- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Washington Redskins’ new ‘Chevy’ barely got out of the garage. Former Pittsburgh basketball player Chevon ‘Chevy’ Troutman’s audition as an NFL tight end lasted all of one practice before he was among eight players not invited back for the rest of this weekend’s minicamp.

It was a bad sign when coach Joe Gibbs at first couldn’t place him when asked for his assessment of the player whom the Redskins hoped might be the next Antonio Gates, who zoomed from Kent State basketball star to Pro Bowl tight end for the San Diego Chargers in just two years.

‘When I saw Chevon catch the ball, you could see he has some athletic ability, but he has a very long way to go,’ tight ends coach Rennie Simmons said. ‘Unfortunately, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, where to go or what foot to step with, you’re like a duck out of water.’

Troutman, Pennsylvania’s ‘Mr. Basketball’ as a senior in Williamsport, averaged 15 points and eight rebounds as a senior at Pitt, but those qualifications didn’t help yesterday.

‘When they first threw everything at me, it looked like Spanish or something,’ said the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Troutman, who played high school football as a junior. ‘I feel like I can play in the NFL. I just need a little bit of time to learn everything.’

Unfortunately for Troutman, his time with the Redskins has expired.

A leg up

If Jared Newberry makes the roster and has an impact, he’ll be the first Redskins sixth-round draft choice to do so since defensive end Kelvin Kinney in 1996. Newberry also is dealing with a switch of positions from outside linebacker to the middle.

However, Newberry will go to training camp in July with a couple of advantages. Not only is the starting job open because of the loss of Antonio Pierce to the New York Giants as a free agent, Newberry’s position coach at Stanford, Tom Williams, was a Stanford teammate with Redskins assistant coach Coy Gibbs, Joe’s son.

If Newberry makes the team, he won’t be the first professional athlete in his family. His late grandfather, Richard Newberry, was a shortstop and second baseman for the Chicago American Giants and the Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro Leagues.

Local favorites

Of the 51 players in camp on a tryout basis, five are from the Maryland Terrapins: running back Sammy Maldonado, receiver Steve Suter, defensive lineman Kevin Eli and defensive backs Reuben Haigler and Chris Kelley. Defensive lineman Bruce Banks, the heaviest camper at 335 pounds, played at Bowie State. Linebacker Mikal Baaqee and defensive back Mike Daniels are Virginia Tech products.

Running back Roland Colbert, offensive lineman Dominique Richardson and linebacker Mike Sanders played at Howard, though Sanders was among the players not invited back. Also on that list was former Penn State quarterback Zack Mills, who pulled a hamstring.

The Redskins are replacing Mills with quarterbacks Bryson Spinner of Richmond (and Alexandria’s Episcopal High School) and Tom Petrie of Northern Iowa.

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