Clinton Portis again did what the coaches didn't expect: he practiced today in Washington's first minicamp workout.
Portis was supposed to be limited this weekend, but there he was participating in all the workouts -- even the team drills.
Portis had been limited of late, recovering from the shoulder surgery and knee problems. He's obviously a major part of this offense and the Redskins need him healthy. Despite Ladell Betts' success, there's no chance Betts would supplant Portis.
Also missing today: linebacker Rocky McIntosh, whose wife delivered their first child a couple days ago. Corner Shawn Springs left early because his newborn son had to be re-admitted to the hospital.
Finally, there's rookie LaRon Landry. I thought I'd heard and seen it all in the NFL, but I hadn't seen or heard this one. Landry was hurt playing paintball the day before -- he was hit in the groin -- and had to sit out practice.
...It's hard to tell where certain players are in their development during workouts like this. As the coaches say, until the pads come on, anyone can look good.
But it's not hard to see athleticism. And Sean Taylor stood out for that today. In a drill in which the safeties had to try and run down deep passes, Taylor made a diving catch for an interception. It was a play that few could have made.
...And the No. 1 player to judge, naturally, is the quarterback. Around the league, there's still a lot of doubt as to what Campbell can become. The book on him is that the offense can't rely on him and therefore must be more of a power running game with deep play-action passes -- like they were doing toward the end of last season. It's also not the kind of offense Al Saunders wants to run.
There's still concern -- outside of Redskins Park -- that Campbell might not read things fast enough or release the ball quick enough. However, it was difficult to tell that today because he looked rather sharp at times.
Campbell threw a nice deep ball down the left side to receiver Brandon Lloyd, running a fly pattern. Campell also delivered several bullets, ratcheting up his arm strength when he needed to fit the ball in a tight spot.
Perhaps his best pass came when he started right, turned and rolled back to the left, threw across his body to Lloyd on the sidelines. Another bullet.
... The difference in arm strength between Campbell and the other quarterbacks is pronounced, especially when Todd Collins follows him in a drill.
... Rookie Jordan Palmer threw a nice deep ball down the right side to receiver Jason McAddley, who beat Jeramtrius Butler for a 35-yard score.
...Lloyd is noticeably bigger. What that means for the season time will tell; but he clearly has taken this offseason seriously. Clearly, that shouldn't hurt.
...Spent a little time watching left guard Todd Wade and it's again too hard to tell how he'll do at this new spot. But I do know that he allowed some pressure today against Cornelius Griffin. No shame in that. One reason some doubt he can make the switch is his knee bend, which hurt him on the Griffin rush; also, there are doubts about his ability to pull. In this offense, the left guard MUST be able to move well. It's not just a size position.
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