October 19, 2019

Washington Redskins: Fight to 53 Outlook after Preseason Finale Loss to Jaguars

The Washington Redskins finished their final preseason showing with a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Many of the projected Week 1 roster spots of have been locked up resulting in many of them sitting out the fourth preseason game to avoid the risk of injury that has troubled the Redskins throughout the past month.

Thursday night was a chance for the back end of the preseason 75-man roster to show why they deserve a chance to make the 53-man squad. The Redskins will have to cut 22 by this Saturday after the team was already trimmed by 15 earlier this week. A 10-man practice squad will also be assembled following final cuts. [Read more…]

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 8 Observations- Texans are in Richmond

The Redskins started their first of three joint practices with the Houston Texans, this years featured team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”. Today will be the only day that the teams will participate in an afternoon walkthrough together as tomorrow’s was canceled due to the possibility of precipitation. Stay tuned for additional possible changes to the schedule with rain forecasted for much of the next 24 hours.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien gave us his impressions on Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Although O’Brien may not be speaking candidly, the former Penn State head man said “he’s a good guy, a really good football coach” about Gruden. O’Brien also commented that rookie WR Jamison Crowder is quick, can accelerate, and has good instincts after the Duke product made his corner back Kareem Jackson look bad on several occasions. He can see just exactly what we are talking about below.

https://twitter.com/Redskins/status/629282083916091392

Starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, started his press conference by exuberantly stating that “I felt overall it was a great day for us. Great competition.” Griffin was at times harassed by arguably the best defender in the game in J.J. Watt, but you have to face the best in order to improve, which Griffin said he wants to “improve every single day”. Griffin kidded that he hopes he never sees Watt when quarterbacks are no longer protected under practice rules but understands it was “good for the offensive line”. The quarterback also commented that he trusts the coaches will put the best five individuals in front of him to protect him when asked about Morgan Moses at right tackle and Brandon Scherff moved inside to guard. It might just be talk but so far Redskins fans have to at least like what they are hearing when Griffin made it clear that “my job is not to pick the five up front — it’s to pick apart the defense. And I plan on doing that”.

Griffin also made a surprising, but realistic claim that joint practices are more useful than preseason games where you have to “get in and get out” without being able to establish a rhythm.

Gruden’s description of Griffin’s performance against the Texans was “ok” but positively announced that “he’s coming along…seeing things more clearly”. Gruden also discussed the offensive line situation by noting that for Moses “having a year under his belt has helped him” and as a result, Scherff getting kicked inside for Moses to start at tackle is “a definite possibility”. Unlike what some may think about spending the 5th overall pick on just a solid guard, Gruden said it is not too high of a price if he’s “really, really good”. You might remember that the Redskins passed on DT Leonard Williams out of USC who was surprisingly still on the board.

Gruden also addressed the HBO “Hard Knocks” cameras, a possible reason why the Saints backed out of joint practices with the Texans, by saying his players were not distracted because “they have bigger things” to worry about.

Practice Notes and Evaluations:

  • For the second straight practice we saw that Bill Callahan’s starting offensive line consisted of (from left to right): Trent Williams, Shaun Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses. Most would end up saying Scherff will not have been worth the 5th overall pick if all he is in the NFL is a good right guard, but nothing is etched in stone with this lineups.
  • Even though the Redskins tried running to the left side, away from the presence of Watt, the elite defender showed he has the quicks to move down the line and make an impact on the play regardless. Watt also made is presence felt in the passing game by pressuring Griffin while also swatting other pass attempts. Brandon Scherff was the primary blocker against Watt and though beaten a handful of times, the Iowa product also held his own.
  • With DeSean Jackson being sidelined with a shoulder injury (see more information below), Jamison Crowder got a lot of reps with the first team offense and made the most of it. Crowder was continuing either beating his defender or drawing an interference penalty. Crowder was the highlight of the day for the Redskins when he broke CB Kareem Jackson’s ankles (see video above).
  • In today’s field goal drills, Kai Forbath was three of four with makes from 38, 40, and 45 while missing from 50 and Ty Long was 3/5 with makes from 33, 36, and 43 while missing from both 45 and 50 yards out. Forbath will likely keep his roster spot as a specialist bringing back some consistency in the unit that includes big leg punter Tress Way and long snapper Nick Sundberg.
  • In a lighter moment from practice, the Redskins attempted a fake field goal pass from K Kai Forbath to RT Morgan Moses. It is clear that Moses wants to show Watt he can play tight end too. The play was ruled an interception although Moses might have wrestled the ball away before both players hit the ground.

