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Position Battles Set to Officially Begin

It'll be a quiet day at Redskins Park today, with no media availability as the Redskins complete preparations for Thursday's preseason opener against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Still, there's plenty to discuss ahead of this game. Many key position battles will begin, including at Z receiver (flanker) between second-year wideouts Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly; at strong safety between Reed Doughty and Chris Horton; and at kicker between Shaun Suisham and Dave Rayner.

Todd Collins and Colt Brennan supposedly are competing, to a degree, for the No. 2 quarterback position, though I don't really buy that one. Collins has been a steady hand as a No. 2 quarterback for, well, it seems like forever. We all remember what he did in helping the Redskins reach the playoffs in 2007 after Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending injury. Brennan is very popular with fans and extremely confident. The kid also has some ability -- there's no doubt about that.

But if Campbell is injured or ineffective, I'd rather call on the steady old-timer than the brash gunslinger to manage the season. But that's just me. Perhaps the coaching staff will see things differently. And if Brennan, in the group's opinion, took a major step forward in the preseason, well, stranger things have happened, I suppose.

The other big story line to keep a close eye on is the play/physical condition of the offensive line. The unit, to this point, has not had the reps together the coaching staff would have preferred because of injuries. Right guard Randy Thomas (knee) returned to practice this week after missing time because of lingering knee soreness, which could be a problem for the entire season. Backup guard-tackle Jeremy Bridges (ankle) told me he's recovering well and expects to play and Coach Jim Zorn said right tackle Stephon Heyer (knee) is ready to roll.

Some in the organization have touted the marked improvement of second-year guard Chad Rinehart, who has worked a lot as the first-team right guard with Thomas recovering from knee and vertebrae surgery in the offseason and slowed in camp. If Rinehart really has improved as much as some say, it should be apparent beginning tomorrow night against the Ravens.

By Jason Reid  |  August 12, 2009; 7:06 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Suisham Faces Challenge from Rayner

Comments

time to see what the o line has

Posted by: jm220 | August 12, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

'including at Z receiver (flanker) between second-year wideouts Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly'

Is it a given, then, that Randle El will be playing in the slot?

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

time to see what the o line has

Posted by: jm220 | August 12, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

You mean besides bad knees?

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if I buy the argument for placing Collins in the number two slot because of his experience. His experience has been largely in an entirely different offense and from what I have seen in his performances with in a west coast offense, he's not that great.

Brennan is inexperienced, true, but right now the team does not have the locks on Campbell past this season. Keeping Brennan in a position where he can get some regular season snaps in cleanup duty might be a good bet on the future, and even though he is a raw talent, he has performed well in preseason action.

If Brennan were to get the number two slot then I think it's a waste of salary cap space to keep Collins around to be a number three. It seems like Gibbs always had young quarterbacks around that were ready to step up, and sometimes used as trade bait. As an ex-QB and ex-QB coach, Zorn should be open to doing the same sort of thing. So, keep Campbell, Brennan and Daniels, and let collins go now to latch on to another team.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 12, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"Position Battles Set to Officially Begin"

The best position battle is:

pick'em
a. Heyer v. Bridges
b. Collins v Brennen v. Daniels
c. Mike Williams v. inflated expectations
d. C Wilson v. R Jackson
e. R McIntosh v. R Thomas
f. Dorsey v. Alridge
g. Campbell v. Front Office expectations
h. Edwin Williams v. Scott Burley v. practice squad
I. M Mitchell v. Trent Shelton


Moe goes with 'g' as it's a season-long deal.

I like Jason Campbell, but I think he is set up to fail, no matter how well--or poorly--the offense performs.

If the Jets' Mark Sanchez has a decent season, the FO will think, "We could've had that guy, even though we didn't want him!" jettison Campbell, and head into the draft in '10 looking for its next new savior.

Boomer Sooner, anyone?

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 12, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

That chick is one of those typical morons that will love it when she's getting it and all of a sudden act like it was bad once the relationship goes south just to try and hurt the guy. If she was gettin' it for 2 years, dude couldn't have been THAT bad!

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 7:39 AM

How 'bout this brownwood? She liked him at one position -- hands-in-the-dirt missionary on every down. It's when he experimented with a new position on first down -- back door church steeple -- that things went bad.

Just proves what you've been saying: once you've found the position you're best at, stick with it. These experiments with new positions never work out.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

If Rinehart really has improved as much as some say, it should be apparent beginning tonight against the Ravens.
------------------------

Tomorrow night, not tonight. That is all, carry on.

Posted by: fushezzi | August 12, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Below is a list of banners for recent RI blogs:

"Position Battles Set to Officially Begin"
"It's More than a Game for Bugel"
"High Hopes for Defense"
"Portis, R. Thomas Not Likely to Play"
"Haynesworth Won't Play in Preseason Opener"

Every one of them is a statement of the obvious, something you already know or are aware of. And if you read the story below the banner it is mindless note-taking of the bland, trite thoughts of whoever is being interviewed. High school journalism at its best!

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

High school journalism at its best!

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:09 AM |

But your posts continue to be high school journalism at its worst.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

If Brennan were to get the number two slot then I think it's a waste of salary cap space to keep Collins around to be a number three. It seems like Gibbs always had young quarterbacks around that were ready to step up, and sometimes used as trade bait. As an ex-QB and ex-QB coach, Zorn should be open to doing the same sort of thing. So, keep Campbell, Brennan and Daniels, and let collins go now to latch on to another team.

Posted by: RedSkinHead
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

RedSkinHead,

I have a slightly different opinion than you do. I think that the #2 position goes to whichever of Collins or Brennan perform best/have the best grasp of the offense during preseason. If it's Collins, fine. If it's Brennan, fine. I'm good with either one.

If Brennan ends up as the #2, however, I think you need to keep Collins as the #3. My reasoning is that I just don't feel comfortable with having two young guys backing up Campbell. I think you need to keep the old man Collins in there, just in case (God forbid) both Campbell and Brennan get nicked up this season.

I just don't see Daniel in the mix this year. Give him a year on the practice squad, keeping him 'in the system' through next year's offseason and preseason. Make your decision over the Winter about Campbell and Collins, and go from there.

My two cents...

Posted by: smurff1 | August 12, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

High school journalism at its best!

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:09 AM |

But your posts continue to be high school journalism at its worst.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 8:12 AM |

My, my. What a stinging rebuke! I feel real bad that turd_evaluator has cast such acidic aspersions on my pitiful postings. And without even addressing the point being argued!

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"Position Battles Set to Officially Begin"

The best position battle is:

pick'em
a. Heyer v. Bridges
b. Collins v Brennen v. Daniels
c. Mike Williams v. inflated expectations
d. C Wilson v. R Jackson
e. R McIntosh v. R Thomas
f. Dorsey v. Alridge
g. Campbell v. Front Office expectations
h. Edwin Williams v. Scott Burley v. practice squad
I. M Mitchell v. Trent Shelton

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 12, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Best battle is the one on the line A.

