December 11, 2019

Washington Redskins: Monday Wrap Up after 17-10 Loss to Dolphins

So what did we expect? Things looked good when the Washington Redskins were up 10-0 although all fans had to be thinking they should have been up even more. Then when the punt coverage team gave up a house call that Tress Way blamed himself for not getting enough hang time, fans had watched this same story unfold multiple times before. The Redskins hoped that playing winning football would quite all of the off the field drama surrounding the franchise, but instead they are the same team from years past that choked away a lead.

Today things were shaken up quite a bit at Redskins Park as signings and waiving took place along with the loss of key starters.

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Washington Redskins Get Good Injury News on Fan Appreciation Day #2 at Redskins Park

The Washington Redskins were limping into their second preseason game against the Detroit Lions last Thursday. Things did not get better when Robert Griffin III left the game early with a concussion and later when special team’s captain Adam Hayward suffered a non-contact ACL injury. Less than three days removed from the horror, the Redskins started to get healthier on all fronts starting with QB1 RG3.

Robert Griffin III was in full pads today in practice and although it is believed he could only go through individual drills due to the concussion protocol, head coach Jay Gruden later explained that the quarterback was cleared for “non-contact” activity today.

“He’ll be checked by a neurosurgeon later this week to determine whether he’ll be cleared for the game [at Ravens on Saturday]. But, so far, so good. He didn’t have any headaches or anything of that nature. He did a good job of executing the offense today.”

Griffin looks to be on a somewhat accelerated timetable to return to game action as he took part in throwing drills today which is thought of as the 4th step of the five step concussion protocol. Gruden discussed the how the concussion protocol was taking shape:

“He just went through the necessary steps with the doctors and the concussion tests that is all implemented by our training staff. And so far, he has taken the necessary steps. You know, it’s been two full days and today is Sunday afternoon so he has had some time to recover and go through the necessary steps. He hasn’t been totally cleared yet. Like I said, he’s got to still go to a neurosurgeon. But, we’ll wait and see.”

Griffin will likely speak to the media later this week and will start against the Ravens on Saturday if he is completely cleared by the aforementioned neurologist. Gruden thinks that Griffin will have a good chance to get in the necessary reps on Saturday as he has already started to take the “necessary steps” in clearing the protocol. Although Gruden said the first team offense is “moving forward” there is still a lot of work to be done, which is why these opportunities to get better before things start to count is essential.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • TE Derek Carrier, acquired from San Francisco for a 2016 5th round pick, is wearing #41 not the previously reported #47 previously donned by Chris Cooley (still do not expect anything). Gruden described the Beloit College product as being “very good” and likes that he “competes in the running game” after putting on weight from his wide receiver days.
  • In limited work today, DeSean Jackson fielded some punts today and could probably be used in rare occasions when the team is in a big need of a spark. Jackson is easily the most explosive player on the team.
  • Kirk Cousins went 5/5 for 80 yards during 7-on-7 drills including a 50 yard run and catch to Rashad Ross.
  • Although it surprised many that Griffin was already taking part in non-contact team drills, the former rookie of the year looked fine in individual drills in his footwork to roll out and throwing on the move. Griffin later exploded through a crease during live play for a 30 yard rushing touchdown where he used his track speed to break away from trailing defenders.

Injury Updates:

  • Jamison Crowder (hamstring), Will Compton (groin), Trent Williams (foot), and Baushad Breeland (MCL) with a knee brace all returned to practice in full pads. Breeland took part in team drills as the first unit nickelback. All are making very good progress from their injuries.
  • DeSean Jackson (shoulder), DeAngelo Hall (toe), and Jordan Reed did NOT participate in a full padded practice with the rest of the team. Jackson and Hall were in practice jerseys without pads and took part in individual drills, Jackson hopes to practice fully at some point this week. Gruden believes Jackson and Reed are both close to returning to 100%.
  • In a couple of new injuries, Kai Forbath (sore quad) and Trent Murphy (aggravated hip) were held out of practice though they are just day-to-day and Gruden did not seem too concerned about either injuries.

Important Dates:

  • Face the Baltimore Ravens for the third preseason game (“dress rehearsal”) in 6 days on 8/29 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 13 days by 9/5.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 21 days.

Washington Redskins: Preseason Week 2 vs. Lions What to Watch For

If you think you can make generalizations about the Washington Redskins outlook for the regular season from last weeks play, you are probably wrong. The sample size is simply too small. The starters played roughly a quarter and were not 100% healthy. Robert Griffin III only threw the ball a grand total of eight times, and saying that Kirk Cousins‘s stellar play against backups and soon to be unemployed players is worthy of a starting job is preposterous.

