Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes, quotes and observations from practice (Fri a.m., 7/30)
What you should know from this morning’s practice, which lasted 2:15 and was in full pads:
*LT Trent Williams signed his contract this morning and practiced with the starting unit. At 4:30 a.m., his representatives and the Redskins agreed to a six-year deal worth $60 million, including $36.75 million guaranteed. Terms of the deal were confirmed by a source who requested anonymity because terms were not publicized.
Williams, the fourth-overall pick, was the first in the top five to sign. After missing the first practice of training camp, Williams said it was “vital” that he reported on Day Two.
“I’m still a young guy learning the offense,” he said. “If I’m gonna be plugged in at a key position, I can’t be out too many days. This offense is a new offense and we need chemistry. If I’m not here, it’s kind of hard to build that chemistry.”
How’s that for an attitude contrast with Albert Haynesworth?
*WR Joey Galloway earned his first-string role as the ‘X’ receiver by playing well in spring practices, coach Mike Shanahan said. Veteran Roydell Williams is ‘tied’ with Galloway on the depth chart, Shanahan added.
Third-year receivers Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas, meanwhile, are trying to ascend the depth chart after missing some of OTAs with muscle pulls.
“You can’t really impress anybody if you’re not practicing,” Shanahan said. “They will get their chances. This is where we start. It’s a starting point. It’s surely not where we’re going to finish—it could be, but there’s going to be competition.”
Shanahan singled out Thomas for his strong practice this morning. Meanwhile, Galloway hasn’t stood out to me.
Kelly (hamstring) sat out most of this morning’s session.
*Terrell Davis, the famed running back who helped Mike Shanahan’s Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl titles last decade, is performing a coaching internship with the Redskins during training camp.
Davis approached Shanahan about six months ago and told him he’s interested in coaching.
“I told him if he had the bug, this would be a great place to come, training camp,” Shanahan said. “Because if you enjoy coaching after the two or three weeks that we spend 16-18 hours a day, if you enjoy it after that, you’ll probably enjoy coaching. If you don’t, you’ll find out right away.”
I’ll have more on that in tomorrow’s paper.
*Newly-acquired RT Jammal Brown said the transition to the left side is going well but not without hiccups. One time today he lined up in a left tackle’s stance. A coach alerted him before the snap, and he quickly switched up his feet. The difficulty of that switch shouldn’t be underestimated when considering the offensive line’s prospects this season.
*The second-string offensive line was: LT Will Robinson, LG Edwin Williams, C Kory Lichtensteiger, RG Chad Rinehart and RT Stephon Heyer. That’s not exactly quality depth. If you’re a glass-half-full type, at least Williams, Rinehart and Heyer have starting experience.
**Here are some plays that stood out from 11-on-11 drills. Please keep in mind this is just a snapshot of what occurred at practice. Guys that looked good when I saw them might have changed course, and vice versa.
*RB Clinton Portis immediately got up off the ground after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit, a sign that had to ease concerns about how fragile his head is following the third-degree concussion that cost him seven games last season.
Portis was running downfield on a pass route when the quarterback (I didn’t note who it was) lofted a ball in front of him. Portis stretched out to haul in the pass, but his helmet was sandwiched by those of LBs H.B. Blades and Perry Riley. The collision sounded rough, but Portis was OK.
In general, Portis appeared to be having fun out there. Before the helmet-to-helmet hit, he took a playful shot at Blades on the backside of a play. He also left his feet to help chip LB Rob Jackson on a pass rush. You don’t always seem that type of vigor from Portis in practice.
*Andre Carter blew up a Larry Johnson carry by shooting a gap on the right side of the offensive line. Carter began camp as the second string LOLB, but he missed much of the offseason program recovering from biceps surgery. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can quickly overtake Lorenzo Alexander. Carter didn’t thrive in the 3-4 in San Francicsco, but coordinator Jim Haslett has said that Carter will have fewer coverage responsibilities in this scheme.
*QB Donovan McNabb was fairly sharp. It’s clear that he likes throwing to TE Chris Cooley. On one rollout, he checked down from Fred Davis and Joey Galloway–both were moderately open–to throw shorter to Cooley.
*LT Trent Williams had a strong training camp debut. On one pass play, he spun RDE Kedric Golston around with his initial punch and then knocked Golston to his knees. Very impressive.
*LDE Phillip Daniels got underneath RG Chad Rinehart’s pad level on one pass rush, drove him back and would have had a sack if tackling were permitted. Later, Rinehart did a nice job getting to the linebackers and opening up a running lane for RB Ryan Torain.
*Jammal Brown’s transition to right tackle will take some time, but his hands looked really good on one pass block against Lorenzo Alexander. Brown’s initial punch stunned Alexander just a bit, and Brown swiped Alexander’s hands off him on the recovery. Very nice technique.
*Another receiver that endeared himself to coaches with his play in the spring was Anthony Armstrong, a first-year player out of West Texas A&M. (He was on the Redskins practice squad last season.) However, Armstrong did not have a good practice. He dropped a beautiful deep ball from Donovan McNabb after beating S LaRon Landry by a step.
*S Anderson Russell stripped RB Willie Parker of the ball after Parker gained about seven yards. It appeared to me (and this was just me eyeballing it) that RBs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams were getting as many reps as Parker.