Thursday, July 24, 2008
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Days until the Redskins open the season against the Giants on Sept. 4 in East Rutherford, N.J.THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE
When:8:30 a.m. practice open to the public; 3 p.m. closed practice.
Where: Redskins Park, Ashburn.
Admission, Parking: Free.
Updates:703-726-7411.FRESH FACE: ROB JACKSON
Walking off the practice field holding three helmets -- one his, the others belonging to veteran teammates -- Rob Jackson looked the part of a seventh-round pick. The helmets in his hand indicated the rookie designation, the smile on his face represented the joy of finally reaching an NFL training camp, and the hesitance in his voice explained the speculation of staying beyond the preseason.
Selected in the final round of the draft, Jackson operates with no pretense. But a part of him wonders what might have happened had his college team, Kansas State, not run a 3-4 defensive alignment that Jackson said he is ill-suited to play.
At 6 feet 4 and 259 pounds, Jackson is a pass rusher. He had 4 1/2 sacks his junior year and two his senior season. Jackson said a move to a different defense caused the drop in the numbers. In the 3-4 of Jackson's senior season, he played as a down lineman and not a pass-rusher. His position did not fit his style of play. Now that Jackson plays for the Redskins, who run a 4-3, Jackson can assume the role of pass-rushing end.
"I'm not really a double-team, inside guy," Jackson said. "At the same time, I was like, 'Hey, I got to make the best out of it.' It was a good test for me. They moved my position, I didn't do as I was supposed to but I still slipped into getting drafted, and now this is my chance to make something happen."
During the first four days of training camp, Jackson's mind has been racing regarding the depth chart. On the first day, Phillip Daniels's injury made it appear as if Jackson would receive more opportunities. A day later, Jason Taylor arrived.
"I was like, 'Yeah, okay, I'm ready to step up,' " Jackson said. "Then I was like, 'Okay, they picked up a veteran guy, I guess they don't think I'm ready to play.' So I went right back to where I started from."ZORN WATCH
At the end of yesterday morning's practice, Redskins players and coaches stood at midfield except for two linemen -- OL Justin Geisinger and DT Ryan Boschetti.
Geisinger and Boschetti would dictate whether Redskins Coach Jim Zorn would extend his players' curfew by an hour.
The Redskins received the night off last night, meaning they were granted a reprieve from evening meetings. Normally, curfew is 11 p.m. Zorn was willing to extend it an hour if Geisinger and Boschetti could catch a punt.
"I think he probably picked on offense and defense who he thought could least catch the football on the punt," Geisinger said.
Geisinger fielded the first punt low but cleanly, and his offensive teammates sprinted toward him with glee.
"I probably would have gotten ripped in the locker room for the rest of camp," Geisinger said when asked what the repercussions would have been if he dropped the punt.
Geisinger put the pressure on Boschetti, who followed through with a catch of his own. After cradling the ball, Boschetti punted it in celebration.QUOTABLE
"Listen, I'm 55 and I think I can still play. If my ankle was a little better, I think I could chuck the ball still."
Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, on quarterbacks who play into middle ageINJURY REPORT
DE Erasmus James and S Kareem Moore were the only players held out of yesterday's practices. Both are recovering from offseason knee surgery.NEXT UP
Hall of Fame
8 p.m., Aug. 3,