My winners for each are.
a. Heyer
b. Brennen
c. inflated expectations
d. C Wilson
e. R McIntosh
f. Alridge
g. Front Office expectations
h. practice squad
I. M Mitchell

Posted by: alex35332 | August 12, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

... Dock and Rinehart are the only OL draft picks above rd 6 in the last 9 drafts (both 3rd round)!! ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 12, 2009 12:24 AM |

Why not make that in the last 10 drafts? 10 is a good round number.

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Why not just say what % of our Line was drafted by the team.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 12, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Been away a couple of days so not sure if someone posted this, but....

Hard Knocks starts tonight on HBO, 10:00pm.

I love that show!

Posted by: isnadd | August 12, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

From RI: "We all remember what he did in helping the Redskins reach the playoffs in 2007 after Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending injury."

Do we ever. And if Moss had not given up on his pass that got intercepted and returned for a TD in the 4th qtr of the Seattle playoff game it would have been an even better story.

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Colt all the way!!!!

Posted by: rachel216 | August 12, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

might be time to move on from the playoffs from 2 years ago....next you'll tell us how we should have re-signed pierce....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

From what I saw at camp and in the scrimmage, Colt would do just fine in a backup role.

Plus, that will give Zorn the ability to easily put him in if the game was over in the fourth quarter(as win or a loss) and get him the experience he needs.

BTW, JR, your doing a very nice job here, keep it up!

Posted by: craig2 | August 12, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

""Why are the Skins getting criticized for taking an undrafted free agent in Stephon Heyer and trying to develop him into a starter?"
They're getting criticized for banking on Heyer to become the starter. 'Trying' to develop him into one isn't a problem...relying on an undrafted FA to become one is.
The same criticism would be made if the Redskins were relying on Chris Wilson to be their starting DE, Lorenzo Alexander to be their starting DT, or Matteral Richardson to be a starting CB. Only the Redskins aren't doing that with those guys. They invested in serious talent at those positions. And their negligence with that in regards to the offensive line is what sparks criticism -- especially considering the offensive line is largely considered one of the three most important positional groups on the team (along with QB and d-line).
Posted by: psps23"

Couple problems with this line of argument. First, O-line is an area where talent is often found in the lower rounds or among the undrafted. Jacoby and Bostic are just two examples. Harvey Dahl of Atlanta is an undrafted FA who just signed a big contract. Heyer has been with the Skins for two seasons now, starting five games in '07 and 7 in '08 -- in other words, most of the games in which he was active. He beat out the formidable Jon Jansen in camp last season. Those facts suggest he deserves to be judged on something other than his original draft status. He hasn't been handed the job; he's earning it.

If the Redskins had drafted Michael Oher, for instance, they might have been tempted to 'hand' him the RT position simply because they'd invested so much in the player. We know how that can turn out, don't we? Tony Dungy was talking about the problem with big-contract players the other day -- if they get hurt, the cap effectively prevents you from replacing them. That's a big reason coaches baby them in the preseason.

Nobody babies Stephon Heyer.

As far as the most 'important' part of the defense, Marvin Lewis liked to say that it was cornerback. Recent drafts suggest that he's not alone in his thinking. The fact that Washington finished fourth in the NFL in defense, despite virtually no pass rush, makes me think the defensive backs were even better than people thought.

I do think it's true that the complaining from the public is based on not having used high choices on offensive linemen. But I'm not at all sure that criticism is merited.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey MistaMoe,

I would add a sub section in your list for g. Campbell vs. FO. Campbell could use this year to audition for another team. If he remains healthy and that's a big if given the woes of our O-line, he might just play himself into a large contract with another team. So it could be Campbell vs. FO during the offseason to sign a contract here, but sticking it to the Danny and going elsewhere.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

might be time to move on from the playoffs from 2 years ago....next you'll tell us how we should have re-signed pierce....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 8:58 AM |

Not me. Glad he's the Giants "thugs helping thugs" headache. And it wasn't me that posted Collins' feel good story. I just added a well deserved "amen".

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that Colt Brenan's weakness will be exposed on Thursday. Running his mouth against his team mates, who were given orders not to touch the QB, is quite different from playing the Ravens who wouldn't care less to end his career with a vicious hit. I hope he backs up his mouthing with solid action on the field, but I wouldn't pin too much hope on it. The Baltimore ravens first rate defense are not your typical practice team. The same goes with the Steelers. If, however, Colt Brenan back up his brash and corky mouthing with solid action against the Ravens and the Steelers; I, too, will jump on his band wagon; until then, I will simply keep my fingers crossed.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that the Baltimore Defense's weakness will be exposed when they run into the laser armed touchdown machine that is Colt Brennan.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"he might just play himself into a large contract with another team. So it could be Campbell vs. FO during the offseason"

Here's the problem with this. The Team holds the cards. If JC plays well/great, the team puts a tag on him...the FO holds the cards in this situation....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Is Colt offering the Ravens' DBs the same deal he offered the Skins? They pay him $20 for each day he doesn't throw a pick and he pays them $100 if they do get a pick?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

" have a feeling that the Baltimore Defense's weakness will be exposed when they run into the laser armed touchdown machine that is Colt Brennan.
Posted by: Original_etrod"

LOL -- I'm pretty sure he could have beat Georgia in that bowl game a couple years ago, too. He was just flopping to lure them into offsides penalties.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

we should have re-signed pierce....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 8:58 AM

Greg -- time to move on, dude. Think about the Leigh Torrence shabingus. Next season we'll be doing the Demetric Evans shabingus.

And whatever happened to "shabingus"? It kind of left the RI lexicon after Nate came to DC and turned it into a good thing.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

A couple questions regarding this post:

"Many key position battles will begin, including at Z receiver (flanker) between second-year wideouts Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly"

My question, how different is the Z receiver than the X receiver? Should Moss go down, as he's been known to do on occasion, could one of these guys effectively hold that spot?

"Some in the organization have touted the marked improvement of second-year guard Chad Rinehart, who has worked a lot as the first-team right guard with Thomas recovering from knee and vertebrae surgery in the offseason and slowed in camp."

Did Rinehart really earn the 'backup' RG role, or was he just playing there because Thomas AND Bridges/Heyer were hurt?

