Saturday, July 31, 2010

Redskins Training Camp Day Two: The Silver and Back

Just fit in baby

Friday 30 July 2010 | Forty-four days until kickoff

Though real news of players and performance began trickling through on day two of the Redskins 2010 training camp in Ashburn, two stories dominated coverage, both about guys making a lot of money and in totally different places right now.

First Redskins fans awoke to learn that presumed left tackle rookie number four overall pick Trent Williams aka Silverback had ended negotiations and signed with the team, it happened in the wee hours, around 4:30 am, Trent's agents and the team agreed to a six year, 60 million dollar deal that features 36.5 million dollars guaranteed. Trent, already not sleeping well in anticipation of this moment, was at Redskins Park by 6:00 am to sign the deal and get to work (op. cit.).

This story parallels last year's latenight signing of first round pick hybrid defensive endbacker Brian Orakpo following the first day of camp, hopefully as with Brian having Trent in camp this early will bode well for his conditioning, performance and spot on the depth chart. Trent was the first top five pick from the 2010 draft to sign, though by the time I could fact check this, number five pick safety Eric Berry had signed with the Titans. All the top picks will now fall into place with a market set by Trent. Trent went right to work and practiced with his teammates, today...

...Which is more than can be said about defensive slash nose tackle Albert Haynesworth.

After failing his first conditioning test on day one of camp due to a potty break then being forced to suffer the humiliation of lining up alone opposite overturned trashcans, Albert came loaded for bear on day two... and failed the test again and was barred from practicing with the team at large. Cue game show fail music, wanh-wah.

This time there was no potty break, he did not fall for that one, this time Albert missed the time by one second, coming in at 71 seconds on the first set of twelve twenty-five yard shuttles, he needed to do it in 70 seconds and as such there was no opportunity to run the second half of the test.

Albert will get a third attempt, Saturday morning, to pass the test.

We will find out soon if this is purely procedural, if it is vindictive on coach Shanahan's part or if three times is enough groveling for Albert to join the team, coach Shanahan seemed to indicate that he is fine with Albert taking the test every day until he passes (op. cit.), when asked about it again at the end of the second day coach said he was done talking about it. Albert obviously thinks it is all bullshit, he told NBC 4 in Washington that he was quote tired of this shit (op. cit.), and that was after failing only one test.

As indicated at the top, there was other news of the team. Receiver Malcolm Kelly, who hurt his hamstring at Hell Week in Arizona with quarterback Donovan McNabb then surprised me and others by going full speed on day one of camp, was slowed by the hammy today (op. cit.). The Redskins, perhaps more or less like any other NFL team, I have no idea, have had a problem in recent years with players suffering strained hammys in camp and having them linger all year. Of course Malcolm Kelly is a borderline NFL player so maybe it is not surprising.

Too early to make a sourpuss prediction, Malcolm is a guy that cannot afford to miss any time. He and fellow underperforming receiver Devin Thomas have started camp as not-starters, with 38 year old Joey Galloway and 2005 fourth round pick Roydell Williams tied for one spot with Santana Moss firmly in the other. It is of note that while the Redskins traded their 2008 first round pick to set up the second round picks of Malcolm and Devin, Roydell's career statistics in five seasons are not even one season's worth of production for Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Steve Smith, Hines Ward or Roddy White. Frickin Roddy White!

Presumptive right tackle Jammal Brown, acquired in trade from New Orleans in June, has a new position, right tackle. In looking at that sentence I did not adequately communicate the core concept so let us try again: Two time Pro Bowl left tackle Jammal Brown is now a right tackle. For the life of me I cannot figure out why Trent Williams, a right tackle in college is now on the left and Jammal is on the right. Maybe both will line up in both places, maybe performance will dictate, maybe the talent guys know what they are talking about. Seems to me whether you have a rookie or a veteran that you have an easier time leaving a guy at his natural spot if is better than average at that spot BUT WHAT THE HELL DO I KNOW I'M JUST A BLOGGER.

Meanwhile out in Oakland, former Redskin Jason Campbell has been named the Raiders starting quarterback, no word on whether head coach Tom Cable has yet tried to break Jason's jaw, this Q&A with Jason, recorded after he was traded but before he reported to camp, shows a guy in the dumps, bummed about doing his best, doing his part and still being misunderstood. Good luck to Jason and we will be following his AFC West exploits with great interest.

Newly signed rookie tackle Trent Williams signing autographs on day two of Redskins training camp: Getty Images from here.


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I missed the training camp event so i will make sure i'll be on their first game on August 13 at Fedex Field in Hyattsville,Maryland.It's Washington Redskins versus Buffalo Bills.