We’re back at Redskin Park where Your Heroes hit the field at 1:45 p.m. for the first day of one-a-day workouts. Training camp is officially over, which means the media sees only the first 10 minutes of practice before getting the boot.
It’s two preseason games down and two preseason games to go. Here’s a position by position “comfort level” (scale of 1-10) – an idea I ripped off from a college football writer. Send any objections to email@example.com
5. I’m sure most of Redskin Nation will laugh at that number but despite Jason Campbell’s 1 of 7 performance against Pittsburgh, he’s still looked sharp in practice and has made decent decisions. There’s no reason to panic … yet. As for the back-ups, Todd Collins continues to look serviceable and the Jacksonville game will be interesting because it’s Colt vs. Chase for the difference of being No. 3 or on the practice squad.
7. Clinton Portis played one series Saturday and looked sharp. Ladell Betts saw some action but unlike other previous reports, don’t expect his role to change — he’ll play 12-15 snaps a game but when it comes to crunch time, Portis will be on the field for every down. Mike Sellers hammered a couple of Steelers and appears to be OK after a knee injury. Marcus Mason, Dominique Dorsey and Anthony Alridge need miracles to make the team.
6. No worries about Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El as the Nos. 1 and 3, receivers, respectively. Jim Zorn said nothing should be read into Malcolm Kelly starting the other night but the feeling here is that Zorn is becoming more comfortable with Kelly than Devin Thomas. The No. 5 spot is up for grabs. Marques Hagans hasn’t distinguished himself and Marko Mitchell is catching everything in site.
8. Chris Cooley can’t be covered in practice, Todd Yoder can still block and Fred Davis redeemed himself with a touchdown against Pittsburgh. If Davis becomes reliable, it gives Zorn a ton of options in the form of two-tight end sets that allows Cooley to line up all over the field.
A double grade — starts get a 5, reserves get a 2. The starters have been decent … and have stayed healthy. My issue with the starting OL isn’t whether they’ll perform, but whether they’ll stay healthy. The reserves have been a trainwreck. The Redskins would be stupid not to scour the waiver wire after the final cuts to find some quality.
8. Clearly, this is the best DL the Redskins have had since I started them in 2004. They have depth — expect nine DL to get work during a regular season game. They have versatility — Phil Daniels moves from DE to DT on third down, Albert Haynesworth from DT to DE and Brian Orakpo from SLB to DE (or DT). There’s no reason why the sacks won’t go up. If anything, they’ll draw holding penalties.
6. London Fletcher is still a stalwart at MLB but particularly in coverage, there will be issues with Orakpo (who hasn’t played the position) and WLB Rocky McIntosh, who is practicing every day in pursuit of a new contract that I wouldn’t really hand to him just yet. Among the back-ups, Chris Wilson can rush the passer but can he cover? Rookie Cody Glenn has drawn praise. Alfred Fincher may be the odd man out.
5. The secondary has been disappointing so far. They’re giving up way too much cushion in coverage and allowing too many third down conversions. At least they’re healthy. LaRon Landry had a tough night Saturday — he simply lines up too far from the line and tackles with his head down. That’s never a good combination.
Incomplete. It’s nearly impossible to grade the special teams during the preseason. The kicking competition has yet to fire, meaning it remains Shaun Suisham’s job to lose. Hunter Smith has gotten a lot of work and the return/coverage units haven’t given up or scored a touchdown.
— Ryan O’Halloran