Posted by: psps23 | August 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

te, as if not resigning pierce is something that can be moved on from, hahahaha...fool...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's the problem with this. The Team holds the cards. If JC plays well/great, the team puts a tag on him...the FO holds the cards in this situation....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1
=========================================
You mean, Just like the Broncos held the cards with Cutler? I would agree with you on any other position in the league except QB. No team wants a disgruntled leader. Besides that, given how The Danny feels about Campbell, if Campbell asked for a trade or release without thinking twice Snyder would grant him one. It will get very interesting if Campbell has a breakout season.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Brennan or Collins, Collins or Brennan...I think the answer is: the back-up could be either of them depending upon how the season plays out. If Campell gets hurt or is ineffective but the Skins are still in playoff contention, I think you have to go with Collins unless Brennan has shown beyond a shawdow of a doubt that he's the better QB. Collins brings experience, a steady tempermant, and a proven track-record of winning with the Skins. Granted, it was in the Al Saunders offense which he knew backwards and forwards but the fact is that he's been playing and preparing against NFL caliber defenses for a loooong time. You can't recreate that sort of experience no matter how talented you may be.

Now if Campbell is out of the picture and the Skins are already in the tank, I don't really see the point in trotting out a 38 year old career back-up. Even if he wins some games it does nothing for us this year so we may as well let Brennan take his shot so we can see what he's got, especially since it would be extremely unlikey that Campbell would be brought back for 2010. Collins doesn't have a future as a starting QB while Colt at least has potential so if we're playing for the future we'd be better served by seeing what we've got in the youngster.

Posted by: jhcarson | August 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Brennan or Collins, Collins or Brennan...I think the answer is: the back-up could be either of them depending upon how the season plays out. If Campell gets hurt or is ineffective but the Skins are still in playoff contention, I think you have to go with Collins unless Brennan has shown beyond a shawdow of a doubt that he's the better QB. Collins brings experience, a steady tempermant, and a proven track-record of winning with the Skins. Granted, it was in the Al Saunders offense which he knew backwards and forwards but the fact is that he's been playing and preparing against NFL caliber defenses for a loooong time. You can't recreate that sort of experience no matter how talented you may be.

Now if Campbell is out of the picture and the Skins are already in the tank, I don't really see the point in trotting out a 38 year old career back-up. Even if he wins some games it does nothing for us this year so we may as well let Brennan take his shot so we can see what he's got, especially since it would be extremely unlikey that Campbell would be brought back for 2010. Collins doesn't have a future as a starting QB while Colt at least has potential so if we're playing for the future we'd be better served by seeing what we've got in the youngster.

Posted by: jhcarson | August 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Brennan or Collins, Collins or Brennan...I think the answer is: the back-up could be either of them depending upon how the season plays out. If Campell gets hurt or is ineffective but the Skins are still in playoff contention, I think you have to go with Collins unless Brennan has shown beyond a shawdow of a doubt that he's the better QB. Collins brings experience, a steady tempermant, and a proven track-record of winning with the Skins. Granted, it was in the Al Saunders offense which he knew backwards and forwards but the fact is that he's been playing and preparing against NFL caliber defenses for a loooong time. You can't recreate that sort of experience no matter how talented you may be.

Now if Campbell is out of the picture and the Skins are already in the tank, I don't really see the point in trotting out a 38 year old career back-up. Even if he wins some games it does nothing for us this year so we may as well let Brennan take his shot so we can see what he's got, especially since it would be extremely unlikey that Campbell would be brought back for 2010. Collins doesn't have a future as a starting QB while Colt at least has potential so if we're playing for the future we'd be better served by seeing what we've got in the youngster.

Posted by: jhcarson | August 12, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Apparently I like my argument so much I posted it three times...stupid glitchy PC...

Posted by: jhcarson | August 12, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Apparently I liked my argument so much I posted it three times...stupid glitchy PC...

Posted by: jhcarson | August 12, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"he might just play himself into a large contract with another team. So it could be Campbell vs. FO during the offseason"

Here's the problem with this. The Team holds the cards. If JC plays well/great, the team puts a tag on him...the FO holds the cards in this situation....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 9:26 AM |

Talk about dwelling on delusions. Have you been paying attention? This report on the Sat intra:

I know it was only an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday but I was there and from what I saw Campbell has not improved. I see the same indecisiveness, trouble reading the defense, holding onto the ball too long.

Posted by: 72Redskins | August 10, 2009 10:27 AM |

Any speculation about Campbell's future should be of the kind "how far into the season will it B when the Skins go to plan B for QB"

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

You mean, Just like the Broncos held the cards with Cutler

Yeah, to the tune of 2 first round picks, so thanks for illustrating my point.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"If Brennan were to get the number two slot then I think it's a waste of salary cap space to keep Collins around to be a number three. It seems like Gibbs always had young quarterbacks around that were ready to step up, and sometimes used as trade bait. As an ex-QB and ex-QB coach, Zorn should be open to doing the same sort of thing. So, keep Campbell, Brennan and Daniels, and let collins go now to latch on to another team. Posted by: RedSkinHead"

Gosh, I hope the coaches don't agree. Collins struggles some in this scheme, but I'd hate to see something happen to Campbell and the team have to run out and sign another veteran because Colt and Chase aren't up to it.

Keep Collins and one of the kids.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

You mean, Just like the Broncos held the cards with Cutler? I would agree with you on any other position in the league except QB. No team wants a disgruntled leader. Besides that, given how The Danny feels about Campbell, if Campbell asked for a trade or release without thinking twice Snyder would grant him one. It will get very interesting if Campbell has a breakout season.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 9:43 AM

Exactly like the Broncos held the cards. They got two first rounders plus a starting QB for Cutler. Snyder would love to get that for Campbell if Campbell would just oblige him with a breakout season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Answer on who to keep will be determined in preseason. If both Colt and Collins play well, then some other Team may want Collins

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Couple problems with this line of argument. First, O-line is an area where talent is often found in the lower rounds or among the undrafted. Jacoby and Bostic are just two examples. Harvey Dahl of Atlanta is an undrafted FA who just signed a big contract. Heyer has been with the Skins for two seasons now, starting five games in '07 and 7 in '08 -- in other words, most of the games in which he was active. He beat out the formidable Jon Jansen in camp last season. Those facts suggest he deserves to be judged on something other than his original draft status. He hasn't been handed the job; he's earning it."

In response, I'd say:

(A) Every positional group has talent that is often found in lower rounds. Everything from QBs to RBs to CBs to Safeties to LBs to D-linemen. That doesn't make it sound strategy to bank on one as a starter and every-down contributor.

(B) Heyer beating out then subsequently losing his spot to Jon Jansen, who was far from formidable -- to the point that he was cut despite costing the team more cap space than if they would have kept him -- holds little comparative value when judging the Redskins prospective line in reference to other lines around the league.

(C) Heyer earned a grand total of 3 starts in his career. His first year, he was a given the reigns after both Jon Jansen and Todd Wade got hurt/faltered, and this past season, he only started 3 games before losing his spot to Jansen, only starting at the end of the season because Samuels got hurt. Even now, he hasn't earned a starting spot. He's at the top of the depth chart in an open competition that features a Jenny Craig success story who's been out of the league for 2 years, a journeyman guard/tackle, and you guessed it, another undrafted FA rookie.

