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Redskins Training Camp and the NFL Offseason

Redskins rookie Bryan Orakpo, here at an earlier offseason workout, finally signed his contract on Thursday night.
Redskins rookie Bryan Orakpo, here at an earlier offseason workout, finally signed his contract on Thursday night. (Alex Brandon - AP)

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Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, August 3, 2009; 1:00 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Wednesday, August 3 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about Redskins training camp, the end of the NFL offseason, Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress and all of the breaking news in the NFL.

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Blog: The League

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Twitter @dalison: Chad Rinehart ... a bust? Are the Offensive line troubles a result of the protection scheme or physical talent?

Cindy Boren: Where, oh, where is Chad Rinehart? Good question. He's got to turn up soon, I'd think. Especially given that the offensive line has not looked good so far. It's ridiculously early, but at this moment you have to think the problem is the physical talent, the depth. Paging Mr. Rinehart...

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Cindy Boren: Bueller? Bueller? It seems awfully early to talk fubball ... scratch that. It's never too early even though there've only been a handful of Redskins training camp practices. What's on your minds? First question comes from twitter!

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4-12 Twitter: I -heart- Cindy Boren. Does that count as a question?

Cindy Boren: Had to take this one! Count it!

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Washington, D.C.: Where is Vick going to end up?

Cindy Boren: Now it's looking as if he'll end up with whichever team has the first significant QB injury and needs him. There are all these sightings and reports and then ... nothing. New England is a great example. Seemed kind of like a PR trial balloon.

FYI, I may duck in and out a bit...there may be a Plaxico Burress announcement at 1:30. Mark Maske will be blogging that as it breaks on The League.

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washingtonpost.com: Mark Maske's NFL News Feed (Washington Post)

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New York, N.Y.: What up WaPo?

As a Redskins fan in New York I'm used to a little bar room banter with the folks up here. Obviously I talk up our vaunted defense, but here's my concern: More than anything else last season, there was a tendency for the Redskins to be fooled by over-pursuing, and getting burned when we had to make one-on-one tackles in space -- in particular Brian Westbrook in the flat and Eli Manning stepping Rocky McIntosh.

With the speed of the other NFC East running backs, how concerned are you by an overly aggressive defensive line, with an aging Fletcher, an occasionally lost Rocky McIntosh and a rookie learning a new position behind them? Not to sound overly pessimistic, but we need that side of the ball to be dominant; not reckless.

Cindy Boren: Space, the final frontier. I'm really not terribly concerned about the ability of the defense to adjust to the changes and the aging of Fletcher or occasional lapses of McIntosh. While I take your point, this was the fourth-best defense in the league last year and the team went out and got better. You have to think this is still a top 5 D and that whatever they give up in terms of being aggressive, they'll get back in turnovers.

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Bethesda, Md.: How is it that Colt is not the No. 1 quarterback at this point? Are cults no longer effective?

Cindy Boren: The Cult of Colt continues. He must be a Leo, 'cause August is totally his month. He is not the No. 1 QB because, no matter what one thinks of Jason Campbell, Brennan isn't the answer. He still has not played against a top, first-string D in the NFL. Get back to me after he does. (Is there anything for Chase Daniel? Maybe a small sect?)

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Potomac, Md.: Are there any injuries that look like they're going to linger through camp. Or any players which the coaching/training staff are going particularly easy on?

Cindy Boren: You're a worrier, I can tell. Of course,you have reason to be after the Day 1 training camp injuries to Daniels and Buzbee last year. So far, there have been no significant injuries, but there are a ton of guys who sit out the afternoon practice. [Reminder: camp is all of four days old.] Haynesworth got a shot of Synvisc in his knee, Malcolm Kelly ices his knee down as a precaution, Carlos Rogers's calf is sore...those are more chronic concerns, though. Only real fubball injury so far is Roydell Williams' pinky finger. And that hasn't kept him out.

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Washington D.C: Reports indicate that second year wide receiver Devin Thomas has taken the lead opposite Santana Moss at flanker. What has Thomas shown on the practice field to deserve such a promotion?

Cindy Boren: One report is on Redskins Insider right now, from one Jason Reid. Thomas has shown that he's spent time reading the playbook, learning the system, adjusting his approach. He did drop a 55-yard bomb from Jason Campbell yesterday, though.

[BTW, no indictment handed down by the grand jury against Antonio Pierce in New York; we'll see what's up with Burress shortly.]

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Rockville, Md.: How is it that the Front Office (i.e., Snyder and Cerrato) continue to neglect the offensive line year after year? It doesn't matter how good Campbell and the second year wide outs look if he doesn't have time to throw the ball. Yes, it's still very early, but I am very concerned about the offensive line.

Cindy Boren: You are right to be concerned about the offensive line and there are plenty of people around the league who wonder why it is not addressed. Sure, offensive linemen aren't sexy picks. They're merely the foundation for success. I don't have to remind anyone about those Hog-guys. With this group, the stalwarts are aging (like you don't remember that from last year) and the depth isn't great. Mike Williams, who is a great story, hasn't shown yet that he is part of the answer.

