- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

Objectives

1. Get Campbell acclimated: Entering his fourth NFL season, Redskinsquarterback Jason Campbell is learning his third passing offense. Dating to his freshman year at Auburn, the number has swelled to at least seven systems in eight years. Campbell enters confident because of Jim Zorn’s endorsement and his previous success in the West Coast offense at Auburn in 2004.

2. Stay relatively healthy: The injury bug hit early and often last season when left tackle Chris Samuels, linebacker Marcus Washington and Campbell all sustained injuries. By Week 2, Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas were gone. This is the longest Redskins training camp in years and this is a veteran team (17 players who are 30 and older), so Zorn can’t wear down his charges.

3. Get Zorn acclimated: He has never been a head coach at any level and never a coordinator or playcaller in the NFL. Now he carries three jobs - head coach, quarterbacks coach and playcaller. How quickly he can establish a camp rhythm and earn the respect of the veterans who will police his locker room will be a fascinating subplot of camp.

POSITION BATTLES

Punter

Derrick Frost is the incumbent and the underdog despite being the regular kicker since early in the 2005 season. Rookie Durant Brooks is the challenger and the favorite. The Redskins selected Brooks in the sixth round, and the early line is he will have to really disappoint for Frost to survive.

No. 4 receiver

Brandon Lloyd isn’t around anymore to mock (he’s in Chicago), leaving rookies Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas and holdovers Anthony Mix and James Thrash to compete for probably three spots. Kelly and Thomas are locks, and Mix has good size (6-5). Thrash starts camp on the bubble.

Starting strong safety

LaRon Landry is the starter at free safety. At strong, it’s Reed Doughty vs. Stuart Schweigert. Doughty took over after Sean Taylor’s death, knows the system and has a good rapport with Landry. Schweigert has starting experience with Oakland. Whatever happens, both players will see a lot of snaps and the free and strong positions and are likely to remain interchangeable in Greg Blache’s system.

RETURNING PLAYERS TO WATCH

LaRon Landry, safety

He started from Day 1 as a rookie and posted 88 tackles and then was the Redskins’ best player in the playoff loss to Seattle, intercepting two passes. He will be used in a variety of ways and could develop into one of the NFL’s premier safeties this year.

Jon Jansen, right tackle

Story Continues →