RICHMOND, Va. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Washington Redskins training camp:
The Redskins’ offense, after a rugged day Thursday, rebounded with a much sharper performance. It featured a strong throwing day not only by starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, but backup Kirk Cousins as well. Cousins threw some excellent passes. Griffin threw more intermediate and short passes, but he was more on time with his delivery and accurate. He did a better job of giving receivers a chance to run after the catch. The protection held up better as well. “It wasn’t a very good practice [Thursday],” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “The tempo wasn’t as clean and sharp as I would like it and had to challenge them. So they responded very well today.”
It was the Gruden Family Day at training camp Friday. Jon Gruden attended and spoke at a high school coaches clinic on the other side of the facility. And their father, Jim, also watched practice. There was the usual jokes about which brother was the better athlete (shocker: both claimed the title, though only one played Division I college football and he’s now coaching the Redskins). But it meant something for their father to be at the camp. “This was the first time he’s been on a plane in a long time,” Jay Gruden said. “He traveled a lot as a scout and a coach over the years and loves to play golf so to get him on a plane and off the course is a treat. ... When I played college football he was a scout and never missed one game. So, obviously, there’s a lot of family. We’re very close obviously and to get him up here is special.”
The first day of the place kicker competition was a draw. The Redskins worked on kickoffs (Zach Hocker’s were longer than Kai Forbath's) and field goals. Forbath made all four of his attempts -- two from 35 yards, as well as from 43 and 45 yards. All were down the middle, though the latter was too low and, with a hard rush, would have been in danger of being blocked. Hocker made his three attempts from 38, 40 and 45 yards. All were dead middle and at a good height.
Last summer, running back Chris Thompson didn’t show much of his speed during training camp. You knew he was fast, having showed his speed in college. But he was coming off knee surgery and rarely flashed in practice. He showed some bursts in the preseason, but not enough. However, it was evident in the spring he had improved. And, Friday, Thompson’s burst was more evident. “He’s got the speed, he’s got the hands, he’s got the quickness,” Gruden said. “He’s got everything you’re looking for. We’ve just got to make sure he stays healthy.”
After a less-than-full showing on a dreary first day of camp, the Redskins said they drew 8,600 for their second day. It was a perfect day, maybe the best over the next several as the forecast for Saturday and Sunday calls for temperatures between 93-95 degrees. It “drops” to 91 degrees on Monday. But this is one reason why Gruden moved practice to 8:35 a.m. so they could avoid the heat. The Redskins had moved their practices to the afternoon the past two camps under Mike Shanahan in part because he wanted them to walk through plays, go over them in meetings and then practice at full speed.