Washington Redskins' Training Camp: What We've Learned So Far

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Washington Redskins' Training Camp: What We've Learned So Far
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Mike Shanahan is in total control.

Coach Shanahan has made a loud-and-clear statement with his handling of Albert Haynesworth. It's Mike's way, or the highway.

The Jim Zorn days of letting players run this team are ancient history. Mike Shanahan does not care about massive contracts or reputations. He wants every player to bow to his authority, and those who don't will suffer the consequences.

One of the major deficiencies of the Redskins of 2009 was discipline. From training camp on through to the end of the season, the team struggled with a lack of structure.

No more.

Mike Shanahan has put his plan into place, and everyone in the organization knows that he is first in command.

 

Outside of Donovan McNabb, no player has complete job security.

From the very beginning, Mike Shanahan has touted the benefits of competition at every position. Chris Cooley will compete with Fred Davis. Clinton Portis will compete with Larry Johnson. Devin Thomas will compete with Joey Galloway. And on and on.

Players are driven to play their best by looking over their shoulders and realizing that they can't let up or the next guy will take their place. Shanahan is a master of motivational psychology and he knows how to squeeze every ounce of ability out of the players.

Colt Brennan found out the hard way about how tenuous job security can be under Mike Shanahan's regime. Evidently, Shanahan wasn't impressed with Brennan's potential and unceremoniously released him after trading for Baltimore Ravens' quarterback John Beck.

Shanahan didn't care about Brennan's cult status among some Washington fans. The head coach wants the highest quality players available to compete for each and every position.

 

The wide receiver position is wide open.

Devin Thomas has had a good camp so far, but he has his hands full competing with Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams. Thomas seems to be extremely motivated by the competition, and he has impressed Shanahan with his work ethic.

Still, nothing is guaranteed for Thomas or for his draft classmate Malcolm Kelly. In fact, with the injury struggles that Kelly has had, it wouldn't be surprising if he ends up being cut before the start of the season.

The wide receiver position is obviously the biggest deficiency on the offense. In the unlikely event that San Diego gives up on Vincent Jackson and decides to make a deal, Mike Shanahan could be interested.

 

LaRon Landry should improve dramatically in Jim Haslett's 3-4 defense.

Landry was toasted more times in pass coverage last year than any Redskins fan cares to remember. He looked confused and out of position, and he had a total breakdown in fundamentals.

This year, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will play Landry less in pass coverage and more in run support. From what has been seen from Landry so far in training camp, he is being encouraged to be much more aggressive this year.

He should also see a lot more blitzing opportunities. With his added bulk this year (some reports have him at 240 pounds), he will be almost like an extra linebacker.

Landry has all of the physical tools to be a consistent playmaker. And now, he may be playing in the perfect scheme for his skill set.

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