By Nunyo Demasio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 20, 2005
For linebacker Mike Barrow, the Washington Redskins' minicamp was a chance to prove he is healthy. The 35-year-old's performance in individual drills -- under the watch of trainers -- increases his chances of remaining with the team.
"He did everything that we asked him in the three days," Coach Joe Gibbs said yesterday, "and we'll continue to work with him. As far as I can tell right now, he's well on his way back."
The development decreases speculation that the 12-year veteran will be released; he didn't play a down last season because of acute tendinitis in his left knee.
Barrow is the only experienced middle linebacker on the roster after the departure of Antonio Pierce, and is well versed in coordinator Gregg Williams's defense.
"If they wanted me to practice I think I could have practiced," Barrow said. "I did everything that I couldn't do last year."
Barrow has visited roughly 25 massage therapists and a handful of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists and neurologists. "They really didn't know what was wrong, but I was lucky to come across a guy good in diagnostic ultrasound," Barrow said. "And he told me exactly what was wrong: It was just scar tissue in my leg. And I got my breakthrough."
After the Redskins acquired linebacker Warrick Holdman last month, Barrow seemed destined to be released; especially because the move would save the team $1.74 million in cap space this year.No Rest for Springs
The Redskins held their final practice of the offseason yesterday. Players -- who aren't due back until July 31 for training camp -- talked about their plans for various relaxing activities. But coming off a strong season, cornerback Shawn Springs said he doesn't intend to let up in his offseason regimen. Last offseason, because of a knee ailment, Springs wasn't able to practice until April.
"Since it's six weeks off, I'm going to work out at least four of them to stay sharp," Springs said. "I want to expand on last season. Last year, I was just now getting in the groove physically. But I've been healthy the whole offseason so I expect a big year."
Springs's plans before training camp include participating in a cornerback camp July 2 run by his position coach, DeWayne Walker, at Mount San Antonio College. Walker conducts the camp each season for high school players.
"It has some of the top DBs in the state," Springs said. "I like to see some of these young guys coming up. I like going to those types of camps during the offseason."'Sean Taylor Fan'
Even while Sean Taylor was the only unexcused Redskin missing voluntary workouts, Williams publicly remained his biggest advocate in the organization. Despite Taylor's recent legal troubles, Williams hasn't backed away from his public support.
"I'll still say this: I'm a Sean Taylor fan," Williams said. "There are a lot of things behind the scenes that you don't know that I do know. I'll just leave it at that."
Williams added: "He is the best athlete I've ever coached at any level and it's not even close. Ability alone doesn't make you a great player. He's a good teammate, too -- when he's here. He just needs to be here." . . .
Linebacker LaVar Arrington, recuperating from two knee surgeries, has begun a running program. But it remains uncertain whether Arrington will be healed in time for training camp. "He's got a lot of work to do in the next 41 days," trainer Bubba Tyer said. . . .
Wide receiver Santana Moss was back after missing Saturday for family reasons.