On top of all that, Heyer was ALREADY on this line last season, which was a definitive and significant weakness for this offense. If he starts, there is no improvement on that position, other than his natural progression from year 2 to 3 (which, mind you, COULD be great -- but on average for a talent like Heyer, and given his recent reviews in camp against the d-line, that's not likely).

Posted by: psps23 | August 12, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Is Colt offering the Ravens' DBs the same deal he offered the Skins? They pay him $20 for each day he doesn't throw a pick and he pays them $100 if they do get a pick?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 9:34 AM

I don't think he is that dumb; however, I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Loosing $600 will be a bit much for someone earning less than $400k per yr in a business of millionaires.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Re: Collins vs. Cult

Zorn never gave Collins a chance after he took the team to the playoffs.

It's 2 years later, he's 2 yrs older, and he ain't no Kurt Warner....

Cut TC and let the youth movement continue...

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 12, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"My question, how different is the Z receiver than the X receiver? Should Moss go down, as he's been known to do on occasion, could one of these guys effectively hold that spot?"

That's a good question. IMO when they're talking about winning the x, y, or z position in preseason, that doesn't mean Zorn won't use Moss or Kelly in the slot when the real games start. He has to exploit whatever matchup he gets. Likewise, if Moss went down, he could put one of the others at x and just throw less to that side -- use them more as a decoy, so to speak. In many WCO schemes, the z is actually the position from which a lot of big plays are made. Zorn's nothing if not creative (despite what you hear around here), so I'm hoping he'd adjust.

"Some in the organization have touted the marked improvement of second-year guard Chad Rinehart, who has worked a lot as the first-team right guard with Thomas recovering from knee and vertebrae surgery in the offseason and slowed in camp."

Did Rinehart really earn the 'backup' RG role, or was he just playing there because Thomas AND Bridges/Heyer were hurt?
Posted by: psps23

The latter, of course. But is that uncommon? It's hard for young guys to beat out trusted vets without an assist from the team doctors. Stephon Heyer did it last year, but I think that's the exception.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Zorn was under orders not to go with Collins wasn't he? Thought that was common knowledge on why so many coaches were turned down.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 12, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling that the Baltimore Defense's weakness will be exposed when they run into the laser armed touchdown machine that is Colt Brennan.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 9:26 AM |

Which defense will it be? Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Co or the Scrubbers?

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Exactly like the Broncos held the cards. They got two first rounders plus a starting QB for Cutler. Snyder would love to get that for Campbell if Campbell would just oblige him with a breakout season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator
========================================
I'm not saying the skins' wouldn't get anything in return. My point being is that they couldn't hold Campbell against his will if he choose not to re-sign. If that scenario played out, then what another PR mess for the Danny.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"My point being is that they couldn't hold Campbell against his will if he choose not to re-sign"

Categorically incorrect. They can slap the Franchise Tag on him, and there is not one thing he can do about it.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Did Rinehart really earn the 'backup' RG role, or was he just playing there because Thomas AND Bridges/Heyer were hurt?
Posted by: psps23

The latter, of course. But is that uncommon? It's hard for young guys to beat out trusted vets without an assist from the team doctors. Stephon Heyer did it last year, but I think that's the exception.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Disagree. Bridges is a tackle first; if Rino was taking reps with the first team with Thomas down, that is a pretty good indication that he's our backup at RG at this point. Plus check the depth chart; Rino is listed as 2nd; Bridges isn't even on there for RG.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I know it was only an intrasquad scrimmage Saturday but I was there and from what I saw Campbell has not improved. I see the same indecisiveness, trouble reading the defense, holding onto the ball too long.

Posted by: 72Redskins |
Liar liar pants on fire. With due respect, your due diligence on Campbell is absurd, who will know Campbell more than his team mates? Here are some excerpts from Campbell's team mates to discredit your perceptions.
Campbell has to become more aggressive,” says Redskins TE Chris Cooley. “The biggest thing you want in a quarterback is to have balls, take over the team and take over games. He knows that.”

Campbell seems to know exactly how his teamates feel, and he knows what they want to hear.

“I look for us to put the ball downfield more this season,” says Campbell. “I can’t stare at it, but let it rip, play with an attitude and attack the attacker. I have to use my feet to my advantage vs. Cover 2 Man, and I gotta trust the wide receivers to compete for the ball and if they can’t catch it— defend it, protect the ball, but just take more chances.”

While in the midst of offseason rumors that the Redskins were attempting to trade for Cutler, head coach Jim Zorn dealt honestly with Campbell and now sees the near trade as a moment of adversity which could lead to a period of growth in Campbell’s overall development.

“When the story about Cutler broke I reached out to Jason and I brought him into my office,” says Zorn. “He dealt with it in a mature way and I wanted him to know that he is the guy, because, he is the guy.”

Zorn went on to say, “It has helped him grow. We want production. So now he has to take the next step beyond just becoming the starter. There is always something to work for. From starter to All-Pro. Adversity helps us grow to the next level.”

Campbell’s answer to the Cutler issue has to be reassuring to many Redskins fans. Instead of pouting, he had this to say: “The truth is I can’t let it define me. I can’t become negative or allow it to distract me. I’m a competitor, but first I have to compete against myself to become a better me.”

According to his teammates, the Campbell they see in training camp has become better in all areas, which suggests that he is ready to move on and lead the team.

“He makes more plays in practice and now has command of the huddle and the team,” says Cooley.

Center Casey Rabach says, “He commands more confidence and leadership now more than ever. He’s got the arm, and he’s got the legs to get us out of bad situations.”
Zorn also likes what he sees.
We’re making more calls, he’s making better decisions. He has a hose for an arm and we’re going to use it, but we need protection too, so we can use it.”

Now Mr 72Redskins, its either you need prescription glasses or you are simply a pathetic lair, I will believe what Campbell team mates and coaches are saying better than an outdated 72Redskins fan.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Strong safety battle - I think the Geico caveman said it best..."Yea I have a response...uh WHAT??"

Reid, are you drinking this early on a Wed? Horton is clearly the starter. I like Reed, good story and solid backup, but he ain't supplanting 48

HAIL

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Categorically incorrect. They can slap the Franchise Tag on him, and there is not one thing he can do about it.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:12 AM


Factually correct, but the Skins are about as likely to do that as Campbell is to throw for 4,000 yards and 40 tds this year.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

dcsween says "f. none of the above"

Mason will beat out Dorsey, Aldridge, and ... wait for it ... Rock Cartwright.