Injury Updates:

  • CB David Amerson (shoulder AC joint sprain), S Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring), and OLB Junior Galette (pectoral) will all NOT practice today against the Houston Texans. Gruden said Johnson will be out a week with the hamstring injury which will put him further in the hole behind Duke Ihenacho as they fight for the strong safety position.
  • RB Matt Jones (knee) and NT Terrance Knighton (flu) have returned to participating in practice.
  • OT Willie Smith (Achilles) looks to return to practice after sitting out a few days. The 28 year old will likely see few reps, even with the second team, as he is likely behind the likes of backup tackles Tom Compton and rookie Takoby Cofield in the pecking order.
  • As if the Redskins could use any more injuries to corners, DeAngelo Hall was helped off the field as he looked to be dealing with a left leg injury. The hope is nothing serious as Hall was seen later with his helmet back on, possibly because he wanted to get back in. Hall, however, watched the rest of practice from the sidelines standing without pads on. Hall said after practice that he tweaked his knee and groin while his twice torn Achilles’ tendon is fine. The veteran corner said he was feeling tight in his leg even prior to practice but wanted to give it a go regardless because of the already depleted secondary. The optimism wore off when it was reported Hall will miss at least a week with the injury possibly ending his 2015 training camp. Gruden said Hall will be day to day with the injury.

  • DeSean Jackson was looked at by multiple trainers while he laid on his back. Head coach Jay Gruden was standing near by but did not seem too concerned with the matter as he was looking elsewhere. Jackson would later walk off under some support from a trainer. UPDATE: Jackson returned to the sidelines without pads after hurting his shoulder when extending laterally to make the catch in the corner of the end zone and practice field. You can see the full play that caused the injury below. The shoulder was wrapped, but it is hoped that the area is simply bruised or mildly sprained. Similarly to Hall, the injury to Jackson was worse than expected as it is reported that the deep threat will be out a few weeks with a Grade 2 separated shoulder. Gruden confirmed Jackson will be out 1-2 weeks with what he called an AC sprain, but left hope for an earlier return depending on pain tolerance. Although Jackson did admit the injury is currently putting him in pain (no sling), he said there is less damage than the shoulder injury he suffered last year that did NOT keep him out of any regular season games.

 

 

  • To make things worse, Gruden said CB Chris Culliver is also dealing with a groin injury and is listed as day to day. Although Amerson, Culliver, and Hall are all dealing with minor injuries, for the next few practices the Redskins may be without their top four corners (Breeland- MCL sprain) leading to others like Justin Rodgers and Kyshoen Jarrett having to step up.
  • S Akeem Davis had surgery on his broken thumb today but could still practice tomorrow in a cast. LB Trevardo Williams, who is fighting for his life to get a roster spot after the acquisition of Junior Galette will be out 2 weeks with a hamstring injury.
  • In other injury news after the Redskins waived 2015 6th round pick CB Tevin Mitchel because of his torn labrum that will end his rookie season before it even began, the Colts, somewhat coldly, claimed Mitchel meaning the Redskins could not move him to the IR and secure his contract. It was a bad luck move for the Redskins who did not, and should not, have expected another franchise to side swipe an injured player in such a manner.

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. The schedule has been updated to reflect the changes of the canceled afternoon walkthrough tomorrow due to weather forecasts.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 (at 8 PM) in 7 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 38 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 5 Observations

With tomorrow being the first off day in the training camp schedule, it made sense that the coaches pushed their players to the limit in order to whip them into shape as the season fast approaches. Although we have seen the players in pads as early as Saturday, today the roster was technically practicing in full pads.

DeSean Jackson took questions from the media and made it clear he is willing to make the commitment to turn this football team around. The elite deep threat was criticized earlier in the off season for skipping out on voluntary OTAs and taking time to film a BET reality television show. Jackson responded by stating “I’m here now, I’m ready to work and focus on the season”. As an injury update of what was reported to be a dislocated finger for Jackson, the wide receiver said “just popped it back in place. I’ll be alright” with little concern of missing any prolonged practice time.

Jackson also provided his own perspective on the talent of some of his teammates. First of his quarterback, Robert Griffin III, Jackson said “I’ve definitely seen progression” and that the more practice reps they can get together, the better. The former Eagle also noted that rookie Jamison Crowder was thrown into the fire a bit but has actually come out with some “great results”. Jackson also complimented his counterpart across the field in CB Chris Culliver by ranking him as a “great cover corner in this league”.

