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Five Positional Battles to Watch At Training Camp


The 1st Round Pick
Jul 16, 2009
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All eyes will be on this competition when training camp opens on Thursday.

The frontrunner is third-year lineman Stephon Heyer, who coaches have worked hard to develop the last two years.

Heyer, who won the right tackle job last year but then lost it after suffering a shoulder injury, needs to show more consistency with his fundamentals, team officials say.

Veterans Mike Williams and Jeremy Bridges are also in the mix for the starting job.

Williams continues to be a fascinating storyline this offseason. When he signed with the Redskins, he was in excess of 410 pounds. After a rigorous three months, he told Redskins.com’s Larry Michael this week that he weighed 344 pounds.

Williams hasn’t played in the NFL since 2005, so he has to show coaches that he can still be effective in pass protection.

He has confidence and determination, though, and as a 2002 first-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills, he also has talent.

Bridges signed with the Redskins in May. He played mostly right tackle from 2006-8 with the Carolina Panthers.

Bridges has also played both left and right guard in his career, so his versatility gives him an advantage in earning a roster spot as a backup.

Every year, it seems the Redskins want to bring in speedier options to replace Rock Cartwright.

And every year, Cartwright fends them off and wins the kick return job again. He may not be the fastest of returners, but he is adept at following blockers and identifying holes.

In eight NFL seasons, Cartwright has established himself as one of the top kick returners in Redskins history. He is second all-time in club history in kickoff returns (183) and kickoff return yards (4,464), trailing only Brian Mitchell.

Last year, Cartwright averaged 25.6 yards per kickoff return, ranked sixth in the NFL and fourth in the NFC.

His primary competitors this year are Anthony Alridge and Dominique Dorsey.

Alridge has blazing speed and appears to have completely recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him last year. He logged 4,438 all-purpose yards in four years at Baylor, including 74 receptions for 997 yards and nine touchdowns.

Dorsey comes to the Redskins after starring in the CFL for the last four years. He was the league’s most outstanding special teams player in 2007 and 2008.


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