October 21, 2020

Washington Redskins First Day of 2015 OTAs Observations

After the first day of organized team activities, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and current starting quarterback Robert Griffin III addressed the media to provide insight on the upcoming NFL season.

Gruden expressed that coaching is a learning process and one of the biggest things he is getting used to is what buttons to push with the players at his disposal to get the most out of them.

After naming Griffin the preliminary starter early in the offseason, Gruden had Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy split the second team reps today. Both threw interceptions in their limited playing time, while Griffin had no turnovers. Gruden expects both to “push Robert and themselves”.

That being said, Gruden wants Griffin has to put together multiple strong practices to show the consistency that is desired because the work ethic is there ready to pay off.

The second-year head coach stated that offensive line guru Bill Callahan is a special individual who has already had a positive impact on a previously maligned offensive line. Gruden also pointed out that first-year Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry is stressing his players to force more turnovers, which he stated leads to a 90% winning percentage in games where a team has a plus-2 margin.

Another testament to the improved coaching staff is strong organization and tempo that allows the coaches to get the most plays possible in during the NFLPA contact restrictions.

Player Assessments from Gruden:

  • DeAngelo Hall: has made excellent strides in recovering from two complete tears of his Achilles tendon from last season. The 31 year-old veteran seemed to participate in a limited basis Tuesday, but has stated he aims to be fully back by the start of training camp in less than two months.
  • Morgan Moses: has improved his body by working hard in the weight room while recovering from a Lisfranc injury late last year. Gruden may have been hinting at a possible conversion to right guard because of his description of Moses’s continuing strength and quickness improvement.
  • Preston Smith: the 38th overall draft pick is envisioned to split time between edge rusher in two- and three-point stances.
  • Terrance Knighton: will make it tough for opponents to run the ball on first and second down with the space he takes up as well as his underrated quickness. The player known as “Pot Roast” will play a huge part in achieving an aggressive defensive line to allow secondary improve.
  • Duke Ihenacho: saw some first team reps at strong safety across from DaShon Goldson and has a chance to compete for a starting job come September. The healthy veteran will play a role alongside free agent pick up Jeron Johnson and Phillip Thomas to improving the unit that Gruden sees as a brighter spot from last season.
  • Matt Jones: can catch the ball out of the backfield and pick up blitzing linebackers. Possible playing time on first down on top of replacing playing time of Roy Helu on third downs.
  • Trevardo Williams: seeing increased playing time with a sidelined Ryan Kerrigan, has the opportunity to be the fourth OLB on the team as long as he can show his skills more consistently.
  • Chris Culliver: a physical competitor and will make Baushad Breeland and Hall better leading to another unit with a relatively brighter future.

Shortly after his head coach addressed the media, the Redskins starting quarterback Robert Griffin III held his own press conference with a more confident swagger resembling that of his 2012 personality, without any self-doubt. Much could have to do with his confidence as a signal caller as well as the recent birth of his daughter Reese Ann.

Griffin continued to express his desire to improve every facet of his game and was quite complimentary of the additions of Callahan as well as quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh who can provide great assistance to the former offensive rookie of the year returning to form. Overall, Griffin believes that the Redskins are headed in a good direction and his ready to lead a charge to put together a respectable campaign for the season.

Those NOT in Attendance:

  • Trent Williams: the Redskins likely bookend to first round draft pick Brandon Scherff was not present as he could not get a flight out of his home state of Texas because of the torrential flooding in Houston.
  • DeSean Jackson: will miss this week of OTAs for an undisclosed reason, but Gruden emphasized that the deep threat would return next week. Not that it should raise too many red flags, but the former Eagle attended Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cavaliers and Hawks in Cleveland the night of Day 1 of OTAs.
  • Ryan Kerrigan: recently had his knee scoped for precautionary reasons to “clean it out” according to Gruden and should be ready to roll soon.
  • Jordan Reed: the potential breakout receiving threat, yet injury-prone target, went to get knee soreness checked out.
  • Tracy Porter: like Williams, Porter missed his flight because of the many missed connections.

Important Dates Coming Up:

  • Finish the three parts of OTAs scheduled for May 26-28, June 2-4, and June 8-11.
  • Minicamp begins on Tuesday, June 16 in 21 days.
  • Training camps starts on Thursday, July 30 in 65 days.
  • Travel to Cleveland for first preseason matchup against the Browns on Thursday, August 13 in 79 days.
  • Season and home opener against Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 13 in 110 days.
About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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