By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 17, 2005
On the eve of Washington Redskins minicamp, Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday that his three-day session will be similar to the voluntary workouts regularly held during the offseason.
"There won't be a lot of difference between the work," Gibbs said. "Basically what we're doing, we're adding a lot [of plays]. I think we're at the point now where it's overload, defensively and offensively."
The minicamp, which will run today through Sunday, officially concludes the Redskins' offseason. Afterward, the bulk of the team will be off until July 31, when players are due back for training camp (though some informal rookie workouts will take place next week).
"It gives you a real good feeling for how quick a guy can pick up stuff," Gibbs said of the minicamp, the first -- and only -- time this offseason that the full complement of players is required at Redskins Park. Nonetheless, with the notable exception of safety Sean Taylor, attendance had been high.
Yesterday, the Redskins took their final organized team activity (commonly known as OTAs) after being stripped of three workouts for violating rules governing the intensity of the sessions.
"It's probably the best attended offseason program I've been a part of," Gibbs said. "Because of that, hopefully when we get back in camp we'll be ready to roll."
Besides Taylor, minicamp will be without wide receiver Rod Gardner, whom the team is expected to release or trade. Linebacker LaVar Arrington and defensive lineman Brandon Noble won't participate because they are rehabilitating knee injuries. Tight end Chris Cooley (hamstring) also may be forced to sit.
The status of linebacker Mike Barrow -- who didn't play last season because of acute tendinitis in his knee -- remains uncertain. Barrow has returned from Arizona, where he was rebuilding strength in his knee with specialists. The linebacker will meet with the Redskins' training staff with hopes of being cleared to resume workouts with the team, Gibbs said.
Redskins Notes: The Redskins signed their sixth-round pick, Jared Newberry. Newberry became the first member of the team's current draft class of six picks to sign. Terms were not disclosed. Newberry, who played mainly strongside linebacker at Stanford, is among several players competing to replace Antonio Pierce at middle linebacker. The Redskins also signed free agent offensive linemen Tyler Lenda and Tam Hopkins, both of whom completed stints in NFL Europe. . . .
The Redskins released offensive lineman Dominique Richardson. . . . The team worked out cornerback Artrell Hawkins, defensive lineman Aaris "Tank" Johnson, wide receiver Tony Johnson and defensive back Jason Shivers. . . .
Mike Grieco, a Miami-Dade prosecutor, has been named to handle the Taylor legal case. The safety faces two felony charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and simple battery.
In 2002, Grieco prosecuted felony charges against former NFL wide receiver Brian Blades for resisting arrest and assaulting an off-duty police officer after a brawl in a South Beach bar. Although Grieco reportedly wanted Blades to serve at least four months, he accepted a plea to avoid jail time. Last year, Grieco also handled a case with similar charges involving Antrel Rolle, Taylor's former Miami Hurricanes teammate. But Grieco dropped the charges against Rolle, drafted eighth in the 2005 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. . . .
Trent Baalke -- the Redskins scout who oversaw Taylor's background check -- has left the team to join the San Francisco 49ers in the same capacity, according to two club sources, although they didn't believe the change was related to Taylor.