Unfortunately we are not going to see too much more from the starters this week when they host the Lions either. Head coach Jay Gruden said the first units will likely go at least a quarter and possibly a little beyond that based on how many snaps each side gets. In short, it will be tough to evaluate the play of the starters again. Starting with the third preseason game against the Ravens, where the starters could play upwards of three quarters, we might be able to make small generalizations.

But just because there is a limited sample size to evaluate from the starters from does not mean that the second preseason game is not worth watching. Like last week, it will be a great opportunity for those further down the depth chart to showcase why they think they should be on the 53 man roster.

  • Colt McCoy orchestrating the backup offense. With all the talk that Cousins should be the starter over RG3 last week, many forgot that there is currently an open competition for the backup quarterback spot. This week it will be McCoy’s chance to light it up against backups after taking a game managing role last week to close out the win over the Browns. Cousins seems to have put himself ahead in the race and a bad showing by the Texas product could seal his fate as the third string QB.
  • The running attack as the power run scheme of Bill Callahan continues to develop. Last week we saw Alfred Morris and Matt Jones combine for three explosive runs. We saw the physicality level increase and we shall watch for more of the same. It will not show in preseason, but during the regular season that will result in the wearing down of the defensive line. We should also look for Chris Thompson to continue providing a change of pace option for the Redskins in his search to secure his third string running back spot after Silas Redd tore his ACL/MCL last week. NOTE: Redd did clear waivers and was placed on the Redskins injured reserve list joining the likes of Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen.
  • The right side of the offensive line with the combination of Brandon Scherff at guard and Morgan Moses at tackle. Last week the young duo was never put in too many tough positions and held their own against a talented Browns front seven. The more time they get together the more comfortable they should become. This week and the rest of preseason will be used to continue their development in hopes of producing an upgrade from last year.
  • Although there a handful of injuries to notable defenders for the Redskins, the starters are more or less penciled in. It will be nice to see a couple of three and outs with a turnover from the improved unit, but they will have their hands full with Calvin Johnson. It will be interesting to watch who takes on the assignment of the 6′ 5” Megatron as Chris Culliver is more of a slot corner, while DeAngelo Hall might not be able to go with a toe injury. From the front seven, the degree of pressure and effectiveness in stopping the run will be worth observing.
  • The dreaded special teams, can we see improvement? Kicker Kai Forbath has been inconsistent in practice thus far but if he continues his strong play in game time situations all will be set. The former Lou Groza award winner however HAS to try and get his kickoffs deeper in the end zone because the return coverage is still exposed constantly. For the Redskins own return options, watch of Andre Roberts, Chris Thompson, and possibly Rashad Ross get a crack at the duties while rookie Jamison Crowder is likely to sit with a hamstring injury.

Although there are key pieces of the game to watch for as detailed above, there will be little support for wild speculation even if the team executes perfectly or not at all.

Check back on Friday morning for a full analysis of the Redskins hosting of the Detroit Lions after doing battle Thursday Night with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 PM.

Washington Redskins Return to Ashburn in Preparation for Preseason Battle with Lions

After wrapping up training camp yesterday with a quick walkthrough, the Redskins got back at it at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA for the last time before hosting the Detroit Lions in the second preseason game of the year. Within minutes of the team trotting out to the practice field, the heavens opened up as pouring rain forced everyone into the recently built practice bubble. Lets stick with just the practice in this post, if you are interested in reading about the media show on Robert Griffin III‘s “best in the league” comments you can see this opinion post.

Similarly to in the first preseason game, head coach Jay Gruden did not previously announce how long the starters were going to play. All we know is that they are likely to play the first quarter and possibly a little bit before that but such is all dependent on the speed of the game and how many snaps there are on both sides of the ball. In the short time that the starters are in the game, Gruden hopes to see the team building on what they have already accomplished. It would be tough to play the same penalty free ball that the Redskins accomplished last week, but as long as Gruden sees his team getting better together he will be pleased.

