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The Washington Redskins will debut a revamped roster at their second minicamp

By Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 26, 2010; D01

With the bulk of the roster now in place, the Washington Redskins will prepare for a second minicamp that should look noticeably different from the first.

Though barely a week has passed since the Redskins broke camp, the personnel has changed significantly with the three-day NFL draft and trades, as Washington has added first-round draft pick Trent Williams to the offensive line, free agent Adam Carriker to the defensive line and said goodbye to quarterback Jason Campbell.

"Yeah, we made some strides," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We're not done yet. We're gonna still be looking over obviously the wire relative to free agency, we'll get a chance to evaluate our football team a little bit more in the next minicamp. . . . We're gonna keep on trying to get better."

The draft passed and team officials said they did not attempt to trade defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth or linebacker Rocky McIntosh, neither of whom attended the voluntary minicamp on April 16-18. Coaches are planning on both playing for the Redskins next season, even though McIntosh, a restricted free agent, has yet to sign his tender and Haynesworth is expected to only take part in mandatory offseason activities at Redskins Park.

"I always expect the best from people. We've invested a lot in him," Shanahan said of Haynesworth. "Hopefully he comes out and he wants to compete, he wants to win. This is all about winning. We want people that want to win and can help us win, and hopefully Albert will be one of those guys."

The team's next minicamp is May 7-9, and while it's technically voluntary, Shanahan will again expect perfect attendance. It'll be the first time Shanahan and his staff will get to evaluate the team's newest members. The Redskins drafted six new players -- three offensive linemen among them -- and also added a handful of undrafted rookie free agents on Sunday, including former Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark and LSU running back Keiland Williams, according to reports.

For that group, the three-day camp will be a crash-course introduction to professional football and the Redskins' revamped philosophies.

"It's really just trying to get the younger guys acclimated to the NFL lifestyle and pace, just trying to bring them along so that when it's time to play and strap it up, they're ready," veteran Lorenzo Alexander said. "The next minicamp is the first part of that. I mean, [Shanahan's] got to convey to these young guys that they've got to jump on board. They're kind of behind, so they've got to jump in fast and immerse themselves, especially Trent Williams. [He's] just trying to catch up and get on pace, because he's gonna be in the fire pretty much, lined up against [defensive end-linebacker Brian Orakpo] every day in practice, which is gonna be great for him because in this NFC East he's gonna face several top pass rushers every week."

Position battles will begin in earnest, too, as the newly acquired players will be fighting for spots on the depth chart. Veterans will also be expected to attend -- "just polishing up on what we learned so far," wide receiver Devin Thomas said.

"Me personally, just getting used to my new assignments and new routes," he said. "There's always gonna be growth, every time we get a chance to be on the field together there's gonna be growth, so I'm just excited. Big things this year, huge things."

Coaches on both sides of the ball are in the process of teaching a new offense and a new defense. The team has vowed to be more committed to a zone-blocking scheme, better utilize its running game and incorporate a more complex passing attack into its offense, while the defense is installing the principles of a 3-4 scheme. Coaches will use the next minicamp to review a lot of the same points that have already been made.

"We're throwing it all at them. We're not holding anything back," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. "We expect them to have it down by Week 1. It's a process. You throw a ton at them and see what sticks. And then you throw it all at them again and hopefully a little more sticks."

The next minicamp should be void of much quarterback drama, with Campbell, the team's starter the past 32 games, traded to Oakland on Saturday in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick. With McNabb firmly in place as the Redskins' starter, the sole quarterback question will involve the depth chart. Rex Grossman appears poised to serve as the backup and there should be a battle for the No. 3 job.

Shanahan has stressed that he wants competition at all positions, a key to improvement. Those who have been around the facility and have watched Shanahan and General Manager Bruce Allen slowly add to the roster already have high expectations. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall told fans at the team's draft day party at FedEx Field on Saturday that the Redskins, who posted a 4-12 record last season, would be capable of 11 or 12 wins in 2010.

"The scheme alone is gonna give us four or five more wins," Hall explained to reporters later. "The games we lost by two, three points, we'll win those games easy. We'll dominate our division, off of bringing Donovan McNabb in here, a guy who's dominated the division in the past. So that's just an educated guess. That's an educated guess, and I stand behind. I'll stand behind that. I'll fight and claw to try to make that happen."

As Allen and Shanahan have reviewed the roster they inherited, they've left almost no unit untouched, adding youth to the offensive line, bringing in veterans to anchor the defensive line, bringing in competition for Clinton Portis at running back, overhauling the responsibilities for linebackers and defensive backs, rewriting the route book for receivers, and of course, putting McNabb under center.

"I'm so excited because this team is totally revamped from head to shoulders," Orakpo said. "The sky's the limit for us."

The Redskins are permitted to hold two extra minicamps because Shanahan is a first-year coach. The team will conduct a third minicamp in June and also has scheduled offseason training activities for May 17-19, 24-26, June 1-3, 7-8 and 10-11.

Staff writer Dan Steinberg contributed to this report.

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