The P.M. Camp Report: Day 6

This is the safest statement of training camp: the defense is far ahead of the offense. There's no doubt the defense has looked better and it's safe to say all the blitzing is one of the reasons.

But it's also safe to say that neither quarterback, Mark Brunell or Patrick Ramsey, has looked all that sharp. Remember this: the passing game is based on rhythm and all this blitzing certainly has made it difficult for these quarterbacks to find any.

Ramsey, though, has done a decent job of dumping off his passes. What he hasn't shown is a great ability to lead his receivers on swing passes or to backs in the flat. Brunell does a better job of that. Two plays -- a flat route to running back John Simon run to different sides because of the quarterbacks throwing arms -- showed just that. On Ramsey's play, he hit Simon on his inside shoulder, causing him to pause. Brunell hit him more in the middle, allowing him to keep running.

That said, Ramsey still has looked a little better than Brunell. Right now, that's not saying much. It's early, though, and the only things that matter are the games.

And whenever Joe Gibbs is asked about the quarterbacks, he only replies that the offense has looked rough. Said the same thing today. He's right. All this will do is make Gibbs work harder.

. . . The receivers haven't helped. It seems Darnerien McCants has a ball go off his fingertips every day. He's been the most inconsistent among the top four.

. . . This is an admission: I love Fred Smoot. He patterns himself after Deion Sanders, but Sanders could flick a switch on his personna. Smoot is Smoot all the time. It's a battle between he and LaVar Arrington as far as who the crowd yells for more. But during practices Smoot acknowledges the crowd, as he did today when they'd yell, ''Smoooot.'' He'd cup his ear to have them yell louder.

''Me and the fans got a real true love affair,'' Smoot said. ''They love me and I love them. As long as it's that way I'll be in Washington. That's the way I want to keep it.''

. . . Arrington barked at his teammates during a blitzing drill with the offense, using no backs just linemen, tight ends and linebackers. Arrington got tired of seeing the offense pick them up or knock them to the ground. So Arrington, not in the action, started imploring the backups to do better, earning applause from the crowd.

''Their coach is talking s---. I want to see no one on the ground! Let's go,'' he said.

One of those blocks was tight end Walter Rasby flinging end Darrell Wright to the ground like he was nothing.

. . . FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw attended practice, getting mobbed for autograph requests.

. . . Time for the annual Matt Bowen scuffle of the day: After tackling Jonathan Brewer, he shoved the wideout as he started to get up. Brewer threw the ball at Bowen as the safety walked away. And tight end Fred Baxter ran over and shoved Bowen.

. . . You wonder where Rock Cartwright fits into the running back picture. Because of his size he has limited value and he's not as quick as the other backs. Cartwright could get shoved out by a guy like John Simon simply because Simon could help special teams more. And if there's four running backs, the fourth one will be mostly a special teams player.

. . . Running back Clinton Portis sat out practice this afternoon after tweaking a groin. He's not expected to miss much time.

''I'm straight,'' Portis said. ''You know, everything's all right. You'll see me out there tomorrow.''

. . . Gibbs likely will close Friday night's practice even to the media. Why? Because Comcast ignored repeated orders not to broadcast where the practice was being held Tuesday. Instead their reporter announced on the air where it was being held, annoying Gibbs -- and others in the media. Gibbs has been paranoid about the size of the media and has talked about restricting our time watching practices once the open portion of camp ends. This broadcast certainly didn't help.

. . . Receiver Scott Cloman dropped a pass over the middle, short-arming it as Mike Barrow was about to level him. But Cloman came through later when he made a nice catch down the middle, splitting double coverage.

. . . Safety Sean Taylor made a nice hit on receiver Sean Dillard, running a reverse. Taylor knocked him over without much effort.

. . . Gibbs was practicing sending in plays on a headset.

. . . Ifeanyi Ohalete, still the third-team strong safety, made two nice hits. But for you Ohalete fans don't get too worked up: both came against guys who won't make the roster. First he leveled John Standeford and then Dillard. Both were good hits, but . . .

. . . Cornelius Griffin dropped Simon with a good stick.

. . . The tackles both have done some pulling action -- Chris Samuels threw a nice block on Kevin Mitchell, allowing Cartwright to break off a long gain.


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