Norman, 31, behaves as if he’s bored with football and ready to retire, but the money is too good to leave. Last year, he danced with the stars. This year he was dancing around bulls in Spain. Because of the risk of injury, NFL players are banned from simple activities like pickup basketball, so leaping over animals that can kill you is a definite no-no. Sure, Norman wouldn’t have been paid if he’d gotten hurt, but the Redskins still would have lost a big investment in their defense that frankly hasn’t quite paid off over the last three years.
Norman’s recklessness shows a lack of commitment to football. Nobody says you have to watch film 12 hours a day on your down time, but just showing up for camp isn’t enough. Norman should be readying to lead a unit, not working on his bucket list.
Williams skipped mandatory minicamp. Reports on his reasoning varied: Maybe he wanted a contract extension. Maybe he was upset with team officials over the quality of medical care the team provides. He hasn’t said anything. Whether Williams appears at camp will say everything
Williams, who will turn 31 on Friday, is no longer the NFL’s top left tackle thanks to injuries and age, but he’s still very good. Teammates look to his leadership, and disgruntled players don’t provide it.
Quarterbacks, even rookies, can rally an offense. Robert Griffin III was an instant leader when he arrived in 2012. Teammates knew he was special. Maybe Haskins becomes a star, but first he’ll need to beat out veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy. If Keenum or McCoy starts opening day, teammates will know the QB is a short-timer. Neither would command the same respect as a long-term starter.
Keenum might be the best leader at quarterback given his experience, but Haskins is coming and everyone knows it. People will be watching and wondering during the preseason. That’s a distraction.
It would be nice if linebacker Ryan Kerrigan became a defensive leader, but he lets his play speak for itself. Sorry, that’s not enough. Teams need vocal leaders.
Collins is ready to be the defensive boss. The fifth-year playmaker doesn’t mind the responsibility, but it takes time for teammates to accept a newcomer. Leadership seems lost these days around Washington. Maybe it can found on a football field.
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