Gruden further delved into the running back position and current outlook of the unit. Matt Jones‘s role in the Redskins offense is still being processed but Gruden termed the Florida product as currently a “relief back” in order to keep Alfred Morris fresh during the game. Behind all of the hype of Jones, Gruden complimented the work horse Morris by saying “it is hard to take him out of the game on first and second down” because he has been in such good shape. Gruden did however explain that if Jones earns playing time and shows he can be trusted when it counts with ball security, “he will get his fair share of carries”. The head coach continued his high praise for Chris Thompson describing his job execution as “excellance”. Surprisingly, Gruden likes what he is seeing on “normal downs” where he is needed primarily as a pass catching option out of the backfield. Best case scenario, all three backs thrive in Bill Callahan‘s power run game, keep each other fresh, and take the pressure off of Griffin throughout the season.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • With all of the nonsense regarding Griffin’s out-of-context comments, Kirk Cousins nearly threw two interceptions in today’s practice. Both were dropped by the defenders, which resulted in push ups as punishment for the miscue, but would have likely been turnovers against starting secondaries.
  • David Amerson and rookie Martell Spaight started in the place of DeAngelo Hall and Keenan Robinson and performed well.
  • Although Chris Thompson has a tight hold on the third string running back position, the change of pace back was stripped during one play and was talked to by the coaching staff. Turnovers are the quickest way to loose playing time and in extreme cases even a roster spot.
  • TE Je’Ron Hamm got the bulk of the playing time with the starters today and made a couple of nice grabs. Tom Compton was indeed used as an extra blocker multiple times and even was sent out on a route one time although he was not targeted, do not expect any J.J. Watt touchdowns from the tight end position from the natural tackle.
  • You could spend all day just watching Junior Galette and Trent Williams go up against each other. Today Galette seemed to win most of the battles by showcasing his hand movement, which he was working on off to the side prior to joining in on full team practices.
  • Kai Forbath had a better day on field goal attempts after having a poor showing the practice after having a good showing against the Browns. The incumbent Redskins place kicker converted on attempts from 38, 40, 45, and 50 yards out while missing a 48 yarder. The competition is not too aggressive this year for Forbath, as rookie Ty Long continues his inconsistencies by going 2/4 with makes from 43 and 50 but misses from 40 and 48 yards.

Injury Updates:

  • Gruden noted that many of the banged up players will be evaluated tomorrow morning and decisions on who his in or out will be made soon thereafter.
  • DeSean Jackson (shoulder), DeAngelo Hall (toe), Jordan Reed (hamstring) and Frank Kearse (shoulder) were out once again with injuries. Hall wants to play badly because he wants to get in much needed reps. More realistic return dates for Jackson and Reed will come in Week 3 of the preseason against the Ravens. Gruden said Reed is NOT being held out for precautionary reasons as his hamstring is still sore and would be unable to go even if this were the regular season.
  • Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Will Compton (groin) returned to practice in limited action. Crowder will “probably not” play Thursday as Gruden wants to get the Duke product “a couple good days of practice before we put him out in the game”.
  • Keenan Robinson was held out for the first time today because of a sore Achilles injury that Gruden classified as day-to-day.

Important Dates:

  • Host the Detroit Lions for the second preseason game in 2 days on 8/20 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 18 days by 9/4.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 27 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 17 Observations

After a costly 20-17 win in the preseason opener in Cleveland, the Washington Redskins regrouped to take part in a Saturday afternoon practice on Fan Appreciation Day. Today marks the penultimate practice of training camp as the Week 1 game against the Miami Dolphins approaches in less than a month.

With the loss of two tight ends from the projected 53 man roster in the span of days, head coach Jay Gruden said the team will work out additional options “shortly”. In the meantime, Chase Dixon, Je’Ron Hamm, and Devin Mahina will have to pick up the slack. In limited playing time as a blocking tight end last year, tackle Tom Compton will also be considered as an option in running and max protect situations according to the second year head coach. Compton did lineup at the tight end position during a few plays during practice today. With Gruden not confirming the Redskins will bring in another running back behind Trey Williams and Mack Brown it is possible they can use that opening to bring in another tight end option.

Gruden thought that both Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses did a nice job on the right side of the offensive line. On Moses, Gruden thinks that he is “just becoming more comfortable on the right side” after playing left tackle in college. Gruden also said that even though Scherff is a lot better at right guard, he could play at right tackle but it is simply that Moses has progressed enough to earn a starting role. It comes down to the Redskins rather having Moses in the starting lineup than Spencer Long.

Other news on the offensive line comes from the backup center position where Josh LeRibeus was somewhat underwhelming at in the preseason opener against the Browns. Gruden discussed the idea that both Ty Larson (UDFA) and Spencer Long are both getting acclimated with the position. If the Redskins chose to hold only 9 offensive lineman on the 53 man roster, it is likely that Long will be the primary backup center and LeRibeus will be let go. Seventh round pick Austin Reiter could be the backup center of the future for the Redskins, which could earn him a spot on the Redskins practice squad. According to CSN’s Rich Tandler, Reiter was seen today already calling out audibles at the line of scrimmage, an important part of any center’s game.

On a quick evaluation of Robert Griffin III‘s performance against the Browns, Gruden noted that he had a dropped 61-yard touchdown that Pierre Garcon catches “99%” of the time. Moreover, Gruden liked the third down conversion that Griffin ran for but noted the flaws on the fade route thrown out of bounds, possibly to due “adrenaline”, and the missed third down conversion where Evan Spencer might have ran to short of a route.

