Dude, where's my helmet?
meets with players
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Redskins players Wednesday afternoon, and though he chatted privately with Albert Haynesworth following the team meeting, he did not speak with Santana Moss, who has acknowledged he was treated by a Canadian doctor accused of providing human growth hormone to some clients.
Of Haynesworth, who is waiting for a sore knee to improve before taking the conditioning test he must pass in order to practice, Goodell said: "He understands, he wants to get out on that field, he wants to make sure that he's performing as a Redskin. I hope he can do that quickly."
The Pro Bowler's knee became irritated, in part, because of his effort during multiple attempts at the test - two timed 300-yard shuttle runs - early in training camp.
"Albert wants to play football and he wants to get out there," Goodell told reporters. "He needs to be able to do that. But he needs to get himself in proper shape to do that."
Goodell also noted that he himself has taken conditioning tests in the past. Asked if he passed, Goodell said, "Oh, yeah. What? Does that surprise you?"
As for Moss, Goodell said his staff has spoken with the receiver, and the league is waiting for the investigation to proceed.
"We're following it. It's obviously part of an overall criminal investigation [that] we obviously are cooperating with and following very closely," Goodell said. "Certainly when a determination is made, we'll determine our next steps."
Coach Mike Shanahan has made many changes along the offensive line in an effort to upgrade a group that was considered the weakest unit on the team the past two seasons.
Although veteran tackle Stephon Heyer was demoted to second string in the shakeup, he is preparing to serve as the primary backup for projected starting tackles Trent Williams and Jammal Brown. During Wednesday's morning session, Heyer played for Brown, who had a hip strain, at right tackle.
"I've been back and forth for a while, and it makes it a lot easier for me doing this now," Heyer said. "You've got guys who go down and you need help. And if [the coaches] just choose to go in another direction, you've got to always be ready."
Time for a break
Shanahan gave several veterans most of the morning off to rest and recover from the rigors of training camp.
Moss and fellow wide receiver Joey Galloway, linebacker London Fletcher, running backs Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson, cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive lineman Phillip Daniels participated in the walk-throughs before taking off their shoulder pads and watching from the sideline.
The gesture was not lost on the veterans, who enjoyed the extra rest on a very muggy morning at Redskins Park. After six days of training camp - which included five straight mornings of intense group work - veterans such as Moss, who has battled knee issues in recent years, valued the break.
"We appreciate it," Moss said. "Especially when you're out there, putting the work in. You need a bit of break. You get up in those years, man, you look forward to those days, because you know they're going to come."
- Jason Reid, Rick Maeseand Paul Tenorio