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Redskins Training Camp and the NFL Offseason

Antwaan Randle El called for a fair catch on 21 of 60 punts last season.
Antwaan Randle El called for a fair catch on 21 of 60 punts last season. (By John Mcdonnell -- The Washington Post)
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Cindy Boren
Washington Post NFL Editor
Monday, August 10, 2009; 1:00 PM

Post NFL Editor Cindy Boren was online Monday, August 10 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about Redskins training camp, the end of the NFL offseason, massive quarterback contracts, Plaxico Burress and all of the breaking news in the NFL.

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Cindy Boren: There's plenty of fubball to talk about today: that game last night, Vince Young's future, Michael Vick's future, and, oh, the team in Ashburn. You weren't really going out in this heat, right?

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West Falls Church, Va.: I'm glad the Redskins are finally giving other guys a chance at punt returner. Antwaan Randle El has not produced there, and he can't blame the coverage because Moss was a threat to break one every time he ran a return last season.

I think they need an upgrade at the kick returner spot too. Sure, Rock Cartwright is steady and gives good yards, but he's not a threat to break anything.

Cindy Boren: I hate to go all Alex Trbek on you, but that wasn't in the form of a question...

I do happen to agree with you, though, and I think most Redskins fans would, too.

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Morristown, N.J.: What can we expect from Colt Brennan this year? Has he progressed enough to get some playing time? His college stats were magnificent but will he be effective in the pros?

Cindy Boren: He's looked great against second- and third-team defenses. It's impossible to judge his progress so far, since we've seen only a dozen or so practices. Has he shown enough to warrant being the backup to Jason Campbell? At the moment, no, but we have to see some preseason games before we know that for sure. Has he shown that he's a better option than Chase Daniel? Again, this is what preseason's for. We have to sit back and let it play out.

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Bethesda, Md.: Is it common in the NFL to have lingering hamstring injuries with so many players? Is it possible that sometime this season the Redskins will have no WRs and will go with a 3 or 4 tight end lineup?

Cindy Boren: The L in NFL actually stands for Lingering injuries...at least it seems to for the Redskins. I'm pretty sure the Post has felled a forest writing about pulled, torn, tweaked, strained, tender and sore hammies. I'm not sure what the deal is with that...the players stretch, the trainers pay attention to them. And yet my fingers tap out "hamstring injury" in my sleep. Maybe the solution is more tight ends. You may be on to something.

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Washington, D.C.: Given that the Redskins offensive line is even worse than previous years, is Snyder just setting up Jason Campbell to fail so he can go out and get someone else? I mean, why spend 100 million on the defensive line and completely ignore the offensive line?

Cindy Boren: I'm not in position to do a Vulcan mind meld and determine what Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato are thinking about the offensive line, but I can't imagine why they'd want to set their QB up to fail. They'd be conceding the 2009 season months before the first kickoff. Perhaps it's more a matter that their confidence in Joe Bugel is so deep, so complete that they truly think he can coach 'em up. That would seem the more likely theory to me.

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Bradley Beach, N.J.: How real are the offensive line concerns? I can't believe we are having these conversations when everyone said it had to be addressed in the offseason.

Cindy Boren: It's Groundhog Day, isn't it? The offensive line and hammies. I think the concerns are very valid. Jim Zorn has expressed concern for the health of Randy Thomas -- as have a number of fans -- and Jason Reid just blogged about Thomas's response on the Redskins Insider. If the offensive linemen aren't a healthier bunch after the preseason games, which would seem impossible, you're going to get very tired of that theme this fall.

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Houston: The Truth wants to know when Colt Brennan will start.

Cindy Boren: Hey, Truth. Nice to see you and the bloggang up here, chatting your guts out. When will Colt "Cult of" Brennan start??? You really want an answer, don't you? When Jason Campbell's arms and legs all fall off and Todd "Toddball" Collins is off doing "Dancing with the Stars." Or maybe he'll start Jan. 3 in San Diego, when everyone is resting up for a playoff game. We'll have a clearer idea of what Brennan can do after the preseason games, but I'd say that starting in the NFL is a long way off.

