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Redskins Training Camp: Several Veterans Sit Out Early Practice

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.

More notes:

More Albert Haynesworth non-news

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.

Anyway, the only bit of real Haynesworth news is this report from ESPN 980's Chris Russell about the state of Haynesworth's injured knee. 

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. 

Roger Goodell makes an appearance

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."

John Madden likes the Redskins this year

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 notes

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.

And finally:

  • Wale was in attendance today, and Terl got Larry Johnson to review his new album.
  • Mike Shanahan had this to say about Dan Snyder's comments about potentially building an indoor training facility: "That would be an ideal situation for me." (via Rich Campbell of the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star).
  • Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander continue to split time at one outside linebacker position, but Shanahan is happy with how both are playing.  "The two guys you just mentioned are doing fantastic. They're big guys and very strong, very athletic. How would you like to be a running back blocking guys that size, 265-285 pounds? Even if you've got a back that's real strong at 230, they just run right over them. That's one of the advantages of running a 3-4 defense and having those big outside linebackers. Brian Orakpo is not quite as big, but how would you like to block him as a running back? So those are some of the advantages that we're looking for in some of the matchups this season."    
  • Malcolm Kelly didn't practice again today, but told Keim he's feeling much better. I'd hope so.