- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rookies Brian Orakpo and Jeremy Jarmon are generating attention by showing strong pass-rushing skills, and second-year safeties Chris Horton and Kareem Moore seem to be making plays all over the field.

But what has Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache encouraged after two weeks of training camp is that the veterans reported intent on improving a unit that allowed the sixth-fewest points in the NFL last year.

“I have some veteran players that have respect for the game. They have a passion for the game, they come to work every day professionally and that makes it fun for me and the staff to come to work,” Blache said after Tuesday’s first practice. “They understand what this is about and the opportunity available to them.”

Setting the tone are the usual suspects: defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, defensive end Phillip Daniels and middle linebacker London Fletcher.

Blache hopes those three, plus Renaldo Wynn and newcomer Albert Haynesworth, have a positive impact on the young players.

“We have some young guys who still have to learn what it is to be a professional,” Blache said. “What we have to do the next few weeks is let those young guys catch up and mature and get on the bus with the rest of us. … Even this morning, there were some things happening where you go, ‘Where have these guys been the last two weeks? They have to be asleep or something.’ It will be interesting how they respond when the lights go on and the speed picks up Thursday night [at Baltimore].”

Blache’s appearance at the podium was his first interview availability since the opening day of practice. Some of his other thoughts:

c On safety Reed Doughty: “Reed’s the best he’s been - his back is better than when he came here as a rookie. He’s done really well.”

c On Daniels: “If you didn’t look at the birth certificate, you would never believe he’s 36 years old. He has a body 21-year-olds would kill for and he’d be on a magazine cover.”

c On Jarmon: “I thought he would be further behind on the learning curve, but quite honestly some of the things he can do athletically helps bring him up [to speed]. When his mind catches up with his athletic skills, I think he’ll possibly be on the field even a little sooner than we thought he would be.”

Agent: No chance on Vick

Joel Segal, the agent for quarterback Jason Campbell and three other Redskins players, watched the morning practice with executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato. Segal also represents Michael Vick but reiterated there’s “no chance” of Vick joining the Redskins.

“Mike was a special player, and we believe he will be a special player and most importantly he understands the mistakes he’s made and is ready to move on and do the right thing on and off the field,” Segal said.

Segal didn’t have to lift Campbell’s spirits once the Redskins failed in their pursuit of Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez.

“He’s excited,” Segal said. “He likes the team around him, and he’s ready to start winning. Jason is a guy that’s ice. He’s even tempered and confident. Don’t let the cool demeanor belie his confidence. He was never shaken.”

Playing short-handed

Haynesworth won’t play at Baltimore but is expected to start Aug. 22 against Pittsburgh. Others who likely will be held out because of injury or rest: Running back Clinton Portis, right guard Randy Thomas, running back Anthony Alridge and reserve offensive linemen Jeremy Bridges and Rueben Riley.

Coach Jim Zorn said Portis will get some carries during the preseason, adding he wasn’t concerned about how much Portis plays in the first game.

Zorn hopes receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas will be available for heavy duty.

“I would love to see them go as many reps as I can get them,” he said. “There will be a revolving receiver group, but they’ll be in there often.”

Split duty

Redskins kickers Shaun Suisham (first half) and Dave Rayner (second half) will split the duties against Baltimore.

“We want to see them both in a ballgame,” special teams coach Danny Smith said. “I don’t want to do every other kick. Based on how that comes out, not necessarily on makes or misses but how many kicks they get, we’ll make a decision week to week.”

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