I just passed along some of this and that from New York Giants training camp, but the Washington Redskins have a lot going on as well. So let’s see what they are up to down in our nation’s capital.
-The ‘Skins just traded for QB John Beck from the Baltimore Ravens. It really isn’t a huge deal for anyone except Colt Brennan, who was promptly cut. Brennan never showed any of the brilliance that he displayed at the college level. But, it doesn’t sound like Beck will be competing with Rex Grossman for the job of backing up Donovan McNabb. The Washington Post reports that Grossman is “entrenched” as the backup. Worse news for Beck? Mike Shanahan says he’s fine with just two quarterbacks.
-This Albert Haynewsworth stuff is absolutely comical. He’s been failing these 300-yard sprint conditioning drills that Shanahan keeps making him take. This is payback for all of the moaning, complaining and misses offseason workouts. He stopped taking the tests because he is having knee issues that NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora (former Redskins beat writer for WaPo) is calling “legitimate.” Looks like he’ll have to wait a little bit to start working at the right end position in the 3-4.
-Shanahan likes what he sees so far out of Clinton Portis. “I sure hope so,” Shanahan said when asked if Portis has his burst back. “If not, he’s not going to be our running back.” This means that Portis will start off strong and then fade like he always does.
-Multiple reports over the last week or so indicate that former second-round picks Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas are in danger of losing their jobs this year. And I don’t mean starting jobs. I mean jobs as in roster spots. They have done nothing so far at the NFL level, although Shanahan says that Thomas has been a little bit better lately.
“He’s got to compete everyday and he’s got to win a position,” Shanahan said about Thomas. “He’s got to be better than the guys that are in front of him consistently. … The last couple days, he’s done just that.”
He could just be trying to give the kid some confidence. His main competition is Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams. Yikes. In case you are scoring at home, Williams hasn’t been in the NFL in two years.
-Speaking of Kelly, he went down with a hamstring injury a few days ago. If one of those two is getting cut, I have to think it’s Kelly. The one thing that he and Thomas have going for them is that outside of Santana Moss (and even he isn’t what he used to be), the rest of the Redskins WR’s are garbage. Have fun with that, Donovan.
-LaRon Landry is hitting people….hard. Even if he’s not really supposed to.
“It’s kind of what you would call a thud tempo,” tight end Chris Cooley said. “Most guys just bump up against you when you have the ball. LaRon likes to go into the full tackling mode. He’s in scrimmage mode at all times. We talked about it in the locker room and he said, ‘Why are you giving me a hard time?’ I said, ‘You are the only one that tackles. So if
you’re going to tackle me I am going to give you a hard time about it. You’re going to have to deal with that.'”
Shanahan doesn’t seem bothered by it, so he’ll probably continue to pop people in practice.
“I don’t mind those hard hits,” he said. “I mean, we’re going to get those in the game. I love those hard hits.”
-Speaking of Landry, his role is going to change a bit this year. Last year, he says that he was basically told not to let anything get by him deep (that’s probably still a good rule heading into this year). But now, he’s going to be in more of an attacking role.
“Don’t let anything get behind you,” Landry says of what he was doing in 2009. “This year, it’s not. It’s more aggressive, go and get it. Be smart about it, but go get it, be aggressive.”