The Morning Report Day -18

Want to know a sure way to get dropped in a bucket of ice water? Be from Ohio State and have the right tackle be from Michigan. I happen to be from Ohio State. Jon Jansen is from Michigan. I'm 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds (but used to run a 4.5 in the 40); Jansen is 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds.

I've ragged him in the offseason about my Buckeyes, reminding him there's no ''co'' attached to the OSU title--unlike when his Wolverines won. Apparently, Jansen had, um, tired of my ever so-good-natured jabs. OK, they weren't so good-natured.

I lose. I get wet.

Such is life on the last day of training camp.

But I have the last laugh: my cell phone was in my right pocket and short circuited. So I went to Verizon and tried to get a similar phone. They don't have that model anymore, the sales lady said. Would you like an upgrade? Why, yes, I said, I would--because someone else is paying for it.

Thank you, Mr. Jansen. Ohio State wins again.

. . . The Redskins will sign punter David Leverton this afternoon, one day after special teams coach Mike Stock said they weren't going to sign him. Yet. Leverton will kick off Saturday (though John Hall will handle the first kick) and then he'll stick around and battle either Brent Bartholomew and Bryan Barker for the job.

Barker or Bartholomew will be cut after the game, based in part on who has a better night. Barker has looked better in practice, but his inconsistencies in games is maddening to the coaches. Stock was particularly irked by his 26-yard punt against Carolina from his own end zone. Another punt like that and Barker is gone.

They cut receiver James Johnson to make room for Leverton.

. . . Former Redskins receiver Leslie Shepherd was at practice today. He's an assistant football coach at Gwynn Park High School in Maryland, in charge of receivers and the passing game. His son is a sophomore tight end/linebacker on the GPHS varsity.

. . . This had to be one of the worst practices by the offense all camp--not the way to close out the three weeks. Every quarterback threw poorly--Patrick Ramsey once threw a pass directly at linebacker Shamar Finney for an easy interception.

. . . Here's how bad it was: QB Danny Wuerffel threw a pass to tight end Robert Royal, mainly because LB Jessie Armstead was holding him. The ball bounced off Royal's helmet. In a game, it would have drawn a flag. But this wasn't a game.

. . . Bryan Johnson dropped another pass. Hue Jackson told me yesterday he wasn't worried about Johnson's hands. He should be.

. . . The best play: a seam pass from Rob Johnson to Sean Dillard.

. . . One thing I like about Royal: he's better able to catch the ball in a crowd, using his hands and strength to wall off defenders.

. . . OG Randy Thomas did not practice today because of a sore knee. Not sure what his status is for the game.

. . . RB Sultan McCullough fumbled on one of his carries.

. . . Steve Spurrier called off the afternoon practice, opting instead for a walk-through. It's hot and humid and there's no sense wearing out his players. But this morning was a bad practice to end on. That said, the defense has played with more intensity this week; we'll see if that carries over.


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