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Twitterer: Is it true that there are some Redskins fans who don't follow @redskinsinsider? If so, care to speculate what is freakin' wrong with them?

Cindy Boren: They're very fretful, fearful people who refuse to Twitter or tweet or try anything new. Maybe they don't know that they can choose a name or put a cute little picture with their tweets that expresses their burgundy-and-gold leanings. Seriously, peeps, it wouldn't kill ya to follow. And if it does, well, The Post assumes no liability and I certainly don't.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you think the Redskins are in the running for Vick? Who do you think, besides Green Bay, are the contenders? New England? Reports suggest that teams that initially had said they weren't interested may have changed their minds - Redskins?

Cindy Boren: The Redskins have publicly said they have no interest in Vick and nothing we've heard has led us to conclude that that has changed. I thought New England was a possibility all along. Maybe Carolina. Maybe Green Bay. I do think Kornheiser was right when he said -- and he was the first to do so months ago -- that, while 32 coaches want Vick, 32 owners do not. Maybe everyone is just waiting for the inevitable QB injury to occur. That would certainly mitigate fan anger if a team signed him.

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Washington, D.C.: So, what odds does a wise editorial woman give on a new collective bargaining agreement being in place? Seems like the uncertainty skews against the Redskins' previous injured player replacement strategies (of trading picks) because draft picks are now more valuable.

Cindy Boren: Let me find one and I'll ask her. Bada-bing! At the moment, I don't think there will be a new CBA in place, I think pro football is headed to a wild-and-wooly, unmapped-and-uncapped place next year. You'd think that would play into the hands of the wealthiest owners, like the one in Ashburn. As of this moment, I think there'll be a work stoppage in two years, but I reserve the right to revise that. It's far off and that could change.

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Arlington, Va.: Straight up: Prediction for final regular season Patriots record. And is Tom Brady still standing in the pocket at season's end, or is he hurt again (completely speculative, I know)?

Cindy Boren: Now, we're talking! This I know for certain:

The Patriots will finish 11-5.

Tom Brady will have a great season and will lead the team deep into the playoffs, although he will begin to lose his looks.

He and Gisele Bundchen (she of the fabulous Bundchen sisters of Kornheiser's dreams) will have an 8-lb., 7-oz. daughter.

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Manhattan, New York, N.Y.: So the NFL is finally (almost) here.

I'm an O's fan, didn't trade sides (not that it matters ... we both stink) and the Wizards had a poor season, too.

With that being said, please give me some good news and tell me the Redskins are gonna be good/make the playoffs ... or don't.

Cindy Boren: Ah, Manhattan, an excellent drink and a delightful city. I don't want to be the Baby Ruth in your punch bowl, but I have to say I think they'll hover around .500 and be on the cusp of the playoff mathematics as Christmas rolls around. Yes, while everyone else is under the mistletoe, you're going to be saying, "If Seattle loses and the Cowboys beat the Packers and the Rams lose -- if only we'd beaten them in Week 2!!! -- and the Panthers can't find the stadium ..."

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Annapolis, Md.: Any word lately on Byron Westbrook? He has seemed to be a favorite project of the defensive coaches in the past.

Cindy Boren: He's there, he's working. Obviously, the key games for him are coming up.

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New Orleans: Will Chase Daniels make the team?

Cindy Boren: Wish I knew the answer. The battle at backup QB will be one of the fun stories of the preseason. These are interesting, competitive guys who happen to be buds. It'll be fun to watch 'em fling it. One of the three backups will be gone in early September. You'd think it would be the undrafted Daniel, but he played well in a pretty competitive conference.

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Rockville, Md.: Maybe it is too soon to answer, but how does Jason Campbell look? Is he about the same as last year or does he look better?

