Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jim Williams: Johnson ready for gridiron tour
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Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 29, 2006 5:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 3,011 articles

WASHINGTON - Kelli Johnson is a self-professed jock.

She comes from a family of coaches and played sports all the way through college. So she has more than a passing interest in football.

This is her third year as Comcast SportsNet’s Redskins beat reporter and she gets better each year. Few reporters have the rapport with the players and coaches she does. But most of all, even fewer ask the tough questions that she does week after week.

With training camp less than 48 hours away, Kelli and I talked Redskins football and she had some interesting insights.

On the key storylines: “It all starts with Mark Brunell. Can he stay healthy and lead this team? Then we go to Jason Campbell, where the question is: Is he ready in case something happens to Mark?

We have the great storyline with Joe Gibbs turning the offense over to new coach Al Saunders. We have plenty of new weapons on offense to talk about in Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd. On defense, coach Greg Williams is always working and we will see what he has in store in the post LaVar era.”

On the team’s prospects: “The NFC East is back as the dominant division in the NFL. The Giants, the Cowboys and the Eagles are all good and the Redskins have a great chance of winning the division. This season the Redskins are not going to be able to sneak up on anyone. The league knows that they can be a Super Bowl-caliber team so every week will be a battle.”

Kelli’s reports begin on Sunday on CSN’s SportsNite shows. She will of course be part of the CSN Redskins Pre and Post Game live shows all season long.

Redskins telecasts

» The Redskins preseason games will again be seen locally on CBS 9 and CSN. Mike Patrick and John Riggins will handle the booth duties.

» Speaking of Patrick, as part of his new ESPN contract he got a spot to compete in thee World Series of Poker. So the network staked him and he has been competing in Las Vegas. Patrick gets to keep his winnings, so let’s hope he cashes in lots of chips.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer

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