Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder's plans to bring in former all-pro defensive end Jim Marshall as a conditioning consultant, with particular attention to the defense, strikes at least one defensive lineman as unnecessary.
"To me there is absolutely no need to bring in anybody," said defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, who played all 16 games last season, improving as the season wore on. "Once you start bringing in outside people for all different reasons, things start getting missed."
Marshall, who played 288 consecutive games with the Vikings during a lengthy pro career, is a motivational speaker. He's expected to join the team during training camp and remain as a consultant through the preseason.
"That's something you do to a high school team or a college team," Wilkinson said. "But to bring a guy in to be a motivational speaker on fitness and all that mess in the NFL? This is our job. We're going to do what we're going to do as a team. The position we've put ourselves in right now is very good. Guys are mentally and physically sharp at this point, and we'll continue to get better. Bringing all the people from all these different angles--whether motivational or physical--to me, it doesn't make sense."
Coach Norv Turner hired a second defensive line coach, Rubin Carter, to work alongside coach Earl Leggett after the defense failed to improve its performance against the run despite the addition of Wilkinson and Dana Stubblefield, both high-priced free agents. Wilkinson said Carter's contribution has been beneficial so far, but it's too soon to tell how the partnership will work long term.
"Time will tell," Wilkinson said. "You get in the heat of the battle, when things start heating up a little bit and the season starts, then two different voices having two different opinions may cause a problem. But if they can work together, then it'll be smooth all the way around."
McNeil Still a Maybe
Redskins officials still are considering signing free agent cornerback Ryan McNeil even after signing first-round draft choice Champ Bailey.
The Redskins are not in serious negotiations with McNeil but would consider signing him if his asking price drops, team sources said today.
McNeil is an established NFL starter who has had stints with the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams. His salary demands have kept him on the free agent market. . . .
Guard Tre Johnson, coming off a knee injury, had a full first day of practice, participating in contact drills this afternoon. . . .
The first few days of training camp are only for rookies and selected veterans, but Turner said he liked what he saw.
"Your first impression is a lasting one," Turner said. "We've added several players who will really upgrade this football team, both in ability and in attitude and toughness. That's what really struck me today." . . .
It was basically an injury-free first day. Safety Kevin Peoples missed part of practice because of an upset stomach.