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Redskins Insider: August 23, 2009 - August 29, 2009

Suisham vs. Rayner: Is One Kicker Ahead?

The other day, I wrote that I expected place kicker Shaun Suisham to emerge victorious in his battle with Dave Rayner. I acknowledged that I did not have a great feel for that position battle, so I watched more closely last night. Rayner showed a good leg on kickoffs and...

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (161)
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Sellers Apologizes, Explains Pregame Report

Michael Pehanich, Zack Bolno's No. 2 guy and a Mountaineer, entered the press room today as usual to escort us to Jim Zorn's weekly day-after-the-game rap session. On this occasion, however, Mike asked that we accompany him to the main building a tad early because fullback Mike Sellers wanted to...

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
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Marko Mitchell's Play Keeps Him in the Mix

Technically, there are still five players battling for the Redskins' fifth receiver spot -- Keith Eloi, D.J. Hackett, Marques Hagans, Marko Mitchell and Trent Shelton. Four of those players have combined for six preseason catches. The fifth, Mitchell, has five receptions by himself, including a pair of touchdowns. Has the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 29, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
 
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Cuts Are Looming, As Is Preseason Finale

Everyone knew that the Redskins' starters would play at least a full half in Friday's game against the Patriots. But looking ahead to the final preseason game at Jacksonville, even Coach Jim Zorn says he isn't certain how much playing team the first-team offense and defense will see - if...

By Rick Maese  |  August 29, 2009; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Marshall Wouldn't Seem to Be in Plans

Before kickoff last night, many of you emailed me to ask about Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. The moment I heard that Denver had suspended Marshall, I figured you guys would want to know if the Redskins would attempt to trade for him. I'm still waiting to hear back...

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Devin Thomas Shows Signs of Catching On

It was nice to see Devin Thomas still is on the roster. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to Thomas, who opened training camp as the leader for the starting flanker position and then disappeared. He was a nonfactor in the first two preseason games and did a...

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
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Hall, Brennan Move on from Pats Game

Before we get to the Colt Brennan stuff you're craving, how are you feeling this morning? Elated by the Redskins' offense? Mildly alarmed by the secondary? Quietly confident in all of the above? Dan Steinberg had more time in the locker room than the guys who had to write for...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 29, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Haynesworth on the Brady Crunch

Albert Haynesworth may not send a get-well-soon balloon bouquet to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but that doesn't mean he wasn't concerned about the injury Brady may or may not have suffered when Haynesworth drove him to the ground late in the second quarter. "I mean, it wasn't like I was...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 29, 2009; 12:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
 
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Plethora of Penalties Disappoints Zorn

The Redskins were penalized 15 times for 113 yards, and the infractions came in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- and many of the penalties were called against the first team. Starting defensive tackles Albert Haynesworth and Cornelius Griffin were called for a...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 29, 2009; 12:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Redskins Look Sharper, but Lose to Patriots

Shaun Suisham, whose August has been defined by the competition for the starting kicking position, missed a 52-yard field that would have put the Washington Redskins ahead with about four minutes remaining. Instead, he could only watch as his counterpart, Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, made a 31-yard field goal to...

By Bill Oram  |  August 28, 2009; 11:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Tied after Three

Credit great defensive reads, or blame bad quarterbacking, but the third quarter was marked by three interceptions and each team capitalizing in different ways. The teams remained deadlocked after scoring once each, 24-24. Colt Brennan failed to capitalize after a pick by LaRon Landry, throwing a pick-six after guiding the...

By Bill Oram  |  August 28, 2009; 10:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
 
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Campbell Starts Strong

After answering questions all week long about his 1-for-7 passing performance in last weekend's preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback Jason Campbell came out on his first drive and initially seemed to quickly quiet the critics. Campbell was a perfect 4 for 4 on Washington's opening scoring drive, spreading...

By Paul Tenorio  |  August 28, 2009; 10:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (132)
 
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Second Half Starts with a 17-17 Tie

For as good as the Patriots looked at the beginning of the second quarter, the Redskins defense began to establish footing as the quarter progressed and the offense pieced together two quality drives, the second of which ended with a 25-yard field goal by Dave Rayner as time expired, to...

By Bill Oram  |  August 28, 2009; 9:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (142)
 
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A TD for Each Side after a Quarter

The Redskins offense didn't need a fake punt or any other kind of do-over this week to put together a solid opening drive. Instead, the offense was consistently strong and at times spectacular to start Washington's preseason game against the New England Patriots Friday night at FedEx Field. Jason Campbell...

