The P.M. Camp Report: Day 11

Linebackers coach Dale Lindsey was impressed with Clifton Smith's performance against the Broncos; showed him more speed than he thought he had. ''He played surprisingly well the other night,'' Lindsey said. ''He did some things that I had not seen him react as fast before in practice. I thought his tackling was crisp. He knew where he was supposed to be and I hadn't seen that to that point.''

Kevin Stemke has spent several years trying to find a home in the NFL. Such is the life of a punter. He spent a few games with Oakland, was in camp with Green Bay and was with St. Louis during the 2003 offseason.

Yet he's persevered. And he's actually looked pretty good in practice -- he certainly looks as if he could punt in the NFL.

He just needs a chance. And he might get one Saturday against Carolina as starting punter Tom Tupa has a sore back and might not play.

Which is good for Stemke. But this isn't: the Washington area is expected to get drenched by remnants of the hurricanes.

Tupa actually will be a gametime decision. But a handful of players already are out: linebacker Mike Barrow, corner Rashad Bauman, running back Ladell Betts, end Phillip Daniels, corner Walt Harris, center Ben Nowland, receiver Cliff Russell and tackle Brandon Winey.

. . . Linebackers coach Dale Lindsey was impressed with Clifton Smith's performance against the Broncos; showed him more speed than he thought he had.

''He played surprisingly well the other night,'' Lindsey said. ''He did some things that I had not seen him react as fast before in practice. I thought his tackling was crisp. He knew where he was supposed to be and I hadn't seen that to that point.''

. . . Special teams coach Danny Smith preaches to his players that they have to show him something. That was the message he delivered to linebacker Billy Strother as they walked off the field.

''You've got to show me something,'' Smith told him. ''I don't want you just talking about it.''

. . . Tight end Walter Rasby probably has the team's largest collection of throwback NBA jerseys, numbering around 10. Today, he donned an orange 1975-76 Spirits of St. Louis jersey -- Moses Malone's No. 13. My favorite Rasby throwback? Austin Carr's old wine-and-gold No. 34 from the Cleveland Cavaliers. My boyhood team and favorite player.

. . . Chad Morton is expected to play, but today Gari Scott and John Simon went out with the No. 1 kick return unit. Morton is nursing a sore ankle, but has not been ruled out (though the coaches might opt not to use him). It's a good chance for Scott and Simon.

Simon's ability to play special teams gives him an edge in the running back competition, particularly over Sultan McCullough, who at this point is not on any of the first string special team units.

. . . One of these quarterbacks must start asserting themselves, or else the Tim Hasselbeck for Starter chants will start to come (by the way, not to correct another writer's mistakes, but in the 0.00 Dallas game, the Cowboys rarely blitzed).

Saturday, it's Patrick Ramsey's turn to start.

''I'm not approaching this much differently than the last game when I didn't start,'' he said. ''It's certainly not any more pressure. You just want to go out there and be successful.''

He'll probably only play a couple of series, which means he must do well fast.

''It's toughto get a rhythm going, but at the same time you've just got to find a way to do it,'' Ramsey said. ''It's a little more difficult, but it's what you've got to do. It's the preseason. Every quarterback, regardless of who you are, you're not going to be in there the whole game.''


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