Redskins Like What They've Seen From Skolnitsky

By: Damon Dillman Email
By: Damon Dillman Email

He hasn't earned a logo on his helmet yet, and he walked off the field following Friday morning's practice carrying Albert Haynesworth's gear.

But J.D. Skolnitsky says it's all just part of being an NFL rookie.

"It's not that fun," Skolnitsky said with a smirk following Friday's practice. "Camp's never really been a fun thing. But I'm getting a lot out of it, having a great experience."

Skolntisky, who left James Madison after his junior year because of a failed NCAA drug test, signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent in May. Since then he's been through minicamps and organized training activities, and Friday was his second day of training camp.

He says the biggest difference at the pro level is the speed of the game.

"I feel like I'm adjusted better coming into camp than right when minicamp and OTA's started," says Skolnitsky. "Back then, it was just flying by. Words were being flown here and there."

"J.D. is doing a great job," says Redskins coach Jim Zorn. "And one thing that he's making for himself is a way to be on this football team."

Skolnitsky credits the veterans on the Redskins' defensive line for helping him get up to speed.

"Because, I mean, sometimes a coach isn't always available to talk to," says Skolnitsky. "But these guys, they're always in the locker room, so if you ever have a question they're very approachable."

"There's always a little rookie jitters," says one of those veterans, defensive end Andre Carter. "But I think the most important thing is that he never makes a lot of mistakes, always learns from the vets."

"He looks solid," says fellow defensive end Phillip Daniels. "And I think he's going to be able to do some things in the preseason games, and people are going to start to notice him."

Skolnitsky still needs to survive a pair of cutdown days in early September, as the Redskins reduce their roster to the 53-man maximum for their September 13 opener against the Giants.

"What we're going to do is give him a chance in some of these early preseason games to show us that he's worthy of being on this team," says Zorn. "And I think he's up to that challenge."


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