Thursday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. ET
Thursday, August 9, 2007; 2:00 PM
How have the Redskins looked at training camp? Is Jason Campbell ready to take the next step as a starting quarterback? And what's the deal with Portis's knee?
Washington Post staff writer Jason La Canfora was online Thursday, Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. ET to discuss what he's seen after the first two weeks of camp.
The transcript follows.
Read Jason's blog,
Full coverage: Washington Redskins
Jason La Canfora: Hey there, hope everyone is staying as cool as possible out there. Got the iPod on shuffle (Elvis Presley "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" right now) and my Redskins thinking cap pulled down on my head, so we should be ready to go.
Okay, fire away ...
Hollywood: Is the Redskins defense going to be as good as 2005?
Do you think they will be better on D-Line and can they create a pass rush with Andre Carter and Philip Daniels?
Last question will they have Wide Receivers get down field for the big play?
We need other guys besides Cooley and Moss catching the ball.
PS -- Please stop knocking my show and watch this week as me and E take the world by storm. And Drama has some big news in the next few weeks, peace
Jason La Canfora: Yo Vinny, what's up? Deep down inside you're still all messed up and lovesick over Mandy Moore aren't you? I thought so. Well, we've all got our crosses to bear.
As for you 'Skins questions
I think Andre will have a big year but I worry about the other side. Daniels has had a hard time staying healthy and that tends not to get any easier as you get older.
As for WR, I think it may be the biggest deficiency on the team and if I rooted for this team the lack of anything proven beyond Cooley and Moss would worry me too (especially with Santana's groin/hamstring stuff, which tends to flare back up as well).
As for your show, bro, sorry but I'm over you guys. You JTS about 1 1/2 seasons ago.
Raleigh, N.C.: Any rookie hazing incidents yet? Usually someone gets taped to a goal post or gets a pie in the face resulting in temporary blindness.
Was the paint ball between the legs enough hazing for one year?
Jason La Canfora: I think Landry getting pelted in the nether regions during mini camp was enough hazing for the entire rookie class for the entire summer.
Other than guys having to sing their college fight songs -- wonder what exactly Buzbee from Georgetown would have to offer on that one? -- and carry the pads for vets I haven't seen anything of note.
New Orleans: The Saints had seven straight days of two a days in full pads. "Hard Knocks" shows the Chiefs smacking each other around. Should I be worried that the 'Skins haven't been hitting at all?
Jason La Canfora: A little bit, sure. This has not been an overly physical camp by any measure.
Ashburn, Va.: After the first two weeks of training camp, what is your prediction for how the Redskins will perform this year, and what there record will be? I believe they could be 10-6 at best, and probably around 8-8. And also do you expect Laron to be starting against Miami or will Greg Williams stand by his previous stance of not starting rookies?
Jason La Canfora: Can't say these two weeks have any impact on my gut feeling on this one either way -- in fact I can assure you it hasn't -- but I've been thinking 7-8 wins all along so I'll stuck with that.
("Runnin' On Go" - New Bomb Turks on iPod now)
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Hey J-Lac,
If Wade struggles, any chance we look at Pete Kendall? Either trading for him or if he gets released.
Jason La Canfora: If he's on the street I think they might take a look at him. Wade will get a few preseason games before they really get an idea of where he is, and it'll be interesting to watch the left side of that line Saturday night. Could be courting disaster with the Wade/Heyer combo, but then again they might stumble into something, too.
If it was me I'd play Wade at left tackle with Campbell in there as use Fabini at guard, and then when Jason leaves have Wade play another quarter at left guard with Heyer at left tackle -- Brunell is a lefty so no blindside issues there -- and maybe let Heyer play at least another quarter with Collins in there, but that's just me.
Alexandria, Va.: Don't you think the 'Skins are risking more injuries and greater fatigue to their players by not moving the team north during the preseason like other clubs?
Jason La Canfora: In milder temps they could definitely practice longer that's for sure, but there is something to be said for making a 5-11 team suffer a bit in the dogdays of summer.
Personally, I want to get the ball rolling for camp in Virginia Beach -- mild climate, great to the wife and kids down there. Can't you picture like 90 bulky dudes running down the beach between practices like Rocky and Apollo Creed in "Rocky IV" with Buges leading the pack with an IC Light in his hand?
Now that's livin' people. Let's make this happen.
DC: Jason, you're a closet soccer fan, just admit it.
Going to the Beckham game tonight?
Jason La Canfora: Dude, I am anything but a closet soccer fan ... I came out of the closet around age 3, bro. I'm like leading the I Love Soccer Day parade, covered the world cup last summer, blog about soccer all the time ... but no plans to see that mess tonight. Becks not fit and MLS better watch it with the Ringling Bros. routine they're always running.