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't think he is that dumb; however, I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Loosing $600 will be a bit much for someone earning less than $400k per yr in a business of millionaires.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 10:01 AM

Don't forget that he can write this off as a business expense. At his tax rate, it would cost the US Government almost as much as it would cost him.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Zorn was under orders not to go with Collins wasn't he? Thought that was common knowledge on why so many coaches were turned down.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 12, 2009 10:03 AM

Even more reason why he should be cut. Though we don't gain/lose anything in the salary cap.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

they couldn't hold Campbell against his will if he choose not to re-sign. If that scenario played out, then what another PR mess for the Danny.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 10:07 AM |

Dan Snyder has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want Jason Campbell. And you threaten him with a "PR mess?" Man, he's trembling now.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Disagree. Bridges is a tackle first; if Rino was taking reps with the first team with Thomas down, that is a pretty good indication that he's our backup at RG at this point. Plus check the depth chart; Rino is listed as 2nd; Bridges isn't even on there for RG.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:17 AM

LMG speaks truth on this one. On Doughty v. Horton, their respective strengths/weaknesses are situational. I see the Skins keeping five safeties and both of those two making the squad (the others are Landry, Moore, and Bachelor #5).

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

brown, where is that wrong?

They can't slap the tag on him? As opposed to doing nothing, letting him walk, and getting nothing in return?

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Which defense will it be? Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Co or the Scrubbers?

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse


Doesn't matter if it's the '85 Bears.

Colt wasn't born, he was genetically engineered using DNA from John Unitas, John Elway, Joe Montana and Chuck Norris.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I thought that tagging would expire if the CBA expires.

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I did an answer for the psps post, but the blog held it up, probably too long. So I'll split it into two parts and see if that works.

psps: "A) Every positional group has talent that is often found in lower rounds...That doesn't make it sound strategy to bank on one as a starter and every-down contributor."

You also haven't demonstrated the opposite: that the Skins are using flawed strategy is relying on Heyer. Fact is, the o-line is an area where players who don't get drafted have succeeded. Why assume Heyer won't? Obviously Bugel thinks he's up to it. He could be wrong, but then, he's closer to the issue than we are.

Sure, high-round draft choices are a more talented group overall than sixth and seventh rounders and the undrafted. But what does that have to do with Stephon Heyer? He's a third year player, for Pete's sake. Looks now like the scouts were wrong and the guy should have been drafted.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Categorically incorrect. They can slap the Franchise Tag on him, and there is not one thing he can do about it.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Redskins can place the Franchise Tag on Campbell. The one year salary would likely be around $15-16 million for a QB. The Skins definitely don't have that amount of cap space next year. So, sure they COULD tag Campbell, but if he signs it, the Skins will have to get rid of some expensive contracts. I mean, veterans.

Posted by: Section104 | August 12, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chuck Norris' DNA would overcome the DNA of Johnny Unitas, John Elway, and Joe Montana ... and destroy the genetic engineer who dared try to alter it.

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

psps: "(B) Heyer beating out then subsequently losing his spot to Jon Jansen, who was far from formidable -- to the point that he was cut despite costing the team more cap space than if they would have kept him -- holds little comparative value when judging the Redskins prospective line in reference to other lines around the league."

Heyer didn't get to compete against the other lines in camp -- he got to compete against Jansen. And he won. I think a lot of fans were surprised by that. I know Bugel was. And Jansen was then and remains a formidable blocker.

psps: "(C) Heyer earned a grand total of 3 starts in his career."

Strange -- NFL.com has him listed as active for 12 games in his rookie season 2007, and starting 5. They have him as active for 9 games in '08 and starting 7. So that's 12 of 21, or 57%. And he's started at more than one position, remember. This is a player in which the team appears to have some trust, despite his humble draft origins.

psps: "this past season, he only started 3 games before losing his spot to Jansen, only starting at the end of the season because Samuels got hurt."

As I heard it, Jansen got the spot because Heyer got hurt. And played so well -- or at least the team played so well -- that Zorn let him keep it.

The real issue with Heyer, IMO, is his health. He hasn't played a full season yet.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Liar liar pants on fire. With due respect, your due diligence on Campbell is absurd, who will know Campbell more than his team mates? Here are some excerpts from Campbell's team mates to discredit your perceptions.
Campbell has to become more aggressive,” says Redskins TE Chris Cooley. “The biggest thing you want in a quarterback is to have balls, take over the team and take over games. He knows that.”
_____________

abxinc, Lord knows I'm on your side with this and think it's too early to say Campbell has not progressed, but this quote does nothing to back your assertion that teammates are roundly praising him. This seems to, on the contrary, suggest he is still tenative.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

psps: "Even now, he hasn't earned a starting spot. He's at the top of the depth chart in an open competition that features a Jenny Craig success story who's been out of the league for 2 years, a journeyman guard/tackle, and you guessed it, another undrafted FA rookie."

Geez, what a grouch. If Heyer earns the spot in camp, then he deserves it. If he doesn't, he doesn't. If Oher had been the 13th pick, then you can be sure he would have been handed the job, and then you'd have a complaint of unfairness.

psps: "On top of all that, Heyer was ALREADY on this line last season, which was a definitive and significant weakness for this offense."

So you say. You haven't demonstrated that this was Heyer's fault. Heck, you haven't even demonstrated that the line was the big reason behind the Skins' second half offense. Even if it was, why not blame one of the other guys? O-Lines play as a unit.

"If he starts, there is no improvement on that position, other than his natural progression from year 2 to 3 (which, mind you, COULD be great -- but on average for a talent like Heyer, and given his recent reviews in camp against the d-line, that's not likely)."

You mean those reviews from the media? Or blog regulars who've attended a practice or two? I'm underwhelmed.

We'll see how the line does in the preseason, beginning tonight. And more importantly, when the real season starts, against NY.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

From PFT:

Theismann says Zorn isn't under the gun
Posted by Mike Florio on August 12, 2009 9:11 AM ET
As rumors persist that either Mike Shanahan or Mike Holmgren are poised to become the next coach of the Redskins barring a tremendous showing from the team in 2009, former D.C. quarterback Joe Theismann disputes the notion that current coach Jim Zorn is on the hot seat.

"I totally disagree with this being a make-or-break year for Jim," Theismann told Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. "It's the second year in the system, it's the second year as the head coach, it's the second year as the offensive coordinator."

Though Theismann's take could be brushed off as shilling for a franchise that employs him to work televised preseason games and that, through a commonly-owned radio station, has hired him to appear on the air the day after Redskins games, the former ESPN analyst pulled no punches regarding the potential impact of the 2009 season on Executive V.P. of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato.

"Let's face it, depending on how Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas and Chad Rinehart do will tell you what kind of job Vinny did as a G.M.," Theismann said. "This is an incredibly important year for him."

