Monday, August 10, 2009

A Procrastinator's Guide to Redskins Training Camp

Uhhhhh...what day is it...October?

No, it's August, which means my schedule is full as I alternate between sitting at the beach, eating pizza, and watching made-for-TBS movies like "Loser", "Pollock", "Jumanji" and yes, even "What Happens in Vegas". Which was surprisingly funny, minus all the Cameron Diaz parts.

So you may have noticed the DCLS lagging, or not noticed, because it's August for you too. You're forgiven either way. But at this point, if you're not up to speed on your 'Skins training camp news you'll be the laughingstock of your office/frat/sorority/book club. I'm here to help, fellow procrastinator!

Basically, there are five main things you need to know in order to a.) not sound like an idiot when discussing the 'Skins, and b.) properly brace yourself for this season and the inevitable misery:

1. The offensive line is acting its age. Matlock re-runs, Depends, and falling down go boom. So far, every starter and key reserve except for C Casey Rabach and LG Derrick Dockery has been hurt:

RT Stephon Heyer: ankle sprain
RG Randy Thomas: bad knee
LT Chris Samuels: bad knee (has been drained)
OG/RT Jeremy Bridges: ankle sprain
RT Mike Williams: abdominal strain

There is a distinct possibility that by Week 3, Jason Campbell's O-line will look like this: Devin Clark, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Chad Rinehart, Your Mom. Which means by Week 4, Colt Brennan could be the starting QB and by Week 5, Todd Collins, with Chase Daniel rounding out the QB replacement parade. Gibran Hamdan better keep his cell phone on. Portis is the team's best pass-blocker at this point.

2. The defense is lookin' dead sexy and sacktastic. Which is definitely an upgrade over years past in which the defense has looked merely damned good and runstoppy. The reason, of course, is Big Al Haynesworth and studly rookie LB/DE Brian Orakpo, the latter lookin' good as a pass-rusher but still adjusting at LB. Which begs the question: why isn't he just playing DE? Hopefully he's as quick a study as advertised and can become the next Lawrence Taylor/Terrel Suggs/DeMarcus Ware. Which would be a first for a 4-3 linebacker. But if there's anyone who can pull it off, it's a guy with a voice deeper than the Grand Canyon who can bench press a Subaru Forrester.

3. This car exists.

4. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are trying hard but are made of glass.
By all accounts, Thomas made strides this offseason and during preseason in that he actually appears to be trying. Campbell, smartly, had him running routes and catching passes all summer and the kid seems to finally "get it." But his paper hamstring has sidelined him yet again. Sigh.

Kelly never had those character concerns, but his brittle knees and his February microfracture surgery have left him less than 100%. He has the talent but if he can't stay on the field it's meaningless. As Campbell noted, these two need to contribute if the offense wants to do what it wants to do. That second receiver spot is up for grabs and theirs to lose.

5. Jason Campbell is going to have to do it on his own. This is his make-or-break season fairly or unfairly - though in my humble opinion, very very unfairly. Heading into camp I had my fingers crossed that the O-line's offseason work in Arizona would pay off, and that Devin Thomas and/or Malcolm Kelly would emerge. But only a week in, neither has happened. Dan Snyder seems to believe a quarterback exists on an island, but there are few quarterbacks who can succeed with a broken O-line and poor pass catchers. I don't care if Peyton Manning is behind center; if the QB has no time to throw, and no one can get open, he will fail. Except for Jay Cutler of course. If we had him, I wouldn't worry at all. Would you? Didn't think so.

Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best just isn't enough, though that's basically the front office strategy with the offense heading into the season. We'll see.


It's not all doom and gloom here. On the whole, the Redskins have an above average team led by a championship caliber defense and excellent running game. They have the experience to win on the road, against rivals, and the character to battle adversity. It's the Gibbs legacy.

Based on training camp so far the forecast is looking like this: if they are going anywhere this year, it's going to be on the back of the defense and Portis. It's '00 Ravens style or bust.

[Image via Orlando Sentinel]


  1. The Redskins are capable of winning the Super Bowl.

  2. Yes, they definitely wins this far..amanda vanderpool model


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