NFC East: Roydell Williams

Devin Thomas isn't backing down

August, 11, 2010
8/11/10
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Redskins wide receiver could have been humiliated by his third-team status on the Redskins' latest depth chart, but he's apparently taking things in stride. The former Michigan State star thinks coach Mike Shanahan may be sending him a message.

"I'm not listening to all the stuff that's out there or in the papers or whatever, I'm just doing what I need to do on the field, what the coaches tell me I need to do, because that's all that matters," said Thomas on Wednesday. "Coach Shanahan expects a lot and I expect a lot from myself.

"When you see that [the depth chart], that's Coach Shanahan showing you there's a lot you need to do to get to that level he wants you to play. I know how hard I'm working and I know I just need to keep going out there and competing every day. [The depth chart] is just for now. Nothing is set yet. We'll see what happens."

That's a good response from Thomas. I can't imagine him remaining behind the likes of Joey Galloway and Roydell Williams on the depth chart, but he needs to start making his move now. Shanahan has reminded Malcolm Kelly and Thomas that nothing will be handed to them based on potential.

Now, Kelly desperately needs to get back on the practice field. His hamstring issues are becoming an annual theme in training camp.

Moss to Beast: '09 was my best season

August, 6, 2010
8/06/10
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ASHBURN, Va. -- The fact that Santana Moss is one of the most dangerous downfield receivers in the league didn't really matter in 2009. By the time Moss reached top speed, quarterback Jason Campbell was usually in the clutches of a defensive end. And the fact that Jim Zorn had his play-calling duties stripped a few weeks into the season only served to make things more confusing.

That's why I was a little surprised Friday when Moss informed me that '09 might have been his best season as a pro. He averaged a career-low 12.9 yards per reception and only had three touchdowns. So I gave him a confusing look.

"I know it sounds crazy, but even when the going got tough, I was able to stand strong," said Moss. "I told Michael Irvin the same thing recently. I was nicked up really bad, but I just refused to fold my tail and give in to all the misery. I think it was important for the younger guys like Malcolm [Kelly] and Devin [Thomas] to see that it wasn't getting to me."

Moss said he kept telling his young teammates that something good was going to come out of the chaotic season. And when he heard the news about Mike Shanahan being hired, he simply looked at Kelly.

"I just kept telling them that something great was going to happen here," said Moss. "Things had gotten really dull around here and then 'boom!' the storm hit. Now, there's a completely different feeling about this team."

New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan asked Moss to watch film of Andre Johnson with the Texans. Shanahan had coached Johnson in Houston and watched him become one of the elite receivers in the league.

"He told me that some guys could only do one thing, but he said I could be like Andre and play inside or outside," said Moss on Friday. "I was fighting all these double and triple teams last year, but Kyle's not going to let that happen."

Moss has never been one to complain about not having a better complementary receiver. In fact, he spent 10 minutes bragging on veterans Joey Galloway, Roydell Williams and Bobby Wade.

"I think it's my job to get open," he said. "I've never looked at it like I need someone to help me get open."

Moss joined Donovan McNabb in Phoenix, Ariz., last month for "Hell Week" workouts. He says the chance to bond that week has given the receiving corps a head start coming into camp. I'll have much, much more from Moss in my upcoming Redskins Camp Confidential.

Skins sign former Seahawks WR Hackett

August, 5, 2009
8/05/09
2:22
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

You got the feeling that Redskins coach Jim Zorn was just waiting for the right time to sign former Seahawks wide receiver D.J. Hackett, and that time arrived when Roydell Williams went down with a broken finger in training camp.

Hackett was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2004 and he's spent significant time working with Zorn in the past. He's certainly not a guy who will challenge for a starting job, but he had his moments with Seattle. In fact, I seem to recall him giving the Cowboys fits at one point.

As Gary Fitzgerald of Redskins.com points out, there's no guarantee that Williams was going to make the team. He was trying to figure out a new offense and the injury would've kept him out for a least a month. That's why the Skins went ahead and released him. Hackett's familiar with the Redskins' offense, so it shouldn't take him too long to catch up.

The Skins also signed defensive lineman Michael Marquardt. At 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds, Marquardt has bounced around the league since being signed by the Bengals as a rookie free agent out of Arizona State. He spent last season on the Eagles' practice squad. I think the Skins just want to make sure that players such as Albert Haynesworth don't have to take too many reps in camp. I'd be surprised if Marquardt made the final roster. With Hackett, you could certainly see it happening. He could play the role that James Thrash was in.

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