Gruden also mentioned that he liked that physical runs and cuts that Matt Jones put on display last Thursday night. The head coach did however critique Jones on his developing pass protection skills, which he complimented third string running back Chris Thompson on. Thompson’s spot may be all but secured, barring injury, as Trey Williams looks to be more practice squad material.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Willie Smith and UDFA Takoby Cofield took snaps with the first team at left tackle as Trent Williams was held out (for precautionary reasons with a nagging knee injury). It has been assumed that Compton would easily have a roster spot on the team, but the reps that he is getting overlooked for may be concerning. To me I see it as the coaching staff trying to determine if Smith or Cofield deserve a roster or practice squad spot, while the production of Compton is a known.
  • Halfway through practice, the players were allowed to take off their full padded equipment. When asked about the surprise, Gruden said that it was a combination of things like the heat, injuries, and the team already having completed the sets they wanted to complete with pads on. It is also possible that Gruden wanted to give some of the fans who came out for fan appreciation day an opportunity to see some more exciting and better executed sets.
  • The Redskins did a pretty good job of putting on a show for their fans and it started with Griffin. The quarterback showed of his cannon of an arm with bombs to receivers Rashad Ross, Tony Jones, and Pierre Garcon during 7-on-7 drills. Obviously Griffin was not facing any pressure but execution in all sets is a positive.
  • We have seen Kirk Cousins score in key situations, against Baltimore on a crucial two point conversion in 2012 and most recently last Thursday on a read option take for a score. Quite frankly, no one expects for Cousins to run with the ball very much. Griffin on the other hand he is a true running threat. The former Heisman award winner has not done as much running lately but today in practice he scored on a red zone set on a designed quarterback draw.
  • Colt McCoy seems to be solidifying his on destiny as the third string quarterback after a luck luster preseason showing and then throwing two interceptions during practice today.
  • After seemingly getting back on track with a strong showing in practice leading up to another solid output against the Browns, Kai Forbath took as tep back from the consistency. The projected starting place kicker was a miserable 1/4 on kicks today, making a 33 yarder but missing from 35, 40, and 43 yards out. None the less, Forbath is still much better than NT Chris Baker who had a miserable attempt today (see below).

Injury Updates:

  • Gruden confirmed that RB Silas Redd (torn ACL/MCL) and TE Logan Paulsen (turf toe), adding to TE Niles Paul, will be out for the year. Paulsen will have surgery Monday.
  • TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring), MLB Will Compton (head), MLB Perry Riley (wrist), CB Baushad Breeland (MCL), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), LT Trent Williams (right knee), and DE Frank Kearse (shoulder) all sat out of practice today. Riley, Williams, and Kearse are new to the injury report but are to be considered day-to-day.
  • Gruden said both Crowder and Jackson are close to returning and the hope is that they will be ready to go fully by the Ravens preseason game.
  • Reed told CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir, that he did some running today on his sore hamstring and hopes to return to practice on Monday.
  • OLB Junior Galette (pec) took part in his first full practice with the team today and though he may have a shot at going against the Lions, the third preseason game against the Ravens is more realistic. Galette later confirmed Gruden’s projection of playing against the Ravens.
  • CB David Amerson (shoulder), SS Jeron Johnson (hamstring), and SS Duke Ihenacho (right arm contusion) were back at practice today.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Host the Detroit Lions for the second preseason game in 5 days on 8/20 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 21 days by 9/4.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 30 days.

Washington Redskins: Analysis of Preseason Opener Win over Browns

The Washington Redskins came back to defeat the Cleveland Browns in the preseason opener 20-17. Although it might be nice to win, the meaningless victory came at a steep price due to injuries. Both tight end Niles Paul and running back Silas Redd had to be carted off the field with ankle and knee injuries, respectively.

Head coach Jay Gruden has said disclosed that Paul is OUT for the remainder of the season due to a fractured/dislocated ankle, see . Last year Griffin had a similar injury but avoided the fracture as his ligaments were still in place. This is not only devastating news to Paul who was penciled in as the starting tight end, but for the team as well because of the possible season ending toe injury for blocking tight end Logan Paulsen.

With the injury prone Jordan Reed already nursing a sore hamstring that kept him out of last nights game, expect the team to add another tight end to the roster. Chase Dixon is one of the last tight ends standing for the team and had one nice catch and run in the game. And although it seemed preposterous before, the chances of former Redskin and ESPN980 commentator Chris Cooley getting a call have gone up slightly.

