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Rehabbing Knee, McIntosh Works 'on the Mental Game'

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The Washington Post's Jason Reid talks about the development of rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly. Video by Jason Reid/The Washington PostPhotos: John McDonnell & Preston Keres/The Washington Post, AP, Getty Editor: Jonathan Forsythe/washingtonpost.com

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By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Linebacker Rocky McIntosh has maintained a low profile during training camp at Redskins Park, having repeatedly declined to speak with reporters.

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All subjects are off-limits with McIntosh, who has been especially reluctant to discuss his progress in rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery. But after practice yesterday, McIntosh, in a rare interview since a season-ending knee injury in December, said it is nothing personal, but that he is busy.

"I'm just trying to be a guy, man," McIntosh said. "I'm just out here trying to help the team out, get better. Anytime you step between those white lines, you've got to give 100 percent, and that's what I do. That's what I'm doing out there. Right now, that's all I have time for. You know what I mean?"

McIntosh, who is beginning his third season, tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in a 22-10 victory over the New York Giants on Dec. 16. He had surgery after the swelling subsided and has been working "as hard as I can" since to return to the starting lineup.

McIntosh, who had a history of right knee problems while at the University of Miami, fared well in his offseason rehab, the Redskins said, and is considered to be further along than cornerback Carlos Rogers, who tore his right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in a 52-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 28.

McIntosh and Rogers are not participating in 11-on-11 drills and have been ruled out of Sunday's Hall of Fame preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts in Canton, Ohio.

But McIntosh is optimistic about rejoining the first-team defense soon.

"I don't see no bad stuff" on the practice film, McIntosh said. "So you just have to take it from there and see where it goes."

McIntosh finished second on the team in tackles last season with 105, including 70 unassisted. Because of his current physical limitations, McIntosh, who was in his first season as a starter in 2007, has focused on becoming a smarter player, he said.

"Last year, I just came out there and wanted to pound everybody," he said. "From last year to this year, I know this game is more mental. I've been working on the mental game. Just forget all that physical stuff. Just be where you're supposed to be and you're going to make plays."

Landry Out for Sunday's Game

With his strained hamstring still not cooperating, safety LaRon Landry said he would sit out Sunday.

"It's a hamstring so it's a time thing," Landry said. "I'm feeling better and everything, but I don't know how I'd be going full speed."

Landry, who continued to work with trainers during practice, said he expects to be back to full participation "sometime next week." Even if Landry were further along in his recovery, the Redskins had not planned to use him against the Colts, Coach Jim Zorn said, and the team is confident the extra rest will help.

"It's pretty frustrating for me right now, just watching these guys fly around the ball, and I'm so anxious to get out there," Landry said. "I'm trying to push it, and it's just not happening. It's a slow process and it just needs to heal."

Earlier this week, Landry said he thought he had turned a corner, but "every time I take off, I feel a little pulling in it or some sort of that nature. With all the practices we've had, with two-a-days, it seems like I've been out a long time, but it's only been a week now."

Quick Hits

Backup running back Ladell Betts sat out practice after being kicked again in the thigh and will not be back to practice until next week as a precaution. . . . Zorn said he has instructed cornerback Fred Smoot to take extra conditioning work with the quarterbacks after the veteran was unable to pass the conditioning tests given to all players at the start of camp. Zorn said Smoot has never passed the Redskins' test in all his years with the team. "He hasn't done it," Zorn said. "Can he? Yeah." . . .

Defensive end Chris Wilson (strained calf) had limited participation in yesterday afternoon's special teams practice but is unlikely to be back to full drills until next week. . . . The Redskins are working out a settlement with injured running back Eric Shelton and will reallocate his roster spot by today.


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