NFL Nation: Tab Perry


Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


The start to the 2009 season has a different feel for Baltimore Ravens receiver Kelley Washington.

 
 AP Photo/Elise Amendola
 Kelley Washington hopes to show the Cincinnati Bengals what they're missing out on.
First, the seven-year veteran is on pace for career highs in catches and receiving yards in Baltimore’s high-scoring offense. Second, after experiencing three non-winning seasons in four years in Cincinnati, Washington is facing his former team for first place in the AFC North Sunday when the Ravens (3-1) host the Bengals (3-1).

This game is personal for Washington.

From 2003 to 2006, Washington played behind receivers Chad Ochocinco, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and later Chris Henry in Cincinnati and felt he was lost in the mix. Now thriving in Baltimore, Washington wants to show his former team what its missing.

"I definitely want to show them what I’m about," Washington told ESPN.com Thursday. "I know they know it. But I definitely want to put a beating on the defensive backs and show the coaches there, the owners and all the personnel people what I’m about."

Washington has been one of the top success stories in the AFC North this season. He accepted an invitation from Baltimore on a tryout basis in the spring and beat out receivers such as Jerry Porter and Tab Perry.

A strong training camp and preseason helped Washington get early opportunities in the offense and he hasn’t slowed down since. He is second on the Ravens with 16 catches for 198 yards and has quickly developed the trust of second-year quarterback Joe Flacco.

Washington said former teammate Randy Moss taught him a lot while the two were with the New England Patriots. Washington watched how Moss operated when he first arrived in New England and quickly forged a dominant duo with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"[Moss] just constantly talked to [Brady] on what he likes and what he expects," Washington said. "That’s what I’m doing with Joe."

The results are showing on the field as Washington has become Flacco’s third-down specialist.

Washington also is known for his dancing. His moves have excited crowds in all three stops in Baltimore, Cincinnati and New England. (We recommend checking out "The Squirrel" from Washington on YouTube.)

Ochocinco also is known for his celebrations and says he has something special planned Sunday. So there could be an entertaining competition within the game between two former teammates.

But who’s the better dancer?

"I know he knows deep down who the better dancer is," Washington said of Ochocinco. "He might have a little bit more things up his sleeve. But as far as quality of a dancer, he knows who’s better."

Only one player will be dancing in first place after Sunday's game.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

  Washington

The veteran tryout the Baltimore Ravens were most impressed by turned out to be receiver Kelley Washington. The former Cincinnati Bengal and New England Patriot agreed to a one-year deal with Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, according to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli.

Washington out-dueled receivers Jerry Porter and Tab Perry in Baltimore's search for receiver help. He made numerous plays in minicamp and showed good hands and size.

Washington could play a bigger role than expected in training camp. Top receiver Derrick Mason could be out until September following major shoulder surgery, which should provide Washington more opportunities for playing time in the preseason. Washington also is solid on special teams and could help Baltimore in that area.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North:

  • According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals rookie tackle and No. 6 overall pick Andre Smith could be having agent issues again.

Morning take: If there is one high-profile rookie who doesn't need any more bad publicity this offseason, it's Smith. This is baffling if reports turn out to be correct.

  • Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports the Baltimore Ravens have reached out to tryout receiver Kelley Washington.

Morning take: In last week's minicamp, Washington clearly outperformed Jerry Porter and Tab Perry in an effort to earn a contract. Porter had the big name, but Washington made most of the plays.

  • Zac Jackson of Clevelandbrowns.com provides an early preview of the Browns' Sept. 13 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

Morning take: Fill in the blank: Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson rushes for ____ yards in Week 1.

Morning take: Tomlin, who will not attend the ceremony, joins an interesting and star-studded class that includes Usher and Ashanti from the world of music.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Thursday in the AFC North:

  • The Baltimore Ravens are trying out four receivers this weekend: Jerry Porter, Kelly Washington, Tab Perry and D.J. Hackett.

Morning take: After passing over receivers completely in this year's draft, the team should be able to find some veteran help in this group. It will be interesting to see which receiver has the best minicamp.

Morning take: Williams reunites with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati. Once one of the league's better safeties, the Bengals are hoping he has more left in the tank.

Morning take: I thought it was a little strange that Cleveland would go this far into the offseason without a position coach. I guess it's a moot point now.

  • Here is a breakdown of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison's monster six-year contract.

Morning take: This looks more like a three- or four-year deal for Harrison. He gets most of his bonus money up front, which makes him happy. But the salaries are back loaded, which gives the team flexibility if he's no longer productive in the latter years.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DAVIE, Fla. -- Chances are, at least one person in your family is every bit the athlete Greg Camarillo is.

 
  Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI
  Greg Camarillo might not be the prototypical NFL receiver, but he leads the Dolphins with 372 receiving yards.

He is listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. He ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash at his pro workout day before the draft. He wears size medium gloves.

Drive toward the illuminated light stanchions in your town on a Friday night and look through the chain-link fence. You'll see high school players who fit Camarillo's general description.

Those kids could play in the NFL, too. They almost certainly won't. If it was that easy, then Camarillo's story wouldn't be considered exceptional.

"I'm still amazed by it sometimes," Camarillo said while hunkered over a plastic plate of barbeque chicken, rice and beans at his stall in the Miami Dolphins locker room. "I wasn't supposed to be here.

"Pretty much every step of my journey I wasn't supposed to take the next step. Odds were against me. That's how my athletic career has been. I've always been the underdog, and I kind of like that."

Unrecruited, unable to score in college, not invited to the scouting combine and undrafted is not a good formula for becoming a go-to NFL target.

Yet Camarillo, who forever will be remembered as the hero who saved the Dolphins from the embarrassment of a winless season last year, leads them with 32 catches for 372 yards and a touchdown.

He has more catches than last year's ninth overall draft pick (Ted Ginn) and has started every game, while a handsomely paid offseason acquisition (Ernest Wilford) and a 2006 third-round pick (Derek Hagan) watch in street clothes.

"He's a guy that from the day that I walked in the door here has done nothing but make plays," Dolphins first-year head coach Tony Sparano said. "Every practice that I'm out there, Camarillo separates from somebody, makes a play, dives for a ball, makes a great catch, beats somebody that he's not maybe on paper not supposed to beat in man-to-man coverage."

(Read full post)

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