Redskins veteran camper Joey Galloway knows what to write home about
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Joey Galloway doesn't enjoy training camp. Let's just get that out of the way, right from the start. He's in Ashburn, competing for a spot as a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins, but he doesn't enjoy training camp.
"They all feel fast. They all feel long. They all feel hard," he said Sunday when asked to compare the many training camps he's known. "If we come outside and the sun's out it's going to be a long day."
Still, he's out there, at 38 years old, in his do-rag and his -- what are they? Cutoff sweat pants? Long shorts? Capris? No, not capris. No matter. He's in camp -- his 16th, no less -- and doing well enough to play opposite Santana Moss with what appears to be the first team during drills. For a man of his age, er, experience, that's got to be a good feeling, right?
"We don't play tomorrow, so it doesn't really matter," Galloway said. "It's early. There are 12 receivers. We just started three days ago. The depth chart doesn't really matter."
So, how does he feel about the way he has played in this camp?
"I'm tired. It's camp."
Older players in any sport are sometimes referred to as graybeards, but in Galloway's case, that's also a description. If his razor decides to skip its mandatory workout on any given day, Galloway's stubble is unquestionably cottony. It's not a traditional look for an active NFL player.
But Galloway isn't your traditional NFL veteran. Eyebrows were raised around the league when the Redskins signed him as a free agent. In his past two seasons, he played in just 12 games and made 20 receptions. But in the tantalizing three seasons before that -- 2005, 2006 and 2007, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- he played in all but one game, averaging 16.6 yards per catch and scoring 23 touchdowns. Coach Mike Shanahan hopes to get the Galloway of those three seasons, age be damned.
"Usually people that can run, they can run," Shanahan said. "He's been a fast guy since he was in high school. I still think he'd probably run a 4.4 [40-yard dash] right now if he ran it today, or maybe even under that. He's a guy that takes great care of his body, and has been able to maintain his speed. So that gives him a chance to make our football team and help our football team, and hopefully there's no setbacks."
In his best season -- 2005, when he amassed 1,287 yards and scored 10 touchdowns -- Galloway worked with a youngster named Kyle Shanahan, who was in his second year at his first professional coaching job. Shanahan, Mike's son, was the offensive quality control coach then; now he's the Redskins' offensive coordinator. The difference between the relationship then and now, five years later: The teacher has become the student.
"He's more knowledgeable," Galloway said of Kyle Shanahan. "He's running a system now. There he was still learning. I taught Kyle everything he knows when he was in Tampa." (He's laughing when he says that, but you get the feeling it might be partially true.) "So it's a little different when you're learning a system as opposed to running a system.
"When we were there, I wasn't really asking Kyle a lot of questions. And now, we're here, I'm asking him a ton of questions. So it's just different."