RICHMOND, Va. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Washington Redskins training camp:
The Washington Redskins and New England Patriots concluded their three days of practices with what amounted to a walk-through for Thursday’s preseason opener. The Redskins will get more out of the first two days of practice than they will from Thursday’s preseason game and it’s a wonder they don’t do this more often. The scrimmages against the Pittsburgh Steelers always were beneficial. You see who will compete against anyone; you see how they fare in one-on-one situations against players they don’t know; you see how they adjust in 11-on-11 situations. It was invaluable. It also was a bit of a circus, with so much media attention and crowds around 20,000 each day.
It was interesting to see the differences between the organizations. It’s also important to note that one team was coming off a 3-13 season and has a first-year head coach; the other is a perennial Super Bowl contender with a quarterback and head coach who rank among the all-time best. The Patriots should look better than Washington at this point. The key for the Redskins is to continue growing. That’s not to say there weren’t issues that arose this week or that there weren’t some strong differences. But it is to keep things in perspective: The Redskins are not close to New England at this point (and maybe not at any point this year).
I don’t know that I’d ever get bored watching Tom Brady work in practice because he operates with such efficiency and precision. It’s clear that the desire to be great remains strong. Robert Griffin III is not the same type of quarterback, but it has to be good for anyone to see how a quarterback who is at a certain level operates in practice. Brady would get annoyed/ticked off about incompletions.
Brady does not seem like a guy who gets content. Too often here I wonder if players feel they’ve arrived when perhaps the real key is to always just keep pushing and never lose the feeling of what it’s like trying to reach a spot. Trust me, that’s not about any player in particular. It’s something that I’ve wondered for years. Not saying it’s true; some years it’s injuries and other times it’s poor overall management. But, as a snippet, during the Jim Zorn 6-2 start I remember seeing Clinton Portis finish an interview and started saying, “Championship”. They were 6-2. They finished 8-8. Stay thirsty, my friends.
One guy I haven’t written much about, but who has had a good camp and was solid in full-team work this week was center Kory Lichtensteiger. While Vince Wilfork bulled through him on Tuesday in a one-on-one drill, you didn’t really see any of that happening in full-team work. Lichtensteiger is a natural center because of his quickness. His size won’t hinder him as much at this position, where he’ll often be asked to help out more than just block one on one (though that will happen). “I think he’s one of the pleasant surprises in camp,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s got great movement. He’s made all the calls. His weight is where it needs to be. He anchored very well against one of the best nose guards in football this week and that was a great test for him, so I feel good where we are at center.”
The Redskins host the Patriots in the preseason opener at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.