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Five Storylines to Watch At Rookie Camp



Dozens of players filed into Redskins Park on Friday morning--some launching their NFL careers, others hoping to work their way into a roster spot.

In all, 88 players--including the team's five draft picks, undrafted rookies and those coming in on a tryout basis--are on hand for the Redskins' three-day Rookie Camp..

The headliner, of course, is safety LaRon Landry, the Redskins' first-round draft pick out of LSU. He makes his debut as a Redskin.

The Redskins' four other draft picks--fifth-round linebacker Dallas Sartz, sixth-round linebacker H.B. Blades, sixth-round quarterback Jordan Palmer and seventh-round tight end Tyler Ecker--will also be on hand.

Each day this weekend, the Redskins will hold a 90-minute practice, instructing players in the basics of their offensive and defensive concepts and evaluating how quickly they learn the schemes.

Several second-year Redskins will take part in the Rookie Camp: defensive tackles Lorenzo Alexander and Vaka Manupuna, cornerback John Eubanks, recently signed kicker Tyler Fredrickson, wide receiver Steven Harris, defensive ends Joe Sykes and Chris Wilson and linebacker Anthony Trucks.

They'll help guide the rookies through drills, while taking advantage of another opportunity to impress the coaching staff this offseason.

Here are five storylines to follow as Rookie Camp unfolds:

-- KEEPING AN EYE ON LANDRY'S DEVELOPMENT

Until now, the Redskins have evaluated Landry in workouts, game film and pre-draft interviews. This weekend, coaches will see him in action on the Redskins Park practice fields for the first time.

Landry, listed at 6-0 and 213 pounds, will almost certainly flash his skills during Rookie Camp. But how fast will he learn the Redskins' defense? Safeties are asked to do plenty in Gregg Williams' defense, from coverage to run support to blitzing.

Defensive assistants Steve Jackson and Jerry will watch closely to determine Landry's readiness.

Landry will have one former LSU teammate to help him get acclimated to his new surroundings. Cornerback Daniel Francis, signed by the Redskins as an undrafted rookie free agent, played with Landry in the same defensive backfield at LSU the last four seasons.

-- SARTZ, BLADES ON SPECIAL TEAMS

Special teams coordinator Danny Smith will keep a watchful eye on the team's two mid-round picks: fifth-round pick Dallas Sartz and sixth-rounder H.B. Blades.

Both Sartz and Blades are linebackers, but they'll need to impress on special teams in training camp to earn a roster spot. Sartz and Blades both played on multiple special teams units in college.

The 6-4, 235-pound Sartz blocked a field goal attempt last season for USC. Blades, 5-10 and 236 pounds, had a blocked punt and two blocked field goals in four seasons at Pitt.

-- WHICH UNDRAFTED ROOKIE HAS A CHANCE?

The Redskins added nine undrafted rookie free agents to the roster shortly after the April 28-29 NFL Draft.

UNDRAFTED ROOKIE FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
NamePositionCollege
Terry CaulleyRBConnecticut
Daniel FrancisCBLSU
Stephon HeyerOLMaryland
Justin HickmanDEUCLA
Sam HollenbachQBMaryland
Zach LatimerLBOklahoma
Marcus MasonRBYoungstown State
Taylor SeleWRBoston College
Deyon WilliamsWRVirginia

Of that group, Hickman could be a player to keep an eye on. The Redskins could look to add some youth at the defensive line position, and Hickman played in a pro-style defense at UCLA.

No doubt, Hickman came highly recommended from UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, who was a Redskins defensive backs coach from 2004-05.

Hickman earned All PAC-10 honors as a senior after totaling 42 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.

-- CARSON'S YOUNGER BROTHER

Jordan Palmer, the Redskins' second sixth-round draft pick, is eager to move beyond the shadow of his famous brother Carson. He'll take his first steps in that direction in Rookie Camp.

Palmer is one of just two quarterbacks on hand for the Rookie Camp. Former Maryland star Sam Hollenbach was signed by the Redskins last Monday as an undrafted rookie free agent.

At this stage of the offseason, there is no competition for the Redskins' third-string quarterback job. Could one develop? It'll take plenty to unseat either Todd Collins or Mark Brunell.

In addition to Palmer and Hollenbach, the Redskins have quarterback Casey Bramlet improving his skills in NFL Europa this spring.

-- WHAT ABOUT TRYOUT ROOKIES?

After the Rookie Camp, the Redskins will likely sign several undrafted rookies from the group of 70 trying out for the club this weekend. Players will have to make a quick first impression.

Call them the Vince Papales and Herb Mul-Keys of the 2007 Redskins.

Last year, wide receiver Mike Espy, Sykes and Eubanks were among rookies who tried out for the Redskins at the team's post-draft Rookie Camp. All three saw limited regular-season action last year.

Virginia defensive tackle Keenan Carter could be one player to keep an eye on at Rookie Camp. He was among the prospects who worked out for the team in early April as part of the team's local college workout.

Carter, who hails from Alexandria, Va., is a 6-1, 312-pound lineman who left college after his junior season. He struggled with an ankle injury last season and was a reserve on the Cavaliers' defensive line. He started in 2005 and logged 25 tackles.

Some other local players trying out at Rookie Camp: Georgetown defensive end Alex Buzbee and cornerback Derek Franks, Maryland fullback J.P. Humber and Howard defensive tackle Edwin Piner.

