It had not been too oppressively hot this week until Wednesday. A downpour early Wednesday morning really spiked the humidity levels, resulting in the muggiest atmosphere yet in camp.
That merited a day off for several of the big name players, but aside from a canceled practice on Sunday afternoon, the players have been going strong twice a day.
The morning practices have been more intense, featuring 11-on-11 and position drills, sprints, etc. while the afternoons have been walkthroughs. The afternoon practices simply install the various packages; the morning practices put the packages into action.
The team as whole has steadily improved each day, but the offense has had several shaky performances. It has been a well-run camp according to everyone I've talked to and the structure has been praised as the best in years at Redskins Park.
That being said, here's how things shake out from what I've seen in camp, but before we get to the start of preseason:
Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck
-Mike Shanahan might want to roll with two QBs, but he brought in Grossman because of his familiarity with the offense, and he traded for Beck due to his interest in him since he came out of BYU in 2007. That tells me he likes them both enough to keep three QBs on his roster.
Running Back: Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, Ryan Torain
-Portis and Johnson are playing possessed. Both have been tearing through camp. Portis is in the best shape I have seen him in a long time. Johnson has been a joy to watch both on and off the field.
-Willie Parker has picked it up the past few days, but Torain has shown some flashes including a beautiful reception down the sidelines early in camp. His youth gives him an edge.
Fullback: Mike Sellars
-Shanahan didn't use a fullback very often in Denver, but he has used them to an extent in training camp. Sellars is too valuable and too much of presence to cut.
Wide Receiver: Santana Moss, Devin Thomas, Bobby Wade, Joey Galloway, Malcolm Kelly, Terrence Austin
-I want Kelly to make the roster. I really do. But he hasn't practiced since last Thursday. The new regime inherited him, making him even more expendable. Given his size, I still think he'll make it with a solid preseason.
-Austin has been very impressive, but his size is a worry. He will make the practice squad in the very least though.
-Wondering why I have Wade in the mix? This is why.
Tight End: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Lee Vickers
-This is the strongest TE duo in the league in regards to Cooley and Davis. Davis is athletic enough to line up anywhere while Cooley can play in the slot and at TE. Both guys complement each other well. Vickers replaces Todd Yoder as the blocking TE.
Tackle: Trent Williams, Jammal Brown, William Robinson, Stephon Heyer
-Robinson has received some buzz and started at LT the day before Williams signed his deal. Heyer has struggled, but Selvish Capers is too raw for a spot on the final roster.
Guard: Derrick Dockery, Artis Hicks, Chad Rinehart, Will Montgomery
-Rinehart has actually looked good in camp, and in regards to last season, I didn't think he was half-bad.
Center: Casey Rabach, Edwin Williams
-Williams could be the future starter at tackle. He told me he has been playing a lot of left guard in addition to center, giving him the versatility a reserve lineman needs.
Defensive End: Adam Carriker, Albert Haynesworth, Kedric Golston, Jeremy Jarmon
-Carriker and Golston can play any position on the line in a pinch. With the way the defense is mixing up their schemes, they probably will.
-Jarmon is a great prospect.
Nose Tackle: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Howard Green
-Kemo isn't playing at 100% after his Achilles injury from last year. But he has been taking the bulk of the first-team reps.
Outside Linebacker: Brian Orakpo, Lorenzo Alexander, Andre Carter, Chris Wilson
-Alexander and Carter could end up in a sort of platoon system at the OLB position opposite Orakpo's.
Middle Linebacker: London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Perry Riley, Robert Henson, Chris Draft
-Henson is a special-teamer. Draft can play any of the linebacker positions.
Cornerback: DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, Phillip Buchanon, Byron Westbrook, Kevin Barnes
-Westbrook can play special teams and that gives him an advantage.
-Barnes is more of a hitter so the 'Skins will have to look for ways to utilize that strength. He still struggles in coverage.
-Justin Tryon continues to struggle in camp, but Darrell Green keeps talking him up so we'll see in the preseason. For now, I think he's a goner.
Safety: LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton
-Moore has been terrific in camp. Can't say enough about how much more confident I am in him as a starter.
-Doughty can play either safety spot.
LS: Ethan Albright
-Yes he's not on the roster right now, but current LS, Nick Sundberg has been bad. Really bad. Albright has been here for years and is still a phone call away.
Kicker: Graham Gano
-Gano has been stellar going 42-46 through Wednesday. The 'Skins must feel comfortable with him so far as they have not brought in competition.
Punter: Josh Bidwell
Kick Returner: Devin Thomas
Punt Returner: Phillip Buchanon
Just Missed: Selvish Capers, Erik Cook, Justin Tryon, Lendy Holmes, Anthony Armstrong, Rob Jackson (Some of the younger players released could be added to the practice squad).