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Redskins Insider: September 6, 2009 - September 12, 2009

Zorn: No Special Treatment for D. Thomas

Second-year wide receiver Devin Thomas has big-time talent, many people I trust in the organization often tell me. But maturity and focus are not among Thomas's strengths at this point of his career, and his lackadaisical attitude at times has been a source of frustration within the organization. After returning...

By Jason Reid  |  September 12, 2009; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
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Zorn Addresses His Job Security

I figured Coach Jim Zorn would face questions about the pressure on him as the season begins Sunday against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. At this point, anything less than a playoff appearance would figure to be a bad thing for Zorn's job security, given the buzz around...

By Jason Reid  |  September 12, 2009; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (132)
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Lorenzo Alexander: Something Special

One of the Redskins' most versatile players, Lorenzo Alexander has added full-time special teams work to his long list of duties. Alexander is on kickoff coverage and kickoff returns, and is a backup on punt coverage and punt returns. The coaching staff is depending on Alexander and other young players...

By Jason Reid  |  September 11, 2009; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
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Blache on Stopping Brandon Jacobs

So how do you stop Brandon Jacobs? The guy is the size of a truck - a 6-foot-4, 264-pound truck, that is, which really isn't that big of a truck, if you think about it - and ran over the Redskins for 187 yards in two meetings last year. So...

By Rick Maese  |  September 11, 2009; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
 
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Zorn: Tough Roster Calls to Make for Game Day

With everyone having participated fully in practice today at Redskins Park, the coaching staff will face tough decisions in picking the active roster for Sunday's game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium, Coach Jim Zorn said. "It's going to make it difficult to choose the right group," he...

By Jason Reid  |  September 11, 2009; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
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Rookie Orakpo Converting Blache

You didn't expect Greg Blache to mince words, did you? Here he is, just a couple of days away from the start of his sixth season with the Redskins, and he's got a 23-year-old rookie listed among his starters. "Personally, I don't like rookies," says the defensive coordinator. "Don't trust...

By Rick Maese  |  September 11, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
 
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Using Two Tight Ends Is One Option

Seeing the Redskins in a two tight-end set Sunday against the New York Giants would not surprise me in the least. Simply put, the Giants' defensive line is the league's best, and the Redskins need to be smart, creative and efficient in trying to protect quarterback Jason Campbell. "Obviously, with...

By Jason Reid  |  September 11, 2009; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
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'The Jasons' Other Half Will Be on TV too

For fans of "The Jasons" on Comcast SportsNet (if we had any fans, that is), the segment ended because one of The Jasons became a big-time TV star. I'm pleased to report, however, that the holdover Jason (that would be me) will be back for another weekly segment during football...

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
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Don't Expect Mitchell to Leapfrog Thomas

With Malcolm Kelly's ascension to the starting flanker position, there has been a lot of buzz about whether impressive rookie wideout Marko Mitchell also could pass Devin Thomas on the depth chart. Thomas disappeared mentally for a couple of weeks during the preseason, providing an opening for Kelly to put...

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (122)
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Landry Puts Last Year's Play Behind Him

The hit will likely live forever on highlight reels, though not the ones recalling the career highlights of Redskins' safety LaRon Landry. In last year's season opener, Landry went to tackle New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. Instead, the 6-foot-4, 264-pound back lowered his shoulder and knocked Landry on...

By Paul Tenorio  |  September 10, 2009; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
 
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Williams Surprised by 'Limited' Label

Offensive tackle Mike Williams had struggled with a couple different injuries during the preseason, including groin and ankle problems, and the Redskins listed Williams as limited after Wednesday's practice because of the ankle injury. On Thursday, however, Williams said his ankle "feels better, it's just going to be a work...

By Paul Tenorio  |  September 10, 2009; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
 
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Rogers Says He'll Be Ready to Go Sunday

With the rest of the media huddled around defensive coordinator Greg Blache, I was able to rap privately with cornerback Carlos Rogers a few minutes ago. As everyone is well aware, Rogers has been sidelined for much of camp and the preseason because of a lingering calf injury. He kept...

