Kelly on Knee, Pressure to Perform
Second-year wide receiver Malcolm Kelly said he's been running routes for a month, so in that sense today's organized team activity appearance wasn't anything remarkable. He's already been cutting on his knee--on which he had microfracture surgery this winter--and could have participated in last month's minicamp and OTAs, although Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato told him to take his time.
Still, he said getting out on the field with his teammates felt considerably different than running routes by himself.
"It's one thing to run against air; then when you have actual DBs, it makes it a little more complicated," Kelly said. "When I rolled out of bed this morning, I was like, 'Man, this has been a long time coming.' ... I was just anxious to go out there and run a route and feel the ball hit my hands."
Kelly said what you'd expect about the knee; that it felt fine, that it's reacted well to the routes he's run over the past month, and that he wasn't worried about how he'd feel tomorrow. He did take a detour from the expected answers when asked whether he felt any pressure to perform after his quiet rookie season.
"I guess I can say I feel the pressure," he said. "They don't really pressure me, the coaches; [it's] more me myself. It's a pride thing. You can say it isn't, but you don't want to sit there watching. ... That's what pushes me every day, kind of an ego thing."
After the microfracture surgery, he spent about three weeks on crutches, mostly playing video games, but said the surgery wound up being less serious than expected. Still, front-office officials have urged caution, he said.
"As soon as I got it done, Vinny and Dan said from the get go, 'We've got to take it as slow as possible, we're not gonna rush you back,' " Kelly said.
And he said he's been talking with fellow second-year receiver Devin Thomas every other day during the offseason, pledging to "really come in here this year and really, really do something."
Kelly, whose freestyling session after the Big 12 title game at Oklahoma became something of a YouTube hit, also made a promise: "After I get my first touchdown catch," he said, "I'm gonna [freestyle] in the middle of the locker room."
(For the lighter side of Skins updates, visit Dan Steinberg at the D.C. Sports Bog.)
June 1, 2009; 3:17 PM ET
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