The marathon that is the 2012 Redskins season has begun. You know what that means: Notes, Quotes and Observations is back. (Crowd goes wild. Or not)
Here are some notes, quotes and observations from Day 1 of training camp. I’ll post the practice report separately.
RT Jammal Brown was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list because his left hip was tight and sore after running sprints on Wednesday. He’ll have an MRI, coach Mike Shanahan said. More here.
Tyler Polumbus replaced Brown with the first-string. It will be interesting to see if Polumbus plays better this summer than he did last year after he joined the Redskins in midseason. Depending on how long Brown is out, Polumbus will have some time to develop chemistry with RG Chris Chester. He also will be more familiar with the Redskins’ playbook after being with the team for the entire offseason. He’ll have to improve his footwork and leverage, though, if he is to be effective.
FS Tanard Jackson also was placed on the PUP list. He strained ones of his calf muscles during OTAs. He expects to practice Monday.
“We’ve got a competitive battle at the safety position,” Jackson said. “I’m anxious to get out there and compete.”
Jackson feels as though he has to make up some ground because he sat out much of the offseason program while recovering from rotator cuff surgery. If he’s healthy, he should challenge Madieu Williams for the starting free safety spot. Jackson, a starter in Tampa Bay last season, is known for his range in the secondary and ball skills.
RB Tristan Davis is the third and final player Washington put on the PUP list. He has two stitches in his leg resulting from an incident not related to football, Shanahan said. The Redskins signed free agent FB Dorson Boyce and waived OL Nevin McCaskill.
Mike Shanahan would not commit to a first-string running back. Shocking, I know. Evan Royster, Roy Helu and Tim Hightower rotated reps with the first-team offense.
“Tim was starting out with the first team before he got hurt,” Shanahan said. “Last year he was a first teamer, but obviously Roy did a good job. Royster did a good job. We’ve got a lot of guys that I believe have the ability to play and play well, so we’ll just let it play out.”
Sorry to any fantasy football owners who were seeking a resolution to the Redskins’ running back situation. I hope you didn’t expect one.
TE Chris Cooley says he’s back to running at full speed after saying he wasn’t during OTAs. Players usually say they’re healthy and ready to go regardless of the truth, but Cooley did admit he wasn’t running at his best during the spring, so maybe there’s something to this. We’ll find out over time.
“I’m running at full speed right now,” he said. “I feel very confident with my ability to play. I’m happy with that. I feel so much better with the way my body is working, better than in the last couple years. I have no issues right now. I spend no time in the training role.”
ILB London Fletcher was in good spirits today, perhaps the best mood in which I’ve ever seen him. He spoke to reporters for 19 minutes about an array of topics ranging from RG3 to RG3 and also RG3. Oh, yeah, he also mentioned the defense, too.
“I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily mentoring him because a lot of stuff, you can tell he was raised well,” Fletcher said of Griffin. “The people that he has in his life and has had in his life in the past, you can tell they’ve already done a great job with him. So if I can apply some of my knowledge on him, as far as being in his game, you know we’ve had little conversations here and there, but I think he already has a great foundation.”
As for Fletcher’s take on Griffin’s appearance in some national commercials?
I’m not gonna blame Orakpo for the difference in production quality, and no offense to him overall, but I think it’s fair to say Griffin is a readymade star by comparison.
Fletcher is optimistic that the four linebackers will excel after having played together for the last half of last season.
“Perry [Riley] didn’t start until the last seven or eight games of the season, so he was learning kind of on the fly as we went,” Fletcher said. “He was here for the offseason to learn the position. He is going to be so much better because he was going from a hands-on-the-ground 4-3 rush end to a stand up 3-4 outside linebacker. That transition was big for him, but he did well, he did great. He played more snaps than anybody on that defense. He’s going to be even better this year. As good as he was last year he’ll be even better just because of the experience that he had last year.
“It’s the same thing with Perry - that valuable experience that he got last year starting those last seven or eight games last year. Experience will help us be a better linebacker unit now. Orakpo, his third year in the system, he should be outstanding as well.”
Here’s the link to TE Chris Cooley’s and ILB London Fletcher’s comments about QB Robert Griffin III’s leadership. So far Griffin has earned veterans’ respect with his personality and work ethic. But nothing solidifies a leader like quality performances. Playing well and winning are what will establish Griffin as a true leader of this team.