. . . The extra speed jumped out at everyone on the first day the Redskins returned to the field, especially with three newcomers: running backs Trung Canidate and Chad Morton and receiver Laveranues Coles.
These kind of settings are designed for players such as Canidate and Morton to excel. And they did. Morton, especially, looked good on draw plays, a staple of Steve Spurrier's offense.
''He's a natural on that play,'' Spurrier said. ''He hits the hole quick and fast and in the secondary he has the wiggles. He makes guys miss. You can tell Chad is very good on that play.''
Canidate looked sharp running draws and catching passes, particularly dumpoffs over the middle. We were also struck by running backs coach Hue Jackson, who seemed to sometimes go out of his way to praise Canidate. Maybe boosting his self-esteem?
''Hey, Trung Canidate, that's it, right there!'' Jackson yelled after one dumpoff over the middle. Canidate scooted past the defenders.
Another bonus of all the speed: the receiver screen will be much more effective. Look for that to continue being a big part of the offense.
. . . Bruce Smith still hasn't made it official that he'll return, but he doesn't look like anyone who's going anywhere. The Redskins will use him as a third-down rush end, a role he said was evident to him during the workout. He also lined up a few times at left end with the second unit.
Another time, Renaldo Wynn moved to right tackle in a passing situation.
. . . Smith blew up a reverse on one play, prompting linebacker LaVar Arrington to shout, ''Yeah, yeah, yeah! That's it 78!''
. . . No one is more ebullient during these sessions than Arrington. Always been that way. After one play in which linebacker Shamar Finney and safety David Terrell smothered a receiver, batting away a pass, Arrington yelled, ''That's penitentiary defense right there!'' Guess he means they had the receiver penned up.
. . . Ifeanyi Ohalete and David Terrell rotated alongside Matt Bowen in the secondary.
. . . Receiver Cliff Russell put a double move on Fred Smoot, leaving him in the dust during a morning session. Alas, Rob Johnson's throw was underthrown and Smoot picked it off. Russell looks recovered and ready to make a contribution.
. . . The receivers dropped too many passes in the morning workout--seemed like all of them had the dropsies. Coles and Taylor Jacobs both dropped balls right in their hands and Patrick Johnson dropped a few.
. . . QB Patrick Ramsey looked OK at best. But this time of year isn't made for him. He hasn't worked a lot with these wideouts and it shows. He floated a couple passes, one of which Bowen intercepted. And the deep throws weren't close to being completed.
. . . Catch of the day: Patrick Johnson made a one-handed grab over corner Champ Bailey on the right sideline for a 15-yard gain.
. . . Ladairis Jackson, Tre Johnson and Jeremiah Trotter all did not participate in drills. Johnson pulled a hamstring running on a treadmill.
''I didn't know you could pull a hamstring running on a treadmill,'' Spurrier said. ''But that's what happened. He didn't do it on purpose. He's been working hard.''
. . . Punter Bryan Barker showed he wants his old job back, booming his first punt 50 yards. He also had punts of 55 and 60 yards, mixed in with a few sideline punts of maybe 40 yards. The Redskins will take those numbers. The other punters, Brent Bartholomew and Mike Barr, were too inconsistent. Morton and Patrick Johnson were the only one's returning punts.
Minicamp Report, Day One
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