I've been fortunate enough to attend this year's training camp courtesy of SBNation DC for the past week. I've been meaning to post here what I've seen so far, who's stood out, etc.
Right now we're in the dead period between practices (this morning's session was a light walkthrough) so I figured now would be a good time to try and give a first eye account of what's been happening so far in camp.
So without further ado, let's take a look at the early developments so far in camp:
Jarvis Jenkins: The Redskins second rounder might be having the best camp out of anyone so far. He has the size, strength and speed to really excel in the 3-4, and it's been showing in drills. In 11-on-11's, Jenkins has been living in the backfield. That may be more of an indictment on the offensive line than Jenkins himself, but not every defensive lineman has been as consistent as he has so far. In one-on-one drills, he is winning virtually every battle, being able to beat interior lineman either with by crossing their face or by simply bull rushing directly to the quarterback. It'll be interesing to see how much game action he gets come next Friday.
Malcolm Kelly: The issue with Malcolm, as we all know, is his inability to stay healthy. We just haven't been able to see him get on the field on any consistent basis, and thus we can't really tell if he can play or not. Mike Shanahan seems to have confidence in him, otherwise he wouldn't have put him on injured reserve last year instead of releasing him outright. Kelly knows this is a make or break year this season, and he's shown it so far. He's caught virtually everything thrown his way, from short crossing routes to sideline routes to deep routes, everything is landing in his hands. Time will tell if Shanahan's gamble to keep him on the roster will pay off.
More after the jump
Trent Williams: He's easily been the best Redskins offensive lineman so far. Seeing him in one-on-one drills, it's not even fair for the opposing rusher. He's so athletic and has such quick feet that putting any one pass rusher toe-to-toe with him is a mismatch, because Trent can keep up with any and all of their moves. His ability to recover after being initially beat is what sets him apart. He could be beat two or three times on a given play, and still keeps his feet moving and his knees bent, giving him a chance to stick with his man. He doesn't seem satisfied with his rookie year, and is determined to make a big step forward in 2011.
Offensive line depth: Unless things improve, this could really become a problem going forward. The backup offensive line of Clint Oldenburg, Eric Cook, Selvish Capers and Maurice Hurt have struggled mightily so far. It shouldn't be a common occurrence to see offensive lineman laying on the ground after a running play or being consistently pushed into the backfield on every pass rush, but it's happening. The Redskins are banking on some of their younger lineman making a huge jump in 2011 rather than looking outside the organization. We'll see just how improved they are once the games start.
Ryan Torain: Even before he injured his hand yesterday, there didn't seem to be much burst from Torain. He still runs very upright, and that could easily lead to fumbling issues down the road. Add that tot he fact that the Redskins now have other options at that position in Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster and Torain is going to have to show he is truly head and shoulders above his competition. But, as usually is the case, his inability to stay healthy doesn't help his case.
Training camp crowds: Lockout? Sure. Hot weather? Absolutely. No star players? Of course. But to see the lack of fan support has still been pretty stunning. I remember coming to training camp years ago when practices would be ten's of rows deep behind the barrier. Now? Probably two of three rows back max. I'm not sure what this means, but clearly something has turned away fans. We'll have to see if that translates to stadium attendance or not.
John Beck: He's had his good days and he's had his bad days. Some morning's he's looked relatively sharp, being able to hit receivers with solid accuracy on a number of different throws. But then there are other times where his passes seem to wobble (particularly on the deep ball) and receivers have to wait for the ball to get there. On some drop backs he's been able to have a good feel in the pocket for pressure, being able to step up and hit his man over the middle. Other times, he seems flustered by pressure and tucks and runs (albeit unsuccessfully). All in all, the jury is still out on this training camp's "main attraction".
Laron Landry: The longer he sits out with his Achilles injury, the more this will become a story. Landry has been siting out practice for the past week, as he's started the preseason on the PUP list along with Kareem Moore and Robert Henson. Landry is such a big cog for Jim Haslett's defense this year, and with the addition of O.J. Atogwe, one would hope that the two of them could form one of the better safety tandems in the league.
Ryan Kerrigan: It's a real shame that we haven't been able to get a good look at him so far. He's been participating in early team drills, but his bone bruise has kept him out of the majority of practices this week. I'm really anxious to see how he will adjust to playing linebacker after being such a dominant 4-3 defensive end at Purdue. I wouldn't look for Ryan to play in next week's game against Pittsburgh, but we'll have to see how quickly he heals.