Some notes, quotes and observations from a rainy Wednesday at Redskins Park:
SS LaRon Landry expects to miss the season-opener on Sunday after recently aggravating his strained right hamstring. What’s more, the setback has caused some friction between Landry and the Redskins’ training staff.
Landry on his Twitter account wrote: “blame the genius circus staff for the rush,” in one of two recent critical tweets.
Coach Mike Shanahan and head athletic trainer Larry Hess met with Landry to discuss the situation. Shanahan said he’s comfortable with how Hess has handled Landry, which is what you’d expect the coach to say publicly. Shanahan said it’s up to the player to accurately determine when he’s ready to come back.
However, this is a trend. RB Ryan Torain aggravated his injured hamstring in pre-game warm-ups before the Monday night game against Philadelphia last season. WR Malcolm Kelly re-injured his hamstring on the first day of 2010 training camp. RB Clinton Portis aggravated his groin injury against Tennessee last season. CB Carlos Rogers injured his left hamstring last year against Minnesota because he was compensating for his right hamstring injury.
Just something to keep in mind as we go forward.
The Redskins held practice indoors at a local gym on Wednesday because of thunderstorms and heavy rain in Ashburn — not exactly the ideal way to prepare for the first game of the season.
“I thought we got a lot done,” Shanahan said. “We got a chance to kind of review all our assignments. We got some running in. I’m just a little afraid to practice out there because it’s just a little slick.”
That’s a positive spin, of course. There’s no substitute for pads and actual hitting. If the Redskins beat the Giants, it won’t be an issue. If they come out flat or aren’t physical, the matter will be a talking point.
Construction of an indoor practice bubble on Redskins Park property recently began, and the facility is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1. Not that it’s doing the team any good this week.
The delay “had to do with permits and those types of things,” Shanahan said. “It didn’t happen as soon as we’d like, but we’ve got it going up, and that’s the main thing.”
The Redskins are healthy compared to the Giants.
TE Chris Cooley (left knee) was limited in practice, and Shanahan does not share Cooley’s confidence that he will play Sunday.
“When you don’t take all the reps in practice and you haven’t practiced throughout the preseason, you’re not sure how the knee is going to respond, especially after a couple days of work,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully there’s no setback and he’ll be ready.”
Others limited in practice were FS Oshiomogho Atogwe (hamstring), WRs Brandon Banks (left knee) and Donté Stallworth (shoulder) and RB Ryan Torain (left hand).
The Giants, meanwhile, will be without DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), LB Jonathan Goff (knee) and CB Prince Amakamura (foot).
“You overcome injuries by not really worrying about them,” Giants DE Justin Tuck said in a teleconference with Redskins media. “They’re not going to postpone the game because somebody’s hurt.”
Tuck will be sorry to see NT Barry Cofield wearing burgundy and gold on Sunday. He vowed to do a sack dance before Cofield debuts his Taser Dance for the Redskins’ crowd.
“He has one of the most famous dances out there,” Tuck said. “I’m on Twitter every day and people always ask me, ‘Are you going to do Barry Cofield’s sack dance?’ He’s just a solid guy, and I hate to see him go.”
Both quarterbacks addressed reporters today for the first time since the decision was announced. After all Rex Grossman fall from prominence in Chicago, he’s savoring the opportunity in front of him.
“I didn’t take it for granted in Chicago, but any time something gets taken away from you and then you get it back, you have a different outlook, a different type of approach and respect for the position you’re in,” he said. “To be the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins is a huge thing. I fully understand it, and it’s my goal to take it and run with it.”
He reiterated some of the points he recently made about being more confident in himself and his abilities under Kyle Shanahan’s direction.
“The game has slowed down a lot,” he said. “As a younger quarterback, you kind of see everything, and as a veteran quarterback you see what you need to see, which allows you to play faster.
“I’m watching very specific things, going through my reads quickly, where sometimes as a young quarterback you try to be perfect and see the whole defense. My thoughts are simplified now as a veteran.”
QB John Beck’s resolve strengthened after he lost the starting competition. He said he was “pissed” to have lost — strong words from him — but that’s a natural emotion. He said the grieving process has ended and he’s eager to move forward.
“I’ve been trying to climb the mountain ever since I got to this league,” he said. “I know there’s going to be obstacles. I know there’s going to be times where you slip and fall, but I never look at them as I’m down and out. I look at them as, all right, that’s an obstacle. I’m getting over it, and I’m going to keep moving ahead.”
Beck’s focus now is to make sure his progress doesn’t stall. He’s now relegated to the scout team, and he’ll see rarely get reps with the first-string offense.
“I’ve got to find ways,” he said. “I’ve got to find time after practice. I’ve got to come in on the off days like I’ve always done to continually improve so if something does happen, I can be ready for it.”
I credit Beck for not making excuses — and there are plenty there for him to choose from: the lockout, the groin injury, playing with many second-stringers in the preseason finale. He’s not taking that course, though. Good for him.
“I have told myself I’m done; I’m not going to think about what happened because I can’t,” he said. “I can’t waste time thinking about the what-ifs. I have to move ahead.”
I talked about the QB situation on ESPN980-AM this afternoon with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro. You can listen to the segment: here.
For all you ladies out there, the Redskins have started an official female fan club.
Just a reminder that our Redskins special section runs in tomorrow’s print edition. It includes player features and roster and schedule breakdowns. Also, for the main story, I re-examine of the dynamic between Mike and Kyle Shanahan as they enter Year Two. We’re proud of the final product and all the work that went into it. I hope you’ll check it out.