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Washington May Play; Kelly Expected To Sit

It always feels a little shallow to have to return to the minutia of football on a day like this, but the Redskins did practice and will be treating Saturday's preseason game very much as a dress rehearsal for the real thing.

To that end, Marcus Washington could still play; he missed practice to have his hip examined "as a precautionary assessment," Zorn said. The team is awaiting the results of those tests, but Washington and Zorn do not believe this is a serious ailment. "Let's remove any doubt that there's anything there, so he can free up and go out and play," Zorn said. "And that's what this is right now. It's going to be a game-time situation to see where he's at."

The Redskins are carrying eight linebackers right now, but with Washington iffy to play and back-up Matt Sinclair likely out after missing practice all week because of back spasms, Zorn concedes they could be short Saturday. Back-up H.B. Blades will be making his preseason debut after undergoing knee surgery last month, with starting weak-side linebacker Rocky McIntosh is coming off major season-ending knee surgery and is still be watched closely and somewhat limited in how many reps he takes.

That leaves four linebackers, and with the starters expected to play half the game, all of a sudden there numbers get slim. I asked Zorn about playing a lot of nickel defense Saturday - with a extra defensive back and one fewer linebacker - and he said that in fact the team plans to do so often as a base defense, given the concerns at LB.

"That might be giving away part of our [game plan], but that's something that you look at," Zorn said.

Safety LaRon Landry (hamstring), tackle Todd Wade (ankle) and tight end Jason Goode (turf toe), are out, while Zorn said it is unlikely rookie receiver Malcolm Kelly (knee surgery) will play. Kelly practiced in a limited role, and rarely at full speed, this week, and has been out virtually all of camp. "He didn't quite give me the full speed I need to see," Zorn said.

Zorn was asked again today about the stalled development of receivers Kelly and Devin Thomas - both second-round picks - and again pulled no punches about how far behind they are (both suffered through lengthy injuries and failed the team's conditioning test). Asked how much the Redskins could expect of the duo in the first part of the season, Zorn replied:

"Not much right now. Realistically, not much. I can't say they're not going to produce at some point this season ... They have to really step up to be able to start even getting the right to be on the field with the other three or four receivers that we're going to put out there."

Tight end Fred Davis, the other second-round pick, was again the last player on the field after practice, continuing to do extra work with tight ends coach Rennie Simmons. He was working on his footwork and technique making catches in the back of the end zone, and seems to be putting in the work needed to get better and find a role in this offense.


By Jason La Canfora  |  August 21, 2008; 3:25 PM ET
 
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Next: A Look at Upshaw's Legacy

Comments

This puts all of the talk of coaches, past and present, and players and cut down days in perspective.

Glad to see our old leader still leading and our new leader sounding just like the old leader.

Prayers to all of the families who have had tragedy, this year and last, including those on the blog.

That is why it should always be just 'jibba jabba' up here...

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:29 PM

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Hail to Buges!

Posted by: GHF? | August 21, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Those rookies need to step up and hopefully they've been studying a lot in their absence from the field so they aren't too far behind once the season starts.

Posted by: Hazing allowed | August 21, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

All seems very unimportant....given all that has gone on...

Posted by: Greg | August 21, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

They could slide Taylor and/or Carter to LB in some packages.

Posted by: Chris | August 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Chris;

True or they could go 5 down lineman against the heavy run panthers. Like JT as a LB, but putting his hand down.

I guess that is part of the 4-6 defense yes?

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

All seems very unimportant....given all that has gone on...

Posted by: Greg | August 21, 2008 3:34 PM

Foosball is unimportant compared to life. F The Deadskins.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, put JT at LB, but not during preseason. No need. If we get to this spot when it matters during the regular season, then definitely.

Also kudos to Fred Davis. Why can't get more positive remarks about him than the disparaging remarks on Kelly & Thomas.

Posted by: The Truth | August 21, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Or not, I just looked up the 46... that would be the 5-2 D

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

B?C truth, for all of that extra work, I havent heard much about him doing anything great/

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't sure myself. Either way, I think JT could run with a TE if he had too.

Posted by: Chris | August 21, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Quote of the day here from Bugel that I found in the Times' skins blog...

Offensive tackle Jon Jansen, along with guard Randy Thomas and tackle Chris Samuels, the linemen who have been with Bugel the longest, said that Zorn came into the position meeting this morning to get Bugel to come to the phone to talk to his wife. Bugel then returned and told his players.

"He came back in and just told us, 'HEY, LOVE YOUR KIDS. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN,' " Jansen said. "We just [told] him that we love him.

Posted by: EinVB | August 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thats how we should play always... 5 DL, 2 LB's and 4 DB's. Have the DB's stand 6 yrds off the LOS and send the 5 DL's after the QB.

