Minicamp Report: Day Two

In one-on-one matchups, the Redskins' quarterbacks and receivers look good. They're connecting for long passes, intermediate ones and short ones. Each one takes a turn looking good, too. It's when others join them that there's a problem.

Still, some look better than others: Rod Gardner turned Champ Bailey around on one patter, hauling in a long pass. Another time, Justin Skaggs got inside Darrell Green, causing him to stumble. A few minutes later Skaggs beat him again, but the pass was overthrown. Reidel Anthony beat Fred Smoot, hauling in a pass from Sage Rosenfels.

Alas, in 11-on-11 drills, it's a different story. Then, in the face of a rush and with linebackers, the passing game struggles. One writer had rookie Patrick Ramsey misfiring on seven of 10 throws, though he's still limited because of his inexperience.

But one of those misfires went to receiver Darnerian McCants. The pass, a 15-yard out, was on target but McCants dropped it.

''You've got to make that catch! That was easy!'' a coach shouted.

Another time, Ramsey wanted to hit Jacquez Green. But he never saw Smoot sitting in his way and it was picked off.

In truth, the defense is way ahead of the offense, which is much harder to learn. But it's also becoming evident that Danny Wuerffel is in the lead to become the starting quarterback. He just has a better presence in the offense than Rosenfels.

. . . No player is more relaxed or having more fun on the field than linebacker LaVar Arrington. He smiles, laughs, shouts and jumps around with joy. And, every so often, he'll dance.

''Practices get long out there,'' Arrington said. ''You've got to find a way to have fun. Sometimes guys are so serious that they just have to loosen up a little bit. I was so tight my rookie year I wasn't having any fun. It reflected in my play. When you're loose and having fun, that's what it's all about. So, yeah, I dance sometimes.''

But he's not still dancing about his Pro Bowl appearance.

''I'll always feel I'm the underdog,'' Arrington said. ''I approach every season like I have a chip on my shoulder. I need to have a chip on my shoulder. I'll never get comfortable. I don't care how many times I make the Pro Bowl. I'll always have a chip on my shoulder. There's no level of comfort for me. I'm out here to be the best.''

. . . Steve Spurrier won't do any golfing this weekend, but he won't be far removed from the other sport he's famous for. Spurrier rode around in a golf cart, riding from one field to the other and saving his back from wear and tear. Spurrier had surgery on his back a few years ago and it helps to sit every so often.

. . . It's customary for players to have their names written on a piece of tape stuck to their helmets. Because the Redskins have undergone so many changes, even the coaches are wearing tape with their names on it. Even the ballcoach, Spurrier.

''We've got to get to know each other,'' Spurrier said. ''We're going to Japan together. It will be a long trip if we don't know everybody who's going.''

. . . Fox-TV's James Brown attended the morning workout. He still lives nearby.

. . . It was family day at Redskin Park today. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was joined by his wife and two little daughters, one of whom jumped into his arms as he walked over to them. His father entertained one of them by kicking a ball back and forth with her. But the girls are off-limits to photographers. Snyder has asked cameramen not to shoot his daughters. Everyone obliged.

. . . Brett Conway isn't pressed to keep his job. And he kicked like it, hitting an upright on one kick and shanking another field goal attempt. Good thing it's only April.

. . . Rookie long snapper Jeff Grau, a seventh-round pick, had a good day of work and appears further along than fellow rookie Tony Grant, an undrafted free agent.

. . . If the Redskins were hoping to find a punt returner out of this weekend, they'll have to keep looking. Four players fielded punts--Champ Bailey, Darrell Green, Fred Smoot and Jacquez Green--and none stood out. Bailey even dropped one. Again, good thing it's only April.

. . . Danny Wuerffel continued to wear gloves. All kidding aside about the weather, he does it because he gets a better grip on the sometimes-slick balls. Hey, whatever works.

. . . Quote of the day: ''Get ready to blow his ass up so he feels you!'' Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis to his linebackers after a play.

. . . Renaldo Wynn lined up at right end, right tackle and left tackle at various times today.

. . . The Larry Webster to Washington rumors never seemed to be true. The Redskins never made him an offer, so says a highly informed source. Webster was just trying to drum up interest and the Jets signed him.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers and is a correspondent for Pro Football Weekly.


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