Camp Sights and Sounds: Patten Gets Open

Our John Keim gives his take on Ramsey, Patten, Campbell, and others.

Tuesday AM

. . . Corner Shawn Springs returned to practice today and looked good, intercepting one Patrick Ramsey pass and deflecting another. After the interception -- a diving pick to his left in the flat -- safety Pierson Prioleau said, 'That's a hell of a swipe!''

. . . The Redskins continue to say they're not bothered by the lack of size at receiver and maybe they shouldn't be. But it's not good when yours truly, at 5-9 1/2, is taller than Santana Moss, David Patten and Antonio Brown. What that means remains to be seen. One guy I'll never downgrade is Patten; few work harder or ooze more intensity. The man could snap me in half.

. . . One thing I still don't see enough of from Patrick Ramsey: looking defenders off and throwing the other way.

. . . After QB Jason Campbell threw to the hot receiver, new tight end Robert Johnson, on a blitz one defender shouted out, 'That's a good job, J.C.!''

. . . New tight end Robert Johnson has good size (6-foot-6, 278 pounds) and supposedly has good speed. The Redskins say injuries have been the biggest obstacle to his career. Maybe they've found something. Time will tell.

. . . QB Mark Brunell used his legs to make a big play. He scrambled out of the pocket to his left and heaved a ball downfield to Antonio Brown, who got behind the secondary for a long gain. If Brunell uses his legs, then he can remain an effective player.

. . . H-back Mike Sellers to LB Brandon Barnes, after Barnes got past him on a blitz, ''I'll give you one, but you ain't gonna get no more!''

. . . Running back Clinton Portis said he added around 20 pounds this offseason, preparing just in case he was asked to grind-it-out for another season.

''As I picked up the weight, I noticed that I still had [the speed],'' Portis said. ''I still felt good so I wasn't worried.''

Nor is he planning on losing any weight.

''I ain't going on no diet,'' he said. ''If it comes out, it's because I'm sweating.''

. . . More Portis: ''Last year we'd bring the receivers in and have them tight. This year we have him wide and run deep. He runs out the cornerback which allows you to get around the corner.''

. . . Portis also referred to the receivers as ''midgets.'' In a good way.

. . . Defensive end Nic Clemons flashed twice this during the full-pad workouts this morning. In a 7-on-7 drill, Clemons bowled over Mark Wilson, knocking him back. Later, Clemons applied pressure on a stunt up the middle, going through right guard Randy Thomas.

. . . There's talk that one reason for Derrick Dockery's inconsistency is because of his height. At 6-foot-6, he's tall for a guard and leverage means everything. But too many of his mistakes are not leverage-related. This is an important year for him.

Tuesday PM

. . . Linebacker LaVar Arrington passed the Redskins' conditioning test this afternoon with ease. Arrington had to run 14 40-yard dashes in a certain time. Now the question is: When will he return? Trainer Bubba Tyer said Arrington will do some heavy lifting Thursday followed by on-field work with the trainers. If he looks good there, Tyer said Arrington could return to practice in a limited role, focusing on agility work. There's still no word on when he'll be back full, but the Redskins are being extra-cautious with him.

But, for those worried about Arrington's mental state, you can stop. Arrington has been very bouncy the past few days and very upbeat. He's engaging with the fans; his wife is often at the facility; and he's often smiling.

. . . Ryan Clark is listed ahead of Matt Bowen at free safety on Washington's unofficial depth chart. But Bowen has worked mostly with the first team all training camp (except for the full-team portion of Saturday's scrimmage against Baltimore). Sean Taylor, who has worked with the second team except for one day, is listed as the starter.

. . . The Redskins hosted 25 wounded soldiers who served in Iraq and now are recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Many players and coaches met them afterward.

‘'I'm fortunate my kids didn't have to serve,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ‘'I don't think I'd have a moment's peace. To see the young people that volunteer and are paying a price like that. I pray every night for our troops. What sacrifice. The country should give them everything, especially if someone gets hurt there. We should take care of them for life.''

Well said.

. . . Corner Shawn Springs (hamstring) and receiver Santana Moss (stomach virus) did not practice this afternoon. Neither did guard Ray Brown, who suffered a bruise above his knee. He's day to day. End Phillip Daniels (wrist) also did not work.

. . . The quarterbacks and receivers still have not gotten in sync on deep routes. At times it appears the quarterbacks misjudge the receivers' speed. Other times they overcompensate and heave it too far. Whatever the reason, they haven't connected much.

. . . Patrick Ramsey still eyes receivers too much, making him easy to read. It's how Springs intercepted him in the morning and it's why Bowen nearly picked him off in the afternoon. Ramsey eyed Chris Cooley the entire way and Bowen pounced. Ramsey still has not perfected the art of looking defenders off, giving his receivers more cushion. Sometimes he does, and he did it at least once this afternoon. But it needs to happen more and it's not.

. . . Ramsey did not have his best practice, though he did make some excellent throws late in the day. On one, he stepped up under pressure and, in stride, threw a deep ball to James Thrash, running across the field toward the left sideline. Thrash made a nice fingertip catch and stumbled his way out of bounds.

. . . David Patten seems to get open more than any other receiver in camp. He was open deep on one route, but Ramsey overthrew him. There appeared to be blown coverage on the play -- corner Ade Jimoh and safety Sean Taylor exchanged words (not harshly) about what coverage they were supposed to be in.

. . . Patten and Ramsey connected on several intermediate outs. Those are the types of plays that were not made with enough regularity last year. The deep stuff is great, but it's hard to connect. The intermediate stuff is what needs to improve just as well.

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