Shouldnt be much time to throw... then they are also there in run support.

I just invented a new Defense... look at me!

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Nope, that defense has been used....

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Also kudos to Fred Davis. Why can't get more positive remarks about him than the disparaging remarks on Kelly & Thomas.

Posted by: The Truth | August 21, 2008 3:39 PM

You gotta earn the positive remarks.

Posted by: psps23 | August 21, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts and prayers to Joe Bugel & family and the Upshaw family.

Did you all hear about the 138 year old man who passed away in India???

Crazy day.

Posted by: JinxMan7997 | August 21, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Once you reached your late teen or early adult years, you realized "I'm going to have to bury my parents one day".

Think of the pain and grief in burying your own child.

Pray for the Bugel family

Posted by: RedskinRay1 | August 21, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bowen is back
POSTED August 20 2008 10:27 AM BY David Elfin

Remember Matt Bowen? He was the late Sean Taylor's first partner at safety for the Redskins before a big hit that he laid cost him his starting job early in the 2004 season. Ryan Clark took over and played well and Bowen became an afterthought. Bowen moved on to Buffalo in 2006 and is now out football.

On the field, that is. Bowen, who used to write a weekly column for The Washington Times, is now one of four contributors to a newly launched website, NationalFootballPost.com. An email touting the site landed in my inbox and gave me an PR contact to arrange an interview with Bowen. Guess my old pal has come a long way from when he started his media career with The Times.

-- David Elfin
Sinclair really hurting
POSTED August 19 2008 5:24 PM BY David Elfin
Just ran into linebacker Matt Sinclair. One of the alltime hustle guys wouldn't miss practice as he did today if he could walk. So it was no surprise that Sinclair was walking really slowy.
Sinclair said he has had a bad back since workouts began in March and is going to see a spinal specialist tomorrow in Tyson's Corner because the pain during Monday's practice became too much for him to perform. This injury further jeopardizes Sinclair's already-tenuous hold on a roster spot.
Portis v. Taylor
POSTED August 20 2008 3:45 PM BY Corey Masisak
Clinton Portis spoke to the media today, one day after Jason Taylor told the local scribes about Portis' willingness to help him out with directions around the area and other logistical stuff. Here's how Portis responded to that:
PORTIS: "Really I am just trying to figure out how to set him up and take advantage of him, so I am being friends with him now. Once we get into the season, I will stop talking to him and start bullying him around."
"I’ve caught him in his locker crying a couple of times, looking at old Dolphins magazines when he had on No. 99. I was like, ‘Jason, are you alright?’ and showed him a picture of me stiff-arming him and running away from him and he said, ‘Well, I’m a Redskin.’
Q: Do you think Taylor has a negative view of The U?
PORTIS: "He’s been around The U long enough. I think he’s really just jealous, because The U is really the team in Miami. They are bigger than the Dolphins. He was just jealous of some things when he was competing with me for attention when I was in college and he was in the NFL."
Later in the scrum, Jason Taylor was lurking amongst the reporters so someone took the bait:
Q: Can you tell us more about why The U is better than the Dolphins?
PORTIS: Man, ain’t nobody going to the Dolphins games. They could be playing … [AT THIS POINT, TAYLOR WALKS THROUGH THE INTERVIEW] … see, that’s the kind of stuff he had to do. UM could be having a game, and he’d have to show up on the sidelines for the press coverage.
This lead to a "discussion" about the closing of the Orange Bowl between the two, followed by Taylor's exit. Something tells me this isn't the last of these made-for-TV shenanigens between those two.

Posted by: Elfin to da Post | August 21, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I just mean that Freddy D. has been staying after practice routinely. That says good things about him.

Once again I'll take a team of players that wanna work hard over a team of more talented players anyday. That's a good sign from him, especially when it's not that hard to see that the talent is there.

Posted by: The Truth | August 21, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Whats the big deal about Bugel daughter. We knew for months she was sick. This blog has nothing to do with bugel. Lets talk about the game.

Posted by: Racist "white sheets" | August 21, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Agreed about Freddy D., good to see him trying to contribute. I hope his rookie impact can in part make up for the (so far) dissapointing starts to Thomas and Kelly's careers.

Twin Tight Ends anyone?

Posted by: Ben | August 21, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: The Truth | August 21, 2008 4:05 PM

I agree. But the hard work only counts if it actually translates into the games. I'm down for reserving judgment until that happens.

Posted by: psps23 | August 21, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

For as much as we dump on Snyder, I got to give him credit here for again doing what he can to support his people in their time of need.

The Skins may have flaws but when it comes to stuff that really, really matters this team handles this stuff better than anyone.