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Dozens of players filed into Redskins Park on Friday morning--some launching their NFL careers, others hoping to work their way into a roster spot.

In all, 88 players--including the team's five draft picks, undrafted rookies and those coming in on a tryout basis--are on hand for the Redskins' three-day Rookie Camp..

The headliner, of course, is safety LaRon Landry, the Redskins' first-round draft pick out of LSU. He makes his debut as a Redskin.

The Redskins' four other draft picks--fifth-round linebacker Dallas Sartz, sixth-round linebacker H.B. Blades, sixth-round quarterback Jordan Palmer and seventh-round tight end Tyler Ecker--will also be on hand.

Each day this weekend, the Redskins will hold a 90-minute practice, instructing players in the basics of their offensive and defensive concepts and evaluating how quickly they learn the schemes.

Several second-year Redskins will take part in the Rookie Camp: defensive tackles Lorenzo Alexander and Vaka Manupuna, cornerback John Eubanks, recently signed kicker Tyler Fredrickson, wide receiver Steven Harris, defensive ends Joe Sykes and Chris Wilson and linebacker Anthony Trucks.

They'll help guide the rookies through drills, while taking advantage of another opportunity to impress the coaching staff this offseason.

Here are five storylines to follow as Rookie Camp unfolds:

-- KEEPING AN EYE ON LANDRY'S DEVELOPMENT

Until now, the Redskins have evaluated Landry in workouts, game film and pre-draft interviews. This weekend, coaches will see him in action on the Redskins Park practice fields for the first time.

Landry, listed at 6-0 and 213 pounds, will almost certainly flash his skills during Rookie Camp. But how fast will he learn the Redskins' defense? Safeties are asked to do plenty in Gregg Williams' defense, from coverage to run support to blitzing.

Defensive assistants Steve Jackson and Jerry will watch closely to determine Landry's readiness.

Landry will have one former LSU teammate to help him get acclimated to his new surroundings. Cornerback Daniel Francis, signed by the Redskins as an undrafted rookie free agent, played with Landry in the same defensive backfield at LSU the last four seasons.

-- SARTZ, BLADES ON SPECIAL TEAMS

Special teams coordinator Danny Smith will keep a watchful eye on the team's two mid-round picks: fifth-round pick Dallas Sartz and sixth-rounder H.B. Blades.

Both Sartz and Blades are linebackers, but they'll need to impress on special teams in training camp to earn a roster spot. Sartz and Blades both played on multiple special teams units in college.

The 6-4, 235-pound Sartz blocked a field goal attempt last season for USC. Blades, 5-10 and 236 pounds, had a blocked punt and two blocked field goals in four seasons at Pitt.

-- WHICH UNDRAFTED ROOKIE HAS A CHANCE?

The Redskins added nine undrafted rookie free agents to the roster shortly after the April 28-29 NFL Draft.

UNDRAFTED ROOKIE FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
NamePositionCollege
Terry CaulleyRBConnecticut
Daniel FrancisCBLSU
Stephon HeyerOLMaryland
Justin HickmanDEUCLA
Sam HollenbachQBMaryland
Zach LatimerLBOklahoma
Marcus MasonRBYoungstown State
Taylor SeleWRBoston College
Deyon WilliamsWRVirginia

Of that group, Hickman could be a player to keep an eye on. The Redskins could look to add some youth at the defensive line position, and Hickman played in a pro-style defense at UCLA.

No doubt, Hickman came highly recommended from UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, who was a Redskins defensive backs coach from 2004-05.

Hickman earned All PAC-10 honors as a senior after totaling 42 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.

-- CARSON'S YOUNGER BROTHER

Jordan Palmer, the Redskins' second sixth-round draft pick, is eager to move beyond the shadow of his famous brother Carson. He'll take his first steps in that direction in Rookie Camp.

Palmer is one of just two quarterbacks on hand for the Rookie Camp. Former Maryland star Sam Hollenbach was signed by the Redskins last Monday as an undrafted rookie free agent.

At this stage of the offseason, there is no competition for the Redskins' third-string quarterback job. Could one develop? It'll take plenty to unseat either Todd Collins or Mark Brunell.

In addition to Palmer and Hollenbach, the Redskins have quarterback Casey Bramlet improving his skills in NFL Europa this spring.

-- WHAT ABOUT TRYOUT ROOKIES?

After the Rookie Camp, the Redskins will likely sign several undrafted rookies from the group of 70 trying out for the club this weekend. Players will have to make a quick first impression.

Call them the Vince Papales and Herb Mul-Keys of the 2007 Redskins.

Last year, wide receiver Mike Espy, Sykes and Eubanks were among rookies who tried out for the Redskins at the team's post-draft Rookie Camp. All three saw limited regular-season action last year.

Virginia defensive tackle Keenan Carter could be one player to keep an eye on at Rookie Camp. He was among the prospects who worked out for the team in early April as part of the team's local college workout.

Carter, who hails from Alexandria, Va., is a 6-1, 312-pound lineman who left college after his junior season. He struggled with an ankle injury last season and was a reserve on the Cavaliers' defensive line. He started in 2005 and logged 25 tackles.

Some other local players trying out at Rookie Camp: Georgetown defensive end Alex Buzbee and cornerback Derek Franks, Maryland fullback J.P. Humber and Howard defensive tackle Edwin Piner.

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