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 1:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
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A League of Your Own

Looking for a chance to assert your mental superiority and smack Mr. Smarty Pants over at World Wide Wilbon with one fell swoop? (Like I don't know the answer to that question...) We have a contest for you, one that involves fabulous prizes (we had some really great ones in...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 10, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
 
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Predict Portis' Output

How many T-shirt possibilities can one man generate in the course of a brief conversation? If the man is Clinton Portis. Dan Steinberg notes, there are plenty of possibilities. Mano y mano ... Bombs over Baghdad ... maybe just B.O.B. for short. poll by twiigs.com ... Added bonus: Faces of...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 10, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
 
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Mitchell Knows Battle Is Just Beginning

With the season about to begin, Marko Mitchell isn' satisfied with simply having a roster spot. He wants to be actively involved in the passing game and plans to keep pushing.

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
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Haynesworth Ready to Play His Game

When it comes to Redskins players who will be under the microscope, you'd have to put defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth right near the top of the list. The Redskins made Haynesworth the game's highest-paid defensive player in luring him from the Tennessee Titans, and owner Daniel Snyder expects bigger things...

By Jason Reid  |  September 10, 2009; 5:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
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Zorn: Kelly Earns Right to Start

After practice today at Redskins Park, Coach Jim Zorn finally confirmed the obvious: Malcolm Kelly is the team's starting flanker. While recovering from offseason microfracture knee surgery, Kelly began camp behind fellow second-year wide receiver Devin Thomas and veteran Antwaan Randle El - Washington's No. 2 receiver the last three...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
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Portis: Opener Is 'Toughest Test You Could Get'

Like his teammates, Clinton Portis moved to regular-season media mode this week, addressing the media in a group interview session before practice at Redskins Park. As always, Portis was direct. "There's no warmup games in the NFL no matter who you are," Portis said. "Just having a divisional rival, that...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
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Kelly Named Starting Flanker

Coach Jim Zorn finally made it official after practice, announcing that second-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly is the new starting flanker opposite split end Santana Moss. I'll have more on this development shortly....

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
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Smith Clarifies Cartwright's Role

Running backs coach Stump Mitchell caused a bit of a stir the other day when he said Marcus Mason had supplanted Rock Cartwright as the team's No. 3 running back. If starter Clinton Portis or backup Ladell Betts - the team's primary third-down back - is unable to take reps...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
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Haynesworth, Jacobs Wage Battle of the Bigs

It's Wednesday, which is always a good day for media to collect quotes and sound bites that will help shape game coverage leading up to the weekend. The best thing out of the Redskins' locker room today came from defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, preparing for his regular-season debut in burgundy...

By Rick Maese  |  September 9, 2009; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
 
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Dockery's Ex-Teammate Seems Unlikely Fit

Many of you have emailed me, some repeatedly, since Tuesday night about the Redskins' possible interest in veteran tackle Langston Walker, whom the Buffalo Bills released in another cost-cutting move along their offensive line. As I'm sure everyone remembers, the Bills cut guard Derrick Dockery in February, leading to his...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
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For Campbell, Zorn, It's All About Winning

Beginning today, quarterback Jason Campbell will answer reporters' questions during his weekly group interview session before practice at Redskins Park. Throughout his 2 1/2 seasons as a starter, Campbell has been among the league's most accessible guys at the game's highest-profile position. I've seen Campbell give as much time to...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
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Campbell Steps into Leadership Role

Beginning his fifth season in the NFL, quarterback Jason Campbell has assumed a bigger leadership role on the Redskins. "It was told to him that's what he needed to improve upon," said Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations. "It was much easier [to do that] in Year...

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 6:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
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Zorn Elaborates on Mason's Role

With four running backs on the roster, Marcus Mason (recent Punk'd victim) is not expected to be active often during the season. Barring injury or unforeseen circumstances, starter Clinton Portis and backup Ladell Betts, the team's primary third-down back, will be active every game. Rock Cartwright is a standout on...

By Jason Reid  |  September 8, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (170)
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Mike Williams Overcomes Shaky Finish

I expected tackle Mike Williams to make the opening roster because of the resources and time the organization expended to support his comeback attempt. It would have been ridiculous for the Redskins to put so much into Williams, who has not played in a regular-season game since 2005, and cut...

By Jason Reid  |  September 8, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
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You Make the Call: The Redskins' Record

It's your turn to predict the lads' regular-season record. And, no, we refuse to acknowledge the possibility of ties. poll by twiigs.com...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 8, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (139)
 
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Campbell Gets 'a Security Blanket'

Second-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly is expected to be the Redskins' starting flanker in the season opener Sunday against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. During the preseason, Kelly showed that he can catch passes in traffic, especially on balls that were a little off-target. In the process, Kelly...