(Funkadelic -- "Me And My Folks" on now. You should me cut the rug in the media room out here.)
Megskin, QueenBee: What's up with the relaxed attitude at camp this year? I would have expected them (the coaching staff) to come out all fired up, ready to prove something. It seems like some of the veterans are surprised as well. Not exactly a good omen for things to come.
Jason La Canfora: Meg, how the hell are you? We miss you at RI. Will you come back, please?
I think Gibbs is Gibbs and he kinda said all along this wouldn't be that much different from the past. The players figure it would be.
There is more pace to camp and things are more crisp from an execution standpoint for the most part, but this staff is not big on too much hitting, live contact, etc. in camp. They actually seem to wear the full pads more during the regular season than they do in camp, rather than crack the whip like crazy early and then lessen the load.
And when they did go to some more hardcore blocking drills a few days back, Betts and Sellers picked up minor nicks and we haven't seen much of that since.
Hey, in the end maybe none of this means much and I am not saying it's good or bad, just pointing it out. If they win 10 games they'll be getting praised by players and everyone else for the way they ran camp and if not they'll get ripped for it.
Guess that's how it goes up here.
Washington, D.C.: Big Audio Dynamite is way underappreciated. Agree or disagree?
Jason La Canfora: I would chop off a limb to be able to go back in time and see The Clash in like 1980, right as "London Calling" came out ... but if you made me choose I am more of a Joe Strummer guy. I like his solo stuff with the Mescalleros more than BAD. I actually kind of cringe a bit when I hear some BAD stuff.
(Dead Kennedy's - "Do The Slag." This might turn into a decent one hour playlist, but just going on shuffle for now)
Portland, Ore.: What has you most excited as you ready for this weekend's trip to Nashville? The Opry?
Jason La Canfora: Hopefully getting back to National airport early enough Sunday morning to take my daughter Chloe to the Bowie Baysox game. (They are having a party of something for their mascot, Louie, and we had a blast at one of their 11 a.m. start games a few months back).
I love Nashville and it was one of my favorite stops when I covered the NHL, but I get in at like 1 p.m., I will be at the stadium by 5:30 and I'm out first thing in the morning. So no time for great live music and a bunch of beers this trip.
Joe in Raleigh: Who shot Landry in the man parts?
Jason La Canfora: I keep forgetting to get to the bottom of that. I'll put it in my notebook now and try to get a firm answer.
Thanks for the reminder.
Oxford, Miss.: As unbiased as possible, what's your prediction for the NFC East rankings?
Jason La Canfora: I think Philly gets the nod as the team to beat based on past performance alone and other than that I think the other three teams are bunched together. I see one of them ending up with 5 wins, one with 7 and one with 8 wins. something like that.
I do think the Giants will have better chemistry and be more consistent without Tiki and Strahan flapping their gums all over the place. Lot less distractions now ... of course none of that is going to turn Eli into a decent NFL qb, and if he can't step it up this season then it's time for him to change his last name and go home.
(Minutemen - "The Cheerleaders")
Sterling, Va.: Romo or Campbell -- who would you rather have for the next five years?
Jason La Canfora: JC
Washington, D.C.: Brandon Lloyd seems to still have the ability to create some kind of stir with the media folks. Where he gets off being able to do so is beyond me, given his ridiculously low production last year. That being said, does the organization still hold out hope for him in Year Two of Saunders? Could he possibly exceed his low expectations to a degree that would make him a pleasant surprise this year?
Jason La Canfora: He creates a stir? Seriously?
Not at my paper, I can assure you of that.
As for the 'Skins, yeah, they have to hold out hope. What choice do they have?
I wouldn't be surprised if he creates more problems this season and is gone next offseason. Maybe he'll change the way he operates on and off the field, but he's also a guy who says he never regrets anything he's ever done, so your guess is as good as mine.
CMoney: JLaC --
(1) Isn't the "physicality" of camp a bit overrated? If that's what it took to build a great team Marty would be a 10-time Super Bowl winner. While Walsh rarely had his teams in full pads, but rather focused on the mental part of the game and timing.
(2) Should we expect more out of the offense this preseason -- and by more, I mean more game-planning and more of the real offense. If Gibbs has to explain in his postgame pressers that "we run real vanilla stuff up here in the preseason" I might puke.