Posted by: Alex35332 | August 21, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

funny stuff between Portis and Taylor

although it seems mostly Portis


still though when I see Portis & Taylor I think of #21

Posted by: The Truth | August 21, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

More evidence that they'll be keeping 6 WRs on the roster.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | August 21, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Coach Joe??

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Thats how we should play always... 5 DL, 2 LB's and 4 DB's. Have the DB's stand 6 yrds off the LOS and send the 5 DL's after the QB.

Shouldnt be much time to throw... then they are also there in run support.

I just invented a new Defense... look at me!

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 3:46 PM

Thats called the 5-2 its been in NCAA football for years.

Its also not unlike the 4-3 w/Down OLB which is more 3 DE 2 DT.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

sounds like we could see good things from boozie. Looking forward to him and cooley distracting the LBs/Safeties and giving Moss and ARE more open space.

Posted by: laxbigj | August 21, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to use 6 down linemen, 4 LB's, 4 DB's, and 3 Safeties


Has anyone ever used that D? I think it could work well.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to use 6 down linemen, 4 LB's, 4 DB's, and 3 Safeties


Has anyone ever used that D? I think it could work well.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:21 PM

Even the blindest reff. would call you out for that one.

Posted by: Alex35332 | August 21, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I corrected that anon, thanks... i dont watch college kids running around trying to tackler each other... I like watching grownups do it...

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Yes the 4-3 over or under, but if they put their hand down technically it is then a 5-2, no?

Posted by: Zebra | August 21, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Holly grew up in a violent world, embraced it, claimed it, loved to run in it and refused to divorce herself from it."

Posted by: M. Wilbon | August 21, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

More evidence that they'll be keeping 6 WRs on the roster.

Posted by: Joe in Raleigh | August 21, 2008 4:16 PM

I'm thinking that if Kelly doesn't get on the field in pre-season he could find himself spending the whole year on IR. Great job going to Liberia for charity, but he neglected his conditioning and now the 'Skins pay for it.

Posted by: Motivator | August 21, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

That's what happens to sinners.

Posted by: J. Swaggert | August 21, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

F Wilbon

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

ANTHONY SPENCER TO MISS 2-4 WEEKS
Posted by Tom Mantzouranis on August 21, 2008, 4:42 p.m.
As the Cowboys prepare to take on the Browns’ potent offense in this season’s opening weekend, they might be missing some presence on the pass rush.

Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is expected to miss two to four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The injury was originally diagnosed as a bone bruise, but persistent swelling caused the team to decide on having the procedure.

Spencer played defensive end at Purdue but was moved to the pass rush role in the Cowboys’ 3-4 defense after being drafted in the first round in 2007. He had three sacks in his rookie year playing in a situational role, and is expected to have more of a presence on the field in 2008 despite backing up Greg Ellis.

Fellow linebacker Kevin Burnett, another guy who comes in on passing downs, is also in doubt for the season opener.

Posted by: 4th via PFT | August 21, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Tight end Fred Davis, the other second-round pick, was again the last player on the field after practice, continuing to do extra work with tight ends coach Rennie Simmons. He was working on his footwork and technique making catches in the back of the end zone, and seems to be putting in the work needed to get better and find a role in this offense.

By Jason La Canfora | August 21, 2008; 3:25 PM ET

It looks like some people who did not like this pick might end up eating a crow.

Posted by: M | August 21, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is one the F.Davis kick. Yes, he is working hard and that is good news. But I recall how hard everyone was on him when he over slept.

Now everyone is harping on Kelly and Thomas. Again, people were praising Kelly for going on a volunteer mission with Mercy Ships after OTA's. That's why he was out-of-shape. Kid has heart, he'll catch up soon enough and show real hussle.

Thomas, well... he has no excuse to think of other than pure lazyniss. He deserves to be bashed on until otherwise.

Posted by: Devo | August 21, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Marcus Washington is worn down.

Posted by: L. Arrington | August 21, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to Davis. He hasn't lit it up on the field yet but at least he shows he's willing to put the extra effort into improving.

Posted by: skinswest | August 21, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Weep weep

Posted by: Mull It | August 21, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

okay, I HATE preseason. Anybody still up and checking the blog?

Posted by: suzannepdc | August 22, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

JLC's blogs lately have had the exact same content as the official columns in the WaPo. What's the deal?

Posted by: JLC's Editor | August 22, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Once again the man I love to hate, Dan Snyder, shows his class and priorities. He made it possible for Buges to spend as much time with his daughter as possible.

Mr. Snyder has really shown me something in the way he handled the J Taylor and Buges losses.

Mr. Snyder - you have earned my respect as a human being and as a father. Here's to you sir!

Posted by: Wyatt Earp | August 22, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

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