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nfc training camp preview

One of many experimental iterations ...


The 1st Round Pick
Jul 16, 2009
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Washington Redskins
Training camp site: Ashburn, Va.

Campfires: Let's see if anyone challenges Stephon Heyer for the starting job at right tackle. I like the Mike Williams reclamation project, but it would scare me to begin the season with someone that rusty. Jeremy Bridges is another possibility.

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
The Redskins made a big splash in the offseason by signing Albert Haynesworth.

Here's some right tackle analysis from Jim Zorn from earlier this offseason. The Skins definitely need to create more depth along the offense line in case things break down like they did last season. I'm also interested in the competition for the No. 2 receiver role opposite Santana Moss. If Devin Thomas can push Antwaan Randle El for the backup spot, it would be great sign for the team. Also pay close attention to the competition between Todd Collins and Colt Brennan for the backup quarterback spot.

Camp will be a downer if ... the Skins don't see some major signs of progress from second-year players such as Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Fred Davis. I don't expect a whole lot from Kelly early in the season, but Thomas needs to be a difference-maker for quarterback Jason Campbell.

I also think it's time for LaRon Landry to become the elite player we're told he's capable of being. If he has a lackluster camp, it would really put a damper on the '09 campaign.

Camp will be a success if ... Albert Haynesworth looks comfortable in Greg Blache's defense from the start. If you commit this much money ($40 million guaranteed) to a player, he better make an immediate impact. Early in camp, we need to see whether Haynesworth's making people around him better.

And I think rookie Brian Orakpo's transition to SAM linebacker will be something to follow closely. I'd rather see him rushing the passer all the time, but maybe he can do some damage as a stand-up guy.

Surprise, surprise: Keep your eye on a free-agent receiver named Trent Shelton who has bounced around the league on a couple of practice squads. If Thomas and Kelly are slow out of the gate, Shelton has the type of heart and determination to make them pay. Remember you heard it here first.

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