contacted the Redskins’ medical/training staff for guidance. The Redskins plan to proceed cautiously with Kelly, who worked hard to overcome knee problems and microfracture surgery after his rookie season. Coach Mike Shanahan is expected to address Kelly’s situation after the first practice Thursday.
Kelly is considered on the hot seat to produce this year as he dealt with knee injuries in his first year with the Redskins and disappointed with his play last season. Some have even speculated that he might not even make the final roster. Kelly will now have to overcome this new hurdle in his bid to hold on to his job.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan seems to be wiping the slate clean with Albert Haynesworth, but he will also make Haynesworth earn his starting spot back after a tumultuous offseason. Shanahan told assembled media that Haynesworth will start training camp on the second unit.
Haynesworth has to pass physical before he can practice tomorrow. Haynesworth will not begin by practicing with first-team defense
Shanahan was also asked whether Haynesworth would be on the team during the regular season. His response? "We'll see." Clearly, the gauntlet has been thrown.
The biggest story line of the off season thus far has been the absence of Albert Haynesworth. But according to Jason Reid, Haynesworth doesn't intend to be a distraction once camp begins.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has reached out to the Redskins recently and assured them he won't be a distraction, several people familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
Haynesworth, who has returned to the area to prepare for the opening of training camp Thursday, is optimistic about his situation in Washington for the first time in months, said one team source who has spoken with him at length in the past few weeks.
The source said Haynesworth told him he is coming to work and understands he will have to play nose tackle at times in the Redskins' new 3-4 defense.
Earlier reports claimed that Haynesworth has lost 40 pounds since we last saw him and that he is motivated to shake the bad image that was attached to him when he demanded a trade.
Mike Shanahan addressed reporters this morning, and not surprisingly, Albert Haynesworth was one of the topics he touched on. Rich Campbell tweeted this:
Shanahan said he spoke to Haynesworth this morning: "I was very pleased with his mindset."
But also, Shanahan is cautious in his optimism.
Asked if Haynesworth has had a change of heart regarding the 3-4 defense, Shanahan said that we'll see over time.
No one has any idea what exactly will happen when Albert Haynesworth takes the field for practice. But as we've said all along, if he is motivated, willing to accept his role and ready to play up to his contract, all of the earlier misdeeds will be quickly forgiven.
After a long and busy offseason, the Washington Redskins will officially open training camp tomorrow afternoon. Training camp will last until August 19.
Obviously, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered during that time period. That happens to a football team every year, but it's especially true this year because of the presence of a new coach, a new quarterback, a new regime and Albert Haynesworth. We'll be keeping track of all developments for you in this StoryStream and will be reporting live whenever possible with a media credential.
For more Redskins coverage, visit Hogs Haven.
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