Washington Redskins Coach Norv Turner issued a depth chart today as the team opened its third week of training camp, but it does little to clarify the competition at several key spots. Turner has two players sharing starting duties at five positions: left tackle, left guard, running back, fullback and left cornerback.
Of the bunch, cornerback is probably the most settled. The Redskins selected Georgia's Champ Bailey with the seventh pick in the draft. And given Bailey's five-year contract worth nearly $10 million, the Redskins are certainly counting on Bailey to start alongside veteran cornerback Darrell Green, who is entering his 17th NFL season.
But Darryl Pounds, who currently shares starting honors with Bailey on the depth chart, has been impressive in camp. That may prolong the decision to move Bailey into the starting job, but likely will not change it.
"They each have their own strengths," defensive backs coach Tom Hayes said. "Darryl is much more experienced. He sees things faster. Champ is going though some of that it's-all-new-to-me, I-haven't-seen-that-formation, -this coverage, -that adjustment sort of thing. So Pounds has an edge there, whereas Champ may be more athletic and run the field faster and jump higher and those kinds of things. That's why he was taken with the seventh pick of the draft."
Hayes wouldn't speculate when Bailey might move ahead of Pounds.
"My feeling on Darryl Pounds is, you always use three corners in every game, so I look at Darryl Pounds as a starting football player," Hayes said. "I expect him to act like that, and he does. I expect him to practice like that, and he does."
At the other unresolved starting spots, Turner has Joe Patton and Andy Heck (left tackle), Keith Sims and Brad Badger (left guard), Skip Hicks and Stephen Davis (running back) and Larry Centers and Larry Bowie (fullback).
In this afternoon's practice, Patton, Sims, Hicks and Centers worked with the first team. . . .
The three-way competition for the place kicker job remained as murky as before after today's practice. In a shootout from 32, 38 and 43 yards, all three place kickers made 2 of 3 field goal attempts. Rookie Jeff Hall was wide right from 32 yards, Brett Conway was wide right from 43 yards and Cary Blanchard hit the right upright from 43 yards.
"We're doing everything we can in our power to make sure we have one kicker as we start the season," Turner said. "The roster spots are precious as the year goes on. Sometimes you can get away with having two. But early in the year, you need every able player you can have."
News & Notes
Guard Tre Johnson practiced today despite a sprained right knee, and trainer Bubba Tyer commended his effort -- as well as Johnson's hard work in shedding roughly 35 pounds to report to camp at his playing weight of 325 pounds. "That was a hell of an effort," Tyer said. . . .
It wasn't a particularly crisp practice today, but safety Sam Shade stood out with an interception. "He has an interception a day, it seems like," Turner said. "I hope it continues through the season. He has a real knack for getting to the football." . . .
Sims sprained his left knee during practice and did not run with the team afterward. It's unclear whether he'll practice Tuesday against the Steelers in Latrobe, Pa. . . .
The Redskins signed former Dallas cornerback Wendell Davis and released safety Marcus Stanton.