Cindy Boren: It is too early to answer! What we have to go on so far are practices, when even I might look like a QB, and Jim Zorn's assessment. Zorn says he sees progress and is very happy with Campbell's growth. But the offensive line is, well, you know...and the receivers aren't set yet.

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Washington, D.C.: Given what seems like the deepest position group on the team, defensive line, any chance the team might try Lorenzo Alexander back on the offensive line again?

Cindy Boren: Not sure yet. I asked that question this morning. It would seem to make sense to me.

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Arlington, Va.: When will the Redskins organization realize that they won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks and three different running backs, but the offensive line (OL) was pretty much the same. When will they use that same formula to reach greatness in the future? With a great OL they can put most anyone back there and do well.

Cindy Boren: Maybe they'll read your comment and the ol' light bulb over their heads will go on.

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Washington, D.C.: Will a 9-7 regular season record keep Campbell and Zorn in the Redskins organization?

Cindy Boren: If 9-7 gets them into the playoffs and if they come up with a playoff win, it just might. Otherwise, I don't think so.

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Arlington, Va.: Hello,

I would love to see a regular column by you, unless there is one I don't know about. Is there?

Cindy Boren: What a terrific question by a really smart, discerning reader! I currently am the world's first twitter columnist; my tweetlumns are 140 or fewer characters. I think I need agent.

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Washington, D.C.: I know two-a-days are hard, but they are not as hard as a 16-game regular season. Is there any reason to believe that this team (particularly the offensive line and the receivers) can stay healthy this year?

Also, how can three of the top four receivers have hamstring problems? For a billion dollar franchise, I would think they might hire someone who knows how to stretch. Can we bring back Bubba for just a week?

Cindy Boren: No team in the NFL stays healthy, ever. It is the one given in the league.

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Alexandria, Va.: Any chance Dave Rayner replaces Shaun Suisham as the placekicker? (Suisham? I want to kill 'em)

Cindy Boren: He was booming them in Fan Appreciation Day...I can't answer the question until I see him in a game, even a preseason game. Then I can give you a better idea.

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Arlington, Va.: What are the Post's plans to cover Redskins games live now that we live in a world of Twitter, mobile web, Facebook, etc.?

Cindy Boren: I don't want to give the plan away, but we did Twitter, mobile and the blog last year and we'll do it all again this year. We plan to offer more interactivity for fans and we'll have our usual army (Reid, Maese, Tenorio, Svrluga, Steinberg, Hamilton, Wise, Boz and sometimes Wilbon) on the scene.

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Herndon, Va.: Ms. Boren:

Sorry you, Tony and Mike aren't doing your "web-casts" anymore, but thanks for coming on to provide a "Skins fix."

Would you agree that after the offensive line and Campbell, the special teams are the biggest worry? Punting and punt/kickoff returns last year really hurt.

Cindy Boren: Thanks! Special teams were painful to watch last year so, yes, I would agree with you.

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Section 432: When can Redskins fans legitimately reach Defcon 1 when it comes to the offensive line?

Cindy Boren: This isn't Defcon 1???? Oh, my.

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Ashburn, Va.: I heard Jeremy Jarmon was one of the positive notes from the Saturday scrimmage. If he continues to impress, is it likely he'll get some minutes with defensive line during the regular season, or is it more of a wait-and-see approach?

Cindy Boren: I'd think it would be wait-and-see how he develops and wait-and-see if there are any injuries. The plan all along was for him to get some minutes, to get some valuable experience that would put him ahead of next year's draft class. No reason to think that has changed, but the Redskins haven't played a real game yet.

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Cindy Boren: I'm sorry to say I must wrap it up now. It's been particularly fun today; you guys don't need no stinkin' training camp. Until next Monday, I'll sSee you on twitter and on the Redskins Insider blog. Stay cool. And medium.

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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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