- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2006

As promised, linebacker Rocky McIntosh was on the field as training camp began yesterday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the second-round pick signed a four-year contract.

The Washington Redskins’ top draft choice even made it to Leesburg, Va., in time for Sunday night’s team meeting.

“I was going to do whatever it takes to be here to help my team,” said McIntosh, who was the last second-round pick in the NFL to sign. “There were a couple of bumps in there, but we got it all squared away. I just had to back my agent [Eric Metz] off a little bit. I told him I wanted to show up on time. It was inching close. I walked in just in time for the team meeting.”

McIntosh said his right knee, which required arthroscopic surgery June 15 and caused him to miss that weekend’s minicamp, was back to “full go” last week.

“I was really happy to get everybody on board and get Rocky going,” coach Joe Gibbs said.

McIntosh is competing with Warrick Holdman on the weak side to replace LaVar Arrington, who signed with the New York Giants. However, assistant head coach/defense Gregg Williams tends to use rookies in backup roles at the start. Neither safety Sean Taylor (fifth pick overall in 2004) nor cornerback Carlos Rogers (ninth, 2005) was a starter from the get-go, and McIntosh was only the 35th selection.

“We’ve got some great leaders in Marcus Washington, Warrick and Khary Campbell, and I’m just being a student of the game and listening to what they’ve got to say,” McIntosh said.

Jansen upbeat

Although the Redskins made the playoffs for the first time since 1999 last season, 2005 wasn’t an easy year for Jon Jansen. The offensive tackle, so excited to have recovered from the torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2004 campaign in August, broke his left thumb the week before the opener against Chicago and the right one against the Bears. He wore protective casts or splints on one or both thumbs the rest of the season and needed another operation this spring on the right thumb. That surgery kept him out of team drills during June’s minicamp.

This year, Jansen will be protection-free during games but not in practices.

“I’ll be wearing the same thing as last year on my right hand for practices,” Jansen said. “In a couple days we have a new one coming that’s less cumbersome. This is pretty much precautionary. It’s just not at the point where we need to take a chance.”

Jansen, the senior Redskins player in his seventh season in Washington, marked two milestones this winter. He turned 30 and became a father for the first time.

“She’s such a beautiful girl, and it’s a lot of fun to have her,” Jansen said of daughter Lucy, who was named for his late grandmother.

Salave’a absent

Defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, who missed June’s minicamp to be with his ailing mother, was in Samoa for her funeral. The Redskins hope Salave’a, who will start next to new right end Andre Carter, will return tomorrow. Cedric Killings filled in for Salave’a yesterday.

Gibbs the overseer

With new associate head coach Al Saunders in charge of the offense, Gibbs no longer needs to spend all of his practice time on that side of the ball.

“I definitely spend more time kinda eyeballing the defense,” said Gibbs, who did walk over at one point to the side field to talk to Williams while the offense was operating on the main field. “I won’t be able to help very much [on defense], but I’ll certainly have a better idea of what’s going on. Maybe it will allow me to balance my time better and spend more time all the way across the board. It will help me be a better coach. Normally, I’ll look at the practice schedule and kinda decide what I would like to look at, but sometimes other things catch your eye. It will be different for me, but I certainly think I have enough to do.”

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