- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2009

The tough part is out of the way for Washington Redskins rookie cornerback Kevin Barnes, Fred Smoot said . Barnes has been burned by Santana Moss… and Antwaan Randle El… and, well, several other receivers.

“First, they get humbled,” Smoot said. “He comes out, gets beat one time and knows he’s in the NFL.”

A week into his first NFL training camp, Barnes has experienced the typical highs and lows of being an NFL rookie. Some practices, the Glen Burnie native and former Maryland standout is all over the field, getting his hands on the ball and setting up an interception. Other practices, he’s matched up against Moss, who schools him during red-zone drills with a variety of moves.

“Young players are expected to make mistakes, and I’ve made them - now it’s time to start moving on and getting better and better every day,” Barnes said Thursday.

The Redskins’ third-round pick in April, Barnes is battling Justin Tryon for the No. 4 cornerback spot. Since Carlos Rogers continues to be sidelined with a left calf injury - he has missed eight straight practices - Barnes’ opportunities to face the Redskins’ top skill players have increased.

“Kevin is trying to understand the techniques,” coach Jim Zorn said. “If you could just line up and play man-for-man the way you wanted to play it, [the transition] probably wouldn’t be as difficult. A lot of times, the significance is that the corners are also playing in regard to the linebacker underneath them and to the safety inside of them. And then put motion to it - things get complicated very quickly.”

Zorn said Barnes is having an “outstanding camp.”

“He’s developing confidence in his talent man-to-man, and he has to develop confidence in communication and being in the right position,” Zorn said.

Mostly ‘live’ Saturday

Only the quarterbacks will not be “live” when the Redskins hold an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday.

“It’s our first chance to really hit and tackle,” Zorn said. “There won’t be a lot [of plays], so we’ll pick our plays and how we do it… will be scripted.”

Zorn said there won’t be any full-contact punt/kickoff drills but that field goals and extra points will be live.

Moss, Thomas sit

Devin Thomas missed Wednesday’s second practice but participated in Thursday’s first workout until he caught his first pass and felt pain in his right hamstring. He watched the rest of the day with an ice pack on his leg.

“I don’t know if it’s a setback, but it’s a learning situation for these guys,” Zorn said. “They have to know the difference between injury and just being sore.”

Moss sat out the afternoon session with a hamstring issue that he doesn’t consider serious. Receiver Malcolm Kelly (left hamstring), right tackle Stephon Heyer (left knee) and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery (left knee) returned to the field and right guard Randy Thomas (right knee) came back in the afternoon.

Davis gets involved

Fred Davis was limited to three catches last year, but during one stretch of the Thursday morning practice, he caught passes on three consecutive plays. One way Zorn appears to like Davis is on a tight end screen, a play Chris Cooley had moderate success with last year.

“We’re a tight end screen team, and having both of us do it is a threat because we can both make people miss,” Davis said. “I did it a lot at USC, and they knew that.”

Davis starts the play lined up at tight end and then flares out to wait for the pass - and for his blockers to get in front of him.

“You have to be patient, but not too patient,” he said. “You have to use your instincts on when to go and when not to because sometimes you have to wait for the blockers, and other times you just have to go.”



Click to Read More

Click to Hide