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Minicamp quick hits

May 1, 2009, 7:43 PM EST

A few observations from today’s Redskins minicamp:

  • As most of you know, I’m not much of a Colt Brennan guy but I have to say that I was impressed during seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills. He fired a few intermediate passes over the middle with great accuracy and authority and showed good touch on deep passes. I’m not ready to anoint him as a future star or anything but after today I’ll be a lot less surprised if it does happen.

  • Brian Orakpo worked with the linebackers earlier in the session and with the defensive line later on. In the 11-on-11 he displayed a quick first move and good speed around the edge from a three-point stance. I’m a bit concerned about throwing too much at him with the two positions.
  • D. J. Hackett, the former Seahawk and Panther that the Redskins tried to sign as a free agent last year, was in for a non-roster tryout. He looked sharp, although he did have the advantage of having a good base of knowledge of Zorn’s offense.
  • The best-looking receiver out there was Devin Thomas. He certainly seems to be in excellent shape and he’s running sharp routes. It appears that, unlike last year, he “gets it”.
  • I had a good chat with Zorn with just a couple of other reporters after the main media session had broken up. He walked us through the process of sorting out the tryout players. “First we identify the ones who are going to hurt themselves or hurt someone else. They’re gone today,” he said, smiling. “We didn’t have any of those,” he added.

    In his hand was a laminated version of the tryout roster that had been given to us. “It’s kind of hard to sort them out when they just got here,” Zorn said.

    He said that everyone probably would stick around until after the second session on Saturday and then they will probably thin some out before Sunday’s single practice.

  • And, don’t worry, the swine flu is under control at Redskins Park. The fist bump has replaced the handshake as the official greeting and hand sanitizers are all over the place.
  • If Phillip Daniels’ knee holds out, he could contribute this year. He is in terrific shape. When I first glanced at him up close I thought he was wearing shells but, no, his upper arms are just that big.

  1. Anonymous - May 1, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    Do you think if they go with Colt, instead of Campbell, that they’ll give some other team a first-round draft pick just from force of habit?

  2. Robby - May 1, 2009 at 8:26 PM

    I can’t say that I’m surprised one bit to read about Brennan’s ability to throw the ball well. Being able to throw the ball well is just something a QB either has or he doesn’t. Proof of this is the fact that most NFL QBs cannot throw the ball well regardless of how much coaching and experience they receive. It’s a skill that is pretty much god-given.

    Thanks Tandler for your honest assessment. This is a true characteristic of a good journalist (unbiased).

  3. Rich Tandler - May 1, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    @Robby, I do think that Colt has added a few MPH to his fastball. He said all last year that the coaches wanted him to work on his footwork and perhaps he’s stepping into his throws better (couldn’t really see from where we were standing).

    I won’t be going to any more of minicamp but I will be going to some OTA’s and I’ll certainly monitor Colt and keep everyone posted.

  4. Jack - May 1, 2009 at 9:02 PM

    Greta to hear about Devin Thomas. If we can find a consistent secondary target to complement Moss and Cooley, things will be much easier for JC or Colt.

  5. beat_kal - May 1, 2009 at 11:57 PM

    Two very underplayed stories with Orakpo… 1) the notion he might play two positions (who really thinks this is a good idea in a 4-3 defense? Not me… do they honestly think he can play LB and not get humiliated in coverage?). 2) him playing on the weak/right side of the line/moving Andre Carter to the left/strong side. This is only interesting because it’s a move we should have made last year when Jason Taylor arrived and it was a huge and under-discussed mistake. Neither Orakpo nor JT has the side to play LDE and take on the TE at the point of attack of the running game. Very good to see AC isn’t a sacred cow on the line…

    I’ve been with you on this Colt thing bc I thought his arm strength was terrible, so I’m encouraged to hear it may be improved.

  6. Joe in Raleigh - May 2, 2009 at 2:08 AM

    Rich, thanks for the updates. Great info.

    I am with kal about the usage of Orakpo. I’m thrilled that we finally drafted a DE, but I’m nervous that his size will be a liability at DE. And I, too, have reservations about this idea to move him around to different spots.

    That said, he has the quickness to rush the passer — a trait we haven’t seen in years. I believe that his speed + the well documented work ethic will make up for lack of weight.

  7. Danny Z - May 2, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    Does anyone know if the Skins actually have all seven of their draft picks next year?

  8. Anonymous - May 2, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    According to KevinE at HogsHaven, no, DannyZ, the Skins do not have all 7 picks for 2010. Their 6th round pick went to Miama for Jason Taylor…

  9. Joe in Raleigh - May 2, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Anybody else see this tidbit from JSOnline about Jamon Meredith? I wonder if The OBC had something to do with not taking a flyer on this guy in the Fifth round….

    Coach Steve Spurrier and several members of his staff didn’t hold back about Meredith.

    “We had multiple coaches tell us, even the strength coach, that he was kind of a pain in the (expletive),” a personnel director for an AFC team said this week. “He’s not a lazy kid. He’s not a bad kid. They said he’s just kind of a bitcher and a moaner at times.”

  10. Anonymous - May 2, 2009 at 11:05 PM

    I think Blache will probably play Orakpo out of position. That’s just how he is. (an awful coach who will never field a top 5 defense) I wish he would read some of these comments.

  11. ugen64 - May 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    “an awful coach who will never field a top 5 defense”

    Redskins defense in 2008:

    PTS
    18.5
    (6th)
    YDS
    288.8
    (4th)
    PASS YDS
    193.4
    (7th)
    RUSH YDS
    95.4
    (8th)

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