Training camp notebook: Signing Nick Barnett adds needed depth to linebacker position

Washington Redskins linebacker Nick Barnett walks off the field with fans after the afternoon practice at the NFL football training camp in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. – We had more rain here in Richmond after the conclusion of the morning walk-through. It poured for about an hour and the fields were puddles in between the morning and afternoon sessions. The sun came out in time for the afternoon practice and the Redskins were able to practice for two hours.

The fields were in surprisingly very good shape despite all the rain.

Practice Observations

Robert Griffin III had another good day of individual drills and 7-on-7. He completed 16-17 during that time to which Mike Shanahan joked, “He’s got to get that other completion.”

Aldrick Robinson had another good day receiving and he continues to be impressive during this first week. Santana Moss has also had a very good week. He’s been matched up against Corner E.J. Biggers a good amount of the time and has gotten the best of Biggers.

Defensively, rookie LB Will Compton had another interception today. He’s had two this week. He intercepted Kirk Cousins during a 7-on-7 drill.

It was hot and humid Thursday afternoon and Mike Shanahan upped the tempo. The players did two-minute drills and the tempo of practice was all around a little quicker during the team sessions.

“You want to see guys push themselves when they’re really tired,” Shanahan said. “This is how they get in football and game shape.”

Linebacker Depth

The Redskins made it official and announced the signing of linebacker Nick Barnett. The 6-foot-2, 228-pound linebacker was originally drafted by the Packers in the first round (29th overall) in 2003 and played in Green Bay through the 2010 season. He then went to Buffalo for two years before being released this year.

Barnett has started all 139 games in which he has played during his 10-year career, and has compiled 1,026 tackles (722 solo), 20.5 sacks and 12 interceptions.

He had his right knee cleaned out during the off season. Nothing was torn but it was the same knee he had the ACL procedure on and he wanted to “get it cleaned out and fixed up,” he said.

Barnett provides some much-needed depth at the linebacker position with the loss of Keenan Robinson (torn pectoral) and Rob Jackson (suspended first four games). He said he’s not in football shape yet so he won’t be practicing. It’s up to the coaching staff as to when he will be on the field.

As far as where he will play, he made it clear that he is here to help in anyway possible but was not ready to concede a starting job. He plans to challenge London Fletcher and Perry Riley, he said.

Barnett was in town on Tuesday for a workout and then waited to learn his fate. While waiting, he did what anyone else would do.

“I was ordering hotel movies, putting it on the Redskins bill and enjoying myself. I probably watched about three movies yesterday in that hotel room,” Barnett said. “It wasn’t anything thing good. It’s been a bad summer for movies man.”

He also assessed the Washington media on his first day as a Redskin.

“There are a lot more media here than in Buffalo, I’m a little nervous right now.”

It gets easier, I promise.

Injury Update

  • Trent Williams will wear a hard cast on his wrist. This will enable him to practice and stay in shape. But the cast will prevent him from using his wrist while doing so.
  • Richard Crawford went down in practice with what looked to be a hamstring injury. He was carted off the field to the building.
  • Josh Morgan left practice with a hamstring strain.
  • Safety Brandon Merriweather continues to take it slow coming back from a knee injury. He has not done any 11-on-11 work since last week, which is not a good sign. Reed Doughty has seen most of the action at safety along with rookie Bacarri Rambo.
  • Fred Davis, Reed Doughty and Roy Helu did not practice because of what appeared to be maintenance days.
  • Dante Stallworth still tries to get back on the field from the hamstring injury he suffered over the weekend. He continues to work on the side with trainers but has not practiced.

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