- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2008

The Monday Morning Quarterback started his first day back in 2008 writing about the pleasures of opening training camp on a Sunday morning, such as no traffic on the Beltway or the Dulles Toll Road.

That got scratched when Phillip Daniels, a starting defensive end and one of the true good guys on the team, went down with a serious knee injury during the morning practice.

The column was filed, and then came the really big news: the trade for six-time Pro Bowl end Jason Taylor.

Get me rewrite. Again.

Q: So much for the new conservative Dan Snyder, huh?

A: No doubt. After an offseason of inside page moves - the since-released Jerome Mathis, Erasmus James, Stuart Schweigert - Snyder and his right-hand man, Vinny Cerrato, barely waited for the brace to be placed on Daniels’ injured knee before they made the big splash and traded for the NFL’s active sacks leader.

Q: How good is Taylor? He’s about to be 34, which is pretty ancient for a pass rusher.

A: He’s a year and half younger than Daniels, and his 11 sacks last year were more than any Redskins player has had in six years. Taylor is still the best Redskins lineman since Charles Mann was in his prime nearly two decades ago.

Q: Did the Redskins mortgage the future to make this move?

A: Not unless you consider a second-round draft choice in 2009 and a sixth-rounder in 2010 plus a lot of salary cap room consumed this year and next mortgaging the future. If Taylor makes a smooth switch from the right side to the left, it seems like a no-brainer.

Q: Back to the day in general, what happened besides the injuries?

A: Since the players wore light pads and shorts, it wasn’t a day for the linemen to shine. So the skill position players really got to show their stuff. Quarterback Jason Campbell’s arm looked strong. His receivers generally beat the cornerbacks in one-on-one matchups. Fourth-round pick J.T. Tryon was a rare exception to that rule, and the cocky rookie whooped it up appropriately after a couple of nice plays.

Q: How did Shawn Springs look after blowing off most of the offseason again?

A: Springs was beaten by Antwaan Randle El for a long touchdown, but he seems to be in excellent shape thanks to a strenuous regimen with a personal trainer.

Q: How is a Jim Zorn training camp different than a Joe Gibbs camp?

Story Continues →