In our view, however, this reality only amplifies the pressure that will be placed on Zorn. If the team stinks, Cerrato won't be telling owner Daniel Snyder that it's happening because Cerrato has done a bad job of compiling talent -- Cerrato will directly or indirectly blame it on coaching.

So if one or the other is going to be in danger of getting fired, we'll put our money on the guy who has had Snyder's ear for a number of years.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

sween - Mason beats out 31?? Considering i have a solid in to play golf with him anytime in the offseason, I hope you are wrong. The man is a special teams ace and kick return guru...Mason may beat him for the #3 RB (I doubt it but who knows) but surely Zorn would find a roster spot for him regardless?

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

see what the pats did with Matt Cassell, for example. Instead of letting Cassell walk, they ended up with a 2nd, and a 4th, or something of that nature.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

abxinc, Lord knows I'm on your side with this and think it's too early to say Campbell has not progressed, but this quote does nothing to back your assertion that teammates are roundly praising him. This seems to, on the contrary, suggest he is still tenative.
Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 10:27 AM

I too am rooting for Campbell to show marked improvement, but I’m with LMG; you shouldn’t base any performance expectations on the preseason interviews/quotes. If you rely on that, it would seem we are set at every position; everyone’s health is just a-ok, EVERYONE has improved from last season, don’t worry about the o-line, solid depth everywhere, etc, etc. 72Redskins may not be a former NFL scout, but he’s one up on me in that I have yet to see Campbell play this year. I will form my opinion after the game tomorrow night.

If you were at the scrimmage too, and saw something different, than okay, but relying on favorable pre-season chatter would have 32 Super Bowl favorites heading into the year.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | August 12, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

brown, where is that wrong?

They can't slap the tag on him? As opposed to doing nothing, letting him walk, and getting nothing in return?

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:23 AM


I said that they obviously have the ability and the right to do that, but I'm 100% certain they won't. They tried trading him this offseason at a reasonable 1 year salary. No one was serious. So why would someone take him at over $16 million for one year under the franchise tag?

And even still...they won't have the cap space to carry him under that salary (if there's a salary cap next year). And everyone in the league knows it, shifting the leverage to everyone but Washington. Even if there's no cap, they won't wanna pay him that. I have a hard time believing a team that was so pressed to get rid of him would make any attempt at keeping him next year.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

So if one or the other is going to be in danger of getting fired, we'll put our money on the guy who has had Snyder's ear for a number of years.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 10:31 AM |

Okay, so if the OL craps out and the team tanks, Z is going to take the fall for a OL coach that came with and OL that Cerrato recruited? Great. The insanity continues ...

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

dcsween says "f. none of the above"

Mason will beat out Dorsey, Aldridge, and ... wait for it ... Rock Cartwright.

Posted by: dcsween |

What have you seen to warrant such conclusion? Could you explain a bit further?
Before you do, I will suggest you google
Dominique Dorsey and Aldridge, forget about Cartwrught, he is not going anywhere.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder has made it pretty clear that he doesn't want Jason Campbell. And you threaten him with a "PR mess?" Man, he's trembling now.

Posted by: talent_evaluator
========================================
True that, I know The Danny doesn't care, but its just another black eye for us fans. Campbell will be another Humphries, Gannon, or Johnson. Talent unnecessarily ushered out. But then if he's a bust this year, then The Danny will look like a genius.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

brown, then you don't use the franchise(2 firsts), you use the tag 1step back from that, can't recall the name of it. right now. All I'm trying to say is that if he blows up this year, the Redskins hold the cards one way, or another. If he has a huge year, then trade him, or keep him, the Team is in the drivers seat.

I'm not sure how you can be 100 percent sure of something that has yet to happen??

Again, wish I was here when they gave out crystal balls.....dangit....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Now Mr 72Redskins, its either you need prescription glasses or you are simply a pathetic lair, I will believe what Campbell team mates and coaches are saying better than an outdated 72Redskins fan.

Posted by: abxinc | August 12, 2009 10:18 AM |

Better that you find a RI post that says Campbell was as sharp as a tack on Sat than dredge up this silly "team mates think he is great" shti. Like they are actually going to say what they really think about him.

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Again, wish I was here when they gave out crystal balls.....dangit....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

They're not all their cracked up to be. Especially in gym class.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 12, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I thought that tagging would expire if the CBA expires.

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:24 AM

Wrong, it only increases. Instead of 2 tags, you get 3 tags. 1 Franchise and 2 (two) Transitional Tags that pay the average of the top 10 QBs.

Also, if no CBA is signed, then JC17 will ONLY be restricted...

So, we can keep JC17 if we don't want him and get get value for him. Someone will throw a 3rd/4th at us for him.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 12, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

gives the game bombardment a little edge......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

1. If Campbell gets hurt it most likely will be because the O-line isn't protecting him. If that's the case, Colt should be the backup since the Skins won't be able to make it to the playoffs any way.
2. I like Campbell but I don't think he's the guy for Zorn's offensive scheme. One or the other or both will be gone by next season. Give the new guy (Colt) a chance to show his stuff.
3. I loved Collins and what he did (classy vet) but his time is behind him. If the Skins were truly a contender, he'd be the guy I'd want as a backup. It's time to let Brennan get the experience as the backup and if Campbell gets hurt, we're going to need a mobile gunslinger back there not a statue that will get rolled over by the defensive lineman that won't be blocked by an ineffective o-line (which is probably why Campbell got hurt in the first place).

Posted by: bobleme | August 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

meet the '09 jason campbell, same as the '08 jason campbell.

i hope he does well, but i don't see it. not with that line, not with those receivers, not with Zorn.

and no i don't have crystal balls to back this up, at least that what's she said anyway, but i think at this point campbell is who he is, and is gonna be who he's gonna be.

the line, the receivers, and the guy mentoring and calling the shots (Zorn) haven't changed much -- especially the O-line, they're having the same issues as last year. so what makes anyone think that campbell can improve with the same ol' variables surrounding him?

but that's what i think about the situation, it doesn't make it so. maybe the line returns to '06 form, if that happens then everything else may fall into place.

qb is a reflection of his line, the wr's are a reflection of their QB, the coach is a reflection of all of the above.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 12, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought that tagging would expire if the CBA expires.

Posted by: dcsween | August 12, 2009 10:24 AM

Wrong, it only increases. Instead of 2 tags, you get 3 tags.

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 12, 2009 10:53 AM |

You know what they say. "More tags, more fun."

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Better that you find a RI post that says Campbell was as sharp as a tack on Sat than dredge up this silly "team mates think he is great" shti. Like they are actually going to say what they really think about him.

Posted by: BlackBagOps
=========================================
Portis is a vocal guy and he seems to be behind him, and we know if he wasn't he'd wouldn't hold his tongue. He's already spoke about O-line and the Coach. Granted, both comments came out of frustration, but you have to admit, up to this point those comments have been pretty accurate.