By Jason Reid  |  September 8, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
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As Openers Go, This One's No Cupcake

Heading into Sunday's season-opener at the Giants, the Redskins have opened the season against an NFC East opponent seven times in the last 20 years. They've won just once. There were mixed reactions in the locker room about having to open this season on the road against one of the...

By Rick Maese  |  September 8, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
 
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Kelly Lifted by Healthy Knee, Work Ethic

Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, was criticized by some in the media for selecting wideout Malcolm Kelly with one of Washington's three second-round picks in the 2008 draft. Kelly had a knee problem the Redskins were aware of when they made him the 51st overall selection...

By Jason Reid  |  September 8, 2009; 5:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
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Woodson a Mole? Not Really, Zorn Says

After Monday's practice, Coach Jim Zorn responded to a suggestion that the Redskins had signed a former Giants quarterback solely to help game-plan for Sunday's season opener at New York, saying the Redskins have plans for Andre Woodson well beyond this weekend. He did add, however, that Woodson could be...

By Rick Maese  |  September 7, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
 
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Re-Evaluating Marcus Mason

Many of you thought running back Marcus Mason had a good chance to make the opening 53-man roster. As anyone who has read the Insider recently is well aware, I thought Mason would be on the outside looking in again. The former Georgetown Prep standout is a nice guy and...

By Jason Reid  |  September 7, 2009; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
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Mitchell's Status Changes, Locker Doesn't

As the Redskins reported to work Monday morning -- with only six days to prepare for the season opener against the Giants -- rookie receiver Marko Mitchell found his familiar spot in the locker room. Even though Mitchell impressed coaches and earned his way onto the 53-man roster, his locker...

By Rick Maese  |  September 7, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Coughlin Scoffs at Woodson's Value

That Tom Coughlin is one suspicious guy. According to Mike Garofolo of the Newark Star-Ledger, Coughlin was asked Monday about the possibility that Andre Woodson would divulge important info about his former team, the New York Giants, to his new team, the Washington Redskins ahead of the teams' season opener...

By Cindy Boren  |  September 7, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Brennan Isn't Going Anywhere

Quarterback Colt Brennan says that even though he anticipates needing three to four months of recovery time from surgery on his left hip, he's not planning on being a stranger around Redskins Park. Brennan was in the Redskins' locker room this morning and watched from the sideline as teammates began...

By Rick Maese  |  September 7, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Team Captains Are Set

As practice began minutes ago at Redskins Park, Coach Jim Zorn announced the team captains. The leaders on offense are left tackle Chris Samuels and quarterback Jason Campbell. Middle linebacker London Fletcher and tackle Cornelius Griffin are the defensive captains and special-teams standout Rock Cartwright and fullback Mike Sellers will...

By Jason Reid  |  September 7, 2009; 1:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
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Woodson Ready to Help Redskins

The Redskins' new practice squad quarterback is more than a little familiar with Washington's season-opening opponent. Andre Woodson was picked by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2008 draft, spent most of last season on their practice squad and spent the entire preseason with the Giants,...

By Rick Maese  |  September 7, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Brennan Discusses Injuries

Colt Brennan discusses his hip and hamstring injuries and says he could have played.

By Barry Svrluga  |  September 6, 2009; 7:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
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Skins to Sign Woodson to Practice Squad

The Redskins have opted to try to sign a bigger quarterback, Kentucky's Andre Woodson, to their practice squad, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. Woodson, 25, was a sixth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2008. Among his achievements at Kentucky, Woodson, at 6-4,...

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2009; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
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Daniel Signed to Saints' Practice Squad

Quarterback Chase Daniel will not be returning to the Redskins after all; instead he has been signed to the New Orleans Saints' practice squad, according to multiple reports. At a news conference Saturday to announce the opening 53-man roster, Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, said the...

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2009; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
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Five for the Practice Squad

Safety Lendy Holmes, defensive end Rob Jackson, wide receiver Trent Shelton, defensive end J.D. Skolnitsky and fullback Eddie Williams have been named to the Redskins' practice squad. Antonio Dixon, cut yesterday by the team, has been picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles....

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2009; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
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Kelly Is Hitting His Stride

With the 53-man roster set, the Redskins on Monday will begin preparing to face the New York Giants in the season opener at Giants Stadium. And when players return to work, I expect to see second-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly with the first-team offense as the starting flanker. Kelly earned...

By Jason Reid  |  September 6, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
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