After watching Jason Campbell complete pass after pass to receivers yesterday during the final practice of minicamp, Washington Redskins associate head coach Al Saunders expressed satisfaction with his quarterback's offseason progress.
"Today was unquestionably his best practice, and a lot of it was because of his decision-making in the passing game, which was exceptional," Saunders said. "We know he has the physical skills. We've been working on the waist down and working on the neck up. Today, those two things came together."
Campbell started the last seven games of last season, compiling a 2-5 record and throwing 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has been a regular at the team's complex since mid-March, meeting with Saunders and quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor and working with teammates in practices.
"Jason's progress has been very pleasing for all of us and particularly for him," Saunders said. "He's reached another level in his development, but we're still a long way from where we would like to be, and Jason knows he has a lot of work to do. What's he's done to this point has been very fruitful for him."
Said Campbell: "Each time I go out to the field, you try to grow in a different area and improve on a day-to-day basis. Right now, it's still a work in progress."
Campbell will get more snaps than a veteran starter when training camp starts, Saunders said.
"He will, and it will be in different phases of the game," Saunders said. "Part of the concern in training camp is the physical fatigue, so his number of throws will be regulated on a daily basis because it's a long camp and it's a long season.
"There are a lot of ways to get reps by not throwing the football. To me, the most important thing is Jason getting his timing down with all of the skilled position players. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss still haven't really practiced with Jason, so it will be important to incorporate them into our routines."
Glad to be back
After playing last season for the New Orleans Saints, safety Omar Stoutmire wanted to return to the Redskins, whom he played for in 2005. His request was granted when the Redskins signed the veteran March 20.
"We tried to work it out last year, but it didn't happen," he said. "Without a doubt, I had a great year playing in New Orleans, but I wanted to be back here. I'm happy to be back, and I'm happy they wanted me back."
Stoutmire, 32, played 10 games and made 17 tackles for the Redskins two years ago. Last season, he played 13 games (nine starts) for the Saints before missing the playoffs because of an injury.
"[Starting] definitely got me back to feeling comfortable playing every down," he said. "My preparation didn't change. It was great to compete and contribute."
With the Redskins, Stoutmire likely will be the third safety behind Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry.
Injury concerns minimal
As the Redskins wrapped up minicamp, receiver Santana Moss, right guard Randy Thomas and Landry did not practice, and running back Clinton Portis was limited. Cornerback Shawn Springs missed his third consecutive day so he could be with his wife and newborn baby.
Coach Joe Gibbs expects every player to be ready for training camp, which will start in late July.
"Everybody is hopefully on the way back to getting really healthy," he said. "We came into the offseason healthier than we did last year, but you always have some guys that need to get things taken care of. They've all come back from their surgeries quicker in almost every case, which is good."