The subject of Griffin’s performance returned to the mainstay of today’s press conference with Jay Gruden. The head coach said, “He’s been doing fine…Overall, I think he’s handled everything extremely well.” Moving onto one of Griffin’s weapons, Gruden has extremely high praise for WR DeSean Jackson. “DeSean has been great since we got him here and …when the balls come to him, make the play like he always does” on having to share the ball especially when Jackson is double covered. Gruden also had kind words for the oft-injured but explosive TE Jordan Reed. Beyond Reed’s normal ability to be a dynamic option in the passing game, Gruden said he has most noticed his improvement in pass protection and the running game in part due to his improved strength and technique.

To continue the beat, Gruden was also complementary of both Morgan Moses and Josh LeRibeus in their performances with the first team offense yesterday, in place of LT Trent Williams and C Kory Lichtensteiger who were given the day off. It would be hard to see Moses getting any significant playing time at tackle in the future, assuming Trent Williams’ contract is extended. The guard position for Moses and the center position for LeRibeus are both adjustments that would take time beyond this season to become starting options.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Rookie CB Tevin Mitchel, who was expected to make the 53 man roster, will have surgery on his left labrum (he had surgery on his right in college) and will likely miss the entirety of his first year.
  • Rookie RB Matt Jones, who did not finish yesterday’s practice with a right knee injury, did not participate today but is listed as day to day. The hope is that the rookie bruiser will be back in full participation on Wednesday after tomorrow’s day off.
  • CB David Amerson did a nice job covering DeSean Jackson on a deep ball that traveled 50+ yards in the air. Unfortunately, the ball hawk corner fell to the ground and looked to have injured his shoulder and would leave practice. The Redskins have already lost Baushad Breeland to a 4-6 week MCL injury and 1 game suspension as well as Tevin Mitchel for the season. Beyond Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall, it is the likes of Justin Rodgers and Kyshoen Jarrett (who would have to convert from safety) to step up during training camp and possibly beyond. UPDATE: Amerson suffered an ac joint sprain and could be back at practice Wednesday if the swelling comes down.
  • OLB Junior Galette continues to work on side fields with trainers to continue practicing an ever evolving craft of pass rushing. Gruden noted that Galette was going to be held out a few more days meaning he could miss out on some if not all of the joint practices with the Houston Texans, which takes place Thursday through Saturday (8/6-8). You can see a clip of what Galette has been up to the past few days below.
  • After second round pick Preston Smith struggled yesterday, the pass rusher responded with a better output today. Smith used both power and quickness on two separate occasions to make T Takoby Cofield look like a rag doll. The Ole Miss product also had his moments as a run stopper, making life difficult for Silas Redd who saw time with the second unit as Jones was sidelined.
  • The battle for a third string running back will be an interesting battle to keep track of throughout training camp. Silas Redd has the most recent experience in the offense but does not necessarily excel in one particular area. Chris Thompson, though speedy, has failed to shake the injury bug in the past and has pass protection to work on after Keenan Robinson made him look bad in his opportunity with the first unit. Dark horse Trey Williams has track level speed but at 5-7/195, there is a big question of whether his body could take a continuous beating.
  • Arguably the most impressive performance of Griffin since his rookie year came today. Yes it is simply training camp, yes he cannot be roughed up, but his quick decision making ability in the two minute drill can translate to the regular season. Griffin was 8/8 and sharply finished the drive for a touchdown while diversifying his receiving targets.

Gruden noted that the off day should be used for a reboot for both the coaches and players, to simply get away from the game a bit.

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 10 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 41 days.

Washington Redskins: 2015 Training Camp Day 4 Observations

On the fourth day of training camp it was much of the same for the team as they went through a relaxed morning walk through before another full padded practice in sweltering 90 degree heat though cloud cover helped. The Redskins are fast approaching there three day joint practice with the Houston Texans on Friday, August 7th that will prepare them for their first preseason action on Thursday, August 13th against the Cleveland Browns.