Posted by: clark202 | August 12, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so if the OL craps out and the team tanks, Z is going to take the fall for a OL coach that came with and OL that Cerrato recruited? Great. The insanity continues ...

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:40 AM


Are you new? Vinny has survived 3 coaching changes already? Unless he stops letting Snyder win at racquetball, what's stopping him from getting a crack at #4?

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Okay, so if the OL craps out and the team tanks, Z is going to take the fall for a OL coach that came with and OL that Cerrato recruited? Great. The insanity continues ...

Posted by: BlackBagOps | August 12, 2009 10:40 AM


Are you new? Vinny has survived 3 coaching changes already! Unless he stops letting Snyder win at racquetball, what's stopping him from getting a crack at #4?

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

good point dlhaze...I'm tired of the "this guy worked so hard in the offseason" and "that guy really made the leap to the 'next level' " talk...time to show it on the field men. That said, good article on Tryon/Darrell Green connection...if there's one guy's word I'd take for it at DB, it's The Great 28. Or Barry Wilburn.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | August 12, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the Redskins can place the Franchise Tag on Campbell. The one year salary would likely be around $15-16 million for a QB. The Skins definitely don't have that amount of cap space next year. So, sure they COULD tag Campbell, but if he signs it, the Skins will have to get rid of some expensive contracts. I mean, veterans.

Posted by: Section104 | August 12, 2009 10:25 AM


We have no salary cap right now for next year.

And if it comes back the year after, I predict a softer cap that heavily taxes team that spend over the cap. Possibly higher than the $ for $ tax the NBA does. I see a $1.5 tax to every $1 spent.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 12, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't even know where to start with all the inaccuracies in that post.

Zorn has already annointed Horton as the starter. This is not an open competition.

Zorn has already said Bridges will be held out of the game.

Rinehart's performance against the league's nastiest Defense will hardly be a barometer of his offseason progress. That's like trying to guage the 150th ranked golfer's personal improvement by playing him 1-on-1 against Tiger.

Rinehart could get drilled every play Thursday night and it still doesn't mean he has gotten a lot better. We don't have to play against the Ratbird front line for 16 straight games after all.

Posted by: McMetal | August 12, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I prefer Raphel Cherry when it comes to DB's giving advice....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

beet beet - Dwight Schrute

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

brown, then you don't use the franchise(2 firsts), you use the tag 1step back from that, can't recall the name of it. right now. All I'm trying to say is that if he blows up this year, the Redskins hold the cards one way, or another. If he has a huge year, then trade him, or keep him, the Team is in the drivers seat.

I'm not sure how you can be 100 percent sure of something that has yet to happen??

Again, wish I was here when they gave out crystal balls.....dangit....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 12, 2009 10:45 AM


Dude, this offseason was a long, drawn out reminder of how little the Redskins value their own draft picks. The same dude they were so high on they traded multiple picks to Denver to get another 1st rounder in order to take Campbell was all but ushered out of town prematurely. They tried to replace him, tried to trade him and only when they were "stuck with him" did they try and smooth things over. They have no interest in bringing him back, period.

The only way I see Campbell back is if he goes for at least 3,500 yards and 30 tds. I can't see him having that year with the cast of characters he's got to work with.

So again...no crystal ball, just a gut feeling.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 12, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

If somehow this o-line holds it together there will be nothing to worry about. The offense will actually score points. If not the defense will have to carry the offense and J. Campbell will get the blame for any offensive short comings.

The FO believes that more time in the system for everyone was the way to go to improve the offense. So everyone knows that they've got 2.1 seconds to be at their spot - qb, rb, wrs. If JC can't put it at the spot than its on him. The coaches will know if our sloppy 2nds are where they are supposed to be and Zorn likely will tell us after the game.

Posted by: bangkokben | August 12, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"And Jansen was then and remains a formidable blocker."

If Jansen was a formidable blocker, he'd still be playing for the Redskins, not having his head coach pitch to management the reasons he should be cut, even though it costs the team cap space this season.

"If Oher had been the 13th pick, then you can be sure he would have been handed the job, and then you'd have a complaint of unfairness."

Says who? Have you heard me complain that Orakpo was handed a starting spot? Landry two years ago? Carlos Rogers before him? Sean Taylor before him? I have never complained in regards to a first round selection forcing the issue.

"So you say. You haven't demonstrated that this was Heyer's fault. Heck, you haven't even demonstrated that the line was the big reason behind the Skins' second half offense. Even if it was, why not blame one of the other guys? O-Lines play as a unit."

Now you're just arguing for the sake of arguing. I shouldn't need to demonstrate that the line was a significant reason behind the second half offense every time the topic comes up any more than the Vikings shouldn't need to demonstrate that Travaris Jackson was a weak starting QB during his brief tenure every time Brett Favre's name came up. That implication is obvious, and has been demonstrated numerous times from multiple different sources.

As for Heyer, logic leads me to believe that his primary position this upcoming season, RT, was the biggest weakness due to (1) the fact that last year's majority starter was cut, (2) they brought in 3 different guys to compete for that spot, and (3) this was the only position along the line that was acknowledged as being an open competition.

And for the record, I have no problems with Stephon Heyer as a player or person. The guy was a great find. He could be very valuable to this team, now and in the future. But he's being put up against the odds with this one. They're putting him in a position that he shouldn't be put in, as they have his whole career. He struggled his rookie season when he was forced into the lineup due to injuries and he struggled for a majority of last season when he was again forced into the lineup due to injury (and struggled in one of his early starts that he 'won' as well, going against Justin Tuck). On top of that, as you mentioned, he's injury prone and hasn't lasted an entire season yet, only adding to the injury history plaguing the starting offensive line.

So do I feel the criticism of the FO is warranted when placing their hopes on this guy, a 400 pound aging project that missed on his first foray into the league, and a journeyman swing G/T? Yea, I really do.

Posted by: psps23 | August 12, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I think you guys must see more in Collins than I do. I agree that he played his best football a few years ago when Campbell was injured, but the NFL is all about what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? Collins did okay in Al Saunders timing based offense. It forced him to get rid of the ball. The west coast offense requires the quarterback to make the decision instead of having a timer make it for him. Since Collins came into the league he always had a problem with the decision making. You can see it even today in practices when he holds on to the ball too long. He's not a good fit for this offense. He struggled last year in the preseason. He has had bright spots and dim spots in his game playing in this year's training camp. I am not writing Collins off. I think he would be a great QB in another offense - just not this one. I believe that Colt Brennan is far better suited for this kind of offense. I think Chase Daniels is also. I think these guys are better suited to this offense than even Campbell, but they are not far enough up the curve to challenge for that role.