Jason La Canfora:1) Hey, I see where you're coming from and there are various philosophies. But I can tell you this, come Saturday they are going to start getting hit around pretty good. And when Pittsburgh comes here -- mad at the world after like 15 two-a-day sessions, they'll hit too. And the Ravens in the third game, when the starters play the most, they'll be hitting too (they put Vick out in the preseason a few years back did they not?).
2) The starters will play much longer and they will run much more of their offense this time around.
(Brand Nubian - "Dance To The Ministry" about time Mr. Ipod played some hip hop)
Joe the Fan: Are any "Core Redskins" backups in danger of being cut this training camp? I'm thinking Renaldo Wynn, James Thrash, Rock Cartwright, etc. My guess is that they're safe due to a general lack of depth, but is there anyone to keep an eye on?
Jason La Canfora: I think those three guys will end up being safe in the end, barring injury of course.
Not sure a guy like, say, Vernon Fox will be here, but he's not in that "core" group anyway.
D.C.: I recently re-read the Portis comments regarding Michael Vick. I'm pretty disgusted by his defense of Vick, and dogfighting. I appreciated the 'Skins coming out quickly on that, but Portis showed himself. He basically justified dog fighting. Has there been any more discussion on him and his comments?
Jason La Canfora: I was pretty stunned by his remarks, too, and shocked that no columnists in this town really took him to task much for the entire thing. Clinton says he learned his lesson, and won't make those kind of statements anymore, but other than that it's pretty quiet on the dog fighting front around here.
Sean: Who strikes more fear in to the hearts of evil doers, Sean Taylor or Mike Sellers?
Jason La Canfora: Wow. Great questions. Actually renewed my annual training camp conversation with Bram about which guy on the roster you would least like to have to brawl with. Bram said in the end he thinks Sellers would show more mercy and not eat your heart ... but I'm not so sure.
I'm calling it a tie.
Alexandria, Va.: You say Casey Rabach is "The Nerve Center"... could you also say he is "The Brain"?
Jason La Canfora: Very funny. According to Jansen, yeah, that would be the perfect nickname.
Gotta love DTs. A sure fire way to pump life into any lame party. May they live on forever.
Washington, D.C.: Do you sense that there is ANY truth to the rumors that Gibbs is still aligned with Brunell, Saunders is still aligned with Collins, and Snyder is trumping them both and forcing Campbell on the field? We've heard so much during the offseason about JC's progress from players and other coaches, but is there any chance that was all lip service and that the higher-ups are still butting heads on this?
Jason La Canfora: That's conspiracy madness.
Gibbs wanted JC more than anyone.
Now, is Collins still Saunders's guy? Sure. And does Coach Joe clearly have a huge soft spot for Brunell? I defy someone to convince me otherwise.
But Jason is starting because he is a first round pick who had ample time to watch on the sidelines and has the chance to be very, very good and is just coming into his own while the other two guys are nearing the end.
Pixies - "The Novajo Know" - little guy in my iPod coulda found like 200 better Pixies songs on this thing, but I'm not complaining).
The City: Wow, JLaC...you are chatting your guts out!!!
Jason La Canfora: Ain't that the truth. That's how I roll.
Washington, D.C.: How's Stephon Heyer holding up? The skeptic in me feels the organization may be trotting him out there to try to prove something to the naysayers who claim they don't find and/or develop players from within. Left Tackle is a risky position with which to try to make a point, though. Is Jason Campbell going to get hurt Saturday?
Jason La Canfora: I think the skeptic in me and the skeptic in you should go out for beers sometime, 'cause I have a feeling they'd hit it off. It smells exactly the same way to me. I am with you 100 percent.
(Does your skeptic like Carlsberg by chance?)
Mephiskapheles -- "Foursome" -- not huge on instrumentals but these guys are pretty amazing. if you like ska and jazz they are for you. (Although they may or may not be Satanists, so take that into consideration as well.)
Bubba Tyer: Does Sean Taylor have a knee injury as rumored or not?
Jason La Canfora: Where does this stuff get started? I love the Internets but this stuff gets silly. hometownnheroes.com? You guys gots to chill. You're going to give my editor Cindy a heart attack. She called me like three times during practice yesterday to make sure he was still okay.
The man practiced in full pads and did every drill and looked great and took part in all the 11 on 11 stuff.
AL: Looked at the recent photos of Campbell and was shocked about how big he really is. Are the pics lying or is this guy going to be really tough to sack?
Jason La Canfora: He's a big dude, so I am going to assume there was no doctoring to the photos.
(The (International) Noise Conspiracy - "I Wanna Know About U")
Baltimore: That's "Rocky III," my friend. Apollo dies at the start of "Rocky IV."
