Postcard from camp: Redskins
SI.com has dispatched 10 writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. For the complete schedule of postcards, click here.
Setting the scene
Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., is the Washington Redskins' year-round training facility. Players are bused in from a nearby hotel each day, while fans flood the place and mostly stand on one sideline, 10 and 12 deep. Sponsor types and their families flood the sideline, and tour groups wind their way through the facility while Jason Taylor, Jason Campbell and company walk to meetings. It's a boisterous camp, with fans who already know the rookies' names and numbers by heart shouting out to players after every play.
1. Campbell is impressing with his accuracy. The Zorn Administration already is wowed by the fact that the fourth-year quarterback from Auburn left the facility for about five minutes all offseason -- and when he did, it was to fish on Brett Favre's property in Mississippi. But I'm guessing his passes hit the ground about four times in two hours Friday morning. What a display of deft downfield touch and accuracy. Now, this comes with no one hitting him, obviously. But Campbell had a superb practice, and when I asked him about it, he was totally matter-of-fact. "That's how I have to play every day,'' he said.
2. It's early, but the team is taking to rookie coach Jim Zorn. At first glance, Zorn seems an energetic flatliner, a guy who will pump up players but not be up one day and down the next. "He's been an excellent teacher,'' Campbell said. "I think he's going to mold me into a great quarterback, and I think he's going to teach the guys here a lot about football."
The defense seems to trust Zorn early because he's leaving the D in the hands of the defensive experts. I asked Zorn how he deals with the defense, and with coordinator Greg Blache. "I trust,'' he said. I was waiting for him to finish the sentence, but that was the end of the sentence. He trusts Blache and his defensive staff, and he knows his time is best spent with the side of the ball he knows best.
3. Second-round pick Fred Davis can play tight end in the NFL right now. Davis is big (6-4, 257), lumbering, and caught the ball well Friday. Zorn likes him a lot. There's a good chance Davis and Chris Cooley will both be used in pass-catching roles, and the Redskins could have the best receiving corps they've had in years if Davis stays on the learning path and Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas can make it out of training camp healthy. (No guarantees there.)