Let's face it. Chances are better than 50-50 that this offensive line will have trouble blocking pass rushers this season. When pass rushers hit quarterbacks too much, quarterbacks end up injured. Chances are the backup will play this year and chances are the backup will be playing in front of the same leaky line. If you think about that, who would you want in the backfield: Collins or Brennan? Brennan is a better improvisor and he has shown he is not afraid to use his legs to pick up yards; whereas Collins, now in his 37th year, is about as mobile as a piece of furniture. If Campbell went down behind an offensive line that could not block for him, I think I would want the gunslinger in there instead of a guy who holds on to the ball too long.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

""And Jansen was then and remains a formidable blocker."
If Jansen was a formidable blocker, he'd still be playing for the Redskins, not having his head coach pitch to management the reasons he should be cut, even though it costs the team cap space this season."

You mistake my point. Jansen can still block. He's just not the pass blocker that Zorn wants.

psps: "Have you heard me complain that Orakpo was handed a starting spot? Landry two years ago? Carlos Rogers before him? Sean Taylor before him? I have never complained in regards to a first round selection forcing the issue."

Again you mistake my point. It's that first rounders often win jobs based on the size of their contract. If the Skins had drafted and started Oher, there'd be cause for complaint that there was no open competition. No such issue with Heyer. He wins the job or he doesn't, on his merits.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Collins is terrible. We need to cut him and give the two youngsters (well, guys my age) the roster spots. We save money and develop young talent. The talent difference between collins and Daniels/Brennan is huge IMO. Collins "experience" counts for very little as it was all in a different system. On top of that, he looked simply awful in the Zorn system. Worst of all, Collins is like 100 years old in football terms.

I also think it would be fantastic if either Barnes or Tryon could unseat Smoot as the #3 corner.

My biggest hope though, is that Rhinehardt shows that he can get it done and unseats Randy Thomas...Oh, and that Randle El is relegated to waterboy.

Posted by: ecale25 | August 12, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

psps: "I shouldn't need to demonstrate that the line was a significant reason behind the second half offense every time the topic comes up any more than the Vikings shouldn't need to demonstrate that Travaris Jackson was a weak starting QB during his brief tenure every time Brett Favre's name came up. That implication is obvious, and has been demonstrated numerous times from multiple different sources."

I say you do. For one thing, Heyer plays as part of a unit; Tavaris Jackson is the only guy on the field with his job description. Truth is, I haven't seen much objective support for the idea that Heyer played poorly last season -- mostly what you read here is folks asserting that without taking the time to prove it.

psps: "As for Heyer, logic leads me to believe that his primary position this upcoming season, RT, was the biggest weakness due to (1) the fact that last year's majority starter was cut, (2) they brought in 3 different guys to compete for that spot, and (3) this was the only position along the line that was acknowledged as being an open competition."

His primary position, sure; Stephon Heyer, maybe not. If that's the basis for your criticism of Heyer, then you're basing it on assumption rather than evidence.

It's hard to evaluate offensive linemen apart from their unit. Look at Jason Peters last year in Buffalo. He gave up a ton of sacks and yet was acclaimed by many coaches to be one of the league's best at his position. Andy Reid blessed him with a major contract.

BTW, an undrafted free agent.

Once again, I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm saying neither one of us is able to judge one offensive lineman based on the sort of data you're citing.

I don't think you have anything personal against Stephon Heyer. I suspect you're ticked at the FO for not drafting offensive linemen. You're not alone on this board. But I don't think you've proved your point.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 12, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

BlackBagOps:

What do you expect? That is the nature of reporting on a team in training camp. There really is nothing to report but Redskin fanatics hunger for any coverage of the team at all. It is the same in most football crazy towns like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Denver, etc.
One can not expect Pulitzer style writing during training camp/preseason. This article has nothing new because there is nothing new.

Posted by: chopin224 | August 12, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

People forget Brennan played against 4th & 5th stringers. You really want to see what he can do, put him in against the 1st or 2nd team. I think that will snap people back to reality. Campbell needs the OL to be healthy for this team to be successful. Last season when the OL WAS healthy, he played well, it was only when he was getting crushed everytime he dropped back did he play poorly. It really doesn't matter anyway because win or lose he's gone next season. If he has a great season, no chance he'll re-sign after the way he was treated. If he has a poor season, he and Zorn will be gone and we're doing this all over again with Shannahan or Cower. Right now, I'm optimistic and believe the OL will get it together by the time the regular season comes around, if not, we could have Joe Montana back there and it still wouldn't make a difference!

Posted by: Toochilled | August 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Based on the actions of the front office this summer, unless JC gets us to at least a last second field goal loss in the NFC championship or better the front office will be back in the hunt for the first big name QB they can get their hands on. What fans should realize is when the FO started looking at Cutler and then Sanchez that says that they not only lack confidence in JC but Colt and Todd as well. Colt supporters should ask themselves the question if CB is so much better than JC why is the front office looking at other QBs to possibly replace JC if Colt is already there?

Posted by: ged0386 | August 12, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

BlackBagOps

Why dont you try to take the writers job. Maybe your article will be better.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 12, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

chopin224

BlackBag demands pulitzer prize winning journalist to cover the skins summer practices.

Posted by: ged0386 | August 12, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's such a shame that redskins fans are idiots!! Colt Brennan over Todd Collins...........................you've gotta be kidding me! Colt Brennan will never be a starter in the NFL. a) hes too small b) he throws side arm c) his deep ball sucks. GET OVER CULT BRENNAN, HE'S REALLY NOT THAT GOOD.

Posted by: BMACattack | August 12, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

NO ONE!!!
That guy should not even put a uniform on.

Posted by: hock1 | August 12, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How about we wait and see how much Colt Brennan has improved on the field before trying to judge who should be the backup.

He was a sandlot player last year, making some plays out of the pocket against third and fourth teamers.

How will he do against starters and regular backups?

Chase Daniel still hasn't proven to anyone that at 5'11 he can effectively see the field and throw the ball in the NFL.

Posted by: leopard09 | August 12, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Collin's arm is shot. He's also very slow (physically) too. I'd be shocked if he doesn't have a disastrous pre-season. There is no chance in hell that the players will have more confidence in Collins over Brennan as I have no doubt, behind closed doors, they want the kid out there.

Posted by: livinon3x | August 12, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Guys did u see 'The magic 8ball' prediction for the skins on NFL Live Today?.... Said we will be in last place in our division this year.Espn (EitherStupidPersonsNonsense)

Posted by: jiza32 | August 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't get all the excitement over Campbell -- to me, he is like Mark Rypien, a journeyman QB who can do the job if the other elements of the offense are in place: O-line, RB, and wide-outs. He is a wonderful young man with great character, but I don't see him as much of a leader or play-maker.

He is the best QB we have today, but not going to take us into the post season. Danny the meddler is right to keep searching for talent at QB.

Posted by: chas2 | August 12, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

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