- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2008

THE BUZZ

ANTWAAN RANDLE EL [UP]

Receiver leaps for a touchdown over Justin Tryon at the end of practice

DOWN TIME [UP]

With seven practices down and 32 to go, Redskins enjoy a rare afternoon off

RAIN [SIDEWAYS]

Storm clouds threaten all day, but there is only a slight drizzle during practice

BACKUP QUARTERBACKS [DOWN]

Todd Collins, Colt Brennan and Derek Devine spray errant outs and wobbly ducks all over the practice field

ZORN’S ZANINESS [DOWN]

After a normal practice, Zorn says a new creation, designed to “simulate [quarterbacks] getting hit,” would debut soon

SEEN AND HEARD

“Dancing with the Stars” alum Jason Taylor showed off his dancing shoes Wednesday — a pair of burgundy-and-white high top spikes that looked better suited for a Michael Jordan wannabe on the hardwood than a pass rusher on the gridiron. Turns out they belong to the Jordan Brand’s lineup of Player Exclusive shoes. The kicks had the Air Jordan logo on the back heel.

Taylor received a rock star’s reception as he exited the field. Redskins fans screamed his name and begged for autographs. Taylor stopped to sign hats, shirts and other memorabilia.

QUOTABLE

“The thing that I’ve been most pleased and surprised about is that he’s jumped right in. We were going to bring him along slow, and he’s taken his reps. He’s enjoying it. He’s picking it up very quickly. He’s a real pro.

- Jim Zorn on defensive end Jason Taylor, who played some snaps on the right side but who the coach said will “major” on the left side

LONG SHOT OF THE DAY

Curtis Gatewood, linebacker, 6-3, 245

Gatewood, an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt, works behind Marcus Washington at strong-side linebacker.

The team likely will retain six linebackers on it final roster, meaning Gatewood, who played defensive end in college, will need to make a seamless transition to the pro game. Incumbent starters Washington, Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher fill three spots, and special teams standout Khary Campbell is sure to make the cut.

Second-year man H.B. Blades earned kudos for his hard hit on Clinton Portis on Tuesday, and Matt Sinclair, Danny Verdun-Wheeler and Rian Wallace have spent time with NFL teams in past seasons. It’s early, but Gatewood’s prospects already look slim.

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