Training Camp Ends

Now that three weeks of two-a-days has ended, it's time to recap the, um, fun. Best hit: It's obvious, isn't it? Safety Matt Bowen's de-cleating of running back Trung Canidate. No hit excited the defense more than that one. Come on..keep reading...

. . . Matching the hype: Receiver Laveranues Coles. Tough, clutch and dependable. And then there's that speed. I think Coles dropped a ball once in camp. Maybe.

. . . Surprise newcomer: Safety Matt Bowen. He's tougher than I expected and provides versatility. He has potential to be a good blitzer and his speed is good.

. . . Most interesting battle: Can't get much better than saying whichever punter fares worse Saturday is gone. Never thought I'd be anxious to watch punts in a game. Still, this isn't exactly Ray Guy vs. Matt Turk. This will be a problem all year long, or so it seems now.

. . .Best news for the defense: New defensive coordinator George Edwards will use linebackers Jeremiah Trotter and LaVar Arrington the way they like to be used. That means no excuses this year. Arrington still freelances too much and sometimes takes sloppy routes to the ballcarrier.

. . . Looking better: Corner Fred Smoot. He's coming off an inconsistent year, but he bulked up a little and is playing more consistently in practice. Last year, you could see in camp that he was struggling at times.

. . . Sad sight: Guard Tre Johnson riding away on the stationary bike next to the practice field. Who knows when Johnson will be healthy. But I can't imagine he'll make the team when he is. Johnson is limited to right guard and, under line coach Kim Helton, all backups had better play more than one spot. Johnson once was a very good player. Thing is, he looks to be in good shape.

. . . Rookie surprise: RB Sultan McCullough. The free agent from USC runs hard and is fast. If nothing else he's earned a spot on the practice squad. In some ways he reminds me of a longshot from years ago named Tyrone Rush. The latter was even more physical, but he opened eyes in camp. Rush's problem was a nagging neck injury.

. . . Biggest disappointment: Running back Trung Canidate. He did nothing to distinguish himself in a tight race. He wasn't a factor even in seven-on-seven passing drills. Chad Morton constantly was. Trung Canidate had one great game several years ago. But Karl Rhodes once hit three homers in a game for the Cubs. Get the point?

. . . Biggest remaining question: Where will the pass rush come from? The Redskins have shown no signs of one in training camp, though I'm curious to see what will happen when Regan Upshaw and Bruce Smith are paired at ends. Still, Upshaw--a fun guy to be around--didn't do much when he practiced. And using ends Renaldo Wynn and Peppi Zellner inside didn't do much in practice, either. That means the Redskins will have to blitz to generate pressure. Good thing they have two excellent corners and a third corner in Rashad Bauman who has noticeably improved.

. . . Lingering doubt: Over safety David Terrell. Still don't know if he's improved. But his tackling was so bad last year that another season like that will hurt. Thing is, Ifeanyi Ohalete's speed is a problem and Andre Lott hasn't done enough to unseat Terrell.

. . . Can't wait to see: Morton on third downs. In practice he's electrifying. We'll see what happens when the games count.

. . . Surprise move of camp: Re-signing quarterback Danny Wuerffel. But, if he's the No. 3, it makes sense. Wuerffel knows this offense very well and can be a big help to starter Patrick Ramsey. And Gibran Hamdan didn't do anything in camp to make you believe he'd be ready to be a No. 3 this season.

. . . Impact rookies: Receiver Taylor Jacobs will be solid. Unlike other Florida wideouts, he's not expected to be a No. 1 or even a No. 2. But as a three or four he'll do well. Jacobs didn't turn upfield well after his one catch against Carolina, but in practices he constantly turned upfield quickly.

. . . Worst injury: Center Larry Moore's knee injury that will sideline him for two to four weeks.

. . . Worst nagging injury: Defensive end Regan Upshaw's knee injuries. He had minor surgery in June and it's forced him to miss a decent number of practices. Makes you wonder how effective he'll be early in the year.

. . . No-names with a chance: Corner Ade Jimoh, receivers Scott Cloman, Pat Woodcock and Richmond Flowers, guard Brad Badell.

. . . Ex-draft picks in trouble: Greg Scott. Played end last year and was moved to tackle. He's bigger, but he looks like an end playing inside. Gets too high.

. . . Best part: Camp was only three weeks and was in town. Can't ask for a better combination.

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