Will Washington's first round pick [fourth overall] Trent Williams, the rookie the team is counting on to hold down that critical left tackle position, be in camp on time? Beat reporter Rich Campbell tweets thusly:“In training camp, Mike takes care of the veteran guys,” he said. “He took great care of me. He added years on my career. Older guys like myself who had injury issues and whose bodies can’t do [it every day]. I just got to the point where I can’t be out there beating myself. I’ve got to save it for the game. And he was always really good about taking care of me and letting my offensive line coach go, ‘OK, I need him on these three plays, but these eight plays he can do in his sleep.’”
In other words, Phillip Daniels has earned a bit of leeway. Malcolm Kelly -- not so much.
Speaking of Daniels, he's been answering some fan questions. Here's a sample. First, on who is benefiting the most from the switch to the 3-4 defense.from beat reporter Jason Reid. Campbell refuses to say whether or not he was treated fairly in Washington [he wasn't], but has this to say about Shanny v. Jim Zorn: Well, you see now they're trying to make improvements because [Shanahan] knows what it takes to win championships and the important things you have to do. It's about building a core. You have to build that core. When you see them making all these moves this offseason, you know they now know what's important. I just sit back and watch this and it's just like ... it would have been nice to have some of those same type of efforts and improvements made while I was there. But it is what it is. You move on. I still have friends on the team so I wish them the best. I wish them much success.
The smart guys at Football Outsiders predict 9.2 wins for the Redskins this season, owing to upgrades in the coaching staff, quarterback position, and elsewhere. However, the Redskins are an old team and the Outsiders see disaster lurking in the future. First, the good news:“All of that veteran wallpapering comes with an upside. The Redskins should reach the playoffs this year: They are better than they were last season, and they weren’t as bad last season as their record suggests. … The switch from [Jim] Zorn- [Jason] Campbell to [Mike] Shanahan-[Donovan] McNabb will get the Redskins to snap back to that seven-win level, and then buy them an extra win or two. A schedule full of Rams, Buccaneers, and Lions gives them another boost. The NFC East will have a down season, and the Redskins get two meetings with the McNabb-less Eagles, who are actually rebuilding instead of signing 34-year-old backup linebackers.”
Now the bad news:That sounds right to me. Some of this will depend on the collective bargaining agreement that emerges [when it emerges] some time in 2011 [hopefully], but the Redskins are going to have to rebuild this team sooner or later. The team is old at quarterback and running back and continues to need an infusion of talent at wide receiver, defensive back and offensive line. At least those decisions will not be made by Vinny Cerrato.