After playing football for most of his life, 30-year-old Chris Samuels has a good feel for his body.
So the four-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, who will miss up to four weeks, wasn’t just talking bravely after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Monday. Samuels said he knew the injury wasn’t as bad as he and the Redskins initially had feared.
“At first, I thought I was done for the season, but I started walking around on it and it felt OK so I knew it was just a bad sprain,” Samuels said after beginning rehabilitation yesterday. “Hopefully, it will be less than four weeks.”
Barrow returns … briefly
Coach Joe Gibbs gushes about the 2004 free agent class that brought in Marcus Washington, Shawn Springs, Cornelius Griffin and Phillip Daniels. But Gibbs never mentions the notable failure in that class, linebacker Micheal Barrow, who never played with Washington because of leg injuries.
Barrow’s injuries didn’t cause any bad blood, though. So the 37-year-old Barrow, the new linebackers coach at Miami, quickly agreed when asked to spend five days of training camp working under his old Houston Oilers position coach, Gregg Williams.
“It’s been awesome,” Barrow said yesterday before heading back to Miami, his alma mater. “It’s almost like when you’re a child and your parent tells you what to do and what not to do and you don’t understand it until you get out of the house. I’ve found that the things I’m saying [to the players] are the same things I got from Gregg. When he’s telling me, ‘Do this, this and this,’ I’m already doing them. I knew Gregg had an impact on me, but it’s amazing how much of my core beliefs come from him.”
Williams, now assistant head coach-defense, isn’t as surprised.
“I’ve been real blessed to be around a lot of guys who I coached in the early ‘90s and the mid-‘90s who have matured and want to stay involved in football,” Williams said. ” … Now Micheal’s taken a step into those ranks to see what we’re doing and take it [to Miami].”
Barrow said he always had thought about coaching but didn’t take action until he was rehabbing last year and began to help his high school coach in Homestead, Fla.
“I prided myself on being a student of the game,” Barrow said. “Even in high school, I was the kind of kid who would pack up the film projector, take it home and watch film on my wall. I always thought about [coaching], but felt like it might take away too much time. But I started [helping at Homestead] and … I got the bug. At the end of the season, I told my wife, ‘I really like this. I really want to do this.’ The next day, I got a call from coach [Randy] Shannon at Miami. It’s a dream job for me.”
Griffin turns ankle
Griffin, a defensive tackle, became the first starter on that side of the ball to be hurt during camp when he turned his left ankle during the evening practice. Griffin, who was walking well as he left the field, said it was a minor injury and expected to practice today.
Rookie free agent Carl Berman strained a hamstring, joining Santana Moss (limited by an ailing groin) and Mike Espy (knee) on the injury list. In addition to Samuels and running back Clinton Portis, tight end Tyler Ecker (groin) and fullback Pete Schmitt (shoulder) remain out. Washington (hip) and Dallas Sartz (hamstring) are limited.
• Ryan O’Halloran contributed to this article.