- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2001

Suppressing excitement about the positives and drawing few long-term conclusions from the negatives, Washington Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer wrapped up his first full-squad minicamp yesterday at Redskin Park.
Five draft picks and 26 undrafted rookies participated in three days of up-tempo, physical practices, making the occasional big play but mostly trying to digest a lot of information. The youngsters begin returning for more instruction May 16.
"I think they made progress," Schottenheimer said. "But by and large, the young guys, they struggled. The volume of information is just so great."
The young guys apparently fooled veteran center Cory Raymer, who was mystified by their progress.
"It always amazes me because I remember I didn't have a frickin' idea as to what I was doing for three or four weeks," Raymer said. "They seem to be picking up right away. We all got somewhat of our flaws, but I think it helps that we're starting on the same page."
Indeed, the bonding process between veterans and rookies might have been aided by the newness of Schottenheimer's system and assistant coaches.
"I think we're all in the same boat," tight end Stephen Alexander said. "We had a two-day minicamp [four weeks ago], so we have a certain understanding of what's going on, but it's still new to us. We're just trying to help each other out."
Schottenheimer remains optimistic that several undrafted rookies will win spots on the final roster, with players like Michigan center David Brandt and Clemson defensive end Terry Bryant playing well. But the coach quickly tempered any enthusiasm, stressing that most rookies must earn places through special teams.
"At this juncture we have to caution ourselves," Schottenheimer said. "Many times you'll get real excited about somebody, and then when the pads are on and the bullets start to fly they'll regress."
Several players tested healing injuries in minicamp. Wide receiver Michael Westbrook (knee) looked aggressive in individual workouts and eager to listen in on huddles although he couldn't run the plays while Raymer (knee) felt strong in all the drills.
"They told me to slow it down," said Westbrook, who "definitely" expects to be ready for training camp July 30. "I'm real anxious to get back into it. I'm not really 100 percent, but I want to go."
Said Raymer: "I figured you just go out until [the knee] says no, and it never did. There were a little bit of [twinges] here and there, but that's all you got left. My strength is pretty much up to where it should be."
Among other injuries, cornerback Darrell Green (calf) was limited to a few individual drills, receiver Tyrone Goodson (knee) was held out and defensive lineman Kenard Lang continued to participate despite hurting his shoulder Saturday.
Cornerback Deion Sanders was the only no-show. He is expected to be called up to the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow following a hot start at Class AAA Louisville. With Sanders and Green out, Schottenheimer got an extended look at cornerback Donovan Greer on first-string and rookie Fred Smoot on second string.
Smoot made his share of plays, batting down a potential touchdown pass to Winston October on Saturday. But it wasn't good enough for Schottenheimer, who was heavily involved in instructing and on that play yelled, "Catch it! Don't knock it down! The next one's a touchdown!"
Also memorable was Shawn Barber intercepting a pass and outrunning Stephen Davis to the end zone and LaVar Arrington popping Jeff George and knocking the ball loose. Yesterday Champ Bailey made two picks in the morning session and October came up with a diving catch of a play-action pass by Todd Husak.
Husak and Jeff George will be back for quarterback schools over the next few weeks, and the next round of full-squad workouts take place in late May. But it won't be until training camp that Schottenheimer truly will gauge his first Redskins squad.
"I wouldn't even attempt to [now] because we're not doing it in pads," Schottenheimer said. "Until you have an opportunity to put the pads on and go to work for a week or 10 days, you can't really say accurately."

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