Washington Redskins fans will be treated to honest-to-goodness football news Monday. That is when formal offseason workouts commence for veteran players under rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Yes, the activity is starting about one month later than previous offseasons. Offseason and preseason "voluntary" practices were a bone of player-owner contention going into last season's labor war. (What a difference a year makes.)
Starting Monday, players return to team facilities for strength, conditioning and rehabilitation activities. In about three weeks, teams can require players to participate in on-field activities without pads or helmets.
The third phase involves as many as 10 OTAs and a minicamp. Then on to preseason in late July (Yay!).
Mark Maske has a nice write up about it that can be seen online today at washingtonpost.com.
Lament on LaRon Landry
The Redskins have focused on issues in the secondary, especially safety. Part of their plan was to let LaRon Landry walk, or limp, away. It's been clear for two years that Landry could not run through a full season.
Rex Ryan signed Landry to play with the New York Jets. Don't look for him to star there. He faces the same issue, slow recovery from an Achilles injury. Landry declined corrective surgery recommended by Dr. James Andrews, THE go-to guy on these matters, preferring an alternate medicine approach.
I'm OK with that. It's his body and his right, but it has to work for him to sustain his career. The 'Skins waited a year to see results. Seeing none, they let him walk at the end of his contract. Now, Landry is rehabbing on Jets owner Woody Johnson's nickel.
Landry raised questions about judgment when he celebrated big hits on opponents after they extended drives. Some fans loved that. Hog Heaven writers shook their collective heads.
The first job of the defensive secondary is to defend passes. Next in priority is to make stops, like, oh say, third-down conversions. Third on this list is to force turnovers; actually, a variation on priority No. 2.
Video football fans undervalued Carlos Rogers for his misses on priority No. 3, and celebrated Landry for his showy stops while disregarding his misses on job No. 1.
By 2010, Landry was putting it all together. He was leading the fan vote for the Pro Bowl when he suffered hamstring and Achilles problems.
Landry tweeted images of his incredible hulk body, typically focusing on the wrong thing. His leg, not his torso, was the question mark.
We do wish Landry well, as Hog Heaven does for all Redskins alumni. We lament that Joe Gibbs' vision of pairing Landry with Sean Taylor in a Redskins version of Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark never worked out. Man, that would have been glorious.
It is time to move on.
But, we still have to find a safety
We touched on some of that here on Hog Heaven, but it's a fast moving target. Fitzgerald's piece did not include news that the team signed big-hitting safety Tanard Jackson to the roster.
Jackson rejoins 'Skins defensive backfield coach Raheem Morris who was his head coach at Tampa Bay.
Washington's real answer is to have DeJon Gomes become the player he was drafted to be. I suspect CB Kevin Barnes and S Reed Doughty to be especially vulnerable.
Doughty always finds a way to make the team.
Taylor murder trial delayed again
The Miami-Dade County (Florida) Circuit Court postponed indefinitely the trial of the accused shooter in the Sean Taylor murder case.
The trial of Eric Riviera was scheduled to begin last Monday. Riviera changed lawyers last month. His new attorney told that Court that he did not have enough time to provide a defense. The judge informed Riviera when he fired is prior legal team that he would not delay his trial, and then did precisely that.
The next hearing is July 12 when a new trial date may be set. Maybe.
More on this story on the WaPOST's The Insider.
Jabar Gaffney is trending on Twitter
Redskins wide out Jabar Gaffney, um, exploded on Twitter Thursday evening — something about his wife, ex-Eagles Lito Sheppard, who is also his cousin, and hints of divorce. This can't end well for anyone involved.
Gaffney invoked the Anthony Weiner defense. He says his account was hacked.
Kids, here's a lesson for you. Angry words you say evaporate to ether. Angry words you tweet, or say on ESPN, haunt you forever.
I doubt that free agent DB Sheppard will join the Redskins anytime soon.