By Bill Oram  |  August 28, 2009; 8:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (222)
 
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Campbell, It Turns Out, Is Clairvoyant

Former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs is not expected to play for the New England Patriots. When asked earlier this week if he would enjoy seeing Springs tonight, quarterback Jason Campbell said, "Springs? Let me see if he's going to play first." The response elicited a roar from the press corps....

By Jason Reid and Barry Svrluga  |  August 28, 2009; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (152)
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M. Williams, Rogers, Cartwright Out

Mike Williams (ankle), Carlos Rogers (calf) and Rock Cartwright (groin) will not play tonight against the Patriots at FedEx Field. Shawn Springs will not play tonight for the Patriots....

By Jason Reid  |  August 28, 2009; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
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The Forecast, the blog and Twitter

I liked the earlier forecast much better. The Capital Weather Gang is calling for a 60 percent chance of precip and Dan Stillman says that, while there may be some lulls in the rain, "periods of soaking showers and a few thunderstorms are a legitimate threat leading up to and...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 28, 2009; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Redskins' Defense Prepared for 'a Real Test'

Most of the Redskins would rather not be reminded about their last game against the New England Patriots -- a 52-7 loss in October 2007. But defensive coordinator Greg Blache is not among that group. Blache is eager to see how the Redskins match up against the Patriots tonight at...

By Jason Reid  |  August 28, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (221)
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Blache: 'It's Always Good to See' Springs

Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache shares a strong bond with Shawn Springs, who was the Redskins' top cornerback for five seasons and joined the New England Patriots as a free agent in March. With the Redskins playing host to the Patriots tonight at FedEx Field, Blache said he's looking forward...

By Jason Reid  |  August 28, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
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A Rainy Night Ahead?

Timeout for the Capital Weather Gang, in case you're going to FedEx Field tonight: * Our Full Forecast | Weather Wall * Redskins vs. Patriots (Preseason)Friday Aug. 28, 8 p.m., FedEx Field Kickoff2-Min WarningWeatherChance of Precip.72-7670-73Muggy50%I realize a 50% chance of rain sounds about as helpful as a coin flip....

By Cindy Boren  |  August 28, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Campbell Says He's Ready for Patriots' Test

Quarterback Jason Campbell is eager to play tonight against the New England Patriots at FedEx Field. "We've faced good defenses on our [preseason] schedule and that's what you want to get ready for the season," Campbell said the other day. "You want to go out there and get challenged when...

By Jason Reid  |  August 28, 2009; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
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Suisham Gets the Nod -- or Does He?

During my guest appearance Thursday on Vinny Cerrato's radio show, " Inside the Red Zone," Cerrato asked for my opinion about the competition between kickers Shaun Suisham and Dave Rayner. I should have asked for his opinion, considering he gets paid to assemble the Redskins' roster. But, anyway, I said...

By Jason Reid  |  August 28, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
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Campbell's Goals Against the Patriots

Jason Campbell met with the media Wednesday afternoon, long after he and his Redskins teammates had come off the practice field. For a quarterback of an NFL team, Campbell is incredibly laidback and affable with the throng that covers his team. But here, in the days before the Redskins' third...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 27, 2009; 7:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (142)
 
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Quarterback Race in Capable Hands With Zorn

The battle between Colt Brennan and Chase Daniel for the No. 3 quarterback job could be decided on Coach Jim Zorn's long-term view of Daniel. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Zorn's performance after one season as a head coach, he definitely is an expert at assessing the potential of...

By Jason Reid  |  August 27, 2009; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
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The Welcome Home Luncheon

I just got home after attending my first Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon, which was an interesting experience to say the least. Maybe it's just me, but it's a tad unnerving to see grown men wearing dresses, wigs and artificial pig snouts seated at a table inside the Ritz-Carlton, Tyson's Corner....

By Jason Reid  |  August 27, 2009; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
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Teammates to Campbell: Ignore the Critics

While Friday's game will pit the Patriots vs. Redskins, the days leading up to the game have felt like Jason Campbell vs. criticism. While it's tough to say whether any of it has actually gotten to Campbell -- as if you needed reminding, this is only the preseason -- that...

By Rick Maese  |  August 27, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (261)
 
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At Wide Receiver, It's a Question of No. 2

With just a handful of positions up for grabs entering training camp, Coach Jim Zorn has tabbed his starting right guard and his backup quarterback. While he still isn't certain who will be his No. 2 wide receiver, Friday night's game against the Patriots should yield the most clues to...

