Redskins wake-up call: 3 areas to watch

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Redskins practice on Sunday at 8:35 a.m. with a walk-through at 4:15 p.m. Here are three areas I’ll monitor (among many):

  1. More of the one-on-one drills featuring the offensive line against the defensive line. The Redskins' players expect more physical practices so I assume they’ll do this drill two days in a row. Anyway, rookie Morgan Moses showed he has some work to do, though; if you’ve read me at all you should know that already. But I’m curious to see rookie linebacker Trent Murphy again in this drill. He has a good spin move, but he has to learn how to work it against NFL talent. He’s the sort of player who learns from mistakes and he made one in this drill Saturday, leading to an easy block by Moses. How will Murphy respond on his next spin attempt?

  2. I also want to see more of center Kory Lichtensteiger. I’ve watched him when I can and, thus far, he’s what I thought he’d be: an effective center. He’s most effective when he can run, but he’s done a good job holding the line against nose tackle Barry Cofield and once knocked him to the ground. Lichtensteiger is clearly ahead at this position. Backup Mike McGlynn has allowed some penetration.

  3. Coach Jay Gruden said he’s going to put in some plays to get running back Chris Thompson more involved in the pass game. There’s one big question about him: durability. But Thompson has flashed in the early part of camp more than rookie Lache Seastrunk. But don’t read too much into that yet; the games matter so much more for backs. You can’t always tell when a back would have been tackled. But what you see from Thompson is more sizzle than a year ago. So I’d like to see how he handles the new plays. Long way to go here.