As for Redd, we are still waiting on the official MRI results but the team is seriously worried about possible ligament tears to the ACL and/or MCL. Unfortunately for last year’s third string running back, Redd will likely not even be able to earn a practice squad spot though the team may waive injury him in order to place him on injured reserve.

Now to the game. Things could have gone better for the starters but things were certainly not terrible. After the quarter, where the 15 minutes were played primarily by projected Week 1 starters, the Redskins were outscored 7-3. Things could have easily been different if Pierre Garcon makes the play on a catchable deep ball that would have resulted in a touchdown. Defensively, Chris Culliver was incorrectly penalized for pass interference, could have easily been called offensive, that resulted in a 35 yard penalty and eventually a Browns touchdown.

Now lets get to the quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III played ok, Kirk Cousins played great (take it with a grain of salt as he was playing a backup defense), and Colt McCoy played the role of a game manager to close out the victory. For a full analysis of the all three quarterbacks performance click here.

For the running backs, who are probably still getting acclimated with the power running game of of offensive line coach Bill Callahan showed out well by gaining 133 yards in the game. Alfred Morris did his usual thing always picking up positive yardage and converted a 4th and 1. Matt Jones had a couple of highlight runs before not re-entering the game after passing the concussion protocol. Trey Williams had his moments including a touchdown run, but did not do much to overtake Chris Thompson‘s current third string running back spot. You can find a full analysis of the Redskins backfield performance here.

Overall the defense did a fairly good job considering the Browns started in Redskins territory three times (twice off fumbles, once after long kickoff return) and also had a pass interference go against Culliver early on. The defense as a unit throughout the game gave up 170 yards and no points when not put in a tough position. The increase in pressure on the quarterback, with blitzing, was evident as the team notched five sacks and many more hurries that were alluded by the scrambling of Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel. The unit also totaled 7 pass deflections and one turnover on a nice last second reaction by safety Akeem Davis on a pass the went through the intended receivers hands.

Now lets take a look at whose stock is rising and whose is falling as the Redskins continue their evaluation process to cut their roster to 53 players by Friday, September 4th.

  • UP: WR Rashad Ross. Arguably the fastest player on the team behind maybe DeSean Jackson, the Arizona State product showed he wants to be the sixth wide receiver on this roster. Ross finished with 5 receptions, on 7 targets, for 68 yards. Behind the likes of Jackson, Garcon, Andre RobertsJamison Crowder, and Ryan Grant, there is likely just one wide receiver position remaining on the roster. Many have penciled in sixth round pick Evan Spencer out of Ohio State in the role, but Ross looks to change that and will if he keeps up this performance.
  • DOWN: WR Andre Roberts. Although the former Cardinal led the way with a game high 71 yards receiving on four receptions, a mighty miscue in the return game is what lands him on this list. The Redskins were highly criticized for not only their special teams coverage but also returns last year as they ranked near the bottom in the league in the field position battle. Roberts played the primary role has both the kickoff and punt returner. Last night, Roberts did a little too much dancing east and west and was stripped from behind giving the Browns a short field. Roberts will make the roster simply because he signed a 4 year $16 million deal last offseason, but the miscues have to be corrected for consistent playing time.
  • UP: K Kai Forbath. After having a rough start to training camp that Gruden called “puzzling”, the former Lou Groza award winner is returning to his accurate nature as his confidence continues to mount. After making a 33-yard field goal, not the same distance as an extra point, Forbath also nailed a 52 yard attempt just before halftime. This drew a double arm pump into the air from Gruden who was definitely excited for his kicker. Now if only he could get more distance on his kickoffs.
  • DOWN: G Arie Kouandjio. The rookie fourth round pick out of Alabama was reported early on to possibly push Spencer Long for the starting position at right guard. Everything changed once Brandon Scherff was kicked inside making Kouandjio the backup right guard in last nights game. Twice Kouandjio was slow to get outside on screen passes which meant his man had a free shot at Chris Thompson resulting in a total net of -12 yards. Kouandjio will likely make the team with Long as the backup guards because he is not being pushed too hard by Josh LeRibeus, but improvements will surely be addressed in practice.

There is a lot for the coaches to look at from this game and make improvements on in practice to see development in the rest of the preseason. Excluding the terrible injuries to both Paul and Redd, there were pleasant bright spots for the Redskins to take away.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Host the Detroit Lions for the second preseason game in 6 days on 8/20 at 7:30 PM.
  • The final cuts to a 53 man roster will take place over the next 22 days by 9/4.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 31 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 12 Observations

After a day to rest following three joint practices with the Houston Texans, which finished in fireworks, the Washington Redskins returned to the practice field to prepare for the first preseason game at the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, August 13th. Unfortunately for the team, Mother Nature did not want to let the team off easy as it was pouring rain for much of the afternoon practice.