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Arlington, Va.: So, if the Redskins lose all their preseason games and their first four regular season games is Zorn still the coach? Or does Danny Boy can him after the eighth loss in row?

With probably one the worst offensive lines in the NFL and a running back who doesn't have to listen to the coach, how can the Redskins be better than 4-12?

Cindy Boren: Most owners wouldn't even think about factoring in preseason games. NFL coaches aren't often fired in the middle of a season and that would seem unlikely barring the catastrophe of a long, winless start. I don't think this is a 4-12 team; I think it's an around-.500 team. Tough to know whether it's over or under, largely because of those offensive concerns.

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Chicoppe, Mass.: I haven't seen the "reports" that say Devin Thomas has taken the second WR spot opposite Moss. Where can I find such reports, cuz I want to read it for myself.

washingtonpost.com: Redskins' Thomas and Kelly Get Their Hands on Second Chances (Washington Post, Aug. 1)

Cindy Boren: Don't use the "Refresh" button on the ol' Redskins Insider blog much, do you? Kidding! We kid because we love ... to kid. Because you're in Massachusetts, where everyone no doubt is busy celebrating the birthday of Tom Brady, I'll give you the link:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/jason-reid/devin-thomas-seems-to-be-close.html

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Rockville, Md.: Cindy - I might be crazy, but I am really concerned about our defensive backs more than anything. I think the loss of Springs is huge and has been severely overlooked. Yes he was unreliable when it came to getting on the field, but when he was in there, he was hands down our best cover guy.

Hall has lots of talent for sure, and Rogers is fair, but neither has a lot of height, which could pose a problem with some of the bigger wide receivers in the NFC East.

Have any of the coaches shown any concern about this, or is there someone on the depth chart that has shown a lot of promise? Smoot is getting up their in age, but we never hear about any of the other guys. What gives?

Cindy Boren: With the addition of Haynesworth, some of the pressure should be off the DBs, right? Horton, Moore, Hall, Rogers, Landry...I agree that Smoot is aging. Springs will be missed, but he was often injured.

Burress indicted...more to come. Go to The League for updates.

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Washington, D.C.: I was sorry to see Talking Points go. Any chance of something similar taking its place with, say, you and some combination of Maese, Maske, or Steinberg?

Cindy Boren: Thanks so much! Actually, there may be something like this in the offing, featuring a rotating band of merry dopes who live to yammer about all things gridiron.

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Atlanta: any word on if there will be more downfield pass attempts over 20 yards?

Cindy Boren: As I mentioned before, a pass of 50-plus yards was dropped yesterday. There absolutely have to be more of them.

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Fredericksburg, Va.: We have heard plenty about Orakpo and Haynesworth during training camp, but not one word or peep about defensive end Jeremy Jarmon. Can you give us the inside scoop on Jarmon?

Cindy Boren: We'll be doing a story on Jeremy Jarmon in the next day or so. Everyone who's met him or interacted with him on twitter says that he seems to be a nice kid. I don't want to give away Tracee Hamilton's upcoming column on him. Just keep watching for it.

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Alexandria, Va.: Cindy

Is it a little too early to hit the panic button on the Redskins offensive line yet? I know Samuels and Thomas are coming of injuries and dock has to learn a new blocking scheme, but is it safe to say that the line will be on by the start of the regular season?

Cindy Boren: I wouldn't hit the button yet. Just keep your hand hovering above it. Offensive lines need time to work together. By the start of the regular season, this one should be much better. We'll know by then whether it has improved significantly over last year...as it has to.

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San Francisco, Calif.: What happens if Jason Campbell has a monster season? Have the Redskins alienated him to the point where he wouldn't return regardless?

Cindy Boren: I don't think Campbell feels alienated. I believe him when he says he still wants to stay here and play here. I think he truly is happy, personally, living here. I don't think he'd be one of those guys who walks away after a monster season.

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Bend, Ore.: Seems like the Redskins have a ton of players at defensive line, including a few young draft picks at defensive end. Does that spell the end for Renaldo Wynn? Great vet, but not sure he's got much left in the tank ...

Cindy Boren: I get the sense that that time may be nearing for Wynn, yes.

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Riegelwood, N.C.: Are the Washington Redskins the least bit interested in Michael Vick? I would hope my favorite team would give this guy an opportunity, he's done his time and paid his dues to society. He's shown remorse, there's nothing more he can do, let this young man show he's still got it, because after just two years, there's no doubt in my mind, he's still got it.

Daniel Snyder, the ball's in your court, I know this is football, but right now this is one on one. You won't regret it, sure you'll have your occasional pickets in response to allowing him this opportunity, take the high road, and even though it's a business, sometimes I feel you have to push the business aspect aside, which I'm sure is hard to do but it would speak volumes to the average devoted fan as myself.

I'm in N.C., and I would definitely make a road trip to see Vick do his thing, if you could help me out with season's tickets for myself and my son I would greatly appreciate it.

washingtonpost.com: Redskins Insider: Vick, Skins Inevitably a Hot Topic (Washington Post, July 28)

Cindy Boren: On that comment, I have to close this down. There's some Burress news to address. As always, thanks for your smart questions. See you back here next week; until then see you on the interweb.

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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