UPDATED: Redskins Minicamp Notes and Observations

Redskins Park, Ashburn, Virginia--John Keim's news and notes from Friday's minicamp session in Ashburn.

Observations from the Redskins' minicamp: . . . Rock Cartwright might be small and others were drafted at his position. But Gibbs said Cartwright will make the team, provided he remains an integral part of special teams.

''[Special teams coach Danny Smith] really counts on him,'' Gibbs said, ''and if Danny counts on someone, chances are they'll make the team. Rock is very important to us on teams.''

. . . Receiver Darnerien McCants is another story. Gibbs had a long talk with him this offseason about what he must do this season. And part of it is simple: contribute on special teams. McCants hasn't done much of that since he got here and he's only on a limited number of units right now. So it's hard to imagine him getting much better in that area. It could make a difference in the end.

. . . As Jon Jansen spoke with the media, linemate Cory Raymer kept shouting in the background, something about the beer getting warm. Hard to imagine any beer staying warm for too long around Raymer, a notion Jansen agreed with later.

. . .Funny Shawn Springs take on departed corner Fred Smoot: ''He gets this big signing bonus and I said, 'What did you get.' He said you'll see. I see him and he has this big gold chain with the state of mississippie right here [pointing to the middle of his chest]. I said I haven't seen nothing like that since 1972. I told him he looks like Austin Powers. Fred's country as hell.''

. . . Rock Cartwright might be small and others were drafted at his position. But Gibbs said Cartwright will make the team, provided he remains an integral part of special teams. ''[Special teams coach Danny Smith] really counts on him,'' Gibbs said, ''and if Danny counts on someone, chances are they'll make the team. Rock is very important to us on teams.''

. . . Receiver Darnerien McCants is another story. Gibbs had a long talk with him this offseason about what he must do this season. And part of it is simple: contribute on special teams. McCants hasn't done much of that since he got here and he's only on a limited number of units right now. So it's hard to imagine him getting much better in that area. It could make a difference in the end.

. . . As Jon Jansen spoke with the media, linemate Cory Raymer kept shouting in the background, something about the beer getting warm. Hard to imagine any beer staying warm for too long around Raymer, a notion Jansen agreed with later.

. . .Funny Shawn Springs take on departed corner Fred Smoot: ''He gets this big signing bonus and I said, 'What did you get.' He said you'll see. I see him and he has this big gold chain with the state of mississippie right here [pointing to the middle of his chest]. I said I haven't seen nothing like that since 1972. I told him he looks like Austin Powers. Fred's country as hell.''

. . . Among those not participating: linebacker LaVar Arrington, linebacker Mike Barrow, h-back Chris Cooley, offensive lineman Ben Nowland, defensive tackle Brandon Noble and corner James Bethea. Receiver Rod Gardner, as expected, won't be attending.

. . . Barrow worked out for the trainers as the others practiced and appeared to run better than he had last summer. They watched him backpedal for a while and eventually had him backpedal, plant and sprint diagonally to a side. Looked good doing that, too.

. . . This is a time to work on footwork and other fundamentals and getting used to making odd plays. For example, the safeties worked on backpedaling about 5 yards, then racing forward to grab a pass at their ankles. And the special teams members worked on batting a volleyball out of the air at the goal line.

The safeties also did a drill in which they zig-zagged while backpedaling, then sprinted from one side of the field diagonally to the other to defend a pass. That's more running than anyone else had to do.

. . . Rookie Nehemiah Broughton will be interesting to watch on special teams. Has good size and runs well and was the first one downfield on one punt coverage today. Looks like a hustler, which he'd better be if he wants to make the roster.

. . . The punter battle could be fun to watch this summer. Certainly, Tom Tupa has the edge, but Andy Groom is capable of long boomers, too. Tupa booted his share of long punts today as did Groom. But Tupa has the edge with directional punting.

. . . Quarterback Mark Brunell looks fresher than he did last season, showing a little more zip on his throws. Patrick Ramsey's drops were quick and he did a good job getting the ball in throwing position. Rookie Jason Campbell has a slow release, almost winding up at times. That concerns me, but not sure how much; need to see him in a game first because it might not make a difference if he's quick with his decisions.

. . . Lennie Friedman worked at second team left guard, for whatever that's worth. Friedman is a good guy, but not sure where he fits in. He can play two positions -- guard and center -- but he's undersized at center, let alone guard.

. . . Lots of media attention for a minicamp: about 50 media members were here today, including a crew from NFL Films and two reporters from USA Today.


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