Addressing last Saturday’s fights with the Texans, head coach Jay Gruden said there will be no disciplinary actions for his players. It was almost if Gruden was happy that the fights took place once he stated “in that setting there was no choice but to go protect one another. It was good to see that and brought everyone together”. Although a coach may not be openly able to show pride in his team’s part in the scrums, you cannot fault the second year head coach for admiring the brother hood of players he has to work with knowing that they will go to war for and with one another.

On to the must anticipated preseason game on Thursday. Gruden stated that final decisions on playing time for the penciled in starters will be determined after today’s practice. Gruden did commit to Robert Griffin III starting and playing at least the first quarter of the game. Although it is nice to win at all times, Redskins fans know all too well that success in the preseason does not mean anything to success when it counts most. Gruden understands that as well and has his priority of coming out healthy and finding the best 53 players out of the 90 he has in front of him.

While discussing the first official depth chart of the season, Gruden clearly did not care what anybody thought about the ranking of players. Gruden would not even have a depth chart released until Week 1 against the Dolphins if it were up to him because nothing in the first official listing is “etched in stone”.

Of the few question marks on the depth charts, Gruden did comment that at tight end Niles Paul has emerged as the starter because of his development in the overall aspects of a tight end, but Jordan Reed is still going to play a lot. Gruden also acknowledged the recent struggles of place kicker Kai Forbath during training camp and said even though it is “puzzling” how he’s missing certain kicks, the team simply has to “get his confidence up”.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • Griffin with the help of his father, acting as a pass rusher, got in extra work after practice working on his decision making under pressure. Griffin’s work ethic has and should never be questioned as this is proof that he is willing to do whatever he can to return to a winning form. After having a bit trouble on throwing the ball accurately on the move, it makes sense that Griffin wanted to work on his execution when facing pressure and shuffling his feet.
  • Today was Colt McCoy‘s turn to work with the second unit. Even though Kirk Cousins played against the third string defense he had a terrible decision that resulted in an interception. It will be interesting to see if Gruden alternates between McCoy and Cousins during the game Thursday or allow them to build up rhythm while facing different unit defenses.
  • Chris Thompson is taking full advantage of his additional practice reps with Matt Jones sidelined and has become more patient instead of trying to out run everyone which may have worked in college.
  • As Gruden alluded to in his pre-practice press conference, Forbath has been struggling lately. On Satuday, last year’s kicker was a miserable two of five on makeable attempts. Gruden might have instilled the confidence he wanted to in Forbath by giving him another crack at the drill that the former Lou Groza award winner breezed through going four for four with no doubters.

Injury Updates:

  • In the first positive news in a while, DeAngelo Hall told reporters that he hopes to practice today, which he did, and is pushing to play in the preseason opener on Thursday. Got to love the drive from a 12 year veteran to continue helping his team.
  • Hall’s battery mate Chris Culliver (groin) also returned to practice after missing time against the Texans.
  • A scary moment in practice came when Brandon Scherff went down and trainers began to look at his leg. Fortunately he was able to walk off under his on power and though he did not return to practice he was on the sidelines with his helmet on. Scherff would later tell that he simply rolled his ankle and even participated in post-practice extra work. The Iowa product was later seen walking without a limp. Spencer Long filled in for Scherff at right guard which Long was thought to be penciled into the starting lineup for prior to the shuffling of Scherff inside.
  • Niles Paul hurt his left shoulder during team work and left at the end of practice with trainers. No official work has been given by Paul or the team. With the recent compliment by Gruden of saying he has worked his way into a starting role, Paul could ill afford to lose time if he wants to hold on to his starting title.
  • Backup MLB Will Compton suffered a groin injury while starting MLB Keenan Robinson was precautionary pulled out of practice with a possible head injury.
  • Jamison Crowder (hamstring) seems close to returning but was held out of today’s practice.
  • Matt Jones (tweaked knee) was limited in practice by only participating in individual drills
  • For the first time since signing with the team, OLB Junior Galette (pec) suited up with the team in full pads and participated in the team’s practice. Even if Galette were to play on Thursday, it would likely be in a limited role as he continues to get acclimated with the scheme.
  • As expected, DeSean Jackson is still sitting out with his AC joint shoulder injury that will likely keep him out of action in the first and possibly second preseason games.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 3 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 34 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 10 Observations

On a rain filled Saturday morning the Washington Redskins completed their third and final joint practice with the Houston Texans before enjoying an off day tomorrow. Many Redskins are banged up and will take full advantage of the rest day before returning their focus to the Thursday preseason game they have at the Cleveland Browns.

