Team still interested in adding Westbrook
The Redskins have been through their first preseason game and got a good look at young running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams. But Coach Mike Shanahan said after Sunday's practice that the club remains interested in veteran free agent Brian Westbrook.
"Like I told you, I'm not sure what direction he's going," Shanahan said. "But we've been entertaining that option."
Shanahan said there is no timetable for action. ESPN's John Clayton suggested late last week that Westbrook was likely headed to St. Louis by Monday, a claim the Rams denied. St. Louis, though, is one team that has remained interested in pursuing the former Philadelphia Eagle throughout his free agency. Denver, another potential suitor because of a backfield decimated by injuries, last week signed former Raider Justin Fargas.
The Redskins rushed for 140 yards on 41 carries in Friday night's 42-17 preseason victory over Buffalo. Torain (17 carries, 62 yards) and Williams (11 carries, 51 yards, two touchdowns) got the bulk of the work.
Johnson eager for chance
Veteran running back Larry Johnson is scheduled to start Saturday night's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field.
"I've been pressing a little bit, but I'm trying to get it going because it's my turn now for Saturday, so I'm excited about that," Johnson said. "That's the rotation. That's the rotation Coach [Shanahan] has in mind, so we're going to keep continuing on it to work to get better and perform on Saturday."
In an effort to fairly evaluate Clinton Portis, Johnson and Willie Parker, Shanahan wants each of the former 1,000-yard rushers to be featured at the start of games with the first-team offensive line. Portis started and had 22 yards against Buffalo, and Johnson and Parker sat out by design.
Brown back, Kelly still out
In Sunday's first practice for the Redskins since the victory over Buffalo, right tackle Jammal Brown returned from his hip injury, but wide receiver Malcolm Kelly still isn't fully back from the hamstring problem that has caused him to miss almost the entire training camp.
Brown, who was replaced with the first unit by Stephon Heyer, did some work in 11-on-11 drills.
"Felt a lot better," Shanahan said. "Should be full-go tomorrow, should be no setbacks. Hopefully he can make it through the practice and keep it going."
Kelly, though, is another matter. The third-year wideout was again relegated to working on the sideline on agility drills and running straight-ahead sprints in the end zone as the other receivers caught balls and participated in team drills.
"Malcolm's better," Shanahan said. "I don't anticipate him practicing tomorrow, but hopefully by Tuesday or Wednesday he'll be able to go."
And for Saturday's preseason game against Baltimore?
"We'll see practice first before we go and talk about the games," Shanahan said.
Haynesworth goes hard
On Friday night, after defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth played with the second unit, Shanahan said he needed to look at the film before commenting on how Haynewsorth had performed in his limited stint. Asked to evaluate him Sunday, Shanahan didn't go into much detail.
"What I usually do is look at how hard people play," Shanahan said, "and Albert played eight plays, and those eight plays, he gave everything he had. So I was pleased."
Defense off to good start
The Redskins switched to a 3-4 defense because coaches wanted to wreak more havoc and cause more turnovers. In the debut of their new scheme, they did that pretty well against the Bills.
"We've been saying that from the jump. This is a whole different coaching staff, different attitude, different group of guys," said cornerback DeAngelo Hall. "We've been saying that from the get-go. There's something special going on around here. I think the world just witnessed a little bit of it [Friday]. But we still got a long way to go. Still got to make a lot more plays. Still got a lot more games to play."
It was a good night for the defensive starters. The group remained in the game until 8:17 remained in the second quarter. In less than 1?? quarters of work, they allowed the Bills three points and 69 yards of offense.
"Our confidence level is pretty good right now," said defensive end Phillip Daniels.
- By Barry Svrluga,
Jason Reid and Rick Maese