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Workouts intensify as offense gains traction
A year ago, the Washington Redskins' offseason workouts were an exercise in simplicity. The passing game was new, and the defense was kept basic so the offense could catch up.
Replace that with the scene Monday at Redskin Park: The organized team activity concluded with an up-tempo, 11-on-11, two-minute drill - a sign of how far the offense has come in Jim Zorn's system.
"We're building off what we ran last year," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "We've been able to create different pass plays. We're able to build and explore more."
Zorn estimated the offense is 30 percent ahead of where it was last year, meaning the Redskins will have a head start when they don pads for the first time July 30.
"We've given them more experiences," Zorn said. "Training camp is much like this with everybody - you put in everything you can possibly tap into during the season, and you give them a few experiences with each. Some of it is your core stuff, and you work on that every time."
Zorn said many of the new things Campbell referred to were in the system last year, but those plays were never used because of the practice time spent honing the basics.
"We're using a lot of the same concepts - just different personnel groups and formations," Zorn said. "The pattern is the same, but what Jason has to think about is the protection."
Campbell looked sharp during the drill, finding several receivers.
"He's progressing finer," Zorn said. "He's doing a wonderful job throwing the football."
Said Campbell: "That first game, we won't be feeling around trying to find ourselves. We'll be able to have a little bit of an identity."
The Redskins' returning players could have handled it if Zorn had sped up his instillation, but he decided to slow it down so the younger players could catch up.
"Although we're pushing hard, if we expect some of these young guys to get it, we have to keep it slow and deliberate," he said.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth's hearing on two misdemeanor traffic charges, scheduled for Monday in Tennessee, did not take place.
Roberta Faulkner, deputy clerk for Williamson County Circuit Court, said a continuance agreement reached Thursday set July 21 as the new court date. The Redskins report to training camp July 29.
Haynesworth, who did not practice Monday but is expected to return Tuesday, faces reckless driving and expired registration charges from a December crash that injured another driver.
Still no Landry
Safety LaRon Landry is still the only healthy player who has not attended a voluntary workout. Zorn said he has yet to speak to Landry.
"I continue to hope he shows," Zorn said. "I hope every day."
Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery and linebacker Cody Glenn weren't present but were slated to practice Tuesday. Receiver James Thrash (neck), fullback Eddie Williams (knee) and offensive linemen Randy Thomas (knee) and Devin Clark (knee) remained out.
Right tackle Mike Williams left practice after he was caught up in a pile.
"He went to the ground one time on a block and jammed his knee into the ground," Zorn said. "That's a lot of beef to put on the ground so suddenly."
The Redskins practiced several drills Monday, including quarterbacks throwing long passes to defensive backs.
"A ball machine throws it exactly the same place every time," Zorn said. "The quarterbacks will throw it a little behind and in front and make those guys work for the catch. Those are drills we can do because it's hard to get a lot of reps like that during training camp and the season."
Lottery ticket unveiled
"Redskins Mania," the teams partnership with the Virginia Lottery, was officially introduced Monday and is expected to donate $8 million to the states public schools.
"Next to Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall, this may be the most important investment the team makes this off-season," Redskins COO Mitch Gershman said.
With a $20 ticket, cash prizes range from $20 to $1 million, and second-chance drawings will be held for chances to win Redskins-related prizes, such as season tickets for 20 years. The scratch-off tickets go on sale in early August.
Several NFL teams are taking advantage of the new league rule allowing business with state lotteries. As part of the agreement, the Redskins will be paid for the use of their logo on the card but will not receive a percentage of the profit.
By Tammy Bruce
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