Tensions broiled over for both teams today after two physical practices were already in the books. Within a span of about five minutes, three scuffles, see footage below, broke out between the teams leading to the so called joint practice to end early when the teams took to separate playing fields. Junior Galette was reportedly pacing along the sidelines wanting to get involved to support his new teammates but was kept away from the altercation. DeAngelo Hall said that he had a feeling that the Texans were ticked about Matt Jones’ big hit on CB Kevin Johnson leading to the possibility that the Redskins were simply defending themselves and their teammates if the Texans were indeed the instigators.

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Head coach Jay Gruden said “tempers flare” but said he made it clear that it is “unacceptable” and feels like they lost a day to get better against a good team. They had situational drills: red zone and two-minute drills planned for later on in practice. Gruden still believes that the benefits of joint outweigh possible negatives such as the brawl that transpired today. The only thing Gruden said he might do next time, similarly to last year against the Patriots, the teams will go with full pads for two of the three days while a practice just in shorts without contact for the third.

Additional positives Gruden took out of the two full days of practice included Robert Griffin III and the rest of his quarterbacks being able to work against defensive schemes, which serves as a “great measuring stick” for the team as a whole. The head coach also talked about how the young duo of Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses on the right side of the offensive line were able to learn how to best block the best player in the game in J.J. Watt.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • After the multiple brawls took place, the teams finished practice with there own offense and defenses going up against one another, which Gruden says is not as much of a help when going up against the same players repeatedly.
  • In a hurry up drill, that Griffin was able to stop the clock to get the field goal unit on, Kai Forbath missed the field goal wide right. Forbath has struggled quite a bit so far in camp and if that continues in preseason the Redskins could look for Ty Long or another free agent kicker to take over the duties from the former UCLA Lou Groza award winner.

Injury Updates:

  • Add rookie WR Jamison Crowder to the injury list as the Duke product did not practice with the team due to a hamstring injury. Crowder has lit it up so far during training camp and has taken full advantage of the extra first string reps with DeSean Jackson sitting out with a shoulder injury.
  • It seems that safety Trenton Robinson can be added to the injury bug list after walking back to the facilities slowly. It is unclear whether Robinson got hurt in a scrum or during another time.
  • Matt Jones re-tweaked his knee a little bit but Gruden said he will be fine.
  • Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams were amongst veterans who were given a day off today so they will have back to back days to rest before the next practice on Monday.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 5 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 36 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 7 Observations

After an off day yesterday, coaches put the Redskins players back to work (without pads) in the Richmond heat on the eve of the Houston Texans and HBO’s “Hard Knocks” coming to town tomorrow.

Inside linebacker Keenan Robinson, who will likely be in a starting corp with Perry Riley, Ryan Kerrigan, and recent acquisition Junior Galette come Week 1, spoke to the media today about the evolving nature of the new defensive scheme implemented by Joe Barry. As alluded to previously by head coach Jay Gruden, Robinson described Barry as bringing a “new sort of energy to the team…he has lit a fire around here [in a good way]”. The former Longhorn, similarly to Chris Culliver last week, had a grin on his face when asked about the rebuilt defensive line knowing that the unit was a weakness last season. As veterans, Robinson applauded there willingness to listen and be coached.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s joint practice with the Houston Texans, Robinson commented that the chance to go up against another set of bodies “really helps us see what we need to improve upon heading into the season”. Gruden agreed with Robinson’s sentiments but in a coaching perspective of evaluating his players against other NFL caliber talent.

With all of the rumblings of contract extensions in the talks for Trent Williams and Alfred Morris, Keenan Robinson is also set to become an unrestricted free agent next year. Although injured early in his career, Robinson has turned into an absolute bargain for the Redskins over the past four seasons because of his cap hit of just over $765K this season. Robinson is saying all the right things by going about his business and letting his play on the field take care of it.

It has long been assumed that the Redskins will carry three quarterbacks on the 53 man roster during the regular season. However, Gruden said they will use the preseason to not only determine the backup quarterback between Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, but also if the team needs a third string QB.

