- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 9, 2009

WHAT HAS WORKED

1. BRIAN ORAKPO

So much for him looking like a rookie. He reported a day late but was immediately installed in the starting defense at strongside linebacker. In coverage drills, he has looked fluid in his movements - not stiff and out of sorts - and has showed he spent the summer working on new techniques. When he gets into his four-point stance at right or left defensive end, he has been just a little bit short of dominant. He has won battles against Chris Samuels, and during Saturday’s scrimmage he blew up reserve left tackle Devin Clark on several plays.

2. RESTING VETERANS

Nine starters did not participate in Saturday’s scrimmage, and several veterans have been resting during the second practice of the day to limit wear and tear on their bodies. It has been a smart move by coach Jim Zorn, even though it means he has had to answer a lot of questions about injuries. Only nine of the projected 22 starters have gone through every practice and scrimmage. Expect the same kind of conservative approach for the rest of the money players to ensure they are healthy for the Sept. 13 opener.

WHAT NEEDS WORK

1. PASS PROTECTION

Zorn isn’t shy in saying it’s a concern because Jason Campbell was sacked an NFC-worst 38 times last year. It’s clear the Redskins are in serious trouble if any of their projected starting five linemen miss time with injuries. The second group has struggled mightily against the defensive line. This might work itself out once the line gets healthy.

2. WIDE RECEIVER HEALTH

Santana Moss, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas - three of the top receivers - sat out the scrimmage with hamstring injures. For Moss, it’s a minor hiccup; he’s a veteran who is having a great camp and knows how to manage the injury. It’s another roadblock for Kelly and Thomas, who have combined to miss all or parts of 10 practices. Kelly has shown flashes when he has been on the field and Thomas has shown decent hands, but they must play in the preseason to have a chance to beat out Antwaan Randle El.

- Ryan O’Halloran

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

8:30 a.m.: Practice | 3 p.m.: Practice (both closed to public)

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