Some notes from Friday morning’s practice:
WR Malcolm Kelly sat out with a sore right foot after expressing belief Thursday evening that he would be able to practice. X-rays showed no fracture, though, coach Mike Shanahan said.
“We thought he needed some rest,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully he’ll able to come back just like normal. We didn’t feel like he could practice today.”
TE Chris Cooley (knee) and KR/PR Brandon Banks (left knee) also did not practice.
Veteran CB DeAngelo Hall and ILB London Fletcher sat out team drills to rest and so coaches could evaluate other players.
Game officials are in town this week to oversee practice. They hosted their annual meeting with media Friday afternoon to explain new rules and points of emphasis.
If the lockout news over the last five months didn’t fry your brain, you might remember that kickoffs this season will be from the 35-yard line instead of the 30. Coverage teams will be allowed only a 5-yard run-up before the ball is kicked.
“Every team is going to have a little different strategy,” Shanahan said. “I think the better returner you have, the more you dislike the rules. The people that don’t have good returners or a cover team, but have a strong kicker, they kind of like it.”
So how does Shanahan believe the rule affects the Redskins?
“I don’t know who everyone is yet or who’s going to make our football team,” he said.
Blows to a quarterback’s head are a point of emphasis. However, only “forceful” blows will be penalized. Innocuous contact will be ignored, and it’s up to the official to determine whether the contact is illegal. The rule is subjective.
“We have 20 different people [in this room]; we might get 20 different opinions as to what’s [forceful] and what’s incidental,” veteran referee Ron Winter said. “Fortunately for you and unfortunately for me, it’s my decision.”
No. 3 QB Kellen Clemens was the only passer besides John Beck and Rex Grossman who took snaps during team drills. Undrafted free agents Ben Chappell and Marc Verica were observers.
Clemens missed rookie WR Aldrick Robinson on one inside throw. Robinson stopped when Clemens expected him to keep going. They chatted about it when Robinson came back to the huddle.
“He’s picked things up very quickly, which is always a big plus,” Shanahan said. “Once we signed him and he had his opportunity to come in here, he’s been here about 14-15 hours a day. He can run our offense and execute it, so I’m very optimistic about his potential.”