Similarly, the battle for the third string running back is a training camp battle to monitor. Chris Thompson, who has previously been hampered by injuries received high praise from Gruden. “I think Chris Thompson is really starting to emerge as a third-down back” said the head coach who has failed to yet see Thompson’s full potential because of his injury riddled past.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • The Redskins were experimenting with last years third rounder Morgan Moses at right tackle with the first unit, while 5th overall pick Brandon Scherff was moved inside to guard. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan said he would experiment with lineups to best account for injuries later in the year so I would not read too much into Scherff’s “demotion” during practice today. Scherff did have a nice day in individual drills when he faced off against one of the Redskins defensive line reinforcements, Stephen Paea. Spencer Long was the odd man out in this scenario after he was penciled in as the starter by many after the organization cut ties with veteran guard Chris Chester.
  • Griffin did not have one of his better days of camp, but was not horrendous. RG3 missed throws that he was making earlier in camp, including a deep crosser where the Jordan Reed was overthrown. Griffin also saw his four minute drive stalled in field goal position after progressing through 10 plays.
  • In the ongoing quarterback competition between Cousins and McCoy, McCoy was given the reigns of the second unit and was consistently sharp. The former Texas Longhorn, was not flashy or amazing by any means but was even keel as you would want from a backup quarterback. Cousins has been mostly erratic in his career for the Redskins, which could result in his demotion should these trends continue.
  • It would likely take a lot of poor execution from incumbent kicker Kai Forbath to lose his job to this years kicking competition from Ty Long, an undrafted free agent out of Alabama-Birmingham. Long made his units field goal (46) during the four minute drill, while Forbath missed his mulligan (48) after Gruden “called timeout” for the defense. After practice during the kickers competition, Forbath converted from 42 yards while missing from 43 and 50, Long made his 42 yarder while missing right on both a 40 and 50 yarder.

Injury Updates

  • Junior Galette won’t take part in the joint practices with the Texans and is hopeful that he will be able to take part in the first preseason game a week from tomorrow. Redskins personal may be easing Galette back due to a pectoral injury (not torn) he suffered earlier this summer. Gruden did mentioned that the ex-Saint could take part in some of the upcoming walkthroughs with the Texans.
  • David Amerson did NOT take part in practice after suffering an AC joint sprain in his shoulder. The positive news is that the injury does not seem to have been serious, which was supported by the fact that the area was simply wrapped and not in a sling. Gruden hopes that the ball hawk corner, who he praised for improvements, can take part in tomorrow’s practice with the Texans. Amerson worked off to the side on core skills.
  • In order to have enough bodies in camp at the position, the Redskins have worked out Bryan McCann and DreQuan Hoksey. They later officially signed both players after they passed their physicals. To make room, the Redskins waived oft-injured S Phillip Thomas and waived/injured CB Tevin Mitchel (will go on IR if unclaimed).
  • Matt Jones who suffered what could be called a minor knee sprain participated in walkthroughs without any noticeable impairments and looks to be fine moving forward. The rookie running back did go through individual workouts, but did NOT participate in team scrimmages.
  • Baushad Breeland (MCL sprain) also worked out on the side with trainers, an encouraging sign that his spirits are still high. Breeland did have a brace on the injured area but was still able to put some weight on the right lef.
  • NT Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton left midway through walkthroughs in the morning with the flu and did not participate in the afternoon practice. The team hopes he will be able to go tomorrow against the Texans offensive line.
  • Safety Akeem Davis has a broken thumb but practiced despite the cast as he knows he has to be on the practice field to earn a spot on the 53 man roster.
  • Jeron Johnson missed practice due to a nagging hamstring injury. The former Seahawk is in a fight for the starting safety position across DaShon Goldson with Duke Ihenacho.

Due to the joint practices starting tomorrow, the Redskins will move away from their previously defined routines of morning walkthroughs and afternoon practices by having morning practices at 8:35 AM followed by walkthroughs at 4:10 PM. After Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster severely injured his groin this past week, the Redskins defense might breathe a little easier while the offense, specifically rookie Brandon Scherff, will sweat over the presence of J.J. Watt.

For more updates about Redskins training camp come back and visit District Sports Page.

Important Dates:

  • Training camps is officially ongoing and will last until Sunday, August 16th. See a full schedule of the Redskins training camp practices here.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 8 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 39 days.

Five takeaways from Washington Redskins Game 15 win over Philadelphia Eagles

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the Washington Redskins’ 27-24 win to the Philadelphia Eagles, improving their record to 4-11:

1. Robert Griffin III does enough to get the victory.

With Colt McCoy being placed on season ending IR this past week, Robert Griffin was given another opportunity to show why he should be back as the starting quarterback going into training camp next season. Although Griffin didn’t fill up the stat line, throwing for a somewhat mediocre 220 yards on 25 drop backs, he had his best game of the season in terms of executing a game plan. Griffin took three shots to DeSean Jackson deep resulting in two 50+ yard completions and one interception.

Both of the completions ended in Redskins touchdowns. Moreover, the threat of Griffin tucking the ball and taking off not only led Alfred Morris to average four yards per rush, but late in the game it forced the Eagles’ linebackers to creep forward. Griffin took advantage of an open middle of the field by hitting Pierre Garcon on a classic 2012 play that eventually led to the game winning field goal. [Read more…]

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