Descending on Redskin Park today, it seemed impossible that the heavens wouldn’t open. Dark and overcast for most of the practice, it was surprising that it held off until practice closed. This seemed to keep the crowd to a dull roar but with six or seven bus loads of camp kids there, it was still pretty busy. We met Portis26 and GibbsHog today, and it was GibbsHog’s birthday. He got a nice autograph on his Lavar jersey which likely made a nice birthday present. It’s always great to meet people from the THN family and I just wanted to thank them for tracking us down. Good guys, as are most-to-all of the brothers we meet.
We were not sharp at all today, there were lots of overthrows by all of the quarterbacks. The team seemed a little down, maybe because of the poor showing at the scrimmage on Saturday. The practice was crisp as guys scurried from drill to drill, but the results were not. Here are some individual observations:
David Patten made a couple of nice catches today. He made one particular over the shoulder ‘blind’ catch in heavy traffic right in front of us. I was surprised to see him actually come down with the ball. It’s surprising just how small our receiving corps is this year. In my mind, Patten has put in the best performance so far at TC.
While he didn’t do anything spectacular, Nehemiah Broughtonm looks awfully comfortable out there. Someone told me today that on draft day Earnest Byner was freaking out in the war room that the ‘Redskins had left it too late’ and weren’t going to get the bruising back from The Citadel. It seems to me that not only does the 7th rounder have a shot at making the roster but at actually contributing offensively as well as on special teams. He’s strong and he is running with patience, something that a Joe Gibbs’ offense requires. Rock Cartwright’s days as a Redskin may be coming to a close.
Clinton Portis shows flashes of brilliance which is sort of surprising because the Redskins just aren’t doing much running in the 11-on-11s. I’m sure this is because it’s an open practice and they’re keeping their running game work for the closed practices, but the RBs just aren’t getting much work. Regardless, it seems most times that CP touches the ball, he just squirts out of a seemingly impossible hole and breaks into the second tier of the defense. He looks ready despite the fact that there is little to base it on.
Jim Molinaro is doing well. While many pegged Mark Wilson as the offensive lineman to watch, from my observations I think Molinaro has the inside track. Molinaro seems to be further along and has the added advantage of being able to play inside. He’s also huge and as big as he is, he looks like he could carry at least another ten or fifteen pounds. Depending on how many offensive linemen the Skins decide to keep, Wilson could be on the bubble.
Cory Raymer practiced today. If that seems insignificant then you didn’t see him go down on Saturday as it looked like it could be much worse. He didn’t show any signs of an injury today that I could see, so it was great to see one of THN’s favorite Redskins back on the field. Presumably it was just a cramp but I’ll try to get a word with Cory tomorrow and find out for sure.
On the defensive side of the ball, it’s hard to think about Sean Taylor’s off-field problems when he’s on the field. So fluid, so quick. On one particular Red Zone play he broke the wrong way on a pump fake, but quickly corrected himself and still had time to get back to the receiver despite having taken at least 3 steps the wrong way. He got back into position so quickly that the receiver didn’t get dialed up because by the time that the quarterback checked to him, he was blanketed. He’s just far too quick for a guy his size. Fans who haven’t been to camp before and seen him up close just marvel at his sheer physicality.
Marcus Washington continues to impress me as well, and for multiple reasons. On the field, not only is he continuing to stand alone as the Redskins’ best linebacker, but he also seems to be taking this defense under his wing. Granted Lavar is still on the sidelines, but Marcus seems to be the one calling the shots out there. Off the field, he’s the last guy to go into Redskin Park every day. Not only does he stay out the longest, he seems bound and determined to make sure that he gets every fan that is looking for his autograph. Very giving, and seemingly very appreciative of the fan’s support.
Matt Bowen has also impressed me. Not any particular play but just his overall motor. The guy never stops. He puts his all in to each and every down at practice and it has to be infectious to his teammates. After all, we all saw what happened to Trung Canidate when he WASN’T practicing with the intensity that Bowo was. He’s actually practicing on the second unit and Ryan Clark is with the first unit, but I’m not sure it will stay that way. It seems to be spurning Bowen on as well.
Walt Harris practiced today for the first time since last Monday; a welcome return considering the rash of injuries in the secondary. I had a chance to speak with him briefly after practice and he said that he felt good, but that he was just easing into things today.
Darnerien McCants seemed to be in great spirits today… laughing and joking with the crowd and genuinely having a good time. Hopefully this is a sign of Darnerien shaking the doldrums that have ‘highlighted’ his 2005 Camp so far.
Derrick Dockery was kind enough to spend a couple of quick moments with us after practice as well. We spoke briefly about his brother (who is an OL at Texas U this year) and it brought a big smile to the big guy’s face. I asked him who could eat more and he assured me that it was him. He told me that he loved to eat and could likely eat more than just about anybody. Then I mentioned Randy Thomas and he backed off and gave RT his just dues. Great guy, great smile… and man is he a big fellah.
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Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway