Some thoughts and observations after the Washington Redskins' first workout in training camp:
Robert Griffin III did not look sharp Thursday morning, whether due to his own play, the pass rush (the defense was getting to him) or the rainy weather (it rained much of the morning). Even Griffin admitted that “we weren’t as efficient as we wanted to be today, including myself.”
More often than not, Griffin was unable to throw the ball. Fault in those situations is tough to determine without knowing everything that’s going on; even the coaches have to go back and watch the film to see. But it was a constant problem for the offense.
When Griffin just worked on throwing the ball in individual work, he was more consistent (as he should be, of course). Better torque on his delivery. Bringing the ball from higher up, unlike last season. Better off his back foot.
He and DeSean Jackson nearly connected on two deep balls. The first was underthrown, with too much air under it. Jackson blew past the secondary, but the pass allowed corner Courtney Bridget to catch up and deflect the pass. On the second, Griffin led Jackson across the middle, giving him more of a chance to separate from another undrafted corner, Bryan Shepherd. But Jackson dropped the ball. I know it came against two undrafted players, but this is what Jackson does against a lot of corners. A key for Jackson, though, is to lead him on deep throws.
Griffin missed Pierre Garcon with a low pass on one bubble screen and promptly did some pushups as punishment. Later, Griffin was nearly pick-sixed by safety Brandon Meriweather on an out route to Jackson. The ball was too far inside, and Meriweather got his hands on it. The ball popped up and Jackson caught it, but out of bounds.
For what it’s worth, Griffin donned a black sock and black cleat on his right leg and a white sock and white cleat on his left. “I call it the yin and the yang, white and black working together. We’re all brothers. We’re doing it together.”
Ryan Grant looked good in the one-on-one matchups; they’re set up for the receivers to do well. But he showed a crispness to his routes, at one point driving off rookie corner Bashaud Breeland with a tricky route. He looked like he was going to run a slant-and-go, so Breeland turned for that, but Grant cut to the outside and was open by about 10 yards. Again, a savvy route for a rookie and a tough one for a fellow rook to cover. Grant later ran a nice, patient route to get open against the No. 2 secondary.
During those one-on-ones, Jackson did a nice job creating extra separation against David Amerson by driving him off and running an out route. Again, keep in mind these drills are tougher on the corners.
Rookie Morgan Moses worked at left tackle with the second defense with Tom Compton on the right side. Compton looks much more polished, as he should, considering it’s his third season. But Compton did a solid job (when I watched him, at least) of staying low and balanced. It enabled him to stop Brandon Jenkins on some rushes. I’d like to see Compton more against starting rushers.
As for Moses, he still looks like he has a way to go. A bit sluggish off the ball. It’s sometimes hard for him to get a quick first step, it seems, in the run game because he can’t set as hard because he can’t get low enough. It can be worked on. Rookie lineman Frank Kearse got inside Moses on a run in part because of this.
For a tall linebacker, rookie Trent Murphy (6-foot-5) does a good job staying low. Saw that on one play against left tackle Trent Williams and it enabled Murphy to get inside him and help stop a run attempt.
Breeland worked inside as the slot corner. Didn’t pay a ton of attention to him in this role, but he showed good patience against Nick Williams on a route. When Williams cut to the middle, Breeland stuck with him.
Mentioned Amerson in the one-on-one drill, so need to point out one strong coverage he had against Garcon in press-man. Amerson’s technique looked solid; good feet, and he placed his left hand on Garcon’s right shoulder at the snap. Amerson’s long arms give him an edge here, and he had tight coverage. Garcon was not open. A fan yelled to Amerson praising his coverage, which prompted Garcon to turn and smile at the fan.
Another for what it’s worth: Garcon and Jordan Reed were the last two players off the field, both spending time working: Reed on routes; Garcon catching pass after pass.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had a nice spin move that caught right tackle Tyler Polumbus off guard. He took Polumbus upfield, then spun back to the middle and might have sacked Griffin (if not for having to pull up because, well, he’s the quarterback). It happened on the play in which Jackson dropped the deep ball.
Didn’t see a whole lot from rookie running back Lache Seastrunk (just because I wasn’t paying attention to him as much as I will other days). But he did have a nice grab on a low throw around his feet. And he showed the ability to cut at full speed running with the ball.
The second-team inside linebackers were Will Compton and Adam Hayward. I liked Compton a lot last summer as a guy to develop, but after signing three veteran free agents in the offseason, he enters camp in a big battle. But he has good instincts. Hayward did bat away one pass.