Jason La Canfora: Damn, I knew I would get that wrong. Ivan "I Must Break You" Drago is in "III" and not "IV"? I thought he was running on the beach to get ready for that fight and thought that was "IV."
Which Elvis: Costello or Presley?
Jason La Canfora: Dude, they are both amazing.
The first three Costello albums I could listen to constantly every day of my life. He is a genius.
Presley -- love his Sun Records stuff. Some truly moving records, so raw and real. Don't love his stuff beyond those sessions, though.
Pennywise - "Pennywise"
Anywhere that will get my question answered: Seriously, 43 minutes in and NO Portis question? What's the deal-io? How long before we see him on the field?
Jason La Canfora: Do you want the answer in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days or weeks?
My best guess is he sees some action at the earliest in that third preseason game, but that's just a guess. There is no timetable for now other than having him ready to go for the regular season opener.
Washington: Pretty boring chat today, wouldn't you say?
Jason La Canfora: Really? Hadn't really though of it like that, but then again I am a little biased here.
jm220: Hey JLC I hope all is well with you and the family.
Have the Reaper and L2 been on the field together? If so, how did the look?
Jason La Canfora: My man The Hammer, good of you to stop by.
Yeah man they are playing a lot. I wrote a little about it in the notes the other day in the paper, but Landry is with the first string in most of the 11 on 11 drills and they will play together for a while this Saturday, too, I would suspect.
Barno, Md.: JLC-
When am I getting my Cooley-signed copy of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot"? I'm never going to stop harassing you for it, so you might as well ask Cooley for it back one of these days.
Jason La Canfora: Dude, I haven't forgotten. I'm out $25 on that transaction, too, bro, so don't shoot the messenger.
I'm working on it.
Sonic Youth - "Tunic"
Baltimore: How well are Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry getting along?
Jason La Canfora: When they're not shooting each other in the midsection with pain pellets?
Just joking. Complete joke. Please no e-mails and Internets rumors about this. I just couldn't resist. It was sitting on a tee for me.
But seriously, it's way too early to start judging their relationship. Give it some time.
Rockville, Md.: Jason,
Clinton and Ladell may be saying the right things now, but could you see a running back controversy brewing?
Jason La Canfora: It's always possible but Ladell has been backing him up for a long time and I have a feeling Clinton might end up in and out of the lineup a bit with the injuries, which will put a lot of this to rest.
Denver: How about Rocky McIntosh? How's he looking so far? Is he running with the first team?
Jason La Canfora: He's with the starters. Missed a few tackles in the Baltimore scrimmage that I know the coaches harped on him about.
Until the preseason games begin I'm not going to make too much of what anyone is doing, though. That's the real time to evaluate. He has all the tools and studied film as much as anyone other than Jason Campbell this offseason. I have a feeling he will be good.
Rockville, Md.: Is there any chance that IF JC struggles this season they put Brunell in to try to win now, or will they stick it out with JC and write this season off?
Jason La Canfora: If they don't give JC a full season to get himself together and provide some stability at that position then you guys should show up to the stadium with paper bags on your heads.
Philadelphia: Dude, you need a serious "Rocky" primer. "Rocky III" had Mr. T (a.k.a. "Clubber Lang"). Apollo and Rocky ran on the beach in "III." Apollo helped Rocky train after Burgess Merideth was killed by Clubber. In "IV," Ivan kills Apollo in the beginning. Rocky comes out of retirement to avenge the death of his best friend! Get with it man.
Jason La Canfora: I am with you on all of that, but I thought there was a scene in IV where he trains in that like shack or whatever and is getting back to basics and then he runs on the beach then too?
either way I am taking full responsibility for the error in memory. put it on my tab.
(Bad Brains - "No Conditions")
Anonymous: IC Light! Aw man the memories of that sewer water, brewed straight from the polluted waters of the Allegheny river, steel dust and all.
Jason La Canfora: Buges is a 'Burgh guy, though. You gotta give them man his IC.
Reston, Va.: Jason..you are the best in the business at what you do!
Who do you realistically see as our starting five on the offensive line come opening day?
Jason La Canfora: Wow, thanks. I am assuming you mean the best web chatter, though, and not an actual reporter.
As for the starting 5, assuming Randy and Chris are healthy I think it will be Samuels, Wade, Rabach, Thomas and Jansen. Not sure there are too many great options beyond that. Fabini has not looked good, Whitticker is gone, and I think Heyer could be a very good prospect, but you don't want to force too much too soon.
(Ani DiFranco - "Untouchable Face")
Chevy Chase, Md.: The Redskins seemed to believe the hype last year and it really bit them hard...do you think they will be better in the 2005 mold since expectations are pretty modest this season?
