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News & Notes: Springs Helps Out At Safety

With LaRon Landry and rookie Kareem Moore slowed by injuries, the Redskins are in need of safety help for some 11-on-11 work during practice.

Enter Shawn Springs.

In each of the last three full-squad practices, Springs has at times played free safety, moving over from cornerback, his natural position.

Landry and Moore are not expected to play in Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage at Redskins Park, so Springs could once again be pressed into action at safety.

At one point during a Thursday practice, Springs and rookie J.T. Tryon--also a cornerback--were playing safety while Fred Smoot and Leigh Torrence were at cornerback.

In the past, Springs has discussed transitioning to safety to help prolong his NFL career.

It's something that may come up again should the Redskins suffer more injuries at the position.

Landry has a minor hamstring injury, while Moore--one of three Redskins sixth-round draft picks last April--is still recovering from off-season knee surgery.

The Redskins have veterans Reed Doughty and Stuart Schweigert competing for playing time at safety, as well as rookie seventh-round draft pick Chris Horton.


Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly must like to do things in pairs. They were drafted in the same round by the Redskins in last April's NFL Draft. Now they both have hamstring injuries.

Jim Zorn reported after practice that Kelly suffered a minor hamstring injury during practice. He emphasized it was not serious but added that Kelly may sit out Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage.

Thomas, of course, is sidelined with a more severe hamstring injury. He is expected to miss 1-2 weeks of action.

"[These kinds of injuries] happen at this time of training camp where you have had 2-a-days and you've worn on these guys," Zorn said. "They're trying to make the team and they are putting out maximum effort.

"It's great work, but it wears on the body and this is that time where the bodies get tired."

Anthony Mix also tweaked his hamstring during Friday morning's practice. That injury is also not serious.


More injuries to add to the Redskins' list: defensive lineman J.T. Mapu suffered a knee ligament sprain and offensive lineman Kerry Brown injured his shoulder during Friday morning's practice.

The extent of Mapu's injury is not yet known. He is still being evaluated by team doctors.

Mapu, an undrafted rookie, signed with the Redskins last Monday, one day after Phillip Daniels and Alex Buzbee suffered season-ending knee injuries in practice.

The 6-4, 285-pound Mapu had a stint with the Redskins during the 2008 offseason. He played his college ball at Tennessee.

Brown is a 6-6, 310-pounder who played his college ball at Appalachian State. He joined the Redskins this offseason as an undrafted rookie free agent.


Pete Kendall has had a quiet training camp. He is settling in on the Redskins' veteran offensive line.

"Randy [Thomas] and Jon [Jansen] look great and I know Chris [Samuels] is going to be fine," he said. "I think we have five guys who have demonstrated over the years that we're all decent players. Hopefully we'll be better than decent as a group."

Last year, the Redskins had to patch together the right side of the offensive line after injuries to Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas.

Kendall stayed healthy and started all 16 games in 2007.

"That's always the ideal everywhere you go--to have five guys play 16 games next to each other," he said.


The Redskins hosted a special teams practice on Friday afternoon, giving Danny Smith an early opportunity to evaluate punters Derrick Frost and Durant Brooks.

The real competition for the team's punting job begins in preseason games.

"When we get into game competition, it is all about execution under pressure," Smith said.

How are Frost and Brooks, the rookie sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech, handling the competition?

"They are both good people, competitors and punters, and competition brings the best out of all of us," Smith said. "It has been excellent, and they have been working really hard against each other."


Among the notable players excused from Friday afternoon's special teams practice: Clinton Portis, Jason Taylor, most of the offensive and defensive linemen, and the quarterbacks.

Mike Sellers practiced, though. He has been a mainstay on punt and kickoff coverage in his tenure with the Redskins.

"[The special teams practices] are nice because in full practices we always rush when we do special teams drills," he said. "This gives us a chance to go back and work on stuff that we might have messed up on earlier. We can concentrate on certain things a little more. I think it's going to benefit us."

Wouldn't he rather have the afternoon off like Portis, Taylor and others?

"I'm happy to be playing football," he said. "I got into this league playing special teams, so that's always something I'm going to be doing. It's not a chore for me. I enjoy it."

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