By Rick Maese  |  August 27, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Reid on the Radio

In case any of you care, I'll be a guest today on Vinny Cerrato's radio show, "Inside the Red Zone," on ESPN 980. This is the second time Cerrato has requested me as a guest, which means he couldn't find anyone better or just likes the fact I work at a great...

By Jason Reid  |  August 27, 2009; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
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Redskins Cautious with Rogers's Injury

Cornerback Carlos Rogers is expected to miss the second of the Redskins' three preseason games because of a lingering calf injury, Coach Jim Zorn said today after practice at Redskins Park. The Redskins plan to hold out Rogers from Friday's game against the New England Patriots at FedEx Field. The...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
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Third Downs Are Primary Concern

In the Redskins' 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, the first-team defense performed poorly on third downs. With the Redskins' defensive starters in the game, the Steelers gained three first downs on four third-down plays. That's just unacceptable, especially for a defense that is expected to be even...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
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Tryon Rebounds but Could Be Brady Target

After reviewing video of Saturday's 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, defensive coordinator Greg Blache said he was pleased with the improvement of second-year cornerback Justin Tryon. Blache and secondary coach Jerry Gray spoke with Tryon after he was beaten repeatedly in coverage in the preseason-opening loss to the Baltimore...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
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Rogers, Cartwright Out Friday

Cornerback Carlos Rogers and special teams standout Rock Cartwright will not play in the Redskins' preseason game against the New England Patriots on Friday night, Coach Jim Zorn said. Rogers has a calf injury and Cartwright is battling a groin injury....

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
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Blache Gives Wilson High Marks

Apparently, former defensive end Chris Wilson is faring well in his transition from a pass-rush specialist to a strong-side linebacker. Or at least Greg Blache thinks so. The notoriously hard-to-impress defensive coordinator had some nice things to say about the hard-working Wilson. "He's done a good job," Blache said. "He's...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
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Williams Likely to Be in O-Line Mix Sept. 13

I tend to review and answer my email late at night when Joshua and Maya are asleep, and I spent a lot of time Tuesday responding to your questions/concerns about Big Mike Williams. Several readers think I have written about Williams as if he has already made the 53-man roster,...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
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Kelly vs. Thomas: Your Take

You're familiar with the work of Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. You've read about them, read JReid's take, discussed their pros and cons. You've heard Jim Zorn say the competition between them is not over. Now, cast your vote. poll by twiigs.com The Redskins practice at 11 a.m. today. We'll...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 26, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
 
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Kelly, Thomas Still in Battle for Flanker Role

At the beginning of training camp, Coach Jim Zorn acknowledged Devin Thomas was ahead of Malcolm Kelly in the competition for the starting flanker spot. After two preseason games, however, Kelly appears to have leaped over Thomas. The other day, Zorn said both second-year wideouts and veteran Antwaan Randle El...

By Jason Reid  |  August 26, 2009; 6:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
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Cartwright Sidelined by Groin Problem

Running back/kick returner Rock Cartwright sat out Tuesday's practice with what Coach Jim Zorn called a groin problem. Zorn said it was "absolutely necessary" that Cartwright sit out the session, and Cartwright said the problem had bothered him throughout training camp. "I hope I'll be able to play," Cartwright said...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 25, 2009; 3:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (165)
 
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Seems Like Old Times with Springs in FedEx

We exchanged text messages over a couple of days and agreed on a time to rap on the phone, but Shawn Springs still had jokes. "Why you want to talk to me, brother? It's just the preseason," Springs said today. "You know there ain't nothin' to talk to me about."...

By Jason Reid  |  August 25, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
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Bugel Pleased with O Line Personnel, Progress

As Rick Maese pointed out in this morning's Post, much of the furor over the Redskins' offensive line -- which looked just a tad shaky early in camp -- has died down, particularly after a solid showing by the first unit in Saturday's 17-13 exhibition victory over Pittsburgh. Coach Jim...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 25, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Campbell's 'Just Weathering the Storm'

Although the regular season has not started, the heat already is intense on Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell. The media and fans have dissected Campbell's performance, and there still are two weeks remaining in the preseason. "Right now, a lot of negative things are out there that are outweighing the positive,"...

By Jason Reid  |  August 25, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (203)
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Here's What I Think ...

With camp mercifully finished and the regular season drawing closer, I figured today would be a good time to introduce a new feature: Here's what happened/Here's what I think. I'll take a look at key events each week and offer my take, which, as always, is reporting-based. So let's roll....