Jason La Canfora: could be. I think they will be more sound than last season and will win more games ... just not sure how many more.
Annapolis, Md.:7-8 wins? I'd put the Skins around 10 wins. Their schedule is fairly weak and I'm not sold on the other teams in the division. Sure, the 'Skins have their questions too, but 10-11 isn't impossible. A lot of if's (if Campbell is good enough, if the defense can regain form, if the rbs stay healthy, if the wrs produce), but similar questions abound for every other team in the NFC. I guess the 'Skins could win 4 or win 12...just like everyone else in the conference.
Jason La Canfora: Hey bro, never said 10 wins was impossible. Anything can happen in this league, that's why I hate to make predictions at all. my hunch if 8 and I'll be the first one to admit that's nothing but a guess.
Washington, D.C.: If the season started today, who would be starting at corner next to Springs and who would be starting at weak-side linebacker?
Jason La Canfora: Carlos and Rocky
(sounds like it be a cartoon or something, eh?
Great Falls, Mont.: I read on one of your blogs the other day that you are not a Redskins fan, how come and what team do you like?
Jason La Canfora: No one covering a beat for a newspaper of any sort should be a fun of the team they cover. It's like the ultimate no-no, no-brainer in this business (right up there with no cheering in the press box).
I used to be a Colts fan, then a Chargers fan when they left B-more (where I am from) and then a Ravens fan when I covered the Caps.
But now that I cover the NFL there is no time to watch other games, cheer, etc. It's all business, it's my livelihood and I work on Sundays.
(Man or Astro Man "Eric Estrotica")
Arlington, Va.: Hey Jason, are the Redskins pursuing Simeon Rice at all? Even a guy like Corey Simon might add something to the defensive front. I'd hate to see Rice sign with New York to replace Michael Strahan.
Jason La Canfora: Nope, they aren't pursuing him.
injuries could change things in time perhaps but he's not in their plans
going to do this for one more song, then I have to go
Sly and the Family Stone - "I Want To Take You Higher (5 minute song so we're in luck).
Enough of this pretend football.
Where are your seats for tonight's DCU-Galaxy ("Beckham") match?
Jason La Canfora: Won't be going. Will get out of here too late and honestly I don't think there will be much to see there. L.A. is a mess and I don't see Golden Balls playing more than 10 minutes tops, and even then he'll be hobbled.
Bend, Ore.: Great
Jason La Canfora: Thanks so much.
The running game didn't change much Al - the routes, timing, dropbacks - all of that changed the most.
Burtonsville, Md.: Jason,
How has the interior of the d-line looked? I've read a lot of positives on Joe S. Griffin, Montgomery, and Golston but have they actually looked like an improved bunch out there?
Also, do you think Randle El increases his wide out production this year?
Jason La Canfora: I think the Golston/Griffin combo could be very good (might find an article on them in Saturday's Wash Post) and Joe and Anthony can provide some depth.
Jason La Canfora: Shoot, meant to answer the Randle El thing too.
Yeah, he's starting now and I think he will catch more balls.
The Dancing Bear (D.C.): Is this a chat about iPods, soccer or the 'Skins? How do you think the defense will perform this year: more like 2005 or 2006?
Jason La Canfora: Both.
Richmond, Va.: My husband has a friend going to Reno today, and has given him five dollars to bet that the Redskins will be in the playoffs. Has my husband wasted his money (again)?
Jason La Canfora: If all he bets is a five spot consider yourself lucky. If you're a 'Skins fan in Vegas you have to make that bet.
Clifton, Va.: So Jason when are you and the rest of the so called sports reporters from The Post going to stop drinking the Redskin's Kool Aid and start giving us fair and unbiased reports from training camp on the Redskins. Other papers seem to be able to do it for their NFL teams in their respective cities. Let Danny Boy cut off your access to the team and the WP should respond with no coverage of the team. Its not like the Redskins have any hopes of making the play offs or having a winning record this season.
Jason La Canfora: Bro, what are you talking about?
Read my blog -- Redskins Insider -- and read my articles. You must have me confused with someone else.
Stafford, Va.: Will Santana put up T.O. type numbers this year?
Jason La Canfora: T.O. last year or T.O. in like 2001?
I think Santana needs someone to emerge as a downfield compliment. He's is the real deal. If healthy he'll make plays, no doubt about that.
Jason La Canfora: Alright guys, Sly has moved on from the iPod, so I've gotta do the same thing. Sorry I could not get to everything, and, as always, you can find me on the blog or send any questions to my e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy the game Saturday and hope you all have a great weekend.
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