Second-year wide receiver Anthony Armstrong admittedly was a bit stung when the Washington Redskins drafted three players at his position just months after he notched 44 catches for 871 yards and three touchdowns.
Stallworth and Santana Moss haven’t been able to practice because the new collective bargaining agreement remains incomplete. So for now, Armstrong has remained a starter in training camp practices. Gaffney has routinely lined up on the opposite end. Meanwhile, Malcolm Kelly, Terrence Austin and rookies Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson have shuttled in and out on various plays.
Armstrong has looked good at some moments, getting good separation from defensive backs to make grabs. At other times, he has appeared to struggle, dropping balls that have hit him in the hands.
“That’s on concentration,” Amrstrong says, shaking his head. “I’ve got to be better and see the ball in my hands more. I did some work on the jugs to help with that. You get better by concentrating.”
Armstrong insists the lack of concentration isn’t a result of worrying about the players gunning for his job, however.
“I can’t really say it’s been stressful,” he says. “It has been the type of thing where you feel like you’re being slighted. I understand it is for the competition and to bring the best out in everybody. Right now they still have me going in first, so what I’m doing is trying to fight those guys off, keep executing the offense and hold those guys off and get better.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said they haven’t found Armstrong’s early-camp miscues alarming.
Said Mike Shanahan: “That’s why you practice. When you miss 14 to 17 OTA days and you come back, it takes a while to get back in the groove, have the same concentration level and get back into football shape.”
Kyle Shanahan agreed and praised the determination he sees in Armstrong.
“]Armstrong] knows he can do it now, and we know he can do it now,” Shanahan said. “He’s playing with more confidence and you can tell by how he carries himself. He had some success last year and I thought his mindset the whole offseason has been to take it to the next level. He’s not a guy that’s just happy as an NFL player now.”