By Jason Reid  |  August 25, 2009; 5:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
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Rogers, Sellers Expect to Play vs. Patriots

Cornerback Carlos Rogers (calf) and fullback Mike Sellers (knee) sat out practice Monday but said they expect to play Friday night against the New England Patriots at FedEx Field. Right tackle Stephon Heyer inadvertently stepped on the inside of Sellers's knee in the second quarter of Saturday's 17-13 victory against...

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2009; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
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Collins Gets Nod as Brennan, Daniel Battle

For the fourth consecutive season, Todd Collins will be the Redskins' backup quarterback, and Colt Brennan is in a battle with rookie Chase Daniel for the No. 3 job, Coach Jim Zorn said today after practice at Redskins Park.

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2009; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Henson's "Pity Party"

The benign nature of most player tweets made Robert Henson's postgame thoughts a bit more intriguing.

By Rick Maese  |  August 24, 2009; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
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Tryon: 'I'm Still Learning'

Second-year cornerback Justin Tryon was beaten repeatedly in coverage by the Baltimore Ravens in the preseason opener, but he played better in Saturday's 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEx Field. The Redskins are counting on Tryon to provide quality depth, and he said he plans to deliver. "It...

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2009; 4:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
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Afternoon Practice Update

Practice -- the Redskins have moved to one per day now -- began about 20 minutes ago and Rick Maese reports that Anthony Alridge is on the field in pads. Mike Sellers, who bruised his knee Saturday night; Carlos Rogers, who has been battling a calf injury; and Mike Williams,...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 24, 2009; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (106)
 
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Brennan vs. Daniel: Who Would You Take?

There are any number of ways to consider the personnel at quarterback. Let's start with a simple Colt Brennan vs. Chase Daniel poll. The preseason lines: Brennan: 7 for 17, 85 yards, 41.2 completion percentage, 0 TDs, 2 interceptions Daniel: 6 for 8, 58 yards, 75 completion percentage, 2 TDs,...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 24, 2009; 11:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (175)
 
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Route Running Is Kelly's Big Concern (Updated)

On the first play from scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Malcolm Kelly broke free deep down the middle of the field. Quarterback Jason Campbell's pass hung up too long, providing Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu with enough time to close on the play and break up the pass. But the...

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (151)
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Moss Says Mitchell Was the Talk of Camp

Rookie wide receiver Marko Mitchell was the talk of training camp because of his highlight-tape plays in passing drills. Mitchell teamed with rookie quarterback Chase Daniel on a three-yard touchdown pass - the Redskins' first of the preseason - in the third quarter of Saturday's 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh...

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2009; 6:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
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Daniel Poised in Strong Showing

Despite the lousy numbers for starter Jason Campbell (1 for 7, 10 yards) in Saturday night's 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, one Redskins quarterback had plenty of reasons to smile. That would be rookie Chase Daniel, who is considered a longshot to make the team but impressed in completing...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 23, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
 
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Zorn Praises Campbell's Decision-Making

A day after the Redskins' first offensive unit failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive preseason game, Jim Zorn downplayed any disappointment in Jason Campbell's performance, concentrating more on the fifth-year quarterback's decision-making process than on the execution of his passes. Campbell, too, said the game plan called...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 23, 2009; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
 
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Redskins Will Continue to Manage Samuels's Knee

Late Saturday night, offensive tackle Chris Samuels sat on a table in the training area just off the Redskins' locker room, having his right knee examined. Samuels played his full allotment of plays in the 17-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers -- about 20 snaps -- and stood on the...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 23, 2009; 1:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Zorn Evaluates Campbell's Performance

By Sunday morning, Redskins Coach Jim Zorn had had a chance to review the performance of quarterback Jason Campbell, who completed 1 of 7 passes for 10 yards in Saturday night's 17-13 exhibition victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Zorn reiterated what he said immediately following the game - that he...

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 23, 2009; 11:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
 
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Davis, Mitchell Make Their Marks

Fred Davis was among the most disappointed men in the locker room after the Washington Redskins' preseason loss in Baltimore a week ago. After a shaky rookie year, the second-round pick out of Southern Cal had earned repeated praise from teammates and coaches during offseason workouts and the early days...

By Dan Steinberg and Paul Tenorio  |  August 23, 2009; 12:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
 
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Night of Ups, Downs for Special Teams

It was a night of mixed results for the Washington Redskins' special teams, which turned in two positive moments, but also struggled in kickoff return coverage. Two plays from coach Danny Smith's special teams unit led directly to points for Washington. Rock Cartwright kept the Redskins' opening drive going when...

By Cindy Boren  |  August 23, 2009; 12:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
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