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Three and Out: Training Camp Week 1

Three and Out: Training Camp Week 1

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

After a week of dropping a few pounds in the heat and
humidity at Redskins Park—pounds that those of you who know me know were ones I
can well afford to lose—here are my three random observations of Week 1 of
Training Camp 2005.

  1. I don’t know if Lemar Marshall if big enough to make it at middle
    linebacker, but it’s sure easy to root for him to do so. The other day he
    has his jersey and pads off and was talking to a group of reporters and,
    looking from 15 yards away, I thought, “Who is this receiver all these
    guys are talking to?” He not tiny, mind you, but standing there in his
    sweat-soaked Under Armor shirt, he just didn’t have the look that one
    associates with the likes of classic MLB’s like Butkus or Singletary. In
    talking to him, though, he seems to have the mental side of it down.
    Marshall has a quiet, intense personality like those of his new teammate
    David Patten and, going back a little further, Art Monk. Since Gregg
    Williams’ scheme doesn’t place as much importance on the size of the Mike
    man, emphasizing instead smarts and toughness, Marshall’s lack of stature
    and bulk doesn’t preclude success for him. As Marshall said, “It's not
    about your weight, it's about your heart."
  2. Kevin Dyson, the touchdown scorer on the Music City Miracle and the near-TD
    scorer on the last play of the Titans’ Super Bowl loss to the Rams, is
    also easy to root for but he is struggling on the practice field. He’s an
    engaging guy, quick with a smile and always willing to talk. On the field,
    however, he looks like what he is, a guy who hasn’t played much in the
    past two seasons (he missed most of 2003 with an injury and all of 2004
    after getting cut in camp). His movements are not fluid, he seems to be
    out of synch with the quarterbacks and his hands haven’t impressed. The
    good thing for Dyson is that his primary competition for the last roster
    spot at receiver is Darnerien McCants, who has had a severe case of the
    dropsies himself. The bad news for both of those players is that the
    performance of those two has opened the door for receivers like Jimmy
    Farris and Jamin Elliott to move up there and steal that last spot.
  3. Patrick Ramsey has been unimpressive. Not great, not terrible, just
    unimpressive. Don’t project that assessment beyond the first week of camp,
    it’s just for right now. It is based mostly on the longer throws, which
    are supposed to be both Ramsey’s strength as a quarterback and the new
    focus of the offense this year. Bombs tend to rely less on “chemistry”
    between the QB and his receiver than do shorter routes when the
    quarterback has to throw the ball before the pass catcher cuts. Ramsey
    seems to do fine on the deeper passes in pitch and catch stuff, where
    there is no defender on the receiver. The ball has a nice trajectory and
    the receiver doesn’t have to break his stride to run under the ball. When
    a defender gets involved, however, it’s a different story. The receiver
    has to adjust, the defender is able to make a play, or, most frequently,
    the ball is overthrown beyond the reach of anyone. It’s not like this
    happens all the time, but enough so that it’s disturbing. Nothing to
    portend doom and gloom here, mind you. It’s just something to look for
    when the start playing against guys in different-colored uniforms.

OUT!!

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

Poll: How many more wins for the Redskins?

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