The Morning Report - Day 17

The Redskins displeasure with their punter situation showed this morning when they worked out David Leverton, a former fifth-round pick by Jacksonville. They won't sign him--his mechanics need a little tweaking and he's not as fast getting his punts off as the Redskins two punters. But that doesn't mean they're going to stop looking.

From what we've heard, the Redskins were greatly concerned by Bryan Barker's shanked punt from deep in his own territory against Carolina. We hear that special teams coach Mike Stock chewed him out after the punt, knowing that it was a repeat of too many kicks last season. It's a mistake a longtime pro shouldn't make.

The Redskins have liked what they've seen of Barker in practice, where his edge over Brent Bartholomew is pronounced. He's a bit quicker than Bartholomew and much more consistent.

But if Barker has another bad night Saturday, look for the situation to be addressed once again. And fast. The Redskins won't go into the season with Barker if he's had an inconsistent preseason.

As for Leverton, they do like his leg and the fact that he can also hold, punt and kick off. But he's not the man. Yet.

. . . Running back Ladell Betts practiced again, but was still held out of contact drills.

. . . LG Dave Fiore and C Wilbert Brown both practiced.

. . .Another day, another fight: This time LB Antonio Pierce and TE Kevin Ware battled--their fight ended practice. Pierce was tired of Ware shoving people in the back--they had exchanged words earlier in the workout. Pierce was throwing punches at Ware at the bottom of a big pile.

. . . Bruce Smith continues to work with the first team defense at right end. In one pass-rush set, he lined up at right end with Regan Upshaw on the left side. Renaldo Wynn and Peppi Zellner both lined up inside. It generated no rush. At 6-foot-5, Zellner often is too tall inside. He needs to stay lower.

. . . Upshaw had a bad day. He was buried by tackle Brandon Winey on one play and on the next Derrick Dockery pulled and knocked him back.

. . . Tackle Greg Scott's quickness only is seen when the play goes away from him, allowing him to get inside his man. Otherwise, on straight-ahead plays he just gets stood up.

. . .RB/OC Hue Jackson got on RB Trung Canidate to run harder this morning. ''How is a hand gonna pull you down?!'' Jackson yelled. ''Come out of there running!''

. . . Jackson also has to constantly remind RB Sultan McCullough to finish his runs or hustle back to the huddle. It's good when a coach yells at player--it means he's in the running. But it's bad when the coach has to remind you to hustle. Especially an undrafted free agent. That said, McCullough has looked good. To hear what Jackson has to say about McCullough, go to the Camp Bytes section.

. . . Kicker John Hall has kicked all week, mostly short field goals, and should kick in the game. There's still question about him kicking off, however.

. . . DT Bernard Jackson looked good in the one-on-one drills, twice easily beating Akil Smith--once on a bull rush and once on a swim move. Hey, it's a start.

. . . WR Pat Woodcock made a nice grab of a Patrick Ramsey pass in the end zone. Woodcock had to lay out a bit for the ball. DB Rashad Bauman had excellent coverage so Ramsey put it where only Woodcock could get it. And he did. Ramsey also threw a deep post to Taylor Jacobs for a 60-yard score. Jacobs blew past safety Ifeanyi Ohalete.

. . . The problems with shotgun snaps aren't limited to center Larry Moore. Wilbert Brown sent an ugly one back this morning.

. . . As Steve Spurrier walked past Chad Morton en route to the locker room, he said, ''Hey, Chad, let's get you some carries this week. We've got to get you four or five carries.'' To which Morton replied, ''That would be nice.'' He'll believe it when he sees it, however.

. . . Want to know the best way to clear out a Redskins weight room? Put on country music. Today was Jon Jansen's turn to select the music and he opted for Merle Haggard. He was the only player lifting weights (many had already lifted). When receiver Darnerien McCants heard the music, he said, ''Man, what are they playing in here?'' Jansen had to inform him that Haggard is a country legend.

When asked if he had one of his CD's, McCants said, ''Yeah, way, way, way back in my closet.''

. . . Barker talked about punting for Marty Schottenheimer two years ago. ''Eight years ago he cut me and told me I wasn't good enough anymore. What a great league, huh?''


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