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WPC: Weeding out the Suckers

It is done.




Weeding out the Suckers
An early look at who’s hot, and who’s not in training camp

By John Pappas
Warpath Confidential Editor

Today’s scrimmage did little to excite fans, but did serve to illuminate some contenders and expose some pretenders in camp this year. Granted, anything we see now must be qualified with the reality that no preseason games have been played and surprises could emerge.

Still, today’s performance reinforced observations from a week and a half of practices. At this point it is already possible to guess who’s hot and who’s not. Here we look at a couple of each.

Todd Collins, Quarterback – Hot

Collins has had a solid camp. He looks more comfortable than last camp by a mile. Collins was responsible for the best play in today’s scrimmage, hitting tight end Todd Yoder on a beautifully executed seam route for a touchdown. Todd’s experience and field vision should ensure he remains the number two quarterback this year. One thing that could hurt him is his lack of mobility and overall slowness at the position.

Jason Campbell, Quarterback – Not

Campbell is the starting quarterback, and that won’t change anytime soon. However, Campbell has been late on a lot of throws this preseason, throwing behind receivers too often. As a result he has thrown more than his share of picks, as he did today on a ball that was thrown late to Antwaan Randle El. Randle El slipped on the route, but Justin Tryon had such good position because of the late throw that it may not have made a difference. Further, Campbell continues to check down too early and often. With this offensive line however, this may be understandable.

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Super Bowl MVP
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Jun 30, 2009
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Good information there John. Thanks.

The offensive line has been a concern for me for several seasons due to the lack of attention paid to it during the draft but that sense of concern is escalating to something approaching terror. Maybe things will be fine once Heyer and Thomas come back to practice but right now I can't see any reason to be enthused with the depth of this unit. With the recent history of injuries that caused lost games for Samuels, Thomas and Heyer, the current situation this team is apparently in is little short of criminally negligent in the football world.

I know passing on Orakpo would have been stupid and so far reports on him are making the decision there look excellent. In fact, at the risk of jinxing something, if he plays in the regular season as well as he has been reported to in camp he is going to make a number of the 12 teams who passed on him very sorry (my guess is SF already is...). However, I have to question every single one of the other picks made this year in light of the lines current situation. Surely there was a solid G or T available in the 3rd when we took Barnes (who is admittedly performing well). Or maybe when we took those two LBs, one of whom would likely have been available as a UDFA? Or last year in the second round when we took Kelly who very well might have been there in the third when we took Rinehart (who may or may not work out at this point)?

It is great to have all the weapons to throw to that this team might have if/when last years second rounders work out, stay healthy and get on the field but if you only have time to throw 3 yard hitches, slants and WR screens it won't scare anyone for long no matter who is running them.
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"is little short of criminally negligent in the football world"

Man, I wish I had thought of that one for the piece...

The Burgundy Ghost

The Starter
Jul 15, 2009
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The Shadows of the Unknown

Navy Salisbury

Y'know at one point I thought the Skins might actually have some depth on the O-line because of who they brought in and some of the guys they were developing (no, I'm not talking about Mike Williams....I'll get to him in a second).

Will Montgomery and Jeremy Bridges seemed liked nice swing players who have had some starting experience. With Montgomery you have a C/G combo and with Bridges you have a G/T combo. Both of these players to me seems to be an upgrade from last years back-ups Jason Fabini, Justin Gesinger and Jon Jansen (no disrespect to Jon but the writing has been on the wall for years now that he no longer can pass pro. very well).

Then came the developing talent. Devin Clark, while not being talked about much, was getting some praise from Buges and I think Zorn. Chad Rinehart, despite a scathing story on him and the O-line from the Post, was also gaining praise form Buges that the light had come on. Heyer also was being priased for his workout ethic and his desire to be and keep the RT spot (despite being pushed by tough competion in Bridges and Williams). Oh, and let's not forget Vinny who said that they expected these guys to step up as another reason why the O-line again was not addressed in the draft.

Mike Williams was a feel good story that the Redskins over sold during a dead offseason but I think the Skins bought into the hype. I understand that Williams has 3 years of rust on him and that he has to get used to playing at less weight than he did in college and the NFL. He's a project and hopefully he can be a backup, but right now he would be a liability in pass pro. based on what the writers at camp have seen so far.

I am terribly worried about the health of the line. Let's just look at the injuries so far on the line during camp:
Samuels (knee-fluid drained)
Rabach (calf)
Thomas (knee, elbow)
Heyer (knee)
Williams (groin)
Bridges (ankle)
Burley (cramps)

All of these guys missing time is very bad for a line that needs to come together to be a single unit.

If Samuels gets hurt, we're in trouble. Heyer I guess would be the backup which means that somebody would have to replace him at RT. Right now I don't see anybody who could do that. Williams like I said is a work in progress. Bridges, from what I read would be better as a guard. Rinehart and Clark have struggled........Oh and let's not forget Heyer has had problems staying healthy.

Then there's Randy Thomas. Has he even practiced since camp has started?
Does anybody think he'll be able to start eight games this year yet alone 16 based on his health status? So that means Bridges, Montgomery or Rinehart would have to be ready to be a regular starter.

So right now I see two big question marks at RG and RT (sounds familiar to last year doesn't it?) and that is a huge concern.

The Skins could use at least another starting caliber tackle. Yes, Levi Jones is out there, but there is reasons why he hasn't been picked up. Health for him is a big issue. Same for John Runyan.

Skins better figure out something quick because they will be tested early with Baltimore, Pittsburgh and NE. and then in week 1 vs. the Giants.

I was on the draft Michael Oher bandwagon, if only b/c you have a LT prospect that you start as a RT for 2 years and then move him to LT. Or if that won't work, you draft a LT and you have good bookends for at least the next 5 years.
Of course we drafted Orakpo and I don't have an issue with it. Had we drafted Oher we'd be complaining about letting a beast slip by like some say about us not drafting Merriman (going for Rogers instead). But, you can clearly see why I felt Oher needed to be a Redskin.

I hope in 2010 the Skins again spend their 1st rounder on the line, only this time on the O-line.
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The 1st Round Pick
Jul 16, 2009
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good news on Tyron. That could be a very good addition if he steps it up.

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