RICHMOND, Va. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Washington Redskins training camp:
They didn’t exactly have dead legs, but they were dealing with a variety of aches and painsm so coach Jay Gruden cut short their morning practice by perhaps 15-20 minutes. Rather than finish the workout, Gruden had the team run the width of the field, down and back, five times. “They were a little wounded out there,” Gruden said. “Everybody this time in camp has a little soreness now. Now it’s how to get the most out of them.” They’ll be back in pads Friday. For what it’s worth, quarterback Robert Griffin III finished first each time.
Officials visited the Redskins for the first time this camp, which meant that the defense was highly annoyed for the first time this camp. There’s a big emphasis on calling illegal contact on pass plays and if there was any doubt about it, it was erased in the morning. Officials called a handful of holding or illegal contact penalties that would not have been called in the past. Even the offensive-minded Gruden wasn’t pleased. “We have to communicate the exact rule when they have to let go,” he said. “I know it’s within five yards, but it’s going to be a hairy deal early on. Hopefully it’s not a flag fest.”
Receiver Jerry Rice Jr., son of the Hall of Famer, hurt his right shoulder in practice. Though the results weren’t yet known, Gruden called the injury significant. Rice hurt his shoulder on a downfield pass play when he became tangled up with corner Richard Crawford. Rice was a long shot to make the roster or even the practice squad.
Receiver Pierre Garcon was nursing a sore hamstring for a third day of practice, though he was able to again go through individual drills. Safety Phillip Thomas and defensive end Doug Worthington also missed practice because of hamstring injuries. Meanwhile, right tackle Tyler Polumbus returned to practice for the afternoon walk-through after missing the past day and a half for personal reasons.
Gruden discussed this long ago, but there’s always interest in why he retained defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Shortly after he was hired, Gruden talked about how the defense did not have enough talent. Also, he wanted another former head coach on his staff. Thursday, Gruden discussed it again. “The big thing with him was just trying to get him a few more horses,” he said, “trying to get him better personnel. I’ve said a lot that it’s sometimes not so much about the plays but about the players and we’re trying to do a better job of getting better players in here to help fit his scheme and what he wants to do. We’ve given them better players that now he can go out and call a lot of different defenses and be effective as opposed to being handcuffed, so to speak, last year or whatever.”
The Redskins will practice twice Friday: a full-pads workout at 8:35 a.m. and a walk-through at 4:10 p.m.