Free agent pickup Chris Culliver spoke to the media about his evolving role as a Washington Redskin and the new defensive culture the team is trying to create. Culliver optimistically stated that “overall the defense is coming along good”. The ex-49er also mentioned that DeAngelo Hall is looking good on the field and they are building chemistry together by giving one another pointers. When asked point-blank why Scot McCloughan decided to give him a chance with his own off the field issues, Culliver mentioned that the Redskins GM trusted him. That same might be said for the case of Junior Galette. A big grin grew on Culliver’s face when the possibility of a dominant pass rush was brought up, he clearly feels the same way when sincerely stating that “the talent here is special”. In a secondary that could see three new faces getting significant playing time, it is good to see Culliver already reiterating that they are all here to get better together.

When GM McCloughan came to talked to the media, he was bombarded by questions about the Redskins group decision to sign Junior Galette. McCloughan, President Bruce Allen, and head coach Jay Gruden all met with Galette for “hours” as they did “thorough, thorough research…talked to over 20 people” that began as soon as they heard the OLB may be released. McCloughan made sure he knew Galette as a person and saw that he was honestly sincere. The head personnel man also went into that the Redskins figured out the truth and that what the media has reported is not always that. McCloughan did acknowledge the chance that Galette will be suspended by the league offense but put his foot down by saying “I will not bring a bad guy in here”. The latter events of Galette’s stay in Richmond culminated with emotions being let out through tears, which McCloughan described as how badly he wanted to be a Redskin.

McCloughan said he would not address Bashaud Breeland’s suspension incident because it was something that he was not on staff for, but did talk positively of the second year corner as well. “He has a chance to be a really good player” which McCloughan seemed to insinuate as all-pro if not better caliber.

After answering “non-football” related questions that irritated McCloughan, the general manager was able to shed some light on the current season at hand. First, McCloughan vehemently explained that they hope Alfred Morris is a career Redskin despite all of the hype of using a third round pick on rookie RB Matt Jones. Gruden also spoke highly of starting running back Alfred Morris who he says has improved his receiving out of the backfield and is one of the few in the league who does not complain about getting the ball. That and his previous three year track record with the Redskins compelled Gruden to agree with what McCloughan stated just minutes before that they want Alfred to be here “for a while”.

When asked about how many wins would define a successful season in his mind, McCloughan smartly avoided setting a standard quantitatively. However, McCloughan did optimistically imply that the Redskins will no longer be the laughing stock of the NFC East because “when you play the Redskins this year you are going to feel it”. Gruden also ended his press conference by saying, we are “building a team such that they [opponents] have to worry about us more than we have to worry about them”.

As expected, McCloughan stated that although he has final say on all transactions including the cuts to get the team to the needed 53 man roster, everyone is involved from the coaching staff to his own personnel team.

Gruden brought up a few surprises went asked if any rookies will not get playing time because of their lack of experience, which he instantly refuted. As expected first round pick Brandon Scherff will receive any and all playing time as the 5th overall pick. However, Gruden also brought up fourth round pick Arie Kouandjio as possibly pushing veteran Shaun Lauvao for playing time at left guard. Gruden also discussed fellow fourth rounder WR Jamison Crowder and sixth rounder S Kyshoen Jarrett as possibly earning additional practice/playing time with the first team.

Practice Notes and Evaluations

  • Tevin Mitchel (right shoulder) will receive further tests, Jeron Johnson (tweaked hamstring) is going to try and give it a go, and Willie Smith (achilles) will be out 2-3 days.
  • Like DeAngelo Hall yesterday, veteran left tackle Trent Williams, center Kory Lichtensteiger, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end Jason Hatcher, and safety DaShon Goldson received scheduled days off.
  • RB Matt Jones was sidelined for part of practice to ice his leg while standing and watching. He later walked with trainers back to the facilities with a wrap on his right knee.
  • WR DeSean Jackson did not practice today because of an injured finger that is believed to be dislocated though still being evaluated.
  • Newly signed OLB Junior Galette continues to work on a side field to enhance his own personal craft (hand placement) before joining the team practices. We could see Galette practice with the team as early as Wednesday.
  • With Williams and Lichtensteiger sitting out, Morgan Moses and Josh LeRibeus both got the nod to work with the starting unit today.
  • Colt McCoy saw opportunities with the second team unit today and looked better than previous lesser outings.
  • Preston Smith struggled against both Moses as well as third string tackle Takoby Cofield in one-on-one passing drills.
  • Robert Griffin III continues to be fairly sharp during training camp and had looked to improve his deep ball, which was a let down last year for the team whether it be under or overthrown balls. In one particular play today he hit Ryan Grant 40 yards down the field in stride does the sidelines.

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 11 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 42 days.
%d bloggers like this: