Redskins postcard (cont.)
New Face, New Place
In past years, you'd have six or seven candidates for a new face here. Not this year, not when the Redskins went from $19 million over the cap entering the offseason to $9 million under before trading for Taylor and putting his $8-million-a-year deal on the salary rolls. Taylor is blending right in as a first-team left end.
"I played four years next to Vonnie Holliday in Miami,'' he told me, "and we got to the point where the ball was snapped and I'd see something and I move inside to take advantage of a matchup, and Vonnie would slip outside to cover me. It'll take a while to get that comfortable here, but I like this defense. We'll be able to show a few different looks when I get it down.''
Looking at the Schedule
An odd one. In the first five weeks, there are all three NFC East foes -- all on the road. In the last seven weeks, all three of the NFC East foes come to Fedex Field. The worst part of the schedule: Three of the last four games are on the road, with the only positive being that the finale is at San Francisco.
Memorable Image from Camp
Zorn working with the quarterbacks, endlessly. When he got the job in an upset last winter, Zorn said he would carve out at least an hour a day to tutor Campbell and the quarterback group. On Friday, he carved out two. After one nice pass Campbell made, Zorn said, "OK, you made a nice throw there. What are you going to do on the next one?''
He's a stickler for doing things the right way every time, as most longtime quarterback coaches are. On Thursday, Zorn set up a drill that looked totally bizarre. He had three of the four quarterbacks on the roster get in a circle, with Campbell in the middle holding a football, poised as if he was about to pass. The quarterbacks on the perimeter took turns firing Pilates exercise balls at Campbell. "Dodgeball,'' it's called.
Said Zorn: "I want the quarterbacks not to just move their bodies slightly. I want them to move a lot, to get used to a rusher coming at them.'' You kind of figured Zorn, a heady sort, would come up with things like this.
Washington's skill players are the best in the division.
Strange to see Stuart Schweigert, a former Raider, lining up trying to be the heir to Sean Taylor.
Chris Samuels, recovering from elbow surgery, isn't fully prepared for the rigors of a season, but he's close. He told me he'll be 100 percent by opening day.
Both rookie receivers -- Thomas (hamstring) and Kelly (knee strain) -- are banged up after one week of practice. Neither injury is serious, but I saw Thomas limping out of the facility. He's expected to miss about two weeks.
These fans are intense. One leatherlung, in the middle of practice Friday, saw Redskins VP Vinny Cerrato, who pulled off the Taylor trade the other day, and began yelling: "Good job Cerrato! Thank you! Thank youuuuuuuuu! Very good! Very, very good!''