Training Camp Tracker: Fairfax's J.D. Skolnitsky Tries to Make an Impression
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Days until the Redskins play the New York Giants on Sept. 13 in East Rutherford, N.J.
When: 8:30 a.m. (open to public); 3 p.m.
Where: Redskins Park, Ashburn.
Admission, Parking: Free.
SUMMER LONG SHOTS | J.D. Skolnitsky
It's a common ritual, part of the hazing process all rookies undergo at NFL training camps. Carrying another player's sweaty pads after practice is a "rookie rite of passage," according to defensive lineman J.D. Skolnitsky. He had the honor -- dubious, though it might be -- of carrying Albert Haynesworth's pads to the locker room after one morning session.
"I was talking to Jeremy [Jarmon, a rookie defensive end], and he said, 'Hey Albert wants to ask you something,' and he gives me his pads," Skolnitsky said. "So now I have to take them to his locker."
A Fairfax native, Skolnitsky played defensive end and tackle in his three years at James Madison University. He tallied 61 tackles, including 10 1/2 for a loss, and 4 1/2 sacks in 2008. But Colonial Athletic Association football is a far cry from the NFL.
"It's a big difference, being kind of a big fish in a little pond to being the littlest fish in the real big pond," said Skolnitsky, who has not practiced this week while nursing a sore hamstring. "It just goes a lot faster, just processing the speed of the game."
The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder said training camp was similar to June's organized team activities, but that camp was much more intense, that the learning curve was much faster. Skolnitsky said though his playing time is limited, he knows he must impress when he's on the field.
"Obviously the starters are in most of the time," he said. "So the reps you do have, you have to do the best you can on them, because it's do or die, pretty much."
It is do or die for Skolnitsky because as an undrafted free agent on a team replete with defensive linemen, his odds of making the final roster are low. It is something he thinks about, he said, but not something he dwells on.
"I'm just here to work hard and have a good experience and see where it takes me," he said. "Just improve, and just be the best athlete I can be playing football."
T Stephon Heyer (knee sprain)
OL Mike Williams (abdominal strain)
FB Eddie Williams (hamstring)
WR Malcolm Kelly (precautionary, hamstring)
WR Devin Thomas (precautionary, hamstring)
CB Carlos Rogers (calf)
OL Reuben Riley (ankle)
DT Anthony Montgomery (minor knee sprain)
DE J.D. Skolnitsky (hamstring)
DT Lorenzo Alexander (mild foot sprain)
LB Alfred Fincher (groin)
G Randy Thomas (knee).
"For some reason, everybody butchers my name."
DT Michael Marquardt, who had his name misspelled -- it read Marquant -- on the back of his No. 78 jersey on his first day of practice with Washington
"You just want to be smart and make sure it doesn't pull. There's no point in me getting a setback."
WR Devin Thomas, on sitting out practice with a sore hamstring
vs. Baltimore Ravens
When: Aug. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium.