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News And Notes

Odds and ends from the first day of this round of OTAs:

The absences of defensive backs Shawn Springs and LaRon Landry were un-excused according to Coach Jim Zorn, and the team has not heard from either player. Zorn said he will attempt to contact them both shortly and was no pleased with their absence though he also made a point not to overemphasize the situation.

Zorn said: "I'm going to try to get a feel for why they didn't want to come ... It's not something that I'm going to make a huge spectacle of. We'll just see what happens."

Springs also skipped much of last season's offseason work and many of his teammates were not surprised by his absence. He told some weeks ago that he planned to report for training camp but would continue his offseason work in Arizona, where the veteran trains rigorously in the offseason.

Landry, however, is just a second-year player and as I wrote on the blog a few weeks ago, there were already some minor red flags cropping up about him this offseason. He has not been around the facility much and some are concerned about his attitude. Both of these players are vital to the success off the secondary, and thus the defense as a unit.

OTAs are not mandatory as per player contracts ... but they are very important to any staff and players are highly encouraged to participate.

New safety Stuart Schweigert said he figures he'll play mostly free safety here and said he chose Washington over other suitors because of the chance to push for a starting job and the fact the Redskins were a playoff team last year. Schweigert was also hapy to be out of Oakland, where he lost his starting job midway through the season and went through a bevy of coaching changes.

"I feel like a 1,000-pound bear has been lifted off my chest," Schweigert said of being in Washington.

Jason Campbell said his hamstring tweaking from the last round of OTAs is behind him and his body is adjusting to the lower positioning he is now taking under center. "I don't have any problems with (the hamstring)," Campbell said. "It's something that's behind me."

Zorn said that WR Santana Moss, fresh off a weekend of birthday bashing, has the flu. Moss was throwing up when he reported to Redskins Park today and was "quarantined" Zorn said to keep the flu from spreading around. (I imagine this will spark a comical comment or two).

New DE Erasmus James is about 90 percent, Zorn said, he they will bring him along slowly with hopes of him being ready to start the season (J Reid will be writing about James in the paper tomorrow).

I asked Zorn if RB Clinton Portis will still be able to pull himself out of games as he did with Joe Gibbs and he quickly shot down any possibility of that. "I don't think that's something that's going to happen here," Zorn said. "That's not the way our offense is designed. I don't think that will be the way that we function on the football field."

Zorn said veteran safety Vernon Fox has his knee scoped in late April and he, like receiver Antwaan Randle El, will be mostly watching mini camp and shooting for a training camp return.

Much of what the Redskins did today was implemented in meetings just this morning, Zorn said, and he was impressed with how much the Redskins were able to accomplish on the field with a few minor mental mistakes as the club continues to get the

Zorn said any decision on whether to start CB Carlos Rogers on the PUP list would not be made until during training camp. LB Rocky McIntosh, also coming back from major knee surgery, is making strides but is not taking part in full drills during OTAs.

Zorn said offensive coordinator Sherman Smith will be in the pressbox during games offering suggestions to him from there

By Jason La Canfora  |  June 2, 2008; 1:49 PM ET
 
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