Adrian Peterson's agreement with the Minnesota Vikings on a five-year, $40.5 million deal yesterday prompted an acceleration of talks between the Washington Redskins and holdout safety LaRon Landry, according to sources on both sides of the negotiations.
Peterson was drafted seventh, one slot after Landry, who missed a third consecutive day of work yesterday at Redskin Park.
"Any time you miss a day, you miss a lot," said coach Joe Gibbs, who remains optimistic Landry will be in camp soon.
A true shot
Last summer, Casey Bramlet was the forgotten quarterback in Washington's training camp. While then-starter Mark Brunell and Jason Campbell were acclimating to new associate head coach Al Saunders' offense, veteran backup Todd Collins was busy introducing himself to his new teammates. That left Bramlet, who had been Cincinnati's third-stringer in 2004 and was in camp with the Bengals in 2005, as the proverbial "camp arm," on hand to hand off and throw to the running backs. Bramlet didn't take a single snap in preseason before being cut.
However, the coaches saw enough that they re-signed the former Wyoming standout in January and allocated him to NFL Europa. The move worked splendidly for the 26-year-old Bramlet, who led Hamburg to the championship and posted a 100.0 passer rating.
"You can only learn so much watching film and standing on the sideline getting mental reps," Bramlet said. "Playing well over there helped my confidence. It helped that my offensive coordinator in Hamburg, Ron Hudson, had worked with Coach Saunders in Kansas City. Last year, I pretty much knew what was going to happen. I know I'm still going to have to fight for every snap I get in preseason, but now I think I can go out and show them that I can play at this level. I've got a chance to compete for a job and that's all you ask for."
With Campbell and Brunell now comfortable in the offense, Collins' six years with Saunders matter less, opening the door for Bramlet or rookie Jordan Palmer to win the No. 3 quarterback spot.
"Casey showed us enough where we felt it was important for him to go to Europe and have an opportunity to play," Saunders said. "Casey has really developed his skills. His confidence and his quickness at delivering the ball have improved. It will be interesting to see how he progresses during camp."
A second chance
Guard Kili Lefotu came to camp last summer with a three-year contract, a $27,000 signing bonus and his eyes on a job on an offensive line devoid of experienced reserves.
However, Lefotu lost consciousness in his room on Aug. 9 and wound up missing almost a week of practice. By the time he returned to the field, the seventh-round pick from Arizona, who already had been struggling, was too far behind to challenge for a spot. He was one of Washington's final cuts and wasn't even signed to the practice squad.
Lefotu was re-signed in January and allocated to NFL Europa, where he started the whole season for Colgone. But he faces longer odds at winning a job thanks to the Redskins' acquisitions of former NFL starting guards Will Whitticker, Ross Tucker and Taylor Whitley.
"I had a chance to sign with a couple of other teams, but the Redskins went out on a limb when they drafted me because I was pretty much unknown," Lefotu said. "I didn't have any bitterness towards the Redskins when I got cut. It's good to be back. And it helps that I know the offense and that my offensive line coach in Europe, Tom Lovat, worked with coach [Joe] Bugel in Arizona. The only thing that's a little weird is that they gave me the same room again."
Right guard Randy Thomas, who hasn't practiced since having his right knee scoped on June 13, took a cortisone shot in the knee. Strong side linebacker Marcus Washington rested his recovering hip as he'll do periodically throughout camp. Linebacker H.B. Blades and defensive end Bryant Shaw both returned after missing work Saturday with cramps. Tight end Tyler Ecker (groin) remained sidelined.