Aug 7, 2009, 8:47 PM EDT
Here is what Jim Zorn said to the media today followed by what I have to say about what he said.
On Fan Appreciation Day: “It’s a big deal for us. The tradition here is the fans love the Washington Redskins. They come into our home basically, and we are inviting everyone in. We hope it’s a big crowd. The big problem is there is one way in and one way out so there is traffic. Everybody has to be patient and enjoy the day. We are going to have a pretty good show, but it is going to be fast. You may not see the stars, but you are going to see a lot of great veterans and a lot of good rookies trying to make this football team. It will be spirited”
Tandler: I still don’t understand why this isn’t being done at FedEx Field. As far as anyone knows, nothing has been done to prevent a repeat of last year’s debacle. No more than a couple of thousand can comfortably watch the proceedings from the one side of the field onto which fans are allowed and last year there were 28,000. Thousands more didn’t make it after being stuck in traffic. My advice if you’re going—it you haven’t left already, you’re too late.
On the number of plays he expects to run tomorrow: “I said 25 or 30 plays last year and we ended up with 68. I am going to try and run 40 plays on offense and maybe another 16 plays. I am keeping the red zone pretty much a script. We are going to just work it down; we are not going to play it out so that will limit the reps. I think each guy should get 15 to 20 reps if they are playing a whole series.”
Tandler: OK, so doing the math here I get 56 plays. None of those plays will feature Clinton Portis, Albert Haynesworth, Santana Moss or any other of nearly a dozen players who will be sidelined with “injuries”. I put the word in quotes because of all of those who will be sitting out it seems that the only player who would be questionable if this was a regular-season affair is Carlos Rogers. His calf strain has kept him out for the past several days.
On punter Hunter Smith: “I have a tremendous comfort zone with Hunter. We are going to punt tomorrow in non live situations. We are going to kick field goals and extra points. Each kicker will have a chance to do that. We are going to kick both kickers in the games in preseason.”
Tandler: Certainly the additions of Haynesworth and Orakpo will prove to have a more noticeable impact but don’t underestimate the difference that the presence of Hunter the Punter will make. Suisham will really have to stink up the joint tomorrow and for all four preseason games and, even if he does that—a distinct possibility—there’s no guarantee that Rayner will replace him. The team’s 2009 kicker may not be on the roster as of now.
On guard/tackle Chad Reinhardt: “I see a guy that came very prepared to this training camp. He is much more confident in what he is doing on the line of scrimmage. He knows his assignment. He is in great shape. He has changed his body strength and is competing very hard for a starting position.”
Tandler: I hope that by changing his body strength he got stronger. Although Zorn didn’t talk about it last year, it seems to me that Reinhart, just like Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, wasn’t prepared for the rigors of an NFL training camp. Unlike the rookie receivers Reinhart didn’t suffer from injuries but he was lost and he never recovered. This year he seems to know what he’s getting into and it’s showing in improved play.