Friday, July 30, 2010

Redskins Training Camp Day One: Taking In the Garbage

Don't forget the [excuse] recycling

Today Curly R begins coverage of its fifth Redskins season, yes we have been here since 2006, we will bring you daily roundups of camp activity, if there is something I missed, drop it in comments or shoot me a note.


Thursday 29 July 2010 | Forty-five days until kickoff

The Washington Redskins began the 2010 season today, and there was news. Not like 2009's first day of camp when number thirteen overall pick hybrid defensive endbacker Brian Orakpo ended contract negotiations and signed with the team late in the day, this year we had no such luck with number four overall pick [projected] left tackle Trent Williams, who as of midnight Thursay had not signed.

Also not like 2008's first day of camp when defensive ends Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee both suffered season ending injuries and Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato engineered a hurried trade of second round and sixth round picks to the Miami Dolphins for defensive end Jason Taylor, that turned out to be such a bad move in the grand scheme that when I saw a guy wearing a number fifty-five Taylor jersey in the DC Metro last month I wondered if I should give him my Uno's leftovers.

The second biggest story of training camp day one was actually a story from before training camp opened. Third year receiver Malcolm Kelly, a guy in definite need of a good season, hurt his hamstring at Hell Week out in Arizona last week with quarterback Donovan McNabb, and was expected to miss at least a day, maybe two of practice. This is of course a big bummer for Malcolm, a guy the Redskins drafted injured, struggled in year one, had surgery in the offseason after not playing much, entered year two with some really put-on OMG HES GOINH TO BE SO AWSUM hype that saw him win the starting spot then lose it to fellow underachiever Devin Thomas. Malcolm is a suspect route runner and I have no sense that head coach Mike Shanahan believes Malcolm will be anything more than just a guy. He ended the day practicing, I wonder if that was because his leg was better or if Malcolm cowboyed up and went in, competition can make you heal fast.

In offensive line news, as expected the team placed right guard slash right tackle and former 400 pound man Mike Williams on injured reserve, Mike was diagnosed early this month with blood clots near his heart and will be on blood thinners for the immediate future, the heart is nothing to fuck with and football or no football I hope Mike takes care of himself and is ok, and if he is cleared to play football again next season or in the future, we will welcome him back to the fray.

But BY FAR the most compelling story of training camp day one was of course Albert Haynesworth. Mister twenty one million dollar check waltzed into Ashburn Wednesday after missing the entire offseason program except for the day he stopped by to say he was going to miss the entire offseason program which does not really count as attending, he has lost either thirty five or forty pounds, depending on who you ask, this photo appears to show a trimmer lardass, as do these two from Dan Dan the Sports Bog Man.

Once he realized he was not going to be traded, Albert resigned himself to showing up and playing, and just hoping for the best. And he got it all right, fans have a new milestone and answer to the future trivia question, Who was the first Redskins player to get the Mike Shanahan treatment?

Albert showed up, and coach Shanahan said we need you to run a little conditioning test, no big deal, if you are as in shape as we have been hearing all offseason from third parties then you will have no problems: two shuttle runs, each series of sprints of differing lengths and objectives totaling three hundred yards. Albert pass the first test then, and get this, asked for a potty break between tests.

When he came back from the potty, he discovered his results from the first test were void and he had to run both tests again and was unable to pass the test on the second try. I read this today and split my sides, join me:

What was the potty break? To puke? To go and vapor lock in private? To take a dump?

Did Albert know that taking a break between tests would result in negating the first run, thereby requiring him to run both again? Because I am betting he did not.

Ostensibly the reason Albert had to take these tests, and no one else today ran this test, was because Albert missed every chance he would have had in the offseason program to run. According to the coaches, every other player took this test at some point in the offseason and passed it (op. cit.), meaning even though it looks like Albert was being singled out, Albert was actually the one to single himself out. Apparently Albert and coach Shanahan exchanged words after Albert was assigned the failing grade (ibid.).

Wait it gets better. Failing the test rendered him ineligible to practice with his teammates (op. cit.). But Albert did not sit on his big hands, oh no idle hands are the devil's tools, he got direct reps with defensive line coach Jacob Burney... lining up against overturned trashcans!

You read that right, look again at the image above, Albert was not even allowed to have tackling sleds, the coaches turned five trashcans over, each one representing an offensive lineman, and made Albert walk through his putative assignments against trashcans. And from the image above, you can see on that particular play that Albert is in the nose tackle position.

Whether this will continue into day two and beyond I cannot say, what I can say is that Albert showed up and tried to be cool and do his thing and Mike Shanahan made sure Albert's first day back with the team was spent in public humiliation. Albert will get to take the conditioning test again Friday.

Never forget AH also stands for asshat.

Albert Haynesworth and defensive line coach Jacob Burney: John McDonnell / Washington Post from here.